Sunday, July 20, 2014

James Garner Dies Age 86. Hollywood lost a great today.

In honor of James Garner...
Most of you know I do not have cable, or dish or direct TV. I'm not ashamed. I save 200 dollars a month! Such as it is, I do have Netflix. The only thing I miss on TV is the weather channel during tornado season, but I'm hearing that's not what it used to be either, judging from their non weather related, click generating posts on Facebook.

However, what I do watch, I watch without all of the invasive TV commercials that I feel are inappropriate for children. With regular TV.. (because I don't live completely under a rock and I do have a pair of rabbit ears that work amazingly well and I receive over 20 channels). But with regular TV, I'm not happy that I have to sit with my fingers on the remote "just in case" I see another ED commercial, or a steamy promo during the day for a TV show I wouldn't dare allow my child to watch, even if she was old enough.

So I watch Netflix, I also watch YouTube. And when needed, I watch the news on the ears. But mostly I watch Netflix. And one of my obsessions lately is The Rockford Files. I can watch it with my family and not have to worry as I truly enjoy James Garner.

If you know anything about James Garner, he has a very simple traditional core value of himself. And I don't believe I have even seen that falter on the screen.  I've not seen all of his work, but what I have, I was able to watch it even with my child.

With The Rockford Files, I like to look into the background of every scene. The old cars, the interior furnishings. A lot of it I recognize because, well, lets face it... I was around at that time (during my Shaun Cassidy and BJ and the Bear obsession) or it was still around once I arrived on the scene. Ask me about the colonial side table with the dress shade lamp attached to it that reminded me of a Lazy Susan! "HOLY TRAP BATMAN! NANA HAD THAT SAME LAMP!" I screamed out but my child only screamed at me for scaring her half to death. Needless to say, I've tried for an hour to find another to show you, but still...no. I finally gave up until I can hit my mother up for the old photo albums. (A high commodity in my family that I'm not allowed to lay a finger on! But you know...She does go on vacation...And I have a key! lol )

Back to Rockford.....Once while watching one of his famous car chase scenes, both my child and I screamed out "Taco Bell!". Then there was a frantic fumble for the remote to play it back because neither of us knew Taco Bell even existed way back in the 70's. And can you imagine?  Yes, I'm a Taco Bell Fan too. LOL

http://therockfordfilestv.blogspot.com
This is not the scene I saw, but hey!  Photo credit to http://therockfordfilestv.blogspot.com

Any who..... Today I signed onto Yahoo and was saddened to see that James Garner has passed away.
Watching The Rockford Files will take on a different impression for me now. My Fellow Americans will continue be a favorite too. Hollywood lost a great today.

Want to see what he played in?  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001258/
Want to read his bio? http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001258/bio
Here's more from the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-james-garner-20140721-story.html

So today in honor of James Garner here's some eye candy for one of the great actors of his time!


PS. I've never seen the Notebook.


Trivia c/o http://www.imdb.com

Had both knees replaced.


Had quintuple heart bypass surgery.

 
James has English and German ancestry.
 
James is also said to have Cherokee roots. It is not clear if his Native American ancestry has been verified.

 
He has two brothers, Jack Garner & Charlie Bumgarner. Jack died in 2011 and Charlie died in 1985.

 
Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1990.

 
Early in his career, he appeared as one of the judges in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" on Broadway. He said his part consisted mostly of listening to the other actors, and he said it was a great lesson. He feels listening is just as important as speaking as an actor.

 
Before he was an actor, he had 75 odd jobs including pumping gas to modeling men's clothing.

 
 
 
Father of Gigi Garner, author of "The Cop Cookbook" and "Girl Talk".

 
He and his wife Lois Clarke were married at the Beverly Hills Court House just two weeks after they met at a political rally.

 
Has a stepdaughter, Kimberly, from his wife's first marriage.

 
Lost his mother when he was 5, and he & his two brothers were split up & sent off to live with relatives.

 
Learned a lot from the late John Ritter, when watching Three's Company (1977). After Ritter's death, Garner appeared with the cast of 8 Simple Rules (2002) talking about the popular comedian on Larry King Live (1985), on the future of "8 Simple Rules.".

 
Is involved with many humanitarian causes.

 
Is a volunteer of Save the Children.

 
His hobbies include: golfing, spending time with his family, auto racing, politics and watching sports.

 
Inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1986.

 
Was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer in 1979.

 
He was very disappointed about his show, The Rockford Files (1974), being cancelled due to his illness. He accepted his doctor's advice and learned that season 6 was his last.

 
Had helped organize Martin Luther King's famous "March on Washington" civil rights demonstration, four years before going to Vietnam. (1963).

 
Was the first actor to co-star with Julie Andrews in three movies: The Americanization of Emily (1964), Victor Victoria (1982), and One Special Night (1999).

 
Is a Korean War veteran and began his career as a contract player in 1956 for Warner Bros.

 
He was attending Hollywood High in Los Angeles when his gym teacher recommended him for a job modeling Jantzen bathing suits. He got the job making $25 an hour.

 
He starred in 3 popular TV series: Maverick (1957) for 3 seasons, The Rockford Files (1974) for 6 seasons, and 8 Simple Rules (2002), for 2 seasons.

 
Has played two different characters named Jim who served in the Korean War: Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files (1974) and Jim Egan in 8 Simple Rules (2002).

 
Of all his films, The Americanization of Emily (1964) is his favorite.

 
Enjoyed great celebrity with his Polaroid commercial series with Mariette Hartley, which started in 1977. He and Mariette were so convincing as husband and wife that Mariette had a T-shirt made that proclaimed, "I am not James Garner's wife!" More than 300 commercials were produced.

 
A big Oakland Raiders football fan. Could be seen on sidelines with the team during games.

