December 21, 2010

Word of the Day: Esperanto

Esperanto was created in the late 1870s and early 1880, and is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. The goal was to create an easy-to-learn and politically neutral language that would serve as a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding.

December 20, 2010

Word of the Day: Scripophily

scripophily (skri-POF-uh-lee) noun
The hobby of collecting historic stock and bond certificates. Also, such a collection.
[From scrip, short for subscription + -phily (love).]

December 17, 2010

Word of the Day: Savoir-faire

Savoir-faire: The ability to say or do the right or graceful thing in any situation.
From French savoir-faire (know-how), from savoir (to know) + faire (to do). 

December 16, 2010

Word of the Day: Utopia

The term come from Greek: ou (not) + topos (place)

An ideal place or state.  An impractical scheme for social or political reform.  Utopia was originally an imaginary ideal island  described in the homonymous book (1516) by Sir Thomas More.


December 15, 2010

Word of the Day: karma

Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed" that causes the entire cycle of cause and effect.  It is also believed to be the force generated by a person's actions to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person's next existence.



December 14, 2010

Word of the Day: zeitgeist

From German (spirit of the time) Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit). 

The spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time, of an era.

December 10, 2010

Word of the Day: Swivet

Swivet (SWIV-it) noun
A state of anxiety, discomposure or agitation; tizzy. (Usually used in the phrase "in a swivet".)
[Of unknown origin.]

Listen Up: C'est si bon

Sometimes Pandora radio stations play songs I've never heard of, and this past week I discovered "C'est si bon" covered by Louis Armstrong.  It's a catchy little tune and with Louis Armstrong's distinct voice he adds a little of New Orleans jazz to the song.  The original song was popularized by Eartha Kitt and was written in 1947 by Henri Betti and Anrdé Hornez (there is an English version of the song as well that was written by Jerry Seelen).  Check out Louis' version here:


December 9, 2010

Vintage Movable Review: Sleeping Beauty

It’s winter and I feel like hibernating. This desire for dreamland reminds me of the great pop-up, Sleeping Beauty by Vojtech Kubasta. This English language copy was printed in 1961 by Artia in Prague for Bancroft & Co. in London. It is a charming retelling of the classic fairytale and Kubasta has brought his trademark design to the work. Largely cut from single sheets of paper, he embellished these inventive pop-ups with pull tabs (including the cover!). Kubasta’s color palette and characters are lively and unique and the story invites countless rereadings…that is after I take a nap.


Word of the Day: Suminagashi

Suminagashi (sue-me-NAH-gah-she), which means "ink-floating", is the ancient zen technique of drawing on paper.

It is believed to be the oldest form of marbling, originating in China over 2,000 years ago and practiced in Japan by Shinto priests as early as the 12th century. Japanese Sumi-e inks were originally used, dropped carefully to float on a still water surface and then blown across to form delicate swirls, after which the ink was picked up by laying a sheet of white rice paper atop the ink covered water. Combining the knowledge of fluid mechanics with artistic talent, the artist controls the floating pigments through the viscosity and surface tension of the water to create images suggestive of mountain ranges, landscapes, clouds and animals before printing them on a sheet of paper.

December 8, 2010

History Lesson: A Charlie Brown Christmas

On December 9th, 1965, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" premiered on CBS and was the first prime-time animated TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz.  This holiday classic is now in it's 45th year on television.  


Word of the Day: Procrastination

from latin : procrastinare.
composed by "pro"(ahead) and crastinus, adjective of "cras"(tomorrow).

Putting off or delaying an action to a later time.

-- Gio

December 7, 2010

Word of the Day: Courtly Love

The prefixed word "court" comes from the latin "courtis" and refers to the place where the nobles show their loyalty to their Lords.

The term "courtly love" was born in the medieval age in the french literature and indicates the relationship the knight serves his courtly lady with the same obedience which he owes to his liege Lord. She is in complete control of the love relationship, while he owes her obedience and submission (a literary convention that did not correspond to actual practice!) The knight's love for the lady inspires him to do great deeds, in order to be worthy of her love or to win her favor. The act of loving is in itself ennobling and refining, the means to the fullest expression of what was potentially fine and elevated in human nature.


Artist Watch: Roy Lichtenstein

A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to see the Morgan Library's Roy Lichtenstein exhibit, which focuses on the artist's first drawings that led him to the comic book style paintings and prints he is known for today.  Named 'Roy Lichtenstein: The Black-and-White Drawings,' this carefully curated exhibit showcases drawings in his famous cartoon/graphic style.  It's open now until January 2nd, 2011 - so if you're in the NYC area and are a fan of Lichtenstein, this show is a must-see!

