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that I just backed on Kickstarter.

First, How to Think When You Draw.

how to think when you draw

Which the author politely asked me (and everybody else who backed it) to repost/blog about on social media. I like his style, so I am. I first saw his stuff on Pinterest where people had pinned lots of his drawing tutorials. Very nice, short, to-the-point, purposeful and well thought out one or two panel tutorials.

Then I found out he was making them into a book. Which I promptly got on the email list for. He sent me an email before the launch day asking me to spread the word. Which I am finally doing. Sorry Lorenzo, I was trying to beat a deadline and couldn’t get to this until now. Hey, there are still 20 days left, I’m not that late.

Go to his blog, his deviant art page, and the Kickstarter to find out more. Lorenzo has done multiple book projects; both the regular publisher route and the Kickstarter route, and the book layout is all done and ready to go to the printer. So this is a Kickstarter I feel confident will go off without a hitch. Looking forward to receiving the book in my own little hands, and until then I can placate myself by doodling along to the deviant art/blog stuff.

After I backed How to Think When You Draw, Kickstarter recommended this other drawing book to me: Draw like a Boss . Which I hadn’t previously heard of. So I looked at it and realized that I really liked that book too, soooo I backed it. I like the idea that they gave it a sort of role playing game system to make it less intimidating and more fun to learn to draw.

draw like a boss

This is the “final printing Kickstarter” so I guess a lot of other people liked the game format idea coupled with some pretty heavy duty classic masterworks art techniques. Since they’ve already had multiple printings of this title due to heavy demand, this project should go smoothly as well. I chose the sewn hardcover version for durability.

So go to the link, maybe you’ll like it too. Back the projects, don’t back the projects; it’s up to you. I just know that I’m glad when people let me know about interesting things so I like to do the same.

Oh, Last Word: Don’t go getting all spoiled just because I posted twice this week. If there weren’t time-sensitive things happening you would not have gotten Any posts this week. Remember I was trying to meet a deadline. Which I did. So There!

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you already know I love the Muppets. I mean, really truly, totally, unconditionally, to-the-moon-and-back, saved my life literally, LOVE the Muppets.

Muppets

So today J found this interview on Splitsider and immediately came and got me and made me watch the clip and read the interview.

OMG (all of them — Allah to Zeus) there is a new documentary where five of the original muppet performers sit down and talk about the experience of being a Muppet. It’s sort of like Dinner for Five without the dinner but all about Muppets.

Is it just me or is this so totally exciting that you just have to go Squeee! and dance around a bit?

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The documentary goes live tomorrow March 16th at MuppetGuysTalking.com. You can only see it at that site; it is Not Coming to a Theater Near You! You can mark your calendars if you want but since it’s only one day I think you can just remember.

I just got an email from the website saying thank you and giving me some details. It goes live at 6 am Eastern USA time, (10 a.m. in London, 12:00 noon in Cairo, 9 p.m. in Sydney, and VERY early — at 3 a.m. if you’re on U.S. Pacific Time). I don’t know what this is going to cost but there will be two options: 1) the film, 2) the film plus some “really great extras and bonus items” which is called Below Stage Pass, get it, below stage — where the puppeteers are. You can probably guess which one I want.

Hooray!

UPDATE: Film is now live; I went with option 1) film only. Which cost me a whole $9.97, I downloaded it to my computer so even if my internet goes down or is slow I can still watch it. FYI I couldn’t afford option 2 and besides I’m still not even on Facebook and my monitor doesn’t have a camera and I don’t need to be part of a live online audience. Oh well.

But we have Muppets!!!!!

I am perfectly aware that I’ve been gone far, far too long. Life has been exceedingly crazy here for way too many months. Not crazy in a good way, not in a horrible way, just crazy with things like the flu and other icky health stuff and boring life stuff that takes up too much bloody time.

Things are slowly improving and in the last week or so I’ve been working on a new piece of art. Yes, working on it finally because the deadline is looming and it needs to get done no matter how tired I am.

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So here is a link to a really wonderful music video by a Dutch band called Death Van that I saw on the Dangerous Minds blog. Reading their post I do agree that it reminds me of the Brothers Quay’s work, but it also reminds me of sequences in the movie MirrorMask. Very cool, very surreal, very low-brow art,  totally love it! So click and watch, several times maybe even.

DeathVan

That means it’s time to start thinking about Halloween. As in candy, decorations and the biggie — what is your costume going to be??

Today is all about halloween inspiration.

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Like these totally creepy kids.

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Or this couple. I think they’re kinda sweet, creepy but sweet.

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If I thought I could pull it off I would wear this. Hey, I could be Darth Fairy! Check out the green Death Star on her wand.

halloween moon w owls

Also there is so much Halloween goodness when it comes to decorations. I made a special pinterest board just for Holiday Decor. Lots and lots of ideas, vintage and otherwise. Mostly it’s Halloween and Christmas with a few bunnies thrown in.

So get into think mode and Go Halloween!

Lack of Imagination

Having no imagination (like having no sense of humor) is a dire situation and can lead to terrible consequences. As is the case in today’s book Upright Hilda.

