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Sidebar updated + Oasis in SP

So I finally updated that side bar with everything I’m currently doing. Had to start reading Eça de Queirós for college and now I hate it that I never took the time to read it before. I have a huge pile of papers and books to read and this book is kinda boring and kinda long, a fatal combo.

I also stopped knitting that cowl because I had to go back to the pattern all the time and it is a bit impossible doing that in a bus. The Lady Parker Beret is way easier, so it’s fitted for this situation.

And I’ve been watching True Blood for quite some time now. It got me hooked right from the beginning and it has a great music theme. With all that teen hype surrounding Twilight, I was a bit doubtful about this show. I mean, I like vampires since I was little but this whole Edward-Bella drama… Well, let’s just say that if I had to pick a vampires’ book to kids and teens, it would be Vampirates.

Finally, as you can see, I’m still in love with Kings of Leon. I had this phase where I totally hated their last album, Only By the Night, but eventually that feeling fade out and now I adore it very much. I still think Aha Shake Heartbreak is the best ever, though.

And since we’re talking about music, I have to say I’m over the moon with joy. Oasis will be playing in São Paulo on the 9th May, just seven days after my birthday. For a few reasons, I’ve been saving every single penny that comes into my hands, but this is a super special occasion, most certainly, and I’ll be sure to get extremely good seats. Hopefully, we’ll be already having cold time to make everything even more perfect.

Below, check out the video for I’m Outta Time. Not my favourite Oasis’ song, but still quite cute. (This is a strategy ’cause I just don’t have the time to make a post with pictures and all that.)

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Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman: never again!

I finally finished reading Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman, and all I can say is: if you ever feel like giving it a try, well, read American Gods instead. Really! I mean, honestly, what can I say? It was kinda of predictable and I saw no originality anywhere (ok, there may be a few interesting things in there), unlike Gaiman’s works I know. This was one of the reasons it took me so long to finish it; I dreaded my reading hours quite a bit this time around and would use any excuse to abstain from reading it. Apparently, the story was conceived and formatted to be a BBC series that aired in the late 90s. Writing the whole thing down and releasing it as a book made Neverwhere his debut novel. I’ve read a few complimentary reviews, but, still, I strongly dislike it.

Anyway, don’t really know what I’ll read next. I guess some short stories’ book, as I’ve “inherited” quite a few of them from my stepmom’s parents (who are still alive, btw; it’s that kind of inheritance, you know?).

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Back in action!

So, I’m back! The last couple weeks have been totally chaotic and insane. I’m still very much tired and, right now, I can only thank the higher forces for not letting me get a job immediately after I left my old one. Today is one of those days the only thing you want to do is to sleep and watch TV under your blanket. Unfortunately, I do have some stuff I have to do instead, but it is almost nothing if compared to staying 10 hours locked into a room with no possibility of getting out.

I do know I completely abandoned here for some time, but, really, time was the only thing I had NOT til right before New Year’s. Then I travelled with my brother and his friends to this place in the countryside and, then, I had no access to computers. It was nice for a while, but in the end I was going crazy and needed a bit of chaos back in my life asap.

But, come think of it, not everything was lost. I spend quite some time reading and could finish two Nick Hornby novels I got for Christmas. Well, actually, The Complete Polysyllabic Spree is not a novel at all; it is more kinda like Songbook, you know? In this book, Hornby gathered about two years worth of essays he wrote for the magazine Believer, all of them about books he bought and read or not read but intend to. As the subtitle explains, it is The diary of an ocasonally exasperated but ever hopeful reader, and in each column, Hornby – the reader – goes on about what made him like this or that book more, kind of. One of the things that made me love the book is the way he shows that a great piece of literature can be ruined on us should we be in the wrong mood, and how, in the end, reading something that brings us no pleasure is, actually, not very much worthy. (That is, unless you’re in school or college and are forced to read something terrible for academic purposes. I’ve had my share of it in the past and foresee a lot more to come.)

The other book I finished was Slam, that tells us the story of Sam, a skaterboarder whose life, all of a sudden, takes a turn and starts going really well for some time. As most people know, these extremely lucky phases precede some awful times. In the book, it is not different. I’m not going to spoil the surprise here, even though it happens quite early on and you’re led to know what it will be some time before it happens. Anyway, it is a small surprise and I hate it when people ruin even those. (By the way, in The Complete Polysyllabic Spree, NH warns his readers to one of these party-pooper moments. Apparently, in the back of a book he was reading, one major twist – or is it turn? It seems my English is deteriorating – is revealed, just like that. And back during holidays, one girl had the same thing happen to her. I’d be as pissed as I can be if my reading was spoiled like that.) Anyway, even though this is not my favourite, it was quite nice. I love the way he writes and how he manages to insert a bit of fun in almost everything. Well, I guess most things in life can be seen like that and we just don’t do it because when you’re into a fishy situation yourself, there seems to be, at the time, very little reason to laugh.

