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    One of the things I know this time of year is that there’s Christmas, then there’s the Tournament of Roses Parade. It’s something that I grew up watching with my Grandparents and even now on New Years it’s still something that I watch with my little family. It’s about tradition and the grand scope of...

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    The post Dole Packaged Foods Celebrates the Tournament of Roses By Making A Difference appeared first on Our Ordinary Life.

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    During the Fall season I usually get the urge to make some cross-stitch gifts for the holidays.  This year I decided to make a wolf counted cross-stitch picture for one of my teenage grandsons for Christmas.  I needed something masculine and thought a wolf might be nice.

    I looked at a lot of different wolf pictures and decided I liked the Wolf counted cross-stitch kit from Dimensions.

    Like the other Dimensions kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

    The Wolf pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the cross stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.

    The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols.

    While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.

    I was very happy with the color coded chart as it was quite large at 13" by 9" and very easy to read.

    As was the case with previous Dimensions kits the thread sorter was poorly designed. The embroidery threads were glued to foam backed 4" by 1 1/4" strips of cardboard that had a picture of the color of the thread and it's number. In order to get to the threads you had to separate the foam back from the cardboard strip. Very quickly the threads separated from their section and then you no longer knew what the thread number was to tie to your symbols & legends.

    As I have done with other cross-stitch kits I've completed I had to alter the thread sorter to suit my needs. I pulled the thread sorter apart to get rid of the foam and then punched holes in the cardboard strip just above each color and color #. I inserted the floss threads that went with that color and color # through the hole and tied them in a loose knot. I then added color coded symbols with colored pens beneath each color so I would know what symbols went with what color.

    Short of changing the thread sorter all together to make things even easier for the user the color symbol should at the very least have been shown on the thread sorter strip of cardboard as well. That way you would only need to use the thread sorter strip of cardboard to follow your chart.

    I also decided to once again utilize the rectangular wood frame jig that my darling husband built for me that I could tape the edges of the 18 count white cotton Aida to. The wood frame jig is a rectangular embroidery hoop of sorts and can accommodate a 5" by 5" cross-stitch picture kit or 5" by 7" cross-stitch picture kit. He had made it out of 1/2" x 1" pine wood strips with an adjustable center strip that I use for the 5 x 5 square designs.

    In the picture on the front of the kit they had chosen to mount the picture without a mat and using a thin gold metal frame.  However, the kit did not come with instructions for finishing the back of the picture.  I tend to favor 1/4" foam backed adhesive mounting boards for the cross-stitch pictures I'm inserting into my picture frames but wasn't sure which of my picture frames I would be choosing and whether or not they would be deep enough to accommodate it.

    I didn't want my picture to be too big so I decided not to mat it.  I had decided to use an 8 1/2" by 10 3/4" woodland rustic frame with glass and a 5" by 7" opening that I thought I thought would compliment the thread colors in the wolf picture.   I was hoping the depth of the frame and glass was deep enough to accommodate my picture which I would be mounting to a thinner hard adhesive mounting board. 

    I like to finish my cross-stitch pictures by adhering them to a mounting board and then taping the four corners so I can sew them with nylon thread in a "V" to make the corners taut with the adhesive board and then tape the remaining vertical and horizontal sides with masking tape. So, I did this but to my dismay with the glass the depth was going to be an issue with the back of the frame. So I decided to remove the glass which actually allowed you to better see the 3-dimensional aspects of the picture.

    Then I inserted it again. To my dismay it still was not going to fit within the back of the frame.  So, I undid the masking tape and V corners and trimmed the white Aida so it would cover the 1/8" sides of the mounting board and still allow me to tape the sides of the Aida to the back of the mounting board.

    I added the back that was included with the frame this time it fit.  Success!

    It took me 59 hours to complete this picture including the framing. Despite the problems I encountered I love the way my Dimensions Wolf picture turned out. It's absolutely beautiful and the 3-dimensional aspects of the wolf, snow and woodland scene are amazing.  Hopefully my grandson will like it.

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    When giving gifts at Christmas, it is the thought that counts. Especially in the time of trophies and achievements, unwrapping a mediocre game from a well-meaning great-aunt who asked the nice shop assistant for recommendations is not a big deal at all. However, it's still possible for a gift to be such a misfire that you wonder why your poor relative didn't just make life easier for themselves and get you a voucher. Or nothing at all.

    When it comes to my Christmas duds, I cannot palm the responsibility for past Christmas disappointments off onto anyone else. All of the games that left a bitterer taste in my mouth than mushy Brussel sprouts did so because I did poor research when putting together my Christmas list, and Santa dutifully complied with what I had scribbled down. Now I (mostly) know better than to buy licensed games just because of the franchise they are attached to, or to buy a game because the cover is pretty. But that has been a tough lesson to learn.

    So, which shoddy games did I struggle through with a sour face, one childhood Christmas Day? Keep reading, and contribute yours in the comments!

    Christmas duds: which terrible games have you received for Christmas? screenshot


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    While we wait on the new year, and on the second wave of Power of the Primes Deluxes to finish our Dinobot combiners, artist Marcelo Matere has posted the original pencils for Volcanicus to Twitter! The image does some great things with the design, making rounded parts of the wide-set torso into shoulders, which really does look good. Keep reading to see the image!

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    WHAT-IS: It took some time - much longer than I anticipated - but I’ve finally completed my personal TOP TEN TOYS of 2016! CAVEAT#1: Items are to a part of my own personal collection, either purchased by myself, or gifted to me, during the year of 2016. Essentially, this is a list of the toys that I already have, thanks. CAVEAT#2: They could either be brand new toys released in the year of

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    A year-end top 10 list of the most popular articles on Toy Tales based on readership statistics and engagement through various social media channels.


