Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Winter Fun

Some of the best things about December are

 the flowers we get each other,
waking up with all four cats on the bed,
 the crisp white light that fills the house after it snows,

mulled wine heated on the stove,
 wintry-sounding music, 

 the Christkindl Market in Mifflinburg, PA: only three days each year, the charming festival is outdoors on closed off streets of the pretty little town in the mountains.  It's fun at night to stay warm with the sweet hot mulled wine and the German food and beer, to shuffle along slowly with the happy crowd in and out of the huts of crafts and working artisans, see a marionette show, a funny juggler, folk dancers, wagon rides, a parade, an organ grinder, and much more,

 my mitten monsters Frick and Frack,
silly takes on Christmas like John 
Updike's  The Twelve Terrors of Christmas
  illustrated by Edward Gorey
and David Sedaris's "Holidays on Ice,"

and sneaking around gathering gifts for the ones you love.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sea Creature Double Feature

more fun flea market finds
Of all the Lobsters now about 
You are the boss, beyond a doubt: 
In that one way you cut a shine— 
A Lallipaloosa in the Lobster line.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Zephyr and the green man

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wild Animal Posters

 Andy Ward has illustrated a wonderful series of posters with animals of the Arctic, Africa, and the Amazon.  His characters are lively with beautifully compacted whimsy in their scrunched little bodies. They are all strong on their own and also work together well in groups with beautiful palettes on quality paper.  Characters originally drawn for a children's book, then resurrected for a children's clothing line, have now evolved into adorable encyclopedic models on these "Children's Guide to Natural History" posters.  Next I would love to see them on a Saturday morning cartoon series in their unique environments! These animals would be fun in any medium and make me smile.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Can it get any worse for Archibald?

Jonathan Burton has made something hugely fun and unique: he illustrated a page of a book he named The Perils of Archibald, which asks, "What happens next?" and put it on his blog for his readers to imagine what happens to Archibald Toddle.  After receiving submissions, he's chosen ideas to create a lively adventure.  So far, a large metal object has fallen out of the sky crashing at Archibald's feet, out of which pops Ziggy Stardust.  Ziggy commands hundreds of spiders to tie Archibald down with their webs, he steals Archibald's top hat, and then is promptly eaten by the spiders in the hat!  The spiders kidnap Archibald and put him in the metal object, a large submarine filled with other victims.  But then a monster octopus reaches in and grabs Archibald and hurls him from the submarine into the dark abyss...and now a word from our sponsors!

Here we sit on the edge of our seats waiting for Jonathan to wrap up the story and finish his wonderful book.  A beautifully interactive idea with incredible style from a super fun artist.
And check out more  illustrations here:

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Create is a Verb!

Scott Berkun writes and speaks about creativity, and I really enjoy his funny, smart, energetic, inspiring, and informative
blog and lectures, especially this video:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Twice Upon a Time

I love 2D animation, and since seeing Twice Upon a Time on HBO in 1984, it is still one of my favorites.  Every time I've loaned a copy of this movie to someone, I have never gotten it back.  My fourth copy (the hilarious version with Botch's full-blown potty mouth) does not leave my house!  Directed and written by John Korty and Charles Swenson, the film uses both live action and animation with a special technique developed by Korty called Lumage wherein light shines through the cutouts.  The characters and story are unique and brilliant: Villain Synonamess Botch makes nightmare bombs at his Murkworks factory and has his minions, scary vultures led by Rudy, deliver them to the people of our world, the Rushers of Din.  Sweet dreams are delivered by the Figmen of Imagination, led by Greensleeves, and come from the land of sunny Frivoli.  Botch hatches a plan to kidnap both Greensleeves and the spring of the cosmic clock in order to make the Rushers experience nonstop nightmares.  Ralph the All-purpose Animal and his silent sidekick Mumford are tricked into helping, but when they figure out the scheme, they get help from FGM (Fairy Godmother), Rod Rescueman, and Flora Fauna, aspiring actress and Greensleeve's niece, to get the spring back.  My favorite character is Scuzzbopper who writes the scripts for the nightmares, and my favorite scene is when a nightmare bomb goes off while Ralph and Mumford are in an office full of scissors, stapler removers, and tape!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Children's books

When I find a new (usually used, but new to me) book, I flip through and decide if I like the artwork.  If I do, I buy it and take it home to read.  Most of the time, the stories are not completely satisfying, but I keep them for the pleasing art anyway.  However, when I find any written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake, I know it's going to be a delightful afternoon snuggled in bed giggling at their whimsical creations.  This wonderful team worked together for over fifteen years and produced many brilliant books.  Quentin Blake is an amazing illustrator whose messy scribbles are full of personality and humor.  Roald Dahl is one of the greatest storytellers ever, so funny and natural you barely know he's there until you burst out laughing at his charming and wicked honesty, as here in George's Marvelous Medicine:
      George couldn't help disliking Grandma.  She was a
       selfish grumpy old woman.  She had pale brown teeth
       and a small puckered-up mouth like a dog's bottom.   

