Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Video Blog from The Hobbit

The first video blog from Peter Jackson about The Hobbit has been posted! Enjoy!

Lots of good eye candy until the Maori welcoming ceremony, then some speechifying.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Disney Dream: Sea Day

Click now for JiffNotes

OK. There are going to be a LOT of pictures in this post, because I hadn't shared a lot of pictures of the ship's interiors, which are beautiful. I took most of these right after we boarded the ship, hence the (blessed) lack of random people (the ship wasn't that empty). Just know I'm leaving a lot out; you really have to see it for yourself. ;)

After the obligatory Mickey waffle...
we headed back to Mickey's Midship Detective Agency. THERE WERE PUPPIES TO SAVE, PEOPLE!!!

As we roamed the ship rescuing puppies, we passed the princess line in the lobby. It was a pretty long line, but you could see six princesses at once.
Belle and Snow White were to the right of Tiana (who had a great sassy attitude). Belle was soo cute with the little girls; it was really fun to watch. She's my favorite princess. Of course, I may be just a bit prejudiced since she's the smart brunette. =)

Good thing all those parents waiting up on the balcony had great seating...
This was a little "cafe" on the second floor of the atrium where you could hang out, have a snack, listen to whatever musical performance was going on in the lobby...whatever.

In the eye candy department, I love this carpet medallion at the top of the stairs in the atrium.
All the carpets were pretty fabulous.

Can't have an atrium without a hidden Mickey. =)

After lunch, we headed off to a dance class. I thought it'd be easy (apparently the yoga on the beach taught me nothing). It was SERIOUS. It was about four eight-counts from "Step in Time" from the onboard show that night. And they didn't pull any punches; even though this was the "easiest" section from the number and didn't have any pirouettes or anything, it was FAST. I may have been able to do it correctly through once. =) Of course, by the end of the class, all the cast members were cheering us on and looking really impressed that we were doing it at full speed. Whether it was shtick or real, it felt good. =)

The dance class was held in the Evolution lounge. Fiber optics and really cool faux burnished metal wall treatments in the hallway lead up to it.
These light panels turn different colors at night when the club's "in business".
You can kinda see the stylized butterfly wings on the ceiling.
After that class, I was desperately in need of water before the Q&A with the cast members (which was fun and very informative). Since there was no one in Evolution, I headed out to the District Lounge where the bartender who taught our Mixology class hooked me up. With water. C'mon, even on vacation you need actual water to recover from dance class!

One of the other awesome adults-only spaces in the District is Pink. Remember the champagne at Remy?
Yeah, only pink. And inside, it's like being in a champagne bubble.
Lots of pink suede and pink leather...very plush.

As we continued to save puppies, we got a chance to appreciate more of the great Disney-themed art around the ship. I love the Art Deco take on "Plane Crazy", complete with gold leaf:
And how appropriate to have "Steamboat Willie" as ship decor:
This is just one of the fabulous mosaics in Cabanas (the buffet area).
This is probably my favorite piece of art on the ship, though. A "concept art" piece from WALL-E, with Eve.
So sweet. It's tucked away in a stairwell and covers at least two decks...maybe three.

While we were boarding, we saw a big group with T-shirts that said, "Deck 7 Tells No Tales". Hey, we're on Deck 7! Well, it turned out there was a huge group on the ship from WDW Radio (which we'd never heard of before the trip...Radio Disney, SURE! But WDW Radio?). They were very enthusiastic door decorators...
We loved seeing the little prizes they'd leave for each other in those red hanging bags they all had on their doors. One door had a riddle of the day, one had a picture for every year they'd been at Walt Disney World (all the way back to the seventies). But this lady really went above and beyond...
All those 1x1" pictures are different shots of her and her family at WDW. Her husband saw us ogling the door and when I told him it was wonderful, he said she'd spent a LONG time on it. We are totally going to have to step up our game on the next Disney cruise. I forgot the doors are metal so magnets stick to them!

That night's show was called "Believe", and it was fantastic (and yet again I couldn't take pictures). The staging and sets were incredible. It started off a little slow, but once it got going, it was awesome. Sometimes I am really amazed at the ways they are able to fit extremely disparate musical numbers into the same framework, but somehow it all works!

Our final dinner was in Animator's Palate again, but this time we had the non-pirate, "normal" show. The screens start out with Finding Nemo concept art, but then we get to see out into the sea, and Crush comes around and talks to people at the tables!
He can actually see and hear the people in the "people tank", but I suppose 100-year-old sea turtles don't have great eyesight, because he only talks to the tables closest to the screens. =) Everyone else gets to learn some turtle talk, though. During the courses, the sardines slowly build objects so you can guess what they are (similar to the queue line at "The Seas with Nemo and Friends" in Epcot).

