#73 Brother & Sister — National Siblings Day is April 10

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#73 Brother & Sister
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.

April 10 is National Siblings Day.

Clau­dia Evart, after los­ing both of her sib­lings ear­ly in life, felt inspired to cre­ate Nation­al Sib­lings Day, to be cel­e­brat­ed annu­al­ly on April 10, the birth­day of her late sis­ter, Lisette.  Here’s her video.

I like what Clau­dia says about our broth­er & sis­ter rela­tion­ships. I could­n’t say it bet­ter myself, so here are excerpts from her web­site, www​.sib​lings​day​foun​da​tion​.org:

♥ The sib­lings bonds are life-​long rela­tion­ships usu­al­ly last­ing from cra­dle to grave.  It is  usu­al­ly the longest rela­tion­ship of a person’s life and typ­i­cal­ly much longer than a mother’s and father’s rela­tion­ship.

♥ Because of the blood rela­tion­ship, we look alike and enjoy feel­ings of close­ness which may nev­er be sur­passed in any oth­er rela­tion­ship.  It is usu­al­ly the longest rela­tion­ship of a person’s life (typ­i­cal­ly much longer than a mother’s and father’s rela­tion­ship).   We must always remem­ber that the strength of fam­i­lies is vital to the strength of our com­mu­ni­ties, state and nation.

♥ Sib­lings Day can be cel­e­brat­ed by send­ing a card or gift or mak­ing a din­ner invi­ta­tion* to your sib­lings on April 10th as done on Mother’s and Father’s Day.  This day does not nec­es­sar­i­ly have to be attached to a mon­e­tary gift.  Indi­vid­u­als can do some­thing spe­cial like a good deed or favor, errand or chore for their broth­er or sis­ter.

*as my sis­ter did for her broth­ers right before Valen­tine’s Day this year — read chaz sez below.

Clau­di­a’s web­site also states these facts:

  • The Sib­lings Day Foun­da­tion is a New York and Mass­a­chu­setts based orga­ni­za­tion with the prin­ci­pal office locat­ed in Man­hat­tan.  It was incor­po­rat­ed in Mass­a­chu­setts 1997 and became a not-​for-​profit orga­ni­za­tion in Jan­u­ary, 1999.
  • In 1996, Con­gress stripped itself of the author­i­ty to cre­ate com­mem­o­ra­tives leav­ing sole pow­er to do so in the hands of the pres­i­dent.  Dur­ing their pres­i­den­cy, George Bush in 2008 and Bill Clin­ton in 2000 signed a Pres­i­den­tial Mes­sage rec­og­niz­ing April 10 as Sib­lings Day.  A Pres­i­den­tial Procla­ma­tion is need­ed to offi­cial­ly estab­lish April 10th as Nation­al Sib­lings Day.
  • Since 1998, 85 gov­er­nors have signed guber­na­to­r­i­al procla­ma­tions in 49 states includ­ing for­mer gov­er­nors and White House cab­i­net mem­bers – Tom Ridge of PA, Bill Richard­son of NM, Janet Napoli­tano of AZ, Gary Locke of WA, Chris­tine Todd Whit­man of NJ and Tom­my Thomp­son of WI.
  • Mother’s Day (found­ed by Anna Jarvis of Philadel­phia, PA, 1907) and Father’s Day (found­ed by Mrs. John Dodd of Spokane, WA, 1910) were estab­lished almost 110 years ago.
  • Sib­lings Day fol­lows the spir­it of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Grandparent’s Day – a great Amer­i­can tra­di­tion and cel­e­bra­tion of family-​unit val­ues.  It is an uplift­ing cel­e­bra­tion hon­or­ing peo­ple who have shaped our val­ues, beliefs and ideals.  It is a rela­tion­ship as equal­ly impor­tant as a parent’s rela­tion­ship. Sib­lings are the rea­son we cel­e­brate Mother’s and Father’s Day.
  • Almost one hun­dred ten years have gone by with­out hon­or­ing sib­lings!  By estab­lish­ing this spe­cial day each mem­ber of the fam­i­ly unit will be final­ly rec­og­nized on a Nation­al Recog­ni­tion Day (Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and Sib­lings Day).
  • Oprah Win­frey fea­tured and cel­e­brat­ed Sib­lings Day on her nation­al and inter­na­tion­al dai­ly tele­vi­sion show for three con­sec­u­tive years. SD was broad­cast­ed world­wide on Voice of Amer­i­ca six years and cov­ered on many news out­lets.
  • Sib­lings Day – a cel­e­bra­tion for all ages. It has been rec­og­nized as an annu­al event for thou­sands of years in North­ern India, Guyana in South Amer­i­ca and sev­er­al South Asian coun­tries.
  • Sib­lings Day Sup­port­ers: Six for­mer gov­er­nors who became White House Cab­i­net Mem­bers: Gary F. Locke (WA – ‘04); Janet A. Napoli­tano (AZ- ‘07); Tom J. Ridge of (PA- ’99); Bill B. Richard­son of (NM- ’07); Chris­tine Todd Whit­man of (NJ- ’98); and Tom­my G. Thomp­son of (WI- ‘98).
  •  Con­gres­sion­al Records issued by Con­gress­woman Car­olyn B. Mal­oney (D‑NY) 1997, 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2013. Late Sen­a­tor Edward M. Kennedy (1997 ‑2010) along with Con­gress­woman Mal­oney (1997 to the present) wrote let­ters to Pres­i­dent Clin­ton and Pres­i­dent Bush which result­ed in two Pres­i­den­tial Mes­sages sup­port­ing April 10th as Sib­lings Day.
  •  Guber­na­to­r­i­al mes­sages issued by Gov­er­nor Steve Bul­lock (MT) 2013; Gov­er­nor Jack Markell (DE) 2012; Gov­er­nor Bri­an Schweitzer (MT) 2007 to 2009; Gov­er­nor Jeb Bush (FL) April 2001; Gov­er­nor Tom Ridge (PA) March 1998; and Gov­er­nor George E. Pata­ki (NY) 1997.
  •  May­oral mes­sages issued by NYC May­or Guil­iani in 2001 and May­or Bloomberg in 2002 to 2012.
  •  Office of Man­hat­tan Bor­ough Pres­i­dent, Scott M. Stringer (D‑NY) issued Procla­ma­tions from 2009 to 2013. Mem­bers of NY State Leg­isla­tive, Assem­bly­man Richard N. Got­tfried (1997) and Sen­a­tor Cather­ine M. Abate (1997) wrote let­ters of sup­port.