 
Quit smoking following his quintuple heart bypass on 22 April 1988.

 
Inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978.

 
Although Garner is a lifelong liberal Democrat, his oldest friend is a conservative Republican.

 
He was a student of Bruce Lee's in his "jeet kune do" style of martial art, after starring with Lee in the film, Marlowe (1969).

 
In a 1973 interview, John Wayne named Garner as the best American actor.

 

 
Driver of pace cars at the 59th Indianapolis 500 (May 25, 1975), the 61st Indianapolis 500 (May 29, 1977), and at the 69th Indianapolis 500 (May 26, 1985).

 
His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6925 Hollywood Blvd.

 
He was a good friend of the late Paul Newman. Garner has appeared together with both Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward in several movies.

 
Was a very good friend of the late Bill Bixby.

 
Underwent surgery after suffering a severe stroke in May 2008 and is recovering well.

 
Once owned a four hundred acre vineyard in Santa Ynez California called "White Rhino" vineyard and bottled his own Chardonnay called "Chateau Jimbeaux".

 
In 1995, he received an honorary doctorate from The University of Oklahoma, in his home town of Norman, OK. This was one month after bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. He was quoted as saying during his commencement ceremony speech, "If there's anything positive to come from this event, it is seeing the character, the toughness & the dignity of the Oklahoma people as they suffer the grief and carry on with their lives. It makes every Oklahoman, where ever we are, to be PROUD to be an Oklahoman.".

 
James Garner adopted his wife's 9 year-old-daughter, Kimberly, after they were married. About a year later, James Garner's only biological daughter, Gigi Garner, was born in Santa Monica, California.

 
Narrates the intro videos for the University of Oklahoma football team as they enter the stadium.

 
Has a street named after him in his hometown of Norman. "James Garner Ave".

 
Best known by the public for his starring role as the title character in The Rockford Files (1974).

 
On April 21, 2006, a bronze statue of Garner as his character Bret Maverick, standing at 10 feet tall, was unveiled in Garner's hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. He was present for the unveiling ceremony.

 
He played Wyatt Earp in both Hour of the Gun (1967) and Sunset (1988).

 
He has played the same character (Bret Maverick) in four different series: Sugarfoot (1957), Maverick (1957), Young Maverick (1979) and Bret Maverick (1981).

 
When speaking at the Summer Olympics in Norman, OK, he took the opportunity to remind the Oklahoma officials, who invited him to speak, of the circumstances of his original departure. "It's nice to be invited back as a VIP after being run out of town on a rail." This was a reference to him being "asked" to leave for his "extracurricular activities".

 
A private man.













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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Divergent Downton Abbey Theo James Four Kemal Pamuk or The dead guy in Lady Mary's Bed

Last night I took my tween to see Divergent. If you can believe it, her English class was required to read the book. Now this coming off of the heels of the second Hunger Games - Catching Fire, she soaked up the book like a sponge and is quickly making it to the end of the 2nd book Insurgent. Stating "Mommy, I feel so bad...I think I like this book so much better than the Hunger Games", (the trilogy she has yet to make it through the second book before putting it away and never picking it up again).

So last week I secretly went ahead and purchased tickets. She thought she was going to have her teeth cleaned. Hee Hee. I know I'm a terrible mommy! When she found out where we were going...she told me I was the best mom EVER!" Then she hugged me so tight and wouldn't let go!

Anyway, I had only read through the first couple of chapters of Divergent before seeing the movie. So I knew just a little bit of the concept, but really had no true idea of what the movie was about.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the movie. Of course my tween did, but I also noticed many other tweens girls in the theater with their parents, just beaming from ear to ear during the credits and on the way out as well. One was clutching her book and a few teen magazines tightly to her chest. Big fluffy hearts radiated from her eyes like cartoon high beams! Ok, it wasn't, but it was like it was! LOL

For my child, who is quite sensitive, it was a roller coaster ride of emotions. Smiling, giggling, crying, beaming, and excitement, not exactly in that order. I don't want to give the movie away but I can tell you my child held her parents hands at certain points with full emotional tears through a couple of scenes in the movie. She relates many things on screen to her own life and found these scenes extremely emotional and sad. At one point, I welled up as well.

I have to say, if she didn't have to read the book in class, traditionally I would have seen the movie first before letting her watch it. And most likely she would have seen it on DVD at home. It does have some scenes in it that parents may wish to review first.

Anyway, I sat there within the first half hour of this movie, rummaging through the storage files in my mind on where I've seen the male lead before. I racked my brain, but just couldn't come up with it. So you know I was turning to Google on the way home, right? I don't even think we were out of the parking garage before I was searching.

Turns out, this guy, Theo James, who plays Four, also played in Downton Abbey! Holy cow, who knew? Well, I guess everyone else but me. I don't get out much, you know.

For those of you who live in my "under the rock community" he played Kemal Pamuk.
You know! The guy who dies in Lady Mary's bed? Lady Mary played by Michelle Dockery?
The one who made his entrance and exit all in one episode, but continued to dominate the story line all the way up through season 4? Yeah! That one. I KNOW, right?

For those of you who have NO idea what I'm talking about, just search Google for
Downton Abbey Season 1 Episode 3.

If you've forgotten even in the least, or just want to peek at him some more, here's some eye candy for you both Downton Abbey and Divergent Fans or just plain Theo James Fans....ENJOY!





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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to make a drum shade with a hula hoop!
What to do with that brass chandelier.
Go from this....




To This....

