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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Kathryn Bigelow Wins Big at Oscars – A Perfect Start to International Women’s Day

Posted by Kyle Design on March 8, 2010

Mark your calendars: today is International Women’s Day, annually celebrated on March 8th as a day of love, respect and appreciation for women’s achievements around the globe. And for those of us recovering from the Academy Award thrills last night, there’s certainly more than enough reason to pay tribute to Kathryn Bigelow today, the winning woman of the night and first-ever female to win an Oscar for Best Director. With a slew of successful films like Point Break, Blue Steel and now The Hurt Locker under her belt, the 58-year old award-winning filmmaker is an inspiration for doing what she loves, plain and simple:

Kudos to women everywhere who pursue their dreams without gender limitations.

Kathryn Bigelow is just one example of an inspirational, accomplished woman.

Let the inspirational woman in your life know she's the award-winner in your heart.

“If there’s specific resistance to women making movies, I just choose to ignore that as an obstacle for two reasons: I can’t change my gender, and I refuse to stop making movies.” — Kathryn Bigelow

There’s also something to be said for the fact that her most notable competitor was actually ex-husband James Cameron, director of popular success Avatar. Really, it takes a humble woman to restrain herself from exploding into a series of Running Man dance moves and gloating to the extreme in such a moment of victory. Well done, Ms. Bigelow. Well done, indeed.

Joking aside, International Women’s Day truly is an occasion to celebrate women and what we are capable of. How lucky we are to have a day in which we can revel in the amazing successes we’ve made, and where we can congratulate one another in accomplishing what we love. Take today as an opportunity to pat your girlfriend, mom, wife, sister, female cousin or aunt on the back and show her just how special she really is.

For Oscar-worthy present ideas and accessories to make her feel like a winner, check out Achievement Gifts for Leading Ladies and “I Am Woman” Home Décor Ideas available exclusively at Kyle Design. Impress her with a unique gift personalized especially for her: Mirror Compacts, Purse and Handbag Holders and Eye-Catching Business Card Cases.

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Posted in Business Card Cases, business card holders, Events, Film, Handbag Holder, Movies, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

California Independent Film Festival CIFF in Livermore CA

Posted by Kyle Design on April 20, 2009

Film Festival Holiday Ornament - Great Gift for Movie Directors, Actors, Screenwriters

Film Festival Holiday Ornament - Great Gift for Movie Directors, Actors, Screenwriters

Hurry! Today is the last day of the Califronia Independent Film Festival here in Livermore CA and there are still tickets available at the door for some great cinematic treats. (Vine Theater at 1772 First Street right in Downtown Livermore.)

Sunday Morning Festival Schedule

This morning you can catch nine Comedy Shorts from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Theater #1 (scroll way day to view really short Video Clips of Shorts here – is that a joke, too?). Titles include Cost of Living, HiBi-Chan, Just In Case, Rolla Saor (Free Film), The Green Film, The Mix Up, Three-Fifty, Ticket for Success and Wrong Number.

The 2009 Best Documentary Slate Award in being held in Theater #2.

Football Switch Plates would look great in the den of football fans, players and announcers.

Football Switch Plates would look great in the den of football fans, players and announcers.

Sunday Noon Schedule

The Shorts: Program C is showing in Theater #1 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. with six films. This section is sponsored by Goal Line Productions. Goal Line Productions is the full service sound stage company of Joe Madden (son of football player, Raider’s coach John Madden – who on Friday just announced his retirement from sports broadcasting after 30 years) and Jonathan “Sketch” White, who is the company’s studio manager. Again, you can view shorts of shorts More Video Shorts of Shorts. Films scheduled are Akira’s Hip Hop Shop, The Fenceline, The Miracle, Ruïne and Fertilize.

Award Winning Pill Box - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Great way to encourage a filmmaker, writer or videographer to keep going for it!

Award Winning Pill Box - Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Great way to encourage a filmmaker, writer or videographer to keep going for it!

Over in Theater #2 in the Sapporo Short Fest Program that is sponsored by Kaori & Derek Zemrak (the lowbudget movie director and producer). International films showing in in this section include The Pond, Spoorweg (Losing Track), Auf der Strecke (On the Line – winner of over 50 international awards), Lumen, AlpTraum (Final Kick), Lui and Lone Rider.

