There’s a Living Spirit in Hand-Made Items, They’re Genuine & Back in Fashion

In handmade items, there is a genuine spirit that is so alive it is well worth hanging onto. During the City of Craft fair in Toronto over 4,000 people attended and made this the busiest yet, while the fair included handmade items from 60 different vendors. The City of Craft fair offered shoppers an exceptional selection of stained-glass jewellery, crocheted cacti, ceramic sculptures and many other handmade items.

The huge increase in the popularity of the craft fair according to the creative director, Kalpha Patel, also a long-time crafter is that mass-produced products are impersonal in nature and leaves shoppers yearning for something more. Everyone has the desire to personally engage with their belongings in a thoughtful and more meaningful way as well as knowing that items collected are of good quality and great value.

Hand-made Crafts are More Accessible

Apart from the City of Craft fair in Toronto and the Craft Week in London, online retailers such as Etsy is also a great way to purchase handmade items. The Brooklyn based e-commerce created as a platform for collector’s and vendors of handmade as well as handmade items have enjoyed mass success and now connects over 31 million buyers from around the globe with 1.9 million sellers. Dayna Isom Johnson, the trend expert at Etsy, shared that the continuing popularity of customisation is the main reason why the company gravitated towards items that are handmade. The beauty of each item is its uniqueness, every piece has a story and at the same time is a great conversation maker.

In Halifax, Gary Markle leads the craft division of the NSCAD University and feels that the handmade craft economy is ripening the DIY era in which individuals understand that what is really worth a lot of cash is handmade items such as hand-knitted sweaters. It recalibrates what the value of an item is once buyers participate and experience the making process.

Patchwork Part of Christian Dior Spring 2018 Runways

Whether suggested or real, it was the aesthetic of craft that was visible all over the runways of Spring 2018. Stella McCarthy and Jil Sander channelled macramé, while Calvin Klein incorporated quilting and Christian Dior patchwork. Alexander McQueen fashion included floral needlepoint, and ribbons turned up at Christopher Kane, Dolce & Gabbana and Chanel. In 2016, the Financial Times published that an integral part to any design is the craft, it teaches us all what something is about, more about the materials and how it works. Basically, it let us know where we are at that moment.

Have We Finally Entered an Era Where Everyone Loves the Imperfections of Things Made by the Human Hand? The spirit of each hand-made item lies in the magic of the human touch and is conveyed from our hands to something made with love. If something is made with intention, Love is the intention, its substantial. Capturing that feeling is priceless in today’s digital era!

Is Digital Art Considered “Real Art”

While you may look at digital art and think that it’s one of the most stunning pieces that could be created, others may automatically compare it to the art that’s created by clay, pencils, or paint and deem it not as “real” as other art formats. Or, you may even think that as long as you have a drawing tablet as well as a digital art software – you can just create equally amazing pieces on your first try.

Though, the last two mindsets combined created the common misconception that digital art isn’t as real or authentic as other art formats. This could come from many believing that a real artist must go through a rigorous training regime of learning the density of charcoal pencils, the best clay to use, or the different kinds of paint before they can start creating wonderful pieces of art. Though after learning and creating, their art can exist externally. It could be touched and viewed up close. Due to this, digital artists get a bad rep of all they must do is buy some expensive tablet and software and bam – they created some stunning piece of work. Though, this could be further from the truth. There are so many unfair misconceptions about digital art that can negatively affect the artwork and the artist’s self-esteem about their own work.

The differences between the art styles

If anyone takes a visit to an art museum, it is almost undeniable that there are so many different forms of ways to create art. Withdrawing, you take a pencil to paper, sculpting requires the moulding of a soft clay, painting can combine drawing as well as the usage of paints, and digital art requires a tablet and drawing software. Though, one thing to keep in mind is that while all these activities are considered art related by a majority of the society, it’s not really creating. Those artists aren’t creating anything new except for an image while using previously created items (the paint, pencils, etc.).

