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A couple of months ago, I brought home a friend's electric-acoustic mandolin on long-term loan, cleaned it up, and then brought it to the local music shop to have the bridge lowered and the strings restrung. Not long after, my friend Dymphna said, "I must admit, I feel like you've got a new boyfriend who seems nice, but I just don't get
"What's not to get?" I asked. "I know it's difficult, I know that some of my chords sound like cows in pain, but listen to this pretty D chord!" I played it. She shook her head.
"As a violin player, I feel like it's missing a bow."
I replied, "The mandolin thinks your violin's bow is superfluous."
I started to play ukulele as "cross-training" for guitar. Guitar was my first, best love, but ukulele was cute, accessible, and portable. Songs I composed on the ukulele sounded merry, while songs I composed on guitar sounded like dirges. I've not mastered either instrument and I don't have any unusual musical talents (enthusiasm and desire are my strengths). However, when I started to learn mandolin from the excellent Bruce Emery
via his Mandolin From Scratch
book, I remembered that, in addition to guitar, mandolin was an instrument my teenage self wanted to learn, but thought was out of reach. I am a long way from playing Led Zeppelin's The Battle of Evermore
(my favorite song off of their fourth album), but I can play the New Britain version of "Amazing Grace" in G and D without too many gaps between the barred chords. Eventually, if I am diligent and practice regularly, I will get to melody lines. Someday, perhaps, I can work up to affording a relatively low-priced Big Muddy
In the meantime, I've got the "Octo-Lin," as I've nicknamed this Fender instrument. I bought a gig-bag and ironed on an octopus patch (Eight legs, eight strings!). Bede's banjo playing has progressed, and he is not used to being more skilled on an instrument than me, so now he gets to practice slowing waaaay down for me. We've been working on Jesse James
and Gordon Bok's Dillan Bay
, and are trying to make White Stripes' Hotel Yorba
work, too. Others have already done it, as YouTube videos reveal.
I will end with a little octopus song I made up for a friend who would prefer spiders stay far away from her, and who wishes the children's song about an intrepid wee arachnid were less ubiquitous:The teeny tiny octopus climbed up the sailboat mastDown came the storm, but the octopus held fast.Out came the sun and dried the ocean sprayThen, the teeny tiny octopus jumped down and swam away.
Sometimes, a cephalopod craves adventure
I've managed to squeeze some sketching in between deadlines.
Hope to do more soon.
By: Roberta Baird
Blog: A Mouse in the House
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Gurggggggle swish…. slluuuuudge glump.… thorp…. bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop…..
Here is a new little friend I did using paper. I enjoyed cutting him out and making the wonky eyes.
By: Kimberly Pauley
Blog: Young Adult (& Kid's) Books Central
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The largest habitat on earth, filled with all kinds of creatures, many yet to be discovered. Discover the oceans with your child in this enchanting book exploring the its beauty and diversity. Click here to read my full review.
I'm posting some of my older comics here as I catalog and tag them in prep for a print book compilation:
A brand new painting that I finished this week... let me know what you think. OctoPete.
Octopus will publish the next tie-in title to ITV1 show "The Biggest Loser" next year, the third in the brand to be released by the Hachette publisher.
Publishing director Stephanie Jackson made the deal for UK and Irish rights with Shine commercial manager Maya Maraj for The Biggest Loser Cookbook, with plans to publish alongside the next series in January 2012.
The Biggest Loser Cookbook will include more than 100 recipes for calorie-counted meals, with a 14-day menu plan as well as shopping lists.
It looks like I'll be working on finishing other author's books before I get a chance to work on my own - until I leave for New York anyway. Just finished the roughs for a Penguin Aussie Bite by Sharyn Eastaugh called 'Mr Eight.' It's a really funny little book about an Octopus with some serious anger issues (a Swordfish poked out one of his eyes in a fight) and a boy who wants a different sort of pet. I have always wanted to illustrate a book about an Octopus so was very happy when this one came along. These roughs are pretty much how they'll look when they're finished, only ink-washed up. See you soon!
