Wednesday, September 29, 2010

give the gift of reading: banned books week

Reading is the best way to stay grounded.

Reading is the best way to stay grounded.

I’ve been trying to think of what to post for Banned Books Week, but none of the post ideas have worked so far. I think it’s because I don’t understand why some people think they should be able to decide what everyone else should and should not read. I just don’t get that. Seriously.
Maybe it’s my parent’s fault. They raised me to think for myself and to question what’s going on in the world around me. They also encouraged me to read. They took me to the library, gave me books for my birthday, and read books to me. They didn’t forbid reading certain books. I was allowed to choose what I wanted to read, so I read every book that looked interesting.

Mom made the chicken pox disappear when she read The Wind In The Willows to my brother and me. It was was too advanced to read on my own, but perfect to hold my attention and make me forget about itching. It’s still one of my favorite books and is my favorite memory of being read to.
Dad got upset once about a book I read that gave me nightmares (it had skeletons on the cover and I liked anything that reminded me of Halloween). He wasn’t angry with me for reading the book; he was upset that it gave me nightmares. We talked about it and he helped me to understand the things that scared me.

Thanks Mom and Dad!

I looked at the list of the top 100 Banned Books from the last decade today. I haven’t read every book on the list, but I’ve loved the ones that I have read. My life and the way that I think about the world would have been different and not as rich if I hadn’t read them. This is why I don’t understand how people think that they can tell me (or other adults or children – especially children) what they can and can not read.

So I guess what I really want to say in my Banned Books Week post is this: read. Read books that look interesting. Read books that look challenging (in reading level, in the thoughts/ideas that they put forth, or in the emotional journey they take you on). Read for enjoyment. Read for information. Just Read. And when you’re done, tell someone about what you’ve read. Books are great things to share.

The gift my parents gave me is one that anyone can give. How can you give this gift? Encourage other people to read, especially children. Take them to the library, gave them books as gifts, and read books to them, especially if they aren’t able to read themselves. Don’t forbid reading certain books or frown when their choice is different than yours. People have different tastes in many things, especially books. Let them choose what they want to read. Reading is a wonderful gift, one that will be remembered and cherished with each new book that’s read.

Monday, September 13, 2010

proverb for IF and a shiny new website design

Check out the new sruble.com! My brand new website design is finally done! Yippee!!! (There is cause for cheering. I didn’t know if it would ever get done with all the glitches I had. Some duct tape and a few staples fixed it right up.)

The prompt for Illustration Friday this week was proverb. I couldn’t resist updating an old image to fit the proverb, “a rolling stone gathers no moss,” except my version is, “a rolling cat gathers no mice.” Poor kitty.

a rolling cat gathers no mice

a rolling cat gathers no mice

The other proverb that came to mind was, “what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander,” which obviously means that when one goose has an umbrella, it’s good for everyone.

spring geese

spring geese

I did this image a while back and for some reason, everyone thinks it’s a family of ducks. It’s not; they’re geese. You can tell by their pointy bills and the shape of their bodies, which admittedly are similar to ducks, but not the same, at least not the way I draw them. Besides, everyone knows that ducks don’t carry umbrellas. If you still don’t believe me, let me show you what my ducks look like. This is a duck that I drew around the same time as the geese:

duck

duck

See, nice round bill, up to no good = duck.

I can tell you’re still not convinced. Okay, then. I’ll have to bring out another duck.

birthday duck

birthday duck

Ta Da! You can tell it’s a duck, because no self respecting goose would ever wear this hat! Also because of the rounded bill. You secretly want that hat, don’t you? Me either, but I do wish the duck would invite us to the party. You know they’re going to have cake. Yum, cake!

What was the subject of this post again? Oh yeah, proverbs. Remember, a rolling cat gathers no moss, and an umbrella that’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What’s your favorite proverb?

Don’t forget, I also have a shiny new website. Hooray! I think having a finished website calls for a celebration. Who wants to join me for some cake?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ice Cream Cows: Dessert for IF

The theme for Illustration Friday this week was dessert, so of course I thought, “Ice Cream!” Then I remembered that I did a series of images with cows and ice cream a while back for Project Cow (I drew a cow a day for a year; it was leap year, so there were 366 cows) and also for my cafepress shop. Feast your eyes on the ice cream cows!

Mint and Chocolate Cow

Mint and Chocolate Cow

The mint chocolate cow is my favorite of the series. The cow is chocolate with mint spots and the ice cream is mint with chocolate chips.

Sherbet Cows

Sherbet Cows

It seems like you can’t get just plain orange sherbet these days but everyone has rainbow sherbet. I broke out the flavors in this drawing of sherbet cows.

Neapolitan Cow

Neapolitan Cow

Funny story about the Neapolitan cow:  when I put the drawing on t-shirts in my shop, I didn’t realize that I’d made a typo. In fact, I didn’t realize it until I my mom ordered a t-shirt and I saw her wearing it. Ack! Luckily, nobody else ordered the misspelled version and it has since been corrected.

Marble Swirl

Marble Swirl

I had so much fun making the Neapolitan cow that I flipped it and added a swirl of chocolate and caramel!

Ice Cream Sandwich Cow

Ice Cream Sandwich Cow

How can you have ice cream cows without having an ice cream sandwich cow? You can’t. Therefore I made this drawing. This cow has a fraternal twin with cookies and cream instead of ice cream.

Raspberry Parfait

Raspberry Parfait

Last, but not least is the raspberry parfait cow. I have to admit that whenever I hear Prince’s song, Raspberry Beret, this is what I think of. The lyrics are changed in my head to: “She ate a raspberry parfait, the kind you’d find in an ice cram store. Raspberry parfait …” Sorry Prince!

I hope my ice cream cows made you scream for ice cream! Well not really scream, but you know, develop an insane craving for a scoop of your favorite frozen treat. Yum!