Did you know? Those boughs of holly (and other greenery) that you hang from your mantle may have originated in Druid, Celt, Norse and Roman civilizations, which celebrated the pagan winter solstice on December 21st–the shortest day of the year. Green represents eternal life, and the plants that we use to decorate our mantle, doors, and walkways throughout the holidays play a special role in these celebrations.
We are enamored with some of the garlands and decor that we have found (real or illustrated!) Enjoy a few of the images below, and don’t forget to get festive this time of year with whatever foliage and flora inspires you, and helps your home tell YOUR holiday story.
It’s that time of year again! It’s time to dust off the old bins of holiday decorations and cheer, toys, knick-knacks and ornaments you swore never to put out again, but your kids just love them, and so there they hang. And at the very bottom of the box are the holiday books, which get more and more special and exciting every year, when they are pulled out and loved once again. For this edition of Arlo’s Book Club, we have some new and old selections to add to the bottom of that box of treasures. Enjoy!
William’s Winter Nap
by Linda Ashman, with pictures by Chuck Groenink
The 12 Days of Christmas
by Greg Pizzoli
You can already sing along with this one, as Greg Pizzoli’s new picture book, The 12 Days of Christmas, illustrates the treasured holiday song in a new and hilarious way. Elephant loves receiving the gifts, until they start piling up and taking over the holiday! Brilliant, modern illustrations and fun imagery that you can laugh along to with the kids.
Pick a Pine Tree
by Patricia Toht, with illustrations by Jarvis
You may recognize this one from the recent giveaway we did with Book Bloom, and we’re happy to add it to Arlo’s Book Club! This book celebrates the joy of picking the perfect Christmas tree to take home and decorate, and the warmth that it creates as families gather and enjoy. Sparkling illustrations and rhyming text add to the fun of tradition, ritual and celebration.
When Santa Was a Baby
by Linda Bailey, with illustrations by Genevieve Godbout
Tundra Books, 2015
This one reminds us a bit of a tall tale (think Paul Bunyan or John Henry). Baby Santa has a loud, booming voice, stands in front of the refrigerator to cool off, and is already giving his gifts away to all of the boys and girls in the neighborhood. His loving parents don’t know what to think but are proud all the same. The retro illustration and color scheme allow this one to fit right into your vintage collection.
The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker
Illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2017
The classic Nutcracker tale is told musically, in this interactive book with illustration by Jessica Courtney-Tickle. The magical twist: press a button and hear Tchaikovsky’s original suites that go along with the story. Read along with the story and listen to the songs that accompany the Nutcracker battle, the Sugar Plum Fairies andthe Land of Sweets!
White Snow, Bright Snow
by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin
“The policeman said it felt like snow, and his wife said her big toe hurt, and that always means snow.” Sweet, matter-of-fact prose coupled with Roger Duvoisin’s bold illustrations are cozy and bright in this Caldecott Medal award-winning picture book. Read along as a quiet town goes about their business in quiet awe of the falling snow. Duvoisin’s winterscapes in in soft blue with bright splashes of yellow and red give the story a magical touch.
Taste makes memories–especially around the holidays. Good or bad, you know you remember your Grandmama’s Rum Balls, or that terrible fruitcake your aunt always made, or that amazing fudge that appeared in your mother’s freezer after Thanksgiving. Taste paints an illustration in our heads. Of memories we keep forever. Of love. Of laughter. Of horror!
We rounded up some of our favorite holiday treat recipes (good and bad, subjectively) that made memories close to our hearts, plus these fantastic, bright photos of “Betty Crocker’s Absurd, Gorgeous Atomic-Age Creations” created and photographed by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari for The New York Times. What are some of yours? Leave a comment on our Instagram, we’d love to hear your stories!
Delicious! Follow Jenni on Instagram for some of the most beautiful ice cream photos you will ever see! Dessert Inspiration.
Hot Fudge Recipe by Jenni Britton Bauer
Total Time: 5 minutes Serves: 4
- ¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate, preferably 70% cacao
- ¼ cup boiling water
Combine the first 3 ingredients, then add the boiling water. Let sit 2 minutes, then stir until combined, and serve immediately over ice cream.
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Unsweetened shredded coconut, for garnish
- Line a small square dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, honey or maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt until very smooth.
- Pour mixture into the prepared dish. Refrigerate until solid, about an hour, then sprinkle the shredded coconut on top, and cut into 9 small pieces. If you’re in a hurry, pop it in the freezer and you’ll be ready to go in about half the time—although you might need to use a knife ran under hot water to cut through it.
