Joy

Hello! Today I will be blogging about joy. I think it is one of the best feelings in the world, and should be celebrated and encouraged.

I would also like to mention that this blog is inspired by my classmate Madison’s blog post on May 7. Her talking about things that make her happy made me think about the emotion of joy itself.

First, I would like to note that there is a difference between joy and happiness. Happiness comes from things on this earth that are temporary. However, joy sprouts from spiritual things, that last forever. You don’t have to be religious to see this: happiness comes from parties, playing a game, or a good grade on a test. But joy can come from the excitement of celebration, the bond of coordination between you and your friends, the sense of accomplishment. In other words, joy stems from emotions, while happiness comes from events.

Also, did you notice that in the things that make you happy, if you look further, you can find joy? Joy is in everything!

Joy is related to everything, if we look for it. Even things that seem negative can have some form of joy in them. For example, take COVID. We can’t visit, we can’t hug, sometimes we can’t even go to the mall. No more parties, dining out, or fun things like escape rooms and carnivals. But look at the other side of it: now that you’re spending more time at home, perhaps you get to be with your sibling more, and connect in new ways. Maybe you’ve discovered a new hobby that keeps you obsessed. Try to find joy in the sense of discovering a new part of yourself.

If we can have joy more often, I think our world would be in a better place. Along with joy comes positivity, courage, and strength. We could use joy to feed starving communities, heal our carbon-clogged atmosphere, and come to peaceful terms instead of blowing each other up. Joy is essential, and a lot of people don’t know how to find it.

We are all trying to make the best of our time on this planet, so have joy! You will appreciate your life more.

I hope you enjoyed this blog. To read the post that inspired this one, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Folding an Origami Box

Hello! Today I will be blogging about how to fold an origami box. Origami is a fascinating Japanese art of paper folding, and you can create many things, but this box is my favourite. It is relatively easy, as well, and great for use as small gift boxes!

Step 1: Lay the paper pattern-side up and fold it in half horizontally, creasing the edges, and unfold. Then fold in half vertically, creasing the edges once again. Flip your paper so that the pattern is face-down. Your paper should have a cross that divides it into two squares.

Step 2: Fold each corner of the paper into the center and crease.

Step 3: Fold one side of the paper into the middle, like a cupboard door. Crease sharply and unfold. Repeat with each side.

Step 4: Keep two of the cupboard folds upright, opposite each other. These are the first two sides of the box. Pull out the other two sides so they stick out like triangles.

Step 5: This is the tricky part. Fold the little triangles on either side of the triangles and pull up at the same time, then push down so the triangle point is in the center of the box. You may want to watch the video for this part, as it is hard to explain.

Step 6: Repeat this step for the other side, and you are finished! For the lid, you do the same thing; however, in step 3, do not cupboard fold to the center of the paper, but slightly under, so the lid is bigger and can fit over the box.

Ta-da! You are finished! Enjoy your box!

If you would like a video tutorial, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Hello! Today I will be blogging about making tuna salad sandwiches. These are really easy and tasty sandwiches, and are great for a quick lunch.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 10 minutes
  • Yields: 3-4 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • 170 g can of tuna
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • 1 stalk celery
  • A few drops hot sauce (to taste)

Step 1: Drain the tuna and place in a medium glass bowl. Add the mayonnaise, mustard, and hot sauce.

Step 2: Chop the celery and add it to the bowl. Stir with a fork until well mixed.

Step 3: On slices of bread, divide the tuna salad equally between sandwiches. Spread and press with a fork, and add the top slice of bread. And that’s it! Enjoy your lunch!

If you want a downloadable copy of this recipe, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Food Around The World

Hello! Today I will be blogging about food. This seems like a bland topic, but I just think food is kind of curious.

I would also like to mention that this blog is inspired by my friend Gayoung’s blog post from March 26. Her discussing Korean food make me think about food in general, so here goes.

I think food is kind of fascinating in the sense that it has such variety. If you think about it, food is simply a way of supplying our body with essential nutrients to help us survive. We don’t actually need more than bread, vegetables, and water. If this is the case, why do we have so much of it? I believe that food can be a way of distinguishing yourself from others. Oriental countries are known for their rice, and Mexico their spices, and America (sort of, if you think about all the fast food) their grease. Perhaps just as cultures developed around the world, so did their food.

Food was also a means of learning for early humans. Once fire was discovered, we found we could cook meat, and that led to baking. Once we farmed wheat and barley, that led to a wider variety of baking. Once we found out how to crush plants and create spices, we toyed with combinations to make different tastes. If you think about it, food stretched humans’ creativity and made them think in new ways and matters of comsequence.

