Saturday, December 28, 2013

Have you sketched your Picasso head today?

Piccasohead was conceptualized by Ruder Finn Chief Creative Officer Michael Schubert and executed by the design team at RFI Studios in 1999.

Piccassohead, a digital tool that allows users to create their own masterpieces using famous features drawn by Picasso, is a creation of award winning digital agency RFI Studios and global public relations company Ruder Finn. It's a popular tool used by students and teachers internationally to learn about art and promote creativity. Try it!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

2014 Golden Globes Nominations!



2014 Golden Globes Nominations - You can check the full list here! Nominees for the Golden Globe Awards 2014 ceremony were announced on Thursday morning by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I haven't seen most movies and series. More precisely I just watched The hunt, one of the Best Foreign Language Film, and I can say that's a very good one.

On the television side, "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey" and "Brooklyn 99" were among the  most nominated programs. I watched Breaking Bad and I followed it with much interest until the end. But as I haven't seen anything else I can't say a word about the others. One thing you must know, I am not much into TV series, I get bored with it easily. I prefer movies and documentaries! But House of Cards looks tempting!Fan of David Fincher and Kevin Spacey here!

. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA 

12 YEARS A SLAVE 
Plan B Entertainment, New Regency Productions and River Road Entertainment; Fox Searchlight Pictures

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS 

Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing 

GRAVITY 
Warner Bros. Pictures / Esperanto Filmoj / Heyday Films; Warner Bros. Pictures 

PHILOMENA 
Pathe, BBC Films, BFI, Canal+, Cine+, Baby Cow/Magnolia Mae; The Weinstein Company 

RUSH 
Universal Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media, Imagine Entertainment, Working Title, Revolution Films; Universal Pictures


. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL 


AMERICAN HUSTLE 
Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing 

HER 
Warner Bros. Pictures / Annapurna Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures 

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS 
Mike Zoss Productions, Scott Rudin Productions, Studio Canal; CBS Films 

NEBRASKA 
Paramount Vantage; Paramount Pictures 

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET 
Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures; Paramount Pictures


. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA 
CATE BLANCHETT - BLUE JASMINE
SANDRA  BULLOCK - GRAVITY
JUDI DENCH - PHILOMENA
EMMA THOMPSON - SAVING MR. BANKS
KATE WINSLET - LABOR DAY



. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA 
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR - 12 YEARS A SLAVE
IDRIS ELBA - MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
TOM HANKS - CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY - DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
ROBERT REDFORD - ALL IS LOST



. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL 
AMY ADAMS - AMERICAN HUSTLE
JULIE DELPY - BEFORE MIDNIGHT
GRETA GERWIG - FRANCES HA
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS - ENOUGH SAID
MERYL STREEP - AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY



. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL 
CHRISTIAN BALE - AMERICAN HUSTLE
BRUCE DERN - NEBRASKA
LEONARDO DICAPRIO - THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
OSCAR ISAAC - INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
JOAQUIN PHOENIX - HER



BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (FRANCE)
(La vie d’Adele, chapitres 1 et 2)
Quat'sous Films; IFC Films

THE GREAT BEAUTY (ITALY)
(La Grande Bellezza)
Indigo Film, Medusa Film, BABE Films; Janus Films

THE HUNT (DENMARK)
(Jagten)
Zentropa Entertainment; Magnolia Pictures

THE PAST (IRAN)
(Le passé)
Memento Films Production, France 3 Cinema, BIM Distribuzione;
Sony Pictures Classics

THE WIND RISES (JAPAN)
(Kaze tachinu)
Studio Ghibli; Touchstone Pictures

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Handmade Christmas cards or Zazzle Christmas Cards?


A lot changed from those early days when I wrote lots of Christmas Greeting Cards. I get less Christmas cards in my mail box each year. I still buy cards to send but I also send e-cards, SMS and emails. As I usually don't have much free time in December I don't do handmade cards. But I think to make Christmas Greeting cards is a good option. It's another way of celebrating the season. You can create cards to send to your family and friends. And if you have kids this activity will keep your children entertained around the table for a couple of hours, it's a nice project for a saturday rainy or cold winter afternoon! 

But buying Christmas Greeting cards is always an option so I'll present you with some beautiful Christmas Greeting cards specially handpicked by me from Zazzle. (Just scroll down to see it or read some more about making handmade  Christmas cards !)


Handmade Christmas cards at home

Christmas Greeting cards you buy on the stores can be elaborate and pretty. They can get pretty expensive and they will never beat any card made by you. A revival of interest in paper crafts such as scrapbooking made homemade cards again very appreciated. Shops sell modern special tools for stamping, punching and cutting. In Portugal this isn't a trend as in America or France. Today there are all sorts of materials available, tools, even machines to help you with the task. You can do it simply or you can create a piece of art. Some of the things you'll need:

Adhesives - these are essencial, including vellum tape, removable adhesive, glue dots, tabs, photo squares, permanent adhesive, and more including adhesive removers.

Cardstock - pick cardstock that's acid-free and lignin-free. There are lots of colors to choose.

Sheets of paper - there's a world of paper patterns and designs outhere

Cut outs - get pre-printed sheets and then cut out or pop-out the designs or letters. It makes it a lot easier.

