July 28, 2016
What you'll need for this project:A plastic hanger
A crochet hook of any size
Yarn in your colour and thickness of choice
How to crochet around the hanger:
Do you have any other ideas for covering plastic hangers?
July 25, 2016
Roane Swindon 6:42 AM books , fiction , gender , literature , nature , philosophy , reviews , thomas hardyThomas Hardy became one of my favourite writers after reading 'The Mayor of Casterbridge'. I fell in love with his passionate depiction of the natural world, with his detailed depiction of a fictional town in the 1800s, and the representation of his characters. 'Far From the Madding Crowd' was no different in this regard, and I wonder why it took me so long to open the cover.
The book follows the trials and tribulations of shepherd Gabriel Oak and Bathsheba Everdene, the woman he has fallen in love with. When the pair first meet officially, she rescues him from suffocation. He is in a somewhat better position financially than she is and asks for her hand in marriage. She rejects him, however, on the basis that she does not love him. By a strange turn of events, Oak soon finds himself in a lower position than she after she inherits a farm from her uncle. She hires Oak knowing of his business savvy and his knowledge of sheep while Oak's feelings for her remain through all of Bathsheba's poor choices.
My favourite aspect of Hardy's novel is its enamored representations of Mother Nature in all its seasons and glory. His descriptions of the weather, such as the storm that breaks as Gabriel and Bathsheba rush to save her stockpiles, as well as his sketches of the beauty of forests, pastures, and coasts, dotted with beautiful portrayals of the sun and stars' movements is certain to leave unforgettable imagery in your mind.
He also presents lively debate on religion and philosophy as he describes nature, through the debates and conversations of his characters, mostly those who are classed as servants, and his descriptions of woman or man.
|Bathsheba rescues Gabriel (Helen Allingham [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)|
When it comes to talking about the people of Weatherbury, they are all interesting and amusing, from having double vision problems to being known only as a woman's husband to absolute loyalty, these folk are straight from a simpler world where there is a respect for one's place in it, a respect for oneself, and a respect for others.
In all, 'Far From the Madding Crowd' can now be seen as an elegy to the dreamlike world of agriculture and rural life before industrialisation, where the farmer and his workers lived to the tune of the sunrise and sunset, of the seasons, of the wet and dry; where time passed according to harvests and stock sales, to a time when life was simpler and man lived in harmony with nature.
While I had committed that error of errors by watching the film before reading the book, it made no matter - I turned page by subsequent page because Hardy's writing was so good! And if you're looking for one of the greatest romance novels of all time, this is one: it's tenth on theGuardian's list.
Have you read the novel?
July 21, 2016
Roane Swindon 8:57 PM crafts , decor , diy , dreamcatcher , origami , paper crafts , papercraft , tutorial
Just after Emma was born I was obsessed with folding paper. I think this image was to blame and my idea was that I would fill the entire ceiling with origami cranes.
While I didn't get around to decorating the entire ceiling with cranes, because it slowly filled up with glow-in-the-dark stars and planets and mobiles from family, I did make an origami crane mobile hanging from a dreamcatcher.
I made two, one for my niece, which had the cranes spiralling around a centre point, and one for Emma. I wanted the latter to be random as though the cranes were flying all over the place. Sort of like it would have been had I followed through on my idea.
What you'll need for this project:Origami cranes (I made mine out of magazine paper to add colour, but you can use origami paper or plain printer paper, too. Follow these instructions on Wikipedia to fold an origami crane.)
A steel or wooden embroidery frame
Yarn (I used DMC tapestry wool)
Clear beading thread
First, you will have to wind the yarn around the embroidery frame. Try to wind it as tightly as possible to cover the frame. Start by holding the thread on the frame with your thumb and wrap the yarn over this thread to keep it in place. When you are finished wrapping, use a sewing needle to pull the yarn through some of the loops.
Making the dreamcatcher:
First tie a knot on the frame with the yarn, then place the yarn over the frame at the position you would like the web to begin.
Pull the yarn under the frame and downwards.
Making the mobile:The length of the thread the cranes will hang from depends on the effect that you would like. If you would like the cranes to hang uniformly around the frame, cut the threads the same length. If you would like the cranes to spiral around the centre, cut each thread longer than the last. It will take longer if you would like the cranes to fly haphazardly around the frame, since you will have to hang the frame up and position them as you see fit, adjusting the length of the threads as you go and ensuring the frame remains balanced.