For the longest time, the only three art methods that were commonly known in the world was drawing, sculpting, and painting. Though with technology increasing, a new art from finally emerged – digital art. Enhancements with computers proved to become an artist’s best friend, a new tool that could be used to create new images. Moreover, it allows for a workspace to be portable and allows for mistakes to be made without having to re-do an entire piece. Although, all of these perks allowed for some of the traditional artists to turn a sour glace towards digital art and begun to utter the mantra that it wasn’t “real art”. Instead of having tons of brushes, pints of paint, and blocks of clay, a digital artist only had one pen that could do all of that and much more, plus with the option of saving a piece and working on it at any time.

This has created a stigma in the art community as digital art just seemed to be too easy. No matter the mistake. While digital art is a more convenient way of doing art due to the lack of having to buy additional items, it doesn’t discredit the art or the artist. The computer is not an art tool. It just allowed for another platform of art to be created.

Adding Personality to Your Home With the Usage of DIY Lettering

Going through a quick search on will show you a countless number of images filled with decorative DIY inspiration. One that truly stood out the most was a DIY creation of a centrepiece for a coffee table, which was created using short flowers which were inserted into paper letterings to make the word “bloom” look even liver.

Due to the rising popularity of DIY, creating your own signs is no execution. Al sorts of letterings, from spelling out a phrase, name, saying, or even a greeting has been growing with home décor. The reasoning is due to the personalized touch that it adds to your home and makes it more “you”.

Although, the true fun is that you can find these letters anywhere. You can buy letter blocks in a crafts stores – which can be made out of wood, metal, glass, paper-mache, cardboard – or basically, any material that you can think of. Which can lead to the obvious question of how should you design the letters? That’s where the true fun comes in as its completely up to you!
Marcie McGoldrick, the editorial director of crafts for the iconic Martha Stewart Living series, stated that in the last few years, a shift towards personal invention has been growing, and the best way to do it at times is to either have something custom made, or do a fun DIY that you can colourful of.

What is Word Art

Word art can be a considered a variety of things. Such as covering the letters you find with glitter, filling them up with colorful sand or beads, or even placing fake (or living) flowers to create a stunning floral design. Heck, you can even go as far as to take a more nature-inspired look and add rocks or leaves. Basically, anything you want to design your letters in or with is considered word art, and anyone can be an artist.

One example is from an Esty store, which is called Emma & the Bean. This store will turn your personal information, such as a wedding date, the family birthday, or any important date into a stunning work of word art of your choosing. Which goes with what McGoldrick was stating, the personal touch is becoming trendier than having a home that looks like a model one.

How Can I Make Word Art?

There are so many ways to make word art that is nearly impossible to run out of them. Although, if you’re looking for some suggestions, a few expect may home some perfect advice for you.McGoldrick has thrown the idea that using a combination of chalkboard paint and vintage décor paint, which both can be found on Amazon or a crafts store, which will give your letting DIY a timeless appearance without having to drop hundred. Plus, doing it on wood letting has been shown to look the best.

Another suggestion is the usage of lightweight chipboard lettings which can be easily painted and decorated. Plus, they are the perfect letters if you want to have them hanging on a string on the wall over a series of family photos.

Highly Anticipated Fall Movies

While 2018 has been the year of iconic movies, such as the Incredibles 2 and Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War. The fall has many highly anticipated movies as well, which critics are expecting to be just as enjoyable as their summer predecessors. Even though it is only June and we have the only bee given a handful of trailers to watch – here’s a showcase of a few of the films that are being released through September and November that has film fanatics raving.

Fantastic Beats: The Crimes of Grindelwald

This fantasy drama is a sequel to the hit movie of a similar name, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This film is also tenth in the world of wizard series created by the famed author, J.K Rowling. While the cast is filled with familiar faces that were featured in the first film, such as Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law, as they are attempting to stop a powerful dark wizard while also having to face and hopefully conqueror new threats that are dividing the world of wizards even more.

