Category Archives: Uncategorized

Reblog: 3 Sneaky Techniques Covert Narcissists Use to Disarm and Demean You


Today’s post is a two-fer! Some excellent mental health tips, along with raw material for creating a really nasty antagonist! Enjoy! — Lillian

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We’re all familiar with loud, bold, and overly confident overt narcissists. These types of narcissists are visibly grandiose, aggressively posturing their superiority for all to see. They may be…

Source: 3 Sneaky Techniques Covert Narcissists Use to Disarm and Demean You

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Universal Fun!


by Lillian Csernica on June 24, 2017

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Tomorrow John and I will fly down to Los Angeles and spend a few days enjoying the wonders of Universal Studios Hollywood.

John has been talking about seeing Universal Studios ever since he first heard about it many years ago. Chris and I decided that a trip to this previously unexplored land of movie magic makes the perfect graduation gift for our boy.

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John and I have studied the map. We’ve discussed what we each want to see the most. Today we’ve been packing our bags. Tomorrow we take our first plane trip together. I’m pretty sure what John is looking forward to the most is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

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Me, I’m looking forward to the air conditioning on the plane, at the hotel, and on many of the rides. I’m not a big fan of heat, preferring autumn and winter to summer. I suppose this is an indicator of my advancing years. Insane roller coasters are great, but they lost their appeal for me after I reached my late twenties.

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Even so, I can’t wait to watch the Special Effects Show with John, to get silly in the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem area, and probably scream at least once on the Jurassic Park ride. Best of all, I finally get to drink butter beer and hang out at Ollivander’s where Harry Potter’s wand chose him!

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My grandfather worked in the movies. My mother has appeared as an extra in several. I did some writing for the movies, once upon a time. And now my son loves movies just as much as the previous generations in our family have.

Watch for my trip report once we’re home again!

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thevalley.net

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Filed under autism, bad movies, classics, cosplay, creativity, dreams, fairy tales, Family, family tradition, fantasy, Fiction, Food, history, legend, Lillian Csernica, memoirs, mother, neurodiversity, parenting, science fiction, Special needs, steampunk, sword and sorcery, travel, Uncategorized, Writing

Scientology: The Eating Disorder of Religion?


I’ve never seen this angle on Scientology explored before. The parallels are disturbing, to say the least.

BeautyBeyondBones

So I’ve recently watched a couple documentaries on Scientology:Going Clear,and Leah Remini’s 8-part series, Scientology and the Aftermath.

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Wow. If you want your minds blown, give them a watch…I included the links.

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Let me begin by saying, I’m not here to bash anyone’s beliefs. I am all for respect and inclusivity. But I was just astounded at the level of oppression and corruption in that “religious” organization (as depicted in these exposés).

And it stuck with me all weekend. I couldn’t stop thinking about those poor people trapped in that culture of repression.

What made them stay in a dire situation? Why did they put up with the mind games and the systematic oppression?

And the more I thought about it, I realized that scientology is exactly like being trapped in an eating disorder.

Scientologists are fed dogma that they must protect scientology at any cost – including…

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Remembering the June Rebellion


A powerful reminder to keep fighting the good fight.

Sharon E. Cathcart

On this day, in 1832, the students of Paris’ Sorbonne University led an uprising. They were protesting against inequality that saw the poor starving to death and the rich getting richer. The June Rebellion lasted only two days; many of the students were killed by the military. In fact, we would probably know nothing about it had author Victor Hugo not been accidentally caught behind one of the students’ barricades.

My tales in Thirty Days Later, “Two Days in June, Parts I and II,” are about this event.

This performance is a reminder that we are all, no matter our country of origin, the people whose voices matter and must be heard.

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Send Lawyers, Guns, and Money…


This is important, folks. It’s convention season. We want to foster a safe, inclusive, diverse environment. Wear the ribbon and help make that happen.

Backup Ribbon Project

OK, so maybe not the lawyers or the guns, unless the lawyer happens to be this guy:

But money? As the Beatles say, that’s what we want. Due to an attack of Professional Real Life (which also requires money, as such things oft go when one is self-employed), funds for Backup Ribbon Project have gotten severely depleted, to the point where there hasn’t even been any available for postage to mail out ribbons or buttons. 