Some people dedicate their life to food. They may spend their entire adulthood running a restaurant. When you do this, you discover new recipes and widen your boundaries. Some people simply can’t get enough of food, and pay the consequences by gaining weight. I suppose this shows that food falls into the category of “too much a good thing isn’t good anymore.”

Really, we don’t need potato chips, or cake, or soda. These are extras we developed. We would be perfectly fine, perhaps even better off, without them. But we like their tastes, so we eat them.

Perhaps you think that food is just food, and that’s fine. I am just at a stage where I question the meaning of everything around me.

To read the post that inspired this one, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Harry Potter Characters – Ranked

Hello! Today I am going to be blogging about my favourite Harry Potter characters. Please note that this list is based on my opinion alone. Please also note that this note contains SPOILERS from throughout the series, so if you are planning to read it, do not read this post!

  1. Albus Dumbledore. I love Dumbledore. One of the reasons the sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, is my favourite. And YES, I said book! The movies are fine, but they just aren’t the same. One of the things I love about Dumbledore is that he isn’t perfect, as you discover in the Deathly Hallows. But while he sinned greatly, he recognised it and felt remorse. The fact that he built up upon his mistakes in a positive way is wonderful. Remember, the one thing that breaks a Horcrux is remorse, which shows how impossible it is for Dumbledore to truly be evil. He is so full of compassion and sympathy and quirkiness, which makes him adorable, in a way. “‘Nitwit! Oddment! Blubber! Tweak!'”
  2. Hermoine Granger. I really like Hermoine because she is so like me. We both get top grades, and obsess about books. One of my favourite parts of Hermoine in the books is her exam on Defence Against the Dark Arts in the Prisoner of Azkaban, when the Boggart turns into McGonagall and tells her she’s failed everything. I think that is a lot like me, although I doubt anyone’s fears are truly that shallow. I also like that Hermoine has sympathy and stubborness. Her stand for elf rights sounds like something I would do, though on a smaller scale.
  3. Minerva McGonagall. I really appreciate Professor McGonagall because even though she’s strict, she knows what is right and wrong and has good intentions. I like that even though Harry’s her student, she has faith in his independent abilities when the time comes. Her strength in magic is also wondrous, and the fact that she can turn into a cat just tops it off!
  4. Hagrid. I love Hagrid because he’s sort of like a teddy bear. He reminds me a lot of the BFG in Roald Dahl’s book. Even though his cooking is terrible and he has an out-of-control affection for monsters, his heart’s in the right place, and his faithfulness is something to marvel at. I like how he is aware of Dumbledore’s kindess and the ‘pay it forward’ idea, and how even though he’s made mistakes in the past, he’s always ready to make up for them.
  5. Molly Weasley. Mrs. Weasley is, in my mind, a wonderful, strong, and utterly mother sort of woman. One of my favourite Mrs. Weasley scenes in the entire series is when she’s yelling her head off at her sons, and turns to Harru with a sweet, kind, tone, because he’s done nothing wrong. (In my opinion, neither did Ron, Fred, or George.) I love how much she cares for her family and how that reflects in her Boggart, and her talents not only as a witch but as a housewife make me smile.

These are only a few of my favourite characters (you can’t forget Ron, Harry, George, Sirius, or even Snape), and I’m not sure if their order is entirely correct. But all the same, I hope this post has brought some things into perspective for you, and I plan on posting more Potter things in the future.

If you want some more information and thoughts on Harry Potter, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

 

Altering Patterns to Different Sizes

Hello! Today I will be blogging about how to alter sewing patterns to fit different dolls. It’s really an easy process.

I have a collection of patterns that fit different dolls: WellieWishers, American Girls, Journey Girls, etc. But I had to print out a new pattern from a different website each time I wanted to sew something in a different size. Now I’ve realised that there is a much easier way to create identical patterns in different sizes.

In the above picture, the leggings the dolls are wearing are actually the same pattern, but printed at a different size. I really like leggings, and found an American Girl pattern, but it only fit one type of doll. I wanted all of my dolls to wear leggings! So I printed the pattern again, but at a different size.

To change the size of the pattern, you must know the height of each of your dolls. In this example, I am altering the 18″ leggings pattern to fit a 15″ doll. To change the size of the pattern, divide the new doll’s height by the other’s (in this case, 15 ÷ 18). The decimal you get will be the percent to print the pattern (in this case, 0.83). In the settings before you print the picture, select ‘More Settings’, and under the Scale (%) control, write the decimal you got as a percent (remember that when you change decimals to percents you end at the hundredths, so this percent would be 83).

 

The pattern will then change to the right size for your doll. Print and enjoy!

