#69 Stuffed & Dressed

Happy Thanksgiving!


#69 Stuffed & Dressed
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.

Pos­ing for Amper­Art #69 Stuffed & Dressed, Thomas T. Turkey stuffed him­self into his finest tux & got all dressed up for Thanks­giv­ing dinner. 

Is that an amper­tiz­er he’s offer­ing you?


Colorful Thanksgiving Dinner Placeholders

Thanksgiving Placeholder

Here are your place­hold­ers with this year’s Amper­Art #69 Stuffed & Dressed art­work. Col­or­ful and humor­ous — the kids will espe­cial­ly enjoy these. Click here or on the image to down­load the place­hold­ers art­work, which you can print on stan­dard size paper. Full instruc­tions included.


Stuffing or Dressing?

While delib­er­at­ing on the title for this piece, I won­dered what the dif­fer­ence was between stuffed & dressed, or actu­al­ly stuff­ing & dress­ing. Inter­est­ing­ly, it’s the same stuff (no pun intend­ed) but called one or the oth­er name in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try. Also, stuff­ing is usu­al­ly cooked inside the turkey, while dress­ing is pre­pared sep­a­rate­ly. Here’s a map show­ing the region­al preferences.

Stuffing vs Dressing regional prefs

There are many tips for cook­ing your Thanks­giv­ing turkey & a great-​sounding recipe for corn­bread stuff­ing & dress­ing at the But­ter­ball web­site. (These links are not spon­sored. I’m just shar­ing what I’ve come across.)

Turkey Trivia Question:

What are those fan­cy lit­tle paper things called that are placed on turkey drum­sticks (& on amper­sands, at least in this mon­th’s Stuffed & Dressed piece)? If you know, write it in the com­ments area. I was always intrigued by them as a kid, as they came in all dif­fer­ent pas­tel col­ors (like pas­tel toi­let paper — remem­ber that?). My mom would put them on leg of lamb (the fan­cy paper things, not the toi­let paper).

Happy Thanksgiving

to you & your fam­i­ly & friends, includ­ing the fur­ry ones. (You will slip them some turkey under the table, won’t you?)


Production notes for #69 Stuffed & Dressed:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Fonts: Parisian, Kalinga
Ampersand: Kalinga
Credits for #69 Stuffed & Dressed:
Turkey: Dream​stime​.com
Patterns: Adobe Illustrator

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#191 Phantoms & Visions

#191 Phantoms & Visions

Happy Halloween!

…from my two Hal­loween cats (strays that came to me just a month ago): Jet Black & Inky Dinky Doo.

Jet Black, 10 months old (sweet & affectionate)
Inky Dinky Doo, 8 weeks old (a mini monster)


Production notes for #191 Phantoms & Visions:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Parchment
Ampersand: Hand-​drawn
Credits:
Background: deposit​pho​tos​.com
Note: &” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster suitable for printing & framing, click on the image.

Chaz DeS­i­mone is the cre­ator of Amper­Art & own­er of Des­i­mone Design. He was adding ser­ifs to let­ters when he was just a lit­tle brat scrib­bling on walls. Now he’s a big brat & his entire career is design for clients who desire the most sophis­ti­cat­ed, log­i­cal, cap­ti­vat­ing cre­ative. Con­tact him at chaz@​desimonedesign.​com to dis­cuss your project, pick his brain, or just talk shop.


Chaz sez...

A global solution for peace

Wouldn’t it be great if countries could simply kiss & make up?
This is just one of my opinions on the chaz sez blog.
Rants & raves mostly about design, sometimes about the universe.
An occasional bit of useful advice.
Read the blog:

des​i​monedesign​.com/​c​h​a​z​-​sez
Desimone Design
Desimone Design

#164 Sleek & Sinuous

for National Black Cat Day

& of course Halloween

#164 Sleek & Sinuous
Click image to view full size or download poster for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished Octo­ber 2021 for Nation­al Black Cat Day

October 27 is National Black Cat Day

This year’s National Black Cat Day is very special to me. 