Sunday Afternoon Schedule

From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., you can catch the feature film Rock Slyde in Theater #1, sponsored by Livermore Valley Florist.

Over in Theater #2, the festival is showing Shorts: Schedule A. Movies include On the Road to Tel-Aviv, Red Letter, Black Rose or How Mr. Fossenrath Tried Not to Change the World, Next Floor, The Border, Silent Lake, Limpiando Sapos and Ping Pong.

Sunday Evening Film Schedule

The feature film Camille, starring David Carradine, James Franco and Sienna Miller about a couple on their way to their honeymoon at Niagara Falls, will be showing in Theater #1.

Reach for the Stars! Movie Star business card holder will reflect your professional attitude toward a challenging, creative career choice.

Reach for the Stars! Movie Star business card holder will reflect your professional attitude toward a challenging, creative career choice.

In Theater #2 will be Shorts: Program B, again sponsored by Goal Line Productions. Films scheduled are Pluzman, Collector, Dudley’s Raft, One Little Step, La Lili à Gilles and Editing.

Sunday Night Film Schedule

The last film showing during this festival is War Eagel, Arkansas which runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It looks like a very moving, poignant moive that is based on a true story.

Be sure to check out Kyle Design’s unique gifts, business card holders, switch plates, pill boxes and Christmas ornaments. Click any of the photos to see more interesting gift ideas for actors, directors, movie stars, videographers, writers and more.

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Posted in art, artist, Business, Business Card Cases, business card holders, Christmas Ornaments, design, Events, family, Film, Gifts, Movies, Online Shopping, Pill Boxes, Switch Plates, switchplates, Unique Gifts, Vitamin Cases, Wall Plates | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Reading with a 10-Year-Old-Girl

Posted by Kyle Design on January 7, 2009

Lightning Bolt Earrings - Great Gift for Harry Potter Fans

Lightning Bolt Earrings - Great Gift for Harry Potter Fans

Last night, my 10-year-old daughter and I just finished reading the 7th and final Harry Potter book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, finally, after picking it up and putting it down for six months. We had just finished book six, Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, (the movie comes out July 17, 2009) last summer (loved it!) when the seventh book came out, and I guess we just weren’t ready to immerse ourselves again so soon.

The 7th book was oddly not gripping in the beginning – we’d read half a chapter here and there, then just not get back to it for a month – and if a book is not grabbing the interest of a 9- or 10-year-old, just try getting her to read it aloud! (Not to mention the roadblocks of the challenging made-up words that even I kept stumbling over!)

Book Lovers Wooden Trinket Box with Open Book Design

Book Lover's Wooden Trinket Box with Open Book Design

Reading is a chance for us to have mother-daughter time alone together. Usually with a book like this – long, many new vocabulary words – the plan is to have her read one page and then I read one (although depending on how tired she is it might be several for me.) We held to no hard and fast rules about who should be reading when – the idea is to enjoy the experience and get it done. If it takes too long, neither of us will be inclined to want to read, defeating the whole point and taking the joy out of reading. And ruining our special time. Terrible thoughts!

Silver Friendship Bookmark - Beautiful Gift for Friends in a Book Group

Silver Friendship Bookmark - Beautiful Gift for Friends in a Book Group

The holiday break gave us the time we needed to really get into the story about the adventures of the three friends – Harry, Ron and Hermione – and although we were good about switching off reading in the beginning and middle, toward the end I was doing most of the reading because it was just so exciting! (“Oh no! –  Yes!! – Oh NO!!! – YES!!!!) The fastest reader prevailed. Neither of us were arguing about the arrangement, although she wanted to read paragraphs here and there, and I encouraged her to follow along with me, pointing out words that had tricky spellings or pronunciations or to confirm she new the definitions.

Vampire Tape Measure - See how much progress your kids are making with reading!

Vampire Tape Measure - See how much progress your kids are making with reading!

Reading aloud is good practice for both of us. I keep my dictionary handy, too. Often, when asked about the fine point of a definition, I wanted to make sure I had it right. Heaven forbid that I teach her wrong! No “bad mommy” here.

We’re glad we hung with the book. Very satisfying. Very done, too.

So I just stepped into the kitchen for breakfast before posting this, and what does my daughter have in her hand? Twilight. Guess I know what book series we’re reading next.

