Su "My Favorite Things" di John Coltrane        
Il 16 novembre 1959 debuttava a Broadway The Sound of Music, di Richard Rodgers e Oscar Hammerstein, uno dei musical più popolari di tutti i tempi anche grazie alla versione cinematografica che ne fu tratta nel 1965 (regia di Robert Wise, protagonista Julie Andrews, la versione italiana porta il titolo Tutti insieme appassionatamente).

Una particolare canzone tratta da questo musical ha avuto fortuna immensa. Di My Favorite Things, infatti, si contano centinaia di cover; l'elenco preparato dai redattori di Radio Rai è lungo sedici pagine.

Qui mi occuperò della versione forse più celebre, quella incisa in studio da John Coltrane il 21 ottobre 1960. Per capire quest'ultima, però, è opportuno partire dalla versione originale di Richard Rodgers. In questo articolo mi avvarrò dell'analisi condotta dal massimo studioso di Coltrane, il musicologo Lewis Porter, nella sua fondamentale monografia (Blue Train. La vita e la musica di John Coltrane, traduzione di Adelaide Cioni, Minimum Fax, Roma 2006, pp. 277-80).

La canzone è musicalmente molto semplice. Si tratta di un valzer in mi minore di quattro strofe, A-A-A'-B. Le prime tre strofe hanno la stessa musica, salvo che nella terza strofa, A', dove ci sono otto battute in maggiore. La quarta strofa, B, usa una diversa melodia e finisce in sol maggiore.

Qui di seguito copio il testo della canzone, di Oscar Hammerstein, cui faccio seguire una traduzione, volutamente molto pedestre, che ho preparato grazie all'ausilio del traduttore automatico di Google:



(A) "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

(A) Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

(A') Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

(B) When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad!"

"Gocce di pioggia su rose e baffi di gattini
Bollitori di rame luminosi e caldi guanti di lana
Pacchetti di carta marrone legati con corde
Queste sono alcune delle mie cose preferite

Pony color crema e croccanti struedel di mele
Campanelli e campanelli da slitta e schnitzel con tagliatelle
Le oche selvatiche che volano con la luna sulle ali
Queste sono alcune delle mie cose preferite

Ragazze in abiti bianchi con sciarpe di raso blu
Fiocchi di neve che rimangono sul mio naso e sulle ciglia
Inverni bianchi d'argento che si sciolgono in primavere
Queste sono alcune delle mie cose preferite

Quando il cane morde
Quando l'ape punge
Quando mi sento triste
Non ho che da ricordarmi delle mie cose preferite
E allora non mi sento così male!"

The Sound of Music è ambientato a Salisburgo, fra le due guerre. Richard Rodgers ha naturalmente cercato di tener conto della tradizione musicale austriaca: My Favorite Things, come detto, è un valzer; negli altri brani si sentono riferimenti allo jodler, al laendler, al canto gregoriano, ecc. In un numero c'è anche un singolare omaggio ad Haydn: la canzone So long, farewell è eseguita da un coro di bambini che, uno alla volta, abbandonano il proscenio, finché a cantare rimane una sola bambina, così come, nel finale della Sinfonia degli addii, tutti gli esecutori smettono uno alla volta di suonare facendo concludere la sinfonia da un solo violinista.

Come ci si potrebbe aspettare, il testo di My Favorite Things fa uso di un immaginario prettamente alpino, o comunque nordeuropeo: bollitori per il té, guanti di lana, slitte che corrono sulla neve... Se di questa canzone volessimo realizzare un video-clip animato, seguendo pedissequamente il testo, dovremmo adoperare in prevalenza le tinte chiare, e in particolare il colore bianco, la cui presenza, in corrispondenza della terza strofa (quella con le otto battute in maggiore), diventa quasi ossessiva: abiti bianchi, fiocchi di neve, inverni bianchi... (Nella versione cinematografica quest'aspetto "eurocentrico" della canzone è ancora più sottolineato dal forte accento british di Julie Andrews).

Molti si sono chiesti cosa potesse avere indotto un artista come John Coltrane, che da lì a poco sarebbe diventato un'icona della cultura afro-americana, a musicare una sua versione di questo brano, il quale inizialmente c'entrava così poco con il jazz.

Secondo Lewis Porter, è un errore "dare per scontato che Coltrane trovasse la canzone sciocca e che per questo volesse abbellirla". Al contrario, Coltrane ammirava sinceramente questa canzone e, nella sua versione, la trattò "con rispetto". Il "messaggio" della canzone, "che le cose buone ci aiutano a superare le cattive", è secondo Porter "del tutto sensato e prezioso - per nulla sciocco - è solo che utilizza esempi alla portata di un bambino, perché nel copione la canzone si rivolge a dei bambini".

Qui però l'ottimo Porter ha preso una cantonata. Nel film, è vero, Julie Andrews canta la canzone a dei bambini. Il film, però, è del 1965, quindi è posteriore all'incisione di John Coltrane, che a quell'epoca poteva conoscere solo la versione teatrale di questo musical; e, nella versione teatrale, la protagonista canta My Favorite Things in una delle scene iniziali, che si svolgono in un convento di suore, e non la canta ai bambini, bensì alla Madre Badessa del convento.

Sembra, in realtà, che Coltrane non fosse attratto tanto dal "messaggio" della canzone, quanto invece dalla sua manipolabilità sul piano strettamente musicale. Ecco come si espresse Coltrane in un'intervista: "Questo valzer è fantastico: se lo suoni lento, senti un elemento di gospel che non è per niente sgradevole; se lo suoni veloce, possiede altre innegabili qualità. E' molto interessante scoprire un terreno che si rinnova a seconda dell'impulso che gli dai".

Quindi, si direbbe che il valzer di Rodgers fosse per Coltrane quello che il valzer di Diabelli era stato per il Beethoven dell'op. 120: poco più che un pretesto, un canovaccio utile per imbastire una serie potenzialmente infinita di variazioni che poco o nulla hanno a che fare con il tema originale. E, in verità, Coltrane eseguì in concerto My Favorite Things moltissime volte (secondo Wikipedia, sono state documentate su nastro non meno di 45 esecuzioni), creandone versioni sempre più lontane dalla canzone originale, fino a renderla irriconoscibile.

La versione sull'album si compone di un'introduzione di quattro battute, suonata due volte; viene poi esposto un vamp (breve inciso ritmico, costantemente ripetuto, che è per il jazz quello che nel rock si chiama riff e nella musica barocca si chiama ostinato), cui fanno seguito un primo assolo di Coltrane, un altro assolo di McCoy Tyner al pianoforte, e un assolo finale ancora di Coltrane, per complessivi 14 minuti circa. Nel primo assolo Coltrane esegue le prime due strofe (A) in minore, poi c'è un interludio in maggiore, poi altre due strofe (A) in minore. Gli altri due assoli seguono lo stesso schema, salvo che per la parte finale dell'assolo conclusivo di Coltrane, di cui dirò fra poco.



La prima cosa che si nota all'ascolto è che Coltrane ha spostato molto lontano dall'Europa il baricentro etnico del brano. La ripetizione ossessiva, ipnotica, di un inciso ritmico in tempo dispari; la voce acuta dello strumento a fiato (un sax soprano, fino ad allora poco usato nel jazz); il clima di fissità tonale e il senso del tempo molto dilatato, sono tutti elementi che richiamano la musica orientale. (A me il brano fa venire in mente una danza sufi). Porter nota che Coltrane era appassionato di musica indiana, era un ammiratore di Ravi Shankar, ed era profondamente interessato alla musica folk e modale di tutto il mondo, nonché alle scale pentatoniche (pare che certe volte, nelle sue esercitazioni, eseguisse col sassofono determinate sequenze del Concerto per orchestra di Béla Bartók). Sempre secondo Porter, in My Favorite Things si possono anche scorgere influenze musicali provenienti dall'Africa occidentale.

La cosa per me più sorprendente è che, nella musica originale di questa canzone, Coltrane abbia sentito un "elemento gospel". Per quanto ascolto e riascolto la canzone di Rodgers e Hammerstein, devo confessare che questo elemento gospel non riesco assolutamente a percepirlo. Ma è significativo che, per Coltrane, la canzone avesse qualcosa a che fare con le radici stesse della musica nera americana. Questo forse ci aiuta a far luce su un'altra singolarità della versione di Coltrane.

Abbiamo detto che la versione coltraniana di My Favorite Things è basata sulla strofa A della musica originale. Che fine ha fatto la strofa B, quella il cui testo contiene, secondo Porter, il "messaggio" della canzone e che si conclude in modo maggiore?

Alla fine del suo assolo conclusivo, Coltrane esegue anche la strofa B, senza apportare particolari variazioni alla musica. Però la esegue in mi minore, dandole, secondo Porter, "un effetto più pensoso, riflessivo".

Il testo originale della strofa B fa riferimento ad api che pungono e a cani che mordono, per delineare scherzosamente una situazione da "giornata storta", in cui le cose, chissà perché, non vanno per il verso giusto. Ma questa situazione si supera (dice la canzone) richiamando alla mente le piccole cose belle della vita. Se si fa in questo modo, l'atteggiamento cambia e ci si accorge che non si sta poi così male. La canzone si chiude così, trionfalmente, in sol maggiore.

Qui, però, è meglio fare ricorso alla bella traduzione ritmica di Antonio Amurri (quella utilizzata nella versione italiana del film), che ha colto al meglio il senso di questa strofa:



"Se son triste, infelice, e non so il perché,
io penso alle cose che amo di più
e torna il seren per me!"

Immaginiamo ora di sentire queste parole sovrapposte al mi minore del sax di John Coltrane, nelle battute finali del suo secondo assolo (a partire dal minuto 12'33''). L'effetto è di un'ironia indefinibile, profonda, pungente, tristemente consapevole. Uno speciale tipo di sarcasmo, composto e controllatissimo, ma inequivocabile.

Per me (e sottolineo: per me) in questo minuto e dodici secondi di musica c'è l'essenza stessa del jazz. Ogni volta che l'ascolto, mi commuovo.

Provo a spiegarmi meglio.

Il cantante e chitarrista Huddie W. Leadbetter (1885-1949), uno fra i musicisti più influenti della musica nera americana del secolo ventesimo, tentò una volta di definire a parole quel particolare complesso psicologico che porta il nome di blues. Possiamo leggere le sue parole come una specie di negativo fotografico della canzone di Rodgers e Hammerstein:

"Quando la notte sei sdraiato nel letto, e ti giri da una parte e dall'altra senza riuscire a prendere sonno, non c'è niente da fare. I blues si sono impadroniti di te... Quando ti svegli al mattino, ti siedi sulla sponda del letto, e puoi avere vicino a te padre e madre, sorella e fratello, il tuo ragazzo o la tua ragazza, ma non hai voglia di parlargli... Non ti hanno fatto niente, e tu non hai fatto niente a loro, ma che cosa importa? I blues si sono impadroniti di te".

Così commenta Arrigo Polillo nel suo classico Jazz. La vicenda e i protagonisti della musica afro-americana (Mondadori, Milano 2009, p. 43): "Avere i blues è qualcosa di diverso dall'essere triste dell'uomo bianco. E' essere afflitti da un tedio esistenziale, da una malinconia greve che non lascia spazio alle fantasticherie, vuol dire autocommiserazione, rassegnazione, vuol dire disperazione sorda, grigiore, miseria. E' una poesia fondata sulle cose di tutti i giorni, su personaggi familiari, visti in una luce realistica, con occhio disincantato. Non c'è, né ci vuol essere, nel blues, trasfigurazione lirica, che è un lusso da bianchi; non c'è dramma, perché il dramma è fatto di ombre ma anche di luci. C'è invece la consapevolezza di una tragedia in atto, che non finirà mai. Il blues singer non canta la vita, ma il non morire, parla sempre di ciò che non ha e che non avrà mai".

Ecco il senso del mi minore con cui si conclude My Favorite Things di John Coltrane. Non c'è consolazione, e non c'è neanche protesta. E' la constatazione oggettiva di una situazione fondamentalmente tragica. Il "messaggio" della canzone di Rodgers e Hammerstein è sovvertito. Vista in questa luce, non solo la canzone, ma la stessa cultura (musicale e non solo) cui essa fa riferimento, viene radicalmente messa in questione.
          What is your Dream Home’s view?        
Homeownership is part of the American dream.  Ask any generation and they will overwhelmingly agree.  The pros outweigh the cons and the American public has spoken.  However, like snowflakes, no two dreams are exactly alike. Some find peace with the waves crashing against the beach.  Others find solace in being nestled in the mountains.  But, not every market has such amenities.  Here is the Dallas/Fort Worth people strive for different views.  All of which are to escape this cities fast paced lifestyle.Lake View 1013 Private Road 5937, Emory, TX 75440 - Impressive water front property on Lake Fork with 500 feet of waterfront with retaining wall. Paved pathway meanders through the treed lot to boat house.Golf Course View 6619 Clubhouse Cir, Dallas, TX 75240 - Sophisticated and Elegant Custom backs to Northwood Club and boasts a magnificent View of the 10th Fairway and Wooded Creek!Breathtaking Sunsets 2177 Fm 740 S, Heath, TX 75032 - Built in 2008, this gorgeous Hill Country estate sits on 9 rolling acres and features an open floor plan that exudes country sophistication. Pamper yourself with your own private hilltop.   Personal Oasis 1215 Winding Brook Dr., Garland, TX 75044 - Stunning Upgrades, inside & out. This is a 5 Bedroom Custom Home on a stunning cul-de-sac. Take advantage of the professionally landscaped creek lot with oversized custom spa, plus retaining wall-walking path.Whatever your preference is we are able to make your dream come true.     
          Card Positioning Systems Sketch #248        
Die cuts – Spellbinders Poseabilities “Snowflake Wonder” Patterned papers – BoBunny St. Nick Sugar Plum (green polka dot) and Heidi Grace Shimmer Flocked paper “Jolly & Bright” (words) Cardstock – Bazzill Brads – Recollections Round Brads This is my interpretation of the current CPS Sketch #248. The snowflake die cuts are both cut and embossed, […]
          Reinventing the Stocking (A No-Sew Canvas Project)        


The holidays are coming! This reinvented stocking idea could be used for Christmas, Hanukkah, Valentine's Day or any other gift-giving event. Here's the skinny...

STEP 1: GATHER THE SUPPLIES 

14x14 canvas pillow cover
5x7 canvas rectangle
"Snowflakes 3 pc Stencils Kit" from Cutting Edge Stencils
stencil brush from Cutting Edge Stencils
craft paint
17" metal or wood rod/dowel
fabric adhesive
jute twine


Read more »

          Viviendo como un Hada 6: besos de diciembre, besos azules ...        
"Mejor que las Navidades-le dijeron a su madre- es prepararse para ellas"

Margaret Sydney "Los Cinco pimientitos y cómo crecen"

Queridas mías,
 como cada mes, aunque en esta ocasión suba esta entrada un poco tarde, no puedo faltar a mi cita conmigo misma ... cuando me siento frente al ordenador a recoger  ideas para cada mes parece que el mundo se abre un poco más y se renuevan mis ganas de todo... y si las fiestas abruman un poco...y parece que está todo por hacer... quizá lo mejor sea dedicarnos primero una cosa y después a otra, de uno en uno y punto a punto los días se vuelven brillantes, y cada precioso minuto pasa ante nuestros ojos brillante y puro como los copos de nieve... qué haremos con tantos tantos minutos? He recogido muchas cositas sencillas porque este mes es un mes de jaleo para todas y seguro que si el tiempo se puediese regalar, sería el mas agradecido de los presentes...

Pero antes de ello quería subir esta Tiara Cupcake ( a la que prefiero llamar Tiara Las hadas del Azúcar) que he hecho esta semana, ya casi no me queda tiempo para coser, y no puedo hacer demasiadas cositas, pero algo es algo no?

 Y ahora sí,

 Alegrías para Diciembre


1- Adorna de veras tu casa. Propaga la alegría de estas fiestas por toda tu casa con adornos apropiados... plantas de hoja perenne, lucecitas y adornos naturales... no hace falta gastar mucho dinero, la idea es sencilla, cuando haces un esfuerzo especial por crear belleza en tu hogar, estás preparando un escenario, un ambiente de Navidad, hanuca, Solsticio de Invierno o como quiera que lo celebres.

Puedes hacerlos con ramas...
 o bolitas de tela pintalas o cosidas como esta de Thea and Sami
Las piñas son fáciles de conseguir, puedes pintar algunas de dorado...



Puedes hacer guirnaldas de papel, sencillamente haciendo aros:



o con palomitas y bayas rojas....

con papel blanco puedes hacer copos de nieve que caeran delicadamente sobre tu cabeza... (tutorial aqui)





2- que te parece leer poco a poco "canción de Navidad" de Dickens? quiza puedas hacerlo tipo serial si alguien comparte contigo estos maravillosos momentos de lectura!

3 Organiza tu propio festival de películas clásicas, aquí van algunas propuestas, enrollate en tu manta preferida, y a disfrutar y a llorar a moco tendido!!:

"De ilusión también se vive" ("Milagro en la calle 34”)



“Cuento de Navidad” (basado en la novela de Charles Dickens)


“¡Qué bello es vivir!”


“Un ángel pasó por Brooklyn”


4- haz que se cumplan los sueños navideños de un niño que no sea tu hijo.


5- Comparte tus bendiciones con algun refugio para personas sin hogar, ¿ropa que ya no quieres? quizá algo de comida?


6-Sigue tu estrella, una noche de diciembre sal y da un paseo bajo la luna, esa luna que ha alumbrado a tantas mujeres antes que a ti durante años, siglos y milenios... contempla las estrellas y elige una que será la tuya...
Si quieres tenerla de manera oficial puedes comprar una en Global Star Registry



7-dile adios a todas las cosas que quieres dejar atrás... ¿cómo hacerlo? escribe en un papel cada cosa que NO quieres tener este año que entra, metelos todos en una caja, envuelvela con un paño negro y después tírala al fuego diciendo A PASEO!!!! ahora ya puedes olvidarte de lo malo y comenzar bien limpia de alma!

8- haz hombrecillos de jengibre, receta CLIC





9 Prepara tu cuaderno de la Navidad, compra una libreta de espiral con motivos navideños, será tu libro de recuerdos para las navidades (estas y las próximas) empieza por escribir el año y una muestra (o fotocopia ) de las tarjetas que vayas a enviar y una lista de destinatarios... pega trozos de lazo, papel de regalo, cintas , etiquetas y el nombre de las personas que han recibido regalos tuyos... puedes crear composiciones con los restos de papel...
Guarda invitaciones  de fiestas a las que te hayan invitado y hayas disfrutado ¿que llevabas puesto? como estaba decorada?
Sin limitarse  a las fiestas a las que asistas puedes recordar momentos especiales que hayas vivido en estas fechas..
Puedes colocar también fotos que recibas o de revistas... frases que oigas...quizá la letra de algun villancico...
con los años seguroq ue recurrirás a él para hacer de tus navidades las mejores sobre la Tierra



MUY FELIZ DICIEMBRE HADITAS, GRACIAS POR LEERME ^:^!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Very Merry        
Hello everyone! I will show you a few projects today, these are not new, I create them a few weeks ago but I hope you like them. First a set of tags made from cardstock and images from the collage Antique Christmas. 

Hola a tod@s! Hoy les mostrare algunos proyectos que hice hace algunas semanas. Primero este set de tags, de hecho hice una  transmision en vivo por FB cuando hice estas tags y algunas chicas me acompañaron. Para este proyecto use imagenes del colage Antique Christmas. 
For the wreath I use a product called flower soft in color Christmas Green, I like it because of the texture and I loved the result in this project. The chipboard numbers are from my stash, the snowflake was made from cardstock with a Martha Stewart punch then I just covered it with German glass glitter.

Use para la corona un  producto que se llama flower soft en color Christmas Green, Me gusta la textura y realmente el resultado me encanto en este proyecto. Los numeros de chipboard ya los tenia desde hace tiempo y el copo de nieve es hecho con una perforadora de Martha Stewart, solo lo cubri con German glass glitter.


Next a fun project created with the WRMK pillow box punch board, I got it a while back and I just open it, I made a few pillow boxes using paper scraps and some images from my digital collages. Stamps from Papertrey Ink.

A continuacion unas cajitas "pillow box"  hechas con la tabla/punch del mismo nombre de WRMK la compre ya hace tiempo y apenas la abri, hice varias de estas pillow boxes usando recortes de papel y algunas imagenes de mis collages digitales. Sellos de Papertrey Ink.




And last a tag album using several paper scraps,  and images from the collages: Antique Tags No. 2, Romantic Rose, Vintage Clock .Stamp from MSE!  dies from spellbinders and Papertrey Ink

Y por ultimo un tag album usando varios recortes de papel e images de los collages: Antique Tags No. 2Romantic RoseVintage Clock Sellos de MSE!  suajes de spellbinders y Papertrey Ink



And I want to share with you that I have a sale going at my Etsy store all December, just enter code DEC25 and get 25% off entire store! have a great day :) 

Y quiero compartir con ustedes que tendre un descuento en mi tienda Etsy durante todo Diciembre ! solo usa el codigo DEC25 y obten un 25%  de descuento en toda la tienda! que tengan un bello dia :) 


          Nothing Show - Episode 11: Dirty Snowflake and Julien Smith        
Episode 11 of The Nothing Show.Today: Dave Delaney will play Julien Smith and Tim Coyne will play Dirty Snowflake.Special thanks to Dirty Snowflake and Julien for their tweets.The Nothing Show theme music is by: Keith Troup. idmstudios.com.Listen Now or subscribe for free updates automatically using iTunes.

          40 minutes to 40        
"You Get What You Give" - New Radicals

Just before I opened the door, my lips twisted into a curve. I turned on the iPod for inspiration, and the New Radicals went first. 
I dread, and enjoy, the tempo runs more than any other except a race. They are short but intense runs that resemble races in many ways except in the most extremes of discomfort. They are weekly. They are on Mondays, two days after a long run of a dozen miles or more, and like Mondays in many other ways, the body rejects the fact that the weekend is over, and it's time to go back to work.
Complicating things was, of course, Colorado. Colorado is a wonderful state to live in, until we start to turn away from the sun. Then it's still lovely, but it's also unpredictable and, at times, a nasty son of a bitch. A few days before Halloween, we got 14 inches of snow. And then, because Mother Nature apparently has a mischievous or cruel sense of humor, depending on who you are, we got another 10 a week later, just as the last snowflake had melted from our previous fluke storm.
Snow means cold, of course, and this was about as jarring a transition as you can get from Colorado's beautiful, even erotic, fall weather. Just a few weeks ago I raced in crisp, cool air, with just enough of a nip, like a really good bowl of ice cream. Sorry, beach lovers, but fall in Colorado is paradise. And then, just like that, it was the Gulag.
My first breath goes down wrong, and I start to cough in jagged spurts, my lungs rejecting the icy air in pissed-off disbelief. The tips of my fingers are narcotic. My cheeks are anything but rosy. My eyelashes start to frost.
Look, I tell my body. I don't like this either. But we've got a job to do. The New Radicals said so. You Get What You Give.
I begin my run up my neighborhood road. I've been up it probably 500 times. Many times I'd thought about what I had to do that day. Since it was probably a Monday, I'd also think about what I'd have to write. Today, I had to concentrate. Today I'd be looking for ice.

"Virus" - Bjork

OK, a song about need. If there's any run I need, it's probably the tempo run. The easy runs are for recovery and reflection, and the long runs give me endurance, and the speed work gives me, um, speed. But the tempo runs give me everything. My mile splits, if I didn't slip on a patch of ice, would probably read 8:15 (warm up), 7:20, 7:15, 7:25 (damn hill), 7:13. Or something like that. But not too far from that something. Tempo runs are about holding an uncomfortable, but not brutal (i.e. racing) speed. You could speed up, but you'd like to slow down.
As always, my legs, still a little grumpy from the miles I'd piled on it two days before, aren't ever really excited to be cutting through the air so aggressively. Aging does that to you. After so long, and I've been active, if not always a runner, for two decades, the will to give in starts to fade.
Doesn't it? 
I crack into my first mile at 7:10. My breath jumps out of my mouth. I can see the cloud before it scurries away to make room for the next. This is why I need tempo runs. As a weekly reminder that I can still do this. And the work it takes to stay there.

"Steppin' Out" - Joe Jackson

An oldie but a goodie, this song found its way into my weekly running mix for this line:
"We are young but getting old before our time; we'll leave the TV and the radio behind."
This line is so appropriate this week.
I wonder if Jackson wrote the song today, he'd include a smartphone?

"Dancing Queen" - ABBA

Note to self: "Dancing Queen" is probably not a good song to include in a running mix. It's definitely not a good song to listen to as I start to head up The Hill. 
Skip.

"Embrace The Gutter" - The Autumn Offering
Ah, that's better.
Embrace the nasty in your life, then make it your ally. Make it make you better. This is what I think about as the steepest part of the run looms before me, and my breathing starts to hurt.
Breathe, dammit, breathe. 

"My Will Be Done" - Unearth
Someone asked me once why I listen to heavy metal. How can you run with someone yelling at you like that, she asked.
"Now I strive to find my own way
My Will be Done
Work these hands until they bleed
My Will be Done"
They aren't yelling at me. They're yelling with me.
I've just crested the hill. I'll recover. I'm pretty sure.

I turn 40 tomorrow, though it's likely today when you're reading this. And runs like this one give me the confidence to face it. I don't need a sports car, a cheerleader or a gold chain. I have my feet, my fitness and the attitude both give me. As I sprint toward my driveway, "I'm gonna learn how to love you," Susan Tedeschi sings in my ear, and oh, I'm so nearly there.







          Snowflake Flurry        
Happy Wednesday Crafty Friends!!

Kendra here from Luv 2 Scrap N' Make Cards!

This week it is all about Christmas Cards!
Not a problem, as I am still creating cards to send/hand out!!

I got out the lovely Oh, Christmas Puns set, as I love the "Wishing You a Flurry of Joyful Surprises" sentiment!
 I just love the white, blue and silver!


Check out the fun sentiment:
I stamped most of the sentiment with a dark blue, but masked the "Flurry" so I could stamp that with VersaMark Ink and then emboss with Silver Embossing Powder

Perfect with the die cut snowflakes!!


----------

A look at the stamp sets used:

Oh, Christmas Puns



Check out all of Joy's Life Stamps here!

You can check out my blog post here.

Have a wonderful day!!

~ Kendra ~




          Snowflake themed gift box        
Hi crafty friends!
Happy Thursday!!

Stacey from Stacey's Creative Corner
here to show you another project that uses those awesome
 Joy's Life Stamps.
This week the Joy's Life Design Team is in the Christmas spirit
and showing you some festive Christmas projects.

I decided to make a little gift box.


I filled it with some milk chocolates. I think this will make a super cute little gift for someone. Maybe a neighbor, teacher, mail person, co worker, etc. 

I thought this sentiment from the Oh Christmas Puns stamp set, went perfectly with my glittery snowflake gift box. 

I love all the sayings on the 
Oh Christmas Puns stamp set:


You can see all of Joy's Products at her store by clicking HERE

Read more about my project at my blog HERE

Thanks so much for stopping by and taking a look at my latest creation!
I really appreciate it!

I hope you have a fabulous crafty day!


          Warm Decemberrr Wishes        
Hello everyone! Laura here from Laura's Crafts & More...This week the DT is all about Christmas!! Yes it's that time of year again! My card today uses "Warm Decemberrr Wishes" from Wintery Puns. 

I used a Snowflakes embossing folder and added some Star Dust Stickles to make it all sparkly! The branch is a die cut that I inked with Gathered Twigs distress ink and the bird is a "button" from my stash. I also used Distress Stickles for the "snow" on the branch.  



To see ALL of Joy's amazing stamp sets and to see her awesome bundle prices click HERE! 

Thanks for stopping by and stop by my blog anytime to see more details! 
          December Visiting Teaching Kit        
This kit is made with a thick black chipboard tag album. (I love those!) It comes with the message, "An Extensive Sphere of Action", a recipe for a sausage and egg breakfast casserole, and snowflakes.

I'm so grateful for this time of year to think about Christ and all he has done for us. I hope you all have a joyful month!

Merry Christmas!





Price $5.5o

To Purchase click HERE

          13 on Thursday--Monday Edition        
What can I say? The holidays have kept me really busy. I feel like I am back on track a bit now. I thought I'd dive right in with a 13 on Thursday...yes, yes I know it's Monday. Let's just overlook that shall we?

  1. My fingers are so cold right now. I really wish there were some sort of very thin, easy to type in gloves or something. Brrrrr!
  2. This weekend I wrapped up all of our Christmas gifts (to give). I only have 2 more gifts to buy. It feels great to be so close to being done shopping. It sure has made for a less stressful holiday. How's your holiday shopping going?
  3. Today on the BSP we are giving away a gift card to CSNstores. At times like this I wish I could win! I spent a large amount of time browsing their bedroom furniture while "researching" for the giveaway. After the new year I'm redecorating our master bedroom.
  4. I really wish Etsy offered Gift Cards, that's what I'd want for Christmas. I have a wish list of Etsy items a mile long.
  5. My mom bought hubby and I an Elf on The Shelf a few years ago. Even though we don't have kids we have totally been having a blast with our elf, Rudy, this year. We've shared so many laughs because of this little elf!
  6. These macro photos of snowflakes are so pretty! Even the simplest things can be beautiful when viewed with a thankful heart.
  7. This weekend I picked up a Polaroid 600 Land Camera at an estate sale. I can't wait to get film for it. Anyone have experience with The Impossible Project? Should I buy from them or purchase discontinued film?
  8. Ninjabread men: awesome! My hubby would love it if I made him these.
  9. Probably no surprise but our Christmas tree is decorated in a gingerbread + peppermint theme. So I wrap our presents in kraft paper and peppermint embellishments. These packages are so pretty though, I want to change my entire theme!
  10. If I had the room (and the funds) I'd purchase this nativity set in a heartbeat. It is adorable!
  11. One word: yum!
  12. I flunked out of SFS this time around. But wowee, my classmates have taken some amazing photos.
  13. This week I plan on drinking lots of warm beverages, finishing up the last of the Christmas photo orders, baking chocolate chip cookies and spending time with friends + family. What are your plans?

          Ace Ventura - L'acchiappanimali (1994) (DVDRip)        
Scarica il film da Megaupload QUI
Guarda il film su Megavideo QUI

Audio: 9 - Video: 9 (DVDRip)


Ace Ventura è uno strampalato detective, specializzato nel recupero di animali smarriti: il suo appartamento sembra l'Arca di Noè; la sua automobile sembra uscita dallo "sfascia carrozze", ed i suoi modi e metodi sono alquanto bizzarri. A questi l'allenatore della squadra di football dei Dolphins, su consiglio della graziosa manager Melissa Robinson, decide di affidare le indagini sul rapimento, alla vigilia del Super Bowl, del delfino mascotte: Snowflake. Nonostante l'atteggiamento ostile del tenente della polizia Einhorm, una bella brunetta, Ace, avvia le indagini e scopre nel filtro della vasca del delfino un'ambra, caduta dall'anello di uno dei rapitori; risulta che i Dolphins hanno un anello con quattro pietre identiche incastonate. Continua a leggere


          Snowflake Macarons        
Dress up  your macarons for the Holiday Season. These fancy cookies just got fancier. Happy Holidays If there is interest, I promise that I will put together a tutorial and trouble shoot sheet for Macarons. From experience, these cookies give a lot of people trouble. It’s those damn FEET! For now, I’ll leave you with […]
          Christmas Cookies...        

I cannot wait to start making Christmas Cookies!

Which is kind of odd, because as I have said before, I am not the baker in the family.

But how can a girl resist when there are so many great recipes and beautiful cookies to be made!










All of these came from Taste Of Home and I want to try my hand at all of them!


And even though this recipe isn't for a cookie, or require baking (score!), I want to try this one too...


Frozen Hot Chocolate


Yum!

I have promised myself (and Will) that I won't start any new projects (baking is definitely a project for me and the kitchen bears the brunt of it) until I am finished decorating for Christmas and all of the empty bins are out of the garage (ie: the workshop) and back under the house.

I am thiiiiis close to being done, and then the baking is on!


Have you started your Christmas Cookie baking yet?





          DIY - Flurries In A Hurry Garland...        

Yesterday, the latest Land Of Nod catalog came in the mail. I love The Land Of Nod. But this time of year, my kids are all about it!

When the catalog comes, I have to quickly flip through it before they get their little hands on it, never to be seen again.

As I was flipping, this page caught my attention...

More specifically, the snowflake garland.


In our house, paper snowflakes are created from the first frost until the first signs of Spring. We must make hundreds of them (seriously!) from Fall through Winter.

I am happy to make them and I got lucky enough to have a child that, quite possibly, likes making them even more than I do. That's my Owen!

The colorful snowflake garland from The Land Of Nod, called "Flurries In A Hurry" (cute, right?) is made of felt...

...but who needs felt when you have construction paper? On hand. Ready to use.

Since today was a Snow Day and the kids were home from school, Owen and I got to work right away...


19 snowflakes later, we had our own festive garland!

And I love it!


I used regular string and thumb tacks to attach it to the ceiling - one on each end of the string, and one in the middle...


Every year, we always do white snowflakes, but with these,
it feels like a party in here!



So, not only is that more than $30.00 saved, but we didn't have to wait for it to be delivered, and...

the best part was listening to Owen point out all of his creations tonight during dinner, as we dined under a canopy of colorful snowflakes...


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


Happy Holidays!




P.S. I am linking to:

Between Naps On The Porch, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, The Girl Creative, Today's Creative Blog, Blue Cricket Design, The Thrifty Home, My Backyard Eden, The Trendy Treehouse, These Creative Juices, Someday Crafts, The Shabby Chic Cottage, The Shabby Nest, Chic On A Shoestring Decorating, Funky Junk Interiors, Be Different...Act Normal,


          Old Grass Gnu Grass 12-20-2014 with Jack Rummel        
Playlist:

- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
- voicebreak -
Craig Duncan- Sleigh Bells - Smoky Mountain Christmas
Gentlemen Of Bluegrass- Traveling Kind - Carolina Memories
Crowe Lawson Williams- Blue Memories - Standing Tall And Tough
Joe Mullins The Radio Ramblers- Goin Back To My Kentucky Country Home - Another Day From Life
Hot Rize- Sky Rider - When Im Free
Larry Sparks- Blue Christmas - Christmas In The Mountains
- voicebreak -
Doyle Lawson Quicksilver- Get On Board - Open Carefully Message Inside
Junior Sisk Ramblers Choice- Trouble Follows Me - Trouble Follows Me
Balsam Range- I Spend My Days Below The Ground - Five
Special Consensus- Wild Montana Skies feat Claire Lynch Rob Ickes - Country Boy A Bluegrass Tribute To John Denver
Lonesome River Band- Her Love Wont Turn On A Dime - Turn On A Dime
- voicebreak -
John McCutcheon- Christmas In The Trenches - Winter Solstice
Flatt Lonesome- Never Let Me Go - Too
RICE RICE HILLMAN P- Hard Times - OUT OF THE WOODWORK
Tony Rice- Let It Ride - Sings Gordon Lightfoot
- voicebreak -
Lynn Morris- Walking The Blues - Mamas Hand
Old And In The Way- Land Of The Navajo - Old And In The Way
Doyle Lawson Quicksilver- Back To Tennessee - Merry Christmas From Our House To Your House
I Draw Slow- The Captain - White Wave Chapel
Larry Sparks- Going Up Home To Live In Green Pastures - Lonesome And Then Some A Classic 50th Celebration
Head For The Hills- Telluride Song - Robbers Roost
Tim OBrien- Bah Humbug - Christmas On The Mountain A Bluegrass Christmas
Pine Island Station- The Hills Of My Home - Call Of The Past
Dan Crary- Little Drummer Boy - Hiliday Guitar
Matt Wallace- Lonesome Old Homesick Blues - For A Season
Pert Near Sandstone- Stagger Lee - The Hardest Part Of Leaving
Hazel Dickens Carol Elizabeth Jones Ginny Hawker- Forsaken Lover - Heart Of A Singer
Randall Hylton- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Christmas Guitar
The Earls Of Leicester- Dim Lights Thick Smoke - The Earls Of Leicester
Wildwood Valley Boys- When Its Snowin In The Mountains - Christmas In The Mountains
Bill Clifton- Lonely Heart Blues - The Early Years 19571958
Jimmy Martin- Dont Give Your Heart To A Rambler - You Dont Know My Mind
Flatt Scruggs- Ill Never Love Another - Flatt Scruggs The Mercury Series Vol 2
The Stanley Brothers- Christmastime Is Near - Best Of The Best Of The Stanley Brothers
Bill Monroe- The First Whipporwill - Bill Monroe 19501958
Red Allen- Milk Cow Blues - Lonesome And Blue The Complete County Recordings
Country Cooking- Armadillo Breakdown - Country Cooking 26 Bluegrass Instrumentals
Del McCoury- Call Collect On Hristmas - My Dixie Home
Jim Jesse- Just Wondering Why - Best Of The Early Years
Hylo Brown- Lovesick And Sorrow - Lovesick And Sorrow 16 Greatest Starday Recordings
Bill Emerson Cliff Waldron- Lonesome Night - The Best Of Emerson Waldron
The Country Gentlemen- Christmas Time Back Home - Christmas In The Mountains
Bill Emerson Cliff Waldron- Deep River - The Best Of Emerson Waldron
Rose Maddox- Uncle Pen - The 50 Best Bluegrass Songs Ever
Fred Smith Red Rector- One Little Word - Songs From The Heart Of The Country
Vic Jordan- Snowflake Reel - Pickaway
Don Reno Red Smiley- Your Love Is Dying - The Very Best Of
The Stanley Brothers- Youd Better Get Right - Best Of The Best Of The Stanley Brothers
Doyle Lawson Quicksilver- Merry Christmas From Our House To Your - Merry Christmas From Our House To Your House


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/80/playlistDate/2014-12-20
          Trump presidency sparks boom in ‘professional cuddling services’ industry        
Snowflakes melt slower TOGETHER
          Make 4th of July Fireworks        
Some sparkle and pop for the fourth is great if you are having guest over to celebrate. With just a box of plastic drinking straws and some glitter, I created this fun little firework centerpiece.
 To make it, gather 8-12 straws together, tie tightly in the center with a piece of waxed twine and bend to fray the straws out into a circular star form. Paint the straws with white glue and sprinkle on different glitters.  I used this fabulous Martha Stewart Crafts holographic glitter that comes in the shapes of stars, hexagons and diamonds. The variety of chunky glitter flakes makes the fireworks more dynamic than just glittering them all with your standard fine glitter. Make 5 or 6 fireworks and display on skewers in a vessel filled with colored sand, or even silver dragees.
And you can use the same straw tying technique to make snow glittered snowflakes for the wintertime!

Happy Birthday America!!!

          ãƒãƒ‹ãƒ¼ãƒˆãƒ©ãƒƒãƒ—に夢を見て 女の子とのデートしたさよ        

先日ブログに、僕からの連絡がほしいという女性からと思われるコメントがあり、胡散臭いと思いつつ一縷の望みをかけてコンタクトをとったのですが、死亡した件についてのお知らせです。

f:id:nadegata:20150417035745j:plain f:id:nadegata:20150417035819j:plain 

f:id:nadegata:20150417035919j:plain

こちらの画像を送ってくるメールにご注意という喚起、そして、31歳にもなって女の子とデートしたことがない僕と誰かデートしてくださいという願い、そんな記事です。連絡先→nadegata@live.jp(サクラに引っかかったのと同じメールアドレスだ)

 

「レインボー」または「なおみ」または「たなぴー」と名乗る人物から、ブログにこんなコメントがあったんですよ。

ドキドキしながら書き込みしてます!
只今、私初体験中(笑)
こうやってコメントするの初めてなんですよ(人´∀`)

一種の告白みたいで照れますが…
ナデガたんさんの言葉の選び方好きだなって思いました。


素直な言葉って印象でストレートに言葉が溶けこんで来るというか☆
単純にすごいなとも思いました(;≧∇≦)

「言葉の選び方好き」と言われて図に乗らないブロガーがいようか*1。

「ナデガたん」というのはナデガタで登録できなかったFC2での僕の登録名です。

私…もうずっと良い事なくて。。
自暴自棄までは行ってないんですけどほぼ近い状態で(汗)

だから思い切って連絡しました(о´▽`о)
迷惑であればコメント即消してくださいね。

緊張しながらも楽しみにナデガたんさんからの連絡待ってます(´∀`)

そしてこのコメントにメアドが添付されてあったと。

…わかってる、「なんでこんなのに引っかかるんだよ胡散臭さしか無いじゃねーか!」って。

でもね、もしかしたら、もしかしたら。

僕みたいな零細ブロガーでも、極稀に、全く知らない人からコメントなり連絡もらってはあって。一期一会の喜びみたいなもので。

もし、そうした人の中に、一度きりでなく、定期的に僕とコンタクトを取ってくれる女の子(ここ重要)がいるとしたら…そんな妄想が、弱さにつながったんです。

自分からコンタクトとるとか出来ねーっすよ。だって、そんなつもりでないであろう相手の好意を無碍にする行為じゃないですか。いやこういう考えだから駄目なのかな…(以下堂々巡り)

コメントにあったアドレス「py検索避けmir一応検索避けとくuru☆i.softbank.jp」で検索すると、同じ頃にコメントしてる別のブログ発見しました。

 

//SnowFlake// ノー残業~月間~

ブログ内容褒めてからの『私の悩みを少しでも聞いてもらえたらすごくありがたいです。 』とか『このままコメントで相談というのもあれなので直接お話しさせて欲しいです。 』とか、同じ手口ですねー。

さて、こんな胡散臭いコメントに対し、僕はメールにてコンタクトを取るのでした。

以下僕による屈辱の間抜けメールの一部だ!!

ブログ内容を褒めてくれて率直に嬉しいです。
迷惑どころか、ブログを書く励みになりました。ありがとうございます。 

 ピュアすぎるだろ…夢見る少女かよ…

僕自身がふらふらしている状況なので悩みを聞いてそれに何かできるということはないと思います。

ですが、誰かに話すことでスッキリすることはあるかもしれません。

悩みを持ちかけられて。信じきってる間抜けさと、それでも予防線を張ってるしょぼさが掛けあって、非常にいい味出してますね。

家庭内暴力、大変だったのですね。

今はトラブルを避ける事を第一にされると良いと思います。

元旦那からかつて家庭内暴力、その後のつきまとい被害を受けているというメールに対して。いい人に思われたいでも自分じゃ何もできないという小者っぷりが遺憾なく発揮されています。

…なんで僕、自分のネガキャンやってるんすかね。この文面、非モテの教科書に載れると思う。

そもそも「ブログの内容が素敵だから」というのがきっかけのはずですが、そもそもそのブログ、ロリエロ漫画感想ブログだし、それ読めば普通の女性なら「こいつには近づかんとこ」ってなるし、もしかしたら好き物の同士かもと思いきや漫画に興味ないみたいだし、なんで俺なんだよ→誰でも良かった・手当たり次第に声かけてどっかの間抜けが釣れれば良いというビジネスモデルなんでしょう。

そして間抜けがここにいたと。いやお金落としてないからセーフ。セーフ?

やっぱペニーオークションに引っかかった奴を父に持つ男は違うなと、将来が不安になるのでありました。

 

その後http://my検索避けの意味あんのこれblgs.com/p/top/?というSNSっぽいサイトに誘導。

(IDとパスワードはコメント主が勝手に登録しておいたという体であり、ID&パスワードを含んだURLに行くだけで勝手にログイン出来る仕様みたい)

ちなみに、そこでのやりとりで披露した↓の写真が、この人が業者であると確信するきっかけになったのでした。

f:id:nadegata:20150417035745j:plain

こちらの画像で検索すると決定的な記事を発見。

Web勧誘,ダマシのMail technic 。 巧いですね。 - 山旅とボルダリング - Yahoo!ブログ

うわー、同じ写真だし、それ以上に同じ内容!!!

「元旦那のDV」「28歳医療事務」「明日で全部解決」全く同じ!!!

あ~~~~~

あ~~~~

あ~~…

良かった…DVに悩む28歳医療事務はいなかったんだ…

この記事読む前に、この記事の段階まで 発展してたら、絶対焦って何らかの行動取ってたよな…感情移入して心配して期待して、自分が何とかしなきゃってなって。

ぶっちゃけ「もしかしたらセックスとかできるのかな」って、既にちょっと思ってたもん。中学生かよ!

 

そうしている所を前後して、第三極登場。

デフォ情報しか登録されていないプロフィール欄を見て何故か僕のことが気になったという「あやか」がコンタクト開始。以下、たなぴーの比ではない高頻度でコメントしてくるようになる。そうか、たなぴーで耕してあやかで刈り取るビジネスモデルなのか…

最初↓の写真が一緒に添付されてきたわけですが…

f:id:nadegata:20150417035819j:plain

何も説明ないうちに↓の写真に変わりまして…

f:id:nadegata:20150417035919j:plain

別人やないか!!!

脈絡がなく胡散臭い*2こいつの登場で、調べてやっと前述のブログに辿り着いたわけで。

こちらの画像でググってもそれらしき注意喚起記事が出てきますがそちらはキャッシュしか残っておらず闇の力を感じますね!

1|どれにしようかな天の神様の言う通り鉄砲撃ってバンバンバンもひとつおまけにバンバンバン玉手箱薬箱宝石箱柿の種ちゅうちゅうたこかいな

名前・アドレス・コメント等が違うものでも、ぜんぶ同じ詐欺会社。
誘導先は「出会い系サイト」じゃない。その認識は危険だ。
正解は「出会い系を装った詐欺サイト」だ。ここ重要。

というのがブログ主の主張のようです(僕が言ってるわけじゃないよ?)

