Friday, December 25, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fans Who Read AND Bake

Tommy, his sister and his mother, in West Hartford, Connecticut, make millions and thousands of cookies each Christmas. They sent me a box of cookies and a fruitcake. YUM!

Tommy likes the "26 Fairmount Avenue" chapter books. He is now reading CHRISTMAS REMEMBERED. I've had the good fortune of meeting Tommy and his mother at the Book Fair at the University of Connecticut, and at the Carle Museum.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lovely Snow

It's wonderful watching snow fall... on TV. Not a flake has fallen in New London, New Hampshire. "It's a good thing."

Ugly Sweaters-palooza

The ugly sweater business is booming, according to a story just seen on "Sunday Morning" on CBS-TV.

Up in Flames

Last night when I went into Tomie's house to help him with evening foot care, I encountered a rather frazzled Tomie.

Back Story: Tomie loves candles. Correction - Tomie LOVES candles. Every night he'll have dozens of candles burning until he heads for bed. He uses tealights to make his favorite candles last longer. He does this by burning a new candle enough so that a well forms. He then places a tealight in the well and lights the tealight.

He usually has bags and bags of plastic cup tealights in stock, but his supply was getting frighteningly low. Yet, when he placed a new order for tealights, the tealights were backordered until the new year.


I found 200 aluminum cup tealights at the hardware store, and Tomie relaxed.

However, last night while Tomie was preparing his dinner, he began to smell an odd smell. He discovered that the aluminum cups of the aluminum cup tealights that he had placed in candles were heating up and falling out of the sides of the candles onto counters, and tablecloths. Nothing was burning, but that may have been pure luck/divine intervention/good fortune.

Lesson learned. Plastic cup tealights can be inserted into large candles. Aluminum cup tealights can be inserted into glass candle holders.

Tomie promised that he would be less flame-boyant.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"Julie" Is Annoying

Tomie is watching "Julie and Julia" in the barn, and I am several feet away from him working on his Christmas cards. I cannot see the TV screen, but I can clearly hear the dialogue and action. I suggested to Tomie that he mute the sound every time the "Julie story" was happening, and restore the sound when the "Julia story" was on the screen. The "Julie story," in my opinion, is in a word ANNOYING. Tomie wished the movie could be remade using just the "Julia story." I still like the mute/restore idea.

Mother and Child

Tomie has wanted to create artwork after his second carpal tunnel surgery in two-and-a-half years. The tips of his fingers on his right hand are still numb, and several normal tasks are difficult, such as, writing, and holding a paint brush. Yet, he recently was able to paint "Mother and Child." The painting is five feet high by four feet wide. It's hanging in the "new" living room.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Breathing Bows

Anne Taylor Davis and Tomie have had several "committee meetings" regarding Anne's visit for Christmas.

Since Anne decided not to drive from NYC to NH, and will train and bus to NH, she sent gifts in boxes via the U.S. Postal Service. I asked her if she wanted me to open the boxes, or if she wanted me to leave the boxes sealed until her arrival in NH.

She wanted me to open the boxes so that the "bows could breathe."

Anne is the same person who once said, "Christmas dinner is all about the brussels sprouts."

Tree of Wax (2)

Tree of Wax

Tomie designed heart, star and dove wax ornaments for Marklin Candle Design. One of Tomie's trees is decorated solely with these ornaments. Marklin Candle Design 1-877-627-5546

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Free at Last!

The medical director of the Wound Healing Center at Concord (NH) Hospital, Dr. Joseph Snow, set Tomie free yesterday. Tomie's foot wound has almost completely healed. Another month or so of healing is needed.

Dr. Snow told Tomie that he didn't need to go back to the Center unless Tomie was concerned about the wound. After dozens of appointments, it sort of felt as if the Wound Center didn't want Tomie to return. I asked Tomie, "What did you say to offend them?"

Of course, it's terrific news to know that the six-month "ordeal" is nearly over.

We'll actually miss Dr. Snow and the nurses at the Center.

Another Mauli-made Wreath

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's a Boy!

The headline and the story don't match, but "It's a boy" is a more eye-catching headline than "Trees put up in record time."

Yesterday, Stephanie, who cleans for Tomie, Tomie and I moved furniture to make room for the indoor Christmas trees.

Today, Barbara, who does odd outside jobs for Tomie, Stephanie and I put up and decorated a twelve-foot tree and a six-foot tree... by noon. We've never started and finished the trees in four hours.