To see more of my unique gifts and jewelry, visit Lightning Bolt Gifts, Book Lover Gifts, Twilight Gifts or Friendship Gifts.

Posted in Bookmarks, Books, kids, Movies, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Kalloori Kely – My Sister is a Bollywood Movie Star!

Posted by Kyle Design on November 29, 2008

Om Symbol Money Clip Helps Keep Your Dollars and Rupees Organized

Om Symbol Money Clip Helps Keep Your Dollars and Rupees Organized

OK, not quite, but we just found out that my sister Kely is in the major Indian film Kalloori by Balaji Sakthivel and director S. Shankar starring popular actors Akhil and Tamanna Bhatia. Kely’s even in the movie trailer!

This Bollywood, or technically Kollywood, movie has gotten rave reviews (although it has been fairly controversial), but we haven’t been able to find it here in the states yet. We are assuming (hoping?) that it has subtitles so we can understand it if we do manage to track it down.

Cool Create Your Own Business Card Cases - Here Ive created one for movie stars.

Cool "Create Your Own" Business Card Cases - Here I've created one for movie stars.

What is the difference is between Bollywood and Kollywood? Bollywood (Bombay + Hollywood) is for Hindu language films made in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) on the northwestern side of India, and Kollywood (Kodambakkam + Hollywood) productions are Tamil language films made in Kodambakkam in Chenia, India on the southeastern side of the country.

Photographers need to wear their press passes - why not make it a fun one.

Photographers need to wear their press passes - why not make it a fun one.

My sister traveled to India last year. She visited the the Shore Temple in Mamallapuram, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site and is absolutely stunning. She just happened to be there when Shankar was filming the movie and they asked if they could photograph her in front of the temple.

We were all exclaiming at Thanksgiving when a friend with whom she traveled informed Kely of the exciting news about the film, so we tracked down the movie trailer, and lo and behold, there she was on YouTube along with my niece.

Drama Mask Switch Plates are a great accent for a home theater, movie room or drama department.

Drama Mask Switch Plates are a great accent for a home theater, movie room or drama department.

Here’s the link to the trailer for those who are interested. (She’s at 48 seconds, the one with the hat and the camera, her daughter in front of her, standing in front of the Mahabalipuram Shore Temple , basking in her one second of fame.):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg5QALirV-I

World Christmas Ornaments make a great way to commemorate a special vacation - you can even have it engraved with the dates and location.

World Christmas Ornaments make a great way to commemorate a special vacation - you can even have it engraved with the dates and location.

Just one of those quirky situations of being at the right place at the right time, only she didn’t realize it at the time, not knowing how famous the actors and director are. (She LOVED her trip to India all the same and wants go back.)

Who needs a whole 15 minutes of fame? One second can be just as fun!

If you’d like to see more of my artistic gifts, please click Om Symbol Gifts, Gifts for Movie and Film Buffs, World Travel Gifts, Actor Gifts or Photography Gifts by clicking these links or the photos above.

Posted in Business Card Cases, Movies, Switch Plates, Travel, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Twilight Movie Box Office Results Shows Vampires Are Big Business

Posted by Kyle Design on November 26, 2008

Get your own Vampire Christmas Tree Ornament for a very different type of holiday celebration.

Get your own Vampire Christmas Tree Ornament for a very different type of holiday celebration.

Horror films making it hard to sleep at night? Maybe a Movie Director night light will sooth the way for a good nights sleep.

Horror films making it hard to sleep at night? Maybe a Movie Director night light will sooth the way for a good night's sleep.

Number one box office movie ticket sales, mob scenes with the actors, screaming teenagers – Vampires are Big Business. And they are going mainstream!

The film Twilight opened last Thursday at midnight (!), and ticket sales for the weekend reached a whopping $70.6 million, handily beating out the second place finisher, Quantum of Solace that came in at (only) $27.4 million. Kudos to Twilight’s female director Catherine Hardwicke, who had the biggest opening weekend ever for a female director, smashing the $41.1 million record set in 1998 for Mimi Leder’s “Deep Impact”. Just goes to show what big business Vampires are. And I only tuned into this fact a few of months ago!