I whole­heart­ed­ly agree with Clau­dia, as she reminds us…

If you are for­tu­nate enough to have a sib­ling, you know the rela­tion­ship has a tremen­dous impact on our lives.  It is impor­tant that we under­stand how vital it is to cher­ish, love and respect our broth­ers and sis­ters in the tra­di­tion that was hand­ed down by our par­ents and grand­par­ents. Sib­lings Day strength­ens the fam­i­ly unit by remind­ing us that a bond with our sib­lings is for­ev­er a spe­cial gift.”

If you have a broth­er & sis­ter, or either, please vis­it www​.sib​lings​day​foun​da​tion​.org


Along with Broth­er & Sis­ter, here’s Amper­Art #75 Fam­i­ly & Friends, the oth­er most spe­cial peo­ple in our lives.


 Spaghetti & meatballs & brothers & sister…

 listen up!I’ve been work­ing on an elab­o­rate Amper­Art piece titled “Spaghet­ti & Meat­balls” to hon­or a very spe­cial event my sis­ter Roslyn host­ed for her three broth­ers, includ­ing me. Just us sib­lings, nobody else, at Roslyn’s din­ing room table on Feb­ru­ary 7, 2014, as she cooked all day and served us Mom’s spaghet­ti & meat­balls. Roz pulled out all the stops — a huge spread of Ital­ian appe­tiz­ers, includ­ing my favorite pick­led gar­den veg­eta­bles from my child­hood; Ital­ian bread­sticks, olives (espe­cial­ly my favorite, the wrinkly lit­tle dried ones), proscuit­to, salame, and pro­volone. The sal­ad was deli­cious, but noth­ing com­pared to the incred­i­ble meat­balls, hot & mild sausages, spaghet­ti & “suc­co” as we called the sauce grow­ing up. (Our moth­er was Ger­man, but our father, born in Sici­ly in 1899, must have had his mama teach our mom every­thing about Ital­ian cook­ing, because she sure was a great Ital­ian cook. Her Ger­man dish­es were excel­lent, too.) Well, Mom must have taught our sis­ter, because that din­ner brought back mem­o­ries of our won­der­ful fam­i­ly feasts on Sun­days on the “fan­cy dish­es” which Roz served our din­ner on, the chi­na Dad­dy had bought Mom after they got mar­ried. Deep red fil­i­gree with a red rose in the mid­dle of every plate and a gold rim, some of which is worn off now. Thanks, Roslyn, for this most cher­ished evening where we ate, rem­i­nisced, laughed, and enjoyed our deep love as sib­lings. We even played a fun game that test­ed our mem­o­ries as senior cit­i­zens: list all the streets to the right and left of our house. We’re not senile yet — among the four of us we remem­bered them all. We also shared some fun child­hood anec­dotes and divulged some sur­pris­ing child­hood secrets (ha — black­mail!).

