nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Not to sound corny or anything (tee hee), but I love bow ties! Ordinary bow ties in any color or fabric float my boat, but foodie ones send me right over the edge.

Know of any handsome gents who need to spruce up their wardrobes?

These are made by Rotterdam based artist Rommy Kuperus of RommydeBommy. You may remember when I interviewed Rommy as part of the Indie Artist Spotlight series a few years ago. In that post, I included two of her bow ties, and zippity doo-dah, now she’s added more!

Do check out Rommy’s Etsy Shop for all her outrageous foodie fashion accessories. In addition to bow ties, she makes purses, brooches, and necklaces. All will bring a smile to your face and jolt you out of your ho-hum doldrums (there’s nothing like having perfect strangers offer to lick your handbag). 😀

Was I happy to see that she’s now making tea bags? Oh yes.


2. New Book Alert!!! Doggone it, today is official release day for NANNY PAWS by Wendy Wahman (Two Lions, 2018)!

Nanny Paws looks after Ally and Mae the only way she knows how—as a dog would. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her girls. She feeds them a hearty breakfast (cookies are best), picks up their toys (teddy bears fit nicely in freshly dug holes), and even walks them to school (running them there is fun too). But one Tuesday, Ally and Mae come home sick, and it’s up to Nanny Paws to take care of them…in her own special way.

Nanny Paws has already gotten *rave reviews* from Kirkus, Booklist and School Library Journal. I’m looking forward to sniffing this one out. How can you go wrong when the author/illustrator’s children resemble and act like standard poodles? Find out more about the book in this cool interview with Wendy at Mile High Reading.

And check out the cute trailer:

Happy Pub Day, Wendy!!!


3. Since May is the month of flowers, why not brighten up someone’s day with a lovely Molly Hatch Bouquet in a Book?

I’m a big Molly Hatch fan — love her books, greeting cards, journals, textiles, and most of all, her ceramics. Two of these new book bouquets were just released in February. There’s “Happy Day” and “Thinking of You.”

Both are “a fresh take on the Victorian notion of expressing oneself with the symbolic language of flowers. Thinking of You offers a soothing array of blooms with empathetic meanings, while Happy Day features bright, cheery flowers with uplifting sentiments. Each spread features a flower that “flips up” from the page, a brief description of the flower’s meaning, and its special message for the recipient. When all of the blossoms are popped up, the book can be displayed on a desk just like a vase of flowers.”

So pretty and unique, it makes a thoughtful gift and is sure to brighten up a special someone’s day. Best of all, these flowers never need watering. 🙂


4. Another New Book Alert!! Was excited to see that Poetry Friday friend Tabatha Yeatts has edited a brand new poetry anthology for middle schoolers called Imperfect: Poems About Mistakes (History House Publishers, 2018)!

Why an anthology about mistakes? Because we make mistakes all the time. Some are the size of erasing a hole in your paper, mispronouncing a word, or tripping over your shoelace. Some are the size of telling a friend’s secret. Some can be useful, like a science experiment that goes wrong but gives you a new idea. How can we make the most of the good mistakes and do our best to fix the ones that need fixing? Poetry can help us figure it out.

Imperfect includes 70 poems by 50 poets. The Imperfect poets, who include the 2017-2019 Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle, have published hundreds of books between them and been anthologized in hundreds more.

Check out the anthology’s full roster of amazing poets and read sample poems at the Imperfect blog, and don’t miss this interview with Tabatha at Irene Latham’s Live Your Poem.

Congratulations, Tabatha, and thanks for putting together this much needed collection!


5. Looking to get a step ahead — or maybe your foot in the door?

Get inspired with Danish photographer Nikolaj Beyer’s “Everyday Shoes.”

He’s taken ordinary objects and turned them into fashionable footwear. Nothing’s off limits — strips of film, Christmas lights, sticky notes, duct tape, old newspaper.

Naturally I am most intrigued by his foodie creations. Never thought to wrap cabbage around my ankles. Hmmmm. And the Snickers pump would come in handy for a quick sugar fix.

Must admit the bacon and ground meat sandal doesn’t look too uncomfortable . . . but I imagine all the neighborhood dogs would come nipping at my heels. 😀

A better woman would wear her heart on her sleeve; I prefer a soleful lunch to go.


6. Recently spotted these lovely mugs online, made by Leigh Anne Thompson of Elan Pottery.

Elan is a small family business based in Frederick, Maryland. Leigh Anne’s fiancé does all the glazing, and they travel around the country selling their wares at Renaissance Faires.

Their mugs, plates, bowls, planters and jewelry can be purchased online via shop updates about every 6-8 weeks, so it’s best to sign up for their mailing list or follow Elan Pottery on Facebook or Instagram to be notified if you’re interested.

This bluebird mug is my favorite!


7. Some of you may remember my mentioning Massachusetts fabric relief artist Salley Mavor’s stop motion animation movie, “Liberty and Justice: A Cautionary Tale in the Land of the Free.”

