Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Uhm, you guys?

Uhm, you guys?  Did everyone watch my movie yesterday?  I think it should get an Oscar nomination, but EVERY year, the academy IGNORES me.  It's a hard life I lead.  For example, we are deep in a Chicago winter, with approximately 14 months of winter yet to go.  I have little to do but lay around on the couch complaining about my damn plantar fasciitis* and watching videos on Youtube about the latest in fingernail decorative techniques (if you've been living under a rock, the answer is the Ombre Manicure).

*It's when your bananas are fascists.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Heart-Warming Holiday Movie for the Whole Family!

I finally got my movie from Christmas-time in Indiana put together - we had such a good time, and, I think you'll agree, I have the most charming nephews you ever laid eyes on.

Oh, for context, nephew #1 is pretending to be Cobra Cat and "Thriller" Cat

It's probably better  in full-screen (my first HD camera on my new video camera - present from perfect husband, M!).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Here are some movies I've seen in the last month or so:

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Oh, Tom Cruise!  Awesome movie - to me, it brought back the fun of the first Mission Impossible movie, which is one of my favorites.  Idiotic plot that doesn't make any sense, but, who cares?

Young Adult
Depressing as hell, but cool concept.  YA writer of the Gossip Girl variety, the mean girl in question is stuck in a high school mindset.  Lot to think about - probably best as a rental.

Hugo 3D
 Beautiful film - I liked the bits re: silent movies the best.  A real film-lover's movie, no matter how old you are.

Underworld: Awakening
Rotten Tomato critical reviews: 27%; audience reviews: 80% positive.  Oh, snap!  I also went with popular appeal - except I wish the younger girl would have been a serious ass-kicker like Summer in Serenity.  Has anyone ever noticed Kate Beckinsale sounds just like Julie Andrews?  I wonder if she can sing?

Baby Momma
Why Tina Fey? Why!  80's-style comedy about "career woman" (we're just called women these days) who put her job before husband and family!  Now look what happened, you stupid bitch! You don't have no baby!

Temple Grandin
Totally worth seeing, I'd recommend this movie to just about anyone.  Makes you think about cows in a whole new way.  Brilliant line: "You think we'd have cattle if people didn't eat 'em everyday? They'd just be funny-lookin' animals in zoos. But we raise them for us. That means we owe them some respect. Nature is cruel, but we don't have to be. I would'nt want to have my guts ripped out by a lion, I'd much rather die in a slaughterhouse if it was done right."

Crazy, Stupid Love
Like everyone else in America, I cannot get enough of Ryan Gosling!  He is amazing (to look at) in this movie, and Steve Carrell is so funny.  Stupid plot twist at end doesn't even ruin it.

Beautiful film starring Ewan McGregor and absolutely perfect Christopher Plummer.  Reminded me a lot of A Single Man, but mostly because of gorgeous LA architecture.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Whatcha cookin', good lookin'?

My mom made us gals these adorable aprons for xmas - they're reversible and everything!  Aren't they the cutest things you ever saw?  I LOVE aprons, so I was pretty happy to have a special one made by my mom (and knowing that I have some twinsies around as well!)

My mom: the original crafter!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dirty Harry

We watched Dirty Harry a few nights ago - I'd never seen it before - it's quite good!

But, check this out...

I'm just sayin'... 

Oh, this scene right here was awesome.   

I've actually seen a ton of movies lately that I haven't had time to blog about. I'll try to do a quick and dirty recap soon (for my legions of fans!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pillow Spree

I have been on a pillow spree lately!  I recently learned that it's not too difficult to put a zipper in a pillow -  in fact, I would say that it's actually easier to put a zipper in a pillow than NOT to, and it looks better as well - so... zippers in pillows, all the time, yo.

balls on the inside
I bought this vintage tablecloth at my local shop and have been putting it to good use for years.  You may recognize it from the curtains in my kitchen.  I've been wanting to make a pillow as well and finally it all came together when I was admiring my trim hoard.

It was quite easy to make - I just free-handed the trim around, then pinned it down and then sewed it down, then trimmed off the extra fabric, cut a coordinating fabric and sewed that on, right sides together, balls stuffed inside, and... voila!  Bob's your uncle.

Then I made another pillow so that one wasn't lonely and because I was on a ROLL that could not be stopped after merely one stunningly fabulous, Grandma Chic pillow creation.  This one I made out of some cute orange fabric I've had laying around with some adorable blue stripes on the reverse.  Plus a little yellow rick rack from that aforementioned Hoard o' Trim.
The front

I only wish I had finished this when my sister and my nephew were in town because I think he would have liked those turquoise  pom poms.  He did something very funny with my lavender eye pillow which was to first try to throw it like a bean bag and then, after being admonished that it was not a "play toy" and meant for "meditative relaxation" (I remain, by the way, a favorite aunt, even after that conversation). Then he enjoyed running into our room, leaping and bouncing on the bed, and then throwing himself down and shouting, "Look at me, Auntie!" Whereupon he would grab my eye pillow, slam in it on his eyes and pretend (N.B.) to relax.  For about 10 seconds.  