I have never been considered a very modern girl. Vintage yes, Old, at times. Grumpy? ugh... But modern no. I grew up loving the antiques my parents collected, so anything old and chippy, I always find myself cherishing it's beauty.  I am certainly a lamp, chandelier, lampshade collector too. I can't deny that about myself. So whenever I'm treasure hunting, there's always something calling my name within this category. If it has great lines, I'm taking it home! "Lady, step away from THAT shade!"
 
When our home was built, every builder used these cheap looking 5 arm brass chandeliers-even the picture above, which is similar but still not exact, doesn't show how bad mine really looks. It hangs above my head right now and I absolutely hate dislike it. (I dislike the word "hate".) I would love to tear it down from the icky popcorn ceiling and replace it with something else. I do have a replacement in the garage ready for it, but that requires my dearest to do the electrical work since I can't just rig it with a glue gun. Err. Pinning him down to do it though is a whole other story, so here I sit under this tragic early 90's rendition of blah.
 
Honestly I really shouldn't say this, it's really just my opinion and I didn't mind it way back then, I was so excited to begin our life together that they could have hung a piñata up there and it wouldn't have fazed me one bit. And I often see others still using theirs and in their homes it looks just fine. But my home is not traditional by any means,  It's "me". Can't really describe that, I can only tell you that the brass chandelier is not fitting in with my "me" décor. LOL
 
Over the years I have considered painting it. At one point I even had the hair brain notion to turn off all the power, you know, because safety first, and then swing from it, until it was ripped from the grips of the floor joists above, yelling and screaming with laughter all the way as it would crash to the floor. Yes I truly envisioned the whole thing! But then reality seeped back in when I realized, gee, I could get hurt and not a moment before. When I came to my senses, I realized how much I actually use it all year long to hang the ornaments on that I paint for Christmas while theyre drying. Err. Ok, it's certainly functional and I'm not an electrician, so I've got to come up with a safer idea.
 
Throughout the years, I'm always contemplating it's dimise, I have tried those little lamp shades. and they worked for a while, but I can still see the shiny fake brass. Again, I was going to paint it, but geesh, what a hassle when you can't take it down, besides I've already done this to my kitchen chandelier and I still have the shirt covered with paint as a reminder not to try THAT again! 
 
After a year of contemplating the doom of this eyesore, finally I decided on a modern drum shade like I had seen in a European Ad a year or two ago, to cover the whole thing. But finding one for the size I needed just became a continuous nightmare, always just a bit too small. Never the right size.
 
Eventually, I had seen somewhere that you can build a drum shade with just poster board and a couple of hula hoops and a glue gun. Bingo! Now this is right up my alley. I love to be able to DIY myself AND I get to use my trusty glue gun!
 
So I tried it and wanted to share it with you!

I measured the width of my chandelier first just to make sure I would purchase the right size hoop and off to Wal-Mart I go!
 
Here's my purchased list:
2 Hula Hoops $3.00 each
3 sheets of poster board  $0.33 each
 
DON'T HAVE A HULA HOOP?
***There is also a tutorial for using just poster board and hot glue towards the end***
 
Then the rest, I had at home already....
Fabric
Glue for glue gun
Spray adhesive
Sewing machine (you can skip this step if you wish)
 
Just so you know, there were two different sizes for the hula hoops.
I bought the smaller one and mine was a bright orange plastic neon!
There are two sizes in those thick paper ones, but they were more expensive. 
$5.00 for the small one.
I knew my fabric would hide the coloring on the plastic ones and the bonus of these were they have a flat interior surface.
 
Here's what I did....
 
MEASURE THE HOOP:
Measure all the way around the hula hoop.
Write it down, Measure twice, cut once they say.
I measured going around the OUTSIDE of the hoop to be safe.
Be sure to add inches on to your measurement so that you can overlap it later.
If you added too much on, you can always cut it off.
 
Decide what height you'd like your shade.
I did 14" as that was sufficient to cover the brass...WHOOPEE! I'm on my way!
 
Cut 3 sheets of poster board to the height you wish to have your shade. Again, this is what I cut down to 14" leaving the length of all 3 boards as they were.
 
GLUE POSTER BOARD TOGEHTER TO GET LENGTH:
Lay the poster board down flat and evenly glue those 3 sheets together to create the length of the shade going around, with some left over to overlap.

To be sure I had the correct length, I laid the measuring tape on the floor and then laid the poster board along it's length, this way I was able to eye the overlap for each one evenly.

Stand it up inside your hula hoop to make sure it can go all the way around with some extra. I allowed the overlap to be exactly the same amount of space that I did when I glued them together, for uniformity once the light shows through.
 
MEASURE AND CUT FABRIC:
Cut your fabric to the height and length of the poster board, adding on a 1/2 inch or 1 inch extra on all sides.
CUT FABRIC FOR HOOPS:
At this time, cut 2 more strips of your fabric at that same length, these will be used to cover the hula hoops. Just measure how wide you wish for them to be so you have enough to cover the hoops. I cut mine to just about 3".
 
COVERING THE POSTER BOARD WITH FABRIC:
Lay the poster board flat on your table and spray with spray adhesive and attach your fabric. Just remember that spray adhesive is messy and gets on everything, protect your table and use wisely. LOL someone should have told me this FIRST! However, I finally found a good solution for my second shade: I laid my fabric down on top of the poster board to make sure the pattern match all the way down the length of the poster board. then I just lifted the fabric, sprayed a little, smoothed it out, then continued lifting and spraying and smoothing. A little bit at a time work better for me than to spray the entire board first. I'm still scraping it off of my grandmothers table! Err. I don't have a picture for this step out of sear frustration. And I didn't want to touch my camera now that I was completely covered in spray adhesive!
 
COVER HOOP IN FABRIC: 
I used a glue gun to attached the fabric to the hula hoops putting the raw edges on the inside knowing very well the poster board would cover it. However if you can use the spray adhesive or a fabric glue, you may like the results better as my first shade, the glue looks a bit bumpy under the fabric.
 
