Sep 17

Kunstglaser: Stained Glass Meets Modern Art

Kunstglaser: A Breakwater Original

When you don’t love, don’t do it. And when somebody says, ‘Nobody can do this,’ then I say, ‘hey, my name is Nobody.’

Norbert Sattler is a master stained glass craftsman living Pleasantville, Nova Scotia who creates amazing modern glass pieces in conjunction with artists.  In this film Sattler shares his work space with us, discusses working with glass, and we get to see how he collaborates his craft with Toronto artist Sue Obata.

The short film was directed by Ben Proudfoot of Breakwater Studios with cinematography by David Bolen.

Filed under Crafts.

Jul 30

Suzanne Ciani: A Life in Waves

Suzanne Ciani

Even if you’re not familiar with the name Suzanne Ciani, the odds are very likely that you’ve heard her work.  She was born in 1946 and by the early ’70’s, she had become a true innovator in electronic music, working heavily with computer generated sounds and synths.  She has produced several electronic new age albums over the years, but she is perhaps best known for her music and sound effects using a Buchla Analog Modular Synthesizer for television shows, movies, bands, video games, and scores for corporations and advertisements, including the Coca-Cola open & pour sound.

filmbuff and Window Pictures have a new documentary on Suzanne Ciani, A Life in Waves, which will start showing in theaters this August.  Here’s a trailer:

Jul 11

Trailer: The Trip to Spain

When it was released in 2011, I found The Trip wonderfully entertaining and it remains one of my default go-to movies to this day. The Trip and its sequels are essentially a compilation of highlights from the BBC show. In The Trip, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon explore the English countryside as in search of good cuisine as food reviewers for The Observer. They exchange quips, find interesting locals, and explore foggy, magnificent British landscapes along the way.

Better yet, The Trip was set to a pensive soundtrack of Michael Nyman with a bit of Joy Division, which was perfect for the setting.

Following The Trip came the sequel, The Trip to Italy, and while they used much the same formula as the first, it was satisfyingly enjoyable. The subtle humor that the two can’t help but to convey makes this series worthwhile, again and again.

The next, The Trip to Spain, will be released in theaters on August 11th.

After jaunts through northern England and Italy, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on another deliciously deadpan culinary road trip. This time around, the guys head to Spain to sample the best of the country’s gastronomic offerings in between rounds of their hilariously off-the-cuff banter. Over plates of pintxos and paella, the pair exchange barbs and their patented celebrity impressions, as well as more serious reflections on what it means to settle into middle age. As always, the locales are breathtaking, the cuisine to die for, and the humor delightfully devilish.


Jul 11

Mister Ghost’s June 2017 Parcel – Kitschy Mermaid Beach Party!

This month Mister Ghost’s Highly Enviable Monthly Parcel of Simple Yet Amazing Wonderments is mermaid themed!  Ironically in the last month, Mermaids have been circling around me.  I recently stopped in a shop called “Columbia Mermaid” and met a real life mermaid.  Laura, who runs said mermaid shop, has been surrounded by mermaids her entire life.  Because of this she opened a shop that specializes in goodies for the mysterious ocean dwellers.  Since that time, I have been surrounding myself with mermaid things – mermaid glitter, mermaid oracles and painted my toes like mermaid fins.  The universe sent this parcel right on time to add to the mermaid mystery that is my currently in my life.

Read the rest of Mister Ghost’s June 2017 Parcel – Kitschy Mermaid Beach Party!

Jul 11

Achieve Glowing Skin with Homemade Honey Recipes

Between chlorine from pools and the sun’s UV rays, summer can be a damaging time for your skin. But you can easily restore your natural glow with a popular secret ingredient among do-it-yourselfers for soft, supple skin and shiny, healthy hair — honey.

Find recipes here…

Jun 25

Kedr Livanskiy – “Ariadna”

Kedr Livanskiy has a lovely new track, “Ariadna,” from the album of the same name which will be out September 8th.

Kedr Livanskiy – “Ariadna”

Jun 10

Essential Oils to Relieve Common Problems

There are many types of essential oils available at your local health food store, but what exactly can you do with them?