And for dessert: Can­no­lis!

My sis­ter Roz, in true Ital­ian fash­ion, sent me home with plates of food, olives and the pick­les that I love so much, that last­ed me for weeks. (That was the next day; I spent the night and enjoyed her com­pa­ny all day Sun­day as well.)

Even­tu­al­ly I will fin­ish Amper­Art “Spaghet­ti & Meat­balls” (ever try twist­ing strands of pas­ta into an amper­sand? In Pho­to­shop?). For­tu­nate­ly, just yes­ter­day, I dis­cov­ered Nation­al Sib­lings Day, thanks to Mar­lo Ander­son­’s Nation­al Day Cal­en­dar web­site: nation​al​day​cal​en​dar​.com so was able to give a shout out to my own sib­lings with Amper­art #73 “Broth­er & Sis­ter” on this 2015 Nation­al Sib­lings Day. (Maybe I’ll release “Spaghet­ti & Meat­balls” right before Nation­al Pas­ta Day, Octo­ber 17.)

To my sis­ter Roslyn & my broth­er Andrew & my broth­er Robert:
I love you!


Production notes for #73 Brother & Sister:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Fonts: Eccentric*, Harrington
Ampersand: Hand-​drawn
Credits for #73 Brother & Sister:
Silhouettes: stock
*appropriately named font for this brother, I’m sure my family would say

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#79 Love & Be Loved, a Valentine’s poem

 

Love & Be Loved


#79 Love & Be Loved
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.

Dear Amper­sand Lover,

Hap­py Valen­tine’s Day!

A love­ly poet inspired my 2015 Valen­tine’s Amper­Art piece. In fact, her poem actu­al­ly con­tains an amper­sand. Her poem’s title is also my Amper­Art title: Love & Be Loved.

How blessed
We are
To love
& be loved
For love is
God’s work
in our hearts

The poet­’s name is Saman­thi Fer­nan­do. She is a Cal­i­for­nia Poet who writes inspi­ra­tional & spir­i­tu­al poet­ry.

Her writ­ing is remark­able. I am not a huge poet­ry fan, but what Saman­thi writes — & the way she writes — touch­es my heart. Her way with words is com­pelling, suc­cinct, crisp, mod­ern. (I like mod­ern.)

Vis­it Saman­thi’s blog, where she’s writ­ten lots of poet­ry. You don’t just read her poet­ry, you feel it. The pho­tog­ra­phy in the head­ers is all hers, too. Just like her writ­ing, her visu­al com­po­si­tion is stun­ning. (If you don’t think the Valen­tine’s head­er mea­sures up to the rest, don’t blame it on Saman­thi. I con­tributed that one.)

Fall in love with Saman­thi Fer­nan­do’s poet­ic min­istry of hope & heal­ing at http://​starsafire​.star​rayz​.com/​w​o​r​d​p​r​e​ss/

rosegoldSOLIDHUEhearts

Concept & design

If you find aes­thet­ic beau­ty in this Amper­Art piece, you can thank Saman­thi for that as well. She intro­duced me to rose gold, which she says is very pop­u­lar in fash­ion & décor right now. (I should know this stuff.) I find it a valu­able addi­tion to my list of favorite col­ors. I pre­fer sil­ver over gold. Sil­ver is light, crisp, mod­ern, where gold is heavy & old (just sayin’). How­ev­er, sil­ver just does­n’t con­vey the rich­ness of gold, & that’s where rose gold comes in. Con­tem­po­rary, invit­ing, & rich.

