Dia De Los Muertos - Day Of The Dead

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Today in the Spanish speaking world, is the Day of The Dead. To celebrate that, we have a suitably bone coloured, skull encrusted, coffin topped instrument. On paper, the final design of this custom built guitar could, in some hands, have ended up very differently and lot less tasteful. We've seen on several occasions, here on Guitarz, the fruits of the unrestrained and unfettered creativity of some instrument builders which have not always raised the luthiers art to the highest of aesthetic pinnacles.

In my humble opinion, Jimmy Messer's DOTD guitar built by First Act is a rather beautiful and elegant instrument. Best known as guitarist for Texas band Goudie and guitarist/co-composer with Kelly Clarkson (American Idol winner), Jimmy has commission several guitars from First Act so he must be pretty pleased with them.

OK, I know there must an American reader or two falling his chair right now. First Act are best known for the their kid's starter guitar packs from Target/Walmart in the US. I've never heard of them but it seems they are also available in Blighty. So if anyone has tried their budget guitars, I'd love to know what you think.

Quite apart from their nicely designed custom guitars, their web site has a lot of interesting things going on that take it beyond the realms of other guitar makers. I'm a big fan of businesses that get out into the community and encourage kids to be creative and there are some bigger manufacturers that could do worse than to take a leaf out of First Act's book. Worth spending some time there. Guitar business of the day!

PS Happy DOTD to one and all.

David in Barcelona

Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 9th year!

Halloween- with Ariel and a Lil Pumpkin


Hope you got lots of candy- we did!

Happy Halloween!

More Tin


Here is another tin house I absolutely love. This is a T. Cohn circa 1948. It has seen better days. It's missing some windows. The roof has been repainted white and sports some nasty dents and the front has faded a bit. But despite its drawbacks it is still one great house. (oops, you can see the unopened Emerson box in the background).

The landscaping and exterior graphics are gorgeous. I just want to move in and live there with Donna Reed, or the Cleavers or in a worry-free existence where Father Knows Best. (BTW - a house like this one, but it better condition is on eBay. Click here)

Look at the ends of the house. There are doors and windows that are completely ignored in the exterior. The living room end of the house has lovely shuttered windows with floral drapes on the lower windows and striped drapes on the sweet French balcony doors above.

But on the inside of the living room the end wall has no windows. It is painted green and has a Gauguin painting on the wall. (I am sure it is an original. This family doesn't appear to be hurting for money.)

Upstairs in the nursery there are no French doors. There is a window with circus tent themed curtains and a wall with Little Boy Blue and Little Bo Peep.

I find this incongruity absolutely charming. A doll house should be able to be one thing on the outside and something else on the inside. It's part of the fantasy.
We find the same thing on the opposite side of the house. The kitchen has a wonderful three framed window with flourishing flower box and a sweet kitchen door.

But on the inside wall there is a plate rack and a teapot clock. Don't you just love the white tile with the yellow upper walls and blue scalloped trim? The asymmetrical floor blows me away. And I love the curtains with their flower motif border.
Above the kitchen is a wonderful roof patio with a colorful flagstone floor. Hmmm, I wonder how they got that  rusted area. It looks like they may have been letting the dog out there to pee.

This patio looks so inviting for morning coffee or afternoon sunbathing. It's too bad that the family can't get to it from inside.
There is no door or window on the inside wall of the bedroom. I love the bedroom decoration. Yellow with two shades of green in the wallpaper. The plaid drapes and green valance are a perfect compliment to it. The pattern cut into the carpet is a bit overkill in my opinion, but it is so much fun. The Gauguin theme is repeated here in the Painting on the wall.

The bathroom is decorated with swans. It's not very big, but it is gorgeous. There is a little rust on the floor here too. The family really needs to give that poor dog a little more attention. The four diamond shaped holes at the back of the room matches up with the keyhole shaped window pictured on the front of the house.

Back downstairs we check in on the dining room. It is missing it's windows, but how can you even notice when you see that rug? Or the stripped wallpaper? Or the orange and white drapes? I would love to have the person who decorated this house over for cocktails and just ask them: "What were you thinking?"

But don't get me wrong. I absolutely love this house because of the graphics. They are wonderful.

I want ot leave you with pictures of the nursery.  We have circus clowns and wagons, nursery rhyme figures (although I thought it was the cat and the fiddle, not the pig and the fiddle), puppies, balloons, blocks, bunnies, baby animals, sleds. Did they miss any nursery motif? I don't think so.

 I will see what furniture I can find and show you this house furnished. Do you thing it should have Strombecker, 60s era plastic, Petite Princess, or what. I am having trouble deciding what will look best. let me know what you think.

I Just Love Moving, Don't You?


Two weeks ago I embarked on one of the biggest moves of my life. I moved from a second floor apartment to a house.

