December 30, 2012

New Year’s Eve ~ Times Square, NYC


On Dec. 31, over a million people will gather at Times Square in New York City to herald in the new year. Ready with party hats & horns, they'll watch the ball descend until the stroke of midnight when 2013 officially begins. Quite a party!

The first New Year's Eve ball was dropped in 1907. Measuring 5 feet in diameter, it was illuminated with 100 incandescent bulbs, and weighed in at 700 pounds. 


Through the years, it has undergone several updates. The ball being used currently is covered in 2,668 Waterford Crystals. It is 12 feet in diameter and weighs close to 12,000 pounds.


Over 32,000 computerized LEDs are used to create the spectacular light designs.
This ball is 78% more energy efficient than the ball used in 2007.


Millions of people all over the world will watch this event via satellite, 
bringing the estimated total of those "in attendance" to the billion mark.


Happy New Year to you and your family!
May your 2013 be blessed with happiness & good health!


December 28, 2012

Oreo Cameos

Earlier this month, I did a post on cameos.  
As promised, here's a modern interpretation of a cameo. 
Judith G. Klausner carves hers in the center cream of an Oreo cookie!

Judith's bio says this: 
"Judith G. Klausner is a Somerville MA artist with a love for small, intricate, and overlooked things."

How's this for fun, imaginative artistry?

Photo credits Judith G. Klausner.

2012 just so happens to be the 100th birthday of the Oreo!
I loved 'em as a kid, and I still do.


Jessica Haas Designs came up with this timeline of Oreo packaging through the years.

Vintage Oreo Ads







A classic Oreo TV commercial from the 80's

And in conclusion, this is sure to bring a smile to your face!


Was I right?

December 26, 2012

Chromatic Queen Elizabeth II

via newstrick
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, now expecting the royal heir, gets a lot of attention from the media. As was the case with Princess Diana, her fashion choices and how she carries them off are always of interest, not only in England, but "on this side of the pond" as well. For that matter, all over the globe.

I say - let's give some attention to the Queen! I love how elegant and, ...well...queenly she always looks. Her hats are fantastic, her brooches are fabulous and her triple strand of pearls is classic perfection!

Not to mention the colors!


via starpulse

We mustn't let 2012 slide by without a curtsy to acknowledge Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee.  Throughout her 60 years as Britain's monarch, she has enjoyed wearing exquisite fashion. In a Vogue chart called "Rainbow Queen", her wardrobe was cataloged through the course of one year, with a goal of determining the frequency of colors she wore. It's intriguing to look not only at the lovely colors, but also at the style for which she has become known.
Don't you love stuff like this?


And finally, in limited edition for the Jubilee, Pantone Color joined with Ad Agency Leo Burnett London to create a queen-shaped color deck. It represents the colors from 60 years of her most memorable outfits, perfectly color-matched to official Pantone shades. Each of the 60 cards notes the color name (primrose yellow or pristine blue, to mention just two). Also cited is the year and occasion for which each was worn.

Congratulations, Your Majesty!

via designboom


December 22, 2012

Breath of Heaven


“Breath of Heaven” is a Christmas story told from a different perspective. Mary is a young woman in awe of having been chosen to become the mother of Jesus. She shares her human self-doubt and fear. Still, she offers her all, in faith and obedience to the will of God. This beautiful song is Mary's prayer to her unborn child.


The first time I heard this song, I had chills. My eyes welled with tears. So powerful. So personal.
Absorb these lyrics, then listen to Amy Grant's performance at the CMA Country Christmas in 2011.
She is accompanied by her husband, Vince Gill. 

With love to you and your family, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ,

Breath of Heaven

I have traveled many moonless nights,
Cold and weary with a babe inside,
And I wonder what I've done.
Holy father you have come,
And chosen me now to carry your son.

I am waiting in a silent prayer.
I am frightened by the load I bear.
In a world as cold as stone,

Must I walk this path alone?

Be with me now.

Be with me now.

Breath of heaven,
Hold me together,
Be forever near me,

Breath of heaven.

Breath of heaven,

Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy.
Breath of heaven.

[ Do you wonder as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place,
But I offer all I am

For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong.
Help me be.
Help me.

Breath of heaven,
Hold me together,
Be forever near me,

Breath of heaven.

Breath of heaven,

Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy.

December 21, 2012

The Nutcracker

Renee Graef

This is the time of year for reading the beloved story by E.T.A. Hoffman ~ The Nutcracker. 
It is upon Hoffman's tale that The Nutcracker Ballet is based.  
Music by Tschaikovsky, choreography by Balanchine.

I have precious memories of taking my daughter to see this play when she was a little girl.
We'll have to go again. A sweet, Christmas-y night out.

Here's a brief synopsis:
The setting is a grand house in Gemany, home of the Stahlbaum family. A Christmas Eve party is underway, when Clara's godfather Drosselmeyer arrives. His gift to her is a beautifully hand carved nutcracker. At midnight, strange and magical things start to happen. An army of mice appear and the nutcracker becomes a prince. Clara and the prince visit the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets, and meet the lovely Sugarplum Fairy.

The Nutcracker has been illustrated in a wide variety of styles. 
Some traditional, some very modern. It's all rich, colorful, gorgeous artwork! 
Enjoy these many delightful versions as the warmth of this well-loved story comes through!

Lisa K. Weber

Maurice Sendak

Lisa Evans

Artus Scheiner

John Aardema

Emma L. Brock

Diane Goode

Carl Offterdinger

Peter Malone

Maria Mikhalskaya

Rob Viera

Pim Pimlada

Don Daily

Natasha Tabatchikova

Gale de Marcken

Susan Jeffers

Roberto Innocenti

Lisbeth Zwerger

Julie Paschkis

December 19, 2012

Reading Terminal Market


An impromptu family outing to Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia.
What a great time!
We're talking a feast for the eyes, and for the stomach. 
I had fun snapping pictures. Everywhere I turned was a photo op.
A young man was playing the piano, and people watching was at its prime.
Greek, sushi, crepes, oysters, chocolate, Cajun, and cannolis.
The list goes on and on.
A gastronomic extravaganza! 



Oh, the aroma of fresh coffee!


A rainbow of candy, including rock candy on a stick, 
and colossal $15 jaw breakers, 2nd row, 1st bin.






OK, enough browsing. We finally decided on Tommy Dinic's.  
No doubt, the best pork sandwich imaginable. 




Take a look at this succulent sandwich. 
Eat it right off of the paper; no need to get fussy here.





Dessert is beckoning at Bassett's Ice Cream
Established in 1861, they celebrated their 150th anniversary last year. 
Their ice cream is beyond delicious.


My daughter enjoys her favorite flavor ~ green tea!


Oh, man. Can't wait to go back.