Monday, 26 November 2007

Christmas Journal Cover

So far the class for this journal has give some tips on preparation and some sketches of different layouts to try. The preparation is mainly common sense things such as tidying your workspace and having a routine. It also recommends that you tell people that you are doing this. You are more likely to finish it if people know you are working on it. I have already done those (although who knows how long my workspace will remain clear). I am hoping to post each days page here. Two years ago I had a question every day in the run up to Christmas. I wanted to do something similar again and have decided on this.

I have been itching to get started on this. When you have new project on the horizon it always feels like this. I was tempted to do some of the sketches. The sketches are there to make layouts ahead of the actual class. So that when it comes to each days prompt you are really just adding the journaling and a photo. I personally prefer to wait until the day before I decide what is going on my page. When it comes to scrapbooking I'm not really a planner. Instead I like to see what works as I am doing it. Probably not the best way to work but it works best for me. Seems a little strange since I plan everything else.

Yesterday I was feeling bored and frustrated. Nothing I was working on at the moment appealed to me. So I decided to decorate the cover of my album for this journal. The album I bought for this is a plain beige 8x8. I was very tempted to buy the hot pink at the time. I decided to go against it as hot pink doesn't really scream Christmas. I am glad that I didn't now as I wouldn't have been able to decorate it with traditional colours. I have a thing for sequence and felt just now and so used those along with some ribbon. A photo is supposed to be placed in the window but I really wanted a little felt tree in there instead.

Timewarden, I am so sorry to hear about your mum. I am thinking of you all.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Christmas Is Almost Here!

There are less than 40 days until Christmas. It really doesn't sound a lot when you hear it like that. Once again I am counting down the days. I finished the wall hanging I was making for my mum yesterday. Once I had done all the stitching I put off the backstitching. It doesn't take long but it's just so boring. I finally decided that yesterday I wasn't going to put it down until it was all done. Actually putting it all together was fairly simple and the instructions were easy to follow. My mum was very pleased with it. She is a collector of all things Santa. This year though she has been good and hasn't added to her collection. I decided to do it for her with this.

My sister has been turning her hand to crafts of late. Since moving out she has had to put herself on a strict budget and has turned to crafts to make extra gifts for everyone. She has been making lots of cute Christmas decorations using lovely beads and felt. I was in a craft store recently and that had lots of packs of sequence. I couldn't resist and made these tree decorations using those, felt and beads. I am posting them out to my sister so that she can use them as another idea. The green is my favourite as it is edged in pink beads (the photo doesn't show it too well).

I have a few other Christmas projects that I am working on. I have joined a class to make a Christmas scrapbook journal which I am very much looking forward to. I am making a scarf for myself and once it is finished plan to make one for my gran. I am making one of those banners for my sister (hers has snowmen). I am putting together my own Christmas crafts folder and I still have a few Christmas cards to make. I am going to be busy this month.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Deep Space Nine: Season4

Season four is one of my favourites. Simply because this is the season that sees the return of Worf to our screens. Whilst not my favourite character amongst the Next gen crew (I didn't dislike him either) his character was just perfect for this series. Here you have a crew who are so different to each other and therefore adding in a Klingon seems only natural. Especially a Klingon so different from your usual Klingon's. I think Worfs character had a better chance to grow in DS9. There was more opportunity for him. He showed his sense of humour more (which I loved) and showed more of his difficulties in reconciling with his Klingon and Starfleet sides.

Thanks to Worf there are some fantastic episodes in there such as "The Way of The Warrior", "The Sword of Kahless" and "The Sons Of Mogh". At the last minute it was decided to bring the Klingon's into the mix and with Worf they really decided to go for it. I think that returning to a war between the Klingon's and the Federation could have been boring. It's been done before. However, with keeping the Cardassians and the Dominion involved it worked.

The whole series wasn't just about Worf and the Klingon's. There were a lot of other great episodes in there and some of my favourites include; "The Visitor", "Hippocratic Oath", "Starship Down", "Little Green Men", "Our Man Bashir", "Hard Time", "Shattered Mirror", "For The Cause" and "The Quickening".

Timewarden, I agree, those covers are fantastic. After Christmas I will certainly be purchasing the rest. I only buy the audio's that really catch my interest. Back when I first came across them I was tempted to start collecting them. However, I soon discovered that many of them weren't that great and it was better to stick to the ones that stood out for me. Basically anything with a returning Doctor Who baddie that I liked. In this case it was my interest in the companions themselves. I watched Shada when it was played on the BBC website. It was a few years ago and I enjoyed it at the time. I have heard of Freewheelers but didn't realise that Wendy Padbury was in it.

Lili, Douglas Coupland was my first choice initially. Then I read your answer to that question. You said that you wouldn't want to meet authors like that because you might be disappointed. The image you have of them through their writing might be very different from what they are actually like. Douglas Coupland is also an artist and a travel writer. He has such a wide range of interests that it would be interesting to talk to him. Going by interviews as well as his other pursuits I think he might fall into that line. Haruki Murakami on the other hand seems very straight forward. Having read his biography and his interviews I think what you see is what you get.