I’ve had black cats for the past 45 years, start­ing with a kit­ten who I named Black­wolf, my best bud­dy for 16 years. There were also Amos & Andy (broth­ers), Bri­quette (tiny, light as a piece of char­coal), and anoth­er kit­ten, Jeep­ers Creep­ers, who I lost last year at the age of 11. 

Since then there have been sev­er­al strays of var­i­ous col­ors — Lil Lion, Mr. Gray & Chirpy (who chirped rather than meowed, very cute). Lil Lion died of leukemia (what a heart­break that was), the dis­tin­guished Mr. Gray tuxe­do dis­ap­peared in the recent storms, and Chirpy shows up every once in awhile for a good meal. Just a cou­ple months ago a beau­ti­ful black cat — sleek & sin­u­ous & very affec­tion­ate — start­ed com­ing around for food. I learned she was left in a cage for five days because her human par­ent had an acci­dent and is still in the hos­pi­tal. He was a near­by neigh­bor. I took Jet in (that was her name, but I call her Jet Black) & she knew this was her new home. It’s uncer­tain if her for­mer par­ent will pull through; if he does he can take her back or we can share her, or most like­ly this will be her for­ev­er home…so I thought.

Two weeks ago anoth­er neigh­bor knocked on my door and hand­ed me a tiny black kit­ten, only 5 or 6 weeks old. I had no idea what to do with him; I was unpre­pared for a kit­ten. I have one senior cat (not black) who hiss­es at all oth­er felines. For­tu­nate­ly she has wel­comed this lit­tle one and they even sleep togeth­er, when the kit­ten isn’t sleep­ing with me, cud­dled up next to my face. 

I was­n’t sure if I’d ever have anoth­er black cat, let alone a kit­ten. Now I have two black cats…sort of. Jet does­n’t stick around much any­more except to eat and get a good pet­ting and cud­dling, then takes off. She might be put off by the kit­ten, although they have been play­ing togeth­er late­ly. (Jet is still under a year old, a kit­ten herself.)

I have want­ed to name a black cat some­thing very spe­cial, after the sig­na­ture song of one of my favorite per­form­ers, Jim­my Durante. His song is Inka Din­ka Doo, and you can lis­ten to it below. 

I named the mini mon­ster — he is a kit­ten, after all — Inky (he’s black) Dinky (so tiny) Doo & sing it to him all the time. 

The last two lines of my ver­sion goes like this, and he purrs when I sing it:

Ink a dink a dink, a dink a dink, a dink a doo
Ink a dink — I think, I love you

Here’s Jet Black & Inky Dinky Doo, already dressed for Halloween:

Jet Black
Inky Dinky Doo

About National Black Cat Day

Nation­al Black Cat Day was cre­at­ed by Cats Pro­tec­tion on Octo­ber 27th 2011. When the cam­paign was launched, sta­tis­tics revealed that black and black-​and-​white cats took, on aver­age, sev­en days longer to find a home com­pared to cats of oth­er colors.

Thou­sands of peo­ple backed the UK’s first-​ever Black Cat Aware­ness Day – as it was known then – on Octo­ber 27th, which drew atten­tion to the hun­dreds of home­less black cats in Cats Protection’s care and the appar­ent reluc­tance of peo­ple to adopt them.

In most West­ern cul­tures, black cats have typ­i­cal­ly been looked upon as a sym­bol of evil omens, specif­i­cal­ly being sus­pect­ed of being the famil­iars of witch­es, or actu­al­ly shape-​shifting witch­es themselves.