Find essential oil remedies for tight muscles, reducing stress, and treating those summer bug bites here.

Jun 10

Recipe: Blueberry Hazelnut Pancakes

Delicious blueberries are a favorite for good reason – they’re rich in disease-fighting nutrients and are a good source of antioxidants.

Read how to match up blueberries with hazelnuts for a real breakfast treat here.

Jun 10

Halloween in June?

Well, it is one of our favorite holidays around here, and if you’re looking for something to keep you in the Halloween spirit year round, then have a peek at our first sample of Mister Ghost’s Highly Enviable Monthly Parcel of Simple Yet Amazing Wonderments.

Jun 03

Six Amazing Places To See In L.A.

Los Angeles is a vacation spot that I frequent often, for one I have close family there and I can’t resist a nice beach, but also because it has some incredible places to see!  Last week I decided to take a tour of some of my very favorite L.A. landmarks and share them here.

1.) Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory was made uber-famous this year by the movie La La Land, also making the place really crowded these days. But don’t let the crowds dissuade you, it truly is a magical must-see spot in L.A.

And I swear that the view under the moonlight in real life was even more romantic and enchanting than the movie.


Here you can take in sweeping views of the city, explore celestial wonders in the observatory, and see fascinating narrated shows in the planetarium.

When you walk inside the observatory, look up to see the intricate ceiling mural. The mural was created by Hugo Ballin, and the Griffith Observatory site describes the mural:

The Ballin ceiling mural celebrates classical celestial mythology, with images of Atlas, the four winds, the planets as gods, and the twelve constellations of the zodiac. The eight rectangular Ballin wall murals depict the “Advancement of Science” with panels on astronomy, aeronautics, navigation, civil engineering, metallurgy and electricity, time, geology and biology, and mathematics and physics.

Griffith Observatory Ceiling Mural by Hugo Ballin

The rooftop terrace was my favorite spot.

Griffith Rooftop

The observatory sits atop Mount Hollywood in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park.  Visit the Griffith Observatory site for planetarium showtimes and observatory information.

2.) The Getty Center

Another one of our must-see places was the Getty Museum, which is a Los Angeles Eden unto itself resting in the hills above the city with the architecture of the building, the elaborate gardens, and the art it houses.

When you first arrive at the Getty, you’re directed to a tram to take you to the Getty Center, which contains the museum, the gardens, and dining. The tram ride is a smooth and scenic journey taking you up through the hills; much like the train ride in Hunger Games as my daughter humorously pointed out. However, instead of finding vicious games on arrival, you walk into a California paradise.

Taking the Tram to the Getty

The first thing that struck me was the spectacular architecture of the Getty Center, which was designed by Richard Meier.  The buildings combine modern, curvilinear designs with generous utilization of natural lighting to create a solid, clean, and natural experience.

The Getty Center

The Getty Museum features a wide range of art, ranging from ancient antiquities to modern exhibits, making it an excellent cultural touchstone for all ages.

I was very interested in the current exhibit, Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space, so that’s where we started our tour.  It showcased works by foundational figures Augusto de Campos and Ian Hamilton Finlay as well as contemporary poets including Henri Chopin, Eugen Gomringer, Ernst Jandl, Mary Ellen Solt, and Emmett Williams.

The simple beauty of this work by Eugen Gomringer astounded me:

“Wind” (1953) by Eugen Gomringer

Another interesting exhibit was the visual poem “O Pulsar” (1975) by Augusto de Campos with music by Caetano Veloso:

You can also experience furniture and decor from bygone eras, like this French chandelier.  I may just be reeling from the observatory but I love how this looks celestial.

French chandelier (1785-1790)

While exploring the various exhibits, you can stop to take in breathtaking views of the city, like this one as seen from the Greek sculpture building:

City View

Step outside of the museum to see the manicured gardens of the Getty Center, like this cactus garden overlooking downtown L.A.

Cactus Garden

There was really an incredible variety of art to see here; to see more of the wide range of exhibits you can see at the museum, visit the Getty site.

3.) Santa Monica Pier

If you absolutely adore the beach, like I do, then you might want to drive south of L.A. to the Santa Monica Pier for long stretches of beach, seaside dining, and you can even take the kids to the pier amusement park if you like.

