calzephyr: (creative)
Every now and then I find this book on my book shelf and every time it feels like the moment I found it at the bookstore back in 2009. This sturdy, pocket sized manual is many things - how to book, pattern book and a peek into people's lives and hobbies from the pages of Popular Mechanics. In some ways it's not a proper "craft book" as the patterns are quite small, but the ideas are often sound. As with many vintage craft and recipe books, the materials may have been renamed or are not as readily available today. You might have guessed that there is a "boy edition" but I'd be willing to bet that it is as gender neutral as this book.

I was surprised to see that the text invited girls to saw and craft with their parents help. The variety of crafts, toys and games is pretty astounding and I wish my parents had been more the maker type to build a few things from this book like the basement golf course or weaving loom. From braiding to mold casting, doll houses to a full size backyard merry go round, I can only imagine how many hours of fun these plans provided.

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] craftgrrl, [livejournal.com profile] books and [livejournal.com profile] bookish
calzephyr: (birds)
A couple of months ago I remarked to a friend that I had not seen the original Alien movie or Disney's The Little Mermaid. He replied I should come over to watch both, because "those are two movies that just go great together" (LOL).

So it was that my husband I found ourselves watching the dreadful Bee Movie after watching the very grim Snowpiercer. Snowpiercer is a 2013 movie based on a French graphic novel starring Chris Evans and Song Kang-ho. It's actually backed by a Korean studio - which is a growing trend among Asian studios. There are definitely more and more Asian backed films that have a big Hollywood box office star for the main draw.

I don't know if Snowpiercer was in theatres very long. It's an excellent movie, very "thinky" and full of action, but it does fall apart the more one thinks about it. Just as utopias are unattainable, dystopias are rarely sustainable and the logistics of a train that can't stop running and support the people on board doesn't make a lot of sense. It's easier to think of the train as a symbol for class systems. Snowpiercer was so dark and even the hopeful ending ends on the wrong note. In terms of story and style it reminded me of Brazil and Children of Men and a third movie I still can't put my finger on.

Bee Movie should have been the cheerful antidote to Snowpiercer, but I was so bored. This movie is sooooo weird and not very entertaining at all. True, 3D animation in 2007 wasn't that great, but the movie comes off as sounding like it's making fun of oppressed people everywhere when Barry B. Benson, the bee, sues the humans for stealing honey. Ugggghhhh!
calzephyr: (therapy)
Just wanted to toss this out there that [livejournal.com profile] 2017revival has been set up in case you are looking for new LJ friends!

Matilda

Dec. 25th, 2016 10:54 pm
calzephyr: (Christmas)
We didn't want to spend Christmas evening watching something violent - we wanted to laugh and feel good - but we didn't want to get stuck watching Adam Sandler movies or somesuch at the same time. I remembered Matilda because it pops up a lot on Buzzfeed and Matilda herself - Mara Wilson - has recently written articles for Cracked and elsewhere. I was very touched by her recent story about her mother's death while the film was being made.

I would have been a bit too old for Matilda when it first came out, but I wholeheartedly would have loved it as a child because I loved reading and nothing thrills the wee folk like adults getting their come-uppance. I wouldn't have been able to appreciate it though on an aesthetic level however. I loved the tacky, trashy lives of her parents played with great gusto by Danny De Vito and Rhea Perlman and I loved the tons of detail put into the sets as well as the camera work. 80s and 90s movies have a really special feel about them with so much purposely designed that you don't see anymore. Maybe it was all the practical effects instead of whiz bang CGI. Anyhow, we really enjoyed it and still found a lot to laugh about :-)
calzephyr: (oh noes!)
Speaking of my super hot muffins, here's a potluck entry that didn't go so well on local news.

My favourite YouTube comment is: "I admire that woman, she messed up a recipe but instead of throwing it away she decided to torture people with it."

LMAO! Awww!



calzephyr: (Christmas)
I sent out Christmas cards on Monday - I can't believe it, but I sent out about two dozen handmade cards to friends near and far. Usually I'm so behind that I send out New Year's cards :-D I'll post the pictures after Christmas as I remembered to save two for myself!

