Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dear Penpal

 When is the last time you received any personal snail mail?  It being such a wonderful sensation to hold a paper letter in your hands and read a loved one's thoughts in their actual handwriting, you'd think we'd all exchange a bit more of it. 
Letters of Note "is a blog-based archive of fascinating correspondence," with actual letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos gathered by Shaun Usher.  You can receive his online newsletter, buy one of his books of compiled letters, or simply browse the site to read any of hundreds of these interesting personal messages.  From Iggy Pop to Leonardo da Vinci, there are lots of goodies to explore. 
Here begins a fun letter sent to directors and producers in Hollywood from copywriter Robert Pirosh.  "I like words. I like fat buttery words, such as ooze, turpitude, glutinous, toady..."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

hot winter drinks

If you get sick this winter, many mugs of this yummy sweet tart tonic can markedly shorten the duration of your illness.
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp lemon juice
add hot water
And if you're bored with your coffee or tea, try adding hot chocolate.  Mint tea and hot chocolate are wonderful together, and coffee and chocolate make a delicious mocha. For better flavor than powdered packets, try this creamy concoction.  You can freeze the balls and they will be ready to drop in your mug when you come in from the cold. 
12 oz sweet chocolate, chips or shavings
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
heat together and stir smooth, refrigerate for two hours, scoop three tablespoons into each ball, refrigerate.  heat one ball in one cup of milk 
Thanks to Patsy for passing along excellent recipes!

Monday, January 19, 2015

A treasure trove of time

The Public Domain Review is an online journal of interesting prints, books, films, essays and audio recordings which, now without a copyright, are in the public domain.  It's a rich historical resource that delights and diverts for hours on end.  Here is just a tiny sampling of what you can find in this amazing collection of collections.

Green Pastures by pioneering Chinese American animator Joseph Sunn from San Fransisco, 1926. This film is part of the “Ralph Wolfe’s Mud Stuff” series. 

1915 silent film adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, directed and written by W.W. Young and starring Viola Savoy as Alice.

Part of a print from around 1882 depicting a futuristic view of air travel over Paris as people leave the opera by Albert Robida. 

Miniature of plants and a demon: the herb Ypericon, supposed to repel demons, from a beautifully illustrated 15th century version of the “Tractatus de Herbis”, a book produced to help apothecaries and physicians from different linguistic backgrounds identify plants they used in their daily medical practise.

Detail from a page in The school of the heart; or, The heart of it self gone away from God brought back again to him, and instructed by him. In 47 emblems (1676), by George Wither.

Traveler's map

Here's a fun site to make a map of where you've been in the US and see where you have yet to visit.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Natural Beauty

These are just a few of the hundreds of poignant photographs taken by my cousin, Hillary Dionne, on Big Tancook Island.  She posts many wonderful photos on Facebook and sells framed and matted photos in her gallery, Wishing Stones.  She also takes photos for Lucy Neatby, an expert knitter who creates beautiful patterns and products.  Hillary has a great eye for compositions and captures the spectacular natural environment she lives in every day.  She has written articles about her interesting life on Tancook for the last three issues of Connect magazine.  Last summer Hillary cut off all her beautiful long hair to have a wig made for someone with cancer.  Yeah, that's how cool my cousin is!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

fizzy fun

Rocket Fizz is a fabulously fun store with a bazillion kinds of fizzy drinks.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Muffin Maker Troubled Baker

 It's chaos in the kitchen as a villain sets off bombs in the ovens! The baker's fairy must collect cookies and falling muffins and put out the fires before the ovens break in this hilarious minute and a half game.  I had fun drawing some of the characters and kitchen and learning about games from co-creators Lavalle Lee and Jordan Kinsley.  They have made many other fun games which are featured on Lavalle's site, www.flashcartoons.org.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy Next Year

You need to wear a belt on Big Tancook Island, for all the treasures to be found on its wild beaches will weigh your pants down to embarrassing depths.  It's a romantic place where you can believe that anything is possible and have fun casting wishes into the sea. You can see six of the Pleiades and feel exceptionally alive around a beach bonfire.  The dirt roads feel right and take you to a very special place called Wishing Stones. Down the road from Southeast Cove, it's a gallery, coffee shop, library, and museum with an enchanted atmosphere created by my cousin, Hillary Dionne.

 It was her parents' general store as she was growing up, and now is filled with her beautiful nature photographs and handmade sea glass jewelry, as well as crafts by other artisans including hooked rugs, jellies, baked goods, and giant wooden whales.

Hillary's warm personality and talent for telling great stories always make for a cheery and interesting summer afternoon.  You can get a mug of coffee, play a game of darts, and look through her breathtaking photographs and cards.
She wrote a children's book about a mouse who lives in the gallery and it is filled with incredibly funny photographs she took of mice posed with tiny props (she bribed them with peanut butter).

It's fun to browse the eclectic collection of hundreds of books and movies in her free lending library and see the old island artifacts filling three museum rooms.   
Many times throughout the year Hillary finds excuses to have spectacular parties, and last July I went to the best party ever with rollicking live music all night long.