Pet’s 1957 recipe for Festive Fruit Cake:
Line with waxed paper bottom and sides of 9-in. tube pan or loaf pan holding about 6 cups. Put into 2-qt. bowl 3/4 cup Pet Evaporated Milk, 24 large marshmallows finely cut (or 3 cups of mini marshmallows); and 1/3 cup orange juice or alcoholic flavoring. Let stand. Measure 6 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 6 doz. 2 1/3-in. crackers, crushed) and put into a large bowl with 1/2 teasp. cinnamon, 1/2 teasp. nutmeg, 1/4 teasp. cloves, 1 1/2 cups California seedless raisins (1/2 golden and 1/2 dark are best), 3/4 cup finely cut dates and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Add 1 1/4 cups cut-up candied fruit, bulk or canned ready-mixed. Mix in milk mixture with a spoon, then with hands until crumbs are moistened. Press firmly into pan. If desired, top with additional nuts and candied fruit. Cover tightly. Chill 2 days before slicing. Keep in refrigerator. Makes 3 1/2 lbs.
• 8 Weetbix 1/2 cup Coconut (dessicated)
• 400 grams Condensed Milk
• 1 cup Sultanas
• 2 tbsp Cocoa
• 2 tbsp Rum (or more depending on taste!)
In a metal bowl, place the raisins or sultanas and the run, cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate for a day (or two…). Place crushed weetbix, cocoa, coconut and marinated fruit in a bowl. Pour over the condensed milk and stir well. Take out teaspoons at a time and roll in coconut and chill.
21st Century Green Top Salad
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 (8-oz.) can crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
- 1 to 4 drops green liquid food coloring (optional)
- 1 (7-oz.) jar marshmallow creme
- 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
Click here for full recipe.
Not into sweets? We don’t blame you after a few of those…Check out this fantastic wooden pastry collaboration that Red Cap Cards artist, Kelsey Garrity-Riley made with her brother, woodworking artist, Colin Garrity. Amazing!
Happy Thanksgiving! We all know that the main attraction at the Thanksgiving table is not the turkey–or tofurkey–but the cocktail menu. We are celebrating all we are thankful for (YOU!) with some fabulous, tempting concoctions to warm your body and soul. And we’re kicking it all off with two books, illustrated by Red Cap Cards artists, Josie Portillo and Danielle Kroll.
First up is The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, with interior illustration by our own Josie Portillo! It’s full of tasty cocktail recipes sure to make your Thanksgiving dinner as festive as can be. “Based on the actual bar book used by the Waldorf-Astoria prior to Prohibition, this collection of cocktails serves up more than 350 recipes. In addition to documenting the origin of many cocktails and mixed drinks still commonplace today, the book chronicles the background of their creation and the antics of some of the cronies Buffalo Bill Cody and Bat Masterson, among others who were regulars at the bar.” Check out these amazing illustrations, pulled from Portillo’s collection:
If you’re not satisfied with just one, check out The Art of Vintage Cocktails by Stephanie Rosenbaum with illustration by our own Danielle Kroll! It “features 50 recipes for classic cocktails, accompanied by the history and lore of the drink. Each libation is paired with a humorous illustration by artist Danielle Kroll, who puts a witty, sophisticated twist on the drink’s name.”
If you’re running around to grocery stores and don’t have time to grab these great artisan cocktail books, grab the recipe for a few of our favorite cocktails below, including Hal’s favorite: the Manhattan Cocktail. Salud! Cheers! and Happy Thanksgiving!
2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. sweet vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon, strainer
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish.
Rhum JM White, lime, black mission fig syrup, and white Vermouth with Koji vinegar, salt, and peppered lime.
Brennevin Akvavit, Dolin Blanc, Rainwater Madeira, Amaro Ramazotti, and Clement Creole Shrub with orange zest and spruce tip.
1 oz Iichiko Silhouette shochu
1 oz mango-infused @altostequila
1 oz lime
3/4 oz passionfruit syrup
3/4 oz cantaloupe juice
Sweet, fruity, and earthy. The first thing I thought when I tried this shochu was “I bet this shochu would like tequila.” They’re very different flavor profiles, but they both have an earthiness that complements each other.
2 oz @standardwormwooddistillery rye
3/4 oz lemon
3/4 oz lemon oleo saccarum
Shaken, over a big chunk of clear ice, and garnished with a candied @luxardousa cherry and a lemon peel.
Bold and crackling with wormwood, this Whiskey Sour is kind of perfect for autumn, tart and fresh and spicy.
Lots of juniper and herbaceous notes, but instead of a sharply bitter edge, it has an almost creamy quality to it. Not quite sweet, but not really bitter, either.
