Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Birthday to Ferdinand the Bull

Ferdinand the Bull is 75 years old today. Tanti auguri, Ferdinand!

You can read the text here if you don't have the book (but definitely check it out of the library). Download a pdf by of all things Ferdinand. A Spanish glossary & a coloring page of Ferdinand are included. (Image via a lovely blog The Art of Children's Illustration's flickrstream.)

ciao-olé!-meow/GG Central

PS: For a little freebie today, visit iTunes for a full episode of Sesame Street.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Wishes - Venice Edition

Along with the famous Japanese cherry blossoms, we have an Italian festival going on, too. One of the main events is the ongoing Canaletto exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. Bella.

Other things to do if you can't be Venice (or Washington):

Visit Canaletto,
The Complete Works.

Visit the Guggenheim/Venice

Visit Caffè Florian - plan your order for when you arrive:)

Check out Donna Leon's latest
Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery. (He's so cool.)

Make risi bisi, a classic (& easy) Venetian dish

Check in with Carol of
Paris Breakfasts; she's back in Paris via Venice.

ciao-meow/GG Travel-Staycation Central

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Peterman's Eye Photography Contest

GG's readers should enter this contest. What have you to lose? Any travel photograph, whether half-way round the world or in your backyard. Upload your photographs for the chance at a 1,500USD first prize award. There's a second & third prize, as well as three honorable mentions. Go for it, peeps! See the most popular photographs, here.

ciao-meow/GG's editor

(photograph by
Cristin Moritz, first seen on Cup of Jo)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Made4Aid Monday - Geisha Paperdoll Bookmarks for Japan

Aren't these lovely? And free shipping - what more could you possibly want? Hmm?

Pretty handmade origami geisha figure created with origami paper and tissue on a distressed finish natural kraft card base, finished off with satin ribbon for an unusual and thoughtful bookmark.
This item has been specifically created by AquaAlta as a contribution to relief work for Japanese earthquake victims. Made4aid profits all go to Medécins sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders, who have been working to provide relief and medical aid in Japan since Saturday 12th, the day after the earthquake and tsunami. (photograph courtesy of Made4Aid)

ciao-meow/GG's editor

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Sojourns - Roma

So today Giulia & her editor are sort-of in beloved Roma. OK, well we're in Washington, DC. But we're looking at our photographs of the Villa Borghese & the website of the museum (bella!). Tonight's dinner is cacio e pepe with real pecorino from Lazio. (Try Lidia Bastianich's recipe - it's the real deal)

Buona notte, bambini!

(Giampaolo Macorig's bella photograph)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Little Kitties For Big Cats

Calling all human servants of domestic cats. For just $5, you can help National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative save lions, tigers, cheetahs and other big cats. Upload a photo of your little kitty to show your support! You absolutely must click here & see Kitkat, Pumkin, Ernest, & fellow felines from around the world. (Little Kia is the Kitty of the Week. Congratulations!)

Write a letter to a lion, take up for a tiger, lay it on the line for a leopard,
cause an uproar. Get involved!

ciao-roar-meow/GG's editor

(lion cub & leopard cub photographs by Beverly Joubert; mother tiger & cub by Juniors Bildarchiv; National Geographic Photographers)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Farewell, Elizabeth

It is with great sadness that we say farewell to Elizabeth Taylor, a great favorite of ours since we were tiny. Visit LIFE for lots & lots of wonderful slideshows. Visit the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, here. (photograph John Springer Collection/Corbis)

ciao-sad-meow/GG Central

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stand With Japan Walk, Cherry Blossom Festival 2011

The Cherry Blossom Festival begins this weekend in Washington, DC. Giulia & her editor are hoping to be at the walk & to report back. Please read on if you are here (or will be).

Beginning at 6:30pm on March 24, people will gather at Sylvan Theater (15th Street and Independence Avenue, SW) before walking the Tidal Basin. All donations received throughout the fundraising effort will go directly to the
National Cherry Blossom Festival Red Cross Online Donation Site, benefiting the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund.

People are encouraged to gather to reflect and participate in the walk around the Tidal Basin, where the cherry blossom trees, gifted to Washington, DC from Tokyo in 1912, have stood the test of time for 99 years. Our relationship with Japan is at the heart of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, and the Festival is uniquely positioned as a natural conduit to unite the millions of people who want to assist and express their support in a show of unity, and the evening of hope and perseverance occurs before the 16-day celebration begins on Saturday, March 26. The Festival’s diverse and creative programming honors the gift of trees each year and the enduring friendship between the two countries.

ciao-meow/GG Cherry Blossom Central

(an artist at the Tidal Basin painting cherry blossoms via DC Public Library Commons)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Help Japan Eat

There are people in Japan who have not eaten very much, if at all, since last Friday. (Update - this is a re-post from Friday)

As the UN's leading agency in emergency operations, the World Food Programme is deploying experts to help deliver assistance to shattered Japanese communities. This is in response to Japan's request for help in meeting "epic logistical challenges," said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran.

Please donate funds to the World Food Programme. Japan is the fourth largest donor to WFP but is in great need now & for the foreseeable future. This is a multiple crisis as the lack of donations from Japan will be sorely felt in the rest of the world.. Please help to the best of your ability. Bloggers have been asked to spread the word as well. Those with Facebook & Twitter accounts can be particularly useful in spreading this message. Thanks!

ciao-try-not-to-panic-because-it-does-no-good-meow/GG Central

PS: For a little relief, stick your head out the window & see the full super-moon tomorrow night.