We're in a deep freeze this week and I think my brain froze. I forgot about the craft club on Thursday and I'm so bummed. Still, plenty of crafting is going on! On Tuesday I gave out about 45 hand stamped bells to my co-workers. I used my bells cutting file to cut six bells to a 12x12" sheet, then stamped them with a striped background stamp and added a sentiment. I threaded gold thread through each one. My original plan was to thread Hershey's kisses onto each one, but that would have taken forever and make everything a tangled mess anyway! Most everyone appreciated their bells and it was nice to see them hung up around the office. When someone makes you something handmade, that means they really like you :-)


Making flat bell cards with my SVG file.
calzephyr: (cooking)
No, my bird has not joined a biker gang :-D I had to toss 9 out of 12 muffins that I made on Monday for the craft club potluck on Tuesday. I was going to make my mildly spicy polenta muffins. The grocery store didn't have any of the big fat red chilies that the recipe required, so I bought a package of small, mixed hot peppers.

I only cut up four for the recipe (they were all lady finger sized) and as you can imagine...well...making substitutions is always tricky and sometimes ill-advised.

Fortunately I tried a muffin after it came out of the oven - hot!! Thinking that it was just one muffin that got most of the peppers, I tried another one - hot!! Thinking that some dip might cool down the taste, I had half of a third muffin and the inside of my ears burned!.

Dang, I don't know what kind of hot peppers these were, but I ended up getting up early on Tuesday to make a new batch, sans peppers. If you want to be friends with people, it's probably best not to melt their faces :-D
calzephyr: (birds)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] calzephyr77 at Why Do People in Old Movies Talk Weird?
Not just old movies...but old time radio too! Watch this clip if you ever had this thought.

calzephyr: (Christmas)
Admittedly last year Her Worship flubbed Toy Day. It's tough being mayor when you don't have anyone to guide you, even though Isabelle was as helpful as possible! This year Her Worship is going to make it the best Toy Day ever even if it means dressing up in an itchy Santa suit.

Celia wants something colourful and food.
Ruby wants a new instrument.
Agnes wants some yellow clothes.
Boomer wants a toy.
Shep wants something orange and a doll.
Robin wants food.
Alice wants a carpet that's green.
Deena wants a...
Apollo wants a piece of white furniture.
Frita wants pink clothes.

Hopefully the other animals will drop some more hints soon!
calzephyr: (birds)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] calzephyr77 at Unfinished ferris wheel, Las Vegas
While on my most recent trip to Las Vegas, I was kind of bothered by all the empty lots. Many of the old time hotels have been demolished with nothing to replace them. Or, at least, nothing finished to replace them. The strip suffers from empty lot syndrome greatly. It's a little difficult to tease out the "unbuilt" Las Vegas from all the touristy sites, but if you're feeling ambitious and it's not too hot, you can walk the north end of the strip and see at least two unfinished resorts.

If you haven't been to Las Vegas, imagine that each hotel property is the size of a mall. It can take hours to walk the strip and it's very easy to underestimate just how long it will take since everything looks close together.

We did a little shopping as Canadians love to do ("OMG Target!! Kohl's!! JCP!!") and while on the way back to the timeshare we stayed at with our friends (itself surrounded by empty lots), I noticed these giant pillars that reminded me a bit of the poem "Ozymandias"

The two giant legs, in this case, belong to the Skyvue Las Vegas Super Wheel which was supposed to open in 2012. Signs around the lot advertised that the land was for sale. It joins the "Voyager" as an unbuilt ferris wheel - and in case you're wondering one ferris wheel did manage to get built, the "High Roller".

Pic under cut )
calzephyr: (Animal Crossing)

Her Worship is a busy soul, what with visiting and learning from other municipalities and rezoning a piece of land on the East side of Burshire to make room for Harv's RV camp.

Even on a day like today, the Harvest Festival, which should have been carefree and relaxing, Her Worship was busting her butt helping Franklin prepare a four course meal. Of course it would have helped if Isabelle had reminded Her Worship to stock up on some of the different fish around town before today, but sometimes even the most diligent of assistants drop the ball now and then!

calzephyr: (scholarly)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] calzephyr77 at A real whoooodunit!
Pardon for the terrible pun, but I couldn't help myself. I guess there's a murder case that has been dragging on since 2001 and there's a theory that an owl attack led to the death of the victim. Quite a fascinating read regardless! Here's the story on Audubon.
calzephyr: (birds)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] calzephyr77 at Greeting cards
I did a summer greeting card exchange with another LJ group and realized I hadn't shared here. These were a challenge to make - and I made five!

Brown sugar commercial cardstock
Pink copy paper
Vanilla cardstock and copy paper
Best Birds stamps and dies plus woodgrain background, Stampin Up
Flower border and walnut ink by Martha Stewart
Pink flowers with an old Sizzix die

I regret doing the flower border. The border isn't meant to be standalone, so I trimmed it from the piece of paper that I punched on. Uggghh! I hope the cards were well received!


