Handi Mandi TV – Christmas Decor: Super Easy Candle Centerpiece on a Budget

Need some extra sizzle for your Christmas dinner table? Look no further.

Most of this can be purchase at your local dollar store, a popular shopping venue in North America for all those of you viewing from around the world. Since you may not have such discount stores I would suggest either rummaging up some old decor or shop at a second-hand shop or flee market for used goodies and then pick up on the Christmas sales at places like Kroger for the next year.

*Decorative plate (long rectangle works best)
*Candle holders (cup shaped, enough to fit on your plate with some room to spare)
*Candles or tea lights & Lighter or matches (unless you already have some)
*Small decorative ornaments or decor that will fit on plate
*Krylon Brilliant Metallic Indoor Aerosol Can (silver, gold, or a colour that will go with the rest of your Christmas decor) [usually $5 a can]

Purchase or Find in nature:
*Pine cones (if you are following last week, you may have some left over) [some can be purchase at Michael’s Craftstore and most usually have been scented with cinnamon, yum]
*Moss or Christmas tree-like Pine (you will need to keep watered or replace when dried out)
*Artificial cranberries or other small fruit
*Coffee beans (yum!)

*Cardboard box and/or newsprint, opened cereal box, etc (this is where recycling comes in handy)
*Cutlery knife (to scrape the paper sticker off your purchase decor that couldn’t peel off)
*Nail polish remover, Goo-Gone or Purell hand sanitizer (all will work to get rid of any glue adhesive left over from stickers pulled off your decor)

Daily Dawdle – Update Early 2012

All images are click-able for original articles on DailyDawdle.com

For more a previous article on posts from Daily Dawdle.

15 Hilarious Notes Left on Windshields (15 Pics)
HOW TO: Create a Home Made Wax Seal (16 Pics)
16 Ways to Have Fun with Statues (16 Pics)
WATCH: Kitty Massages Pug, While It Snores Away (Video)
BADASS: Dwarf Bullfighters in Colombia and Mexico (22 Pics)
WATCH: How This Cat Asks for a Petting (Video)
BADASS: Iranian Female Ninjas (15 Pics)
Walmart Bingo: Take This With You During Every Visit (Pic)
AWW: Watch A Bird Feed This Dog Noodles (Video)
14 Hilarious Passive Aggressive Notes (14 Pics)
SWEET: A Living Room on the Beach (Pic)
WATCH: Self Leveling Pool Table on a Cruise Ship (Video)
SEXY OR WEIRD? 26 Awkward Model Poses (26 Pics)
Awesome Underwater Activities You're Missing Out On (15 Pics)
The Best of "How People See Me vs. What I Really Do" Meme (14 Pics)
LIKE A BOSS: Homemade Pool Table in Africa (Pic)
WATCH: Mind Blowing 3D Printer Can Print Almost Anything (Video)
8 Actors Who Look the Same in Every Movie Poster (46 Pics)
WORLD RECORD: The Most Expensive Starbucks Drink Ever (2 Pics)
Funeral Home Drive-Thru Viewing (2 Pics)
Awesome House Made of Cargo Containers (18 Pics)
AWESOME: Paper as Anatomical Art by Lisa Nilsson (4 Pics)
WATCH: The Flip Side - If Men and Women were switched in a bar scene (Video)
WATCH: How to Stack Beer Bottles with an Excavator (Video)
Giant Whale Shark Caught in Pakistan (8 Pics)
JIMMY KIMMEL PRANK: Unplug the TV during the Superbowl (Video)
14 WTF U.S. City Names (14 Pics)
WTF: The MacGyver Hair Dresser in Bangladesh (Pic)
CINNAMON CHALLENGE IS FOR SISSIES: This is The Gauntlet Challenge (Video)

Drapes and Cuts

I was looking for inspiration, started off looking through my list of fave designers on my fashion website The Brainchild Exhibition, looked up J Mendel’s newest collections on his site, and then looked for copy of the images I could save to my picture database I keep. Through the search I found this fabulous website – Drape and Cuts, finally somewhere that appreciates fashion with design value instead of what I find is the complete copy of an everyday item with a simple micro-tweak (fabric change, new print, move the dart there = BORING!)

