The Art of Book Design: Little Curiosity, The Story of a German Christmas

J.M. Callwell. Little Curiosity, The Story of a German Christmas. London (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dublin), Blackie and Son, 1884.

Surprise! It’s July 25 –  the perfect day for mid-summer Christmas. I love that this cover has none of the usual trappings that appear on later books about the season. There’s no snow, no crèche, no tinseled tree and nary a gift in sight – just a happy little bird singing.

 

via: University of Florida Digital Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries

 

Jack’s Walk

Happy Canada Day ©voyager, all rights reserved

Last year on Canada Day Jack and I celebrated our 100th Jack’s Walk. This Canada Day we’re celebrating walk #358 …and still counting. We had a lovely, slow walk around our little forest this morning and I would love to show you a picture from there, but I forgot to take my camera. It’s one of those days when I’m just glad I remembered shoes (I have been known to show up in slippers) and water for the dog. To make up for the lack forest, here is a photo of Jack and I on our front porch as we wish you our annual Canada Day greeting. I wonder how many walks we’ll be at by next July 1?

Jack’s Walk

 

Happy Mother’s Day. ©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I came across this timely bit of graffiti today that we wanted to share. This upcoming Sunday, May 12, is Mother’s Day and whoever left this message obviously wants the world to know that their mom is tops. I think my mom is pretty special, too, so we’ll be spending the afternoon together on Sunday at the nursing home where she lives. Mom is confined to a wheelchair by physical disabilities, but her mind is as sharp as a tack and she loves having visitors. She doesn’t want flowers or gifts because she shares a small room and there isn’t much space. Candy doesn’t appeal to her and she has a closet full of clothes and enough bath stuff and hand cream to last her a long, long time. There’s nothing she wants, except the gift of my time. She loves to hear stories about my life and to look at pictures together. Both things help to make her feel included and to keep her connected to the world outside the institution.

We’ll be taking in Kentucky Fried Chicken with all her favourite fixings and I’ve bought her some new underpants as a surprise. They’re the super soft cotton ones she likes best and they’re pink. She’ll be thrilled. After we eat, I’ll stroll her around the nursing home, outside if it’s nice, inside if it isn’t, and I’ll tell her all about my walks with Jack and the state of my garden and what’s up with my friends. For mom, it really is the simple things that matter most.

Jack’s Walk

I occasionally put a triangle scarf on Jack to accentuate his rugged good looks. Sometimes I even put him in a coat if the weather is seriously cold or heavily raining. What I don’t do, however, is dress him up in outfits or costumes. Jack thinks such things are unnecessary and undignified. His sister, Lucy, used to love being dressed up. She’d pout when it was time to take off her coat or her scarf after an outing and on Hallowe’en she’d prance around in her costume and pose for pictures. Lucy was a comedian and she loved anything that made people oooh, aaah or laugh. Not my Jack, though. Jack is a straight man and he does not like to look silly so when I recently attempted to take a few photos of him in a Santa hat he made his displeasure known. I gave it my best try, but Jack was having none of it. Click-through if you’d like to see a few shots of Jack’s increasing frustration. (Sorry, Bubba. I won’t do it again.)

I am not a HappyJack, ©voyager, all rights reserved

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Jack’s Walk

Today you get voyager’s walk without Jack. I was in Toronto over the weekend to visit a friend so I thought I’d share some shots of Front Street. Everywhere you look the city is gearing up for all that mindless and debt-inducing Christmas shopping and this year it looks like Union Station is going all out Lego. So far they’ve placed 3 giant Legos in the square along with a totally Lego fireplace complete with Lego stockings hung with care. The large white board is also going to be all Lego and it has mind-numbingly small numbers. Lots of numbers, each one waiting for an individual normal size Lego block. It must take a crew of several people days to put it all together. I’ll ask my friend to send me photos of the finished project and I promise to share.

Front Street, looking east, ©voyager, all rights reserved

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Jack’s Walk

Pumpkin Season, ©voyager, all rights reserved

The sun has come out of hiding and it’s a lovely autumn day. Just warm enough that you don’t need a jacket, but still cool enough that Jack wants to frolic. I’ve been playing with my camera and the scratches don’t seem to impact my photos too badly. That means that I can take some time before I buy a new lens.  This is good news because at the moment my money has more important things to do. Jack will be needing surgery soon to remove a lipoma (fatty cyst) on his right elbow. It’s grown to the size of a baseball and we’d like to have it removed before the snow starts to fly. The surgery is planned for Halloween, which can be winter-like around here so let’s hope autumn decides to stick around for a while.

Oh, It’s That Day.

It’s “mother’s day”. Yet another manufactured holiday, and yet another manufactured holiday I loathe. I wrote all the reasons last year, and I don’t feel like rehashing it all again, I have art in my head, and want to run off  with it today, so here’s what I have to say about this day: https://freethoughtblogs.com/affinity/2017/05/14/mums-day/