And there was finally craft time! Made a bunch of cards for a community card exchange.

calzephyr: (Christmas)
Hi friends,

Time again for a Christmas card call! At the rate that I go, you might get a New Year's card or even a Valentine's card. Please leave your email below (all entries screened) or send me a PM if you want to exchange cards :-) If you have my address, it still hasn't changed!

Cheap Eats

Nov. 7th, 2016 08:47 pm
calzephyr: (cooking)
Our new furnace/hot water tank/AC is almost paid off. It was installed back in April and it was not cheap. Fingers crossed it will all last until we're 60 and can get some senior discounts :-) With the end finally in sight, it was time to get organized again and find some hidden dollars. For too long life has been very seat of the pants and it was causing me some unhappiness.

For some time I have been taking oatmeal to work (because it's easier to eat breakfast at work than argue with my bird over oatmeal) and a big bag of plain oatmeal is pretty cheap! But I had to do better. I bought a giant Tupperware set from my friend that included five 2 oz containers, ten 1 cup containers, five round containers and five divided sandwich boxes, all in five fabulous rainbow colours! It's an organizational miracle.


Making snacks and breakfast for the week. I bought this fabulous #rainbow #Tupperware set from @nnoela and life is 20% cooler! #oatmeal #snacks #mealprep #organization #nobody #timesaver



So far I have started small with the 2 oz containers for cashews and the one cup ones for uncooked oatmeal. We went grocery shopping after making a meal plan on Sunday and I bought grapes, cheese and three different kinds of crackers to make my own SBUX style bistro boxes. I love them, but at $6 a pop I can slice my own darn cheese :-D
calzephyr: (books)
Wow, I have not read a book in ages! I just couldn't get started on any books I already had, so I downloaded some Mary Roberts Rinehart titles from Project Gutenberg.

The Case of Jennie Brice was quick to read, but I sense that it was also quickly written. It felt like it wasn't a cohesive story but more like a collection of events with a few pieces forgotten :) But, I also suspect that Rinehart took "write what you know" to heart and just added a murder or two. In this case , busybody landlady Mrs. Pittman suddenly finds herself intrigued with the possible murder of one of her tenants during Pittsburgh's flood season. I had no idea flooding was so bad back then.

Rinehart launches into great detail about life when your main floor is flooded, including tying up a boat to your banister! Suspicion is cast everywhere but mainly on Jennie's husband. While the police search for Jennie, who might be still alive, a subplot involving Mrs. Pittman's niece and her beau unfolds.

x-posted to [livejournal.com profile] books and [livejournal.com profile] bookish
calzephyr: (pwnies)
[livejournal.com profile] thequestionclub is always so helpful! Simple home reno? possibly not.

I love what someone posted in one of the replies - "A man's home is his hassle". So true!
calzephyr: (books)
Is it weird to review a book series you didn't get around to reading? Years ago (like, 2003!) I felt burned by finding the first book of The Firebringer Trilogy in a second hand bookstore. I found out online that there were two other books in the series. Just as I had gnashed my teeth to nothing, the entire series was republished and I could rest easy. So when I went to the local gaming store and saw this unicorn series by John Lee on the shelf, I bought all four volumes on the shelf. Not going to be burned again!

But alas, it turns out the FIRST book in the series was missing. After so long, I have no interest in reading about the unicorns and whatever war, quest, peace, dilemma and solution they came up with. I'm freeing up some space on the Billy bookshelf for something new!
calzephyr: (birds)
I decided to clear some books out and try my luck at the second hand store for a buck or two - and decided to let go of a little square book by Annette Blaugrund, The Essential John James Audubon. Like many pre-Internet book purchases, this one was a must have for all the colour pictures. The amount of text is very small and is about Wikipedia article sized in length. Audubon's famous pictures are definitely what this book is about! I'm hoping I didn't pay the suggested $18.95 for this book, but I'm sure it can find a new home with another bird lover.
calzephyr: (mysterious)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] calzephyr77 at The Price of Fear

Many people are familiar with Vincent Price's TV and movie career, but I bet few would know that he was quite the OTR star back in the day, appearing on Escape, Suspense and The Saint. But even I didn't know that he had his own BBC produced series, The Price of Fear. Comprising 22 episodes, Price related a half hour tale of horror or mystery in the most personable way. It's like he's sitting at your kitchen table having a cup of coffee, which really sets it apart from more theatrical shows. I find that I really have to listen to the episodes because of this as they really are quite detailed!

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