Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Challenge at Kenny K's Krafty Girlz!

Hello!  I haven't shown my blog much love lately and that makes me sad, but this week is going to be different.  I'm going to kick the week off with the new Kenny K challenge over at Kenny K's Krafty Girlz and it's a good one!

Before I get to the challenge details, I want to say "Thank You" to the 12 lovely ladies that spent the afternoon with me at China Phoenix 2 yesterday.  They took my Beginning Copic Marker class and spent 3 hours listening to me ramble on about the virtues of Copics, the key to decoding the color wheel and the color identifiers on the markers, and a quickie course in coloring, shading, and light source.  We had a great time and it was fantastic to see many new faces interested in learning about these amazing tools.  I am always thrilled and honored when folks opt to spend an afternoon with me when I know they could be tackling a number of tasks on their busy "to do" lists.  It is truly appreciated ;D

Now, who wants to hear more about that latest Kenny K challenge?  Our extremely talented teammate, Rachel, has created a sketch for us and it is fabulous!  Talk about working some magic with Copics and Prismas, check out her blog and prepare to be amazed by her work.  I love a sketch challenge, because half the work has been completed for me.  Seriously, having a sketch to work from practically cuts my card making time in half and frankly, you just can't beat that.

This week, in addition to the winner's choice of 5 digis from the Kenny K collection, Crafty Emma is sponsoring the challenge and providing two sets of card candy to the winner.  That's a fabulous prize package and would be the perfect tools to add to your crafting arsenal.  Need a little help getting started?  Swing by the Kenny K's Krafty Girlz challenge blog and take a gander at what my teammates have put together just for you.  Amazing work and sure to get those creative juices flowing!  While you're out and about on the Internet, visit the Kenny K shop to view all of his crazy cool designs.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Paper Shelter - Challenge #2

Hello!  Come on in and visit a spell!  Today we're starting a new challenge at The Paper Shelter blog.  The design team is asking you to create red themed cards.  If you feature a Paper Shelter image in your creation, you may be selected to win a $15 gift certificate to spend in The Paper Shelter Shop.  What a great way to add to those digi images!

The card I created for this challenge features Gothic Girl.  I like her because she is sporting some serious "'tude".  I colored her up with my Copics and added a very kewl strip of leather, studded with tiny grommets.  Guess where I picked up that clever bit of trim.  WalMart.  I know...I hate to admit it, but I always find great stuff there.  If only it didn't feel like I am selling my soul to the devil every time I walk in.  Wait, scratch that...not only does it feel like I am selling my soul to the devil, but he's making the purchase with a coupon for half off and the illegal use of his stepbrother's employee discount.  Ugh!

Before you leave Blogland, pop over to The Paper Shelter's site and check out what the design team whipped up for you.  This group of folks is ridiculously talented, have a look for yourself.  Well, that's it for me.  Catch you later and don't forget to Stay Crafty!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Challenge at Kenny K's Krafty Girlz!

Good Morning!  It's Sunday and with that I bring you a new challenge at Kenny K's Krafty Girlz.  Team B is hosting this week and It's All About R's!  They are asking you to create cards using your favorite "R's"...ribbon, red, roses, rick rack, rhinestones, you get the idea.  So pick your favorite "R" themed items and let's see what you've got.  

There are a couple of great prizes this week, so I know you will want to play along.  Quixotic Paperie is offering a Kenny K rubber stamp image in your choice and Kenny K is offering your choice of 5 digital images.  That's a fab prize package and I know you won't want to miss out.

Visit Kenny K's Krafty Girlz challenge blog and prepare to have your socks blown off with their amazing creations.  Start there and then head to your studio to start working on your entry.  I'll be looking for you!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Special Collaborative Class at CP2

Hello!  Today I am excited to share something I have been working on for a little while.  This is the finished project for a collaborative class I will be teaching at China Phoenix 2 on March 5th with my friend, Anne Engelhardt.  Anne is an amazing artist.  She is a master bookmaker and combines this skill with her passion for gorgeous Japanese washi papers to create absolutely exquisite 3-dimensional art pieces that include handmade journals, boxes, and jewelry.  She owns a fabulous online store, by the name of Craft Fantastic, that carries an exciting array of papers, glass embellishments, clip art, and jewelry making supplies.  It is truly worth a visit, so get over there and take a look around!  You'll be glad you did!