The most difficult part, however, is pulling the thread through the centre of your cranes without tearing them. You will be pulling the thread through the middle of the bottom of the body and through the top. The easiest way to prevent the thread from pulling through the crane at a later stage is to put a bead at the bottom. You can also knot the thread several times, securing it in place with some clear nail varnish. Secure it in the same manner where you join the crane to the yarn of the dreamcatcher. Drop a bead or two into the cranes if you're having trouble balancing everything out.
July 14, 2016
Roane Swindon 9:31 PM miniseries , movie , mystery , original , reboot , reviews , roman polanski , rosemary's baby , television
Firstly, the music: Oh my word! 'Rosemary's Baby' is supposed to be a horror movie, or at the very least a thriller, and it felt to me, after watching the 1968 version, that those behind the reboot had completely forgotten the importance of the soundtrack in creating tension and communicating terror to the viewer. If I have to think back on the miniseries, there is not one moment that stands out because of the music. In contrast, the original is filled with notable pieces that only add a greater depth to the film. Take the first and last piece (which are the same): the almost robotic way the mother is singing a lullaby is freaky in itself. The most thrilling piece of music is that employed when Rosemary attempts to escape from Guy and Doctor Sapirstein: the notes become faster and higher reaching a crescendo just as Rosemary manages to shut the door on them and end their pursuit. Then there is also the use of absolute silence, such as when Rosemary is in the dream sequence: the only noise is Rosemary's own plaintive cries that, 'This is no dream!'
While it is difficult for me to pick which I like most, since I like aspects of both versions, the original certainly has top place for being the chiller the book deserved, while the reboot has top place for the chemistry between the lead characters.
If you've seen both films, which did you like more and why? Please comment below and let me know!
July 12, 2016
This is a list of five truly life-changing texts, which will question the way you see the world and give you a truly unique insight into some of the biggest questions that plague our existence.
They’re all available on Amazon, but if you’re an international reader and are having trouble gaining access, then it might be due to geo-blocking in the country you’re in. You can circumvent this by using a Virtual Private Network. Check out this Secure Thoughts review for more information.
1. The Prophet – Khalil GibranKhalil Gibran, harks back to the spiritual poetry of the ancient Persian world. Written in 1923, it’s one of the earliest examples of inspirational fiction.
The story is that of Almustafa, a well-liked yet mysterious outsider who resides in the foreign city of Orphalese. When one day a great ship arrives on the horizon, the townspeople sense that the cherished, enigmatic presence of the prophet might soon be gone. Before he boards to leave, Almustafa serenades the town’s people with some essential life advice, broken down into 26 essays throughout the book.
It’s a unique and succinct format and delves into valuable questions and ideas about love, marriage, giving, work, freedom, pain and much, much more.
2. Wild: An Elemental Journey – Jay GriffithsIndigenous tribes all over the planet hold skills, knowledge and a connection to most wild veins of existence that have been lost in modern society.
This fantastic release by Jay Griffiths documents her epic adventure to all four corners of our planet to stay with some of the world's most remote tribes. It's a passionate search for the true nature of the human spirit and an illuminating reflection on the impact of industrialization on our world and our souls.
Oxford educated, Griffiths addresses history, geography, etymology and philosophy to form an argument that never preaches but merely enlightens readers to the hidden secrets of the social microcosms that exist in the wildest reaches of our world.
3. The Tao of Wu – RZARobert Diggs (a.k.a RZA) was born in the projects of inner-city New York but moved all around the country throughout his turbulent childhood. Never finding much luck in his family and home life, he turned to knowledge to free his mind from the strife.
Although an esteemed chess player and mathematician, Diggs still spent much of his youth gang-affiliated and into drugs. Throughout this time he searched the scriptures of many religions and philosophers to escape from this world. Finding solace in the spiritual ideals and morals of Kung Fu films, he finally found his key to freedom in music, cementing international success and forming one of the most well-known rap groups on the planet.
This book structured into the “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” documents his spiritual journey and the valuable lessons that every facet of his life taught him. From Brooklyn to the Wudang mountains in China, Diggs' reflections are a truly wonderful insight into life as we know it.
4. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin SharmaRobin Sharma is a shining example of practicing what you preach. Somewhat reflecting his experience - although the limits to where it becomes fiction are unknown - Sharma tells the story of John, an over-stressed and uptight lawyer.
One day John’s colleague, who left work recently after suffering a heart attack, makes a surprise return as, seemingly, a whole different man. Appearing at John’s house one night, dressed in traditional orange robes, Julian Mantle divulges that he’s been staying with monks in the Himalayas.
John listens in awe as he recounts the many secrets to good living and long-life that he's learned from the Monks and provides practical examples of how the reader can translate this into their day-to-day lives.
