GIFTS for ENGINEERS

Engineer Gifts Must Be Technically COOL

Moving parts. Equations. More moving parts. Detailed schematics. Putting the pieces together in your head before you pick up the tools. A few more moving parts to consider. More calculations on the fly. There are endless cycles in the life of the mechanical engineer. How better to capture all these critical elements of being an engineer than with unconventional (read that as cool) graphic designs that will make these rare individuals stand out? Appropriate engineer gifts and graphic designs for engineering students reflect the various facets of engineering with a balance of the serious and the complex.

Boffin Academy Introduces Engineer Gifts

Boffin Academy recently added some few new designs in various “academic subject” departments. While I am not an engineer, I can appreciate intricate schematics and detailed designs. So I am excited to share some new designs from the “engineering” section of Boffin Academy, which I think you will like. Those which I have included are particularly for mechanical engineers, engineering students, and those who appreciate what it takes to design machinery that can get the job done.

Simply Loco T-shirt Design

SIMPLY LOCO is a simple line art design especially for the heavy duty mechanical engineering fans (and the train lovers, of course). It’s also an apt description of how you will feel after studying for (and preferably acing) your next engineering exam. The locomotives in this design are vintage classics – perfect for those who appreciate the engineering genius of yesteryear.

 

Uber Engineer T-shirt Design

UBER Engineer is perfect for that UBER engineer in your life. Doesn’t everyone have at least one of those characters in their life? They know it all, and can fix it ALL. And they will turn you into an engineer if you give them half a chance and your spare screwdriver. What would life be without an uber engineer who knows exactly how to remedy everything YOU broke?

 

Engenius T-shirt Design

ENGENIUS  remains a best seller amongst the more serious designs. You can read more about this design here.

Locomotion T-shirt Design

LOCOMOTION – it all about old trains… and detail, detail, detail. Vintage schematics meld with vintage newspaper adverts to create a unique design that will appeal to people who are machinery-minded. Get Grandpa, Dad, and even Junior the t-shirt, the baseball cap, the throw blanket, and the perfect train cushion next time you go gift shopping.


Locomotion Square Canvas Pillow

Locomotion Square Canvas Pillow
Find more products with this design at
Boffin Academy

 

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Cape Town Book Video

The “Cape Town: Colour the Rainbow Nation” coloring book has a new promo video. This is a short video focusing on only two themes from the book: the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and the Kaapse Klopse Street Parade.

 

Cape Town, the Mother City of South Africa, has roots that extend back to the seventeenth century. While its history is preserved in centuries-old architecture, the city continues to grow, evolve, and make new history with each passing year. As a culturally diverse city, Cape Town has much to offer its visitors and locals. Consider the majestic mountains, pristine beaches, vibrant music scene, art galleries, theaters, shopping, and opportunities to indulge in exotic foods, and it quickly becomes obvious why Cape Town is the most popular tourist destination in Africa.

Cape Town: Colour the Rainbow Nation” is a colouring adventure for those who love to explore. Whether you are a proud Capetonian or have yet to visit the city, “Cape Town: Colour the Rainbow Nation” is your opportunity to explore and make memories in the most colourful of ways. In addition to a few factual titbits and the odd urban legend, you will find a variety of themed colouring pages. Cape Town has so much to offer that this book only captures a few of the city’s many highlights:

Table Mountain

Lion’s Head

Devil’s Peak

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden (see VIDEO)

Cape Town City Hall

Castle of Good Hope

Cape Town’s Suburbs

Table Mountain’s Aerial Cableway

Ethnic Art

Mountain Baboons

Cape Peninsula

Cape Town on the Map

The Kaapse Klopse Street Parade (see VIDEO)

Cape Town: Colour the Rainbow Nation Coloring Book by Pearl R. Lewis
Cape Town: Colour the Rainbow Nation

Colour the Rainbow Nation” (#ColorTheRainbowNation) is a celebration of all things South African: the people, the places, and the experiences that help us remember the past while we continue to plant seeds of hope for the future. Nelson Mandela once described South Africans as being as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld. Whether you are rooted in this beautiful country or just wish you were, “Colour the Rainbow Nation” invites you to celebrate South Africa with your own splash of colour.

