Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to All!!

It’s now become tradition on this blog to do a post like this every Christmas day to honor the holiday on Zezee with Books.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I always get excited when it comes around. No matter what has happened in the year or if I’ve been sad and angry for the majority of December, I always get happy and excited by Christmas. I love the holiday because it carries with it a sense of unity and community, and there’s always a touch of magic in the air.

Each year I celebrate the holiday on here by featuring a bit of artwork that I think captures the spirit of Christmas. This year, I chose “Christmas in Color,” which features a scene from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling:

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Judging A Book By Its Cover: Frankenstein

Once again, I’ve teamed up with Millie at Milliebot Reads to do a guest post in her weekly meme, Judging a Book by Its Cover, where she shows her appreciation for beautifully designed book covers.

This time, I contributed by showing the covers and illustrations in my copy of Gris Grimley’s Frankenstein. Hop on over to Millie’s blog to check it out! 😀

Milliebot Reads

This is my weekly post where I highlight and appreciate cover designs and the general physical appearance of books. We all judge book covers to some extent. I can’t say that I’ve ever decided against a book with terrible cover art if I liked the sound of the plot, but I do purchase special editions of books and multiple editions of books based on their cover art. If book covers didn’t matter, publishers wouldn’t put out so many beautiful editions!

This week I’m happy to feature another guest contribution from Zezee! You may recall a while back she sent me pictures of her copy of Lord of the Flies. Now I have the pictures she took of her utterly fabulous and grim edition of Frankenstein! All I’ve done is crop the images.

This is Gris Grimley’s Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus – Assembled From the Original Text by…

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Celebrating Friday 13th with Warren the 13th

What are your Friday 13th plans?

warren-the-13th-and-the-all-seeing-eye-coverIf I’m at home, I usually spend the day watching scary movies and shows until I can’t stand it anymore (meaning by nightfall) and then spend the night scared of my own shadow. But this year on my blog, I’ll celebrate it with Warren the 13th, the hardworking 12-year-old orphan boy in Tania del Rio and Will Staehle’s illustrated book Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye.

Published by Quirk Books, Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye is a fun middle-grade book about Warren’s adventures at his family’s hotel as he searches for the mysterious and magical All-Seeing Eye, while also trying to prevent the hotel from being torn apart by patrons also in search of it, such as his evil Aunt Anaconda.

I read it last year and liked it, but I think it’s one kids will enjoy reading as they try to solve the puzzles embedded in the story. I loved the illustrations the most. Staehle, the creator of Warren the 13th and illustrator of the book, did a superb job. The illustrations are done in black and white with pops of red to highlight certain things in a scene. Here are a few photos I took of the illustrations when I reviewed the book:

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Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to All!!

It’s my favorite holiday of the year: Christmas! 😀

This year, I’m celebrating the holiday on here by featuring this cool illustration that I found on Deviant Art. It was created by Sandara, who does some really cool fantasy pieces (you can see more of her work here).

This one is entitled “Cosfest Christmas.” It seems that she entered it for an art contest. Though it doesn’t say Christmas outright, I think it contains the Christmas spirit: the feeling of unity and sense of enchantment in the air. It also calls to the child within us all, which I think tends to come out when Christmas comes around. Everything is lighter and happier at Christmas. 🙂 Such a wonderful holiday and this illustration does a great job of capturing how I feel about it.

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Sharing My Instagram Pics: The Wonder Exhibit

I planned for this year to be an art-filled one. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been so. I’ve been to no plays or performances and have only visited one art gallery to see one exhibit.

In early May, I visited the Renwick Gallery to see its Wonder exhibit, which runs from November 2015 to July 10 (some of the pieces were removed earlier on May 8.). The gallery reopened last year, after being closed for a while for renovations, and presented a new exhibit featuring brilliant pieces by contemporary artists. The exhibits ranged from those featuring a spectrum of colors to others that presented aspects of nature in unique ways.

Below are photos of a description of the exhibit (which is blurry and probably hard to read), along with the first piece we see, which is a sculpture of a tree — a balsam poplar — that was created by plaster casting the tree. This piece was done by John Grade, who found the balsam poplar in northern Alaska. It’s approximately 150 years old.

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Weekend Reads #32: Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas to all

It’s Christmas again!!! 😀

This year I’m highlighting the holiday with this beautiful piece I found on DeviantArt. It’s called “Christmas” and it was created by Gem (gemlovesyou). On the website, it’s listed under photomanipulation. Isn’t it beautiful?

It doesn’t say Christmas outright, but I think it captures the mystical feeling of the holiday. Just look at those trees with the twinkling lights! They seem so mysterious as they beckon at us to come closer and see what’s hidden in the forest (maybe Santa’s house that the lone reindeer escaped from). I also like that the only pops of color we see are those in the aurora borealis above, which adds to the magical feeling of the picture.

It’s such a beautiful creation. If you like it, you can click on the link on Gem’s name to visit her profile and see more of her work.

I wish you all a wonderful, merry, and magical Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas everyone! 🙂


Oh! And since this is a Weekend Reads post as well, I’ll just quickly say that I doubt I’ll get much reading done this Christmas weekend since I have family visiting. It will be busy, busy.

Anyways, have a happy holiday! 😀

Snowed In with a Red Eye

by Anais St.

Red Eye

Not an actual red eye, just the one I drew above; but I was snowed in. The Maryland/D.C. area was swathed in snow this weekend. I don’t know how much fell but it seemed close to a foot. Granted there are other places further north that has gotten more but for me a foot of snow is enough for me to consider myself snowed in. I hate winter!

After shoveling the driveway thrice between Saturday and Sunday, I sat down to some much needed art therapy. I spent my Sunday afternoon and evening watching art videos on YouTube and drawing the mandala above after watching Tiffany Lovering’s tutorial on drawing a “hypnotic eye” (see video below). It helped soothe my sore muscles for the time though when I got up from my chair my back, side, elbows, and arms began hurting simultaneously. Snow is so heavy!

I tried to follow Lovering’s video as closely as possible but, as you can see, I made a few mistakes in my sphere/hypnotic eye, but I was proud of what resulted from my effort. Since she referred to it as a hypnotic eye, I decided to color it to resemble an eye. And because I was watching Avatar: The Last Airbender while coloring, I decided to make it red and orange—thinking of the fire nation. My original plan was to add several additional circles around this central one, similar to Lovering’s video, but I changed my mind and thought it best to simply add the two triangles of lines to hint at the small space around the eyeball. I guess the finished product is an abstract eye.

Hope you like it and visit Lovering’s YouTube channel for additional videos.