#184 Chocolates & Truffles


Chocolates & Truffles

But truf­fles are choco­lates, you say. Right, how­ev­er I’ve titled this “Choco­lates & Truf­fles” for a cou­ple reasons:

First, truf­fles are a unique type of con­fec­tion. Although they are coat­ed with choco­late, they are most­ly known for their ganache fill­ings of caramel, can­died orange peel, hazel­nut, cof­fee, fruits, dates or even more choco­late. Sim­ply put, truf­fles are a kind of choco­late where­as choco­late is a fla­vor of truf­fles. (Here’s anoth­er way to look at it is: a chocolate-​covered ice cream bar is cat­e­go­rized as ice cream, not choco­late candy.)

The oth­er rea­son I named this Amper­Art piece “Choco­lates & Truf­fles” is because my orig­i­nal title was too plain & awk­ward: “Dark & Milk.” When I found the pho­to­graph that includ­ed an assort­ment of both choco­lates & truf­fles, that tast­ed like the sweet spot for the title. (Of course I delib­er­at­ed way too long on “Choco­lates & Truf­fles” vs “Truf­fles & Choco­lates.” I won’t explain my deci­sion process here; the box of can­dy would expire before its “best by” date.)

What is chocolate?

I don’t have to tell you what choco­late is — it’s one of the most pop­u­lar foods on the plan­et. It’s cre­at­ed from the beans of cacao trees. These beans are har­vest­ed into a dark, cream­ing brown mate­r­i­al used for all types of bak­ing & cook­ing. It’s also used to make all your favorite sweet treats such as brown­ies, cakes & can­dy bars.

What are chocolate truffles?

Tak­ing its roots in Europe, choco­late truf­fle is a dessert del­i­ca­cy that has a long & deli­cious his­to­ry. The name comes from a Latin word mean­ing ‘lump’ because of its sim­i­lar­i­ty in appear­ance to truf­fle mush­room, a kind of fun­gus that grows under Hazel, Poplar & Oak trees. Choco­late truf­fles are cre­at­ed using ganache & a type of coat­ing, usu­al­ly some type of con­fec­tion or dark, white or milk choco­late & cocoa pow­der. They’re then tra­di­tion­al­ly rolled into a rus­tic, mis­shapen look to resem­ble the truf­fle mush­room they’re named after. They often come in fill­ings of caramel, dif­fer­ent fla­vors of cream, fruits, dates or even more chocolate.

Just for comparison:

chocolate candy

choco­late

chocolate truffle

choco­late truffle

truffle fungus

non-​chocolate truf­fle
(aka fun­gus)


Dedication

Amper­Art #184 Choco­lates & Truf­fles is ded­i­cat­ed to three spe­cial ladies: 

❤ Leona DeS­i­mone, my moth­er, who loved See’s choco­lates & always had a box at hol­i­day dinners,

❤ Roslyn, my younger sis­ter, who car­ries on the tra­di­tion of See’s dur­ing the holidays, &

❤ Jeanette, my “adopt­ed old­er sis­ter” who loves (& intro­duced me to) truffles.

My favorite can­dy is also See’s — but it’s the but­ter­scotch marsh­mal­low kiss­es. I don’t care for chocolate.



Production notes for #184 Chocolates & Truffles:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Photoshop
Font (text): French Script
Font (ampersand): Capistrano
Credits:
Photograph: all​star​.by via deposit​pho​tos​.com (modified)
Reference: truf​fleers​.com/​b​l​o​g​s​/​o​u​r​-​b​l​o​g​/​d​i​f​f​e​r​e​n​c​e​-​b​e​t​w​e​e​n​-​t​r​u​f​f​l​e​s​-​a​n​d​-​c​h​o​c​o​l​ate
Other 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.

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 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...

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 all the AmperArt URLs ugly & hard to understand—no ampersands allowed!
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

#182 Ugly & Tacky

#182 Ugly & Tacky
#182 Ugly & Tacky
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.

Not just ugly sweaters…

If you’re going to go all out with tack­i­ness this Christ­mas, besides the ugly sweater you can wear match­ing paja­mas & out­ra­geous slip­pers, too.

