this is just too cool . . . Dalton Ghetti alphabet carvings

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

source: inhabitat

the alphabet carved from pencil leads!

This just might be the most amazing alphabet set I’ve ever seen! I have to thank Tanita Davis for the heads up on Dalton Ghetti, a 49-year-old carpenter from Bridgeport, Connecticut, who obviously has the patience and acute artistic acumen of a saint.

Apparently he does these amazing carvings as a hobby; sets like the one above can take him years to complete, and the only tools he uses are a sewing needle, sculpting knife and razor blade. No magnifying glass!

source: inhabitat

Currently he is working on a project related to the September 11 attacks. Ever since 2002, he’s been carving a teardrop every day, and plans to do 3,000 of them, in honor of every person who died. Ultimately, they will collectively form one large teardrop. He estimates it will take him 10 years to complete.

To see and learn more about his incredible work, click here and here.


 Certified authentic alphabetica. Handmade especially for you with love and a new appreciation for #2 pencils.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

soup of the day: little chimp’s big day by lisa schroeder and lisa mccue



Hey, wild thing: grab a vine so we can swing through the jungle! We’ve got the perfect excuse to go totally bananas today, because Lisa Schroeder’s third book this year, Little Chimp’s Big Day (Sterling, 2010), is officially out!

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soup of the day: never ever talk to strangers! by anne marie pace

Oh boy! Today we get to do one of my very favorite things — celebrate the publication of a first book! Woo-Hoo!

I’m happy to be able to congratulate fellow Virginia author, Anne Marie Pace, on the official release of Never Ever Talk to Strangers (Scholastic, 2010)! You can see by the cover why the ursine kitchen helpers are especially tickled by this charming picture book. Yes, they love that the main character is a bear, but they also like what Jamie’s story teaches them about stranger danger.


Jamie is all excited about the Super Safety Expert badge he receives after hearing Officer Crane’s talk at the school assembly. Over a tasty snack of grapes and milk, he tells his mom, “Strangers are people you don’t know. If a stranger talks to you, you should yell and run away.”

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soup of the day: mostly monsterly by tammi sauer and scott magoon!

Hey hey!

Are you in the mood for a little Monster Mayhem?

You’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re celebrating the official release of Mostly Monsterly (Simon & Schuster, 2010) by Tammi Sauer and Scott Magoon! You know what that means, don’t you?

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friday feast: your order, please?


I’ve loved the idea of drive-in restaurants with car hops ever since childhood.

The ones we had in Hawai’i weren’t very close to home, so the few times I actually got to sit in a car and watch the car hop attach the silver tray with our burgers and fries to the driver’s side window were wildly exciting.

These days, shouting your order at a little speaker box and then driving to a window to collect your food just isn’t the same. Where are the cool roller skates? The feeling of being in a 50’s time warp? The high suspense of watching the car hop balance the food on the tray?

KC Waffle Dogs by charlieboy808.

I think my quintessential car hop experience was at KC Drive-In, the very first car hop restaurant in Hawai’i, whose specialty was waffle dogs. Hot dogs were encased in a sweet batter and cooked in a press. Ah, that crispy dough around the edges, and the steamy hot dog in the middle! Mmmmmmmm. Sadly, KC closed back in 2005.

I shall have to drown my sorrows in this tasty poem by Barbara Crooker, a poet I’ve just recently “discovered” and whom I absolutely love. A wonderful evocation of vintage cars, neon signs, endless summers and adolescence.


by Barbara Crooker

First job. In tight black shorts
and a white bowling shirt, red lipstick
and bouncing pony tail, I present
each overflowing tray as if it were a banquet.
I’m sixteen and college-bound,
this job’s temporary as the summer sun,
but right now, it’s the boundaries of my life.
After the first few nights of mixed orders
and missing cars, the work goes easily.
I take out the silver trays and hook them to the windows,
inhale the mingled smells of seared meat patties,
salty ketchup, rich sweet malteds.
The lure of grease drifts through the thick night air.
And it’s always summer at Patty’s Charcoal Drive-in—
carloads of blonde-and-tan girls
pull up next to red convertibles,
boys in black tee shirts and slick hair.
Everyone knows what they want.

(Rest is here.)


Okay, I’ve got my roller skates on and I’m coming out to you. What’ll it be?


Today’s Roundup is being hosted by Kate at Book Aunt.

Have fun cruisin’ this weekend!

*This post served up with a side of nostalgia.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.