Monday, June 18, 2018

Flowers for a hot day

It's stinking hot here at 41C with the humidex and I am dreaming of snow..yes, I am one of those nuts.  The birthdays are done but now I am helping out my best friend with packing, trying to organize stuff...who has tons of stuff?  Working away at my job, making dinners for family and friends...I miss my craft room..waa...waa. Anyway I did make a couple of cards and am showcasing them here.



Addicted to Stamps-Anything Goes
Crafty Creations-Anything Goes
Dream Valley-Add Some Bling
Eclectic Ellapu-Anything Goes
Sparkles Monthly-Let's Be Pretty
Flower Challenge-Use a former Challenge-I used Challenge 12 Tic, Tac, Toe (Embossing, Distress Inks, Watercolour.
Simon Says-Frame It


I created these 2 cards a while back for another challenge which I missed. I miss so many challenges that I am surprised I don't miss where i left my brain..wait..maybe I have misplaced that thing that goes inside my head.

I used the same rose stamp for both cards but one I created with bold colours while the other is pretty in pink...I am not a pink gal but I know someone who is so this is very girly. The first rose is water-coloured with gelatos (look like gooey thick crayons) while the second is water-coloured with distress inks. I used the cuddlebug for the background design in the first card and then layered the card in bright colours. I fussy cut the rose out, placed it on the card with pop up dots, added the butterfly, border stickers and stamped a saying with the 2nd part inside the card(...I am here for you.). My best friend received this card because she is going through divorce hell.

The 2nd pretty in pink card is just one layer but the rose (fussy cut) was placed on a marble type paper with the butterfly. I took my sizzex machine and a die cut for the border and added it around the rose to frame it and finished it off with some bling.

I cross my fingers, toes and eyes that I create more cards than I have been.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-mythology/Legend


Wandering through the Shelves chose mythology and Legends which I love and can’t get enough of if they are done correctly (Richard Gere as Lancelot is so very wrong). I went a little nuts and I don’t care, so here we go.

1. JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS - 1963


With all the CGI today we get spoiled by these special effects and tend to forget the artists of years ago. Ray Harryhausen is one person who deserves all the accolades and I would have turned into one of those nutty teens who went nuts for the Beatles if I had met this man. I could have chosen any of his films and they would have fit but this one stands out for me because of the wicked skeletons whom Jason and the others must fight. The painstaking time it took to create these figures in his films just leave me speechless. This film is about the famous Jason who must find the Golden Fleece sailing with a loyal crew which includes Hercules, meeting Medea and finding many adventures. Great movie flick that is full of fun.

2. LEGEND-1985


This stars a young Tom Cruise who must save a princess and the last unicorn before this evil being, played brilliantly by Tim Curry in one of the best demon makeup ever, brings permanent darkness to the land. This film is just magical in the way it is filmed, the cinematography, the make up and the style. The acting is ok and some things could have been improved but the visuals are beautiful and ..I just love Billy Barty.

3. THE SEVENTH STREAM-2001


This is actually a Hallmark TV film that I watched on PBS when it came on and I had forgotten the name of the film but I remembered it starred Scott Glenn. I finally found it and, if I can get it on DVD, I will! It takes place around the turn of the century in Ireland where a widower with his young child, helps out a woman who is abused by her employer. It is found that she is a selkie...a seal that can come onto the beach, shed its skin and become a woman but if she misses her time to go back into the water, she remains a woman forever. The problem is her employer has her skin which she needs to turn back into a seal. I found this film very romantic, ethereal and well acted. One does not think of Scott Glenn as a romantic lead which is why it works so well.

BONUS...

4. ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD-1938


yeah...I wrote about this one before but I love it and find this film one of the best and my heart belongs to Errol Flynn as the legendary Robin Hood who robs from the rich and gives to the poor, who is the enemy of the Sheriff of Nottingham and falls in love with the beautiful Maid Marion played by Olivia De Havilland who is 102 come this July.

5. EXCALIBUR-1981


This is the best film version of the the legend of King Arthur, well, the best non-comical version:) and shows the legend of this lost king. The visuals are great, the acting is excellent and one sees Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson and Helen Mirren in early roles. My favourite is Merlin and Carmina Burana music set to Arthur’s ride at the climax of the film is an excellent way to showcase music.

