Let the Butterbeer Flow!

Last week the first part of the 7th Harry Potter movie came out. It’s the beginning of the end, and to celebrate I had a Harry Potter Party. We watched the musical, Wizard People Dear Reader, and we drank butterbeer. It wasn’t magical, but it sure was fun!

After spending far too long looking for the perfect recipe on the internet I settled with the AP recipe. I got it here: http://www.alotofloves.com/2010/07/butterbeer-recipe-showdown-which-is-best.html But I’m sure there are a thousand other places you can find it! Here’s the recipe copied as I found it:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream (whipping cream), divided
  • ½ teaspoon rum extract
  • 4-12 oz Cream sodas
  1. Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture reads 240F on candy thermometer.
  2. Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 whipping cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature. (Note: Can put it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the cooling.)
  3. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of whipping cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.

Remember how it’s called butterbeer? Yeah, there’s a lot of butter.

Mixing it up was probably my favorite part.

The final product! It was a little too sweet for me, but it did taste a lot like I imagined butterbeer would taste!

At least one person drank it all, even if I couldn’t!


So you want to watch some awesome movies… part 2

I forgot a lot of movies yesterday…. sooo, here are some more!

Igby Goes Down
directed by Burr Steers

If you aren’t already in live with Kieran Culkin from his amazing performance in Scott Pilgrim, this movie will make you change your mind. Like so many of the movies I like this one is quirky, funny, sometimes a little sad, and full of awesome.

Memorable quotes: “His conception was an act of animosity, why shouldn’t his life be one as well?”

Hannah and Her Sisters
directed by Woody Allen

I first saw this movie in my Philosophy in Film class and completely fell in love with it. One of my favorite Woody Allen movies. Such great acting, such great writing.

Memorable quote: Too many to pick from. Just watch the movie!

Annie Hall
directed by Woody Allen

This might beat Hannah and Her Sisters as my favorite Woody Allen movie. It’s so charming! If you liked 500 Days of Summer you’re pretty much guaranteed to adore this movie.

Memorable quote: “There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life – full of loneliness, and misery, and suffering, and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly. The… the other important joke, for me, is one that’s usually attributed to Groucho Marx; but, I think it appears originally in Freud’s “Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious,” and it goes like this – I’m paraphrasing – um, “I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member.” That’s the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women.”

directed by Yimou Zhang

I’m not super into martial arts films, but I really adore the wuxia style. It’s very Shakespearean. They’re all very beautiful and usually tragic. As you might have noticed by now, I’m a sucker for a good tragedy! Of all the wuxia films I’ve watched Hero has been my favorite. Even if you aren’t into martial arts films I really think you should check this one out–it’s so much more than just fighting!

Memorable quote: “I have just come to a realization! This scroll by Broken Sword contains no secrets of his swordsmanship. What this reveals is his highest ideal. In the first state, man and sword become one and each other. Here, even a blade of grass can be used as a lethal weapon. In the next stage, the sword resides not in the hand but in the heart. Even without a weapon, the warrior can slay his enemy from a hundred paces. But the ultimate ideal is when the sword disappears altogether. The warrior embraces all around him. The desire to kill no longer exists. Only peace remains.”

The Exorcist
directed by William Friedkin

I have a real love-hate relationship with scary movies. I love them because they’re awesome, but I hate them because I’m 22 and I shouldn’t have to still sleep with the light on! This movie is scary but also really well done. If you want a good horror movie instead of one of the thousands of crappy ones out there… go for this.

Memorable quote: “The Power of Christ compels you!”

The Graduate
directed by Mike Nichols

The Graduate! How could I have forgotten The Graduate! Watch it now, watch it now! You’ll never get Simon and Garfunkel out of your head, but that’s ok.

Memorable quote: It’s like I was playing some kind of game, but the rules don’t make any sense to me. They’re being made up by all the wrong people. I mean no one makes them up. They seem to make themselves up.

I promise that’s it for now! No more awesome movie list posts for at least a month, ok? Ok!

So you want to watch some awesome movies…

So you want to watch some awesome movies, eh? Well, let me tell you where to start! Or at least, where I think you should start. In no particular order:

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet

This is one of the most charming films I’ve ever seen! From the first scene it will steal your heart. Yes, it is in French, yes, you will have to listen to subtitles, but it is more than worth it!

Memorable quote: all of them! But looking at them, the things Hipolito (The Writer) says stick with me the most. “Without you, today’s emotions would be the scurf of yesterday’s.” And “We pass the time of day to forget how time passes.”

Here’s a trailer in English:

Wes Anderson
Ok, I can’t just pick one here. Wes Anderson’s films are some of my all time favorites and I can watch them over and over again. In my undergrad years I wrote papers on his work, and my fondness has only grown since then! His films are:

  • The Royal Tenenbaums— Comedy Central plays this one pretty often, so you’ve probably caught at least a few snippets of it. It’s basically the story of a dysfunctional family (and who can’t relate to that!?)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox— Anderson’s most recent film, and his first attempt at making a film directed at children. It’s a charming and beautiful work, and definitely worth checking out!
  • The Darjeeling Limited— Three brothers attempt to have a spiritual journey on a train through India.
  • The Life Aquatic WATCH THIS ONE FIRST! It has pretty much all the quintessential elements of a Wes Anderson film.
  • Rushmore— Anderson’s first big film, and one of his best. Like I said, I really can’t pick one over all the others, but if I was forced to it would probably be a toss up between Rushmore and The Life Aquatic.
  • Bottle Rocket — His first film. Worth seeing, but not my favorite of his. Fun fact: all three of the Wilson brothers are in it!