Most of Europe con­sid­ers the black cat a sym­bol of bad luck, par­tic­u­lar­ly if one walks across the path in front of a per­son, which is believed to be an omen of mis­for­tune and death. In Ger­many, some believe that black cats cross­ing a per­son­’s path from right to left, is a bad omen, but from left to right, the cat will bring good luck.

thereisa​day​forthat​.com

October is Black Cat Awareness Month

A whole host of super­sti­tions sur­round­ing the feline with sable fur have been devel­oped over time, and the one stat­ing that your luck is going to have a down­ward turn if you have one walk in front of you is the most prevalent.

This should serve as a reminder, how­ev­er, that it’s prob­a­bly more like­ly that Grou­cho Marx knows what he is talk­ing about. In truth, all it real­ly means when a black cat walks in front of you is that the ani­mal is clear­ly going some­where. In this case, per­haps it should either be pet, be giv­en treats, or left well enough alone. None of these choic­es is going to have an effect on your luck, one way or another. 

But that’s just one mes­sage being tout­ed by Inter­na­tion­al Black Cat Aware­ness Month! The month of Octo­ber – all thirty-​one days of it – is all about being aware of those inter­est­ing crea­tures, the black cats.

History of International Black Cat Awareness Month

The super­sti­tion about black cats being bad luck is believed to have start­ed some­time around the Mid­dle Ages in Europe through folk­lore. Some peo­ple think black cats are a sign of death, oth­ers believe that they are witch­es in dis­guise. An asso­ci­a­tion with the col­or black prob­a­bly comes from the same ideas that relate black crows and ravens with things of the darkness.

The cre­ation of Inter­na­tion­al Black Cat Aware­ness Month came about after its cre­ator, Lay­la Mor­gan Wilde, noticed that while there are two days ded­i­cat­ed to black cats in the world (one in the UK, one in the US) there wasn’t any­thing ded­i­cat­ed to them on a nation­al level.

Wilde real­ized that such an obser­va­tion was des­per­ate­ly need­ed. This was because super­sti­tions sur­round­ing black cats had got­ten so out of con­trol that shel­ters wouldn’t even adopt them out dur­ing Octo­ber any longer! Too often the cats were being adopt­ed as part of the Hal­loween hol­i­day mys­tique, and would lat­er be aban­doned (or worse) after the hol­i­day passed. So Wilde want­ed to do some­thing about it.

Through­out the rest of the year, it can often be more dif­fi­cult to get black cats to be adopt­ed. How much more dif­fi­cult? Black cats are adopt­ed at a rate 50% low­er than any oth­er col­or of cat, which is very dif­fi­cult for a cat lover of any sort to under­stand at all. A sable furred cat is per­haps one of the most beau­ti­ful ani­mals to walk the earth!

So the month of Octo­ber has been des­ig­nat­ed as the time to pay heed to black cats with the aim of giv­ing a lov­ing home to those that need them.

How To Celebrate International Black Cat Awareness Month

Con­sid­er these ideas for cel­e­brat­ing Black Cat Aware­ness Month on your own or with a group of cat lovers:

Dispel Myths About Black Cats

The first and best way is to do your part in dis­pelling the myths sur­round­ing black cats and their sup­posed luck-​altering abil­i­ties. In fact, one inter­est­ing tid­bit to share is that in ancient Egypt­ian times, black cats were often viewed as divine crea­tures in whom the gods lived. At one point, the Irish believed that find­ing a black cat on the porch was good luck, and the Japan­ese also tend to hold black cats in high esteem – as sym­bols of prosperity!

But, real­ly, any cat lover knows that black cats are not witch­es in dis­guise or evil in any way. In fact, they’re absolute­ly no dif­fer­ent than any oth­er col­or cat. They’re adorable, lov­able crea­tures that need love and atten­tion from kind humans!

Adopt a Black Kitten from a Shelter

For those who are think­ing of going to a shel­ter to adopt a kit­ten, con­sid­er adopt­ing a black kit­ten to ensure they find their way into a good home. And if it’s a black kit­ten with spe­cial needs, it’s even that much bet­ter! (Spe­cial needs cats get adopt­ed at rates below that of even healthy black kit­tens, so spe­cial needs black kit­tens are espe­cial­ly in need of love!) 

