Crayola Marker Airbrush – Product Review

Fun for the whole family? How often is that actually true? You’re either left with a sullen teenager or a screaming child. Crayola Marker Airbrush can actually be fun for the whole family.

Listen when I say I am in no way being paid by Crayola or anyone else. I just wanted to share my opinion.

Today I was feeling pretty crappy and tried to get my mind off it by walking around Target. With Christmas coming, of course there are a lot of new toys out. There were two that caught my eye: Crayola Marker Airbrush, and Crayola Color Alive Easy Animation Studio (latter review to come).

Let me give you the rundown:

Packaging And Pieces

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The box pretty much tells you everything there is to know about the product. Each pack comes with the Airbrush Sprayer, 20 blank sheets of paper, 8 Washable Markers (for designs on paper), 4 Fabric Markers (for designs on clothing – cotton recommended), and 4 Stencil Sheets.More detailed instructions are also inside.

It is great how much there is in there, but I still would have liked some more stencils, such as letters.

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Everything is very simple to use and there are only a few elements. You also don’t need batteries or to assemble anything, so you’re all set to go on Christmas morning.

How It Works

  1. The first thing you will do is decide if you want to airbrush a design on paper or fabric. My examples will be showing paper, with the only difference at the end (I’ll explain that later).
  2. Choose your colour. I chose a pinky/purple.
  3. Remove the lid from the marker and push the marker into the tip of the airbrush until you feel it kind of click. Don’t put the lid on the bottom of the marker. I did that and it messes it all up. Click the holder down so it’s all secure.Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 12.26.56 am.png
  4. Twist the lid of the air pump machine, pull the handle up, and push down. Keep lifting it up and pushing it down, about 20 times. You will feel the air pressure build up, and when it feels enough, twist it back into place.
  5. Pop out your chosen stencil, place it on the paper (or fabric) and spray.20151130_225249
  6. If you have airbrushed onto fabric, I have read that you should then iron it with the iron set to ‘cotton’, and then put it in the dryer for 30 minutes on its hottest settings.

 

So there you go. It’s a very easy and fun thing to do. You can create your own designs on paper, books, windows, walls, clothing, etc. You are pretty much only limited by your imagination.

I had a great time playing around with this and hope to get some more stencils and airbrush on some shirts.

Target had this one for sale for $29.

Let me know if you’ve tried this and what you thought of it.

 

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God’s Not Dead (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.


 

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The experienced Kevin Sorbo and newcomer Shane Harper face off in the most recent Christian-based film to hit the big screen, arguing the controversial question: Is God Dead? The film is a perfect mix of logic and emotion, that anyone and everyone will love.

The recent influx of Christian-based films and mini-series’ is a wonderful thing. Watching them not only gets people talking, but also shows how God’s thousand-year-old promises are still accessible to us today.

Josh Wheaton (Harper) does not know what he is in for when he signs up to the college philosophy course, run by Professor Radisson (Sorbo). The students are all offered an easy passing grade, if they simply write: ‘God is Dead’. Wheaton, a Christian, refuses. Radisson offers an opportunity for him to pass: prove God is not dead. Wheaton accepts, but struggles to find the right words. He knows God sent him there for this very reason. He cannot fail.

Sometimes it is hard to describe exactly why you love a movie, but others times, everything just works.

There are not many familiar faces in the cast, but I am sure we will be seeing many of them in leading roles in the future. Kevin Sorbo is not as we have seen him before. He is not a Greek hero. He does not show-off his rippling muscles. Instead, he plays the role of the antagonist perfectly, not only portraying a human obstacle the hero must overcome, but also allowing his own character to come to life. Shane Harper brilliantly takes on the pressure-filled leading role. Coming from a mainly dancing background, it is amazing to see the depth of acting-emotion he has – though he still has room for improvement. Special guest stars such as Willie and Korie Robertson, from Duck Dynasty also bring a more light-hearted feel to the film.

Christian music has been growing in popularity over the years, and the Christian pop-rock band Newsboys – whose songs feature in the film – are sure to gain more fans with their inspiring music.

Overall, the film gives a very important lesson to learn. Colleges and universities all over the world claim to want open-mindedness, but criticise and taunt when a Christian walks in. There are legitimate arguments proving God’s existence, and so-called intellectuals need to hear it. Films like these get people talking about Christianity and doing the research for themselves.

As can be expected, most online reviews are very unfavourable. Criticisms range from its general faith-based story, to how preachy it was, and even the camera techniques. Despite this, audiences are quickly filling the seats and proclaiming their approval.

Not everything in this film is perfect – such as their stand on evolution and the big bang theory – so it’s important to watch the film, but then go out and read the Bible. This film was shot in a total of twenty days and has already gained over thirty-times its production budget. There is a definite market for Christian-based films and it seems, for the meantime at least, they are here to stay.

4 out of 5 stars

Blood Ties (2013) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.


