June 9, 2014 § 1 Comment
In Honor of Adopt a Pet Month we wanted to feature the story behind the kitties on the cover of our Healthy Cat Calendar.
We interviewed Susan Seubert, the cover photographer for The Healthy Cat Calendar, about her adopted furry family.
Q AL – Where did these beautiful cats come from?
SS – These kitties were part of a litter of 3 that a stray cat gave birth to in a friend’s backyard. The momma cat and one kitten disappeared, leaving two tiny kittens behind. They had just opened their eyes when my friend found them.
Q AL – When did you get them?
SS – My friend posted photos of them on her Facebook page in hopes of finding a home for the two of them. We had just lost our cat of 17 years and had decided that we didn’t want to go through the pain of losing a pet again, so we were not looking to adopt any animals. I also travel so much for work, it seemed like poor judgement to adopt them. But we couldn’t help ourselves. :-)
Q AL – Why two?
SS – We really wanted the both of them because they were too cute to just pick one! Also, we had never had litter mates before. When we met them we discovered that one was really shy and the other really friendly, which would have made it difficult to find a home for the one that was shy. They also really love each other – they sleep together and it seemed the right thing to do to keep them together.
Q AL – Have they made a significant change in your life in any way?
SS – Yes! They bring us endless joy. Every morning they want to play with their favorite toy, “Da Bird.” They sit next to the drawer where we keep it and meow loudly until someone brings it out. When I had heart surgery, they slept on my lap through my recovery. They chase each other around the house, filling the house with the sound of running which immediately makes me laugh. I love coming home to them after work or travel. They are so expressive! They love a good book and will sit on your lap on the bed and help you read. I’ve also enjoyed photographing them. They are adorable, even full grown.
Q AL – What special accommodations have you made in your home to make them safe and happy?
SS – That’s a great question! Because we live in an urban green space (forest), we have a lot of native birds and squirrels. We also have coyotes, which tend to prey on house cats around here. In order to give them some outside space — but keep the bird population safe and the coyotes away — my husband built an outdoor “room” made specifically for them. It is accessible any time of day through a small door that leads to a catwalk and into a large, caged-in room. It’s big enough for a small bench, which we’ve outfitted with cushions so we can have coffee and play with them outside. At night there are two solar lights, one of which is motion activated, so they can have some light at night if they wish. It’s fun to watch them turn on the light.
We just want to thank Susan for sharing her story and her wonderful photos of Sugimoto and Weegee the Famous. Susan also photographs chickens for our City Chickens and their Coops wall calendar, visit Susan’s website to preview her travel work with National Geographic and other clients.
If you have a story or photo about your adopted pet you would like to share, please post it on our FB page. We want to celebrate your extended pet families this month.
May 23, 2014 § Leave a comment
Today we heard from our longtime friend and contributor, Jane English, that a good friend of the world passed away on April 24th. Angeles Arrien (1940 ~ 2014) was a light for all who came in contact with her. In addition to her work as an award-winning author, anthropologist, and educator, Angeles was a consultant to diverse organizations such as the Wharton Business School, Motorola Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Labs, the Fetzer Institute, and the Kellogg Foundation – bridging cultural anthropology, psychology, and comparative religion.
It was our privilege at Amber Lotus to collaborate on a calendar project with Angeles and Jane English a few years back: The Mystical Path – Practical Feet 2009 wall calendar. Angeles herself requested “that for those who wished to truly honor her over this next year, that once a month on the anniversary of her passing (the 24th of each month), that individuals would light a candle and say a prayer to honor her memory.” (http://www.angelesarrien.com/)
In her memory we will be offering a light on our blog/FB on the 24th of each month for the rest of the year. We invite you to join us each month, beginning this Saturday and continuing until April 24, 2015.
Pictured here are the wisdom quotes by Angeles Arrien paired with beautiful images by Jane English that we published in the Mystical Path Practical Feet wall calendar. Please enjoy in her memory.
May 1, 2014 § Leave a comment
May 1st, often called May Day, just might have more holidays than any other day of the year. It’s a celebration of Spring. It’s a day of political protests. It’s a neopagan festival, a saint’s feast day, and a day for organized labor. In many countries, it is a national holiday.
The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane, and the giving of “May baskets”, small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps is a tradition.
Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe. A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May. Various Neopagan groups celebrate reconstructed (to varying degrees) versions of these customs on May 1.
The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of Spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer.
In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary’s month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary’s head will often be adorned with flowers in a May crowning.
May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, has long been a day on which the labor movement holds street demonstrations and marches. This originates with the United States labor movement in the late 19th Century. On May 1, 1886, unions across the country went on strike, demanding that the standard workday be shortened to eight hours. In more recent years this day has been taken back by the “Occupy” movement. Some peaceful, some not-so-peaceful demonstrations have been held across the US in some of the larger Metropolitan areas.
Occupy the Streets
by Eric Drooker
The young woman represents the new generation stepping onto the world stage. (If you look closely, you’ll notice that she’s sowing seeds as she strides across the urban landscape.) I created this image to expand the notion of Occupy to be about public space, which has been shrinking in recent years as everything is becoming more and more privatized. The idea is to step away from your flat-screen, away from the Internet (however briefly) and into the living, breathing world. This poster was pasted onto brick walls and lampposts, and the artist physically left his studio and joined the growing crowd in the streets. — Eric Drooker
These are 2 of the political posters that have appeared in the Posters for Peace and Justice wall calendar.
Posters for Peace and Justice 2015 Cover
You can Pre-order your 2015 Calendar at http://www.amazon.com/Posters-Peace-Justice-Political-Calendar/dp/1602379157/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395355061&sr=8-1&keywords=posters+for+peace+2015
Or any one of your preferred online retailers.
April 21, 2014 § Leave a comment
Celebrate Earth Day with us: Help us plant another tree!
In honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day, we at Amber Lotus are upping our commitment to plant more trees with a little help from our friends.
LIKE us on Facebook – or share this on your own timeline.
Amber Lotus has always been supportive of environmental awareness and mindful living and promoting inspirational ideas through the pages of our calendars. We were one of the first calendar companies to use recycled paper and were an early member of Green America. We started our program of offsetting our tree usage and carbon footprint by planting trees and contributing funds to NativeEnergy. We continue that initial focus by using FSC certified paper and partnering with Trees for the Future. As of today, Amber Lotus Publishing has planted more than 330,000 trees with Trees for the Future. You can help us reach our goal of 5,000 more with your LIKE.
More about Trees for the Future
Trees for the Future is a nonprofit agroforestry resource center that helps communities in Central America, Africa, and Asia restore tree cover to their lands. TREES has planted 93 million trees since 1989; Amber Lotus Publishing has funded the planting of at least 330,000 trees through the Trees for the Future organization. In addition to removing CO2 from the atmosphere, these trees help restore degraded land, reverse deforestation, improve soil quality, and augment local standards of living. We are proud and honored to be an active partner in their tree planting program.
Trees for the Future celebrates 25 years of tree planting based on the understanding that the health and welfare of the land is directly related to the health and welfare of the people. With nearly a third of the world’s population living in poor farming communities, and farming being responsible for 80% of the deforestation across Africa, Latin America, and Asia, rural poverty is not a singular issue. It stems from environmental degradation and feeds social ills that create a cycle of hardship and dependence. TREES planting program is designed with three critical elements in mind: people, their profit, and our planet (3Ps) - their triple bottom line. To succeed in meeting this triple bottom line, they are focused on a scalable tree planting strategy – the forest garden approach – which generates sustainable economic, social, and environmental benefits. Read more about Trees for the Future here. (www.treesforthefuture.org)
Below is a preview of our 2015 environmentally focused calendar titles. Available in July 2014 at http://www.amberlotus.com or your favorite bookstore or online retailer.
April 9, 2014 § Leave a comment
The best of Raw food – or any food, for that matter – is the sourcing of high-quality, seasonal, local (when possible), organic ingredients.
Frisée and Fennel Salad
6-8 cups frisée lettuce
1 small fennel bulb, thinly shaved
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
½ cup roughly chopped
Delicately toss all ingredients with desired amount of dressing until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with extra walnuts, cranberries and dressing if desired. Serves 4-6.