6. LADYHAWKE-1985


I saw this film when it first came out and I ended up lusting after Rutger Hauer..I know..what the F. I still love this film with its atmospheric style and fairy tale quality. A thief, played by a young Matthew Broderick, escapes the dungeon and takes off with the Bishop`s men in hot pursuit. He is befriended by a Captain who is also hunted by the Bishop. It seems the Bishop had the hots for the fair Isabeau, played by Michelle Pfeiffer but the Captain and Isabeau love each other. As a result, the Bishop has placed a curse on the lovers where he turns into a wolf by night and she turns into a hawk by day thus making sure they can never be together. It has romance (the kind I like), adventure and some lightness to it which I think, works well. The CGI is non existent and the budget was not high but one can overlook this due to the story and imagery.

One last one....If you have not seen any of the trailers and need a laugh, watch this...




Thursday, June 7, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-Monologue/Soliloquy/Speech


It has been a very busy week and a fun weekend going to the zoo and seeing all the animals. The Toronto Zoo has actually helped many animals come back from the brink of extinction and they educate people about the animals. Sunday, I slept and didn’t move much and yesterday I went for my infusion and was stoned for most of the day but my pain is much better. I hope to show some pictures once I figure out how to send the pics from my phone to my email:). Anyway, this week it is all about actors giving the speech of their lives in films. Check out Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what the others have chosen. Here are my 3...

1. RUGGLES OF RED GAP-1935


I finally saw this film a couple of months ago and enjoyed it immensely. Charles Laughton plays an English Butler who is won in a bet by a man who lives in the rugged west. It is fun to see how this fish out of water tries to settle into the American way of life. The most famous part of this film is Charles Laughton’s rendition of Lincoln’s speech. The role is beautifully played by Laughton and his speech makes one love that famous speech all the more. I think it quite funny that the Englishman knows the speech while the locals have no clue....typical even for today. I chose a video where one just listens to Laughton reciting this speech..hope you give it a listen.

2. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON-1939


How can I write about this topic and not choose a Jimmy Stewart film! James Stewart has many films where one can choose a speech but I chose one of his most famous which comes from this film about a young, naive and idealistic senator who is asked to come to Washington. He is to be a stooge for a crooked deal involving land but the old senators don’t realize who they are messing with. The last 20 or so minutes has the young senator holding the floor of the senate, never yielding, trying to showcase that the government should be for the people and not for corporate manipulations. Again, a wish for all of us.

3. THE GRAPES OF WRATH-1940


A great book written by John Steinbeck about the Great Depression, the dust bowl and the average Joe who had to leave their homes, after the banks foreclose, and travel to California. In this film, there are no snazzy costumes or musical interludes but the gritty, sad realism that was afflicting so many people in the mid west. Henry Fonda plays Tom Joad, recently released from prison who travels with his family to California only to be placed in camps and made to feel like slaves to the rich landowners who have no problem becoming richer on the hardships of the farmers who lost everything. Henry Fonda’s speech is also very famous but I love Jane Darwell’s speech about "We're the people". A great film worth seeing even once.

Which films would you choose?

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks:TV Edition-entertainment Industry


TV time again since it is the last Thursday of the month and what better way to bring in the summer than with the entertainment industry. This has been a crazy month with 7 birthdays in 2 weeks ending with my birthday this Saturday 🎂. My friend, 2 of her kids, my hubby’s niece and my niece, my hubby last Friday...and then me. It has been expensive especially when you add in flower buying for the outside and license renewal. So this week is fun because it is about entertainment on the boob tube. I wonder what everyone else will choose, and to find out, head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves. Here are my 3...

1. I LOVE LUCY-1951-1957


I know I picked this before and could have chosen The Dick Van Dyke show but I just love...I mean LOVE this show. We all know that Ricky Ricardo owns a nightclub where he has his big Cuban band and he is the star. His wife, the great Lucille Ball, will do anything to be a part of his show much to his dismay and tries, in vain, to keep her off the stage. Their best friends and landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz often are in on the hijinks. I have to admit that my favourite part of the series is when Ricky is asked to come to Hollywood for a movie and the gang meet all sorts of great movie stars from William Holden to John Wayne. The stars begin to realize how crazy the redhead is when she creates havoc trying to catch a glimpse of these famous people.

