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The Harp is a string instrument of very ancient lineage that is synonymous with classical music and cupid’s lyre. Over the years, the harp has morphed from its primitive hunting bow shape to its modern day use in corporate branding. Across the globe, each culture has its own variation of this whimsical soft-sounding instrument. Check out these ten fun facts about the harp.
1. The harp is one of the oldest instruments in the world. It dates back to around 3000 B.C. and was first depicted on the sides of ancient Egyptian tombs and in Mesopotamian culture.
2. Nowhere is there a larger variety of harps than in Africa. The harp has a place in the traditions of nearly 150 African peoples.
3. The word harpa was first used around the year 600 and is a generic term for stringed instruments. The verb harp means to talk on and on about one subject similar to a harpist plucking the same string over and over.
4. With a range of one to 90 strings per instrument, the harp can be classified into two main categories: the frame harp and the open harp.
5. A modern harpist plays using only the first four fingers on each hand. They pluck the strings near the middle of the harp using the pads of their fingers. Irish harpists use their fingernails to pluck the wire strings.
6. The rapid succession of musical notes played on a harp is called arpeggio and the sweeping motion of the hands across the strings is termed glissando.
7. Once an aristocratic instrument played for royalty, harpists were challenged with being able to evoke three distinct emotions from their audience: tears, laughter, and sleep.
I don't do Christmas cards (too swamped in December) or Birthday cards (too forgetful) -- but a tradition I DO uphold is to send out a Valentine each year. Hey, we may not have construction-paper covered mailboxes on our desks anymore, but it's still fun to get pretty mail on a winter's day.
The Literatentines are always drawn by one of the terrific illustrators I represent. This year, Sergio Ruzzier brought the magic with some adorably bookish little cheepers.
Much love, friends. May you have heaps of joy and excellent reading in 2015!
"If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections" written by Martha Sullivan and illustrated by Cathy Morrison
OK, let me explain… This month's theme is Valentine and this image has nothing to do with Valentine. But this is an illustration for If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections. So I'm connecting Valentine with Love and that's why I'm posting this image.
And I just posted new images from this book on my own blog if you'd like to see more.
This remains one of my all time favorite illustrations. Not so much for the technical aspect but I feel I captured the love of mother and calf when they are reunited in the story. I love illustrations, by any artist, that go beyond the words and capture the feeling.
It’s that time of the year again where the greeting cards, roses and chocolates fly off the shelves. What is it about Valentine’s Day that inspires us (and many of the great literary authors) to partake in all kinds of romantic gestures?
Answers to all these questions can be found using Oxford Reference, the Oxford DNB, Who’s Who, and the American National Biography Online. Both Oxford Reference and the Oxford DNB are freely available via public libraries across the UK. Libraries offer ‘remote access’ allowing members to log-on to the resources, for free, from home (or any other computer) twenty-four hours a day.
Illustration For Kids just put out a group postcard promotional--With a Valentine's Day theme, of course! Below is the postcard with our joint venture to offer our fun & whimsical illustrations to the world.
Just like Claire (below) and the others, I created an image to represent my work for our latest postcard promotional. We chose a Valentine's Day theme so you will see lots of love and hearts and pinks and reds in our images.
Please take a look at our bio's here and visit our personal sites to see more about us! Thanks for visiting!
The first year I lived in Seattle was my "gap year" between college and graduate school. I was a full-time volunteer at a daycare center for homeless children, and I lived in a group house in which I was the only one who didn't have a Significant Other. When Valentine's Day came, I decided not to let the smoochiness bother me. However, I exclaimed to a long-distance friend of mine, "Can you believe that Housemate Charlie made heart shaped toast for Housemate Beth?"
It was then that I realized I needed to get over my sneering contempt for Valentine's Day smoochiness and reinvent it for myself. The week of Valentine's Day became a time to write letters of appreciation to people and to do something thoughtful and materialistically indulgent for myself. One year, I bought myself an Italian fountain pen. Another year, I bought myself a little red flashlight. I benefited from my good taste in gifts.
When Bede and I got together, we decided we wanted the Valentine's Day Experience. I remember the restaurant where we had dinner, but I don't recall what we ate-- except that when the waiter told us about the heart-shaped chocolate torte, Bede and I said, "Yes, THAT." After dinner, Bede paid the bill and led me out through the large open window.
February 14 must have been warm that year.
As this Valentine's Day rolls around, I've started writing my letters again. I've got presents for Bede and Lucia, because I like to give and make presents. Since Lucia doesn't read my blog, you can peek here to see what I got her by special request. I'm pleased that some of the dolls in my shop are going to be gifts for other people, too.