Vampire Bat Vitamin Case - Dont forget to take your vitamins so you maintain your energy levels while up late catching a film, reading a book or partying.

Vampire Bat Vitamin Case - Don't forget to take your vitamins so you maintain your energy levels while up late catching a film, reading a book or partying.

As I was updating my Halloween web page page, I thought to search on vampires, thinking that they would be a nice addition at some point. Lo and behold, vampires are very popular. But as I was researching, “Edward” kept showing up. I thought, “Who in the world is Edward, and why haven’t I ever heard of him?” And who is Bella? (I only know of Bella as in Bella Vista (beautiful view), the wonderful little Italian restaurant my uncle owned in Hayward, CA, for 20 years – he is a great cook!) Did a little more research, asked around and finally tuned into the whole Twilight book series.

I promptly created a vampire design of a vampire about the bite a woman’s provocatively outstretched neck – Yes! No! Yes! – Bella’s dilemma?

Vampire book readers might enjoy a Bella Swan bookmark as a reminder of a transformation from an ugly duckling

Vampire book readers might enjoy a Bella Swan bookmark as a reminder of a transformation from an ugly duckling

The movie Twilight, based on the first in a series of books, stars Robert Pattinson (you might remember him – he played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) as Edward Cullen (the vampire), Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan (the plain girl), Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black (the werewolf).

My tweener girls are just a little to young to have been caught up in the Twilight phenomenon, but two other women I work with have daughters who have read the book series by Stephenie Meyers ( Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn ), with one teenager really big on it. So there has been quite a bit of discussion about it.

Pretty New Moon Compact Mirror - Check your reflection to be sure it is still there!

Pretty New Moon Compact Mirror - Check your reflection to be sure it is still there!

Running a small business requires constant creativity and innovation to stay fresh. I’m always looking to stay on top of popular trends, too, so even though I PROMISED my staff that I wasn’t going to do any more designs this season – 65 was ENOUGH – (so, Kyle, where exactly ARE we going to put all of these new designs??) – I squeezed one more in.

Glad I did!! Turns out that Vampires are Big Business for a Small Business. Because of the ongoing popularity of author Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire) and Stephenie Meyers, I think vampires are here to stay. Yet, these vampires are flying off the shelves! (And into the trees??) I try to develop design collections around popular themes and have fun with the imagery. Check them out! Unique Vampire Gifts for those who love reading horror books, and Cool Twilight Gifts for dangerous things that come out at night!

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Beverly Hills Chihuahua Party with Aztec Temple, Dog Pyramid Cake

Posted by Kyle Design on August 27, 2008

Whew! Just survived an over-the-top, really fun Aztec Chihuahua party we threw for our 9-year-old daughter’s slumber birthday party. She saw the upcoming Beverly Hills Chihuahua movie trailer (film comes out October 3rd), with the Aztec warrior dogs on a giant temple, thought it was hilarious and decided that would be a blast for a party of 8 rambunctious girls. Here’s what we did to create the right atmosphere:

Aztec Temple Makes a Great Driveway Center Piece

Aztec Temple Makes a Great Driveway Center Piece

Aztec Temple/Mayan Pyramid: My husband built a huge South American pyramid – a quasi Aztec or Mayan temple – in our driveway. It is 14′ wide at the base and about 11′ feet high. Made quite an impression on the arriving girls as they clamored to play on it and check out the view from the top. The prize for one party game later was a Slinky and we got it to slink down the full set of stairs on the pyramid, sending up a round of cheers from all of us!

Chihuahua Dog Birthday Cake with Mayan Temple Pyramid

Chihuahua Dog Birthday Cake with Mayan Temple Pyramid

Birthday Cake: I created a three-layer stepped-pyramid cake out of alternating vanilla and chocolate layers that I topped with a seated Chihuahua dog. My 12-year-old daughter made a golden headdress for the chihuahua giving it just the royal warrior look we were after. For instructions for making the cake, visit Aztec Chihuahua Dog Cake on Mayan Temple.

