Jupiter Ascending is just Fabulous

May 28th, 2015

Jupiter Ascending was, in a word, Fabulous. In two words it was Absolutely Fabulous.

My slightly longer review is that I think I understand why reviewers aren’t liking it much: because they don’t understand that it is the film version of a Space Opera roleplaying campaign.  I don’t know WHY they were expecting something else, let alone WHAT that was.  But when you consider other space opera includes Star Trek, Flash Gordon, Star Wars and even The Fifth Element (which is also fabulous but quite nonsensical most of the time) – none of this has great dialogue, all have over the top characters and action scenes, and most are episodic in various ways.

Here are my thoughts and comments from a few different blogs and sites over the past two months, put together in one spot and (hopefully) a little more coherent.  I saw it with Dave and we both came out of it wondering why people keep complaining about the crazy plot. It was obviously a movie that was supposed to be lighthearted and funny and not take itself too seriously. The actors were in on the joke, but it seems a lot of the critics didn’t get it. Maybe they were wanting a dark and gritty Matrix clone. But it is Space Opera! Not Cyberpunk.

The is The Wachowskis Do Space Opera. And they did it brilliantly. I loved that Jupiter decided to save the earth instead of her family. I love that she spent the whole movie hitting on Cane while he tried to be restrained. I loved that – unlike most sci fi movies – the female lead was fully dressed the whole time. In the gamut from Barbarella to Lilu Dallas, I can’t really recall a time when that happened before.  And the romance was great – tbh I find space opera is all romance, whether of a regency or a planetary kind. I’m good with that, it is one of the reasons I love the genre.

I can only guess that most of the reviewers who keep going on about the cra-cra plot aren’t that familiar with space opera, including the various roleplaying games and computer roleplaying games. It was there by the truckload, and tbh one of the best renditions I have seen.  I just don’t get what other people were expecting from a space opera movie no matter who made it.

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Floral farewell card

May 21st, 2015

My former director left my workplace recently, and this is the card I made for her from those in my team who used to be in her area.

Floral farewell

Floral farewell

Cream cardstock folded to a square card, edged in blue ink.  Strip of blue, white and gold chiyogami paper mounted on blue metallic paper, and then placed down right side of the card.  Cream flower edged in blue and attached to the card, then blue diamantes placed in the centre of the flower.  Inside was ‘All the best’ stamped in blue.

 

Floral farewell envelope

Floral farewell envelope

There were left over bits of the metalic blue and chiyogami papers, so I used them along with another flower on the envelope to tie it all together.

Theatre review: Les Misérables (Sydney)

May 18th, 2015

Dave and I went to see the new Sydney production of this show recently – he has never seen it on stage before, although he has of course seen the musical version movie.  On the other hand I have seen it at least 6 times before on stage (it may be 7, I lost count), including several previous productions / casts.  Original Australian production (1989 Sydney cast, both versions), original Broadway production (in 1991), 10th anniversary Australian Production (1997), plus very familiar with the International soundtrack which blends cast members from around the world.

Do you hear the people sing?

Do you hear the people sing?

Overall, I am torn about this new production.  The music was good (ie the orchestra).  I thought the new set design, incorporating digital images in place of the revolving stage was good – although there were definitely times when I missed the revolving stage.  The stage direction seemed to make a lot of changes that were borrowed from the film version.  I guess that was ok – although the prologue in the warship rather than in the mining colony was imo unnecessary.  Not only was it a change from the story, it then negated how Valjean was able to set up in business mining the same material.

But oh my – the individual performances?  Incredibly disappointing.  The review in The Australian said that the cast has no show stealers, that “cast members don’t impose their personalities on their roles. Rather, they channel them.”  I feel that is giving most of them too much credit to be honest.  Some of them felt like ghastly caricatures, and were painful to watch – and listen too.  Also while the overall sound of the ensemble was really good, there was another issue – everyone was fast, way ahead of the music.  Not just the ensemble, but soloists too.

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Live laugh love farewell card

May 7th, 2015

One of my colleagues finished up at work recently, as her position was made redundant.  I have worked closely with her for quite a few years, and I’m very sad to see her leave :(

She has commented before that I usually make her cards with ‘island colours’ (she is from Fiji), so I wanted to do something different this time.  I love the botanical image over the grid pattern, and I went for a sepia colour scheme this time.

Live laugh love

Live laugh love

Offcut of card sponged with butterscotch ink, and stamped with honeycomb pattern from Stampingon elements cube.  Indigo Blue quote stamped onto the offcut in Vintage Photo ink, which was also edged in Vintage photo then layered onto a patterned piece of paper.  Brown card folded to A6 size, torn piece of ‘Art of Life’ paper from Kaisercraft edged with Vintage Photo ink and mounted onto card.  Stamped quote layered onto base card, and then flower and gem added to the lower left corner.