5. The Zahir – Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist', this equally poignant release also brilliantly explores some of the most philosophical questions of life as we know it. The word “Zahir” itself is an Arab concept, meaning the external or obvious. In Coelho's book, it refers to his obsession with his wife, who up and leaves out of the blue one night.
Their relationship was not a good one, but without her, his whole word changes. His search to understand why she left and discover just where she is takes him all over the globe and into some of the most abstract echelons of society. From homeless people on the streets of Paris to native villagers on the Kazakhstani steppe, readers are illuminated with a whole host of unique perspectives.
This book has some crucial lessons to teach about marriage, but also how we view ourselves, as individuals, and as part of society.
Know of any others that deserve a spot on this list? Be sure to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your ideas.
About the Author: Caroline is an entertainment blogger for Culture Coverage. She loves books and has spent her whole life immersed in their pages. She loves sharing her favorite novels with others and always has a great recommendation on hand, no matter the situation!
July 8, 2016
Roane Swindon 9:55 PM feminism , miniseries , movie , mystery , reviews , rosemary's baby , television
In the novel, Rosemary and her husband happen to be lucky enough to lease an apartment in the Bramford in New York City and thus simply happen to become involved in the plot to birth the Devil. In the television version, however, the setting is the more romantic Paris and the building is La Chimere, and the Woodhouses are practically led by the bull-ring to become involved in the plan: Rosemary is literally chosen to become the vessel for the anti-Christ and the Castevets do everything in their power to get the couple to stay in La Chimere, be absolutely indebted to them, and entirely under their influence. In this way, the film has a different creepiness to the original story, and the witches of the building have a supreme power that is not revealed quite so much in the novel.
I enjoyed the alterations to the context of Rosemary's story. Paris and its long history make for a more historical basis in witchcraft, although the existence of a coven in New York City is more unexpected. Of course, Paris allowed for the beautiful scene just before Rosemary discovers she is pregnant where she is surrounded by the consecrated skulls of the dead in the catacombs and falls into a precipice - a metaphor for the loneliness she is destined to feel in the hands of a coven and as the mother of a history-changing child.
In the television series, Guy is no longer dreaming an outdated dream of becoming an actor - he wants to write. However, his writer's block seems to have been brought about by Rosemary having a miscarriage. The couple have run away from this reality to Paris. This modern viewpoint was perfectly suited to the story, as is the couple's isolation in Paris, far away from home and even from many people who speak English.
I mentioned in my review of the book that it was a bit of feminist novel for its time, bemoaning the lack of control women had over their own bodies. I enjoyed Zoe's Rosemary argue with everyone around her about her bodily autonomy and right to choice, but the film did not make the control the coven had over her feel as dire as it could have been. Perhaps it is because most people nowadays know the basics of Rosemary's story - it has become a pop culture icon - that her situation simply isn't a surprise. It doesn't help either that revelations as to what Rosemary is in for are suggested right from the beginning of the film and thus the subtle scariness, the mystery, of the story is lost, even for those who have never read the book or seen the original film.
I know that technically this version of 'Rosemary's Baby' is a remake, but I haven't seen the original so I cannot comment on how good it is compared to that (yet). All I can say is that I enjoyed most of the changes from the book but found that there was a lot less mystery for the viewer than there was for the reader, making the story a strict horror instead of a thrilling ride.
July 7, 2016
We finally finished redoing the shower around six months ago. I've taken a long time to complete the final details, though, and have finally put up the new curtains. I'm happy with the way it turned out and just need a final piece of art to hang over the towel rail and I have a great idea for the lampshade, both of which I keep procrastinating over. :)
For a while we considered leaving the failed SatinCrete as is - it sort of looks like a (very badly done) paint technique - as we liked the basic colour (We chose the Sage for the shower room, though it looks grey in the photos and didn't even look like the sample). However, with all the other fixing that needed to be done we would not have been able to emulate the finish. Thus a new paint job was our chosen option.
|Clockwise from top left: The finish of the wall - really horrible in these images; the loose plumbing at the toilet (the showerhead was similarly loose); and the poor plaster work for the shower.|
As we don't know how to do plaster work, we had a guy named Steven come in and do it for us. He did a great job on fixing the windowsill, ensuring it slants towards the shower instead of the window, on the step, and where the old basin was. He also fixed the loose plumbing and did the mosaic on the side of the shower step for us. He was also kind enough to paint. (Sheesh, that makes me sound so lazy!) I decided to paint with a brighter colour scheme and I was skeptical at first, but it has grown on me. I also redid the grout on the mosaic, too, so it looks much neater.
I'd love to know what you think!?