Bring­ing the love of a new black furba­by in your life, or help­ing anoth­er one get adopt­ed, is the best cel­e­bra­tion they could hope for dur­ing Black Cat Aware­ness Month.

Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

Not just for this month but for all the year-​round, get start­ed vol­un­teer­ing to help out at a local ani­mal shel­ter. Many shel­ters take in cats and dogs and need help with clean­ing cages, tak­ing care of the ani­mals, and giv­ing them the love and atten­tion they so deserve. 

They might also need office staff or help with arrang­ing to adopt out the ani­mals to new homes. Check with a local pet shel­ter to see what kind of vol­un­teer help they might need.

Raise Awareness for Black Cat Awareness Month

Share the plight of black cats with friends and fam­i­ly mem­bers who might be inter­est­ed in adopt­ing a black cat or kit­ten of their own. In fact, one of the rea­sons that many peo­ple like to adopt black cats is the fact that black cat shed­ding is less obvi­ous than cat hair of oth­er col­ors. Plus, it’s a great way to be sure that black cats are kept safe dur­ing the Hal­loween season!

Get excit­ed about Black Cat Aware­ness Month and help out these crea­tures that are oth­er­wise help­less – but com­plete­ly loveable!

daysoft​heyear​.com

Other days of celebration for the sleek & sinuous black cat (& fluffy fat black cats too) are:

Black Cat Appre­ci­a­tion Day August 17

All cats are celebrated on these days:

Hug Your Cat Day June 4
Glob­al Cat Day Octo­ber 16
Nation­al Cat Day Octo­ber 29
Cat Herders Day Decem­ber 15

And if you love big cats:

World Lion Day August 10


RIP BLACKWOLF, AMOS & ANDY, BRIQUETTE, JEEPERS CREEPERS, & ALL MY FRIENDS& NEIGHBORSBLACK CATS WHO WILL BE CELEBRATING NATIONAL BLACK CAT DAY IN HALLOWEEN HEAVEN


Production notes for #164 Sleek & Sinuous:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Photoshop
Font: none; Maryam
Ampersand: cat just showing off his awesome tail
References & images:
Illustration: deslns, deposit​pho​tos​.com (modified by Chaz DeSimone)
Text credits as noted
Note: &” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster suitable for printing & framing, click on the image.

Visit DesimoneDesign.com

Chaz DeS­i­mone is the cre­ator of Amper­Art and own­er of Des­i­mone Design. He was adding ser­ifs to let­ters when he was just a lit­tle brat scrib­bling on walls. Now he’s a big brat and his entire career is design, so long as each project requires the most sophis­ti­cat­ed, log­i­cal, cap­ti­vat­ing results. Con­tact him at chaz@​desimonedesign.​com to dis­cuss your project, pick his brain, or just talk shop.


Chaz sez...

Who banned the ampersand?

Whoever thought up the syntax for Universal Resource Locators (URLs) was 100% coder & 0% copywriter. No foresight whatsoever! We can’t even use common punctuation in a URL except for the hyphen & underscore. It sure makes my AmperArt URLs ugly and hard to understand. 
This is just one of the rants on my blog, chaz sez.
Rants & raves mostly about design, sometimes about the universe.
An occasional bit of useful advice.
Read the blog:
des​i​monedesign​.com/​c​h​a​z​-​sez
Desimone Design
Desimone Design

#180 Yo Ho Ho & a Bottle of Rum


Arrrr!

Amper­Art #180 was inspired by Inter­na­tion­al Talk Like a Pirate Day, cel­e­brat­ed Sept. 19 of every year since 2002. Scroll way down to read about the founders & their web­site, start­ing with their video on how to talk like a pirate. (Not the video direct­ly below — that’s about the song that this Amper­Art piece be titled.)