The paperback and the e-book (PDF) versions of CAPE TOWN: Colour the Rainbow Nation are available from Lulu and a variety of other online book sellers.

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COLOR the CAROLS: music and art to celebrate Christmas

Color the Carols COMBO by Eddie and Pearl LewisIt’s the first of October and an exciting day in the Lewis household. It’s RELEASE DAY for the  COLOR the CAROLS COMBO. This COMBO includes the adult-friendly coloring book COLOR the TRUMPET CAROLS and the instrumental Christmas CD UNADORNED TRUMPET CAROLS. The COMBO is the result of a joint effort by my super talented husband, Eddie Lewis, and myself.

Over recent years, our family has been noticing how ragged and worn-out people look as the countdown to Christmas progresses. The festive season has become an exhausting time which many people have grown to dread: the endless shopping for gifts, the over-consumption of unhealthy food, office parties, stressful family get-togethers, church productions, crazy traffic, malls crammed with people, more shopping, and so it continues. By the time Christmas Day arrives, many people just want to crawl into a dark corner behind the Christmas tree and sleep off a month of fatigue and irritation. Where has all the PEACE and JOY that is supposed to be associated with Christmas gone? The Christmas carols advertise this blissful state, yet for many a joyful, peaceful Christmas is just a distant memory from a childhood when things moved slower and life was simpler.

Can we recapture that Christmas joy and peace described in the Bible and the many carols? Can we experience it again this Christmas? Eddie and I set out to discover if this was possible. We wanted to create something that would give people the opportunity to shut out the noise and stress of the festive season for at least a little while each day. Our music and illustration skills came together in what we can best describe as a “Christmas experience”. That may sound a little strange, but that is what makes this product what it is: a soothing balm for weary souls. The combo is designed to immerse you in the Christmas story, by soaking your senses in the story. For a little time each day, as you use this COMBO, you can become part of the Christmas story, rejoicing with the angels and shepherds, and at peace with Joseph and Mary. For a little time each day, as you journey through the COMBO using music and the creative application of color, you can leave behind the craziness of the Christmas season, and soak yourself in the true meaning of Christmas.

The coloring book (COLOR the TRUMPET CAROLS) takes you through the Christmas story, from the prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ to the fulfillment of the prophecy. Each full-page, hand-drawn illustration is accompanied by a page with the scripture which forms the basis for the drawing. This page also includes an extract from a well-known carol that relates to the scripture and the illustration. To deepen the experience of exploring this scene, this text page also includes reference to one or more (sometimes as many as six) carols from the UNADORNED TRUMPET CAROLS album. It is recommended that you play the CD as you color, and pay particular attention to the referenced carols for that page. (This text page is also framed and includes design elements from the accompanying main illustration, so there is plenty of opportunity to add color.)

There is no shortage of documentation available online to support coloring as a relaxing, stress-reducing activity. (If you want to read more about the impact of art therapy methods such as coloring on health, you can read this blog post.) Music has similar powerful health benefits. By combining music and art (to take advantage of the health and well-being benefits of both streams of creativity) with the uplifting effects of scripture, the  COLOR the CAROLS COMBO offers a unique Christmas-focused experience. When you open the book, turn on the music, and settle down to meditate on one moment in the Christmas story, you choose something better, something more joyful and more peaceful, than the rush and the stress of today’s Christmas season where it is easy to forget WHY we are celebrating. Treat yourself to a worthwhile Christmas experience this year – and then share the joy and peace with others.

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Original Art Greeting Cards: Why Use Them?

