nine cool things on a tuesday

“Under the Bridge” (2017)

1. Can you guess who painted the above piece? Let me give you a few clues: he’s a legendary musician, poet, and songwriter who loves to watch “I Love Lucy” reruns, he makes a mean meatball, and he just happened to win the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

“Lighthouse in Maine”

And yes, my man Bob Dylan is also an accomplished visual artist. His second graphic release from The Beaten Path collection is now available worldwide. There are 15 hand-signed limited edition prints (some are already sold out), depicting the main routes and back roads of America.

New England Depot

Choice of subject is just as interesting as his unique perspective. Of course my faves are the eateries — this time there’s a hamburger stand and a diner. 🙂

Flat Top Mt. Diner, Tennessee

Don’t you love seeing the country via his eyes and imagination? View the entire collection at the Castle Galleries webpage.

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2. Once again, author/illustrator extraordinaire Julie Paschkis has created a cool wall calendar to benefit the ACLU. The 2018 Hope Calendar celebrates the values of the United States:

By working together we can carry those values into the future, riding on a hopeful horse.

Calendars are 12″ x 18″ and are $12 each, with 100% of the proceeds donated. Get yours at Julie Paprika!

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nine cool things on a tuesday

coolbeautyquote

1. It’s always nice to see new prints in Katie Daisy’s Wheatfield Shop — bright colors are just what we need to get us in the mood for Spring. Of course I have a weakness for hand lettered alphabets and I couldn’t resist the reminder to “Be Kind to Others.” These inkjet prints of her original watercolor and acrylic paintings come in three sizes. Lots more to choose from!

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coolbekindprint

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2. New Book Alert! Look what’s coming out next Tuesday, March 22Let’s Go to the Hardware Store by Anne Rockwell and Melissa Iwai (Henry Holt, 2016)! This is the same team who created the wonderful picture book Truck Stop (Viking Books, 2013), about a family who runs a diner and gets ready to serve a nice hot breakfast to all their regular customers (blueberry muffins! pancakes! bacon and eggs!).

coolhardware

This time, a family who’s just moved into a new house needs to do some fix-ups, so they visit the hardware store to get some tools and supplies:

When the new house needs fixing up, it’s off to the hardware store to find the tools and materials needed to get the job done―a hammer, a screwdriver, a shiny tape measure, and even a stepladder.

This family outing explores a familiar errand that fascinates plenty of young children: the hardware store. Anne Rockwell’s perfectly pitched story and Melissa Iwai’s child-friendly illustrations make this book ideal for the preschool audience.

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Anne Rockwell is a household name to picture book lovers; it’s such a treat whenever she publishes a new book. And of course Melissa Iwai won me over big time when she published Soup Day (Henry Holt, 2010). 🙂 Love her cheery palette and engaging details (such a fun way to introduce kids to some basic tools). Her pictures make me miss the small neighborhood mom and pop hardware stores. Everything’s a big superstore these days. Click here to read Melissa’s post about doing the illos for the book.

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Maira Kalman’s Ah-hA to Zig-Zag, a cool puzzle, and the cutest eyebrows on earth

#52 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.

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“Isn’t that the only way to curate a life? To live among things that make you gasp with Delight?” ~ Maira Kalman

 

A.

Ah-hA!

TheRe You Are.

Are you ready
to REAd the

Alphabet?

perhAps you should
put on youR
ThinKing
CAP
(but don’t think too much)

 

Pretty much everything Maira Kalman does makes me gasp with delight.

I don’t know how she does it, or why it happens, but with each new book that delight intensifies. I am convinced she must eat magical cakes or a proliferation of napoleons prepared by exceedingly handsome mustachioed pastry chefs, or as in the case of this particular picture book, artfully burnt toast and ginger tea (steeped in whimsy).

In Ah-hA to Zig-Zag, her new alphabet book written especially for kids and the forever young at heart, the letter A stands for CAP, F for a hat From France that is “fluffy and frothy and fantastic and funny,” and Q for “quite the toaster.”

Though the book cleverly spotlights “31 Funny Excellent Beautiful Surprising Helpful Amazing Objects” from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in NYC (to celebrate its re-opening in December 2014), only three objects actually begin with their corresponding letters — Pocket, Umbrella, and Zig-Zag (Chair). 

But that’s just what makes this book so totally Maira. Instead of the conventional, “A is for Apple” format, this alphabet à la Maira is an idiosyncratic commentary, an affectionate conversation with YOU where she free associates with her chosen objects in funny, unexpected, and surprisingly profound ways. We get a good dose of those 26 beautiful letters alright, along with a fascinating design history primer spanning centuries.

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a baker’s dozen of cool things on a tuesday (including Lidia giveaway winner)

Happy Tuesday!

