Monthly Archives: January 2017
Post by Mark T. Locker.
We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson.
If you were abducted by a race of aliens and offered the choice to press a big red button and save the world from annihilation, would you press the button and save mankind? For many, the answer would be a simple yes. But if you are Henry Denton, the answer isn’t all that simple. Henry has been getting abducted by the Sluggers for years. He calls them sluggers because he doesn’t know what they call themselves; they don’t talk to him but they sure look sluglike. But ever since he made the mistake of telling his big brother about the Sluggers, his life has been a wreck. Quickly, his brother proceeded to tell everyone and Henry became branded Space Boy.
Henry’s life has been hard. With an absent dad, a bully for a brother, things were bad. But when the love of his life took his own life, Henry was spiraling hard. His grandmother, who he loved more than anyone, is fading due to Alzheimer’s. When the guys in his high school began ruthlessly attacking him, things got worse. So when the Sluggers kept taking him and kept presenting him with the choice to save the world, he had no intention of saving all the monsters who have made his life so terrible. But then something begins to change. It seems there are people out there who refuse to let Henry destroy himself, much less the world. Suddenly things aren’t as cut and dried as he’d thought.
We Are the Ants is a difficult book to read. It’s brutal and heartbreaking in only the way real life can be. It’s also a sweet, funny, and at times hopeful story. When you get to see the Earth from miles above, and you see the vastness of the universe, you can’t help but gain a new perspective. This is not a book for children, to be sure. But teens and adults will laugh and cry reading this story of growing up, of love and loss and trust.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Windows should never be ignored, as they are fundamental in the design scheme of any room. They provide pattern, allow light, enlarge a space, and once treated, can greatly affect both the aesthetic and mood of an interior. From single treatments to layers, these six window treatments inspire us to appreciate and embrace window coverings, particularly in our own bedrooms.
A hotel-inspired Los Angeles bedroom boasts woven shades and billowy drapes. These window treatments soften the neutral yet elegant space.
A custom-pleated window valance in a traditional floral pattern layers well over the Roman shade, creating a soft backdrop for the bed in what appears to be an attic bedroom.
Plantation shutters, tiebacks, and a balloon shade set the stage for this darling little girl’s room in San Francisco.
These outside mount Roman shades contribute to the sophisticated yet rustic elegance of this room. The delicate curve celebrates these tall, slender windows.
The designer selected simple side panels to frame windows in this log-cabin-lined ranch home. This creamy beige color is the perfect companion to the muted brown walls in the Wyoming bedroom.
Sheers allow wonderful light to seep into this Tel Aviv bedroom while still providing much-needed privacy.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Originating in 1950s Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland, the Scandinavian design movement is characterized by simple, modern furnishings and accessories, often using form-pressed wood, steel, and plastic. Rooms tend to be minimalist, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.
Today, you’ll find contemporary and transitional interiors that use Scandinavian elements, as well as complete spaces that pay tribute to the movement. These four bedrooms celebrate the beauty of Scandinavian Design.
A coastal bedroom in London uses more pattern than we typically see in a Scandinavian space. The blue and white scheme is a good fit for a beach house. This room is a fine example of balance, texture, and harmony.
The designer of this Amsterdam bedroom kept things white and minimal. The only visible pattern is the bed’s backdrop, and the hand-written art adds whimsy that this room needs.
A smart room divider splits the space and creates a seating group in this Scandinavian-style studio apartment. Organization is key in the small flat, and as you’ll notice, there’s not a hair out of place.
As minimalist as this well-planned Scandinavian guest room is, there’s still plenty to take in. From the area rug to the throw pillows and books, each item is carefully placed and seems like it’s part of the bigger picture.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Have you ever wondered what exactly happens once pet owners leave for the day? Well, I can’t say for sure but The Secret Life of Pets which came out on DVD/Blu-Ray/Digital release in December has some theories. The story follows the lives of a number of pets in some Manhattan apartments. The main character, Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) is a doted-on single dog whose life is turned upside-down when his owner brings home a big shaggy shelter dog named Duke. Their personal dislike of each other takes a serious turn when the two of them get caught by animal control thanks to a neglectful dog-walker. When they are unexpectedly rescued by a rogue team of abandoned pets (a pig, a dog, a lizard and a surprisingly fierce bunny) they have to pretend to be abandoned as well. Meanwhile, the tiny fluffy dog named Gidget (Jenny Slate) who loves Max realizes something is amiss and pull together a band of pets to go and rescue them.
In a world of so many remakes, reboots, spinoffs and adaptations, it’s refreshing to find some unique content. My favorite parts were really at the beginning as we got to know the animals in the building, from the fat disinterested cat to the guinea pig who has been lost in the ducts for weeks trying to remember where his owner lives. It’s a fun and exciting story with enough humor to keep the grown-ups engaged and enough silliness and adventure for the little ones. Great movie to watch under a heaping pile of blankets as winter trudges on.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Not all florals are meant to be feminine. In fact, there are a plethora of floral patterns that work well in bedrooms for women, men, and couples. We’re thinking outside the box today and admiring these unisex bedrooms that feature floral prints.
It’s all about the details in this lovely Vancouver bedroom. Kerrisdale Design chose a muted tropical floral for the accent pillows, adding just the right dose of pattern. Notice the birds with flowers in the artwork above the bedside table. Although this room doesn’t scream masculine, it could very well belong to a couple.
This contemporary bedroom feels more masculine than feminine, and although subtle, the floral in the green accent pillows can’t be ignored. The space’s colors were drawn from the art above the bed.
A Boston bedroom boasts a clean, uncluttered design with solid teal and white, but introduces a bold floral in the throw pillows. This room could easily be a bachelor’s, as it doesn’t feel the least bit feminine.
A traditional farmhouse bedroom in Massachusetts uses a botanical toile fabric as well as decorative lamps and art with flowers. Even with so much floral in the room, this historical restoration takes on a masculine feel.
A transitional guest room by Suzanne Kasler Interiors uses a silver floral pattern throughout. This elegant sleep space proves that flowers not need be feminine, and can work wonderfully in a unisex bedroom.