She and her husband Rob Goldsborough worked on it for an entire year and they’ve finally finished it! This work of political satire, starring the Wee Folk Players theatre troupe, is absolutely brilliant. Salley made all the dolls and scenery and did the animating, while Rob was in charge of photography, lighting and editing.

What happens when a pair of lost citizens wander in the deep dark woods in search of a new leader? In this satirical take-off of the traditional folk tale, “Hansel and Gretel”, the wordless story follows protagonists Liberty and Justice as they negotiate the challenges of today’s unique political landscape, while being shadowed by a persistent Twitter bird.

Since Salley and Rob are entering the film in various festivals, I can’t embed the video here, but you can view it at Salley’s blog, along with backstory about working on the project. Well worth a look, you will marvel not only at the staggering artistry, but the powerful statement the film makes about the current political climate.


8. And yet another Cool New Book: If You Had a Jetpack by Lisl Detlefsen and Linzie Hunter (Knopf BFYR, 2018)!!

Having a jetpack is fun–if you know what to do with one.

If you had a jetpack, you could:

  *  Teach your brother how to build one too.
  *  Demonstrate its usefulness at Show and Share Time at school.
  *  Give your principal a ride home.
  *  Fly south to visit your nana.
  *  Visit the astronauts on the space station and help with anything that needed fixing.

Join one inventive little rabbit as he and his brother put their new jetpack to good use!

Just look at all the adorable characters in this book! This one sounds like so much fun and I’m already wishing I had a jetpack of my own. You may remember my interviewing Lisl when her first picture book came out — Time for Cranberries (Roaring Brook Press, 2015), or when I spotlighted some of Linzie’s art. Am a fan of both, so I was excited to see they had teamed up for this new book.

Congratulations to Lisl and Linzie!!


9. Recently stumbled upon Janet Carija Brandt’s beautiful, gorgeous, amazing, stunning fiber art. A master storyteller, she creates characters and scenes in the European folk art tradition.

Janet’s Casket Chronicles feature a Princely Dragon, maidens and other characters that show up in different works as an ongoing story. Her dolls celebrate with parties and feasts in highly adorned rooms, houses and palaces, all heavily embroidered and embellished.

~ TAFA (Textile and Fiber Art List)

Last summer, Janet completed a traditional 17th century embroidered casket, which she calls “Once Upon a Time: World of Possibilities.” These wooden caskets, covered with ornately worked panels, were a type of dressing table and traveling box used to store trinkets, embroidery or writing tools, jewelry, and other personal possessions of wealthy young girls.

Janet’s casket is simply breathtaking, and a masterwork of design, color, and embellishments. She chronicled her progress for this project on her blog and I can’t begin to fathom the degree of patience, skill and attention to detail required to create such a piece.

In this video, she shows a sampler stored in one of the drawers that tells the story of her casket.

And if you’d like to see more close-up views of the casket, as well as the treasures Janet tucked into the drawers and compartments, check out this video and prepare to be enchanted.


Finally, we can’t end a Cool Things Roundup without a blue song. Since it’s his birthday on Thursday, here is Bob Dylan’s “Blue Moon,” included on his 1970 double album, “Self Portrait.” It features Dylan’s Nashville Skyline country tenor, proof that he can croon real purty when he wants to. 🙂


See you next time with a Bob Dylan birthday blues post. Until then,







🥣 🥣 🥣 🥣 🥣


P.S. You have until Friday, May 25, 2018, to enter the Little Library Cookbook giveaway. Don’t miss your chance to win this very cool literary cookbook by Kate Young. 🙂

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. When you purchase something using a link on this blog, Jama’s Alphabet Soup receives a small referral fee at no cost to you. Thank you for your continuing support!

**Copyright © 2018 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

21 thoughts on “nine cool things on a tuesday

      1. Glad you liked the goodies. Nothing more fun than “wearing” your food. 🙂 I hope you checked out Rommy’s other items at her Etsy Shop too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The links in my post are for online shops. RommydeBommy, for example, is based in Rotterdam, and I think she ships worldwide.


  1. I love those mugs sooo much! Also, sign me up for a Tea Bag and a Bouquet in a Book! The bow ties are genius and I am so curious about the stop motion movie. Actually, everything here is really Cool (thanks for including IMPERFECT!)!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m torn. I want to learn to embroider, but every time I look at the fiber artists here I think, “Wow, I will NEVER be that good, I should just buy something.” (That little felted image of Putin is… killing me!! I LOL’d.)

    Hm. Today’s idea is to just do both. Oh, and get paper flowers and some of that AMAZING Elan Pottery. I don’t need another mug, but those aren’t mugs, they’re ART. (Oh, the excuses she makes.) As always, so much beauty crammed into a post, Jama-j! I love it!

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    1. Janet’s and Salley’s work are in their own category of brilliance. Though I know I’d never be as good as they are no matter how hard I tried, I’m happy to marvel and appreciate, and to see what is humanly possible.


  3. There are nine very cool things, plus a bit more to savor, Jama. I love hearing about those two books, and the pottery and the embroidery are divine. But, those bowties just might make it onto a grandson’s dresser. I have bookmarked the site! Thanks!

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