Amazing new genre pushing boundaries

As a family we’ve recently been on a graphic novels kick.

It certainly makes for shared reading, because books can be savoured and re-read within a realistic time frame.  With text intense books, what often happens is one person gets to read the book from beginning to end and then it’s due back to the library.  Or by the time the second reader is well into the book the first reader has either forgotten vital details, or even worse, blurts out bits of plot and ruins the surprise.  “The butler did it — oops, sorry!”

Despite what you might think, graphic novels can deal with tough, adult subjects.  Art Spiegelman’s Maus springs to mind.  I had read the first version when it came out ages ago, but the most recent edition has more material, and more harrowing material.

We’ve also read Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem, Chronicles from the Holy City   and his Burma Chronicles, Pyongyang (North Korea) and Shenzhen

Young Sprout of course is not ready for adult narrative but has been reading the Little Prince series.  These have a steampunk esthetic and a sophisticated narrative technique. In each story the Little Prince and Fox, his companion, land on a different planet and have to figure out how to help the inhabitants deal with their problems — leading to discussions about motivations and character and why he might like some stories more than others.

Lauren Redniss has pushed this genre to a whole new level.  Radioactive, Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout  combines     the biography of Marie Curie with many sidebars about nuclear war, nuclear tests, nuclear energy, chemotherapy, x-rays.  The artwork is done with cyanotype  a     type of sun printing.  (<<<<  this link includes a slideshow of selected pages to get a tiny idea of the book).

Ah, what inspiration!

More to follow on the resulting output — but that’s a post for another day!

P.S.  No, it’s not lost on me that ironically, a post about graphic novels has no image.

P.P.S.  Most of the links are to Amazon.ca (Canadian website).  Readers in other countries should Google to see if Amazon has a site in their home country.

Practical and Artistic Way to Help Flood Victims in Southern Alberta

photo(52)

Practical because:

  • people who have lost their homes need warm bedding and something colourful in their lives
  • it’s quick and almost free for us as donors, just the cost of postage and an opportunity to whittle down your scraps
  • it’s easy so even people who have never quilted can put together a block
  • there’s a plan in place to make the quilts and give them to the victims

Artistic because:

  • this is a quick, improvisational block with few rules
  • the parameters of making each block in one colour will lead to a beautiful, cheery quilt

check out Cheryl Arkison’s post

for instructions for making and sending slabs and a photo proving what great quilts we’ll be able to make!

The photo shows my first slab.  It didn’t take long to whip up and I was able to use some of the scraps from the box labeled “funny size squares.”   Hmm, does Cheryl have a hidden camera in here or what?

There’s a story behind the little triangle in the bottom right-hand corner.  Promise not to tell the Quilt Police but after everything was sewn together and squared off at 15-1/2 inches I discovered a tiny hole in the corner of the hand-dyed fabric.  So I took a piece of the solid orange and snowballed it on.

If you can make a slab or three, please do, AND please spread the word!  Cheryl posted on Tuesday but the CQA just publicized her initiative this morning.

Other improvised things I’ve made can be seen here (artistic baby quilt) 

and the tote bag

and a nap quilt

But this is the first time I’ve confined myself to just one colour.  Just checked the pile of pre-made larger blocks but the colours are all jumbled up exactly like the earlier pieces I’ve made, so the next slabs will have to be made from scratch.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner* can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Of course right now the stats helper monkeys would have to be towing the Dreamliner along the runway since they’ve been grounded!

 

Click here to see the complete report.

Virtuous Living 2012

virtues 2012006

Click here to view the Wordle
I made using the Virtues Project cards I randomly selected throughout 2012.  
The size of the writing reflects which cards I pulled most frequently.  
No surprises there I would say.  Or if you just click on the image you can
embiggen it.  (Hmmm, I wonder when embiggen will make it either into the
dictionary or the list of words to be banished such as "world-class" and 
"spoiler alert"?)














Lifelong learning is a theme which kept coming up over and over again 
through the year so I added it as an "extra" virtue although it's not 
in the original hundred virtues in the project.  
For this year I've also added Sisterhood, Self-Care, and 
Consolidation (in the sense of keeping one's affairs in order 
and generally being organized)

What's special about the Virtues Project is that it's part of a global
initiative "to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life by helping
people of all cultures to discover the transformative power of these
universal gifts of character."
As such the quotations are drawn from every faith tradition.
The virtues are all positive and the cards themselves stress the
importance of balance and common sense, i.e. truthfulness does not
mean being hurtfully blunt, generosity does not mean giving away
the grocery money.  
I've been continually amazed at how often the virtue I randomly
choose for the day is exactly on point!

Of course there are various other sets of cards out there, so I'm curious, 
do you use cards and if so which ones?  What have you learned?  do
share, please!

Wordle takes a bit of patience to get started but once you do it's
great fun!  I've used it in the past to create text on fabric
through Spoonflower.

Teaser Tuesday

From East of the Sun by Julia Gregson, 2008, Orion Books

“But now she was feeling all wobbly and chameleonish again, which was annoying, only this time it was Frank, and to nutshell the problem, she had the most hideous crush on him.  When he’d asked her, in the most casual way possible, if Rose and she had any plans for Port Said, she’d been sitting in the bar chatting to Jitu Singh.”

Go to MizB’s Should Be Reading blog for more teasers in every genre!

Things that get me in trouble

In a recent post about process I asked:

Am I just more of a verbal person than a visual one?

My career has dealt with the written word: translating, editing, writing, researching — things that were always encouraged, that came naturally without a lot of struggle.  Certainly no one ever urged me to go to art school, nor did I think of it for myself.

My birth family placed great store on social activism, awareness of issues and politics.  Although with a different perspective, so does Grandpa X, who was watching the news on TV when we first met.

My visual approach to life has made me look like a total airhead on a number of occasions.

When I was out with my father, I saw a line of clothes drying, stretched along a roof line between two chimneys.  To me this was a very impressive image in itself, my father just said “How difficult it must be to raise children in those circumstances.”

Grandpa X and I were watching CNN one day and an interview with a turbaned Iraqi cleric came on.  I immediately blurted out “I’ve already seen this the other day, I remember that wall!”  (The wall in question was worn stucco with amazing weathering on it.)

But now I’m resolved not to feel inadequate because of this tendency.  It’s just who I am, and really not to be taken as proof that I’m someone that doesn’t give a bleep.

Teaser Tuesday – The Last Folk Hero

I said, “Carolyn, I don’t know how to say this, but I’ve got to.  Almost all of the porcelain out there is fake.”

From The Last Folk Hero: a True Story of Race and Art, Power and Profit, nonfiction novel by Andrew Dietz, 2006, Ellis Lane Press

 

This is a meme that anyone can do.  I found it  at Jeanne’s Blog, and the way it works is:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Now I just need yet another tutorial on how to copy the badge to my blog.  Every time a badge comes along that I want to proudly display, it’s always a challenge to me for some reason.    And I need to find a pic of the cover perhaps on Amazon, is that how everyone does it?

the host is Miz B at Should be Reading so if you join in, go to her Teaser Tuesday post and post your link in the comments section!  If you aren’t actively blogging, just put the teaser itself into the comments section.

Although I may not do this every week, I’m usually reading something, so why not?