Kate Pugsley is one of the most talented contemporary artists creating beautiful work today, and that’s why we are so happy to count her as a Red Cap collaborator. The color! The pattern! We can’t get enough. Which is why we are also so very excited about what she’s been working on independently, and are delighted to share it today!
Kate Pugsley‘s newest venture, Formal Dept., is what you get when you combine, fun, function, and whip-smart design to create resilient and useful products for every day life. Their tagline says it all: “Go outside. Bags for your next adventure.” Perfect for art supplies, laptops, cameras, or that snappy Red Cap notebook. Plus, they are made right here in the US with quality materials:
Our cotton bags are printed with pigment inks, so the image becomes part of the fibers rather than forming a heavy layer of ink on top of the fabric. We use extremely durable military-grade nylon fabrics and the highest-quality YKK zippers from Japan on every bag. All products are made in the USA.
The debut products include tote bags, notebook cases, and pencil cases, in varying styles and fantastic patterns designed by Kate. We really get a kick out of that cheetah print! Remind you of anything?…
We’re starting your Thursday off with a dose of artistic inspiration from an ancient art form with a modern twist. Block printing is a traditional form of printmaking that utilizes handmade stamps: i.e. wood, linoleum, rubber, or many other materials. Artists carve images into the material with special carving tools and then transfer the impression onto paper or fabric using inks, dyes, and other paint resources.
We are fascinated with some of the amazing work that is emerging from contemporary printmakers, and couldn’t wait to share some inspiring images below, plus a short bio on each amazing artist. Block Shop, Richelle Bergen, Katharine Watson, Andrea Lauren of Ink Print Repeat, and Erin Dollar of Cotton & Flax are just a few of our favorites. Click the caption link to view more work by these talented designers.
Block Shop is a textile company that marries the traditional Indian hand block printing process with a modern California aesthetic. Our products are a collaboration between sisters Hopie and Lily Stockman in Los Angeles and the Chhipa family of printers and dyers in Bagru, Rajasthan. Our entire process is manual: we design on paper, print with wooden blocks, and dye in small batches – the same way it’s been done in India for more than three centuries. No two textiles are exactly alike.
[Richelle Bergen] creates block printed artwork, inspired by nature, botanical patterns and seemingly ordinary daily details. Each print is hand carved on artist’s linoleum or rubbing carving block, and hand printed with eco-friendly inks onto premium papers. Because of the hand printing process, each print may have slight variations, which make each one unique and original.
Katharine Watson started printmaking in college, when the spot she hoped to take in a painting course didn’t fit with her class schedule. She fell in love with linocuts there, and went on to study block printing in India and then to focus on printmaking for the remainder of her art education.
What began as a college thesis and side project has since turned into Katharine’s full time career and has led to features in Vogue and Martha Stewart Living, as well as collaborations with the Metropolitan Museum and Chronicle Books, among many others.
Andrea discovered her love of printmaking during a Lithography class in the basement print studio at Columbia University in New York. She is inspired by vintage picture books, folk stories and woodland walks.
While Erin mostly creates patterns featured in Cotton & Flax as ink drawings (she creates each pattern by hand, using a brush and sum ink, then transfers these patterns to a silkscreen to print multiples on fabric), she does dabble in gorgeous block-printed works as well and has taught workshops on The Crafter’s Box, a virtual workshop space. (Pictured)
Cotton & Flax textiles are made using natural materials, including linen fabrics and eco-friendly water-based inks. Erin chooses linen-blend fabrics for their unique qualities: high absorbency, durability, and increased softness with time.
In honor of Halloween, we wanted to showcase a friend of ours, whose artwork embodies the spirit of the holiday and conveys the fear, the mystery and overall spookiness that comes every October 31st. Gris Grimly is a prolific talent that is a creative force to reckon with! His paintings seem effortlessly brilliant, but convey detail and darkness in the most prodigious of ways. A painter, illustrator and author, Gris’s work has been utilized by schools and classrooms, and has illustrated numerous published works by the literary greats, such as Edgar Allen Poe and Ray Bradbury.
From his biography:
“The release of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness in 2004 brought attention to a need in the education system. When Gris illustrated the comic/storybook hybrid, he did so with the desire to create a whimsical interpretation that is heavily illustrated and yet maintains the actual prose of the master. He had no idea that schools would use this book as a tool to help young adults comprehend the otherwise difficult Victorian text. The book has exceeded a dozen editions, generated a sequel and has been translated into multiple languages. Other graphic interpretations of classics would follow, including The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Frankenstein, all of which have been implemented into school curricula worldwide.”