Hilda 1

Poor tightly wound Hilda just couldn’t abide any fun. Enjoying ones self was beneath her dignity.

Hilda 2

No playing, no singing, no silliness. “Only fools stand on their head. Only fools enjoy such a tumble.”

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That attitude persisted in Hilda as she grew. No birds, no swings, no dogs near Hilda’s tree. Look at those poor Hilda-afficted children across the street.

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Even her wedding was a no nonsense affair.

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Of course her own children led very stiff upright fun-free lives.

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Then Hilda became ill and, well . . . she died. No one was very sad “for if in life one cannot gladden. Then in death one cannot sadden.” The book also tells us: “Her husband thinking of the fee, bought a plot just three-by-three.”

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Not shown is a picture showing that the casket is partly built from the signs from “Hilda’s tree”; No Dogs, No Birds, No Swings.

Hilda 8

With Hilda gone, the family learns to enjoy life, playing in the sunshine. Love the Dad with his yo-yo.

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The final irony; Hilda will spend eternity on her head. How mortifying. giggle

So mind this lesson well: A life without imagination is nearly as bad as no life at all.

I picked this up at a library sale (what a shock) while on vacation a few years ago. Yes, even on vacation I will hit library sales. Oh yeah, we really looooove books. Picked this one up because I really liked both the story and the illustration style. Especially the small symbolic splashes of hot pink. These drawings remind me of Edward Gorey, whose work I am extremely fond of (I hit my love limit for this post).

So remember to practice your imagination, you don’t want it to get all rusty or undeveloped. Go enjoy something!

Yes, I am going to go on as if this fun little imagination series of posts was not Rudely Interrupted by reality. So I’m sorry I’ve been gone but really; in the words of Han Solo “It’s not my fault.”

Imagination is a very powerful tool. So very powerful that it is important to remember to use it mindfully. Not carefully, imagination should be allowed to soar and swoop and go to places never before visited . . . but mindfully.

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Sam, Bangs & Moonshine is the story of a fisherman’s daughter Sam (Samantha) who has a expansive imagination. She tells people her mother is a mermaid, that she owns a kangaroo and she talks to her cat (Bangs) who understands and talks back.

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Sam spends her days riding in her dragon-drawn chariot and telling her friend Thomas to go to different places to search for the kangaroo (who’s always just stepped out).

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Her father tells Sam all the time to “talk real” and “stop all the moonshine”. Sam doesn’t listen much, she’s too busy playing imagining games.

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One day without thinking about it, she tells Thomas that the kangaroo went out to Blue Rock, which is far out in the harbor. A bad storm blows in and puts Thomas in terrible danger.

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Sam feels terrible and scared and tells her Father who rushes out into the storm and saves Thomas. Sam has learned a Valuable lesson about real and not-real. From now on she knows to use imagination in a mindful manner.

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The next day Sam’s father brings her a little animal he found on a banana boat while it was unloading. She says it’s a kangaroo, he says “No, it’s a gerbil.” She takes it over to Thomas who is very sick in bed and gives it to him.

This wonderful book shows us how vital it is to not lose sight of what’s around us while we are indulging in imaginative play. Don’t put yourself or others in danger, don’t forget that something is cooking on the stove, don’t forget to cage up the baby in the playpen so it can’t hurt itself, don’t ignore the baby if it needs a change or snack, and don’t sit on the dog/cat. But also do not forget to play around in your imagination, no matter how busy your everyday life gets. Make some time to play.

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I really like the illustrations in this book. The choice of doing them in pen and ink with ink washes and having only one other color (an olive green) really emphasizes that it’s the mind of the reader/imaginer that is populating this world.

Gosh, this has been a really herky-jerky post. I hope you have enjoyed Sam, Bangs & Moonshine any way. If you liked it enough to want a copy you can find a copy pretty easily on ebay or the net. I got mine years ago at a library sale — don’t you just love the library sales? So many books, so little space to put them in my little house.

Imagination is so very powerful and it is a skill that requires practice and should be encouraged. Playing imagination games with simple things that would ordinarily be thrown away is one of the greatest pleasures of childhood. That is what today’s story is all about.

christina katerina Box 1

Christina Katerina & the Box is all about the fact that little children just love cardboard boxes. It begins with a new refrigerator being delivered down the street from Christina’s house. Her mother is all in awe of the new appliance but all Christina can see is the box, which she promptly gloms onto.

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First (with some help from her Dad) she turns it into a castle . . .

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Where she plays happily until her friend in the neighborhood comes home from vacation. Then the box becomes a clubhouse.

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That lasts for while, then in a disagreement over club procedures her friend sits on the roof and squashes the box.

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So she makes it into a race car. That lasts until the box finally collapses; but Christina still won’t let her Mother throw away the box.

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She colors it to make a mansion floor.

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Where everybody has a grand party. After the party her friend cleans up and the mansion floor gets wet and disintegrates. Raking up the box remains Christina’s Mother is glad that the box adventures are over.

But wait, Christina’s friends Mother just got a new washer and dryer . . .

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So off they go on an ocean voyage.