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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window

2aug2018

cropI don't always diss the stuff I review: here are a couple of excellent YA fantasies I've recently read. First up, Sarah Rees Brennan's In Other Lands, featuring 13 year old Elliot, who would be happy to go to magic school (or at least, school in magic lands) so long as it has lots of mermaids and other cool sophonts and not so much weapons practice. Unfortunately for him, it doesn't quite work out that way.

It's pretty clear that Brennan was having some fun poking fun at the canon of teenaged protagonists magically transported to magical places, but thirteen year old Elliot, in all his snarky, bitter too-smart-for-his-own-good glory is the heart of this book. He immediately falls for a beautiful elf named Serene Heart in Chaos of Battle and tries his damnedest to fix her interest before everyone else's hormones catch up with his. Oh, and, in the tradition of this sort of book, also befriends the sunny, blonde, good-at-everything Luke, who forms the last third of their trio.

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1aug2018

cropAh, the delightful odour of slightly stale links...I was reading some blog or other, and then came across some article or other about terfs —trans-exclusionary radical feminists (which totally baffles me, but I guess some people feel as if wombs, and, by extension the child-bearing they represent, are the defining aspect of womanhood, whereas to me femininity [& masculinity as well] always seemed like a sort of social costume one could put on or off at will) and while not quarrelling with the author's larger argument (which is basically: ok, so what do we do with intersex folk, or XY women who have successfully borne children [!] not to mention androgen insensitives and the like?) somewhere (perhaps in a link wandering off...) I came across the argument that if we have cis and trans, then we need something for folks inbetween, and their (several-years-old-so-it-obviously-never-caught-on) suggestion was ipso and I thought Noooooooooooooooo! I have a better idea:

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31jul2018

cropNeed to post this before the next mouse page, so that's at least one french beaded project up... today's link is a happy-ending story about a couple who painted their house in wild, beautiful colour.

They aren't the only ones; this extremely generous textile artist has also done a wonderful—and colourful house as well. We have a bit of that going on locally, which I [would] love [to do]; unfortunately, I'm kind of afraid to take the vinyl siding off, because of all the squirrel (and raccoon) problems.

30jul2018

cropSorry for the no-posting. I had great and glorious plans, since I wasn't travelling this summer, to really tidy up the garden! and get household projects like window restoration & sidewalk installation (& possibly roof repair) done! and try some new media, such as mosaic! ...pfffft. To be sure, while the hot spell, anxiety over roofing bids, and teaching my class all had an impact, today's excuse is that NS2 is misbehaving, & as that's completely out of my control, frees me up to make a post completely without guilt.

I did explore some of the cut-end loopback techniques for french beaded flowers, and as I get them photographed and documented, I'll be showing those. But I've more or less cycled out of that project, and as part of the cleanup process, made a bunch of dead mouse tails to deal with the odds and ends of seed beads. Today's mouse is actually a restring, which inspired me to photograph and document it more-or-less promptly so as to get it back to its owner.

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30may2018

cropNot sure where I came across this article—I think it was one of those things my browser recommended and I clicked—but its observations on the Japanese train portion of that nations public transportation pretty much jive with my recollections. —Given the problems with suicides, it surprised me that there are no barriers at the platforms—at any subway station I've been at, be it Asian, European or USian—especially given the litigious character of US society, but evidently it's merely a cost problem.

In which case, I expect barriers will eventually go up with time. (In the meantime, it's quite easy for my glass daughter to send me snapchats of NYC subway rats, which is actually quite a bit more affectionate than it sounds (just as sending pix of buns and squirrels is less...)

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29may2018

cropSome things just make me happy, like this 30 second cat vid.

Honestly, so does today's feature, another french beaded flower.




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