Friday, 30 March 2012

The Labyrinth: Baby and Kids Toys and Clothes.

My favourite movie of all time has always been The Labyrinth. The 1986 fantasy film, directed by Jim Henson, produced by George Lucas, and designed by Brian Froud was the last feature film directed by Jim Henson- a man I adore. Henson collaborated on the screenwriting with children's author Dennis Lee and Monty Python alumnus Terry Jones. The leads are David Bowie as Jareth the Goblin King, and Jennifer Connelly as Sarah Williams. The plot revolves around Sarah's quest to rescue her little brother from the Goblin King while trapped in an enormous otherworldly maze.  

When I was a little girl I always wanted to be Sarah, and I always had a crush on Jareth. The story was brilliant, the dialogue equal parts witty and deep, the soundtrack excellent- a lot of qualities which are missing from similar types of modern films (Prince Of Persia anyone?), but it is only now as an adult that I can see that it isn't just a fairy tale, but also a story of a young girl awakening from childhood into womanhood complete with undercurrents of selfish youth, obsession and young lust. Some might unhelpfully point out that David Bowies tight pants should have made that clearer to me a little earlier in the piece, but I was too taken with his hair to really notice much below the belt. Brian Froud (the genius who designed all the goblins) explained a bit about 'those' pants to Empire Magazine in their “Dance Magic Dance: 25 Years of Labyrinth” article (February 2012)
“We’re not looking at reality, we’re inside this girl’s head. There are references to all sorts of things in his costume. There’s the danger of a leather boy in his leather jacket, which also has a reference to the armour of a certain type of German knight in it; there are references to Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights; and the tight trousers are a reference to ballet dancers. He’s an amalgam of the inner fantasies of this girl. Everyone always talks about Bowie’s perv pants, but there was a reason for it all! It has a surface that’s fairly light, but then every so often you go, ‘Oh, my God! How did we get away with that?!”


One of my favourite blogs of all time is The Labyrinth Museum. The owner has devoted an entire lifetime to collecting all manner of Labyrinth paraphernalia, including an amazing link to the original script which plainly spells out the lust thing- ahhhh Goblin King, why you no pick me?
SARAH is looking for JARETH. She spots him and sees him whisper
something to his partner who smiles knowingly from beneath her mask
and licks her lips. SARAH blushes and turns away and finds herself
looking into another mirror. But in the reflection, JARETH isn't with
a partner. He is standing alone, the DANCERS a whirling blur around
him, and he is looking straight at her. SARAH, whirling around to
face the crowd and she sees JARETH with yet a third BEAUTY. And then
she realizes that it is herself! In a trance-like state she moves
through the CROWD to get a better look.

ANOTHER ANGLE

SARAH'S POV - She is whirling in JARETH's arms, and she is the most
beautiful woman at the ball. JARETH smiles down at her and the
attraction between them is palpable.

JARETH: You look like a queen.

SARAH looks up at him, thrilled by his words.

SARAH: I ... I feel like ... I ... don't know what I feel ...

JARETH (smiling): Don't you?

And he whirls her around dizzyingly, so dizzyingly that she swoons in
his arms. He catches her before she can fall very far, tightening his
grip around her waist.

SARAH: Are we ... are we in a bubble?

JARETH: Yes, we are. A dream bubble ... where your dreams can come
true.

ANOTHER ANGLE

OUR SARAH is being jostled by the crowd. She stumbles and almost
falls on top of a COUPLE on a bench. The WOMAN is sprawled across the
lap of the MAN who wears a mask with a very phallic nose. SARAH backs
away from them, frightened.

ANOTHER ANGLE

JARETH and SARAH, dancing. She is smiling up at him, he has never
looked more handsome. There is something more open about him, as if
he, too, is caught up in the moment. He nuzzles her hair with his
lips and whispers in her ear.

JARETH (whispering): My Queen!