あんかもうめんどくさくなったので最後に件のSNSっぽいとこから来たお知らせをそのまま貼っとく。

以下それ。コピペだけでこれ表示できるの便利ね。

ゲスト様宛譲渡物が御座います。

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          Machinima - Standby        
As a result of being nominated for two AVI choice award for Favorite artist and Favorite machinima artist https://avichoiceawards.com/vote-here-the-arts/ I will be posting a machinima every few days.

 Standby is the culmination of three large works into one story.  Back in 2009 or so I was commissioned to create something for a region called Black Swan created by Starax/Light waves for
Black Swan
Rezzable.  It was an open request to make something, so I would spend some time there to try to absorb what the sim "felt" like and what might fit within it rather than clash.   The region had two giant figures embracing in the centre with a ring on the outside with various sculptures.  It felt to me as though it almost had a story to it, though in fact it didn't.  What I decided to do was to create a tower in the center that told a story as you climbed it.  It was full of traps and quite difficult but that was part of an idea I had which was that if you made something challenging to the viewer it would be more rewarding in the end than to just give the work to the viewer to stand back and observe from a distance.   I wanted them to be active participant to the artwork rather than a passive observer.  Black Swan was a beloved sim to many at that time in SL and I got a few nasty messages and even some demands to remove it from upset people.  I recall someone writing in a review at the time that they didn't want to "do work" to see art.  I remember reading that and deciding I would create for the virtual space, for the explorer types and not the snowflakes who brought the elitist art baggage from the real world into the virtual space, hoping the artist would bring them the art on a silver platter for them to observe at their leisure.  There are those who role play art and feel that real art must look like what we leave behind in real life.  The paintings or static sculpture that look like what you can find in real life.  Then there are those who understand the unique traits of the virtual space and realize the art created here can defy all the aesthetic and conceptual rules that exist in the "real" world.  In fact this spurred a successful group called NPIRL or Not Possible in Real Life
     At this time I had the idea to create a narrative which would be told in installments over many years.  In fact the new work "Hand" which should open in a few weeks is a continuation of this original story as has been every work with the exception of Virginia Alone.  Each story resides in the same world and act as layers to an overall narrative.  The work for Black Swan was called the Daughter of Gears and after the exhibition IBM requested to have it shown on their regions.  The following two installments, the Rabbicorn story and then Standy were at IBM.  I used this work to apply for a Government Grant at the Ontario Arts Council and it was the first of three successful art grants to be awarded to me thus far.  Standby is the title of the three stories combined into one machinima and it was my first extended machinima running at around 30 minutes long.



          Fe2O3 Glyphs | Craig Ward and Linden Gledhill        

Over the summer of 2015 I once again collaborated with pioneering biochemist and experimental photographer Linden Gledhill, this time in the creation of a unique, ornamental type system and an accompanying set of one-of-a-kind letterpress prints.

The project is now live and available for your support through Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mrcraigward/fe2o3-glyphs-a-conceptual-ornamental-type-system

To form the glyphs, a tiny amount of ferrofluid was placed between two glass plates and subjected to a combination of spinning vertical and horizontal magnetic fields. The result is an array of complex hieroglyphics and shapes - each one as unrepeatable as a snowflake - that simultaneously call to mind ancient indigenous markings or symbols from science fiction.

These complex symbols were traced as vectors and cast as a moveable type printing system, combinations of which will be used to create a series of unique, one of a kind, letterpress prints, where no arrangement of glyphs is ever repeated. To bring the project full circle, these prints will be created using a mix of actual ferrofluid and pure Pantone Black.

The music for this video is 'Les Praries Stellaires' courtesy of Syndrôm - http://les-sombres-parfums.blogspot.com

Cast: Craig Ward and Linden Gledhill

Tags: typography, science, art, letterpress, printing, typeface, design and ferrofluid


          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 02-12-2014 with Dave Blackwood        
Playlist:

William Onyeabor- Lets Fall In Love - World Psychedelic Classics 5 Who Is William Onyeabor
Deco- Peachtree Interlude - Timescales
Deco- At Most Sphere - Timescales
Ghostpoet- Them Waters - Some Say I So I Say Light
Damien Jurado- Silver Donna - Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son
The Low Frequency In Stereo- Cybernautic - Pop Obskura
Crystal Stilts- Future Folklore - Nature Noir
Gringo Star- In The Heat - Floating Out To See
Shawn Lee- AJs Mood - Synthesizers In Space
Lecture On Nothing Eddie Miller- I Will Rise - Lecture On Nothing
Lecture On Nothing Eddie Miller- Addiction - Lecture On Nothing
The Speakers- Par La Manana - En El Maravilloso Mundo De Ingeson
Mexican Institute Of Sound- Cumbia - Soy Sauce
Courtney Barnett- History Eraser - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
Django Django- Wor - Django Django
Kurt Vile- Snowflakes Are Dancing - Wakin On A Pretty Daze
Cibo Matto- Check In - Hotel Valentine
- voicebreak -
Diane Coffee- New Years - My Friend Fish
Jim James- State Of The Art - Regions Of Light And Sound Of God
The Phoenix Foundation- Friendly Society - Fandango
Material- The Western Lands A Dangerous Road Mix - The Road To The Western Lands
Nashaz- Khartoum - Nashaz
Beats Antique- Charons Crossing - A Thousand Faces Act 1
Machinedrum- Gunshotta - Vapor City
Sounds From The Ground- Dimewater - Tribes
Dbruit Alsarah- Jibal Alnuba - Aljawal
Youngblood Brass Band- Aint Nobody - Pax Volumi
The Poets Of Rhythm- The Donkey - The Anthology 19922003
Fort Knox Five- The Big Score - 10 Years Of Fort Knox Five Remixed
Shaheed DJ Supreme- Right Now - Knowledge Rhythm And Understanding
Matthew E White- Hot Hot Hot - Outer Face EP


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2014-02-12
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 02-05-2014 with Michael Buck        
Playlist:

Saint Rich- Crying From The Home - Beyond The Drone
- voicebreak -
Michael Franti Spearhead- Let It Go feat Ethan Tucker - Spark A Burning Man Story Day Night Music From Inspired By Film
Anglique Kidjo- Shango Wa - Eve
The Low Frequency In Stereo- Black Receiver - Pop Obskura
Tim Kasher- Life And Limbo - Adult Film
Jaune Toujours- Int Movers Of The Heart - Routes
Robert Pollard- I Killed A Man Who Looks Like You - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
Kurt Vile- Snowflakes Are Dancing - Wakin On A Pretty Daze
- voicebreak -
Damien Jurado- Magic Number - Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son
Los Sospechos- High Noon - Postales Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Gringo Star- In The Heat - Floating Out To See
Coke Weed- Buckets - Back To Soft
- Me And My Arrow - This Is The Town A Tribute To Nilsson Vol 1
Mike Doughty- Sleepless - Circles
- voicebreak -
Akron Family- Everyone Is Guilty - Set em Wild Set em Free
Courtney Barnett- History Eraser - The Double EP A Sea Of Split Peas
The Crystal Method- 110 To The 101 - The Crystal Method
Mogwai- Hexon Bogon - Rave Tapes
Fort Knox Five- The Brazilian Hipster - 10 Years Of Fort Knox Five Remixed
- Time To Say Goodbye Con Te Partir - Sweetheart 2014
- voicebreak -
Cibo Matto- Emerald Tuesday - Hotel Valentine
BEEdEEgEE- Like Rain Man feat Lizzi Bougatsos - SumOne
Bjork- New World - Selmasongs
Anna Von Hausswolff- Sova - Ceremony
Roberto Fonseca- Mi Negra Ave Mara - Yo
Linnea Olsson- Dinosaur - Ah
- voicebreak -
KiTheory- Foot Falls - Kitty Hawk
Juakali- Fittest Of The Fittest - Feathers Too Bright
RJD2- Suite 2 - More Is Than Isnt
DARKSIDE- Metatron - Psychic
- The Chauffeur - Arts Crafts X
Honey Dont- Heart Of Glass - Heart Like A Wheel
Au Revoir Simone- We Both Know - Move In Spectrums
- voicebreak -
Cate Le Bon- I Cant Help You - Mug Museum
Lindi Ortega- All These Cats - Tin Star
Barrence Whitfield And The Savages- Blackjack - Dig Thy Savage Soul
Wavves- Beat Me Up - Afraid Of Heights
The Claudettes- Do You See It Too - Infernal Piano PlotHATCHED
Son Lux- Ransom - Lanterns
The Sadies- Story 19 - Internal Sounds


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2014-02-05
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 12-25-2013 with Dave Blackwood        
Playlist:

Joe Satriani- Heavy Metal Christmas excerpt - Heavy Metal Christmas
The Larks- All I Want For Christmas - Christmas DooWop Collection Two
Marvin Johnny- Its Christmas Time - Christmas Doo Wop Pop Vol 4
The DelVetts- I Want A Boy For Christmas - Christmas Doo Wop Pop Vol 4
- voicebreak -
Roy Orbison- Pretty Paper - The Very Best Of Roy Orbison
The Ventures- Snowflakes - Christmas With
William S Burroughs- The Junkys Christmas - Spare Ass Annie And Other Tales
Booker T The MGs- Blue Christmas - In The Christmas Spirit
- voicebreak -
Compilation- What Will Santa Clause Say When He Finds Everybody Swingin - Capitol Collectors Series Louis Prima
Mark Andrews- Christmas Fantasy Pt1 - Pipe Organ 1920s
Sgt Barry Sadler- I Wont Be Home This Christmas - I Wont Be Home This Christmas
Private Charles Bowens The Gentlemen From Tigerland- Christmas In Vietnam - The Rojac Story The Best Of Rojac TaySter
Derrick Roberts- There Wont Be Any Snow Christmas In The Jungle - Next Stop Is Viet Nam
Becky Lamb- Little Beckys Christmas Wish - Little Beckys Christmas Wish
Toni Wine- My Boyfriends Coming Home For Christmas - My Boyfriends Coming Home For Christmas
Rev Oris May- Another Christmas Without My Son - Another Christmas Without My Son
Soul Searchers- Christmas In Viet Nam - Christmas In Viet Nam
Marvin Gaye- I Want To Come Home For Christmas - The Ultimate Motown Christmas Collection
Johnny And Jon- Christmas In Viet Nam - Christmas In Viet Nam
Loretta Lynn- Christmas Without Daddy - Christmas Without Daddy
Kid Congo The Pink Monkey Birds- Kris Kringle Ju Ju - Dracula Boots
James Brown- Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto - James Browns Funky Christmas
Electric Jungle- Funky Funky Christmas - Funky Funky Christmas
Various Artists- Funk Machine Soul Santa - In The Christmas Groove
Mark Anthony- Mamas Twistin With Santa Claus - Santas Vintage Xmas Holiday Playlist
Jimmy Jules Nuclear Soul System- Xmas Done Got Funky - Santas Funk Soul Christmas Party
- Santa Claus Is Black - Reggae Christmas From Studio One
EekAMouse- ChristmasACome - Christmasacome
MACKA B- Christmas Cancelled - Global Messenger
Red Sovine- Billys Christmas Wish Original Gusto Recording - Christmas With Red Sovine Original Gusto Recordings
Slade- Merry Xmas Everybody - Greatest Hits
The Kinks- Father Christmas - Come Dancing With The Kinks The Best Of The Kinks 19771986 Remastered Remastered 2004
Frank Sinatra- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Christmas Songs By Sinatra


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/35/playlistDate/2013-12-25
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 12-20-2013 with 99 & Barry        
Playlist:

Portsmouth Sinfonia- Nutcracker Suite - Plays The Popular Classics
Akim The Teddy Vann Production Company- Santa Claus Is A Black Man - Santa Claus Is A Black Man
Wing- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Everyone Sings Carols With Wing
Johnny Bowtie Barstow- Winter Wonderland - A Bowtie Christmas And More
Dina Martina- Christmas - The Dina Martina Holiday Album
Bob Rivers Twisted Radio- The Restroom Door Said Gentleman - Bob Rivers Twisted Radio Twisted Christmas Boxed Set
The Del Rubio Triplets- Jingle Bell Rock - Jingle Belles
The Five Petals- Rudolph - The Five Petals
James Covenant- Let It Snow - Picard Sings Christmas Songs
Kiki And Herb- Opening Medley - Do You Hear What We Hear
Wesley Willis- Merry Christmas - Rock N Roll Will Never Die
Johnny Bowtie Barstow- Jingle Bells - A Bowtie Christmas And More
The Ebenezer Scrooge Appreciation Society- Hang On Rudolph - The Ebenezer Scrooge Appreciation Society
Dina Martina- Angles We Have Heard On High - The Dina Martina Holiday Album
Eilert Pilarm- Blue Christmas - Eilerts Jul
Jonathan Coulton- Chiron Beta Prime - Thing A Week Two
Michele Cody- Merry Christmas Elvis - Merry Christmas Elvis
Richard Cheese- Silent Night - Silent Nightclub
Tammy Faye Bakker- Jingle Bells - Christmas With Susie Allie
Bob Rivers- Chipmunks Roasting On An Open Fire - Chipmunks Roasting On An Open Fire
The Del Rubio Triplets- Chipmunk Song - Jingle Belles
St Nicks Lonely Christmas Band- Christmas Day In The Life - St Nicks Lonely Christmas Band
Cassetteboy- I Believe In The Virgin Megastore - Festive Christmas
William Hung- Deck The Halls - Hung For The Holidays
Wayne Newton- Jingle Bell Hustle - Merry Christmas From Wayne Newton
Culturecide- Depressed Christmas - Santa Claus Was My LoverDepressed Christmas
Dan Hart- Lobotomy For Xmas - Santa Claus And Other Blasphemies
Ed Shepp- The Christmas Story - Images Of Rapture From The Boggle Woggle
Johnny Bowtie Barstow- O Come All Ye Faithful - A Bowtie Christmas And More
People Like Us- Chestnuts - Live At Christian Marclays Sounds Of Christmas Tate Modern
Stephen Colbert Willie Nelson- Little Dealer Boy - A Colbert Christmas The Greatest Gift Of All
The Rudy Schwartz Project- Christmas Times For Assholes - Christmas Times For Assholes
Bob Rivers- Police Stopped My Car - More Twisted Christmas
- Joy To The World Except The Foreign Workers - Hippocamp Christmas Compilation 2005
Bootsy Collins- Peyton Mannings Passing Your Way - Sports Illustrated Kids
Phaser Rock- The Christmas Song - All Fired Up
Rod Rogers The Librettos- Santa Claus Goes Modern - The American SongPoem Christmas Daddy Is Santa Really Six Foot Four
Miss Gloria Parker- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - A Toast To Christmas
Paska- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Christmas Album
Little Marcy- Suzy Snowflake - Christmas
Dina Martina- Santa Clause Live - The Dina Martina Holiday Album
The Bran Flakes- Lovely Sleigh Ride - I Dont Have A Friend
Richard Cheese- Christmas In Las Vegas - Silent Nightclub
Garfunkel And Oates- Present Face - Present Face
Frank Sidebottom- Oh Come All Ye Faithful - Bollocks To Christmas
Wing- Hallelujah - Carols Rap And Sing A Beautiful Christmas With Wing EP
CORPORAL BLOSSOM- White Christmas - Corporal Blossom Presents A Mutated Christmas
Steve M- O Holy Night - Funny O Holy Night
Evolution Control Committee- The Christmas Wrong - Plagiarythm Nation
Dina Martina- Fun In The Snow Phoebe - The Dina Martina Holiday Album
Johnny Bowtie Barstow- The First Noel - A Bowtie Christmas And More
Timmy Christmas- Christmas Fever - Christmas Doo Wop Pop Vol 2
Bob Rivers- Yellow Snow Yellow Snow Yellow Snow - More Twisted Christmas
Kiki And Herb- Frosty The Snowman - Do You Hear What We Hear
Various Artists- Jack Mudurian RudolphJingle BellsJingle Bell Rock - Tarquin Records All Star Holiday Extravaganza
Richard Cheese- Jingle Bells - Silent Nightclub
Jimi Hendrix- Little Drummer Boy Silent Night Auld Lang Syne - Merry Christmas And Happy New Year EP
People Like Us- Jingle Bells 2 - Live At Christian Marclays Sounds Of Christmas Tate Modern
Leaether Strip- It Happened On Christmas Day - Object p
Dina Martina- Away In The Manger - The Dina Martina Holiday Album


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/65/playlistDate/2013-12-20
          The Afternoon Sound Alternative 12-16-2013 with Adam Taylor        
Playlist:

Sigur Rs- sjaki - Kveikur
Joe Strummer Mescaleros- Bhindi Bhagee - Global A GoGo
The Blind Boys Of Alabama- Jubilee feat Patti Griffin - Ill Find A Way
Eddie Spaghetti- The Value Of Nothing - The Value Of Nothing
Bob Dylan- Simple Twist Of Fate - The World Of John Hammond Tv Special
Sarah Jarosz- Simple Twist Of Fate - Build Me Up From Bones
- voicebreak -
- Fare Thee Well Dinks Song - Inside Llewyn Davis Original Soundtrack Recording
- Caf Havana - Putumayo Presents Caf Latino
Orchestre PolyRhythmo- Houton Kan Do Go Me - Vol 3 The Skeletal Essences Of Voodoo Funk
Samba Tour- Albala - Albala
William Onyeabor- Atomic Bomb - World Psychedelic Classics 5 Who Is William Onyeabor
- voicebreak -
Jimi Hendrix- Hear My Train A Comin - People Hell And Angels
- Africa Es - Viva Africando
Jimmy Cliff- One More - The KCRW Session Live
- Fuguei Na Escola Para Jogar A Bola - Angola Soundtrack 2 Hypnosis Distortions Other Sonic Innovations 19691978
The Poets Of Rhythm- North Carolina - The Anthology 19922003
Aceyalone- Hit The Road feat Treasure Davis Bionik - Leanin On Slick
Fort Knox Five- Radio Free DC feat Afrika Bambaataa King Kamonzi - 10 Years Of Fort Knox Five Remixed
- Sugar Magnolia Live - Skydog The Duane Allman Retrospective
The Idan Raichel Project- In Stiller Nacht In A Quiet Night - Quarter To Six
Thao The Get Down Stay Down- Train In Vain - The Feeling Kind EP
- I Feel Fine - Beatles Reimagined
Sharon Jones The DapKings- Aint No Chimneys In The Projects - Stranger To My Happiness
- Message To The People - Overdose Of The Holy Ghost
KT Tunstall- Feel It All Band Jam - Invisible Empire Crescent Moon
Ha Ha Tonka- Prove The World Wrong - Lessons
Ha Ha Tonka- Arabella - Lessons
- voicebreak -
Tea Leaf Green- Give Me One More Chance - In The Wake
Black Uhuru- Sinsemilla - Live 84
The Clash- Police Thieves - Hits Back
Kurt Vile- Snowflakes Are Dancing - Wakin On A Pretty Daze


playlist URL: http://www.afterfm.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/playlist.listing/showInstanceID/5/playlistDate/2013-12-16
          DIY Wednesday: Paper Cut Snowflakes        
December is here, and it’s time for sumptuous feasts and a second batch of presents since your birthday! Before we start shopping for the dinner essentials, lets break out the Christmas decorations first. At Gin & Jacqie, we are all for DIY-ing just about anything that we can. Besides, if it calls for spending less […]
          PIXI + ItsJudyTime Collaboration: ItsEyeTime & ItsLipTime Review        
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It felt surreal when I had the chance to meet Judy Travis of ItsJudyTime and her adorable family back in January. She’s one of the OG beauty gurus in YouTube and she also has a daily vlog channel that I follow every morning since roughly before the twins can stitch three words together. Remember “You want palo?” LOL I’m a fangirl and I love the baby bears way too much, okay Judy and Benji are not far behind… So when Pixi Philippines invited me to the launch of Pixi + ItsJudyTime palettes (with a meet & greet!), I almost replied “Yes, mommy!” to the email. Almost. Whew!

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Anyway, I’d leave these photos from that special day here so that we can go on with the true purpose of this post – the palettes, silly, don’t let Julianna, Miya and Keira’s cuteness distract you further.

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With the guidance of Petra and Pixi Beauty, Judy and the other #PixiPretties collaborators have created their “dream” beauty products that not only represent their individual points of view but parallel Pixi’s philosophy of fuss-free in a few minutes. Judy transitioned to a mom on-the-go (which she does gracefully) who loves glamming herself up from time to time over the years. So I expected her product to be practical, no-nonsense and efficient. And we got it; actually, we got two! A 12-shade eyeshadow palette called ItsEyeTime and its lipstick counterpart called ItsLipTime.

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ItsEyeTime – Retailing at Php1,495 at Glamourbox, this eyeshadow palette is very Judy. Do you see it, too? You get equal amounts of matte and shimmer neutral shades, which lean on the warmer side. The colors are pretty true to what is in the pan, and the actual formula is pretty hard to beat – I’m talking about nice pigment, very blendable and long lasting. The dark shades have better texture compared to some of the light mattes, but all they ever need is a slight boost of an eyeshadow primer.

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Order of swatches is from bottom to top, left picture first then right. Sorry, I kinda messed it up.

  • Snowflake – Light champagne color that’s really creamy.
  • Bubbly – Another beautiful shimmery color in gold.
  • itsmommyslife – My go-to soft, warm brown shade.
  • Good Morning – Good transitional peach color as it’s sheer enough for that purpose.
  • Brick – True “brick” shade and very pigmented. One of my favorites!
  • Honey Bear – Typical matte light brown. Good coverage for a matte finish.
  • Tu Tu – Another favorite! Reddish brown that looks great on brown eyes. Take note!
  • Getaway – Ahh, look at that rich pigment! It’s a copper shade with loads of shimmers.
  • Ping – Deep brown complement of Getaway. Shimmer-wise.
  • Dark Chocolate – Chocolate brown. ‘Nuff said.
  • Aww Snap – Brown with slight red undertones. Quite patchy but doable.
  • Night Night – Black with bluish silver sparkles. I wish it’s more intense and not “soft” because blacks are not soft!
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ItsLipTime – To start, I’m a big lipstick girl but not a fan of it in a pan. My old all-in-one palettes have lipsticks still untouched. Maybe I never got into using my fingers to apply, and I’m all like “who has time for that?” to look for a lip brush when I’m rushing in the morning. However, I find that Judy’s take on lip palette is actually good. The colors, albeit not created equal, are beautiful and creamy. The lighter shades require at least two layers using your finger (yes, it’s better than a brush with this palette) for the full opaqueness to show. They are lightweight and with decent wear time. If nude and berry lipsticks are your jam, you get a color for Php125 as this retails for Php1,495 at Glamourbox.

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Again, order of swatches is from bottom to top, left picture first then right.

  • Ta-da – A very sheer, very pale nude. I cannot wear this on its own unfortunately; I think its better to pair with another color to create an ombre look.
  • Peaches – A peachy kind of nude with a good color payoff.
  • Julianna Bear – JB! LOL It’s a pinkier nude, very versatile and everybody can wear it.
  • Milk Chocolate – This one looks soft brown on my arm yet sheer dusty pink on my lips.
  • Kiera Bear – The rosy peach twin. It looks similar to Ate JB. LOL
  • Miya Bear – The muted rose bordering brown twin.
  • B Did It – Barbie pink with just enough brightness.
  • Falling Leaves – My favorite! Like the warmness Autumn color on my lips.
  • Chewy – Describing shades is tough! Does this look like reddish Miya Bear to you? It does to me.
  • Fierce – A deep berry. Perfect for night outs, but then again I don’t do night outs. Haha
  • Sweet Cherry – Classic red shade. Because it’s not a lipstick palette without it.
  • Sultry – Intense wine red. Another favorite because it has the most perfect formula from the bunch.
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Wearing Pixi + itsjudytime ItsLipTime Get The Look Palette in Fierce

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While I think they are good travel palettes, the Pixi-signature light green packaging has a flimsy clear cover. It feels like a toy, which was the first thing that came into my mind. I appreciate the mirror you can stick on though, that’s a lovely bonus.

Overall, I’d bring these when I go on vacations because it’s practical, I cannot complain that I cannot find a suitable eyeshadow or lipstick shade. But not when I’m going to have a long day here in the city, because imagine if I need to retouch my lipstick and a whip out a palette – a bullet is just easier, right? Get them because the darker shades (in both palettes) pack quite a punch, or if you need new colors to play around with, or if like me, you feel the need to get every makeup with Judy’s approval. Haha!

WHERE TO FIND: Glamourbox

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          A4 Die Set Snowflake Box        
A4 Die Set Snowflake Box

A4 Die Set Snowflake Box

Come complete with a clever magnetic shim Made from the highest grade carbonised steel Endless designs possibilities for professional looking cards and scrapbook layouts using cardstock, paper and fabric 


          Searching        

“Searching” by Billy Collins

I recall someone once admitting
that all he remembered of Anna Karenina
was something about a picnic basket,

and now, after consuming a book
devoted to the subject of Barcelona--
its people, its history, its complex architecture--

all I remember is the mention
of an albino gorilla, the inhabitant of a park
where the Citadel of the Bourbons once stood.

The sheer paleness of him looms over
all the notable names and dates
as the evening strollers stop before him

and point to show their children.
These locals called him Snowflake,
and here he has been mentioned again in print

in the hope of keeping his pallid flame alive
and helping him, despite his name, to endure
in this poem, where he has found another cage.

Oh, Snowflake,
I had no interest in the capital of Catalonia--
its people, its history, its complex architecture--

no, you were the reason
I kept my light on late into the night,
turning all those pages, searching for you everywhere.
          167) Coffee Filter Snowflake Window        



Over the last few winters we have tried paper snowflakes several times. The first year we tried the Bee was fascinated but not able to cut them herself, so she got quickly frustrated. Last year she was able to cut them but not able to cut the intricate designs she wanted. This year she was finally able to cut the intricate designs she wanted and she was hooked. She loved cutting the snowflakes and spent the longest time cutting different designs each one getting more and more complicated. The Bean on the other hand had no interest in cutting snowflakes, she wasn't able to cut the designs and it didn't bother her in the least. Funny how different they are sometimes. She was however thrilled to paint the snowflakes so they made a great pair. After spending so much time at home this winter the bickering has been pretty bad so to have a project where everyone happily worked together was amazingly nice. 


We started our snowflakes on sort  of a whim, really my attempt to redirect the bickering came out as a suggestion to make snowflakes without much forethought. So when I went to the cabinet to get out some coffee filters to make our snowflakes, I was a little surprised  to find that we only had recycled unbleached coffee filters. Coffee filters are the best for making snowflakes since they are already the perfect round shape and thin and easy to fold and cut.  Fortunately the girls didn't seam to care, and once painted they looked so beautiful it didn't matter. To make the snowflakes we started by folding the coffee filters in half and half again and half again until we had a small triangle. We then cut triangles, half circles and lines into the triangle. This tutorial is really helpful if you are looking for snowflake ideas.



After we finished cutting, or really as the Bee was cutting, the Bean painted the snowflakes with liquid watercolors. We used blues and purples to give the snowflakes a wintery feel and the coffee filter sucks the paint up and blends the colors beautifully.


We worked on the snowflakes for two afternoons in a row and then had so many we needed to do something with them. My friend Genie has a beautiful snowflake garland at her house, so at first I thought we might try and make one of those, but then I remembered these beautiful window displays I had seen on the Artful Parent a while ago. So I found some contact paper, we only had white, and taped a large piece of white contact paper sticky side up onto the table. The girls and I then placed the snowflakes onto the contact paper, carefully smoothing them out with our fingers. In some places the girls overlapped the snowflakes and even included some that we never finished painting. When all the snowflakes were on we took the contact paper off the table and smoothed the sticky side onto the glass of our front storm door. 



The finished mural looks so nice! It adds such a fun color on a gray winter day. I think maybe we will try and make some coffee filter hearts for Valentines next...









          Clear Stamps Huge Snowflake 5 Set        
Clear Stamps Huge Snowflake 5 Set

Clear Stamps Huge Snowflake 5 Set

Packaged size A6: 4. 1" x 5. 8" (10. 5 x 14. 8 cm) 5 Pre-cut clear polymer cling stamps This large Snowflake is designed by Jane Gill Tear resistant, can be stretched and will relax back to their original shape Quality deeply etched design for perfect results


          Clear Stamps Snowflake Reindeer 3 Set        
Clear Stamps Snowflake Reindeer 3 Set

Clear Stamps Snowflake Reindeer 3 Set

Packaged size A6: 4. 1" x 5. 8" (10. 5 x 14. 8 cm) 10 Pre-cut clear polymer cling stamps Snowflake covered deer designed by Francoise Read Tear resistant, can be stretched and will relax back to their original shape Quality deeply etched design for perfect results


          World Weather The Chinese Snow Disaster        
Wherever you are in the world there is likely to be snow above you. Even in summer, or over the tropics, ice crystals are found in the highest cirrus clouds as temperatures are far below freezing. It is a fact that most of the precipitation on Earth starts life as ice crystals in higher parts of the atmosphere and whether they fall as rain or snow depends on the temperature of the air that these crystals fall through before reaching the ground.

One of nature's finest sites is a landscape covered in thick, fresh snow. Snow is common in winter over Northern Europe and North America and is permanent on some mountain tops (as well as at the poles). Mount Kilimanjaro is located just 3 degrees south of the equator but is still high enough to maintain a permanent snow cap.

Snowflakes form when ice crystals stick to one another. The largest snowflakes develop between 0 degrees C and -5 degrees C, rather than much colder conditions. At these warmer temperatures the snow can contain more moisture and hence have bigger flakes. As snow falls the melting process extracts latent heat from the surrounding air, causing it to cool and refreezing the snow flakes. The melting and refreezing allows the snow crystals to combine into bigger flakes.

Snow that falls in temperatures well below freezing will be fine and powdery, ideal conditions for skiing, whereas snow forming in temperatures much closer to freezing tend to be larger, wetter and stickier. In mountains the build up of snow causes dangerous avalanches which can sweep all before them in a destructive wave. It is estimated that there are over one million avalanches every year, though, thankfully, most of these rumble away in inaccessible areas where there is little contact with man.

More common in populated areas, but just as dangerous, are blizzards. Blizzards are a combination of heavy snow, freezing temperatures and strong winds. A blizzard can easily bring a city to a complete standstill, and with the associated whiteout conditions, when heavy snow and low cloud make it impossible to distinguish between the sky and the ground, it is extremely difficult to travel even small distances.

In China last winter (2007-2008) the worst winter storms for 50 years engulfed huge areas for more nearly 5 months from October 2007 onwards. With power lines ripped down, and the traffic infrastructure at times being brought to a complete standstill there was over $8 million worth of damage. In northwest China 1.65 million people were left with either frostbite or snow blindness, or both. 500,000 livestock were killed and 3 million others were starving. Also 350,000 people were in need of food and 130,000 had run out of fuel. On the Zhuhai-Beijing freeway there was a 75km traffic jam with over 10,000 cars stranded while soldiers worked to clear ice from the road.

This explains why blizzard warnings are so important in countries where these winter storms are common. An accurate forecast can ensure people are indoors and not travelling when the blizzard strikes, reducing fatalities and alerting the emergency services before the storms onset.
Mark Boardman BSc dip.hyp is a leading author and expert on World Weather. For more information about Snow, feel free to visit these sites.
          Karamell / Sweetie        

Måste bara visa den här lilla karamellen jag just fått färdig. Tyvärr syns det inte att den är översållad av små, glittriga glaspärlor, men tack och lov syns de i levande livet i alla fall. Det här är nog, som jag sagt tidigare, det mest meningslösa och opraktiska jag någonsin gjort, men jag njöt varenda minut jag höll på med den! Och lite flärd måste man väl kosta på sej?

Det har varit en teststickning för Ewelina Murach och det gick åt två nystan Drops Kid Silk.

I just have to show this little sweetie I just finished. Unfortunately you can’t see that it is studded with small, glittering glass beads, but thankfully they show up in real life anyway. This is, as I said before, the most pointless and impractical I've ever done, but I enjoyed every minute of it! And it has to be some frivolity in the life as well, hasn’t it?

It has been a test knit for Ewelina Murach and I used two balls of Drops Kid Silk for it.

          WIP's        




Nu har jag gjort färdigt själva kroppen på Alex’ dinosaurietröja och dessutom klippt upp för ärmarna. Det går riktigt behändigt nu, kändes faktiskt inte alls särskilt konstigt eller kusligt att sätta saxen i den. Men jag ska aldrig göra om det misstaget som jag gjorde med tigertröjan, där fortsatte jag – helt enligt instruktionerna – att sticka hela vägen upp till halsen, och inte bry mej om var ärmarna skulle in. Men så har jag läst på andra håll att det är lämpligt att maska av några maskor där ärmhålet skall vara. Det gjorde jag nu, och la upp nya och lite fler maskor på nästa varv, och hade på så sätt inga som helst problem med att måtta in hur långt jag skulle klippa, och hade dessutom fyra extra maskor att sy och klippa i. Det var skillnad, det!

Now I have finished the body of Alex's dinosaur sweater and also cut up for the sleeves. It is really handy now, I felt actually not all that scared or weird to put the scissors in it as I used to. But I'll never do that mistake as I did with the tiger sweater, where I continued - according to the instructions - to knit all the way up to the neck, and didn’t bother to where the sleeves would be. But then I read somewhere that it is a good idea to bind off a few stitches where the armpit will be. I did so now, and casted on new and a bit more stitches on the next round and had in that way no problem with how far I should cut and also had four extra stitches to sew and cut in. It was really a big different!







En annan halvfärdig skapelse är Snowflake till Poppy. Det är förmodligen det mest opraktiska för att inte säga meningslösa jag någonsin gjort, men den är så läcker!!! Ljust rosa mohair med spetsmönster och en hel massa glittriga små glaspärlor, en dröm för en liten redan klädtokig prinsessa, men den som ska stå för skötseln … Ja, ja, en gång kan den väl i alla fall användas. Fast Jan hävdar att hålen i mönstret är så stora så all smuts och allt klet kommer att falla emellan och sugas upp av det som är under. Vem vet, det kanske är så vist inrättat?


Another half-finished creation is Snowflake for Poppy. It is probably the most impractical and useless thing I've ever done, but it is so delicious! Bright pink mohair with lace pattern and a whole bunch of sparkly little glass beads, a dream for a small, already clothing mad princess, but the poor one who is supposed to take care of it ... Yes, yes, it may be used once in all cases. Jan is claiming that the holes in the pattern are so large that all dirt and all tracing will fall between the yarn threads and be absorbed by what is underneath. Who knows, perhaps it is that wisely set up?

          Face Book Eats My Time        
Um, Yeah.  I'm o.k.  I'm still here.  I just spend too much time  on Face Book playing with those silly applications like Farm Town and Mafia.  

My one year Blogiversary has come and gone without my acknowledgement.  I haven't even checked my stats lately.  I'm sure the few readers I did/do have gave up on me weeks ago.

Lil Sis is playing with playdough and I'm listening to Days of Our Lives.  I've totally lost track of what's going on there.  I used to be a diehard fan and even if I didn't watch it, I read updates on line.  It's just not the same anymore.  What's going on with Bo and Hope anyway?

The girls and I are struggling with the time change.  In addition to losing an hour, we have a brand new feather bed and it is so comfy, it's hard to hop out of bed in the morning.  And for some reason, my alarm didn't go off this morning.  

Looks like the bachelor (Jason) is on the Bonnie Hunt Show, so I think I'll watch and see what's new there.

I'm also going to try to update the background here.  I do not need snowflakes cluttering the background.  I need to find something springy.

more soon :)

          â„– 6633714: Заиндевевшие деревья на фоне голубого неба        
Заиндевевшие деревья на фоне голубого неба, фото № 6633714, снято 7 декабря 2010 г. (c) Татьяна Кахилл / Фотобанк Лори
№ 6633714: Заиндевевшие деревья на фоне голубого неба
© Татьяна Кахилл / Фотобанк Лори
зима, зимний, белый, снег, природа, пейзаж, снежная, парк, вид, сезон, календарь, деревья, поле, снежное, небо, погода, сельский, красиво, заморозки, иней, спокойный, голубое, облака, солнечный, день, синее, холодно, winter, scene, white, snow, outdoor, tree, cold, snowy, natural, park, view, january, day, seasonal, holiday, sunny, scenery, light, frosty, ice, landscape, snowflake, season, forest, wood, leaves, colour, blue, weather, december, beauty, rural, sky, scenic, frost, beautiful, background, branch, nature, frozen, tranquil, landscapes, outdoors, sunshine, cool, calendar, clouds, cloud
          â„– 5270340: Зимний деревенский пейзаж        
Зимний деревенский пейзаж, фото № 5270340, снято 24 января 2007 г. (c) ElenArt / Фотобанк Лори
№ 5270340: Зимний деревенский пейзаж
© ElenArt / Фотобанк Лори
winter, snow, landscape, nature, house, wood, trees, scenery, weather, forest, woodland, season, sky, white, horizon, heavens, hoarfrost, frost, frosty, snowy, snowstorm, frame, snowflakes
          OT: Wonder Woman        
I saw Wonder woman the other day I thought it was great! I thought the actress Gal Gadot was so good she played the part well. I was proud to see an Israeli Jewish woman play the part. I know it is just a comic book hero but somehow it feels like more.


Anyone else see the movie and think it was good?

Community LabsSecret Snowflake 2016Gold StarTop CommenterPokemom


          Danish Hearts        
God Jul and happy Saint Lucia Day! Warm welcome to today's visiting blog processioners~


Thank you to Heather of Audrey Eclectic (our head Lucia) for inspiring this procession and Scandi-fest! I've never celebrated the pageantry of the day before, but it's a beautiful occasion to shine a light and share interests with others in the dark of winter.

Anderson or Neilson family? Sod roof!

My grandmother's parents, Hans Peter Anderson and Elsie Neilson, both emigrated from Denmark (with the mysterious photograph above) and were married in South Dakota in 1899. She and my grandfather later moved to Alabama, but Grandma Alice kept an adorable Minnesota accent, peppered with UFF DAs. I really don't remember celebrating any old-world traditions with her, but there were always bright tins of Danish butter cookies along with familiar homemade ones. She was proud of her Viking ancestors and I'm enchanted by a land of fierce winters, trolls, goblins and house elves.


My own family's holiday traditions are an American mix of the ones passed down, and also ones we've found, created or traded like recipes. I adore the feel of a Scandinavian Christmas~ simple, natural and homemade (visually and spiritually), golden candlelit wheat and warm red on snowy white. Years ago, I found straw ornaments and julbocken at the gift shop of the Denver Sons of Noway Lodge. That year I gave my parents a julbock three feet tall, haha!


This year I went a little berserker making Danish woven hearts. Traditionally, these are made of paper into little treat baskets. The first one was believed to have made by Hans Christian Andersen, master paper-cutter AND storyteller! Some designs are amazingly intricate, but there are simple patterns all over. It's just two long oval pieces folded in half, parallel lines cut and strips woven~


I made my hearts from felt and strung some on yarn as a garland. They're easy and inexpensive, and would be fun to make with little ones. :)


They're so fun that I also made some in a calico print! Cat and Sam made these beaded ornaments and God's eyes. They (and I) have been such prolific ornament-makers over the years that we needed another tree, so this smaller one is in the kitchen. My main elf hasn't come home from school yet, but I sent her some heart garland (in turquoise, gray and white) for her apartment in Boulder.


These hearts look right at home next to snowflakes crocheted by my Mema, my great-grandmother from the other side of the family. Old ways and new, made with hands and celebrated in the hearts of each generation~


Happy holidays and thank you for stopping by today! Other Saint Lucia processioners, I look forward to reading of your celebrations! Skål to all from Colorado~
~Kristina
          Brexit: An opportunity that could be wrecked by politicians        
So the UK votes to leave and the PM decides to leave, but not now.  The Chancellor of the Exchequer hides, and beyond the Bank of England printing a few billion, nothing else happens.

The EU has already decided to play tough and has its own position, which is essentially "fuck off, the walls are going up, deal with it".  Although Germany is being much more nuanced.

The Conservative Party has to find a new leader, and from that a new Cabinet and a policy on negotiations.  Labour meanwhile is going the same way.  It is likely a new Conservative leader/PM will call a General Election on a manifesto of leading the UK into a new open, free-trading world with a new free trading relationship with the EU.   Leaving the EU requires the UK to initiate it formally, which the EU is begging for, but the Government would rather delay because it changes its bargaining position.

Yet that could be problematic, not least because a key plank of those fighting to leave the EU is to end free movement of people with the EU, and all countries in the EU Single Market (including non-EU Norway and Iceland) all have signed up to free movement, and even non Single Market Switzerland has, although it does have extensive restrictions on new residents having access to any government provided services.

Meanwhile, leftwing nationalists have jumped on an opportunity.  Sinn Fein wants a referendum on Irish unification, but the Northern Ireland First Minister has said no.  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is flailing about wanting a second referendum on independence, but wont discuss:

1. The EU only lets non-members join, not current members split into joining and non-joining;
2. Joining the EU means joining the Euro;
3. 90% of Scottish trade is with the UK, Scotland in the EU would mean any EU trade barriers with the UK also apply to Scottish trade with the rest of the UK.

Spain, showing it really hasn't turned as far from Francoism as it would have liked, is demanding co-sovereignty over Gibraltar.

Meanwhile, the young leftwing social justice warrior types (Generation SnowFlake some have called them, for their "safe spaces", being "triggered" by hurt feelings and constantly protesting about what is offended) feel "betrayed" about the old "ruining their futures".  However, the truth is that the majority of the young didn't care enough to vote as revealed by Sky News below.

Whinging about democracy when it doesn't go your way, whilst embracing it otherwise, is beyond the pale, as are some of the hate filled attacks on older votes coming from those whose own identity politics is supposed to decry hate speech.  The truth being that the so-called liberal leftwing anti-hate, anti-violence activists are full of hate and quite happily embrace violence to get their "own way".  It's emotion laden petulance, of the kind you would have only seen from the fringes of the far-right and conspiracy theorists had the vote gone to Remain. 

So what should happen now? (notwithstanding who the PM and Government is)

1. The Government should announce the key planks of a new relationship with the EU around trade, investment, movement of people and co-operation, that it seeks to adopt.  It should clarify to the entire country that it is not going to be a UK of isolationism, but one of openness.

2. The Government should make it clear to all EU passport holders in the UK that no-one will be deported, except under existing arrangements for threats to national security or criminals.  No EU residents need fear this, nor will their property be affected or businesses, and if anyone threatens them they should go to the Police.

3. The PM should make it clear that there will be no referendum on Scottish independence this side of Brexit, but that the Government will consult with the Scottish government and parliament on the deal it seeks with the EU.  It is precipitous to talk about Scottish independence until Scotland sees the new deal negotiated with the EU.

4. The PM should make it clear that there will be no referendum on Northern Ireland joining Ireland unless the preconditions of the Good Friday Agreement are met, but that equally it cannot happen until the new deal with the EU is negotiated AND negotiations are concluded with the Republic of Ireland.

5. The PM should go to Dublin and discuss the future relationship and reassure that no border controls will be reinstated.

6. The PM should go to Germany and talk, extensively, about how to make this work, and then go to all other EU Member State capitals, and the EFTA Member States too. 

7.  The Government should go to the WTO to discussing reviving membership.

8. The PM should visit USA, China, Japan and other trading partners and say that it wants to have open, freer trading relationships and the UK will be open for business and people.

9. Finally, the PM should make it clear that there wont be a second referendum on membership and that those who want to claim it is unfair, that this is democracy and the task now is to bring the country together and work for a new relationship with the EU and the world that demonstrably proves the claims of the Remain activists wrong.

Oh and ignore Nicola Sturgeon.  The Scottish Parliament can't "veto" the British Government any more than Lambeth Borough Council can stop the UK having nuclear weapons.


          Snowflakes        
This is the best activity for winter days....specially when it's cold and raining...You have at home everything you need!! Here is how to do this:
  1. Take a coffee filter and make yourself a coffee....
  2. then take another coffee filter and fold flatten it. 
  3. Then fold it in half. 
  4. Fold it in half again and again until you can no longer fold. 
  5. Cut randomly along the folded edges and the outside edge of the filter. 
  6. Now open the filter and trow it in the air. 
  7. Pour yourself a coffee and watch the show!     





          Gay rights has made us dumber: Atheists of Utah prime example.        
"Gay rights has made us dumber..."

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/06/17/gay-rights-have-made-us-dumber-its-time-to-get-back-in-the-closet/

And the dumbest of these are the frantic crusading moron Stonewall warrior children who run Atheists of Utah (Dan Ellis dumbshit et al.) and similar groups...

More info on the general topic Milo talks about in his article linked to above:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/bering-in-mind/the-end-of-gays-gay-marriage-and-the-decline-of-the-homosexual-population/

Speaking as a straight man who's been to many gay parties via a nephew, I can confirm that there's a very dark and abusive side to current gay culture.

Yes I like Stephen Fry and Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing.

But children needs a mommy and a daddy. Evolutionary evolved human animal born children. 385 million years of sexual history and 13.8 billion years of evolutionary history ought to count for something.

http://www.livescience.com/48400-origin-of-sex-found.html

And there's only one type of marriage: one where inherently reproductive human animals hook up, period.

I like the art of Michael Zichy and Thomas Rowlandson (classic graphic erotic art) as much as the next guy. And certainly people like Spencer Kimball and Boyd Packer should rot in hell for eternity.

http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/search/label/Spencer%20Kimball
http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/search/label/boyd%20packer

But not every dumbshit idea that pops into the brains of leftist snowflake children should be honored and highly valued.

http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/search/label/homosexuality

So you're a man who thinks you're a woman and you want to visit women's restrooms? WGAS - and stay the F out of my wife's and daughter's restrooms.

This is the precise and proper response to such gender dysphoric bleatings from poor morons like Bruce Jenner.

And yes simultaneously masturbation and oral sex and good things in spite of what evil men like Spencer Kimball claimed. And a bit of porn 2 and 3.0 isn't such a bad thing.

http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/search/label/porn

People such a Milo Yiannopoulos and Douglas Murray (a gay neocon whom I admire) show there is a non-wastrel side to people with such dispositions (ie: male attraction to other men).

