Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas Movie #5 & #6

Christmas Movie #5
Thomas Kinkade presents:  Christmas Miracle (2012):  Due to a road closure, eight strangers must take refuge in an abandoned church during a storm. They learn how to manage through various dilemmas by working together.

Typical Kinkade Christian Christmas movie. It was enjoyable, but nothing new here. Not to much of a tear jerker.   2.5 out of 5 stars.

Christmas Movie #6
Christmas Oranges (2012): Experience the journey of Rose, an orphan who teaches the meaning of hope to all those around her. Share a slice of Christmas sweetened with friendship in this poignant story based on a classic holiday tale.

Ahhh...I got my Christmas mojo back.  This is a lovely Christmas movie.  Not a new storyline...Orphans and all, but well done. Well acted.  Highly recommended film for the entire family.  Not an overtly Christian movie, just good, clean Christmas warmth.  4.5 out of 5.

Starting on December 1, 2014, I will start my photo project "25 Days of Christmas".  I did this last year and enjoyed it.  I will post 1 picture a day that is Christmas related from the 1st until the 25th.  It might sound easy, but it really isn't.  This challenge makes me look for Christmas beauty sometimes where there isn't any.

**May not be posted daily due to my hectic school schedule, but will be dated when they are posted.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Favorite Christmas Carols (some of them)

Mary Did You Know - Clay Aiken (Singer)

A Babe is Born - William Mathis (Composer) - Video doesn't start until 0:29
St Peter's Cathedral Choir, Adelaide

O Come O Ye Faithful - John Francis Wade et al (Composers) -  Kings College Cambridge   

 O Come O Come Emmanuel - 12th Century Latin Text - The Choir of Clare College

 Hallelujah Chorus - Handel (composer)  -  Royal Choral Society

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Movies #4

Christmas Movie #4

The Christmas Blessing - When a medical resident loses a patient, he moves back home with his father to rethink his career. His visit is a bittersweet one, overshadowed by memories of the mother he lost 18 years earlier on Christmas Eve. Nathan accepts a coaching position at a local elementary school where he meets Megan, a teacher, and becomes close with a young boy named Charlie. His world is turned upside down when the lives of the woman he loves and an innocent young boy are in crisis.

This is part 2 of a (so far) 2 part series. It is an adaptation of the Christmas books written by Donna VanLiere.  The first part is called The Christmas Shoes. This movie is a tear jerker, as most Christmas movies are.  I think this is why I have a hard time watching too many Christmas movies in a row, I can't take it.  But I recommend this series.    4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Christmas Photography

 Christmas Window of Lord & Taylor, New York City.  Fairies in glass domes.  I took this with my iPad and jazzed it up with Photoshop and used HDR Processing.

Christmas Window of Lord & Taylor, New York City.  Blue Fairy. I used my iPad to take this photo.

Christmas Window of Lord & Taylor, New York City.  Follow the Yellow Brick Road.  This was one of the two Literature Displays that I really found interesting.  I used my iPad to take this photo and post processed in Photoshop using HDR processing.

Christmas Window of Lord & Taylor, New York City.  Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly.  I used my iPad to take this and post processed in Photoshop.  Used HDR Processing.

Christmas Window of Lord & Taylor, New York City.  Paper Dolls.  This is the 2nd storybook window, I'm not sure what story this is though.  Took with my iPad and post processed in Photoshop and used HDR Processing.

 The Shops at Grand Central, New York City.  Glass Blown Snowmen.  These cute little guys were hanging there waiting to be bought.  I took this with my DSLR and post processed in Photoshop.

Christmas Movies #2 and #3

Christmas Movie #2
A Madea Christmas 2013 -  Madea dispenses her unique form of holiday spirit on rural town when she's coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas.
This was a typical Tyler Perry Madea movie.  Funny in parts, touching in others.  There are better Madea movies though, but this was an OK Christmas one.

3 out of 5 stars

Original Theatrical Poster

Christmas Movie #3

Beyond Tomorrow (aka: Beyond Christmas.  aka: And So Goodbye) 1940 - The ghosts of three elderly industrialists killed in an airplane crash return to earth to help reunite a young couple whom they initially brought together.

I watched this one many years ago (on VHS).  Very touching then and very touching now.  I don't usually re-watch movies, but the Christmas ones I tend to.

I also love watching Christmas movies that are not directly about Christmas but are always played at Christmas time because they are important staples of the season.  It is a little remembered film, which I think is sad.

And this particular movie  has been digitally remastered and preserved by the National Film Museum, Incorporated. 

4 out of 5 stars
Updated DVD Cover 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Christmas Movies #1

Christmas movie #1

  • Christmas For a Dollar:  America is in the midst of the Depression, and the Kamp family is struggling to get by, especially after Mrs. Kamp's untimely death. Now little Ruthie, with her mother gone and her father overwhelmed by doctor bills resulting from her brother s polio, expects another Christmas without presents or festivities. But when her father brings home one dollar in change and lets the children use it to buy special gifts for each other, the Kamps come to find that money isn't what fills Christmas with joy, love, and miracles.
    Written by Covenant Communications

Is it as corny as it sounds? Yes. Is the acting sub par? Yes. Did I cry anyway? Yes.

