Archive for August, 2011

Quilled Jewelry

I’ve blogged before about my new favorite craft – quilling.  Since then, I’ve made some more jewelry…

These were a gift for someone.  I might need to make the chandelier-looking ones in the lower right-hand corner for myself.

These are all for me.  🙂  I wear the pink & black circles one a lot.  The color of the flowers don’t really match anything I own (um, duh, think through your colors before making yourself earrings!), so I don’t wear them often.  And I just made the yellow ones a few days ago, but I already love them.  They look better in person.

I branched out to pendants too.  I got the idea for the bluish one from this blog post, but it came out my own way.  Again, looks better in person.

And just for fun — here’s a pillow I made Thursday from an old t-shirt!

I do love cutting up old t-shirts.  🙂  This is all handstitched, so it’s not fabulous, but it’s ok.  It was really easy to do.  BTW, if you ever find yourself in the Traverse City area (which I highly recommend in itself), I highly suggest hitting up the Cherry Bowl.  🙂

– Jill

This Movie Trailer Might Make You Pee Your Pants

When I first heard that Daniel Radcliffe was going to star in the movie version of The Woman in Black I was super excited.  I feel a strong connection to that story since I survived seeing the play when I was in London.

Why do I say “survived” seeing the play?  Because the play is freaking terrifying!!  When I was in London, I latched on to a lovely group of theater majors who were also on the trip and we went to a lot of shows together.  I think I went to 12 in all during the three months I was there.  I missed most of the big ones (The Lion King, Wicked, Chicago, etc.) but offhand I remember seeing Les Mis, Stones in His Pockets (the play Dan went to with his parents and met David Heyman for the first time……not a play for kids btw), Mama Mia, Noises Off, Private Lives (with Alan Rickman!!!) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (with Brendan Fraser).  It was easy for us to go to so many plays because if you had a student ID you could get any last minute tickets for super cheap right before the show started.

Well, one evening Josh asked if I wanted to go see The Woman in Black.  I said sure, whatever, because I had no idea what I was getting into.  Not until we got to the theater and I saw all the super creepy posters did I realize that this was a SCARY play.  I figured, “how scary can it be?  It’s a play, it will be so easy to tell that everything is fake!”  I could not have been more wrong.  The Woman in Black is soooooooo terrifying.  I don’t even remember much about the plot, just that this young dude spends some time in this spooky house and a woman in black keeps appearing.  It may sound kind of lame, but trust me, it is anything but.  At one point during the show, the woman actually walked down the main aisle of the theater and everybody screamed bloody murder.  If I hadn’t been safely up in the cheap balcony seats I would have run out into the dark streets of London by myself to escape the horror.

So anyway, enough rambling.  I figured that since I survived the play, the movie would be no problem at all.  Well, after seeing this trailer, I think I am going to skip this movie until I can watch it in broad daylight, surrounded by family and friends and my cats.

Awwwww man!  Why did I have to watch it again??  Now I am going to have nightmares for days.


Edit:  I just found the website for the play!!

I gotta get over it… and accept Katniss as she is.

soooooo…a few months ago this cover came out:

And I was all “ROWR THEY ACTUALLY MADE HER LOOK OLDER! she looks flippin’ 25! I am so MAD!” and I was rampaging and grumbling and really upset. Yes, she looks badass. But she does not look anywhere near 16.

So then I got all arrogant and decided to prove the point to no one who cared. I asked several of my coworkers, who were unfamiliar with the Hunger Games (beyond knowing the title) and the film’s casting, how old was the girl on the EW cover. I was very very confident that I would hear a “24,” a “about 23” and maybe a “19.”

I was SHOCKED when instead I heard: “14” and “17” and “about 14 or 15.” WHAAAAA?! Are we looking at the same picture? I was speechless. I still do not understand it. But I need to get over it because obviously they are not going to recast just because I am a little grumpy. and yeah yeah yeah, I get it that Jennifer Lawrence is a kick-ass actress…But KICK-ASS is the very point! How much would that movie had changed if they had had, say, Emma Roberts play Hit-girl?!

