This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy Holidays!

This holiday season, remember to "love your brother" (figuratively-speaking)


It's Always Smoggy In L.A.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Personal Gift-giving This Holiday Season

After recycling much of last Sunday's paper, I noticed one of those 'holiday gift guides,' endorsed by the newspaper. During the holiday season, it always appears that advertisers are doing their best to help clueless consumers find the perfect gift for other human beings they don't really know very well. Unfortunately, some of those people we don't know very well happen to be our relatives.

We think we know our parents; they think they know us. But when it comes to the holiday season, it becomes apparent that most of us could really use a little more time getting to know one another instead of wandering the malls on Christmas Eve looking at cheap wallets and packaged perfume and manicure sets.

The holidays is also when some products re-emerge from hiding from last Christmas season. The soda-maker, for instance. I don't understand what the allure would be to making your own soft drinks. Turn water into seltzer or soda! It's like magic. How is that fun? Or even necessary?

My brother wanted to know if I'd like one of those Keurig K-cup Coffeemaker things. Sounds good, but then what? I'm stuck paying through the nose for K-cups coffee shooters because that's my only option? I'm afraid the Keurig Coffeemaker would eventually end up sharing rent space with the wafflemaker and the dusty bread machine. Thanks for the thought.

In the aforementioned newspaper gift guide (under quirky and unusual ) they highlighted the book: Crafting With Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts To Make With Your Cat. Originally published in Japan, the book shows how you can make handicrafts from all that cat fur that your pet leaves behind-- cat fur that, God forbid, would otherwise be wasted.

I give it an A+ for odd uniqueness, but really? Really? The first thing in there is a cat hair finger puppet. Let's imagine this for a second: you harvest the cat hair, carve out time in your day to make this puppet thing and then what? What are you going to do with that? Oh wait, you can give it back to your cat as a stocking stuffer this Christmas. How special.

I love the holidays, but I get turned off by the commercialism just as much as other people do. I'm all about the gift-giving, but I don't freak out about spending lots of money. I try to make it both fun for myself and as personal as possible for the recipient. Gift-giving is hard and it takes time to do it the right way-- that's why wealthy people have personal shoppers.

This holiday season, get to know the people around you. Make something on your own that's personally meaningful. I once gave my mom a heart-filled tin filled with strips of paper. On each piece of paper, I'd typed a story or a positive childhood memory-- as many as I could remember. It was more meaningful to her than any store-bought gift. I've also done drawings and collages and personalized note cards and books for people.

If you're not the creative type, support a local or independent artist or craftsperson. Purchase an independent filmmaker's film. Donate to a charity or cause that means something to you or the person you're gifting.

**Here are a few independently spirited artists, gifts, and sites I'd recommend**

Tiffany Miller Mosaics -- Gorgeously handcrafted mosaic art.

Rachael Owens - Los Angeles-based Singer/Songwriter

American Actor -- An independent film

A Boy And His Camera -- A storybook written and illustrated by me. (A little self-promotion never hurts.)

Jenny Mayhem's Album: Keep The Fire
Jenny Mayhem - Toronto-based Singer/Songwriter -- Acoustic/Folk -- Help fund and support independent film.

Artbreak -- Discover up-and-coming new artists. Purchase original art and prints.

Donations And Charities:

The Film Foundation -- $1.00 preserves and restores one frame of film.

Film Streams -- Support nonprofit cinema.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation


©2011 by KLiedle