Thursday, May 30, 2013

Making a Pinata

Homemade pinatas are easy and fun to make. I started making them because I thought it was crazy to pay money for something that is just going to be destroyed. I just made one for a BBQ to celebrate my friends's son Dylan's graduation from kindergarten, so I made it a letter D. I started by cutting the shape from cardboard. Then I taped the cardboard together to form the shape in 3D. In order to mold the cardboard takes patience and a bit of practice. This cardboard I used is a funny color because I was spray painting and had used it as my drop cloth.

Then once the shape is done, I used Mod Podge to paper mache some newspaper strips to add strength. 
Then I cut some tissue paper in strips with tassels and used a glue stick to add them to the outside of the pinata. 
This doesn't take that much time because it really doesn't have to be perfect. If some of the newspaper shows through or the tissue paper doesn't line up then it just looks that much more homemade. When the pinata is dry then I cut a hole in the top for candy and a small slit for the hanger. I used a wire hanger and bent it to form a hook and two barbs that will hold it in place. 
Then I added a bit of glue to make sure that it held together. 

Fill it with candy or whatever else you want to scatter when it gets hit. I've made these in the shape of a letter T for my son's birthday but I think pinatas should be a part of every party!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mad Men 6:03 The Collaborators

This episode (directed by Hamn-Bone himself!!) seemed to explore the differences in how the two very different characters of Don and Pete commit adultery. I’m shocked at how Don picks women that are so close to his life. Bobbie Barrett and Rachel Menken were clients, his daughter’s school teacher Miss Farrell lived right around the corner, Allison and Faye Miller both worked with him. Now he see’s Sylvia (and her husband) socially and in his building, just one floor below. Why? Does he want to get caught, or is he just lazy? When Don gives Sylvia the money and suggests that she should say she found it in the cookie jar, it felt a little dirty; almost like he paid her for sex.

Pete on the other hand picks someone who is close to home and she starts off a little clingy. I’m not sure what Don would have said to a woman putting her stockings on, telling him about how where she parks her car is sending him messages; but I don’t think whatever he said would have made her feel like it’s a good idea to run to him if she needed help. How is it that Pete didn't learn anything from the last neighbor he cheated with? Does he not have to see the guy on the train now that he has an apt. in the city? Trudy’s speech to him was awesome. She is truly a badass and Pete should not be messing with her. She must feel so foolish that she gave him permission and he still found a way to dag her. At least she will still be beautiful when he is bald. (He is getting so bald)

We find out a lot about Dick Whitman in his flashbacks to his youth in the whore house. What are the odds that his birth mom would be a prostitute and his Father’s wife’s sister would also be running one in a different state? I guess it is the oldest profession. It explains a lot about how Don is disconnected from sex and cheats on even the most sexual partner.  He has to have it be bad or wrong for it to feel good. I’m thinking mostly about the hooker slapping him during sex when he was this close to rock bottom of the bottle; or even when he and Megan have these epic fights (chasing and plate throwing) and then get it on. I don’t know how you can really fix that twisted notion of sex if that’s what you knew as a child.

I want to address Megan’s miscarriage and then on to brighter parts of this episode. Is she really so isolated that the person she chooses to confide her guilt about her relief is her catholic neighbor? I get the feeling that Sylvia wanted more children and hearing Megan talk about not wanting them now is rubbing her face in not only the fact that she and Don were still sleeping together but that she’s still young enough to make that decision. I was truly sad for Megan in this scene. Of course she shouldn't want children right now, she’s step mom to three kids already one of which is still a baby. She has a career that is more than just a job for her but a dream. Peggy didn't know she wanted to be a copy writer when she was a child (maybe if she knew what one was) but Megan always knew. She also didn't have the most supportive parents a performer could ask for but at least they are dramatic.

Okay a little Peggy. . .  I love that she has this great relationship with her secretary Phillis. She tells her to “get me whatever book you read and save me these little lectures,” and it doesn't  sound mean or even mocking. She says it with a smile and a hint of respect. I hope we see more of them together.

Then I got all grossed out when the slimy Herb came to the SCDP (how long are they keeping the P?) office and wanted to have a meeting. Is it really this important to keep a dealer happy to a car brand? It was worth it to get my favorite line of this episode: “I know there’s a part of you that you haven’t seen in years.” Yes Joan!!!!

