What I'm Listening To: The National x Bob's Burgers- Sailors in Your Mouth

Saturday, November 30, 2013

How appropriate that one of my favorite bands, The National, released a Thanksgiving themed song just in time for the holiday. If you're still trying to get into the Thanksgiving spirit, check out the video above.

Previously on Project Runway All Stars: Season 3, Episode 4

Thursday, November 21, 2013
A.k.a. Back to School

Previously on Project Runway All Stars the designers got to go on a field trip via school bus to P.S. 212 in midtown Manhattan where the designers were informed that they would be creating an unconventional challenge. Since this All Stars season followed a season full of unconventional challenges, I thought the designers would act like old pros, but they were shaking in their boots. The designers had to use materials from an art classroom to create their looks. After the runway, all of the designs would be auctioned off to raise money for P.S. 212. Let's take a look at the designs.


This week we had only 2 safe designers, Irina and Seth Aaron. I really enjoyed Irina's girly, kitchy take on the unconventional challenge with a paper flower skirt. I thought it embodied the fun and happiness of an art classroom that both kids and adults could enjoy. Seth Aaron's outfit was a little more 'out there,' but his remix of the rubber ball as a hat was genius!  
Seth Aaron

Elena was really freaked out by this challenge because she got kicked out on an unconventional challenge during her season, but she managed to land on top this time. Elena stuck to her aesthetic (which is starting to bore me...much like on her previous season) with a color-blocked, geometric-y sheath dress. Although the judges can't deny how well made it is, Elena is just safe this week.
Initially Viktor entered the workroom without a plan of action, but after chatting with Elena, Elena showed Viktor a technique for cutting plastic rulers to make fringe that she was considering using but Viktor swiped the idea and created a look the judges loved. Guest judge, Gabourey Sidibe, commented that she liked to judge outfits by considering if she could imagine Beyonce' wearing them and this was a Beyonce' dress. Viktor was safe this week.
Christopher commented that the bus ride and visit to the school reminded Christopher of his early childhood struggles of being teased at school for being gay, so he aimed to create a dress with an anti-bullying message. When Christopher tried to explain the story behind his dress, Isaac scoffed and said "who hasn't been bullied," but the judges like his look anyway and awarded Christopher the win.

Mychael created a dress made from construction paper and jump rope that looked like it was created from construction paper and jump rope. Mychael had originally planned to do something with melted crayon that didn't workout, so it was mostly a 'make it work' dress. Although the dress was clearly nearly falling apart, the judges liked the way Mychael contoured the jump rope bustier to the model. Mychael was safe.
Korto set out to create an outfit inspired by her own daughter, but it appeared that time got away from her. Korto's look used rubber bands, bean bags and rulers and while the top half of her dress looked pretty good, the bottom was a complete flop. Isaac called out the proportions for being off and Georgina recognized that even Korto knew this look was bad.
Jeffrey used floor mats, folders and jump ropes to create a look which he called 'Japanese anime' girl in mid-twirl". The judges didn't really see the reference and the judges (and I) were put off by the fact that they had to blur her naughty bits (front and back) from being on camera. After spending this season on the bottom and this mistake, I truly thought that Jeffery was gong to be out.
The judges deliberated and it appeared that they made a decision, but in the end Alyssa told the bottom 3 that their looks were equally bad and there would be no elimination, but the bottom 3 need to step up their game (to which I yelled at my TV screen in response). How in the heck did Jeffrey not get sent home!?

Did you catch this week's episode? Did you agree with the judges? Let me know in the comments below. 

What's Making Me Laugh: Pumpkin Spice the Horror Movie

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pumpkin flavoured beer, pumpkin flavoured pies, pumpkin flavoured cakes...pretty much anything pumpkin flavoured during the Fall season. So when I stumbled across this movie trailer spoof for Pumpkin Spice: The Movie I instantly loved it too. Enjoy!

Previously on Project Runway All Stars: Season 3, Episode 3

Friday, November 15, 2013
A.KA. Drinking and Designing

Previously on Project Runway All Stars the designers got to relax at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club. But soon Alyssa Milano interrupted their lounging to announce that the designers would be designing cocktail dresses inspired by cocktails served at Jay-Z's 40/40 Club. And to make the challenge more interesting, they would have to create their looks on a $100 budget. As an added twist, the designers also had to create (or embellish) an accessory using materials they'd already purchased from Mood and the QVC wall. Let's take a look at their designs.


Seth Aaron created a dress that reminded me of the comic book villain, Harley Quinn, and it still managed to hang on to Seth's rock n' roll vibe. It's a little short for my tastes personalty and I'm not sure if leg warmers are going to make a come back.
Seth Aaron
I wasn't a fan of Mychael's look this week. I thought the ruffles at the hips added volume at the wrong place, it was too short and the collar is neither v-shaped nor u-shaped. Somehow the judges let this one slip by.
I was really surprised that I didn't notice Irina's dress on the show, but upon re-examination I noticed that I really disliked her look as well. I'm so over the peplum skirt and I thought her fabric choices looked cheap in pictures. 

Elena created a white dress with intricate cut outs. She's defiantly shown a clear aesthetic. The judges felt that her dress looked expensive. However, guest judge, Nate Burkus, pointed out similarities between Elena's work and work by Balenciaga and Narciso Rodriguez, but Elena countered by stating that she's an avant-gard artist. Elena was safe.
Christopher created a 1920's flapper inspired dress with some curtain fabric and rhinestone accents. The judges thought that this dress looked expensive, however Isaac didn't really love the rhinestones. Christopher was kept safe, but Alyssa announced that she wanted to wear his look to an upcoming event.
Viktor used a fabric with a chapel printed on it to make an intricately cut out dress. When I saw it in the workroom, I wondered if the judges might comment that the dress looked like it might be smooshing the model's boobs or if they might find that the dress is too risqué for public, but the only negative criticism was that the judges felt the bottom slit nearly exposed the model's panties. In the end, the judges decided that this piece was the clear winner and Alyssa will also wear this look at an up-coming event.

Korto used a green printed fabric for her look which Jeffrey likened to Isaac Mizrahi's 2011 resort collection. On the runway the judges reaction was mixed- some liked the dress with the belt and some didn't. Korto made it out safe.

Jeffrey's dress was inspired by women's dresses from Vietnam. The judges weren't really feeling the look though as they didn't like the collar and found the look to be unflattering. Jeffrey squeaked by safely by the skin of his teeth.
Like Elena, Melissa also fell into her old designing habits by creating a color-blocked, suede dress with an asymmetrical collar and hem. While I didn't think that her dress was the worst to come down the runway, I'll admit that the dress seemed rather tight and the suede is a bit impractical for dancing at a club. I'm not sure if Melissa deserved it, but Melissa was out this week.
Did you catch this week's episode of Project Runway All Stars? Did you agree with the judges decisions? Let me know in the comments below.

Images borrowed from My Lifetime's Rate the Runway.

Previously on Project Runway All Stars: Season 3, Episode 2

Tuesday, November 12, 2013
AKA Creepy Crawly Chic

Previously on Project Runway All Stars the designers went on a field trip to the Museum of Natural History where the designers were asked to create an avant-gard look inspired by insects. After doing some sketching and taking their trips to Mood, the designers were relieved to be able to work in an actual workspace rather than the Mood basement.

During the workroom critiques, Melissa had a mini-break down and tears start flowing from both Melissa and Elena. Both Melissa and Mychael ended up changing their outfits completely.
The guest judges this week are previous Project Runway winner Anya Ayoung-Chee and jewellery designer, Jennifer Meyer. Let's take a look at the designs.


Viktor played it safe this week by taking inspiration from his insects colors and creating a gown with a cape. I'm not sure if this is really avant-gard.
Seth Aaron's dress looked like a futuristic armour dress- that's almost borderline costume.
Seth Aaron
Korto's outfit reminded me of a modern take on a 'Sexy Edward Scissorhands' costume. There were some elements I liked- like the pants.
Christopher's look had the shape of an insect, but he didn't need to add spikes to his model's arms.

Irina was inspired by a yellow and black millipede and was smart to omit the yellow color. Her look was one of the few that played with volume and the texture of her dress emulated the bugs legs. Irina was safe this week.

Since Elena won the challenge last week, she got first pick of her insect inspiration this week and she chose a grasshopper. The coloring of her outfit is a really literal interpretation of her insect, but it also has a warrior woman edge to it that makes this outfit look like an 'Elena' outfit although I'm not sure how avant-gard it was. Elena was safe.
It was a good thing that Mychael scrapped his first worm inspired outfit, because the judges loved his neoprene cocoon dress and thought that it was avant-gard, expensive looking and chic. Mychael was the deserved winner this week. 


Jeffery's look was inspired by the scorpion, but in the workroom Mychael compared it to the leg lamp from A Christmas Story. On the runway Anya said it looked like it could be worn by Lady Gaga's backup dancers and Isaac called the look un-wearable, but Jeffery was quick to defend his outfit and point out that this was an avant-gard challenge.

Although I didn't understand the outfit myself, I was glad Jeffery was kept safe.
Melissa's look was inspired by a spider and while the judges concluded that they liked Melissa's dress, they all agreed that it wasn't avant-gard enough. I felt like Melissa could have done so much more with her inspiration- like incorporate more with the spider's coloring. In the end, Melissa was safe.
Daniel wanted to create a look that could look like a suit of armour but docile like his insect. However the judges weren't impressed by his overall use of brown, Isaac didn't like the neck cowl and Anya thought his mix of plastic fabric and lame' cheapened his look. I was both sad and surprised to see that Daniel was out.


What's Making Me Laugh: Jimmy Kimmel's Halloween Prank 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013

As most of you probably know, last week was Halloween and this year Jimmy Kimmel of Jimmy Kimmel Live held another YouTube Challenge where he asked parents to tell their children that they ate all of their Halloween Candy. The results were hilarious as always.


DIY West Elm Abstract Painting/ Franz Kline Knock-off

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
I've been living in my new home for 8 months now and I'll admit that decorating my interior has been slow going. I think I spent the first 6 months slowly unpacking all of our boxes, and now that I can actually see the floors in most of our rooms it's finally time to address our naked walls.

A few months ago I fell in love with these abstract paintings inspired by Franz Kline from West Elm and when I saw HGTV's Emily Henderson style them in a gallery wall I fell even harder, but at that moment I was feeling strapped on cash. Unfortunately, by the time my funds replenished, all but one of the paintings were sold out : ( 

paintings from westelm.com
After doing some Google searching I found several DIY West Elm/ Franz Kline interpretations from The Hunted Interior, Amanda Carol Interiors, The Pink Chalkboard, Burlap and Lace, Some Like a Project, and Bliss at Home to name a few. I already had all of the materials needed on hand, so I decided to make my own.

To make my West Elm/ Franz Kline knock-off I used a 16x20 canvas, some white gesso, black and white acrylic paint and 2 large, flat artist paintbrushes. My canvas was originally primed in brown, so first I covered my canvas in 2-3 coats of gesso to cover the brown and waited for it to dry. Next, I made several gestural brush strokes in black. After the black paint had dried, I made several gestural brush strokes in white and went over any black lines that I didn't want to keep. I repeated these last 2 steps until I was happy with my canvas.

Ta da!
My finished piece now resides on my TV gallery wall. 

She's Crafty: Pink Flamingo Granny Square Edition

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
One of my little pleasures in life is when I get a piece of mail that isn't junk-mail. Needless to say, I'm over-the-moon when I get my monthly copy of Crafty Magazine in the mail. It's always full of crafty goodness and a mini-project inside.

This month's Crafty Magazine included a crochet hook, some pink and gray cotton yarn and three crochet patterns to crochet my own granny square. The flamingo pattern was just too good to resist, so I pulled out my crochet hook and yarn right away and finished my square while watching two episodes of Land Girls. The magazine recommended that finished squares be sent to 'SIBOL' Sunshine International Blankets of Love- an online knitting and crocheting group from the UK that creates 'Sunshine Blankets' for elderly residents of nursing homes.

Dia De Los Muertos

Monday, November 4, 2013

November 2nd marked the Mexican holiday Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead, as well as the Christian holiday All Souls' Day. Both holiday's serve as days of remembering lost family members that have died.

I, being a fan of Day of the Dead calaca (skelleton) artwork, decided that this year I would make my own calaca masks. I happened to have 2 paper mache skeleton masks laying around that I'd purchased at a big box craft store awhile ago and I decided to bust out my paints and decorate them. The mask on the right was inspired by Frida Kahlo and I painted my favorite flower, red roses, on it. The mask on the right was inspired by my husbands favorite color (blue) and I added hints of yellow for contrast and a mustache to make it manly.

If you would like your own Day of the Dead mask, but don't want to go to the trouble of painting your own there are several Etsy shops where you can purchase your own. Check out The Funky Frame Shop or the Sugary Skulls Boutique for some handmade options.

What's Making Me Laugh: SNL parodies Wes Anderson

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Last weekend Saturday Night Live aired a fake trailer for a Wes Anderson movie horror called "The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders" that totally nailed Wes Anderson's movie style. So if you love Wes Anderson movies as much as I do, you'll love this and wish that Wes Anderson would make this fake film a reality.

What I'm Listening To: Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo and Chris T-T

Saturday, November 2, 2013
Happy Day of the Dead, everyone! It's hard to believe, but I've now been legally married for a year (the ceremony was later).

Anyways, last week my husband and I saw Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo in concert and her opening act,Chris T-T of Brighton. Both acts put on a great performance. 

Fun Fact: Emily Barker played with Frank Turner at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony and she wrote the themes to the hit BBC dramas Wallander and The Shadow Line.

Fun Fact #2: Chris T-T (aka. Chris Thorpe-Tracey gave a TED talk at TEDxBrighton about 'The Generation Gap'

Check out their videos below and go see them live if you get a chance.
Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo- Ghost Narrative

Chris T-T- This Gun Is Not a Gun

Halloween Movies 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013
Every year when October rolls around, I try to watch as many Halloween themed films as possible before November comes around. Here's my list of the 10 Halloween movies that I watched this year.

10) Re-Animator (1985)
       I hadn't seen this movie before and I really didn't like it. There's a scene where a decapitated scientist   starts fondles the protagonist's girlfriend's breasts that was too much for me.

9) My Amityville Horror (2012)
     Fun fact: my friend and former Hastings co-worker was a co-producer on this documentary. I'm not sure if Daniel Lutz is mentally ill or if he really did experience some terrible things in Amityville. Maybe both.

8) Carrie (1976)
     I'd seen Carrie before, but my husband had not and I wanted to show him why I don't think the 2013 re-make of Carrie is quite so plausible. It still remains a classic.

7) Child's Play (1988)
     I'd seen a few Chucky sequels, but I hadn't watched the original. It was okay.

6) Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)
   This was a Netflix discovery. It's a comedy combining Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman and the Mummy and the cast features a lot of big names like Jeff Goldblum, Ed Begley Jr., Geena Davis as a sexy vampire,and Michael Richards as a crazy bell boy. It's also got an awesome 80's title theme song. I love any movie with an awesome 80's title theme song.

5) Cabin in the Woods (2011)
    I enjoyed this interesting new take on the horror genre. Plus, it had the dad from Six Feet Under in it and Thor was in it too.

4) Arachnophobia (1990)
    I remember wanting to watch this movie on TV as a kid and being disappointed when the network decided to air another movie instead. Consequently, I only just saw the movie now. I guess it was for the best. I'm afraid if I'd seen this movie when I was young, my fear of spiders would be worse.

3) Pontypool (2008) 
    This movie had a fresh idea on low budget monster films which takes place almost entirely inside of a radio studio. Stephen McHattie is great and the movie slowly builds up tension well.  

2) An American Werewolf in London (1981)
    I'd seen An American Werewolf in Paris before (Hello! Gavin Rossdale was on the soundtrack), but somehow I hadn't managed to see this film until now. And what perfect timing seeing as London is just a few hours away. It's another classic.

1) Ghostbusters (1984)
    I couldn't let Halloween go by without re-watching Ghostbusters. I think I might be the only one who gets sad when Marshmallow Man is destroyed.

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