Sadly, after dinner we had approximately 45 minutes before luggage was due to be out in the hall (i.e., 45 minutes to throw all our stuff into our suitcases and not forget to leave out something to wear in the morning).

After a very early breakfast in Animator's Palate, we reluctantly left the ship. And immediately discovered one of the glasses we'd bought on board was broken. This led to an EPIC SAGA involving many phone calls and cast members (tricky to replace the glass because all ship stores have to be closed any time the ship is in port). But thanks to the lovely Gayle (and others) with Disney Cruise Lines, our set of glasses is now complete again.

Fortunately, we were on our way to the parks (and the Wilderness Lodge, where we'd never stayed before). Stay tuned...

Disney Dream decor delightful; park play pending!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Not Responsible

Click now for JiffNotes

I have no idea how this stash showed up in my mailbox.

It couldn't have had anything to do with Nordic Needle's $2.99 shipping sale. But if it had, I might be considering what color to change her dress to, since yellow doesn't do it for me. It would be blue, if I were thinking about such a thing. I'd have to do some stash diving, and figure out what fabric to use, too, if this were on my mind at all.

But it's not; 'cause I can't start anything until my Crazy Challenge is complete.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Really, I am legally obligated to purchase fairies that are actually named Heather, aren't I???

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Temari Under Glass

Click now for JiffNotes

Southpaw Stitcher asked if I made the temari you can see peeking out behind my last TUSAL. Yep, I sure did! So I thought I'd talk about them a little.

Edited to add... First, if you have never heard of temari, they are Japanese thread balls. If you'd like a thorough history, look here. (Much eye candy to had at that site as well, though for better (and free) how-to information, visit Temari Kai.)

The first temari I made is not pictured here (or anywhere, LOL!) It was supposed to be a kiku, but the teacher's directions in class were...not to the level of detail I needed. =) When she discovered my error, she attempted to push the threads to the places they needed to go. The result was not very pretty. I did stitch the other side as it was meant to be done, but overall it's not a very pleasing temari. I've kept it for posterity, but it's not on display.

After that false start, I tried a different design, and decided that I wanted to make ornaments for my three sisters and my mother. I think this one is called Interlocked Diamonds.

I also made one for Michael's parents, but I never got a picture of it!

Click any picture to biggify from this point on...

Next, I decided to try that pesky Kiku that didn't happen in the class, since I had bought one of Diana Vandervoort's books and this design was included.
This is one of the ones that's "under glass". When my hubby's aunt saw it, she jokingly said, "My colors are..." So, of course I had to send her one for Christmas:

I thought the first side had too much yellow, so I made the second side a little different.

This is another one that's "under glass":

It was my first "complex" division. The kikus and diamonds above are on "simple" divisions. That is, if you picture the globe with an equator line, and about 8 longitude lines, that's a simple 8. A complex 8 involves making a simple 8 division, then picking a new North pole somewhere around the equator and stitching some more longitude lines oriented from the new pole. Then you do that once more at a certain point. I won't explain here without pictures...if you're interested, head over to Temari Kai, which has great resources and a host of patterns.

Here's another C8 temari, an all-over design (no thread wrap showing):

Hmmm...I think this one's down in the Craft Cabana1

For a few more temari pictures, head to my {old, languishing, obsolete} website.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

March Saneness

Click now for JiffNotes

Well, I didn't end up going for March Madness as usual. But I did draw one project out of the bowl.

This is "Seeds of Love", by Teresa Wentzler. Not that you can really tell, from the teensy amount that's done.

I also couldn't muster up the energy to revisit every single one of my Crazy Challenge pieces. But I alllmost made it. I finished the border (except for beads) on Dasher:

I did another 1/4 of the Eight-Pointed Star:

And I did some more work on the Bumblebee Stumpwork:

I'm going to make it a goal to finish the Bumblebee in April! I'll still start off the month with my next goal on Random Thoughts, though.

True March Madness will have to wait until next year!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Drive-by TUSAL

Click now for JiffNotes

(What's a TUSAL?)

Gotta get this post up quick; there are many posts waiting in the wings and I need to cook dinner and clean up around the Lottloft!

Goodness, I still have Disney posts to do! And talk about seeing the dolphins at the Georgia Aquarium this weekend! And stitching progress!!

Is it possible I've stitched that much this year??

Old Geek-outs