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Cool Places in America~ The House on the Rock

What an Amazing House…

Yep, my parents had moved me to another town again. Now I am in Dodgeville, Wisconsin. It was going to be really a cheesy move…but I found this awesome house. I got to meet the caretaker and now I go and play in this place ever day after school. It is the House on the Rock.

They say Jordan had a gift for the blarney. Many things in the house are exaggerated. Some are not original and others are. It was said Jordan would pay more for a good copy than an original just to keep people guessing.  I had a ball trying to guess which things were real and what were not. This house is the house the father from Big Fish dreamed of!

Here are some of the pictures of the boring stuff…

Now for the really Cool…

Now go check out the rest of their gallery. It will definitely make you smile!

Photo Gallery
http://www.thehouseontherock.com/HOTR_Attraction_PhotoGalleryShow.htm

House On the Rock site
http://www.thehouseontherock.com/

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. It is now available in paperback at most bookstores. Ask for it by name. Keep checking back for great cheap vacation ideas that might become your best vacation ever!

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Illustrator of the Week: Rene Bull

Sinbad!

René Bull was a British illustrator and photographer. He was born in Dublin on 11 December 1872 to a French mother and an English father. He went to Paris to study engineering, but embarked on an artistic career after meeting and taking drawing lessons from the French satirist and political cartoonist Caran d’Ache (Emmanuel Poiré) [1]. Bull returned to Ireland to contribute sketches and political cartoons to various publications, including the ‘Weekly Freeman’.

Moving to London in 1892, Bull drew for “Illustrated Brits” and created cartoons in the style of Caran d’Ache for ‘Pick-Me-Up’ from 1893. In 1896 Bull joined Black and White illustrated newspaper as a special artist and photographer. In 1898, he covered the Tirah Campaign in India and went on to Sudan for the campaign culminating in the Battle of Omdurman. He went to South Africa to record the Boer War until the relief of Ladysmith in March 1900. As he was wounded in 1900, Bull was invalided out.

He settled in England and drew cartoons for such magazines as BystanderChumsLondon OpinionLika Joko. In The Sketch Bull created cartoons of humorous inventions, predating those of William Heath Robinson. From 1905 he illustrated books, starting with an edition of Fontaine’s ‘Fables’. Other major titles he illustrated included The Arabian Nights (1912), Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (1913), The Russian Ballet (1913), Carmen (1915), Andersen’s Fairy Tales. In 1914, Bull joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a lieutenant and was eventually transferred to the Royal Air Force where he reached the rank of Major. In World War II Bull joined the Air Ministry for technical duties. He died on 14 March 1942.

Books

  • Jean De La Fontaine – Fables (Nelson, 1905)
  • Frank A. Saville – Fate’s Intruder: A Novel (Heinemann, 1905)
  • Joel Chandler Harris – Uncle Remus (Nelson, 1906)
  • The Arabian Nights (Constable, 1912)
  • Alfred Edwin Johnson – The Russian Ballet (1913)
  • Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Hodder, 1913)
  • Prosper Mérimée (Trans. A. E. Johnson) – Carmen (Hutchinson, 1915)
  • Hubert Strang – The Old Man Of The Mountain (Hodder, 1916)
  • Jonathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels (1928)
  • Rose Fyleman – A Garland of Roses: Collected Poems (Methuen, 1928)
  • Hans Christian Andersen – Fairy Tales (Clowes, c. 1928)
  • Joel Chandler Harris – Brer Rabbit Plays (Retold by Elizabeth Fleming) (Nelson, 1930)
  • Jean De La Fontaine – Fables: A Selection (Trans. Shirley Edward) (1935)
  • Zoo Friends (Blackie, 1939)
  • Various – The Children’s Golden Treasure Book of 1939

Gallery

For more info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Bull

~Cheers
Chris

The Muppets and Salem MA

Sam the Eagle was Inspired by Me

Daniel Webster photo

I shaped the Constitution, I was one of the three most powerful senators, director of two branches of the Second Bank of the United States, prosecutor of the real murder Clue is based on, the real Sam the Eagle from the Muppets, a traitor at the Hartford Convention, agent of Barings/ Bank of England, and I assassinated 3 presidents. Senator Henry Clay helped, but along the way we killed off members of each other’s family…

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

An Original Tour of Salem, MA Beyond the Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692

 

 

 

What fun stuff will you learn about Salem, MA?

 

All this and more you will find on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour! Tuesdays at 8PM and Thursdays through Sundays at 3PM and 8PM. Buy your tickets online! Tickets are $18. Meets on the Salem Common by the Hawthorne Hotel.

Cool Places in America~ Grand Canyon Caverns and the Coolest Hotel Room

What a Cool hotel Room..

Its your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler,  once again bringing you the best in last minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months….

My parents had a gig near the Grand Canyon off of Route 66. If you sing that song I will give you your kicks, kicks in the pants (My father edited this..). Well they were working for a company that created a video game in which some hikers stumbled upon an ancient civilization of aliens that were hiding in the canyons. It was a very strange game.. Never less, I got to go exploring in the Grand Canyon Caverns.

