Friday, February 26, 2016

10 questions for which you want an answer

Lately I have been enjoying episodes of Inside the Actor's Studio that are being replayed on Foxtel on a Friday night.  I enjoyed George Clooney, Brad Pitt and casts of various TV shows but my favourite so far had to be Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory.  It was nice to learn about his past as well as other projects he has done. I have to say, the best part of Inside the Actor's Studio is the 10 questions at the end that James Lipton asks every guest.  The questions that can be answered with one or two words, at most, a sentence.  Seemingly simple questions that reveal more about the interviewee than one might expect. 

Here is some information about where these questions originated and the various forms they've taken. 

James Lipton's Questions

He asks them at the end of every episode of Inside the Actor's Studio and has done for more than 30 years.  They are internationally famous and despite your scepticism, ten short answers to these questions will reveal quite a bit about a person. 
  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
  4. What turns you off?
  5. What is your favorite curse word?
  6. What sound or noise do you love?
  7. What sound or noise do you hate?
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Bernard Pivots Questionnaire

Adapted for his television show where Pivot interviewed writers of all genres, he had first read them in the book where Proust's answers were first published. 
  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What is your favorite drug?
  4. What sound or noise do you love?
  5. What sound or noise do you hate?
  6. What is your favorite curse word?
  7. Who would you like to see on a new banknote?
  8. What profession other than your own would you not like to attempt?
  9. If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Marcel Proust's Questionnaires

These are called his questionnaires because he is perhaps the most famous writer to have his answers published.   The answers of many writers have been published.  These questions or something like them were apparently popular at dinner parties as they are thought to reveal so much about a person.  As you read them you will probably make some similarities to the classic conversation starters we tend to use on a first date.  Awkward! 
At age 13:
  1. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
  2. Where would you like to live?
  3. What is your idea of earthly happiness?
  4. To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
  5. Who are your favorite fictional heroes?
  6. Who are your favorite characters in history?
  7. Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
  8. Who are your favorite fictional heroines?
  9. Who is your favorite painter?
  10. Who is your favorite musician?
  11. What quality do you most admire in a man?
  12. What quality do you most admire in a woman?
  13. What is your favorite virtue?
  14. What is your favorite occupation?
  15. Who would you have liked to be?

At age 20:
  1. What is your most marked characteristic?
  2. What quality do you most like in a man?
  3. What quality do you most like in a woman?
  4. What do you value most in your friends?
  5. What is your principal defect?
  6. What is your favorite occupation?
  7. What is your dream of happiness?
  8. What to your mind would be the greatest misfortune?
  9. What would you like to be?
  10. In what country would you like to live?
  11. What is your favorite color?
  12. What is your favorite flower?
  13. What is your favorite bird?
  14. Who are your favorite prose writers?
  15. Who are your favoite poets?
  16. Who are your favorite fictional heros?
  17. Who are your favorite fictional heroines?
  18. Who are your favorite composers?
  19. Who are your favorite painters?
  20. Who are your heroes in real life?
  21. Who are your favorite heroines of history?
  22. What are your favorite names?
  23. What do you most dislike?
  24. What historical figures do you most despise?
  25. What event in military history do you most admire?
  26. What reform do you most admire?
  27. What natural gift would you most like to possess?
  28. How would you like to die?
  29. What is your present state of mind?
  30. To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
  31. What is your motto?
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Friday, February 19, 2016

Best of AGT: Creative

According to the number of "views" the highest rating post on AGT with a "creative" label is this one about six word memoirs.  You will have to click on the link to read it.  I thought I might add another week of 6 word memoirs to my collection.

Monday: working at home in pyjamas!

Tuesday: public holidays always confuse me.

Wednesday: another visit to the doctor.

Thursday: a day of nervous excitement.

Friday: little people ring my doorbell.

Saturday: an opportunity to sleep in. 

Sunday: church followed by a nap.

Monday: so it begins once again. 

That's that then!
Have a great week and Keep on Creating!

Friday, February 12, 2016

4 Valentines Gifts for Your Cat!

Hi Everyone,
Shelly here!

I'm going to share with all you humans in the blogosphere some very good advice for pleasing your kitty this Valentines Day.  Even if you don't tell your friends, I know that you buy the cat in your life at least one gift for Valentines Day.  I  know this, because Mum gets me a Valentines Day present.  She does this because she loves me.  If you love your kitty, you have to get him or her a gift.  It's in the manual.  Down to business then...