(woodblock prints by the great Utagawa Hiroshige)

Friday, March 18, 2011

First Daffodils 2011

We love daffodils & know you do, too. Visit the lovely Daffodils 2011 website. You can upload your daffodil photographs & look at beautiful ones from fellow fanciers. Hang out with your daff-peeps from Canada, the States, England, Wales, Scotland, & Ireland. (And probably more countries but this is in haste, like everything else these days.) You can also visit them on their Facebook page.

Upcoming post on daffodil festivals near you, near us - next week.

ciao-meow/GG's Florist

(Walter Crane illustration from Flora's Feast, A Masque of Flowers)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

From GG Central to all our friends, especially those in Ireland, Happy St. Patrick's Day. We're feeling floopy with all the sad news. A brisk cup of coffee + a slice of toasted Irish soda bread has fortified us. The Celtic cat turned up her bright pink nose at any caffeine (she really does not need it!) but deigned to eat a few raisins her editor pried loose from the toast. (Yes, yes, we know, it's not authentic Irish soda bread. OK, it's Irish-American soda bread. It is delicious & that's all that counts today.)

So. To links Irish. Via the lovely Madam Mayo, we just visited the Leprechan Fairy Watch in Tipperary. Giulia watched it for awhile but gave up - she has no discipline. Harumph. And for the literary minded, a beautifully interactive website for Yeats lovers. And if you don't love Yeats, oh woe, there's no hope for you.

Imagine Ireland is a year-long Irish cultural festival in the United States. Please check the website for activities in your town. New events are added regularly so a newsletter subscription is recommended. And now....another slice of toast is calling our name.

ciao-craic-meow/GG Holiday Central

(photograph by generous D Sharon Pruitt/Pink Sherbet Photography/Free For All Creative Commons set)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Good Grace

A GG Central favorite - fellow cat lover Grace Coddington. Read a terrific new interview in Intelligent If you are a Netflixer of the Instant Variety, The September Issue is available on demand. It's just the thing to escape for a bit during this stressful time. (The fun of a fashion magazine with none of the stress: we'll take it.)

ciao-chic-meow/GG Style Central

(British Vogue, August 1962 by Carapetian)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Van Gogh Colors

Here's a little fun for some young ones in your life. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has a children's link on its website. It includes a coloring page of VVG's bedroom. There's also a diorama craft project using the Roulin family members who befriended Vincent in Arles. (Bedroom in Arles, 1888)

ciao-colorful-meow/GG Central

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pictures of the Floating World

Living only for the moment, turning our full attention to the pleasures of the moon, the snow, the cherry blossoms and the maple leaves; singing songs, drinking wine, diverting ourselves in just floating, floating; ... refusing to be disheartened, like a gourd floating along with the river current: this is what we call the floating world--Japanese novelist Asai Ryōi

Ukiyo-e is commonly translated into English as "pictures in the floating world" which is very poetic. Decidedly unpoetic are the images coming out of Japan now. Please help by visiting the International Red Cross link & donate what you can. As always, don't worry if you cannot donate a lot of money. Five dollars (or 5 pounds or 5 euros) adds up. Read more on Ukiyo-e here. Also here about Van Gogh's admiration of Japanese art. (images above are by Hiroshige on left and Van Gogh on right)

ciao-subdued-meow/GG Central

Friday, March 11, 2011

Through the Sapphire Sky to Japan

Best wishes & concerned thoughts to all in Japan, including our nephew & his wife (who is having a baby next month). Also to our friendly fellow blogger Sapphire, intrepid chronicler of Japanese culture in Through the Sapphire Sky. Much love.

PS: To find out how to help, please see here. This will be updated over the weekend.

(woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige via Life)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


We should be seeing daffodils as it's March but snowdrops (perce-neige in French) are still about as spring is slow to arrive to GG's city. If you know any children who like to color (or adults...GG's editor likes to break out the crayons now & again), here's a coloring page of spring flowers, including a snowdrop. And here are more online art resources for kids of all ages.

ciao-floopy-middle-of-the-week-where-is-spring-meow/GG Central

(snowdrop by photofairy)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Carnevale in Venice

Love these black & white ensembles. Hop over to Venice via Michelle Fabio's article in Go Italy. There's even a little video. GG & her editor may have to go next year - this is the last of the lovely 2009 photographs by the mysterious (& generous) wax0r.

ciao-meow, amici!

Buona Festa della Donna!

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. Giulia & her editor wish our friends, female family members, & readers bouquets of yellow mimosa. (As a bonus, it's also Carnevale/Mardi Gras/Fasching. More about which later. At least have a doughnut or good chocolate without shame.)

For a little Italian celebration, visit Eleonora's Aglio, Olio, & Peperoncino. Yum.

ciao-meow & baci/GG Central

(lovely mimosa by Maria Luisa)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Darfuri Design at National Geographic

Giulia & her editor are pleased to report that a special edition of the Basket of Peace, crafted by weavers at Darfur Peace & Development Organization’s Kassab Women’s Center, is featured in the National Geographic Society's Spring 2011 Catalogue.

Read about the
Weaver's Cooperative in Kassab Camp & like DPDO's Facebook page. Thanks!

ciao-meow/GG Spring Central

(photographs: Hadja by Susan Burgess-Lent/DPDO/2 National Geographic)