In 1927 a cowboy named Walter Peck almost broke his neck falling in this hole on the way to a poker game. Later he came up with the idea to charge a quarter per person to lower them into the caverns. Now you can take a guided tour or go on your own through them. They run more than 63 miles, so bring lots of string.

The other cool thing about them is in one part is a hotel room. Imagine that a hotel room that is:

  • Largest. 200 feet by 400 feet with 70 foot ceiling
  • Oldest: Caverns and walls over 65 million years
  • Deepest: 220 feet below the surfaces, access via elevator
  • Darkest: absent of any light
  • Quietest: the only sound is your heart beating and your breath. You are the only living thing in the caverns… The only living thing
  • Driest: zero humidity, nothing lives in the caverns, not a fly, not bat, nothing!

It only costs $700 a night. So needless to say, we did not spend the night.

One other cool thing we did there was to watch the Goonies in the cave theater next to the room. It had seats donated from the American Film Institute and had amazing sound as the audio echoed through the cave. The best part of the film was when they were in One Eyed Willie’s cave at the end. Lights reflected in our cave just like in the movie. My father said the only thing better than this was a private screening of the Blues Brothers in the original Blues Brothers bar in Harvard Square with the house sound system.

Then like many places on Route 66 there was this Dino Statue outside of the Grand Canyon Caverns Inn. I know, dinos did not drag their tales, but it is an old statue.

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. It is now available in paperback at most bookstores. Ask for it by name. Keep checking back for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up being your best vacation you ever had!

Good Harbor Beach: Inspiration for a New Story

More Treasures of Rt # 127

Good Harbor Beach Gloucester MA

So what does an illustrator see when he comes across this; a home owned by a recluse ship captain who meet two kids that he introduces to a fat whale he got addicted to Mexican food. A whale whose belly is so big now it drags on the ground and when he farts at the end of the story he creates the tidal river you see in the photo above. Yes, inspiration and what results can be a little warped…

I admit that.

So this is Good Harbor Beach. It is just off of Rt # 127 in Gloucester. It is my favorite wrong turn. See Rt # 127 takes a hard left here without a stop sign, I used to always miss the turn and end up on the beach. Now I purposely miss the turn.

Besides the cool house, the beach is amazing because of this tidal river and how far out the beach goes during low tide. Also the next beach north, Long Beach, the tide runs right to left like a stone skipping as the surf breaks.

So go check them out one day; for now just check out these photos:

Check out my other illustrated books at Salem House Press.

Cheers,
Chris

Illustrator of the Week: Alan Lee

Giants and Fairies!

Alan has illustrated dozens of fantasy books, including some nonfiction, and many more covers.[2] Several works by J.R.R. Tolkien are among his most notable interiors: the Tolkien centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings (1992), a 1999 edition of The Hobbit that has been boxed with it, and Narn i Chîn Húrin: The Children of Húrin(2007).[2][3] The latter, a first edition, is his work most widely held in WorldCat participating libraries.[4] Other books he has illustrated include Faeries (with Brian Froud), Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock (as well as the cover of an early print of this book), The Mabinogion (two versions), Castles and Tolkien’s Ring (both nonfiction by David Day), The Mirrorstone by Michael PalinThe Moon’s Revenge by Joan Aiken, and Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson.[2][3]

He has also illustrated retellings of classics for young people. Two were Rosemary Sutcliff‘s versions of the Iliadand the Odyssey—namely, Black Ships Before Troy (Oxford, 1993) and The Wanderings of Odysseus (Frances Lincoln, 1995). Another was Adrian Mitchell‘s version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses—namely, Shapeshifters (Frances Lincoln, 2009).[5]

Lee did cover paintings for the 1983 Penguin edition of Mervyn Peake‘s Gormenghast trilogy.[2][3] He also did the artwork for Alive!, a CD by the Dutch band Omnia, released on 3 August 2007 during the Castlefest festival.[3]

Watercolour painting and pencil sketches are two of Lee’s common media.[3]

Lee and John Howe were the lead concept artists of Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings films[6] and were recruited by director Guillermo del Toro in 2008 for continuity of design in the subsequent The Hobbit films,[6][7] before joining Jackson when he took over the Hobbit films project. Jackson has explained[8]how he originally recruited the reclusive Lee. By courier to Lee’s home in the south of England, he sent two of his previous films, Forgotten Silver and Heavenly Creatures, with a note from himself and Fran Walsh that piqued Lee’s interest enough to become involved. Lee went on to illustrate and even to help construct many of the scenarios for the movies, including objects and weapons for the actors. He also made two cameo appearances, in the opening sequence of The Fellowship as one of the nine kings of men who became the Nazgûl, and in The Two Towers as a Rohan soldier in the armory (over the shoulder of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn and Legolas talk in Elvish).[9]

Lee has also worked as a conceptual designer on the films LegendErik the VikingKing Kong and the television mini-series Merlin.[6] The art book Faeries, produced in collaboration with Brian Froud, was the basis of a 1981 animated feature of the same name.

Gallery

For more info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Lee_(illustrator)

~Cheers,
Chris