1. A cuddle buddy...
Mum made this very cute little cuddle buddy for me in January.  She is so clever!  Check out how she did it here

2. TUNA!  I love Tuna.  I don't know any cats  who don't love tuna.  If you know one, you are special.  If your cat prefers chicken, then get them chicken.  Find out what your cat loves... I'm sure you already know. Your kitty's favourite treat will make your kitty's day and isn't that what it's all about?!  It should be!

3. A tunnel.
I have four tunnels and I could use another one... did you get that Mum? I love playing in my tunnels.  I also love it when Mum hides treats in the tunnels for me to find and the best thing is when she gets all four of my tunnels out and makes a sort of playground for me by putting them in different places around the house.  She gets out a bunch of my other toys for me to chase through the tunnels and catch.  That's better than a day at Dreamworld!  

4. A brand new Cat Tree!
Mum ordered it just after Christmas and it's finally here!  My new cat tree has 5 floors including the ground floor.  They are all joined together by sisal rope poles.  There are pots of cat grass on my tree too and they move between the floors all by themselves.  Treats and toys appear on the tree too.  After we have a cuddle (me and Mum), she puts me on the third floor and I play with the toys and eat the cat grass and then lie down and chill out.  It's great. 

You might think I'm a spoiled cat.  I say, that I'm a cat who knows she is loved!  Everything at our house is exactly as it should be.  I have a tree all of my own and Mum spends a lot of time doing things just for me!

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

Love Shelly

Friday, February 5, 2016

How to make a Cat Cuddle Buddy in 11 easy steps

On the holidays, I made Shelly a cuddle buddy.  The intention was to have a red and black one that would match the new décor in the living room.  That was the plan when I ordered a black and red cat tree too.  Sometimes life doesn't work out the way we plan.  The black and red décor in the living room isn't quite there yet, but the cuddle buddy is.  Check it out.

There are lots of tutorials around the blogosphere and on those lovely "How to" websites.  I found some of them really confusing!  Some of the steps weren't really clear on what had to be done while others seemed to make it way too complicated.  I prefer to sort of go with the flow when it comes to crafting so I looked at quite a few cushions, soft cat toys and tutorials online to get a general idea of how to make one then I adapted those ideas to suit me.  I had a few false starts, but it all worked out okay in the end. 
Here is the method I used.  I would recommend you read all the steps before deciding if you want to try this at home.  No one was harmed in this production of this cuddle buddy or blog post. 

Cat Cuddle Buddy

Materials I used: red cotton pillow case, small sheet of black felt, 1m of black ribbon, scissors, needle and black cotton, chalk/pen, sharpie,  wadding or cushion stuffing.

Step 1: Use a sharpie or chalk pen to draw a cat outline on the pillowcase.  You could print a template using clipart or other outline drawing found on the internet.  I did it free hand. 

Step 2: Cut out the cat shape by following the outline with the scissors.
Step 3: Match up the two pieces of fabric you now have and start sewing.  A simple running stitch works, or you can use a blanket stitch if you want it to be a bit of a feature as well.  I didn't.

Step 4: Start on one side of the cat and sew around the shape, leaving a space big enough for three fingers to fit inside. 

Step 5: Turn the fabric inside out and start stuffing with wadding.

Step 6: Throw some dried catnip in between the wadding too.  That will make it an extra cool, much loved cuddle toy.  I used the Kong Naturals Premium Catnip which I bought at my local pet shop. 

Step 7: When you are happy with the thickness, sew the rest of the way around the cat shape so the hole is completely closed.

Step 8: Draw a cat face onto the fabric (although you could do this earlier in the process if you are confident enough to know you won't end up sewing over the face.  LOL. 

Step 9: Cut a length of ribbon (about 30-40 cm) and fold it in half.  Sew the folded end of the ribbon to one side of the cat near the bottom to make a tail.  Tie the ends of the ribbon together using a simple knot.  Twist the ribbon around your finger and tie a knot a few cm along the ribbon.  Repeat this two more times so you have 4 knots spread along the length of the tail. 

Step 10: Cut two small triangle shapes out of felt and sew them at the top of the head to make ears. 

Step 11: Cut another length of ribbon and tie it around the neck of the cat shape to make a collar.

As you can see, I think it turned out pretty well and Shelly enjoys snuggling with it at nap time. 

If you decide to make something like this, I would love to see pictures (in the comments).  If you are inspired to do something even better, I would love to see that too! 

Happy Purring!