Thursday, May 31, 2007

Facts of Life ~ The Deadly Daffodil

The bulbs of the Daffodil contain a paralyzing poison. Roman soldiers reputedly carried them into battle and if they were badly injured, they would consume them so that they might die painlessly.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Facts of Life ~ Decoration Day

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service.

Friday, May 25, 2007

from ~ The Walrus and the Carpenter

" 'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things;
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And weather pigs have wings.' "

Through The Looking - Glass
Lewis Carroll

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Beautiful Decorated Papers from Italy

"La Plume"

A Selection of Seventeen Beautiful Italian Papers will soon be available in the Webstore.
Incorporate these papers into your everyday life.
Enrich your Crafting Projects, Scrapbooks or Wrap that Special Gift.
See Webstore link at the bottom of this page.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Film Classic ~

Midnight Cowboy 1969
Director: John Schlesinger

Dustin Hoffman
Jon Voight
Sylvia Miles

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Collecting ~ Children's Books

Chicken Soup with Rice
Maurice Sendak

Harper & Row

Book Size 2-5/8" x 3-3/4"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Collecting ~ Jewelry as Art

Bug Pin
Circa 1930's

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hot Mexican Cheese Dip

8oz. cream cheese, softened
1-1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 4oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon crushed red peppers
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cilantro, finely chopped
crackers or tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Butter a 3 cup baking dish (shallow)
Beat cream cheese until smooth
Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and the next 6 ingredients
Spread in dish and sprinkle cilantro on top and then the remaining cheese.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Serve with crackers, chips or veggies

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Queen and the Seven Year Fart

Queen Elizabeth the First was known for her sometimes extremely bad temper. But then, after a time, she would suddenly forgive and welcome people back to her good graces as though there had been no quarrel. Teasing slyly for what she might well pretend was a fit of sulks on their part.

She made just such remarks when a courtier, making a very low bow to her, happened to let a Fart. He was so embarrassed he stayed away from court and traveled for seven years. After his return the Queen welcomed him home and said.
"Do not worry My Lord, I have forgot the Fart"

The Virgin Queen
Christopher Hibbert

Addison-Wesley Publishing

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Confronting Monsters ~ Why I never wear Hawaiian Shirts

It was during the brutal Heat Wave of 1993 in New York City. I was delivering an Illustration job to Gourmet Magazine.
Deciding to deliver the job in person, I would take the subway for the quickest mode of transportation, and to avoid the lengthy wait on a messenger service.
After making the correct subway connections, in the extreme heat, in an "Up-Late" daze and in my New Hawaiian Shirt, I exited the train at what I thought was the correct stop.
Wrong ...
I had gotten off the train at the wrong stop and headed toward the swinging doors to go up to the street.
Realizing I had made an error, before exiting the doors I turned around to go back on the train.

At once I was grabbed by two plain cloths police officers, one on both arm.
"Oh! ... You are making a mistake !" I exclaimed
No dice ... I was going to the pokey.
Most subway stations have small maintenance rooms and narrow halls which are used by the crews to maintain the stations electronic systems, lights etc...
It was in one of these narrow halls I was taken for questioning and processing, in the heat, in bewilderment and in my New Hawaiian Shirt.

This was a "Drug Sweep"
After all ... I had the dark hair, a dark, tanned complexion and wore one of those "Hawaiian Shirts"
" This guy is a pimp or a drug dealer (Fur Sure) " I could hear them thinking.
Seems most of the police here have brains the size of peas !
Keep in mind that all this is happening because I allegedly tried to beat the dollar plus subway fare.

My (quickly becoming over-due) artwork was thrown in the corner of the dank, boiling passageway as I was questioned and processed.
A fare-beating artist ...Imagine that !
I was relieved of my money, subway tokens, identification, shoe strings, belt and dignity.
"This guy looks like a "Hanger"
I was handcuffed to a string of about nine "Subway Loons"( real fare beaters, homeless, drunks and unsavory dudes), in the boiling hot passage, in disgust and in my New Hawaiian Shirt.