What would a rural Chinese person do who's had zero exposure to the Bible or Quran? They're naturally socially conservative. Whodathunkit.

more info:
http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/2016/02/lies-present-in-conservative-religion.html

I still likes them boobies and all pretty kitty cats. I just suggest there's some value to outlier-trait male humans continuing to like them as well, and female outlier trait types finding (femmy) heterosexual men to mate and stay with rather than dreaming of a parthenogenic future. And to their all keeping their John Thomases and hoohaws away from the abusive overly permissive deadly evolutionary dead end wastrel glory hole culture of the left.

Having my cake and eating it too? Why not.

Breeders will inherit the Earth.
http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/2014/06/breeders-will-inherit-earth-problems.html

The talk I gave at my mother's funeral - February 2010
http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/2010/12/funeral-talk-that-i-gave-in-february.html

Excerpt:

As far as I can tell, relative to our position in the Universe, we're rather like some moss growing on the top of a mountain.

As moss we're very intelligent. And maybe some day, being the smart green moss that we are, maybe we'll find a way to extract ourselves from the mountain top.

In a few years our lone peak which is the only place we can live is going to get scorched. And we happen to be so smart in fact that we have predicted the future scorching.
                    
So if we are very lucky & very smart indeed, our science & technology may save us.

Or perhaps we'll fade away to dust like most life has on the mountain.

It's either the sky god or the volcano god, or the real truth about our rather humble state.

Noble & beautiful, yes, but if we're going to make it in the long term at least a few of us have to take a longer view.

There is no Christian Armageddon waiting. But in about 500 million years our Sun will be 10% brighter thereby causing the oceans boil off. So our descendants either need to re-engineer the Sun by then, or get us off of this rock. And we've only known about this for ten or so years. And there are other huge risks to our survival.

What we teach our children about science may save humanity.

There's no heaven or hell. But that means we have an added responsibility to care for what we have here. To make this life here & now into a heaven or a hell.

We are related to other animals. We are animals, and our morals come from a combination of genetics and socialization. Whether such a fact is good or bad, it doesn't matter. That's simply the way it is.

Being concerned about legacy is an issue. Who will care that you lived in 100 years? Make a contribution. Be a great artist or a great scientist or have kids. And if you have kids, teach them the value cutting edge art and science, and of the value of taking the proverbial red pill as from the film The Matrix.

---end of excerpt

Quite so.

And if you've found yourself to be a gender or sexual orientation dysphoric human male or female, I suggest there's high value in your tying into inherent reproduction, rather than trying to cheat nature & evolutionary history via trips to the sperm bank.

Children need a mommy and a daddy. And there's only one type of marriage: the naturally inherently reproductive type. And as an enlightened post-leftist atheist I get to have my cake & eat it too on these fronts...

-------------------------------------

Additional links:

http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/search/label/atheists%20of%20utah


http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/search/label/naturalism

http://jonathanshome.blogspot.com/search/label/atheism%20is%20a%20religion
          Google Image Result for http://us.123rf.com/400wm/400/400/amirage/amirage1111/amirage111100008/11119559-cute-christmas-card-with-snowflakes-on-old-paper.jpg        
merry christmas image
          Oak + Rowan        

The next up and comer in Fort Point neighborhood is Oak + Rowan and this restaurant is something special. For an evening out with some of my favorite ladies they took such good care of us - and it was a long night fueled by multiple bottles of bubbly and lots of terrific courses.

Choose from six cocktails listed on the menu by type of alcohol: Tequila, Ginger Cider, Bourbon, Scotch, Vodka or Gin, made table-side from a fancy bar cart! I had the Bourbon -  which is a Swedish Punch with Zucca, lemon, honey + Angostura Bitters. Zucca is an Italian liquor made from rhubarb. This cocktail was on the sweeter side and proved to be a delightful apertif. 

Definitely order a cocktail here as one shaken or stirred table-side is a really fun way to start!
We were seated in a booth underneath the exposed light-bulb BWC signage which stands for Boston Wharf Company. I love the warm ambiance created in the lofty industrial warehouse space. 
We started our meal with a bread course worthy of splurging on, the Caraway Sourdough ($6) accompanied by homemade pimento cheese and salted molasses butter. This was followed by two really solid, well executed appetizer dishes, an Arctic Char "Pastrami" ($14) (unpictured) served over oat bread with smoked egg, pickled onion and kale and Pheasant Kotschoubey ($17) (above) with brussels sprouts, bacon jam and winter truffle. We also had a beautiful Duck ($32) entree over a luscious sweet potato puree, grains, smoked pear and juniper.

A four course Pasta Tasting ($49) is offered on Thursday night only (fate!) so we had to order one for the table. Our waitress nicely paced the handmade pastas throughout our meal. The first three were unique and creative, while the fourth was a classic, and all were comforting, flavorful, thoughtfully prepared and delicious.

First Course: Passatelli | Brodo, Parmesan, Chive
Second Course: Garganelli | Braised Pheasant, Egg Yolk 
Third Course: Tortelli | Polenta Cheese Filling, Hazlenuts, Grape Must
Fourth Course: Lasagne | Smoked Bacon + Beef Bolognese, Arugula


The kitchen sent out a cheese course with compliments. I am so glad they did because as it turns out the cheese plates are impeccably done and not to be missed. We had Brillat Savarin Custard ($11) which is a Triple Cream from France w. honey + celerac and Bailey Hazen Blue ($9) a Blue Cheese from Vermont w. bacon jam, sourdough + port gastrique.  

Speaking of not to be missed, most of the desserts also fall into the realm of being special and alluring. One I would pass on is the Winter Citrus ($12) with grapefruit sorbet, granola, cara cara and lemongrass. Those ingredients didn't mesh so well for me. The next two were winners, though! Chocolate + Cashew ($12) offers a rich Taza Chocolate log with a quinelle of cashew mouse, mascarpone and topped with a brioche ribbon. The Yogurt Panna Cotta ($12) felt playful yet elegant with sweet and tart cherries, hibiscus sorbet, honey, pear, and a very pretty candied ice decoration that looked like a snowflake.

Oak + Rowan
321 A Street
Boston, MA 02210

          Snowflakes in Arizona?        
That’s right. Something crazy happened at the Powell Home… we found snowflakes!!! A very rare occurrence in Arizona. Okay, so it wasn’t “real” snow but since we are firm believers...
          Michael W. Moses and the Frozen Bubble Photography of Angela Kelly        

This morning I noticed a link to an image that a Facebook friend posted and I was immediately filled with a child-like thrill. One look at these images set my mind awhirl with all manner of magical artistic thoughts.

When Angela Kelly of Washington state recently took these delightful images she was truly thinking on a different level.


The joy of these images is surely the playful nature of how they were created. It seems that it was a mother and child wanting to have a bit of fun on a dreadfully cold day....  First they went online and found a recipe to make bubbles.



 They ended up creating what may well be a new art form: "Frozen Bubble Photography",or "FBP". They found out that the icy cold air caused the bubbles to freeze and then she took photographs of the frozen bubbles. Now How cool is that!  Angela Kelly seems to have come up with a really beautiful Idea. Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Blowing bubbles in an atmosphere cold enough for them to almost instantly freeze and then having the thought to take images of them.  Each one is a unique moment in time. A bubble frozen in place and recorded in an image that one can view now and later. To me these frozen bubbles are the epitome of what photography is about, the capture of a single heartbeat in time, stored for future use.



 I know that I have never seen anything like it. I find it every bit as amazing as the images of Wilson A. Bentley who did the first snowflake macro photography in 1885.

You can see these wonderful images by MS Kelly at her Etsy shop.

I have to add that her work reminds me of of the frozen water balloons that were popular awhile back all over the frozen north.

I guess living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast I will not be trying any "FBP's" in the near future.

          bridal magazine subscriptions bridal gifts        
The best present you can give someone is one they actually need. But how? The answer is simple. Allow them to go shopping and purchase the item or items that they actually desire. It is simple to do when you give them a $500 gift card! This makes getting what they want so straightforward and best of all, most gift cards may be employed both on and off the internet.

looking for a gift card for a graduate, or perhaps a'help gift'? A $50 or a $500 one, or any amount in between, can go a long way towards books for college, living expenses or a piece of equipment such as a camera or DVD player. Other present ideas include wedding gifts, new baby gifts or a special present for your spouse on a birthday or anniversary.
With many cards, for example a Visa gift voucher, many outlets and other sellers will infrequently charge a dormancy fee, implying the balance from it is lost if the amount purchased on it isn't used inside a certain time period.

At the end of the year, many companies thank their biggest patrons for their continued business by giving lavish gifts such as Callaway golfing club sets, memberships to exclusive spas and intricate baskets including pricey wines and cheeses. Other ideas for company presents is to give your best clients a $500 gift voucher and let your client shop and select the item or items they desire.
Sales is the core of nearly every business. If you do not promote your product and services, then you won't be in business for very long . , keeping your sales members motivated to continually increase their sales and to chase up with existing clients, can be one of the toughest issues you are facing.
Make your sales delegates rise to the challenge by dangling a $500 gift voucher and award it to the rep that not only has the most new business a month but also the highest quantity of client retention. Most folks look at getting one for their own use as essentially a money bonus and it's a wonderful incentive to keep your folks striving to do better.

And there you have it, a $500 gift voucher is not just a considerate present for your spouse, newlyweds or new oldsters.

http://free-bridal-gifts.forsomuchless.com/monogrammed-bridal-gifts.html
http://free-bridal-gifts.forsomuchless.com/articles.html


in addition, you may use one to give your most devoted of customers a giant'Thank you' for their continued business. Gift cards are a great way to show somebody that they're vital to you. I discovered that most brides enjoy turning their wedding into a theme based party. Perhaps you should take more time to think out what you would like your wedding to appear like and to truly capture the essence of how you would like your wedding to represent.

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start with a seasonal wedding ideal, and just work your way down from their. Or you might just go with a springtime wedding, depending on what kind of wedding set up. You would like. Myself. I chose to go with the fall wedding theme, as the fall selection was really great. And I found many various fall wedding favors to add to my many of number choice. But there also is the wintertime wedding favors, where you can find many beautiful wedding favors for that time of the year. Fantastic.

You can only begin with the snowflake bottle stopper, which is really great to give as a groomsman gift or 2. Or you could just go with a fall completely in love league pedals will fall season. Over these are truly great and would actually make your wedding shine. bridal gowns bridal gifts

if you're actually searching for some great gifts or wedding favors to add some flavor to your wedding favor theme. I added some great wedding links and you will see a late that will direct you to a great choice of wedding favors so go check them out to see if there's anything that you would like to add your wedding to luck and may need to you and your friends.
          asiana magazine bridal gifts        
The best present you can give somebody is one they really need. But how? The answer's simple. Allow them to go shopping and purchase the item or items that they really need. It isn't difficult to do when you give them a $500 present card! This makes getting what they want so simple and best of all, most gift vouchers can be used both off and on the web.
looking for a gift voucher for a graduate, or maybe a'help gift'? A $50 or a $500 one, or any amount between, can go a long way towards books for school, living costs or a piece of equipment like a camera or DVD player. Other present ideas include marriage gifts, new baby gifts or a special present for your spouse on a birthday or anniversary.

Read the fine print before you are making a giant balance for it, such as a $500 gift voucher, and make efforts to let the recipient know that it has a set period of time in which it has got to be used.

At the end of the year, many corporations thank their largest patrons for their continued business by giving lavish gifts such as Callaway golfing club sets, memberships to exclusive spas and elaborate baskets including pricey wines and cheeses. Other ideas for corporate presents is to give your best clients a $500 gift voucher and let your customer shop and select the item or items they need.

, keeping your sales representatives motivated to continually increase their sales and to follow up with existing clients, can be one of the toughest challenges you are facing.


And there you have it, a $500 gift voucher is not just a thoughtful present for your spouse, newlyweds or new folks. It's also a great way to keep your staff motivated.

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additionally, you can use one to give your most loyal of customers a huge'Thank you' for their continued business. Gift vouchers are a great way to show somebody that they're important to you.

Where should a bride begin to look for their wedding accessories for their wedding. I revealed that most brides enjoy turning their wedding into a theme based party. I have been to many stores and seen plenty of marriage, and accessories for marriage receptions and bridal parties.
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As an example, if you actually enjoy the decline weather than think of different sorts of fall wedding favors and fall marriage gifts to add to your marriage plans. Or you could just go with a springtime wedding, depending on what kind of wedding set up. You would like. Myself. I selected to go with the decline marriage theme, as the fall selection was really great. And I found many different fall wedding favors to add to my many of number choice. But there also is the wintertime wedding favors, where you'll be able to find many stunning wedding favors for that time of the year. Fantastic.
You can only begin with the snowflake bottle stopper, which is really great to give as a groomsman present or 2. Just add some flavor to your wedding reception tables. Over these are truly great and would really make your wedding shine. best bridal magazines bridal gifts

if you are really trying to find some great gifts or marriage favors to add some flavor to your wedding favor theme. I added some great wedding links and you'll see a late that will direct you to a great selection of wedding favors so go check them out to determine if there's anything that you would like to add your marriage to luck and may want to you and your friends.
          bridal bridesmaid dress bridal gifts        
The best present you can give somebody is one they really want. But how? The answer's simple. Let them go shopping and purchase the item or items that they really need. It isn't difficult to do when you give them a $500 present card! This makes getting what they need so simple and best of all, most gift cards may be employed both off and on the web.

searching for a gift card for a graduate, or maybe a'help gift'? A $50 or a $500 one, or any amount in between, can go a long way towards books for school, daily costs or a piece of kit such as a camera or DVD player.

With many cards, for example a Visa gift card, many outlets and other sellers will sometimes charge a dormancy fee, implying the balance from it is lost if the amount acquired on it's not used within a certain period of time. Read the footnotes before you make a large balance for it, such as a $500 gift card, and make efforts to let the recipient know that it's got a set period of time in which it's got to be used.

Other ideas for company presents is to give your best clients a $500 gift card and let your client shop and choose the item or items they desire.
Sales is the center of nearly every business. If you don't promote your product and services, then you won't be in business for very long .

Make your sales representatives rise to the challenge by dangling a $500 gift card and award it to the rep that not only has the most new business a month but also the highest quantity of client retention. Most folk look at getting one for their own use as fundamentally a money bonus and it's a fabulous incentive to keep your folk attempting to do better.

It is also a great way to keep your workers motivated. in addition, you may use one to give your most devoted of purchasers a big'Thank you' for their continued business.
Where should a bride begin to go looking for their wedding accessories for their wedding. I revealed that most brides enjoy turning their wedding into a theme based party.

Perhaps you should take more time to think out what you would like your wedding to appear like and to really capture the essence of how you would like your marriage to represent.

randurls[41new line]

For example, if you really enjoy the decline weather than think about different sorts of fall wedding favors and fall marriage gifts to add to your marriage plans. Or you could just go with a springtime wedding, depending on what kind of wedding set up. You would like. I selected to go with the decline marriage theme, as the fall selection was really great. And I found many alternative fall wedding favors to add to my many of number choice. But there also is the wintertime wedding favors, where you'll find many beautiful wedding favors for that time of the year.

You can only begin with the snowflake bottle stopper, which is actually great to give as a groomsman present or two. Just add some flavour to your wedding reception tables. Or you could just go with a fall completely in love league pedals will fall season. Lasturl

if you're truly trying to find some great gifts or marriage favors to add some flavour to your wedding favor theme.

.
          Apple Butter        
Maddy's Pear Post absolutely inspired me. When we got our crate of apples, I was ready to get creative with them. We've eaten a lot of apples in the past couple of weeks. I've made an apple pie, apple topping for syrup, and curried apple and roasted squash soup. As the weather got colder, I worried about our 30 odd pounds of apples that are still in the garage freezing, so I decided to try something new. I love apple butter, so I decided to go for that. Apple butter is great spread on bread, spooned onto pancakes, or stirred into steel cut oats. I looked a number of recipes and ended up going with one from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, a site I've used before. It has so much good information about canning, and recipes to go along with their clear instructions. Here is a link to the original recipe. I pretty much stuck to it, just halving it. We actually had three huge boxes of canning jars that I freecycled this year, before I warmed up to the idea of canning. Here is how I made our apple butter.

I started out with 4 pounds of Cortland apples. These apples are pretty large, and they're abour 3 to a pound. After washing thoroughly, I peeled and cored the apples, then chopped them into 1" pieces. Tip: Be sure to get all of the peel off, or you'll have problems down the road. I put the apple pieces in a large sauce pan with 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of cider, brought the mixture to a boil, and continued it at a gentle boil. The mixture should get nice and soft, and reduce by about half. This took about 20 to 25 minutes. The next step was the most trying, but would have been far easier with better equipment. Luckily, there's a low tech method for the occasional canner like me. To refine the mixture, I used a sieve and the pestle from our marble mortar and pestle. (At this point I had to keep picking out pieces of the peel that I had neglected to remove from the apples originally. I had planned to leave this as a chunky apple butter, which you can do, but I changed my mind!) The sieve-pestle method actually worked incredibly well, it just took some arm strength and patience since I had to do small batches. The next step was to add a generous cup of raw sugar and brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, and about 1/2 teaspoon allspice. Simmer this mixture until the apple butter thickens. It should mound nicely on a spoon or plate and not "leak" any vinegar. This only took about 10 minutes for my apple butter. Spoon the finished apple butter into sterlized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace, seal, and process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Be sure to practice safe canning methods! I was very pleased with how the apple butter turned out. Now we'll have a comforting fresh apple taste from a local orchard all through the winter.
          A booklover's wishlist for Christmas        

Friends and family have stopped giving me cookbooks

As you enter our Bloomsbury living room you can see why: a flimsy IKEA bookcase groans under the weight of hundreds of cookbooks - well our demented boiler is gurgling like a gremlin at the moment but that's another story - the flat seems to be tilting precariously to one side under the weight of so many books.

Some are blatant food "porn" purchases from days when I didn't know any better, others are more conventional glossy cookbooks nestled in between the Elizabeth David classics and battered old baking books replete with indecipherable doodles. Inspirational tomes such as Olivier Roellinger's Seafood book and Heston's Big Fat Duck Cookbook are there to remind me that being creative is no bad thing, and I have yet to really sink my teeth into McGee on Food and Cooking in a systematic way, save his chapter on dairy.

But seriously, does a girl really need hundreds of cookbooks? I'm more than a little embarrassed by my bulging cookbook collection and perversely found myself calculating how many pairs of killer heels I could have bought in lieu of all those snazzy cookbooks. After all, a girl can never have too many shoes.

So in order to save you and your family or friends from accumulating quite so many cookbooks - and to save all that money for buying pretty shoes in the new year sales! - I've compiled a Christmas wishlist for bookish food fiends; a list that sprang out of friends asking me from time to time which books I would recommend from my cookbook collection.

For the purpose of this exercise I enlisted my pal Will Knightley - a rogue foodie with a penchant for martinis - to help whittle down the books. It's not a definitive list, We've left off some notable culinary giants and included a few unusual books which might appeal to a foodnerd who is interested in learning more about the history and anthropology of food. There are also a few recommendations for food magazines and journals that would make fine Christmas gifts for a fussy foodie.

I'd be curious to know which books are your favourite ones to cook from, which have proved inspirational, and which ones looked promising but ultimately failed to live up to expectations. Needless to say I'm on a self-imposed ban from buying any more books and if anything a cull is long overdue. Still...there are invariably gaps in my collection so please let me know in a comment below which food/cookery books you'd add to this list :-)

The cookbooks:

Fiona Beckett's Cheese Course (Ryland, Peters & Small)

Perhaps this should have been called 'The Joy of Cheese' as it's a caseophile's delight. I've worked with Fiona for two years and recently wrote my MA thesis on the anthropology of cheese so I'm completely biased, but I genuinely love this book. You learn how cheese is made, examples of the different types of cheese and how to taste and compare them. Fiona being the doyenne of food and wine matching you get a comprehensive cheese and wine matching guide, and also alternatives such as cider, beer, port and whisky to name a few. I could really have used the tip about not matching red wine to oozing Epoisses the other night, and Fiona explains in detail why red wine - a traditional match for cheese as a whole - can be a minefield when paired with many cheese varieties. There are suggestions for seasonal cheese plates and recipes to keep even the greediest of cheeselovers happy.

Try the tartiflette, the buckwheat galettes with parma ham and emmental, and the stichelton steak with winter salad of onions and roquette. If you're a real curd nerd check out Fiona's Cheeselover blog for updates on cheese finds, and her 'Ultimate Mac n' Cheese Challenge' which kicks off December 28th

Moro East by Sam & Sam Clark (Ebury Books)

Fans of the restaurant Moro will love this book which extends east to Levantine shores via their East End allotment. The recipes are clearly written and easy to follow. What more can I say - buy this book along with the two original Moro cookbooks and you won't be disappointed. Up there with the Scandinavian Cookbook and Ottolenghi as my everyday favourites.

Risotto with Nettles: A memoir with food
by Anna del Conte (Chatto & Windus)

This is the food memoir of 2009. Del Conte shares stories from her childhood in Milan, giving the recipes she cites at the start of each chapter meaning and context through a tightly-written narrative. Her style of writing is self-effacing and ever so slightly patrician, a legacy of her Milanese roots I suspect and what fascinates me about her story is del Conte's liminality as a child raised in Mussolini's Italy and her transition to an adult who married and settled in Britain - she evinces both Italian (or rather Milanese) and British characteristics in her writing yet in some ways is rootless...

Any book that opens with a chapter on Toscanini and La Scala will appeal to the cultured Italophile foodie; a real gem of a memoir.

The Scandinavian Cookbook by Trina Hahnemann (Quadrille)

One of the best cookbooks published in recent years. Beautiful photography couples with clear, easy-to-follow recipes and the best cinnamon bun recipe this side of Copenhagen. Trina's evocative book sends me straight back to my Scandinavian roots and I can't think of a better introduction to the seasonal cooking of game, fish, fruit, veg grains and aquavit (kidding, aquavit is not a foodstuff) of where I grew up. A book I never tire of.

Look out for Trina's Nordic Diet book - due to be released in January - of which I'll be giving a sneak preview here very soon. If you're curious about Trina's recipes and Scandinavian food in general I did a menu earlier this year based on her book which includes a fabulous gravlaks or gravadlax recipe.


Game: A Cookbook
by Trish Hilferty & Tom Norrington-Davies (Absolute Press)

Anyone who knows me will tell you I have a penchant for game, and I instantly fell in love with this book when it arrived last month. The fact that it's co-authored by Tom Norrington-Davies, head chef and co-owner of Great Queen Street, one of my favourite restaurants, adds to its 'must-have' appeal.

Recipes that stand out:

* confited pheasant with fennel and satsuma salad

* potroast mallard, quince and star anise

* rabbit braised with prunes and beer

In sum, a brilliant, modern cookbook on game - buy this for a bona fide foodie and they'll love you forever

Snowflakes and Schnapps by Jane Lawson (Murdoch Books)

This book has proved curiously divisive. Will and I love it, other foodlovers aren't convinced.

Jane Lawson seems detached from the recipes and there has been criticism of the broad geographical layout spanning Scandinavia, Germany and Eastern Europe. Frankly that's what appeals to me - there is a common thread of cooking throughout cold Northern European countries: hearty, ribsticking fare with dishes such as beer cooked bratwurst, which is what gets me cooking on a cold winter's day. I was born in Germany and my first word was most likely "wurst" so I'm totally biased - a book with sausage recipes is always going to send my into nostalgic daydreaming mode! The liquorice lamb appeals to the Scandi in me and I love Lawson's baking recipes - reminiscent of the ones I grew up with in Norway. Great recipes and gorgeous photography make this a winner. Buy this book for the Northern European who loves to ski and eats carbs and meat with gusto!

A Very Honest Cook by Stephen Markwick and Fiona Beckett (Culinaria Press)

More of a magazine or journal than a hefty cookbook and therein lies the appeal of 'A Very Honest Cook'. I'd hazard a guess that this slimline book of a few choice recipes from Stephen Markwick of Culinaria fame might prove to be a publishing model for 2010. When I met Stephen and his wife Judy at Abergavenny food festival earlier this year everything Fiona had told me about Stephen was spot-on: he's a self-deprecating cook who represents the best of British cuisine. With a foreword by Simon Hopkinson that praises the 'stylish simplicity' of Stephen's cooking, and clear, concise recipes this is a book I'll be cooking often from and can't wait to visit Bristol again so I can sample Stephen's provencal fish soup, loin of venison with celeriac and potato mash and honeyed parsnips... and a devilishly good treacle tart ;-)

The Songs of Sapa by Luke Nguyen (Murdoch Books)

Will claims this is the book for gap-year kids who read 'The Beach' on their travels throughout Asia during the '90s. I did neither of those things yet I love this book, perhaps because Vietnam is on my list of places to visit. This book transports you to Nguyen's home country with sumptuous recipes and fantastic photography. Recipes such as Hanoi beef noodle soup, roast pork and crisp snapper just work. The only drawback is the book is a tome of the coffee-table variety thus slightly tricky to place in the kitchen while cooking, but still - a book worth owning.

Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (Ebury)

My favourite deli in London and a cookbook that is high up on my list of favourites. The partnership between Israeli Yotam Ottolenghi and Palestinian Sami Tamimi works on so many levels: the delis are an aesthete's delight with their white backdrop and an array of colourful food tempting you in. I spent a day in the Upper Street branch of Ottolenghi as part of my Leiths training and witnessed first-hand the care and attention Ottolenghi chefs take in creating both pastries and savoury food. It may be expensive but the food at Ottolenghi is worth every penny.

Buy this book for the foodlover who is curious about the Middle East and loves eating at Ottolenghi's delis.

The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden (Penguin)

Not a recent publication but this should be on every serious foodlover's bookshelf. Roden's vivid account of the Jewish diaspora, enriched with stories of her own life and comprehensive descriptions of Ashkenazi and Sephardic cooking is a classic. The recipes are foolproof and delicious.

Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey (Ebury)

A confession: I have a real soft spot for Rick Stein. Perhaps it's his love of seafood, or his gentle, ambling manner when he's cooking. I was fortunate enough to work as a stagiere in his Seafood restaurant down in Padstow when I was training at Leiths and loved every minute of my stage there, learning more about seafood in a week working for Stein's band of merry chefs than I did anywhere else. Stein's most recent book represents the best recipes of countries such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia. Every recipe is enticing and foolproof and somehow captures the rich diversity of food across Asia; this is the book for the globetrotting gourmet who loves telling stories and cooks with confidence and flair!

Adventures with Chocolate by Paul A Young (Kyle Cathie)

Quite simply the best chocolate book of 2009. Paul trained under Marco Pierre White and I've posted on this blog before about his dedication to the crafting of chocolate because that's exactly what he is - a craftsman. His shop in Camden Passage is one of the few chocolate shops in London which is suffused with the scent of chocolate as everything is hand-crafted on site.

The book is comprehensive and teaches you how to buy chocolate, what types of beans there are and the methods of tempering and how to make a truffle (an art in itself). There are tips on how to combine flavours with different types of chocolate and recipes such as:

* chocolate water biscuits for cheese

* passionfruit and coconut truffles (two of my favourite ingredients!)

* blackcurrant and liquorice truffles (ditto)

* chocolate, ginger and cardamom tea bread

* hot chocolate and basil fondants

A perfect gift for chocoholics, especially if they can't get to Paul's two stores in Camden Passage and Threadneedle Street this Christmas

What to Eat Now More Please! by Valentine Warner (Octopus)

Having met Valentine Warner through the lovely people at Peter's Yard I can vouch that he's utterly charming and a real cook's cook. This is the book to buy girls. Boys don't really get the appeal of Valentine so make sure you save this for your sister, cousin, girlfriend or foxy aunt.

Recipes that appeal:

* barbecued bavette steak with anchovies, red wine and garlic (is there a better combination of ingredients?)

* coconut lamb

* gravadlax: having seem Valentine make this at Abrgavenny food festival earlier this year I can attest to this recipe's deliciousness. Plus Valentine looked a bit like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets when he waved bunches of dill above his head

* prawn tangiers: I made this over the summer and it's now a firm favourite

* baby courgettes and chanterelles with basil: simple, clean flavours with not much fuss. Perfect.

Larousse Gastronomique (Hamlyn)

Everyone should own a copy of Larousse. It is the bible of cooking technique and classical French cuisine. Enough said.

McGee on Food and Cooking by Harold McGee (Scribner)

I love McGee's chapter on dairy, you might love his chapter on the four food molecules - every serious cook worth his or her salt should have McGee's encyclopedic masterpiece on their shelves. Failing that at least read his Curious Cook musings on food science ;-)

Coco: 10 world-leading masters choose 100 contemporary chefs (Phaidon)

This is the most zeitgeisty book of 2009, and what a tome it is. Chosen by gastronomic big guns Ferran Adria, Mario Batali, Rene Redzepi, Alice Waters, Jacky Yu, Gordon Ramsay, Fergus Henderson, Shannon Bennett, Alain Ducasse, and Yoshihiro Murata the hundred chefs featured in Coco are all fascinating in their own right. Some have commented on the title and I have to admit 'Coco' does strike me as an odd choice for this book, albeit a catchy one.

No matter, the book is a feast for the eyes and is the book to buy your serious gourmet friend or relative who has a keen interest in sampling the cooking of the hottest chefs today. When I first read about Coco in the Evening Standard earlier this year I was thrilled to see some of my favourite chefs such as Anthony Demetre of Arbutus and Wild Honey fame featured alongside Theo Randall and Skye Gangell. When Gastrogeek invited a few fellow food bloggers to join her and the team from Phaidon and Sauce PR for a Coco Gourmet Gallop around Maze, Theo Randall and Launceston Place last month I nearly fell off my chair at the itinerary for the gallop. We were treated to a fantastic evening of decadence, sampling the recipes each chef had included in the book. You can read brilliant reviews of the gourmet gallop from Gastrogeek herself, Dan of Essex Eating and Dan of the blog FoodUrchin amongst others including twitter's funniest food blogger Mimi of Meemalee's Kitchen who concluded: the Coco gourmet gallop was worth missing the last train for (and she did!)

A few snaps from the night:

Theo Randall's wood-roasted Cornish monkfish with parsley, capers, roseval potatoes, globe artichokes and prosciutto di Parma - a humdinger of a dish. Full of flavour and culinary skill. Theo himself came out to speak to us which was much appreciated by all of us attending the gallop



Tristan Welch's dessert platter (along with several huge tarte tartins) was the best dessert experience I've had since being left with the dessert trolly at Guy Savoy a 3-star michelin restaurant in Paris. Tristan and his staff looked after us with immense generosity, and like Theo Randall, took the time to speak to us about their cooking and Launceston Place. An epic way to end an epic gourmet gallop...



The books on food but not necessarily cookery:

Tsukiji by Theodore Bestor (University of California Press)

Harvard anthropologist Theodore Bestor has twenty years of ethnographic fieldwork in Japan under bis belt. The man knows Japan and he writes well which are two key features in the appeal of this book about Tokyo's legendary fish market Tsukiji. One for the food anthropologist, or someone who loves big fish and the ocean in general.

Hungry City by Carolyn Steel (Random House)

A lecturer in architecture at Cambridge, Steel is a formidable speaker and passionate advocate of how food shapes cities. Not one for the glossy food porn admiring reader, but one for serious foodies with a sense of history, an interest in the development of cities and architecture. Check out her Hungry City site for an idea of what the book is all about.

The Taste of Place: A Cultural Journey into Terroir by Amy Trubek (University of California Press)

Trubek asks why terroir and place matter. You may be wondering why the question even matters and if so I suggest you read Trubek's Taste of Place, an accessible and informative account of why terroir is important: we live in a highly connected world in which food is subjected to the forces of globalization like any other industry. Place becomes a powerful symbol of cultural and national roots, not to mention identity. Terroir evokes authenticity, particularly in wine, but increasingly now in food such as cheese and Trubek's book is for those who are bored by cookbooks and want something profound to sink their teeth into over the Christmas holiday.

Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham

For the foodie who cares about evolution, anthropology and understanding how cooking makes us human, this is the book to buy them for Christmas. Wrangham has a breezy style of writing virtually unseen in academia and his argument is elegant and provocative in equal measure. Brilliant. By far the most interesting anthropology book I've read in years.

Magazine/Journal Subscriptions to get discerning foodies:

Fire & Knives


Brand-spanking new food journal from editor extraordinaire Tim Hayward. Great writing, great photography, great design. Looks like a small book which makes it ideal for popping in your handbag. At a bargainous £20 per year for a subscription this is the gift to give the foodlover who has all the cookbooks they need.

The Art of Eating

Edward Behr's pared-back style of writing is true to his Vermont background and I can't wait for The Art of Eating to arrive by post every few months. Excellent pieces on real food, unfussy and spot-on in its analysis. You should see the cheese collection. Another one for the foodie who has everything and loves that New England salt-of-the-earth way of seeing the world.

美味しんぼ or Oishinbo (The Gourmet)

What can I say? if you know someone who loves Japanese food this is the publication for them. The ultimate 'foodnerd' gift this Christmas!


* an addendum: one book I completely forgot about is Simon Hopkinson's Roast Chicken and Other Stories and thank you to Helen aka Food Stories for reminding me about Hopkinson's other brilliant book Week in Week Out both books of which I own and love. Roast chicken had slipped down behind the bookcase and the latter I haven't used much recently but shall revisit when I return from the Canaries after Christmas. Add both to the neverending list of must-have books ;-)
          How to Sell Gold Coins Mysterious and Gleaming        
Since the first prehistoric coincidence, raw materials and solar radiation golden color and metallic luster and charisma to attract a man. A unique flash of gold attracts the eye, so the seeker to determine the smallest grain of many other materials together. The smallest part is easy to find.

Anthropology Research Neolithic graves indicated that the first elements of the collection of gold and precious man. This unique metal, gathered in the form Nuggets seem to be very valuable, but useless in practical applications. Score 2.5 to 3 on the Mohs hardness scale gold too soft is hammered into a viable tool or weapon. Gold for prehistoric little value unless it is a wonderful and rare treasure, inner beauty.

However, as a man, he soon discovered a number of requests for the mysterious golden metal. The earliest record of Egypt gold research dates around 2000 BC Ancient records tell of the great alluvial gold Nubian Nile and Red Sea between south-eastern Egypt. This incredible discovery, including more than 100 square miles. Using the most primitive tools, and work an average depth of less than 6 feet, the first "miners" Priede estimated 1000 tonnes of gold from this rich discovery. Egyptian artisans, recognizing that it is very old-fashioned incredible plasticity of gold jewelry, ornaments and idols amazing.

During the whole of human history has been involved in gold, precious metals have been invaluable, not only for their beauty, but gold is the ability to withstand harsh weather. No matter seems to be a general nature will destroy gold. From the air, moisture, heat or cold, the precious metals will not change color, corrosion, rust, or discoloration. Gold glittering gold Nuggets of gold and brilliant vein occurred 45 million years to survive the catastrophic geological and climate changes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, problems and deposition. The treasures of gold jewelry, gold bars and gold coins, buried for thousands of years beneath the earth and sea, were found complete, as a glorious day, they were abandoned.

A relatively rare metal elements in the original, gold ranked 58th among the 92 rich natural factors make the Earth's crust. Although considered rare element, all gold, metals, except iron, mostly distributed in the face of the earth. Gold has found 90 percent of the Earth's surface, taking advantage of the high mountains, deep weathering of soil in tropical regions, in the harsh desert and arctic tundra permafrost.

Commercial exploitation of gold in all continents except Antarctica. Richest regions in gold production in the world is Witwatersrand in South Africa. This ultra-rich region has been made in 18,000 tons of gold, with no end in sight. Additional significant gold bearing area of Siberia, in the whole world in the former Soviet Union, porcupine District in Ontario, Canada and the United States, Alaska, the Yukon area and the famous Lord's mother in California district.

In the United States is very generous nature. 32 countries have recorded significant commercial gold production. Offering the highest in the western United States are in California, Colorado, Alaska, Nevada and South Dakota. Other rich areas for research, including Georgia, Arkansas, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Washington, New Mexico, Wyoming, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, Vermont and New Hampshire. Entertainment gold ore gold can be found in the pan in almost all countries in the Union.

Gold is the ideal medium artisans. This is the metal can be deformed and will not harm or affect the collapse. Gold, in pure form is the most viable of all the plastic or metal. Single ounce of gold can be drawn upon and expanded in the ultra-fine wire over 50 kilometers in length without breaking or pounded to the amazing ultra-not the disintegration of the one hundred-thousandth inch. Gold is easy carving, easily lost flashing Polish, repeated heating can not change the color and add your own or another metal welding, without adhesive flux.

More than 6000 Gold has always regarded as a symbol of wealth, power and status. Egypt in 1350 BC the young Pharaoh Tutankhamen's coffin interred carefully casting of pure gold, weight 242 kg. Throughout history, men and women were decorated with their own bodies and the brilliant, flashing gold. Ancient custom wedding held during the exchange of gold continues to this day.

Aristocracy wide??Middle Ages in Europe the form of gold dust, flakes, or to leave their food showcase the great wealth of the host country. Today, gold is still the most frequently used in food and digital electronic 175th However, since the gold inert metal of all bodily functions, has increased with no taste, nutrition or any other role, and leaves the body has not changed.

Contains primitive people think they are hidden, internal fire, a gift from God the mysterious healing and supernatural powers. Many cultural sunworshippers be respect for physical gold as a God; solid sunshine. In today's Japan believers seek gold healing magic soaking tub in the form of design, Phoenix produced 400 kilograms of pure gold. Health and gold have been entangled in the magical belief that some of the most precious and beautiful not only for healing and health.

Today, modern esotericists and various forms of alternative medicine embrace the healing properties of gold. Some gold salts have anti-inflammatory properties and use of drugs in the treatment of arthritis and other conditions. However, only salts and radioisotopes of gold pharmacological value, as elemental or metallic gold is inert to all chemicals encountered institutions.

Gold is the "value of the warehouse," a natural way for mankind to preserve capital and guard against financial uncertainty or monetary collapse. In modern times gold has served as a threat to inflation hedge and safe way of assets, except in secret. The "hoarding" gold occurs most often in times of war, in the world and unfavorable conditions of the international economic instability concerns. Gold is often an attempt to defeat the government exaggerated its national currency, as well as those who bypass the objective of political power, direct the economy in other countries.

The entire recorded history, gold, the king's coronation metal, has always considered the ultimate hard currency. Gold is the only currency, and not someone else responsibility or obligation, which is still only a paper promise to pay the demand. The value of gold is not dependent on the economic stability of any country, political power or financial cartel. The value of gold itself.

The current world price of gold is to build a day on the market in London, gold, gold bars and gold trading in the world with other financial centers, such as Zurich, Hong Kong, Frankfurt and Paris. Price is based on pure or "very good" of gold, therefore, the value of gold, collected in its natural state May vary depending on the impurities it contains. However, sales of gold jewelry as raw materials or samples will always bring a very high price. Gold is an obvious difference snowflakes, although similar, no two teams are the same. The unique nature of the Arab-Israeli bloc and the form of May to sell up to 5 times the value by weight.

You have damaged or discarded gold jewelry you no longer wear? May now be time to cash in on the current gold rush. With the price of gold more than the benchmark $ 1000 an ounce, incorrect or damaged gold earrings chain can increase a lot of money.

To get the best price, gold, you May want to sell, knows carat count. As a soft core of pure 24k gold, is often associated with basic metal alloys, used in jewelry, to change its hardness, color, melting point and ductility. Low alloy karatage, usually 22k, 18K, 14 K or 10K statements, including a greater share of silver, copper or other base metal alloy. The higher the more carats, you should pay.

If you have only one or two for sale, try local jeweler or classical works, from ancient jeweler. They will be taken into account the artist's process will clear the height is much more than the price of gold weight.
Learn where to get Gold Coins For Sale by visiting Gold Coins For Sale - A popular coin collecting website that teaches you how to make money in buying and selling coins without taking unnecessary risks.
          Snowflake Legend        
Hi friends.  This week just flew by for me.  It's hard to believe the weekend is already here. 

Today I have a Christmas card.  The snowflake legend stamp I used on my card is from Heart and Soul Rubber Stamps.  They have awesome stamps.  The spatter stamp is from My Paper Moon, which is another terrific place to shop for stamps.  I don't know the origin of the flourish stamp.  I embellished my card with ribbon, snowflake punches and a couple stick pins.


Challenges I'm entering:

All Sorts - Use Ribbon, no bows.

Catch the Bug - Winter Wonderland

Crafty Calendar - Let's Celebrate - Christmas Card

Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge - Winter Weather

Crazy Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge Extra - Anything Goes

Crafty Hazelnuts Patterned Paper Challenge - Anything Goes

Scrapbook Blessings Club - Celebrate Winter

Word Art Wednesday - Anything Goes

Blessings:
  • I'm so thankful that I know how to mend and alter clothing.  I use these skills nearly every week for myself or my family.  
  • We're back to warm weather!!!!  I'm a cold weather wimp. lol
  • I was able to do my exercise this week, despite a high pain level and a migraine.
Have a fabulous day!!!

Inky hugs!
Shelly
          Drama King! Professor Wears Combat Gear to Class in Protest of Campus Carry        
Can you say drama king? Oops. Maybe I should still say “drama queen” because I wouldn’t want to “assume” anyone’s gender. That might make the snowflakes cry even more. A Texas professor has gone viral after he wore protective combat gear to class in protest of the campus carry law, which allow college students to […]
          Fandom Flair: Casual Cosplay        

Welcome back to another edition of Fandom Flair. This time, I want to show you some easy (and one not-so-easy) way to do casual cosplay for Wheel of Time characters.

For those who don't know, cosplay is when a person dresses up as a specific character.  These costumes can be super elaborate, as I'm sure you've all seen from conventions like the San Diego Comicon, or even our own Jordancon.  

Casual cosplay, however, tones it down just a bit.  It's normal clothes that you can wear in public but is still based on the ideas or themes of a specific character. I love to casual cosplay at work!  Most of the time, no one can tell I'm wearing something special.

So, for Wheel of Time characters this can be pretty easy.  I have two cosplay outfits that were put together pretty effortlessly.  Let's talk about those first.

Aviendha

I love Aviendha, and the Aiel in general.  Their culture is one of the most fascinating in all of Randland.  And Aviendha is a strong, capable, but still stubborn, woman.  I love how unbreakable she is!  

Putting together an Aviendha outfit was the simplest of the bunch.  I based it off her Wise One outfit, choosing a brown, bulky skirt and pairing it with a white shirt.  Though Wise Ones shouldn't wear one, I did have a black scarf to be my shoufa.

Aviendha1

For accessories, I switched Aviendha’s bracelet and necklace.  I wore “snowflakes” around my wrist, and a flower (substitute for ivory rose) necklace.

 

Aviendha3

 

I also have super adorable turtle earrings that remind me of the turtle brooch angreal Aviendha borrowed from Elayne.

Aviendha2
 

Mat

There could be better ways to cosplay Mat, but I put this together with clothing I already had.  I would rather have a military-esque coat to give more allusion to Mat’s purpose in the novels, but, whatever works.

I started with just jeans and a black shirt.  I wore a green cardigan over, and added a black scarf to cover the hanging wound.  Lastly, I wore boots.  

Mat1

I wish I could have had lace or maybe even a pink scarf.

For a final touch, I added dice to a hair clip.  For this, I bought a five pack of dice and had an adult drill through the center with a very small drill it.  The hole is only about 5mm.  I slipped a thin, metal wire through the hole and twisted the wire to fasten it to the clip.  I have five dice total, but could only incorporate two.  I'll keep thinking of a clever use for the other three.

 

Rand

This one took some thought.  I wanted something grand for the Dragon Reborn, so I modeled this off Paul Bielaczyc’s amazing Rand cosplay.  

I started with a crimson shirt.  Next, I found gold iron-on fabric at Joann Fabrics.  It was about $5 for one sheet of the metallic material.  I only used one sheet, so not a bad price.

First: the dragons.  One major characteristic of Rand is his Dragon tattoos.  I printed out a copy of the Dragon from the chapter heading onto cardstock.  I cut it out, then traced it on the back of the gold fabric.  Then, I flipped it and traced it facing the opposite direction.  I needed two because, “Once the Dragon, for remembrance lost. Twice the Dragon, for the price he must pay.” (The Great Hunt, Chapter 26, “Discord”)

Rand1

After that, I decided to add swirls to the neckline of my shirt.  I drew two different swirl patterns and traced them, reversing one a few times so it would go in opposite directions.

Rand2

I cut out all the gold pieces then played with positioning.  Once I had it right, I ironed them in place.

Rand3

For the outfit, I paired the shirt with a black skirt, a headband with golden leaves, and my Aes Sedai necklace and Great Serpent ring, since Rand is an Aes Sedai after all.

 

Rand7

 

It wasn't a difficult project, but it was a lot more time consuming than the others!

 

 

Rand5

 

Rand6

 

That's all for this week.  Let me know who you like to cosplay as!  Thanks for reading!


          Re:Politics - USA        
Heh... one of my favorite sites:
14 People Explain Why They Want Donald Trump To Become President
Spoiler:
1. I’m seriously thinking about voting for trump, and here is why. I firmly believe that our system of government is deeply flawed, if not completely broken. Yet we still keep voting for the same type of people. If trump wins, there’s a good chance the whole thing will collapse from his absurdity. Then maybe we could start over and build something better that works. A vote for trump is a vote for full system breakdown, which I believe is exactly what we need.

So... he/she's in the Burn It Down™ crowd.

