Lately, I've been...
...reading the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series. I'm on the last book, and am looking forward to the upcoming movie. It took me too long to finally begin the series, but I'm glad that I did. It's a little difficult to put my finger on why I keep turning the pages. It has something to do with the quirkiness of the books, which are a mix of The Addams Family, Time Bandits, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
...watching Graceland. But why? I don't actually like this show very much (and I really can't stand the way it depicts women or male/female relationships), but my daughter has been watching it, which means that I've been watching it, too, and we have now become somewhat invested in the fate of the characters, whom I also don't actually like very much (with the exception of Johnny -- I have a soft spot for him). We're in the middle of season two, but we won't get much further, as we learned even before we started watching the show that it had been cancelled. Shocker.
We've also been watching Roadies. Being a forever fan of Say Anything, and a huge, sappy, swoons-and-cries-every-time fan of Almost Famous, and also being willing to forgive Cameron Crowe for the disaster movie (not the fun kind) that was Aloha, I decided to give the series a go, and I'm glad I did. It's not particularly witty or smart (sorry!) or well-written (though it has its moments), but it speaks to my music-lover's heart in a way that makes the relative absence of the other things I mentioned easier to overlook. And Cameron Crowe may not know how to make a movie about Hawaii and he may not know that Emma Stone does not look Chinese or Hawaiian at all, but he does know music, and has never let me down in that respect, so I'm going to keep watching.
...trying to be healthy -- to eat healthier, to exercise regularly, to visit the doc. It's not about checking the scale daily or studying my abs in the mirror or trying fad diets. It's about feeling better and making better choices for myself without going to extremes.
...loving the peeks from the new lines! I'll admit, I was bracing myself for a declaration of the scrapbooking industry's time of death, but apparently it's not ready to go gently into that good night.
Among my favorites are Shimelle's "Go Now Go" and Crate Paper's new lines.
I'm loving many of the patterns that Shimelle has included in her latest collection. Here are a few that will be mine (oh yes):
There are also some must-have accents in the collection:
I'm a longtime fan of Crate Paper and was ecstatic to see the new CP lines revealed this past week. They do not disappoint in terms of design, but they do bring up a question: is it time for manufacturers (and their clientele) to move past traditional gender stereotypes? Two CP lines have me thinking about this. One collection features dogs, cars, robots, planes, dinosaurs, and travel/exploration motifs. The other features flowers, mermaids, unicorns, butterflies, and cats. You can guess which one mentions "boy" repeatedly (and never mentions "girl" once), and vice-versa. All of those themes are great, but why assign a gender to them?
"Cool Kid" sounds like it could be unisex, but there are specific aspects of the collection that mark it as being designed for boys ("little brother," "boys will be boys," "love this boy," "Mr. Rad"). The blog post introducing the collection explains that the line is "perfect for boys of any age." Still, it's not as if this is saying that the collection must be used in one particular way. There are some versatile components that don't include references to gender.
I am happy to see that "Cool Kid" includes some non-gendered paper designs and gender-neutral sentiments like "young and brave," "awesome," "little explorer," and "wild child." It would have been great to see a few "girl" references embedded in this collection as well -- or, even better, to have dispensed with gender markers and gendered language altogether.
The blog post introducing the "Cute Girl" collection mentions that it "is great for any sweet girls or women in your life." It abounds in frills, flora, and fantasy, and sentiments like "adorable," "sweet girl," "friend", "love," and "oh darling." Once again, though, I will mention that the collection doesn't have to be used for "sweet girls." My cat is a veritable demon, with the bite and claws to show for it, and "Cute Girl" is so being used on a page about her.
...scrapbooking with the Scraptastic "Sweet Jane" kit and add-on and letter stamps. Here's my month-in-review page for June:
I know, I know, it's kind of busy. That pretty much sums up June! You'd think that being on summer break would equate to long, leisurely, mellow days, but June was packed with events and appointments and activities. Usually the moment that I actually start to relax into summer, it ends.
...falling behind with ICAD. And I was doing so well! I need to play catch-up soon.
...listening to musicals (and analyzing them) with Z: Hamilton, The Last Five Years, Into the Woods, Spring Awakening, and Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. It's not unusual for me to wake in the morning with a line from a musical in my head, and then have it repeat all day long: "In 19th-century Russia we write letters...we write letters..."
...failing to complete the "to do" lists that I created for myself when summer started. Most of them involved cleaning, so I'm not taking it too hard.