Check out all of his books here, and take a scroll through a small selection of his fantastic work below. Plus, don’t miss his amazing #31OctoberPortraits for original portraits of all of your horrific Halloween favorites. Happy Halloween! Let’s get into the spirit!
PS. If you’re in the holiday spirit already, check out Grimly’s Santa Claws!
Happy Thursday! The leaves are changing colors all over the country and LA is a crisp autumn 103°. This week, we are taking a look at what some of our talented Red Cap artists are up to, as well as showcasing a special giveaway we are sponsoring with Books for Diversity. Take a look!
In celebration of our newest collection by Christian Robinson, we’re partnering up Books for Diversity on a special giveaway! Win a copy of When’s My Birthday? (by Julie Fogliani, with illustration by Robinson), The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade (by Justin Roberts with illustration by Robinson), and a set of sixteen new Red Cap birthday cards designed by Christian Robinson. Click over to the Books for Diversity Instagram to see how to enter the giveaway!
Also, we are fully embracing the art of fall, and with this beautiful piece of fall foliage heaven by Red Cap artist, Carolyn Gavin–how could you not? Click over to her Instagram for gorgeous work and amazing process videos of her art work.
We are equally impressed with Red Cap artist, Josie Portillo‘s beautiful work which she showcased on her Instagram this week–an editorial piece for The Washington Post‘s Book World in celebration of The Library of Congress’s National Book Festival. Also, make sure to swing by and check out her newest cover for The War I Finally Won, a sequel to the well-loved The War that Saved My Life, out now!
Were you as in love with Triangle as we were? Debuting on May 8th, 2018, meet the second installment of Red Cap artist, Jon Klassen and Mac Barnett’s “shape trilogy” with Square. We can’t wait to check this one out, and if you’re just as excited, make sure you take a look at our “It’s In The Eyes” essay which focuses on Klaassen’s ability to capture emotion in simplistic eye illustrations. Be there or be….
Also this week, we caught a glimpse of Red Cap artist, Kate Pugsley‘s brand new 2018 calendar with Frankie Magazine! The description got us excited: “with a whole year of radness to lay your peepers on, the 2018 frankie calendar is really a bit of a doozy. each month is spruced up with illustrations from some of our favourite artists, like pete cromer, lieke van der vorst and kate pugsley.” Yes, please!
If you’re in the mood or some Badass Bunnies, Cats or Dogs in your text stream, make sure you download Red Cap artist, Anke Weckmann‘s brand new collection of emoji stickers to make your text messages way more awesome than they currently are. Let’s be honest–would you rather send three “Yay” bunnies quietly cheering in a row or one more sad thumbs-up emoji? You decide. Click here to grab your own Anke emoji stickers.
Last but not least, our dreams are coming true, with Christian Robinson‘s brand new line of Cotton + Steel fabrics, coming in March 2018. We’ve only seen this special glimpse on his Instagram, but it sure made us want to start sewing 1960s shift dresses and kitchen aprons.
Have a great week!
This has been a big week for women, and if you have been following the headlines, we’d like to take this opportunity to put a positive spin. Communication is the key to understanding and love, and we want to promote it whenever possible. Check out these stories below that will hopefully open your eyes and hearts to amazing women and their stories:
We are so proud of our own Red Cap Cards artist, Bodil Jane, for her recent work with UNFPA with their story, “Girls Speak Out on Inequality.” Five girls were profiled (and illustrated!) in their discussions about inequality in every day life, and it is a fascinating read for anyone who is looking to understand and empathize with sister women of a different culture.
Take Hilary, for example, an 18-year old girl living in Costa Rica, who continued with her school work even after she became pregnant at 16:
“She finished school and went on to become a youth counsellor and advocate. In this role, she teaches other girls about their rights. She encourages them to have confidence and ambition.
‘I tell the girls they’re not alone, no matter what their situation is,’ she said.”
Click over to the UNFPA website for even more stories about young women, their perspective on the world, and gender inequality, as well as gorgeous work by Bodil Jane.
More stories to read and grow from:
• Lego Launches a New Set: Women of NASA
• 75 Picture Books About Mighty Girls and Women
• Female Beatbox World Champion
• Unknown Female Graphic Designers From the Past 100 Years
• When Feminism Meets Music
• Judy Blume’s Fight Against Censorship
• Women Trying to Change the Prison System
Are you as excited as we are for Red Cap artist, Jon Klassen‘s brand new book, The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse? Written by his usual collaborator, Mac Barnett, this story explores a twist on the “Peter in the Wolf” and fable classics. What if the animals a wolf ate for lunch were mighty happy in his stomach?
