Enter & Win a Starbucks Ampersand Valentines Mug!

2013 Collector Starbucks MugENTER & WIN this collectible Starbucks Ampersand Valentines Mug!
It’s already filled with a hot decaf triple five-pump vanilla non-fat no foam whipped cream extra caramel machiatto—or whatever you want to order with the enclosed Gift Card. 

 

TrophyENTER & SPREAD THE LOVE!
Your Entries
0
Total Entries
50
Days Left
8
NAME FIELDS If the fields are not labeled below (an IE issue, of course) use this guide: LEFT: first name  -  RIGHT: last name (optional) - FULL WIDTH CENTER: your email
remaining

3 WINNERS!
CONTEST ENDS FEB. 5, 2015
FULL DETAILS HERE

CONTINUE & COMMENT...

Seek & Find – A Resolution & Solution for the New Year

Seek & Find what you need in 2015

 


#77 Seek & Find
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Someone dear & close to me inspired the title Seek & Find for this New Year’s AmperArt.

2014 was a tough year for many of us. Loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of property.

I was even at a loss of how to turn the numerals 2-0-1-5 into an ampersand, a tradition for every New Year’s AmperArt rendering so far. Absolutely nothing came to mind, so I simply decided to skip this year’s endeavor & issue a non-new-year piece instead.

But then I got some shocking news. A very close, very dear person in my life–I’ll call him Mr. A–someone who has intelligence & wisdom & integrity that is unsurpassed–was laid off earlier this year. He has tried relentlessly to find another job, & is now even surviving on peanut butter & jelly sandwiches; in fact, now just peanut butter since he ran out of jelly. This is someone who is responsible about time and money, and who is not lazy about sending out resumes. And he will even settle for work that is below his multiple degree level. Still, no nibbles. My heart goes out to Mr. A,  a person deserving of so much. Yet his humility, perseverence and strong faith keeps him going, seeking work until he finds something.

“The New Year, Twenty-Fifteen, will bring a change; it has to.” I didn’t say that; Mr. A did. Right then I told him he inspired me to design a 2015 New Year’s AmperArt afterall, no matter how hard I had to seek & find something relevant & maybe even clever.

The words were right in front of me: seek employment, find a job. Seek & find. Or as the bible says,

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you…”

—Matthew 7:7 (King James Version)

To my dear Mr. A, may you seek & find the position that fulfills not only your financial needs but also your passion for creative problem-solving & rewarding work.

To my family & friends & readers, may you seek & find success & prosperity in 2015. May you seek & find health & happiness. May you seek & find joy & wonder.

For those of you in a position like Mr. A, may you seek & find your dream job early in the coming year.

& to all ampersand fans, I hope you seek & find the perfect ampersand in 2015.


 chaz sez ...

The font for Seek & Find was chosen for its classic proportions & round elements to complement the style of the numerals & ampersand. Obviously, a designer does not choose a typestyle based on its name, but after Seek & Find was finished I realized I coincidentally did seek & find an appropriately-named font for the new year: Futura.

For those of you who can’t find the ampersand in this edition, just seek & find a little further: it’s the “plus” sign inside the zero. (That big round circle is a zero, you know. It’s part of the abstract “2015” that makes this a new year’s piece just for this new year.) The “plus” sign is “shorthand” for the ampersand (which is shorthand for “et” or “and”). You can see how that works here:

ampsnd-to-plus

Seek & find more interesting facts about the ampersand here.


Production notes for #77 Seek & Find:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Program: Illustrator
Font: Futura
Ampersand & numerals: drawn in Illustrator by Chaz DeSimone
Reference:
Phrases: The Phrase Finder—phrases.org.uk

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone Design

CONTINUE & COMMENT...

Corn Cob Pipe & Button Nose & –do you remember the lyrics?

corn cob pipe & button nose

 


#76 Corn Cob Pipe & Button Nose
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

…& two eyes made out of coal.

Merry Christmas!
Happy Hanukkah!
Happy Kwanzaa!
and for a few dear friends of mine…
Bah Humbug!