The lock­et was orig­i­nal­ly sil­ver, so I sam­pled some acces­so­ry pho­tos (thanks, Tiffany) & lay­ered the new col­or over the sil­ver, turn­ing the heart into rose gold. I wish I could do the same to every­thing—I mean for real. Every piece of alu­minum, stain­less steel, pewter & even my sil­ver Cray­olas — open up Pho­to­shop & turn them all into real gold! (On sec­ond thought, leave the Cray­olas alone; I like them just the way they are.)

I LUV U

In devel­op­ment, an ear­li­er ver­sion of the art­work had a can­dy heart where the pen­dant is. I want­ed some­thing that said “I love you.” What bet­ter than those icon­ic hearts! I tried “I LUV U” but that was too friv­o­lous. In fact, I felt the can­dy heart itself was friv­o­lous and too “can­dy pink” for such a beau­ti­ful poem, which required a sophis­ti­cat­ed design. I bro­ken­heart­ed­ly (not real­ly, but it is the theme here) decid­ed to sac­ri­fice the words “I love you” for a more ele­gant image. I found sev­er­al beau­ti­ful pen­dants with gold & sil­ver & gems…then I found this. A sil­ver pen­dant, beau­ti­ful­ly hand-​tooled in an organ­ic ham­mered fin­ish, with the words “I love you” in sev­er­al lan­guages. The per­fect piece!

That is, until Saman­thi com­ment­ed on its col­or, sil­ver. No, it was­n’t the rich col­or I had con­ceived for that ele­ment of the art­work, but that’s the col­or it was, & gold would actu­al­ly clash with the oth­er col­ors of typog­ra­phy and back­ground. Then she asked if I had could pos­si­bly make it rose gold. Yes, I’m sure I could — if I knew what rose gold was. She direct­ed me to a few exam­ples & voila! Rose gold is the per­fect col­or for the lock­et and for the poem!

That just goes to show…you can teach an old design­er new tricks!

Wish­ing you a love­ly Valen­tine’s Day.
Love & Be Loved


 chaz sez ...

 

To Roslyn, Andrew & Robert:

I love you!

Actu­al­ly, the head­ing this time should say “Char­lie sez…” because that’s what I’ve always been to my sis­ter & broth­ers, and to my very old­est friends. (I acquired the name “Chaz” in my drink­ing days…I was called “Chaz the Spaz.” Some of my art­sy friends liked it so I kept it. Eas­i­er to write, too. In fact, I can’t even prop­er­ly pro­nounce my giv­en name, “Charles,” named after my Sicil­ian grand­fa­ther, Car­lo. Though I detest being called “Charles” — too for­mal! — I like the fact that it offers so many options, such as “Chuck,” “Char­lie” & “Chaz.” My sis­ter calls me “Char.”) I do digress. Chaz the Spaz.

Just the oth­er day I was think­ing, sad­ly, about the fact that as my broth­ers & sis­ter are get­ting old­er (me too — I’m the old­est) we see each oth­er less fre­quent­ly. I’ve moved 100 miles away & one of my broth­ers is plan­ning to move over­seas. Plus, my sis­ter is kept busy with work, kids and grand­kids. And my oth­er broth­er is miles away and busy, too.

We’ve always been close as a fam­i­ly, and I am extreme­ly grate­ful for that. It hurts to hear when fam­i­lies are torn apart. I think we stick togeth­er part­ly in hon­or of our great par­ents who bestowed immense love upon us; and also just because we respect and love each oth­er a great deal. Although I don’t deserve much respect for all the fuck-​ups I’ve pulled in my life, end­less­ly ask­ing my fam­i­ly to bail me out or lend me mon­ey (lend?). Still, we stick togeth­er.

But at the same time, it seems we’ve phys­i­cal­ly been drift­ing apart.

I cher­ish all the trips we took as kids to vis­it our uncles and cousins (on my dad’s side, just a few cities away; our moth­er’s fam­i­ly was in Indi­ana, sev­er­al states away). My par­ents’ sib­lings were all very close, and they vis­it­ed each oth­er fre­quent­ly — by long dis­tance tele­phone calls if not in per­son. I felt the warmth among them, the love.

