ruby silvious’s exquisite tea bag art

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When is a tea bag more than just a tea bag?

In January 2015, New York-based artist and graphic designer Ruby Silvious began a tea-licious new project: she would record impressions of the moment every day on used tea bags. Sharing her visual journal, “363 Days of Tea,” on Instagram allowed her to push her creative practice and “spark a different kind of inspiration.”

rubyreplacementWhile most of us discard our tea tags without a second thought, Ruby saw them as unique mini canvases. Once family and friends heard of her project, they started sending her a variety of tea bags, some with different shapes and interesting tags. Sometimes the tea bags were kept intact after being emptied of their leaves, while others were split open and laid flat. Stains and torn edges became part of the beauty.

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I love the great range of subjects — whimsical everyday objects like mugs and umbrellas, shirts and pets, along with evocative glimpses of the natural world, interesting portraits and street scenes. Of course my heart quickened at the sight of soup cans, slices of pie, sushi, noodles, and teapots. 🙂

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ruby23This past Fall, Ruby published 363 Days of Tea: A Visual Journal on Used Tea Bags as a beautiful coffee table book. It’s wonderful following her creative journey day by day, marveling at her pieces of drawn, painted, and collaged microart.

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your table’s ready

by Rudi Hurzlmeier

Hello and Happy New Year!

We’re baaaaaaack! Hope you had a nice holiday. Other than a little adventure with our well pump on New Year’s Eve, we managed to survive all the busyness, insane consumption of cookies and undue pressure to be merry and jingly and ho ho ho all the time, and now we’re just happy to get back to our quiet routine here in the woods with bears, books, and warm cups of tea.

 

Like that wonderful bear in Mr. Hurzlmeier’s painting, I’m tipping my hat to you. I’m glad you’re here because we’ve saved a special seat for you at the table. If you please, says Mr. Bear, make yourself at home.

 

I hope you don’t mind, but we had to make today’s tea with bottled water. That’s because our tap water still smells like bleach. When the new pump was installed, the contractor sanitized our well. We were lucky to find someone on a holiday weekend who provides emergency service. One minute you’re washing and rinsing the dishes, the next minute you turn on the bathroom tap to brush your teeth and no water at all. 😦

It’s good to know you can actually call someone close to midnight and they’re actually cordial and patient and try to troubleshoot with you over the phone before agreeing to come over bright and early the next morning. So we welcomed 2017 without clean water and there was no dumpling soup or any other cooking going on but we were just relieved we didn’t have to check into a hotel and wait days and days to get someone to fix things.

Did I mention one reason the well pump failed was because we had a power outage on Christmas Eve? Chain of events, chain of events. Never a dull moment.

 

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hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Iza Trapani

When I immigrated to America from Poland at age seven, I learned English with the help of a Mother Goose collection. Little did I know that someday I would extend many of those nursery rhymes and have a successful career as a children’s book author and illustrator. I am currently at work on my 26th book.

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: I drink all kinds of teas. Lately, I’ve been enjoying hot cinnamon spice from Harney & Sons. It’s lightly sweet and zesTEA :-). Looks like Teddy would like some too. Should I offer him a cup?

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESS: Old King Cole (Charlesbridge, August 2015). Forthcoming: Gabe and Goon (Charlesbridge, July 2016).

 

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK(s): Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens (Harcourt, 1995), Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 2002), Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper (FSG, 2005), and Split Pea Soup (from the George and Martha stories) by James Marshall (HMH, 1974).

☕ Visit Iza Trapani’s Official Website and blog, In and Out of My Studio.

☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Old King Cole Book Trailer !

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☕☕☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Iza’s Twinkle Twinkle Little Star read by ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti aboard the International Space Station!! Far out and too cool. 🙂

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

coming soon to alphabet soup!

I know what you’re thinking.

Now that the weather is decidedly cooler, just what is Alphabet Soup going to do about it?

Let me ask you this: do you have a working fire extinguisher? Is your flame-retardant suit back from the cleaners? Have you stocked up on pot holders and oven mitts?

Fair Warning:  If you can’t stand the heat, best get out of the kitchen right now, because —

On certain Thursdays, we’ll be serving up a number of specially hand-picked, deliciously handsome or beauTEAful prime specimens from the kidlit world toting their hotter than hot beverages just to warm you up!

by Jiri Sliva

Yes, my pretties, coming soon to Alphabet Soup:

(drum roll, please):

*sighs* *swoons* *smelling salts*

Steel yourselves. Because HOT.

I daresay my pulse races at the mere thought. Please excuse me while I re-upholster my fainting couch.

 

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

9 Cool Things on a Tuesday

1. Author and Poet Charles Ghigna, aka Father Goose, aka Our Favorite Alabama hotTEA, has some new books out! The Tiny Tales series (four 64-page early chapter books published by Picture Window Books/Capstone, 2015), was inspired by imaginative play with his adorable granddaughter Charlotte Rose.

Kids will enjoy following the adventures of Lucy Goose, Cuddle Bunny, Adeline Porcupine and Bobby Bear. Each title contains 4-5 stories of family and friendship lovingly illustrated by Jacqueline East (Mr. Cornelius was especially excited about Bobby Bear). Read more about Charles, Charlotte Rose, and the genesis of this series in this heartwarming post.

 

Charles’s new board book, A Carnival of Cats (Orca Books, 2015), was just released at the beginning of September.

 

There’s a purrrfect little carnival coming to town, filled with adorable cats of all different kinds! In this hint-and-reveal board book, babies, toddlers and cat-lovers alike will enjoy discovering (and guessing) what breed of cat is hiding on the next page. With playful rhyming text from award-winning author Charles Ghigna, aka Father Goose®, and beautiful illustrations by celebrated artist Kristi Bridgeman, this exuberant board book will have everyone guessing what cat is that!

Sounds like a fun feline feast for whisker-lovin’ PreSchool and Kindergarten munchkins. Me-wow!

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2. Some of you may remember when a certain gray silicone tea infuser named Mr. Tea cavorted in the Alphabet Soup kitchen in search of the perfect teacup.

 

Lo and behold — Mr. Tea has joined the ranks of the politically correct. He’s gone diverse! Behold the family of different colors, perfect for parTEAing anytime, anywhere in the world.

 

 

For two years now, the resident leprechaun and I have thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Tea’s company. Very daring and extremely playful, Mr. Tea no longer confines himself to teacups, but can be found balancing perilously atop gooseneck water faucets, hanging plant pots, wooden sculptures, and window ledges.

It’s a little “dangerous” to leave anything with a rim lying around, as Mr. Tea will appear out of nowhere just to hang out. We highly recommend adopting your own Mr. Tea. Other than a few rascally antics, he’s quite well behaved, doesn’t talk back, and won’t eat all your cookies.

 

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