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Reviews Written by
ealovitt "starmoth" RSS Feed (Gladwin, MI USA)

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Glitter Cardstock 12-Inch by 12-Inch, Pink
Glitter Cardstock 12-Inch by 12-Inch, Pink
Price: $33.82
5 used & new from $27.82

5.0 out of 5 stars Non-shedding glitter paper that is great for layering, June 26, 2016
I bought this Glitter Cardstock to layer on the fronts of greeting cards. Each 12"x12" sheet has non-removable glitter on one side with a white backing. The color on the front is a uniform pink. The paper is heavier than 80 lb. card stock and cuts crisply in my die-cutting machine.

See customer image for an A7 (5" x 7") birthday card where I layered the pink glitter cardstock right beneath the Graphic 45 image to give it a little extra pop. Incidentally, I paid $2.49 for a single 12" x 12" sheet of this paper, so it is reasonably priced on this site.
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Graphic 45 Once Upon A Springtime-Deluxe Collectors Edition
Graphic 45 Once Upon A Springtime-Deluxe Collectors Edition
Price: $26.95
11 used & new from $20.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Expensive, but I loved the fairy-tale imagery, June 25, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I found examples of greeting cards that were made from the Graphic 45 Once Upon A Springtime collection in the July/August/September 2016 edition of "The Stampers' Sampler" magazine, and absolutely fell in love with the fairy-tale imagery. I thought the paper stack was a bit expensive, but the delightful graphics gave me so many ideas for decorating greeting cards that I knew I had to have it. Please see customer image for an A7 (5" x 7") Anniversary card that I made from one of the fairy tale prints in this collection.

For your money you get two of each of the 12 double-sided 12" x 12" papers, a 7.25" x 12.5" chipboard set, and a set of stickers that include 3 alphabets and various labels, plus a 'once upon a springtime' border (almost 12" long). The paper is a good weight for layering and découpage.
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Jolees E20912 Jolees Mini Repeats Stickers-Crowns
Jolees E20912 Jolees Mini Repeats Stickers-Crowns
Offered by -Supermart
Price: $7.25
9 used & new from $7.25

4.0 out of 5 stars Cute stickers for princess-themed birthday cards, June 24, 2016
Jolee's stickers are almost always best-in-class for decorating greeting cards. I like to use these crowns for embellishing my princess-themed birthday cards. Note that each silver or gold crown is embellished with a rhinestone.

See customer image for an example of an A7 (5" x 7") birthday card using one of the silver crowns. You simply peel the crown off of the clear plastic sheet inside the package, and stick it onto your card or scrapbook page.
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Cheery Lynn Designs B675 Sweetheart Candy Die Cuts
Cheery Lynn Designs B675 Sweetheart Candy Die Cuts
Price: $14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful dies for Valentine or Anniversary cards, June 23, 2016
I make and sell greeting cards to benefit our local library, and I bought this set of Cheery Lynn dies mainly for Valentine's Day cards, but they also work for Anniversary cards. See customer image for an A2 (4.25"x5.5") Anniversary card decorated with a selection of die cuts from these dies.

I cut these dies with the Spellbinder's Grand Calibur die cutter. I used a metal shim to get a clean cut from 105 lb. cardstock.
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CottageCutz MINI142 CottageCutz Mini Die W/Foam -Pumps
CottageCutz MINI142 CottageCutz Mini Die W/Foam -Pumps
Offered by -Supermart
Price: $8.31
2 used & new from $8.31

5.0 out of 5 stars A very handy little die, June 23, 2016
I make and sell greeting cards to benefit our local library, and I use this four-piece Cottage Cutz pumps mini die for one of my best-selling friendship cards. Incidentally, although it shows two pumps in the illustration, you can only cut one at a time.

Please see customer image for an example of an A2 (5.5"x4.25") friendship card that I made with this die. I used a small print paper for the 'lining' of the pump, and shiny red for the exterior.
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CottageCutz Mini Die 1.75"X1.75"-Frog Made Easy
CottageCutz Mini Die 1.75"X1.75"-Frog Made Easy
Price: $7.66
11 used & new from $5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Cute little frog die, June 23, 2016
I make and sell greeting cards to benefit our local library, and this Cottage Cutz mini frog die looks cute on my favorite anniversary card. It would also work well on children's birthday cards.