Then he begins a song. A song that tells SARAH he will give her
everything she wants, even things she doesn't know she wants. A song
that says forget it all; all the restrictions, all the powerlessness.
Forget and stay in the dream.

ANOTHER ANGLE

OUR SARAH watches, mesmerized. But every time she tries to get closer
to JARETH and SARAH she in jostled by a lascivious ADMIRER, pushed
out of the way by WOMEN laughingly being chased by MEN. She stumbles
against a wall and a door opens. Inside, pillow feathers are flying
and she can't make out what the SEVERAL PEOPLE are doing. A WOMAN
comes up to the doorway, winks at SARAH, and closes the door.

ANOTHER ANGLE

JARETH finishes the song and SARAH looks up at him, smiling. He moves
his face closer to hers and she closes her eyes. His face comes
closer, and closer.

ANOTHER ANGLE

OUR SARAH shrinks back from what she is seeing. She turns and runs,
pushing herself though the languid CROWD, right into the bubble
itself.

57      EXT: BALL - NIGHT

SARAH comes crashing through the bubble and the whole ballroom
crumbles. In seconds it resembles nothing so much as a junkyard.

Lusting aside, this movie to me is also about the importance of friendship, and of apologising, and sticking to task, and not being distracted by pretty baubles. Brilliant lessons taught in such a way as to be imperceptable, but once seen cannot be unseen.

I am pretty confident that Hunter will like this film too. I’ll show it to him with loads of other classics, including Bedknobs and Broomsticks and The Princess Bride. And if he likes it, I will gleefully indulge my owns wants by showering him in a selection of the following Labyrinth themed gifts:

Ludo Via Peludossa (Etsy)
Worm Ring Via Art By Aelia (Etsy)



Babe With The Power Baby Onesie
And these classic books from Sarah's room:
The WIzard Of Oz By Frank L Baum, Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak, Snow White, Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carrol, Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson and The Brothers Grimm.


You remind me of the babe.
What babe?
The babe with the power.
What power?
The power of Voodoo-
Who do-
You do-
Do what?
Remind me of the babe!

And, just before I go- if you like The Dresden Dolls, Amanda Palmer or Neil Gaiman you may enjoy this delightful little mashup:


It's only forever,
Sandi D


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Hot Men With Babies: Mum Porn!

A photo I took of my husband and son is the latest post on a delightfully mum-porny photo blog called Hot Men With Babies! If seeing a guy hold, snuggle and care for a child gives you a funny feeling in your tummy, then I suggest you check out Cassies blog and Tumblr.



Lee isn't the only babe on there- the website has hundreds of pictures of famous, infamous and not-so-famous hot dudes, such as these:






If that isn't enough Mum-Porn for you, perhaps you would like to get yourself a copy of Porn For New Moms. Compiled by the female pornographers from Cambridge this paperback book is chock full of guys doing exactly what new mothers want.


Prepare to enter a fantasy world, a world where men insist on changing diapers, where guys get up for 3 a.m. feedings, and where they just can't help but admire mom's sexy all-sweatpants wardrobe. Page after page of titillatingshots and dream-worthy captions will make every mother swoon. In fact, it might just leave her begging for more. . . . Oh, daddy!




Ride the roller coaster of daddy love at hotmenwithbabies.tumblr.com or by clicking this link.

Step right up and get your tickets!
Sandi D

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Cool Celebrities On Sesame Street: Katy Perry






Katy Perry (also previously known as Mrs Russel Brand) is too sexy for Sesame Street- after recording the 'Hot and Cold' duet with Elmo, outraged parents asked Sesame Street to not air the segment because (as one comment on the YouTube video put it) of Ms Perry's "boobies. Boobies, boobies, boobies".

I'm going out on a limb here by estimating that approximately fifty percent of the watching audience will one day wake up to discover they own their very own set of boobies. Using this logic, I ask you: what is the point then of hiding Ms Perry and her spectacular rack in the back room? Is it to teach impressionable youth the concept of bodily shame? Where the hell are we- the Garden Of Eden!?

