Month: January 2016

Stage Review – MACBETH at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, UK

This Macbeth is both tangible and imaginative. It is the result of a well planned and well thought out creative process involving a variety of art forms, mainly contemporary, yet the fantastical and the gorgeous insanity of Macbeth remains comfortably (or uncomfortably) apparent, depending on your viewpoint! John Heffernan is a Macbeth of the first order. We see that he is up for the fight. We see him relish his hero status and his new popularity, and we see him being easily persuaded to engage in a deadly conspiracy. We are witness to him becoming a narcissistic and a murdering power-crazy; we see him lose his grip, and know that he is the main cause of such miserable chaos, all in a two hour straight-through performance in which he shines as Macbeth. Heffernan has a clear and rich toned voice and he is an exceptional stage actor. Anna Maxwell Martin, arguably better known for her high profiled TV and Film work, plays Macbeth’s brow beating instigator and partner in crime just the way as she …

Our attributes for BRIO – TSS Business of the Month for January 2016

BRIO and Wood (a long time connection) After moving to Osby, Southern Sweden in 1884 Ivar Bengtsson and wife, Sissa enjoyed continued success from selling woodchip baskets and other goods. They went on to produce their first wooden toy in 1907 (the Osby horse). After their three sons Viktor, Anton and Emil took up the reins, the toy manufacturing remained prominent. Later, once Anton’s son, Lennart Ivarsson became CEO, the company went international and BRIO was a top wooden toy manufacturer with a range which included the famous train sets. BRIO is still ever-present in the development of new wooden toys for children. Wood is natural, workable, clean, long lasting and tactile and BRIO makes the most of its qualities. Since 2014, all wooden toys have been made from traceable wood coming from responsibly managed forests BRIO and Design (toy designs are timeless, uncomplicated and fun) Imaginative play and child development have always been and remain a key consideration in any design concept through to fruition. When asked how he knows a new toy will be compelling …

Nominated for the Liebster Award!

awww shucks, been nominated for the blogger Liebster award thank you InnerVoice on WordPress https://t.co/FyZK3TIKe5 via @giphy — Debra Hall (@Norries_girl) January 23, 2016 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js If you are not familiar with the Liebster Award these are the rules: Thank your nominator Show the award on your blog Answer 10 questions asked to you Ask 10 questions to 10 new nominees (who have less than 200 followers) Notify them Thank you to InnerVoice for your generosity of spirit in nominating me for the Liebster Award. My replies to the questions that were put to me (and nine other InnerVoice Nominees) are below: Why did you start blogging? I’d been working in community arts and home educating my two children, but by 2010 both these major roles in my life were moving toward a natural end, and so I started writing an educational/creative themed blog on another platform. Over at Not Compulsory I share examples of my own creativity and the creativity of others, and it has been known that I can get a little shouty about …

Stage Review – CARMEN at The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry UK

About OperaUpClose This production company is a registered charity which produces new English versions of opera, and who also premiere a brand new opera every year. The company makes the genre more accessible to the public by touring its shows and by working a programme which involves various communities (including schools). Credit them too, for their work in developing the careers of artists and performers (whether established professionals or just starting out), and all of this happens on a shoe string it seems and so is extremely commendable. Centrally, my excitement to review, was around the very fact that a version of Bizet’s wildly popular opera was appearing locally, so congratulations to OperaUpClose for making what is often invisible outside London, and the like, visible. CARMEN Set outside a cigarette factory in an outback setting in South America, the female workers take a ‘fag’ break and attract the attention of a small group soldiers who are milling around. Carmen is flirtatious and the men are bewitched by her. Don Jose’s thoughts however, are elsewhere, and it is not until Carmen …

