#86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog & Tail of Ampersand

Happy Halloween

 #86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog
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So, what’s for dinner?

Eye of newt, & toe of frog,
Wool of bat, & tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, & blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, & owlet’s wing,—
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil & bubble.
Double, double toil & trouble;
Fire burn, & caldron bubble.

― William Shakespeare, Macbeth


This line, uttered by the three ugly witches in Macbeth as they stir their boiling cauldron*, is one of the most familiar phrases associated with traditional witchcraft.

Newt?

About that newt—is there such a thing? Were there poor little critters hopping about without eyes?

Actually, all of the ingredients in the witches brew are ancient terms for herbs, flowers and plants. Some say witches gave these items gross & disturbing names to deter other people from practicing witchcraft.

Shopping list

Here’s the modern-day grocery list of what’s really in Shakespeare’s cauldron. You might have to seek out a real specialty shop for some of these items, but they do exist:

  • Eye of newt—mustard seed
  • Toe of frog—buttercup
  • Wool of bat—holly leaves
  • Tongue of dog—houndstongue
  • Adders fork—adders tongue
  • Blind-worm—an actual tiny snake thought to be venomous
  • Tail of ampersand—a curly little friend of ours (You don’t mind, do you, Bill?)

When practicing black magic, mustard seeds (particularly the black seeds) cast a spell of strife, confusion, discord & disruption. Interestingly enough, though, other types of mustard seeds are thought to provide protection against witches. Legend goes that witches are predisposed to counting & picking up things, so if you scatter mustard seeds around your front door, bed & property, the witch will never have time to get to you as she will be busy counting mustard seeds.

It turns out “eye of newt” is simply the seeds for a popular hot dog mustard. However, the classic scene from Macbeth just wouldn’t be the same if his characters spoke of boiling mustard seeds, buttercups & holly leaves.  Adapted from http://people.howstuffworks.com/is-eye-of-newt-real-thing.htm

*Speaking of spell, note the spelling of “caldron” in the work of Shakespeare, in contrast to the American English “cauldron.” Sans-“u” is also common among British. Earlier, however, there was no “l” either: in Middle English literature c. 1250-1300 you’ll read “cauderon.” Basically, it means “warm” from the Late Latin “caldāria.”


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Awaken Past Halloween AmperArt:
Ghosts & Goblins
(2011)
Bats Rats & Black Cats (2012)
Deep Dark & Mysterious (2013)
Creak & Quake (2014)
Creepy & Crawly (2015)

:::::::::::::: OR & TREAT ::::::::::::::


happyoktoberfest500x100(In other words, happy Oktoberfest.)

If you missed AmperArt #88, Brats & Beer, drink up here.

Here’s a fun list of “18 Essential Words for Octoberfest
from the Oxford Dictionaries website.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.


Production notes for #86 Eye of Newt & Toe of Frog:
Original size: 20×30 inches

Program: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Wilhelm Klingspor Gotisch, Park Avenue, Arnold Böcklin
Ampersand: Arnold Böcklin
Images: dreamstime.com (manipulated)
You may repost the image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#95 Apples & Oranges


#95 Apples & Oranges
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.

Although AmperArt #95 is titled Apples & Oranges, it was inspired by an incident I could have called Apples & Peaches. You see, the other day I went to the market for three pounds of peaches. I had purchased just one the day before & it was so sweet I went back to stock up. Okay, I admit it was also the last day of the sale. These delicious peaches were only 69 cents a pound.

I brought my few items — three pounds of peaches & maybe one pound of everything else — up to the checker & she rang me up for $20 & change. Seemed like a lot for just peaches, a head of lettuce & two cans of tuna (cat treats — if I ate that stuff I’d probably be healthy). When I got to the car I realized it was indeed way too much money for those few items. So I checked the receipt & sure enough, she rang up three pounds of organic Fuji apples at 4.75/lb.! There’s a big difference between apples & peaches — just like there’s a tremendous difference between apples & oranges — but not when they look alike, I guess.

95-apples-&-oranges--NOT-CROPPED

Judging from this, she could have rung me up for three pounds of organic heirloom tomatoes on the vine at $7.50/lb.

If you, my regular reader, are wondering if this is the same store that sold me a box of 50 peanut butter cookies that turned out to actually be cinnamon-apple cookies (disgusting!) — and the box was short by three cookies, no less — nope, it was the rival around the corner. Seems like they’re competing for incompetence.

 


chaz sez ...

applebiteThis has been an applicious month. Besides the incident at the store which inspired Apples & Oranges, I created a new business card and related materials for my very good friend, Jim Barrow, who is all about Apple and actually taught me how to plug in my first Mac. He’s been a Mac guru since 1984. His website is even called ihatepc.com!

If you’re in the Los Angeles or outlying area (including Orange) and you need help with Mac installs, training, upgrades, networking or software, Jim’s your guy. Go to ihatepc.com. You’ll love Jim.


Production notes for #95 Apples & Oranges:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Programs: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Apple Garamond, Futura
Ampersand: hand-drawn
Credits for #95 Apples & Oranges:
Peach: imlovingthis.com
Apple: wisegeek.com
Tomato: incredibleseeds.ca

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#58 Up & Running

58-up-&-running500x750i


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.

If you’re reading this…

You can thank a superb web technology expert and all-around great guy I recently met: Steve Wolfson of Mountain Web Development in Ashland, Oregon. Simply put, he got my broken website Up & Running quickly, expertly, and inexpensively. (more…)