The Kirkus Review says:
“Klassen’s signature palette, compositions, and comedic, horizontally elongated eyes are here along with the heightened action propelled by Barnett’s narrative. Barnett wrestles Aesop and Grimm into pretzels, adding a groaner ending (“And that’s why the wolf howls at the moon”) for the mustard.”
This sweet book is so brilliantly absurd, with a perfectly juxtaposed neutral color palette that Jon brings to life so beautifully, and an ending that puts a wrap on a wondering that any child might have. It’s pretty lovely that the personalities of the duck and the mouse mirror Mac and Jon’s personality as well (see the video below!). Pick this one up! Check out more beautiful images from the book and the trailer below. Also, click here for Jon Klassen’s designs for Red Cap Cards.
Halloween is almost here! If you know us, you know we’re pulling out all of our favorite books for the spooky season and gathering new ones to add to the collection. Fall makes reading so fun–doesn’t it? The crisp autumn leaves, cozying under a blanket with apple cider and reading with your favorite kids. Magic!
If you’re lucky enough to live in the UK, you may already have a copy of this awesome release by Nicholas John Frith, which was released there on September 7th. If you’re stuck on this side of the pond, like us, expect to grab a copy on June 26, 2018. BOO..hoo. Rest assured it will be worth the wait! Frith’s previous books, Hello, Mr. Dodo! and Hector and Hummingbird were delightful, and the latter also snagged him the Klaus Flugge Prize!
As for A Werewolf Named Oliver James, see the publisher’s excerpt:
“On his way home one moonlit night, a strange thing happens to Oliver James: he unexpectedly turns into a werewolf! Suddenly, he can run faster than an express train! He can leap higher than tall buildings! He’s stronger than a lion! There’s only one problem: what on earth will his parents say, when he gets home? Nicholas John Frith’s third picture book is a rich, dramatic visual feast – and a wickedly funny romp featuring the most endearing little werewolf imaginable.”
We are so looking forward to it!
The cover alone makes us want to dive into this one. How to Make Friends with a Ghost by Rebecca Green is the sweetest, spooky manual that you will ever need. Closely follow all of the instructions for making a ghost’s acquaintance, not scaring him off, feeding him, bathing him, and most of all, how to have fun with him. This one is a great laugh, and the fun details will charm adults as well. However, make sure your kids are ready to learn what a ghost actually is! This ending is sweet, but transparent. (Pun most definitely intended).
The Scariest Book Ever by Bob Shea is anything but, and will surely delight kids young and old. Brought to you by the artist and author who created The Happiest Book Ever, this one focuses on a tiny ghost who is scared of going into the deep, dark, and anything-but-scary woods. The trailer alone is enough to make you want to scoop this one up:
Last is another project from an amazing publishing house, Flying Eye Books. No Such Thing by Ella Bailey tells the story of skeptical little Georgia, who has an explanation for every spooky occurrence that is occurring in her house. Told with brilliant color in a non-traditional fall palette, the reader is able to one-up Georgia by being privy to the shenanigans of the ghosts long before she is. Adorable and modern–a brilliant read.
Andie GW Powers
Our Red Cap artists are our pride and joy and we are always so happy to hear about their achievements and projects! If you’re following them on Twitter or Instagram, you may be privy to their happenings, but if not, see below for some special happenings and announcements from Jon Klassen, Lizzy Stewart, Chris Sasaki and Becca Stadtlander.
First up, for all those lucky kids! The audiobook for I Want My Hat Back is now available on iTunes, here. Kids not into reading? Play it while they’re sleeping! Subliminal learning! Easy-peasy. And don’t forget to check out Jon’s new book with Mac Barnett: The Wolf, the Duck, and The Mouse, available on October 10th!
Up next, we have amazing new news from Red Cap artist, Chris Sasaki (see above).
From the image: “Anne Schwartz at Schwartz & Wade has acquired world rights to Julie Leung’s Paper Son: The Story of Tyrus Wong, illustrated by Chris Sasaki. The picture book biography tells the story of the Chinese-born Aerican designer of Disney’s Bambi, whose impressionistic style inspired generations of illustrators. Publication is planned for Fall 2019.”
Way to go Chris Sasaki! We can’t wait for this undoubtedly beautiful and moving picture book.