And as I’m in the mood for more light prose, I started to reread How to Be Good, also by Nick Hornby. When I discovered it the first time, I gotta be honest, I hated it. But then, I was much younger and, probably, couldn’t see the point in reading about waht seemed to me a mean older woman who ditched her husbands over a cell phone. Weird, of course, because I really found no problem reading about a guy whose selfish and idiotic actions led her girlfriend to make an abortion and, in the end, leave him. I’m not even going to spend more than a couple seconds thinking about it; the results might be not what I would like ’em to be and, therefore, my own perception of myself would be tarnished. Anyway, I decided to give it another try and am really looking forward the results.

This reminds me, of course, that I must change the side bar. And I just have to say that The Divine Comedy is desperately boring and I interrupted its reading once again. It is, I guess, the sixth time this happens and I’m starting to think that I should just leave it alone for a decade or two. Who knows, it might be transformed into something more interesting then.

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M is for Magic: an amateur’s review

Even thoug I was never a fan of Sandman, I eventually learned to appreciate Neil Gaiman’s work, specially when I found out all his novels and short stories. I’m much more connected to the written word, so it was definitely easier for me to enjoy his lengthy books than the comics with all those images and so little text. That said, M is for Magic was a bit desappointing. Quite a few short stories in it are a bit weak, I guess. I really liked most of the plots he created, but I think some would be better off in a novel. And it is not that he creates such a rich universe in each piece that it deserves to be expanded, no. I just felt that there were so many loose ends in the stories that you could not really enjoy and understand them as they were. There is an introduction in which he says that some of those were written in the beginning of his career as an author, so that may explain. Or maybe I’m just not smart at all.

The thing is I expected more because I’ve read amazing things by him before. American Gods has to be, hands down, one of my favourite books by a contemporary author. The universe he created for this book is so rich, the structure so intrincate… There’s not one single thing I disliked about it. And the whole thing is not about me not liking his short stories. Smoke and Mirrors is another great book by Gaiman and is full of this kind of work. (By the way, a few of the stories in this book are also in M is for Magic. I don’t really know which came first, though.) In each one of them plot, structure and development are way better constructed, and are more than enjoyable.

Anyway, I would not be making justice to the book it if I did not say that, actually, more than half of it is quite great. And the good stories end up making amends for the bad ones. The one about chivalry and the other that takes characters from nursery rhymes are just amazing. After reading them, I felt totally depressed for not having that kind of imagination myself. Unfortunately, the weak links there kinda made me not feel so strongly about this book.

But If someone is interested in book suggestions, I’d recommend American Gods, Smoke and Mirrors and Coraline. This last one is also remarkable and will be released as an animation next February, with Dakota Fanning’s voice. I believe it is intended to a much younger audience than his usual, but it is not a silly little thing that will only please kids. I had great fun reading it, as well as some of my friends. The story is brilliant and some of the illustrations were scary enough even for me. But then, I’m just a very grown-up kid. =)

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Book: The big-ass book of crafts

bigassbookofcrafts_coverThe big-ass book of crafts is one helluva book. Not just size-wise, no.  I mean, it having over 150 projects certainly influenced me on buying it. But what really drew me to it is the fact that it covers very different craft areas, kind of like The crafter culture handbook, one of my other favourite craft books. “Written” by Mark Montano, who’s one of the designers for TLC’s While You Were Out, this book is really chock-full with great ideas. Just take a look below (in the end of the post) to see some of my fave.

It is very true that I did not like at all a few of the projects, specially those papier-mache ones. I kinda hate this technique with all my heart since I was a kid, so I guess there’s no way I’ll ever like something that’s made in this way. But even strongly disliking some of the projects, I totally loved most of ’em and can really see myself doing a couple in a ver near future.

Overall, I think it’s a great book for crafters who want to diversify a bit and don’t really know how or where to start. Unlike some, it does not bring detailed info on the different techniques used, so don’t buy it thinking you’ll find that kind of specifics. But the thing is no project requires you being highfully skilled, so you won’t really miss knowing more.

bigassbookofcrafts 001 bigassbookofcrafts 003 bigassbookofcrafts 004
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Projects shown above: 3D blossom box; bound books; baby head paperweight; spray-painted envelopes; punk plates; bubble stationery and envelopes; special toothpaste; giant octopus.

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Viva México!

