Archive for Tuesday’s 10

[Tuesday’s] 10: Lunch

I was feeling back to school, but not quite ready to do the typical back to school themes, so 10 incredibly awesome lunchbox related things it is.

1. This Enameled stacked lunch box from VivaTerra
stacked enamel lunch boxes

2. An adorable cat to watch over your lunch bag in the office fridge from WeOpenSecret

Lunch tag

3. Ninja Apple Cosy at natalya1905

photo of apple cosy in action

4. Retro Thermos Pair at GallivantingGirls. How do you pluralise Thermos anyway? Thermoses? That looks weird, like it should be a hertofore unknown Egyptian Pharoah of the old kingdom. King Thermoses the 2nd ruled over an era of peace, prosperity and Tomato Bisque.

photo of 2 cool plain thermoses

5. Why just cut the crusts off when you can do so much more? Dog and house bento food cutter from kawaiigoodies

photo of dog and house shaped sandwich cutter

6. I get too creeped out about the idea of the reusable fabric sandwich bags, but for snacks I can get behind this cute stegosaurus bag from HarrietsHaven.

stegosaurus fabric snack bag

7. cool vintage metal lunch box at vintagecottagegarden

vintage train design metal lunch box

8. Maybe you’re a little more pop-culture nostalgic. I know this Hardy Boys lunchbox (with the thermos even!) over at Anaspaceship would fit the bill.

hardy boys lunch box

9. I love the graphics on this bento set from natsuriku2007

cute bento set

10. I’m probably too lazy to make the super cute bento lunches seen on Adventures in Bento Making like the one below, but that doesn’t stop me from admiring those who do.

photo of a lunch from adventures in bento making site

And just for fun here’s a good link on inspiring yourself to take you lunch to work a little more often from Livehacker


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Tuesday’s 10: Books I’d like to make a film version of

I have a tendency to turn everything into a movie. I suppose that’s partly film school’s big influence on me, by the time I was doing my senior fiction studios in my creative writing degree a lot of my critiques were about how I should go into screenwriting because the way I wrote felt like a movie (that could have been because I blithely ignored the program’s ridiculous stand on genre and wrote modern noir and semi-comic heist stories for the most part.) (*there will be a whole forthcoming post about this, that I cut out of here after writing it because it was long and irrelevant and every so often I catch myself at that bad stream of consciousness tributary thing and nip it in the bud.) I see animated movies in my head when I listen to music (provided the music isn’t rubbish.) I try to cast books when I read them, or think of shooting locations I may have seen that would be perfect. It’s probably a terrible habit that would horrify the authors I’m reading, but it’s just innate in me, but I do think it sort of makes the work more real and personal to me. 

The 10 books here, aren’t just books I’d like to see a film of,  they are books I’d personally like to make a film of, if I had stuck with it and bulldozed my way into the industry (I realised at the end of my degree that I didn’t want to direct feature films, but now that I’m older, I’ve come to realise that I think I’d have been a brilliant development exec if I’d just decided to go to Hollywood anyway, finding rough gems that are worth fixing, or polished gems that will succeed, but that’s not something you walk into, but I think I’d have a good eye for what will make money and what would win acclaim.)

These are the books that I spent way too much time trying to cast in my head, or could see entire sequences for while reading. They’re also great reads, and happen to be some of my favourite books.

1. The Brothers Karamazov- Fyodor Dostoevsky.

This is probably one of my favourite books ever. The first time I read it was in 4th grade. I’d probably guess that I didn’t understand half of the complex themes at that time, just being more into the “look I’m reading a giant Russian classic while the rest of you are reading Judy Blume” as 9-year-old me could be a mite pretentious. But unlike Tolstoy, which bored 9-year-old me as much as it bored 19 and 29-year old me, Dostoevsky stuck and I’ve read Karamazov multiple times. I really did want to make a film version of this as I was a little horrified that there was an adaptation out there with William Shatner as Alexei and I obsessively cast it in my head while I was at Emerson.  At the time I believe I wanted Ralph Fiennes to be Dmitri, Liam Neeson as Fyodor (even though way too young at the time and against my other casting choices), David Thewlis as Ivan (he probably would have made a genius Smerdykov and I think sometimes I moved him over there), I forget who I wanted for Alexei, it might have been Edward Norton though at some point because I was just blown away by Primal Fear.   