This film is going to be released on November 16th, and diehard fans of the Harry Potter series and the original Fantastic Beast film are going to be flooding the theatres this fall. From the trailers and the premise released, the film seems to be a direct continuation of the ending of the first film. While the magical is vibrant and unique – the drama lies within the cast of characters as their feelings and trust are being tested as the plot grows tenser.

Bohemian Rhapsody

It’s undeniable, everyone knows of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the famed musical group Queen. While he may have passed away over a decade ago, his legend remains in today’s world. Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic of the singer’s life in the group. The lead of Freddie Mercy is played by esteemed actor Rami Malek, who is known for his roles for Mr. Robot and the Night at the Museum series.

This film is expected to be released on November 2nd and already has a few trailers which has Queen fans and movie critics alike excited. One of the highlights of the film is Malek’s likeness to Mercury – which many are expecting to be a great show of a modern-day representation of the British singer’s life and career.

Although the hype surrounding this movie is mainly positive – there are a few critics who are nitpicking the trailers. The main complaint is that the trailers are not showing an accurate description of Freddie Mercury’s sexuality – which many of the film fans have simply stated: “you can’t get the entire movie from a minute trailer”.

The Old Man and the Gun

Who doesn’t love a charming leading character who is a famed bank robber? That’s the main concept gathered from The Old Man and the Gun trailers. While this film is a crime centred movie filled with comedy, it is based on the life of Forrest Tucker, a man who is the ideal of crime and iconic prison escapes. While not much is known about the film, it does feature a colourful cast that has Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Robert Redford, and Danny Glover. This film will be released on September 28th, and from what the trailers are showing, it’s going to be a film that has the protentional of becoming a blockbuster success.

Books Part of Every Serious Gambler’s Library

Great minds have studied the intricacies of gaming and gambling for centuries, from philosophers to mathematicians and even professional players, all are interested in casino gambling books. As a keen gambler, you stand to benefit in the modern age from the accumulated wisdom from several essential authors.

Whether it is understanding online casino bonuses, gambling in general or finding sportsbooks with the best odds for baseball, with a well-rounded library containing books from qualified authors, anyone can develop strategy and skills to take their game to the next level. Your best bet is to find books based completely in reality, authored by writers not afraid to inform readers of the odds against them, some maybe unpleasant realities, and then there is the huge role randomisation plays.

The most important part remains that the books offer the truth, and for those who agree with the words of a wise man that said way back then, that the truth hurts, there are some fantastic books that come highly recommended.

Theory of Poker

David Sklansky had the idea that college kids should take up poker and drop out of school, as he was an actuarial student fascinated by numbers instead of the written word. In the end, Sklansky’s mathematical prowess led to leaving school, his goal was to take up poker tournaments, and between 1982 to 1983 he won three gold bracelets.

Sklansky enjoyed a poker career of over 30 years in which he amassed over $1.38 million. However, it was not at the poker tables he made his most meaningful contribution to the world of gambling or poker, but at this typewriter by realing casino gambling books.

While he made a name for himself in poker, Sklansky stopped participating in poker tournaments in 1991 to write and pursue other gambling games. Despite the phenomenal results he enjoyed in tournaments he loved the freedom offered by cash games. Currently, over thirteen books are available, and Sklansky praised for the wisdom he shared but also for how easy it is to read and understand.

Sklansky’s Constant Need to Learn More About Casino Games

If you can learn anything from the poker master and casino gambling books it is that the more you know and learn about gambling or anything else, the better off you are. Another hugely important factor in gambling is fully understanding online casino bonuses. Sklansky believes that if you’re better than everyone else you make money immediately, if there is something you know, and the other person is not willing to learn then he takes their money.

If your goal is to claim is to benefit as much as possible from casino bonuses, offers all the information you could possibly need regarding all bonus forms. When visiting the site, take some time to read the valuable reviews and bonus offers as many will award you free no deposit bonuses for Canadians looking to play casino games online.