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Dressed Up an Aztec Chihuahua Pinata with Golden Headdress

Dressed Up an Aztec Chihuahua Pinata with Golden Headdress

Chihuahua Piñata: For the piñata, I started with a pink pony piñata that I stripped down and converted to a golden Chihuahua. Again, my daughter made a stunning headdress for it out of golden poster board and wrapping paper. At the last minute the kids decided they couldn’t bear to destroy the fancy golden piñata, so we grabbed a Hawaiian hula girl piñata we had planned for another party, quickly spray-painted her Apocalypto blue to create an instant sacrificial Aztec maiden, then let the kids have at it. (Explanation: in the movie Apocalypto, the individuals captured for human sacrifice were painted blue before being sacrificed to the gods. Not that any of the girls (or me) had actually seen the movie, but they’d heard of it.) We filled the pinata with gold foil wrapped chocolates or golden colored candies such as toffee, caramels, Werther’s, Nestle Treasures, etc.

Kids Loved the Aztec Temple French Toast Pyramids

Kids Loved the Aztec Temple French Toast Pyramids

Food: For breakfast, we created Mayan Temple French Toast by stacking up three progressively smaller layers of bread and topped them off with a Chihuahua skewer, strawberries, powdered sugar and maple syrup. Big hit!

For dinner, had the girls create build-your-own personal pizzas. We used the refrigerated pizza dough from Trader Joe’s and let each girl roll out and add toppings to create their personal favorite. For 9-year-old-girls, apparently this, sadly, is still just pepperoni or cheese pizzas….

We served apple juice and sparkling water so the girls could create soda-like drinks that were free of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Entertainment: The girls played on a slip-n-slide until all the children arrived. Pink seems to be the color of the Beverly Hills chihuahua dog, so what movies could be more perfect than the Legally Blonde movies? We rented videos of Legally Blonde and Legally Blonde 2, which feature heroine Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) and her pet chihuahua Bruiser.

Party Games: Traditional favorites included tape the Chihuahua to the temple top, memory game with 25 assorted items on a tray, and a treasure hunt. The prize for the memory game was a stuffed toy – the Taco Bell Talking Chihuahua Dog that we got from Stupid.com. It says, “Here lizard, lizard”, “I think a need a bigger box” and “Yo quiero Taco Bell” (“I want Taco Bell”). The kids thought it was cute (they don’t remember the original TV commercials), but the adults thought it was a scream. And we actually did scream while watching the Legally Blonde movie when we realized that the commercial was playing in the background of one scene!

The Girls Loved Wearing the Colorful Dog Necklaces

The Girls Loved Wearing the Colorful Dog Necklaces

Party Favors: Instead of traditional party favor bags, I made a choker dog collar necklace with Chihuahuas on it for each girl. Every dog collar was a different color and the girls could pick out their favorite as they arrived. What girl doesn’t love jewelry?!

To see more or larger pictures and read tips and tricks for the fancy dog piñata, games and food, visit Beverly Hills Chihuahua Dog Party. If you love chihuahuas, be sure to check out my Cool Chihuahua Gifts like the Chihuahua Night Light or Chihuahua iPod Case.

"Beverly Hills, Here I Come!" Chihuahua Dog Night Light

“Beverly Hills, Here I Come!” Chihuahua Dog Night Light

Protect Your iPod with a Chihuahua Dog Warrior Travel Case

Protect Your iPod with a Chihuahua Dog Warrior Travel Case

Shop Chihuahua Party Gifts

Posted in Birthday, Cakes, kids, Movies, Party Ideas | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Mamma Mia! This Mama Loved The Movie!

Posted by Kyle Design on July 19, 2008

Dancing Queen Vitamin Case - Keep Your Energy Up!

Dancing Queen Vitamin Case So You Can Keep Your Energy Up

I went to see the new movie Mamma Mia! starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, and Colin Firth, and based on the songs of pop band ABBA, and absolutely loved it! I went with a big group of friends, many of whom are in my book group, and we all just had a blast. It is the story of a 20-year-old girl (played by Amanda Seyfried), her mother (plus two friends – Julie Walters and Christine Baranski – who make up the dancing queens) and the three men who could potentially be girl’s father.

Queen for a Day Christmas Ornament

Queen for a Day Christmas Ornament

I have never seem the stage version, so was not disappointed by some preconceived idea of what it should be like (as I’ve read some people have been). I’d heard that it is a great movie for mothers and daughters to see together, but I’d also just recommend going with friends and letting loose, singing along and swaying to the music. Why not? You can never go back again, except in the movies and your dreams. The songs on the soundtrack are great: Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Honey Honey, The Winner Takes It All, Money Money, The Name of the Game and Our Last Summer among other classics.

