turnip baby screenprints

There are some screenprints of these guys for sale here

One Thousand Gifts

It's a gorgeous snowy day here in Maryland. Although, if you were one stuck on any of our local highways yesterday evening, you may not agree. As a household of teachers, though, we love a good snowfall... especially when it actually comes to fruition!

Other than playing with Eliana and baking, my other favorite snowy day activity is reading. A few weeks ago, Angie Smith mentioned a book on her blog entitled One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It turns out, this is also the new book Angie and Jessica Turner are using for the Bloom Book Club at (in)Courage. The tag line for the book is, "a dare to live fully right where you are."

Who doesn't want to do that?

Working full time this year has been hard, and I the subject of the book piqued my interested; so I ordered it. And between yesterday's snow day and being home again today, I am already half way through. I can't put it down. It is truly one of the best books I have read in a long time.

Ann is an incredibly artistic and gifted writer, sharing authentically about her desire to live a full life... a life of gratitude. She incorporates everyday experiences, a thoughtful analysis of scripture, and personal tragedy as she shares what it means to life fully in each moment.

You'll want to order this book. A hard copy... not the electronic version... because you'll want to mark it up. There is so much good stuff in there. So much so, that once I finish it the first time, I think I will need to go back and reread it to be sure I didn't miss anything.

A few nuggets so far...

With an expiration of less than twelve hours, what does Jesus count as all most important? 'And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them...' (Luke 22:19 NIV)... In the original language 'he gave thanks' reads 'eucharisteo...' The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning 'grace...' but it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning 'joy.' (p.31-32).

As long as thanks as possible, then joy is always possible. (p.33)

Referring to Matthew 11, Ann writes, And then what does Jesus do, in the face of apparent failure, when no one responded to His teaching and things didn't work out at all? He lives out eucharisteo. (p.36)

We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. (p.39)

A question that many of us have probably asked at one point, or several...

How in the world, for the sake of my joy, do I learn to use eucharisteo to overcome my one ugly and self-destructive habit of ingratitude... with the saving habit of gratitude-- that would lead me back to deep God-communion. (p.44)

On the next page, Ann accepts a challenge from a friend...

Could I write a list of a thousand things I love? (p.45)

But in this counting of gifts, to one thousand, more, I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving over everything in my life leaves me deeply thankful for very few things in my life...life-changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time. (p.57)

And so begins Ann's process, a challenge to all of us read this book really, to become people who live a live full of gratitude in all things... for all things.

I'll wrap this up by saying that in no way am I receiving any sort of compensation for mentioning Ann's book here. I simply was made aware of it, became interested, ordered it, and am now engrossed in it ant deeply challenged by it.

It's well worth a read. Several reads, really.


Benares Milonga

Benares Milonga
Featuring MATE CHAI.
Mate Chai are Martin Folatelli & Eduardo de Jong
This is one of the songs form the upcoming Mate Chai LP.
Song recorded at Martin Folatelli Studio Benares.
More info folaviaje@hotmail.com




New Story. Maybe.

This story came out of me a few months ago. 

I was planning on putting it in my upcoming short story book, FLASHLIGHTS IN THE BASEMENT, but I'm unsure what to think of it. It's not a very nice story. I worry that I'm a huge prick for writing it. I worry that it's ignorant and/or cruel toward people who've ever attempted suicide. Will you tell me what you think and not judge me too harshly if my worries are confirmed?

Your friend,



Walzer Oder Nicht ©Duo 550

One more do-it-yourself,
Walzer Oder Nicht
Duo 505 are B.Fleischmann & Herbert Weixelbaum
Morr Music

by Isaac Niemand
recorded with the 550d

What's New?

I can't thank you enough for praying for Sarah, Henry, and the rest of her family. I was able to visit Sarah at the hospital last Thursday and meet her precious son. He was beautiful. I was just captivated by his tiny features... including a cute little chin and perfect little nose... and was so grateful that he had some sweet fuzzy hair. Sarah really wanted to be able to get some locks of hair, and I am thankful that the Lord provided that opportunity for her. Please continue to pray for this family as they hold Henry's funeral this Saturday. I know she has seen the prayers that have been offered on her behalf, and I know she is incredibly grateful for that.

So what else is new?

Not much :)

Eliana turned 10 months old last week, and I can't believe that I am already starting to think about her first birthday party. People aren't kidding when they say, "they grow up so fast!" Ellie is still a little peanut... rocking her 6-9 month clothes (and even some 3-6 month clothes still!), swimming in most 12 month clothes... but her huge personality is in no way deterred by her petite stature. She has developed, quite randomly, a strong affection for Elmo, and for whatever reason, excitedly growls his name whenever she says it. She loves her stuffed Elmo, pop-up book with Elmo, puppet book with Elmo, diapers with Elmo... you name it. It is quite hilarious, actually. She's as curious as can be, loves playing with Grandma's kitty cats and our neighbors and friends dogs, and is so intrigued by the simplest things, like long games of peek-a-boo. She's finally cutting her third tooth (the first two came in right at 5 months), cruising around like crazy, and I have a hunch she'll be taking her first step quite soon. She is so incredible and brings us so much joy... and many, many good laughs!