Christmas. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Graduations. Hallmark has them covered, or so we thought. Store-bought greeting cards have a lot to offer: vivid color, cute one-liners, reminders to add extra postage to the envelope, and quite often a rather hefty price tag. But the truth is that the card you buy at the store is one of thousands of identical cards, some of which are sold all over the planet. In no way is the card in your hands unique, even if it does aptly express what you would like to communicate. Of course, sometimes it simply does not manage to say what you are trying to say. You spend an hour browsing the card rack only to conclude that nothing is quite what you want: either the picture is great, but the words are cheesy, or the words are beautiful and heartfelt, but the picture is just not appropriate for the person you want to give the card to.

When store-bought cards do not give you a perfect fit for the message you have to share, it’s time to widen your search net. What are your options? You could write a letter – but that wouldn’t have a fun picture to go with it. You could make your own greeting card – but what if all your paints are dry, you are too busy, or you don’t feel the tickle of the creative finger? You could make a phone call to communicate your message – but that wouldn’t qualify as a heart-warming, written greeting. Yet another option (and one of my favorites) is to invest in a hand-crafted greeting card that perfectly suits the recipient. You know the person you are buying a card for – invest in a one-of-a-kind card that will float their boat.

Hand-crafted greeting cards are widely available on international craft platforms such as ETSY. Artists, scrapbookers, and print boutiques around the world all have something to offer you that will put store-bought greeting cards in the shade. I want to put the spotlight on one category of hand-made cards, simply because these cards are one of my areas of interest. Original illustrated greeting cards – they offer fresh designs on cards that are guaranteed to be unique.

So why should you invest in an original art card? Let me start by saying that if store-bought cards meet your needs then the answer to this question is not for you. Definitely stay with what works for you. But if store-bought cards fall a little short of your expectations, it makes sense to spend roughly the same amount of money on a greeting card that is more than a greeting card.

Original art cards may be collaged, hand painted or illustrated directly on the card surface, or have an original drawing or painting attached to the front of the card. ACEO greeting cards are a good example of the latter type. In an ACEO-styled card, the art card is constructed by attaching a small artwork (ACEO) to the front of a blank card. I have recently begun work on a series of greeting cards that fall into the former category: illustrations done directly on the card surface. I enjoy monotone, so for this series I have chosen to work predominantly in black ink on a white card surface. The style is reminiscent of adult coloring books with detailed patterns, abstraction, and a central theme for each card. (In fact, I actually encourage my customers to color the card and envelope if they want to contribute their own brand of creativity to the card.)

By purchasing an original art card, you are purchasing a small work of art which in turn becomes a vehicle for your greeting or message. Wouldn’t you like to open your mailbox (the physical one in your front yard) and find a greeting card that is entirely unique – not a mass-production print or even a limited edition print, but something a real person invested significant time into? You can run your finger over the surface of the card and feel the texture of the media used to create the card. You might even spot real life smudges or slips of the pen that have not been fixed by a computer. You would be holding art in your hands. Perhaps not a grand piece you might add to your million dollar art collection, but art – small and unusual art – nonetheless.

If you have something worth saying by writing it down, why settle for some run-of-the-mill e-card or a glossy generic issue from your local Walmart? Put your words inside a card that the recipient will look at more than once – they might even hold onto the card (and your words), if they recognize the value of what they have in their hands. (And of course, there is always the chance that the inexpensive art card you paid a few dollars for is created by an artist that becomes famous during your lifetime. Wouldn’t you want to be able to say you still own or gifted one of their small artworks?) An original art card takes your words and upgrades their value by presenting them in a way that will be entirely unique to that moment. It’s a double delight gift: your thoughtful words and an original piece of art.

If you are interested in viewing some of my original art cards, please visit my ETSY store.

 

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Fruit of the Spirit Adult Coloring Book

inPRINT_RELEASE_fruitofspiritBible study meets therapeutic coloring in my newest illustration project: “Fruit of the Spirit Colouring Book“. Galations 5:22-23 forms the foundation for this book. The “fruit” mentioned in this well-known scripture is dissected, and each of the nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit is explored through illustration and scripture.

LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONGSUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, and SELF-CONTROL – the Bible has a lot to say about each of these characteristics. This book invites you to open your Bible and make a few discoveries of your own as you fill the  fruity illustrations with color.