“At first glance, Stadtlander’s graceful folk art scenes of American life appear to be accompanied by Chinese calligraphy; readers may be tempted to focus on the artwork and pass the Chinese characters by. But contemporary artist Xu’s “top secret assignment” on the first page explains that the first 12 compositions are the words to American folk songs. With this information and the eventual recognition that the “Chinese” glyphs are built out of stylized Roman letters—“I,” “on,” “my,” and “oh” are pretty easy to read—the characters begin to reveal themselves as blocks of Chinese-style brushstrokes that actually depict English words. The first painting shows men and women at a barn dance. Is it “Skip to My Lou”? (It is.) Once readers get the hang of it, guessing the other songs isn’t too difficult, but it’s plenty rewarding. Although the book is not intended as an introduction to reading Chinese, the process of puzzling out Xu’s word glyphs isn’t unrelated to the mental operation of decoding Chinese characters. Five Chinese songs follow for the truly intrepid, and the lyrics and an explanation of Bing’s writing system appears at the end.”
If you’re in the mood to just chill out with headphones on, consider “Down the Rabbit Hole” — a podcast which discusses children’s books with the top writers and illustrators in the field. This episode (26th September 2017) features our own Red Cap artist, Lizzy Stewart, who discusses some of the newest releases on the market, plus one of her own! It’s great to hear an artist talk about art. Be sure to make the time!
Congrats to all of our fabulous artists for their amazing achievements. We’ll be keeping up with you!
When’s your birthday?? If you win this giveaway, it could be very soon.
This week, we have partnered up with kid-lit blogger, Avery & Augustine and MacMillan Kids Books, for this very, extra special Instagram giveaway. The giveaway includes a copy of When’s My Birthday? by Julie Fogliano, with illustration by our own Red Cap Cards artist, Christian Robinson, PLUS an assorted set of his new birthday card designs and two rolls of his new gift wrap for Red Cap.
From Avery & Augustine: “When’s My Birthday? is a celebration of the one day each year that kids look forward to with eager anticipation: their birthday. Julie Fogliano’s words are lovely and exuberant and Christian Robinson’s work is, as always, an absolute delight. His work evokes the irrepressible joy of childhood: its fun, laughter and effervescence.
We’re partnering with @redcapcards and @macmillankidsbooks to give away an assorted set of 24 birthday cards and 2 rolls of gift wrap featuring new designs by Christian Robinson, along with a copy of the newly released book When’s My Birthday?
This giveaway is open to US residents and ends Sunday, September 24, at 11:59 PM PDT. The winner will be announced here shortly thereafter. To enter:
1. Follow @averyandaugustine and @redcapcards.
2. Like this post.
3. Tag a few friends in the comments below (in separate comments).
4. For an extra entry, tell us the best birthday gift you ever received as a kid or a birthday tradition you had in your family.
Gustaf Tenggren earns his place in our Master’s Showcase series with ease. The Swedish-American illustrator is surely an inspiration to anyone who appreciates modern design and art, with his trademark fairy-tale style illustration, and bright and detailed characters.
Born in Sweden in 1896, Tenggren received a scholarship in 1910 to the School for Arts and Crafts in Gothenburg, Slöjdföreningens skola, at only 13 years old. Afterward, he began illustrating submissions as a youth, painted decorations for the town theatre, and produced portrait commissions. He eventually sailed for the United States in 1920, and worked in farming until accepting a job offer to work as an art director for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, beginning a stealthy contribution to the the Golden Age of American animation at Walt Disney’s Studios in Los Angeles. From there, he went on create inspirational artwork for many Disney films, and eventually illustrated many children’s books (many Golden Books), such as The Poky Little Puppy, The Shy Little Kitten, Tawny Scrawny Lion and more.
Look below for some of our favorite illustration and artwork by one of our favorite Masters…
We are so happy to announce the release of a special collection of celebratory greeting cards and wrapping papers alongside the release of When’s My Birthday? by Julie Fogliano with illustration by our own Christian Robinson from Roaring Brook Press (out in bookstores today!) Click over to his artist page to see more!
PLUS, click here to visit the Official Website for When’s My Birthday?
We are absolutely ecstatic to celebrate our newest collection for Fall 2017! Collaborating with our artists has been such a creative inspiration, and this collection is definitely something to hang the streamers for! From new card and wrap designs based on the illustrations in Christian Robinson’s new book, When’s My Birthday?, to a brand new style of greeting card that we could just “die” for, we are definitely celebrating FUN this season.
New in our design catalog, check out our new style of die-cut love cards just in time for your loved one’s birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and more, and many other gorgeous pieces of work including new greeting cards and wrap from Dinara Mirtalipova, Kate Pugsley, Nicholas John Frith, Danielle Kroll, and Bodil Jane. Scroll below to see some highlights, but make sure to check out our entire collection in shop. Have FUN!
What’s new with our amazing artists? What a delight it is to scroll through Instagram and find out what new and exciting projects they are lending their talents to. Whether it’s a sketchbook piece, a new collaboration, or a sneak peek at something brewing–we’re always intrigued and inspired. Scroll below to check out some of the new work and projects that our tight family of collaborators are working on when they’re not doodling for us:
Photos as linked above.
