Category Archives: Holidays

Pysanky Easter Eggs Part 1

For years Ellen and I and Ellen’s sister Ann and her family have made a ritual and contest of dyeing Easter eggs when we visit them for Easter. We’ve always used hard-boiled eggs and traditional dyes, but sometimes have talked about trying the more difficult and involved Pysanky egg dyeing, example above found online, which uses raw eggs and non-edible colors as well as hot wax for the shapes and lines. This year we are finally trying it. My friend Tim, who’s joined in the Easter egg coloring the last few years, bought Ellen and I a pysanky starter kit for Christmas, and Tim and Ann each bought additional supplies and tools. Two weeks ago, Ellen at I tried out our set at home, results below.

The first thing we did was to mix the twelve colors that came in dried powder form in packets. As instructed, I bought a set of 12 pint canning jars and put the colors in each one. To the powder we added 1.25 cups of boiling water and a small amount of distilled vinegar, EXCEPT for the orange, which gets no vinegar. Above, I kept the packet under that jar to remind me. I also labeled the jars to avoid confusion later.

Here are the colors mixed. They had to cool completely, then could be closed up and stored. They’re supposed to be good for about a year. Continue reading

9th Blog Anniversary

SpaceOdyssey2AI’ve been very busy with work and personal stuff lately, so not as active here as I’d like. Today marks the beginning of the tenth year of this blog, and all I can offer are some teases and previews of things to come. Above is a section of a logo, one of five I’ve just done for a major entertainment magazine. More when it comes out.

AnansiBoysTitlesB3_trimAnother project I’m excited about but can’t discuss are a series of paperback cover designs for a mainstream book publisher, small section of one above.

DOOM PATROL 1_X_ltrsOn the comics side, here’s a small clip from an a new upcoming series from DC.

MIRACLEMAN201600100X_letAnd another from Marvel. I suspect I’m not allowed to show any of the above images, you won’t tell, will you?

666ProdRozakisSampleFinally, on the blog itself, I’m gathering information for a multi-part article about the DC Comics offices at 666 5th Avenue from 1982 to 1991. Here’s one of many photos I’ve been given, this one from Bob Rozakis. That’s him with publisher Jenette Kahn in the Production Room back when. I have more photos coming, and have yet to find time to write the article, but hope to have it for you in the next few weeks.

That’s it, stay tuned!

Easter Egg Coloring 2016

ColoringWe’re at Ellen’s sister Ann’s house for Easter, and we’ve done our traditional egg coloring. The participants this year were Ann and her husband Dave, their daughter Ina, Ellen and myself, and my friend Tim. This is us in the process, but nearly done. The Halloween tablecloth was the only plastic one Ann had. Continue reading

Rereading: A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens

ChristmasCarol

Every year at this time I try to reread something relevant to the season. My mother is getting rid of things in preparation for a move, and recently gave me this and some other Christmas books she used to put out on the coffee table in the winter when I was young, and so I decided it was time to reread it.

There are so many adaptations of the Dickens original (my favorite is the Alastair Sim film), that we think we all know the story intimately, but reading what Dickens wrote always offers things to me I’d forgotten, and a new appreciation for his language, humor and storytelling. For instance, everyone knows the the opening line, “Marley was dead: to begin with.” And some may remember the last line of the first paragraph, “Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.” But the second paragraph is an entertaining aside about the origin of that saying which includes the thought, “I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.”

It’s quite typical of Victorian authors to go off on tangents and elaborate points, and that can be tiresome, but Dickens is still very readable and rarely bores me. More, he paints a detailed picture of the London (and England) of his time, with all its dreary weather, pollution, social injustice and class snobbery that one gets only hints of in, for instance, A. Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” stories, which I also reread this past year. He puts a human face on all of it, and rarely lectures directly, something I don’t care for, but lets the story and the characters make his points. He did so excellently in this famous story, and I think we all know the points he made. In fact, he may have impacted the way much of the English-speaking world thinks about Christmas as much as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” did for another generation.

This edition is not valuable, and the illustrations aren’t particularly good, but it has memories for me that I treasure, and the story itself is well worth reading.

Recommended.