I love the way Don spoiled the pitch in such a way that the super gross Heb didn't even know he was acting. Getting people to do what you want is the quality that makes Don a good pitch man. He sees how gross this guy is because he himself was once a used car sales man. The first time we see Anna in a flash back we see Don in the middle of selling a kid his first car. Don understood that the day a kid gets his first car is a memory and story that gets told over and over for years. It’s not just money in your pocket. When we flash back to when Don meets Rodger we see that he’s an excellent salesmen, picking out the perfect gift for Joanie. So it’s just another example of how dumb this guy is for him to say that Don isn't a good salesman. (Did I mention that he’s also gross?)

Alright, enough Mad Men for the moment, after reading this post I noticed that I ask a lot of questions about this season. I hope we get the answers but I suspect there will be just as many new questions.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Trash To Planter (again)

This time I wanted to use a bottle that would normally be just thrown away and use it as a planter on it's side.  I cleaned out an veggie oil bottle and spray panted it, cut a hole in top and planted away. I like the way it still looks like a bottle but is being used for something more green.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mad Men 6:01 & 02 The Doorway Peggy Olsen

The last time we saw Peggy she was on her very first business trip. It was her first time riding in an airplane and I’d be willing to bet that is was the first time she looked out of her hotel window only to see two dogs doing it, well, doggie style.

The first time we see Peggy in 1968 she is being a problem solver. Bert Peterson is back and he is a widower now and we find out that he’s in accounts at CGC. I’m not sure we really needed to see his belly button but how dignified can we really expect the man to be?  Peggy tries to call Ted but she really knows how to solve the problem and even make the ad better than it was before. She is not, however, good at being the boss. She’s just as belittling as Don was toward her and it can be seen differently coming from a woman. Her Jr copy writers don’t like her but she thinks that this is how a boss acts because she was pushed and had to stay late and worked her butt off and she’s not going to expect less from the people around her.  She handles the unhappy client with grace and then gets to work on a super bowl ad that pleases her boss. She has come so far from the little girl who was afraid to cut her hair.

We see her using some of Don’s tricks by writing the letter to a pretend person and the shots of her staring off look a lot like Don’s thinking face. I like to see her with Abe (even though it took me forever to remember his name) and I think they make a good couple. I also like that she’s still in touch with Stan and gets to hear all of the SDCP gossip. I thought it was great that he’s on the phone and can hear her make her ‘fix it’ pitch at the end. It really made me think that she did need to leave in order to see if she was just as good without Don as she was under his wing. The scene when she quit last season was so well done by both Jon Hamn and Elizabeth Moss but they always have good scenes together. I do hope we get to see Peggy’s mother again, she’s so funny to watch. And Father Gill, they should bring him back as well! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Take The Road Less Travled

This is an idea for a project that I have been wanting to do for a long time. I have been looking for an inexpensive landscape print at thrift stores and hadn't found one that I thought would be large enough so I got the idea to use an older map as my background. I already had a frame so I glued the map to poster board using the all powerful Mod Podge. Then I arranged sticker letters to form my saying. I wanted a quote that had something to do with travel because the background was a map. This quote being a variation of a Robert Frost passage. The letters that I used were removable so some of the edges weren't firmly stuck. I went over those edges with a little bit of glue stick.  I had to make two extra letter E's because the pack only came with three of each letter. After I had the letters where I wanted I took it outside and spray painted the whole thing, let it dry and then peeled the stickers off. Some of the map paper came up a little with the stickers but I liked the weathered look that it gave it. Handmade things shouldn't look too perfect.  I was going to seal it with another coat of Mod Podge but I liked the way it looked so I put it in the frame and now it hangs on my wall. I smile every time I look at it not only because of the sentiment but because I spent zero dollars on art that I made myself.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mad Men 6:01& 6:02 The Doorway Rodger Sterling

I Heart John Slattery

Rodger Sterling has been one of the best characters of this show from the beginning.  He makes us laugh with his one-liners and cry when he lost Lucky Strike. Plus he did LSD more than once and is now in therapy (at least this is the first time we see him there). I know Matt Wiener got his TV feet wet on The Sopranos so it really brings me back to the therapy scenes that we got to see there; more so than the therapy scenes with Betty or even when Sally needed to talk to someone. When Rodger makes a joke and the shrink explains to him that he can’t laugh at everything Rodger says, I about died. Rodger gets through life with his charm and wit and when you take that away from him, who is he really? Is he silver fox that just lost his mother? A mother that only ever let him eat vanilla ice cream because chocolate stained? A mother that left all her fortune to the Zoo so she could make them name all the animals. A mother whom we find out used to say that her son was her sunshine.

