March 2019 Recap

Newsletters

Since finishing my tax paperwork early (yay!) I’ve spent a lot of March working on various prototypes.

For one, after searching for an 8-point star pattern in vain, I tried making one myself. Getting the proportions how I wanted while retaining the symmetry turned out to be more challenging than I thought.

8-Point Star5

While this particular project is still ongoing, I also started on a storage bag one. I’ve got one potentially usable detail down and am still working on the rest. In contrast to previous years when I was still doing battle with paperwork at this time, it’s been lovely to be able to sew!

Inspired by Nikki’s tutorial at Tikkido, I made two bookmarks as gifts: a unicorn and a lobster. The images I found with an online search. The unicorn’s tail is made from cotton yarn and floss, the lobster’s antennae from wool yarn.

DIY Bookmark Unicorn

DIY Bookmark Lobster in Book

I don’t own a laminating machine, so I used a couple of layers of clear packing tape.

March started with an odd stop in the progress of spring. February had seemed to bring us an early spring with fine weather, but then we got several dumps of snow in succession. The last big one came on March 10th, and seems indeed to have been the last one.

Hopefully Last Snowfall

Husband and I took a short spring break trip to southern Ohio to see friends. I loved how much further along spring was there!

Spring Flowers in S Ohio

Unfortunately, I also got sick during the trip and have spent ten days (and counting) nursing a very stubborn cold.

Sick in Munchkin Terms

I hope that’ll be it for the rest of the year. At least it gave me the chance to read.

How was your March?

Cast Announced for Andrew Davies’ Miniseries Version of Sanditon

Books & Mags, Movies & TV

In 2018 we got news that a screen version of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon was being produced. Now we also know some of the cast!

Re-reading Jane Austens Lady Susan

According to the PBS, Rose Williams will play the protagonist Charlotte Heywood and Theo James appears as Sidney Parker, a young man she meets at the up-and-coming seaside resort of Sanditon. I have unfortunately not seen Williams before, but I know James from the Divergent movie series and one episode of Downton Abbey. The head of the Parker family, Tom Parker, will be played by Kris Marshall; I haven’t seen him on screen before either.

Lady Denham, another person of note in Sanditon, will be played by Anne Reid, whom I’ve seen in passing in episodes of the Doctor Who reboot and Doc Martin. Crystal Clarke was cast as Miss Lambe; she appeared in Assassin’s Creed and had a small role in both Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and Episode VII The Last Jedi but I can’t say that I remember her.

In addition to the cast list, IMDB has updated its listing for Sanditon. Yay, it’s really happening!

For a full cast list, visit the PBS article.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Traditional Andean Design Finds New Life in Architectural Details

Colors, Design & Designers, Random Beauty

The city of El Alto in Bolivia, high up in the Andes, is the country’s second largest city and right next to the third largest one, La Paz. Something that El Alto beats its richer neighbor in is unique eye candy right on the building facades.

That’s because an architect, Freddy Mamani Silvestre, is slowly working bright colors into El Alto’s red-brick and concrete scenery.

Wikipedia Mamani Cholet1

via Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Information on Silvestre seems scant in English. A member of the indigenous Aymara, he apparently started working on buildings as a bricklayer. There’s a feature on El Alto in The New York Times in 2013 and in The Washington Post in 2014. He’s referred to in a 2014 BBC News article on president Evo Morales. The Architectural Association, Inc., still has their exhibition info Salones de Eventos from 2015 available online. I also found two articles via the German Wikipedia entry for Silvestri: one in The Architectural Review and the other in Quartz, both from 2015. The best bet at the moment might be the 2017 book El Alto by Silvestre and Peter Granser. For Spanish readers there’s more, including the 2014 book La arquitectura de Freddy Mamani Silvestre.

Quartz Mamani Salon Montecarlo

Salón Montecarlo by Alfredo Zeballos / The Architecture of Freddy Mamani Silvestre. Via Quartz.

Silvestri draws on traditional shapes and colors in his designs. Some of the detailing reminds me of jugend (I believe the phrase art deco is used in the U.S. instead), but Silvestri’s work is clearly not derivative of it.

If the exteriors seem colorful and detailed, just wait until you see the interiors!

Wow! His style has been described as Neo-Andean, new Andean, space-ship architecture or, plainly, kitch. However you may want to describe it, the word colorful will have to be there!

Found via Colossal.

Cross-posted from Co-Geeking.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

March 2019 Reading Piles

Books & Mags

I got quite an awesome haul from the library:

Library Pile March 2019

In fiction I found The Afterwards by EK Johnston, The Song of All by Tina LeCount Myers, Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo and Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower. On the non-fiction side, there’s Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister by Sheila Johnson Kindred.

I’m apparently really hungry for reading, for that’s not my only pile this month:

Reading Pile March 2019

From top to bottom: Little Men by Louisa May Alcott, Mem by Bethany C. Morrow, Home Fires by Julie Summers and the non-fiction title Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives by Jane Brox. Finally, there’s the not-quite-brand-new-anymore Terminal Uprising by Jim C. Hines.