 

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Film adaptations of novels are not known for being well received by audiences, and remakes are even less successful, rarely worth the cost of the cinema ticket. Blood Ties suffers both of these. It is a French-American crime thriller, directed by Guillaume Canet, but even its talented cast cannot compensate for the shortfalls.

The story takes place in 1974, when Chris Pierzynski (played by Clive Owen) is released from prison. He has been serving nine years for murder, and is ready to turn his life around. But despite his good intentions and new relationship with Natalie (Mila Kunis – who would have thought she would be the one from That 70’s Show that would make it big?), the lures of old habits overcome him, and he returns to his criminal ways. If that was not bad enough, his brother Frank (Billy Crudup, who also stars in the amazing upcoming film Rudderless) is a New York cop. The conflict between the brothers tears are their sister Marie (Lili Taylor), and their sick father Leon (James Caan), who just want the two to get along. It is not until Frank is arresting a man named Anthony Scarfo (Matthias Schoenaerts) that he is re-united with his ex-girlfriend Vanessa (Zoe Saldana), who is currently married to Anthony and have a daughter together. Of course, Vanessa now wants to get a divorce, and she and Frank rekindle their relationship, much to the ire of Anthony. Anthony tries to kill Frank, and it is up to Chris to protect his brother, at whatever the cost.

If it wasn’t for the talented cast, this movie would be a complete write-off. The story seems simple enough, and something seen in films many times, but it is how the actors make us feel for these particular characters that keep you watching. The essence of New York in the 70s is done well, with costume, scenery and minute details doing a lot more than other era-specific films have done.

Despite interesting set-ups and moments when all aspects of production work in harmony, the film becomes stagnant. The two-hour running time shows the lack of character development, except for the two lead characters. While this development is obviously important, you lose the reality of the film, and see how everything happens just for Chris and Frank’s progress. If you’re not the type to read into films too much, than this might not be an issue for you. The film will certainly entertain many viewers, but isn’t award-worthy.

Blood Ties has received mixed reviews, most rating it around 50 out of 100. Use of violence, swearing, sexual conduct and drug use will restrict its audience, and is a surprising job choice for some of the cast. The film reportedly had a production cost of $25,500,000, an astounding sum of money and all the more reason to be disappointed in the finished product. As with every film, every viewer is different, but for me, even the vast amount of swearing in the trailer was enough.

2 out of 5 stars

It’s killing us and we don’t know what it is…but we CAN stop it

You read that right. There’s something out there that is killing us, and we don’t know what it is.

Every year, every month, every week, every day. We call it depression, but it is so much more than one word. Maybe it’s health-related, maybe it’s work-related, maybe it’s just a result of our messed-up genetics from being in a sinful and fallen world.

We don’t know.

My grade alone has felt the hit. We have lost three people that should be starting careers, families, and lives. Instead, they each took their own lives. And why? We don’t know.

If someone has cancer, we know what we are fighting. If someone has a broken leg, we know what we are mending. So how are we going to stop these needless deaths?

I don’t know. But we CAN know.

In February 2014 Charlotte Dawson committed suicide. I have always tried to be very guarded about my battle with depression and anxiety, but I felt compelled to open up and I wrote this on my Facebook page:

I read this morning about the unfortunate loss of Charlotte Dawson. I had forgotten about her recent hospital trip due to her twitter abuse, but it seems she could not. People, PLEASE seek help for your mental issues. I’m not saying that she did not, but there are still people out there who consider depression, etc., as weaknesses. IT IS NOT! Sometimes it is the strongest people who fall. I don’t know how many of you know about my family and history, but I’m not ashamed to say that I have battled with depression and anxiety (I still do. It is an everyday battle), but I have wonderful support (the almight Lord, my family, my doctor, etc.) and have sought help. I never wanted to be on medication for it, but last year I had to, and I have never felt the peace I now do. I went to a therapist, and it was so gratifying to have someone on the outside to talk to about these things. I don’t know if this affects anyone on my facebook (I’ll also be posting this on my other internet ‘accounts’), but maybe my story can help someone else. You are not weak. It will get better.

When I got depressed, I used to only want to be happy, but in recent years, it has become not caring, and that means death. I don’t WANT to die, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel worth the effort.

I’m nervous writing this because I don’t know who is going to read it. Maybe I’ll be seeing them later today, maybe later in the week, or maybe not at all. My depression is part of me, but I will not let it DEFINE me.

We are much bigger than our struggles, and we have someone much bigger we can turn to. Yes, I am going to talk about God, because without God, there is nothing. God made each and every one of us because He wants to spend eternity with us. He didn’t just make Adam and Eve and then will accept their offspring. He knits us together in our mother’s womb. He makes us because he loves each and every one of us. We are meant to be here and we can make it through.

So please, if you are reading this and you are suffering from depression or you know someone who is, PLEASE, talk to someone and get help. You need your car fixed, you go to a mechanic. You need your house built, you go to a contractor. Everyone needs someone to talk to, so why not make that person a professional who has studied it?