When Anne asked me to work with her on a collaborative class, I was honored and intimidated at the same time.  The idea was that she would give me the first part of the project, a book, a box, or some sort of foundational piece that I could decorate for my part of the class.  The attendees would spend the first couple of hours creating this beginning structure with Anne and then they would spend the next couple of hours adding stamped images and embellishments with me.  It sounded great to me.  When I received Anne's "foundational piece", I was blown away!  She had created a 6-panel screen out of bookboard, carefully covered all of the pieces in a beautiful washi paper, then made delicate text paper blossoms and attached them to tiny branches, added clip art to glass embellishments, if that weren't enough, cut decorative text paper strips from dictionary pages.  All of this was handed to me in a box that also included rolls of fabulous ribbons, additional clip art, papers, text pages, etc.  She left out not a single detail.

I didn't even know where to start.  The project was wonderful as it was and I couldn't bear the thought of gluing anything to it.  It would be like spray painting graffiti on a museum wall.  Well, I had to get over that, so I buckled down to come up with something that might be semi-worthy of sitting atop that perfect base.  It was this project that caused me to revisit that ancient technique of embossing a background on cardstock, adding color and then ironing off the embossed areas using blank newsprint.  As you can guess, I had fun playing with this technique and have been using it on a lot of cards lately.  The background images I chose to work with for this project are all by Judikins.  On top of the backgrounds, I stamped brush stroke flower images by Penny Black and then double embossed them to achieve a thick, shiny, raised image.  The results, to me, have a somewhat Asian feel and I thought that worked well with the papers that Anne chose for her panels.  I added lots of embellishments and Nancy (CP2) let me borrow 2 haiku cube stamps that are so fabulous, she may never get them!

Well, it is finally complete and I am hoping that I have done Anne's lovely work justice.  Sometimes when you are elbow deep in a project, it is difficult to get a good feel for the outcome.  I am crossing my fingers that Anne, Nancy and the CP2 patrons like it.  Wish me luck ;D          

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Paper Shelter - Challenge #1

Good Morning!  Today, I am thrilled to announce the very first Paper Shelter Challenge!  These images are beyond special and you will fall in love with just one glance.  They combine just the right amount of whimsy and cute to sate all your crafting needs.  Need a card for a little one's birthday?  No problem, they've got images for that.  Need a card to let a friend know that you are thinking of them?  They've got those, too.  Need a scrapbook page to document a family vacation?  Too easy!  It's all there at The Paper Shelter!

The Paper Shelter's DT is asking you to create a card featuring Buttons and Bows this go round.  If you use a Paper Shelter image in your creation you might be randomly selected to win a $15.00 gift certificate to spend in the Paper Shelter shop.  Not too, shabby!  Certainly a great way to add to your digi image arsenal.

My card features the adorable Mischievous Kitten.  I colored him up with Copics and made sure to embellish with a bow and a couple of fun buttons.  He is just one of the many wonderful images available in the Paper Shelter shop, which is certainly worth a look around.  

Please swing by the Paper Shelter blog to see the challenge details and to check out the awesome creations that the DT members have whipped up.  This group is sooooo talented!  You definitely need to pay them a visit ;D  

Until next time!  Stay Crafty!  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A New Kenny K Challenge!

It's Sunday, how has your week been?  Mine has flown by, but it was jam packed with some crazy awesome stuff.  A couple of highlights included being able to pay a visit to the house of my favorite local artist, Brandon Maldonado.  My sister purchased a painting from him, so we popped in to pick it up.  He was incredibly gracious and gave us a tour of his art collection and shared his works in progress with us. Who has two thumbs and is the luckiest person in the world?  This girl!  Later in the week my sis and I attended the Margarita and a Movie event at the Albuquerque Natural History Museum.  The movie for the evening was Breakfast at Tiffany's.  So magical.  Never were there two more beautiful yet flawed characters to dazzle the big screen.  Before the movie, we were welcomed with a lovely libation; our choice of beer, wine or margarita (of course).  Then our appetites were sated with tasty hors d'oeuvres.  A fabulous evening indeed!  Finally, Saturday night, hubby and I celebrated Valentine's Day with a trip to our favorite sushi/teppan grill restaurant, I Love Sushi.  The food is always excellent, and the owner is charming and friendly during every visit.  It can kick Japanese Kitchen's tookus with both culinary hands tied behind it's back.  Well, that was my week.  I hope your's was equally fabulous!   