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    So... 2017 huh? Goddamn, have the last 12 months felt like they lasted six years to anyone else? So much has happened in 2017, too much to bother talking about here, but one of the good things to come out of it for me is I kept my gaming resolution. Last year I said I would pay more attention to mobile games and by God I did it. It wasn't always fun but at times it provided me with some absolutely awesome experiences.

    I plan to keep that going in 2018 but there is so much more I can do in the next year and that's why I'm making a brand new gaming resolution. I'm ending 2018 with a new Switch, a backlog of Wii U games I still have to get to, a stack of PlayStation 4 titles that's growing by the week and a 3DS catalog that's too legit to quit. I could resolve to whittle down my backlog in 2018 but HAHAHAHAHA that's not going to happen. Instead of beating games... I want to make one.

    That's right. My gaming resolution for 2018 is to begin development of my own game using SmileBASIC. If you haven't heard of SmileBASIC, it is a game development program for the Nintendo 3DS that is a more advanced version of Petit Computer for the Nintendo DS. A couple weeks ago, I watched this short video on Yoshiro Kimura who I am officially naming my favorite developer of 2017. He created Dandy Dungeon and Million Onion Hotel and in this video, he talks about rediscovering his love for game development while dicking around with Petit Computer. After watching that clip I immediately downloaded SmileBASIC to my spanking new New Nintendo 2DS XL Pokéball edition.

    I don't know if what I make will be any good or if I have to talent to make anything worthwhile, but 2018 will be the year I do what I always say I've wanted to and make a game. That's my resolution, what's yours?

    What is your 2018 gaming resolution? screenshot


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  • 12/31/17--06:34: Week 47 - Shaped Bokeh
  • Here was something new. Shaped bokeh? What’s that? Turns out if you take a piece of dark paper

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    There were a lot of games I loved this year -- Battle Chef Brigade, Cuphead, Ghosts 'N Homunculi, GoNNER, Million Onion Hotel, Puyo Puyo TetrisRiver City Ransom: Underground, Shovel Knight: Specter of TormentSplatoon 2, The End is Nigh, The Mummy Remastered, and TumbleSeed are just a handful. It's almost unfair to compare them to a game release that I'll remember most from 2017, as they are all "just games," where Axiom Verge Multiverse Edition is a multimedia package that's able to share interconnected information with you through totally different avenues at once. Fair or not, it's the data that goes into your brain that determines what you end up loving the most, and this is the data package that had the biggest impact on me this year. 

    If a spoiler is information that will make you like a game less if you gain said info beforehand, then my relationship with Axiom Verge has been rife with the opposite of that kind of information from the start. Knowing that the whole game was made by just one person led me to enjoy it far more than I would have if I went in thinking it was made by a team of hundreds. When you know a game came from one personality, hardwired into one set of synaptic connections, everything takes on a different meaning. You know that what you're playing is, for better or worse, a direct download from someone else's mind.

    The making of the art book and documentary included in this retail release of the game provides even more inroads into the heart and soul of Axiom Verge creator Tom Happ, and it's not always a comfortable ride. Tom's process, his game, and his personal life are all mutually related and intertwined, bound together by a unified vision, shaded under a dark cloud of tragic irony. 

    Axiom Verge Multiverse Edition is my GOTY of 2017 screenshot


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  • 12/31/17--08:51: set database: LEGO 40211 bee
  • set database: LEGO 40211 bee
    image courtesy of pickourbrick
    image courtesy of michaelaboe
    image courtesy of constructibles
    image courtesy of lstore
    set number: 40211
    set name: bee
    theme: creatorpromotionalmonthly mini model
    year: 2016
    pieces: 34
    price: us$na
    minifig: none
    come in polybag packaging.
    promotional set.
    monthly mini model.
    released on month of april 2016.
    come with a brick built bee.
    great playability.
    overall design is great.
    Bookmark and Share

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    🎆A big leap to 2018🎆 🎉Wishing you Happy New Year 😃🎉🎆

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    It's slightly over an hour past the stroke of midnight here in Singapore, as the rain drops countdown alongside revellers in front if the telly, and those braving the night winds and sky-liquids for the fireworks, welcoming "2018" (hopefully washing away the crap of 2017!) ... meanwhile in safe-dry-cyberland, HAPPY NEW YEAR, you crazy kids! I am grateful and thankful for your continued

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  • 12/31/17--09:55: Ouija Board
  • we’re summoning the dead by candlelight out of a Hasbro board and there are so many ghosts in my hea

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    WhatsApp messaging service returns after global outageWhatsApp, a popular messaging service owned by Facebook Inc, suffered a global outage for about an hour on Sunday before the problem was fixed. "WhatsApp users around the world experienced a brief outage today that has now been resolved", a WhatsApp spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

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    Living on Social Security? Here's a Tax Credit Just for YouIf you're 65 or older and meet certain income requirements, the Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled may knock thousands off your tax bill.

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    Fireworks, prayers as revelers around the world ring in 2018From spectacular fireworks in Hong Kong and Australia to a huge LED lightshow at the world's tallest building in Dubai, a look at how revelers around the world are ringing in 2018: ___ UNITED ARAB EMIRATES ...

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    Thousands gather in cold ahead of Times Square's 2018 partyNew Yorkers, celebrity entertainers and tourists from around the world are packing into a frigid Times Square Sunday to mark the start of 2018 with a glittering crystal ball drop, a burst of more than ...

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