I used 80 lb. card stock to cut this die on my Sizzix Grand Calibur machine,

Please see customer image for an example of an A7 (5"x 7") anniversary card that I made with this die.
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The Lawrence Durrell Travel Reader
The Lawrence Durrell Travel Reader
Price: $7.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Bright shards in a wine-dark sea, June 22, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Lawrence Durrell, the British author who is best known for his four novels comprising "The Alexandria Quartet," also composed a series of 'landscape books' about his pre- and post-war experiences in and around the Mediterranean. The books in this series are "Prospero's Cell, “Reflections on a Marine Venus,” “Bitter Lemons,” and “Sicilian Carousel.” Most of the excerpts in "The Lawrence Durrell Travel Reader" are taken from these four 'landscape' books, plus a series of essays on his life in Provence.

The first book, "Prospero's Cell" was written in the years preceding World War II. The setting for Shakespeare's "Tempest" is the Greek island of Corfu, argues one of the characters in this book, expounding on a deeply held belief of its author. The 'presiding genius' of Corfu, or as it was once called, Corcyra, is none other than Zeus Pantocrator.

Durrell's foreshadowing of that grim future cast his landscapes and dazzling Greek villages of Corfu into intense relief.

In his second book, war still clings like a gray film to the bright fabric of "Reflections of a Marine Venus," which was begun in 1945 and takes place on Rhodes. The ‘marine Venus' of the title is a statue which was found by sailors in their nets at the bottom of Rhodes harbor and which much appealed to Durrell, who thought of her as the 'presiding genius' of the place. He began this book while assigned to Rhodes as an information officer in 1945, and finally finished it in Belgrade in 1952 while working as a press attaché for the British Embassy.

In his third island book, "Bitter Lemons," the author moves away from World War II, and into his experiences dodging gunmen and bombs during the postwar 'unrest' on Cyprus, which was then a British protectorate.

Durrell's great obsession during his years on Cyprus was the purchase and restoration of an old Turkish house at Bellapaix. This is the best part of the book in spite of the stereotypical 'boisterous' Greeks and 'indolent' Turks. The author employs his best, most beautiful descriptions on his house, his village, and the surrounding territory.

The fourth book in the series, "Sicilian Carousel" was published almost two decades after "Bitter Lemons" and Durrell is a much more mellow writer--perhaps because of his retirement from various posts within the British Foreign Office. Or perhaps because no one was shooting at him on Sicily.

Martine, who was a friend of Durrell's on Cyprus ("Bitter Lemons") is a ghostly presence on Sicily, the largest and perhaps the most beautiful of the Mediterranean islands. She had tried to persuade Durrell to visit her in life. Instead, he brings her letters to Sicily and shares Martine's favorite places with her in death. He compares her "to a sea-bird who has floated out of sight" and spends the book trying to lay her ghost.

I had not yet read Durrell's collection of essays about Provence, his home during the last three decades of his life and was happy to find a few of them in this 'Travel Reader.' They are truly a delight, most especially his plumber's search for a wife in "Laura, a Portrait of Avignon."

Here is the table of contents, which I've annotated to include the titles of Durrell's four 'landscape' books:

Editor’s Note

-- Landscape and Character

CORFU ("Prospero's Cell")
-- Divisions upon Greek
-- Ground Ionian Profiles
-- Landscape with Olive Trees
-- A Landmark Gone
-- Oil for the Saint; Return to Corfu

RHODES ("Reflections of a Marine Venus")
-- Of Paradise Terrestre
--The Little Summer of Saint Demetrius
-- The Three Lost Cities

CYPRUS ("Bitter Lemons")
-- How to Buy a House
--The Tree of Idleness
-- The Vanishing Landmarks
-- Troubadour

SICILY ("Sicilian Carousel")
-- Arrival
-- Agrigento
-- Erice
-- Taormina

-- In Praise of Fanatics
-- Laura, A Portrait of Avignon
-- Across Secret Provence
-- Old Mathieu

