Have you ever felt like you just don't fit in? Like the world around you doesn't make sense and you're the only one who sees that? Well, I always have. And I feel like the answer is that .......
I was just born 100 years too late!

27 April, 2010

Why kids today should watch Silent Films!

So, today it seems that in movies marketed for kids, comedies rely heavily on bathroom humor (the more vulgar, the funnier - right?), profanity and insults. Is it any wonder that modern children have such potty-mouths?

Well, it wasn't always this way and I wonder why humor in today's society has changed so much. Is it just that there is no creativity anymore? Or that children are so easily influenced to laugh just because they are told something is funny? Or laugh because other people are laughing?

I have raised my kids with a great deal of exposure to old movies - especially silent films. One of the perks is that I can put on ANY silent film and not have to worry that age-inappropriate or distasteful material has been slipped in. We can just sit back and enjoy the show.

One of our favorite comedic actors from the silent era is Buster Keaton. My boys, at the tender ages (currently) of 12, 11 and 8, will be rolling on the floor in laughter at Mr. Keaton's antics. And here's the thing - Buster Keaton never smiled, he didn't speak (well, in the silent films anyway) and, most importantly, he wasn't vulgar and never used profanity, yet he was hysterically funny! With all the options for a laugh out there today, on tv and in the movies, I see the biggest, heartiest laughter from my children when they watch those classic silent comedies.

Another advantage to getting kids into silent films is it can be a fantastic aid in their reading! In order to get crucial information/dialog, they have to read the title cards. Having these movies on DVD is great for younger kids so you can pause the movie and give them extra time to read them. It's like the original LeapPad ... ok, not exactly, but they get so into the movie that they want to read the title cards to find out what people are saying.

Silent films can be interactive as well. There were certainly some silent films that were dull or filmed in a .... well, odd way. So, especially for those (but all films pretty much work), we make up dialog, what we imagine people are saying depending on their body language, etc. We can get outrageously silly and sometimes even completely change the movie depending on our imagination. Oh, and we don't resort to "updating" the film by injecting nasty, vulgar dialog - clean can still be funny!

So, I highly recommend picking up some good silent films for Family Movie Night. A note of warning, though, the younger the child the better chance you have of positive reception. For older kids who have spent their childhood immersed in MTV, PG13-that-should-be-R-rated movies, Family Guy and the like, you may have a bit of resistance (ok, maybe a lot!) But it's worth a shot (^_^)/

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Movies we love:

Sherlock, Jr (Buster Keaton)
The Navigator (Buster Keaton)
The Freshman (Harold Lloyd)
Safety Last (Harold Lloyd)

Don't think you're ready for taking the plunge into silent films? Then some of the best and funniest "Talkies" are the Marx Brothers Films. "A Night at the Opera", "Duck Soup", "Animal Crackers", "Horse Feathers" .... all are classic comedies at their finest and appropriate for all ages.

Other great links:

TCM's Silent Sunday Nights - TCM channel features silent films on Sunday nights at 9pm (PST)
Silent Movies on DVD - list
Silent Movies on DVD - distributers :
- http://www.flickeralley.com/
- http://www.grapevinevideo.com/
- http://www.kino.com/
- http://www.moviesunlimited.com/


23 April, 2010

Ahh, the good ol' days in medicine ....

Well, it snowed all day yesterday and I was terribly sick with a fever. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I think I would have felt better quicker if I had one of those fabulous cure-alls from the 1800's:

Alas, I had to make due with Motrin and lots of hot tea.

This morning, I awoke to bright sun and a broken fever - yea! Coincidence? Perhaps.

My oldest son will be turning 13 soon and we plan to celebrate this weekend, having the entire family together. Hiking, picnicking in the mountains and, later, an old fashion cake & ice cream birthday party. Simple pleasures are sometimes the best!

21 April, 2010

Ahhh, the joys of Springtime in the Mountains!

Well, we woke up to a mini snowstorm this morning and this is what I drove the kids to school in. I feel like knitting sweaters instead of crocheting light, lacy chokers!

Fortunately, this time of year it doesn't last long and I just know Spring will poke its head back out again soon to chase all this snow away.

19 April, 2010

Music for my Soul

So, its Monday, the kids were back in school and it's likely the only day this week I'd have to run around and get stuff done (snow is being threatened from sometime tomorrow onward .... yes, SNOW!). So, I didn't "go to work" at AmiKami today (the joy of owning one's own business, I can take the day off whenever I want/need to!), got loads done and now I'm taking a little break from personal what-nots while the boys are outside expelling their pent up energy.

I was just sitting here listening to my current favorite band's new album - Abney Park's Aether Shanties. Love love LOVE this album and this band. For the uninitiated, Abney Park is a Post-Apocolyptic Steampunk band from Seattle (named for a cemetary in England - very cool) and they are amazing to listen to as well as watch live (still waiting for that pleasure, but have seen them on Youtube).

What is Post-Apocolyptic Steampunk, you may be asking? Well ... the "post-apocolyptic" part is self-explanatory enough, I think, but Steampunk is ... um ... hard to describe. For a brief, but fairly well written, explanation you can toddle over to wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

Anyway, I have always been attracted to the darker side of the Victorian era, but not exactly in the gothic sense. When I discovered Steampunk, I was like, "that's it!" Steampunk epitomizes those aesthetics and ideas that I tend to be drawn to and I love that it has a name, people who love it too and even music to set the mood. There are other great Steampunk bands as well such as Vernian Process and Clockwork Dolls. All these types of bands have their own take on the Steampunk sound, which is very cool.

Another phenominal group, that is fairly new to the scene, is The Clockwork Quartet. They currently have two songs (available for free download) and I understand more will be released this summer - which I have been on the edge of my seat for! Once you hear these songs, I think you'll understand my itching for more. They are totally unique and tell stories with their music - very dark and macabre type stories with a rich Victorian (yet, not old-fashioned) feel to them. Each song is like a piece of art. To check them out, go to their website : http://www.clockworkquartet.com/music.php If you've never heard of them before, I highly recommend listening to their songs (and you have to listen all the way through - its like a book, you just have to hear the ending!)

So, back to relaxing with Abney Park for a bit more before I start dinner ....

18 April, 2010

Josephine's Cuffs

So, I want to jump start by posting a picture of one of my most recently completed items - and one of my now favorites. I've wanted to make a set of lacy cuffs for a long time, but it just took a while to get that delicate look that I had envisioned. Finally, success!

I hope to make more like these in the future, but they are very time-consuming, so it may be summer before I get them done.
Have you ever felt like you just don't fit in? Like the world around you doesn't make sense and you're the only one who sees that? Well, I always have. And I feel like the answer is that ...

.... I was just born 100 years too late.

The idea of doing a blog was initiated because of the beginning of my own business and seeing so many others doing it. But the more I thought about it, the more I really wanted to make a blog that was about who I am and why I do what I do .... my shop being a part of that, of course.

So, here I go jumping onto the blogging bandwagon. Where it will take me ....