Not just for humans, either

T Rex wearing Ugly Christmas Sweater

Every­one wants to get into the act. Dogs, cats, even dinosaurs. This ani­ma­tron­ic T‑Rex got into the Christ­mas spir­it at the Nat­ur­al His­to­ry Muse­um in Lon­don. See full size pho­to & read the arti­cle by Maria Cramer in the New York Times. Image: Trustees of the Nat­ur­al His­to­ry Muse­um, London

Who started this tradition, anyway?

The fol­low­ing facts are excerpt­ed from these inter­est­ing arti­cles:
Christ­mas sweaters have been around a long time, but they haven’t always been ugly
The first “offi­cial” Ugly Sweater Day was in 2002 to raise mon­ey for a friend’s can­cer treatment

Ugly sweaters have been around for as fash­ion itself. They weren’t always made pur­pose­ful­ly — maybe some­one made a mis­take in their knit­ting or something. 

Mass mar­ket ugly sweaters made their pur­pose­ful debut in the 80s. Bill Huxtable (Bill Cos­by) made them pop­u­lar on The Cos­by Show, then Clark Gris­wold (Chevy Chase) added his own twist in 1989 with Nation­al Lampoon’s Christ­mas Vaca­tion.

Ugly sweaters went out in the 1990s until two men from Van­cou­ver threw the first offi­cial tacky hol­i­day sweater par­ty to raise mon­ey for their friend’s can­cer treat­ment. The rest is his­to­ry, spread­ing far & wide like an ugly (but fun) fash­ion statement. 

There’s a National Ugly Sweater Day (of course)

Every third Fri­day of Decem­ber (Decem­ber 17), peo­ple dress ugly & tacky on Nation­al Ugly Sweater Day. Read the his­to­ry of this day at nation​al​to​day​.com as well as details about these statistics:

23% of peo­ple will buy an ugly sweater

9% of peo­ple have celebrated

Ugly​christ​mass​weaters​.com made $5 million

& even an Ugly Christmas Sweater store

Grand­ma won’t make an ugly sweater for you? Take a cyber sleigh ride to


ugly​christ​mass​weater​.com


for your own per­son­al­ized, cus­tom, or off the ugly rack sweater. Be the most unfash­ion­able guest at your next Ugly Sweater Christ­mas Party.


Sweaters may be ugly & tacky, but may your holidays be classy & happy


Production notes for #182 Ugly & Tacky:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Text: Chaz just took up knitting
Ampersand: Berlin Sans (shape model for artwork)
Credits:
Illustrations: deposit​pho​tos​.com (modified)
T. Rex photo: Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London
Articles:
https://​www​.cnn​.com/​s​t​y​l​e​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​/​u​g​l​y​-​c​h​r​i​s​t​m​a​s​-​j​u​m​p​e​r​s​/​i​n​d​e​x​.​h​tml
https://​nation​al​to​day​.com/​n​a​t​i​o​n​a​l​-​u​g​l​y​-​s​w​e​a​t​e​r​-​day
Other 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.

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 all the AmperArt URLs ugly & hard to understand—no ampersands allowed!
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

#181 Small Cheer & Great Welcome

181 Small Cheer & Great Welcome
#181 Small Cheer & Great Welcome
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.

Shakespeare said it best

Small cheer & great welcome make a merry feast.

This quote from William Shake­speare seems to be a per­fect Amper­Art phrase for Thanks­giv­ing. I’m not so sure it has such a rel­e­vant mean­ing in its orig­i­nal con­text (“The Com­e­dy of Errors”, Act 3 scene 1) but it sure does fit nice­ly as a piece of typo­graph­ic art with the amper­sand turkey as part of the quote.

Colorful words inspire colorful illustration

Wild turkey

As for “great wel­come,” that term inspired the col­or­ful feath­ers on the “amper­turkey.” The orig­i­nal illus­tra­tion (of which I used only the feath­ers) had a sub­dued palette of browns and grays. I start­ed adding col­ors to the feath­ers, then real­ized “great wel­come” should be just that: great! Inclu­sive of every­one — all col­ors, all sex­es, all shapes & sizes. All reli­gions as well, as Thanks­giv­ing is non-​denominational; that’s one rea­son I like this hol­i­day (besides the food). So I did a lit­tle research & start­ed over with the col­ors, includ­ing as many of the world’s skin tones as I could find & hope­ful­ly all the var­i­ous sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion flag col­ors. Feath­ers are all dif­fer­ent sizes to begin with, so that part was easy. 