The book balances full page, abstract illustrations alongside pages of Bible reading and study activities. The large illustrations feature key words from Galations 5:22-23 embedded in quasi-abstract, retro-styled designs. The study pages are designed with decorative borders, so you can continue to color while you read and reflect on what the Bible has to teach us about the fruit of the Spirit.

The “Fruit of the Spirit Colouring Book” is now available in print, and can be ordered from various online book sellers. If your favorite bookstore does not stock this book, ask them to add it to their inventory listing. I recommend ordering your copy from Lulu. Remember to check their website for any coupons before you order, as Lulu often has special deals for book lovers. If you live in South Africa, I recommend ordering from Megabooks – in many cases, their prices of my books beat any of their international competitors.

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Cape Town in Colour

Cape Town: Colour the Rainbow Nation by Pearl LewisCape Town, the Mother City of South Africa, is an advert for a great country. As a city with a colourful personality and arms wide open to embrace cultural diversity, Cape Town stands as tall as the mountain that casts a shadow over it. Big. Bold. And proudly South African. Even those who have never visited South Africa are quick to recognize Cape Town’s iconic landmarks: Table Mountain, the City Bowl, Devil’s Peak, Kirstenbosch Gardens, V&A Waterfront, and the list goes on.

Cape Town cannot help but serve as muse. The inspiration it has to offer shrouds the curious mind, dampening the creativity with its salty essence. It spills over thoughts in much the same way that the Cape Doctor’s ghostly breath drapes itself over Table Mountain’s plateau. You will find Cape Town’s special brand of inspiration reflected in the hot, African rhythms that eminate from the crowded jazz venues, in the ghoema beat to which the “Kaapse Klopse” parade dances its way into the new year, in the flavours of the rich Malay curries, in the vibrant street art that tells the city’s collective story, and in the classic and contemporary poetry that bares the city’s soul. A little of Cape Town’s inspiration has soaked into me over the years, and planted the seed for the first book in a new series: Colour the Rainbow Nation.

Cape Town: Colour the Rainbow Nation” is a celebration of Cape Town’s warm personality and beautiful environment. This book is my way of paying tribute to the Mother City. Since there is much to see and experience in such a magnificent city, and a colouring book can only have SO MANY pages, I had to put some boundaries in place. Instead of simply focusing exclusively on the obvious tourist traps, I built my illustrations on the foundation that Cape Town had laid in my own memories and experiences. I will admit that I have done a few of the touristy things like riding the cable car up the mountain, and sitting on the quayside at V&A Waterfront watching the seals sunbathe. But “Cape Town: Colour the Rainbow Nation” is about more than the things everyone should have the opportunity to experince at least once in their lives. It is the story of how a non-Capetonian (like myself) experiences the city, and it is told in a series of ready-to-colour pages.

I like to think that the story I tell has a page for everyone. Take the “mountain king” page as an example. If you have been to Cape Town and never seen a baboon roaming the streets before dawn, then you left the city too soon or got up too late. The baboon may not be one of South Africa’s BIG FIVE, but it certainly is big and bold enough to be the featured wildlife of Cape Town. Then there are the street parades that happen every year on the second of January. I remember first witnessing (thanks to television) the annual Kaapse Klopse as a child. The images and sounds of this Cape Town street parade captivated my young imagination, and remained with me to become another page in the book. Don’t forget the legend of Van Hunks and the vice he shared with the devil. Such a story surely deserves its own page.  You get the idea, don’t you? It’s not just a colouring book about the grand, old Table Mountain (although the majestic mountain did demand it’s own page, which it received).