Weird that I am so negative about this movie so far. It is going to be awesome. SERIOUSLY AWESOME!

But what is with Katniss’ skin-tight leather jacket and boots in the promo pics? Yup, that sure makes her look younger and less like a Bond girl…I just hate it. 😉 gosh, I need to watch Spinal Tap…

Jill Finally Saw Deathly Hallows

Well guys, I finally went to see Deathly Hallows.  I was just getting back from vacation when it came out and didn’t have anyone to see it with, so I wasn’t in a huge rush.  Then I decided I would reread the series and rewatch the movies before going.  Well, I am certainly not as quick a reader as Jen!  As of Friday, I was still working on Order of the Phoenix.  By that point, I was getting really impatient, so I skipped movies 5 & 6 and pushed myself to read/listen to Half-Blood Prince and decided I was going to see the movie after that one.  I figured the book will always be better, so why not just go back and reread Deathly Hallows after seeing the movie?  So that’s what I’m doing.

Anyway, the movie?  It’s been a few hours now and I’m just now able to put things into solid thoughts.  In short, it was amazing.  I wanted to turn around and go see it again, and I don’t generally want to watch something twice in a row.  I’m going to see it again in theaters, I think – possibly in 3D.  (Anyone else see it in 3D?  I figure it’ll be my only chance to.)

My initial thoughts afterward–

– I left the theater feeling a little shaky and very quiet whether from the grief of it all being over, the deaths (Snape in particular) or just low blood sugar (I went at lunchtime).  I still haven’t quite figured what I’m feeling, but I suspect it’s largely sadness that it’s all over.

– The whole film is SO emotional!  Highlights for me include Harry entering the room in Hogwarts from the picture frame with Neville, McGonagall’s preparing the castle for battle, Snape’s flash of memories, and Harry’s resolve to go to Voldemort & his parents, Remus & Sirius with him.  That said, though, I didn’t truly cry at any point.  I got teary a lot, but I think since I was in a room full of strangers, I was able to hold it in.  I kind of wish I’d had a private screening, so I could really let it out.

– The battle scene & the prep for it was spectacular.  I actually was reminded at one point of the huge battle in The Two Towers (even though it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it).  I love a good fight where good is outnumbered but makes up for it in spirit.

– McGonagall is so bad-ass in this film.  I mean, yes a lot of people are incredible, and I’d heard people say McGonagall and Neville are great, but wow.  Another moment where my heart swelled was when everyone was lined up in front of Snape and he’s asking if anyone has anything to say about Harry, when Harry himself steps out.  I honestly couldn’t remember if that was in the book, but I kind of loved it.  And speaking of Snape and feeling emotional — the scene at the very beginning where he’s standing at the top of the castle looking down at the marching students – OMG was his face not PERFECT knowing everything we know about Snape?  Alan Rickman, you ARE Severus Snape.

– The castle being blown up was emotional too.  It’s a little like the scene in the book where Harry leaves the Dursleys’ home – like you’re losing a part of your childhood and officially becoming an adult.  Only way more dramatic.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say after it’s sunk in a little more.  Until then…

– Jill

I Love Lucy Too

This weekend has been full of my favorite 2 things:  I’ve spent most of the time reading and listening to the last 3 Harry Potter books, but during breaks I watched a few episodes of I Love Lucy.  You may have heard how yesterday was Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday.  Google even had an awesome doodle for it.  I’m a big I Love Lucy fan and have been since I was a kid.  Granted, it can be hard to watch at times with all the “Yes sir”s and other forms of husbands dominating wives, but I try to view it as a look into life in the ’50s and how far we’ve come in women’s rights.