This works for making patterns bigger, as well. If you have a small pattern and want to alter it to fit a larger doll, you would divide the larger doll’s height by the small one. In this case, you won’t get a decimal, but something over one. This means you would print it to a percent over 100. As an example, let’s take the 18″ and 15″ dolls again. 18 ÷ 15 equals 1.2, so you would print the pattern at a scale of 120.

I hope this post was helpful and easy to understand. If you would like to access the leggings pattern I used, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Between Films

Movies are very entertaining. They’ve been around since around 1900. From action to comedy, documentary to romance, most people find a bit of joy in sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and watching a good flick. However, what many people may not think about is, what happened before the movie was released? It’s not the same for every film. There are traditional animation, digital animation, and live-action productions. Something less people may think about is, which kind of film is the hardest to produce?

Traditional animation has plenty of supporting points to argue its case for being the most difficult. Traditional animation has been around since 1906. Back then, we did not have much technology. Traditional animation does not involve a great amount of technology, but that is why it is something to marvel at. Traditional or drawn animation is completely hand-drawn on paper. Each drawing is slightly different than the one before it, giving the illusion of movement, like stop-motion. Once a picture is drawn, it is redrawn, or in later years, photocopied, onto celluloid transparent paper called ‘cels’. Then paint is applied with a colour chart predetermined for each character or element. This type of animation is usually run at 24 frames per second. Frames are the slides or pictures that were mentioned before. With 24 frames shown a second, there would be hundreds of thousands of frames, about 129, 600, in a typical movie. This means that 129, 600 pictures or slides must be drawn and prepped in order to produce a typical traditional animation movie.

One astonishing example of drawn animation is the Walt Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This blockbuster was the first feature-length full-colour cartoon ever made. It used over 1 500 000 individual pen-and-ink drawings and water-colour paintings. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs brought a new sense of perspective and distance into animated motion pictures with a special camera used to capture the cels that took Walt Disney three years to build. This camera was able to photograph the background and foreground of the scenes accurately. It used separate pictures coloured red, green, and blue that were layered on top of each other to create a full-colour spectacle.

Digital animation is a more recent form of filming. It got big when Toy Story came out in 1995, a technological wonder. In order to play apart in developing a digital animation movie, you need a great deal of technological training. With digital animation it is possible to do two-dimensional and three-dimensional animation, while with drawn animation you can only create 2D films. One type of digital animation is cut-out animation, where characters are created using separate drawing for each part of the body, including the head, neck, torso, arms, and legs. Then these drawings are digitally rigged together, like a puppet, using a computer. Another form of digital animation is paperless animation, where you hand-draw characters, frames, backgrounds, and layouts on a computer with an electronic pressure-sensitive drawing tablet. This is similar to traditional animation, but digital instead. That doesn’t mean it’s easier: skilled artistry is still needed. A third kind of digital animation is 3D animation, where characters are built and modeled with a three-dimensional software. The characters are rigged with a virtual skeleton. When you produce a 3D production, you need a fair amount of programming to make fully formed backgrounds and characters that move. The last type of digital animation I will mention is motion capture, in which the movement of a person, often the performance of an actor, is recorded, and using the recorded information, animating a 2D or 3D character.

Live-action movies are a worthy contestant for this competition. For live-action movies, you need to find actors to play each part, including the ‘extras’ for gatherings of people in stores or streets. Casting can take a long time, because the producers have to find the perfect actor or actress for each role. Make-up artists are also needed to define each character’s appearance. You also need to film in actual locations, which means that elaborate sets need to be constructed, and there may be quite a bit of worldwide travel, which can make live=action budgets quite a bit larger. While you’re filming, you need the cameras positioned correctly, and no other equipment can be visible in the recordings. Proper technology is required, and many takes, up to several hundred, may be acted to get each scene perfect. Live-action productions require a great deal of editing. Each scene needs proper light and audio, as well as impeccable acting. Visual effects may also have to be added digitally if the movie is fantasy or science fiction or action.

All movies, regardless of how they’re created, must capture emotion, produce audio effects such as soundtracks and scores, have elaborate character planning, a theme at its core, scripts for the dialogue, and a large crew for production. No matter what kind of film it is, it requires a great deal of work.

Yet which requires the most? Hand-drawn traditional animation, techy digital animation, and elaborate live-action films all have their difficulties. Hopefully by now you can develop an opinion of your own…

Bibliography

Traditional Animation: Toon Boom Learn. learn.toonboom.com/modules/animation-techniques/topic/traditional-animation.

The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Popular Science (Jan, 1938). blog.modernmechanix.com/the-making-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs/.

“Digital Animation: Toon Boom Learn.” Digital Animation | Toon Boom Learn, learn.toonboom.com/modules/animation-techniques/topic/digital-animation.