UK Blogger required to guest review

In the office today, I have a new, premium jigsaw puzzle (5oo pieces) that I would like to pass on to a UK based blogger to review. I’m looking for a guest reviewer, a he or she blogger, to submit their words and a couple of quality images, to me, for publication here at tss and for the publishing of the same review to be followed and repeated on the participant’s own blog once it has appeared at tssreviews. Interested? Details: The puzzle is NEW, sealed and in original packaging, it is entitled An Evening Walk. So sorry, but interest can only be considered from UK based bloggers as I’ve not the budget to cover shipping the item abroad. Please email admin@tss-mail.com expressing your interest with Evening Walk in the subject line. The draw will happen in the next couple of days and will be random. The chosen participant will be notified by email and will be required at this point to pass on their full postal address. This call out for participation will also appear …

The Coloring Book Craze

Re: #Blogging101 Day Nine Following Happiness Engineer instructions, I came across the blog The Most Happy. The blog’s author, Lisa, is unknowing that she has taken a BIG part in my assignments of yesterday and today (I’ll message her now to let her now ) In the meantime, please read my comment below as it is self explanatory as to why I the subject caught my eye and then click over to Lisa’s original post about the colouring book fad   I’ve featured the wall decoration sticker book by Johanna Basford on my creative blog before and I liked those a lot. There is no denying that Basford is a an excellent illustrator. As for the colouring books I’m not a fan. Grown ups should swap this activity for simply sitting down and drawing in my view. Just sit down and sketch and doodle that which comes straight out of the imagination, and then maybe add colour to their own designs perhaps. Much more satisfying 🙂 Source: The Coloring Book Craze

Craft Book Review THE KNITTED NURSERY COLLECTION

ISBN 978-1-78221-317-8 RRP £9.99   Author Jem Weston Published by Search Press, Jan 2016 Content 14 knitting projects which include toys, accessories and decorations for babies and nursery room environments Introduction The author, Jem Weston is a freelance designer and a Workshop Tutor for Rowan Yarns. Weston lives in Nottingham UK and in the book’s introduction she reveals that her affection for knitting started at a young age. She says it developed during her time at university and that she was often inspired by traditional crafts in her Fine Art studies Range of information The pattern information is presented over anything from 2 pages up to 8 pages depending on the range of detail and complexity involved in the making, this includes photographic imagery, stitch diagrams (charts), materials required and the patterns.  A page of Abbreviations at the rear as well as a thank you from the author to the people involved in ‘bringing the book to life’. There are no step-by-step images of the items in various stages of being made 9/10 Quality of …

Combo Apps/Cloth-Clip Pro 37mm Circular Polarizing Filter (CPL)

Originally posted on COMBO APPS: Mobile Extreme Editing:
The first review of the year so I’ll kick it off with the DCkina Cloth-Clip Pro 37mm Circular Polarizer (CPL). It seems to work better than the smaller mobile circular polarizer filters out there. I like the cloth clip very much which makes it universal for just about any mobile device on the market. I made a little video with this 37mm CPL with my iPod Touch 6. You will see a huge difference in the water but the clouds and sky were not working so well with this filter. It’s been kind of overcast type of day. Overall I prefer this filter over the smaller mobile filters because the results are a little better. The CPL with cloth-clip sells for $14.34 and without the cloth-clip $12.55. This is a great filter to have to cut glare out when taking photos or making movies. If you have any questions about this blog post, please leave comments. Have a great day and see you soon !!!

Blogging 101 #4 a Review of the Cooking up a Feast jigsaw puzzle

Trying to get food out of my brain but about to compile this #cookingupafeastpuzzle for my blog 🎂🍮🍴🍓🍨 A post shared by Debra Hall (@picture_personal) on Jan 7, 2016 at 5:08am PST The Artist The Artist in this instance is a photographer. Greg Shepherd is a Devon UK based photographer, who is successful in selling his photographic images commercially because he reproduces them on greetings cards, gift wrapping and gift bags and then sells them. What sets him apart from others making their living this way is the unique approach he takes at times. He will imagine a nostalgic scene of found objects in his mind and then set about sourcing items to build a display, or he’ll put together a thematic setting of sorts; and he’ll then photograph for his own business purposes or for the imaginative use of graphic designers and print specialists employed by his working partners. Nothing demonstrates this more than his work for Ravensburger jigsaws where he takes a collection of objects en masse, just like he has done with …