2. JUST SHOOT ME-1997-2003


I am not sure how many people saw this show but I thought it was quite funny about a top selling fashion magazine, named Blush, who is owned by a 4 times married man who hires his daughter to help run his enterprise. She has issues with daddy who loves fun and she is all intellectual and serious. The rest of the cast is rounded out by the Fashion Editor, a once big time model who can’t remember the 70’s since she lived at Studio 54. The photographer who loves to date all the models and the nerdy, creepy guy who is the Executive Assistant. George Segal is great as the dad, Wendy Malik plays the former model who wishes she was still 25 and David Spade plays the creepy geek. I enjoyed this show but the studio moved it around all the time which made it difficult to find and which didn’t help the ratings.

3. SMASH-2012-2013



This was a short-lived series with Steven Spielberg as an executive producer and Debra Messing, Katherine McPhee and Angelica Huston as leads in this series about a musical being made on the life of Marilyn Monroe. You see how the producer does everything in her might to find the money for this musical. The writers for the show must deal with a lot of crap every which way especially when the director is hired, who has a god complex. The casting call goes out and the part of Marilyn is between 2 gals, one a newbie(Katherine McPhee) and the other who has been part of the chorus for years (Megan Hilty). This was quite good, I thought, but it was a musical so it never had a great start for a show but it was done intelligently and with style. Most of the singing was to showcase a song from the show but, regardless, I found all the songs related well with the script. I enjoyed how a Broadway show gets put together, despite the in-fighting, intrigue, egos etc... What a shame it only lasted 2 seasons especially since I love Angelica Huston and Megan Hilty has a great voice. Oh, not that i am doing Battle of the Bands but, if you have the time to listen to each gal, who would you choose to be Marilyn based on her voice?

Which 3 would you choose?

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: Friendship


Now, this is a huge theme that can go in so many directions and it will be interesting what everyone will pick. I chose a theme within a theme and went with comedy duos which has many to choose from when one thinks about it. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what friendships the others have chosen. Here are my 3....

1. SONS OF THE DESERT-1933


Laurel & Hardy are one of the most famous comedy teams in history and, even if you have not seen any of their films, you know their silhouettes- the fat man with the skinny man with the long face. We even know Hardy’s line and Laurel’s whimper but few have seen their movies which is a shame. Laurel and Hardy were my dad’s favourite and, anytime they were on tv, he watched them and laughed since he saw their movies when he was in his 20’s (my dad was born in 1913). I chose this film because I remember my dad laughing like hell and so did I with the antics of these 2. The 2 men are married and lie to their wives why they can’t go with them on a holiday so they can go to a Chicago convention. There are many antics that ensue with their wives, at first worried about them to wanting to kill them when they find out the truth. It’s a classic and, even though this plot has been done in many future movies, this film is hilarious and worth checking out. By the way, this comedic duo loved each other as friends off screen as well and Laurel was devastated when Hardy passed away.

2. ONE NIGHT IN THE TROPICS-1940


Abbott & Costello are one of the best comedic teams ever and this is their first film after gaining fame in Burlesque, regular theatre and radio. This film is about a man who, with a unique life insurance policy must marry the girl he loves. Of course, hijinks ensues when he, the girl he loves, the insurance salesman, and the man’s ex-girlfriend all hightail south of the border with 2 men who are to ensure the man marries the girl. Abbott & Costello steal the show as the 2 men hired to ensure the 2 leads marry. They are downright hilarious and this film showcases their famous, “Who’s on First”  routine. I laugh every time I listen to this routine and it never gets old in my book. They made many films well into the 1950s  with some being better than the others but I laugh at all of them even when they meet Dracula and Frankenstein. They had a complicated relationship to say the least with Abbott being a difficult man to deal with. I prefer to watch them in action.

3. THE CADDY-1953


Martin and Lewis were a huge comedy team that started in the 40’s on stage and became famous in the 50’s with their string of hit movies only to separate when they had a falling out and going their separate ways. The nice thing is they did make up over 20 years later and were speaking with one another. Anyway, The Caddy is a funny film about a young man, Jerry Lewis, who is terrified of crowds, pushed by his dad to become a golfer since they own a golf course. In enters Dean Martin, who shows a natural talent for golfing and Lewis becomes his caddy. Lewis plays the goof  while Martin plays the crooner and they start to clash while on a tournament. It’s typical Martin and Lewis at their best doing what they know best. I enjoyed watching this film recently and had a good laugh despite Jerry Lewis.

a Musical Friendship (Cole Porter) interlude...if you need a little laugh today:)



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Guilie’s New Book!


