nine cool things on a tuesday

1. October, October, how we love October! This week we’re basking in some of Loré Pemberton’s autumnal art.

We featured Loré on a Cool Things Roundup last year, but since we love her work so much, we couldn’t wait to share more. You may remember she’s based in Cold Hollow, Vermont, where she creates her warm and homey acrylic and gouache paintings in the northern woods.

I love the rich detail in her pieces and her earthy palette, just perfect for this time of year. Everything gold, brown, rustic and woodsy. Mr Cornelius would like to visit all the places and meet all the animals she features in her pictures.

For lots more, visit Loré’s Official Website and Etsy Shop.


2. New literary cookbook alert: Just released September 21, 2021 is Arab Fairy Tale Feasts by Karim Alrawi and Nahid Kazemi (Crocodile Books,2021):

Arab Fairy Tale Feasts is the latest title in the highly-praised Fairy Tale Feasts Collection, a creative series that folds enchanting folk tales into cookbooks of kid-friendly recipes.

Award-winning writer and storyteller, Karim Alrawi, draws on his deep knowledge of Arab culture to create original stories that are a feast for young imaginations. Told with intriguing details, the tales take young readers on a delicious cultural journey and invite them to consider an Arab perspective. Each tale symbolically incorporates food and concludes with a traditional recipe, lovingly flavored with colorful folkloric illustrations, making this a literary banquet to savor with family and friends across generations time and again.

This charming, whimsical, and beautifully illustrated book will capture children’s fancy and will be enjoyed by the whole family.

Recipes include:

  • Qamaruddin (Apricot sheets)
  • Fattoush (Zesty salad)
  • Muhamms (Crispy chickpeas)
  • Manakish zaatar (Zaatar flatbread)
  • Hass al-Samak (Fish soup)
  • Pomegranate spritz
  • Shish taouk (chicken kebab)
  • Baba ghanoush (eggplant dip)
  • Tamar hindi (Tamarind cooler)
  • Kufta assaleyah (honey-glazed meatballs)
  • Mamoul (date-filled cookies)
  • Lime and mint refresher
  • Kunafa
  • And many more!

I’ve been a fan of this series ever since the original title, Fairy Tale Feasts: A Literary Cookbook for Young Readers and Eaters by Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple and Phillipe Béha was released in 2006. With Jane’s retold tales, Heidi’s recipes, and Phillipe’s cool illustrations, I was instantly hooked. This was the type of book that was totally up my alley. 🙂

Since then, I’ve added Chinese Fairy Tale Feasts (my review is here), and Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts to my cookbook collection and continue to enjoy the blend of story, culture, and, of course, food in these delicious books.

Can’t wait to read and drool all over this new one!


3. Julie, Julie Julie! Time to order your 2022 Julie Paschkis wall calendars! This year’s theme is “We Are All Connected.”

“The calendar is a one page poster, printed on heavy stock, 11″ x 17″. The watercolor and ink drawing illustrates that we are all connected – the red and the blue, the lion and the lamb, the rain soaked towns and the burning woods. It will take creativity and effort for us to address the challenges of the times.”

Read Julie’s post at Books Around the Table for some backstory about creating her calendars, which she’s done every year since 2017. The art is inspired by Pennsylvania Dutch Fraktur (folk art). In the post she shows all the calendars she’s made thus far. I love that in every calendar there are hearts in the corners. 🙂

Go to Julie Paprika to order yours at $12 each. 100% of the proceeds benefits the ACLU. Free shipping on orders of 5 or more!

Worth watching: Last month Julie was featured in the live Instagram series Art Out Loud Online, hosted by the Society of Illustrators and Enchanted Lion Books. It’s a wonderful informal tour of her house and studio in Seattle with her godson Julian. Her home is a work of art in itself — so beautiful, and what you might expect an artist’s home to look like. In her studio she talks about some of her recent books and even does a short art project at the end. Don’t miss it!