Survival of Heritage & Art Ordinations Depends on Audience Engagement

Art and heritage organisation’s only hope, to remain appealing and relevant is to focus on attracting a larger audience. One of the major factors is the relationship between the audience and the art providers since both arts and heritage sights face several challenges in a modern world.

Heritage and arts organisations need to radically change their audience approach if they wish to survive and remain relevant. After series thought, several realised several traps they fall into. Most heritage sites believe that everyone would find gardens, monuments, the theatre and galleries interesting. While this is mainly true, with online entertainment available in the comfort of people’s homes, it is time to approach the audience completely different. Organisations looking for growth via both its existing or new audiences, often relied on creating project posts. While experts believe a shift is vital in the core and culture activity of such organisations, the fact remains on how audiences are approached.

The first step is to know the audience, often not attended to, as organisations focus on running the operations. The route to true insight might be by establishing a framework offering a more convenient way to remain updated with the ever-shifting interests of the audience. Heritage, museums and art studios need to push the boundaries, take calculated risks and do more to develop new appetites and tastes in attracting an ever-evolving audience

Art & Heritage Sites Interact Better with Audience via Communication, Learning & Socialising

The new way of understanding an audience is by adopting a digital strategy. Given the increasing speed at which individuals live and the demands on their time. Planned cultural experiences need human participation, but even in these, the need for a radical change is vital. Instead of making museum or art gallery visits a special occasion, it should be an experience the world wants to enjoy every day. This would require ways that tap into people’s experience and involve new models of engagement. Digital is integral but focussing purely on it might not be the answer, the only way is to get to the core of what the audience really need and want.

Understanding Visitors, Developing Audiences are Key to Heritage & Art Long-Term Future

Art galleries and museums now focus on spending both money and time on attracting different audiences in the most engaging ways. A twelve-month project of collecting information allowed museums to create detailed profiles of their audiences, which provided an insight into the visitor’s experience on which several physical improvements followed. By increasing the satisfactory levels of visitors, it is finding ways to enrich each visit that could attract visitors from around the globe to art galleries and museums.

The Star Wars Franchise Is Alive and Well

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in 2015, it was immensely popular and gave life to The Star Wars Franchise that took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. There are now two more in the franchise that will happen as well as one that has had development issues but should hit the big screen in the not too distant future.

Solo: A Star Wars Story – Release Date May 25, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story is the 2nd movie in the Star Wars franchise that is not of the original order after Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This movie focuses on a young Han Solo that will be played by Alden Ehrenreich as well as a great cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Donald Glover playing Lando Calrissian, who was first seen in The Empire Strikes Back. The production for the Solo movie was not a smooth one in the beginning with the directors of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who helmed the Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, being fired after only a few months. Ron Howard was brought on to bring his expertise behind the lens, and the film has created a ton of buzz, especially since the trailers have been released.

Star Wars: Episode IX Release Date December 20, 2019

Star Wars: Episode IX has also had some problems behind the scenes in early pre-production, and that was mainly due to the death of Carrie Fisher. Colin Trevorrow was first slated to be the director, but he dropped out after Fisher passed away and Lucasfilm brought back J.J. Abrams, who directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The main stars of the last two original Star Wars films, not the spinoffs, in John Boyega, Adam Driver, and Oscar Isaac will all be back for what will be the 9th of Star Wars original series, which may be the last one. Or will it? With the popularity of all the movies and the spinoffs created because of it, the 9th and “final” saga will likely not be the finale.

Boba Fett – Rumored to be released in 2020

If they have a move about Han Solo why not have one about his nemesis, who is the best bounty hunter in the galaxy. The movie about Boba Fett began development back in 2014, but also had some issues when Josh Trank would be directing. However, when his Fantastic Four remake was a big-time bomb and not even a year later, Trank was fired, and no director has been named as of yet. There is no casting information and the Star Wars faithful have been looking forward to any information about the Boba Fett movie. Will Han Solo be in it? Just one of the many questions about the highly anticipated movie that may never even come to be.