Memorable quote:

Herman Blume: What’s the secret, Max?
Max Fischer: The secret?
Herman Blume: Yeah, you seem to have it pretty figured out.
Max Fischer: The secret, I don’t know… I guess you’ve just gotta find something you love to do and then… do it for the rest of your life. For me, it’s going to Rushmore.

In Bruges
directed by Martin McDonagh

This film really surprised me the first time I watched it. It was nothing like I expected, and when it was over I cried for a while. It’s beautiful, and funny—however, if you don’t like swearing you might want to stay away.

Memorable quote: Maybe that’s what hell is, the entire rest of eternity spent in fucking Bruges.”

Citizen Kane
directed by Orson Welles

People call it the best movie of all time for a REASON people. Watch it, love it. Watch it again. Don’t be afraid of the black and white!

Memorable quote: “Mr. Kane was a man who got everything he wanted and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn’t get, or something he lost. Anyway, it wouldn’t have explained anything… I don’t think any word can explain a man’s life. No, I guess Rosebud is just a… piece in a jigsaw puzzle… a missing piece.”

directed by Roman Polanski

This is a great film for anyone who likes detective stories! It’s a throw back to the noir films of of the 40s and 50s and booooy do they ever do a good job with it! It’s entertaining, beautifully shot, and moving. It is a complicated film–not something you can just leave on in the background and give half your attention to.

Memorable quote: “You’re a very nosy fellow, kitty cat. Huh? You know what happens to nosy fellows? Huh? No? Wanna guess? Huh? No? Okay. They lose their noses.”

The Secret of Kells
directed by Tomm Moore, Nora Twomey

I think when a lot of people think of animation they think of Saturday morning cartoons or Disney/Pixar. Now, I don’t know a lot about art or animation, but I know there are a lot of great animated movies out there that are worth watching that aren’t Disney. The Secret of Kells is pretty much everything I want in a movie. It’s an adorable childrens’ movie with amazing animation and voice acting. And AND! It’s about old books!!! They talk about making ink, and they show the vellum being stretched! Yeah, I’m pretty much in love with it.

Memorable quotes:
: You can’t find out everything from books, you know.
Aidan: I think I read that once.

directed by Duncan Jones

This is an awesome, awesome movie. Cloning, space exploration, and a robot voiced by Kevin Spacey! The real question is WHY haven’t you started watching this yet?

Memorable quote: “I hope life on Earth is everything you remember it to be.”

Go, watch, enjoy!

Through the Rabbit Hole

Today I finished my final project for my bookbinding class. I made an Alice in Wonderland tunnel book. Here’s how I made it, complete with plenty of pictures!

First I had to cut out the cards. I wanted to make them a little uneven since things in Wonderland always feel a little off-kilter.

Next I had to print out and cut all the characters I wanted to put in Wonderland. It was tedious work, and it took a long time, but I think the results are worth it!

Next I colored in all of my cut outs using color pencils. Wonderland can’t be in black and white!

And now comes the more complicated part! After everything was colored and glued I had to put it all together. That meant folding the accordion sides, cutting the tabs, and gluing everything together. Folding straight lines has been the most difficult part of bookbinding for me. I’m not a patient person by nature and my natural inclination is to fold everything crooked! It’s taken a lot of concentration and effort on my part to get my books straight (and I won’t lie, they aren’t always straight!) but I think I’ve improved quite a bit! Hopefully by the time I’m done making everyone’s Christmas presents I’ll be a little better at it!

Once everything was cut and glued it was time to make a protective case for my book! I made a tuxedo box, which is one of the things I learned how to do when I volunteered at Preservation and Conservation last semester. It isn’t quite as snug as I would have liked it to be, but it will serve its purpose and protect the tunnel book, and that’s the important thing. After it was complete I decorated it with Alice! My original vision for the book was to have this scene with Alice peering in the door at the front piece, but I couldn’t find a way to make it work. I think having it as the decoration on the box works just as well though!

And without further ado, here is the final product

So there you have it, dear readers, my tunnel book. I’m pretty pleased with it, although there are a few things I wish I had done differently! Doing this book taught me a lot about myself as a book artist and what goes in to a longer project like this. I still have so much to learn, but I am really looking forward to the semester winding down so I have some more time to play around with it! I have so many ideas for Christmas presents and other projects I can’t wait to get started on them!

This Heart’s On Fire

Last week Steve and I celebrated our third anniversary by spending the day in Philly and going to a concert. I’m so lucky to have him, and I’m so lucky that we got to celebrate our relationship with such a fun day! It was everything we love wrapped up in one day.

We saw fossils:

And old books:

And science toys:

And we saw an AWESOME, awesome show. The opening band, Orge You Asshole, was a four piece rock band from Japan who turned out to be surprisingly good! They were catchy and they had good energy on stage.

Steve brought an album from them after the show and got them to sign it. They didn’t speak a lot of English, but they seemed pretty nice.

Wolf Parade has been one of my favorite bands for a while now, so it was really amazing to see them live. We wanted a low-key evening so we sat up in the balcony and the view was great! It was really nice to not worry about being overwhelmed by the crowd or not being able to see because I’m too short… It also allowed me to get some really cool shots! The show was fantastic.

It was basically a perfect day. I’m so lucky that I have such a great boyfriend to go on adventures with me! Here’s to another year of adventures!


Yesterday I spent most of the day working on the last structure (apart from my final project) for my bookbinding class. It was probably the hardest, but also probably my favorite!

The bookbinding cloth my professor sent me wasn’t quite as long as it needed to be so you can see some of the paper there on the spine… but apart from that, I am very pleased with it!