2. Confederacy of Dunces- John Kennedy Toole

I can’t believe that there has, to my knowledge, never been a film or in fact a bunch of adaptations of this book. I know at one point Stephen Fry was writing a screenplay (and in his youth he would have been a genius Ignatius) and then there was supposed to be a version starring Will Ferrell in a fat suit a couple years ago. Look, I love Will Ferrell as much as the next person, and I know that he’s got a lot more depth and chops than things like Old School would have one believe, (I really loved Stranger Than Fiction) but it’s not right. He’s not the right Ignatius Reilly, he’s just not. When I think of Ignatius I see someone who looks a little like Ricky from Better Off Dead (And if that character and his mother are not informed specifically by Confederacy I’d be shocked) and I might be able to see something else, but it’s not Will Ferrell, plus I think he’s too old. Castingwise, no it would probably have to be a cattle call to find the perfect Ignatius, imagine a stack of photos of actors in that hunting cap and the hot dog vendor apron.  Hmm you know who might not be a bad fit, Nick Frost. I just think of the socialist organising scene, which I can just see in my head and I know this could be the best film ever.

3. The Secret History- Donna Tartt

I’m actually a little surprised this was never filmed either, especially since it seems to me like it would have been a fit in the mid-late ’90s when ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’ and other such literary dark mysteries were cleaning up on the screen. Everyone I thought about casting is of course insanely too old now, but there is a lot of talent that’s the right age now or about to be the right age (say Dakota Fanning. I could see that.)

4. Survivor- Chuck Palahniuk

Another book that was so close to getting made, and then 9/11 made films about people crashing jets like cinematic leprosy. Nevermind that he crashed the jet into the middle of nowhere and that he was the only person on board because he hijacked it, and dropped all the passengers off, but whatever. Survivor is, after Fight Club, what I think is Palahniuk’s best book. I guess 9/11 at least ensured that Madonna wouldn’t ruin the movie, she was apparently cast somehow.  According to Chuck’s website it sounds like this might actually leave development hell and get made. If not, maybe I’ll have to magically become a studio head and make it myself.

6. I, Lucifer- Glen Duncan

Rumours seem to abound that this is being made, and rumours of Ewan McGregor and Daniel Craig being attached, but it looks like it’s in development hell too. This book is a gem. It just reads like it was meant to be a film from the beginning. The Devil decides to have a go at being a human in the body of a sad-sack writer who is in the midst of committing suicide as part of a deal that could get him back into heaven  and while he’s at it he’s going to write his side of the bible so clear up some things that everyone had wrong, not to mention do lots of drugs.  I could see Simon Pegg or Peter Serafinowicz playing Declan/Lucifer too.

7. Church of Dead Girls- Stephen Dobyns

Of all the books here, this is probably the most difficult to film, because rather than being a conventional mystery, thriller, it’s really a quiet psychological portrait of how paranoia and fear and a grisly tragedy can implode a town. Done right, with the right cast, it would be a home run, otherwise it would likely end up a bad Lifetime movie.

8.  Fast One- Paul Cain

I passionately, unabashedly love film noir and classic hard-boiled fiction and Fast One is the perfect complement to Hammett and Chandler. I wrote a screenplay adaptation of this book as an exercise for myself back in the day. At the time I was still in the thrall of Denis Leary is a genius so I think I wanted him to play the lead, I still think he could, but nowadays I could see  whoever the guy playing the lead on The Glades or maybe Jason Lee though he seems more snarky than hardboiled when delivering any witty repartee in general.