When Caroline came into his office to deliver the bad news it reminded me how much I like Caroline.   She doesn't take Rodger’s shit (“no one is going to see your shoes”) and she’s good at her job. When she downed her drink it made me think that she could be my new favorite secretary, second only to the great Ida Blankenship.

At the funeral I loved that Cooper complemented Rodger on the decor of the room. I thought it was funny to see the differences between Jane and Mona. One of them is offering her support and even his mother’s ring back and the other bringing a date and making a scene. Not as big of a scene as Don made being drunk and loosing his liquid lunch in front of everyone. Seeing Rodger connect with his daughter and hopefully invest in her and her husband’s future. We now see that she has a son and that makes Rodger a grandfather. This may change the way he feels about the money he has made and the way he’s spending it. Or not, his character could really go either way and that’s why he’s so great to watch.

He says he feels nothing but when Georgieo the shoe shiner dies he finally breaks down and cries. Is this him really mourning his mother or is it his own mortally that saddens him so? Is it the heartbreaking fact that he was the only one who asked about him so his family passed his shining kit down to him that broke him? When he said that he feels nothing I don’t think this is what he was looking for. I think he’s looking for what a lot of people were looking for in the 60’s. The world must have felt so out of control and no matter how much money Rodger has, no matter how many coat check girls he sleeps with and no matter how many LSD trips he goes on he has no sense of control.

Craft Project

I have only been using spray paint for a short time but now everything I see I can picture it a different color in my mind. I've seen variations of this project on Pinterest and I had all the materials and supplies so I gave it a  go. I point out my inexperience with the spray paint because I didn't shake the blue paint up enough so the paint was uneven and dried in little blobs. The frog figure turned out to not be plastic so the paint didn't dry on him at all. The next time I make these I would probably use a stronger glue, I just had my hot glue gun handy. Overall I think they are very cute and I learned a lot. I have already given a few filled with salsa away to friends and they have all requested custom ones.
Learn from my mistakes! Shake that spray paint can!

Finished Project

Monday, May 6, 2013

Mad Men 6:01 & 6:02 The Doorway Betty Francis

As for Betty Francis we open this season to find that she is still trying to reduce and therefore passes up the shared candy at the ballet. Then we see her get a ticket in one of my favorite Grandma Pauline scenes ever. Trying to name drop to a cop in NY isn't the best idea but they way she gets so pissed about it is great. Then she gets very dramatic and says that she “can’t imagine how things could get any darker than this.”  To which Sally’s friend Sandy replies “my mom’s dead,” and the three girls giggled like, well little girls. This shows us how truly immature Betty still is and how much more grown up Sally is becoming.

Sally says in the car that she “hates cops.” How much interaction has she had with cops? Is it all from watching TV and seeing the news or are we going to find out that Sally has grown up faster than we thought. It also killed me watching her be so mean to Bobby. She used to be so sweet and I know her example of how to act is Evil Betty but she was just so… so…. teenager.  I think her story line is going to get more adult as she grows and I’m so glad they kept the same actress when we've have so many kids play Bobby. Kiernan Shipka is such a great little actress.
The interaction between Betty and Sandy is a great Betty scene. The bond that she has with this girl and wanting to see herself in her, made the dialogue more meaningful.  It isn't often that Evil Betty says things like “it makes me feel so much.” As if being cold is something she just got used to.  When she was describing rape to Henry in bed, I was reminded how shocking the things she says are. Why shouldn't Sally grow up being mean when Betty once told her she was going to cut her fingers off? Getting advice from Betty Francis is not the mothering that this girl needs. Plus Sandy is 15, smokes cigarettes, uses tampons and plays the violin; she’ll be fine on the streets.

After seeing the dirt and filth of the city through Betty’s privileged eyes, it made me feel sorry for her that she really hasn't had many life experiences. I wonder if she felt the same and that’s why she went dark with her hair. It’s a safe way to walk in another woman’s shoes for a while and still go back to being her. Or is this the real her and the Betty from a bottle is gone; after one talk with a street kid? I think Betty’s selfishness trumps progress any day but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe being a few sizes bigger than she’s used to is helping her to be less shallow. Maybe it’s Henry’s influence, how he puts up with her I don’t know.