CHOOSE YOUR EDGE:
Here is where you can do one of two things. My first shade I used my rolling cutter to cut the fabric flush with the poster board. It's nice, but I think I would have preferred a nice edge folded over to the inside. So if you wish, you can fold over the fabric and glue it. Or if you would prefer, on my second shade I ironed the fabric over for a nice edge and then after using the spray adhesive on the front, I just sewed it on with my machine. Keep reading on as I have included lots of pictures for this step below.
 
Now lay a covered hula hoop on the table and stand the fabric covered poster board inside the hoop. The picture below shows right before I covered the hoops, as I was constantly measuring that I didn't flub it up.  Or if I did, then I would know in which step I would have to go back to recalculate.
Make sure it will fit again all the way around with a little overlapping so you can glue it together there.
 
GLUE SHADE TO HOOPS;
Once your sure everything will fit nicely, I just glued the first corner in place and continued to glue a little bit and press the shade to the hoop, continuing all the way around until the overlapping portion. I did not glue the seam just yet, I glued only at the bottom to allow it to move where I needed it when doing the other hoop.
 
Now lay the other hoop on the table and the hoop you just glued goes on top and fit your poster board into the bottom one.
Continue to glue the same way you did with the top portion.
 
Finally glue the seam section together.
 
HANGING YOUR NEW DRUM SHADE.
 
There are so many ways to hang your shade listed on the internet. However I am impatient so I used four long wires and poked a hole through the poster board in four sections evening around the shade and wrapped it around the hoop. Then I wired the shade into the chain that the chandelier hangs from. This worked for me because my chandelier hangs very high and you can't see it. However if your is hanging lower, you may wish use ribbon to tie it onto the chain. Just make sure your ribbon does not hang directly over the bulbs.
 
I eventually hung crystals from the arms of my chandelier because I am a crystal kind of girl. So you may see a picture here of that as well.... Oh, there it is. Just for instant satisfaction, I used some generic ornaments hooks to hang my crystals. Although I have since changed those out and used prettier ones.
 
DON'T HAVE A HULA HOOP?
On another shade all I had was poster board. So I doubled up the poster board to add some stability to it. Used the spray adhesive and then sewed the fabric onto the poster board.
Cut those two extra strips of fabric. 
I created an edging with them to help stabilized the edges and make it look more like a real shade. 
 
HOW TO CREATE A BINDING:
Super easy and it's how I also use to make the straps for tote bags.
 
Fold the strip in half and iron it.
Funny, this is the true color of my fabric, I don't know why my camera keeps picking up a dark gold color. Err.
Now open the strip and fold the outer raw edge in just to the center, using the original fold line as a guild. Iron.
Do both raw edge in this way. Being sure everything has a nice crisp ironed edge.
 
Now fold the fabric in half....onto the original fold line and iron, with those raw edged now on the inside. I have a crease on mine in the next picture, but it's not supposed to be there. I was just being sloppy at the time.











  








 So I ironed it out.
This creates an edging you can sew onto the poster board, inserting the poster board edge into the fold. If you wish to hot glue it instead, that would work as well.
Below is where I am just making sure both are the same size.
Just open the flap on the binding, insert the poster board up to the crease and then you can being to sew it on or glue it.  This gives you a nice edge on the outside AND the inside.

 
Below is the 3rd shade that was eventually was finished with an embroidery hoop.
Yes you can use those too for normal size lamp shades.  
In this picture below I used the extra fabric to create an overlap towards the inside of the shade instead of cutting the fabric flush with the poster board.  I like this effect best because it hides the raw edges of the poster board.  I sewed it directly onto the poster board. First I attached the fabric with spray adhesive, then I just ironed a double folded crease in the extra fabric instead of cutting it off, and then sewed it on. 
Once one side was completely sewn on then repeat the ironing of the crease for the other side and sewed that side.
I did one side at a time only to make sure the fabric didn't slip off the poster board. This way gave me the guide line for ironing the second side and everything fit nice and tightly. Besides my stitch ripper has run off with a few unsavory buttons and I'm not sure if it's planning on returning anytime soon!
I hope I haven't forgotten anything. If I have, please just let me know and I will correct it for others! 2 photos below is the photo of my first drum shade with the hula hoop, Believe me when I say they got better as I worked out the kinks, but I'm happy I no longer need to walk into the room and see that brass....
Oh c'mon, I was just having a bit of fun with that last picture. LOL
 
I do know this idea will also work if you have a bare bones lamp shade you wish to. That's my next project!
 
Either way, right now, I am thrilled with my new shades! And the best part is I have so much more fabric to work with that I change them out when ever I please. And that PLEASES me! LOL
Can anyone say HOLIDAYS! (snicker, snicker, evil little laugh, snicker snicker)
And can you imagine the wide variety of fabrics, colors and patterns to choose from! I just get shivers thinking about it!
 
If  you get a chance to try this, I'd love to see a picture!
I myself am on my way to look through my fabric collection!

 
 

 
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Friday, March 14, 2014

Beautiful New Printables Just in time for spring!
French Vintage Post Card/Angels/Roses tags in lovely pastels!
See them here




 

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Studio Movie Grill SMG, Charlotte, NC Epicenter Review-Dinner and A Movie

Studio Movie Grill SMG, Charlotte, NC Epicenter Review
 
Looking for something new to do in Charlotte? Well if you've heard of the Epicenter but never had a chance to visit. I urge you to check out the Studio Movie Grill located inside the Epicenter.
 