AmperArrrr #180

Yo Ho Ho & a Bottle of Rum (aka Dead Man’s Chest)

Each sailor was giv­en a cut­lass & a bot­tle of rum. Teach’s hope was that the pirates would kill each oth­er, but when he returned after a month he found 15 men had sur­vived. This would explain the lyrics in the very first stan­za & through­out the song:

Fif­teen men on the dead man’s chest—
…Yo-​ho-​ho, & a bot­tle of rum!

Background

Robert Lewis Steven­son, author of Trea­sure Island (1883), found the name “Dead Man’s Chest” [the actu­al name of the song, aka “Fif­teen Men on the Dead Man’s Chest&Yo, Ho, Ho (And a Bot­tle of Rum)”] among a list of Vir­gin Island names in a book by Charles Kings­ley. As Steven­son once said, “Trea­sure Island came out of Kings­ley’s At Last: A Christ­mas in the West Indies (1871); where I got the ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ — that was the seed.”Wikipedia

Original song

In Trea­sure Island, Steven­son only wrote the cho­rus, leav­ing the remain­der of the song unwrit­ten, & to the read­er’s imag­i­na­tion. It was expand­ed in a poem, titled “Derelict” by Young E. Alli­son, pub­lished in the Louisville Courier-​Journal in 1891.

Fif­teen men on the dead man’s chest—
…Yo-​ho-​ho, & a bot­tle of rum!
Drink & the dev­il had done for the rest—
…Yo-​ho-​ho, & a bot­tle of rum!

Anoth­er lyric in the nov­el, near its end:

But one man of her crew alive,
What put to sea with seventy-five.

—Wikipedia

Lyrics & performance of the poem “Derelict”

Street​Di​rec​to​ry​.com pro­vides the pop­u­lar full lyrics ver­sion, from the poem based on “Dead Man’s Chest” & titled “Derelict” by Young Ewing Alli­son for this song with a live per­for­mance by the Ram­bling Sailors.

AllPo​et​ry​.com shows prob­a­bly the most accu­rate typo­graph­ic treat­ment for the poem “Derelict.” It is a beau­ti­ful web­site of poet­ry, about poet­ry & for poets.


Blackbeard & Female Pirates

Hol​i​daysCal​en​dar​.com offers these bits of his­to­ry about pirates:

  • Blackbeard’s name was Edward Teach, some­times spelled Edward Thatch.
  • Black­beard would weave hemp into his beard & set it on fire before he cap­tured a ship. That must’ve been a ter­ri­fy­ing sight indeed!
  • Some famous female pirates include Anne Bon­ny, Ching Shih, & Mary Read.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19

Cap’n Slap­py & Ol’ Chum­buck­et dis­cuss the impor­tance of find­ing yer inner pirate:

Plun­der the seas & sail over to the offi­cial Talk Like a Pirate Day web­site. “How it all start­ed” is a fun sto­ry, way back in 1995 while play­ing rac­quet­ball. As be told, who­ev­er let out the first “Arrr!” start­ed some­thing. One thing led to anoth­er & it became a nation­al hol­i­day in 2002. For their 20th anniver­sary, the par­ty was live-​streamed Sep­tem­ber 19, 2022 on Face­book from Kells Brew­ery in Port­land, Ore­gon. [I tuned in and enjoyed the whole swash­buck­lin’ par­ty. The musi­cians were fan­tas­tic & there was even a real danc­ing par­rot on a wench’s shoul­der. —Chaz]


Pirate Terms & Phrases

This page at Your​Dic​tionary​.com pro­vides a boat­load of pirate greet­ings, excla­ma­tions, insults, threats, & slang so you don’t have to go around say­ing “Aar­rr!” to all your mates on Talk Like a Pirate Day.