The Star Wars franchise is alive and well and Solo: A S

tar Wars Story is next in line. Both of the last two of the series and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story have been HUGE at the box office, so don’t expect a falloff in the franchise that has spawned a legion of fans and some of the most popular movies of all time.

Biggest Museum Heists of All Time

Art has been stolen for as long as it has been created. For the last couple hundred years, some of the best pieces of art have been held in museums that has seen some of the biggest museum heists of all Time. Here are some of the biggest and most brazen museum heists of all time.

The Louvre, France 1911

It goes without saying that Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world. However, it was stolen from the Louvre in Paris in 1911 by three handymen that worked there. The three his overnight in a supply closet at the museum and one of them in Vincenzo Perugia was the one that put up the protective glass around the famous painting. The thing is the painting was so famous that it was impossible to sell and Perugia hid it in a trunk for over two years. He was caught trying to finally sell it. This theft is not the biggest one in terms of the money of the art stolen, but with the most iconic painting the world-over it has to be on the top of the list.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, USA 1990

This heist was not only relatively recent but also the biggest in terms of the art that was stolen. There were two thieves in this heist, as they were disguised as Boston Police officers. They came to the museum under the guise that there was a disturbance at the museum telling the guard on duty at the time to go get his partner and when he did both were handcuffed by the thieves and hid them in the basement duct-taping them to the pipes there. They stole nearly $500 million worth of paintings with some of the more famous ones being Rembrandt’s Storm on the Sea of Galilee, Manet’s Chez Tortoni, and Vermeer’s The Concert. The thieves were never caught, and these days there are empty frames that hang where the famous stolen paintings used to hang.

The Stockholm Museum, Sweden 2000

In late December of 2000 armed thieves stole nearly $30 million worth of paintings from famous artists such as Renoir and Rembrandt. They set up a diversion in the form of an explosion of two cars to throw the police off their trail and keep them busy while they then used semiautomatic weapons to overtake the museum security and steal the precious art. The thieves then used a small boat as a getaway and were never heard from again.

The Kunstahl Museum, Holland 2012

Gang members from Romania took part in this heist where seven valuable paintings by the artists of Monet, Picasso, Matisse, and Gaugin. The total value of the stolen art was $24 million and, surprisingly, they were not caught right away, as they were making their getaway they tripped the alarm of the museum. However, the Kunstahl Museum is a rather small museum, which, at the time, only used electronic security and no guards were on duty to protect the art.

February Film Releases

We are only in February, but already several top February film releases have already made their debut in cinemas up and down the country. There is a fairly reasonable chance that you will already have made it out to theatres to watch Paddington 2, or Black Panther, but what else is in store for moviegoers in 2018. Let’s have a peek at some of the top titles coming your way this year.

Coming Soon

Arriving on March 23 is Pacific Rim: Uprising. The sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s often criticised predecessor, and starring Star Wars hero John Boyega, this film is Steven S. DeKnight’s turn to take the helm. We’ve got a feeling it will all get very Power Rangers like, but what pre-teen won’t get their kicks out of that?

Everybody loves a blockbuster, right? Well, critics usually don’t, but we’re not interested in what they think here. The first big blockbuster to hit cinemas this year is set to be Tomb Raider. Based on the world-famous rebooted video game of the same name, Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander is stepping up to the plate as heroine Lara Croft, as she attempts to track down her dad and survive. Don’t expect too much archaeology in this flick, but here’s to hoping she proves a better Lara Croft (more in line with the original video game character) than her lacklustre predecessor, Angelina Jolie did.