Page, Travis, and wikiHow. “How to Make a Movie.” WikiHow, WikiHow, 3 Mar. 2021, www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Movie.

If you want more information on movies and are interested in making one of your own, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Chinese Translations

Hello! Today I am going to be blogging about Chinese translations. I am no expert on Chinese, and find it difficult to discern from  Japanese, and I suppose I can’t expect any better of Chinese with English. However, I can’t help chortling when I see some of the translations.

My family uses Amazon a great deal. We signed up for monthly things like shampoo and toilet paper. We often order little things like false nails and pot holders from there, and some are from small brands, many of them Chinese. For example, we ordered snaps for sewing, and the instructions were a bit confusing at some points:

The instructions are a bit blurry, so I will type them out:

  1. Ready buttons
  2. Perforated, put the female button
  3. After the female button is placed
  4. Press with a slightly larger force
  5. Female button part completed
  6. Perforated, put the male button
  7. After the male button is placed
  8. Press with a slightly larger force
  9. Male button part completed
  10. Accomplish

Due to the ‘slightly larger force’ part, I had thought you needed to press the perforating part in order to get it through the material, and ended up squashing its tip. It also goes a little bit into Family Life, unintendedly. I am not making fun of the workers at Suntatop, but merely amused by the translation. I suppose in Chinese ‘male’ and ‘female’ are also used to discern objects. I would also like to mention that these snaps work very well and are easy to use!

I just find translations sort of amusing. Language is fascinating, and I can’t believe how complex and individual some languages have become. If I tried to write Spanish or French, even though they, like English, stem from Latin, I bet I would make many mistakes.

If you would like to order these snaps, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

 

Tropical Smoothie

Hello! Today I will be teaching you how to make a tropical smoothie. This smoothie is really simple if you have the right ingredients, and has a wonderful fruity, tropical flavour.

  • Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
  • Total time: 10 minutes
  • Yields: 1 1/2 – 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 snack-size carton of peach, orange, or pineapple yogurt
  • 1 navel orange or 3 mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut extract

Step 1: Add all of the ingredients to a blender, slicing the banana and peeling and segmenting the orange.

Step 2: Blend the ingredients, pulsing at first, then blending on low for 30 seconds.

Step 3: Pour the smoothie into a large glass and serve. Enjoy!

 

If you want more smoothie recipes, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan

Township

Hello! Today I will be blogging about Township. Township is a fun interactive town-building game that can be played on PC as well as mobile devices. Here is some basic information:

  • Producer: Playrix
  • Age: 10+
  • Available on PC and mobile devices
  • Cost: free

Township is a town-building simulation game. I play it because it is satisfying to have your little world that you created and manage. It’s nice to have something that you can control no matter what.

In this game, you level up as you develop your town. With each level, you unlock new buildings. Your town includes factories such as feed, paper, fabric, dairy, and bakery factories, a wide variety of houses, from cottages to mansions, stores, facilities such as Laundromats, barbershops, and cafes. The Town Hall contains your editorial options (avatar picture and town name) and achievements. You can buy land expansions when you need more space, and build roads and pavement in edit mode.

In Township, you can personalize your town by adding decorations like trees, fences, and playgrounds. You can rearrange buildings at any time, and design complex layouts for what you want your town to look like.

Township is not just about building; you need to develop your town, provide for your citizens, and keep your population happy, too! Plant things like wheat, carrots, corn, and plenty of other things in your ever-growig field to manufacture goods in your factories. Feed your livestock to get things like wool, milk, and eggs. You can fill orders from citizens by helicopter, and trade by train for building supplies needed for constructing community buildings. You can also fil cargo holds in the airport to earn gems needed for advantages like earning more coins from helicopter orders or receiving more goods from your fields.

As you progress in Township, you can unlock features like the co-op, the mine, and the zoo. In the mine, you can dig up valuable metals and forge them into bars for building and trading. Once the zoo opens up, you can fill orders and collect animal cards to open new exhibits.

There are many interactive games in Township. Once you reach level 19 and can open or join a co-op, you and your team can compete in regattas against other co-ops for prizes by completing tasks around your town. You can also make ‘friends’ in Township. You can see your friends’ towns, and if they can’t fill an order, they can ask you for help, and if you have what they need, you can lend them items. There are also themed worldwide solo competitions such as Snow Ride in which you play levels or races to gain points and prizes, and climb in the leaderboard against other players.

Township is a very enjoyable game. You can keep on climbing levels and unlocking new privileges and options, and watch your very own town flourish before you eyes!

If you are interested in owning this game, CLICK HERE.

Feel free to comment. Thank you for reading!

Susan