Violinist/dancer/real-life-cartoon character Lindsey Stirling has just completed a lengthy and successful tour, and is now preparing for a re-release of her debut album. Good for her; being on a talent show may have given her a good start and publicity, but competition tv really doesn’t seem like a worthy venue for a creative performer who can make it big in her own right.
You can check out her website by clicking here.
Steam Powered Giraffe is a musical theater band from California. They are pretty popular with the Steampunk set, and somehow somehow, they escaped my attention until last week. Steampunk giraffe band. This is why I love the internet.
There were originally four members, costumed up as Steampunk humanoid robots, and after some amount of shuffle I think there are about seven of them in the troupe now. Their act is a combination of music and comedy with a Jules Verne animatronic edge, and although they don’t do pop music, they did produce the little gem below which you really need to watch. Really, trust me- ignore whatever the title is making you think and watch it:
Steampunk robot giraffe puppet. That is a music video starring a steampunk robot giraffe puppet. Yes indeed.
On the topic, here are my latest paper dolls. They’re from Dover publications, drawn by Ramona Szozerba. I’ve mentioned this before, but I really like Dover books, and I own a lot of their paper dolls. This set may be my favorite one yet, although Georgie Giraffe was pretty awesome.
Even those of you who are not into steampunk can appreciate the details and the creator’s sense of humor. Of course the set includes an airship captain and a Victorian pirate, but we also have a phrenologist, a lepidopterist, and a super villain with an evil-o-meter in his hat!
Four dolls come in the set, along with 18 different outfits, many of which include an animal companion. Each outfit/scenario includes several useful accessories, like Steampunk Cinderella’s Enchanted Pumpkin Air/Land Conveyance.
There are also plenty of clear instructions and descriptions for the accessories, so you always will know exactly which pieces of equipment to activate as the character needs it.
You can buy the set at the Dover Publications website, and just to sweeten the deal a little more, there is another set of bonus outfits there for you if you do. How cool is that?
Finally, unrelated but sort of related as it is a Steampunk-themed toylike thing that I recently bought and love, Gamewright’s Forbidden Desert:
Most games that offer an everyone-wins conclusion don’t appeal to me, but this one handles that well. The dynamic of everyone sharing cards adds the (unintended) benefit that you can play it alone, if you wanted. As it was designed, 2-5 players try to escape a desert storm by constructing an ancient solar-powered aircraft. It was made as a sequel to Forbidden Island which I haven’t played; I picked it up because the artwork was so striking.
The game description looked cool, so we bought it, and as a cooperative play game requiring skill and planning, we love it. Check out the trailer they made for it below.
Just so you know, no one paid me or asked me to review stuff. I bought these things cuz I liked them, and I encourage you to do so as well, because I still like them (and hope you will too). But I’m not going to receive a commision or anything from you clicking those links.
Here are some drawings from a project I worked on about a decade ago.
My husband and I got it into our heads that we wanted to make a book together. I can’t remember how we decided on the Grimms’ fairy tale of The Bean, The Coal, and The Straw, but I made a set of pictures to go with it.
My version of the story is pretty different from the one in that link. I seem to recall having read both it and a much more macabre variation in another book. It could also be that I rewrote the story with a little more death and sorrow (I was a pretty morbid teenager), but I really don’t remember. I was pretty happy to find them. I kind of want to do a few more of these.
We had a special service today to welcome in our new senior pastor and his family, and it was lovely. In honor of the occasion, we brought in a special speaker who discussed 1 Thessalonians 2 and how we should relate to a pastor. He commented on the need for the Church to be wise about what we believe with the current culture around us, quipped about how he was planning to preach for a really long time, and gave me some good things to think about. He also gave me the idea for this Bingo card. I wonder if that speaks ill of my attention span or maturity level or something, but then that happens a lot when I blog things I think are kind of funny.
Click here to download a set of cards you can print off for your next guest speaker!
**Update: “compliments” oops.
I’m not sure which is more aggravating- the fact that the clothes I buy are all, officially, coming from the XXL hangers or the fact that I always seem to end up buying them from a ninety-pound high schooler who tries to pretend like she’s sympathizing with me even though we both know she hasn’t hit her college belly fat growth spurt yet.
I’m so grossed out by this. Disney, you’ve done it again.
Playbill announced yesterday that a 10-year-old bundle of youtubey stardom has been slated for Little Red Riding hood in the upcoming movie adaptation of Into the Woods.
This happens to be one of my favorite Broadway plays. Literate Libran introduced it to me as one of her favorites too- the dual parts of Cinderella and the Witch have always resonated so powerfully with her. For me the strongest message is the underlying indictment on group dynamics in troubled times. Click either of those to read our thoughts about it. Much has been said about this, and I could easily go on about it much more, so naturally I wasn’t too excited when I heard it was headed for movie theaters, but whatever. They snagged Meryl Streep for the lead, and that’s usually a good sign, right? But this?
A kid sings on Youtube, gets asked to show up on a TV show, subsequently makes miscellaneous talk show appearances… and… those are her acting credentials. This child is 10. The role of Little Red Riding Hood is a coming of age story, with a very overt message about carelessly sacrificing her innocence when a predatorial “wolf” crosses her path. This child is 10. A ten year old who still shows up at every public appearance in a princess costume is supposed to portray a layered, complex balance of fairy tale playfulness and the sadder but wiser embarrassed confidence of a young woman newly smarting from the regrets of a bad relationship.
