Archive | August, 2013

Tv – Boxsets vs films

31 Aug

I watch a lot of television. I say that unashamedly. If I had children, I’m sure I’d consider it brain rotting, but I don’t have children, and therefore my television is nearly always on.

I think there is a certain age where people need to know EVERYTHING – and I capitalise that, because it’s the way I feel about knowledge. I turn 38 this year, and I feel as if time is running out in some way, so I must know everything there is to know.

At school, I was pretty much like I am now – I wasn’t interested in history, was laughably bad at geography, and the only things I did well at were Art and using computers (so well, in fact, that I won the prize for Computer Studies in sixth form, and I didn’t even take the A level). At that age all I wanted to know was when I would next be allowed to go and see Suede live, and whether you could see my knickers through the pjyamas I was wearing on the stage during assembly. All I remember from school is how oxbow lakes are formed, who built the first arch balanced on a column, and that Pride & Prejudice is a terrible book.

I am in the stage of my life where I want to not only know stuff, but I want to see everything that’s ever been filmed – I watch every documentary I can get my hands on, because I will learn something from it, I watch every film that gets added to Netflix because I have to know if it’s any good, and I will literally try every TV series which exists to see if it’s any good.

It’s partly because I feel that if someone took the time to put it on film, it deserves to be watched by someone; it’s my strange need for everyone to be happy, like the way I wish all football teams would allow the losing side to score if it’s, for example 4-0. If there are a dozen of the same piece of clothing on a rack, I feel a bit sorry for it, and if it fits me, I’ll buy it. My friend once told me she would throw another pea on the floor if she dropped one, so it wasn’t lonely – as a sidenote, I’m sure it’s no mistake she eventually had twins.

I’m getting off message, as always.

What I’ve learnt in the year I’ve had Netflix is that there are some truly awful TV programmes out there, in the UK as well as in the US. However, there are also TV programmes I like more than films. Here, then, and finally, are the 3 best of all time, and 3 hidden gems, and they’re all on Netflix.

BEST

  1. Breaking Bad

breaking-bad-all-characters

This is so far away from a hidden gem, but it should be up there with Twin Peaks, The Sopranos, The Wire… any of those programmes which are regularly touted as the best ever. Personally, I like BB more than any of those 3. I don’t really know why, it’s just gotten under my skin. Bryan Cranston is a fantastic actor who hasn’t made it into films, for whatever reason, but he can act for 15 minutes without speaking.

  1. Dexter

DEXTER (Season 2)

I thought this seemed like a ridiculous idea when I heard about it, and after the first series I read the book and thought, ‘this is shit, it’s not going anywhere.’ However, the series has veered away from the books, thank goodness, and it’s truly watchable, tense, television.

  1. Spaced

spaced

The funniest sitcom ever made. It’s laugh out loud as well as being smart – the best way to watch it is with the subtitles on telling you what the action onscreen is referencing, or with the commentary. In turn I use references to Spaced in every day life, and every time I watch it, it reminds me of my old friend who was so much like Daisy.

HIDDEN GEMS

  1. Trivia

triv

We stumbled across this Irish comedy one night, and I’m disappointed we haven’t seen the second season. It’s basically about a pub quiz team in a small Irish village, but it spreads out and encompasses the characters involved in the quiz team, and there’s a lot of scope for them to continue.

  1. The Office US

The_office_US

A lot of people refuse to watch this, thinking it’s just a carbon copy of the UK version. It isn’t – after the Pilot, it veers away dramatically away from the UK storyline, and there are some amazingly touching, cringeworthy or hysterical episodes.

  1. Lie to Me

lie to me

A series about a team of ‘facial expression’ experts. Tim Roth overacts, the premise is ridiculous, but it’s just goddamn entertaining watching Roth hamming it up. It’s sort of like CSI but watching people’s faces as they’re interviewed. Give it a go, it’s entertaining, even if the acting isn’t amazing.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

  1. Damages – very good, but not as good as the other 3, and not really an undiscovered gem
  2. 30 Rock – only recently discovered on Lovefilm, working through it
  3. Arrested Development – we only recently watched series 1-3 as Netflix recommissioned a new series – however, the most recent season has nearly undone all the good the first 3 did

On the whole, I prefer a TV series box-set to a film. There’s more scope for offshoots, you really get into the nitty gritty of a story, and explore each facet, usually over a number of week. However, there’s always the worry that I’m going to die before I see all the episodes – this may seem stupid, but it’s a constant fear I’ve had all my life, rather ridiculously.