On to the real reason for this post.  There is a new challenge happening at Kenny K's Krafty Girlz Challenge blog today and we are asking you to create a card featuring circles.   Who knew circles could be so much fun!  I used Soho on my card and combined her with a turquoise, red and kraft color  theme.  I am using these colors a lot lately, but I am loving them.  Soho reminds me of either a superhero or a race car driver, maybe a little bit of each.  I made the circle panel behind Soho using the same embossed resist technique I described in my La Isla Bonita post a couple of days ago.  It seemed perfectly suited for this week's challenge.  

We have a couple of crazy cool prizes for you this week including your choice of a set of 5 Copic Caio Markers from Cult Pens, and your choice of 5 digi images from Kenny K.  I know... anyone would love to win these, how about you?  

My Kenny K teammates have created some amazing cards to inspire you.  Pop over to Kenny K's Krafty Girlz Challenge blog to check what they have cooked up!  Also, swing by the Kenny K Download site and check out all of Kenny's fab images.  He even has a free digi for February waiting for you, so get over there now to check it out.  

One last thing before I go, The Paper Shelter will announce it's first challenge this Wednesday so visit my blog and the TPS blog for details that day.  Stay Crafty!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New and Improved

Hola!  I'm sharing a new card today, but not really.  Oh, it's all new materials, but that's about it.  The concept is a of my reruns.  You see, my friend wanted a card like the one I gave my husband last year for his birthday.  This is a copy of that card except I had to make a few alterations on the embellishments.  Here's a little peek into a weird personality quirk I possess.  She asked for this card over 9-months ago, but she made the big mistake of adding the words "...just whenever you can get to it".  Hahaha...I guess it takes 9-months to give "birth" to a card "...whenever I can get to it".  If I have a firm deadline, then I'm golden.  I'll meet that deadline every time.  Leave it open for me to decide, and you get a finished project in 9-months.  In that amount of time, I could have grown a tree, harvested it, and made my own paper.  Deadlines are good!  LOL!  

I colored a number of sacred heart images by Bombshell Stamps when I first purchased the set.   The one on this card is probably a couple of years old.  As you can see in this photo, I was not so much into the blending, shading, shadowing thing back then.  Also, I think I owned maybe a dozen Copics at that time.  Because of that, I actually still had money in my pocket.  Almost a couple hundred markers later, I am constantly broke because of this pricey addiction, but my life is full of color and that makes me happy ;D

I did use a pretty cool technique on the vine, though.  I double embossed it using a Versamarker pen and some clear embossing powder.  I love doing this because I can add dimension to a colored image highlighting certain portions of it.  The pen allows me to cover fine details and if I repeat the process, I get a nice thick layer of embossing.  I also do this frequently with Diamond Glaze or dimensional lacquer, but it takes a good hour for the image to dry otherwise you end up with a nice, fat fingerprint smack dab in the middle of your work.  Not pretty.

Ok, I better go.  David Letterman is on and Kirk is bugging me to read his latest blogpost before it goes up.  Ah, such is the life of a blogging couple...couple of what's...I don't know.  Stay creafty, folks!  Pop back in for a new Kenny K. challenge on Sunday and the Paper Shelter will have their first challenge on Wednesday complete with a prize!!                                                                                                                                                                  

Friday, February 11, 2011

La Isla Bonita

Hello!  This really is going to be a short post today.  I  made this to cover a couple of challenges over at Bombshell Stamps.  The first one is a sketch challenge created by our own fabulous Kathi and the second one is a color challenge set by our Pin Up Girl of the month, Miss February, Dawn.  She has challenged us to create a card or project using turquoise, red, and kraft.  I love this combo and have been using it for several days not even realizing that Dawn had set this challenge.  She and I must be!

For this card, I used the Lucky Bride, Sacred Heart Art, and Sugar Skull stamp sets.  You can order them on the Bombshell Stamps website, but if you live in the Albuquerque area, just pop into China Phoenix 2 and Nancy can order them for you.

I have wanted Lucky Bride for a long time, but ended up getting this set just a couple of months ago.  She reminds me of a Spanish senorita, so I opted to go with a Latin theme rather than a marital one.  Whenever I look at her, I hear La Isla Bonita by Madonna in my head.  Hmmm...what's that?  I should get that checked?  You're probably right ;D

The background image is actually a stamp by Hero Arts.  I embossed the pattern onto the die cut using clear embossing powder and Versamark ink.  Then I liberally sponged Fired Brick Distress Ink all over to get a really intense saturation of color.  Then I laid a piece of plain newsprint on top and ironed off the embossed areas using a craft iron.  This leaves a nice smooth surface along with a crisp resist of the image.  You could even add additional stamped images on top.  I'm actually thinking about creating a tutorial on this, so maybe that'll show up on my blog in a week or two.  We'll see.