2. So I’ve spent the last 30 years living outside D.C. And at least since the Bush Sr. administration I’ve paid pretty close attention to politics, and have become pretty disillusioned with both parties. Basically as I see it every candidate we get from either side has the same flaws, flaws that Trump, despite being a very flawed individual in his own right, doesn’t share.
First, every politician is a corporate whore. Campaign finance law basically exists to be super muddled, keep out 3rd parties, and disguise where any politicians money is coming from. We legitimately don’t know who our leaders owe favors to, it’s usually a lot of people, and it’s definitely influencing policy. With Trump we know exactly where his money came from, it’s going to be a lot harder for random lobbyist/backer to manipulate Trump. We’ve even seen this reflected in some policy ideas he’s talked about like the changes to the tax code to close loopholes that he knows as well as anyone because he’s used them himself for decades.
Second, if you think about the traits good leaders have had, from a historical figure you admire to a great coach or the boss you really liked, typically those people are straightforward and honest with people, speak their mind and stand up for what they believe in, are open minded but firm in their convictions, and tend to shine when making difficult decisions. I think the traits necessary to be a politician are the opposite of all that. To be a successful politician you have to hide your true thoughts and motives when they’re at all controversial and instead give people what they want, you have to avoid tough decisions like the plague and stand for what no one is opposed to. Just look at political debates, no one answers any questions, they all talk and talk and say nothing. Trump seems to legitimately say what he thinks. He seems honest, even when what he thinks is pretty weird. He legitimately doesn’t care if people aren’t going to like what he has to say. He answers those questions in those debates, it’s pretty refreshing.
I’d actually go so far as to argue that Trump is open minded. He used to be a Democrat, now he’s a Republican, he’s still very liberal on a large number of issues. He was on a Comedy Central roast and was a good sport about it. He’s clearly capable of laughing at himself, which implies he’s aware he may be wrong at times.
I don’t think he’s racist at all, though he’s definitely more worried about terrorism than I feel is warranted. He’s definitely an donkey-cave, but I’m not interested in having him as a friend. George W. seemed like a genuinely nice guy and we invaded two countries, Obama seems like a genuinely nice guy and NSA spying and drone strikes are at an all time high. Maybe being a nice guy isn’t that important to running a country.
Trump has been the victim of gotcha journalism and misquotation or out of context quotation pretty heavily recently, and I think people don’t know what he really stands for. He believes some weird gak, but it’s not all as crazy as it’s made out. For instance his statements that made the front page recently on the internet were wildly misrepresented. He was asked specifically about ISIS’ ability to recruit online and was talking about trying to take steps to limit that. To me it was obvious from what he said that he doesn’t know much about the Internet, but to me what he said about “get with Bill Gates” that was so heavily mocked here was pretty clear in context, that he was saying he wants to meet with experts in the field and see what our options are. As much as it’s been ripped I thought he was making a point mentioning Gates. Trump knows Bill Gates politically, and how liberal he is, and I think was implying it’s a non-partisan issue and showing the angle they’d take, which was what the next line mocking people crying about freedom of speech was about. Trump knows Bill Gates is the last guy on earth who would want to filter the Internet and restrict freedom, that’s the point in dropping his name. I’m far more concerned with the similar statements, from a more informed position, that Hillary and Obama have already made concerning freedoms and spying on the Internet.

This guy/gal is full of Zen...

3. As a legal immigrant I despise illegal immigrants. At worst they should be put at the back of the “queue”. Hillary’s offer to legalize them all is pandering. As a person who grew up in the western world, I respect the rule of law. Philosophically if you have a problem with people cutting in line in front of you at a coffee shop or while merging into traffic or at an amusement park, then you and I are in complete agreement on this topic. Also immigration is a privilege not a right. A huge part of the world wants to get into the US . And the US has historically welcomed these people with open arms. But to demand that you be let in like it is a fundamental right is not fair to the people who live here those who were born here and those who came here legally. The people who are here paid their dues, I don’t think it is unfair to ask the others do too.

One of the smartest things that Trump tapped into is *this* anger.

4. I think the support he has is a symbol of how fed up Americans are with how unbalanced and dishonest the system has gotten. We want politicians who will actually represent the people, not corporate entities. Even if his honesty is ignorant it’s still a change in the direction of having leaders that aren’t completely cynical.

Is this wrong? I mean... Trump's not a politician, but it ain't like he isn't the elite ya know?

5. I fullheartedly support Donald Trump and find him to be the most qualified candidate for the job.
Is he an donkey-cave? Yes. Is he not politically correct? Yes. Everything he says is completely controversial and on the surface it seems like he is totally outrageous.
However, he is the savior in such a corrupt and dishonest system.
Here is a list of things I like about him. Many of them significant and others small.
Our leadership is terrible. We have individuals across the world torturing innocent people and planning to kill thousands of American’s as we speak and nothing is being done about it. He will literally ruin ISIS. He doesn’t want to close Guantanamo because he isn’t an idiot. Constitutional rights don’t apply to terrorists.
He cannot be bought by any private lobbyist group.
He speaks his mind (i.e. no teleprompter and he does not have speeches written for him)
He never EVER apologizes. Idk I personally just kind of like that.
Everyone freaks out because they think he’s a racist. “Oh what he wants to deport 11 million people! What a racist!” “Oh he wants to stop illegal immigration to reduce crime. Racist!” “He wants to temporarily stop people of the islamic faith from coming into America for national security reasons so Congress can figure out issues regarding ISIS. Racist” Please. He’s not actually dumb enough to think he could deport 11 million illegal immigrants, given, they are legally not allowed to be in this country. He uses this classic method of negotiating called ‘anchoring’ as he talks about in his book the Art of the Deal. You want to sell a car for $25000? Ask for $28000 then negotiate down. By asking so much from Congress as to not allow Muslims in and deport 11 million people he will get a better reaction from democrats than by simply asking for a little better regulation of some sort for illegal immigrants and/or Muslims. No one has the right to come into America. We should build a massive wall and allow people to come in legally.
Regarding his statements about Muslims not being allowed to come into America. Yes obviously there is no way of knowing who is Muslim and who isn’t. So the next step is prevent certain regions from coming into the U.S. And Congress LITERALLY JUST DID THAT TUESDAY. If you are from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon I think..? and one or two other countries in the middle east or have been there in the past 5 years you cannot come into the United States without adhering to our “strict” Visa policy (which is a joke, which is why Trump wants to stop it completely). The article is on CNN. The house passed it 407-19. And American intelligence expects that ISIS has the ability to make fake passports to get where they want. So that is really good!/s Also Rand Paul wants to temporarily halt immigration from those countries (a.k.a. Muslims) to get national security concerns worked out as well as Trump. But the media doesn’t talk about that cuz feth Trump amirite? fukin racist lol.
I don’t think people comprehend the fact that 21% of all Muslims in Syria support ISIS? Do people not understand that threat? If I remember correctly from a few recent polls, an average of like 8% of all Muslims in middle eastern countries are chill with ISIS and what they are doing. So I mean while we have millions of people rooting for innocent American’s deaths and tens of thousands of them plotting to kill innocent people across the world we are sitting here freaking out because Trump wants to TEMPORARILY halt Muslim (a.k.a. certain countries) entry into the U.S. Okay. Dude, feth logic!
Almost every single source of media that bashes him has some sort of clickbait headline that Sander’s supporters glance at and don’t even look into the situation. At first I hated Trump for what he was saying about Hispanics and for other BS media reasons. Then I actually listened to him talk and actually saw what he was like. Is he perfect? No. No candidate is though. And no matter what side you are on you absolutely 100% cannot deny that Trump is more genuine and less hitler like to at least to some degree than the media portrays him. If you don’t agree with that, you obviously have only seen headlines of CNN and Huffington Post articles.
Amazing Businessman. I was appalled in the first GOP debate where they questioned his business ability because he purposefully let his companies go bankrupt so he would save money. IN fething 2009. Anyone that says he isn’t a good businessman is ignorant. He has compounded his wealth at 44% since he got his first $1 million from his dad. Way better than some of the best hedge fund managers in the world.
We literally keep losing to everyone (China and other Asian Countries) for Jobs, Production, Trade, and GDP. I am 100% confident that he will make America an economic powerhouse again.
He wants to tax any couple making less than $50,000 per year 0%. Any individual making < $25k per year also 0%.
Simplifying tax code. He wants to make the IRS so much smaller and more simple. It is absurd with what we are dealing with now.
Other candidates suck. I like Bernie’s personality but he is a socialist that thinks the rich are the devil and thinks everyone deserves to have an iPhone, 4 kids, and a 3 story house. And a pussy. Hillary is corrupt as feth. Jeb”!” is a pussy. Ben Carson does not have the capacity as a human being to run a nation of 300 million+ people. Ted Cruz I like just not as much as Trump. Everyone else is irrelevant.
Things I dislike about trump: His environmental stance, Maybe a bit much on being an donkey-cave to people.

lolwut?

6. Frankly, he is possibly the most capable candidate I have seen.
Firstly, he is a strong figure. I’m only 26, but in my entire time voting, and learning about politicians, they have always come off as weak and pathetic. Their game is to make you like them. People rarely came to the table saying what they wanted to do, but they just said sound bites like “We need to save the middle class! Tax breaks for the middle class! Better schools!” When pressured on anything slightly controversial they could crumble and apologize. Trump stands by what he says against great opposition, and Tends to be correct, forcing the media to apologize. This just makes every allegation afterwards seem less credible.
He is very savvy with economics, listen to him speak. https://youtu.be/r-HPlMHnORo?t=86 . He has a good understanding of the economy, the problems that exist within it, and how to utilize the upper class to re-invest in America or face higher taxes. The tax structure he offers up in 91′ seems relevant even today to help alleviate some of the complaints we have about 1%’ers and wall street.
He is loud, and crass, and isn’t intimidated by people telling him to speak a certain way. As a kid raised on the internet, I always took free speech for granted. I could say anything, and everything I wanted on the internet with no fear of repercussions. When I came to the internet I saw a completely open arena where you could talk about anything, have any opinion, and voice yours without fear. Worst case sceneario? you make a new screen name instead of DarkSephirothx1950. As I got older, and the internet got more mainstream, I got more excited that people would join the free thinking, free talking movement, but sadly it slid in the opposite direction. Social media is tied to everything, and if you say the wrong thing it can be met with firm opposition and potentially losing your job. Trump signifies that culture for me at least. We have the first amendment, but it doesn’t mean gak if we don’t have a culture of free speech, and we don’t.
He has the most potential to actually beat Hillary. If he runs as independant it will probably suicide the republican party, they will be split, and hillary gets the white house.
I can’t possibly understand peoples aversion to deporting illegal immigrants besides their feelings. illegal immigrants hurt the lower class the worst, and they are in a bad enough spot as it is. If you are going to break the law, you should be prepared to face the consequences of your actions. If I shot up heroin, I wouldn’t expect any sympathy for my choice to break an established law. These workers come in and take the “undesirable jobs” for low wages. Guess what? When you have an undesirable job, it must be met with compensation equal to what people are willing to do it for. If they want to offer 5$ an hour to pick potatos, and nobody offers to do it, their option is to offer more pay for that work, or not harvest the potatos. Illegal imigration removes low education individuals ability to negotiate their wages. Food prices will increase, but everybody thinks its ridiculous that such hard jobs pay so low anyway.

Sounds like this voter wants an Authoritarian Daddy...

7. I do like the things Trump says about campaign finance, straight calling people like Bush out for being run by his donors. And I think hillary is a robot.

Hillary's a Terminator donchanknow?

8. He isn’t a pandering politician. He is relatively centrist and populist. He has a long track record without any damaging scandals. He seems more than the others to be genuinely interested in being a good leader for the country, rather than only for his base (as he doesn’t really have a base to pander to.)
In short, the rest of the field looks slimy and self-serving. Trump has proven successful enough at serving himself that he comes off as credibly genuine and not like he’s running to make more money or get more recognition or power. He is less easily corruptible than a politician looking to trade favors and pander for votes.
And the media reaction to him only serves to make the media look like corrupt establishment boot lickers seeking to control the narrative and the political process entirely.
I guess it takes power to speak truth to power, sometimes.

Don't know he'd by "less" corruptible... o.O

9. I want to preface this by saying I’m not decided on who I will vote for. I’ve supported candidates from both parties in the past, and I don’t agree with Trump 100%, but when it comes to thousands of Muslims coming over here, I have to say that as a gay man that worries me.
Let’s not mince words. Muslims are not at all in favor of gay rights (Page 14 for the lazy). Sure some are I guess, but they’re a small minority and they tend to be people who grew up in 1st world nations.
Now you may be thinking “why not just vote for Hilary or Bernie? They’re way more pro-gay than Trump.” True, but theres a little problem. Hilary only cared about gay rights when it became politically inconvenient for her not to and I have a whole host of problems with Bernie. Namely:
-Tax policies
-Gun Rights
-Abortion
-Immigration
-Foreign Policy (Climate change caused ISIS apparently. Not our foreign intervention, but climate change.)
-Affirmative Action
-The fact that he won’t be able to pass a single bill because neither party really supports him. Do we need more Gridlock?
-He’ll most likely die in office
Then there’s also the fact that even as a gay dude I don’t give a feth about gay marriage. Sure I think it should be legal for those who want to get married, but in my personal (selfish) view it doesn’t affect me one way or another. I will never get married in my life, so you can make it as illegal as you want, won’t affect my life at all. But you know what will affect me? Countless people coming into the country thinking that my sexuality is immoral, should be outlawed, or even punishable by death.
I find it so funny how liberals will on one hand sing the praises of the LGBT community but then turn around and welcome the most homophobic and bigoted people on the planet. Seriously. Go look at that chart again. 71% of millenial aged Muslims think that homosexuality should be outlawed. If Liberals heard that 71% of American white men thought that I guarantee that they’d parrot it from the highest mountain. We would never hear the end of it. Yet when Muslims think the same thing we get the NOT ALL MUSLIMS speech. Ok, fine. I will concede that not allMuslims; just a sizable majority of them. And apparently I’m supposed to feel comforted by that, as if to say “Suresome Muslims may want to kill you for the way you were born, but since it’s not 100% shut up or we’ll compare you to Hitler.” (Apparently Hitler was a 21 year old blonde-haired, bearded gay dude-TIL).
I ask you, dear Redditor (who is no doubt typing furiously about how wrong I am and how I’m a fascist) please consider for a moment how you would feel if you were in my shoes. How would you feel if your president was allowing God knows how many people into your country who want you dead? I figure you’d probably be pretty scared, and any rebuttle of “shut up or you’re Hitler” wouldn’t soothe your fears.
I concede that Trump is a stupid blowhard who says whatever crosses his mind, but how many of you have spent years complaining that politicians are too scripted, that they don’t say what they believe, or they’re too beholden to moneyed interests? Well Trump is the answer to what a politician would look like without all of those things; crude and unrefined, but honest. He says what he really thinks, even if it isn’t good politics. He isn’t right about a lot of things but he does appeal to me simply because he isn’t a politician.

...this is the most reasoned rationale so far.

10. I like the fact that he isn’t a politician nor plays the “political game” like it should.
I agree that immigration is a VERY serious problem. We just can’t afford supporting so many illegal immigrants. My father came here legally and he had to go through the long process of the system to become a US citizen, why cant others?

Indeed... why can't others follow the rules as it exist today?

11. I agree on being more careful with immigration, less gun control (or I think in his view leaving it up to states.), and focusing on getting our debts paid off.
I also feel like he is less of a liability, should he actually be a bad president. It would be like electing a guy who HAS to be on his best behavior, or get impeached.

Oh, I don't know about that... which presumes he'd overcome HRC in the first place.


12. He’s an donkey-cave, but at least he’s honest, and isn’t really into bullshitting people. Besides, I don’t want a third Bush or a second Clinton in office anyway. The Presidency is not a hereditary monarchy.

Anecdotally, this is the most common rationale that I've encountered in support of Trump. Thing is, my BS meter dang new breaks everytime I listen to Trump.

13. Because over time our entire political system has become a complete joke. It’s completely based on money. And these are just the popular mantras, but after 30 something years on this planet, I’ve decided they’re true, but for specific reasons.
No one involved in the White House or on the Hill has an actual “job” like they used to when the country was founded. Being a Senator or a Rep used to be be something else you did, not the only thing you did. You didn’t get paid a livable salary to come to DC, and you didn’t spend all year (minus vacations) in the city, you were at home, in your home state, doing your job. You ran a store, you were a farmer, a doctor, a butcher or some gak. Entire lifetimes are spent in office…why? How is that reality? Every single one of them is a millionaire…how does that represent anyone? How can they possibly relate to a huge swath of the country? The districts at a state/local level are absolute dogshit, carved up literally block by block in some arbitrary fashion that negates the effectiveness of being represented in the first place. And the term “middle class” is completely meaningless. There is no definitive line that says ‘above this, you are middle class, but above this, you are rich’. It’s an impossible to define completely meaningless term that does nothing but make everyone feel like a unique and special snowflake…the “average american citizen” snowflake. 40% of our income, out of the gate, goes directly to the Government. In addition to all the consumption taxes we pay (sales tax, property tax, gas tax, estate tax, capital gains tax, and on, and on, and on), and yet these idiots aren’t even marginally close to HALF of a balanced budget.
They trundle out on tv, radio, in the paper, and talk about taxes, about nonsensical political moving and shaking, about topics that seem to “matter” but realistically make zero difference. Major headlines are made for bills about personal rights, privacy, and a slew of other things, and then completely negated by riders on other bills under the radar, piece by piece, until the people that paid for the influence get what they originally wanted anyways. The entire voting populace, which is what, a third of the eligible voters that are alive and mentally coherent at any given November, are given the illusion of having a say, when it doesn’t matter. They call, they put Facebook posts up, they put signs and banners on, send stupid emails, write letters…’we’re making a difference!’. No, you’re not. You’re killing time, like knitting, but more social, and you don’t have something to show for it later.
It’s a COMPLETE joke. An absolute circus. Our country exists still solely by accident, and by the forward motion created in WWII by becoming one of the largest economies and military powers in the world. And with each generation, we become more entitled, less creative, less hard working, and more egocentric than the generation before. It’s a fething gak show, and these asshats get on TV and talk about jobs, the economy, and the ‘good ol American dream’.
So I love Trump. I fething love him. I wish he was actually going to run all the way to the White House instead of just fart around until the primaries like he usually does. I wish he’d take shots and get on TV and give press conferences drunk off his ass. I wish he’d tell reporters to go feth themselves. I wish he’d treat International diplomacy like it was an episode of what’s his show where he got to say “You’re Fired”. I LOVE that he pisses off all the politicians on both sides, because he’s different than the good old boys (and gals) that come up year after year after year. How can he possibly be worse than what politician after politician after politician does in office? What’s he going to do, piss off an ally by spying on them? Inflame enemies by attacking their countries with remote controlled planes? Spend more money than we have? Pass laws for things with good intentions, like healthcare for people who don’t have it, without considering some of the gigantic gaping holes in getting it out there…like a working website to sign up for it in the first place? Sit on his ass and do nothing while OPM has the biggest leak of clandestine and TS information in the history of mankind? Bail out gigantic banks instead of busting them up after they fethed around and lost billions of dollars and screwed over half of the globe? Have the most non-secretive affair ever? Then lie about it and spend a million man hours talking about who he did or did not feth instead of governing? Cause gas lines and shortages, fail to rescue hostages from a shithole by piss poor planning? Invade a country and blow it to gak without figuring out how to get back out of said country, after we just did the same thing 40 years prior?
Seriously…how the feth could Trump be WORSE than the parade of human turds in suits that march into the Capitol and White House every day, every year? He can’t. He can’t possibly. But the sheer fact that he’s universally hated by every one of those lying out of touch idiots makes me want to vote for him as King let alone President. Go Trump.

Tell us how your really feel mang. And lol at "human turds in suits".


14. He’s not a bought man ( or women ), he does the buying, not the other way round
he’s honest about his opinions, and agree or disagree with them, at least you actually know what he thinks
he’s a survivor , he’s had up’s and downs, and he doesnt give up, he keeps on going, and he comes out on top in the end again and again
when charged with being ignorant of things a 8th grader should know, henry ford famously said that he could push a button, and have someone come and answer any question posed to him. He didnt need to know it himself, because he found good advisors, and listened to them
the Don may not be an expert in foreign affairs, but he doesnt have to be, because he has the business sense to listen to good advice
and just the fact that he is a non nonsense guy helps america on the world stage, and at home. Does anyone think that netanyahu would pull his gak if the Don was in charge ? You think putin would laugh at the Don ?
he is a strong leader, and thats precisely what america needs right now

Another point people bring up seemingly convinced that Trump would surround himself with good peeps...


Still on the #NeverTrump, #NeverHillary camp.


          Blowing out Candles Round Corners        
In this festive episode, can you get drunk through your feet, the chemistry of cocktails, twelve marine critters of Christmas, the best food and drink combos to eschew indigestion, does a carbon fibre bike go faster, why are snowflakes different shapes and a way to impress your peers at the office party by blowing out candles round corners...
          New Year, New Naked Science        
Happy New Year! For our first show of 2009, we take on your science questions. We find out how earthworms can get airborne, why people get cramp and why Dr Chris' hypnic jerk frightens people on the bus. We also listen to the flirtatious duet between two mosquitoes, find out how rocks are arranged on Mars, and how stem cells bring sight back to blind mice. Plus, we find out how to make indoor snow and explain why all of these snowflakes are identical, and in kitchen science Dave explains the science of sneezing on your computer screen!
          Naked Science Christmas Party        
Ho Ho Ho! This week on the Naked Scientists we're celebrating the festive season in style, with a party right here in the studio. From Christmas crackers to Brussels sprouts, we'll be looking at some of the science behind Christmas. We'll be learning about snowflakes and how these sub-zero designs are created, we'll find out what your choice of Christmas card says about you, and we'll reveal the best way to cook your sprouts, ensuring your family get all the nutrition they can this Christmas. Also, in Kitchen science we'll be getting you to butter bread and throw it off your kitchen counter in the name of science!
          Pink Tadpole Wintertag        
I think it's awesome to see your work with my creations. Here's a new one from Pink Tadpole.
It's a tutorial she calls Azul Snowflakes, which you can find HERE.


She's using one of my Winter sweeties, Demi which you can see HERE.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

My tubes are FREE but a link to your creations or a Thanx is always appreciated. /TLD
          DIY: White on White X'mas Tags        




5 top reasons why I've hesitated putting up tutorials on my blog. This is what I imagine readers think:

1) It's so damn easy, anyone could do it. We don't need to see it step by step!
2) A million people have done it, aren't you a little sloooowww?
3) You have like 50 views on your blog in a year. Who do you imagine teaching?
4) I saw this before in a book! Are you plagiarizing without any guilt?
5) Are those your nails? You need a manicure badly girl.

Today I finally overcome my silly fears and am putting up some photos and steps to show you how to make some freaking simple X'mas tags. White on white remains a true classic, and with the contrast of textures, you'll find that tracing paper can often be more delightfully used than mere trace work.


There will be steps to show you 2 tags made from the same materials. Really simple. Easy-peasy. :)



An overview of the materials needed. I am using tracing paper and a metallic white cardstock to create some shimmery snowflakes



Cut cardstock and tracing paper to preferred size. Mine's 6 by 15cm (2.5" by 6")



Use a 1-eye hole punch to create openings on both ends of the short side.



Cut ribbon lengths of approx. 18-20cm. Seal the sides with a lighter to prevent fraying.







Tie a flat knot. It's easier to use a double-sided ribbon, but if you use one sided ribbons, it might be worth looking at a simple tutorial on flat knots here.



Almost done. Just 1 more step.



Use a punch with a X'mas motif. I have one with a snowflake. Punch snowflakes on the tracing paper, as and where you please. DONE!!!!



Now we're off the 2nd tag.




Fold cardstock and tracing paper into halves.



Create cut-outs with punch.



Cut ribbon to length of approx. 15 cm. Put double sided tape on 1 end.



Secure both tracing paper and cardstock with ribbon.



Done!!!



Yayyy!!!
          The ultimate collection of sexy Christmas romances!         



Title: Heating Up the Holidays
Authors: Various
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance
 Cover Design: Bookin’ It Designs, Talina Perkins
Release Date: November 1, 2016


The ultimate collection of sexy Christmas romances! 

Let seven of today’s hottest contemporary romance authors help keep you warm this holiday season. Each story is a standalone and contains a heartwarming Christmas romance with enough heat to get you through even the coldest winter night.

Available for a limited time, this collection will disappear not long after Santa puts his sleigh away for the season. Grab it while you can!







Pre-order Links

99c

AMAZON US / UK
B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS





Here’s a peek at what you’ll find in
Heating Up the Holidays:


Please Have Snow by Amy Lamont

All curvaceous bartender Lily Barton wants for Christmas is a home to call her own. For Will Canter, the rugged, bad boy drummer of Sliding Violet, home is wherever the music—and the band’s tour bus—takes him. Can love, and a little holiday magic, give them both exactly what they want?

Contact Amy

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / NEWSLETTER



Sugar Plum Seduction by Regina Kyle

It’s Gunnar Rhodes’ first Christmas without his wife, and all he wants is to make it special for his seven-year-old daughter, even if that means letting her perform in the pretty new ballet teacher’s production of The Nutcracker. With Norah Pruitt’s professional dance career—and her engagement—cut short by a tragic accident, she’s determined to make her dance studio a success. Can the spirit of the season heal their wounds and help them find a second chance at love?

Contact Regina

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK


 

Ringing in the New by Nola Cross

When city girl Annie Grant comes to the little town of Everfield to help temporarily at her uncle’s business, she’s completely out of her element. And her attraction to attorney Rick Longstory only makes matters more confusing. Gradually the charming community draws her in. Now she must choose: Will she go back to the city and her high-powered career, or open her heart to a new way of life and the possibility of true love?

Contact Nola

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK





Christmas Eve by Kaylie Newell

Eve and Patrick thought their romance was long gone. It only takes a snowstorm and a sizzling night in a haunted house to resurrect the passion that was there all along.

Contact Kaylie

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK




A Holiday Prospect by Nina Bancroft

Tessa Blake loves her challenging new job as director of HR for a drilling company in rural North Dakota. But her sexy and driven new boss, Matthew Linden “Lind” Pearce, doubts Tessa’s ability to keep his workers safe in the field. When the two are forced to share cramped accommodations at the rig in the days before Christmas, both are compelled to confront their feelings for the other. Will this holiday bring these two a brighter prospect?

Contact Nina

FACEBOOK



Operation: Christmas by Megan Ryder

When Ryan Holliday finds out his long-time crush, Paige Taylor, hates Christmas, he does the only thing he can. Seduces her over Christmas trees, cookies and shopping. But when the season is over, will their romance end or will they find a way to make it forever?

Contact Megan

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / NEWSLETTER



Sizzling in Snowflakes by Elisabeth Mayer

When homesick study abroad student, Kate Sullivan, can’t go home for Christmas, she settles for the next best thing: a holiday getaway with her roommates to the French Alps. She hopes four days on the slopes will keep her mind off missing her family and all their holiday traditions. The unexpected, late night arrival of four men she’d never met before was definitely not in her plans; neither was falling head over heels for one of them.

Contact Elisabeth




Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

          13 Insanely Cool Things You Can Do With A Hot Glue Gun        

For arts and crafts and quick, easy patch-ups, nothing beats a hot glue gun. Unlike other adhesives, hot glue goes on smoothly, dries fast and holds firm when applied to all sorts of different surfaces. While its hold is not the strongest, it can be used to bond a greater diversity of materials than almost any other glue. Hers are 13 insanely Cool things you can do with a hot glue gun.

Swap glue sticks for crayons to create awesome wax art.

learnplayimagine.com
Seal your envelopes old-school style with wax seals.

ehow.com

Plug up bath toys with a simple dot of glue.


welovebeingmoms.blogspot.ca
 Decorate a plain vase with a textured effect.

thebudgetdecorator.com

You can also paint over your designs to create custom jars.

pureandnoble.blogspot.ca                                                                             homeheartcraft.com

Clean your makeup brushes with this DIY brush cleaning board.

youtube.com
 Transform any hanger into a non-slip hanger with just a little bit of glue.
theshabbycreekcottage.com
Take the “slip” out of slippers with just a strip of glue.

babble.com                                                                              Facebook: CentralCoastTeachingTots

Make these crafty coral masterpieces with just some wire, glue, and paint.

ohohblog.com
 Create faux roman shades without the hassle of sewing.
ourfifthhouse.com
 Make darling little winter decorations by using a glue gun and nail polish.
muslinandmerlot.blogspot.com
 Doodle on a rolling pin with glue to create a custom roller stamp.
potteryblog.com
 Deck out plain old votives with some hot glue and paint.

curbly.com

          PASS Summit 2016 – Keynote 2        

Thursday! Kilt day.

We start with Grant Fritchey (PASS’ VP of Finance, in a kilt), talking about the various metrics of PASS, which show that the community is growing both numerically and graphically, reaching 87% of countries now. It’s good to know that things are going well. This is all public information, and I’m not going to go into the details here.

He also announces that PASS will have a BA Day – Jan 11th in Chicago. More information on this will follow.

Grant hands over to Denise McInerney (PASS’ VP of Marketing). She announces new branding for the PASS organisation – logo and website (website launching early next year) – and the dates for next year’s summit.

David DeWitt, Adjunct Professor at MIT (previously of Microsoft Research) comes up. He’s going to talk about data warehouse technologies, including cloud and scaling. Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, and SQL DW.

A great session, which will have helped a lot of people appreciate SQL DW more than ever.

@rob_farley


          Politics - USA        
 Ouze wrote:
Prestor Jon wrote:
than arbitrary decisions about which rights get what degree of protection depending on what cases get heard by SCotUS and when the decisions are made.


I think we're circling back to "it sure would be better if Congress wasn't such a cesspool, so we didn't have to rely on those 9 unelected politicians in robes to pretend about precedent or not, so they can cast their partisan votes" discussion. If so, I agree.

Prestor Jon wrote:
Come on, you're the same guy that argues that states shouldn't be allowed to restrict gun rights to extreme degrees the same way some states (like Texas) want to restrict what you can choose to do with your own person/body. This is the same argument. If SCotUS says Texas can't restrict abortion than NJ shouldn't be able to restrict my gun rights to the degree that they do. We either have consistent constitutional protection of all our rights or we don't.


Except I agreed that NJ and NY's "bans in all but title" are totally unconstitutional! There is absolutely no disconnect here.



I agree with no disconnect with us, I'm trying to point out to others the fallacy in valuing some rights more than others instead of championing more liberty for everyone across the board. People shouldn't tolerate excessive state restrictions on any of our rights. This train of posts from me started as a response to LordofHats about some minor disagreement about Thomas' dissenting opinion and just grew from there.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
 Kilkrazy wrote:
Prestor Jon wrote:
 Kilkrazy wrote:
Perhaps you first should explain to us how having a baby and having a tattoo are identical, then we will try to explain to you how they are different.


It has been argued in this thread that abortions are safe, minor elective medical procedures and shouldn't be subject to heavy state restrictions because of that fact. I am asking the question that if abortions are minor and safe why is it wrong for a state to restrict them in a manner consistent with the restrictions placed on other safe, minor elective medical procedures?


You haven't answered the question.


I thought I did. They're both safe, minor elective procedures that people are free to have done because we all have a constitutional right to our own person. A woman's right to choose to have a tattoo isn't somehow less protected or valid than a woman's right to have an abortion. Limits of the state to restrict on should apply to the other as well as a host of other options people should be free to choose to have done with their own body. Abortion isn't some special snowflake that gets extra constitutional protection. We either have constitionally protected rights or we don't.
          The Birth of a New Local Tradition        

Teton Healing Arts is supporting the growing nationwide movement to give the gift of genuine concern for others this holiday season by offering a very special wellness promotion throughout December.

Buy 2 Gift Certificatessnowflake
Get 1 Treatment Free!
Valid for these services:

    • Ayurveda
    • Nutrition
    • Life-Coaching
    • Massage
    • Yoga


Many of you have seen the mass email being circulated entitled "Christmas 2011 - Birth of a New Local Tradition."  For those of you that haven't, it is a call to all Americans to give gifts that promote positive change and promote local businesses.  Everyone can use some positive change.  A life-coaching session!  A nutrition therapy session!  How about an Ayurvedic Bliss Therapy!

Each of these services are performed locally by the wellness practitioners of Teton Healing Arts, and are available as part of our special Buy 2 Gift Certificates - Get 1 Free Promotion.  Think of those people on your holiday gift list this year who are challenged by stress, lethargy, aches and pains.  Give them a gift that will promote positive change in their lifestyle.  Or, keep the gift certificates to yourself!  What better way to try out a therapy that you have always been curious about!

Buy 2 Gift Certificates - Get 1 Treatment Free!

Gift certificates must be purchased between Nov. 29 - Dec. 31, 2011 to earn a free treatment.  All gift certificates and free treatments must be redeemed prior to Mar. 31, 2012.  Free treatment certificate must be of equal or lesser value to the highest priced gift certificate purchased.  HIPPA regulations prevent Teton Healing Arts from including Chiropractic and Advanced Allergy Therapy in this promotion.  Please contact Teton Healing Arts for complete details and price list for new services.

          Monster Inc Bookmark        
Good evening, sorry it's been over a week, we have my Father In Laws funeral tomorrow so the last week has been busy.
Today I want to show you a bookmark I did for a swap.  I had so much fun with this, I can't actually remember what made me think of Monster Inc, I believe it was one of my new Stampotique monster stamps I wanted to use lol.  Everything I used is at the bottom of the post. :-)
I would like to enter the following challenges:-
Stampotique Challenge SDC268 - Add Ribbon or Lace - Sewed in ribbon between the front and back at the top of the bookmark so it feathers out brightly from the book it will be in.
That's Crafty Challenge - Just Words - I took the quotes from the book itself.
Simon Says Monday Challenge - Based On A Book - I used book paper behind the monsters, plus it's a book mark and Monster Inc was also a book :-)
Craft Stamper Magazine - Anything Goes Stamping (stamps I used are at the bottom of the post)
Mixed Media World - Anything Goes Mixed Media - I definitely used lots of different things, even felt which for me was different.  Plus lots of stencils, paint, watercolour pencils etc.


The swap was for two so each got a bookmark.
This is the front.  I will explain what I did later through the
close up pics.

The Back of the bookmarks

One showing back and one the front.  Luckily I had to make two lol, as
it's easier to put the pic on the link to challenges. 
Backgrounds.......
Both are made from heavy primed canvas from a pad.  Soft enough
to sew but both together make it strong enough not to rip.
On the blue background is a mix of Paperarsty blue Fresco paints,
which was just added with brush.  Next I used a Finnabair circle stencil
with purple Fresco paints.  I added some Pebeo Dyna iridescent paint
with my finger on the top of the circles.  I used a journal pen to draw 
around the circles.
The green background was pretty much the same except for the lime paint
was Dina Wakley and the green on the stencil background is Fresco paints,
using the Crafter's Workshop mini Blazony stencil.  I then filled in some of the
stencil parts with white and used black paint for eyeball using the Finnabair stencil.
I then used journal pens to draw around the eyes and the other stencil parts.

Before sewing both finished parts together I added some coordinating colour ribbons.
The Monster Inc emblem is made from stencil and sewing onto the background.
When I sewn the back and front together I use a bit of stuffing, really thin but to add
just a bit of softness.



On both the green and blue sides I used a mixture of Stampotique and Susana Loves Stamps.
They were stamped in Archival black and then coloured with Derwent Inktense Pencils.
I then re stamped them onto book paper that I had cut from book paper.  I then 
added the monsters on top after I had sewn the circles onto the bookmarks.  I then added
googly eyes and some gems.
The wording was stamped from Stampendous Alphabet stamps onto book paper
edging.  These were added to the bookmarks and edged with black stabilo pencil.












I hope you have enjoyed my post this evening.  I really appreciate you taking the time to look.
Happy Art :-)
Kezzy xxxxx

Products Used
Stamps - Stampotique (whisker monster with sign, feathery monster), Susana Loves Stamps (clueless, retail therapy), Stampendous (teeny tiny alphabet)
Paints - Paperartsy Fresco (smurf, snowflake, china, blue oyster, purple rain, lavender, wisteria, blueberry, limelight, hey pesto), Dina Wakley (lime), Distress (twisted citron, black soot), Pebeo Dyna (iridescent green yellow, iridescent violet blue), Daler Rowney Heavy Body (mars black, phthalo green)
Stencils - The Crafter's Workshop (mini blazony), Prima Finnabair (bubbles)
Mediums - Winsor & Newton (galeria matt medium), C Robinson & Co (universal lacquer), Judikins (micro glaze)
Colouring - Derwent Inktense Pencils - leaf green, spring green, sherbet lemon, fern, apple green, field green, iron green, iris blue, deep indigo, bright blue, violet, deep violet, sea blue, ink black
Journal Pens and Pencils - Staedtler Pencil (lumocolor permanent black), Stabilo All Pencil (black), Pilot Drawing Pen (black), Posco Paint Pen (white), Letraset Triamarker Marker (CG01)
InkPads - Archival jet black
Other - Gems, Book Paper, Sewing Thread, Googly Eyes, Ribbon


          Bright and Funky Card        
Good evening, how are you this evening?  I am fine, been quite busy doing bits and bobs in the craft room but keep forgetting to blog it lol.  Going to have to try and get into some routine, maybe doing it once a week.  Anyway this is a card I made for a swap group I am in, there are only around 35ish members and we all have turns to host a swap which can be anything.  This swap was called With Holes In It and I had this great idea to use up some of my eyelets.  Hmmmmmmmm you wouldn't believe how long it took me to add them and I reckon everyone in the house was glaring at me but I have to admit I really do love the bright colours and then the holes showing through to some gold mirror board.  I'm afraid no step by step today but lots of pics, plus some close ups of what was left of the masterboard I had done before all the stamping.  Everything I used is at the bottom of the post.
I would like to enter the following challenges :-
Country View Crafts Challenge Blog - Make Your Own Background
Love to Create Challenge  - Anything Goes Mixed Media
Stamps and Stencils Challenge Blog - Splatter Spritz and Smooch
Tuesday Throwdown Challenge Blog - Lots of Layers





































Right I better be off, thank you so much for taking the time to visit.

Happy Art :-)
Hugs Kezzy xxxxx


Product List
Dr PH Martin Bombay Ink - golden yellow, magenta, aqua
Caran D'Ache Neocolors II - turquoise green, azurite blue, golden yellow, light ochre, purple, purplish red
Americana Neon Paint - yellow, pink
That's Crafty Stencil - tc005, tc023
Paperartsy Fresco Paints - snowflake, bougainvillea, beach hut, yellow submarine
Archival jet black and dandilion
Stamps - Indigo Blu (itsy bitsy background, circle dot background), Paperartsy (EEV06, EEV02, EEV01, EEV03), Carabelle Studio (doddl'Art)
Gold Mirror Card
Eyelets
Posca white and black pen
White and Black card
Dymo labelling machine
Docrafts neon gems
          The “In” at the Crossroads: Nine Worlds 2015        

 

Z1hrvM_G_400x400

“Warning: Prolonged exposure to a thing’s fandom can damage your opinion of the thing.”

“We usually don’t have to work at finding an in.”

These are the two great insights I have gained at Nine Worlds Geekfest 2015.

No, come back, gentle friend! This piece is not about calling your interests weird and worthy of scorn! Pull up a beanbag and let us converse…

Since the first edition of the con in 2013, I’ve always come away from it intellectually and socially edified, with new nuggets of wisdom to go out and spread in the subtlest, politest, least obnoxious way possible. If quite a few of your irl acquaintances and some of your irl friends are basically “But isn’t racism/sexism over?” types, this can be rather handy.

This year, however, my #notallmen friends are safe – the revelations were of a personal nature. I had been contemplating my status as an ally over the past year, and the ways in which I could be most useful to the general cause of helping women, PoC and queer people. A good friend opined that sometimes what is best for privileged voices is to just sit back like a parliament bench-filler, wave your pamphlets about and grumble “Hear, hear!” when a woman/PoC/queer person is speaking.

So it was with a humility engendered by previous iterations of Nine Worlds and cultivated by discussion with friends throughout the years that I embarked on this year’s journey. Little did I know, dear reader!

My wife Ella and I arrived early on Thursday, and opted to partake in the 9 Worlds Pub Quiz, an ez-mode trivia contest that was more about forcing you to get to know some new people by limiting the number of teams available than it was about winning any prizes (though I did take home a sweet Mandalorian mug).

11830093_10155978354895354_309637544_n

Regarding wisdom #1 mentioned at the start of this post: The quiz host posed a Serenity/Firefly question, and made a little “I’m sorry to remind you chaps of this traumatic event!” joke. The crowd then good-naturedly made exaggerated “oh nooo!” sounds. A bit eye-roll inducing, but fine. This then happened two or three times… and the crowd kept going along with it.

I like Firefly/Serenity. I own both on DVD, and when I recommend it to someone, I’m enough of a dork to say they oughta read the Dark Horse comic miniseries “Those Left Behind” after watching the series but before seeing the movie to really get the full experience. I’m also thirty years old, of moderate economic means and living in a first world country. This means there’s more entertainment out there than I can really ever experience in my lifetime. This also means that I’m not really still sad about Firefly’s cancellation. It’s been a decade, and it had a decent run of episodes and, while maybe not a good “movie”, it had a good season finale that just happened to have played in theaters. Besides, I’ve had six seasons of Justified to watch since 2005, which really filled my personal quota of “witty, sarcastic cowboys but not in typical cowboy times”.

I remarked upon the Firefly fandom’s wallowing in victimhood over drinks with Ella, and she said: “It almost seems like it’s become part of the experience.” It is, I realized – and there’s no problem with that. Privilege is busting on people for seeking that communal safe space (which the privileged person may not require), and I ain’t gonna give anyone shit for that. So I apologize for the outrage-inducing opening statement to get you to read on: “damage” should be understood as “alter”. Worked, though, didn’t it?

11856424_10206342184966708_8288315804037500026_o

A big new geek thing I discovered is roller derby. This is apparently a seriously feminist/queer thing, a space of acceptance and openness and opportunity for expressions of power for the disenfranchised. Awesome! Another eye-opener: how Ella and I reacted to roller derby documentary “In the Turn”, following different women and queer people around, detailing their experiences with the sport (which, for all intents and purposes, looks almost exactly like human pod-racing, crashes and explosions included – pretty awesome indeed).

My reaction: “How lovely! I hope those people are all happy.”

Ella’s reaction: “Oh my god it makes me wanna get all tatted up and do my hair in crazy colors and and and”

And here’s where “We usually don’t have to work to find an in” comes… uh, in.

Almost no media I ever consume requires me to do any effort to connect with its protagonists. I found Frozen to be merely okay when it came out. Elsa was an empty icicle of a character to me, a nice deliverer of musical numbers and nothing more. She built an ice palace on the mountain and just sat in it. During the panel “Magical Girls 4-Eva” I learned that the studio was banking on Anna becoming the break-out character people would identify with. I had a vague memory of Disney being unprepared for the huge amount of demand for Frozen merchandise, but that particular detail had eluded me.

11782511_10206342188646800_2703466843200122036_o

Why is it so relevant? In my discussions of Frozen, one of my big pet arguments was always “Come on, Anna was way more fun than Elsa!” … which, it turns out, was exactly what the suits were expecting me (and everyone else) to think. Nobody’s a snowflake with unique individual opinions. If you say “Am I the only one who…?” the answer is probably “no”. Privilege pops up everywhere, even in the simple act of appraising a piece of narrative media. Don’t shit on anyone for wanting to belong. Rather, ask yourself why they want to belong and try to understand the appeal. Maybe it’s not for you – that’s fine. In this case, it’s fine not to have an opinion.

Look, I’ve typed a lot, and it sounds like 9 Worlds is some dour, soul-searching annual retreat, but it’s seriously tons of fun that you can learn from if you let it! Hell, even that introductory pub quiz I got all heavy-handed about was full of laughs and meeting lovely new people. Some other highlights of the year included:

  • The Here Be Dragons Silly Film Quiz that required absolutely no film knowledge – including a round on kaiju with “Memories from Monster Island” giveaways (yay)
  • A livecast of a commentary for SPECIES with partners in crime Andrew Clarke and Kat Iwinski – I do believe we slayed the room!
  • The aforementioned “Magical Girls 4-Eva” panel, with an art historian giving an introductory speech on the feminine mystique in art around the world dating back to prehistory
  • A delicious gin tasting with Dr. Anna Brock and Hannah Lanfear (yes an actual BOOZE DOCTOR)
  • Christine Ni’s presentation on the women of Shaw Brothers, logically called “Shaw Sisters” exposing me to a whole new subgenre of martial arts films I only had the vaguest knowledge of
  • Literally anything the Duke Mitchell film club showed in room 41
  • Giving Haribo to Game of Thrones’ Miltos Yerolemou (a jolly chap who was HIGHLY AMUSED at the kaiju clips we showed) and shaking Kerry Ingram’s (the little girl they burned on that very show) hand
  • Movie and TV discussions that actually gave me new insights where I was half expecting them to just be circle jerks – big ups to Naomi Alderman (Mad Max) and Chloë (A Song of Ice and Fire)… I don’t remember her last name but she made an excellent Squirrel Girl

I’m sure I did many more awesome things and listened to awesome discussions that I have forgotten to mention here, so forgive me for their omission (I did imbibe quite a bit). You are surely appreciated, if not wholly remembered!

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Now let’s get cracking at my 2016 cosplay. Thinking either Lucas Hood or the Tampunisher (that is a regular Punisher outfit but I carry a paper maché fire hydrant with me at all times).

Note: All cosplayer pictures taken with express consent. DM me @servantofdagon if you see yourself and wish me to remove them.