When I say this, it’s because I used to have a pile taller than me of fashion magazines that I had been looking through since 2001! That’s not including the hundreds of historical fashion books I have perused and the movies, television and fashion reports I have viewed. I’m not claiming myself to be worthy of rivalry with famous judges like Michael Kors or Nina Garcia, they have their own taste as do I. If you see my work (available for viewing on my online portfolio), I challenge the design and construction, essentially trying to recreate the wheel against better judgement and advice from my college professors than to simply take a concept I like and make it my own.

Here are some of the posts I found have the most interest . .  *cough*, design value fashion:

Olivia Wilde in Reem Acra
Gowns by Patrice Ramos-Diaz
Gowns by Patrice Ramos-Diaz
Source: silverfawn
Vera Wang Bridal Fall 2011
Vera Wang Bridal Fall 2011
Vera Wang Bridal Fall 2011
Vera Wang Bridal Fall 2011
Vera Wang Bridal Fall 2011
Philipp Tampus
jenny packham
Halle Berry in Marchesa at the Oscars
Leann Marshall, Project Runway Season 5
Zac Posen Resort 2012

Game Over: Doomsday

There are numerous kinds of dystopian genre films, that is to say the opposite of utopian. It seems we have an obsession with the future, but it’s always filled with a horrible fate for humanity. Let’s take a look at the categories before analyzing the ‘why’ (click on the source for list of examples):


“A typical dystopia paints a picture of government or society attempting to exert control over free thought, authority, energy, freedom of information. Others focus on systematic discrimination and limitations based on a variety of factors – genetics, fertility, intelligence, and age being a few examples.” (Wikipedia)


“A corporate based dystopia is similar to a government/societal dystopia with the exception that the repressing power is a private company rather than a government. These stories generally include the motive of commercial profit instead of, or in addition to, the benefits of increased power and authority.” (Wikipedia)


“Cyberpunk is a science fiction subset, characterized by a focus on “high tech and low life” where advanced technology itself (not AI) is dystopian. “Classic cyberpunk characters were marginalized, alienated loners who lived on the edge of society in generally dystopic futures where daily life was impacted by rapid technological change, an ubiquitous datasphere of computerized information, and invasive modification of the human body.” (Wikipedia)


“Nuclear war was a popular apocalyptic scenario from the ’50s until the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early ’90s, as the Cold War spawned fears of a nuclear catastrophe. In these movies, the horror comes not from the blast itself, however, but rather from the post-explosion actions of the desperate survivors (Panic in the Year Zero!) or from mutated creatures spawned from the radiation (The Day the World Ended). ” (About.com)


“A massive global pandemic scenario became increasingly popular in the ’70s, as increased sexual freedom raised concerns of communicable disease (Rabid), and by the 21st century, the rise of high-profile infections like AIDS, swine flu, the Ebola virus and SARS made this type of apocalypse a popular subject of horror films (28 Days Later). ” (About.com)


“Basically a subset of the “viral infection,” the “zombie infection” — in which a pathogen causes the dead to rise — has taken on a life of its own since George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead reinvented zombie lore in 1968, at a time when its graphic violence reflected the increased pessimism of the Vietnam War era. In the 21st century, the zombie apocalypse had a resurgence, propelled by fears of disease, terrorism and global instability. ” (About.com)


“The alien invasion scenarios that became popular in the ’50s reflected the Red Scare fears of Communist infiltration that continued to until the fall of the Soviet Union in the ’90s, at which point terrorism took over from Communism as the primary covert threat symbolized by the undercover aliens posing as human in films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and They Live. ” (About.com)


“While the satanic themes of horror movies like Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen became popular in the ’60s and ’70s as a reflection of increased fear of global annihilation and as a religious reaction to loosening social mores, the forces of evil are rarely shown actually bringing about an apocalypse (see the Omen films or End of Days) — perhaps because such an event would likely leave no survivors to be featured in a film. Occasionally, though, there are some movies that show at least a partial destruction of mankind by way of demonic (Demons), ghostly (Pulse) or otherworldly (The Mist) forces. “ (About.com)