She loves watching the snow (even though she doesn't love playing in it...)

She loves rooting for the Jets with Daddy! I'm sure this will be the scene this coming Sunday!

Such a big (little) girl at 10 months old! Walking with Mommy...

... and cuddling with Mommy, too! Sort of. This may be the moment where she decided she wanted get down and keep walking!

Reading is still one of Eliana's favorites! She's really into interactive books, like pop-up books, peek-a-boo books, booke that have puzzle-like pieces that come out. She's a great little page turner, too!
In other "news," my sleep issue has improved a little bit, but is still fairly unresolved. Medication wise, not a lot really seems to do the trick. I am still working with a neurologist at a center that specializes in sleep issues to try to find something that works well for me. Many of the medications help you get to sleep which, as Spencer will attest to, isn't my problem. Staying asleep is, and none of the medications have really helped with that aspect of it. Hopefully, as I continue to meet with them for follow up, we'll eventually figure out something that works. Until then, my one trusty cup of coffee, and more importantly, the confidence in knowing that God really will enable me and strengthen me to still function in the day-to-day, are getting me through.

This weekend I will be flying to Atlanta for the wedding of my dear friend, Kim. Kim and I met when she was in high school, and I was her Young Life leader. We have so many great memories together... from Bible study and breakfast before school, to trips to Ocean City, NJ. I love this girl's heart, and her fiance, Andrew, is one very lucky guy! I am so excited to celebrate with her this weekend. At the same time, I am incredibly nervous to hop on a plane and leave Eliana. She will do great, I know, at home with Spencer. I would appreciate prayers, though, for safe, quick, and uneventful flights. I am normally not scared to fly; this time, well... I'm slightly nervous.

Things with Isaac's playground are still moving along. The equipment has been ordered, and I am so excited for the community install that is going to take place this spring. More on that as details roll in.

I wish we were more exciting... this is such a boring, and random, update for the most part! So maybe it's better to ask... what do YOU want to know? Anything you're wondering about? Something I've blogged about previously you're curious to hear an update on that maybe I forgot about? I hope that 2011 is off to a great year for each of you. I know we are looking forward to what this year holds in store!

Pentacon Six with 550d

I just got this Carl Zeiss, 120mm, f2.8!!
from an old Pentacon Six.
Plus and adaptateur for the canon ring (made in china).
In total 110 eur.
The best thing is the focus, is really hard, and with a long trajectory, great to play with the Dof.
No way you get something like this from Canon for less then 1500 eur.

Recorded with the 550D
at 60fps, and switched to 30 with Cinema Tools.
Colour with Mojo.

Music© Premjit Ramachandran

Happy New Year!

I hope the holidays were a joyous time for you. We dreamed about spending time away from the craziness of the holidays, but instead, jumped head first into it. This year offered some new challenges with my parents divorce last summer. But other than that, the holidays were fun, almost a wee bit relaxing, and very successful in the pottery. I want to thank all of you who made gifts of my pots and books. This was the most successful Christmas studio sale I have ever had, thanks to you. I have already had a few visits from people who received my first book for Christmas and came over to pick up the second and third. Thank you for spreading Niederbipp!

The holidays also offered me the chance to attend a few funerals. I have to be careful when I say that because whenever I do, people begin offering their condolences. If you have missed my previous blogs, my reason for attending funerals is perhaps different than for most people who attend funerals. I am doing research for my next book. The funerals I attend are generally for total strangers, at least when I arrive, but in every case so far, I leave feeling like I have lost a friend--a good person. It has been incredibly interesting becoming acquainted with people only after they have passed into eternity. I have loved it and filled notebooks with the lessons I have learned. My morning now begins with a look at the obituaries. I have been interested in attending funerals of all different faiths to learn more about their traditions. I have also attended funerals for people who have no religion at all. Since beginning this project in June, I think I have attended about 35-40 funerals. I plan on attending another 30-40 funerals before this book is written. I suppose I have become a funeral junky, but I am really enjoying it. I have already attended two funerals this week and hope to be able to find some time to hit another one on Saturday. I don't know, but I think I may have started a new hobby. I'm not sure it will catch on, but I do recommend it.

After more than eleven years of planning, I think this is the year to add onto our home and finally finish our kitchen. We purchased our home eleven years ago and I promised my wife we would work on our small, outdated kitchen from the very beginning. Nothing has changed. Still small. Still outdated. We wanted to do this two years ago, but we bought a whole bunch of books instead. :) We hope to get started in April so I am busy making pots to get ready for the arts festivals this summer so I wont be stressed out. But my heart wants to write. I tried to do some today. I went out to the studio this morning, trimmed some vases I made yesterday, and decided I should make some of my faces for my garden art GearHeads that would fit in the kiln I need to fire tomorrow. That kept me busy until just before I met a friend for lunch. Then back to the studio to write. I had just sat down to write when my phone rang. Another friend was in trouble. His hose bib had frozen and cracked and his new basement was flooded. I took my shopvac and went up to help. I got home around four and sat down to write and the phone rang--someone needed a bowl for a gift and needed to come right away. She was just leaving as a man showed up, needing another copy of Remembering Isaac. He was nearly on his way out when two women arrived, wanting a teapot for their mother. That took a half hour for them to decide and I was just walking them out when my wife called and asked me take a lasagne over to a friend whose mother was in the hospital. So I did not write today. I am frustrated.
Tomorrow is not looking hot either. Someday soon, I will sit down and write all day. I have developed an itch for writing that I cannot seem to satisfy, no matter how much I write. I am really enjoying this and feeling like I am being taught all along the way. I am glad I will be able to share this with you as I have the with the other books.