At its best, I Love Lucy is an excellent sitcom of hijinks and misunderstandings.  It’s probably the grandmother of all modern sitcoms.  I think for the millions of people who watch it around the world, or at least for me!, it represents something safe and uncomplicated.  If I’m feeling off, I watch a few episodes.  If I’m working on something and just want some background noise, I put in a disc.  I own all 9 seasons.  🙂  (FYI: There are 6 regular seasons of half-hour episodes.  After that, they expanded to shorter, hour-long episodes that ran for 3 years.)

Even if you’re not familiar with the show, you’re sure to know of a few famous episodes–

Lucy Does a TV Commercial (the Vitameatavegamin episode)

Job Switching (the chocolate factory episode)

L.A. At Last (where she accidentally sets her nose on fire while wearing a disguise in front of William Holden)

As much as I love the episodes where they are in California and Europe and that feature celebrities of the ’50s, some of the best ones are in the earlier seasons when they’re in their apartment in New York.  There are so many good episodes to choose from but here are a few of my favorite lesser-known episodes you don’t want to miss!

The Séance
Season 1.  Lucy and Ethel believe in Numerology…and so does the man Ricky is trying to get a job from.  This whole scene is one of my favorites ever.

Ricky Thinks He’s Getting Bald

Season 1. Lucy tries to give Ricky painful scalp treatments so he’ll stop being worried about his hair.

Equal Rights

Season 3. The girls demand equal rights as men, but when they all go out to dinner and the guys make them pay, Lucy and Ethel don’t have any money and are forced to do dishes in the kitchen.  Then they try to get even with Ricky and Fred.  I love the way they skip back after the phone call.

The Charm School

Season 3.  A new young woman entices all of the men in their group, so Lucy and Ethel go to charm school to make them more attractive to their husbands.  Again, this is one of my favorite scenes ever.  YouTube is so great.  Ethel especially makes me laugh everytime.

Ethel’s Hometown

Season 4.  On their way to California, the Ricardos and Mertzes stop in Ethel’s hometown, where she has led everyone to believe *she* is the one on her way to become a star and holds her own show while in town.  This episode might be my all-time favorite, actually.  Btw, if anyone knows how they do the swinging thing at the end, please let me know. It’s been bugging me for years!

Those are mine!  What are some of your favorites?

– Jill

Recap: Order of the Phoenix

Chapter 2 of Order of the Phoenix, A Peck of Owls, is probably one of my favorite chapters in the whole series. So much action & a ton surprising things happen! We find out about Mrs. Figg, Harry is nearly expelled, Dursleys learn about dementors though Petunia already knew(!!!!!), Harry is nearly kicked out of the Dursleys, and Dumbledore sends Petunia a Howler. Wow. J.K. does an awesome job of conveying the quick updates as owls come in with news. We’re as confused, scared, and frustrated as Harry with the unfolding news. I probably also love this chapter because the Howler Aunt Petunia receives was so mysterious & I loved speculating about it.

One of the things I love about the Harry Potter series (one of MANY I’m sure you’ve learned by now) is how something in the wizarding world applies in our world. A dark example of this is the concept of a pureblood witch or wizard being better than a Muggle-born. It’s racism. I like that J.K. put deep, dark, real concepts in her books because I think people are more likely to discuss racism in a book than racism in real life.

Along these lines are the Death Eaters. It won’t be new to anyone for me to compare them to KKK members but there’s a specific passage in this book that really raises this: In chapter 9, page 154, Harry and Mr. Weasley run into Lucius Malfoy in the Ministry of Magic. Harry is particularly upset since he “had last seen those cool gray eyes through slits in a Death Eater’s hood, and last heard that man’s voice jeering in a dark graveyard while Lord Voldemort tortured him.” When I read this, I couldn’t help but remember terrible thing I’d read in the nonfiction book They Called Themselves the K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti.