-- Delphi

The Room in the Tower
The Room in the Tower
Price: $0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A great horror story but buy it in a collection, June 21, 2016
The Room in the Tower [Kindle Edition]

E.F. Benson (1867 - 1940) is one of my favorite supernatural authors in spite of his rampant misogyny. He was the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury so he comes by his ghosts and his religion naturally. He was one of the lucky few Cambridge scholars who was invited to listen to the great M.R. James read his annual supernatural story during the Christmas season. He was an athlete as well as a scholar, and represented England in figure skating.

"The Room in the Tower"--A man's recurrent nightmare comes true when he spends a weekend with an old school friend and is given a room in the tower. This is one of my top fifty greatest ghost stories.

The reason I give this stand-alone story three stars is that you can buy an inexpensive Kindle version of E.F. Benson's complete works, including "The Room in the Tower"--The Collected Works of E. F. Benson: 23 Novels & 30+ Short Stories (Illustrated): Dodo Trilogy, Queen Lucia, Miss Mapp, David Blaize, The Room in The Tower, ... The Angel of Pain, The Rubicon and more.

The Magic Flute (The Criterion Collection)
The Magic Flute (The Criterion Collection)
DVD ~ Josef Köstlinger
Offered by newbury_comics
Price: $19.79
30 used & new from $11.00

5.0 out of 5 stars An intimate, playful, wondrous Flute, June 21, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This 1975 Bergman "Trollflöjten" has always been my favorite 'Flute', in spite of the omitted music and the unabashed tinkering with the libretto. In this version of Mozart's magical opera, Sarastro and The Queen of the Night have undergone a bitter divorce and are fighting over custody of their daughter, Pamina. The Masonic elements of the libretto are almost completely ignored. When Sarastro sings his great bass aria, 'O Isis und Osiris' he omits mention of the two Egyptian deities!

Did I mention that the whole opera is sung in Swedish with English subtitles?

Unique to this Bergman 'Flute' are the slyly humorous backstage interactions: Pamina and Tamino play chess during an intermission; Sarastro studies the score to "Parsifal" while a small demon reads a comic book. The Queen's three attendants smoke.

The real genius in this productions lies in the development of the characters. Papageno sleeps through the overture and is awakened just in time to blow on his pan pipes and rush onto the stage. Much of his comic dialogue is cut and instead, we see his character clearly through his expressive face and his actions. Sarastro is not the remote, pompous head Mason that we find in so many 'Flutes.' He's an emotional, sometimes angry, sometimes tender father. The faces and physical characteristics of these singers are so perfectly attuned to their parts that I falsely assumed Bergman used actors to play the roles and employed singers to do the voice-overs. Even the minor roles are perfectly cast: Papagena is a stunner and you can tell that Papageno is going to have his hands full when they finally meet at opera's end; we first see the Speaker in his manuscript-filled study. He is wise, tender and honorable. He sings (almost) the same music as Speakers in other 'Flutes' yet somehow, Bergman has brought forth the shining, Platonic ideal of the Speaker in just the few minutes he inhabits the stage. When all of the other characters fade from my memory, the two that will remain as fixed ideals in my mind will be Erik Saedén's Speaker and Häkan Hagregärd's Papageno.

The period sets are charming and the costumes do not get in the way of the singers. You must see Bergman's "Trollflöjten" at least once in your life, even if you do not ordinarily care for opera.

Bath & Body Works French Lavender & Honey Shower Gel 10 oz/295g
Bath & Body Works French Lavender & Honey Shower Gel 10 oz/295g
Offered by Webclick
Price: $10.77
14 used & new from $3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Honey with just a tinge of lavender, June 20, 2016
A friend gave me bottle of this French Lavender and Honey shower gel, and I like it quite a bit. It's thick enough so that I just need a dab of it on my washcloth. Other shower gels don't last nearly as long.

This gel smells of honey with just a tinge of lavender. The scent doesn't linger after I leave the shower, but the gel makes me feel nice and clean.

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