Arlo is at it again, with some fantastic book picks for your kiddos’ burgeoning imaginations, in this edition of Arlo’s Book Club. If you’re gearing up for the start of school too, and are out picking up pencils, notebooks, and five thousand glue sticks, make sure that you swing by the book store or local library to check these out as well. Our theme is Back to School–but we all know that not everything worthwhile is taught in the classroom. Museums, parks, different countries and cultures, or the outside world can offer an education that is just as important as what is taught in school. Read on for more:
School’s First Day of School
by Adam Rex, with pictures by Christian Robinson
Roaring Book Press, 2016
Suggested ages: Preschool-Grade 1
We are so proud of our own Red Cap Cards artist, Christian Robinson, for this amazing (and adorable) achievement. School’s First Day of School tells the story of Frederick Douglass Elementary, a brand new elementary school who has first-day jitters about having kids attend classes inside of him. Related through conversation with his special friend, the janitor, this creative story is fabulous for any kid who is nervous about starting school, making friends, or expressing their feelings in a group.
One Thousand Things (Learn with Little Mouse Series)
by Anna Kövecses
Wide Eyed Editions, 2015
Suggested ages: Preschool-Grade 1
This little gem most likely works best for the younger set, but even as adults, we are enamored by the illustration and modern, quirky aesthetic that One Thousand Things displays. Written and illustrated by Hungarian graphic designer, Anna Kövecses, this book teaches children ways to distinguish some common terms, phrases and concepts–one thousand, to be exact.
There Is a Tribe of Kids
By Lane Smith
Roaring Brook Press, 2016
Suggested Ages: Kindergarten – 3
Winner of the Kate Greenaway award, There Is a Tribe of Kids was written and illustrated by famed illustrator of classic picture books like The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! and The Stinky Cheese Man & other Fairly Stupid Tales. It follows a child on his journey to a “tribe of kids.” On the way he learns the terminology for different groups of animals and other natural wonders, through experience and wonder. A beautiful book.
The Teacher’s Pet
by Anica Mrose Rissi, with illustration by Zachariah O’Hora
Suggested ages: 4-7 years
Zachariah O’Hora lends his bold & bright illustration style to a new story in, The Teacher’s Pet, with words by Anica Mrose Rissi. In this story, the children’s teacher, Mr. Stricter, is slightly confused about what constitutes the perfect classroom pet. Kids will feel empowered by having a narrative edge over the grown-up character in the book, and the details are laugh-out-loud. Tongue-in-cheek warning: spicy language abounds with terms like “farts” and “snot-rocket.” Love this one!
A Funny Thing Happened at the Museum
By excited to find out that another book in the series had been released. A Funny Thing Happened at the Museum picks up with another tall-tale told by extremely unreliable narrator, Henry, about his trip to the museum. The book is over-the-top with wild museum antics and parents can tell kids about certain exhibits as they read through the story. The perfect trickery: kids will learn while laughing!
Two Artist Spotlight posts within the span of three short weeks? Yes, we really are that lucky! Meet Bodil Jane: one of our newest debut artists at Red Cap Cards. Bodil lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her work fosters the same easygoing and colorful mentality that Amsterdam offers, with a dash of capriccio and fun. Read on to learn more about what inspires her (Asian supermarkets, among other things!), her creative process, and the best advice she received when she was just starting out.
In the mood for some inspiration? Check out a sampling from the portfolio of American artist, Michelle Morin. We are very excited to announce that Michelle is collaborating with Red Cap on a line of greeting cards which will be debuting in January of 2018! We fell in love with her watercolor images of a magical world of flora and fauna that few eyes are privy to. Inspired by her longtime work in the horticultural field, Michelle has cultivated a “true relationship with plants, wildlife, and their distinctive habitats.” We can definitely agree. From her beautifully written bio:
“With many years designing and maintaining gardens, Michelle has narrowed her primary focus to nature as a subject to reference. She works to convey the beauty and complexities of nature using texture, pattern, and narrative elements throughout her work, which range from elaborate watercolor and gouache compositions on paper to vast and more layered paintings on canvas. Through her travels she continues to seek out inspiration from the natural world while honing in on the unique details that define each place.”
Scroll through the images below (those wild boars!), and click over to her website for even more. Looking forward to the new year!
This week, we are sitting down and having a chat with one of the newest artists in our Red Cap Cards family: American artist, Priscilla Weidlein. Priscilla’s work is a lively celebration of hedonism, nature, and joie d’vivre, full of hypnotic scenes that are full of life and love. Her creative spirit is infectious! We just want to drink it in—and maybe grab a bite of one of her feasts as well! Read on to learn more about Priscilla, her inspiration, work process, and even a bit of advice for artists starting out.