 

Live laugh love (inside)

Live laugh love (inside)

The inside was simple, just a torn piece of paper edge in ink for writing on, and the left over piece of grid paper from the front image added on the upper panel for some visual interest.

Catching up and Sympathy

April 28th, 2015

I have been busy with work and bootcamp, and am very behind with my posts.  I’ll put them up over the next few weeks.

Sympathy card

Sympathy card

This is a card I made for one of my friends when his mother passed away.  The paper and topper are from a Melissa Frances set, edged with blue and antique linen distess ink.  I wanted something elegant and simple.

Through the Looking Glass

December 26th, 2014

Recently two of my friends had a joint birthday party, fancy dress theme.  (ok the theme was Game of thrones but I wasn’t feeling it).  I had these gorgeous papers by Kaiser Craft from their ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ paper set.  They are very floral and vibrant, but there are also the classic illustrations by Tenniel throughout the designs.  The first card was for a female, the second for a male.

In addition to layering papers, I also have the matching collage pack so there were plenty of elements to stack on (like the flowers).  I also used washi tape to tie the layers together, along with the yellow butterfly that is on both cards.

looking glass - B

Alice – flamingo croquet

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Flower fairy card

December 17th, 2014

Another birthday card for someone at work.  This time I tried a layout I saw in a magazine, it is simple but effective I think.

Flower fairy birthday card

Fold craft cardstock, ink the edges.  Trim a piece of ‘La Spa’ paper from Prima Marketing’s Fairy Belle collection, and then distress and ink the edges in a lighter (contrasting) colour.  Attach to the base card.

Place a strip of gold paper across the card, near the bottom with edges inked in the darker colour.  Add a die-cut shape (Spellbinder’s Labels 17 set) on top of the gold paper, with the edges inked in the lighter colour.  Attach a folded piece of ribbon and add a ribbon on top.  Place a pink pearl in the centre of the flower.

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Engagement

December 7th, 2014

One of my team members became engaged while she was on holidays recently.  I made this for her

engagement vintage butterflies

Cream card folded to make a square.  Edged in Antique Linen distress ink.

Square butterfly and text paper cut to fit, distressed and inked around the edges.  Attached to card, thne flower on gold paper added to top left corner, and two strips of washi tape added to top and bottom of the panel.

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Wedding triptych – mixed media art

November 11th, 2014

I have not posted for a while, as I was extremely busy with work right up to the day I went to Europe (yay) for nearly a  month.  There was sightseeing involved of course, but the main purpose was to attend my brother’s wedding.  He has lived in London for the past 10 years, and got married to his lovely French partner there in October.

Although they wanted money for their ‘dream honeymoon’ experiences, I decided I wanted to do something a little more personal than that.  So, using the paperblocking technique that I had previously used on Curiosities, I decided to make a triptych using the gorgeous ‘Curtain Call’ papers from Graphic 45.  Techniques:  paper blocking, stencils, stamping, embossing, sponging ink, gold leaf.

So without further ado…

 

Panel 1 - Let's dance

Panel 1 – Let’s dance

Panel 2:  Curtain Call

Panel 2: Curtain Call

Panel 3:  Cinéma

Panel 3: Cinéma

(note:  for reasons I don’t understand, these pictures are very small.  I will investigate and see if there are larger ones)

Mixed media – Paper Blocking

August 28th, 2014

I created this for the August 2014 Craft stamper ‘Take it, make it‘, it is the first time I have entered anything like this and I enjoyed the opportunity to play around and challenge myself.  NOTE:  sadly I missed out uploading this by the cut off (I blame the International Date Line), but I still had a lot of fun making it.

Curiosities

Curiosities

 

I have created Curiosities based on the following articles:

  • the Paper Bocking style as shown in the ‘Pretty in Pink’ article by Jean Hardy, August 2014, p10; and
  • making my own embellishments from silicon moulds, as shown in ‘Hearts and Flowers’ article by Trish Latimer, January 2014, p30.

I really loved the concept of paper blocking, and it meant I dared to use those papers I love so much I keep ‘saving’ them for something special.  Now I have used them but still get to keep them.  However instead of using a pencil to outline the papers, I used my sponging block to swipe aged mahogony ink around each piece to give definition.  It seemed to really pick up the creams and burgundies in the papers.  The Gold leave Rub n Buff is also randomly on the canvas, and also on the embelishments I made using paperclay.  I added a little more texture around the edges with my Ageing Block from Lucy’s Stamps (sadly no longer in business)

Materials:

Curiosities - close up

Curiosities – close up

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