9. The Cheese Monkeys- Chip Kidd

From its whacked out characters to it’s larger than life art school satire, this book reminded me entirely too much of my own experience, and cracked me up. It has the potential to be the film lampooning art school that Art School Confidential failed to be. It’s been optioned, but doesn’t look like it’s rolling. It’s a shame that Jeff Bridges is getting a little old, he’d have made a good professor.

10.  The Alienist- Caleb Carr 

Another great highly commercial mystery that landed in development hell. I always thought this book was better than the Bone Collector which I read around the same time, though that one did make it to the screen. Apparently there was also an issue in which the author feels that the producers that bought the rights wanted to basically gut and rewrite the story, which didn’t make him happy. I don’t blame him it wouldn’t make me happy either. In the studio I own in my mind, this movie would be made as faithful to the original as is feasible in the 2 hour time frame.

Honorable Mention:

M*A*S*H- Richard Hooker

I always hated that they cut the scene where Trapper John grew a beard and looked so much like Jesus that they got headshots autographed them as Jesus and flew him around hanging from a cross from a helicopter and sold them to raise the money for Ho Jon to go to Pierces alma mater in the States. Best scene in the novel.

A Prayer for Owen Meany- John Irving

I still refuse to watch Simon Birch they so gutted that they couldn’t even call it “based on the novel” they had to say “suggested by the novel.” Look I understand more than a lot of people that concessions must be made when you swap mediums, but first of all this novel is structured in a way you could make a true adaptation, you might have to lose some scenes, but you could feasibly do a pretty faithful adaptation and secondly the Vietnam part wasn’t just a scene or two you didn’t need, it was the fucking crux of the novel.  Also the only good casting in it was Ashley Judd, and I don’t even like her.  I get mad just thinking about it and I haven’t even subjected myself to the full brunt.  

1984- George Orwell

Who doesn’t want to make their own version of this novel? Secretly I don’t want to make it, I want to make the sequel. Or I want to make an updated version that’s about post-9/11 America, but that would be extremely deconstructed because if you went literal with the plot and update it would be tedious and expected.

Northanger Abbey- Jane Austen 

One day I’m writing an update, I have the whole idea in mind and it will be pretty perfect. Until then, I will keep it mum lest someone beat me to it.

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Tuesday’s 10: Just 10 things I love this week

This week’s theme is either, no theme at all, or just 10 items on etsy I just really dig this week, (and maybe that’s a theme into my psyche for the week. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I heart things that I completely covet at the time and them a few months later I see when running through my favourites and wonder what drew me to it because it’s so out of my usual taste.)

1. Interspecies couple Bunny/Squirrel cake topper/figurine at Melabo.
photo of the cake topper
While this is meant to be a wedding cake topper, I just love this cute couple as a super interesting figuring for a display shelf.

2. Zombie Apocalypse Old Fashioned Glass at BreadandBadger.
photo of an old fashioned glass with etched zombie
So, yeah, it’s true zombies are sort of getting the kind of obnoxious over-exposure right now that kills their coolness, but I’m still a sucker for zombies. The zombie apocalypse glassware elevates the trendiness of the zombie with a bit of subtle elegance, that means they should last past the zombie backlash the way all those zombie dating guides never will.

3. ’30s-’40s style wide leg denim trousers from allureoriginalstyles.
photo of wide leg denim trousers
These are so Philadelphia Story, and they’re custom-made so you can have Katherine Hepburn style, even if you’re not the size 2 that most vintage finds seem to be in.

4. Vintage mushroom basket purse at smallearthvintage.
vintage basket purse with painted mushrooms
Nothing says summer to me more than wicker purses, but this adorable little basket purse is perfect for the transition into fall.