4. Especially for the littlest munchkins: a new board book! Check out ONE TOMATO: A Garden Counting Book by Rebecca Mullin and Anna Mullin (Cardinal Publishers Group, 2021):

Have fun helping your child learn their numbers with this garden-based counting book. This book introduces young readers to the shapes and concepts of the numbers in a fun walk through the garden. In One Tomato, children will build their confidence with numbers and learn about garden plants, vegetables, and bugs. A common dandelion guides children through the book, hiding somewhere on each page. With sturdy pages and rounded corners, One Tomato is durable and safe for lots of learning fun.

Doesn’t this look adorable? Love the appealing art, bright colors and shapes, and fun-to-read rhyming text. Counting and identifying veggies, looking at their respective plants, and following the dandelion from spread to spread will not only delight young readers, but make them curious about eating the vegetables they haven’t already tried. A perfect baby shower or birthday gift. Anyone else craving caprese salad? 🙂


5. And now, BAO! Recently I’ve been hearing the siren call of dim sum. Where are you, siu mai, har gow, egg tarts? The pandemic has come between us! If I can’t devour you in person, at least I can play with you, thanks to Tiny Bao House.

Canadian artist Tracy Hong makes my favorite dim sum treats out of felt (and you know how I love fake food). Cuddle with soft dumplings or friendly steamed buns, then stack up a plate of spring rolls. These are great pieces for Montessori imaginative play, homeschoolers, or hungry bloggers. Feed my fantasies, oh yes!

Score a quick lunch at Tracy’s Etsy shop!


6. Heads up, Poets! A brand new poetry craft book releases tomorrow, October 13, 2021: THE STRATEGIC POET: Honing the Craft, edited by Diane Lockward (Terrapin Books, 2021):

The Strategic Poet: Honing the Craft focuses on the craft of poetry and is based on the belief that craft can be taught and the best teacher of craft is a good poem. This book assumes a knowledgeable reader, that is, one who already knows the language of poetry and already practices the craft. This book is organized into thirteen sections, each one devoted to a specific poetic strategy. While only thirteen strategies are used for organizational purposes, the reader will find many additional strategies referred to and discussed within the sections. There is a progression from one section to the next, but each section also stands alone, so the reader or teacher can follow the order of the Contents or move about freely among the sections.

Each section begins with a Craft Talk solicited from a well-known poet with a clear mastery of craft. Each Craft Talk is followed by Model Poems and Prompts. Each Model Poem is followed by an analysis of its craft elements, especially its use of the section’s strategy. One Model Poem in each section is followed by a Commentary from the poet who wrote the poem and is focused on a particular strategy used in the poem. 

Each of the thirty-six Prompts is followed by two Sample Poems written to the prompts. These seventy-two poems demonstrate that the prompts are not mere exercises and can produce terrific poems. 

Each section ends with three Bonus Prompts. There thirty-nine additional prompts were contributed by thirteen contemporary poets. These short prompts provide additional practice with the strategies, can be used multiple times, and should lead to some good poems.

Contributors include 114 of the best contemporary poets, as Craft Talk Poets, Model Poem Poets, Commentary Poets, Bonus Prompt Poets, or Sample Poem Poets. Look for Ellen Bass, George Bilgere, Adele Kenny, Charlotte Mandel, Ada Limón, Michael T. Young, Jeffrey Bean, Penny Harter, Robin Chapman, and so many more!

This book is suitable for use by poets working independently, by poets in writing groups, and by teachers in the classroom.

This is the fourth poetry craft book published by Terrapin Books, following The Crafty Poet I & II, and The Practicing Poet: Beyond the Basics (2018). This new one sounds like a must-have if you’re ready to put your head down for some productive work this Fall and beyond. Treat yourself to this rich resource and wellspring of inspiration. You deserve it!


7. Ceramics Fix: Found some cute soup bowls at Apollo Box online. If you’re not familiar with AB, they feature fun, unique and creative products. I like that they work with small vendors around the world. It’s a great place to shop for gifts, especially for those people on your list who seem to have everything.