I've even become resigned to the sugar-overload that's going to happen on Tuesday in my daughter's class. Before every class party, I caution her, "Don't drink the juice-boxes,"* and fill her lunch with fresh vegetables. Which reminds me-- how factual do you think it is that she is the only one to go to school with a healthful lunch every day? She says all the other kids get candy and chips in their lunches. Is she pulling my leg?** Bede and I work to balance Lucia's need to eat food that's good for her with the desirability to be part of social events.
We have no plans for heart-shaped tortes or anything sugary that night. Valentine's Day is a choir day, and Business As Usual. However, I might make heart-shaped tofu. Or steak.
*Sugar + water= what's the point?
**Remind me to tell you someday of Lucia's tall tale about how all the other children brought Barbie Dolls to a Waldorf kindergarten. I had a hard time keeping a straight face.
I’m pleased to be adding new paper goods to le shop. I love these blackbirds recipe cards. They are much for simple than ones of the past so they have a bit more modern feel while maintaining some old-fashioned cuteness (I think so anyway).
Speaking of black birds, my black swan paper doll friend in finally in the shop too. These were supposed to be listed for the holiday shopping season but a printing snafu prevented that from happening. Oh well those are the breaks, kids. They make me happy nevertheless.
Muted tones and prints inspired by old feedsack fabric. For Valentines or just because.
With this update it’s also official that my old Etsy shop has moved to TheFabledNeedle.etsy.com! Not only did I have to re-list each product but some images and product copyright info had to be updated as well. I’m glad I can focus my efforts on other things now like a series of paintings currently in the works.
I've been a bit obsessed with the ABCs lately. After such great feedback and response from the Animal ABCs and Christmas ABCs, I took on the challenge to do Valentine's day. With a little help from my husband ("Q" and "Z" was quite tricky), it was fun coming up with this and using a distinctive vintage color palette, thanks again to colourlovers.com.
detail from the back
Check out all the ABCs I have so far over at my flickr set.
The painting was created for someone who lost a child, it like many commissioned pieces, this was especially spiritual. Lots of prayer during the entire process until paint. I then just let it be without thought as to what I was doing. Kind of letting my hand do it's own thing.
I am anxious to see how the parent will respond to this painting, and it is my hope to share this as a print in the future. But I am leaving that up to the recipient. I will let you all know either way. :)
It used to be that bedtime was a family ritual, that is, before there were four of us. We would take turns reading, all snuggled into our sons double bed. We'd tell stories in the dark and it was our time together, to end the day. When our daughter was born, I had to leave this cosy time - and join another one. Now, at bedtime, I listen to my husband and son reading together as I quietly nursnuggle (thanks Elaine) my little one... and I am amazed. The power a dad has when he reads with a child, esp a boy - is tremendous. He waits patiently for him to sound out the words. He reads the books that our son chooses and he never gets sucked into 'just one more book'. It is three Picture books, or chapters from a 'big kid book'. As I lie there, I think - he is teaching him - and doing it so well.
I miss it, and part of me looks forward to the time we can go back and forth, getting each child's special time - but for now, I will listen. It brings tears to my eyes I love it so much.
Then there is Valentine's day - and I wonder - when did loot bags start getting handed out? Seriously people! Kids don't need that junk, you know. However, I did bake cookies - lol. So I guess I am just as bad. Mo and I worked on valentines on monday (not a school day). I did give him the option of going in to 'buy' some, and he said NO. "Homemade one's are better, and we don't need to go shopping every day!" Amen to that little wise man. I will keep that one close.
Doodled some hearts for Valentine's Day, using marker pens. They're sketchy and imperfect ... I considered polishing them up but really liked them as they were, with the rough strokes showing in the white and black, so I just cleaned up the outlines and kept the inner character as is. perfect. Cheers.
Sometime you write something, never realizing that you might have started a new writing trend for yourself.
I've always read horror. Love it. And the recent craze with zombies, got me thinking, so I wrote a short story, THE KILLER VALENTINE BALL, never realizing I'd embarked on a topic that would hold my interest for a while.
That story, where a girl goes on a "killer" date and experiences a night she'll never forget was a fun foray into light horror with a touch of humor.
Then, last year lightning struck again when I came up with a new story about a teen girl turning zombie with some different situations and again, some humor. I mean, zombies are kind of funny. (Watch Zombieland and see if you don't laugh.) That story wouldn't let go and turned into a full novel, which I've been sending around.
The main thing I learned in all this: * you never know where stories are going to come from. * Write your reading interests. I like mysteries but horror was easier and more fun to write. * Have fun writing. If you don't enjoy it, why bother? * What's your tip?
The original owl painting lives with KJ and JB and they named him "Pinky."
And did you know there's such a thing as Lolo wolves?
I was going to do a post about them but it was too sad. Alaska and Idaho are culling them out by helicopters and small planes. I understand the need for "thinning the herd" in nature, but why can't it be done humanely?