5. Herringbone iTouch case at Mariforsell.
herringbone iTouch case
My iTouch desperately needs a carrying case. I can never find the thing in my bag without a ridiculous search, and to plug-in my transmitter to listen to it in the car I have to take the bottom off the protective plastic case which I never remember to put back on rendering the likelihood of damage by dropping high. I think I’m definitely buying one of these sophisticated and sharp cases. If nothing else I’ll be able to find it in my handbag.

6. Morning Glory fabric flower necklace from RiRiFisch.
morning glory asymmetrical necklace
Even though most of my necklace collection seems to be vintage thermoset, I spend more time wistfully favouriting big asymmetrical statement necklaces. Perhaps it’s time to stop favouriting and start working on my jewelry collection again. I love how this is both a large statement piece and yet so light and unassuming.

7. Vintage Ceramic Owl Coffee Set at HinterlandVintage.
Owl coffee set
I have a well documented love of owls. In fact I’m surprised I haven’t done a Tuesday’s 10 about just owls. If I had a larger house or at least a larger kitchen this set would be mine already. I don’t even drink coffee, but the coffee owl would work just as well as a tea safe. Hmm perhaps I shouldn’t have said that, now I’ll be trying to convince myself I need it again.

8. Vintage 60s red, white and blue stripe dress at violetvillevintage
mod red white and blue striped dress
Violetville is one of my favourite shops to go and drool over amazing vintage clothes, both on etsy and her ebay store. Most of the time the pieces I adore are as usual way to small for me. This dress is no exception, amazing, but too small.

9. Vintage Mid-Century Egg Lamp with Tulip base at rhan.
mid-century egg lamp
Even though it wouldn’t work with my decor, this is one cool lamp. I’ve been on the lookout for the right lamps lately. I missed out on the most brilliant pair of ’60s teardrop pole lamps on craigslist the other week, which was crushing. I’m not even sure what the right lamps for my space will even be, especially since I still haven’t purchased any side tables yet, we’re still using tv trays as end tables, which I need to remedy, but I don’t want to buy more brand new furniture and it always takes so long to find the right things via craigslist and estate sales, especially when you don’t live in a metropolis.

10. Ice ENGEL topaz ring from JanetMillerDesigns.
ice ring
I almost never wear rings, my fingers are, I think, weirdly built, so even those which are sized so they’re slightly large going on cause blood flow constriction and swollen knuckles, but every so often I run into rings that make me re-think my stance on them. This is one of those rings. Seriously, I love the design of this, like jaggedy glaciers of silver. I don’t even think that I’d care that by the end of the day I’d never be able to get it off my knuckle or that I’d probably lose circulation.

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Tuesday’s 10: Things that remind me of Wes Anderson movies

I spent my 5th of July holiday doing a whole lot of nothing. I had projects to work on and ideas of what I wanted to do to get done, but on the couch I stayed. Even though I felt a little guilty, I couldn’t feel too guilty because it’s so rare for me to even be able to take a day to do nothing at all. So, I spent all day laying on my couch watching Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent (which has gone downhill , and always has terribly weak female characters compared to the other L&O flavours, but Jeff Goldblum is hot, so I forgive its shortcomings time and time again) and Wes Anderson movies.

Wes Anderson sort of takes a big hit because he’s an “indie-darling” or because there’s such an attention to detail to the point that the detail becomes contrived and unneccessary and people think that the films are style over substance, but to me that’s what gives the films and characters this other meaning.  I’m going to go all film theory and crit. here (that was one of my favourite classes in film school after all) so you may need to forgive it. I see the careful contrivance of not just of the surroundings in which the characters interact, but of the characters themselves, as the desire of the characters  to create the existence that they want to live in and a rejection of the world as it is rather than what it could be.