Finally, something that oceanographers and old people can agree on.
Blog: One Question A Day
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I’ve decided. I don’t trust myself anymore. I’m going to let Paul the Psychic Octopus make all my decisions from now on. The kicker is, even when I think I’ve made the right decision, it always turns out wrong. It’s not like Tom Petty says. Even the losers get lucky sometimes. No, they really don’t.
That’s what I thought anyway, tonight when I couldn’t make it all go away. The night I had a chance to turn my whole life around. Go for the brass ring, like Grandpa always said. I miss him. I miss how he made life sound so simple. About an hour ago I reached for that big, brass ring–AKA my only shot at non-loserdom, my amazingly funny, yet insightful stand-up comedy act–but, as usual, I second guessed myself and it slipped through my fingers.
Losers don’t get second chances at anything. The only shot losers get in this world is if they’re funny. And after my first official attempt at funny, I prayed someone would just run me over and put me out of my misery, but do it in a way that would put a smile on my face. I worry about Paul. The minute he’s wrong he’ll have to resort to stand-up, and, well, it’s hard enough when you’re not an octopus.
Welcome to day two of the Recommendations from Under the Radar blog event and the first day of my four-day series on Helen Dunmore's Ingo series.
When Colleen Mondor described the RADAR event as "about books we all individually feel have been overlooked," I knew exactly which books I would discuss and why. And I should probably explain as you may well be saying, "I've heard of Ingo" or "Helen Dunmore is well known!" Indeed. Helen Dunmore is an acclaimed and prolific writer of fiction, poetry, and children's books. She won the very first Orange prize for A Spell of Winter. And, Dunmore's Ingo series has been met with critical praise and strong sales, especially in the U.K. But here's the thing: You know that "next Harry Potter" phrase plaguing the papers these days? I think it belongs to the Ingo series. Or, to avoid the superlative, the Ingo series is first-class fantasy and belongs in the hands of every middle grade reader.
Originally conceived as a trilogy, Helen Dunmore's Ingo series now contains four volumes: Ingo, The Tide Knot, The Deep, and the forthcoming The Crossing of Ingo. While clearly fantasy, they take place in today's contemporary Cornwall--both on land and under the seas. When Dunmore's hero, Sapphire Trewhella, finds she can live as a Merperson in the ocean, her world becomes divided. While she was born to earth and loves her family and home, the seas and the world of the Mer seduce her. In fact, one of the greatest strengths of Dunmore's series is Sapphire's characterization: as a preteen, Sapphy doesn't always make the best decisions. Instead, her decisions and emotions fluctuate like the tides.
Because the Ingo series concerns the border between the land and the seas, ethical and environmental issues come to the fore. These books belong to today's generation of readers who understand at a young age that caring for the environment is crucial to their survival.
Today I'll be introducing you to the first volume in Dunmore's series--Ingo. Tomorrow I'll review The Tide Knot. On Thursday, I'll feature an interview with Helen Dunmore. On Friday, I'll review The Deep, just released in the U.K.
by Helen Dunmore
(First reviewed in March 2006)
Sapphire (Sapphy) lives in Cornwall, on a hidden cove, with her older brother, Connor, and her parents. Sapphy's father is drawn to the sea and sings of Ingo to his children. Connor and Sapphy know the sea, their cove, and the tides like a suburban kid understands the rhythm of her own street. One day Sapphy's father disappears on his boat without a trace.
Matthew Trewhella's disappearance upsets daily life for Sapphy and her family. Mom takes employment out of town and Connor makes a new friend--a girl from the sea. When Connor-- ordinarily the best big brother you could ever have--abandons his sister to meet his new friend, Sapphy follows him into the ocean. There she meets Faro, a Merperson and brother of Connor's new friend, Elvira. Sapphy is drawn into the world of Mer, losing all sense of earth and earthly time.
Connor brings Sapphy out of the sea and she struggles with the impulse to return. It turns out that Sapphy and Connor have some Mer in them, each to varying degrees. Sapphy is ready to give up earth and to become one with the Mer, but Connor, more grounded in earth, holds her fast.