O México é pop e não é de hoje. O “fenômeno” é visível everywhere: revistas de todos os lugares fazem editoriais inspirados na estética mexicana, livros sobre a culinária e arquitetura do país abundam as livrarias e referências ao Dia dos Mortos podem ser achadas aos montes pela net. Pra resumir, basta dizer que tem muita coisa mexicana ou inspirada que faz sucesso e toooodo mundo adora.

Os antenados em moda, por exemplo, podem resgatar as batas com bordados tipicamente mexicanos que fizeram sucesso nos anos 70. Como a década volta com tudo e invade o estilo atual, vestidinhos soltos e fresquinhos com as tradicionais flores bordadas são uma boa opção para enfrentar nosso verão sem perder o estilo.

Os vestidos acima vieram do editorial de moda da penúltima edição da francesa Marie Claire Idées. Eles se inspiraram no colorido mexicano e em Frida Kahlo para produzir os visuais utilizados, misturando estampas e tons. Meus itens preferidos são… bom, posso escolher todos? Adorei os vestidos, o penteado (já vi em algum lugar que as tranças também vão estar em alta nos próximos meses), os brincos e pulseiras… Para ver maior, é só clicar em cima de cada foto.

Já essas duas peças aí em cima foram garimpados em um brechó do eBay, o Mama Stone Vintage. Elas são originais dos anos 70, liiindas! Pensando bem, não consigo concluir se o vestido todo branco tem bordados na gola ou se são furinhos que deixam entrever o corpo tatuado da modelo. De qualquer modo, o colar dela tem uma pegada mexicaninha, não? A fitinha na testa completa o look e o deixa uma graça.

Se você ainda não está convencida a apostar em itens com inspiração mexicana, dá uma olhada nesse link aqui: http://estilo.uol.com.br/moda/spfw/ultnot/2008/06/21/ult3902u746.jhtm. É um textinho do UOL falando sobre o desfile da Isabela Capeto na última Fashion Week. A estilista se inspirou no México e levou à passarela um bocado de saias com babados e peças bordadas bem legais.

Coma como um mexicano
Depois desse título-referência (Walk like an Egyptian, lembram?), devo dizer que eu não sou LOUCA por tacos, guacamole e afins (ainda prefiro um japa!), mas curto algumas cositas. Quesadillas, chilli com carne e tortillas com recheios variados (mas sem pimentão, pelamor!) são meus pratos preferidos, mas tudo o menos picante possível. Assim, eu sou bem fresca pra comida, então não sirvo de parâmetro. Meu irmão é mais soltinho na vida (nesse sentido, ok) e, ao que parece, traça todo e qualquer prato mexicano que colocarem na frente.

Para aprender receitas delicinha, vale o livro da foto, A Cozinha Mexicana, da editora Larousse, ou esse site: http://www.recipehound.com/Recipes/mexican.html. Gente, tem miiiilhares de pratos pra aprender nesse link. De qualquer jeito, acho bem válido ter um livro (esse ou qualquer outro que você prefira) sobre o assunto, com as fotos bonitinhas e tudo o mais.

Lucharán!
Pra continuar nosso passeio feliz por tudo que é mexicano e faz sucesso, não podia deixar de falar do desenho mais legal EVER, o Mucha Lucha! Ricochete, Pulga e Buena Niña, personagens principais, levam a vida tranqüila de um típico lutador de Lucha Libre. Eles vão pra escola (sim, os três são crianças), passeiam por aí, descobrem seus “poderes” (ok, não é bem isso, mas eu não sei o nome certo) e arranjam confusão com os colegas. Tudo dentro de suas máscaras. É, porque um verdadeiro lutador não pode NUNCA-EM-TEMPO-ALGUM mostrar seu rosto. A-DO-RO!

O desenho passa na Cartoon, acho. Quer dizer, eu vi o fim de um episódio hoje no fim da tarde e posso quase jurar que foi na Cartoon, mas como não tô acostumada a ver TV à tarde e durante a semana, já viu… posso bem ter confundido tudo!

Ah, e se você se empolgou e quer comprar uma máscara superhipermegalegal, é só clicar aqui! Destaque para Santo, também conhecido como El Enmascarado de Plata, o preferido de mi papá quando ele era pequeno.