Surely teaching kids that bodies of all shapes and sizes (even ones that come with boobies) are wonderful, normal, healthy things will result in children growing up self assured enough to use their own bodies in confident, joyful ways instead of accumulating guilt, self loathing and other repressed emotions?

Accordingly I think that removing the Katy Perry segment on account of her milkshake-bringing-all-the-boys-to-the-yard is kind of lame. But hey- if I programmed TV it would just be David Bowie singing Magic Dance from The Labyrinth 24-7 so obviously my views are worth nought.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Old School Toys: Cardboard Boxes Make Wonderful DIY Childrens Toys: Cardboard Castles, Cars, Planes, Houses, Rockets, Stoves, Geodisic Domes

My 8 month old son has just discovered the joy of cardboard boxes! We received a large package in the mail, and while I am sure as he grows older he will love the kids furniture that came in the box, right now he is most enamored of the box it came in. Its got me aching for a chance to make some cool stuff with boxes- I have some super sweet box skillz for real.




Box crafts are easy on the wallet (some tape, scissors and markers are all you need- although a bit of acrylic paint will add a bit of visual flair for the super crafty), but strenuous on the imagination- and if there is one type of exercise I like, its one where the only muscle I use is my mind.

When I was little my mum and I used to make huge box forts, cars, doll houses, cat runs, ovens and rockets. I don't have any photos to show you the majesty of yesteryear, but I had a little looksie at Pinterest and found this selection of images to get your creative juices flowing.





Source: etsy.com via Alyssa on Pinterest




















In terms of advice for the novice box-architect, may I suggest that a sharp and heavy duty pair of scissors is far superior to pair that wont cut more than five pieces of paper at a time. A sharp slightly serrated kitchen knife is also suitable for cutting cardboard, although obviously not safe for kids.

My husband made this awesome geodesic dome for our cats, but Hunter likes to get in under it (and by 'Hunter likes to get in under it' I mean I really like turtle-ing him under it, and watching him be all cute and helpless. He makes the cutest faces as he wonders how on earth he ended up with such a mean mummy).

To start off, draw your doors and windows onto the cardboard. Any part that you want void is best removed by stabbing a huge hole (with the scissors closed) in the middle of the shape and working out towards your guide-lines from there. For doors or other moving parts, you will want a sleek line. This is best achieved by using a smooth slice/stab motion in the direction of the cut you want to make- get that sharp kitchen knife for these bits. Try to keep any raw edges neat, or use wide masking tape to 'seal' the edges. Round edges like the ones on the geodesic dome above were drawn on using a pin and string compass because we are high tech, and cut out using a scalpel because we are medical professionals (and when the scalpel was blunt, we used an X-Acto craft blade. I guess I lied about being a medical professional).

In terms of sticking your multi-box creations together, Duct Tape or Cloth Tape is the best tape, although wide masking tape or packing tape are also suitable. Glue is a horrid thing to use here as it will take ages to dry and is just as likely to turn your box into a sodden mass as it is to glue the box to your living room floor. Glue is only OK if you are using PVA or clear craft glue sparingly for the sole purpose of attaching cupcake wrappers, dried pasta or cotton balls as fancy decorations. Double sided tape is preferable for all other types of attaching, although split pins are also good (and are the best at attaching jar lids and tin foil plates). Sharpies and other types of permanent marker are the best for getting big bold coloured lines onto the box, although felt tip markers will also work. Spray paint or acrylic paint are the best ways of painting your box, poster paint is also suitable.

That said sometimes even just turning a box on its side and draping a table cloth from the top of the box to the top of a dining chair is all a kid needs to make a super rad fort. Add a pillow, some snacks and a good book and you will have a very happy kidliwink indeed, or a nice dark place to hide from the kids.



