If you are between 8 and 108 years old and like to read middle grade books, then you are especially welcome here!

Yuri’s bears

Posted: November 4th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

The wonderful illustrator Yuri Vasnetsov was born in Russia in 1900. He studied modern art but found his greatest inspiration in traditional Russian folk art and his love of wildlife. Animals of all kinds spring to life in his drawings and paintings with much humor and sometimes a touch of dread. Bears were a favorite subject. Here are some terrific examples.

Mr. Vasnetsov was able to give all his animal creations a strong and distinct personality. Despite having lost a leg and trekking in deep snow, this bear seems to be looking on the bright side of life. It’s good to be home!

⌃Here are the famous Three Bears in a happy daytime woodland scene.

⌃And a different trio in a nighttime setting.

⌃This bear has found a  reluctant sailing companion, who also serves as a boat!

 

⌃And this painting shows Yuri’s love of bears is shared by all.

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Pictures of boo!

Posted: October 4th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Toronto artist David Irvine adds unexpected elements to thrift-store paintings to create a whole new way of looking at the subject matter. Among his offbeat additions are scary movie stars.

Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th drops in for a visit at this charming woodsy cottage.

Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre helps a local gardener collect some flowers for her indoor display.

Michael Meyers from Halloween takes a moment out of his frenetic day to enjoy the seasonal foliage.

Slimer from Ghostbusters goes haunted-house hunting.

And Jack O’Lantern shares a fun, frightful tale with a lucky pair of picnicking siblings.

To see more of David Irvine’s imaginatively innovative works, check out his Etsy.

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Wolfing around

Posted: September 1st, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , | No Comments »

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Paper great

Posted: March 25th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , | No Comments »

Danish artist HuskMitNavn (RememberMyName) lives and works in Copenhagen. His simple drawings bring a whole lot of life and fun to simple sheets of paper.

HuskMitNavn proves you don’t need a lot of stuff when you’ve got a lot of imagination. Check out more of his drawings on Instagram. And see his paintings and installations here.

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Sweet art

Posted: February 8th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Twenty-eight-year-old Japanese candymaker Shinri Tezuka specializes in the traditional art of amezaiku, the cutting, pulling, and bending of molten sugar into elaborate lollipops. Amezaiku originated in the 8th Century, and Shinri is one of the last of the candy artisans. He sells his amazing amezaiku at his Tokyo candy store, Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin. Here are some of his creations. Are they too beautiful to eat? Probably not, since they taste as good as they look.

Here’s Shinri Tezuka in action. Watch the magic happen!

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A new war on Christmas

Posted: December 20th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Letters to T | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

George from Portland, OR writes:

Dear T,

I have a new holiday story to tell. It’s Rude-olph, the Rudest Reindeer. Forget about Rudolph. Rude-olph could chew him up for breakfast and spit him out at lunch. He’ll tell you you’re really smart…on Opposites Day. P.S. It’s only ten dollars. How many can I put you down for?

T replies:

Hey, George! The holidays are not a time for disrespect and bad manners. And charging ten dollars for this story is nine dollars too many. All I can say is that I hope Rude-olph learns to overcome his rudeness and is able to join in the festivities in a considerate and neighborly manner.

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Yadiloh greetings!

Posted: December 14th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Letters to T | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

Dan’s Mom writes:

Dear T,

I would like to tell you about a fabulous new holiday celebration. It’s called Yadiloh, the Festival of Brooms and Mice, and it happens on the second Sunday of December, right before the traditional holidays begin. I had an artist friend of mine make up a card for it.

Yadiloh begins early in the morning as each and every kid in the family sweeps (or vacuums) their room and then cleans the whole house. Then, in the spirit of Yadiloh fun, they hide the broom (or vacuum).

After that, for even more fun, they sit quietly together and draw a picture of an adorable mouse. The fun doesn’t stop there! At this point, Mom or Dad takes on the role of Atnas, the Yadiloh Broom Finder. Atnas asks the kids (the Mice) where the broom (or vacuum) is. They tell him (or her), and then go outside to quietly play while Atnas takes a much-deserved Yadiloh nap.

Let’s get cracking and help make Yadiloh a part of every family’s holiday tradition! Here are a couple of rousing Yadiloh carols to get everyone in the mood.

Oh, Yadiloh!

(Sung to the tune of Oh, Tannenbaum)

Oh, Yadiloh! Oh, Yadiloh!

My favorite time of year.

Oh, Yadiloh! Oh, Yadiloh!

I’m glad you’re finally here.

I cleaned my room

and swept the house,

then hid the broom

and drew a mouse.

Oh, Yadiloh! Oh, Yadiloh!

You fill us all with cheer.

And:

Here Comes Atnas

(Sung to the tune of Here Comes Santa)

Here comes Atnas, here comes Atnas,

looking for the broom.

Here comes Atnas, here comes Atnas,

checking every room.

Searching twice and asking mice for any little clue,

Atnas knows a broom hunt is the funnest thing to do!

T replies:

Hey, Dan’s Mom. Yadiloh sounds like a real hoot, but if I didn’t know better, I’d think you made it up to get Dan to clean the house before the regular holidays begin. If so, you get credit for a very crafty plan. Let’s see if Dan (or anyone else) falls for it!

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Compliments are delicious

Posted: June 10th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Compliment story found at Letters of Note.

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For the birds

Posted: May 21st, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , | No Comments »

No one was a bigger fan of feathered friends than American ornithologist, painter, and naturalist John James Audubon, who traveled deep into the woods, glens, and marshes to capture bird life in illustrated glory. Now, Audubon.org is making available prints from Audubon’s major work, The Birds of America, to download for free. Here are some of my favorites.

The Raven. Obviously croaking a warning.

American Robin. A harbinger of Spring.

Barn Owl. Silent night stalker.

Barn Swallow. The picture of grace in flight, just as beautiful in repose.

 

Red-Throated Diver. Awkward on land, unbeatable in water.

Common American Gull. The reliable guardian of the ocean shores.

Many more of Audubon’s amazing illustrations can be found at Audubon.org. Pay a visit and find your own faves!

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Buggy beauty

Posted: May 4th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: T Writes | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Fueled by a concern for nature and a scientific curiosity, Japanese artist Hiroshi Shinno creates ikimono (life/living) sculptures of imaginary insects out of metal and resin. Shinno intends for these fantastical forms to remind us of the wondrous variety that is found in the natural world. Even insectophobes have got to be onboard with that!

Shinno keeps an Insect Diary, in which he sketches ideas for future works. Take a look!

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