“The “nature strikes back” scenario usually involves either an “act of God” (Night of the Comet) or a rebellion of nature against the actions of man — like nuclear testing (Beginning of the End) or scientific experiments (Night of the Lepus). The latter in particular became popular in the ’50s, thanks to fears of nuclear testing (which, in movies, creates monstrously large animals), and again in the ’70s, when increased concern over pollution created story lines about animals running amok (Frogs). ” (About.com)


“Not all horror movie apocalypses can be lumped into a category. Here are some of the uncooperative ways that humanity might meets its ends. ” (About.com)

We seem to perfectly capable of imagining the most horrible of fates we could give ourselves, so why is that? Can we not simply believe that we could have the best for ourselves, a utopian future without the struggles that we face everyday? Or is it perhaps that we acknowledge our human flaws that would prevent us from achieving our dreams of perfection? Somehow we know that no matter how much we talk and walk the path to a better world, we understand that deep within our subconscious this will never come to pass. Perfection it would seem is beyond our means and the concept of humanity is an elusive term that one can never fully understand nor achieve . . . at least to an absolute.

Since this state of mind seems to be deeply rooted in all of us, since we are human after all (you are human right??)  perhaps it’s time to explore. What are your fears about the future? What’s the worst possible outcome you can imagine? Write it down – it could be the next big hit.

State of Delusion

You’ve all met at least one person in your lifetime that has an odd belief or superstition. It could be the more well known: the practice of voodoo, ghost hunting, or astrology; Then there are the more bizarre mindsets or beliefs. The kinds that make you tilt your head to one side like a dog, and it takes every fiber of your being not to laugh in the other person’s face or call them obscenities and throw insults.

As a Christian myself, I’ve heard a few far-fetched religious interpretations that would leave you puzzled and perplexed:

  • A restaurant has demonic lighting (when in fact, a person simply doesn’t like to eat there anymore, so they makes up an excuse)
  • A customer comes into a store and asks the cashier to punch in the bar-codes on their each and every item instead of swiping and scanning them into the computer; Believing that not doing so would violate their God-given right to privacy, as they believe was revealed in the Bible. Supporting this theory, they pay only in cash and refuse to use any kind of card (bank, credit or membership) [Having taken computer programming in high school I can tell you: it doesn’t matter whether the bar-code number is typed into the keypad or scanned with the red lights, the data is still entered into the computer. The product name, the size or weight, price and a check off on the digital inventory computes with every entry. Now if they wore a disguise to hide themselves from the camera and either kept their receipts in a secure underground bunker or destroyed them after income taxes, then they wouldn’t have to worry about people knowing what they purchased! Furthermore, the Bible never said any such thing and my mother confirmed this, having read the entire thing from cover to cover!]
  • “Close your curtain at night, or the Devil will get you!” a teacher told me as a child.
  • Wearing all black to a christening, making the sign of the cross, kneeling before statues of Jesus, the Mother Mary, Joseph, and other saints, etc.

Superstitions over unlucky or lucky numbers, often to the point that everything they do evolves around those sets of numbers in their daily lives. The list continues:  not stepping under ladders, breaking a mirror, throwing salt over your shoulder, making a wish on a shooting star, etc.

I’m sure there are numerous more to be heard, and it’s those very beliefs, superstitions and mindsets that you should use in your writing. Think about it – if it’s going to get that effect out of you, arguing with the other person(s) and getting you upset over it for hours, then that will happen to your reader(s). The worst you can do is write a stupidity that even the reader cannot understand, but if done correctly you’ll get him to react. That’s the key – when you have one of your characters whose mindset is so demanding of the reader’s need to correct them, they’ll be sucked into the story and want to see if one of your other characters will do it for them . . . all the way until the end of your book.

One Shot ft. Eliza Dushku

If you never heard of FreddieW, now you have! He’s a short film-maker via Youtube, who uploads a new video every week. I stumbled upon this video a couple of months ago and I’ve been checking it stuff out for inspiration.