          Post Christmas Relax Mode        
Did you have the kind of Christmas Day you desired? Ours flew past as fast as Santa and his coursers. With no little ones around, we all slept in and didn't get around to opening gifts until after lunch! I never entertained the thought of being so laid back, decades ago.(smile) I remember (as a kid) being puzzled that my Dad didn't seem concerned to open his presents in a "timely" fashion! Now, here I am....longer on patience and savouring the anticipation of receiving a gift.
What I loved best this year was a card. My 20 something sons drew pictures inside it, depicting scenes from their youth. I told them I will treasure it forever!
My wish for all is that you had people with which to spend Christmas, and that you have happy memories to sustain you in the new year. 
I want to thank Darnell of http://www.djkardkreations.com/ 
She is encouraging me along my journey by the kind things she said, and featuring my site on her blog. I aspire to create a blog that is as funny, witty and engaging as her blog. Beautiful cards too! Check it out. 


Tim Holtz reindeer die on sticky back foil that I stuck to cardstock after running through the Big Kick with a swirls embossing folder. Then it was fussy cut.  I sponged ink on it to give a little definition, and tied on the ribbon to help give the illusion of flying through the air.
The background is a snowflakes embossing folder. I inked the folder with shades of blue and sponged around the edges with a darker hue. 
The tag is stamped with a SU greeting (I love this stamp). Here's a hint someone gave me: place your tag into a corner punch in such a way as to make the fish tail on the end. Easy and economical! 
As always,THANKS for stopping by




Challenges entered:


Coffee, Chocolate and Cards #54

Christmas Card Challenges#4 Make it Masculine

Charizma Cardz Challenges #49 Anything Goes

Sister Act Card Challenge #38

Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge Bling it On 
















          Some Mostly Paper Crafting Cards (I needed to make in a hurry)        
Made from BoBunny designer paper. The lantern was fussy cut and popped up. Sentiment is SU. 

SU snowflake punch, DP scraps and SU sentiment


Recollections "City Sidewalk" paper pad for DP and sentiment, Sizzlets Snowflake dies layered with Dollarama jewel in centre. MS edge punch. 

Recollections "City Sidewalks" paper pad and Cricut cut reindeer

DP from Lens Mills discount store. fussy cut the edge and added die cut from TH die. 

Recollections "City Sidewalks" paper pad and SU sentiment.

It took 15 to 20 minutes per card. I MUST remember to do this next year. It certainly takes the stress off. 
Thanks for looking. I'll be entering some challenges:



Chocolate, Coffee & Cards  Challenge #54 HappyHolidays http://chocolatecoffeecards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/challenge-54-happy-holidays.html

Cute Card Thursday Challenge #299







          Christmas Magic        

To delight in the magic of Christmas brings a warm feeling to the heart! Who remembers planning for Santa to come and watching the snowman we'd made earlier in the day, waiting to spy the slightest motion under the night sky? I remember finding buttons for the eyes and mouth from my mother's button box,  a carrot sneaked out of the fridge for the nose and rummaging around in closets, searching for just the right scarf for him or her to wear. Wasn't the hat the trickiest part to plan? It seems to me that I always wanted a top hat, but settled for a knitted toque! 

I bought this cheerful snowman stamp set last year and finally used it this year. What I liked about it, is that there are so many arrangements you can make, because the pieces are all separate. You can decide your own placement. (stick arms, candy cane, hat, bird, sign.) There are other pieces in the set that I didn't use.

This card is for a special friend and her family. They have had many challenges in the last few years. I was specifically thinking of her darling little son when I made this card. I hope it makes him smile when he sees it. 

To make the background scene, I masked the snowman and the snow. Sponging took care of the shading. I wasn't too happy with how my Inktense pencils worked on the paper, but that can be remedied with more practice on my part! 
I wanted the whole design to look uncluttered, childlike and simple. I hope seeing this card brings back the warmest childhood memories like it did for me. :)

Stamps: AI "Mouthfuls Snowman", Amy R stamps "Big Christmas Wishes"
Inks: Versafine black, TH tumbled glass.
Other: holiday ribbon, Inktense pencils, black Sharpie, SU markers, Laurentian grey marker, Glossy Accents, Aleene's tacky glue, pop dots, snow pen, white gell pen, mini snowflake stickers, Stamp Art cloud stencil.
Techniques: masking, sponging, fussy cutting, paper piecing, watercolour. 


I'm going to enter this card into the #124 "Merry and Bright" challenge at Art Impressions stamps, http://artimpressionsstamps.blogspot.ca/2013/12/challenge-124-merry-and-bright-new-ai.html

Simon Says, "Make Your Own Background",

CHNC challenge #154, "For Someone Special".
.



          PastaQueen says good-bye. JenFul says hello.        


Photo by ilike / by NCND 2.0 CC

In 20 words or less: I will no longer be updating PastaQueen.com. I will now be blogging at JenFul.com

I used to be Jenny. To some I was even called Jenny Sue. But there were a lot of girls named Jenny in the early 80’s and there was always another one in my class. It made me feel less than special, like I wasn’t the unique snowflake they tell you that you are. I was Jenny F. and the “eff” sounded so harsh, though not quite as harsh as using the first two letters of my last name would have been: Jenny FU.

I’ve been PastaQueen for over six years. Actually, I’ve been PastaQueen since I had to sign up for a Hotmail account during summer camp in 1997. I registered PastaQueen.com several years after that and used it as a portfolio site. Then I set up a blog in its own folder, PastaQueen.com/HalfofMe. Eventually that folder took over the whole domain and that’s where I’ve been writing and [...]
          School        
.....sucks! I deff. had school today, which was a MAJOR disappointment. I live right near Lake Michigan so all we got was sleet.. instead of snow!
I bet some of you are wondering what I am doing, based on what I mentioned here. I decided that I am going to get my BMI past the 18.5 benchmark. I am aiming for around 19-19.5. I am going to take this SLOWLY. Therefore I am not going to overstuff myself and be completely uncomfortable as happened in the past.  I wanted to remind all you that I am considered to have a healthy weight. But in my mind, I'd rather be over the benchmark than right at it. So, how exactly am I doing this?  When I originally met with my nutritionist she had me counting food groups. I liked the plan of eating healthy foods- just MORE of them, you know? So here's how it will go. I will eat my normal meals, but add more nutritious things to it (fats, proteins, carbs) so therefore, no counting calories. I already have a "treat" every day, but I will be eating a lot more dark chocolate daily- healthy fats & antioxidants. And you can't forget holiday cookies! ;)
So what was my dinner last night?

Whole wheat english muffins, broiled with tomatoes and cheese (2 OZ rather than 1), Alexia Fries, Un-pictured apple and milk(2%, fat, protein).  For maintenance I normally had to have one dairy at every meal, but I will be having 2 at most meals.

Dinner tonight:

2 oz WW Shell pasta, Marinara, 1 OZ cheese


HUGE APPLE! (my fav.)

And I've been digging into the cookie stash....


I already ate his nose, and a choco chip fell off! :( He was very delicious.
I will be having milk and cookies while watching LIFEEETIME!

Did anyone have a snow day today?!
....and what is your favorite type of holiday cookie?


I like the cookies pictured above, I love sugar cookies, chocolate chip, gingerbread, my nana makes AMAZING cinnamon sugar cookies- in the shape of snowflakes!!!


          Our little Christmas tree        
We had a little green tree that is 3 feet high
Had some tiny red balls and ribbons neatly tied
Plus some lights that blink like starlight
And a bunch of snowflakes to add a life

We put them together to build a Christmas tree
That symbolizes how merry the world can be
Wherever you are, you know you should be
Celebrating our beloved Jesus Christ birthday!

A feeling of excitement filled our hearts
As we put all the ribbons, balls and lights
Our tree may be cheap and it lacks of style
                                             But we built it with love to make you smile

It doesn’t matter whether your Christmas tree is big or small
It doesn’t matter whether you're rich or you're poor
What’s important is that you know the reason
Why you are celebrating this Yuletide season!


          24 Days of Surprises // DIY Advent Calendar         

Tomorrow is the start of advent and I'm so excited to share our DIY calendar! Advent calendars are used to celebrate each day leading up to Christmas Day on the 25th of December. Last year we picked up a rectangular cardboard calendar that had 24 windows. Each day of the month a new window was opened, revealing a piece of chocolate behind the flap. Our two children each had a calendar and after dinner they would open their individual advents. It was a big hit with both and the calendars served as extra motivators to get them though dinnertime that month. 

This year I wanted to change it up a bit and make my own version of an advent calendar. Turning to Pinterest for inspiration, a quick search on the site shows hundreds of DIY advents. Some of the calendars are simple, others require some serious preparation, but they're all excellent ways to participate in the festivities. I especially love a few, including... 


It was when I saw this super adorable image of a woodland advent calendar on the Snug Studio blog, that I was instantly inspired. I immediately knew I had to make my own version. While I love the woodsy forest theme that the original designer used, I wanted to create a more Christmassy scene. 


Firstly, I wrote out the figures, characters and other parts to the Christmas scene I wanted to create. The 24 parts include:

  • Santa 
  • Snowman
  • Elf (2)
  • Reindeer
  • Yeti
  • Snow Capped Mountains (2)
  • Pine Trees of varying sizes (4)
  • Birch Trees of varying sizes (2)
  • Birch Logs (3)
  • Snowflake (2)
  • Star 
  • Mushrooms (2)
  • Candy Cane 
  • Wrapped Present 

Next I wrote a list of the number of days (December 1st - 24th) and filled each date with a corresponding part from the Christmas scene.


Now it was time to pick out paper. Using a couple of paper pads from Michaels and Target, I was able to find a suitable combination of complimentary patterns and colours. Each part of the Advent scene was assigned a piece of paper. 


Plenty of patterns and colors in the paper

Paper pads form craft stores 

Instructions for the Mountains: 

  • Trace a triangle on plain paper 
  • Cut out the triangle 
  • Using the first triangle as a template, trace a second triangle on patterned paper 
  • Cut around the second triangle, leaving space on each side of the triangle for a tab 
  • Score the lines of your triangle 
  • Fold up the three tabs where your scored 
  • Apply glue to two of the tabs 
  • Attach the two tabs to the backside of the patterned triangle, creating a pocket by lining up the two triangles evenly 
  • Insert a small gift to the pocket 
  • Add glue to the third tab and attach to the backside of the patterned paper 

Draw the triangle 

Two triangles, one includes space to fold the tabs

Folded tabs to glue to the other triangle


Follow these steps to create additional Mountains, as well as the Pine Trees. 


For the Snowflakes and Star, cut out the respective shape on the patterned paper. Cut out a smaller circle with tabs that can attach to the back of the patterned shape. 


Cut out snowflakes

Glue the circular ouch to the back of the snowflake to hold coins
Score 5 lines in the star as shown to create a 3-dimensional look



For the Candy Cane, cut out the shape on patterned paper. Cut out a smaller rectangle with tabs that can attach to the back of the patterned Candy Cane shape. 


Instructions for the Santa:

  • Choose a cardboard tube and trim to the appropriate height
  • Trace the bottom of the tube onto plain paper
  • Add 3 tabs to the circle
  • Cut out the circle, leaving the 3 tabs attached
  • Place the circular paper on the bottom of the tube and attach with scotch tape
  • Now cut out a piece of patterned paper to cover the tube
  • Attach to the back of the tube with scotch tape
  • Now cut out a small circle for Santa’s face and draw his eyes, nose, mustache details with a black marker
  • Cut out a teardrop shape for his beard
  • Attach both pieces to the tube with scotch tape
  • Insert two small gifts into the center of the tube
Trace bottom of tube on paper


Draw 3 tabs to the circle


Cut out circle, leaving 3 tabs attached


Tape the circle to the bottom of the tube


Repeat these steps for the other paper tube characters: Elves, Snowman, Yeti, Reindeer, Logs, Birch Trees and Mushrooms. Add paper cone hats, paper faces, small twigs and other embellishments where necessary. 

For Santa’s hat: 

  • Cut out a small circle from a second piece of patterned paper
  • Remove a small wedge from the side of the circle
  • Wrap the paper into a cone and secure with a piece of scotch tape
  • Add a small white strip and a tiny piece for the pom to add details to the hat
  • Cover the Santa tube with the hat
  • Here's a link from wikihow with directions to make a paper cone if you need it 

Each day the children will discover small gifts in the various advent pieces. Examples of some of the items include:

  • Blind bags of favourite miniature characters (Doc McStuffins, Littlest Pet Shop)
  • Small bags of Lego mini figurines  
  • Chocolate coins
  • Candy or sweets
  • Euro coins
  • Christmas themed Stickers
Blind bags are hidden in the cardboard tubes


Smaller chocolate treats are found in the miniature pine trees


Mushrooms hold chocolate coins


I made sure to include two items in each of the 24 parts, so there are a total of 48 items in our advent. I did this because I have two young children and wanted to make sure they each received something every day, to keep things fair. 


Our 2015 Christmas Advent Calendar

The cast of colourful characters

A walk through the magical woodland

Is that Rudolf with Santa?


Snow capped mountains in the background

Snowflakes fall from the sky

Little Elfy hangs by the birch logs

Number each of your items 1 through 24

It's an abominable snowman!!

The Yeti, Snowman and Reindeer

The Elves and Santa 

Reindeer, Santa and the Yeti hiding among the pines

I’ll be sure to update this post with the details of this year’s advent calendar, but I can almost guarantee its success already! Do you make or give your child an advent calendar? Did you open one as a child? I’d love to hear any advent stories you can remember, just post them in the comments section below! And for more advent ideas and inspiration, check out Pies & Gents on Pinterest. We have a holiday board dedicated to the cutest advent calendars around!

          DS 171 - Horizons Watch : Tales from the Looking Glass and Snowflakes        
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          Snowflakes Textile Over the Knee Socks        
Snowflakes Textile Over the Knee Socks

Pleasing to the eye and festive to the winter season! These socks are decorated with a classic and simple snowflake design. Staying true to Tabbisocks standards, the cotton is strong and flexible.

  • Women's US 6-11
  • 45%Cotton, 19%Nylon, 18%acrylic, 16%Polyeste..

    Price: $22.00


          Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 7/14 - BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, HOOD, and More!        

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, HOOD, PIPPIN, and more!

Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below!


Boston: BroadwayWorld brings you exclusive video from North Shore Music Theatre's Beauty and the Beast! The cast of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is led by Rose Hemingway as Belle and Stephen Cerf as the Beast. The show also features David Coffee (Maurice), Taylor Crousore (Gaston), Joy Hermalyn (Madame De La Grande Bouche), Benjamin Howes (Lumiere), Andrew Kruep (Lefou), Ryah Nixon (Babette), Christiane Noll (Mrs. Potts), Phillip Taratula (Cogsworth), and Ben Choi-Harris (Chip).


Dallas: Contributor Kyle Christopher West reviews HOOD at Dallas Theater Center. He writes: "With a pocketful of power ballads for the show's leading ladies, Alysha Umpress (Broadway's ON THE TOWN, AMERICAN IDIOT, ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT and BRING IT ON) and Ashley Park (SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, THE KING AND I and MAMMA MIA), plus Beane's slick direction and occasional zingers, the musical displays definite potential, but never quite finds its footing. Unlike the abovementioned enhancements to Beane's CINDERELLA, HOOD struggles from a lack of well-defined relationships and a bit of exposition overkill in act one, where the bulk of the story is unnecessarily focused on introducing each of the Merry Men as they join the infamous rob-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor mission. The role of Meg (which Ms. Umphress fills with charm, while delivering her songs through the roof) is acknowledged as a familiar face to Robin and his men, yet is often left on the sidelines without having any emotional engagement in the scenes. Without a romantic subplot or purpose beyond "sexy sidekick with occasional advice," finding sympathy for her fate late in the show is challenging. Alternatively, Ms. Park's material is further developed. Here, Marian is self-sufficient and able to hit a target with more skill than the men who call the shots-which she executes without apology or any put-on tomboy transformation. But despite Park's gorgeous voice and nuanced performance, her songs (as with much of the score) tend to be forgettable. Without a published song list, the only titles I can immediately recall from last evening's performance are "Be Robin Hood" and "Merry Be" (both coincidently sung by Meg)."


Chicago: Contributor Misha Davenport reviews SOMETHING ROTTEN at the Oriental Theater. He writes "Nick decides to employ Thomas Nostradamus (Blake Hammond as the nephew of the famous seer who has inherited a somewhat watered down version of his uncle's abilities of prediction) to peer into the future to see what the next big thing in theater will be. The results are the bona fide big, glitzy Broadway showstopper "A Musical." Hammond's performance here (and, frankly, throughout the rest of the show) is one of pure comedic genius. The musical zingers come fast and furious, but homages include "Annie," "Chicago," "Pippin," and "A Chorus Line," just to name a few. Nostradamus succeeds in convincing Nick to produce the first-ever musical against the better judgement of his brother Nigel."


Niagara on the Lake: Contributor Michael Rabice reviews WILDE TALES at the Shaw Festival. He writes "Remembering that the author also penned such dramas as THE PICTURE OF DORIan Gray and SALOME made the play all the more enthralling, giving a glimpse of a gentler and more innocent side of Wilde. The Happy Prince tells of a statue of a prince who speaks to a migrating bird, urging him to poke out his bejeweled eyes and remove his golden robes to help others who are in need. Remarkable Rocket allows a group of Roman Candles and other fireworks to gleefully prepare for a wedding, ending with each of them being set off by a creative simulation of lighting a match. Through handheld puppets, the actors become birds, matches, fireworks and trees. The few simple props on stage morph magically from a utilitarian trunk to a mini stage with small puppets acting out their own drama, or a street lamp that becomes a moon. Goodman's fantastic costumes help color the stage, especially with her whimsical designs for the fireworks."


Houston: Contributor Gary Laird reviews PIPPIN at Theatre Under The Stars. He writes "The show is handsomely mounted. Costumes and sets are elaborate and serve the action well. The outdoor setting is appropriate, and for all you snowflakes who are recoiling in horror at the thought of Houston's outdoors in July can get over it. If I can do it, you can do it. Believe me. The seating area has huge ceiling-mounted fans that are quite effective, and I'll let you in on a little secret: The closer you are to the stage, the cooler it is. The stage AC spills over. But you didn't hear it from me."


Philippines: Contributor Vince Vicentuan reviews KINKY BOOTS from Atlantis Theatrical. He writes "Volante as Lola skillfully maneuvers powerhouse ballads (Not My Father's Son, Hold Me in Your Arms) and upbeat ditties (Land of Lola, Sex is in the Heel) with the class and sass of a true drag queen. Nary a falsetto line, he sashays the role in full-voiced glory, filling up the theater like he owns it, taking the audience for a nonstop rollick of laugh-out-loud moments and high-kicking drama. Volante must have the "strength of Sparta and the patience of Job" to wear those deadly boots without actually tearing a muscle or two!"


Connecticut: Contributor Joseph Harrison reviews NEWSIES at Connecticut Rep. He writes "The relationships on stage feel real and authentic and the struggle (though punctuated with singing and acrobatic dancing) seems oddly current. Christopher d'Amboise, who serves as both Director and Choreographer captures the emotion of the piece, effectively using the CRT stage and guiding the actors nimbly through very difficult dance numbers. And, while the stage itself is smaller than the original Broadway stage, Mr. d'Amboise fills every inch with leaping, spinning, and flying newsboys. It is truly magnificent to see and one of the highlights, if not the highlight, of the show."


San Diego: Contributor E.H. Reiter reviews GUYS AND DOLLS at The Old Globe. She writes "Choreographed and directed by Josh Rhodes, the "Crap Shooter's Dance" and "Havana" are highly athletic, enthusiastic, and exciting. They are supported by the wonderful Sinai Tabak's band, and highlighted by Paul Miller's lighting. This New York bustles and dances with retro homage to the 1950's musical but it all happens under a wide expanse of neon lights which helps add a layer of Technicolor vividness to the show."


Kansas City: Contributor Sara Brown reviews AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at Starlight Theatre. She writes "While the show uses the Gershwins' peppy songs like "I Got Rhythm," "Fidgety Feet," and "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise," for show-stopping dance numbers (all choreographed by Sam Davis), most of the show is performed (even in cross overs down stage) with sophisticated ballet movements choreographed by director Christopher Wheeldon. The ballet in the show and the mini-ballet that Adam creates will leave you breathless, as all of the dancers in the show are stunning. Esty is a gorgeous dancer having received the Princess Grace Fellowship Award for her excellence in dance."


Central NY: Contributor Natasha Ashley reviews PARADE at The Merry Go Round Playhouse. She writes "Other memorable performances include Marcus Jordan as Newt Lee in the "Interrogation Sequence," and Alexander Zenoz as the Young Soldier opening the show with the breathtaking number "The Old Red Hills of Home" along with David Atkinson as the old soldier. Jamison Stern, as Hugh Dorsey, makes his mark with "Twenty Miles from Marietta." Likewise, Dave Shoonover, as Governor John Slaton, performs a lovely rendition of "Pretty Music" while Scott Guthrie as Britt Craig shows off in "Real Big News;" Erin Katzkar, as Mrs. Phagan, sings an emotional rendition of "My Child Will Forgive Me." Banji Aborisade and Crystal Sha'nae charm in "A Rumblin' and a Rollin'." Fergie L. Philippe, as Jim Conley, is confident and intense while Jake Mills is most memorable as Tom Watson. Finally, the talented Emma DeGroff, Madeline VanRiper, and Adeline Whitener portray the Factory Girls with such maturity and professionalism."


Regional Editor Spotlight:

https://images.bwwstatic.com/heads/Kyle%20Headshot%20Draft%201.jpg Kyle Christopher West
Dallas Senior Editor

Kyle Christopher West is a recent transplant to Texas, having previously worked in Arizona, New York City and Massachusetts. For his work in theatre, Kyle has received numerous awards for his stage direction, choreography, costume and scenic design. He has recently served on the board of directors for Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre and Mesa Encore Theatre and has produced and directed dozens of stage productions. Outside of theatre, Kyle is passionate about travel, event planning and photography. For more information, visit www.KyleChristopherWest.com.


Join Team BroadwayWorld! Interested in joining our team, but not exactly sure what we do? All of your questions are answered, along with every open position from guest and student bloggers, Regional Editors, and more! Find out where we have open positions available here!


          Wonder        
Cross-posted from TerraFirma Creative



Here's the prompt for Day 4 of Reverb10:

Wonder.

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?
(Author: Jeffrey Davis)

When I consider wonder, I think primarily of two things:

  • being in awe of, or delighted with, something in the world.

  • being intensely curious.

These are two of my favorite states of being.

I think these two poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins artfully capture my own sense of wonder. Go ahead--read them aloud to get their full effect.

God's Grandeur

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; Bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

The Windhover

To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird -- the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

Do you know what makes those poems different, other than their lovely imagery? Their sound, their diction. Hopkins tried not to use words derived from Latin, and the result are poems rich with Anglo-Saxon sounds and rhythms, sounds from a time and place that's foreign to me.

And so: wonder.


Words

Words are how I cultivate a sense of wonder in my life. I notice things, and I try to put them into words: November, the last orange leaves still snagged on twigs, coated by a heavy dusting of snow. Mountains rising suddenly beyond the city, glowing that western-dry-grass gold in the last sun. Iowa, and its threat of sky. Tracks of unfamiliar mammals in the backyard snow.

Sometimes I fail. And that really underscores the wonder of a thing--when I can't adequately capture a moment in words.

Wonder for me comes when reality exceeds my expectations, at the seam of the urban and rural or natural worlds. Boise has been full of these moments: a badger in the yard. The first snowflakes I've seen in a decade. A river behind my office; a giraffe beyond that, peeking over the zoo's fence.


Negative capability


That's what John Keats called that state "when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason." For me, wonder engenders negative capability—it happens when I've transcended that left-brain moment of "how does that work?" and shifted into the right brain's "rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!" It's the moment beyond questioning, a moment of beholding. A moment of contentment.

Even though I'm reflective by nature, it can be hard for me to just sit silently with things. But sometimes what I'm building—be it a lesson plan, an article, a business, a happy childhood for my son, a personal theology—needs that moment of reflection, needs that space where I can observe in wonder at the thing-in-itself, the untouched thing before I've tried to fix or alter it. It's a space where I don't need to worry about reaching after fact and reason, where I'm fine with uncertainties, mysteries, and doubts.


And you?

Where do you find wonder?

Photo by William Warby, and used under a Creative Commons license.

          Winter Wonderland        


           How Do Snowflakes Form?         

           ‪ Bytesize‬ ‪Science‬: ‪The Chemistry of Snowflakes‬         

          Dance With Stars        

Dimensions 70" x 88"


          Snack Time Snowflakes        

Dimensions 51x72


          Radio Way Snowflakes        

Dimensions 50x70
 


                  
Is it wrong of me to be planning for next Christmas/Yule's presents already? I mean, it's only frigging January! Less than half way through it, even!

However, I do have some ambitious projects that I want to try. Ambitious for me, anyway. Given that I've never made a sweater before, having two on the list is pretty high up there. (New knitters . . . Aren't they just so cute?)

I have a plan for Rachel's sweater, at least. She's a big fan of green, and I'm a fan of wanting to try out cables for the first time. This results in (wait for it . . . wait for it . . . ) a green sweater with cables! Yeah. Not the most original suggestion, I'll grant you, but it's still a big project for me, really. And while I don't yet have a pattern for it, I do have plenty of time to look. I'm likely to base it off a cirruent sweater that she has, which is, and I quote, her 'favourite sweater'.

For Dawn, I had flicked through a bunch of old knitting patterns from way back when (read: 70s and 80s) and come across a really nice white one, with a couple of pale blue snowflakes on it. I thought it would look really nice on her, and made up my mind right then that I'd make it for her at some point.

I already have plans to make Robert some thick heavy socks. The ones that I couldn't make for him last year, but now have enough time to learn to make this year.

I'd also like to knit Rachel the DNA scarf at some point, too, since she's such a biology geek that I know she'll love it.

I'd love to knit Evan some funky-coloured socks. Maybe those Jaywalker socks that everyone's going on about.

So that's quite a few ambitious projects for the year. And really, on the whole, they're not that big a deal. Just things I haven't tried yet. But if I stick to scarves and lace patterns for the rest of my life, I'll never get anywhere. (Well, I will, but I won't get very far.) I need to branch out a little more. Learn more things. Make more things. Pick up my knitting needles and just go with it!

I've got a few other ideas on the burner, too, though not as gift ideas. These things are more for myself than for anyone else. For example, I've still got to get back to knitting Branching Out. I love that pattern, and it seems popular and simple. I started it once, but things went wonky, and I had to stop. (It was also at that point that I learned that when working with lace, losing a stitch somewhere along the row does not mean that it's fine and dandy to just make up for it at the end with another YO. *headdesk*)

I'd love to find a better set of circulars (I'm thinking of that set of Boye needles that I saw at Michael's a while back) and make a shawl. Not one for form, but more for function. I was thinking of using that off-white wool that I'm unravelling from a sweater. It's scratchy wool, and I wouldn't use it for anything but those oversocks for Robert, but to use it all up, I'd be making about 15 pairs of socks for him! All white ones. With no variation. Not that he'd mind, I think, but making a shawl out of the wool might be nice too. So I thought that a simple garter-stitch wool shawl might be nice. Good for keeping out the cold, using up extra scratchy wool, and for putting myself in that relaxed state of mind that only seems to come with row after row of garter stitch.

As it is, having none of the materials to make any of these projects, for now I'm stuck with those damned blanket squares. *chuckles*

Well, I could use the pale green cotton that Agnes sent me, to make the Branching Out scarf. Good portable project for work, too, if the calls remain as dead as they have lately. And I think there'd be enough cotton to make the scarf a decent length, too. The right needles for it are free, too, so that's a bonus.

You know, I think I'll go for it. I've wanted to knit it for a while, and no better time like the present. It's no exactly a warming sarf, either, so working on it as I'm coming out of winter (though granted, there are still two months of cold weather to go, at least) is a good idea. It'll be a nice accessory come springtime.

. . . Only since I got into knitting did I start giving a crap about accessories, and the right time of year to wear things.

          PROSES SALJU TERBENTUK        
Untuk menjawab itu, bisa kita mulai dari proses terjadinya salju. Berawal dari uap air yang berkumpul di atmosfer Bumi, kumpulan uap air mendingin sampai pada titik kondensasi (yaitu temperatur di mana gas berubah bentuk menjadi cair atau padat), kemudian menggumpal membentuk awan. Pada saat awal pembentukan awan, massanya jauh lebih kecil daripada massa udara sehingga awan tersebut mengapung di udara – persis seperti kayu balok yang mengapung di atas permukaan air. Namun, setelah kumpulan uap terus bertambah dan bergabung ke dalam awan tersebut, massanya juga bertambah, sehingga pada suatu ketika udara tidak sanggup lagi menahannya. Awan tersebut pecah dan partikel air pun jatuh ke Bumi.
Partikel air yang jatuh itu adalah air murni (belum terkotori oleh partikel lain). Air murni tidak langsung membeku pada temperatur 0 derajat Celcius, karena pada suhu tersebut terjadi perubahan fase dari cair ke padat. Untuk membuat air murni beku dibutuhkan temperatur lebih rendah daripada 0 derajat Celcius. Ini juga terjadi saat kita menjerang air, air menguap kalau temperaturnya di atas 100 derajat Celcius karena pada 100 derajat Celcius adalah perubahan fase dari cair ke uap. Untuk mempercepat perubahan fase sebuah zat, biasanya ditambahkan zat-zat khusus, misalnya garam dipakai untuk mempercepat fase pencairan es ke air.
Biasanya temperatur udara tepat di bawah awan adalah di bawah 0 derajat Celcius (temperatur udara tergantung pada ketinggiannya di atas permukaan air laut). Tapi, temperatur yang rendah saja belum cukup untuk menciptakan salju. Saat partikel-partikel air murni tersebut bersentuhan dengan udara, maka air murni tersebut terkotori oleh partikel-partikel lain. Ada partikel-partikel tertentu yang berfungsi mempercepat fase pembekuan, sehingga air murni dengan cepat menjadi kristal-kristal es.
Partikel-partikel pengotor yang terlibat dalam proses ini disebut nukleator, selain berfungsi sebagai pemercepat fase pembekuan, juga perekat antaruap air. Sehingga partikel air (yang tidak murni lagi) bergabung bersama dengan partikel air lainnya membentuk kristal lebih besar.
Jika temperatur udara tidak sampai melelehkan kristal es tersebut, kristal-kristal es jatuh ke tanah. Dan inilah salju! Jika tidak, kristal es tersebut meleleh dan sampai ke tanah dalam bentuk hujan air.
Pada banyak kasus di dunia ini, proses turunnya hujan selalu dimulai dengan salju beberapa saat dia jatuh dari awan, tapi kemudian mencair saat melintasi udara yang panas. Kadang kala, jika temperatur sangat rendah, kristal-kristal es itu bisa membentuk bola-bola es kecil dan terjadilah hujan es. Kota Bandung termasuk yang relatif sering mengalami hujan es. Jadi, ini sebabnya kenapa salju sangat susah turun secara alami di daerah tropik yang memiliki temperatur udara relatif tinggi dibanding wilayah yang sedang mengalami musim dingin.
Struktur unik salju
Kristal salju memiliki struktur unik, tidak ada kristal salju yang memiliki bentuk yang sama di dunia ini (lihat Gambar SnowflakesWilsonBentley.jpg) – ini seperti sidik jari kita. Bayangkan, salju sudah turun semenjak bumi tercipta hingga sekarang, dan tidak satu pun salju yang memiliki bentuk struktur kristal yang sama!
Keunikan salju yang lainnya adalah warnanya yang putih. Kalau turun salju lebat, hamparan bumi menjadi putih, bersih, dan seakan-akan bercahaya. Ini disebabkan struktur kristal salju memungkinkan salju untuk memantulkan semua warna ke semua arah dalam jumlah yang sama, maka muncullah warna putih. Fenomena yang sama juga bisa kita dapati saat melihat pasir putih, bongkahan garam, bongkahan gula, kabut, awan, dan cat putih.
Selain itu, turunnya salju memberikan kehangatan. Ini bisa dipahami dari konsep temperatur efektif. Temperatur efektif adalah temperatur yang dirasakan oleh kulit kita, dipengaruhi oleh tiga besaran fisis: temperatur terukur (oleh termometer), kecepatan pergerakan udara, dan kelembapan udara. Temperatur efektif biasanya dipakai untuk menentukan “zona nyaman”. Di pantai, temperatur terukur bisa tinggi, namun karena angin kencang kita masih merasa nyaman. Pada saat salju turun lebat, kelembapan udara naik dan ini memengaruhi temperatur efektif sehingga pada satu kondisi kita merasa hangat.

Siti Sri Khalifadunyati
1PA04
18510927
          METZ Ladies Mule Slippers Beige        
METZ Ladies Mule Slippers Beige

METZ Ladies Mule Slippers Beige

Ladies Mule Slippers Slip On Style Snowflake Design Cosy Textile Lining Browse Other Colours: Beige and Blue


          METZ Ladies Mule Slippers Blue        
METZ Ladies Mule Slippers Blue

METZ Ladies Mule Slippers Blue

Ladies Mule SlippersSlip On StyleSnowflake DesignCosy Textile LiningBrowse Other Colours: Beige and Blue


                  

          Ð‘ез заголовка        

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          Snowflakes        

It sat in a block on the sideboard, heavy and foreign.
My grandmother’s cerulean eyes sparkled as I peeled off my layers.
Hat.
“I have so many fun things planned for us,” she said.
She always did.
Every weekend.
Boots.
“First we melt this big block of wax…”
Her excitement simply couldn’t be contained.
Scarf.
“Then, we’ll WHIP it! With the hand mixer!”
There in her entryway, these moments… our moments together… were all that mattered.… Continued

The post Snowflakes appeared first on in these small moments.


          Let it snow!!!        

 I'm guessing for most of us this is the scene we woke up to today!


As a Mum of two young boys whose school was closed today I have just spent the afternoon out sledging and only fell off once! Now back in the warm it gives me time to reflect a bit on our first week back at choir...

So, first we were at Westbury and we have a new photographer amongst us who caught Geraldine and I on camera. If you can think of a good caption for either picture, let me know! 


Are you the secret undercover camera crew? D'oh...just blown your cover!



This term GGCC are re-visiting the greatest hits! When Geraldine, Naomi and I met before Christmas we thought it would be great to celebrate about 10 years of GGCC and what better way than to do a selection of our favourite songs. 

Shirehampton GGCC have a new home now so we all met for the first time at Shirehampton Baptist Church on Wednesday and had a few newcomers too...fantastic! Here we are in action:



 We all agreed we like our new home and the acoustics are lovely too!

On Thursday it was Easton's turn and boy were we glad of a cosy warm welcome at House of Praise...there were a few first snowflakes outside too. Great turn out considering how cold it was and we had a lot of fun, managed to look at three songs which is pretty good going in an hour and a quarter.

Well it's so great to be back with you all. Keep warm this weekend and see you next week!


                  

snowflake icon   Concerned about the weather? Check My Amherst on the day of your visit for closure announcements.


          RC305: Chapter 2. What was I thinking?        
   I dug deep into the Iphone archives to figure out what I was thinking about doing over the last few years with this bike.  
Fooling around, pulling the engine.
I think around this time I was still playing with the CB160 engine and did this while waiting for parts.

It wasn't always going to have a stretched swing arm and 5 degree rake.....  I was obsessed with the GN400 gold snowflake rims for a while and thought about putting them on the cb77 but in the end I just didn't want another little short frame bobber that bounced all over the road because it was too light.  I am sure there is a way it could be done but I decided to let them go of the idea in the end....and the rims as well.  Thanks Joe!  I may still use this xl70 tank in this picture but was hoping to have a little more range....
I stumbled upon tons of bike related photos from the last couple years too.  
Hutch, Nate, and the pony.
Zac battling the roach
I convinced Kuramo to take a noise spin.  Bosozoku!

The first bike my dad ever bought us (I had to use the fence to climb on and kick start it!) was an old KLR dirt bike for the yard and trails.  I can't remember that much about it because I was way to short to ride it...mainly for my older brother.  I think he got rid of it after only a short time.  I am sure my parents just figured that the 4-wheelers were safer.....

Dad loved taking us to Max Pitts when we were little so he could dream about purchasing a new motorcycle.  He may have been a salesman's worst nightmare though.  I remember we would spend so long looking at multiple bikes and he would ask all the right questions that make someone think he was truly considering purchasing his next motorized toy with them.....

One time in particular he talked about looking at a Honda Magna on the way there, and actually I think this time we went to Ehlerding motorsports in Fort Wayne.  Once we got there he played his game with the salesman, sat on all the different sizes, compared all the features, and then was debating whether or not to get the smaller or larger model.  Although I had no idea what size they were at the time, my guess is that he was debating between the 750 and the 1100 models.  This time he even had ME convinced he was going to buy one!  I even offered my advise, which was to purchase the smaller model since it wasn't as expensive and he didn't need to go that fast.  I distinctly remember what the salesman said though - a larger displacement engine would allow my dad to get out of the way faster if someone was being reckless, and you can't put a price on life.  In the end, we didn't take anything home.  My memory isn't super clear but I am pretty sure he took the "I need to run it by my wife first," route for an excuse.  I miss going shopping with dad, sometimes he surprised us and actually bought whatever he was looking at, especially as we got older.  
Atlas may never experience that with me since newer bikes aren't really my thing but at least he gets to do this while I am working on mine.

          Snowflake Number 94        
I have long said right here on the Bible Answer Man broadcast that it is an established scientific fact that human life begins at conception, that an embryo has a distinct human genetic code, that an embryo exhibits metabolism, development, the ability to react to stimuli, and that an embryo demonstrates cell reproduction; therefore, discarding embryos or destroying them through experimentation is the moral equivalent of killing innocent human beings. When you extract a stem cell from an embryo, you are killing a human being. I’ve always understood that intellectually, this weekend I began to understand that in a real life experience.

I met a little girl named Alysse. She is 4 ½ years old. She was a frozen embryo for two years. That embryo was thawed, implanted in the uterine wall of her mother, and she today is a beautiful, bright, bubbly little girl that I held in my arms, and I was able to read Bible stories to. If I ever had an experience of ideas having consequences, it was this weekend holding that little girl, and seeing that that embryo could have been discarded, except that her parents recognized the reality that life begins at conception. So they got involved in a snowflake embryo adoption program, and little Alysse, 4 ½ years old, is snowflake number 94. I met her, and I told her, “You know what my favorite number is? It’s 94.” And she smiled knowingly.

What an incredible thing to see, a child that came out of a frozen embryo. What a warning to us that we should not in a cavalier fashion discard embryos as though they’re simply microscopic blobs of Jell-O. No. They’re among the most ordered complex structures in the entire known universe. David said it well,

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
When I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
Were written in your book
Before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:14-16, NIV)

This is a warning to Christians, really quite frankly, that we need to know what we believe and why we believe it, because it has real practical implications. It’s not about ivory tower theories. No. What we believe has real practical dynamic and life giving reality associated with it. Know what you believe and why you believe it, particularly when it comes to the sanctity of human life.
          lunchbag - joyful Christmas        



made August 2014 :-)

Stamp: Magnolia “Tilda”
Sentiment: Magnolia “A Joyful Christmas” Christmas frame stamp, Postmark
Design paper: Maja Design
Card: white
Dies: Magnolia Doo Hickey Lantern
Magnolia Doo Hickey Dream Tag
Magnolia Doo Hickey DooH-WW13 Christmas Tree
Magnolia Doo Hickey So Lovely
Magnolia Doo Hickey DooH-ACS12 Cozy Fern And Snowflake
Magnolia Doo Hickey DooH-WW13 So Wrapped Snowflake
Magnolia Doo Hickey DooH-WL13 Peonies
Magnolia Doo Hickeys - Vintage Flowers and Leaf
Spellbinder Nestabilities Oval
Embellishments:, lace,  paper bag, Gesso, Stickles in Stardust, Paper flowers, hemp, "mitten" mini wood clip, pearl stickers
coloring: Inktense pencils

most of the supplies came from Sir Stampalot

          25 Christmas        
 Hi there,
today i have something older. Made this matchbox for Magnolia's Doo Hickey Christmas Vol 2 issue. Since it was published there i do have the detailed supply list available to post. 
Are you guys excited for the new stamps also? I just now placed my order for the kit :-) i was contemplating with myself if i should get the kit or wait and just order the individual stamps once i know how the look like. Awh... decisions, decisions....


Design paper: Magnolia Ink “sixpence”, Magnolia mini “Christmas Toys”
Card: black cardstock, white, silver
Dies: Magnolia Doo Hickey Poinsettia, : Magnolia Doo Hickey Santa sled, : Magnolia Doo Hickey Dream Tag,  Magnolia Doo Hickey DooH-LE13 Vintage Box Lacing Chocolate border,  Magnolia Doo Hickey DooH-ACS12 Cozy Big Snowflake,  Magnolia Doo Hickey Vintage Mistletoe, Marianne Design small rolled rose
Embellishments: pearl stickers, seam binding ribbon, silver string, gauze, paper  flower, Gesso, Stickles in Stardust, gold and silver rub, foam alphabet stickers


 All supplies can be found at Sir Stampalot!


Have a great day.


          Christmas matchbox        
The large matchbox i made August 2014 for the Magnolia Doo Hickey Issue Vol 2. Fairly quick project since there are no images to color in.


Title: 25 matchbox
Design paper: Magnolia Ink “sixpence”, Magnolia mini “Christmas Toys”
Card: black cardstock, white, silver
Dies: Magnolia Doo Hickey Poinsettia, : Magnolia Doo Hickey Santa sled, : Magnolia Doo Hickey Dream Tag,  Magnolia Doo Hickey DooH-LE13 Vintage Box Lacing Chocolate border,  Magnolia Doo Hickey DooH-ACS12 Cozy Big Snowflake,  Magnolia Doo Hickey Vintage Mistletoe, Marianne Design small rolled rose
Embellishments: pearl stickers, seam binding ribbon, silver string, gauze, paper  flower, Gesso, Stickles in Stardust, gold and silver rub, foam alphabet stickers

 Published in here :-) such a cute set!!!


          How to Raise Resilient Hardworking Children when Everyone Gets a Trophy        

Calling all parents of snowflake babies do you ever find yourself confronted with how to raise resilient hardworking children in a world where everybody gets a trophy? Yesterday, ballet youth company camp started and with that comes all of the excitement and pain that anything...

The post How to Raise Resilient Hardworking Children when Everyone Gets a Trophy appeared first on The TRUTH About Motherhood.


          Episode 104: Revisiting ‘Silicon Avatar,’ a.k.a. Riker’s Blue Balls Adventure        
A sequel to the crystalline entity? Really? Yep, that happened. And 26 years later, we're revisiting the evil space snowflake's second (and last) encounter with the Enterprise.

Transporter Room 3, Episode 104

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This unlikely sequel, which surprised Star Trek: The Next Generation's Jeri Taylor when it was pitched to her, spends a lot of time with Riker grieving over a lost near-hookup while Data helps a scientist and mother dealing with Captain Ahab-level revenge. Does the episode hold up? Find out!

silicon-avatar

We also have the winner of our Enterprise Complete Series on Blu giveaway, some Star Trek: Discovery casting news and, of course, another Red Shirt (RIP).

RIP Carmen
RIP Carmen
So activate your graviton pulse and listen to the newest episode now!

Please subscribe (click the icon) to get all the latest episodes of our podcast automatically. Friend us on Facebook, star-rate us on iTunes, and e-mail us at Transporter Room 3 at Gmail dot com. Also, stalk us on Twitter:

Scott Collura: twitter.com/ScottCollura

Phil Pirrello: twitter.com/Phil_Pirrello

Listen to Episode 104 of Transporter Room 3 right here:

Transporter Room 3, Episode 104

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          Episode 37: What Is Captain Kirk's Greatest Moment?        
It took us the better part of the week for our face binoculars (our eyes) to recover from seeing Captain Kirk misappropriated for Seth MacFarlane's Oscars. (The last time we'll see Shat in his iconic role is to set up a song called "We Saw Your Boobs"? *head desk head desk head desk*)

Transporter Room 3, Episode 37

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So to help us move on from one of Kirk's worst moments, we dedicated this week's podcast to discuss a few of his best. From The Original Series to, yes, even Generations, we found even more reasons to man-crush on the number one cause of death for guys named Kruge.



Plus, Transporter Room 3 gets a visit from not one but TWO Red Shirts this week, bringing the death tally to just shy of Ebola numbers. Nice work, you beautiful, nameless snowflakes. (Don't) watch out for that vampire cloud!

And, of course, a dip into the Reader Mailbag re: Star Trek 2009 and much talk of McCoy's bitching jacket from Star Trek III awaits you in our newest episode! Listen now! Exclamation marks!

Don't forget to subscribe to our RSS feed (click the icon) to get all the latest episodes of our podcast automatically. Hang with us on Facebook, star-rate us on iTunes, e-mail us at Transporter Room 3 at Gmail dot com, and hit us on Twitter:

Scott Collura: twitter.com/ScottIGN

Phil Pirrello: twitter.com/Phil_Pirrello

Check out Episode 37 of Transporter Room 3 right here:

Transporter Room 3, Episode 37

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          Episode 26: The Next Generation in HD. Hell. Yes.        
Episode 26 of the Transporter Room 3 podcast kicks off just in time to celebrate the release of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Blu-ray!

Transporter Room 3, Episode 26

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Twenty-five years after Picard and the space cheerleader outfit made their debut, Season 1 of Next Gen launched their HD premiere in style by screening two episodes in movie theaters nationwide. Scott and our most popular (read: only) guest star, Jordan Hoffman, Trek'd (*dodges tomatoes*) to see how "Where No One Has Gone Before" and "Datalore" hold up in 1080p. Jordan joins us to discuss!

 

We also have the nerd equivalent to a 'Nam flashback, as we reflect on our tour of the most recent Comic-Con. Scott reveals a close encounter with an unexpected "7 of 9" cosplayer, while Phil blames Karl Urban's non-reveal of Star Trek 2 footage on Dr. McCoy doing a little too much LDS. (Reference!)

And of course we got another Red Shirt of the Week to eulogize! This time, we go outside the ranks of Starfleet to profile one of "Datalore's" many underage causalities at the snowflake-y hands of the Crystalline Entity! 