Many people have asked where they can find my books. One woman today said she had been to four bookstores looking for it, to no avail. I am not sure why my distributor is not pushing it better. I am frustrated by that. For the time being, the books are cheapest and most easily accessible from my studio here in Salt Lake City at 1150 East 800 South, or from Amazon.com. I am Abendmahl Press on Amazon, so if you order from Abendmahl, you will get new, signed books at the same price that you can buy them directly from the studio, plus only $3.99 shipping anywhere in the USA. We are shipping, on average, at least 2 box sets a day and we would be happy to send one to you or someone you love. If you don't like to deal with Amazon, give me a call. I would be happy to take your order personally. 801-883-0146. I am still speaking to book clubs regularly too, so if your book club is reading my book and would like to hear the story behind the story, I would be happy to come and speak. Or you could bring your book club here on a field trip. Just give me a call. The year fills up quickly, so please call sooner rather than later.

I wish you a happy new year. Stay warm. Drink some peppermint tea. I'll try to keep you updated about my progress on the book. Oh, and if any of you have any recommendations about contractors, plumbers or electricians, please let me know. Cheers, and Viva Niederbipp!

B.Fleischmann, making of

Preparing a new music clip, this time for B.Fleischmann. Coming up the 15h january.

Another Update

I received a text from Sarah that Henry passed away at 8:00 this morning. My heart is so heavy.

Please continue to pray for them, particularly now as the grief of losing their son really begins to set in.

I am planning to visit Sarah this afternoon. Please be praying for that time. Please pray that God would equip me with the words, or the lack of words, that would be of the greatest comfort to Sarah. Please pray that my ministering to them would draw them to Christ. That is my deepest desire... that they would find the peace and comfort that comes from knowing Him. I cannot imagine going through this without my faith in God.

When Steven Curtis Chapman lost his daughter, he said, "The only thing scarier than going through this with my faith, is going through it alone, cursing God." That resonates with me so deeply.

Thank you for continuing to pray for this precious family, especially now...

Isaac Niemand official picture for NOVA Rio

©Saul Tiff

NOVA the film (trailer)

It took a while, but is almost ready. The film made during the past NOVA in Sao Paulo.
Directed, filmed, edited, and whatever else by Isaac Niemand.

"Panelists": Not the Death of this Blog

I'm not intending to retire the Satisfactory Comics blog, which will still be our best forum for random doodles, dopey ruminations, and elaborate puns. And, you know, comics, when we draw some more. But let me also direct your attention to the group blog I have joined at tcj.com (that's short for The Comics Journal dot com): The Panelists.

This is sort of a big deal: I'm joining the guys from Thought Balloonists, Guttergeek, and Madinkbeard to form a sort of Voltron of comics criticism. I think it will be awesome.

My first post, a "one-panel critic" mini-essay about a turning point in Ghost World, is up now.

We're also running a contest (with a real prize) that involves identifying the images in our masthead / logo. Here's a hint: if you've seen the only piece of original comics art that I own, then you will be able to identify the image I contributed. Pop over and take a look at the logo, read our first week's posts, and join the discussion!


Thank you all so much for praying for my friend, Sarah. With her permission, I am posting the update that I received in an email from her this morning...

Henry was born yesterday at 8:38am, weighed 2.4 pounds and is almost 15 inches. He has made it through his first night and has been doing so well. He's been eating formula by dropper, talking to us, and even opened his eyes the tiniest little bit. Everyone is surprised by what a fighter our little guy has been. I'm loving every moment, bittersweet that it may be.

I am so thankful for the time this family has had together. I am so thankful that God graciously has provided time for their family member to meet Henry while he is still alive.

Please continue to pray for this family. I know that they are grateful for your prayers.

Giveaway Winners!

Happy New Year everybody! My apologies I am a bit late announcing the winners of my holiday giveaway. Thank you all for follwing my blog. The following people will receive a free digital print of a piece of their choice.

David Campbell

Leah Heming

Drew Green

Kate Moon


And the winner of an original sketch is..

Chris Kennet!

Here is the Important part. If you are one of the lucky winners, you have to email me in order to receive your piece of artwork. My email is Isaac@orloffillustration.com. Please email me by the end of the month in order to be eligible to receive your print. Thank you to everyone else who follows, I will be doing more giveaways in time to come.

Things have been crazy since I got back from LA. So much talk with different studios and what not, I have had no time at all to draw. Hopefully things will slow down and i will be able to post up some more work soon. Happy New Year everyone!