This was on the UP network, so it is meant to be uplifting and feel good.  It was.  
It was predictable.  But it is a Christmas movie, so I put all the flaws to the side and 
enjoyed it for what it is. Great Christmas Family Entertainment.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, November 24, 2014

What Thankfulness really looks like

This video is making its rounds.  It is in Spanish.

This boy receives a cutting board for his birthday.  He is grateful for the gift and thanks his mother and says he can't wait to try it out by cutting some food.  Then he gets a tablet.  The family is struggling financially in the worst way but the mother saved up her money over time in order to buy him this gift.  His expression is beyond priceless.

When you sit down at your Thanksgiving table this week, think about the love these parents have for their son and the sacrifices they are willing to make for his happiness.  Be thankful for what you have.

These parents have something money can never amazing, grateful and wonderful boy. He will do great things!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Upcoming Holiday On This Blog

Christmas is almost here and I believe my blog will be possessed by the Christmas Spirit.  I’m sure just about every post will have something to do with the season.  Although December will be super busy for me; no not because of shopping, but because of school and other activities.  We have several make up classes (because of Thanksgiving and Christmas) and on Dec. 23rd, we are having a poetry/short story reading in my school which I am to participate in IF my church doesn’t have rehearsal that night for the Christmas concert on the 24th.  But at least I’ll be able to sort of rest starting on the 22nd because I won’t have to go to work, I take my vacation.  I may have to run around, but I’ll be able to rest up during the day and do the above activities in the evenings.

I haven’t started watching any of the Christmas Movies that are on my DVR! I’ve taped them, but have yet to watch any. I probably won’t get to them all, but I will incorporate them into the Christmas reading (and movie) challenge. I will just have to find the time somewhere.

I have exceeded my projected reading goal for 2014.  I was conservative and put that I would read 60 books.  This was because I was unsure of how much studying my classes would require.  Currently, I’ve read 93 books and with 5 ½ weeks left, I should hit 100 easily.

Next year I think I’ll up it to 70 books; because I’m going into the last year and the work should be light (I graduate in January 2016).  I also have decided to work on my TBR list.  I have the bad habit of adding new books and never going back to read the old.  So my strategy will be any book that is on my list from December 2014 or prior will be considered a book that needs to be read.  I am aiming for 2 of the TBR books a month, which would give me 24 TBR books read.  Currently there are 99 non-Christmas books on the list.  I always delete the Christmas books I don’t read off the list once the season is done.  I estimate I should have between 100-110 books on the TBR list by the end of this year.

OK this will be one of the last non-Christmas posts I will make.  I may post on Thanksgiving or if something major happens but other than that, it is Christmas on my blog!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Peyote Bracelet

My latest beading attempt.  Peyote bracelet.  Silver, gold and red size 8 seed beads.
It has a few flaws, but it is pretty good for a first try in 10 years.

Law of Attraction Instruction Manual by Chris Toasso

 Rating:  ★★★★

Law of Attraction Instruction Manual: How to Understand the Law of Attraction, Design Your Unique Manifestation Process, and Create the Life You Want by Chris Tomasso is less an instruction manual for the Law of Attraction and more an instruction manual for life. Tomasso pulls from different thoughts on the Law of Attraction and puts them together in a book that is to the point and easy to understand. He references Abraham-Hicks, who by far is one of the most intelligible speakers on the subject.

I have been studying the Law of Attraction for over 15 years, and I’ve read a lot on this subject. I read different books to attain a complete understanding of the topic. I tend to be a tough reviewer on this topic, because I’ve read it all (or at least enough to know what is authentic and helpful, and what is not). This book brings it all together in one place without the confusing information on Quantum Physics. It goes straight to the heart of the topic and lays out the steps one needs to take in order to have this Law work for you and how to functionally use it in your life.

I recommend this book for those beginning to learn about the Law of Attraction. It goes right to the bones. I also recommend this book for those who have been studying it for a while and need that occasional brush up without all the rigmarole.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

5th Annual Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

The Christmas Spirit 
It's back. Sign up, it's loads of fun!

I'm going for the following Level:
-Christmas Tree:  read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)

  Additional levels:

  --Fa La La La Films:  watch a bunch or a few Christmas's up to you!
It will all be documented here, books and films.  

Some of the books I might read for this are:

The Mistletoe Promise  by Richard Paul Evans
Christmas Poems edited by  J.D. McClatchy
THe Christmas Mail Order Bride  by Kit Morgan

Of course I have already started reading Christmas books, so I will only count books I read during the challenge dates.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Beaded Christmas Cross Finished

I finished the cross.  It didn't take me as long as I had originally thought.  I sat down Friday night and finished it.  It took a life of its own.

Wooden cross covered with various size beads including seed beads.  Colors, Gold, Silver, Red and green.

I am happy with the results and it will look great once it is in front of flashing Christmas lights.

My next project is going to be either a beaded quilt or another bead mosaic project. I've not yet decided.