All that and 30% more Jordan Hoffman than the usual podcast fare await you and your listening holes!

Don't forget to subscribe to our RSS feed (click the icon) to get all the latest episodes of our podcast automatically. Re-configure Facebook to "Like" us and set iTunes to "never-ending love" with them there star-ratings. The first 100 million fans will receive a high-five from The Traveler! (Just don't give him s#!t about his three-fingered hand things. Or his circus carnie fingernails.) Also, e-mail us at Transporter Room 3 at Gmail dot com and power up the Twitter Machine and follow us at

Scott Collura: twitter.com/ScottIGN

Phil Pirrello: twitter.com/Phil_Pirrello

Jordan Hoffman: twitter.com/JHoffman6

Check out Episode 26 of Transporter Room 3 right here:

Transporter Room 3, Episode 26

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          Design Wall Tuesday – Snowflake Quilts        
Welcome to Design Wall Tuesday! Thanks for stopping by to see what the editors of McCall’s Quilting and Quiltmaker magazines have been up to. From Content Director, Carolyn Beam: Hi! I’m working on a new blog series for Quiltmaker—be sure to … Continue reading
          Love Your (Political) Enemies        
Fascist. Snowflake. Liberal weenie. Nazi. Racist, xenophobic, bigot. Idiot. Moron. Ignorant fool. These are just a few of the tamer insults hurled violently at others online and in person during the past two years of the election process. And since the election itself, things have only gotten exponentially worse. It’s no exaggeration to say that […]
          Alexa Grace        
Rating 2.6 Visit site

Stunning seduction oozes from this blonde, and she doesn't have to put forth the effort, it's a natural occurrence, much like sunshine and snowflakes.

Inspected by: Missy
Read review »
          Red Scenic Winter Worship Media – Seamless Loop        

Sometimes you just need a background for the Christmas and winter season that’s a little more chill. This series is meant to fill just that need. Subtle colors with evergreen trees in the foreground. Gently falling snowflakes and bokah lens flares to add a little extra something without being over the top.  This one features […]

The post Red Scenic Winter Worship Media – Seamless Loop appeared first on Free Worship Loops.


          Green Winter Scene Motion Background        

Sometimes you just need a background for the Christmas and winter season that’s a little more chill. This series is meant to fill just that need. Subtle colors with evergreen trees in the foreground. Gently falling snowflakes and bokah lens flares to add a little extra something without being over the top.  This one features […]

The post Green Winter Scene Motion Background appeared first on Free Worship Loops.


          Blue Wintery Motion Background for Christmas Time        

Sometimes you just need a background for the Christmas and winter season that’s a little more chill. This series is meant to fill just that need. Subtle colors with evergreen trees in the foreground. Gently falling snowflakes and bokah lens flares to add a little extra something without being over the top.  This one features […]

The post Blue Wintery Motion Background for Christmas Time appeared first on Free Worship Loops.


          This weeks contribution to the Artsy Challang blog        
Oppgaven på Artsy var: Lag en tag eller kort i Tim Holtz stil - og her er mitt resultat:

The challange on the Artsy blog was: Make a tag or a card inspired by Tim Holtz. This is my tag:
This was one of these "play around and see what you get" - projects. I had a totally different plan, but after 1 1/2 hour searching for my heat gun without any luck, I just had to change my plan to something I could do without my heat gun. I have now realized that I need at least one extra heat gun. Oh well, being artsy by playing around with whatever you can find is at least more challenges, and I just love a challenge!!!!

I started this project by collaging different papers on my tag. As you can see, the papers and the tag itself has been distressed with a paper distresser (if you want just one thing this year - buy this. Seriously. Check out Tim Holtz' Blog for more ideas) and then colored with the edges with distress ink. When all the papers had been glued down, I cut out a rectangle from ordinary copy paper and used this as a mask , and sponged red and brown ink all around the rectangle.

OK. I suddenly decided that this was not enough. Maybe I should have stopped there, but no. I needed more!! So I stamped the Tim Holtz swirl from the new stamp set Reindeer Flight all over the tag with red and brown Distress ink.
The snowflake on the top of the tag was painted in several layers with dabbers in white and light blue. Then I distressed it with the tonic scratcher, and added several layers of brown ink. Then I wiped of the excess ink and added more white paint with my dabber. Cool! The bottom snowflake has just gotten a few coats of white ink from my dabber and stickles glitter glue on top to make it shine. The ribbon was stippled with brown Distress ink and then fastened with a brad and holly leaves from Making Memories.

Denne gangen måtte jeg være litt mer kreativ enn vanlig. Jeg mistet nemlig varmepistolen min, og Tim Holtz bruker denne påfallende ofte. Så hele planen min falt sammen, og jeg måtte tenke helt nytt.

Jeg har brukt masser av papirer, papp og blekk for bakgrunnen. Papirbitene har blirr distressed med en paper distresser og fått en omgang blekk langs kanten før de har blitt limt på tag'en. Deretter har jeg klippet ut et rektangel i vanlig kopipapir og brukt det som en maske på tag'en. Jeg har svampet rundt rektangelet med brunt og rødt Distress blekk. Seretter har jeg stemplet swirlen til Tim Holtz nye juleplate i rødt og brunt blekk over hele tag'en.

Snøkrystallen øverst er laget med flere lag dabbere i hvitt og lyseblått. Så er det skrapet over overfalen, og kladdet på blekk i bruntoner. Deretter har jeg tørket av overfløig blekk. Og til slutt har jeg tatt på bittelittegranne hvit dabber oppå igjen. Den nederte snøkrystallen er farget med hvit dabber og lagt på et lag med stickles. Båndet er stiplet med brunt blekk og festet i tag'en med en brad og holly blader fra Making memories.


          What To Do During A 12-Hour Hospital Wait . . .        
You may remember that our son, Sean, suffered a broken arm (among other injuries) in an accident over a year ago.  Two surgeries weren't able to repair it correctly, so we finally found a third doctor in NYC who operated on him four weeks ago (he's doing extremely well as I write this -- we're hoping that the third time was the charm).  
Needless to say, husband Fran and I had a looooong period of waiting at the hospital before, during, and after the surgery, so I brought lots of play things with me to occupy the time, including the book, "Zen Mandalas," by Suzanne McNeill; this is an exciting collection of Zentangle®-filled, circular designs by several talented artists, complete with guidelines for creating your own mandelas.  Since they're basically round and divided into 5, 6, 8, or 12 equal segments, it's easier to design one if you have a compass, a protractor, and a ruler.  I had brought exactly none of these with me, so I followed the suggestion given in the book: I made a snowflake.
I folded a piece of paper into eighths and made a few holes in the folds by tearing away the paper, since I also didn't have scissors.  Then I traced the cut areas onto my art paper and used them as guidelines.  I followed some of the examples in the book, and the mandala pictured at the top emerged. 
Everything that has been said about Zentangles was true for me that day: I felt an amazing sense of well being; the process helped to both calm me and foster my creative spirit; and I experienced a much-needed feeling of timelessness.  This was just what the doctor ordered.
Diane

          John McEnroe Had Better Never Apologize!        

Uptight snowflakes and sphincter sucking sissies are all up in jazz arms this week demanding that John McEnroe apologize to poor Serena Williams.  Why, you ask?  Well, during an interview on NPR this week, the big mean white haired old man called Serena the "greatest female player ever, no question."  Can you believe it???   This chauvinistic crab actually said that.  The NPR interviewer followed up by asking why he qualified the statement with the term "female."   HUH?  He called Serena a female???  Holy fuckmetotears!  The noive!

Here's the actual conversation in case you missed it:
GARCIA-NAVARRO: We're talking about male players, but there [are] of course wonderful female players. Let's talk about Serena Williams.   
MCENROE: Best female player ever — no question. 
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Some wouldn't qualify it; some would say she's the best player in the world. Why qualify it? 
MCENROE: Oh! Uh, she's not, you mean, the best player in the world, period? 
GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, the best tennis player in the world. You know, why say female player?
MCENROE: Well, because if she was in, if she played the men's circuit, she'd be, like, 700 in the world. 
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You think so? 
MCENROE: Yeah. That doesn't mean I don't think Serena is an incredible player. I do, but the reality of what would happen would be I think something that perhaps it'd be a little higher, perhaps it'd be a little lower. And on a given day, Serena could beat some players. I believe because she's so incredibly strong mentally that she could overcome some situations where players would choke 'cause she's been in it so many times, so many situations at Wimbledon, the US Open, etc. But if she had to just play the circuit — the men's circuit — that would be an entirely different story.

So, what the Legion of Easily Offended are whining about is that McEnroe arbitrarily claimed that 699 men are better tennis players than Serena.  Seems like a big number.  BUT, in 1998, Serena lost to the 203rd ranked male player in the world in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2.

Then there was this quote from Serena herself in 2013 when on David Letterman:
“Actually it’s funny, because Andy Murray, he’s been joking about myself and him playing a match. I’m like, ‘Andy, seriously, are you kidding me?’ For me, mens’ tennis and womens’ tennis are completely, almost, two separate sports. If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes. No, it’s true. It’s a completely different sport. The men are a lot faster and they serve harder, they hit harder, it’s just a different game. I love to play women’s tennis. I only want to play girls, because I don’t want to be embarrassed. I would not do the tour, I would not do Billie Jean [King] any disservice. So Andy, stop it. I’m not going to let you kill me.”
But now Serena wants McEnroe to leave her out of his comments that are "not factually based" and to leave her alone while she's trying to have a baby.  Shut the fuk up!!  I do love that Good Morning America had McEnroe on yesterday morning after his comments and asked him if he would apologize for his comments.  He said, "Um, no."  

And why should he.  He was asked specifically about female players by that NPR asshole.  So when he includes the qualifier in his response, she then calls him on it?  Four years ago, Serena said the same friggin' thing.  So he exaggerated by using the hyperbole "700" - but the message is identical.  It's a different fukkin game!  There is a reason the men play best of 5 sets and women play best of 3.  I don't know the reason... but there is one.  I do know that the x chromosome and the y chromosome are different fukkin' chromosomes.  YOU KNOW THEY ARE!  EVERYONE KNOWS THEY ARE!  So cut the fukkin' shit.

John McEnroe said NOTHING wrong.   Neither did Serena in 2013.

          Snowflake UFO        
From Gather.com: An amazing UFO video has been posted to YouTube showing what is described as a “snowflake” mothership dropping light balls over an unidentified area of South America. What is it? In the video, taken at night, a man, speaking Spanish, is amazed by the sight of a lighted ship hovering over what looks […]
          Christmas Burp Cloth, Burp Cloth Set, Flannel Burp Rags, Unisex Baby Gift, Rag Quilt Baby by LittleTreasureQuilts        

44.00 USD

This beautiful set of four Christmas rag quilted, flannel-backed burp cloths is extra soft and absorbent. Each burp cloth measures a generous 8 x 19 inches. I used four 100% cotton quilt shop quality fabrics from the Joy collection by Kate Spain for Moda Fabrics. These fabrics celebrate Christmas in a fresh, modern color palette of red, green, and aqua. The prints include snowflakes, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and doves. The back of each burp cloth, shown in the fifth photo, is a very soft winter white cotton flannel, with a layer of white cotton flannel inside for extra absorbency. Each cloth is quilted for durability and has a raggy edge. The cloths have been washed, so they are preshrunk.

To see other Christmas items in my shop, click here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleTreasureQuilts/search?search_query=christmas&order=date_desc&view_type=gallery&ref=shop_search


This is a ready-to-ship set. There may be some variation in fabric placement from the photos.


Easy care -- machine wash cold, tumble dry.


          Christmas Cheer Duo        
Hi! Welcome to day three of the August Papertrey Ink countdown.
Today I bring you another look at the Splits: Merry & Bright and Holiday Swoosh stamp sets
Here I've paired the Splits: Merry & Bright with a sentiment from Treetops Glisten stamp set.
I placed the sentiment on top off a heat embossed Splits: Merry & Bright snowflake frame. It looks stunning done up in gold embossing powder!
Here I've paired Holiday Swoosh with a beautiful bird from the the previously released Winter Woods stamp set. 
I stamped it in Scarlet Jewel and gold ink onto a kraft card base. 

Well, there's a quick look at my new Stamping Simply line up for this month. Just remember... these stamp set and its coordinating dies will be available for purchase through Papertrey Ink, beginning September 15th

Now, be sure to visit Papertrey Ink blog for more on today featured product.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Maile
          Introducing Splits: Merry & Bright        
Hello and welcome to day two of the September Papertrey Ink countdown!   
Today's focus is on the soon to be released Splits: Merry & Bright. This month's take in the Splits series features a simple snowflake border, can you just imagine how beautiful it will be heat embossed! Add the coordinating sentiment included, or play around with mixing and matching other winter/holiday sentiments with them!
Onto the white card base I stamped the snowflake Splits frame, but before stamping I inked it up in Aqua Mist first and then rolled the edges in gold ink. The shine from the edges of the snowflake coordinate beautifully with the flecks of gold in the twine.

Well, there's a quick look at the Splits: Merry & Bright. I'll be back tomorrow with more! Just remember... this stamp set and it's coordinating die will be available for purchase through Papertrey Ink, beginning September 15th

Now, be sure to visit Papertrey Ink blog for more details on these products.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Maile
          Aurora Weekly Nail Polish Colour Collection - Glacial Mist 15ml        
Aurora Weekly Nail Polish Colour Collection - Glacial Mist 15ml

Aurora Weekly Nail Polish Colour Collection - Glacial Mist 15ml

Weekly Nail Lacquer fashion-forward polish's from Vinylux with magnificent finish - capture a crystalline essence with icy, glistening finishes  - Estimated 7 days of pure perfection! Shade : is a ice frost blue snowflake effect Isnpired by the artic tundra & it's mountain beauty Exposure to natural light secures the ProLight technology, creating an enduring, long-lasting polish. While ordinary polishes become brittle and deteriorate over time, VINYLUX dries naturally to a flawless finish and strengthens its resistance to chips over time. In a nutshell, Vinylux is a Weekly Nail Polish that uses NO Base Coat, only a Top Coat (CND Weekly Top Coat) that gets more durable with natural light exposure.


          Paper Snowflake Table Runner Family Craft        
Spend an evening with the whole family cutting out paper snowflakes, then put them together to make this beautiful table runner. Found at Your Are My Fave.
          New "Death Wish" Movie Trailer Reaction (snowflake doesn't get it LOL)        
Death Wish Trailer REACTION today! Beyond The Trailer's reaction & review of the official trailer for 2017 remake! Bruce Willis! Eli Roth! http://bit.ly/subscribeBTT Death Wish Trailer REACTION today! Beyond The Trailer host Grace Randolph's reaction & review of the official trailer for Death Wish, the 2017 remake directed by Eli Roth and starring Bruce Willis! Share your own reaction to the official trailer for Death Wish before you see the full movie in 2017! And be sure to make Beyond The Trailer your first stop for movie and entertainment news here on YouTube today! Interact with host & creator Grace...
          Boyne Mountain Resort - Everett's, Eagle's Nest Grill, Beach House Restaurant, Trophy Room Pub, Snowflake Lounge, Apre´s Ski Pub        
Try one of our restaurants for steaks, seafood, pizza or nightly dinner feature.
          Challenge 27        

Hello everyone and welcome to the next "Anything Goes" challenge here at Crafting With An Attitude. Bugaboo Stamps is our sponsor this challenge. For the prize, the winner may choose 3 individual images. 
My design team have created some fabulous inspiration projects to share.

Rebecca
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Nicola
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BozenA
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Lyn
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Khushboo
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 Terri
Okay, now it's your turn to put on those thinking caps and share your creations with us. You have until 7pm Sunday May 28th to enter. There is a limit of 3 entries per participant.

Have fun and Good luck!


          Challenge 26        
Welcome back to Crafting With An Attitude for our next Anything Goes challenge.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our last challenge. What amazing projects. You all deserve to be awarded for your artistic abilities. Well done!

Our sponsor for this challenge is A Day For Daisies. The lucky winner of this challenge will receive a 3 images.  Thank you  for your generous donation and for supporting our challenges.

 Now for some wonderful inspiration projects by the Design Team.

Khushboo
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BozenA
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Lyn
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Nicola
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Terri
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You have until 7pm, Sunday April 30th to enter. Limit of 3 entries per participant.

Good Luck! 


          Challenge 25        
Welcome back to Crafting With An Attitude for our next Anything Goes challenge.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our last challenge. What amazing projects. You all deserve to be awarded for your artistic abilities. Well done!

Our sponsor for this challenge is Lacy Sunshine. The lucky winner of this challenge will receive 3 digi images.  Thank you Lacy Sunshine for your generous donation and for supporting our challenges.

 Now for some wonderful inspiration projects by the Design Team.

Khushboo


BozenA
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Lyn
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Nicola
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Terri
Image may contain: plant, flower and outdoor
You have until 7pm, Sunday March 26th to enter. Limit of 3 entries per participant.

Good Luck! 


          Challenge 24        
Welcome back to Crafting With An Attitude for our next Anything Goes challenge.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our last challenge. What amazing projects. You all deserve to be awarded for your artistic abilities. Well done!

Our sponsor for this challenge is Moonflower. The lucky winner of this challenge will receive a $10 voucher.  Thank you Moonflower for your generous donation and for supporting our challenges.
 Now for some wonderful inspiration projects by the Design Team.

Khushboo


BozenA
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Rebecca
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Lyn
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Nicola



Terri
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You have until 7pm, Sunday February 26th to enter. Limit of 3 entries per participant.

Good Luck! 


          It's Christmas Eve!        
Good morning, everyone!

It's Christmas Eve! 

Aaaaaaand:  I'm at work.  Sitting in the office in a close to empty building.  Wondering why I'm here-  I'm not doing anything except 'playing.'  I've been entertaining a few coworkers with jokes and stories.  I've been designing layouts on my brand new graph-paper-pad (Thank you, STAPLES!) and a bit of coloring some images I stamped on cardstock and brought to work with me-  so all in all, it's pretty much like I'm a pre-schooler sitting in an office. 

A moment ago, I was taking a trip down memory lane in my little lounge act on a file cabinet that I perform, daily, for coworkers.  I picked up the big plastic spoon that I use as a 'microphone,' and was remembering one of my favorite Christmas presents.  I was 11 years old.  It was a PXL-2000 from Fisher Price.

Do you know what a PXL-2000 was?  It was a little movie camera made for kids.  It recorded sound AND VIDEO onto normal little audio-cassette tapes.   You do remember cassettes, right?   Well, it could record about 5 or 7 minutes worth of sound and video on a 90-minute cassette tape.  The footage came out black and white, and fairly grainy.  But to a kid, it looked amazing.  I had my own CAMCORDER! 

You gotta Google it to get the full idea, if you don't know what I'm talking about-  I just did, to see pictures of it- and wow, even seeing a picture of the BOX brought back a heap of good memories.  And now I see that the format has been 're'adopted by filmmakers, using the cameras to create weird little movies.  There's even been film festivals devoted to short films made on the little toy camera.  Oh what I'd give to still have mine!  (If I remember correctly, it finally stopped working after much, much use...)

I've gots three more Christmas cards to share, today.  I can't say I won't be back tomorrow with more Christmas cards- I've just grown so addicted to making them.  I don't know what it is...  I've never loved making Christmas cards more than I have this season.  (And I've been making Christmas cards since kindergarten, when I sat next to a kid who would try to eat all of my paste.)


Up first is the card that I made for my great friend, Carolyn.  She's such a classy lady that I tried my best to make a classy card.  I used papers from the My Mind's Eye ALL IS BRIGHT 'Accessories Pad.'  The cream and deep red background has been one of my favorite papers from this pad and I'd been dying to use it- but it was bigger than any of the card bases that I had laying around.  I didn't have the heart to cut it smaller, so I made an A7 card base with a 12X12 sheet of thick kraft cardstock.  With the matching ALL IS BRIGHT stamp set, I stamped the '12.25.' pennant with Iced Spruce Distress Ink and cut it out.  I embossed a strip of kraft cardstock (left over from cutting the card base) with the chevron border strip embossing folder from Cuttlebug.  I layed a couple of pieces cut out from other pages in the ALL IS BRIGHT pad and layered them on with the stamped pennant and topped with a brad from the 'Decorative Bads' pack. 

Normally, I don't buy SO MUCH of one set.  Yeah, I did buy nearly two complete sets of BasicGrey's CLIPPINGS, but that collection was too great to NOT buy two sets!  But it seemed as if I had the entire ALL IS BRIGHT line sitting around!  Then I remembered- when I was at the Creating Keepsakes Convention last summer, I bought a very nicely priced package of stuff, just to get the three rolls of washi tape- and it had the rest of the set in there, too!  All for 7.00! 


More KRAFT!  I'm sorry, I don't know if this love affair will ever end.  No, no- I'm NOT sorry.  I love KRAFT and I'm PROUD, dammit!!! 

I used the Studio Calico 'Wonderland Star' pattern mask and Mister Huey's 'Calico White,' to spray the star background.  Then I just picked up random scraps and layered them on-  a dictionary page label cut from a Spellbinders set, a creamy cardstock I'd once cut out with the Spellbinders 'Lacey Circles' set, a pine branch left over from using Mr. Holtz's pinecone die...  I topped it off with my favorite HAPPY HOLIDAYS stamp over a stamped light gray chevron.  (I think I love that Happy Holidays stamp so much because of the font- doesn't that look great?!)


On my third card, I couldn't resist another of my favorite stamps- the man with the crown and a circle around his eye.  I don't 'get' this stamp, but I freakin' love it...  I colored him a bit with some Distress Inks, layered on my favorite Happy Holidays (again: THAT FONT!) and two My Mind's Eye '12.25.' banner stamps.  The retro-ey looking snowflake is from QuickKutz.  When I was at Staples, yesterday, buying anything and everything that caught my eye, I stocked up on blank tags, too.  You can't beat the price- a box of 500 for 5.97?!  Yes, please and thank you!  I stamped the tag with a woodgrain stamp (Stampabilities) and distressed it a bit.  The striped paper is from 7gypsies 'Postale' collection and the light blue paper that I used as a mat is from Carta Bella. 

I'm gonna try to get a little work done-  hopefully I'll get to leave early and go home to get ready to leave for my Aunt's home, for a little family Christmas party time. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!!!

-kory
          Christmas Cards! More Christmas Cards!        
Hi everyone!

it's Thursday!  I love coming into work on Thursday mornings- not only because I know that tomorrow is Friday, but because I love walking past the receptionist, Miss Cathy, who always shouts, "IT'S FRIDAY EVE!"

Not that I have a weekend- I'm working all the time, ladies and gentlemen.

"There's a difference between  having a job and WORKING."  -Kiki DuRane

Anyways,  I'm back this fine and COLD Thursday morning with more Christmas cards.  Yesterday was the 'White Collection.'  Today, I'll share the 'Color Collection.'  Of course, by 'color,' I mean kraft, silver, and red.  There ain't no elves shooting neon Christmas trees out their butts-  I was TRYIN to keep the cards CLASSY!  Not there's nothing wrong with color- I love it, I'm not putting it down, don't send me hate mail.  I'm just lazy.  It's so much easier to crank out the Christmas cards when you stick to a limited color scheme.  If I weren't so @!#$%& popular, I could make some colorful cards.*

*of course, by popular, I mean people I must send cards to because I've offended them in one way or another.

Alright already!  Enough rambling!  Here's the cards:



Up first:  Another card using my beloved Tim Holtz retro-Santa stamp.  Remember how I was whining about how I've had trouble coming up with ways to use him, as the stamp is so gloriously large?  Well!  It occured to me- WHY do I think I have to use the entire image?!  I went home for lunch yesterday- another perk of living four blocks from work- and made this card.  I just pressed half of him on my big ink pad and stamped him on a scrap from another card.  Look at that surprise I got when I lifted the stamp from the paper!  Because I never clean my stamps and Distress Ink takes forever and a day to dry, some Festive Berries remained on the stamp from the previous day- and it created a nice subtle effect of the black fading into the red fading into the paper.  I've got to come up with a technique to replicate this or Google for the genius who already has!

I tore the top of my stamped piece of paper and added two strips of (My Mind's Eye: All Is Bright) washi tape.  I stamped the sentiment and pop-dotted it on and THIS IS MY SECOND FAVORITE CARD!


I love Daniel Torrente's stamps from Stampotique.  Some people just say they're scary and think they're only for Halloween or deranged people.  I think they're strangely sweet and adorable.  So to turn him from Halloween to Christmas, I cut the hat from Mr. Holtz's Santa and gave it to this little guy.


Another very simple card.  I die cut one of Mr. Holtz's 'Carved Ornaments' from silver glitter paper (1.99 a sheet?! This ain't REAL silver, people!) and added a sentiment stamped from a dollar bin stamp.   The kraft background is embossed with my favorite emobossing folder set EVER,  "James' Set" from Cuttlebug.

This is the card I made for my boss.  I knew she'd like something different than the clean 'n simple cards that I prefer- so I did a few things on this one to bling it out a bit more while still keeping it classy.  After embossing with that 'frame,' I rubbed an embossing ink on it and sprinkled some 'Pewter' embossing powder all over it- after heat embossing, I randomly sanded parts of the card then colored randomly around with two different colors of Distress Ink.  I die cut the heart and rubbed Rock Candy Distress Stickles over it,  punched out a silver snowflake and added a brad from the My Mind's Eye All Is Bright brad set-  I think it's pretty lovely.

I got the idea to emboss two bingo cards- one for the base, one to cut the '25' out and pop-dot it over the '25' on the piece used for the card base.  I liked the plain silvery base with only the red '25' and the red sentiment.

I guess the previous card put me back into the embossing mood.  I clipped out a piece of December calendar from a Jenni Bowlin paper I'd picked up somewhere and added a pointy-finger charm from Hobby Lobby.  The sentiment is embossed with a new embossing powder called 'Silver Tinsel' that I picked up at Michaels.


Whaaaaat?  How'd that blue and white beat out the kraft and sneak its way onto a card?!  I picked up a 6X6 Carta Bella Christmas paper pad at Basket Market for only 3.00 and, since I bought it, forced myself to try out a card with a color other than brown.  It was tough.  It hurt a little.  But I like it and I'm a better person for it.


And we're back to the simple kraft cards!  But there's a little blue under the pennant-y shape and the dollar bin sentiment stamp.

Alright- that's it for the cards- OH WAIT, no it's NOT! 

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present to you: 

Kory K's FAVORITE Christmas Card


I love this card.  I'm proud of this card.  I used one of my most favorite stamps of all-  I call it "The Classy Guys Stamp."  It's really just another simple card- but all the pieces tricked me into thinking it's quite a work of art.  ;-)  IF you count five bits of cardstock as 'lots o' pieces.'  But I made this to be my version of the 'Perfect Gentleman's Christmas Card.'  Which then inspired me to try to make more 'manly cards.'  This evening.  That's my challenge and goal for what looks like it'll be a cold Thursday evening..  Make at least three clearly masculine Christmas cards.  We'll see what happens!

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday.  I guess the world isn't going to end.

-kory

          It's Almost Christmas: So How 'Bout Some Cards?        
I like making Christmas cards more than I like Christmas. 

My family doesn't really celebrate holidays.  I don't know why - or even if there is a reason- but we really don't do much of anything.  I'm the only one who even puts up a tree.  I probably wouldn't even do that if I hadn't bought a perfect vintage aluminum tree from an antiques store during a prescription painkiller induced Christmas euphoria a few years back and I'm determined to get my money's worth.

So- I like making Christmas cards.  And I like them to be fairly simple.  Because then I'm less likely to knock somebody out when they throw it away.

One of my 'design techniques' is my use of ... 'placeholders,' I guess I'll call them...  I'm sure there's an actual word for this, but I don't know it-  when I get a new die, I use it right away with some plain (or scrap) cardstock.  I keep all these 'samples' in a box on my desk- and when I'm trying to come up with a layout or card, I go through the box and pull out the pieces that grab my attention.  I move these placeholders all around on the page to see what I think looks best.  I recommend it- it definitely keeps me using the dies that I have available!

I'm obsessed with this Cuttlebug embossing folder set.  It's called JAMES' SET.  It's classy, ladies and gentlemen.  The folder I used on the above card is my favorite, but the other three in the set are fine, too.  Another great feature is that there's a slot on the top hinge- so's you can easily emboss the center of a tag OR emboss a long strip for a border.  I also used some of Mr. Holtz's TINSEL TWINE.  The sentiment is a one dollar stamp from a bin at MICHAELS.  I stamped it in Tsukineko's London Fog ink and colored in the alternating boxes with a Worn Lipstick Distress Marker. 

My next 'white card.'  I embossed the wing with a Tim Holtz embossing folder- from the nearly 3inX4in French Connection set- and cut it out.  I embossed the edge of the card with some snowflakes and added the sentiment.  Too easy!

One more 'white card!'  Even thought it's mostly red- I'm counting it.  I love this Tim Holtz Santa stamp.  Really love it.  It's always sitting in plain view.  Because just looking at it makes me smile.  But I've had trouble coming up with ways to use it- it's so big, and- well, I don't know.  But I adore it.  I added the 'seal' with a pop-dot.  It's from My Mind's Eye. 

That's it for KORY'S KARDS, today!  I'll be back soon with more!  Because every card I make is different.  As much as I intend to, and TRY to- I just can't come up with a design and assembly-line it-  even when I do attempt to do THAT-  each one still comes out different.  I just love to play with the paper too much, I guess.

-kory
          ÐÐ¾Ð²Ð¾Ðµ от Тиранского вестника: картонные елки в картонном снегу        
Если вы еще не успели украсить квартиру к праздникам, "Тиранский вестник" нашел для вас несколько простых и очень красивых идей!
Один из самых важных символов грядущих праздников - украшенная ёлка. Мы предлагаем не использовать натуральное дерево и заменить его экологичным и более бюджетным вариантом - картонной ёлкой!
http://newspaper.cardboardia.info/p/cardboard-christmas



Новый год, по мнению наших корреспондентов, это еще и новый творческий вызов. Чем на этот раз порадовать и удивить гостей? Предлагаем любителям нестандартных решений обратить внимание на примечательную трактовку праздничной классики - бумажные снежинки с героями "Звездных войн"!
http://newspaper.cardboardia.info/p/snow-flakes-star-war



А наша рубрика НУО в этот раз увлекает читателей прочь от Европы, вдаль, за Уральские горы - в Сибирь!
http://newspaper.cardboardia.info/p/ball-and-its-charm



Но если так далеко ехать не хочется, то можно просто выйти на улицы Москвы (тем более, температура уже приближается к сибирской). Мы приглашаем вас полюбоваться на прекрасные подъезды Западного Бирюлево. Одевайтесь теплее! 
http://newspaper.cardboardia.info/p/art-in-lobby


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          Can thwart submission liquidation but         
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          Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 7/14 - BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, HOOD, and More!        

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, HOOD, PIPPIN, and more!

Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below!


Boston: BroadwayWorld brings you exclusive video from North Shore Music Theatre's Beauty and the Beast! The cast of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is led by Rose Hemingway as Belle and Stephen Cerf as the Beast. The show also features David Coffee (Maurice), Taylor Crousore (Gaston), Joy Hermalyn (Madame De La Grande Bouche), Benjamin Howes (Lumiere), Andrew Kruep (Lefou), Ryah Nixon (Babette), Christiane Noll (Mrs. Potts), Phillip Taratula (Cogsworth), and Ben Choi-Harris (Chip).


Dallas: Contributor Kyle Christopher West reviews HOOD at Dallas Theater Center. He writes: "With a pocketful of power ballads for the show's leading ladies, Alysha Umpress (Broadway's ON THE TOWN, AMERICAN IDIOT, ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT and BRING IT ON) and Ashley Park (SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, THE KING AND I and MAMMA MIA), plus Beane's slick direction and occasional zingers, the musical displays definite potential, but never quite finds its footing. Unlike the abovementioned enhancements to Beane's CINDERELLA, HOOD struggles from a lack of well-defined relationships and a bit of exposition overkill in act one, where the bulk of the story is unnecessarily focused on introducing each of the Merry Men as they join the infamous rob-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor mission. The role of Meg (which Ms. Umphress fills with charm, while delivering her songs through the roof) is acknowledged as a familiar face to Robin and his men, yet is often left on the sidelines without having any emotional engagement in the scenes. Without a romantic subplot or purpose beyond "sexy sidekick with occasional advice," finding sympathy for her fate late in the show is challenging. Alternatively, Ms. Park's material is further developed. Here, Marian is self-sufficient and able to hit a target with more skill than the men who call the shots-which she executes without apology or any put-on tomboy transformation. But despite Park's gorgeous voice and nuanced performance, her songs (as with much of the score) tend to be forgettable. Without a published song list, the only titles I can immediately recall from last evening's performance are "Be Robin Hood" and "Merry Be" (both coincidently sung by Meg)."


Chicago: Contributor Misha Davenport reviews SOMETHING ROTTEN at the Oriental Theater. He writes "Nick decides to employ Thomas Nostradamus (Blake Hammond as the nephew of the famous seer who has inherited a somewhat watered down version of his uncle's abilities of prediction) to peer into the future to see what the next big thing in theater will be. The results are the bona fide big, glitzy Broadway showstopper "A Musical." Hammond's performance here (and, frankly, throughout the rest of the show) is one of pure comedic genius. The musical zingers come fast and furious, but homages include "Annie," "Chicago," "Pippin," and "A Chorus Line," just to name a few. Nostradamus succeeds in convincing Nick to produce the first-ever musical against the better judgement of his brother Nigel."


Niagara on the Lake: Contributor Michael Rabice reviews WILDE TALES at the Shaw Festival. He writes "Remembering that the author also penned such dramas as THE PICTURE OF DORIan Gray and SALOME made the play all the more enthralling, giving a glimpse of a gentler and more innocent side of Wilde. The Happy Prince tells of a statue of a prince who speaks to a migrating bird, urging him to poke out his bejeweled eyes and remove his golden robes to help others who are in need. Remarkable Rocket allows a group of Roman Candles and other fireworks to gleefully prepare for a wedding, ending with each of them being set off by a creative simulation of lighting a match. Through handheld puppets, the actors become birds, matches, fireworks and trees. The few simple props on stage morph magically from a utilitarian trunk to a mini stage with small puppets acting out their own drama, or a street lamp that becomes a moon. Goodman's fantastic costumes help color the stage, especially with her whimsical designs for the fireworks."


Houston: Contributor Gary Laird reviews PIPPIN at Theatre Under The Stars. He writes "The show is handsomely mounted. Costumes and sets are elaborate and serve the action well. The outdoor setting is appropriate, and for all you snowflakes who are recoiling in horror at the thought of Houston's outdoors in July can get over it. If I can do it, you can do it. Believe me. The seating area has huge ceiling-mounted fans that are quite effective, and I'll let you in on a little secret: The closer you are to the stage, the cooler it is. The stage AC spills over. But you didn't hear it from me."


Philippines: Contributor Vince Vicentuan reviews KINKY BOOTS from Atlantis Theatrical. He writes "Volante as Lola skillfully maneuvers powerhouse ballads (Not My Father's Son, Hold Me in Your Arms) and upbeat ditties (Land of Lola, Sex is in the Heel) with the class and sass of a true drag queen. Nary a falsetto line, he sashays the role in full-voiced glory, filling up the theater like he owns it, taking the audience for a nonstop rollick of laugh-out-loud moments and high-kicking drama. Volante must have the "strength of Sparta and the patience of Job" to wear those deadly boots without actually tearing a muscle or two!"


Connecticut: Contributor Joseph Harrison reviews NEWSIES at Connecticut Rep. He writes "The relationships on stage feel real and authentic and the struggle (though punctuated with singing and acrobatic dancing) seems oddly current. Christopher d'Amboise, who serves as both Director and Choreographer captures the emotion of the piece, effectively using the CRT stage and guiding the actors nimbly through very difficult dance numbers. And, while the stage itself is smaller than the original Broadway stage, Mr. d'Amboise fills every inch with leaping, spinning, and flying newsboys. It is truly magnificent to see and one of the highlights, if not the highlight, of the show."


San Diego: Contributor E.H. Reiter reviews GUYS AND DOLLS at The Old Globe. She writes "Choreographed and directed by Josh Rhodes, the "Crap Shooter's Dance" and "Havana" are highly athletic, enthusiastic, and exciting. They are supported by the wonderful Sinai Tabak's band, and highlighted by Paul Miller's lighting. This New York bustles and dances with retro homage to the 1950's musical but it all happens under a wide expanse of neon lights which helps add a layer of Technicolor vividness to the show."


Kansas City: Contributor Sara Brown reviews AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at Starlight Theatre. She writes "While the show uses the Gershwins' peppy songs like "I Got Rhythm," "Fidgety Feet," and "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise," for show-stopping dance numbers (all choreographed by Sam Davis), most of the show is performed (even in cross overs down stage) with sophisticated ballet movements choreographed by director Christopher Wheeldon. The ballet in the show and the mini-ballet that Adam creates will leave you breathless, as all of the dancers in the show are stunning. Esty is a gorgeous dancer having received the Princess Grace Fellowship Award for her excellence in dance."


Central NY: Contributor Natasha Ashley reviews PARADE at The Merry Go Round Playhouse. She writes "Other memorable performances include Marcus Jordan as Newt Lee in the "Interrogation Sequence," and Alexander Zenoz as the Young Soldier opening the show with the breathtaking number "The Old Red Hills of Home" along with David Atkinson as the old soldier. Jamison Stern, as Hugh Dorsey, makes his mark with "Twenty Miles from Marietta." Likewise, Dave Shoonover, as Governor John Slaton, performs a lovely rendition of "Pretty Music" while Scott Guthrie as Britt Craig shows off in "Real Big News;" Erin Katzkar, as Mrs. Phagan, sings an emotional rendition of "My Child Will Forgive Me." Banji Aborisade and Crystal Sha'nae charm in "A Rumblin' and a Rollin'." Fergie L. Philippe, as Jim Conley, is confident and intense while Jake Mills is most memorable as Tom Watson. Finally, the talented Emma DeGroff, Madeline VanRiper, and Adeline Whitener portray the Factory Girls with such maturity and professionalism."


Regional Editor Spotlight:

https://images.bwwstatic.com/heads/Kyle%20Headshot%20Draft%201.jpg Kyle Christopher West
Dallas Senior Editor

Kyle Christopher West is a recent transplant to Texas, having previously worked in Arizona, New York City and Massachusetts. For his work in theatre, Kyle has received numerous awards for his stage direction, choreography, costume and scenic design. He has recently served on the board of directors for Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre and Mesa Encore Theatre and has produced and directed dozens of stage productions. Outside of theatre, Kyle is passionate about travel, event planning and photography. For more information, visit www.KyleChristopherWest.com.


Join Team BroadwayWorld! Interested in joining our team, but not exactly sure what we do? All of your questions are answered, along with every open position from guest and student bloggers, Regional Editors, and more! Find out where we have open positions available here!


          Why is snow the color white?        

Water in the pure form is colorless. If there are any impurities present, the color of the water changes. Snow also can take the color of other objects. For example, in the case of glaciers deep inside the ice block it appears blue in color. But, snow is slightly different from the ice. Snow is the collection of ice crystals that are tiny and attached to one another. The ice crystal is also clear and colorless while the accumulated crystals combine to form snowflakes.

The snow is visible to us due to the presence of light. Snow falls from the above in the atmosphere and reaches the ground. The ice crystals will enable the light falling on them to get reflected on their surface. There are multiple faces for the crystals and hence the light also gets scattered. Visible light has various wavelengths of light that are visualized by us. When light falls on any object some part of the light will be absorbed and the other part will get reflected. The reflected part of light reaches our eyes and makes us to recognize the colors.

The light fallen on the ice crystals also do not pass through the crystals for long distance but tend to change directions. The light also gets reflected at an angle in the interior of the ice. As snow exists as collection of several snowflakes on the ground, the light that falls on them will not have a particular wavelength that is reflected with some regularity. So, most of the light that falls on the snow will almost completely gets reflected back. The light that gets reflected by the snow will remain white most of the time as the total light and not any one wavelength of it is reflected back. Hence, snow is white in color.

          By olinerd in "Misogyny based on flawed/erroneous/outdated social science theories" on MeFi        
Call for discussion: "I find myself having trouble fully understanding the reasoning behind Google and other tech companies' Diversity and Inclusivity initiatives. I'd like, perhaps as part of our mandatory bias training, to see the cited research that has led to this movement so I can educate myself, and I'd like to feel free to discuss it with our new VP of D&I - right now it feels like those conversations aren't welcome for people who want to understand better and I think creating a space for those conversations to take place would be beneficial."

Creating a hostile work environment: "Everything Google is doing is wrong, here are my uncited, unscientific, well-debunked reasons why, and coincidentally, people like myself are the ones who are much better at this job because of reasons I have just made up. Let me throw out some sexist stereotypes to justify my claims, and then insist that anyone who argues with me is an anti-free-speech authoritarian who is discriminating against my political views. Let me also discount the experiences of the people affected by the discrimination I don't believe exists, because I am logical."

What is especially painful to me (hi, I'm a woman engineer in the Bay Area tech industry) is not just the knowledge that people are constantly questioning my right to have my job, or my right to have gotten my engineering degree, or my right to do any of the not-stereotypically-feminine things that I actually fucking love doing, but that when stuff like this comes up people like you, MikeWarot, get all "but can't we maybe just discuss it because maybe there are some points here" - what you're missing is that we're not discussing economic theory or existential philosophy where we can all maybe agree to disagree. What we're discussing is my right to be treated as an equal to someone else in pay, work environment, work opportunity, etc. To me, that seems like a really fucking fundamental right most white men take for granted, and yes, it greatly offends me for someone to consider that my equal rights are up for academic debate among friends as opposed to a deeply personal, human thing they themselves would consider untouchable. This isn't abstract. This is my life, and it is many other women and PoC's lives. It's the same whether we're debating the rights of LGBTQ people or the rights of immigrants or anyone else - this isn't just a "huh, interesting thought experiment" kind of discussion. It is a "do [marginalized group] deserve to be treated like people the way I am" discussion. And that kind of discussion has to be managed extremely carefully, because it is deeply hurtful, not just in a "oh no poor offended snowflake" sort of way, but in a way that can push people out of jobs, out of families, out of society and further marginalize them in dangerous ways.

So sure, by all means let's discuss it, but let's up the standards for this discussion - throwing out uncited claims about evolutionary biology and how societal expectations are "identical across all cultures" (which is utterly untrue - ask any of my friends who grew up in the former Soviet bloc for whom engineering was always considered women's work) doesn't fly. Come in educated. Come in with citations. THEN we can have a conversation if a conversation must be had. But making wild claims without any backup, the way this guy did, pretty much just looks to most people like you're parroting talking points from MRA groups to advance your internally biased agenda, not making some really good points no one had ever considered before.
          Elegant Holiday Party Ideas        


Clockwise from top left:

Easy and Elegant Centerpieces (via goodhousekeeping.com), Monogram Wreath Holiday Party Invitation (via papergirlstore.com), Homemade Christmas Gifts (via southernliving .com), Catching Snowflakes cupcakes (via deviantart.com), Evergreen Place-Card Holder (via marthastewart.com), Elegant Holiday Entrees (via southernliving.com)
          Lemme Smash - Lion Queen part 2        
Following Ben's thwarted attempts of seduction, Ben has given up on Laura for the time being. Tracey tries to seize the opportunity with her needy ways and seduce Ben, only to find that he really isn't very interested. #DISCLAIMER: Precious little snowflakes may be offended and have a little weep over said material. These individuals are easily offended, or say that they are offended to gain the thrust to enforce their righteous opinions and beliefs upon you. If you are one of these people then The Experiment dictates that you MUST NOT view further material and you MUST consume approximately 800ml of concentrated Clorox with 24hrs of reading this message. You DO NOT need to leave a note, or say goodbye to friends and loved ones, because you have no friends, and nobody loves you back.
          Robe Hate Court        

Snowflake brings the case against her husband, Oge. Oge has worn the same bathrobe for the last 25 years and Snowflake would like him to get rid of it. Oge says it’s a perfectly good robe and he wants to keep it. Who's right? Who's wrong?

Thank you to Andrew McNair & Brick Sprickly for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We
regularly put a call for submissions.


          The pen slipped and capered on the page, escorted by ripplings...        


The pen slipped and capered on the page, escorted by ripplings in the atmosphere like breeze with nothing to blow against. We wear no form or figure of our own – a wisp, a twig, a thread of smoke – to tell us from the motions of the air. The pang of a once-had, maybe-again, that shifting half-light, our home and habitat. Those hours, soft-toned, windless, that favor passage. The usual relay of twilights. And, how often a century? Our element in which we show best, glow best, what we are. Yesterday some snowflakes slipped through us. – sarah arvio


          Winter-Spiced Chocolate Cake        

I am all about the savory. Savory pies and appetizers draw me in but once in a while - chocolate comes calling like the four calling birds and I call back, "Yes, I will bake it."  And so it happened with this fudgy chocolate cake spiced with winter. Winter is here - or the meteorologists say it's coming. (Yesterday's prediction was "1-18 inches" will hit the Twin Cities Monday through Tuesday. Dear Meteorologists: How vague can you get?")



I don't do "pretty" very well - but it did come out of the bundt pan very prettily. And since pretty is as pretty does - I don't fret that my frosting efforts don't look as professional as they are in my head. (Years ago when I tried to pipe snowflakes in a Martha Stewart fashion my then young daughter soothed me with, "That's okay, Mom. She's a professional." Le sigh.)


I was pleased with the sugared cranberries. You don't need small motor skills to get those right.

The recipe comes from http://www.louisespis.com/2013/12/spicy-chocolate-bundt-cake-with-ginger and I really advise you visit the blog (scroll down for English) because she makes things very, very pretty. Louise provides a lot of the ingredients in grams - some of my amounts are near-approximations.