It was set in Greece which was absolutely stunning, but fortunately they didn’t focus on the sweeping vistas and picturesque villages too long, otherwise I suspect our attentions could have drifted off to our vacations plans for next summer. The scenery just enhanced the emotional getaway, drawing us in, making us long for the chance for something as fun and exciting as what was happening on the screen. You just can’t stay grumpy watching this one. You just know the actors had a blast making this one – you could see it on their faces.

Gorgeous Sunset Bookmark -Mark Your Place in That Summer Romance Book

Gorgeous Sunset Bookmark -Mark Your Place in That Summer Romance Book

I traveled to Greece when I was in my twenties, but alas, no passionate trysts were part of the travel plans. I would love to go back and take my family someday. Loved that trip, stunned by the beauty and the history of Greece. Had a fabulous time except for the really grumpy Greeks who seemed completely fed-up with tourists swarming through their lives on a daily basis. (Don’t know as I can blame them.) Maybe they should go see this movie…

Maybe the casting in the film was a little weird, with 48-year-old Colin Firth in the role as one of the past young love interests of 59-year-old Meryl Streep (along with 55-year-old Pierce Brosnan and 57-year-old Stellan Skarsgård, which were more believable.) Even with any plastic surgery the actors or actresses may or may not have had, they still look their age, so the idea of the young summer of love affair being had by those approaching a nice middle age of 40 was a bit odd.

Sadly, Pierce Brosnan does not have the best voice for singing, but it was passable, and believable, for an average man expressing his emotions through song. Keeping it real. Besides, he gets a free pass because he still looks good.

Mathematical Money Clip for Holding All Your Money, Money

Mathematical Money Clip for Holding All Your Money, Money

All mathematical issues aside, it was still a perfect feel-good movie that would put anyone in a happy mood. I have not laughed that much in a long time and plan to take my girls to see it, too. I highly recommend it.

Movie Projector Night Light for Those Who Enjoy Watching a Great Film

Movie Projector Night Light for Those Who Enjoy Watching a Great Film

As an aside, you just know the costumes in this film are going to me huge for Halloween this year. Plan now to get all your over-the-top accessories and sparkly fabric ready!

If you’re looking for some fun gifts for your dancing queens, be sure to check out Kyle Design’s Dancing Gifts and Queen Gifts, where you can find gifts like the Vitamin Case, Christmas Ornament, Bookmark, Night Light and Money Clips shown. We have Mathematical Gifts, too, should any of those casting agents need to brush up on on their skills.

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California Independent Film Festival – 10th Annual Event

Posted by Kyle Design on April 17, 2008

Film Projector Holiday Ornament in GoldThe California Independent Film Festival is going on April 16th – 20th in Livermore, CA, where my business is based. Now in its 10th year, the festival features indie films from around the world and presents awards in the categories of picture, short, mini short, documentary, student film, animation, actress, actor, director, score, editing, cinematography, screenplay and music video.

Poker Credit Card WalletA whole series of events are scheduled through the weekend, including a Celebrity Poker Tournament, the Iron Filmmaker Contest (make a 3-minute film in 24 hours based on the given topic), and the Golden Slate Awards Presentation featuring an interview by John Madden with actress Penny Marshall.

Digital Camera Christmas Ornament and Film Awards MedalIn conjunction with the film festival the Livermore Valley Charter School encouraged student entries from 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Twenty-four groups submitted short films (my daughter among them) in the competition and last night, we watched the the awards ceremony where the winners were presented with trophies. Awards were presented for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, plus one honorable mention. We were, in fact, quite impressed. Winning entries included a pseudo-exposé, an animated short, a black-and-white film noir, and a tense chase film with a surprising ending. All the kids’ film entries will be shown on the big screen on Friday morning at the Vine Theater in downtown Livermore. The Livermore wine country makes a great destination if you want to make a day or weekend of the events as it has a large number of popular wineries including Wente Vineyards, Concannon Vineyards and Stoney Ridge Winery.

Award Winner Drinking FlaskIf you’d like to check out more of my cinematic gifts, please visit Film and Movie Gift Ideas, and for wine country themed decor check out my Wine and Grapes Gifts and Home Furnishings.