George's Marvelous Medicine

 Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator 

Fantastic Mr. Fox 


The Witches 

Revolting Rhymes 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Carnivorous Slug Eats Tuna

an exciting weekend at the Folk house

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Up Your Nose with a Rubber Hose

one of my most unusual flea market finds: a funny printed knit featuring the Sweathogs and Mr. Kotter

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fortune Cookie Flub

is this good or bad?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Children's books

Ed Emberley is a great illustrator and has made many fun books to teach children how to draw.  His proportions, lines, colors, and choices of paper and ink qualities for his books are very pleasing.
 Ed Emberley's ABC

The Wing on a Flea 

London Bridge is Falling Down 

Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals 

Ed Emberley's Great Thumbprint Drawing Book

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Life Is but a Lucid Dream

I had my first lucid dream during my last year of high school.  I had read about Dr. Stephen LaBerge and his experiments at The Lucidity Institute in Omni magazine.  For weeks after, I thought about lucid dreaming constantly and talked with my friend Rick about it every day.  Finally one night, it happened.  I was late for class, though I was in my bedroom, and my hair was wet from swimming.  I was frantically waving the hair dryer and whirling around every few seconds to look at the clock.  Each time I looked, the numbers were different, and I thought maybe this was a lucid dream.  I went to the window and saw kids in a purple car doing donuts on the neighbor's lawn, and I knew it definitely was.  I immediately wanted to fly and decided to go to Rick's house to wake him up to see if I could get him into my dream.  I thought I should follow the roads and not go as the crow flies so I wouldn't get lost.  Of course I could have snapped my fingers and been there immediately, but it would be a few weeks until the mindset of physical world logic could be overcome.  Funny how logical you can be in a dream while at the same time absurd things go unnoticed.  I went out to the driveway, and it had suddenly changed to nighttime.  I put my arms straight up in the air and started to take off like a rocket slowly gaining momentum.  I flew to the end of our long driveway at the top of the hill and steered right to follow the main street through town.  I remember turning felt like rollerskating around a curve, gliding so fast you could lose control, and I did.

The next day I told Rick all about it and he, too, had had his first lucid dream the night before.  It lasted only a few seconds, but he said he put his arms straight out and lifted his legs and levitated, said it was easy.  That night I did it again and tried levitating.  It was easy.  Over the next few years, I had frequent lucid dreams.  I never felt like I was gaining more and more control, but I had a few interesting adventures.  I walked through seaweed on the bottom of a lake, breathing underwater without any difficulty.  I went to a party and walked around pointing at people, changing their outfits.  I remember the physical sensations of touching walls and doorknobs and wondered at my visual accuracy of flying at eye level with the tops of pine trees.  One of my favorite dreams was when I had complete control for a long time and was leisurely flying around the inside of a huge, empty warehouse made entirely of bricks on the floor, walls, and ceiling.  I felt the urge to pee and thought if I did, I might wet the bed.  I decided it was a great experiment and worth it to see what would happen.  Like a fly, I landed on a wall and was completely horizontal looking straight down at the floor.  I spread my legs and let it go, without care for or issues with the clothes I was wearing.  I went on flying then, and eventually found a big, arched doorway leading to a pretty flower garden.  When I swooped down to go through the opening, two black Doberman pinschers with studded collars were there on the ground barking at me, and I woke up suddenly.  I found the bed was dry and noticed later in the day that I hadn't had to pee for many hours after waking.  My body seemed to have been fooled by my mind's experience.  

It would be great fun to be a guinea pig for Dr. LaBerge.  He sends people on missions to stretch the boundaries of the dream world and receives messages from their sleeping bodies by signals from their eyes, which can move unlike the rest of their mostly paralyzed bodies.  He has developed goggles that detect when you are in REM sleep and shoot light through your eyelids to remind you to wake up.  A more affordable but more difficult way to become a regular lucid dreamer is to ask yourself throughout the day if you are in a dream.  Eventually you will notice illogical things like wearing a t-shirt in a blizzard, become conscious, and do things you have only daydreamed of before.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Zef side!

Jane's Addiction is pretty cool, but Die Antwoord was the real treat last night at the Mann Center in Philly.  Yo-Landi and Ninja prowled around the stage, looking pretty and bouncing their naughty bits all about.  We could feel the bass through our thighs and everyone dancing made a gravity-free sensation in the bobbing balcony.  Die Antwoord didn't play nearly long enough!  We wandered around, met a man named Bunny, and settled into good seats to watch the blurry lights pulsate. Moe warbled in my ear, and we had a blast with Nathan, whose good fortune, aside from being denied ranch dressing, twinkled all night.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summertime Tees

 some of Moe's funniest