Monday, October 29, 2012

DIY: Pinterest Halloween Costume

I'm assuming that most of you know what Pinterest is (Hello, to all my fellow Pinners!), if you don't it's a treasure trove of ideas about crafts, recipes, awesome photos, tributes to the bastions of geekdom, and anything else you could possibly think of; basically, it's one of the biggest time sucks on the Internet. Anyhoo, remember a couple of years ago when a lot of people dressed up as Facebook walls? Well, this year I decided to create the next generation of the costume and be Pinterest for Halloween.

The Finished Product
Here's how I did it.

Supplies you will need: white T-shirt, iron-on transfer paper ($20 at Joann's), and fabric paint. 

Step 1: Choose the pins you want from Pinterest. I used the "Snipping Tool" feature on Windows 7 to get the Pins I wanted. 

Step 2: Copy the snipped pins on a Microsoft Publisher document (I used Publisher because it doesn't have the set formatting that Word does) and printed them out, using my regular old inkjet printer, on the transfer paper following the included directions (make sure you flip the images so that they print out as mirror images [it's "flip horizontal on Publisher], otherwise your Pins will be backwards on the shirt). I used the whole package of paper 10 sheets total with 4 pictures on each sheet. 

Step 3: Cut out the Pins, so that extra paper doesn't get transferred as well and look like an odd border. 

Step 4: Dry arrange the Pins on the t-shirt so that you know the layout before you move onto the ironing step. I also used a Disappearing Ink marker so that I knew exactly where I placed them.

Step 5: Following the given instructions, iron the pins onto the t-shirt as you prearranged. After ironing for the prescribed amount of time (15-20 seconds), peel off the back of the transfer paper and discard.

I did use a stencil. I'm not that great at drawing.
Step 6: Using fabric paint, paint the Pinterst logo onto the t-shirt. I could have used another iron-transfer, but I wanted the logo to be very vibrant and the transfers aren't.

Then, voila! Just add red pants (mine are Old Navy Rockstar Cords), red accessories (headband, earrings, and nail polish for me), and you're done. Ready to impress your friends at the Halloween party.

Here it is again.

Happy Pinning!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

DoJ: Imperfect Bliss: A Novel

Imperfect Bliss: A Novel
Imperfect Bliss: A Novel by Susan Fales-Hill

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Imperfect Bliss is an interesting edition to the Austen-inspired collection. Set in suburban Washington D.C., this contemporary, chick-lit follows Bliss Harcourt, a divorced mother and graduate student, on her path of rediscovery. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are very recognizable in Harold and Forsynthia Harcourt, a British professor of the history of science and a Jamaican-born Anglophile. Jane Bennet has transformed into Victoria Harcourt a thirty-five year-old librarian, who can't seem to love any man. The two younger Harcourts, Diana and Charlotte, are a mish-mash of the three youngest Benets, clamoring for attention in all the wrong ways, including being the star of a reality-TV show reminiscent of The Bachelorette and a sex-tape scandal.

What really intrigued me about this book was the fact that the Harcourt family dynamic was the center of the plot, not the romance between Bliss (Elizabeth) and Dario (the Latino TV director, Darcy). In fact Dario was such a flat and uninteresting character, I really didn't want Bliss to end up with him at all. I would have been much happier with Bliss realizing that she could be happy without a man after all three of the happily-ever-after potentials (ex-husband, dashing older professor, and Wickham character) turned out to be duds. The romantic aspect of the novel just seemed so forced and slapped on to the end that I was left feeling completely unsatisfied, especially after all of Bliss's feminist, politically correct, and self-actualized leanings in the book, especially when dealing with her mother and younger sisters as well as the lessons she tries to instill in her four year-old daughter, who reminds me of the little girl from Hope Floats.

So while the handling of the Bennet/Harocurt family dynamic was intriguing, the half-hearted attempt at romance left me feeling cold.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon

Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon
Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans, and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful, insightful look at the fandom of Harry Potter from an insider's perspective. Anelli gives parallel histories of the Potter phenomenon: her own personal journey from novice Potter reader to super-fan, webmistress of The Leaky Cauldron as well as the stories of J.K. Rowling, the series' inception, and various big players in the Potter fandom. Covering topics like fan fiction, wizard rock, spoilers, and book challenges, Harry, A History gives an enthralling look into the deep and diverse Muggle world of Harry Potter. This well written guide will give any Potter fan back stage glimpses to the real world of Harry Potter, and the forward from J.K. Rowling doesn't hurt.

On a personal note, this book opened my eyes to the breadth of the Potter phenomenon. I'm what I like to call a periphery fan, not a FAN in the purest sense of the word. I obsess privately, don't own much merchandise, and only geek out once in awhile. This book makes me wish I had taken greater part in the greater phenomenon while it was still fresh and ongoing.

Favorite quote (context - Anelli's private interview with Rowling several months after the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

"I have one last question: What does she [J.K. Rowling] hope people will take with them about this time?

She pauses, but then the answer is right on her tongue.

'When all the fuss and hoopla dies away, and when all the press commentary dies away, I think it will be seen that the phenomenon was generated, in the first instance, bu kids loving a book. A book went on shelves, and a few people loved it. When all of the smoke and lights die away, that's what you'll be left with.

'And that's the most wonderful thought for an author.'"

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