July 5, 2016
Roane Swindon 12:45 PM books , civilisation , colonialism , culture , fiction , peter Høeg , reviews , Society , western cultureMiss Smilla's Feeling for Snow' is full of promises, and so are its rave reviews. We meet Smilla as she attends the funeral of her six-year-old neighbour, Isaiah, who fell from the roof of their apartment building in Copenhagen. We discover that Smilla, a Greenlander, has a unique sense of her world in relation to the dozens of types of snow that exist in the Inuit language. Using this sense and her own intuition, she comes to believe Isaiah's death was no accident and she uses her stubborn resourcefulness to uncover the truth.
We follow Smilla Jasperson through the most intricate story I've ever read. We are thrown from the present to the past to scientific explanations to philosophical musings to treaties against Western culture and colonialism to nostalgic longings for the past. And somehow it is still possible to follow the thread of the plot through all the distractions.
We eventually learn about all the different types of snow and how Smilla is unique in her talent for navigating through ice. We are, however, never party to these skills aside from her own musings into how she had done so in the past. When she is confronted with ice or snow or cold, she explains every detail about how it is created. Smilla's skills and knowledge are an excellent device to keep her grounded in her own culture - she at once rails against the Danish way of life and its destruction of her culture and depends on it for survival - but her constant return to her instincts is a way for her to affirm her heritage.
Høeg's innate sense of beauty is extant in the simplest of descriptions, from the 'eiderdown' of snow that lays over Isaiah's body to statements about love and life:
'For the first time I notice how burdened the room is with the past' In another review, it was stated that Høeg's sympathy for the Greenlander was questionable, and that he appeared to be more devoted to American culture as seen through the details of the plot, which include the likes of conspiracy murders, scientific discoveries, smuggling, and all-powerful corporations. However, I feel the empathy is most definitely there. Smilla is isolated, lonely, depressed. Her constant thoughts of the past, her musings about how disappointing Western culture is, about how her people and herself are judged according to Western standards, little details about how life was so different in her homeland, these details create a nostalgia for a simpler life. He bemoans the fact that Western culture does not experience things for itself but lives in the belief and faith we have in others who tell us things are so. One of my favourite phrases is:
'What we discover in nature is not really a matter of what exists; what we find is defined by our ability to understand.' 'Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow' is definitely a beautiful novel. But does it deliver on its promise? Well, if you're looking for an actual ending, a resolution to all the tension you feel from page to page, you'll be disappointed. While the mystery is solved, the ending is much like 'Inception', where we're left to resolve our own ending.
I would also like to add that Smilla is not a particularly likeable character. And this makes her endearing to me. Intelligent, ingenious, and multiskilled, she is sarcastic, frank, and sometimes downright mean. But this is a really refreshing from the piles of novels where the woman is stereotypical in practically every way. A bit like Kathy Reichs' series, there is nothing Smilla cannot do and is not willing to try to discover the truth.
A challenging read, this novel is intriguing and while you may have to put it down sometimes, you'll definitely want to finish it.
July 4, 2016
Roane Swindon 3:01 PM comedy , documentary , film , horror , movie , parody , reviews , supernatural , thriller
I've been planning to do this post since the beginning of the year after wandering around the net in search of good horror movies. I came across Rolling Stone's list of top horror movies of 2015 and decided to watch each one. I have finally done so and have been pleasantly (or should I say horrifically) surprised to find that character development and plot have really begun to change the horror landscape. While we still find some low-budget mumblegore films, we are also being offered up really thoughtful and almost genre-defying films, and here are my thoughts on the movies that were included.
10. The Final Girls
My rating: 4 out of 5
I would like to make a mention of 'Final Girl', however. A think-piece in my opinion, it sees a young girl trained as the ultimate weapon against serial killers. She is basically a highly skilled lure for men who cannot resist being cruel and brutal to innocence. It did not receive good ratings in general, perhaps because as the viewer you're sort of dumped into a plot with no real backstory for any of the characters. Personally I loved the film noir-style of the cinematography. It also makes one question the state of a world where we cannot hope for justice unless we take it into our own hands, a place where we can only defeat brutes by becoming one ourselves.
9. The Visit
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
8. When Animals Dream
My rating: 3 out of 5
7. We Are Still Here
My rating: 2 out of 5
6. Crimson Peak
My rating: 4.5 out of 10
5. The Falling
My rating: 2.5 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
3. What We Do In The Shadows
My rating: 4 out of 5
2. Goodnight Mommy
1. It Follows
My rating: 4 out of 5
Have you seen any of these films and disagree with my rating or viewpoint? I'd love to know what you think! Please comment below!