If you have seen any of my earlier colouring books, you will know that I prefer freestyle drawing. My colouring book pages are not computer-generated models of perfection as has become typical of adult colouring books. I go where the lines lead, and yes, sometimes my hand-drawn lines are a little wonky. Where you see wonky, I see a story unfolding. I like the adjective “organic” – hand-drawn lines are natural, and just a little earthy. The thickness of a hand-drawn line varies as the pen glides across the paper, and sometimes the ink makes a joyful, little ink blob where you didn’t expect to place a blob. The sweep of a hand-drawn curve cannot be described with a very simple mathematical equation – you will need to apply some hefty calculus to write organic lines in mathematics. Yes, hand-drawn illustrations are wonderfully quirky. My illustrations are indeed organic: real-life stories sketched in a thin flow of monotone – stories that are begging you to bring them to life with colour.

Cape Town: Colour the Rainbow Nation” is already available in print and digital formats from a couple of retailers, and you can expect to see the book listed at the major stores (e.g. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository) within the next four to six weeks.  You can purchase the print and digital (pdf) versions of this book from Lulu. Lulu offers shipping from various depots across the globe, so your order will ship from the location nearest to you. If you live in South Africa, I recommend ordering your print copy from MegaBooks (a book seller based in Cape Town). Megabooks is offering a special introductory price for this book, so you will not only save a lot on the cover price of the book, but also bypass any international customs clearance fees that are levied when you order from Europe or USA.

If you decide to invest in a copy, please do come back and let me know how you experienced the book. If colouring the pages triggered memories, made you laugh, or if you simply enjoyed filling the pages with colour, I would love to hear about it.

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NEW RELEASE: Color the Realm of Fractonia

Color the Realm of Fractonia by Pearl LewisFRACTONIA” is a sci-fi adventure story for pre-teen and teen readers. To tickle the imagination a little more, some chapters also include line illustrations. The style of the illustrations and the story they are able to tell on their own, without text, encouraged the release of a book of ready-to-color illustrations, “COLOR THE REALM OF FRACTONIA“.

COLOR THE REALM OF FRACTONIA” (by Pearl R. Lewis) is a small-format, modern-style coloring book for “big” kids (and those who are young at heart). This coloring book matches the design and size of the paperback, “FRACTONIA“, and is also perfect-bound.  The coloring book references the novel, and is the logical accompaniment to “FRACTONIA“, particularly if you prefer to give physical books as gifts or prizes. The size of the coloring book makes is convenient and light-weight to slip into a backpack or take along on a car trip. 

What can you expect to find inside “COLOR THE REALM OF FRACTONIA”?

The book starts with a brief reference to “FRACTONIA” as a way of introducing the characters that are waiting for your color input. You will encounter all of your favorites: King Spudski, Matthew Roberts, Merc, QM, the memory beasts, and the Parts. Each character has a part to play, but you are the one in charge of how they look when they play that part. While the book does hint about the appearance of the characters, you are free to paint these strange beings in colors that you believe belong with them. No restrictions. You color them as you think they should look.

Of course, King Spudski, Merc, QM, Matthew, and the fraction folk are not new to you. You met them in “FRACTONIA” and ended the book with an idea of how they looked. What “FRACTONIA” failed to reveal was that there were other Fractonians lurking in the shadows that did not get featured in the novel. As a special bonus, “COLOR THE REALM OF FRACTONIA” introduces you to a few new characters that you may not have noticed before: Diffractoids, Angularicans, the Master of Relativity, and the curious young Nietsnie.

How can I use “COLOR THE REALM OF FRACTONIA”?

If you have never heard about the Realm of Fractonia, but enjoy coloring strange creatures you know little to nothing about, this book is for you. Man those colored pencils and colorize the world and the creatures of Fractonia without another moment’s hesitation. There is, however, an advantage to first reading “FRACTONIA” before you attempt to color the pages. Submerging yourself in the story allows you to approach the coloring from a position of familiarity. The illustrations won’t just be lines and forms on the page, but personalities you have come to like or dislike. Having an emotional connection with the characters can help to make your coloring more expressive – you will probably feel more engaged, and might find it easier to daydream about the story as you color. Parents and teachers may prefer to read “FRACTONIA” out aloud to a younger audience. The children can  use the telling of the story as a way to stimulate their creativity while they color pictures from “COLOR THE REALM OF FRACTONIA“.

Is this a coloring book for little children?