Looking for trophy alternatives for an awards ceremony? My Christmas ornaments are the perfect size for awards medals, requiring only a longer ribbon (which we may be able to supply), and they can be engraved with the event name, date and prize category. Our beaded lanyards are also be a beautiful alternative for a work necessity.Wine Bottle and Glasses ID Name Badge Lanyard Necklaces

Posted in Events, Film, Movies, Schools, Unique Gifts | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Veterans Day, Veterinarians Day and Lions for Lambs

Posted by Kyle Design on November 12, 2007

My 3rd grader, whose turn it was to read the school bulletins over the loudspeaker lastVeterinarian Christmas Ornament week, announced that there would be no school today in honor of Veterinarians Day. But as most of us know, we are actually observing Veterans Day, when we take a moment to honor those men and women who served – our fathers, uncles, friends and coworkers.

Stars and Stripes Pill CaseYesterday, November 11, is the actual date of Veterans Day and my family and I went to see Robert Redford‘s new film Lions for Lambs. It stars Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise in a political film that encourages us to get involved and ask questions. It’s target audience is the 35-and-older crowd, into which I most comfortably fit. As people age, we do tend to take a larger view of our actions and their affect beyond just us, and become more contemplative about the world in general. So the 35-and-up crowd is more likely to enjoy a movie such as this one.

My husband and I enjoyed the movie, but our eleven-year-old was bored by itLion Night Light in Decorative Stained Glass – you need more knowledge of history and political workings to get the subtleties of the conversations in the film – and this made me realize that it is time to start talking to both of our girls about these larger topics as well. I certainly give them my opinions about a lot of subjects, but I have probably have been guilty of neglectful parenting when it comes to history and our larger society. Can we learn from past mistakes? Has our political landscape become so complicated as to make solutions impossible? What can we do to make a difference without getting lost?

Sheep and Lamb Business Card Holders

Watching the film made for some interesting conversations in the car and after we got home last night. And I don’t want it to stop there.

Please click the following links to see more Veterinarian Gifts (like the Christmas ornament above), Patriotic Gifts (pill case), Lion Gifts (night light) and Lamb Gifts (business card holder).

Posted in Business Card Cases, business card holders, Christmas Ornaments, Movies, Night Lights, Pill Boxes | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

No Reservations: Greatest Living Tenor Pavarotti Dead at 71

Posted by Kyle Design on September 6, 2007

Musical Notes Light Switch Plate in Brass and BlackThe great Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti died today, September 6, 2007, at the age of 71 at his home in Modena, Italy. Pavarotti was regarded as the world’s greatest living tenor and one of the greatest of all time. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for the last year. (The purple ribbon is the color symbol of pancreatic cancer awareness.)Purple Ribbon Business Card Case for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

Pavarotti’s stardom was compared to that of Enrico Caruso, the great Italian tenor who died in 1921. The Three Tenors – Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras – performed concerts in the 1990s and 2000s that helped introduce opera to the masses.

Just this week, I saw the movie No Reservations starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin (the girl in Little Miss Sunshine). The movie Chef Hat Refrigerator Magnetssoundtrack features opera including Pavarotti’s Cielo E Mar. While being light fair, the movie was still entertaining and the music enjoyable. (I grew up listening to Maria Callas, my mother’s favorite opera singer.)

During the movie, I found myself crying at the “wrong times” because the main character is a woman chef whose whole life revolves around her work, and this hit too close to home for me. I love cooking, and want to spend more time with my girls sharing what I know, but I am so busy. I left the theater saying that I needed to get a life. Maybe there is something about the creative aspect of being artist that ties you to your work in an even more profound way. It is so personal, so much a part of who you are, that it can be difficult to let go and find that workable level of separation. At least for me it is. It is my name on the product, and I care very much about how my artistry is perceived.

Other movies that have featured Pavarotti on the soundtrack include Yes, Giorgio (1982), The Fortunate Pilgrim (1990), Family Man (2000) and William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1999) .

If you’d like to see more of the Kyle Design collection of unique themed gifts, please visit the Music Gifts, Awareness Ribbon Gifts and Chef Gifts pages that feature our business card cases, light switch plates, refrigerator magnets as well as many other unusual items.

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