Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tom Schamp

Today this card arrived from Belgium from postcrosser Frederique. It shows a lot of tiny vehicles and animals designed by illustrator Tom Schamp. I had never heard of him but possibly seen some of his stuff, he seems to be quite popular in Belgium and other parts of the world. He illustrates magazines and brochures but also a children's books. One can see some of his art on his website and blog:
I especially liked this picture of a clock:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

"News" by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis
sent by Ruta from Lithuania

 Čiurlionis (1875-1911) is a famous Lithuanian artist and composer who combined art and music. He named some of his painting "sonatas" and tried to "draw" landscapes with his musical works. Interesting. You can find some more of his paintings at wikimedia commons.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bubble Tea

This lovely card from a Taiwanese girl arrived today. It's a Korean design called Jetoy, cute stuff.

The card also had a drawing of a special drink: pearl milk tea
I had never heard of it before and it is more commonly known as bubble tea. It's made from strong black or green tea, milk and syrup - and some special "bubbles" that are made from a kind of starch and cooked so they become black and chewy. Apparently it's getting quite popular around Asia and the US. So it's only a matter of time until it gets to Europe.

In Bento Lunch Blog you can read more about it and where you can try it in Germany. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Jethro Tull: Christmas Song

Once in royal David's city stood a lonely cattle shed,
Where a mother held her baby.
You'd do well to remember the things he later said.
When you're stuffing yourselves at the Christmas parties,
You'll just laugh when I tell you to take a running jump.
You're missing the point I'm sure does not need making
That Christmas spirit is not what you drink.

So how can you laugh when your own mother's hungry,
And how can you smile when the reasons for smiling are wrong?
And if I just messed up your thoughtless pleasures,
Remember, if you wish, this is just a Christmas song.

(hey! santa! pass us that bottle, will you? )

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Band Aid: Do They Know It's Christmas

Still amazing: The song, the musicians, the idea.

Band Aid was a British and Irish charity supergroup, founded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia by releasing the record "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market that year. The record was released on November 29, 1984, and went straight to No. 1 in the UK singles chart, outselling all the other records in the chart put together. It became the fastest- selling single of all time in the UK, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It stayed at No. 1 for five weeks, selling over three million copies and becoming easily the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK.

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmas time again

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Chanticleer: Here is the Little Door

One of the most amazing a capella ensembles I know: Chanticleer.

Here is the little door, lift up the latch, oh lift!
We need not wander more but enter with our gift;
Our gift of finest gold,
Gold that was never bought nor sold;
Myrrh to be strewn about his bed;
Incense in clouds about his head;
All for the Child who stirs not in his sleep.
But holy slumber holds with ass and sheep.

Bend low about his bed, for each he has a gift;
See how his eyes awake, lift up your hands, O lift!
For gold, he gives a keen-edged sword
(Defend with it Thy little Lord!),
For incense, smoke of battle red.
Myrrh for the honoured happy dead;
Gifts for his children terrible and sweet,
Touched by such tiny hands and
Oh such tiny feet.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

In the Bleak Midwinter

from the album A Midwinter Night's Dream by the Canadian singer, songwriter, accordionist, harpist, and pianist Loreena McKennitt, 2008

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Monday, December 05, 2011

Sting: Gabriel's Message

If On a Winter's Night is an album by Sting from 2009. Although very calm and unusual in choice of music it was quite successful. "Gabriel's Message" is a Basque Christmas folk carol.

The Angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flames
"Oh hail" has said he to Holy Maiden Mary
Most highly favoured maid

Forknown a blessed mother thou shalt be
For generations loan and honnaly
Thy son shall be Imanuel th'as years forsawt
Most highly favoured maid

The gentle Mary neatly bowed the head
"To me, be as it pleaseth God" she said
"My soul shall whole and magnify this holy maid"
Most highly favoured maid

Of her Imanuel, the Christ was crossed
His Bethlehem all honor Christmas ghost
As everyone through out the world will Heaven save
 Most highly favoured maid

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I wish I had a river

It's coming on Christmas, they're cutting down trees
 They're putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace

Oh I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
I wish I had a river so long
I would teach my feet to fly

Robert Downey Jr. plays Joni Mitchell's 'River' in Ally McBeal's episode (4x6, Tis The Season)
The song from Mitchell's famous album Blue (1971) has been covered by many artists including e.g. Holly Cole, Sarah McLachlan, Indigo Girls and Shawn Colvin. 

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Postcrossing Meeting in Bielefeld

Postcards Exchange
I had the pleasure of meeting some international postcrossers at the second Bielefeld meeting including Paolo, Ana and Vicki from the postcrossing team. It was great talking to them and express some gratitude for their wonderful project that makes my mailbox and me happy on a regular basis.
Some pictures of the meeting can be found in the postcrossing blog:

The Little Mail Carriers at the Bielefeld Meeting! 

Butterfly Boucher: Cinnamon and Chocolate

Lovely Butterfly with one of my favourite Christmas songs so far ever. 

Hush little baby bird
Nest in my arms I'll keep you warm
In the night the stars will watch and guide your spirit
All your dreams will help you fly
Clementines won't pass you by
The faults of years have come and gone and we are alright
We are alright

We still have
Cinnamon and Chocolate
Holly and pine
Hearts will warm when fire's burning
Patience there's time

Hush little baby bird there is hope to spread across all the seasons
Oh the moonlight keeps the secrets
In the still before the dawn
there's a whisper, there's a song
And when mornings comes and night has gone there's joy
There is joy

words and music: Dawson Wells & Butterfly Boucher (2009)

Friday, December 02, 2011

Jethro Tull: Another Christmas Song

Hope everybody's ringing on their own bell, this fine morning
Hope everyone's connected to that long distance phone
Old man, he's a mountain
Old man, he's an island
Old man, he's a-waking - says,
"I'm going to call, call all my children home"

Hope everybody's dancing to their own drum this fine morning -
the beat of distant Africa or a Polish factory town
Old man, he's calling for his supper
he's calling for his whisky
Calling for his sons and daughters, yeah -
calling, calling all his children round

Sharp ears are tuned in to the drones and chanters warming
Mist blowing round some headland, somewhere in your memory
Everyone is from somewhere -
even if you've never been there
So take a minute to remember the part of you
that might be the old man calling me

How many wars you fighting out there, this winter's morning?
Maybe there's always time for another Christmas song
Old man, he's asleep now
Got appointments to keep now
Dreaming of his sons and daughters and proving,
proving that the blood is strong

written by Ian Anderson
performed by Jethro Tull

I couldn't find the original from the album Rock Island (1989), this version is a bit smooth and too peaceful for my taste. It doesn't fit the lyrics as good as the other one. Still (and always) in love with Ian's flute though.  

Thursday, December 01, 2011

We light our lanterns

Some more Katzenjammer!
They are accompanied by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon, performing the title track from the Christmas album "Vi tenner våre lykter" (We light our lanterns). The album is to be sold for the benefit of the Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess funds. The song seems to be a Christmas classic and Katzenjammer appearantly has fun!