This book is really when I start to love Ginny and McGonagall even more.  They each really stand out.  Don’t get me wrong, I love them both throughout the whole series, but in this book they step out of the shadows a little bit and truly become memorable characters.  One of my favorite parts is after George and Fred leave (and leave us the fabulous “Give her hell from us, Peeves” line), Peeves does all sorts of things and Harry thinks he hears McGonagall tell Peeves how to correctly unscrew the chandelier.  And with Ginny, I love that when she learns Harry wants to speak to Sirius after seeing his dad in Snape’s worst memory, she instantly starts thinking how they can do it.

Wow, if I thought the end of Goblet of Fire was a race to the finish, this ending is really jam-packed too.  Another of my favorite chapters in the whole series is The Lost Prophecy.  We *finally* learn some answers to mysteries we’d be wondering since Sorcerer’s Stone.  I love Harry’s loud anger juxtaposed with Dumbledore’s quiet sadness.  Harry’s demand that Dumbledore let him out– “if you don’t let me -” “By all means continue destroying my possessions,” said Dumbledore serenly. “I daresay I have too many.” — kills me everytime.

– Jill

Fancy Pants

Just recently I decided that I needed to be more fancy. Not SUPER fancy, mind you. Just fanciER. But how exactly does one become fancier? Oh my. I’m going to need to come up with another word for fancy. Otherwise this is going to start sounding really weird in my head. Fancy. Sophisticated? Sure.

A few weekends ago, the fabulous Amber came down to Nashville to visit me! One of the MANY things that I admire about Amber is that she is always so nicely put together. She always makes sure that her hair and makeup look nice before she leaves the house and she always looks super cute. And then there’s me. I almost never put on makeup, I’m not sure where my hairbrush is and most days I just wear a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. This is not to say that one way is right and the other way is wrong. For what I do every day, jeans and a plain shirt is just fine. If I worked in an office or a place that had a dress code, I’d probably dress better. But for the lab? Well, people wear sweatpants in here. So I’m not exactly under- or overdressed here.

But lately I’ve been reading a lot of design blogs and I’ve realized that I would like for someone to be able to look at me and think that I have style. I want to be one of those put together people. I want to be able to put together an outfit that says to the world: Look at me, not because I have toilet paper hanging out of my pants, but because I am cool and confident and I have my shizz together.

So how does one go about becoming a fancy, sophisticated adult? I have no idea, really. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try. My first move? Project Apartment: Add some style. I’m getting closer to what I want with my apartment. It doesn’t help that I like things that are too expensive for my budget, but I’m finally finding some stuff that spruces up the place. The only thing I really have left to do with the apartment is to figure out what to hang on the walls.

I’ve been looking for ideas about neat things to do and I finally decided that it would just be best to go the safe way and do pictures. But I want to put up fun pictures in a funky design. Has anyone ever seen a wall full of pictures put up in a neat way? I have a lot of wall space in my bedroom that needs filling. I figure I’ll just end up putting pictures there too. I wanted wall art, but I’ve never found anything that I REALLY loved.

I’m also working on making my self fancier, not just my surroundings. I figure my biggest obstacle is my morning prep time. I kind of pride myself on being able to wake up at 8:40 and be at work at 9:00. But if I want to be sophisticated, I’m going to need to wake up early enough to make sure I’m picking out an outfit instead of jeans and a tee. Another obstacle is actually picking out the outfits. I watch shows like What Not to Wear and I see people wearing clothes I really like, but when it comes to picking things out for myself, I’m not the greatest. I need to learn how to spot items in the store and incorporate them into my wardrobe.

So I have some questions! What kinds of pieces do you guys feel are a must for stylish outfits? (belt, scarf, earrings, whatever) Also, do you get inspiration for the kinds of outfits you want to put together or do you just know what looks good together instinctively? Can style be taught? Are there any good books out there that you would recommend for someone like me who was hoping to improve upon their style? And also, do you have any ideas for my blank walls!?

<3s forever, Lindsay