Frosty the Snowman

“a corn cob pipe & a button nose & two eyes made out of coal”

I chose this frigid but fun little guy to wish all my AmperArt friends a Happy Holiday Season. I don’t think Frosty has any religious preference—well, maybe he worships the Ice Man.

For this AmperArt piece I couldn’t quite remember the lyrics—I just recalled “a corn cob pipe & a button nose & something something something”—so I pulled up the animated short that I’ve always heard about but never seen: Frosty the Snowman by Bass/Raskin Productions (1969). I was delighted to hear one of my favorite voices narrating the story—Jimmy Durante. (Paul Frees, the voice of Disney’s Haunted Mansion Ghost Host, Ludwig Von Drake, and Boris Badenov of Rocky & Bullwinkle, is featured as Santa Claus himself.)

Here are the full lyrics:

Frosty the Snowman
Written by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson
Originally sung by Gene Autry & The Cass County Boys
Released December 14, 1950

Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul
With a corncob pipe & a button nose
& two eyes made out of coal
Frosty the snowman is a fairytale they say
He was made of snow but the children
know how he came to life one day
There must have been some magic in that
old silk hat they found
For when they placed it on his head
he began to dance around

Oh
Frosty the snowman
was alive as he could be
& the children say he could laugh
& play just the same as you& me
Thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Look at Frosty go
Thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Over the hills of snow

Frosty the snowman knew
the sun was hot that day
So he said
Let’s run &
we’ll have some fun
now before I melt away
Down to the village
with a broomstick in his hand
Running here & there all
around the square saying
Catch me if you can
He led them down the streets of town
right to the traffic cop
& he only paused a moment when
he heard him holler “Stop!”
For Frosty the snow man
had to hurry on his way
But he waved goodbye saying
Don’t you cry
I’ll be back again some day
thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Look at Frosty go
thumpity thump thump
thumpity thump thump
Over the hills of snow

If you want to watch the 1969 animated short, click on Frosty’s hat:

tophat

I wish all of you, my loyal subscribers, visitors, and ampersand fans around the world, a warm and wonderful holiday season…except for Frosty—a jolly freezing cold one for him & his corn cob pipe & button nose.


Production notes for Corn Cob Pipe & Button Nose:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Program: Illustrator
Font: KB The End Is Broken
Ampersand: the finest wool, of course
Images for Corn Cob Pipe & Button Nose:
Snowflake background: psdgraphics.com (hundreds of free hi-rez images)
Top hat: clipartbest.com

CONTINUE & COMMENT...

Family & Friends & Ampersands…our greatest holiday gifts

Family & Friends includes my cats!


#75 Family & Friends
Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

First, to my own family & friends:

I love you, I appreciate you, I respect you,
I enjoy you, I thank you.
But most of all, I love you.


About this edition

I got the idea for AmperArt #75, Family & Friends, featuring our friend the fun & fabulous ampersand, about a month ago, after a friend & a family member came to my rescue. More on that later. (Thanks, Joe. Thanks, Roz.) 

Family & Friends is a very special AmperArt title to me & hopefully to you. I went through several iterations to bring you a meaningful, elegant piece that you might want to send to others with your own sentiments, or frame for your family room (or Family & Friends Room) wall. It was issued for Thanksgiving 2014, but let’s face it, Family & Friends are timeless.

First, you’ll meet my own family & friends (including my pets, of course). I am blessed with a loving family &  friends that are the very best. That includes you, too, my awesome readers & subscribers—you’re my AmperArt family!

Then, you’ll see how the Family & Friends edition was created. In response to several requests from subscribers who want to see how I create AmperArt, or how I even choose a topic, I’ve explained the process in the next section. (This particular Family & Friends piece posed several challenges even though the design is quite simple. It’s a perfect example of why each AmperArt piece can take 20 hours or more.)


My own family & friends

I am blessed with a wonderful family:

Mom & Dad (both gone but always in my heart)—both of my parents are the definition of integrity.

My sister Roslyn & my brothers Andy & Robyou are the epitome of love, friendship, honesty and generosity. You’ve always been there when your eccentric black sheep of a brother needed a helping hand or a hand-out. Thank you.