The back... or the front?

So happy together!

Those are not even ALL the pillows I have made recently!  Stay tuned for more... pillows!  And more zippers.  And, possibly more stories about my adorable nephews.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fascinating New Years

Here's a pic of me and M at New Years - we had a little party at my parent's house.  Before the party, the gals made fascinators - they were really fab, but I didn't get many pictures, as usual.  Alas, in this picture, my fascinator kind of blends into the tree, although my fascinator was called Winter Wonderland, so, maybe that's good?

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Skins (some spoilers)

Has anyone seen that British TV show, Skins?  It. Is. So. Fantastic.  Season 1 and 2 were my favorite - I really liked that cast.  I love love love Tony (the actor is that kid who played that kid in that movie with Hugh Grant, knowwhaimsayin'?) and I really liked Maxxie, and I liked all the girls.  And when Tony got hit by that bus,  I was like, NO WAY!
first cast
 Then, when season two started and there was a whole new cast, I was like, WHAAAAAAA?  No!  and I thought I would never like the new people.  But, then, it turns out, I really love all those characters too.  Especially Effy and Pandora and Cook and Freddie.  And Thomas.  And then when they all went camping and got high and Effy clocked whatshername over the head and left in her in the woods for dead, I was like, NO WAY!  And then, when Effy and Cook go on the run I was like OH MAN WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN NEXT?  and meanwhile, I really wished they would give us some clue about what had happened the previous cast, but, it's like, too bad, you're not going to find out.  I got one of those weird, pervy, old-lady crushes on Freddie.

2nd cast
Then, at the end of Season 4... do you know what happened?  Imma drop a big spoiler, so stop reading if you're going to watch this series, which you really should, but I REALLY want to talk with someone about this so I hope a loyal fan reads this.  So (OK, here's the spoiler):  Freddie gets killed? oh. my. gawd.  How could that have happened?  Then, Cook goes to the guy's house and it's like, OMG, GET OUT OF THERE, COOKIE! But, he stays and has what I would call like, one of the best moments in televised history?  Personally, I think Cook defeated that guy.  I mean, he's Cook, he's strong, a loose cannon, and he just found out his friend got murdered?  Dang, man, but the end of that series came rough.  Even M, who happened to watch that episode with me, wanted to watch "the first five minutes" of the next one, to find out what happened.  "They're gone," I said, "We'll probably never find out."

kinda lame
Then, I was crushed for a while.  And I didn't even think I could WATCH season 5.  But, I reminded myself how I never thought I would enjoy the second group of people, but I totally loved them, so I would probably love the 3rd bunch too.  But, it turns out I didn't enjoy that cast as much.  I thought the whole bit with the Mean Girls was dumb, and I didn't like Alo or Rich or any of the girls except Franky.  Also, it didn't have any of the sort of extreme teenager-craziness of the previous story-lines.  No major drama that made me shout and feel weird and pervy.  Did really love that song at the end of season 5, though...

Thursday, January 05, 2012

pixel portraits

I saw this article in Martha about how to make little cross stitch portraits - if only they'd published it in like, July, I could have made them for everyone I knew!  As it was, I couldn't make nearly as many as I'd've liked to, because they're just BEYOND cute and I think everyone really liked them.  Here are some...
D, C & D
M & R

G&G (with cats)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012


My friend M showed me some fabulous hats by an old friend of hers.  They inspired me to "make" some of my own hats.  Actually, this gal creates her own hats start to finish, but I bought some plain wool hats and embellished them myself.  I made this one for my friend, J.
cute, right?
I was quite pleased with the results.  A small tragedy is that I made one for my sister and forgot to take a picture.  Also, my mom made a Winter Wonderland on a red wool cloche that's pretty incredible (also undocumented).  What I really like about this designer is that she really goes for it, where I'm much more inclined to scale back.  So, she kind of inspired me to go for it a little more than I might normally.

PS, here's how I learned to make those fabric flowers.

Monday, January 02, 2012

When all through the house...

Well, we are return'ed from a long trip to Indiana where we just plumb exhausted ourselves with visiting and whatnot.  It was a great trip but we are always happy to come back out our little cottage and our little darling, Kaya (in great shape, due to being with friends next door!)

I did some mad crafting in advance of Christmas, which I'll share with you over the next few days - the first was this little antique bed that needed a mattress and bedding.  I was so pleased with the results I wanted to take a tiny nap in it myself!

Adorable detail


Reversible blanket