Anyone capable of coloring a line illustration can add color to this book. It was, however, created as a supplement to the book, “FRACTONIA“, so the ideal user of the coloring book will be pre-teen or older. Yes, adults are welcome to indulge in a little coloring.

Will a teen really use a coloring book?

Yes, if they are smart they will. Adult coloring is rapidly gaining ground as a healthy activity: it reduces stress, stimulates creativity, and encouraging physical and psychological healing. If adults are recognizing the health benefits of splashing color on the page, smart (i.e. cool) teens will do the same. “COLOR THE REALM OF FRACTONIA” will appeal most to youth that are interested in science fiction or fantasy. Coupling the coloring book with the novel produces an interesting gift set for the young and curious in your life. It’s a great way to get readers to explore art, and artists to indulge in a little reading.

Where can I buy a copy of “COLOR THE REALM OF FRACTION”?

The conveniently sized 6″ x 9″ paperback version of “COLOR THE REALM OF FRACTONIA” is currently available from Lulu, and will soon be available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram, and The Book Depository.

 

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FRACTONIA at Google Play

Fractonia by Dr P.R. LewisAndroid loyalists can relax. It is your turn. Apple Stores are not the only device stores to stock Fractonia . If you own an Android device and usually shop at the Google Play Store, you can now purchase a copy of “Fractonia” at Google Play. Google is currently offering a new release price, so you can add the book to your e-library at a significant discount.

Books purchased from the Google Play Store are not only readable on tablets and phones. You can settle back and read these books on your computer using your computer’s web browser. 

Join the Fractonian adventure. Take the journey with the lead character, Matthew Roberts. Explore a new world. From silent beasts to the talkative representative of the Royal Service Extraordinaire, there is no shortage of the bizarre and the wonderful in the world of Fractonia. There is much to distract a curious mind in Fractonia and it is easy to fall prey to the passing of the yonkinots. Will Matthew be distracted from discovering the real reason that he was invited to this world? Are you willing to find the answer? The clock is ticking, and time is running out – for Matthew and for Fractonia. 

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FRACTONIA in Print

Fractonia by Pearl R. Lewis“Fractonia” has been available for some time from e-book stores around the world. You can read the book on your computer, your tablet, or your phone. But if you are not a fan of virtual books, then this post brings you good news. Paper rules! “Fractonia” is a available as a REAL, tree-based book. You can now purchase your PRINT (paperback) copy of the book, and turn those pages the old fashioned (best) way.

The 116-page illustrated paperback is printed in the easy-to-handle (and slip into your bag) 6″x9″ format.

If you are new to the title and have not been following the development of this project, you can read more about Fractonia in the book section of my website. The book is suitable for middle school (advanced) readers, high school students, and adults. While prior knowledge of very simple fraction algebra is a plus, it is not essential. If you previously avoided mathematics as if it was the enemy, and have little to no recall of algebra, you are the perfect reader for this book. 

“Fractonia” is an adventure story that demonstrates that mathematics can be visualized as something quite different from a stack of numbers and equations. While not all students think “in pictures”, many who are turned off from more traditional ways of approaching mathematics can benefit from exploring topics in an image-centered way. Even though this book is advertised as a children/teen book in many places, this book is a good way for parents and teachers to explore the concept of visualization in mathematics.

Go on – give it a try. If you discover that you cannot connect with the strange characters or that the odd reference to a mathematical term is frying your brain, you can always donate the book to your local school library. Take a break from whatever you have planned this weekend, and go on a mind adventure – you know you want to do it.

 

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FRACTONIA at iTunes and iBooks

Fractonia on iTunes and iBooks“Fractonia”, the math-centric adventure for curious minds by Pearl R. Lewis, has found its way into the iWorld. If you use a Mac computer or your Mac or iOS device to read e-books, you can now purchase a copy of “Fractonia” directly from iBooks or iTunes.

  • You will find “Fractonia” listed is the Sci-Fi and Fantasy category of the iStores, in the English language division.
  • To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

 

 

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