Die cutting machines - Cricut, Sizzix Big Shot, Wishblade, Silhouette are the most popular ones. Pick a manual die cutter, or an electric machine, the dies to go in them and let's go!

Decoration - there are tons of embelishments you can use, brads, eyelets, ribbons, stickers, buttons...

Decorative punches - use the punched out images to decorate.

Rubber stamps and ink pads - I love stamping products! You can also create your own.

Other - glitter

Digital Greeting Cards - These are created in your personal computer

The space to store materials that traditional scrapbooking or manual card making or any art or hobby that requires paper can be a problem. It can be one of the reasons for the sucess of digital scrapbooking and card making. For example, I have a problem with cardstock storage. I buy large sheets and I want it to say dry, without any staines or dust and sometimes it's difficult to find an ideal place to store it.
Digital scrapbooking become so popular that you can easily find free digital supplies on the internet like layouts and nice decorative elements. Those who create paper scrapbooks also say that traditional books are not easy to share.  Finally, if you want to copy and share your scrapbook work you must consider digital scrapbooking. It's great fun and so easy!

Here's some of my favorite Zazzle Christmas Greeting Cards!


Christmas cards tradition and Zazzle Christmas Cards

Receiving Christmas Cards in my childhood was as good as getting presents. I loved to display it on a table. Or even on the Christmas tree! My mother probably told her friends and family that I enjoyed it very much. So I got cards from her friends as they sent an extra card for me. Later I learned how to write and soon I was also sending cards.

In my teenage years early celebration of Christmas started with a visit to local shops to buy a small pile of cards in the beginning of the month of December. Sometimes I also made Christmas Cards. I liked to draw winter scenes and Christmas decorated trees. As a result of sending lots of cards and receiving lots too I have a huge collection of cards and still love to receive it, send it and create it.



A lot changed from those early days. I get less Christmas cards in my mail box. I still buy cards to send but I also send e-cards, SMS, emails. As I usually don't have much free time I don't do handmade cards anymore. To make Christmas cards is a good option. My next post will be about this. It's another way of celebrating the season. You can create cards to send to your family and friends. This activity will keep your children entertained around the table for a couple of hours, it's a nice project for a saturday rainy winter afternoon! 

Buying Christmas cards is the option most persons will consider. So I'll present you with some beautiful Christmas Greeting cards specially handpicked by me from Zazzle. (Just scroll down to see it or read some more to know how did Christmas cards become a part of this Christian holiday!)

How did Christmas card tradition started?

The story is that first director of London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Sir Henry Cole,was too busy to single write Christmas greetings and so he commissioned John Calcott Horsley to make an illustration. It was time consuming to hand write all of his Christmas letters. Something have to be done! And that was it! This happened in Christmas season of 1843.The central motif of the card was a family enjoying Christmas joys of happy dinner and people caring for the poor on left and right of that one illustration. And also a message: "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You." The first cards were sold for 1 shilling each.

Post was expensive before 1840, not everyone could afford it. In 1840 first 'Penny Post' public postal deliveries began in Britain. When letters were carried in carriage pulled by horses to write was expensive. But with railways there was much more space for letters and post price become lower. Cards become even more popular because if people send it in open envelope the stamp to use was just half the price of an ordinary letter.

How did Christmas card tradition become popular?

By 1860 Christmas cards were popular enough. Printing methods got better.William Egley illustrated Charles Dickens books and a card he made can be found in the British Museum. By 1900 several countries in Europe experienced this tradition already. Germany was the most enthusiastic country about it.
In United States of America cards appeared in 1840 but it was considered too expensive to buy it until Louis Prang started mass producing cards in 1874. This Massachusetts printer runned nationwide contests for the best Christmas designs. Probably America imported a lot of cards from Britain too.Hallmark Cards were created in 1915 by John C. Hall and brothers. In 1910s and 1920s homemade cards were in fashion. They were delicate and with unusual shapes, made with ribbons and foil. Hand-painted cards influenced by the Art Deco movement were popular during the 1920s. In the 1940s Christmas cards reflected World War II. Friends and family received cards with patriotic messages and symbols. In 1960s new printing methods allowed cards to feature embossing and gold foil. In the 1980's it was possible to reproduce beautifully fine art works as Christmas cards.

Clip art, e-card and Christmas Card software

The 90's and the wide generalization of computers brought the use of clip art. And i
nstead of paper cards, why not send out an electronic Christmas card? Since 2000 on e-cards become more and more popular.Making and sending a virtual Christmas card is easy and the normal thing to do for generations raised without handwritten letters. We just pick a site and follow the instructions at each step. Not very creative but with animation and sound E-cards are a lot of fun. Recent concern over the environmental impact of printing, mailing and delivering cards has fueled an increase in e-cards choice.

One could also create a Christmas card with special software. Personal photos could be added in cards along with original graphic motifs. Today we can design and print our own cards in personal printing devices with high quality. 

Sites like Zazzle also make possible to print like a professional typography and in large quantity. Here's a selection of Zazzle Christmas Greeting Cards I handpicked on Zazzle marketplace!