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Some typographical experiments

30 Aug

If you follow me on twitter or instagram, I’m sure you’ve seen my night time doodlings of favourite phrases I hear online or the TV

Here’s what I’ve done with the last 3

dont be afraid to fail

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

i am not an empty man socket

I am not an empty man socket

shark week

Shark Week

I’m enjoying this very much. It’s not like it’s anything new or that no one else is doing, but you know, there’s only so many ways you can write anything.

Blog sale – jewellery

26 Aug

I’ve recently taken stuff off the website – it’s getting a redesign, and I need to clear out things which have been around a while.

Postage will be £1 per item, maximum is £3. If you buy a couple of things, I usually do free postage.

Continue reading

Paper bead making

9 Aug

I’ve been making paper beads for the last couple of months – it started because I wanted to find a cheap, simple activity to teach at a workshop, and has since developed into just me making beads because it’s easy, basically free, and I love seeing the results. I haven’t done ANYTHING with them yet, I just have a box full.

Amy taught me to make them in the first place – and also told me you can find amazing tutorials online to make more and more complicated beads. It’s basically one of those crafts which is as easy or as difficult as you want it to be, and practice only makes you better.

So it’s my craft of the week this week, and here’s how you do it. I highly recommends trying it with children, because they can then be used another day to make jewellery with. I’m going to try and make pictures out of them eventually, so I’ll share the results when I manage that…

WHAT YOU NEED

paperbeads1

  • Paper – the best stuff to use is matt paper, and nothing too thick. I used a Charlie & Lola comic (is there nothing you can’t do with them?)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • A stick of some sort – I use a wooden bamboo skewer, but a knitting needle would work. Be careful it’s not sharp if doing this with children!
  • Glue stick – you might be tempted to use another sort of glue, but I really wouldn’t recommend it to start with.

NB I don’t use the ruler, pencil and scissors any more – I cut multiple sheets of paper into the right shape using my guillotine – once you get more confident I highly recommend buying a guillotine if you work with paper a lot.  I got mine here on eBay and it’s paid for itself in time alone.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. First, you need to make your paper into triangles. This is what your pencil, ruler and scissors are for.  The easiest way is to measure 2cm intervals on the bottom of the sheet of paper, and then measure 2cm intervals on the top, starting 1cm in. Then you join them up at angles.This image from bigbeadlittlebead.com shows this method with 3cm intervals, but you can make it any size you like.
  2. Once you have triangles, however you want to make them, it’s time to start.paperbeads2
  3. Start by putting the wider edge against the stick, and flip it a couple of times using the stick. I’m finding this impossible to explain, but basically you want to get the end of the paper starting to roll, a bit like you do if you’re curling wrapping ribbon.
  4. Next keep rolling the paper tightly around the stick. This is probably the hardest thing to get right – at first the paper will be very loose, and keep flipping off, or it won’t roll straight and you keep getting weird shaped beads. KEEP AT IT. Some of these mistakes are my favourite beads anyway, but if you keep practising, they become more neat.paperbeads4
  5. When you get a couple of inches from the pointy end, stop rolling. Put the paper onto something you don’t mind getting dirty, and swipe the glue stick over the paper that’s left.paperbeads5
  6. Carry on rolling up, until you’ve used all the paper. Make sure it’s all straightly rolled, and press the pointed bit down hard. Then sort of roll the bead and make sure all the paper is stuck down and you’re happy with it.paperbeads6
  7. Leave it for a second or two, then take it carefully off the stick, and leave to dry completely.paperbeads7
  8. You can then varnish it if you like, but I’ve left mine all unvarnished as I’m not sure what fate awaits them yet.paperbeads8

I’d love to see what you come up with! Have a look online for other tutorials, as they’ll show different shapes of triangles. Make them as wide, or as narrow as you like, one sided for cones, square edges for tubes…