Here are some numbers for you to call (more available on the net or directory assistance)

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God bless and let’s kick depression’s ass!

Princess Charlotte

Australia is part of the British Monarchy, there are no two ways about it. I am one of those people that welcome it. No they are not perfect, but there is a stability in their long years at the reign, and if our government was solely in-charge…well, I shudder to think what our country would be.

I remember eating dinner with mum, wearing paper crowns and animatedly commenting when William and Kate got married. The next day I spent over an hour going over every detail with my best friend, watching it again after I taped it on my handheld video camera.

I remember oohing and aahing when we got our first looks at Prince George. For the first time in my generation (and my mother’s generation), we were seeing our future Kings.

So when Princess Charlotte came along, I was equally excited. I was awake and watching the live UK news when we got our first glimpses of her as Kate and Will were getting ready to leave the hospital. She didn’t look much like any of them yet.

But that’s all changed now.

About two hours ago, The British Monarchy released official photos of 6-month old Princess Charlotte. Already their official Facebook page (HERE) has about 10,000 comments, and I’m sure that will grow quickly when the rest of the world wakes up.

Here they are:

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She looks so much like her brother, but very much like her mother. The dark brown hair is so Kate, and those eyes are just mesmerising.

Comment below what you think of our little Princess.

Breakup At A Wedding (2013) – Review

OK so I used to write film reviews for CinemaParadiso. It was a lot of fun, and I thought I would share some reviews and links over the next few days/weeks/months.


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I have never been to a wedding. The only wedding experience I have had has been through film and television. I don’t think I’m missing much. Breakup at a Wedding is a comedy that unfortunately falls flat. It does have an interesting new take on wedding movies, allowing us to see through the lens of the wedding videographer’s camera, seeing all that he sees and giving an almost found-footage feel, but it wasn’t enough to compensate for the rest.

The story begins the night before the wedding of Alison (Alison Fyhrie) and Phil (Philip Quinaz). The church has been booked, the flowers are ordered, the dresses and suits look stunning, but then it all goes wrong. Alison suddenly gets cold feet, and does not want to go through with the wedding anymore. Phil is shattered, and to save him from further humiliation, Alison concocts a plan to continue with the wedding. With hopes of winning back Alison’s love, Phil agrees to the sham wedding, and what follows are a series of ridiculous complications set to ruin the day and reveal their separation.

Using the wedding videographer as the narrator and cameraman is the only positive thing about this film. It is a different way of showing an old setting, but the rest of the story felt like it had been done many times before.

Not only were the jokes unfunny, but the characters were cliché, ranging from the bridesmaids wanting to sleep with the groomsmen, wedding crashes, and the bridal party either laughing or depressed after taking drugs.

The most recent – and much more successful – wedding film Bridesmaids (2011) managed to make the same elements work much more effectively. This could be due to well-known comediennes such as Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy, playing the leading roles, while Breakup at a Wedding is only the first film from the comedy group PERIODS.

There have been some positive reviews, also commending the use of the videographer as our conduit to the story, and viewers finding the overall story and ending to be pleasant. Nevertheless, that does not sell tickets.

Breakup at a Wedding was filmed only a few days before real-life director Victor Quinaz got married, which would account for the lightness of the film, especially the ending. Overall, the characters weren’t realistic and believable, doing things that are so clearly set to fail, the major one being going through with a sham wedding all to simply ‘save face’ in front of their relatives. Then there are the illogical complications that seemingly come out of nowhere and are almost as ridiculous as a monkey slipping on a banana peel or a man being hit in the privates with a football.

The only unexpected part of the film is the contribution of Zachary Quinto, something he might now be viewing as ‘illogical’.

Let’s just hope their next film isn’t set at a funeral, because we all know how successful the 2010 remake of Death at a Funeral was.

3 out of 5 stars

Merlin: Created by Seinfeld?

OK, so I’m a HUGE fan of The Adventures of Merlin (2008-2012). In fact, I’m sure it won’t be long until I dedicate a post or two to the beauty that is Colin Morgan. I have also been watching Seinfeld (1989-1998) for as long as I can remember.

For some reason, it hit me one day that the premise of Jerry and George’s sitcom sounds quite a bit like the premise of Merlin.

Bear with me.

The pitch goes like this: “I get into a car accident. The guy that hit me doesn’t have any insurance. So the judge sentences him to be my butler.”

Replace ‘car accident’ with ‘tackles Prince Arthur to the ground’.

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And ‘no insurance’ with ‘saves Arthur’s life’.

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“…So the judge [King Uther] sentences [Merlin] to be [Arthur’s] butler [manservant].”

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I know, it’s not exactly Merlin, but I still find the similarities rather comical; especially if Merlin had been a TV sitcom from the 1990s.

So let me know what you think, and how much you miss Merlin.

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