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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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ornaments and books

Boxing day

It's past Christmas, but I still love sitting on the living room couch and looking at our decorated tree with its coloured lights...and ornaments from friends and family. I know some people like trees whose ornaments all match the decor of the room, but I prefer ornaments with unique origins. Most of the ornaments on our tree are from trips Jeff and I have taken, or gifts from friends and family. I love ornaments with a story.

I've already mentioned a few. Here are some more ornaments we've added to our tree this past holiday:

Christmas mooseFrom Allison. A Canadian moose bundled up for warmth. :-)
Christmas ornamentFrom Jodi. The ornament came in a cute little keepsake box.
Music snowflake ornamentFrom "Lord Korak" and family. Do click on the photo to see the gorgeous detail on this ornament, which consists of musical symbols.
Christmas angelFrom Luisa. The ornament was handmade by her mother.

Our tree is completely dead, by the way. Jeff and I forgot to keep it watered after we brought it home, and now the slightest touch sends needles dropping like the one in A Charlie Brown Christmas. If we had pets, we'd be doomed. Fortunately the tree is in a low-traffic area, so it hasn't been completely de-needled. Yet.

Jeff and I have had a good week so far. Jeff took the week off, and both of us have been spending time seeing friends; Jeff has been gaming as well. Yesterday we visited Parki, and then we browsed Chapters-Indigo near Bay and Bloor.

My father-in-law gave me a Chapters-Indigo gift certificate for Christmas. Here's what I bought:

What I bought at Chapters-Indigo

For Better Or Worse 2006 desk calendar: I was enjoying the 2005 BOW calendar this past year so decided to continue the tradition. Especially since calendars were 50% off!

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner: Newbery Honor book for young people. The back blurb sounded interesting and I liked the writing style in the first few pages, so I bought it.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini: Another book for young people which made many bestseller lists (New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Wall Street Journal); I've been curious about it. First in a series; the second is out in hardcover.

Webcomics: Tools and Techniques for Digital Cartooning by Steven Withrow and John Barber: A book about online comics. I'm about halfway through already and am not only finding it fascinating reading, but full of useful tips I can use for my own online comics.

One of the things I like about Webcomics is that it interviews online comic artists to find out more their creative process, from idea brainstorming to the final strip. A number of them named James Kochalka as one of their influences. James Kochalka, for those who didn't know, is the composer of the Hockey Monkey song, a fun tune that Urban Tapestry learned from Ookla The Mok. Dandelion Wine performs it now as well. He's also the creator of American Elf, an online comic hosted by WebcomicsNation. I notice that there are also MP3s available on his site, but you need to pay to access them.

The Hockey Monkey Song can be found on Kochalka's "Monkey vs Robot" CD, and you can hear samples here as well as iTunes.

Dec/2005 comments:
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