In this video FreddieW’s protege tries his hand at being an action hero. Watch the clip and write a short story around this video. Will it take place before, when FreddieW meets and takes his new protege under his wing? Will is take place after? perhaps there’s a love interest in the making between some of the characters, you choose which ones. Perhaps you’ll take a hand at writing this action pack video and adding a plot thick with intricate details that tell of the bigger picture.

Let your imagination run wild!

Heat Wave

In honour of today, July 21st, 2011, as the weather reports say this will be the hottest day of the summer, lets start off with an inspired short story . . .

Breathing became difficult at this point. The air was so hot it felt as if my lungs were drowning, and worse still as the heat of the sand was slowly baking me alive as I crawled forward.

Oh, how I hate sand, I thought to myself as a curled my hands to avoid getting it under my nails, It gets everywhere and it takes forever to get rid of it all. I don’t understand how people can find it romantic to walk along a beach, knowing they’ll have to scrub their feet for a couple of hours to get rid of each every grain, ugh!

I cringed at the thought of what I’ll have to do once I get back from this little expedition. Endless sand dunes lay around me as I looked for signs of any life through slitted eyes. I quickly glanced up at the sun to measure the time, and once more it felt like it had never moved despite crawling for what seemed miles. I paused to take a breath, only to feel like gasping for air. While heat waves radiating from the sand and the inferno from above both cooking me alive, all I  wanted to do was cry. I knew far too well that would waste good water, or at least they say so in the Dune book my father read to me as a child. What were the desert dwellers called . . . Fremen.

I miss you, daddy I struggled to hold back and a single tear rolled down my face. I quickly swiped it over my over-chapped lips, I will not cry!  . . . I will not, cry! I looked up and saw the faint shadow of a tubby man, taking off his spectacles to clean them.

Dad! I reached out my arm to wave, as the faint mirage disappeared. I can’t do this anymore! I’m stuck in a desert with no hope of rescue!

“WHY?!” I tried to scream, my coarse throat choked the words out to a whisper. Gasping for air, I turned over to face the burning light that hung there in the sky, taunting me. “I give up . . .” I whispered as went silently into the night.

“Ashley!” someone said, echoing in my mind. The darkness played shadows and I felt like a hamster stuck in a ball as I was being shaken around. “Ashley, wake up!”

A stream of light broke through the night. I looked around at the infinite room, blurred motion and obscure clouds gave way to consciousness. “Ashley . . . are you alright?” A hand stroke my sweaty blond tresses away from my face. I inhaled. The air was clear and crisp; I could breath again. Looking up at the voice who beckoned me from my slumber, I raised my hand to block the overhanging light that blared in my eyes.

A strong jaw, an unshaven scruff, his lips beckoning and his eyes, a piercing blue that had broken many hearts. He ran his fingers through his short wavy locks, as he noticed my admiring gaze. Despite my shyness, he could always understand the millions things I would tell him in a single glance. “I’m fine.” I said with a smile, holding his hand for assurance.

“Doctor,” crackled a deep voice over the intercom. A knock on the window ahead, revealed the audience we had forgotten in the observation room. Stern looking military men scrutinized us from their perch, glancing to their fellow witnesses with nods of approval, as if they were gods looking down on their creations. A tall, clean shaven man in lavishly tailored suit pushed the intercom button again, “Doctor, how is the patient?” The Senator asked, his eyebrow dramatically raised to signal his impatience to the lack of response.

“The patient’s vitals are stable, and she’s responsive” David replied, not taking his gaze off me. He winked as a subtle smiled curled and then he glanced the assistant nurse for affirmation. “The test was a success.”

“We will determine that, Doctor” said the Senator as he privately conferred for a moment with the General next to him.

The General took over the com: “You have a go for the second set of tests. I’ll have the soldiers you requested on the base by o-height-hundred Monday of next week. You have until then to determine whether your patient is both physically and mentally fit according to regulations, and to produce enough of the serum for the new round test subjects. God speed.”

Here are some questions you should ask yourself:

1. What kind of serum do you think was being used and tested in this story? And what purpose do you think it will have for the military and government funding the project?

2. I have intentionally put in some subtle and not so subtle hints at the kind of characters in this story. What can you tell me about Ashley, David, the Senator and the General?