When Rushmore first came out, I think everyone I’ve ever met who still had my phone number or email address contacted me to say that if I hadn’t seen the movie (I had, 5 times actually) I needed to go find it because I was Max Fischer. This is sort of true, I am sort of Max Fischer, and I also think I identify with Max more than any other fictional character I can think of. This is why I think that the films of Wes Anderson remind me of what would happen if the world of ’60s children’s novels were dumped out into our world. Or more importantly that the people who inhabit these films want to reject to dull, tawdriness of our world and instead, wanting to live in that world of children’s books, where things might be complex and dark and messed up, but they are always interesting and the protagonists always sort of come out okay for it, they’ve tried desperately to do so by constructing it for themselves.  The characters and dialogue and sets seem precious because things that are wonderful in fiction are awkward and self-conscious and slightly pretentious outside of it. (Or creepy if you think about anyone we knew in highschool actually acting the way some of those ’80s romantic comedy protagonists that we all swooned over in our teens do.)

That’s probably more than enough of underlying philosophy of films talk from me. This week’s 10 isn’t so much Wes Anderson films or things that look like they belong in one. Instead, it’s more things that aren’t really related to Wes Anderson, but none-the-less make me think of his films and characters.

1. The Graduate- Directed by Mike Nichols

box art for the Graduate

I’ll admit I saw this on an article about 11 films without which Wes Anderson films wouldn’t exist. And unlike some of the other films on that list (like the truly excellent Local Hero, which I thought was a stretch) as soon as I saw it listed, I was like, ‘Oh yeah totally.’  It’s the whole tone I think and not just the soundtrack that ties this cinema classic to Anderson’s work. It also reminded me that I totally need to buy this on DVD.

2. The Boy Detective Fails by Joe Meno

Cover art for the Boy Detective Fails

This novel has some issues, pacing is a big one. I believe it was Meno’s first novel though and those are usually a little problematic. The feel of the story is very similar in tone to and Anderson film in that there’s this 60s children’s novel character being crushed by the real world in which he is some how living. Plus it came with a decoder ring and secret codes, which, well a lot of Amazon reviewers thought was lame and contrived and pretentious, but was probably the number one reason I bought the book in the first place, because I’m totally a sucker for decoder rings. The other reason is that I completely wanted to be the “girl-detective” when I was in grade school. No I mean really, I wanted to be like Encyclopedia Brown so much I set up a detective agency out of my locker in I think it was grade 4, but instead of getting to find missing diamonds, I just got beat up.

3. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

cover art to the book

This is one of my favourite books. To this day I want to run away and live in the Met and have mysterious adventures. Of course it makes the list, not just because it’s a 60s Children’s Novel I would like to construct life into, but because running away and living in the Met is such a Tennenbaum thing to do.

4. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

cover art for the Egypt Game

Another one of those children’s novels I’d totally live in.

5. Pas/cal

Pas/cal album art

I like to think that Max Fischer probably owns a Pas/cal record or two. I never hear anyone talking about this pop group, so I guess that means they are an under-the-radar undiscovered gem.

6. The Science of Sleep directed by Michel Gondry

cover art to Science of Sleep

I could probably write another entire 10 on things that remind me of Michel Gondry films. I think I have cried at every one of them; including ‘Be Kind Rewind’ which was supposedly a comedy. (I say supposedly, because that was the way it was advertised, causing I think a lot of people to be disappointed because while it was at times really hysterical, it was really sort of a love letter to the cultural glue that cinema has the power to be.) Sometimes Gondry makes me think of Chekov, and how he wrote these beautiful and very melancholy plays, all the time insisting he wrote comedies. Anyway, the film is incredibly sad in the end and it reminds me very much of Anderson, particularly ‘The Life Aquatic…’ in the fantastical and just a little absurd, but yet very tragic tones.

7. The Last Days of Disco directed by Whit Stillman

cover art for last days of disco

Whit Stillman is the king of talky drama-comedies about New York preppies in the early 80s. While Metropolitan is the best of his films, I have a special place in my heart for ‘The Last Days of Disco’.  It’s back from the era when Kate Beckinsale actually looked like an individual person instead of a totally generic Hollywood paperdoll with the same face as 20 other women. I wish more people had seen this movie, so that when I quote the ‘Scrooge McDuck is sexy” line, they would know what I was talking about instead of looking at me like I was daft.