Of course you’ll find a lot more than ceramics and kitchen items at Apollo Box — they sell apparel, home decor, gadgets, toys, office supplies, etc. Just a nice place to browse when you’re stuck for gift ideas. These caught my eye because fall is soup season. 🙂

A double-handled soup bowl with animal lid? Yes, please. Choose from raccoon, squirrel, or red fox. These even come with optional fork and/or spoon.

How about a pumpkin soup bowl just perfect for fall? Uh-huh.

And Mr Cornelius’s favorite? A bear noodle bowl. These come in white, pink, blue and green with lids and matching forks (and they’re stackable!). When do we start slurping? 🙂

Find these items and much more at Apollo Box.


8. Good things come in small packages: Are you familiar with Tatsuya Tanaka?

He’s a miniature and resemblance artist from Japan, known for his Miniature Calendar. Since 2011, he’s been creating and photographing scenes using ordinary/alternative objects from a miniature perspective. In other words, tiny people having fun, interesting, and surprising adventures with everyday stuff.

I’ve always been fascinated by artists who play with scale in this way; the first time I encountered this genre years ago was with Christopher Boffoli’s “Big Appetites.” As far as I know, Tanaka is the only miniature artist who features new scenes on a daily basis — and he’s been doing it for 10 years! Love that he uses a lot of food props. 🙂

See how he made “Tea Time”/”Bath Time” in this video:

Enjoy this video to see more of his work:

Bookmark Tanaka’s website for daily calendar updates and to purchase products such as puzzles, t-shirts, books, and of course, calendars. Check out his YouTube channel for dozens more video demonstrations. I am so impressed with his immaculately organized work space — drawers and bins and files for all of his props, camera lenses, etc. Meticulous!


9. New Picture Book Alert: Take a look at BARN AT NIGHT by Michelle Houts and Jen Betton (Feeding Minds Press, 2021), just released September 14:

When you grow up on a farm, adventures happen all day long—even at night! On a cold winter evening, a father and daughter go out to the barn and are welcomed with a warm scene. Who is awake, who is asleep, and who is just making their first appearance in the barn? Michelle Houts’ lyrical poetry paired with Jen Betton’s glowing watercolors create a warm and wonderful bedtime story—best shared together.

This looks like a lovely bedtime read, perfect for sharing on chilly nights when you’re warm and cozy inside. The rhyming text has a soothing cadence, and I like the atmospheric illustrations.


Finally, our blue song this week is a Bee Gees tune I heard for the first time last month. Surprising, since I consider myself an avid fan and I “thought” I was familiar with most of their music.

“Blue Island” was included on their 1993 album, “Size Isn’t Everything.” Here is what Barry Gibb said about this song:

The other side, what we call heaven, in fact is blue and it’s an island. Good or bad, this is where we all end up. So we wrote ‘Blue Island’ and dedicated it for the children of Yugoslavia, because even though they may not survive, the hope is that they, as well as us, are all going to this beautiful place.

I miss The Bee Gees, and often think how sad it must be for Barry to be the last surviving brother. Beautiful harmonies always. Enjoy!











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14 thoughts on “nine cool things on a tuesday

  1. I’m only halfway through this post and darn-it! I have to go shower for work. I am in love with the artwork at the top. Soooooo beautiful! I don’t supposed she’s painted oxen? I am going to look for it later. Wonderful feast here, Jama. And bao?! You don’t have to twist my arm. YUM!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dearest Jama, you make my Tuesdays smile all the day! This time I believe I need to keep the post for holiday shopping. There is so much to love here & to look at carefully for gifts I want to give. I love Pemberton’s paintings, Tanaka’s tiny art, the soup bowls, and that new barn book! And your ‘blue’ song! I won’t ever forget those Bee Gees, & their special songs. I don’t know this one either, so thanks for the discovery! Happiest of Tuesdays to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I’m not the only one who was unfamiliar with “Blue Island.” It’s nice to “discover” it after all these years, though, isn’t it?


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