8 happy things on a monday

Happy Almost Spring!

1. Don’t you love our current blog header?  The collage of pretty tea-themed images is by April Rose Illustration, the brand of UK-based watercolour artist and illustrator Siobhan Harrison. Siobhan graciously granted me permission to share a bit of her work, and it makes me happy every time I click on Alphabet Soup and see that lovely teapot, teacup and those yummy cakes.

Copyright © 2014 Siobhan Harrison/April Rose Illustration

Siobhan’s delicate watercolour florals have been used on products ranging from note cards, packaging, gift wrap, greeting cards and book covers, extending through to homewares / kitchen ware and table top ceramics. She’s also illustrated over two dozen children’s books which have been published worldwide.

You can find out more about her work at April Rose Illustration, Siobhan Harrison Illustration, April’s Illustration Blog, and Siobhan’s Sketch Blog. Crafty types may also wish to check out her product page at the Trimcraft website, which features lots of craft supplies and project ideas. Of course you can also follow Siobhan on Twitter and Facebook.

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2. I enjoy keeping tabs on all our Indie Artist Spotlight interviewees. Love this teapot and teacup lamb watercolor by Deidre Wicks at Water in My Paint,

Original watercolor available at Etsy.

and these adorable wee bunnies by Bossy’s Feltworks:

Adopt a bunny at Etsy!

Both are perfect to get you into the Spring/Easter’s coming mood!

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3. Still feeling a little Downton Abbey withdrawal? If you’re within driving distance of the Winterthur Museum in Delaware, check this out — “Costumes of Downton Abbey” — an exhibition that just opened last week featuring 40 historically inspired costumes from the television series!

Wouldn’t it be nice to see some of the exquisite detail on the ladies’ gowns up close and personal? This exhibition runs now through January 4, 2015, so you have lots of time to plan a day trip to see the exhibit, tour the duPont house, and maybe even have brunch or afternoon tea.

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4. We love when good things happen to good books and the people who’ve written them. Want to chime in with our heartfelt Congratulations to Pat Zietlow Miller for her SCBWI Golden Kite Award for picture book text (Sophie’s Squash) and Amy Ludwig VanDerwater for her Golden Kite Honor for picture book text (Forest Has a Song).

Both are debut books and have been showered with many other well-deserved awards and accolades since their release last year. In case you missed them, my review of Sophie’s Squash is here, and my Soup of the Day post for Forest Has a Song is here.

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5. Just purchased Jane Austen and Food by Maggie Lane (Endeavour Press, Ltd., 2013) for my Kindle. It’s good to have a digital version of the book originally published in 1995. Quite a bargain at only $2.99!  Customer reviews say the book is well researched and on the scholarly side. I look forward to nibbling on it in small chunks. I think we should have a Jane Austen tea, don’t you?

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6. Poetry Goddesses Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong have done it again! The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science (Pomelo Books, 2014) is now available!! There’s a juicy Teacher Edition (218 poems by 77 different poets + Take 5! mini-lessons for grades K-5), PLUS Student Editions for each grade level (+ bonus poems, science glossary, science learning resources). I’m looking forward to feasting on all the poems and sharing several of them right here at Alphabet Soup. 🙂

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7. If you’ve been hearing a couple of LOUD sounds recently, it could be robots burping. Remember when I featured Robot Zombie Frankenstein! by Annette Simon awhile ago? Well, the big green and small purple robots are back with a new game in a ga-lugg guzzle guzz gassy sequel, Robot Burp Head Smartypants! (Candlewick, 2014).

The tinny rivals swig engine oil, then face off with numbers and alphabet burps. Could you burp to ten or burp by tens while blindfolded, juggling and skateboarding? I’ve got my eye on those stacks of juicy red apples. BRrrrrrrrRRRPPP! Zoink! Let it rip!! Nothing like a good alphabelch to make learning fun.

Read Annette’s fun guest post interview and enter to win a signed, personalized copy and a set of alphabet and number stickers at Cynsations!

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8. This! It’s coming, it’s coming!


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Have a warm and fuzzy, sunny funny good work week. Burrrrp! 🙂


Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

17 thoughts on “8 happy things on a monday

    1. Enjoyed your Cynsations post, Annette — I’ve never known anyone who was really three people in one before :). Congrats on the new bot book!


  1. I love that piece by Diedre Wicks, the felt works bunnies, & didn’t know about Paddington coming. My own children loved the books, and now I wonder if the grand-girls even know them-too many books being read, but not Paddington. Time to remedy that before the movie. Doesn’t it look so good!


    1. Yes, it DOES look good. Having Colin Firth voice Paddington is icing on the cake! Hope you introduce your grand-girls to him soon :).


  2. I am crazy about Sophie’s Squash and Forest Has a Song. Such wonderful books. I can’t wait to see the Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. Lots of good reminders on this post. Thanks. Have a great week.


  3. Ooh, tea cups! Your blog is so pretty and delicate… even with ol’ Georgie down on the bottom, there. I love that you find all these men with tea. (Do you just Google “men with tea?!”) I’m amused that Colin Firth and Paddington can be seriously uttered in the same sentence… SERIOUSLY amused.


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