Have you had the fun of packing up and moving your craft room? Oh my gosh! I never knew I could create such a mess all by myself, but I sure did. I also learned that every little scrap of paper, color of paint, ephemera, magazine clipping, etc., etc., is absolutely necessary. I have a lot of really neat stuff! That was the nice surprise. The problem was that I couldn't bring myself to throw any of it away, because it was really neat stuff...LOL.

This is what all that really neat stuff looked like before I moved it.

This is what all that really neat stuff looked like after I moved it. Notice the big improvement? LOL

Okay, it's not that bad now. I assembled white cabinets, fit in all the items and product I need to keep close by or in the house, and they turned out great. All the mess is hidden from view, and I like that.

This is what all that really neat stuff looks like now.

What isn't in the house is now organized on shelving in the garage, so I'm beginning to feel good about this. I think it all may actually work out...oh to be organized! Every crafters dream....:0)

Merry Christmas Cats



Ho Ho Ho and Jingle all the way!! I laughed when I saw these adorable little cats! I hope they make you smile today too!!
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Happy Halloween !!


Here are my two little trick-or-treaters right before we headed out tonight. The other child of mine, now too old to trick-or-treat, stayed home to help my Mom pass candy out at her house.
Gage is Scream
Katie is the Princess of Thieves
It still seems so odd to be trick-or-treating before it is
even dark out. I know they do it for safety reasons but you know, it kind of takes the fun out of it.
We did happen upon two houses that had people dressed up and acting the roles of zombies and such.
I couldn't help but laugh as I watched my children go up the steps. There was a little person on the ground that came crawling after them as though they were going to grab at their feet. Once they were on the porch to get the candy there was a girl that was pretending to cut her foot off and another boy with a chainsaw ready to pounce on them. Neither of our kids acted scared but they sure had their eyes wide open. I think they were just waiting & watching for the next ghost or goblin to hop out at them. It was definitely a house that smaller children probably would have been scared to go to but quite fun for the older ones.
Now that Halloween is over we'll be looking forward to the next holiday....Thanksgiving!
Well I should say that I will be looking forward to Thanksgiving, I'm sure the kids are looking forward to Christmas.
Hope you've all had a Happy Halloween!

John Lennon £5 coin


A commemorative £5 John Lennon coin had been released by Royal Mint. The limited edition coin shows Lennon with long hair and sideburns and his trademark round glasses. It will have a face value of £5 and the coin is priced at £44.99. Only 5,000 will be offered for sale. Struck in sterling silver to Proof quality, the coin comes in a splendid display case complete with a Certificate of Authenticity guaranteeing the specifications of the coin and paying tribute to the genius of John Lennon.

Lennon won the Royal Mint's public vote for the next "Great Briton" to be immortalised on a limited edition coin. Other names on the shortlist were Jane Austen and John Logie Baird. The Beatles singer, assassinated in 1980, now joins William Shakespeare, Sir Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale in the series.

Dave Knight, director of commemorative coin at the Royal Mint, said: "It's entirely fitting that John Lennon has been chosen by the public in what would have been his 70th year.

"The massive proportion of the vote he received shows clearly just how much his untimely death still resonates with the nation.

"He ranks alongside, and even ahead of, some of the greatest names in history and the Royal Mint is proud to commemorate a genuine British legend."

Lennon fans launched Facebook and Twitter campaigns to ensure the Liverpudlian legend came out on top. A total of 27,874 people, 92% of those who voted, nominated Lennon for the £5 coin. Only 5,000 of the coins, issued as Alderney tender, have been minted. A one off 24carat gold version of the coin will be given to the John Lennon Estate.

Denomination: £5
Alloy: .925 sterling silver
Weight: 28.28g
Diameter: 38.61mm
Designer (Reverse): Danuta Solowiej-Wedderburn
Designer (Obverse): Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS

Source: BBC, Yahoo News.

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Download Size: (109 MB)
Nestled within an old tree, in an abandoned curiosity shop, the Little Folk await you. The enchanted world of Faery needs you to restore the fragile balance which was shattered!
Discover a small village of fairy creatures and embark on a fascinating adventure where you will help the inhabitants to restore their world. What is behind the mysterious, omnipresent mist?
What secret lies behind the nostalgic creatures who are now roaming the place?
With the help of a fairy, solve these mysteries through numerous quests and restore your
shop's splendour of old.
Gather and collect hidden runes in the landscape, help dryads plant a tree, organize a banquet
to attract lost leprechauns, repair the ruins... many tasks are awaiting you!
Game Features:
• Beautiful graphics.
• Simple management system for your little creatures.
• Lovable characters, accompanied by their pets.
• 4 collections to complete along your adventure.
• An evolving curiosity shop.
• A fascinating and useful tome of lore.
Tech Info.:
Publisher: Oberon Media
Genre: Strategy/Adventure
System Requirements:
* OS: Windows XP/Vista
* CPU: 1.0 GHz
* RAM: 512 MB
* DirectX: 9.0
* Hard Drive: 139 MB
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 Download Size: (74 MB)
Fresh from a successful exploration of the wreck of the Titanic, the Hidden Expedition Club will pit one of its stellar members against a formidable group of opponents in a race to the summit of Everest! Explore mysterious places as you find hidden clues in 30 different scenes from around the world. Expert Everest climber Ed Viesturs will assist you along the way as you unlock exclusive footage of the world's most dangerous summits. Race to the Roof of the World with Hidden Expedition: Everest!
Tech Info.:
Genre: Hidden Object, Puzzle
System Requirements:
• OS: Windows 2000, XP, Vista
• Memory: 64 MB
• CPU: P500