I have never done this before partly because I didn’t know how it all works (she e-mailed me her post and I saw all this gibberish which is computer talk so I hope I did this correctly) but I felt this is important because she rescues dogs on her home island of Curaçao. I first blog met Guilie Through The A to Z Challenge and was so happy to have done so because I believe in her fight and her vision. Trying to save dogs, cats or any animal is noble and important and very difficult since many don’t want to be saved due to their mistrust of humans, one lives the heartache every time one sees an animal in distress, not all animals make it and one has to deal with the nasty part of human beings. By the way, I hope Guilie doesn't mind, but she recently lost a furbaby which I posted the picture above. I will speak about my favourite dog film after hers.

I feel bad that I missed the giveaway but I still find it important to have her here at my blog so, without further adieu, here is Guilie....maybe I haven't missed the giveaway...:)

Thank you so much for having me over to talk movies, Birgit! I've long been a fan of this cozy space you have here—to say nothing of your crafts; you have a wee talent there, my friend!—so I'm thrilled to get a chance to contribute a bit to it.

You'd think that, being such a dog lover and all, I'd be first in line at the box office to watch anything with dogs in it. Alas, that is not the case. The prospect of a dog movie gives me that sinking feeling that most people associate with the moment at a roller coaster when you're all strapped in and just waiting for the thing to start rolling.

Part of it is that I can't help worrying about the dog actor/actress. Were they treated kindly, were they mistreated (remember "https://www.hollywoodrep orter.com/news/gavin-polone-a- dogs-purpose-outcry-what-happe ned-whos-blame-967160" that awful scandal around A Dog's Purpose; fake news in the end, but it's every animal lover's worst nightmare)? Were they trained using positive reinforcement or were their fears preyed on for the sake of the production? This is what I obsess over during every scene that has a dog in it. Every. Scene.;No, not pleasant.
 
And I dislike the heartstring-pulling. Dogs seem to get cast in movies mostly for the purpose of engaging—and manipulating—the audience's emotions. But my heart can only take so much dog (and animal) suffering, and, as a rescuer, I see too much of it already on a daily basis.

So, yes, I hesitate.

Having said that, there are two dog movies I love. Deeply, and without reservation.

 

The all-time Olympian champion of heartstring-pulling, the most shameless of all manipulative tear-jerkers ever brought to the screen. Seriously, Pollyanna does not hold a candle to this yellow dog's story. I love it to bits anyway. I can't watch it (especially not the end, never ever again the end), but I love it. Maybe it's nostalgia. Maybe it's the 'found dog' idea (I've been rescuing since I was 8). Maybe it's the 'boy and his dog'...

I grew up an only child, and my one constant companion was a wonderful Boxer named Cookie (Cuca for short) whom I adored and who adored me right back. No raccoons or bears or rabid wolves; our adventures were much tamer than Travis's and Old Yeller's, but their camaraderie still resonated.

And maybe that's where the value of this film is. The relationship between boy and dog is not just central to the plot; This is, at its core, a film about the lessons a dog—loving a dog—brings to our lives.





                                                              The Secret Life of Pets (2016) 

This one I'll watch anytime, anywhere. I'll stop channel-surfing if I catch it on TV. There is no tear-jerking here, no dying (well, almost no dying)—no, this one has humor! And a happy ending! (Sorry for the spoiler, but for us too-sensitive animal fanatic rescuers, the happy ending is a must!

Don't be fooled, though. This film may look like a pet version of Toy Story (the comparison just begs to be made), but it goes far beyond that. "The Secret Life of Pets" does something really special: it captures animals in all their wonderful, quirky uniqueness. Each of the animals here—dogs, cats, goldfish, parakeet, psycho bunny—has their own distinct personality but never fails to come across as a realistic representative of their species. The way the cats play, for instance. The dogs' body language. Their rationale, their relationships with their humans... It's all recreated to a T.

I love it because it brings to life the amazing diversity of the animal world, because it does that in incredibly funny ways, because it never loses sight of the basics of animal welfare—and because it deals with the issues of cruelty and neglect and human ignorance without making light of them but still keeping it easily digestible. When it comes to animal welfare awareness, it's films like this one that end up making a broader impact.



(And because of the soundtrack. That 'Grease' cameo in the sausage factory—and when was the last time you heard Beastie Boys in a film? An "animated" ;film? Oh, and because of the strong female lead—even if she started out as a ditz, but that was her journey. And, above all, because of Psycho Bunny.)