Everything was colored with my Copics.  I added a few gems and that was about it for this card.  I really love this layout.  Kathi out did herself this month ;D

Okay, time for bed!  Stay crafty ;D    


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Here kitty, kitty!

Hola!  Welcome back!  I'm going to make this a short post, because my goal was to be in bed by midnight, which means I only have 8 mins to type, edit, import pics, and post.  Yeah right, Cheryl!  Good luck with that!  Tick tock, tick tock...

This card features my favorite feline duo from Stamps by Judith.  They are soooo sweet and the tabby on the right reminds me of my Super Titus Devil Kitty.  He's the latest addition to my furry family.  You may recall that I posted pics of him last July right after I brought him home.  He was the sweetest angel faced baby kitty...I just wanted to coo at him all day.

Well, 7 months later...things have changed.  He still has a sweet face, but he is the devil.  Every morning, he starts the day with a brisk cardio workout that includes terrorizing the 2 senior kitties (Max and Charlie), tossing a grossly mutilated fuzzy matted ball that used to resemble a mouse into the air repeatedly, and about an hour of parkour.  Parkour is basically daredevil running at high speeds with no hesitation or heed to terrain, obstacles, danger, etc.  You leap off buildings, jump over boulders, swing around light poles by your arms, whatever crazy stunt it takes to conquer the obstacle in your way.  Titus holds high honors in this activity.  He gallops through our tiny townhouse like a horse, knocking over dining room chairs as he barrels through the dining room and catapults (pun intended) off of them.  I have literally seen him run sideways across the back of the couch.  This guy refuses to be held hostage by such nonsense as gravity.  I swear I have witnessed him grab Max, get him in a headlock, and drag him across the floor Rambo-style.

The other day I overhead Max and Charlie plotting his demise.  Something about tainted tuna, a cat-sized suitcase, and a one way ticket to the Bermuda Triangle via Aeromexico.  The surprise was not necessarily hearing two cats having a conversation, or even the detail in which their plan would be carried out, but instead the  cruel means by which they intended on getting him out of the country, because, really, Aeromexico is just no way to travel.  The flights are fraught with turbulence, the inflight meal is barely edible, leg room is skimpy at best, and they'll lose your luggage every time.  Tsk, tsk, Max and Charlie...too cruel!  Besides I don't think Titus has a passport, nor does Aeromexico even fly to the Bermuda Triangle.  Do your homework, kids.

Even though Titus starts his day in a catastrophic whirlwind of activity, terrorizing every man and beast who dare to get in his way,  he invariably needs the comfy, cozy, calm of my lap for a snuggle in the afternoon.  As I'm working away at my art desk, a tiny paw will tap my hip and a small kitten-like mew will request permission to climb aboard.  As he settles into my lap, he rewards me with the constant hum of his motor, expressing appreciation for a chin scratch and a head rub.  These are the moments I live for.

"So much for a short post", she said an hour and twenty minutes later ;D

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog Hopping with Paper Makeup Stamps!

Paper Makeup Stamps is turning 2 years old!  And to celebrate the occasion, they are having a super fun VIP blog hop with the theme "the things we love".  The entire design team invited special crafters to play along in this hop.  To see everyone involved, please go back to the Paper Makeup Stamps company blog for a master list as well as to enter your self to win a super fabulous prize!

My blog buddy, Jami (aka Sgt. Stamper) invited me to play along and I was more than honored to join the PMS folks for this special event.  Jami's blog is fabulous, so be sure to spend some extra time there while you're checking out the hoppers.  She really knows how to work those Copics, so there are lots of fabulous, color-filled projects to see!  In fact, if you are following the hop order, you should have arrived from Jami's blog.  Your next stop is Lisa McKinney's blog, where I'm sure she has something spectacular waiting for you.  If you get lost along the way, you can head back to the the Paper Makeup Stamps company blog to guide you on your way.  

For my card, I used Caliope with Heart.  She is soooo cute!  She is part of the Monster collection, but I think she is a sweetie and was immediately drawn to her as soon as I laid eyes on her.  I paired her with a ton of "things I love", including fancy papers, lace, glitter glue, gems, twine, and a lovely paper flower.  Plus, a little dimensional lacquer on the heart really makes it pop.  I had a great time putting this card together ;D 

Now, quick!  Start checking out the other amazing blogs featured in this hop!