I was first introduced to this theater when my sister gifted my child a viewing of "The Hunger Games, Catching Fire" for her birthday. Both were ecstatic about the experience, so I knew this would be perfect for my mothers birthday outing. I let her pick the movie and honestly, after she reviewed the website and I purchased our tickets, she could barely wait for the day!
 
The Studio Movie Grill is not just any movie theater. It is a dinner theater. Meaning you can leave your pastrami sandwich at home because this place has a fully stocked bar and a full menu to order from. And what's one of the nicest perks of watching a movie here: Everything on the menu is delivered to your seat! As well as anything made at the bar. So grandma can nurse her high ball, the men can enjoy their beer and the girls night out ladies can have their fancy cocktails if they choose to. Or visa versa.  
 
Food is more on the scale of a sports pub and prices are about the same as if we ate at Chili's. On the menu, I saw pizzas, sandwiches, salads, appetizers and plenty more to choose from. Along with desserts and specialty drinks. But again, you can purchase any adult beverage you would normally get at any bar.
 
I'll run down a few things here which you may wish to know....
 
TICKETS: 
Order your tickets online and pick your seats ahead of time, If you have printed your tickets out at home, you will need to go to the 2nd floor kiosk - enter your confirmation number or scan the bar code to have your actual tickets printed out. The have a 100% seating guarantee.
 
MORE ON TICKETS:
Walk ins will go to the 2nd floor to the ticket booth. I believe you will pick your seats here as well, as they will let you know what's still available.
3rd floor is the bar area and the entrance to the actual theater.
There's an escalator connecting both floors within the theater that your kids will enjoy riding with it's blue glow lights.  
 
PARKING:
If you are worried about parking in the city, don't be, there is a parking garage underneath the Epicenter . AND if you bring your parking ticket into the theater, you can have it validated on the 2nd floor for up to a 4 hour visit.
 
Do not make the mistake of forgetting to validate your ticket or you will have to pay for that convenient parking space.
 
ARRIVE EARLY?
We arrived super early so we had time to sit down in the bar area for some great conversation, cocktails and much needed time to look through the menu ahead of time.
 
THEATER SEATING:
Studio Movie Grill has great seats no matter where you sit. If you enjoy sitting close to the screen, they looked like bucket seats that recline a bit further. Obviously, the best seats would be the middle upper sections. These 4 seat clusters consists of two love seat type chairs so a party of 2 or 4 can sit together.  They are individual seats, but the arm rest can go up if you feel like snuggling, or not- guess that depends on who you're with. LOL  
 
MORE ON SEATING:
All upper seats have the arm chair swing top table and cup holder. I don't know about the lower section but would believe they do as well. These are a bit bigger than normal theater seats so you'll find these quiet comfortable. The cup holder is in the most odd location though, to get to your cup you will have to continually swing your tray because your cup goes under it. Very odd and awkward.  For me, I would have preferred the cup holder to be contained within the tray. It was just hard to make sure I didn't swing my food off my tray to get my drink. Honestly didn't seem to be a problem for anyone else in my party so next time I think I'll just hold my drink. LOL
 
MENU PRICES:
I would comfortably compare the prices to eating at a Chili's Restaurant. You can find their menu posted online or click here. You can order anything on the menu from appetizers, entrees, desserts, drinks and yes, even popcorn. ( Which my sister swears is the best popcorn she ever had in her entire life. I don't eat popcorn, so I don't personally know).
 
I had a steak sandwich with some sort of wine dipping sauce. It was pretty good. Although I noticed it wasn't tagged as a SMG favorites. Now I normally don't eat fries, call me what you will, but I don't. However I did taste a few and was surprised these seasoned fries were quiet good. You can even order a side of queso cheese if you wish.
Below is my meal:
 
 
 
Sadly, my entire meal was ice cold when it arrived, even those seasoned fries. It must have been waiting on the rest of our order to be completed. But when I whispered the issue to my waitress, she was so apologetic and to my pleasant surprise, actually replaced my entire meal.  
 
THE RED CALL BUTTON: 
On your swing top table there is a call button. This lights up to let the waitress know to on come by during the movie. You can get drink refills or place an order at any time during the movie. But beware, your elbow can easily hit it without even knowing it.
 
MOVIE SHOWING;
The movie we saw was NON STOP with Liam Neeson.
More on this later.
 
WHEN TO PAY YOUR BILL:
Only thing I could even remotely wish to change.
When does the bill arrives? 30 minutes before the movie ends. It is announced on screen before the movie begins and it is stated that they want it paid for at that time. So be forewarned. I think this is the only thing I would find issue with.
 
It may be just me but when you have 30 minutes left of a movie, its just about the point when things start to come together. I may be at the edge of my seat, with a wide-eyed stare, trying to follow along without missing a beat.  Yes, this is when I want my bill. I want someone to step in and present my bill so I have to look down, missing those two words in that scene, rumble through my purse looking for my card. Err. But I suspect there are very good reasons they do it this way... Ever heard of dine and dash?  Yeah, not everyone is very nice in this world of ours so the rest of us pay for their behavior. Next time I'll keep my card handy.
 
RECOMMENDATION:
Immediately afterward, we are planning another trip. My mother said it was the best time she ever had at the movies and the movie had us at the edge of our seats, eating our dinner and enjoying our drinks. It's definitely a place I would recommend as you can see here
 
BEST PERK:
The best perk about this movie theater is that you are able to reserve your seats in advance. I just can't say enough about this. They call it their 100% guaranteed seating. It's amazing not to have to rush to the theater just to try to find a seat... "Outa my way lady!"

No more pushing, no more shoving. No more searching for a seat in the dark and having your viewing party split up because you can get 4 seats together. Makes me a whole lot, less stressed. Therefore it generates a more pleasurable viewing experience. And it's got my mothers seal of approval, so I'm thrilled!
 
