Talk of Websites, Weddings, What-not

Alison Morris -- April 15th, 2009

In my first return to ShelfTalker in the role of "guest blogger" I had hoped to tackle the subject of electronic catalogs, in a sort of "counter punch" to Josie’s terrific post this week about the perks of ditching the old paper standbys. I am finding nary enough time this week, though, to wrap my brain around all the complicated nuances of this debate and type them all out for you, SO… I’m going to make you wait a few days more to hear my thoughts on that heady matter, and in the meantime I will entertain you with bits and pieces of other (lighter) things I’ve been stockpiling for guest-posting purposes.

First, I want to call your attention to a pair of fantastic author/illustrator websites I’ve enjoyed exploring of late. The first is the new online home of Catherine and Laurence Anholt, which is chockful of fun goodies, many of them hidden around the site, so I encourage you to poke your mouse into its many nooks and crannies and see what you can find there. Catherine and Laurence ran an actual, physical bookstore for a time called Chimp and Zee, Bookshop by the Sea in Lyme Regis, U.K. that I dearly wish I’d been able to see before they closed its doors. The store now exists in an online form on the couple’s website, which is very handy, of course, but doesn’t allow one to stare in wonder at the shop’s window displays, like the one in the video below, or at its colorful storefront, visible in one of the many great photos of the shop on the ACHUKA Children’s Books site. Be sure to click on them to view them full-size.

The other website I’ve been charmed by of late is that of illustrator Sophie Blackall, whose work I L-O-V-E. It figures that I would, though, given that I also love the quirky list of things she cites as her influences on the bio page of her site:

Oh, where to begin? Japanese woodblocks. Chinese packaging design. Old photographs. Maps. Scientific diagrams. Jellyfish. Moby Dick. Iridescent feathers. Train journeys. Figs. Postage stamps. Foxes and giant anteaters and sea otters and pipe fish. Anatomical drawings. Poems and pieces of string. Clouds and shadows. You know, that sort of thing.

I don’t know when I’ve seen a prettier navigation page, for which credit goes both to Sophie (for the art) and to Catherine Hnatov, who designed the entire site, as well as the websites of Carin Berger and Brett Helquist, which are also delightful.

Sophie also has a blog and (of course!) it’s lovely too. And while poking around on her website I discovered that she’s designed a very fun set of greeting cards you can order and send to your friends AND that (be still my heart) she has a store on Etsy from which you one might purchase an original piece of art if one wasn’t, say, saving money for a forthcoming wedding (damn!).

Speaking of weddings… Many of you, in your comments on my "exit post" or in your personal messages to me, said you hoped I would keep you posted on the plans for Gareth’s and mine. I will. In fact, I promise to one day provide you with a full wedding recap even more spectacular than the one I did for that fabulous To Kill a Mockingbird wedding so many of you enjoyed reading about! For the time being, though, I am keeping relatively mum on the subject, as we haven’t yet sent out our official invitations, and it seems only right that our friends and family know what’s happening before, well… the rest of the whole dang world. I will soonish, though, let you see the design we’ve created for our "Save the Date" cards, because I know that many of you also enjoy it when I share my artsy projects with you. Stay tuned!

Stay tuned also for the promised cereal contest winners post (See? I hadn’t forgotten!) and (GROAN…) a lengthy post in which I bemoan my very conflicted feelings about the rise of electronic catalogs. It’s not half as much fun to write about these "big, important" topics, you know, as it is to introduce you to fun t-shirts, like this one designed by the always entertaining Adam Rex who actually has a whole store of tshirt and posters designs on Zazzle. (Who knew?)

Thanks for giving Elizabeth and Josie such a warm welcome! It’s great fun to peruse what used to be "my" blog and find new and unexpected posts for me to read there. I promise you THAT never happened in the "old days"!

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