Have fun blog hopping today. There is a ton of inspiration waiting for you on the blogs of these oh so talented folks ;D Stay crafty!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Challenge at Kenny K's Krafty Girlz!

Hey, there!  How is your weekend so far?  Mine is going great!  I spent my Saturday afternoon with a group of lovely stamping ladies at China Phoenix 2 who took my Valentine's Day card class.  Thank you, ladies!  You always make me smile and I know it's going to be a great day when I get to hang out with you ;D

Today is Sunday and you know what that means!  Yes, that's right!  There's a new challenge at Kenny K's Krafty Girlz!  This week Team B is coming at you with a different kind of challenge, this one is called A Card for my Sweetheart and it is accompanied by an inspiration photo.  Create a card using the photo as your jumping off point and be sure to include a Kenny K image to be eligible to win a fab prize.  The randomly selected winner will receive a $15.00 gift certificate from Michelle's Scrapbooking Store AND their choice of 5 Kenny K digi images.  That is a crazy awesome prize package, so don't dilly dally, make a card and submit it!

Here's that inspiration photo to help you get started:

And here's a look at the sponsor's links.  Check them out!

Before you log off and go back to watching the big game, head over to the Krafty Girls Challenge blog to see what the DT created for this week's challenge.  Their creations are amazing and are sure to get those krafty juices percolating.

One more thing before I stamping blog buddy Jami aka Sargent  Stamper invited me to join the Paper Makeup Stamps Blog Hop taking place tomorrow at 7am.  Of course, I am honored and immediately accepted.  Please join us by starting at the Paper Makeup Stamps site and hitting all the fabulous blogs on the list.  Everyone's creations are sure to be awesome.  Also, don't forget to pay Jami's blog a little visit.  She is a Copic Marker aficionado!    

Bye for now ;D  See you tomorrow! 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Introducing the Paper Shelter Design Team!

Hello!  You'll be happy to know that I quickly heard from Charlotta yesterday and her blog candy prize will be in the mail to her in just a few short days.  Thank you to everyone for joining the fun!  I have already started collecting some fabulous items for my next blog candy give-a-way, so be sure to pop in periodically and see what I am up to ;D

I have an exciting announcement today.  Donna has started a design team for The Paper Shelter and she has asked me to act as the DT Leader.  This team is so talented, you are going to love what they do with these adorable images!  If you're not familiar with these quirky designs, please stop by their store and check them out.  They are unlike anything you have ever seen.  When you purchase a digi image, you'll not only receive the black and white image to add your own color to, but you'll also receive a colored image to create quick and beautiful cards.

Today I am sharing a card using Sophie in the Country.  She was great to use my Copics on and, as you know, the cards coming up in my class this Saturday do not use any Copics, so I had to make up for that by coloring up 3 images yesterday.  Wow, it felt good to!  What?  No, I don't have a problem ;D  The ribbon is seam binding and I have died it with Fired Brick Distress Ink Reinker.  Love the variation in color throughout the ribbon.

The DT has been creating up a storm with their new images, so please stop by their blogs to see what they have been up to.  You will find their addresses in my sidebar.  Also, swing by the Paper Shelter Blog.  We will have our first challenge in a couple of weeks, so feel free to become a follower and visit often.

Until next time...stay crafty!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

And the winner is...!

Hello!  Today is a big day because I am announcing the winner of my blog candy.  Drum roll, please...!  And the winner is...

Congratulations!  I will leave a comment on your blog.

I want to thank everyone for playing!  I am already planning my next blog candy give-a-way, which will be later in the year.  Please check back often and I hope to see you out and about in Blogland ;D  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My first Blog Candy!!!

Hola!  I've been MIA for few days, but I'm back today.  I have so many cards to make, but I just haven't found the time to sit down and crank them out.  What gives?  Oh, right!  I forgot!  I'm a big ol' procrastinator, so I'm just waiting until the last minute to do them, because there's nothing as exhilarating as staying up 'til 4:00 in the morning trying to finish a card...LOL!

Anyway, here I am.  Still no card, but maybe something even better ;D How about a give-a-way?  I have never given anything away on my blog before, so this is exciting!  I am actually destashing some of my stuff, so I thought I would share some with you.  These stamps are new and have never touched ink.  They are not part of any recent releases, but they are nice sets, just the same, and if you like Hero Arts and Inkadinkado, then you are going to love these!