In addition, I’m slogging my way through all of Agatha Christie’s Hercules Poirot books, slowly but surely. The latest I’ve gotten to is Mrs. McGinty’s Dead – a fascinating case hinging (in part) by the first name Evelyn, which can apparently be both male or female. I love the fact that despite a Master’s degree and 20+ years of daily use I still learn new things about English!

Anything special you’d recommend?

Loved on Screen: The Theory of Everything

Movies & TV

We recently saw the movie The Theory of Everything, a biopic of physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking focussing on the relationship between him and Jane, his first wife.

The Theory of Everything

I picked the movie basically because I really like the female lead, Felicity Jones; she also rocks in Northanger Abbey and Rogue One, plus visits as a society burglar in the Doctor Who episode “The Unicorn and the Wasp”. Every performance in Everything, however, was excellent, as was the writing and directing.

The stunning, gripping soundtrack is by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who was nominated for a Grammy, BAFTA and the Academy Award and won a Golden Globe for it. I really loved his work on Arrival, too. Jóhannsson sadly passed away in 2018, about a month before Hawking.

Here’s the end credits music: “Arrival of the Birds” & “Transformation” performed by The Cinematic Orchestra.

The Theory of Everything – Soundtrack ending scene (The Cinematic Orchestra – Arrival of the birds) via sintomopersistente on YouTube

I don’t think these two pieces are Jóhannsson’s, but they’re nevertheless so, so beautiful.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Hopefully Last Snowfall

My Spaces

This winter hasn’t been at all bad, weather- and snow-wise. Nevertheless, I notice myself yearning for warmer temperatures and especially AN END TO THE BLASTED SNOW:

Hopefully Last Snowfall

The view above is from yesterday. It started snowing in the morning and continued through afternoon. Bleah. Ohwell; I dare say it’ll end soon enough. In fact, don’t you say in English that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb?

Celebrating International Women’s Day with a Captain Marvel Viewing

Geek out!, Movies & TV

March 08 is International Women’s Day. Very appropriately, we are celebrating by going to see Captain Marvel!

IMDB Captain Marvel Eyes Horizontal

Marvel Studios via IMDB.

I’m hoping it’ll be as awesome as the trailers look!

To the people complaining that this version of Marvel is too political and therefore massively off-putting, I have only one thing to say.

(Long post warning.)

Faux Fireplace with Tablecloth “Tile” Surround

Fabrics & Materials, Inspiration, Stunt Double

I’m always on the lookout for unusual solutions to decorating problems. The fireplace below certainly applies: despite it’s traditional looks, the reality is very non-traditional.

DSponge Schroors Netherlands Fireplace Sm

It’s from the Drachten, Netherlands, home of Mindy and Theo Schroor. From their description (the mantel is “purely decorative”) it sounds like the fireplace is a faux one built around an electric stove. The tile surround is actually a tablecloth mounted to the wall.

I’ve seen clever faux fireplaces before. In this one, it’s the tablecloth surround that really makes the whole, however: the print displays copies of Dutch artists’ work and details from Delftware ceramics, repeated tile-style, as a lovely nod to the local history. The history nerd in me definitely appreciates the choice!

Found via design*sponge.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

February 2019 Recap

Newsletters

This February had loads of paperwork, as usual. Fortunately for me, Valentine’s Day came right after I finished my taxes. Time for yummy loot!

Discounted Valentines Chocolates

We usually buy Valentine’s Day candy only after it has gone on sale, so, perfect timing.

What differs from previous years is that I got my tax stuff figured out by mid-month. I’m very pleased by the achievement and have made copious notes to make the process as fast in the future. (I hope!)

Weatherwise, this February was oddly low-snow. We did get a number snowfalls, but they were relatively few and far between. In the very beginning of the month, we had a load of light, fluffy snow, with sun and high winds the following day. The powdery snow fell off the trees in huge, gorgeous, transparent curtains, almost like mist.

Powder Snow Falling off Trees

My photo doesn’t do it justice at all; it was magnificent!

Towards the mid-month, we had another layer. Afterwards, in the wee hours of the morning, the neighborhood turkeys apparently had places to be:

Turkey Track Central

So many different paths all over! There’s also at least one set of fox tracks there. And speaking of foxes, one Saturday, a bright and glorious morning, one came round to check around the bird feeder in our neighbor’s back yard.

Fox at Bird Feeder

It seems that spring is early this year – and you get no complaints from me. Although I could do with less pollen this early in the year…

Sadly, the latter half of February brought two deaths in Husband’s extended family, which cast a pall on otherwise sunny days.

I hope your year is still off to a good start.

Congrats: Black Panther Wins Three Oscars!

Geek out!, Movies & TV, Thumbs Up

Black Panther won three Oscars at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday!

Ruth Carter – so, so deservedly! – won the Achievement in Costume Design, Sweden’s Ludwig Göransson won the Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score), and the Achievement in Production Design went to Hannah Beachler (Production Design) and Jay Hart (Set Decoration).

Instagram The Academy Ruth Carter w Oscar 2019

Ruth Carter with her Oscar. The Academy on Instagram.

My warmest congratulations to all the BP winners! Keep on busting down that glass ceiling!