Pros:
Great seats-Theater small enough to enjoy from all seats
Food Tray
Food
Drinks
Adult Drinks
Seat Side Service
Call Button
In house fully stocked bar
Parking is Validated for up to 4 hours
Nobody's head in the way. (Stairs are steeper than traditional theaters)
 
Cons:
Timing of Bill-30 minutes before movie ends.
Cup Holder needs a new location. ( LOL Ok, I'll just hold it next time. LOL )
 
The concept of dinner and movie combined into one is not new. I remember way back in 1985 going to see Rambo in a dinner theater in Daytona Florida while on vacation. Yeah, I was suckered into that one.

And although I know, but have yet to visit,  there is one up in Davidson NC called Our Town Cinemas, which features four screens, adjustable seats, and bistro tables for every two seats. I may just try that one too. But for now SMG has my business.
 
No matter if your young or old, are on a date, a family outing or just hanging with friends, the Studio Movie Grill can be considered a pleasant surprised and easily worked into your uptown plans. There are many different things to do inside the Epicenter. There are bars with live music and one with dueling pianos (Howl at the Moon); restaurants in many different ranges from pizza to sit down: a bowling alley and the Charlotte Checkers, Bobcats Arena, Blumenthal are all about a block away as well as Museums. And a few more blocks away is Discovery Place and Imaginon. Which is always first on any child's list!
 
So in the end, we have made plans to go again. Next time having dinner at one of my favorite uptown restaurants and then on to enjoy a movie and dessert at the SMG. And we've made plans to go as an entire family and take the kids as well. Which will be a stress free outing when it comes to finding seats together now.
 
So there you have it, if you ever thought about going, or are just learning of this type of movie theater, now may be the time to grab your better half and enjoy an evening out!
 
IMPORTANT INFO:
*Remember when you are booking your tickets online that it is called Epicenter, NOT Citycenter. Heck, I don't even know where that is. Oh, wait, is that VEGAS?!
*You WILL be charged an extra 1.50 ticket booking fee to every ticket purchased. No way around it.
 
Here's their video that explains the entire experience of Studio Movie Grill, click here
PS. this, in their video, is not the one at the Epicenter, but similar.


SMG EPICENTRE TICKET PRICES
 
Adult Non-Peak Evening $10.25Adult Peak Evening $10.25
Adult Matinee $7.50Before Noon $6.00
Child (10 and under) $7.00Student (11+ with ID) $7.50
Senior (55+) $7.50Midnight Screening $10.25
3D Experience Charge $3.00
     
 
Studio Movie Grill
FAQ'S
Menu
Info

 
  
  

 
 
 
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Inheriting The Past - Raising My Vintage Kitchen Table

How I wish I was sitting at my Grandmothers kitchen table this morning. The sun is streaming through the side windows today the same way it filtered through her kitchen windows when I was young.  Her kitchen always seemed to be a pivotal point for everything in my life.
 
It was the very first place I called home while waiting for my parents house to be built. We moved when I was 6 months old, but something always called me back to Grandmas kitchen. Maybe this is why I always felt this was the place I needed to be. The place I always felt loved. The place I wish to be right now.
 
I am now many, many years away from the last time I saw my grandmother. But my memories of her are set in motion by things in my everyday life. Today it is the sun light. Perfect. Warm. Just the right angle.
 
On other days it's the way the coffee smells when I enter the kitchen. Sometimes it's burnt toast, which she preferred. The way I hold the broom when sweeping the floor or when the scatter rugs need shaking out. But mostly it's when I'm setting the table for dinner. She is here with me, in my mind. I am cherishing every moment.
 
It is through this table that I have a special connection with my grandmother.  My kitchen table is a source of so many memories. The ones I hold from the past and the ones I continue to make every day. It belonged to my grandmother, it was her dining room table.
 
She purchased it in the late 50's and in that sleek modern design, blond Formica sits prominently on top   In her time, she always kept it covered with lace to protect it. So when I received it, it was in perfect condition. Funny things is, is that I didn't receive this table when my grandmother passed. My younger sister did, along with the side board and the china hutch.  She gave it all to me when my child was born and my older sister trucked the entire set over 700 miles to where I live today.
 
Since then, I can tell you I will never part with this table. It has become the portal in which my grandmother enters my life on a daily basis. This is the table I have raised my child at. The one we congregate around, eat on, prep food on, bake Christmas cookies on. It is also the table I sew on, paint on and craft on. And every time I'm chipping off the extra hot glue or paint splatters, first I thank God it's Formica and then find myself speaking to her out loud. Telling her that I know she must be mad at this mess I've created...Again. Yet the feeling I receive back is that she's happy that we are living around this table, using it to it's fullest, having it continue to be such a huge a part of our lives. With it's everyday use I feel comforted that it is not left alone in another room we never use.  
 
The chairs are now long gone, ruined by the constant sliding on my tile floors and the table has now been updated in height to fit into our life.  When our family grew, after much thought,  I begged my dearest to increase the height of the table so that we could use it to it's maximum potential. At the time we could barely pass by one another if someone was sitting in a chair. Stools were the only considerable option in my tiny kitchen. Pushed under during the day, the stools help clear a easier path than the chairs ever did.
 