I know what you're thinking.  You're thinking, but Cheryl, your picture is so crappy, I can't tell what's in this blog candy give-a-way.  I know...the picture IS crappy.  I think I had the camera set to MACRO, but I was sitting too far away.  Anyway, I have posted links to each set, so you can see the contents in detail.  Here's a list:

Not too shabby, huh!  So, how can you win?  Easy peasy!  Just a simple 3 step process:
  1. Sign up to follow my blog under my Followers list.
  2. Post my blog candy picture with a link to this post in the sidebar of your blog.
  3. Add your name to the Inlinkz list at the bottom of this post.  
No big whoop!  A couple of additional details...everyone is invited to play, no matter where you reside.  If you are already a follower, then you just have to complete steps 2 and 3.  If you don't have a blog, you are still invited to play, just complete steps 1 and 3.  My blog candy give-a-way closes at midnight (MST) on February 2nd, so be sure and get in before the deadline ;D  

Tick tock, tick tock...

Wow!  I am amazed at the interest in my blog candy.  Thank you to everyone who has signed up for a chance to win.  The clock is ticking, but there is still time to enter.  The contest closes at midnight (MST), which according to my Inlinkz countdown timer, is in just about 7 hours.  If you have been on the fence about signing up, don't hesitate.  Follow the instructions in the post at the top of this page.  Someone has to could be you!!! ;D  Good luck to everyone and see you in the morning with a winner!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 5th Class at CP2 - Sample 2 of 2

Hola, Stamping Amigos!  I hope everyone had a grand weekend!  I spent a wonderful Sunday afternoon with 9 fabulous ladies who attended the repeat of my hearts and skulls Valentine's Day Card Class.  I want to thank each and every one of you for giving up your Sunday afternoon to hang out with me.  I had a blast and I hope you did, too ;D

Next Saturday, I am teaching another Valentine's Day Card Class, but this one features cards that might be considered a bit more traditional.  That means no skulls this time...LOL!  Today I am sharing the second card I will be teaching in that class and it features layered stamping.  This one, like the other, uses no Copic markers.  That's Copic markers were harmed in the making of this card. Instead, I layered on color using a fab background stamp and a flourish by Hero Arts, and a large cube stamp by Stampington.  Then I stamped my cool birds on top of everything in black ink and added a thick coating of dimensional lacquer to make them pop.  A few punched paper hearts, a computer generated sentiment, a couple of paper flowers, some twine, and a scattering of gems finishes it off.

These cards were fun to make, but it was really hard steering clear of the Copics.  To make up for it, I'm going to have to color extra images just to recover ;D  I would hate for my Copics to start feeling neglected.

One last thing, my husband and I are huge movie fans and we host a bit of a shindig each year at our house to watch the Academy Awards.  We don't get to see ALL of the movies with nominations, but we do try to hit at least the flicks nominated for Best Picture.  This used to be rather simple until the Academy opened up the category to include 10 nominees.  Now we're scrambling to try to squeeze them all in before February 27th.  Up until tonight, we had seen 5 of the 10...True Grit, The Kids are Alright, Inception, The Social Network, and Black Swan.  Tonight we added The King's Speech to the list.  Some evening this week, we will stream Winter's Bone on Netflix.  Maybe we'll be able to catch Toy Story 3, too.  Not sure.  I don't think I can stomach watching 127 Days, even though I am sure it is amazing.  We'll see.

The King's Speech is, without a doubt, a spectacular film.  The actors are outstanding and the award for Best Actor is said to be Colin Firth's.  While he gives a remarkably convincing performance in this film, I believe it was last year's work that should have earned him the coveted statue.  A Single Man was a movie about intense love, intense loss, and intense loneliness.  He embodied his character so perfectly, that for the duration of the film, I forgot I was watching a movie and felt like I was a voyeur taking a very personal peek into this mans life.  By the end of the film, my heart ached for him.  How did the Academy respond to his breathtaking performance?  By giving the award to Jeff Bridges.  I watched all 5 of the movies featuring the actors nominated last year and Mr. Bridge's was undoubtedly at the bottom of a list he shouldn't have even been on.  Hopefully, the Academy gets it right this year.

Just one humble movie junkie's opinion.  And...on that note!  I bid you goodnight ;D