1. Well, of course — must share something blue to kick off the first Cool Things Roundup of 2020. Memphis-based artist Nathaniel Mather is a recent discovery for me; another case of love at first sight.
I enjoy the playful spirit and child-like quality of his narrative pieces. Colors, textures, and simple renderings of flowers and animals evoke 19th century primitive folk art, but still feel contemporary.
His compositions have a wonderful “unstudied” quality about them — a brand of sophistication that’s difficult to pull off well.
As a typography freak, I swooned when I noticed text and numbers in some of his work. Letters floating around in paintings always make me happy, but alphabets in two blue trees? Have mercy!
He wants to produce work that is “true, beautiful, and restorative” . . . reflecting “God’s wonder and grace while wrestling with daily struggles and pain.” One can’t help but feel uplifted by his art.
1. Been a Mary Engelbreit fan for decades, especially enjoying her greeting cards and calendars. Happy to see her social justice pieces in recent years — like this lovely “Humanity” fine print. It’s available in two sizes, 11″ x 14″ and 16″ x 20″ (signed or unsigned). This design is also available on a t-shirt (50% of proceeds to benefit the ACLU). Nice Valentine’s Day gift, but the sentiment is a good one year round. Check out her online shop for lots more – – books, bags, apparel, games, puzzles, mugs. I am especially loving this Sweet Sipping Cocoa Box. 🙂
A young girl sets out on errands for the day, and while she’s gone, the farm maiden prepares a piñata from scratch with help from a boy, horse, goose, cat, sheep, and farmer. After they all fall asleep in the afternoon sun, they must scramble to finish preparations in time–just as the girl arrives back to her surprise party. Key English words change to Spanish as the cumulative verse builds to the celebratory ending. With the familiarity of “The House That Jack Built,” the tale cleverly incorporates Spanish words, adding a new one in place of the English word from the previous page. This book makes learning the language easy and fun. Back matter includes a glossary, definitions, and directions for making a piñata at home.
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.