closeup of three painted clay hearts hanging on a potted branch

1-27-24

What I Can’t Let Go Of:

(just like the NPR Politics podcast on Fridays- minus the “Politics or otherwise” disclaimer.

This blog is publicly, a politics-free zone, so all musings will be “Otherwise“.)

The release of (Russian version) remastered War & Peace! Yes, the epic film version of Tolstoy’s novel.

No I haven’t seen it yet, but just learning more about the production has blown my mind! It is a 4 part film series, with each film running 2.5 hours! They took 6 years to make and were released i 1966-67.

Widely considered a film-making masterpiece, perhaps the greatest film ever made, and a phenomenal PR blockbuster for Russia. Conceived by the USSR Minister of Culture in response to the success of the American-Italian version released in the USSR in 1959 and the growing competition for prestige between the USSR and USA.

It was the most expensive film ever made. ten thousand soldiers in commission Napoleonic uniforms were used in the battle scenes. Artifacts from museums were gathered and used as props. Outdated canons were cast and carts built. And the costuming!!!! New film techniques were developed.

I am transfixed how an idea, with the right timing, with the right promoter and motivation/goal can become so huge – and successful!

This wildly epic, and wildly successful project came from the Ministry of Culture, not Military with a goal of civic pride and prestige.

Further Reads: Wikipedia, Vox, NYTimes, Rotten Tomatoes,

closeup of clay painted heart in some greens

On the Blog This Week

closeup of woman's hand pulling off a bite of pizza with the stringy gooey cheese pulliing with it

Super Bowl = Super Eats along with football!

If you like cheese, pizza, and warm bread in dipping sauces (and who doesn’t?), then I’ve got the recipe for you — along with eleven others!

You can’t tell in this picture, but I share how to bake this pull-apart pizza into a football shape in your basic 9 x 13 pan!

Is Your Fur Baby a Sloppy Eater?

I have the simplest creative solution!

And in its simplest form, it cost just one buckaroo. That’s right $1.00 each!

Of course, you can take it up a notch as I did here. No artistic skill needed!!!

The design work is done and waiting for you in the printables library.

finished decorative dog food mat in place under the bowls on a red brick floor

Coming Next Week:

I’m sharing a couple of quick valentine decor items to diy.

You know me, they’re subtle and charming — no hot pink glitter and glitz here.

Sharing From Around the Web

Have You Heard of Swedish Death Cleaning?

(Yes, there’s even a TV series)

NOTE: Not nearly as morbid as it. might sound.

One of my favorite bloggers (who is now a Swedish Grandma — congrats Lynn) and organizing guru is starting her semi-annual Organizing Program/Challenge.

The month of February is dedicated to de-cluttering. She starts with a zoom kick off on Feb. 5.

Be sure to look it over and sign up if it sound right for you! Oh, and it’s free!

Tell Lynn I said “Hi” and I can’t wait to get my house in order!

image of a tidy lovely living room with text that reads Swedish Grandma Organizing Challenge

pin showing closeup of one finished hanging pendant beside the caption: diy Magic: Take Basic to Brilliant With Gold Leaf

Do you remember this post from the last Weekender Newsletter?

Well, this little makeover of my pendants spawned a flurry of questions, surprisingly about the lighting scheme I came up with in our kitchen.

I think this was triggered by the idea that the most expensive light I bought was still less than $60 each — phenomenal, right?

So I put together this board (below) of the light fixtures in my kitchen.

The kitchen island pendants are still under $40 each and the supplies to gold leaf the edges (and 20 more like them) will cost les than $20.

The two over the open shelving are not exactly the same ones, but very, very close and they are $99 for the pair.

TIP: when selecting this style fixture, be sure to look for ones with three hinge points for more design flexibility.

The swing arm globes over the sink are fabulous. They are $54 each.

I already had two pairs of fixtures with light shining downward. For balance, I wanted the sink pair to be upward facing.

TIP: I installed them “upside down”. They are shown and sold to be used with the globe pointing down. Keep in mind fixtures can often be installed differently than pictured.

My picture light is no longer available. This is the very close version that I’d be ordering today. And it’s battery operated instead of hard-wired or corded.

Collage of light fixtures used in my kitchen

You can see all these fixtures right here.

More Lighting Tips For You, My HouseMate Friend: When planning lighting for a single room Keep in mind that you want layers of light: General or Ambient (we also have recessed ceiling pot lights) Task and Accent Lighting (the above fixtures plus recessed lights under our open shelving)

Along with variety in the direction of the light, generally a mix of fixture shapes adds to the design. Notice how I have two verticals — one bottom heavy (pendants) and one top heavy (sink swing-arms), and then two that are horizontal.

Send your questions! I have answers and opinions!

As you probably know by now, I use some affiliate links in my newsletters and on the website. An affiliate link means that if you click on my link and purchase something, I may receive a small commission but you pay nothing extra.

I truly appreciate you using my links whenever possible!!!

I hope you enjoy your weekend!!! Thanks for hanging out with me a bit,

As I said before, I would greatly appreciate your feedback, any special requests, or questions you have.

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Diane Sudhoff
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