The six-foot tree is not completely decorated. We're waiting on Skip Marklin to give us wax heart ornaments for the tree. The tree is decorated right now with wax dove ornaments (from Marklin Candle Design).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ev'rywhere You Go

The creche ring, based on Tomie's design, was produced by Midwest of Cannon Falls many years ago. Mauli McDonald used it to create a beautiful wreath for the front door. Mauli's shop, Art of Nature, is probably the most interesting shop in New London. (Click to get a more detailed look.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

So far, six small wreathes, one large wreath, eight kissing balls, three outdoor trees...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Storytelling at the Marketplace

Tomie read stories this afternoon in the Marketplace at Marklin Candle Design in Contoocook, New Hampshire. The Marketplace is full of candles (including candle designs by Tomie), books, ornaments, clothes, Simon Pearce glassware, and extraordinary gifts (fair trade items to crafts by local artisans). Tomie wasn't able to sign books because of his carpal tunnel surgery, but he wanted to read at the Marketplace for his good friends, Christine and Martin Marklin and their children. (You can always double-click on the photo to get a better look.)

The Marketplace at Marklin Candle Design
28 Riverside Drive
Contoocook, NH 03229

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Church of Tomie dePaola

A semi-trailer truck stopped at the end of the driveway today. The driver went to the mailbox to look at the number on the mailbox to make certain he had stopped at the correct address. He needed to deliver 12 boxes of six-day devotional candles (i.e. 144 devotional candles). He assumed he was delivering to a church, and he found the name of the church on the delivery slip, "Tomie dePaola," to be an unusual name for a church. He had only delivered large quantities of candles to churches in the past.

I almost told the driver, "Well, we all worship Tomie."

Truth is that Tomie likes and uses a lot of candles... A LOT of candles.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

You Can Never Have Too Many Rice Cookers

The UPS man delivered today a new rice cooker for Tomie. I believe this is Tomie's fifth rice cooker. He now has a total of four rice cookers. (One of the five was sold at the last yard sale.)

Tomie disagrees with the article "20 Most Worthless Pieces of Junk: #20 - The Rice Cooker."

I Remember the Days...

Arsema is a student at Rippon Middle School in Woodbridge, Virginia: Your books send great messages to children in a magical fairy tale way. The way you like to send positive messages in your poems that is easy for kids to understand is very unique. Every time I read STREGA NONA I remember the days in first grade when my teacher would read it to the whole class. My teacher would always have to turn the pages a little bit slower when we were reading one of your books because we would always want to admire your illustrations.

Tomie: Thanks for taking the time out of your busy middle school life to write such a kind note.

A New Carickter

Damion is in Class D at the Nashua Children's Home in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Artwork From the '60s

Isabella goes to St. Paul School in Hingham, Massachusetts. She wrote to me when she was in the fifth grade. I told her that she might want to visit the Glastonbury Abbey, also in Hingham, to see some of my artwork created in the '60s.

I designed a crucifix for the chapel, and painted the side not in relief. I painted a mural of St. Benedict for the chapel, and Stations of the Cross for the chapel.

I also created three murals for the refectory.

You can get a visual sense of the artwork by going to the Glastonbury Abbey website.
Click "Gallery."
Photo #4 shows a bit of the crucifix.
Photos #6, 7 and 9 show some of the Stations of the Cross.
Photos #11 and 26 give a sense of the murals in the refectory.

Jennie and Her Boys

Jennie in Clarence Center, New York, is the mother of six-year-old Jake and younger son Tom. During a weekend in October, the three of them went to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art to see the exhibition of Tomie's artwork.

Jennie: We went specifically to see your exhibit, and we were certainly not disappointed. Jake has been a fan of yours for the last few years, and he was beside himself when we turned the corner of the gallery and came face to face with the photograph of you and your dog in the convertible. "Look, Mom! There he is!" he nearly shouted... To spend this weekend with my boys in an art museum and talking about books was one of the best experiences I've ever had with them. This is just to say thanks for being such a bright and wonderful part of the world.

Tomie: I'm glad I could be a small part of Mom-time with your boys.

Goose Creek AIMS!

A continuous banner of nearly 300 Happy Birthday greetings was sent by the Howe Hall Arts Infused Magnet School (AIMS) in Goose Creek, South Carolina.

Tomie: Thanks HHAIMS!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Love Pasta

Double-click to get a better look at the poster.
Mrs. Green's second grade class at Britton Elementary in Hilliard, Ohio, sent a birthday poster, a wooden folk art heart and a plush bone toy (for Bronte).

Strega Nona is singing:
Bubble, bubble, pasta pot,
It's Tomie dePaola's birthday so make him lots.
He's special and it's time to share.
Boil enough love to show him we care.

Tomie: Very sweet.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Thy Branches Are So Purple?!

Kathleen, of Oak Park, Illinois, drew the purple Christmas tree, hearts and ice cream cone when she was four years old. I think my friend Barney would like the tree.

The Mysterious Zeek

Alyssa (the artist) and her third grade classmates in Mrs. Berg's class at Claywell Elementary in Tampa, Florida, sent birthday cards.

Many of the students mentioned "Zeek" in their notes. Natalie: I bet that Zeek is in your house right now finger painting on your walls.

Tomie: If he is, Zeek is in a heap of trouble. Who IS Zeek?