Dia dos Mortos
Outro ponto beeeem legal dessa “mexicanidade” é o Día de los Muertos, que é o nosso Finados. A idéia básica é a mesma, mas a forma de ver a data é diferente. Enquanto a gente veste uma roupa “de luto”, fica triste e faz o dia cinza, os mexicanos fazem da coisa toda uma FIESTA! Bom, ok, não uma feeeesta, mas uma festa, entendem? Acontece que essa comemoração data de bem antes da chegada dos espanhóis e sua religião por lá. Enfim, pra eles, o que conta é realmente celebrar a vida dos que já se foram. Aí todo mundo constrói altares pra homenagear seus mortos e pra que eles vejam que são queridos. Ah, sim, é que, nesse dia, os mortos meio que voltam e podem contatar seus familiares vivos. A história é maomeno assim, mas o que conta aqui é que as celebrações deles envolvem muitas cores, enfeites mil, handcrafted goods, caveiras simpáticas e tudo o mais.

A foto ao lado foi encontrada no link aí embaixo e mostra um altar em Oaxaca.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/slack-a-gogo/sets/785696/

Visite o México!
Depois disso tudo, é provável que tenha dado uma vontadinha irresistível de ir até o México pra experimentar um pouco da cultura, moda e culinária in loco, néam? Dicas de lugares onde ficar, comer e passear podem ser conseguidas em inúmeros guias de viagem. Esse aí é o México Chic, lançado pela Publifolha. Adoro fotos de guias de viagem e acho que eles podem servir pra dar uma idéia geral do que esperar de um lugar. Sem falar que conhecer tantos lugares, mesmo que só pela leitura, já é uma maravilha!

E só pra explicar meu encanto todo pelo México: minha mãe já devia saber que seria assim ao me chamar de Adriana Augusta. Nome duplo, bem novela mexicana. Adoro!

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Bookworm en retard

new books

Esse post era pra falar das adições literárias mais recentes à minha biblioteca pessoal, como dizia um professor, mas, por algum motivo, eu atrasei horrores. É, porque esses livros foram comprados em fins de março, começo de abril, mais ou menos. O pior é que tantos outros vieram depois que eu não dei conta de ler tudo ainda. Sou viciada em livros, em pegá-los, virar as páginas, sentir a textura do papel, folhear bastante… Só depois disso eu começo a ler mesmo. Sim, eu sou um pouco tresloucada, mas o fato é que, lá em casa, sempre fomos obcecados por livros. Podemos ficar séculos sem comprar CDs e DVDs, por exemplo, mas é muito difícil a família se manter longe das livrarias por um mês.
Enfim, mesmo muito atrasada, vou falar um pouquinho desses livros que são (ou parecem ser) bem legais.

A moda e seu papel socialClasse, gênero e identidade das roupas
Diana Crane

Na realidade, esse livro foi um presente da irmã da mulher do meu pai. Não consegui ler nada dele, então, só posso imaginar que ele fale sobre o papel social da moda. Duh. =p
Enfim, embora eu me interesse por moda e pelas discussões a seu respeito, eu tenho andado bem mais focada em crafts e coisas do gênero. Por isso, quase tudo que não tem a ver com algum tipo de craft tem ficado meio de lado, no momento.

Doodle Stitchingfresh & fun embroidery for beginners
Aimee Ray

Nunca pensei que bordar pudesse ser tão divertido e produzir coisas tão legais. Aprendi quando era pequena e comecei a fazer meu paninho de amostras, mas me enchi logo. Anos depois, comecei a ver coisas legais na internet e fui atrás pra ver quem fazia, como fazia e tudo o mais. Resultado: me apaixonei! Comprei esse livro porque gosto dos designs da Aimee Ray e porque o livro traz um guiazinho com pontos básicos bem legal. Os projetos não são exatamente o que eu quero fazer, mas são ótimos pra inspiração, mesmo. Recomendo beeeem!

The Crafter’s Companiontips, tales, and patterns from a community of creative minds
Vários

Livro lindo e bem útil! Nele, vários crafters falam sobre suas experiências, inspirações, trabalho e produtos. É legal porque você fica entendendo um pouquinho mais sobre gente ótima como Amy Karol (Angry Chicken), Myra Masuda (My Little Mochi) e Hillary Lang (Wee Wonderfuls). Gostei bastante dos projetos, também, embora tenha pensando em várias coisinhas que poderiam ser diferentes pra ficar mais do meu jeito.

The Crafter Culture Handbook
Amy Spencer

Assim, esse livro é, indubitavelmente, um dos meu favoritos de todos os tempos na área de crafts. Fala sério, né. Onde mais você consegue aprender como fazer um chapéu de tricô, porta-copos, lip balm, bolsas, um porta-laptop e, ainda por cima, descobre como transformar uma máquina de escrever em um teclado que funciona com seu computador? Juro que nesse livro tem todas essas coisa e MUITO mais. É projeto que não acaba mais e você fica perdidinha pensando no que vai fazer primeiro. Sério, é bem um daqueles livros que não dá pra não ter!