You can take the highway to the pier from the city, which will land you quicker, but if you have the time, I would highly recommend taking a drive on the nearby scenic Topanga Canyon Boulevard, which goes through Topanga State Park and is just beautiful.

When we first arrived, we walked the pier, which also serves as the famous “End of the Trail” landmark signifying the end of the historic Route 66.

Notice “Pier Burger” in the background?  This little stand served some amazing old-fashioned greasy grilled burgers.  We also enjoyed some ocean-fresh seafood on the pier, which can’t be beat!

End of the Trail

The pier amusement park has a number of cute rides including a carousel for the little ones and the iconic Santa Monica solar-paneled ferris wheel.

The Santa Monica Ferris Wheel

The Santa Monica beaches are waiting for you to stretch out your towels and enjoy the soft sands and cool waves. It was a cloudy day when we went, but the beach was still gorgeous and very relaxing.

Santa Monica Beach

You can find pier walking tours, concert schedules, and more on the Santa Monica Pier site.


The next day we had to make a visit to another one of L.A.’s most valued museums, LACMA (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art).  LACMA also has a wide variety of art on display from around the globe and from a number of time periods, and showcases a stunning collection of contemporary art, including a room full of Picasso paintings and works by Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein.

When you walk into LACMA, you are greeted by Tony Smith’s massive sculpture Smoke (1967).

“Smoke” by Tony Smith (1967)

The entrance also had Abdulnasser Gharem’s Pause on display, which featured Arabic and English text both reading from right to left.  LACMA gives some insight into Gharem’s work and its connection to 9-11:

For Gharem, like most of us, seeing the World Trade Center destroyed on television was one of those terrible moments that seems to make the world stand still or pause. Gharem has deeply absorbed this notion of pause into his work both as an occasion to examine certain universal dichotomies, which lead us to choose our life’s paths…

Abdulnasser Gharem

“Untitled Improvisation III” (1914) Kandinsky

“Head of a Man” (1969) Pablo Picasso

“Centaur” (1955) Picasso

“Cubi XXIII” (1964) stainless steel sculpture by David Smith with “Elegy to the Spanish Republic 100” (1963-75) by Robert Motherwell in the background.

Me & Rothko’s “White Center” (1957)

5.) La Brea Tar Pits

So what’s really amazing, is that in the middle of this busy city, full of bustling traffic and towering buildings, are ancient bubbling tar pits.

Right next to LACMA are the La Brea tar pits.  Here you can see fossils of extinct animals sticking out of these tar pits, and some of them hold hundreds of fossils of animals who got trapped in the pits, either trying to get the meat of other animals or just wandering in.

This was one of the smallest tar pits there, but I took this photo because it was the closest I got to one.

La Brea Tar Pit

You can have a look at the fossils inside the museum, and watch some fun videos of the museum like this one at the La Brea Tar Pit site.



6.) Downtown L.A.

Last but not least – Downtown L.A.!  Downtown L.A. is filled with culture; within a short walking distance, you can see the Museum of Contemporary Art, Olvera Street, and Little Tokyo, among other things!

Take a walk down Olvera Street for some Mexican food and margaritas, or shop at one of the many hispanic shops there.

Olvera St.

You can also view the Avila Adobe on Olvera St., built in 1818, which is the oldest existing house in L.A.

Avila Adobe

Just a few blocks over is Little Tokyo, a beautiful center where you can enjoy Japanese dining, culture, and shopping.

Little Tokyo

There were so many cute things to buy here! I totally had to practice constraint!

One of the most interesting things I found was how people placed anonymous prayers on the prayer tree.

Prayer Tree in Little Tokyo

After long, exciting days of touring, there was always something delicious to be had in L.A. If Mexican or Japanese food doesn’t interest you after a day exploring the cultural centers downtown, then perhaps a taste of L.A.’s food trucks will. Just outside of Little Tokyo, you can try some of the city’s yummy food trucks, like the Blue Nova which serves L.A.’s unique ice cream rolls.

L.A. Food Trucks

I hope you enjoyed my personal tour of L.A. It’s definitely a city rich in culture and full of magic!