There was a young Swedish guy on the cuff-chain directly in from of me.
He refused to answer any of the officers questions ...BIG MISTAKE !!!
After several rounds of not answering questions put to him, Swedish guy was stunned by the severe SLAP laid across his face delivered by the hulk-like police questioner.
This was of course followed by pulling out his revolver, cocking it and holding the loaded gun to the guy's head !
The chained "loon-gang" went into a wild panic included, and I was next in line right behind the guy.
Well, as you might imagine ...the guy quickly answered all the questions !
Thank Goodness !!! , if I wasn't wet with sweat before I certainly was now.
There I stood, soaking wet and devastated in my nice New Hawaiian Shirt.

We were all taken away in chains, shuffling in our floppy shoes and with our pants loose.
Through the crowded subway station, everyone gawking, up to the street to the awaiting police cars.
After some pleading to open the car window slightly, we got some small relief from the incoming air.

Well ... I was indeed put in a real jail cell for the first time ever.
This gets even "better"
One of the male prisoners took an instant "Liking to me"
A smelly, sweaty black dude who was near to being a three hundred and fifty pounder.
"Are you gay man ?"
I knew what he was up for... and I was going to be "The Bitch"
Oh Yeah ! ...just what I needed !!! ...NOT !!!
Must of been the nice New Hawaiian Shirt.

At that point I was the only one taken out of the cell to be photographed.
Perhaps they thought this guy might be well known enough to sell the photos ?
After showing the photo police gal how to operate the camera, I tried to explain how I was not really very photogenic and the pictures would most likely not turn out well.
I was correct ...the pictures were a hoot!
I looked like Red Skelton on a bad day.

At this point the police called Gourmet Magazine and explained that I had been snared in a "Drug Sweep" ...Great !!!
After a computer check and verification of who I was, I was released, with artwork.
Arriving in an unbelievable state of disarray at Gourmet Magazine the art director was very sympathetic.

I still had to make a court appearance ...nasty place.
After explaining to the judge what had happened the case was dismissed.
Even though I had a good case against the city I decided not to pursue it because it was all just to horrible.

A few years later, during a jury duty episode I was asked if I could be fair about the police.
I said "Yes, of Course" and then got to tell the entire story to a full jury room
I was dismissed from jury duty.
Sweet !

Original Short Story by
Michael Hostovich

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Can You find the Critters ?

(3) Owls
(5) Butterflies
(1) Praying Mantis

Original Drawing done for Scholastic Magazine

Illustration by Michael Hostovich

Pink's "Dear Mr. President"

Dear Mr. President,
Come take a walk with me.
Let's pretend we're just two people and
You're not better than me.
I'd like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly.

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye
And tell me why?

Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We're not dumb and we're not blind.
They're all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell.

What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?

Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work
You don't know nothing 'bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work

How do you sleep at night?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Dear Mr. President,
You'd never take a walk with me.
Would you?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Changing Seasons

Giclee Print originally done for the New York Times

Art by Michael Hostovich

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Apparition

Suddenly in the Bleak Night
His Soul lifted quickly
And vanished in the Sea of Darkness
Never to return

Original Photograph by Michael Hostovich

Friday, May 4, 2007

Film Classic

Sunset Boulevard 1950
Director ~ Billy Wilder

Gloria Swanson
William Holden

Norma Desmond: [to newsreel camera] And I promise you I'll never desert you again because after 'Salome' we'll make another picture and another picture. You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

Kinda like Blogs ..."those wonderful people out there in the dark"

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Family Jewels ~ My Grandfather

England ~ 1928

Mr. Cecil Gilbert Ireland Blackburne
Pamela Mary Elise ~ My Mother
Robert Gilbert ~ My Uncle
Brownie ~ Their Housekeeper