Paula Begoun/The Cosmetics Cop

I first came across consumer advocate Paula Begoun about fifteen years ago; she focuses her attention on “beauty products”, including skin care, makeup, and hair care.  She started out by writing books such as, “Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me”, and “The Beauty Bible”, and has expanded to web sites like Cosmetics Cop and Beautypedia, a PBS series, speaking engagements, and radio programmes.  I’ve saved a lot of money by reading her books, and combing her web sites for information.

In some ways, I do find it rather off-putting that she is now sporting her own line of cosmetics and skin care, however, her consumer advocacy does not seem to have suffered as a result, and she uses legitimate scientific research sources, not “claims” and anecdotal nonsense to back up the information she shares.  I have actually purchased a few of her Paula’s Choice skincare products, and have been extremely happy with them; I am a huge fan of her 2% BHA exfoliating liquid.

Beautypedia is now offered for free, and has reviews of thousands of products.  Cosmetics Cop has myriad articles for information, and is the place to purchase “Paula’s Choice” products.

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Robert Genn’s “Painter’s Keys”

Canadian painter Robert Genn shares thoughts, quotations, and wisdom about art and creativity twice a week in his e-letter “Painter’s Keys”.  It never fails to inspire, or provoke thought.  It costs nothing, and contains no advertising or spam-like material!  I have been receiving this newsletter for several years and have found it to be of tremendous value in my artistic and creative journey.  Mr. Genn’s web site is a terrific resource for artists of all kinds, as well as an archive of all of the Painter’s Keys letters.the Painter's Keys Artist Community

Paper Stars…

Niall learned how to make beautiful waxed tissue stars at school, so I went in search of instructions online; it was a very difficult task! Here’s a red one that Niall made:

Eight-pointed Red Star

Eight-pointed Red Star

How to Fold a Tissue Paper Star Ornament
These stars are made from coloured wax paper, commonly used for making paper kites. When hung in a window, the light shines through the layers of coloured paper with a stained glass effect. Spread some joy by following these simple steps.

Steps

  1. Cut the paper into rectangles or squares. The more precisely the paper is cut and folded, the more accurate the angles of the design are when you are done. A good size for a rectangle is 1.5“x3.5” and for a square about 3.5“x3.5“.
  2. For an eight pointed star, use eight rectangle pieces of paper. Fold each piece of paper as follows:
  3. Fold it exactly in half lengthwise (along the long axis). Unfold. You will use the crease as a guide for the remaining folds.
  4. On one short end, fold each corner so that the short edge lines up with the center crease. You will end up with a square point on that end of the rectangle. Repeat at the other end of the rectangle.
  5. On one end, fold each creased edge to the center one more time. Kind of like when you’re folding a paper airplane.
  6. You will end up with a single, square point on one end of the rectangle and a double-folded, narrower point at the other end. Once you have all eight pieces of paper folded, layer them side-by-side in a circle, with the square points all matched up in the very center. The folded edge of each square point will line up with the center crease of the point next to it. Use a glue stick to glue the points together. You may also want to glue your final folds down so they don’t pop open.

Tips

  • Crease your folds sharply and make them as exact as possible.
  • Kite paper can be found in some hobby shops and online. It comes in many different colours and is much sturdier than tissue paper.
  • Use your imagination and try different folding patterns to make points.
  • Layer points more closely or further apart for different sized stars and different patterns. Square pieces of paper make different sized points also.
  • Hang your star in a window where the light can shine thru it. The pattern of lines that the folds make are often just as pretty as the colours and the way they mix!

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Fold a Tissue Paper Star Ornament. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Update: I just discovered a lovely, beautifully illustrated tutorial for these stars at the  “Duo Fiberworks” blog.

Vision TV: Promoting Diversity and Understanding

Vision TV is an award winning Canadian non-profit television station that promotes diversity through its programming.

It offers drama, comedy, phenomenal documentaries, current affairs programming, music, lifestyle programming, special events programmes, and independent faith and cultural programming (the variety is astonishing and pleasing to our family, and we have learned a great deal about world faiths and cultures through this programming).

Flying Spaghetti Monster

A response to the Christian Fundamentalists’ push to bring “Intelligent Design” into the science curriculum of American schools…

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“An elaborate spoof on Intelligent Design, The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is neither too elaborate nor too spoofy to succeed in nailing the fallacies of ID. It’s even wackier than Jonathan Swift’s suggestion that the Irish eat their children as a way to keep them from being a burden, and it may offend just as many people, but Henderson, described elsewhere as a 25-year-old “out-of-work physics major,” puts satire to the same serious use that Swift did. Oh, yes, it is very funny.
— Scientific American