When will it be too late, I was won­der­ing recent­ly, when one of us is gone before we all got togeth­er as a fam­i­ly again? It was a very sad thought.

Well, a hap­py thought came in as a text a few days ago. It was a mes­sage from my sis­ter — wait, let me find it so you can read it your­self…

Hey there Broth­ers,  i am hop­ing the 4 of us can get togeth­er for din­ner on either Feb­ru­ary 6 or 8.  I spoke to Rob awhile ago and I told him it would be great for just the four of us to “man­ga” (is that spelled right) togeth­er.  I will cook Mom’s spaghet­ti snd meat­balls with all the fix­ins.  Rob is in so hope u two can join.  It will be a De Simone Hap­py New Year din­ner!  ♥♥♥♥♥ Roz

And…

I even have Mom’s spaghet­ti bowl to serve our main dish :)

I felt an immense warmth read­ing that. I felt our close­ness. I felt…love & be loved. I look for­ward to this din­ner very much. Yes, the din­ner itself, as Roz is a fan­tas­tic cook and if she can pull off just a smidgen (one of Mom’s words) of what our moth­er would have made, it will be a real feast. (I’ll bring the Ital­ian cook­ies.) Note: Our moth­er was full Ger­man, but Dad­dy made sure she could cook Ital­ian, and mama mia she could!

By the way, Roz,  it’s spelled “Man­gia!” and you got­ta shout it and use your hands.

Even if just peanut but­ter & jel­ly sand­wich­es were served, being with the best sib­ling friends that I grew up with for the past 60 years is one joy­ous occa­sion I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to. I miss them very much as the kids we once were (okay, they’d say I am still the same irre­spon­si­ble child­ish brat).

I am very hap­py to tell you, my Amper­Art friends, how much this occa­sion means to me. I want­ed to make some sort of pro­found state­ment at this very spe­cial din­ner with­out sound­ing too pompous or sap­py, but thanks to you, my readers…I think I just said it. Hope­ful­ly my broth­ers & sis­ter will open this Amper­Art & read it.

So, whether it’s “Char” or “Char­lie” or even “Chaz the Spaz”…I want to say I deeply love, & I know I’m loved by, my incred­i­ble sis­ter & my two mag­nif­i­cent broth­ers.

UPDATE: Din­ner was mag­nif­i­cent! My sis­ter out­did her­self. After the antipas­to, the Ital­ian appe­tiz­ers, olives, meats & cheeses, as well as Ital­ian cook­ies & bread­sticks, there was hard­ly enough room for the spaghet­ti, meat­balls & sausage. But we man­aged to stuff quite a bit down, as it was so incred­i­ble to taste “Mom’s spaghet­ti” again. Then there was dessert: can­no­lis, cheese­cake and gela­to. Plus an Ital­ian almond nougat can­dy which dou­bled as a charm­ing place­hold­er.

There was still one more course: the fam­i­ly gath­er­ing itself: just my sis­ter, two broth­ers & myself. We laughed, rem­i­nisced, played triv­ia games like who could remem­ber all the streets in order to the left and right of our house — a good test for senil­i­ty. We all dis­cov­ered, or were at least remind­ed, of events in our child­hood we’d for­got­ten about, and some we nev­er knew.

This meant more to me than the typ­i­cal hol­i­day feasts. That night was a lot of fun & a lot of food, but it did­n’t end when we depart­ed. I still feel the warmth and love that my sis­ter & broth­ers brought to that spe­cial evening, and to my child­hood, and to our fam­i­ly as a whole. I know our par­ents would be very proud that we have stayed so close as a fam­i­ly.

My deep­est grat­i­tude and love to Roz, AJ & Rob­bie (the names they had as kids).

Love & Be Loved…absolutely!


Production notes for #79 Love & Be Loved:
Original size: 10x15 inches
Program: InDesign, Photoshop
Font: Eras
Ampersand: A silver pendant turned into solid rose gold, thanks to Samanthi’s fashion sense
Credits:
Poem: Samanthi Fernando, starsafire​.star​rayz​.com/​w​o​r​d​p​r​e​ss/
Pendant: Андрей Гивель (Ukraine photographer, aka Trionis), 123rf​.com
Background: vec​tor​tuts​.com
Reference for rose gold hue: Tiffany (where else?)
 

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone Design