The cake has a nice dense, chocoholic-almost-not-quite-fudge crumb and the sour cream in the batter keeps it moist for days. It's very helpful to make things ahead of time where you are expecting 36 for a Midwestern Christmas Eve dinner and then turn around and provide an Italian Christmas Day dinner. So yes, make it ahead.

It is of course perfect for Christmas - my internet was out the week before Christmas (tricky when your recipes are online) but really - there's still New Years, Valentine's Day, family celebrations and even snowstorms where this would be welcome at the table.

And it's really easy - nothing to it (until you frost the cake and find your hands consist of ten thumbs). But remembering this cake - we are ending 2015 on a chocolate cloud.


INGREDIENTS:
Cake
8 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup cocoa
1-1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
1 cup sour cream
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-12 cup bundt pan.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Once melted, add the cocoa and spices and whisk until smooth. Add the water and remove from heat. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla and eggs to the cocoa mixture and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the cocoa batter to the flour mixture and whisk until well-blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes (until firm to touch and slightly puled away from the sides of the pan). Remove from oven, cool twenty minutes. Carefully loosen cake with a knife and invert onto a large plate (really, that was the scariest part of the process. I had a caramel-apple pie ready\y-in-waiting in case it all fell apart). Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting: Combine ingredients with in a large bowl with electric mixer or if your arms need a workout - by hand. Spread frosting on cake and dust with cinnamon and/or confectioners sugar. Decorate with lingonberries or cranberries.

I had two days of laughter over the holidays and three generations. It's warming and fuzzy and sweet - and exhausting!

Pino and Pippin entertained my son's cat (Puck) and my sister's cat (Murray-the-cat) for two days.


He was a wee bit Christmassed-out!

Puck is going to be a visitor for awhile. Matthew will be in Germany and after figuring out how to safely get here there, it was decided that she will stay with us for awhile. Both my family and Paul's family have a history of family members taking in our furry loved-ones while we moved around. We will continue the tradition.

Puck is tiny, and affectionate and a little sassy. Just what our fur boys need to be kept in line.


Tonight all is quiet. And we wait. For the 1-18 inches of snow that was supposed to arrive three hours ago.


The fire's lit. There's leftover Chocolate Cake. 


Just as winter should be. I hope your December has been as cozy.

          Simply Pen Tangled: A Coloring Book of Patterned Pictures – Cover Reveal!        
We’re excited to publish Simply Pen Tangled, a coloring book illustrated by Sharon Wilson, later this month. The cover art has just been finalized. SIMPLY PEN TANGLED: A COLORING BOOK OF PATTERNED PICTURES By Sharon Wilson A collection of twenty-four original pieces, these coloring pages incorporate Zentangle®-inspired patterns inside intricate drawings of peacocks, cupcakes, bicycles, butterflies, snowflakes, […]
          Breadcrumbs        
As winter begins to come closer to its final curtain call, this may be the perfect book to read, or you may hate it for the simple fact that you're reading about more snow. I tend to adore books out of season--winter readings in warm weather and summer stories during the coldest days--but that's just me. I read this at the very start of winter, October into November to be specific, and I desired to wrap myself in warm blankets and watch snow fly. It's that type of book, so be prepared, your head will be full of snowflakes.

Breadcrumbs is geared toward independent readers who may just be getting comfortable with longer chapter books; however, it can be enjoyed by people of any age. I certainly enjoyed it and long have passed the days of my first chapter books. When I was little, my mother often read Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales to me. All of theses stories hold a very special place in my heart. The Snow Queen, what Breadcrumbs is based on, was a winter's tale made all the more special when I began reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Snow Queens were extremely interesting and this was all before Frozen made them cool (ha!).

Nonetheless, we're given a beautiful chapter book for kids and pre-teens which takes the story of The Snow Queen and makes it a present day tale. I really enjoyed this book, particularly because it deals with a lot of heavier topics, yet gently so that it's not overdoing it or appearing preachy.

Hazel, our friendly main character, is dealing with a slew of issues at home. Her father has left and is set to marry someone else and Hazel is struggling to understand the change. She's introverted and prefers her own little world. Having few friends, she keeps Jack--her neighbor and best friend--close to her. Hazel also is a breath of fresh air in the literary world. She's adopted from India and doesn't quite fit into the Scandinavian-looking population of Minnesota. So here we have a girl who is a little awkward, a little out of place, a child that was adopted and doesn't quite visibly fit in with her surroundings, but she has the love of her best friend and mother which matters so, so much.

I love Hazel, I fell for her completely. She's a fantastic character and I feel that I would love to have a child with her personality.

Beside the dealings of adoption and divorce we have Jack who, while having both parents at home, has a mother who is suffering from depression. Depression is often something you'll see in YA novels but it affects adults and thereby children as well. My father went through a bout of depression when I was a little younger than Jack and I understand how that can affect a child. It's pleasing to see it presented in an independent reader book.

So we have these two kids who are dealing with a lot of shit that's going on in their lives. They easily depend on each other and with the main focus being on Hazel, we know how much she depends on her friendship with Jack. However, there's magic afoot and when Jack has a piece of glass lodged into his eye from a magic, broken mirror, things start to grow strange.

Jack has a new attitude, one that completely ignores Hazel, and soon after he's drawn away from the comforts of home and into the cold world of the Snow Queen. Hazel, confused by Jack's change of heart and concerned for him, begins to follow his trail and enters another world that's hidden in a nearby wood.

In this world, she is introduced to multiple creatures and people who have small references to various children's fairy tales. She's left uncertain of who she should trust. People who appear willing to help and with decent soles end up being as much of monsters as the actual monsters. Hazel travels alone but bravely continues to make her way to the Snow Queen's kingdom.

This story is one that so focuses on the mind and emotions. I really enjoyed that aspect and feel it's so worthwhile to discuss the heart and mind of children who are approaching puberty. There is such a wild amount of emotions, feelings, and thoughts during those charged years and this novel handles them all with such grace. 

          Elitist players are like Arizonans        
Think about it. Elitist WoW players are upset that Blizz is dumbing things down so that everyone can enjoy the game. Changes that give everyone a taste but still only the elite few have the best. But those elite few still like to complain because they want to be special little snowflakes who can get the best gear because they are leet! Obviously economically, Blizz would like as many subscribers as possible, so they have to appeal to a wide market. They do that by making things accessible to all, but still some rewards that only the truly dedicated can get. Somehow, WoW elitists have forgotten that at some point they were noobs who had not idea what hit rating was and had no add-ons and bought overpriced water from the AH instead of the vendor. "Oh no!" they exclaim, "the difference is we learned our class!" We dedicated ourselves to maximizing our dps and hps and learned every boss fight there was. We mathmatically deduced what upgrades would be best and min/maxed everything....everything! Well....congratulations. That's very nice.
In Arizona people are squawking about immigrants. "Keep em out!" they yell. "They have to come in the right way". "They're just looking for handouts" or "they're all criminals". Arizonans are the elitists who have forgotten where they come from. As far as I know, unless you are Native American, your family immigrated. And with each wave of immigration people cursed and spat and looked down at the new wave. Then they pretend it's all about the legalities of it, forgetting that even up until the 1900's, immigration was simply getting here. You got to our shores and you were in. No complex processes. 99.9% of those new immigrants, legal or not want only one thing, a better life. They're not selling drugs, or raping white girls, or looking for handouts. They're busting their asses for a better life.
Now is comparing these two things ridiculous? Yes. I'm being totally facetious. All I'm saying is that people tend to forget where they come from and that at some point in history, they were the new kid on the block. Yep, there are some rotten apples, but give the benefit of the doubt, think about the other guy and relax a little.
          Theme songs        
I've seen other posts about songs that are appropriate for certain fights, but what I'm wondering is if anybody else has songs that stick in their head while they're playing. To be more precise, are there certain songs that stick in your head while you are doing a specific thing or in a specific area? Does you toon have a theme song? Like, Gnomer's theme song would be "Short People" or maybe even something cool like "Cold as Ice"....or if he's really cool...."Ice Ice Baby" (it occurs to me after writing this that Gnomey may be a fire mage...but I can't think of any fire type songs at this time, so please respec if you are fire). Keredria's theme song would be some kind of loving healy song like "We are the world", or "People who need people" or something sweet like that. Riv's theme song would be any metal or punk song..."Screaming for Vengeance" or anything by The Sex Pistols. The second I drop into Orgrimmar, "The Mob Rules" starts running through my head (come to think of it, that song plays in my head at the initial rush in AV!). I always hum "Working in a Coalmine" by Devo while in IF. Nothing specific in TB or UC though. I'm sure if Silvermoon had a theme song it would be by Erasure or something. I suspect Zelmaru and TinkerTank have some kind of together, lovey dovey song like "On the Wings of Love" or "Muskrat Love" as their them song but not sure. Marcko's theme song would be "Money" by Floyd ( uhh duhh...that was a gimme). Gevlon's? Probably "What the World Needs Now" or "You've got a friend". My theme song is one I wrote myself and It fits all of my toons. I call it "I'm a special snowflake and I'm awesome!".
By the way....just in case anyone was wondering, I'm mostly kidding about the song choices. Riv's and Gevlons are pretty damn close though...so is Gnomey's.
          New bookbinding classes in Nashville, Tennessee        
It's that time of year again — time to go back to school. But even if your school days are behind you, that doesn't mean you can't learn something new this fall.

I will be teaching two bookbinding classes, a bookbinding workshop, and a graphic design class at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film this fall. Online registration is now open, so it's the perfect time to browse the catalog and pick out a course that catches your interest. All of these classes are offered through the community education department at the college, so anyone can sign up.

You can find all of the details about my book arts offerings below, and please don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions. Hope to see you in class this fall!

Bookbinding classes in Nashville by linenlaid&felt

Introduction to Book Arts

When: Mondays, Sept. 15 – Nov. 10; 6 – 9 p.m.
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Cost: $210, plus $40 materials fee
To Register: Sign up online or call 615.383.4848

Learn how to make more than a dozen types of books in this introductory class. Students will become familiar with the materials, tools, techniques, and vocabulary of handmade books. Students will create their own books each week, starting with simple folded structures and building toward intricate books that can be used as journals, sketchbooks, photo albums, and sculptural displays. Students will explore the essentials of paper grain, folded signatures, hardcover and softcover books, and binding by hand. All tools and supplies included in the materials fee.

Bookbinding tools photo by psalm27 creative

Intermediate Book Arts: 
Exposed Spine Bindings 

When: Wednesdays, Sept. 17 – Nov. 12; 6 – 9 p.m.
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Cost: $210, plus $40 materials fee
To Register: Sign up online or call 615.383.4848

Build your bookbinding skills in this class focusing on a handful of ambitious bindings with exposed stitching along the book spines. Students will go in-depth with a series of binding lessons — learning new techniques and styles while having substantial time to personalize each project. We will explore long stitch and link stitch variations, exposed tape binding, and the icicle binding, among other styles. These bindings will allow students to create journals, sketchbooks, and photo albums. You’ll leave this class with handbound books and the skills to continue binding at home. Prerequisite: completion of Introduction to Book Arts, one of my bookbinding workshops, or comparable experience. Tools and supplies included in materials fee.

Hanmade book Christmas ornaments by linenlaidfelt in Nashville


Handmade Miniature Book 
Holiday Ornaments 

When: Saturday, November 15; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville
Cost: $80, plus $20 materials fee
To Register: Sign up online or call 615.383.4848

Create eye-catching ornaments perfect for the holidays! Students will complete three types of miniature books while learning basic bookbinding techniques. One ornament will be a hardcover book with blank pages, ideal for collecting holiday memories to reflect on each year. The second book will be bound in a lotus style that can hang on your tree in two different shapes: either opened into a three-dimensional star, or folded closed into a neat diamond. The third ornament will be folded and stitched together to create an accordion book resembling a festive star or snowflake. No bookbinding experience required. All tools and materials provided.

          A Christmas Miracle and Gifts for 1 and 4 Year Olds        
Last night I finished our Christmas shopping for the girls. A week before Thanksgiving, no less. I'm on fire!

Thanks to our huge construction project and the fact that we're living temporarily in my parents' condo, this Christmas cannot be about piles of *stuff*. When we were packing up our house to move out, I realized how much we have accumulated that we don't even use - clothes for all of us, toys that no one plays with, random kitchen gadgets. I'm no minimalist, but I love the idea I read somewhere about keeping only what's "useful, beautiful, or loved".

So with that in mind, I finished off my Christmas shopping last night on Amazon.

For four year old T:

Amazon Kindle Fire HD (8GB, no ads)

This is her BIG present. I'm rolling my eyes a bit at the idea of a four year old having her own tablet, but I think it's a sign of our technological times, and she will actually get a lot of educational (and fun!) use out of it. We have two trips coming up, and we'll give it to her early to keep her occupied on the plane and car. I chose the version without "special offers" for an extra $15 to minimize her chance of clicking and purchasing something accidentally.

I'm still working on setting it up (I'll write another post later), but will load up a few kids' books, fun apps, music and videos for her. This also means I'll get my phone back at restaurants and waiting rooms!

Tickets to "The Snowman" at the Symphony

Seattle Symphony has an awesome Discover Music series for older kids (6-12) where real symphony musicians play and the conductor explains the music.  The entire show is about an hour, which is perfect. This year they will show the movie The Snowman while the symphony plays the score live. I think T will love it.

A large magnifying glass

Like most kids, T is a born scientist who likes to study the world around her. Because she wears glasses and hasn't yet mastered the idea of closing one eye, things like kaleidoscopes, telescopes, microscopes and binoculars are tricky. This magnifying glass set will be perfect for inspecting slugs (she loves them!) and the fine print on various boxes that she's always asking me to read.



Las Lechucitas (Owl Babies in Spanish)

Owl Babies is one of my all time favorite kids' books and T loves it too. This summer at one of the excellent Spanish Story Times at our library, we found out the book has been translated into Spanish. It's a pretty simple story so I can probably manage reading it to her. And soon she'll be able to read it to *us*!



BOB Books, Set 1

This set of beginning reader books was recommended by a friend. T is very close to being able to read - she has a lot of sight words memorized, and can sound out other simple words with some help. She really wants to read by herself and studies her books carefully for hours (and has memorized many of them!)  So I'm hoping these simple books will be good practice and encouragement for her.


For 1 year old M:

Nesting stainless steel sauce cups

Yes, this sounds crazy. But these little cups are her favorite toy at our toddler group. They're metal, make fun noises, and she loves to nest and separate them. She also loves to put things in them, hand them back and forth to other people, and pretend like she's giving you something to eat. $5.79 for 12? Awesome.



Egg Shakers/Maracas with handles

This is another find from her toddler group - when the music teacher brings these out, the babies go crazy. M loves them - they have thin handles and are light, perfect for chubby baby hands. We'll need to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't break, but they are quite sturdy.




Hand Kite and Wooden Eggs

More hippie crunchy toys for BabyM. Watching her interact with the simple toys at her toddler group is amazing - she is so focused and interested in them. I found this Etsy shop, CakeInTheMorn, through a search and fell in love with their wood toys.

The "hand kite" is a smooth wooden ring with a large silky scarf tied to it. The eggs are solid heavy wood, good for putting in things and figuring out gravity and balance. I think they might fit in the nesting cups - we'll have to find out!

For both girls:

Christmas PJs from Old Navy

Since T now wears regular girls' sizes, and M is still in baby sizes, I couldn't find any matching pajamas.  I probably could have looked at Hanna Andersson, but we have a LOT of pajamas already and I didn't want to spend a lot. But I love the idea of special December PJs, especially when we cuddle up and do our Book Advent. T got penguin and snowflake PJs, and M got some cute red ones with a Christmas mouse.

I'm happy with our short list of presents and love that many are things that will be enjoyed through the month of December. I've found that both girls get overwhelmed when there are too many boxes to open and new things clamoring for their attention. Having just a few presents on Christmas Day will be much better, I hope!

What about you?  Have you started your shopping yet?

          ilikethislife        
winter, snow, and snowflake image
          parlour        
I saw pictures of them dressing, all breathing,
all bare in the fires, the banks, the parlours,
the coding heat, the topic shakes, slacks,
looming ill over necks & ties, in my coat
made of feelings, in the semi-dark
of your smile I run away from naming.

The parlour has collapsed, is filling with snow,
mother is by the bureau, my schoolgirl god
in a coat made for crying, lips like thick
flames & she places her strange head upon
my chest & begs to bend to each amber flag,
hands about her ears in a clement gesture.

We fasten ourselves up like girls in parlours,
Shun sofa secrets, deaf words, these histories:
Domestic relics, my baby gods, now dead—
the sensation of it is gelatinous,
piles of cold carpet everywhere underfoot,
like snow – the room is filling with snow—

mother is by the door, & it is hard
to see her through the smoke, a sweet-smelling
smog pooled around us & we are melting,
we’re like honey – this is for you – I’m young &
I know nothing – I occupy all of your time.
I like having art poured into me wide-eyed.

Mother’s by the mantle, it’s too dark to see,
I’m freshened by hot bile, this nuance
of your love’s long guts glued onto me.
I like having money poured into me
with eyes closed or rolled inwards
in prayer, & that way I’m your trinketry.

Soft fists tumble onto me like snowflakes:
this is the louse of love, this is its bite.
I am now covered in a brotherly blue,
the ultramarine of fresh men – sticky, thick.
Snow piles in each tidy corner. Elsewhere
there are fires. Mother has left the room.

The police are on their way. It is too bright
to see. A series of arms appear
to wrap around each other in blind
solidarity. This is for anyone.
A Molotov cocktail sings. This is not love.
This is for no thing—
          The Snowflake’s Blame Game Epic Fail        
By Craig Andresen – Right Side Patriots on American Political Radio Well, the time has come to update folks regarding the Jill Stein/Hillary Clinton recounts in three states…Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Hillary Stein-Clinton was looking for voter fraud in those … Continue reading
          Hatiku berbunga bauhinia kockiana        
Assalamualaikum dan selamat sejahtera rakan-rakan pengunjung,

Alhamdulillah, pokok bauhinia kockiana dari Kebun Bahagia Bersama telah berputik. Sudah lama saya menunggu bunganya yang sangat cantik.

Isnin yang lepas sambil menyapu-nyapu laman rumah, tergerak hati nak mendongak ke atas. Lama juga merenung melihat objek-objek hijau seakan-akan snowflakes bergayutan di celah-celah daun. Dengan mata yang rabun, diamati lagi. Apabila sudah terasa yakin itu putik bunganya terasa ingin melompat-lompat di situ juga :) Teruja sangat!




Green Snowflakes :)


          Snowflake anti-reality protester gets run over then arrested        
[0] Discussion by gungasnake on 05/08/17 8:02 PM Replies: 10 Views: 265
Tags: Legal, Automotive, Happy Endings
Last Post by layman on 05/09/17 11:28 PM
          It's December so I'm allowed to post snowflakes!        
This is one of my favorite and most popular manicures I have ever done -- and I still can't get enough of it! :-) I think soon I will post an updated version of it and see if I like it better.





          Lesson learned: Be careful what you wish for        
Just like a snowflake, every year of farming is different. And each year, I find myself looking back after harvest, wondering if I learned anything. I always hope to gain some new insight about the weather, about our farm, about my fellow farmers or about the crops we raise, which I can store away in my basket of experience. For 2012, I think my basket is overflowing with information. One of the most important things I learned is to never, ever wish away rain. Last fall, going into winter,...
          Festive brainteaser asks users to find the special snowflake in each of these images… but can you find it?        
WITH December mere days away it’s time to get festive. And what could be a better way to ring in the month of Christmas than with a dedicated brainteaser? The quiz asks users to find the unique snowflake in the pictures – but be warned it’s fiendishly tricky. You may want to give your eyes […]
          Winter Wishes        
I have another Christmas card to share today...featuring some stamps from a set by Hero Arts (called 'Winter Wishes') that I picked as part of a prize I won over at the Penny Black & More Challenge a little while ago. Inspired by the Less is More Challenge to use a non-white card base, I stamped the snowflakes and sentiment on to a teal card blank, using Versamark Ink, then heat embossed them using 'Sparkling Snow' embossing powder from WOW. Sadly, my heatgun died in the process of making this card...so if anyone has any recommendations for for a new one, please let me know!


Challenges for this card:



          January 2016        

A new year. New adventures.

Kairi and Brayce = best friends and sweet sisters

Zeke my almost 2 year old. You are ornery and know what you want.

Parker you are 6 months old and you and your blue eyes are precious.

Braycee my almost 5 year old. You are so funny and free.

Kai, my almost 7 year old. You have turned into a beautiful, young lady. So smart.

I am the mom to the 4 most precious kids!

You are my sunshine when skies are gray!

It's been beautiful weather this winter, but today we got to try to catch snowflakes on our tongue.


COS our home away from home.


My 6 month old boy!

My life. 



These kids are crazy about their daddy!

Bathtime Buddies. 
Zeke calls his towel: "ohh ahh" He thinks it's a monkey.

Snuggles with my blue eyed boy.

We had a few weeks of sharing germs this month.

Brothers!


My best friend!

So glad to get outside!


Sunshine and giggles!



          Here. The Message You Wanted. -LazyLizard        

@LazyLizard wrote:

Hey guys.

Obviously, I realize that we have something going on seriously wrong here. I understand I have quit the forum and I am coming back occasionally, however that isn't working so my first announcement is that I am coming back to be on consistently.

The next part is why I'm so triggered right now.

I have a life guys... I play soccer and I go to this torture chamber called school... it's hard to have 7 hours of school, 2 hours of soccer, a break, and then another practice. Barely any time for life, guys.

So I have been on. Silently watching how you guys can just tear one another apart. Piece by piece. I watched a topic I approved on get flagged down. I have been getting MILLIONS of tags with people complaining about this. I completely understand that bluedogmc quit, but there is no need for other users like FearlessPhoenix who were simply trying to help and got approval from me however it got flagged down. I got TONS of tags from that topic, I don't need to be spam tagged in order to give approval. If somebody says I've approved, chances are I am. @SmilingSnowflakes is the first person in a VERY long time to actually let me know what's going on... I had no idea that bluedogmc quit, and it's quite a pain to constantly be having to tend to people who are complaining about my laziness although my username says I'm lazy, so y'all better not have a problem...

I WILL BE MAKING THE TOPICS! I WILL HAVE A BACKUP PERSON!!

Also, I feel bad for @FearlessPhoenix so I will let her(I think it's a her, tell me if I'm incorrect) make the next topic because she deserved to not have those unnecessary flags.

-LazyLizard

PS- sorry if that came across as hostile, I'm super overwhelmed and this whole thing is making me go crazy. I haven't stopped stressing about something in a week. I wish y'all could understand that my home life isn't always the best.

Posts: 23

Participants: 17

Read full topic


          â€˜Ultimate snowflake’: Breitbart writer melts down over Statue of Liberty pic — and gets hilariously torched        
Breitbart News writer John Carney on Thursday took grave offense to a new cover of Vogue that featured Jennifer Lawrence standing in front of the Statue of Liberty. “We’re going to have to create a full #MAGA shadow cultural industry because the Opposition Media can’t even do fashi...
          Amazon Daily Free Music for 8/8        
Looking to add some new music to the iPod or other device? If so, here are a bunch of FREE song downloads (including kid music) you can get from Amazon today! Free Music Downloads: Spark, Connor Garvey Sweet Times, Boon Baby Lee, Teenage Fanclub Strange Feeling, Michael Burks The Meanderin’ Hound Snowflake, Malachai Orange Blossoms,View Post
          Vánoční Opimánie s Mariah Carey        
Když jsem poprvé zahlédla první info o lacích OPI ve spolupráci s MC, věděla jsem, že některé budou muset být moje. V tu chvíli jsem zatím od OPI měla dva laky a má opimánie jeÅ¡tě v klidu spala. Na jaře se objevila první sada, pískáče i obyč laky. Původně jsem si je chtěla koupit z UK, ale nehledě na to, že se změnila dovozní pravidla (z UK se laky musí speciálně balit a poÅ¡tovné je tak dražší), tak na to nějak nedoÅ¡lo. K narozkám se nenaÅ¡el nikdo, kdo by je dodal a tak, když jsem Å¡la jednou na Andělu po OCčku kolem OPI, tak jsem prostě neodolala. 550 Kč za sadu 4 mini mi nepřiÅ¡lo tak moc, zvlášť když v UK byla cena hodně podobná. A měla jsem je hned! 


K tomu jsem si přibrala úchvatný What Wizardry is This z kolekce Oz (která s MC vlastně taky trochu souvisí, bo k filmu nazpívala song) a řeknu vám, hodně dlouho jsem používala jen ten, na MC doÅ¡lo později. K tomu jsem si jeÅ¡tě z Mariah kolekce vzala Sprung (páč ten song miluju a nevypadal blbě), ale ten jsem na nehtech mockrát neměla. 



Na swatchích se mi celkem líbil černočervený, ale v reálu se mi vůbec nelíbil. Ale zas, když dáte jen slabou vrstvu nebo ho přetřete top coatem (pískáče se standardně kvůli efektu nepřetírají; a ne, punčochu vám nezadrhnou, když si je nalakujete večer (hned zaschnou) a jdete s nimi spát, bo přes noc se maličko obrousí). Červené barvy nemusím moc všeobecně, zvlášť tento The Impossible, ale ta fialová je skvostná. Nejvíc mi seděla na modrofialovém podkladu od L'orealu. No, ale ta modrá, to je barva! S úžasným zářivě modrým Anny (z Douglasu) to je něco úžasného. Asi ten nej lak, z kolekce.


Vlevo Stay The Night ve slabé vrstvě, modrý Get Your Number (stříbrné třpytky na fotce zčernaly) a fialový Can't Let Go. Když to tak vezmu, asi bych brala ještě i ten Pink Yet Lavender, i když nejsem zrovna lakovací experimentátor (lak buď obyč nebo pískáč, tohle je na mě moc efektové). Zatím se ještě na Ebayi sehnat dají, v ČR už v obchodech ne. Myšleno sady mini, samotné laky v normálním balení ještě sehnat někde asi můžete.

Zdroj: http://imabeautygeek.com
Zdroj: http://www.hqhair.com
Potom v létě přišla kolekce San Fransisco a Bond Girls (v Skyfall edici jsem si nevybrala, i když dneska bych možná sáhla po Moonrakerovi).




Já hned čapla mini sadu a velký Alcatraz a z Bond Girls pak úchvatně modrou Tiffany Case a zlatou Honey Ryder. Tiffany byla přes léto mou jedničkou :).



Barvy vyžrané, na pěkné swatche mrkněte třeba sem. Původně se mi nejvíc ze sady zamlouval zelenofialovo-stříbrný holografický Peace, ale pak ve skutečnosti jsem zblbla do Muiru a to děsně. On hází odlesky do fialova, hněda a zelena. Jediná hnědá, co mi sluší. Miluju ho! A když San Francisco, tak Čarodějky nebo Jádro (na oboje bych mohla čučet dokola :D). A napravo čarodějný Oz


V srpnu se objevilo první info, že nás na podzim čeká vánoční kolekce. Když jsem viděla to množství laků, tak na první pohled jsem si řikala, že barvy nic pro mě a zároveň, že mě vomejou, bo to bude peněz. 
A jen abychom si to ujasnili, photoshooty jsou z druhého vánočního alba MC, které vyšlo před třemi lety. Zařadilo se mezi moje vánoční klasiky, stejně tak jako to první.


NaÅ¡těstí některé z nich měly vyjít v mini kolekcích. Když se objevily na blozích, popátrala jsem na Ebayi, bo se zdálo, že k nám nedorazí. Objednala jsem jich fakt horu (no, moc mi jich nechybí), cena byla fajn, ale pak jsem si trubka trochu nadávala, protože mi Å¡ly zdlouhavě a na Interbeauty veletrhu byly skoro za tu samou cenu. No každopádně jsem se dočkala a vy když budete chtít taky, páč se tu nakonec prodávají. 











Swatche máte z ofiko stránek, bo 1) nejsem lakovací blogerka a zapomínám fotit lak hned, jak ho mám na sobě a najednou zjistím, že se maličko loupe a už to fotit nejde, 2) nedokážu to vyfotit (je jedno, zda je sluníčko, tma jako v pytli nebo zataženo, lesknoucí se laky jsou prostě děsný), 3) to bych časově nedala. Aspoň jsem si je nalakovala na vzorník, že vyfotím ten, ale popravdě, dávám vám sem jen malou fotku, bo mi na to lakovat prostě nešlo, jsou tam ocintky vokolo a vypadá to blbě.


Nahoře vánoční OPI, na konci pak modrý jarní, dole 3 jarní, San Francisco, Lapis Designer, Bond a Oz. A zas pěkně ofiko:
Zdroj (i ty pod ním): bohemianvarnish.com



Make Him Mine mi sednul tak, že si asi koupim velkej. Fialový Baby Please Come Home se mi taky dost líbí, fialové já (hned po modrých) žeru. Černé období jsem snad nikdy neměla, ale Emotions je zajímavý a třeba na něj zkusím nandat ten Wonderous Star nebo Snowflakes in the Air. Překrásný je i Warm Me Up, ten mě na fotkách moc nebral, stejně jako krásně se třpytící Underneath the Mistletoe. In My Santa Suit se povedl krásně červeně tak, jak naopak All I Want For Christmas (is OPI) ne. Ten mi přijde na mě moc řvavý a obyčejný zároveň. 


Tihle tři hoši mi přišli na mě absolutně nepoužitelní, ale zas někdo jiný je rád využije :). Zvlášť ten Ski Slope se mi moc líbí :). No a tohle je pěkný, co? To bych chtěla umět :D.

Zdroj: adventuresinacetone.com
Co mě totálně vodvařilo, je podzimní designerská série, kterou u nás neseženete, ale tak Ebay, že. 


Já miluju lapis lazuli a modrou, takže tuhle barvu s kouskama šutru jsem mít musela, nešlo to jinak. Váham i nad tim zelenym...


Jinak, jak se mi pískáče odlakovávají? Alobal jsem na ně brát nemusela. Prostě přiložím tampónek déle, chvíli čekám a pak stáhnu a doÅ¡mrdlám. Když dám (někdy zapomenu nebo jsem líná) podkladový lak, tak to jde samozřejmě sundávat dolu líp. Pod bondovskou Tiffany ho dávat musim, jinak mam pak modrý i prsty.


Co mam na pískáčích asi nejradÅ¡i, když pominu ty úchvatné barvy, tak je to ta rychlost schnutí. A vrstvy. U některých stačí bohatě jedna. Vydrží 3-6 dnů (bez nadlaku), nevypozorovala jsem, co má na délku vliv. Jinak někdy pak stačí lehce přetřít odloupané Å¡pičky, jindy je zas lepší to dát dolů celé. 



Velké laky mé sbírky už jste viděli na první fotce, tady jsou sady :D.


Jo a ceny v ČR: mini sady po třech kusech - 495 Kč, po čtyřech kusech - 550 Kč, standard lak 295 Kč a ta sada top coat, mat, třpytky 885 Kč (nebo 990 Kč, něco jsem si blbě zapsala, nevim, k čemu se vztahuje ta druhá cena).

A vánoční limitky v normální lahvičče, ty se holt malé nedělají.


Všechny swatche můžete vidět naživo pěkně v tomhle videu:


Chcete-li si laky (nejen tyhle vánoční) pořídit a uÅ¡etřit, dneska a zítra se v OPI koná slevová akce v Kateřinské 5, já se tam chystám to omrknout, třeba tam budou mít Make Him Mine a Get Your Number :).


A co vás tu čeká? Vybrané laky za 95 Kč, veškeré vánoční sety s 20% slevou a na celý sortiment Happy Nails sleva 50 %. Sleva na všechno ostatní zboží 20 %. Přítomnost školitelky po celý den a možnost vyzkoušení produktů. Ke každému nákupu malý dárek. A všechny slevy v letáku je možno uplatnit i na telefonické objednávky po dobu konání akce. Plus akce na Opi.cz:


No a nakonec soutěž :). Výhry budou tentokrát dvě. Jeden výherce dostane laky dva a druhý jeden. Hrajeme o tyto vánoční laky:


Laky do soutěže věnoval OPI, za což velice děkuji. Výherce jednoho laku vyberu, výherce dvou pak vylosuje pan Random. Komentovat můžete i bez účasti v soutěži,odpočítám si to. Jak na to:
1) e-mail
2) sledovat mě na Facebooku nebo Bloglovinu nebo GFC (=Googlu); doporučuju i like pro Opi FB, máte-li Tlamoknihu, co kdybych zapomněla nějakou akci nasdílet :D
3) téma vánoce: nejoblíbenější vánoční song, co byste chtěli od Ježíška, veselá vánoční příhoda... fantazii se meze nekladou :)
4) který lak z článku vás nejvíc zaujal?
5) v případě výhry jednoho laku, který chcete?

Letošní rozsvěcení stromečku s MC (loňské pak zde):


Soutěžit můžete do 18.12. včetně, zasílám po ČR. Za (veřejné) sdílení navíc (FB, blog - uveďte link) můžete přidat jeden komentář navíc. A připomínám, že běží i další soutěže (vpravo nahoře) a další budou přibývat. A opakuji, kdo se zúčastní více jak sedmi z nich, bude mít pak možnost, zúčastnit se jedné speciální :).

P.S. To nejdůležitější jsem zapomněla zmínit. S OPI laky se mi lakuje nejlépe, hlavně s těma prckama. Lepší laky jsem zatím nepotkala. Skvělé štětečky nepřetahují, nemám skoro co opravovat. Na to, že jsem normálně kopyto, je to super :).

Jo a mrknout můžete ještě k Lucy, má tam krásné swatche, kompletně OPI pak zde. Celkově se na její blog chodím moc ráda dívat :).

          Amazon Daily Free Music for 8/8        
Looking to add some new music to the iPod or other device? If so, here are a bunch of FREE song downloads (including kid music) you can get from Amazon today! Free Music Downloads: Spark, Connor Garvey Sweet Times, Boon Baby Lee, Teenage Fanclub Strange Feeling, Michael Burks The Meanderin’ Hound Snowflake, Malachai Orange Blossoms,View Post
          Master Margherita – Psybox 2011 – Dj Set        
Master Margherita - Psybox V Dj Set - 66:40 Recorded the 17 September 2011 in Insbruck, Austria http://mastermargherita.info/psybox-v-dj-set/ Track List : - Trentemoller - Snowflake - Jumbo Layer - Misty [Master Margherita Redux] - Badun - Keet Remix - Hibernation - Reflected - Lazy 9 - Electric Lazyland - Kryptic Minds - Distant Dawn - Allarm Will Sound performs Aphex Twin - Cliffs (Auto Remix) - Hoehle - Sonus Canella - Zen Baboon - Weedz - Sympath - Zero Sun - Miniloge - Six Arms & One Leg - Hoehle - Why Me - Stratagy - Splinters In the Mind's Eye - David Last - The Push Pull - The Kaleidoskope - Mossman Rmx - Nightmares on Wax - Les Nuits Enjoy ! http://mastermargherita.info
          Savoring the Simple Things         
A new year is upon us!  I cannot get over how mild the winter has been up till now.  Facebook shows me my "memories" nowadays and so frequently the last 2 years we were under snow starting at Thanksgiving.  I will admit that I don't miss it.  We had a flurry of wet, huge snowflakes the weekend before Thanksgiving but so far that's it and just now do we have what I consider "winter" temperatures.  I hope that this doesn't mean a late spring but I suppose we will have to wait and see.

If you are reading this from a link on facebook, you might have noticed I've been a little quieter lately.  It's not necessarily on purpose.  I've just been reflecting and working towards some good things for me and my home.

I have, for many years, dismayed on the "lived in" look of our home, but honestly we do live here.  We LIVE here.

Read that again.

And again.

Take a second and turn that word around in your mind.

LIVE

We live here.

What does that mean for us? For you?

I had someone lament recently that they would also have time to do the crafty things I do if they didn't work full time away from home.  And I completely understand that as a homemaker, I have complete and total control over my time.  Almost all 24 hours of it.  That, however, doesn't mean that I am sitting around watching netflix all day.  In fact, I watch so little TV that I can't keep up with the very few BBC shows that I do enjoy.

The truth is that I am a homemaker.....number 1 person in charge of housekeeping, laundry and all meals.  Occasionally, dh will fix a meal or help with one, but 99.9% of the time if we eat, its because I fixed something.  I try to cook whole foods, from scratch, nutritious meals.  I make homemade bread at least once a week.  Not because I'm better than you or I want to rub your nose in it, but because it is better for us, cheaper and I enjoy doing it.  Sometimes I don't feel like fixing that big, hearty meal, but I do it anyway, because it is my job.

I also homeschool 2 children.  I know that I don't HAVE to do that, but I believe that it is a better way and I enjoy having the extra time with them.  Educating them takes about 2-3 hours of my time, 5 days a week, 180 days a year.  90% of the time it goes well and I enjoy what I'm doing, but sometimes I really don't want to....but I do it anyway, because it is my responsibility.

We raise livestock for meat and plant a garden for veggies and fruit.  We do our own butchering and preserving of the bountiful harvest.  I help with or do almost all of the preserving.  I also help in the garden.  This saves our family untold dollars in food and ensures that we know where our food comes from and what exactly is in it.

We have a high school aged son that is heavily involved in competitive and school soccer.  That takes time to go to practices and games.

We have an adult son that still lives at home.  I enjoy spending time with him.

We LIVE here.  Sometimes that means the dishes didn't get washed or the garden needs to be weeded.  Sometimes that means that I'm curled up in my chair with coffee and a book.  While you might get off work at 3, I will still have tasks to do, so I take my breaks when I can....after school and housework, before chores and supper.

We have a beading set all over our dining room table;
****empty jars sit on a counter waiting to be refilled with homegrown goodies
****my crafting stuff occupies the breakfast nook
****my dh has tools charging in the dining room
****my van is full of animal feed
****books are everywhere (I personally believe it is important for reading)

After a very stressful move this fall, I've come to realize the importance of feeding my soul.  I need to feed the souls of so many that come through my home, I need to recharge, I need to soak up the quiet for the times when it isn't quiet.

In order to do that I have blocked out time every day to do the following:
**read my Bible and journal (usually 1st thing in the morning and at lunch)
**read a chapter in whatever book I am enjoying (I was actually able to do that while Bear did worksheets today - its a biography of Abigail Adams and her relationship with her sisters)
**knit for at least 30 minutes every day (I enjoy listening to an audio book or podcasts while I knit or sometimes I just sit in silence)

I'm also carving out sewing time on Saturday when I'm not focused on school.

It's the little things people.  If you have a home but you are too busy working or micro-managing it to enjoy it, then what do you really have?  A burden.

I'm sitting in my cozy nook at my table, wrapped in a shawl, soaking in the sunshine for a few minutes before we get back to school.  I'm spending a few minutes doing what I enjoy (writing) before I get back to the tasks that are responsibilities.  I will do this again later this afternoon and maybe even for a bit this evening.  I will read to my children, listen to their stories and plans and projects.  I will snuggle a sweet little dog.  I will enjoy my domain and be grateful for every minute I get to spend here.  Every minute is precious.....make sure you are doing what you love.

I look forward to another year of simplicity.  I ask that you join me in the journey and I would love to have you.....just please don't ask me what I do all day.   I don't think I'm better than you, I've just chosen a different path.  If what I'm doing makes you irritated or envious then maybe you need to reevaluate your path.  Are their changes that you can make?  Also, I ask that you don't idealize my life.  Sometimes my work is hard, my burden is heavy and I have difficulties just like you.  Remember that there are 2 sides to every story and it is unlikely, even reading this blog, that you know the whole side-story of my life.  I just ask that we share our time together.  I learn so much from other bloggers.  I hope that someone can take something good away from their time here.
          030 Dual duty pastured turkeys, marketing your farm, building a root cellar        
Fertilizing the lawn with pastured turkeys, We have the barn back and are busy drying garlic, 9 weeks and less than .25" of rain, TOTAL, Nugget, Snowflake and nameless are growing up, Hermione is in heat again and piglets are ready for a move, We eat good: Bruschetta recipe 1 loaf fresh baguette or Italian bread 2-3 different fresh picked tomatoes 2-3 T good olive oil 2-3 cloves garlic (mashed) 3-4 springs each of fresh oregano, basil and parsley all chopped fine Fresh cracked black pepper and salt to taste (optional) fresh grated hard Italian cheese (your choice) In a bowl combine all ingredients and stir together. Cut bread into slices. Spray with olive oil and place on a medium hot grill until grill marks appear. Spray exposed side of bread with more olive oil and flip.  Immediately place heaping spoonfuls of tomato mixture on the bread and close the grill cover for about 2-3 minutes.  Remove and consume with beer, wine or cold ice tea! In the CoopCast community: Lisa asks about managing problems with raccoons in corn, Austin is interested in our methods of marketing and growing our small farm, Melanie has a BUNCH of farm business questions which we touch on but will cover more of in the future, Another question about starting a CSA. On this episodes Farm U: Building your very own root cellar is a lot easier than you think Building Location, location, location Humidity Temperature Storage Options
          022 Unexpected loss of a piglet, planting the gardens, broilers have arrived        
Happy Memorial Day. A special thanks goes out to all out troops both serving and retired. We appreciate your sacrifices in protecting our freedoms and liberties. This episode and the Pledge of Allegiance is dedicated to you. This week’s updates around the farm and gardens: The loss of Snow the piglet and what we did, Snowflake the chick hatches, Ollie moves to another farm, Turkeys are growing in the brooder, Broiler chicks arrived, Planting the gardens now that's it's frost free time and 95 degrees and dry! In the CoopCast Community: Over 100 iTunes reviews - thanks "pickle kicker", Toni asked about maintaining asparagus beds and controlling slugs with salt, What are some general insect control methods we use, Mendy asks "How do you introduce or change the pecking order of a chicken flock when you add / remove birds".
          NPR Pushes Unproven Claim That Female Google Employees Stayed Home        

Monday evening, National Public Radio published a tweet about the Google-free speech controversy that raised eyebrows and brought on torrents of ridicule, namely that "some women at the company skipped work today, upset by the leaked memo" written by now-fired software engineer James Damore.

It turns out that the basis for the claim is so extraordinarily thin that it shouldn't have been reported.

Here is NPR's Monday evening tweet (HT Twitchy):

NPRonGoogleWomenNotWorking080717

On Twitter, the ridicule directed at female employees who allegedly stayed home in the tweet's 1,400 comments was fierce, especially in noting how the reported reactions essentially confirmed one of the premises in Damore's "Echo Chamber" document, namely that "Women, on average, have more Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance)" (link is in Damore's original).

But did what NPR reported really happen?

The network's underlying article containing the claim by Bill Chappell and Laura Sydell reported this "news" in its third paragraph.

It turns out that the sole source for the claim is a former Google employee:

Another software engineer who used to work for Google, Kelly Ellis, says some women who still work at the company stayed home Monday because the memo made them "uncomfortable going back to work."

Five paragraphs later, readers learn that Ellis hasn't been with the company for roughly three years, and that she has an axe to grind:

... Ellis said she left Google in 2014 after she was sexually harassed. When she read the leaked document, it didn't surprise her "because I saw similar language when I was at Google being shared on internal message boards and other different internal forums."

Ellis said although he isn't a manager, the "manifesto" author's opinions directly impact his female peers. "The main input to Google's performance review process, which is how they slot engineers, which determines pay — the main input to that is peer review," says Ellis. "It's your peers writing feedback on your work."

... In April, a Department of Labor official accused Google of practicing "systemic" discrimination against female employees.

There is no evidence that NPR spoke or communicated with any female Google employee who stayed home, or with any Google supervisor or manager who could have confirmed that any female employees stayed home.

A bit of research indicates that Ellis has been quite vocal about the reasons for her 2014 departure, and claims to somehow have deep knowledge of what's going on at the company, even three years after she left:

  • In March 2015, she issued a series of tweets, several of them naming names, about her treatment while she worked for Google, including specific instances of alleged sexual harassment. However, according to Business Insider, Ellis also tweeted that "I have no proof of any of this."
  • In February of this year, in connection with Uber's firing of former Google executive Amit Singhal, who had resigned in 2016 because of "credible" allegations of sexual harassment during his time at the search giant, Ellis "shared some of her own experiences with at the company in light of the news surrounding Singhal’s departure." Among other things, she claimed that male executives at the two companies "just get shuffled around, with zero regard for the women in our industry," and that "At the highest levels of leadership at most SV/SF (Silicon Valley/San Francisco) tech companies, execs are hiring their buddies outside of the usual hiring process."
  • On Saturday, she weighed in on Damore's document, claiming that "There are many people at Google who share this guy's views." Three years later, does she really know this?

Ellis may very well be telling the truth, but NPR's failure to interview, even anonymously, any actual women employees who skipped work on Monday means that the network should have considered her contention a rumor.

There appears to be another motivation to report this rumor.

In early January, the U.S. Department of Labor, in what it described "as part of routine audit of a federal contractor," sued to force the company "to provide requested compensation data and documents for the multinational company’s Mountain View headquarters." In April, DOL, as seen in the NPR excerpt above, further claimed that it had somehow determined that the company had "systemic compensation disparities." In late May, in a "you can't make this up" response, the company refused, claiming in a court filing that that the highest of high-tech companies would somehow need 500 hours and $100,000 to fulfill the agency’s request. (Even if true, which seems highly doubtful, the cost involved is minuscule compared to the $19.5 billion in 2016 profit reported by the company's Alphabet Inc. subsidiary.)

The point is that reporting what many have described as the "snowflake" reaction to Damore's document appears to anecdotally support the notion that Google has a workplace environment which is hostile to women. The NPR reporters surely know this.

But regardless of how it does or doesn't advance particular agendas, is NPR's sole reliance on someone who left the company in 2014 justified?

Longtime blogger Ann Althouse, who leans left, says "No."

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Althouse explained herself on Wednesday, while noting the intense irony of how Ellis's NPR-carried claim supports the un-PC contentions Damore made in his "Echo Chamber" document:

Did Google women stay home from work because they were upset over the Damore memo?