Dwayne Johnson seems to pour out film after film of late (few of which are particularly memorable) but he’s a big box office lure, so it is not surprising that fresh from his Jumanji adventures, he’s set to star in Rampage, another video game to film project. Giant monsters destroying cities, with The Rock there to save the day; tiresome, yes? Is it worth a look for special effects alone? Probably.

Later This Year

Deadpool 2 is a film we’re all excited to see. Ryan Reynolds’ ever so naughty Deadpool is set to tangle with Cable (John Brolin) in the next instalment of this dead-pan comedy franchise. It’ll have swearing, it’ll have crudeness (aplenty), and it’ll have fighting. We can’t wait.

Ignoring yet another superhero movie (The Avengers: Infinity War) because, quite frankly, we’re bored of them, Star Wars is set to launch its next spin-off. Solo naturally focuses on a young Han Solo (who looks nothing like Han Solo) and Lando Calrissian (who looks nothing like Lando Calrissian) in their pre-Rebel years. The cast is impressive, and although the last spin-off outing (Rogue One) was a hit, we’re not sure the necessary baggage the film comes with (re-writes, changes of directors, the list goes on) is going to make it any good. Given that The Last Jedi was poor, okay, that’s an understatement; we really need Disney to pull it out of the bag here.

Also making their debut in cinemas later this year are Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Incredibles 2, Mission Impossible: Fallout, The Predator, Halloween, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Mary Poppins Returns. If you love your blockbusters (excluding the endless parade of superhero movies), 2018 could be a good year for you.

The Hidden Secrets in Arts and Culture

There are many hidden secrets in arts and culture, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for most of your life, you will certainly have heard of the Mona Lisa. Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous “portrait” is arguably the most famous painting in the world, and it continues to fascinate and captivate the world, 500 years after it was first made. What is it about the Mona Lisa that is so fascinating, though, and why do we keep talking about a painting that surely everybody knows everything there is to know about?

What’s So Special About the Mona Lisa?

There are several reasons why the Mona Lisa stands out from all of the other paintings you’ve often heard of, not least because it was painted by Leonardo da Vinci. This painting – which actually doesn’t look anywhere near as impressive as some other artists’ feats – was ahead of its time, though. The technique da Vinci uses (sfumato) makes him one of the first use the “without lines or borders” style of creating light and shadow illusions.

Da Vinci worked on the Mona List for four years, and it was a fond favorite of his patron, Francois I. Throw in the fact that there are only a limited number of canvas painting by the man himself (da Vinci devoted a lot of his time to works besides paintings, too) and the fact that it is in such good condition, and that it is one of the most valuable and secured paintings in the world, and it is no wonder that the Mona Lisa stays appealing in the public eye.

Whilst this is all very interesting to fans of fine art, it isn’t enough to keep your average Joe interested. What else could it be about the Mona Lisa that keeps us intrigued then?

Hidden Secrets Keep Us Interested

The Mona List’s history and the myths and legends surrounding the painting could arguably be the main reason why the painting continues to draw a crowd and fascinate us. It was, for instance, stolen in the early 20th Century. An already famous painting which was stolen and eventually found increases its popularity and reputation. The fact that it appears virtually everywhere (as reproductions, coffee cups, and comedic advertisements) also makes it very memorable. We’ve heard of it, and we’ve all seen reproductions of it, even if most of us have never visited the actual painting.

One of the myths surrounding the painting is that it was actually a portrait of the wife of Francesco del Giocondo (a silk merchant in Florence at the time). Some people have even said that the Mona Lisa is da Vinci’s portrait of himself – a female da Vinci if you will. The fact that it may not be Lisa del Giocondo means that people are always trying to discover who the portrait is really of, and that keeps us interested.

Arguably the most famous myth around the painting is that there is something underneath it all. It regularly makes the news and scientists announce that they have uncovered pictures or fragments of layers below the Mona Lisa. Depending on which story you hear, there could be as many as four painting underneath it.

As long as these rumours, myths, and theories exist, the Mona Lisa will continue to captive and excite us.