Check out Danielle Ferland below from the OBC:
“Nice is different than good.” Pretty clever, no?
I thought about also including a clip of Sophia’s breakthrough appearance on Ellen, but she’s singing a song with illicit lyrics about having sex, and in case you’ve forgotten, this child is 10 (actually, she was 8 when that was done) and I think the world will be a better place with fewer blogs posting videos of little children belting out smutty rap lyrics.
Folks, really, how is this not the epitome of exploitation? The pink dresses, ever present to remind us how tiny she is? Have I mentioned she’s 10? Never mind that normal 10 year old girls don’t go trooping around in sparkly plastic crowns, she’s got the cutie-pie image to foster. Never mind how completely unfit she may be amongst her peers; as long as it’s garnering TV spots, why not keep it up? On the same token, I’ve never overheard a fifth grade girl mournfully lament her adolescent choices (because, of course, fifth graders haven’t experienced adolescence yet). A friend of mine commented that it’s a bit discouraging to see how this type of thing is pushed on children at younger and younger ages, but really, however informed a kid may be about the facts of life, ten means she’s still got her teen years ahead of her. Adolescence hasn’t even started yet, and therefore she has not yet earned the right to reminisce about it.
I could ask what kind of lousy parent would pretend like this is good for their child, but the subject of the fame-obsessed parent pimp has been discussed to death, and we all know it’s vile. Can we maybe just start having stagemom of the year awards?
We could call it the “Don’t go in there” Award (little Office joke there). That’s actually pretty apropos.
I could also ask why the movie itself was necessary at all, but that’s something we all know too, right?
Although their original ideas are often fun and watchable enough, those are just the revolving door prime-time stuff. Disney feature films are most often hijacked pieces that the public has already grown to appreciate. I’ve learned by now to just avoid the ones about stories I like unless I want to have the original tainted (I’ll never forgive them for the butchering they gave the Hunchback of Notre Dame), and this will certainly be one to avoid.
I just feel sick and sorry for the child who is so obviously being herded into the child-star-who-does-scandalous-things act, especially considering that she’s got that along with the preschool-dress-up-princess image to maintain. This is one seriously messed up situation.
This is Caren. I have been blessed to have good friends in my life, and she is definitely one of them. Caren and I worked at the same place in college together. We used to gush over bad poetry together, we edited each other’s post-college job applications, and we’ve supported each other through painful experiences. We agonized about boyfriends together, prepared for weddings together, had big fights and then decided the friendship was worth more than the disagreements. We’ve argued politics and theology together, published together, started websites together, made plans to take over the world together- we’ve been close for a long time.
These days we don’t get to see much of each other; we talk regularly online and collaborate on projects digitally, but there are several states separating us. I haven’t gotten to meet her son Trey in person yet, but I’ve enjoyed watching him grow up in pictures from a distance. She has chronicled their homeschooling journey this last year on The Literate Little One, which is a pretty nifty site, if you’re homeschooling or interested in it yourself (admittedly, I’ve written a few articles, but just about news and stuff- her lesson plans and project ideas are the real meat).
She had been balancing the tasks of being a single parent and educating her child alongside of her professional life as a writer when the branch of her workplace issued cutbacks and laid off a bunch of people. Now she’s balancing parenting, teaching, writing (books), and job hunting.
Caren has had full custody of Trey since his father signed it away several years ago, but rather than continue the coparenting arrangement they’ve had in place, the father has recently initiated a suit against her to take full custody, end Trey’s homeschooling progress and seperate Caren and Trey completely. You can read more about the situation by clicking here if you want to know about her or the relationship or whatever else. But I’m not posting to talk about the relationship.
I’m posting to let you know that Caren is a mom that has centered her life around the needs of her child. She’s a good woman, and she and Trey are desperately in need of your help. She currently owes about $10,000 in legal fees, and the procedings have barely even started. While she deals with the job transition, the bill has been climbing rapidly, and like so many other single moms in the throws of a family court process, Caren is getting buried. She has begun a public fundraising account at gofundme.com, and you can click here to see it.
If you can help Caren and Trey at all, it is DESPERATELY NEEDED. $10, 000 is hard to come by, even when you’re working, but it’s a hopeless battle while you’re passing out resumes.
Please visit her gofundme account and donate if you can, and copy this URL to paste on social networking sites:
Please paste that on Facebook, Twitter and wherever else you can to spread the word and help. Thank you so much in advance.
I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not to address this, but I’ve decided not to allow personal comments on this post, because I don’t feel that a third-party blog is a good forum for such a subject. If you’ve commented, and don’t see your comment below, this is the reason.
I’ve simply posted this to let people know that my friend is in need of help and that her cause is a worthwhile one. I’ll gladly approve comments positive, negative, or whatever on other posts, just not on this one, nor will I entertain criticism against her personally, whether you have an unresolved problem with her or not. I’m not here to foster name-calling and finger-pointing, I just want Caren and Trey to be able to make ends meet.