When my dearest told me it could not be done, his usual statement when I come up with a very unconventional idea, I hemmed and hawed about it for weeks. Finally, I took a good look at the table where the thin short legs were attached. There was an opening that could accommodate even the size of a fence post. So knowing how much this table gets pushed around changing it from it's smallest length to inserting the 2 leaves on a daily basis, I knew we needed something stronger than those you can purchase at Lowes or Home Depot. We ended up using 4x4's, replacing the bolts and it's worked wonders. It has increased the strength of the table considerably and now stands at the approximate height of a normal kitchen island and on occasion it is also used as such with the stools pushed in. The 4x4's we purchased at Lowes were, I believe, 10 feet long at about $12.97 each. Needing only two, for about $26.00 we had all four legs. Compared to just one butcher block leg at 22.98, I think we faired pretty well. The table itself adds another inch or two in height. The tall bar stools we already had, were cut down to 26 inches.  I've debated to paint the legs on the table white but the Formica top is blond which I won't consider painting, so I wonder if a darker color would work better. Unfortunately there are not many tables with Formica tops that I have seen on Pintrest being refurbished. So I continue to ponder the thought.
 
It took some time, but I no longer feel guilty about the messes I make on this table, I just laugh and tell her "I know... I know" as nod my head, cleaning it up or scraping it off. And I no longer worry about that I may have ruined the integrity of the table itself by the alterations I have chosen. I have come to understand that they are working perfectly together to intergrade every moment from yesterday, today and into tomorrow. Seamlessly as a family we continue to make memories in her honor, each day

And here I sit , with the sun shining through the morning windows at just the right angle, here at this table, in my kitchen. As I run my hand over the smooth Formica, in an instant, I know she's here with me.
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Friday, April 5, 2013

My dog just ate an entire squirrel WHOLE!

My dog just ate an entire squirrel WHOLE!
ALIVE!
Tail first!
And I couldn’t make her drop it and I couldn’t pull it out, its head was sticking out! First came the panic, then my pool boy wasn’t home (enjoy your vacation Adam! Sorry buddy. LOL) Then a call to my dearest, “You HAVE to come home NOWWWWW” I screamed in shear panic that the squirrel was going to rip her apart from the inside out! Then the call to the vet! 5 minutes have passed. She assured me the squirrel was NOT a remake of Jonah and the Whale and for sure it was now dead and both dogs were up on their shots! This is the second squirrel in a week when we all had a nice presentation of my other dog reenacting King Kong while the squirrel did its best Faye Ray impression! Geez what a day! Please Lord, don’t throw me anymore today! Whoever said squirrels are fast, haven’t seen my black labs pups in action!


Scarlet before her King Kong Impression
Piper, todays resident bad girl not pictured!
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville

Downton Abbey 's Hugh Bonneville, Now that I am a huge fan, I was really quite surprised to find that he played in one of my favorite movies "Blow Dry" back in 2001 with Alan Rickman and I didn't even know it was him. By the way, this movie is the reason I'm a huge Alan Rickman fan. Gotta love the sexy foot tatoo! Netflix has it on instant right now if you're just a little bit curious. I'm just now trying to find out what other work he's been in that I didn't have a clue. LOL

Enjoy.....



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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Abandoned Places: Bennett School for Girls / Halcyon Hall/Millbrook, NY

In honor of Halloween coming up soon, I wanted to share something with you that most people don’t know about me….

While many women enjoy shopping for shoes, makeup and clothes, I enjoy searching abandoned places!

I find beauty within their rich history and chipped paint. Charm among their rusted metal, broken windows and dusty woodwork. Brilliant, untold stories gently floating up their grand staircases. Something that was once teaming with life in the past now has more allure for me than it ever did for me.

Yet I always find I am saddened by their demise but I do realize that if they did not spin on that downward spiral, then I would not be interested at all.

Take Biltmore in Asheville, NC. I love the house, I love the history, it’s beautifully up kept for years upon years, but the closest I can get to that chilly deserted thrill I desire is when I view the now empty indoor pool in the windowless basement. I try to envision the pool in the movie Ghost Ship and its creepy isolation! Beyond that, I’ll just take the wine tasting and be done with it. Sorry Biltmore. You ARE beautiful though.

Anyway, the other day, something brought me to the Bennett School for Girls in Millbrook, NY. Oh, wait, now I remember, someone on Facebook.com posted a really cool picture of an abandoned house via Pinterest.com, it was from there that I began researching and researching, never could I find it, but I did find something just as interesting for me. Luckily there are people out there who do not fear mice and have the guts to enter these places and take some really great pictures! And I have siblings who share this odd preference for abandoned places - but they are much, much braver than I!

So here's my really cool interesting place of the day!
Introducing the Bennett School for Girls / Halcyon Hall / Millbrook, NY

…So many cool haunts are in upstate New York!

It started out as a 5 story posh hotel in 1890, Halcyon Hall. It was the Golden Age and Hotels were popping up all over upstate New York as an escape for the rich of New York City. However it did not receive the guests or popularity it anticipated; lasting only 11 years it closed in 1901. After searching for a buyer, finally, in 1907 it became the Bennett school for girls. This school slash college was going great until 1977 when it filed chapter 11, finally closing for good in 1978. Since then, it has stood still, silent and “utterly alone” since allowing the elements of icy winters and humid summers beat upon it, breaking its spirit down board by board, beam after beam.

Amazingly eerie, I am entranced by its beauty and grandeur as I envision its first guests walking up the stairs in their top hats and long dresses before the turn of the century, onto the stone porch and entering the grand foyer for the very first time. My Lord, what I would have done to be a fly on the wall watching it all unfold on that very first day. Of course, if I was, then I would be dead by now and not able to enjoy this moment! So instead, I’m sharing it with you! Enjoy!


BENNETT SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, MILLBROOK, NY, HALCYON HALL
Thank you to Opacity.us for the great pictures and story!
PS my sister says it's haunted! I don't believe her-she's just trying to scare me and I'm tellin' MOM!


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Christmas Craft, Decorations, Ornaments


Black and White  Christmas Ornaments!
DIY craft, Christmas Craft, Christmas gifts, Childrens Craft Idea
Nice variety of 6 different ornaments to a printed page!
View the original here.
Below are pictures of the first set I did.