Small cheer” in the play’s dia­logue refers to the food & bev­er­age being served at the gath­er­ing, only to be upstaged by the cama­raderie of the peo­ple present. But let’s be hon­est: there’s no small spread & lack of liba­tion at Thanksgiving! 


Thankfulness cards for your table & other uses

Table setting with AmperArt Thankfulness Cards

My friend Jo has told me sev­er­al times that she enjoys print­ing & mak­ing Amper­Art place set­ting cards for the din­ner table. That inspired me to cre­ate a new design this year (pre­vi­ous cards were issued in 2011 & 2015), & it’s one where you can write your own Amper­Art phrase (see ideas below). 

These can be placed as tra­di­tion­al din­ner table set­tings & made into oth­er things such as greet­ing cards (with some cre­ative cut­ting & glu­ing) & gift tags.

There are two styles you can down­load: one bright & col­or­ful, sym­bol­iz­ing the inclu­sion of all col­ors & ori­en­ta­tions of the world’s peo­ples; & a sub­tle col­or scheme clos­er to a wild turkey. (I pre­fer the bright & col­or­ful ver­sion.) There’s an instruc­tion sheet you can down­load as well, detail­ing how to cut & fold the cards. 

Choose your style & download

There are four cards to a sheet. Print on stan­dard letter-​size or A4 sheets of card­stock (or reg­u­lar heavy paper).

Instructions

  1. Down­load the pdf file in your choice of design: full spec­trum col­or or sub­tle color.
  2. You can also down­load the cut­ting & fold­ing guide or just refer to image below.
  3. Cut along the red dashed lines. The ver­ti­cal & hor­i­zon­tal lines sep­a­rate the sheet into 4 cards. The curved cut lines allow the turkey feath­ers to pop out above the fold. You can cut along the arc as shown below, or for more detail, cut along the feath­er shapes, as shown in the pho­to above. An X‑acto knife works best.
  4. Score to make fold­ing easy & clean. Score along the blue dot­ted lines as shown in the guide. This is where the sol­id pur­ple meets the sol­id white on the print­ed cards. Do not score through the turkey feath­ers — you don’t want to fold these. A blunt instru­ment works best for scor­ing, such as a wood­en stir stick or paper clip. You can use any­thing that is not sharp enough to cut through the card.
  5. Fold the card over only along the blue dot­ted lines. Do not fold the feath­ers; leave them flat to extend above the fold. 
  6. Pinch the fold to keep it in place. Addi­tion­al­ly, you can use tape or string under­neath to keep the card from unfolding.
  7. Write your text to the left & right of the amper­sand. See some ideas below.

You can use these cards for oth­er things too, besides seat­ing place hold­ers. Place them around your liv­ing & work spaces to remind your­self and oth­ers of what we can be thank­ful for. Place one on your boss’s or co-​worker’s desk. Or on your teacher’s desk. Use them as note cards (write some­thing inside), or use just the front to paste onto a larg­er fold­ed card as a greet­ing card. Use them as gift tags. Car­ry some with you to fill in & hand out.

Thankful for ampersands & more ampersands 

Here are some ideas for your amper­sand “Thank­ful for…” phrases:

  • Peo­ple’s names & their out­stand­ing virtues: Uncle Gil & always will­ing to help out
  • Cou­ple’s names: Mike & Vio­la
  • Things that make you hap­py: my dog & cats, books & danc­ing, flow­ers & but­ter­flies
  • The neces­si­ties: food & shel­ter, friends & fam­i­ly, love & light
  • I per­son­al­ly am thank­ful for: artis­tic tal­ent & loy­al subscribers

Have a very happy Thanksgiving
full of small magnificent cheer
& great welcome. 


(Sorry for the edit, Bill.)


Production notes for #181 Small Cheer & Great Welcome:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Garamond
Ampersand: Garamond
Credits:
Illustration: deposit​pho​tos​.com (modified by Chaz DeSimone)
Background: deposit​pho​tos​.com
Quote: Shakespeare
Other 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.

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 all the AmperArt URLs ugly & hard to understand—no ampersands allowed!
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