Of course I still cry at the end (and throughout, really). But it's the good tears.<


Birgit, you were one of maybe three full-steam-ahead supporters back in 2016 when I wrote the original blog series that would, eventually, become "It's About the Dog: The A-to-Z Guide for Wannabe Dog Rescuers", and I'm forever grateful to you for that. Without your encouragement and enthusiasm, I probably would never have dared to even imagine turning it into a book. I'd certainly never have had the motivation! I can't thank you enough for hosting me here today, and I look forward to chatting with you and your readers in the comments. I'd love to know if you've seen these two films, and what you thought if you did, and if you have any favorite dog movies.


Guilie Castillo, Mexican expat, writer, and dog rescuer, is the author of 


 "It’s About the Dog: The A-to-Z Guide for Wannabe Dog Rescuers" (Everytime Press, April 2018), a hands-on, less-tears-more-action, 100% practical introduction to dog rescue.

This post is a part of, "https://lifeindogs.blogs pot.com/p/the-dog-book-blog-to ur.html", The Dog Book Blog Tour; during April and May, author and book will be making the rounds of dog-loving sites on the blogosphere to talk dogs and rescue—and to give away THREE signed copies. (More about both tour and giveaway "https://lifeindogs.blogs pot.com/p/the-dog-book-blog-to ur.html")

I planned on creating a couple of dog cards and will do so and, when i show them here, I hope Guilie will accept these cards as a gift. Ok my favourite dog movie....

LASSIE COME HOME-1943


This film started the whole Lassie series and this dog was amazing! When I saw this film, with a young Roddy McDowell and Elizabeth Taylor, I was riveted about a collie taken away from the boy Lassie loved, and her way back home to the boy. The ending makes me cry every single time. Yes, it is manipulative but in the best way and, let me tell you this dog was treated well off camera. 

I have to give a mention to the Dog that started  it all regarding great dog adventures and, the rumour is this dog won the best acting Oscar in 1928 but, the bigwigs didn't want Oscar to lose credibility, so they gave the Oscar to a human-Emil Jannings.  Let's here it for the puppy saved by an American during WW1  in the trenches to become the biggest name in Hollywood during the 1920's...Rin-Tin-Tin


I hope you enjoyed this post and please check out Guilie's blog and her book which is excellent.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks-Twisty Thrillers


It's all about twisty thrillers this week which are some of my favourites. I am staying away from Hitchcock, especially Psycho, which is a great pick but I think of him more towards suspense. I also stayed away from The 6th Sense which totally blew my mind away but I wanted to choose 3 other films. Let's see what the others have chosen so head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to see what thrillers that blew their mind. Here are my 3...

1. THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE-1946


This is a film review so to see a slight bit go to 1:35 min and watch the small bit. I love this film and can watch it over and over again. A serial killer is on the loose and kills women who have an affliction of some sort. A beautiful but mute young woman is told to stay at her home, a beautiful but eerie manor which is home to a variety of people-the kindly professor who felt sorry for the girl and took her in years before. His no good brother who has the hots for the professor's secretary, The old woman who is an invalid driving the nurse and everyone else nuts and the cook who loves her drink. Of course there is a bad storm outside and the killer seems to have found his way inside. An excellent film with many dark eerie corners shot like a horror film but also a thriller. A little known gem worth seeing.

2. CHINATOWN-1974


"My sister...(slap)...My Daughter...(slap)..." Oh what fun one has with good ole Faye Dunaway who plays the femme fatale in this stylish but gritty film Noir directed by Roman Polanski. The gumshoe is acted by Jack Nicholson  who finds out early that not is all as it appears plus he better not have to blow his nose(see the movie). I found it a tough film to watch because it was hard for me to follow ...I guess I am a blonde. Anyhoo, you don't know whom to trust, believe or feel sorry for. The scene I allude to at the beginning floored me as well as the ending. It won many awards and I can see why even if it is a film i don't find fun to watch.

3. BLACK WIDOW-1987


Talk about a little known gem that i would love to own in a DVD. It stars Debra Winger, whom most people could not stand to work with, as a Federal Agent who finds a connection to a series of murders that brings her to a very, very naughty woman, played by Theresa Russell. Theresa is the black widow who changes her looks and personality to suit the next male numbnut she wants to marry and kill. This film has 2 very strong female roles who bring more to their characters than the norm and created a killer (sorry) film. Well worth the watch.

Which 3 would you choose?