Tell us about your life in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island is a delight. I live in Providence, which is a beautiful and lively city (though not without its dingy strip clubs). We’re twenty minutes from the ocean. The fair seasons compel me to be outdoors as much as possible, and in winter I hibernate like a chowder-plump bear. My favorite part of living here is how wholly food is celebrated—my life revolves around cooking with friends.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to spend the waking hour outdoors. Ideally I catch the sunrise, then run in the large park nearby; visit the birds and vermin. Then, after my signature breakfast (of egg and anchovy taco) I let the work day roll out however it will: active studio work, emails, visits to the frame shop…whatever is up, I make sure to always set time aside to sit at my drafting table. When the sun comes down, I give my brushes a wash and turn the computer off. My focus turns back to food and who I will share it with.
Did you always want to be an artist? Did you have any other aspirations?
As a young child I told my parents that I wanted to be an artist, and they responded that I already was one. Isn’t that generous? I have various entrepreneurial aspirations, all of which are in some way tied to my art practice.
What is your work process like?
I start with a tidy workspace that I proceed to ravage. My paint vials (Dr. PH Martin’s) start in a neat row and end in chaos; fallen chess pieces. I listen to music (right now I’m heavy on Kamaiyah). I can work for hours without noticing time pass. Every so often my leg will fall asleep and I’ll get up, tack my work to the wall and walk away for a tea and newspaper break. The magic of fresh eyes gets me very time.
What inspires you most? In work? In life?
Light inspires me—light from the sun, light from people. I observe people and the ways they express themselves, through their physical presentation and the way they treat one another. I draw a lot of inspiration from classic cinema: the fashion, elegance and romance characteristic of bygone eras.
What is your favorite piece of work you’ve created?
I recently had a lot of fun making my Bacchanalia print—I designed it to be the invitation for a racous farm party in Vermont, but alas the party was put off, so I’ve made prints with the design instead. I enjoy its harmless irreverence. You can find the prints for sale on my site.
What was the best piece of advice you were given when starting out?
In my early 20s I had a great mentor, a painter in New York, who told me to draw and paint every single day! And keep going! And keep going! That was my mantra starting out. I started a drawing a day series called “Dear Diary,” which led me to my first gallery show.
Favorite mediums to work in?
I love anything that allows me to achieve super-saturated color on paper. I work mostly in watercolor, for all its depth and subtlety. Right now I’m hungry to work some larger scale projects, possibly in oil. I’m attracted by the glop factor.
If you didn’t work as an artist, what would you be doing?
I’d like to host splendid, glittering dinner parties ’round the clock. To cook impossible feasts. How to monetize this?
Any upcoming projects you’d like to share?
Yes! I’m soon to start work on a series of wine labels for a fantastic Italian natural wine maker! This has been a decade long dream.
Do you have any advice for up-and-coming artists and illustrators?
Surround yourself with people who energize you…with people who lift you right up!
I’d like to have approximately 1,000 dogs. My qualm with the term pipe-dream is that it suggests the dream is unrealistic (I’m a Sagittarius). But here’s one I love: my friends and I dream of going in on some land together by the sea, where we can have work spaces and host summits and grow big, old gardens.
Obligatory Red Cap question: favorite drink?
Pét-nat! My heart goes to the fizzing, fermenting, lively stuff…
Today is a special double-header Shops We Love, as we pick up our series with New York City book and stationery retailer, McNally Jackson Books and its two protégé shops, Goods for the Study. All three of these fantastic shops carry our goods and we are delighted to introduce them to you.
First up, is the original, an independent bookseller, publisher, and printer: McNally Jackson Books. You could get lost in this treasure-trove of tomes, plus catch events by the hottest contemporary writers. “A place where you can read books, buy books, write books, and talk about books. And now a place where you can make books, too.” With their Espresso Book machine, you can create on-demand paperbacks for gifts, cataloguing ideas, and more. Visit, read, and have fun.
Up next are the “spin-off” shops of McNally Jackson Books: Goods for the Study (1 and 2). They have just opened a second location (yippee!) of fabulous, up-scale, sophisticated goods for the office, workspace, creative studio, and more. From cards, notebooks, paper, and beautiful necessities, we spy so many of our favorite artists and designers, and could spend hours (and a bunch of cash) in such a dreamy space. If you’re in the area, make sure to drop by one of these shops and see it for yourself.
Thank you McNally Jackson & Goods for the Study!