8. The Decemberists. Yeah, I know, everyone knows the Decemberists, and it’s super obvious, but the super-detailed children’s noveliness of the Decemberists music (particularly the early albums) is the recording.

9.  The Hudsucker Proxy directed by the Coen Brothers

cover art for the hudsucker proxy

The Coens have such  a specific idea of film. They are probably the only film makers I can think of who make genuine screwball comedies.

10. O Brother, Where Art Thou directed by the Coen Brothers

cover art for o brother where art thou

Details, Details. The Coen’s are so incredibly detailed. Of all their neo-screwball comedies, this is the best.

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Tuesday’s 10: Web Comics

I remember when the comic pages in newspapers were funny. Now, if I pick it up at all, on Sundays, I maybe read Dilbert (which I find funny, but secretly suspect after about 20 years it’s only  because ,unfortunately, I suspect we might work for the same company sometimes.) Sometimes I wonder if my dissatisfaction is from the years when the Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes ran every Sunday? Or is it from discovering the alt. weekly papers that ran brilliance like Life in Hell? Or, in that same vein, is it because the internet brought forth a whole generation of comics that no longer felt the need to be completely broad and generic and inoffensive to all? And once that gate was open, the thought of stomaching another Sunday with Marmaduke or wondering why Blondie never divorced Dagwood even though about all he’s ever done for 60 years is eat a sandwich larger than his head and sleep all day on the couch?

Whatever it is, of all the things I love the internet for, the introduction to the wicked senses of humour of so many people who don’t mind being esoteric or smart or completely out of left field or blue, is a big one. This list, being only 10, is of course incomplete. And, I feel sort of sad leaving Get Your War On off of it, but that’s not updated on the web anymore (which is sad because I can totally imagine the clipart office workers riffing on the BP oil disaster with as much caustic briliance as they did the Bush administration, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. ) So, without further adue, this weeks Tuesday’s 10 Webcomics.  (note: clicking the Name Link will take you to the front page of the comic’s site. Clicking on the cartoon image will take you to the page for that particular strip. I tried to use example comics that I liked and weren’t part of an arc that required understanding what was going  on to appreciate fully.)

1. Dinosaur Comics:  Ryan North’s Dinosaur Comics is hands down my favourite web comic ever. It’s smart, esoteric, and out of left field (sometimes all at the same time.) It’s also the exact same 6 panels, with occaisional props added, and still manages to be new everytime I see it. 

Dinosaur Comics Comic strip

2. XKCD: I’ll admit, that being someone who avoided math when at all possible, I don’t always get every one of Randall Munroe’s ultra-smart comics, but when the punchline isn’t a quantum physics theorum, it’s funny and sarcastic and perfect.

xkcd comic

3. Questionable Content: So it’s hard to pick an example comic to show for Jeph Jacques serial, because it’s a whole storyline. I’ve been reading it for I think 6 years now since a friend sent me the link and told me that one of the lead characters, Faye, reminded him of me. I remember reading the whole year and some change of back comics in abouta  2 day period and I’ve been hooked ever since. The storyline is about Martin, Faye and Dora, a group of 20-somethings and their friends, and Martin’s  perverted personal robot. I thought about starting with the first comic as an example, but holy wow has Jeph’s art improved over the years. It doesn’t even look like the same artist.  So I picked a random on somewhere in the middle that wasn’t plot-arc related.

questionable content comic strip

4. Wondermark: I’ve never figured out for sure whether David Malki enitrely draws the intricate turn of the century catalog-esque art for Wondermark or if some one it is clipped ephemera. I suspect more and more that it’s entirely drawn, which is impressive. Either way, the comic is visually striking as well as being somewhat sarcastic and off the wall.

wondermark comic strip

5. Cat and Girl: Cat and Girl is another web comic I’ve been reading for what I think is a decade now. You should also checkout the Donation Derby section, where Dorothy draws a picture of where your donation went if you donate $5.