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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Halloween Lantern Craft Tutorial

These are some seriously cute vintage inspired

Halloween lanterns!


I printed six of these; each will hang in groups of 3 from my ceiling on each side of my fireplace using monofilament at varying heights. I love to expand the Halloween decor outward from the mantle, making a larger scale vignette that guests can see the moment they walk in on Halloween night!

I have added tons of images below along with the tutorial to help you along.
Of course you can use these on their own, but if you continue to go one step further like I did, then continue to follow the directions to create the bottom, battery operated lights can go inside for a Halloween Glow! Its way too cool and the kids love it! A gentle breeze, or in my case, a ceiling fan on low offers a slow spinning motion creating just enough movement to draw attention. Next year I think I’ll incorporate them into a centerpiece of pine cones, acorns, dried hydrangeas, apples, wheat, corn husks and fresh autumn leaves! Or maybe even into a Halloween Wreath!

***OneSpringStreets Creative Halloween Trick***

Depending on how thick your card stock is will determine how much light comes through. I wanted mine to show brightly so I completed mine like this…

Print one set on card stock and another on normal printer paper, cut out the vintage window images on each set, leaving a border around the one printed on printer paper for gluing. The one on card stock becomes a sturdy base, the others fill those windows. Just insert the images from the printer paper on the inside of the card stock base with tape or glue. The vintage images cast an eerie glow all evening long! Did I mention the kids just love this! It’s amazing how many little ones love to touch and spin them and because they are card stock, I just let them go for it! At the end of the night, I’ll give them away to their delight and just make more for next year!

Created exclusively by OneSpringStreet.Net.

You can purchase this design here.
Print as many as you wish for your own personal use!
Or create Halloween gifts to give!

Get Creative!

Decorate yours as you wish with glitter, buttons, brads, rhinestones, ribbon, raffia, etc! The possibilities are endless!

All OneSpringStreet Printables are 300 DPI and are formatted to fit on traditional size 8 ½ by 11-inch paper.

*For best results print on crisp white card stock and traditional weight printer paper to “full scale” or “fit to page”*

TUTORIAL....
Here is the final product I created with just the card stock alone,I love the black and white gingham!


I've tried to add an image for each step I took. I've never written a tutorial for something like this usually mine are on HTML coding, so please forgive me in advance and let me know if I've missed something.....

Of course it has four sides, here's a view of the other sides.....


Supplies I used:
Printout of Halloween Lantern Template,
Scissors, Ruler, Scoring tool, tape or glue, hole punch, ribbon, battery operated candle if desired, along with one extra piece of card stock if creating the bottom to hold the candle.  

First I scored around every foldable edge on the card stock using a ruler,
and well, I don't own a scoring tool, so what did I use? Please don't
tell my husband, but I used the needle for the turkey injector,
it had the perfect point! C'mon, he never uses it anyway!

Here's the scored page.... See! It was the perfect point!
I'll have to remember to tell him that when I get caught!

Next I started to cut off some of the edged of the border.
I did keep the extra white on the bottom though.

Here's what is left from the final cuts. I am keeping that
border to help support the bottom when I put it in.

This is my "amazing handy dandy tool" that is suppose to be used
for wallpaper, but it's always in my tool bag for creasing purposes!
It works perfectly and cost very little!
I used it to crease every fold on the lantern with ease.

Cut down the center of each section of the lanterns roof only.

Fold everything.
It is at this point that I use a hole punch for ribbon later.

You can see the bottom, this is the extra white border I left on.
This will support the bottom for the candle.
If I was only going to put this on the table,
I would not insert a bottom and just skip those steps.

Tape or glue the bottom folds.
I love this Elmer's Tape Runner.
I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby!
Works like a charm!

Tape or glue the roof together first, then the sides.

You are now done unless you wish to add the bottom in.

To add the bottom in, place the finished lantern
on another piece of card stock.
Draw and score around the base for correct sizing.

Cut approx. 1/4 to 1/2 inch beyond the scoring mark to create a border.
Fold the score marks and cut the corners up to the
score line as show below on an angle.
Test: Insert the bottom to make sure it fits.
If all is well, continue on to the next step.

On a corner of the bottom, measure out the size of your
battery operated candle. You will cut a section out so
that you can insert the candle later,
turn it on and off and for replacing it when needed.

Cut a corner opening, but just score a bend mark as show below.

Fold back the cut on the score line, bending it to create
a small edge and tape or glue into space.
This small edge will stop your candle from falling out of the lantern later.

Cut a length of card stock approx. 6 inches long.

I used the candle to decide the width of the strip of card stock
then multiplied it by two. Score a line down the middle length wise and fold.
 

Scored card stock.

I then went back to the bottom and in the very center
placed the candle and outlined it.

Back to the strip of card stock.
Roll the card stock around the candle and cut it
to fit approx 1/2 way around the candle or more.
You want to make sure you candle can easily
side into the slot once it's attached.
Glue the outside of one side of the folded strip.

Then cut tabs all along the glue side up to the middle.

Round the paper with the tab side glue facing down.
Place on your outline and secure tabs

This creates the perfect resting place for your candle.
No matter if it spins, the candle will
always be centered.

Now glue the folded tabs of the bottom and
insert on the inside of the lantern.
Mines a little off here because I was rushing.

Insert your ribbon or monofiloment (fishing line).
Place your candle in the bottom and your ready to hang it!
There's that candle in place! It's not going anywhere!
Next year I think I'm going to create a Halloween Display on
my coffee table! I'll put some of these on candle sticks and
cake stands along with a whole bunch of autumn leaves,
pinecones, acorns, apples, red grapes and cinnomon sticks!
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