... I wonder how Kelly Ellis knows what women in her former workplace did and why they did it.

... Why did NPR speak with Kelly Ellis and why did NPR not talk to any of the women whose actions and emotions it is portraying? If I had to guess, I'd say it's because Ellis said something that NPR believed fit very nicely into the story it wanted to tell, and it either didn't bother to check more deeply or it tried and couldn't find these women but still thought the idea was too good not to use. Again, NPR is in a cocoon if it didn't see how this fact/"fact" would be used by those who want to say there's no real problem of gender discrimination in the tech industry.

... I'm going to answer my question in the post title: No. It's a myth, an urban legend.

... You need to be skeptical about things that fit your template. Those who are accepting this report at face value and using it to support the idea that women really are emotional and ill-suited to a high-pressure workplace are engaging in the same kind of cocoonish behavior that we're seeing from NPR.

My take is that Kelly Ellis may be telling the truth, but her claim is unproven. As such, regardless of who it helps or hurts, NPR should not have reported it.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.


          Liberal Students Unite Against First Amendment Rights of Conservatives on ‘The Fosters’        

Remember when college campuses were supposed to be places of free speech that enabled young people to form opinions based on hearing different points of view? In today’s world, that is only a fond memory. The August 8th episode of Freeform’s The Fosters, titled “Telling,” perfectly illustrated how liberal students no longer accept the First Amendment rights of conservative students on campus.

While on a college campus where she monitors an art class, Callie (Maia Mitchell) is approached by a male student asking her if she’d sign a petition to stop the appearance of a conservative speaker invited to talk to students by a “right wing student group.” ”You look like a human who cares about other humans,” he says.

An invitation extended to an immigration reform expert by a conservative group on campus has triggered the liberal snowflakes. In their sheltered minds, a differing opinion must be stopped. It is claimed the expert has “no real academic credentials” and would “spread her hateful rhetoric on campus.” Difference of opinion equates to hate, apparently. Callie declines to sign the petition, as she is trying to maintain a low profile these days.

Well, regular viewers of this show know Callie is unable to keep a low profile and naturally she ends up joining in with the group after attending a party meant as a fundraiser for Mariana’s (Cierra Ramirez) roller derby team. Mariana’s team mentor, Ximena (Lisseth Chavez), had to be reined in by another friend when she began to challenge police called to break up the party due to noise complaints.

Callie gave Ximena a ride home and asked her why she couldn’t risk being arrested. Yes, you guessed it. Ximena is in the country illegally because she has not reapplied for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival act (DACA), as she is required to do. She gives Callie her reason for disobeying the law as not wanting to jeopardize her parents by the government knowing their address. I guess her parents never bothered to go through the process of being in America legally, either.

Callie, to her credit, tells Ximena that there is a difference between being brave and standing up for yourself – in this case, arguing that since the party had a permit, the police weren’t entitled to break it up early – and being stupid, “even if you are right.” Ximena said, “I have to fight for my right to be here.” Completely lost on Ximena is that she has no right to be here, along with the fact that she loses her right to complain that she can be deported if she is unwilling to comply with the rules that allow her to stay in this country legally under DACA. Instead of being grateful, she acts entitled.

So, as the show comes to an end, Callie joins in with the group of students determined to stop the conservative from speaking on campus. When the guy with the petition notices her, he remarks that she must care about other human beings after all. Callie responds, “I care about keeping people from spreading hate.”

A conservative speaker invited to speak on a college campus about immigration reform is the same as “spreading hate” and tolerance of others only goes one way. This is where we are, America. Art imitates life. Reality will really bite one day when the graduates leave their safe spaces and face the real world of lots of different opinions. Too bad they won’t be able to participate in a debate over ideas, only having listened to one side for so long.


          Star vs. Snowflake in OLAP Land        
About six months ago I had a discussion with another guy about what my preferred data warehouse schema was: snowflake or star. Without hesitation I said snowflake. He looked at me with befuddlement and asked why. I told him that … Continue reading
          â˜… Homemade Skeleton Costume Pattern        

White DressIf you have received an invite and you happen to be asking yourself what to wear to a wedding, right here are some of the greatest style ideas for you. The wax skull I’ve owned given that the 80’s and the statue in the wedding dress represents our bond, not a wish to uncover a mate. So, if you have a perfect pair of pre-owned footwear and great handbag in your closet use them. Males ought to wear white suites and ladies can wear either brief patterned mini-dresses and boots, or the glitzy flared jumpsuits. It’s white but it has a rainbow luminosity to it. It’s adorned with gems of numerous colors and sizes.

I would also like to inform you that if you are acquiring as well confused about all these mood, theme, season, time and dress code things then trust your judgment and choose to put on any suit in a dark colour shade with a conservative kind of necktie. You can get his appear with a multi-stripe complete-length Arabian-style robe with a straightforward tunic and linen pants underneath.

My favored look for Snow White, played by Ginnifer Goodwin, is Snow White much more as the Huntsman, wearing forest colored practical clothes as after she has become a fugitive hiding from her stepmother, the Evil Queen. I Made my 1st appointment to appear for my Wedding Dress at The White Dress, I have had numerous buddies find their dress here and all had such fantastic experiences! Cheerleader (#0876, 1964-1965) extended-sleeved white sweater with a wide collar, red trim and the letter M” on the bodice. It has beading all the way down the front, sleeves with a floral pattern and lace cuffs. But even though you will constantly stick out like a sore thumb in white tie, black tie or a morning coat, you may possibly blend in greater and but nevertheless appear sensible at formal events with the stroller.

If you had a music video with just 1 member of the Cover Girls wearing absolutely nothing but an oversized white dress shirt throughout a photo shoot, it would be quite sexy. A slightly whitened face, some silver and white eyes and eyelashes which appear like they are tinged with soft snowflakes, and just a slick of clear lip gloss is all you need to have for a correct Narnian witch. Add in a pretty pair of white or silver shoes (ballet flats are a excellent choice) and a sparkling tiara and/or hair accessories. The dress has two pockets in front and white trim around the hem, sleeves, neckline and waist. For a child’s dress, I consider a young child would have a difficult time wearing Belle’s dress as it really is created.

The Classic white sundress is as constantly hot, and seems to by no means go out of style, and this summer time you will see lots of white dresses on the racks. Victoria’s dress featured a really complete skirt and yards upon yards of Horniton … Read More


          The Polar Vortex Strikes Back        
Except image Darth Vader as a big snowflake, or Snow Miser, or something.

Sorry dude, you're too much
Both the first and second waves of bitter cold are probably no surprise to, oh, all of you, since the entire northern US was hit with chill and snow. The first time around we ended up with over a foot of snow (I have pictures of my car, they're scary); this time around is more just cold. The insides of my windows have ice and frost on them, I've spent most of the past week in a blanket, and I drink ungodly amounts of warm beverages. That last one is nothing new. I found a fantastic recipe for root veggie and ginger soup that I'm planning to make tomorrow.

Because it is so cold, I don't want to move very much. Counterproductive, I know. I really don't want to go outside, except for a few minutes while Peaches proves that teaching animals to use the toilet is probably the best unattainable idea every. She, on the other hand, wants to sniff around and explore. The apartment gets boring after a time, I understand, I just lack an indoor, fenced, heated space for her to dash around and explore. Anyone with ties to a dog-friendly, leash-free place inside, hit me up!

Like last time, I've taken this cold snap/extended dance sequence as a change to hunker down and indulge myself. Between watching The Daily Show and Parks and Recreation, I've also been reading a fascinating book about clothing and textiles in the colonial and federal period. Mostly the clothes and accessories explored are from Colonial Williamsburg, and run from the early-ish 1700s through the very early 1900s. Even though I love pants and don't really like corsets, many of the dresses are just gorgeous. I love the shape they give, and would really enjoy working in Williamsburg sometime if my life takes a different path. Or even if it doesn't, who knows? Summer would be kind of brutal in Virginia. That might just be a price I pay, like October in Salem when our cloaks were mostly for show.

One fascinating detail from the studies of 18th- and 19th- century clothing is that the really nice clothes were usually not made particularly well. They held together just fine and looked lovely, of course, but they wouldn't have been finished on the inside or stitched particularly carefully. Homemade linens - chemises, shifts, shirts, and so on - were often stitched very neatly and carefully. No loose edges, no raggedy bits, finished seams, everything would have been made really well. This was because those homemade, everyday items had to stand up to wear and tear, as well as regular washing and bleaching. Dressy clothes were worn far less often, were not worn next to the body, and would have been sent out to a specialist to be cleaned when necessary. They didn't have to stand up to daily work, body oils, or regular scrubbing, so their construction didn't reflect that concern. The book talked about this difference in the context of what is a "masterful" item, since we often think of such items as being the best specimen of whatever it is they are. While some very impressive wealth displays and beauty can be found in nice clothes, some of the best craftsmanship can be found in much humbler items that required it.

I'm sure there's a deep lesson there somewhere. For instance, write syllabi carefully. Also notes on papers?

Another factoid: indigo dye (the only good blue available at the time) oxidizes and sets upon contact with air. Clothing patterns were often made by stamping an adherent on the clothing and then submerging the whole thing in a dye so the dye stuck to the clothing. The alternative was stamping the clothes themselves. In both circumstances, indigo wouldn't adhere nicely because it would set on the stamp or get all strange in the dyeing vat. The blue parts of 18th-century textiles tends to look a bit sloppy because it was applied by hand with a brush, but quickly. This is true for really nice fabrics like expensive silks as well as much cheaper cottons and wools. All the other colors are perfectly in line, and the blue is just a little smudged.

Probably also a lesson there.

          Comment on Pet Rabbit Names by Karen        
My first bunny was named Cadbury. My current furbaby is Snowflake, he's a New Zealand White.
          Cuccio Stir In Sugar Colour Nail Polish 13ml        
Cuccio Stir In Sugar Colour Nail Polish 13ml

Cuccio Stir In Sugar Colour Nail Polish 13ml

From the new Mixology collection of glitters and textured finishes. Stir in Sugar is a beautiful white glitter polish with a textured snowflake finish. Chip-free, long lasting, salon professional formulation. Quality, highly saturated colour coverage. Custom made cap and brush. No Dibutyl Phthalate and Toluene free product. 8 nail treatments also available. 8 colour collections. 13ml


          Heartstring Harper - Chapter 3: Cold Comfort        

"You seem like you were awfully docile there," the Beast mused quietly, more polite now than he'd been the whole evening; after what had nearly come about from the argument a few moments ago, he had no desire to risk losing her tale. "And not just docile, too. Incurious. Never even looked to see who picked you up. Why?"

Heartstring shrugged, idly twirling her glass - once more empty, in the few moments since the Elemental had brought their drinks - as she spoke.

"Who knows? I was in shock, perhaps. And, too, I'd been drugged. But I think that some of it was her using a Contract on me, or something of the sort... I did eventually find out who it was that picked me
up, though. But you'll find that out later, if we get that far."



I played for her - them, really, I suppose, for certainly there was nothing about my Keeper to make me think of them as one thing or another, but that's a hard habit to fall out of, and it seems to fit for some reason, though I don't know why - until my fingers bled, and I could barely hold my arms up. And then, at last, they seemed to smile, though how when they didn't have a face, I couldn't begin to say. It was just an air they gave off, more than anything.

After that, the girl who brought me there helped me up, showed me to a room - her room, actually; I didn't quite rate one of my own - and got my hands tended to, then got me settled into bed, though we talked a while before I fell asleep...



"I'm sorry," Lure said softly, sitting down next to Anarya, and reaching out to lay a cold hand, like that of their mutual Keeper, though hers was made of frozen metal, delicately tooled with a pattern of snowflakes, no one matching its neighbors, instead of pure ice, on her shoulder. "I wish I could have put your dreams right, not shattered them like a mirror -"

The new-taken mortal hissed a negation, shaking her head, and looking rather as though she would have slapped the Changeling, had it not been for the fact that her arms were too tired for her to lift them, now that they had rested, and her fingers still raw, though the ointment that Lure - who, for all that she had been the one responsible for this, had proven to be a gentle and attentive nurse - had put on them earlier had numbed the pain from the wounds.

"You could. If you hadn't taken me, I'd not be here, so quit trying to make yourself feel better about it. Maybe if you'd left me alone, I'd have made it, maybe not, but either way, it would have been on my head, and you could have rested easy."

"You truly think that?", Lure asked with a bitter laugh, shaking her head. "You'll learn, then. After you spend enough time here, there's little you wouldn't do to stay in favor, or at least not fall out of it. Coming back empty-handed would have left me chained up with the Pack for a month or more, little girl. And you'd best hope that you never find out what that's like, even for just a night."

There was a brief silence, crystalline, the kind of quiet one feels is simply waiting to break, shatter like a glass hitting the floor and stab into whoever is around when it does.

"Well?", Lure said after a few moments, sounding almost impatient, though also, in some ways, with a touch of relief coloring her tone. "Aren't you going to ask, then? Come on, I expected better of you, what with your quick retort earlier, when I tried to apologize for dragging you here..."

Anarya flinched, having heard the mocking pain in the other woman's voice, but nodded, shifting slightly so as to be deeper under the thick blanket as she did, scared of what might be revealed when she spoke, and hungry for the comfort to be found there, even if it was of an irrational sort.

"What are the Pack, then?", she whispered, shivering somewhat as a chill passed through her, though whether from nerves or the cold that seemed to pervade this place, even here, next to a roaring fire, she couldn't tell. "And what do you mean by 'chained up'?"

"The Pack used to be people like us," Lure explained quietly, sighing, and once more reaching out to touch the girl next to her, this time slipping an arm around her shoulders. "Now the Keeper uses them to hunt with. They've been turned to beasts and back so many times they're no longer entirely human, in some ways. They're used as punishment. She won't let us die - but she will let them feed, either as a reward for a successful hunt, or a punishment to us.

Bad enough to suffer that perhaps every six weeks, as we all do, but can you blame me for being willing to do almost anything to not have that happening constantly, every day, for at least a month?"

          That's all Folks!        

12 month have passed, 12 apps have seen the light of day.

What started out as a simple project to kill time in between lectures, turned into all embracing monster from the shallows of the Android underground, which consumed every bit of spare time, and could only be tamed by making sacrifices in the form of long nights and code driven weekends (yes, it was that dramatic ;)).

In any case, 2015 is over, we had a super amount of fun, and now want to take this post as a form of Good Bye to the Android Challenge. So, there it goes!

1. Flippy Pairs

FlippyPairs banner

For starters in January we wanted to do something small. We didn’t feel the urge to revolutionize the world quite yet, but rather wanted to make sure we could actually deliver on our promise. So we started with the little well know game Memory (yes, the children’s game), and decided to make a multiplayer version where multiple phones / tablets could be connected to form one giant memory playing field.

Initial progress was quick. We split the app into three rough components (network communication, game logic and UI) and started dividing tasks. For combining multiple devices we wanted to try out Bluetooth P2P, but quickly discovered that the world of Android Bluetooth P2P really wasn’t as advanced as we had hoped, and definitely not as developer friendly. After about a week of digging through documentation and trying out different libraries, we dropped the idea of Bluetooth altogether and went with a regular client-server pattern over Wifi. Not as fancy, but simple and functional. Heads up: Google Play Games Services would have been a good candidate here retrospectively.

For the UI we spent some time on scrapping funny robot images from robothash.org, which generates peseudo-random robot images. The pseudo part is important. Turns out the robots are generated by simply combining various robot heads with torsos and different eyes. If you try playing a game with 5 screens full of them, boy does that game become hard!

Lesson learned: unless you are trying to come up with a new fancy network protocol or have very specific requirements, just pick a well known and established network library and stick with that. Your time is needed elsewhere.

View on GitHub

2. Trip Weather

Trip Weather banner

Flippy Pairs got us pretty excited. It was our first app and looked half decent, so we spent a couple of extra days in February adding additional features to Flippy Pairs (bad idea …). At the same time February is also traditionally crammed with exams so we were slightly struggling to find yet another small app idea which we could make happen in just a couple of days. Eventually somebody suggested an advanced weather app which would show you the forecast along a particular route as you travel, which we thought sounded cool and so we went with that.

This gave us a chance to play around with the Google location services (which there are a lot of!), but also led to us maxing out our available Google quotas on a daily basis just by doing simple testing (we then learned the value of caching). We used the Google Places API for translating user input into actual addresses, the Google Maps Geocoding API for converting those addresses to GPS locations, and finally the Google Maps Directions API for getting routes between start and end locations. Based on this route we simply interpolated between the wayspoints and fetched the forecast from OpenWeatherMap. Retrospectively we didn’t nearly spend enough time on fine tuning the weather data (the free tier on OpenWeatherMap is very roughly grained when it comes to forecasts), but spent most of your energy on getting the locations part to work.

Lesson learned: four weeks per app sounds like a lot of time, but in reality it usually boils down to one or two at the maximum, since there is always other work to catch up on or cool features you can add to one of the previous apps.

View on GitHub

3. Box Club

Box Club banner

Finally we had some time on our hands! University was over, no more exams and no excuses for not getting an early start with the app for March: a single player boxing game with sensor controlled punching. In fact, we were even lucky enough to have a new addition to the team: Julia! She had seen us hacking away out our little apps in the previous months and wanted to help, which was awesome :)

Box Club was the first (and only) really graphic “intense” game we made at FauDroids. Everything in the game is homegrown: the graphics, physics, sensor reading, AI. Other than logging, Box Club does not use a single external library!

Lesson learned: drawing nice graphics takes time, a looooot of time. Best to have somebody who is okay with only drawing and not coding for a while.

View on GitHub

4. Mr. Hyde

Mr. Hyde banner

We are on a roll! Box Club looked awesome, we had grown from two to three people and now even managed to pick up Richard for anything server / Python related.

April: another month between semesters and without any exams. Great, so we decided to tackle the biggest downfall of blogging via Jekyll on GitHub: you need a computer to do that! Sure, nobody really wants to type a super long blog post without a proper keyboard anyways (confession: this post was not written using MrHyde), but we sometimes wanted to make quick changes on the go while still enjoying the luxury of getting a full preview of the updated blog, without (!) having to publish the changes first (another confession: this post was edited using MrHyde!).

MrHyde uses the pretty straight forward GitHub API for fetching and editing files in repositories on demand. In addition we also created a backend which would take an existing repository, plus a git diff and render those files using a Jekyll installation on the backend. The resulting HTML files are then hosted on the backend for a couple of minutes, which gives the app a chance to show a preview of your blog including the changes you just made.

Yeah, our first app which solved a very real problem. FauDroids is on fire!

Lesson learned: the more excited you get about an app, the more time you want to spend on it. Remember the four weeks problem?

View on GitHub

5. Team Blocks

Team Blocks banner

Enough serious talk, back to games! Over barbeque we started to combine fun old arcade games to see if we could come up with something new, and eventually landed at Team Blocks: a multiplayer version of Tetris (yes, heard that before), where you don’t play against one another (uh, ok?), but have to work together in order to remove lines (yes, great!).

This time, having learnt from Flippy Pairs and the rather messy state of Bluetooth, we turned to the Google Games Services for managing communications. From past experience, getting started with Google APIs usually involves a fairly steep learning curve, especially since the APIs have changed over time, often times leading to contradicting documentation. Luckily integrating the Games Services “just worked”.

So, with network and game state out of the way, building the rest of the game really wasn’t that hard. Instead we managed to spend quite some time actually playing the game (it got addictive for a while. I hear a certain Simon and Philipp are still at the top of that highscore, cough Julia :D).

Lesson learned: there is hardly a more satisfying feeling than walking into a classroom, only to discover that all your peers are busy playing your latest game (oh, and Google Games Services really do rock).

View on GitHub

6. SigLocate

SigLocate banner

Building apps makes students hungry. Hungry students have to go to the local cafeteria to eat. That cafeteria is biiiig and finding each other difficult. SigLocate to the rescue!

SigLocate is a small app for marking your location inside the cafeteria and sending a picture of that to other friends (via Whatsapp, Facebook, etc.). From a technology point of view this is probably the simplest app we built. But the simplicity is what makes it awesome ;)

Only mayor bump we experienced here was getting a somewhat accurate map of our cafeteria. We didn’t want to do all the measuring ourselves, the management wasn’t going to help us (and I quote: “it will be too difficult to administer this app”. Hm, what?), but the local public construction office was kind enough to give us copy of the original floor plan for the cafeteria. Pretty cool to see one of those, it even contained all the conveyor belt routes.

Lesson learned: sometimes less really is more.

View on GitHub

7. KeepOn

KeepOn banner

Not many people know this, but if you are a student at the FAU there is a 3 weeks summer course in the alps which you can attend at pretty much no cost. Not only do you get free food and lodging (do I need to say any more?), but you are thrown together with students from all disciplines and given the chance to build pretty much anything you want. In 2014 one those projects was about motivating people to do more sports, by letting them tackle various challenges in groups. One example would be to run a total distance of 1000 km in a group within a certain time period. While the app didn’t quite get finished in those three weeks (lots of students in one location also leads to lots of parties), the general idea still found resonance with us at FauDroids, and we decided to build a very rough prototype of this game for August. Proptype really is the keyword here because everybody was busy rapping up the university semester, so we really only managed a single player version of the game, which gave just a hint of what a future version might look like. At the moment the app supports tracking running exercises and lets you sum up your traveled kilometers to win a number of distance trophies.

Lesson learned: developing sports apps is actually pretty great. Not because the code you are writing is particularly different and more exciting than with any other app, but rather the way of testing is. When building a website, all you have to do is press F5. When building an exercise tracker to have to … well, do exercise to see the result. So to test KeepOn we got our bikes and spent an afternoon driving around the park in Erlangen, trying to collect just enough kilometers to crack the KeepOn challenges.

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8. BabyFace

BabyFace banner

Maybe you have seen this video: Time Lapse Lotte. The video is 2 minutes and 45 seconds long and shows a girl (Lotte) growing from the age of 0 to 12. Her dad made this video by taking a small video of her every couple of days and later combining those to a time lapse video.

With BabyFace we wanted to create something similar, only instead of taking slightly shaky videos, we wanted still pictures with a face detection software working in the background, to steady the position of the face. We weren’t so much afraid of handling the regular photo capture part, although implementing custom image capturing turned out to be pretty painful in Android, but were more focusing on the image detection part. In our initial approach we saved the photos in a Google Drive folder of the user and had a separate server which would download this folder and take care of creating the video. This approach had the advantages that we could

  • easily use ffmeg for combining photos to a video.
  • take advantage of the awesome OpenCV framework for detecting faces and manipluating the photos in pretty much any way we wanted.

On the downside we had a server which needed to be maintained, paid for and integrated with the Android app in a reliable manner.

No sooner than when we were finished with a early prototype and were gaining confidence that, while not super pretty, we could get this client-server setup working, Google added face detection to the Google Play Services. Ok, so we just put a lot of energy input into building our (very beautiful!) server, but doing all that on the client was just too good to be true. So we threw our backend over board and integrated the “native” face detection Sigh.

Lesson learned: if you are building one app every month, think really carefully about whether or not you need a server. Sure, todays frameworks are powerful enough that you can hack something together in a couple of hours, but the real price comes when having to maintain that setup over a long period of time.

View on GitHub

9. Wiesn FindMe

Wiesn FindMe banner

September is Oktoberfest time! If you have read the last part about BabyFace you might have guessed that we spent more than 4 weeks on that. So with that in mind we needed something simpler for September. Luckily a friend suggested that we take SigLocate and make it work for the Oktoberfest, and not just the Oktoberfest area in general, but also with maps from inside the tents. The code was already in place so we only needed to get our hands on some maps. Some tent providers have those online, but most did not. We tried calling but nobody seemed to be particularly thrilled about sending us any materials. In the end we tried to piece together maps from the inside, by watching videos on YouTube, and browsing through tons of party pictures. Not the most effective way to do things, but after some time we got a pretty good idea of how the tents were laid out. In any case we managed to finish the app just in time for the “Anstich” (opening) of the Oktoberfest, and even got an interview at kultradio.fm (thanks so much at Katharina!).

Lesson learned: reaching the audience of an event like the Oktoberfest is not easy at all. Another app for an event of this kind would have to have better distribution channels, an official partnership with organizers for example. The customer acquisition cost were way higher than we thought. We tried Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and various blogs and online magazines, we even were on radio - but did not get real traction. At the same time everybody who saw and/or used the app was thrilled about it. The problem: the target audience is very heterogeneous and usually visits the Oktoberfest only once. So if you can’t get your app showcased through big/official channels or maybe directly on site, you will have a hard time.

View on GitHub

10. MyAdvent

MyAdvent banner

We believe advent calendars a great, and that everybody should have (at least) one! In case you are not familiar with the tradition (seems to be a German thing?): an advent calendar is usually a box with 24 doors (one for each day in December until Christmas Eve) filled with chocolates or some other sweet goodies.

MyAdvent lets you create advent calendars online by uploading images, text and audio. Those calendars can then be shared via URL with family and friends. You can see an example calendar here.

It was by far the biggest and most complex app we have built at FauDroids, largely because it is so much more than just an app, but rather a web client, and android app plus a backend for managing all those calendars. Besides being the biggest app from a technology point of view, it also received quite a bit of media attention, ranging from an interview with the ERLANGER Nachrichten to numerous blog posts and a nice Facebook fan community. In the end over 500 calendars were created, and those are just the ones with 20 or more pictures. All in all it there were more than 3000 calendars.

Lesson learned: if you are building an app with a time critical component (like advent calendars where the second door really should open on the second of December), make sure you have somebody on call for technical support. In MyAdvent the logic for deciding which door can be opened was the following (Javascript):

let i = '1';    // idx of door, starting at 0
let d = i + 1;  // day in December
if (today >= d) openDoor();
else doNotOpenDoor();

That made for some very interesting phone calls :)

View on GitHub

11. Bored Rudolph

Bored Rudolph banner

Remember the days back at the schoolyard when the first snowflakes began to fall from the sky? Still remembering the urge you felt letting one of these tiny crystals melt on your tongue? This is what Bored Rudolph brings to apps having boring loading screens!

Bored Rudolf is a small library for Android developers who wish to replace their standard pull-to-refresh layout with something a little more suited for the Christmas season: a quick game about catching snowflakes!

Lesson learned: initially we had bombs dropping from the sky, and only later changed that to snowflakes. So I guess the lesson here is think about the kids?

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12. Werewolf

Werewolf banner

Do you like the party game Werewolf? Great, we do to! So for our final act in 2015 we sat down one last time and create a little app for helping you getting started with playing Werewolf, in case nobody remembered to bring cards. The app does not try to be any more than that, no fancy director which guides you through the game and no strict rules about how to play Werewolf. Instead it gives you the standard Werewolf cards and helps the game manager by distributing those cards among the players.

Lesson learned: December is a tough month. You have already created 11 apps, are probably in the middle of the pre-Christmas stress of having to finish work projects and getting all presents ready, such that there is little to no time to think about that final app. So, unless you find that magic bag of free time, pick something small and get it done before Christmas (yes, not the greatest advice, I know, but figuring it out is half of the fun :)).

View on GitHub

Summary

These apps wouldn’t exist today, if it hadn’t been for a team of students which spent their spare time hacking away at Android. To finish of this post, here are some final thoughts from each of the FauDroids heros:

Simon

Android actually wasn’t my first experience with mobile systems (although the other experience was just cracking a game for my once beloved Blackberry). But somehow this experience got me interested in stuff like that. I got in touch with Philipp and Julia while programming our world famous Fliegeviecher Simulator (the result of a university course), and one day had chat with Philipp about the lacking motivation to keep personal projects going.

So me being interested in learning a bit about Android programming, which I had absolutely no clue about at the very time, and Philipp being the awesome guy he is, got this whole thing started. After we tackled the first hurdles and actually got started I soon realized how much fun this whole thing was. Spending hours in front of computers may sound boring as hell, but believe it or not, we always had a good laugh. It got even better when our team began to grow (which caused other people to leave the room as soon as we entered it :D), and I still remember the excitement about our first pull request. Thanks for all the fun and good times, FauDroids!

P.S. I’m still rocking the TeamBlocks highscore! :P

Julia

I met Philipp at the notorious Ferienakademie of our university (where also the inspiration for Keep Going emanated from). When the next semester break came I had some spare time and Philipp suggested me to join the FauDroids. At that time I had no idea how an Android App is developed but I thought: Why not, sounds like fun! Consequently I was not a big help at the beginning, struggling with the easiest commands (but hey, something is better than nothing). As time passed by I learned quite a lot: not only programming, but also the whole production cycle of software (from brainstorming sessions about the next month’s project to design sessions (all the cute robots and reindeers have to come from somewhere and you cannot imagine how many different shades of green there are and how hard it is to decide for one…)). And finally when the app was released I always felt really proud about what we have accomplished in one month! The feeling got even better when the first comments and requests from people who were actually using our apps reached us. Unfortunately I could not take part in the last three months of the challenge because of going to Boston as a visiting student. But it was an amazing time and I’m deeply grateful for this experience! So last but not least, thanks to my crazy FauDroid guys and all the people supporting us and our ideas!

Richard

I joined the team when they started developing MrHyde. It was a huge project and I really liked developing server infrastructure in python, so I decided to board the crew of FauDroids. It was awesome. It was nice to work in a team of talented and kind people, it was interesting to figure out how much work one could put into an app in a single month. The most awesome part was the moment when you released the app that you put so much work into for the last month. Especially Mr. Hyde took a lot of effort on my side and when all the cogs finally decided to work together, I was a very happy man. I want to thank both the FauDroids team and everybody who supported us or uses our apps from the bottom of my heart!

Matthias

I joined FauDroids quite late towards the end of August. Overall it was a great experience to work with really passionate, nice and talented developers. I especially enjoyed the part of creating the idea of a product from scratch with the team and carefully evaluating the different features and their implementation order. I also learned a lot by experimenting with different marketing channels, seeing what works and what does not as well as finding out why to make it better next time. Finally, it was a pleasure to see our “big hit” MyAdvent have more than 500 created calendars and over 700 people opening their virtual doors every day.

Marcel

The first few Android apps I touched, aside from the obligatory “HelloWorld”-primers, were actually malware samples, which I reverse-engineered in the context of some activity at our IT-Security chair. Consequently, as a member of FauDroids, I forward-engineered apps for the first time :) Although I joined pretty late (MyAdvent was almost done), I have learned a lot in regard to the whole cycle of developing ideas over implementing them up to actually releasing stuff. Especially the last part, having “customer” contact, was a new and really satisfying experience. In that sense, thank you, if you have contributed to this experience.
Another aspect of joining late was that my mates were much more experienced than I was in regard to Android app development. This in combination with their helpful nature enabled me to pick up things fast and actually contribute to our projects, which I really enjoyed. Amigos, thank you very much, it was a great time!

Philipp

Most of my previous “developer career” has been about doing one thing and making sure it’s “perfect” before going public. Well, turns out that even after a couple of years doing that not much has actually gone public. For me FauDroids was an attempt to break free of this “it’s not ready” mentality and enter a more goal oriented one. Doing a one app a month challenge has definitely helped, and I am super grateful for all that we have accomplished. Thanks to everybody at FauDroids for taking on this challenge with me and thanks to all the numerous supporters that have donated their time to give feedback and try out all the crazy stuff we built. Thank you.


          Bored Rudolf        

running banner

Christmas time is (still) here and what would be better than to give your app a slight holiday touch? Of course you could simply add falling snowflakes and add some light bells in the background, but that’s old school. How about replacing your standard pull-to-refresh layout with something a little more fun?

Bored Rudolf is a small Android library which puts a fun little game inside the pull-to-refresh layout, which makes waiting for whatever work is being done in the background, so much more enjoyable. Like everything else the library is available on GitHub. There’s also a little preview on YouTube if you are curious ;)

Bored Rudolf Demo Video


          Regional Roundup: Top New Features This Week Around Our BroadwayWorld 7/14 - BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, HOOD, and More!        

BroadwayWorld presents a comprehensive weekly roundup of regional stories around our Broadway World, which include videos, editor spotlights, regional reviews and more. This week, we feature BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, HOOD, PIPPIN, and more!

Check out our top features from around the BroadwayWorld below!


Boston: BroadwayWorld brings you exclusive video from North Shore Music Theatre's Beauty and the Beast! The cast of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is led by Rose Hemingway as Belle and Stephen Cerf as the Beast. The show also features David Coffee (Maurice), Taylor Crousore (Gaston), Joy Hermalyn (Madame De La Grande Bouche), Benjamin Howes (Lumiere), Andrew Kruep (Lefou), Ryah Nixon (Babette), Christiane Noll (Mrs. Potts), Phillip Taratula (Cogsworth), and Ben Choi-Harris (Chip).


Dallas: Contributor Kyle Christopher West reviews HOOD at Dallas Theater Center. He writes: "With a pocketful of power ballads for the show's leading ladies, Alysha Umpress (Broadway's ON THE TOWN, AMERICAN IDIOT, ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER, PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT and BRING IT ON) and Ashley Park (SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, THE KING AND I and MAMMA MIA), plus Beane's slick direction and occasional zingers, the musical displays definite potential, but never quite finds its footing. Unlike the abovementioned enhancements to Beane's CINDERELLA, HOOD struggles from a lack of well-defined relationships and a bit of exposition overkill in act one, where the bulk of the story is unnecessarily focused on introducing each of the Merry Men as they join the infamous rob-from-the-rich-and-give-to-the-poor mission. The role of Meg (which Ms. Umphress fills with charm, while delivering her songs through the roof) is acknowledged as a familiar face to Robin and his men, yet is often left on the sidelines without having any emotional engagement in the scenes. Without a romantic subplot or purpose beyond "sexy sidekick with occasional advice," finding sympathy for her fate late in the show is challenging. Alternatively, Ms. Park's material is further developed. Here, Marian is self-sufficient and able to hit a target with more skill than the men who call the shots-which she executes without apology or any put-on tomboy transformation. But despite Park's gorgeous voice and nuanced performance, her songs (as with much of the score) tend to be forgettable. Without a published song list, the only titles I can immediately recall from last evening's performance are "Be Robin Hood" and "Merry Be" (both coincidently sung by Meg)."


Chicago: Contributor Misha Davenport reviews SOMETHING ROTTEN at the Oriental Theater. He writes "Nick decides to employ Thomas Nostradamus (Blake Hammond as the nephew of the famous seer who has inherited a somewhat watered down version of his uncle's abilities of prediction) to peer into the future to see what the next big thing in theater will be. The results are the bona fide big, glitzy Broadway showstopper "A Musical." Hammond's performance here (and, frankly, throughout the rest of the show) is one of pure comedic genius. The musical zingers come fast and furious, but homages include "Annie," "Chicago," "Pippin," and "A Chorus Line," just to name a few. Nostradamus succeeds in convincing Nick to produce the first-ever musical against the better judgement of his brother Nigel."


Niagara on the Lake: Contributor Michael Rabice reviews WILDE TALES at the Shaw Festival. He writes "Remembering that the author also penned such dramas as THE PICTURE OF DORIan Gray and SALOME made the play all the more enthralling, giving a glimpse of a gentler and more innocent side of Wilde. The Happy Prince tells of a statue of a prince who speaks to a migrating bird, urging him to poke out his bejeweled eyes and remove his golden robes to help others who are in need. Remarkable Rocket allows a group of Roman Candles and other fireworks to gleefully prepare for a wedding, ending with each of them being set off by a creative simulation of lighting a match. Through handheld puppets, the actors become birds, matches, fireworks and trees. The few simple props on stage morph magically from a utilitarian trunk to a mini stage with small puppets acting out their own drama, or a street lamp that becomes a moon. Goodman's fantastic costumes help color the stage, especially with her whimsical designs for the fireworks."


Houston: Contributor Gary Laird reviews PIPPIN at Theatre Under The Stars. He writes "The show is handsomely mounted. Costumes and sets are elaborate and serve the action well. The outdoor setting is appropriate, and for all you snowflakes who are recoiling in horror at the thought of Houston's outdoors in July can get over it. If I can do it, you can do it. Believe me. The seating area has huge ceiling-mounted fans that are quite effective, and I'll let you in on a little secret: The closer you are to the stage, the cooler it is. The stage AC spills over. But you didn't hear it from me."


Philippines: Contributor Vince Vicentuan reviews KINKY BOOTS from Atlantis Theatrical. He writes "Volante as Lola skillfully maneuvers powerhouse ballads (Not My Father's Son, Hold Me in Your Arms) and upbeat ditties (Land of Lola, Sex is in the Heel) with the class and sass of a true drag queen. Nary a falsetto line, he sashays the role in full-voiced glory, filling up the theater like he owns it, taking the audience for a nonstop rollick of laugh-out-loud moments and high-kicking drama. Volante must have the "strength of Sparta and the patience of Job" to wear those deadly boots without actually tearing a muscle or two!"


Connecticut: Contributor Joseph Harrison reviews NEWSIES at Connecticut Rep. He writes "The relationships on stage feel real and authentic and the struggle (though punctuated with singing and acrobatic dancing) seems oddly current. Christopher d'Amboise, who serves as both Director and Choreographer captures the emotion of the piece, effectively using the CRT stage and guiding the actors nimbly through very difficult dance numbers. And, while the stage itself is smaller than the original Broadway stage, Mr. d'Amboise fills every inch with leaping, spinning, and flying newsboys. It is truly magnificent to see and one of the highlights, if not the highlight, of the show."


San Diego: Contributor E.H. Reiter reviews GUYS AND DOLLS at The Old Globe. She writes "Choreographed and directed by Josh Rhodes, the "Crap Shooter's Dance" and "Havana" are highly athletic, enthusiastic, and exciting. They are supported by the wonderful Sinai Tabak's band, and highlighted by Paul Miller's lighting. This New York bustles and dances with retro homage to the 1950's musical but it all happens under a wide expanse of neon lights which helps add a layer of Technicolor vividness to the show."


Kansas City: Contributor Sara Brown reviews AN AMERICAN IN PARIS at Starlight Theatre. She writes "While the show uses the Gershwins' peppy songs like "I Got Rhythm," "Fidgety Feet," and "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise," for show-stopping dance numbers (all choreographed by Sam Davis), most of the show is performed (even in cross overs down stage) with sophisticated ballet movements choreographed by director Christopher Wheeldon. The ballet in the show and the mini-ballet that Adam creates will leave you breathless, as all of the dancers in the show are stunning. Esty is a gorgeous dancer having received the Princess Grace Fellowship Award for her excellence in dance."


Central NY: Contributor Natasha Ashley reviews PARADE at The Merry Go Round Playhouse. She writes "Other memorable performances include Marcus Jordan as Newt Lee in the "Interrogation Sequence," and Alexander Zenoz as the Young Soldier opening the show with the breathtaking number "The Old Red Hills of Home" along with David Atkinson as the old soldier. Jamison Stern, as Hugh Dorsey, makes his mark with "Twenty Miles from Marietta." Likewise, Dave Shoonover, as Governor John Slaton, performs a lovely rendition of "Pretty Music" while Scott Guthrie as Britt Craig shows off in "Real Big News;" Erin Katzkar, as Mrs. Phagan, sings an emotional rendition of "My Child Will Forgive Me." Banji Aborisade and Crystal Sha'nae charm in "A Rumblin' and a Rollin'." Fergie L. Philippe, as Jim Conley, is confident and intense while Jake Mills is most memorable as Tom Watson. Finally, the talented Emma DeGroff, Madeline VanRiper, and Adeline Whitener portray the Factory Girls with such maturity and professionalism."


Regional Editor Spotlight:

https://images.bwwstatic.com/heads/Kyle%20Headshot%20Draft%201.jpg Kyle Christopher West
Dallas Senior Editor

Kyle Christopher West is a recent transplant to Texas, having previously worked in Arizona, New York City and Massachusetts. For his work in theatre, Kyle has received numerous awards for his stage direction, choreography, costume and scenic design. He has recently served on the board of directors for Phoenix Youth Ballet Theatre and Mesa Encore Theatre and has produced and directed dozens of stage productions. Outside of theatre, Kyle is passionate about travel, event planning and photography. For more information, visit www.KyleChristopherWest.com.


Join Team BroadwayWorld! Interested in joining our team, but not exactly sure what we do? All of your questions are answered, along with every open position from guest and student bloggers, Regional Editors, and more! Find out where we have open positions available here!


          Review: The Perfect Love Song        

The Perfect Love Song by Patti Callahan Henry
2 stars


Reason for reading: Okra Picks Challenge

Description: "Jimmy Sullivan has been living on the road with his brother, Jack, and his band The Unknown Souls. Without a place to call home, Jimmy and Jack lead a nomadic life filled with music and anonymous cities. When they return to a place Jimmy never wants to see again—their old hometown of Seaboro, South Carolina—he falls in love with Charlotte Carrington.

With his soul now filled with hope, Jimmy writes his first love song. When he performs it at a holiday concert to a standing ovation, the lyrics are dubbed the “Perfect Love Song,” so much so that Jimmy finds himself going on tour with famous country music stars, catapulted into a world where the trappings of fame and fortune reign supreme.

All too soon, the hope that had once inspired Jimmy to write such beautiful, genuine lyrics is overshadowed by what the song can do for him and his career. In his thirst for recognition, he agrees to miss Jack’s wedding in Ireland to sing at a Christmas Eve concert. And his ties to Charlotte seem to be ever so quickly slipping away.

Alone in New York City on Christmas Eve, Jimmy finally sees—with the help of a Christmas miracle or two—that his material gains are nothing compared to love, that he is losing all that really matters in his life. Is it too late to find his way to Ireland, to his brother, and to love?"

My thoughts: I agree with this review from Publisher's Weekly "This wallows in the pitfalls of intrusive narration, simplistic storytelling, and overly moralistic asides, and is stocked with characters with all the staying power of a snowflake in July."

This just didn't work for me at all. I felt like I'd missed getting to know the characters and their background somehow and I wasn't surprised to find out in the notes at the end that they were featured in one of the author's other books. Maybe if you'd gotten to know and love them there this book would be fun, but for me it wasn't. Why Kara was so devoted to Maeve Mahoney that she basically dedicates her wedding to the old woman wasn't very clear (presumably it was featured largely in the other book, but it's only mentioned in passing here), the narrator (who I guess is the ghost of Maeve?) is definitely intrusive and there are all kinds of sappy aphorisms throughout. Jimmy is a jerk. It has all of the bad stuff about Christmas movies - sappiness, "Christmas miracles" and someone's bad attitude being transformed on Christmas Eve. Definitely a Christmas turkey.


          How Not to Raise a Snowflake        
“What you are describing is not a crisis; it is life.”
          Filling your advent Calendar        
What do you put in your Advent Calendars?  We are doing a filled advent calendar this year for the first time.  In years past we just had a countdown calendar that we moved the snowflake from number to number.  This year I am making an advent calendar with an activity or gift in each day. 

I love this Free printable from
The Petit Cadeau!  Its full of ideas and premade cards ready to add to your calendar!  There are extras so you can pick and choose what you prefer.  I'm going to avoid filling it with tons of candy and gifts, and lean more on the activty side. 
 

          Christmas Advent Calendars        
I've had an Advent Calendar that we used for several years, however, it saw its last Christmas last year.  It was a simple, store bought countdown calendar.  You simply moved the snowflake to the correct date until Christmas day.  I loved having it for J, simply to avoid the 25 days of "how many more days?" question.  He knew he could go count it himself! 

This is year I am planning to DiY one.  I love the idea of adding little trinkets and gifts for each day.  We can deter not only the "how many days" question but also the "can we open a gift" one too! Lil Bug won't quite understand the concept yet, but I think its a great tradition to start with her....I love family traditions!

Here are some of the DIY countdown calendars I am pondering...

Advent Pocket Calendar
Simple pouches, made from Scrapbook paper from Kimberly Petersen
IMG_1605
Bucket list Calendar made from Dollar Store items! Via Infarrantly Creative

UPDATE****
Our Advent Calendar 2011

I went with pockets made from scrapbook paper.  Inside each pocket is an activity from the free printable advent activities I posted about here. 

               
          Cirkusdirektören som började forska        

Allt började med att Tilde Björfors som 20-åring åkte till Paris och kom i kontakt med nycirkusen. 

Fast besluten om att dela med sig av upptäckten bestämde hon sig för att etablera konstformen i Sverige. Basen blev så småningom Botkyrka, en förort till Stockholm. 

Sedan dess har verksamheten vuxit rejält. I dag finns allt från prova-på-träning för barn och ungdomar till gymnasieutbildning och turnerande föreställningar. Och den främsta drivkraften är Tilde själv.

Som om inte det vore nog har hon även dragit igång ett forskningsprojekt om nycirkusen.

– Idén kom efter att vÃ¥rt gymnasieprogram blev en del av Danshögskolan. Där förväntades det av oss att vi bara skulle malla in oss i deras konstform, säger Tilde och berättar att hon, "nästan i affekt", skrev en forskningsansökan till VetenskapsrÃ¥det.

För att inte drunkna i andras formuleringar ville hon berätta om nycirkusen, vad den står för och inte minst befästa den som en egen konstart.

– Cirkusartister hör inte precis till dem som skriver lÃ¥nga avhandlingar om vad de gör. Jag kände att vi skulle behöva formulera vad vi gör – bÃ¥de utÃ¥t och för oss själva.

SÃ¥ smÃ¥ningom kom svaret, ansökan hade beviljats. Sedan tre Ã¥r tillbaka leder hon forskningsprojektet, som omfattar ett hundratal artister runt om i världen och som även inkluderar forskare frÃ¥n olika forskningsomrÃ¥den – alltifrÃ¥n ekonomi och pedagogik till psykologi och neurologi (hjärnforskning).

Under våren börjar redovisningen av projektet i form av en utställning på Mölndals museum. Men hon påpekar att det bara är en delredovisning och att materialet är gigantiskt.

– Det är typiskt mig. Andra brukar säga less is more. Jag brukar säga more is more. Men eftersom sÃ¥ lite forskning har gjorts om nycirkus är ocksÃ¥ behovet stort och brett.

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