cat and girl comic

6. Achewood: Achewood is another comic with long story arcs, which a friend recommended, and I felt compelled to read the whole back catalog. Only it wasn’t just a year of comics, it was like 5 and it took awhile, but it was totally worth it. The comic folows the adventures of cats and stuffed animals who live in the author’s home. It’s at times crude or violent, sometimes off-the-wall and hilarious, but not always funny haha, sometimes a little sad and dark. but it’s a true gem.

achewood cartoon

7. Garfield Minus Garfield: Like Family Circus, Garfield is an institution of the Sunday funnies. A painfully unfunny, 2 joke institution. If only all these years I’d known that the only thing standing between the monstrosity in the Sunday paper and Camus was the orange cat…

g-g cartoon

8. Diesel Sweeties: This is probably the first webcomic I ever read, let alone read regularly. (And I also secretly love that the artwork looks like crosstitch, even if it’s probably meant to recall Atari game art)

Diesel Sweeties comic

9.Perry Bible Fellowship: Often surreal and sometimes twisted, Perry Bible Fellowship is a true work of genius. Often the strips don’t even need words to get across the punchline. In general, they remind me of MAD magazine during it’s truly great period in the 70s. 

Perry Bible Fellowship comic

10. Alien Loves Predator:  Another in the line of, if you don’t draw or don’t think you can, but you want to make a comic, you can  find a clever solution inspirations. AlP’s artwork is created using action figures. It stopped publishing for awhile (much to my dismay) and now that it’s back, it doesn’t publish as often as it used to, but it’s a true classic. Offbeat and hilarious, this is the cartoon sitcom of 2 New York Roommates who just happen to be the Alien and the Predator (and yes at one point Jesus moves in with them after he gets signed by the Yankees.)

alien loves predator comic

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Tuesday’s 10: Walruses

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–”

This Tuesday a treasury of 10 awesome Walruses, Walri, Walruses found on Etsy.

1. wooden walrus rattle

How cool is this walrus rattle from VadimM? I think he looks like he’s got a lot of great stories about hanging out in the East Village.

2. Minor Headache Print
NoosedKity has a theory about the cause of your headache. Quite a nefarious walrus indeed!

3. handpainted illustration on recycled wood
Next up a hip graffiti inspired urban Walrus from mrz4u.

4. scholarly walrus embroidery
I love how random it is that this cute walrus from kngo is concerned about your academic future.

5.gnarwalrus illustration
I love gnarwhal’s and walruses so of course I love edisonrex’s Gnarwalrus illustration.

6. walrus pillow
I think I covet every pillow in utilitarianfranchise’s shop. Professor Walrus is no exception to this rule.

7. walrus pendant
The Walrus and the Oysters pendant from fairytalesbybluebird is super cute.

8.  Palrus softie
This Walrus softie, called Palrus, from smuttonsbuttons looks like the sort of chap who would like to go out and get some ice cream with you.

9. walrus propaganda
Sinister Walrus is sinister. At ObeyMyBrain I don’t know any Walruses who are so evil, but the print is pretty cool.

10. felted walrus
and last but not least, this adorable needle-felted Walrus named Warner is on sale at McBrideHouse.

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Tuesday’s 10: Repurposed Books

I am a book-a-holic. And not just reading them; a good half of my degree was in hand-producing limited edition books. Mostly, though, my love of books relates to my spending so much time in my childhood in the neighbourhood library, curled up in the big window over the radiator (where I wasn’t supposed to sit) reading children’s novels from the 40s and 50s. (I was eccentric and particular, other books could be read at home, but at the library, it was all about the library smell and the aesthetics of a fictional world I badly wanted to live in.)  