¼ cup balsamic or cider vinegar
or any good-quality vinegar
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely minced fresh basil
1 cup olive oil
Whisk together vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice and basil. Add olive oil
and continue to whisk until dressing
is emulsified. Add salt and pepper
These gorgeous veggies are paired with delicious, accessible recipes by well-known master raw food chef and best-selling “cookbook” author Matthew Kenney. http://www.matthewkenneycuisine.com
March 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
This month we are so pleased to chat with Denise Gallagher. She is a wonderful, creative addition to the Amber Lotus greeting card artists. Here is some insight into her whimsical world of illustration.
Amber Lotus has a Q & A with Denise Gallagher
Tell us about your artwork?
I am an artist, an illustrator, and a graphic designer. I worked as an art director in the advertising industry for twenty years before starting my own graphic design and illustration company in 2013. I thoroughly enjoy graphic design, but my true passion is illustration. My illustrations begin as pencil drawings to which I add color, layers, and textures digitally. My subjects are often rare animals, plants, flowers, and bits of ephemera such as pieces of string, teacups, or skeleton keys. My work has been called whimsical, dark, and sophisticated.
What do you do for inspiration?
I find inspiration all around me – in music, nature, literature, and fine art. I am fascinated by vintage etchings of unusual animals and old fairy tales. Sometimes, though, all I need to do to get inspired is to take a long walk or to spend some time in a dusty old bookstore. I find that if I keep my eyes and ears open, inspiration will find me.
What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created?
One of my favorite pieces is a triptych titled Wrapt, which I created for an all-female artist show called “Grace and Ritual” at the Los Angeles gallery iam8bit. Wrapt is my commentary on the joy and pain of motherhood. I poured a lot of emotion into its creation, and it is filled with imagery that is deeply meaningful to me.
I also illustrated a book of twelve Aesop’s fables, which I used as a gift for clients and friends as well as a promotional piece. It was such an amazing project, from researching the fables to imagining and illustrating each one. I was immensely proud of the end result.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a piece for this year’s “Grace and Ritual” show with the theme “Hidden.” I’m thrilled with how it is coming along. Having the freedom to dig deep emotionally for these gallery pieces is especially fulfilling and almost cathartic. They are experimental and intensely personal. I’m also doing some illustration for children’s television. It is playful and colorful and whimsical and enchanting. I love the special kind of magic that emerges when illustrating for children.
What are you doing when you’re not creating?
When I’m not creating, I am enjoying life with my husband and seven-year-old son, Oliver. From making pancakes and having impromptu living room dance parties to attending symphonies and festivals, our life is a wonderful adventure!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I make elaborate pancake art – a tradition begun by my mom. You can see some of them here: http://www.prettypancake.tumblr.com
Where else do you sell your work?
I have an Etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/DGIllustration, where you can find prints, greeting cards, and framed art. For professional commissioned work, you can contact my reps at Those Three Reps, those3reps.com.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
I always dreamed of being an illustrator. Realizing that dream took a lot of hard work and patience. If you have a dream – whatever that dream may be – work your hardest to achieve it. Do your research. Carve out time to devote to that dream and work at it often. Use social media to reach out to others and to get feedback and encouragement. Keep at it. Keep your chin up and realize that a smile and a good attitude go a long way.
Where else can we find you?
You can visit me on my website, DeniseGallagher.com, on Facebook as Denise Gallagher Design and Illustration, on Behance as Denise Gallagher, and on Twitter as @denisegallagrrr.
Here is a sneak peek at Gallagher’s Holiday Cards that will be available in this year’s Boxed Sets.
March 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
This is your opportunity to strut your stuff – and your chickens’ .
Be one of 12 featured coops in this beautifully photographed treasure
of unique coops and their feathered inhabitants.
Submit 3 to 6 digital snapshots (500MB or smaller) of your backyard bird sanctuary to Amber Lotus at firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted Entries will:
• Enjoy a professional photography shoot of their coop and hens
• Be featured in the calendar
• Receive a print quality portrait of their coop for personal use
• Be awarded with six copies of the 12″ x 12″ calendar featuring their coop
Featured coop owners agree to:
• Be available for a two-hour professional photo shoot in late July or early August
• Provide a clean, fresh coop on the day of the shoot
• Provide a short statement about their coop and hens
Visit our 2014 Calendar to see what we’ve featured in the past.
2015 City Chickens and their Coops
Here is a preview of what’s coming next year:
All our featured coops are photographed by Susan Seubert.