How to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day besides walking the plank

Nation​al​Day​Cal​en​dar​.com offers unique ways to enjoy Talk Like a Pirate Day:

✠ While order­ing your cof­fee in the drive-​thru, ask if they have change for gold bul­lion. Try test­ing your pirate lan­guage out at the library when ask­ing for the loca­tion of Moby Dick. The pirate lan­guage always fairs well in rough seas. Set­tle a debate with “I’m right or I’ll walk the plank!”

✠ When the boss gives you a new project, “Aye, aye, Capt’n,” is the cor­rect response. How­ev­er, beware call­ing the boss any frothy names. The goal of the day is not to lose your job.

✠ To pol­ish your per­sona, prac­tice a swag­ger, limp or squint. Long days at sea give pirates unique qualities.



Concept & design

I’ve nev­er been good at imi­tat­ing dialects, so I’m not one to talk like a pirate (although I’ve been told I cuss & swear like one). Among my hearties is Mardy DeSan­to, who invit­ed me to an elab­o­rate pirate par­ty sev­er­al years ago, & it was a swash­buck­ling fun time. Mardy added to the atmos­phere, as he does incred­i­ble imper­son­ations, includ­ing authen­tic pirate speak just like an old salt on the sea. Ever since then I’ve enjoyed pirate sto­ries, scenery, & “pirates” them­selves (I have a few friends who real­ly do think they were pirates in anoth­er life­time). So thanks, Mardy, for intro­duc­ing me to the skull­dug­gery of those who swag­ger & shout “yo ho ho & a bot­tle of rum.”

The design for this issue is all clip-​art, pieced togeth­er & mod­i­fied to get an amper­sand into it. That’s fun, “franken­stein­ing” a design, rather than always cre­at­ing from scratch. I was very pleased to find a care­free style of illus­tra­tion & a font to match. (I altered the type, though. Note there are no two let­ters that match exact­ly. If a type­style is to look like hand-​lettering, it’s a good idea to mod­i­fy every repeat­ing let­ter so that it’s just a lit­tle dif­fer­ent than the oth­ers.) I found this excel­lent, styl­ish vec­tor art at Deposit​Pho​tos​.com.

Yo ho ho — this one’s done, so I think me deserves a bot­tle of rum…or maybe just a shot. Or bet­ter yet, just a healthy pro­tein drink.


Production notes for #180 Yo Ho Ho & a Bottle of Rum:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Professor Minty (with alternates), some glyphs modified
Ampersand: hand-​bump only, please
Credits:
Illustrations: deposit​pho​tos​.com (modifed)
Amperskull & Crossbones flag: Chaz DeSimone (typestyle Benguiat Charisma)
Inspiration & most of the text:
Mardy DeSanto, for inviting me to a swashbuckling pirate party
talk​likeapi​rate​.com—founders of Talk Like a Pirate Day
nation​al​day​cal​en​dar​.com
Hol​i​daysCal​en​dar​.com
Your​Dic​tionary​.com
AllPo​et​ry​.com

Note: &” replaces “and” in most or all text, including quotations, headlines & titles.
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster suitable for printing & framing, click on the image.

Chaz DeS­i­mone is the cre­ator of Amper­Art & own­er of Des­i­mone Design. He was adding ser­ifs to let­ters when he was just a lit­tle brat scrib­bling on walls. Now he’s a big brat & his entire career is design for clients who desire the most sophis­ti­cat­ed, log­i­cal, cap­ti­vat­ing cre­ative. Con­tact him at chaz@​desimonedesign.​com to dis­cuss your project, pick his brain, or just talk shop.


Chaz sez...

Aarrr!

Wouldn’t it be intriguing to see today’s wars being fought with ships & pirates rather than missiles & tanks? Better yet, forget fighting and just enjoy the rum.
This is just one of my opinions on the chaz sez blog.
Rants & raves mostly about design, sometimes about the universe.
An occasional bit of useful advice.
Read the blog:

des​i​monedesign​.com/​c​h​a​z​-​sez
Desimone Design
Desimone Design