I just finished a sketchbook  project I’ve had sitting around waiting to be sewn for about 4 years now. I don’t know what took me so long. I haven’t sewn a binding for so long and I’m not so happy with the neatness of the stitches, but for not having done a book in years and for personal use, it’s not bad. 

photo of the bindingphoto of the end paper 

I love the cover illustrations on the Child Craft books and I’ve wanted to turn them into sketchbooks for ages. I’m really weird about books though, I feel so terrible about cutting them up or using them for other purposes, even though I know I can make more useful things out of them. I’m starting slowly then in my quest for a whole set of Child Craft sketchbooks, just one at first. I notice a lot of re-purposed book sketchbooks and journals have spiral bindings, but I don’t like that look, so I went with a modified long-stitch. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out (if only the stitches were a little tighter.) 

In honour of a project I can finally cross off my todo list; this week’s Tuesday 10 is all about really cool uses for old books. Most everything is an etsy find, but I also had to add the work of a book artist I’ve loved for years. 

1. belt buckle made of a bookcover  

I really love Maxine Dear‘s belt buckles made out of old covers.  What a great way to showcase  cover illustrations. 

2. hollow book image 

Hollow books are nothing new, but they are a fantastic way to recycle all of those Reader’s Digest condensed books collections that are eternally found on the “please take these books away for free” carts at all local libraries in the English Speaking world. (Who wants to read a condensed book anyway? Let alone a whole library of them. Except maybe Moby Dick, which would have been an exciting book if he hadn’t bogged the adventure down with all that symbolism and whole chapters about seeing whales in the clouds and weather vanes, but I digress. ) Secret Safe Books takes it up a notch and repurposes the fancy foil-tooled leather-bound classics you can amass collections of via direct mail advertising.  Give your bookshelf a mysterious secret passage feel of an English Mystery book.hollow book to hide flask 

I like this flask safe too 

3. repurposed bird book journal 

There are tons of repurposed cover sketchbooks and journals out there on etsy like this cute bird one from coverstories.  This one, like most, is spiral bound something I’ve never liked because I don’t like the way the spiral digs into my arm. But, when I think about it, if you’re going to use it for a notepad and need to rip the pages out, it would be more useful than a signature binding. 

4. repurosed book handbag 
I’m totally in love with the idea of turning covers into purses like this handsome handbag from Angela’s Novel Idea. I think it’s because this is something I never would have thought of and it’s genius. 

5. envelope seals made from book
Brinner has a set of envelope seals made out of the pages of old books.  Very cute. They remind me of this set of buttons I bought at a RISD alumni fair where the artist had cut out circles of text from old books and scratched out all but a couple of words with a pen. My favourite said “suddenly wistful.” (I couldn’t locate it or find any online so I couldn’t add it to the list, alas.) 

6. comic book passort cover
owlsay made super cool passport holders out of old comic books. I remember making wallets out of comics waterproofed with packing tape and one from the pages of an old graphic design magazine with iron on vinyl and sewed. 

7. paper garland made out of recycled book
This paper garland from missisaau is cute as can be. This would be a great use for old magazines too. 

8. envelopes made from a recycled dr suess book 

Picture book envelopes from
42 things and 

envelopes made from Where the Wild Thing Are book 

another cute set from Adnagam (who frequently has a pretty cool set made out of an anatomy colouring book for sale)  


photo of an art work by Thomas Allen

copyright Thomas Allen


Thomas Allen is one of my favourite book artists. I discovered him from an article I ran across on the web about this series he did with pulp crime novels. I love the idea of making these film noir pop-ups with nothing but a stack of old dime novels and an exacto knife. 

10. book illustration on canvas
Last but not least is this piece from Truly Sanctuary. Illustrations, particularly in picture books are works of art, so why not hang them from your walls when the book has given up the ghost? I’d love to do that with the old copy of McElligot’s Pool (which is my favourite Dr. Seuss book of all time) that lost its cover years ago and is floating around my parent’s house. 

And that is the Tuesday’s 10. I think I’ll plan some new biblio-projects for my rapidly emptying project list.

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