a little luigi benedicenti to sweeten your week

Today, for your feasting pleasure, the amazing oil paintings — yes, paintings (!) of Italian artist Luigi Benedicenti (1948-2015).

They can’t be paintings, they must be photographs, you say. I’m still in disbelief myself. Even if they were photographs, they would be awesome — but paintings? Truly incredible!

A native of Turin, Benedicenti developed his own style of “realismo extremo,” or hyper photo-realism, featuring Italian pastries as his primary subject.

Apparently the pastries were made by professional bakers, but he did not consume them after taking reference photos because he had diabetes. I imagine his family and friends were only too willing to help him “take care of” the pastries when he was through with them. 🙂

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nine cool things on a tuesday

1. You know how it is. You stumble out of bed, reach for your phone, turn on the TV, or if you’re old school, check the headlines on the front page. There is this urge to find out if the world is still intact.

Even though you don’t want to, you check Twitter. Which of our allies has been insulted by the highest office in the land? Who’s been given a new nickname and attacked? What lies have been told?

Mornings are hard enough, but all this is . . . unbearable and demoralizing. For survival sake, we all need a little levity. Why drink your first cup of java in a ho-hum mug when you can brace up, smile, and be a little naughty? 🙂

Check out the cool camping mugs at pnwenamelco (Pacific Northwest Enamel Company). I love owner and designer Karen Simpson’s irreverence! Political humor not your style? She’s got designs for outdoor lovers, nerds, Harry Potter fans and more. These make a fun novelty gift, or if you’re in the mood, treat yourself!  Nephew cracked a rare smile when he received the Covfefe mug for his birthday last summer . . .

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2. So, as the joke goes, “How do you like your eggs?” Answer: “In cake.” 😀

But if you’re Michele Baldini, your answer would probably be, “Fried up as a work of art.” The 20-year-old medical student from Mexico makes breakfast magic with his eggstraordinary yolk and white creations.

Using a plain black frying pan as his canvas, he’s done people, a little Van Gogh, countries, animals, symbols, whatever comes to mind.

His wolf howling at the moon is a fan favorite, but I’m quite partial to the kitty face. Wonder how many yolks he’s broken in the process? Lots more at Michele’s Instagram, “The Eggshibit.” Omelet you go now . . . 😀

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nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Hungry for a little something? Why not feast on Samantha Lee’s food art? 🙂

This Malaysian mother of two first started playing with her food in 2008 while pregnant with her second daughter. She began posting her food art on Instagram in 2011, and soon became an internet sensation. What began as a hobby soon turned into a career. Her imaginative, whimsical creations are made with simple tools and are meant to promote healthy eating. Since 2013, she’s worked with the likes of Samsung, Barilla, Ben & Jerry’s, Holiday Inn, MasterCard, and ESPN, among many others.

Around the World series (click to enlarge)

Check out Samantha’s Official Website and Instagram for her latest plates. Yum!

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2. Though his creator Michael Bond sadly passed away in June, good old Paddington Bear marches on. He recently partnered with UNICEF to become its Champion for Children! He will be helping UNICEF’s efforts to promote the rights of children all over the world. 🙂

Lily Caprani, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF UK, said: “We are living in a time when millions of children around the world are being forced to leave their homes, and to put their trust in the kindness of strangers. As such, it seems especially appropriate and welcome to be working with a partner like Vivendi, and to have a champion like Paddington, whose own story of leaving Darkest Peru and finding a new family and home in a strange country, resonates as strongly and freshly today, as it did when it was first published. With the help of partners like Vivendi and Paddington, we will be able to make sure that millions more people hear about children’s rights, and with their support, build a world in which every child, wherever they are, knows that there will be people like Mr and Mrs Brown, to keep them happy, healthy and safe.”

Paddington exemplifies the values of love, tolerance, kindness, and persistence in the face of adversity. We agree he’s the perfect choice, definitely up to the job. The 70-something resident Paddingtons are eating extra marmalade sandwiches to celebrate. Hooray!

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nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Check it: alphabet soup made with Rice Krispies! This crunchy bowl of fun was created by NY-based food artist Jessica Siskin, a.k.a., Misterkrisp, who spends her days crafting all things wonderful out of Rice Krispies, my favorite childhood cereal. 🙂

Several years ago, she was asked to bring a dish to a potluck birthday party. The only thing she knew how to “cook” was giant heart-shaped Rice Krispie treats. Discovering she could add food coloring to the treats recipe, she was inspired to make a giant cheeseburger. Of course everyone loved it, so Jessica continued to experiment — creating portraits of cartoon characters, famous people (including Kim Kardashian’s rear end), animals, designer bags, and different foods all made with Rice Krispies.

In 2013 she started Misterkrisp, and this summer her first book, Treat Yourself, is being published by Workman.

She shares her creations at her Instagram account and takes custom orders through her website. Talk about snap, crackle, pop!

Mr. Cornelius’s favorite

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nine cool things on a tuesday

1. It’s Spring and time to revel in bright colors, animal friends, and the beauty of the natural world. Why not treat yourself or a friend to a charming archival giclée print by author/illustrator Elisa Kleven?

You can choose from a lovely selection of illustrations from some of her wonderful picture books. Do you recognize the above image from the cover of  Sun Bread? One of my fave foodie books! Wouldn’t it be a perfect print to hang in a nursery? I feel happy every time I look at it. 🙂

Bird and Sunrise

 

Glasswings

 

Spider Monkey and Mama

All prints are produced on 100% cotton acid free paper and Elisa will sign and inscribe them for you. These come in various sizes and are available via her website. Check out all the choices and add some gorgeousness to your life! In case you missed it, click here for my interview with Elisa about her newest picture book, The Horribly Hungry Gingerbread Boy.

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