Judy, I would love to go and see The Golden Compass. I just need to find someone to drag along to it (it's not really they type of film my friends would want to see). So many people claim that all fantasy started with LOTR and that every fantasy book is influenced by it. I enjoyed the book and I loved the films but this really annoys me. There are so many fantasy books that have more to them than that and so many that cover a wide range. I find it difficult to believe that all can be traced back to LOTR.

I like your question. When I read about a book that I have very much enjoyed being turned into a film I usually have reservations about it at first. Especially if the book is quite detailed. In those cases a lot would have to be cut out and I wonder if they could really do it justice. The more the magazines talk about these films then it could go either way. With the case of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" and now "The Golden Compass" I began to look forward to it the more I read. "I, Robot" is a film that had the opposite effect. The more I read about it the more I became annoyed. The only thing the same was the title and a couple of the main characters names. I still went to see it and did actually enjoy it for what it was. I do think that they should not have been allowed to use that title and should have had the lines "Very loosely based on."

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Book Tag

Lili has tagged me to answer these book questions. You can also see that Judy has answered them too.

1: Hardcover or paperback, and why?

I prefer to read paperbacks. Mainly because they are easier to take into work. Also when reading at night they are more comfortable to read with. I do like hardbacks. Especially when it is signed or a limited edition. I am so conscious of possibly damaging it (more so than I am normally) that I never feel totally comfortable reading them.

2: If I were to own a book shop, I would call it…

Just Books. I would have a cafe in there but other than that and some seating it would be filled with just books. No games or gadgets or stationery to distract people. Wall to wall books.

3: My favourite quote from a book (mention the title)

"A plague a' both your houses" Romeo and Juliet. I always thought it was a great curse (providing of course you're not taking it seriously). It just always made me laugh. I know it's not supposed to but I guess I just have a sick sense of humour.

4: The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be…

Meeting authors doesn't really work well for me. I get too embarrassed. If I could get over that then Haruki Murakami. Going by his interviews and biography he seems so well mannered and relaxed. I would imagine you could have a normal conversation with him.

5: If I was going to a deserted island and could bring only one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be…

To be honest I'm not sure. Maybe the complete works of Shakespeare as there are so many plays in there that I have wanted to read. I am sure that I have answered this question before and each time it has been different.

6: I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…

would protect a book no matter what happened to it.

7: The smell of an old book reminds me of…

going to the library with my mum. Most of the kids books didn't have that old book smell. When I moved on to you adult and fiction they did and I loved it.

8: If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title) it would be…

My answer to this changes a lot too. Maybe Lyra from Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. She goes through a lot for someone so young but she also has lots of adventures and you get the impression from the end that there are a lot more to come.

9: The most overestimated book of all times is…

So many people are going to hate me for saying it but..."The Lord Of The Rings". I loved it. I loved the movies but there are so many better books out there. Plus all the songs got on my nerves after a while. Do love those Ent's though.

.10: I hate it when a book…

Doesn't go anywhere. It shows so much promise at the start. You really get involved in the story line. The characters are great. Then it doesn't do anything else until right at the end.

I tag everyone who would like to answer them.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

What About The Companions?

Some time ago now I had mentioned that Harry was one of my favourite companions. I think I may have mentioned that I would always have loved for Harry to come back or for there to be after stories featuring the character. Timewarden kindly directed me towards this book written by the actor who played Harry Sullivan. Here Harry has his own adventure without the Doctor. He has been given orders to help with biological weapons. However, he is caught up with people who are trying to steel it and while he has been given blame he doesn't know who to trust. Very much written as though Harry is a Jame Bond character (or wants to be anyway). A fun quick read so long as you don't take it too seriously.

Big Finish obviously saw with the return of Sara Jane that people were interested in the companions. They have released a series of audio books called the Companion Chronicles. Each features a companion who tells a further story of an adventure with the Doctor. In the first Maureen O'Brien returns as Vikki. She tells the story of the Doctor, herself and Steven coming across a phoenix egg in London. The phoenix egg is determined to be born but the cost would be the Earth. The second features Wendy Padbury as Zoe. She is telling a story of an adventure that she only remembers in her nightmares (in the classic series Zoe's memory of travelling with the Doctor were erased before she returned to her own time). In these dreams she comes across the Daleks who are trying to use the mind of herself and the Doctor to take over the universe. Starting with an assassination.

Both were fun stories to listen to and I would like to eventually listen to all the others that are available too. My favourite though was "Fear Of The Daleks". Simply because Zoe was one of my favourite companions and I have a soft spot for Daleks. They do deal with the after but only to a very limited extent. You hear more about Vikki's time after the Doctor than Zoe's as it was more relevant to the story.