The beauty of Ingo is in Dunmore's lyrical prose and the atmosphere she creates. You can sense the pull of the tide and the song of the Mer when you read the novel. Sapphire's struggle to resist their pull is tangible and, as a reader, you hope she succeeds.
Today's RADAR schedule:
A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy: A discussion of author Ellen Emerson White and why she is "under the radar"
Jen Robinson's Book Page: The Changeling and The Velvet Room both by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Bildungsroman: Girl in a Box by Ouida Sebestyen
Finding Wonderland: A Door Near Here by Heather Quarles
Miss Erin: Girl With a Pen and Princess of Orange, both by Elisabeth Kyle
Fuse Number 8: The Winged Girl of Knossos by Erick Berry
Bookshelves of Doom: The Olivia Kidney series by Ellen Potter
Chicken Spaghetti: Natural History of Uncas Metcalf by Betsy Osborne
Writing and Ruminating: Jazz ABC by Wynton Marsalis
Semicolon: Today's topic is middle grade fiction.
The YA YA YAs: Massive by Julia Bell
Christopher Barzak at Chasing Ray
This week's challenge word is:
A cephalopod could be a squid, cuttlefish, octopus, or nautilus. Have fun with it!
I found this rather friendly creature inhabiting my paint palette yesterday. He was born rather by accident, as many wonderful things are.
Still working on projects for the Royal Alberta Museum (an educational book about Peru, a trail map for their Wild Alberta Gallery and possible talks of a mural) as well as for the Grow Up Show. Finished the city scene but must wait until light to photograph it. I'm really not looking forward to scanning the sucker then tiling it (what work!).
I would like to give being an octopus a try! To have all of the arms- oh my!
These samples are of a book I worked on a-way back in September ‘08 titled, “Benjamin’s Octopus”, about a little boy who dreams about swimming with the fish when part of his dream becomes reality. It’s a little reader (to help kids with particular vocabulary words) that accompanies a reading unit. The client was Rowland [...]
Who's taking who for a walk?
My very first submission to SFG and I'm late. I'm just happy to be here.
A stretch to enable this interpretation....
The tentacle tango is to be avoided at all costs, no matter how beautiful and enticing the music may be.
Another black & white for now ...( I'll try my hardest to get the last three illos watercolored up! ) ... this little Octopus and her sea star sidekick. ( ... this is my youngest daughter's costume this year ... her sister is going as a chinese dragon (I'm thinking Grace Lin's Year of the Rat may have had something to do with that choice) ... I tell you ... rivers, cherry trees, octopi, dragons .... thank goodness their Granny has the patience of a saint!) :)
Have a great Halloween everyone!! :)
"Octopus and Her Sidekick Sea Star"
Pen & Ink
© 2009 Michelle Henninger
To view Michelle's portfolio go to:
End of school year, and this time the class performance is presenting the "growing' concept, how the children will grow and move on to the higher class, and with that to make the children realize that things around us are growing too, such as plants, animals, people.
I borrow an octopus costume from my friends, but she lost the head, so we have to make one, and I got this pattern , loveeely pattern from Purl Bee website
, it use to be a bunny hat, but we transform it into an octopus hat, and it turn out to be a very comfy hat, I've got to make more of this for my self, isn't it cuuuteee.. :D
*and about the costume, kids loveee the tentacles,
Dian- your costume is grrrreat!
This is my piece for Gallery 1988's upcoming Crazy 4 Cult show in LA. I wanted to pay tribute to one of my all time favorite movies from 1985, the Goonies
. Above you will find your favorites like Mikey, Data, Chunk, and Mouth. I also wanted to reference a deleted scene from the movie involving an octopus... All in all, I hope its good enough....
The show premiere will be tonight, hosted by Kevin Smith. Show coverage & video coming soon! Click on the postcard below for more info:
/Film has written a wonderful review of show, check it out by clicking the image below: