Monday, August 1, 2016

Book Review


Just a quick book review of the new release 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two' by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne. The book is the Special Edition Rehearsal Script for the new play by Jack Thorne. 

My story: I have been a Potterhead, fan of the books (and some of the movies), almost since the beginning. I wasn't interested in the first book initial, but it kept getting great reviews and was always a top pick through the book clubs I was a member of. I bought the second book for my niece, who had raved about the first one. I read the book on the plane ride from Arizona to Northern California. Wow! I was hooked after that. I would dress up and go to the midnight book releases. I read each book in one sitting, and then read it multiple times. I got excited for the movies and was thrilled with the first two and the last two, but am only so-so on the others. I was able to see a pre screening of one movie. I collected whatever I could find on the book and movie series (well, whatever I could afford), have it displayed in my Harry Potter room, and interacted with other Potter fans. I even learned to knit (badly), so I could make a Gryffindor scarf, just like the ones worn in the first movie. I wanted to be in Gryffindor, but Pottermore sorted me into Slytherin. I embraced the opportunity, even though I was uncertain. When Universal opened the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood, I was there on opening day. It was a blast! 

I didn't know what to expect from this play script. I didn't know what I wanted it to be. I am now glad for that. I am a fast reader, and with this being a play script, it was an even easier read than I expected. It took me just over 2 hours to read through, and I was thrilled to immerse myself in Harry's world once again. It took only a minor bit of adjustment to imagine Harry at 37-40+. I even transitioned to imagining the play actors, rather than the movie actors, even though a I've only seen one or two photos of the play actors. 

It is an interesting read from the start. The pace of the play is good. The dialogue has humor, of course, but the uncertainty of parenthood and the insecurity of childhood is vividly portrayed in the simple words, and often dismissive discourse. Then I turn a particular page, read the chapter title, and nearly burst out in tears. The only thing that really stops me from crying is that I don't want to get the pages wet. You'll know what part I mean. Or perhaps you were already crying? The intensity of what follows is heartrending and heartwarming, all at the same time. I parallel the events with intense emotional situations in my own life as a I read on, and I feel the helplessness in the face inevitable loss. Do we want to know it is coming, is it easier to prepare, and how heroic would I be in the exact same circumstances? I'm afraid the answer is 'not very'. 

I recommend reading this script. I would love to see the play. I am fascinated with how they want to include the audience in such a visceral way. If you haven't read the Harry Potter series and only seen the movies, some things might be off-putting, but I bet you will still feel deeply. 

I have so many things on the to-do list today, and am currently listening to the A Song of Ice and Fire audiobook series, but I know that I will be compelled to do as a I did yesterday. Find a comfy, quiet spot, with a good light and read 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two' again. This time I'll have the tissue ready and let the tears flow. Even though I know what is coming, I always cry at the deeply moving parts in the book series and movies. Always. 


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Art and Crafty Update


I wasn't really sure what to call this post. I am trying to update all of my blogs, and find some cohesion and consistency with my creative pursuits and online presence. At my age, one would think I would have myself figured out enough to represent myself as a brand (in the authentic way), but I think it would have been easier to brand myself when I was younger. We all change as we grow, and we hold on to values and ideals that are important to us, and our habits and personality generally reflect these. Sometimes marketing masks the true nature of a brand (think some large corporations that are not what they seem), but I can see how that can sometimes come out inauthentic, because there are so many people involved with different ideas of what the brand represents or unable to accurately portray that. I wrote down some phrases that I think describe me:

eclectically enthusiastic
openly ordinary
narcisstically neurotic
quite quiet
mundanely motivated

It is not entirely clear whether these are positive or negative, and the last one does not necessarily mean that I am indifferent, it is related more to my concern for the Earth. Let me know what you think about these? They are accurate, even if they seem cryptic because of the alliteration.

I have a presence on Periscope now. I have actually done two live broadcasts. I think it is difficult to be anything other than yourself on Periscope, because not only are you recording live, you also have to react in real-time to comments, distractions, or bloopers. Authentic reactivity. Does that sound right?

Anyway, I plan to do more broadcasts, and I think that being on Periscope and blogging more will help me to develop more consistency in my creative endeavors. I didn't put anythying about art or crafting in the phrases above, so I'll just show you what I have been up to creatively.

On July 21, I started #365doodleswithjohannafritz on Instagram. I'll put a link to the Johanna Fritz Illustration blog, so that if you'd like to join, you can see the monthly prompt lists. I hadn't doodled in awhile, but it was fun to just try something, with no pressure.

Having said that, my doodles are fairly inconsistent, because after I started the challenge, I also started collecting more art supplies and subbed to ArtSnacks. I tend to try out my new goodies on a doodle, and my style seems to alter based on the medium. Such as this fish, using regular colored pencils.

The doodle/sketch below is from October 5, and very different. It is more like how I would normally draw. The lines are not straight and more sketchy (if that makes sense). The intention of me taking on this challenge, was to doodle, but I think there will be an evolution where my sketch is finished off as a doodle and the extra lines are erased. We'll see. The doodle below also incorporates another IG challenge, called #drawlloween. It has daily prompts as well. Thus, where a werewolf holding an ice cream went shopping.

Before I started the sketch challenge, I discovered how much I like watercolor pencils, when Michael brough home a random purchase. Faber-Castell Eco Colour Grip 24 pc. Oh my! I do not remember ever trying watercolor pencils, and so I just decided to play with them by drawing from a photo of Mocha and Bella on the sofa with their heads touching (so sweet!). Here is the result: 

(I am going to give myself a pat on the back.) Not bad for someone who has never used watercolor pencils before. I haven't been practicing enough though. I had three relatively successful attempts at drawing different dogs, but several more attempts that were unsuccessful, so I got a little bit intimidated. I also am going to use my glasses as an excuse. ;-) 

Artistically, that is where I am at. Creatively, I still make cards, and am testing out various coloring mediums, although I still only have a handful of Copics. With all the money I've spent on art supplies in general, I could have had quite a large set of Copics by now. Ah well, I enjoy trying out new things. I got a 12 pc set of Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers earlier this week and they are new fave to play with. They are watercolor pens by Kuretake, and I can see why the fine tip is so popular. The fine tip is much more expensive than the old style, dual-tip, Zig Clean Color markers. I'm tempted to buy the older style because of the price difference, but it really is the fine, brush tip that makes a difference. 

Here are a few projects using them: 

Unity Stamp Co. red rubber set I Am Unicorn

Pink Bow Ties set My Prince

Hero Arts set Merry Cactus To You
I am way behind on Project Life or making scrapbook pages, even though I get a photobook each month with photos from my camera roll, but I still make cards. I also joined an FB group called Creative Card Angels that makes cards to send out to people who might need some comfort, especially those that need sympathy, get well, or encouragement! If you are a cardmaker, or love to send cards, look them up and ask to join. It is friendly and supportive. 

Here is my latest card, and I aslo put more information on the stamp used, in a post on my papercrafting blog Pink Chair Studio:  

Isn't the bow stamp adorable! I like the colors I used, but a darker contrast color, gives the two dimensional stamp even more depth. I had already adhered the kraft paper under the present, but in hindsight would have just had a larger border with the pretty metallic gold foil paper, which doesn't show up too well in my lighting. 

Okay, so I think that catches me up with my creative endeavors for now. I didn't really mention handlettering or planners. I'm still learning on the handlettering, even though I quite enjoy trying. Hmm...I guess I'll go ahead and put something in here. 

Not the best calligraphy or brush lettering, but I really like the quote: "There is only one be free to spend your life in your own way and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it." - Christopher Morley. I would like to live that way, and mostly do during the day, but I also have to be aware of the claims I make on others. It is unfair of me in the extreme. 

I'm trying to just post updates that have occurred since my therapy sessions in May and adoption discussion here on this blog, see a couple of posts back if you are interested, or I will try to remember to link it here. I am also pursuing the idea of an art journal, specifically for private journaling, so I won't show too much here, but I think I need to do it daily, as it is very therapeutic. I generally start with the art that resonates what I am feeling, and then I put words, and even if they are long paragraphs, they tend to also be poetic. I still write poetry, and am always working on short stories. 

I still make doll jewelry, and have been trying to find a good balance with creating planner charms and selling papercrafts supplies. I have some ideas as well for creating my own stamps sets, but this is when cohesion and consistency fall off. My art and crafts are eclectic, I wouldn't say you could identify a specific pattern, even though it all authentically comes from me. I can do some funny doodles, and sketch (especially in my art journal) with some dark, though sarcastic, intent. My papercrafts tend to be relatively happy and sweet. My planning is disorganized, and my jewelry designs are pretty enough, but yet distinctive. How to pull this all together to represent myself, as a brand, and to be recognizable? Is it possible?

I need to have accountability and overcome fear. So that is the reason for such a long post. Thank you so much if you had read and viewed this far, and for any advice or support, or even constructive criticism you wish to share. 

Warm wishes to you for happiness, success, and peace! 


Friday, August 14, 2015

Extra Photos for INSTAGRAM Harry Potter Giveaway

Hi everyone! 

Thanks for visiting the blog. 
This post is to provide extra, detailed photos of the 
Harry Potter Giveaway I have going on via my 
Instagram account. 

These items have been with me a long time! The journal is by Scholastic and dated 2000. 
There is some slight damage to the outside of the journal, but the inside is 
in great condition. Might be some minor wear on the other items as well, from storage. 

Full prize package.

Iron on Quidditch Patch

Cardstock glasses, random and not really HP shaped. ;-)
Back of iron on Quidditch patch.

Two of the foil Valentine's sheet, four different Valentine's to each sheet.

Another foil Valentine sheet with two large Valentine's and showing what the backside of the other sheets looks like. Envelopes will be included.

Game cards from the first movie, one has foil, that shows as a nice rainbow effect in this light.

Scholastic sticker for the Order of the Phoenix book release, two licensed buttons from a larger pack, and an unused Scholastic journal, dated 2000.

Minor damage to the journal on the outside from storage.

Inside of journal has lined pages, with lightning bolt icon on each pain. Great condition!

Portions from the other sticker sheets included.

One full package of stickers from All Night Media.

 See you on Instagram!