Wish I Was Here (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.

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There is no denying it: Zach Braff is a phenomenal filmmaker. Continuing on from his Scrubs fame, and the massive success of Garden State, comes Braff’s newest film. After failing to find a distributor, Braff turned to the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. By allowing the general public to essentially purchase merchandise and experiences, the film was fully funded within 48 hours. For those that have not see it, make sure you add it to your list.

Wish I Was Here is about Aidan Bloom (Braff). He is a man in his thirties who is still struggling to combine what he wants from his life, with the life that he has. Aidan is not the only one suffering, with his breadwinner wife being harrassed at work but unable to quit, and his sick father unable to continue paying for their kids to attend private school, meaning Aidan must now homeschool his children. Through teaching his kids, Aidan must find a way to learn about the world, and himself.

Like I said before, this film is amazing, and that is for many reasons.

If you just want a film to make you laugh or for car chases, then this isn’t the film for you. The film is full of emotion. One moment you will be wanting to cry, and the next you’ll be chuckling.

We know that Braff is a brilliant actor who can probably play any character he ever wants. His adult co-stars – Kate HudsonMandy Patinkin, Donald Faison, and Jim Parsons, to name a few – were all great. The length of their roles varied, but each one brought something more to the story. The kids – who both have quite extensive film resumes – make you feel bad about yourself, because you weren’t as talented as they are at such young ages.

Music is an element of film that is vital, yet often overlooked. Braff’s grasp of music is amazing. Like with his previous film, his music choices and placement furthered the story, and heightened the emotions.

Being an ‘arty’ film, it may not be for everyone, but there are sure to be a lot of people that will love the film. At times I have seen independent films like this, and felt they were trying too hard to be edgy and they only end up failing miserably. You can be sure this is not the case with Wish I Was Here.

Unfortunately, reviews haven’t been overly positive. While there are those that do see it for the brilliant film that it is, others have commented that it is too simplified and generic.

This may sound like a gush-fest…and that’s because it is. There are so many films that have earned millions of dollars that are nowhere near as fantastic as this one is, and are only popular because supposed ‘A-Listers’ are in them. When you can shout your support for a meaningful film like this, you pretty much have to.

4 out of 5 stars

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Surroundings Beret – Free Beanie Knitting Pattern

It may not be Winter and beanie-weather here, but I found a pattern I wanted to share with you.

Lincraft is a one-stop-shop for all things art, craft, and homewares. They have a store quite close to my house, and I haven’t been able to stop myself from going in there all the time, almost opening my own store at my house!

On display for everyone needing a new project, I found a free knitting pattern.

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Today we will be making the Surroundings Beret beanie.

MEASUREMENTS
To fit head – 56cm

YARN REQUIRED
1x 100g ball

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NEEDLES
1x 6mm knitting needles (I used 5mm size because I didn’t have 6, and it worked well)

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1x wool needle for sewing up

TENSION
16.5sts and 19 rows to 10cm over stocking st, using 6mm needles

DIFFICULTY
Easy. You only need to know how to do a few different stitches.
Requires: K, P, K2tog, P2tog, M1

BERET
Using 6mm needles, cast on 79sts.

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1st row: K2, * P1, K1, rep from * to last st, K1.
2nd row: K1, * P1, K1, rep from * to end.
Rep 1st and 2nd rows twice.

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7th row: K1, * M1, K2, rep from * to end … 118sts.
Work in stocking st, beg with a purl row, until work measures 13cm from beg, ending with a purl row.

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SHAPE CROWN
1st row: K1, * K2tog, K7, rep from * to end … 105sts.
2nd and alt rows: Purl.
3rd row: K1, * K2tog, K6, rep from * to end.
5th row: K1, * K2tog, K5, rep from * to end.
7th row: K1, * K2tog, K4, rep from * to end.
9th row: K1, * K2tog, K3, rep from * to end.
11th row: K1, * K2tog, K2, rep from * to end.
13th row: K1, * K2tog, K1, rep from * to end.
15th row: K1, * K2tog, rep from * to end.
16th row: * P2tog, rep from * to end … 7sts.
Break off yarn, run end through rem sts, draw up tightly and fasten off securely.

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FINISHING
Join back seam. Sew in all ends.

Quilling By Kath – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Quilling By Kath

I’ve told you about Australian hand-made businesses that sell candles, frames, and assorted homewares – all of which I love – but Quilling by Kath’s stock definitely stands out from the crowd.

I heard about Katherine Wigraft through a Facebook group for Australian Hand-made and Local Products (HALP), and thought I would check out what she had to offer.

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Look close enough, and you will see that what makes up her designs are small, carefully folded, pieces of paper. Called ‘quilling’ Kath gives her customers unique and beautiful wall-art pieces.

Having never heard of the term ‘quilling’ before, I spoke with Kath to hear more about it, and about the story behind the business.

“I’ve always been a bit arty farty,”she said in good humour, “and have done lots of different crafts over the years. I’ve done jewellery making, mosaics, and then I found paper quilling.”

She continued. “I absolutely love it. It is my outlet; my time when I just switch off from everything and go into a zone.”

Her business started like many others before her, making pieces for family and friends. Before she knew it, she was getting requests from everywhere.

“I mainly do it at night (after my 4 1/2 year old daughter is in bed) and a lot on the weekends.”

Just looking on her Facebook page, I couldn’t believe the designs that could be made. Kath felt the same, saying: “You can do pretty much anything with paper quilling, from simple designs to very intricate ones.” I, personally, found even the simple ones to be incredibly beautiful.

“All of my work is made to order, so that the customer gets exactly what they want. I’m based in Croydon North Victoria, and have posted a lot of pieces all over Australia, with some customers then sending pieces overseas for gifts.”

If you would like to check out Quilling by Kath, you can find her Facebook page HERE.

Summarry – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

Still after more Australian hand-made items? Well, you’re in luck, because we have plenty more to come!

Today I’ll be introducing you to Summarry, by Karina Hudson.

When I first saw Summarry’s Facebook page (here) and official website (here) I was a bit thrown back. None of it looked like the typical hand-made small business. Everything seemed so professional and grand-scale. I had to ask her straight out if she was a franchisee for a large brand, but no, it was all her. So listen when I say don’t let your preconceived notions of a hand-made business fool you.

Summarry sell everything from candles, to handbags, and household decorations. The colours just pop off the page, with the official website boasting an easy-to-navigate shopping cart.

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I chatted with owner Karina Hudson, and found out some great information about her story. “Summarry was named after my two children: Summah and Harry (Harrison). I decided to start up an online website whilst I was on maternity leave (now made redundant), and just see where it took me.” After experimenting selling other people’s items, Karina tells how she “soon realised it isn’t easy to sell other people’s items, which led me to start to make my own candles. People like to buy things you make yourself especially at markets, and, to be honest, I love making candles.”

While she has plans to downsize the variety of items she makes and sells, she will be focusing even more of her energy on what she loves – candles, diffusers, and home decor.

“It’s just a ‘learn as I go’ thing at the moment, but who knows where it will take me. You can only try.”