Mary Ann, you helped me get my very first van so I could start my business. You took care of us kids when Mom nearly died. And today you comment on every one of my AmperArt pieces. You’re very special to me…cuz you’re my favorite cuz.

My friends are so plentiful there probably aren’t enough gigabytes on the server to list them all, so I’ll mention the oldest and dearest, in the order they came into my life: Gary R, Gary S, Joe R (we’re talking elementary and junior high on those three), Lande WGregg & Jill, Mardy D, Deborah T, Lisa S (& later Sean), Jim B (if it weren’t for him I’d still be designing with a T-square), Mark H (& later Crystal), Pat B, Tara K, Marty K, Sandy J, Denis W, Jeanette F. Those who have departed, whom I miss dearly: Gilbert (the one & only!), Joe F, Preston H.

My furry family: Tiger, Bulldog, Donald (yes, a duck), Woofer (my very best friend for sixteen years), Briquette, Amos & Andy…and my current awesome creatures, Jeepers & Bebe.

I feel like I’m at the podium for the Oscars! Well, you see, that’s what my family & friends do for me.

Now back to what inspired this piece: Last month I had a serious circumstance, and between my best friend Joe Rinaudo and my best sister Roslyn (she’d be my best sister, I’m sure, if I had a dozen but she too is the one & only) they did something for me as a complete surprise, saving me from being homeless for the second time in my life. Immediately I thought of combining “Family & Friends” into one piece of art—to me they are often one and the same. My brothers & many friends & even a few clients have also helped me in need—tremendously. If I didn’t have to get this sent out right now I’d tell you about those Family & Friends experiences, too. Instead, I’ll come up with some new ideas to illustrate those episodes in future editions.


How this project began…and wouldn’t end

This Family & Friends piece encountered so many obstacles and morphed through so many changes I figured it’s the perfect example to explain how I create my AmperArt pieces. (more…)

CONTINUE & COMMENT...

#60 Precious & Adorable

C'mon, look at the camera!


Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

I had been wanting to feature animals, specifically pets, in an AmperArt piece for a long time.
A special event inspired me to create what you see here.

A birthday party to help homeless animals

In Augsm_arvee_robinson_1ust I was invited to a “milestone” birthday party for my friend and professional speaking coach Arvee Robinson (that’s her, the pretty lady in the picture).

Arvee always does things with pizazz, flair and the most upbeat attitude. But what she did for her birthday took me by surprise, and really warmed my heart. Besides a grand party with fabulous food, dancing, and a magic show, Arvee themed it with dogs and cats to double as a fundraiser for H.O.P.E., a rescue and rehab for homeless animals. (More about H.O.P.E in a moment.) Arvee even had “doggie bags” which were full of swag for our pets. And she helped me select the breeds for this AmperArt piece–she once had a siamese and a pug.

Arvee Robinson is also the founder of the Christian Women Speakers Movement, where her goal is to help other speakers overcome the fear of “bringing God to more stages.” She asks,

“Are you afraid you might be unpopular if you bring God to the secular stage?” 

She once was, she says. Read about this special group at christianwomenspeakersmovement.com.


 Helping Our Pets Everyday

HOPEcalendarAt Arvee’s birthday party I had the honor of meeting Margaret Coffman, the founder of H.O.P.E.–Helping Our Pets Everyday. Isn’t that a wonderful phrase? I told her I would definitely spread the word about her very special foundation, where Margaret and volunteers have compassionately saved hundreds of precious animals from abandonment, starvation and death. She has cared for animals her entire life.

Please visit www.helpingoutpetseveryday.com to adopt, volunteer, donate, or just be charmed! Their 2015 calendar is available, shown in the picture.


Big pets, too

Just look at these amazing photos. Who says we can’t all get along? These pictures are on Ron Levy’s Inner Alignment Method website, where Ron shows how you can discover your life’s magnificence. I urge you to read about Ron’s enlightening exploration of life for over 50 years, in his blog.


 

Production notes:
Original size: 10×15 inches
Program: Photoshop
Fonts: Minion, Futura
Ampersand: Futura (modified)
Images:
Siamese: Bonzami Emmanuelle / 123rf.com
Pug: Copyright: Kitch Bain / 123rf.com

CONTINUE & COMMENT...