For those of you who have read all the 'tips' above and are thinking "get knotted, this is ridiculous! I thought box crafts were meant to be simple!", or perhaps just aren't too big on crafts, a set of Rolobox wheels and brackets may tickle your fancy. Suitable for children between 3 - 7 years old, these light weight wheels attach to any box with chunky nuts and bolts, and really roll (they don't roll with a kid in the box, although a small dog, placid cat or light doll would be an ideal passenger). If you are in Australia you can pick yourself up a set from Peter's Of Kensington.

Because I like to take things literally, and laterally, here are some songs with the word box in the title.







And then an empty box came floating by
An empty box and I crawled inside,
Sandi D

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Giggle & Hoot Themed First Birthday Party, Cake, Decorations, DIY: Brisbane Gold Coast Face Painter And Balloon Twisting Art

Silas's Giggle and Hoot Themed Party

This weekend just gone I had the pleasure of attending a party held by my girlfriend Carly for her son’s first birthday. It was Giggle and Hoot themed- even though when we received the invitation Hunter and I had no idea what that meant and had to Google it to find out- we still had a wonderful time. 


There were many delicious snacks- including plenty of healthy, vegetarian and gluten free options. Her mum made lamingtons, rolling the coconut in food dye to match the blue and orange theme. All the kids were wild about the fruit skewers- even Hunter had a great time smooshing orange into his mouth (and later on, finding a discarded grape under a table and chewing that too!). She also had delicious cupcakes, topped with blue and orange sprinkles- Yum! There were beautiful decorations and lots of activities for kids of all ages.

Carly told me she found many of the decorations, including the cupcake toppers and gift bag seals online over at Marabous.com.au. As well as the custom balloons, the marquees were decorated with orange and blue streamers, the backs of the chairs were festooned with orange and blue helium balloons (and the letterbox was too!), the tables covered in blue cloths and glitter scatters. Carly and her family made a wonderful cake, with her friend Marion (more on Marion below) making the adorable cake topper.




There was an awesome jumping castle which was filled with inflatable balls, and a face painter who could also work magic with balloons- she twisted up heaps of wonderful Giggle and Hoot owls, and even a little man! For the adults she was making hats and little yellow birds from Angry Birds!




The face painter/balloon artist was a lovely lady named Marion from Switcharoo Face and Body Art. She was exceptionally talented- and from looking at her website I see she has won many awards for her art skills. Well deserved accolades too, I say.



She had endless patience with the long queue of kids, was skilled at entertaining even the tiniest bubs, and also was talented at making kids into vampires, transformers, princesses, butterflies, flowers, tigers, crocodiles and er... green horses (kids can be weird)! If you are looking for wonderful entertainment for a childs party and you live in Brisbane or the Gold Coast I heartily recommend her.

It seems as though Giggle and Hoot is a very popular kids TV show- I've had rather a lot of hits for people looking for party ideas. Here are some more ideas to inspire all those wonderful hosts and hostesses out there- with brilliant ideas like these your party is sure to be a hoot!

Invite and Thank-you Bag ideas:

Gift Bag

Gift Boxes

Lolly Bags

These could be a wonderful gift or prize:

Pompom Owl DIY

Why not have a craft table as an activity? You can send the completed pieces in to the ABC for a chance to be included in the show! The postal address for sending your Giggle Gallery pictures to Giggle and Hoot is:
Giggle and Hoot
ABC TV
GPO Box 9994
Sydney NSW 2001


Handprint Owls Via Meet The Dubiens

Standing Owls Via Martha Stewart

Cardboard Roll Owls Via frugalfamilyfunblog
Owl Decorations:
Owl Balloons Via Piece Of Cake Blog

Party Mobile

And where would we be without some delightfully delicious cake inspiration:

This hoot-astic Giggle and Hoot cake was made by the lovely Broni B of Sweet Little Treats. If you are in Adelaide and want a custom cake, Broni is the best!



Thank you Carly for inviting us, we had a hoot!
Sandi D
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