Enjoy these bits and bobs on today’s mixed platter. 🙂

1. I’m quite partial to elephants and pancakes and love Tina Kugler’s charming German Pancakes recipe at They Draw and Cook. Tina’s new picture book, In Mary’s Garden (HMH, 2015), which she wrote and illustrated with her husband Carson, is about Wisconsin artist Mary Nohl.

(click for larger image at TDAC)

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2. Have you been following Stéphanie Kilgast’s (PetitPlat’s) Daily Miniature Roots, Veggies & Fruit project? Since the beginning of the year, she’s been creating a new tiny sculpture each day from polymer clay. She decided to do this after discovering a lot of people don’t like veggies. She wanted to celebrate the great diversity of fruits and veggies the earth has to offer as well as arouse our curiosity and appetite.

 

 

 

Stéphanie was one of the first artists we interviewed for our Indie Artist Spotlight Series. I still think she’s the best miniature food artist out there. Don’t know how she does it, but she keeps getting better and better. Her miniature fruits and veggies brilliantly showcase all their beautiful colors, shapes and textures. Incredible! You can follow her project on Facebook, tumblr, or Instagram.

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7 cool things on a monday

“Seven days without laughter makes one weak.” ~ Mort Walker

copyright 2014 Margie Moore

1. Big thanks to children’s book illustrator Margie Moore for allowing me to showcase her adorable “Mouse’s Kitchen” in my blog header this month. Since I had to crop some of the illo to fit the header space, thought I’d post the original so you can see some of the details at the bottom. Margie says she did this watercolor for Babybug Magazine. FYI, Margie is CakeSpy Jessie Oleson Moore’s mother. Sweets and awesome talent run in the family! 🙂

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2. Heads up, Poets: Richer Resources Publications is seeking poems about food and eating for a new anthology to be published in 2015. You can submit up to 3 original poems (simultaneous and previously published okay). Deadline: November 1, 2014. More here.

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3. Have you heard about the brand new BookDragon Book Club? It’s presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and hosted by Terry Hong and HapaMama’s Grace Hwang Lynch, who invite you to join them each month for tasty reads by notable Asian Pacific American authors. They will announce a new book the first Tuesday of each month and then hold a live virtual conversation with the author on the last Tuesday. In between, they will post reviews, guest posts, resources, etc., with lots of chances for discussion and interaction.

 

Their inaugural title is Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh (Beth) Nguyen. It’s been getting rave reviews and Terry Hong says it’s one of her top 3 favorites for 2014 thus far. It sounds intriguing — a connection between Laura Ingalls Wilder and Vietnam? Click here to learn more about the club and watch Beth’s welcome video.

The live virtual chat with Beth (and with fellow readers, bloggers, etc.) will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, August 26) at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST.

4. Speaking of Laura Ingalls Wilder, novelist and biographer Pamela Smith Hill will be teaching a free online course via Missouri State University that runs from September 22 to December 1, 2014. Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring Her Work & Writing Life, “will expand your understanding of the literary themes, style, and historical underpinnings of Wilder’s Little House series.” Click here for full course description and enrollment information.

Some of you may know that Pamela Smith Hill is also the editor of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography (South Dakota State Historical Society, 2014), the much anticipated previously unpublished autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, to be released on November 20, 2014. Learn more about this exciting book at The Pioneer Girl Project site.

 

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5. If you’re a fan of haiku and haibun, check out Penny Harter’s guest post, “Circling the Pine: Haibun and the Spiral Image” at The Music In It: Adele Kenny’s Poetry Blog. We’ve had the pleasure of featuring the work of both of these fabulous poets here at Alphabet Soup, and are pleased to mention their new books:

 

Penny’s The Resonance Around Us (Mountains & Rivers Press, 2013), just came out last Fall, and Adele’s new book, A Lightness, A Thirst, or Nothing At All (Welcome Rain Publishers, 2014) will be out in December, and is now available for pre-order.

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6. Because of my interest in the handmade and heart-made, and because the spoon is my favorite utensil, I find Josh Nava’s 365 Spoons project very cool. This Nashville woodworker is hand carving a spoon from local wood every day in 2014. You can follow Josh’s progress on Instagram. Here’s a short video showing him at work:

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7. Last, but certainly not least, in case you missed this short film about Maira Kalman from Gael Towey’s wonderful “Portraits in Creativity” series, I’m sharing it here. I love that Maira thinks everyone is “deeply eccentric,” and that she’s playing a duck in Isaac Mizrahi’s production of “Peter and The Wolf.”

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Happy Monday, All!

I hope at least 7 good things happen to you this week — that you write 7 good words, share 7 kind words with others, and reflect on 7 things you’re thankful for. 🙂

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