Monday, February 28, 2011
ps It's not remotely Spring-like in Brooklyn this morning. Not one bit.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Happy Year of the Rabbit! Learned scholars assure us the rabbit will bring wisdom and kindness and calm to the year ahead. (He has his work cut out in Egypt.)
There are lots of very particular Chinese New Year traditions. Here are some of my favorites (a little late):
Before New Year's Eve, clean the entire house to get rid of any of last year's dirt (I wish!), then put all brooms and brushes out of sight. Pay all your debts (again... I wish), and resolve all outstanding quibbles with family, friends and neighbors.
Buy red things. And flowers. And red flowers.
Arrange oranges and tangerines and candy on circular trays.
Put fresh dollar bills in red envelopes.
On New Year's Eve reunite with close family. Eat dumplings. Pay respects to ancestors. Open all the windows to let out the old year.
On New Year's Day don't wash your hair. Don't sweep the floor. Don't cut anything. Don't drop your chopsticks. Don't say the number four or mention death. Don't borrow or lend money.
Give children two red envelopes because happiness comes in pairs.
Wish everyone Gung Hey Fat Choy!
Eat rabbit-shaped dumplings!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
It was a recent honor to be invited to the ABA Winter Institute in Washington DC with Abrams Books to present The Crows of Pearblossom, Aldous Huxley's only book written for children, (which was an even greater honor to illustrate). I met hundreds of wonderfully passionate independent booksellers and librarians and we talked ourselves hoarse about crows and snakes and books and children.
I wanted to bring along a crow themed party favor for one of the events and enlisted the help of my lovely intern Kristen Kelly.
Here are the crows in formation, from mere lumps of sculpey to passerine beauties.