December 6, 2010

World of the Day: Throw-Up

A throw-up or throwie sits, in the graffiti world, between a tag and a piece in terms of complexity and time investment. It usually consists of a one-color outline and one layer of fill-color. A throw-up is designed for quick execution, to avoid attracting attention to the writer. Throw-ups are often utilized by writers who wish to achieve a large number of tags while competing with rival artists. Most artists have both a tag and a throw-up that are essentially fixed compared to pieces.

"It's one of the most difficult thing to learn, you gotta practice for years, just doing it all time. There's no secret in order to make them…few lines have to be balanced, be prorated and convince you." --Chob


Song of the day: Marina and the Diamonds "Mowgli's Road (Black Teeth remix)"

A song about making decisions... which road to take? The path that is expected of us or another, one less traveled and unknown. Marina's brilliant lyrics and powerful vocals are propelled into orbit courtesy of this throbbing electro remix by the Black Teeth. Brilliant.

- MR

Video of the Day, part 2: Skateboardanimation

Skateboardanimation from Tilman Singer on Vimeo.

Video of the Day: Sigur Rós "Glósóli"

Sigur Rós - Glósóli from Sigur Rós on Vimeo.

What’s Popped Up: Harry Potter Pop-Up

Recently I was able to see paper engineer Bruce Foster and his newest project, Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book, which was published this month by Insight Editions. Working closely with original concept artist, Andrew Williamson, Bruce was able to animate many memorable moments and locations from the past movies. Dimensional scenes from Diagon Alley, and Hogwarts Castle are among my favorites. Other pop-up pages include Magical Creatures, Magical Games and the Dark Arts. This is a great book for fans of JK Rowling and her young wizard and it’s gotten me primed to go see the new film.


This Week 12/6-10/10 At the Pop-Up Studio NYC...

Hello all!

Whether you've noticed or not, I've decided to begin uploading new content to the blog on a daily basis, with new features like vintage pop-up book reviews, new movable book reviews, do-it-yourself pops, daily vocabulary, songs, cool artists and other weekly updates about the projects in the studio. Fun stuff! We want to keep our readers interested and hopefully you'll like what we've got coming up. Everybody in the studio has been contributing and if you have any cool ideas, by all means, let us know!

And as for the projects happening in the studio, let's just say I've begun engineering on the sequel to STAR WARS: THE ULTIMATE POP-UP - which should prove to be just as EPIC (if not more so) than its predecessor. No sneak peeks yet... and it doesn't release until Fall 2012, but there will be more to come in future months - I promise.

Signing off!

- MR

December 2, 2010

Vintage Movable Review: Super Pickle

“Is it a Flying Potato? A 747 Tomato? No – it’s SUPER PICKLE!”

This beloved pop-up book was published by Hallmark in 1972. Written by Dean Walley with illustrations by Mike Strouth and paper engineering by Dick Dudley, The Adventures of Super Pickle bring us into a world populated by vegetables where we meet a mild-mannered pickle named Dillbert. When trouble looms, he transforms into Super Pickle and rushes off to save the day. Will he defeat the evil cabbage? Will he find true love with Lilly? You will have to find a copy of this rare book and read the rest to find out.


Word of the Day: Subconscious Mind

Subconscious Mind-- the part of the mind that we are not aware of.  The subconscious mind directs the automatic functions of our bodies, plays a role in imagination, is tied to creativity, and is at the base of our emotions.  The conscious mind uses 5-10% of the brain while the subconscious mind uses 90-95% of the brain!

December 1, 2010

Word of the Day: Haiku

Haiku is a type of poetry that originates from Japan.

Traditionally the haiku was written in one long string, from top to bottom, using 17 onji (sound-symbols).  These onji are usually divided into 3 sections, the middle one being slightly longer than the others with a pause at the end of the first or second section.  This type of poetry attempts to convey a feeling or experience through the use of images drawn from nature.  Instead of stating a feeling it says "This is what I saw; perhaps it will rouse in you a feeling similar to mine when I experienced it."  Here's an example:

I pay the vendor
open the cage of birds,
they fly away in melody.


DIY: Wreath Pop Up

We've been busy here at the studio, but we've made some time to create a holiday pop up card for you all to make!  Just click the here and be on your way to making your own pop up wreath card!

P.S. When downloading the pdf to print out, Right Click (control-click on a Mac) on the image(s) and choose "Save Link As" and make sure it's a pdf file.  Or you can choose "Open Link in New Window" and print from there!

Happy pop up making!

History Lesson: Invisible Ink

 On November 29th, 1775 invisible ink was created!  Sir James Jay (related to one of our founding fathers, John Jay) had created what they called "sympathetic stain" or "white ink" to help the Patriots communicate with one another secretly.  There were two solutions involved in "white ink", one to write the message and the second to recover the message.  In 1779, George Washington used Sir James Jay's invisible ink to communicate with Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge.

I can't wait to use some in my spy notes!