Alternative Links

Football Manager 2011


Football - the game that won the hearts of millions and enjoying the same success - and as a professional sport, and in the format of virtual entertainment. However, not all dream of laurels Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andrei Arshavin. For those who see themselves not primarily a striker or goalkeeper, while the "soldier and" efficient and able manager, is this game.
Take any team under its wing: type players, conduct training and matches, transfer agreements and take part in international tournaments. Do not miss the opportunity to look at football is not from the penalty and, on the brows of the field, to take control of your favorite team and bring it to the championship title!
- Do not miss the opportunity to look at football is not from the penalty and, on the brows of the field, to take control of your favorite team and bring it to the championship title!
European hit - now in Russia. Football Manager - the most popular football game in Europe. Over its history, he has sold over 6 million copies and topped the charts for a long time sales, for example, in the UK. And then, finally, the game comes out in Russia in Russian!
- Russia - ahead!. Now you can celebrate our country in the international arena. Choose your favorite Russian team and lead it to glory!
- The key to success - in communication. For the first time in the genre of football simulation economic managers can enter into contracts with the players in real time. The developers studied in detail the working processes of sports agencies and as accurately as possible to bring them into the project. Not all agents can easily go to the co-operation: to each of them will have to find its own approach, while being careful not to lose precious time.
- It is hard to learn, easy in battle. The system of training athletes underwent complete processing. The new mechanic is highly intuitive. Before the match, managers will be able to instruct his team and to specify the players what to look at the upcoming meeting.
- Individual approach. Each athlete can be assigned its own scheme of training, aimed at the development of fourteen individual characteristics. In professional football, every detail is important!
- Relations with the team. New ways to interact with players and support staff will allow the manager a much better understanding of their subordinates. From now on you can talk with the athletes on the souls on an individual basis and to open talks about players from other clubs.
Tech Info.:
Genre: Strategy (Manage / Busin. / Turn-based) / Sport (Soccer) / 3D
Released: 2010
Developer: Sports Interactive
Publisher: SEGA
Publisher in Russia: 1C-SoftKlab
Platform: PC
System Requirements:
OS: Windows XP/Vista/W7
CPU: XP: 1.4GHz or Faster, Vista/W7: 2.0GHz or Faster
VIDEO: 128MB Supported Chipsets - Nvidia FX 5900 Ultra or greater; ATI Radeon 9800 or greater; Intel 82915G/82910GL or greater
RAM: XP: 512MB RAM, Vista/W7: 1.0GB RAM
SOUND: DirectX 9.0c compatible
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Copy to Installed Folder/data/languages
Copy to Installed Folder/data/languages
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(400MB Links | Interchangeable)
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FIFA Manager 11


 (Language: ENG GER FRA ITA SPA)
Download Size: (5.9 GB)
Contract Negotiations - making its debut in Football Manager 2011 is a new
live contract negotiation system, with a host of new contract clauses. Learn
to deal with different types of agents as you try to secure your next big
signing.Re-vamped training system - including more basic training schedules
and individual training focus where players can be in trained in 14 different
skill areas. Plus, a new match preparation area, where you can get your team
to concentrate on special focus areas, and train in specific tactics, in the
lead up to a match.Improved Interaction - new board request and backroom
advice options as well as a new player interaction module allowing you to
have private conversations with your players, including lots of options never
seen before, taking interaction to a whole new level.News subscription
service - expanded to make the way that news and mail is distributed even
more user friendly and immersive. Dozens of additional news items and a new
module written to add more intelligence in the news items themselves.Match
View - play under the glare of the floodlights for the first time with night
matches and over 100 new animations including player models, stadiums, goal
celebrations and much, much more. Not forgetting improvements to what was
already the best match simulation on the market.Dynamic League Reputation - a
new feature meaning as teams get stronger and perform better on a continental
level, the league they play in will also get stronger, attracting more
players to want to play in the league and a more accurate modelling of the
changing face of world football.
Tech Info.:
Published: EA GAMES
Developer: Bright Future
Release Date: 28-10-2010
Genre: Sports
System Requirements:
Windows XP SP3
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.4 GHz or equivalent
Video Card: ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB or greater, NVIDIA GeForce 6600 128MB or greater, Pixel shader 2.0 and above.
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