But we here at Backup Ribbon Project are a resourceful sneaky bunch and remembered “Hey, wait a minute! Don’t we have some sort of fundraiser somesuch doohicky thingamobobby or another going on?” (yes, those are technical SEO terms, so y’all in the peanut gallery can just shut yer pieholes)

A frantic (and somewhat horrifying) search back through our browser history ensued. Followed shortly thereafter by deleting that website about miniature goats wearing Cuban-heeled boots that…

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K is for Archibald Knox (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 13, 2017

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From Wikipedia:

Knox’s hundreds of designs for Liberty‘s made his style widely known,[8] (though not his name, as Liberty’s kept their designers anonymous) as did his watercolours, graphic designs and fonts. His design talent covered a wide range of objects, ornamental and utilitarian, and included silver and pewter tea sets, jewellery, inkwells, boxes, gravestones and even bank cheques,[9] much for Liberty’s Tudric (pewter) and Cymric (precious metals) ranges. The gravestone of Liberty’s founder, Arthur Lasenby Liberty, was designed by Knox.

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Composed of platinum, gold, diamond, enamel, and opal. In this pendant for Liberty & Co., Knox used opal mosaic to depict a painterly scene of a boat outlined by a fiery sunset on London’s River Thames.

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Collection of silver buckles. Cymric, circa 1901-1911.

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White gold, platinum, fire opal, and diamond.

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Gold and opal brooch by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co. The oval stone within a whiplash mount.

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Pendant, gold, silver, peridot, pearl, and diamond.

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Art Nouveau design copper humidor by Archibald Knox.

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Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, creativity, history, nature, Uncategorized

J is for Jugendstil (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 12, 2017

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From Macklowe Gallery:

Sometime synonymous with the term Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, meaning “Youth Style” in German, got its name from the magazine Jugend that first promoted the style. In the early 20th century the term only applied to two-dimensional examples in the graphic arts, later expanding to incorporate a broader range of the arts from architecture to decorative arts. Drawing from traditional German printmaking, the style uses precise and hard edges, an element that was rather different from the naturalistic style of the time.

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Jugendstil pendant, silver, enamel, and amethyst. Carl Hermann, Germany, circa 1900.

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tademagallery.com

Bird brooch, gilded silver, plique-a-jour enamel, pearl. German, circa 1900.

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Pendant necklace with tourmaline, gold, silver, and green enamel.

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Silver, plique-a-jour enamel, and dyed green chalcedony. Theodor Fahrmer.

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Jugendstil chatelaine, silver, enamel, and chalcedony. Germany, circa 1900.

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The pendant features a bell flower carved from ox bone with rubies set above it and marcasite stones set into the leaves.
The surround is German silver marked for 900 purity
with the makers mark AM which is Adolf Mayer and the mark
‘Original Handarbeit’.

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Fish pendant. Gilded silver, garnet, chalcedony. Eduard Schopflich.

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Filed under #atozchallenge, Art Nouveau, artists, Blog challenges, classics, creativity, Uncategorized

I is for Insect (Art Nouveau – #AtoZChallenge)


by Lillian Csernica on April 11, 2017

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A butterfly with a cushion-cut aquamarine and cabochon opal body, extending blue and green plique-a-jour enamel wings, enhanced by cabochon rubies and calibre-cut emeralds, accented by a collet-set diamond and gold wirework detail, mounted in gold. Boucheron, 1900.

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Bentley & Skinner

A Victorian moonstone and diamond beetle brooch, the body of the beetle brooch set with cabochon-cut moonstones, the head and central streak of the body set with old brilliant-cut diamonds, estimated to weigh a total of 0.6 carats, with cabochon-cut ruby eyes, all set to a yellow gold back and sword with pearl set to the handle. Circa 1890.

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An Art Nouuveau gold, enamel, and opal scarf clip. Georges Fouquet, 1900s. Centering on an opal cicada set between open work enamel ivy leaves.

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sothebys.com

Sprigs of mistletoe set with circular and rose-cut diamonds, highlighted with pearls, to a central knife edge work web with a spider, its head a circular-cut diamond and its abdomen a similarly cut diamond of brown tint.

If you like spider jewelry (shudder!), you might enjoy this.

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1stdibs.com

Brooch with stylized bees. Natural pearls, green enamel, and 18k gold.

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V and A Collections

Gold and enamel brooch in the shape of a flower and a hornet, made by Georges Fouquet and designed by Charles Desrosiers. Paris, France, 1901.

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Blogging from A to Z: H is for Humane Society


Please consider buying a copy of Sharon’s memoir. It’s a great read for lovers of cats, dogs, and all animals. You’ll be supporting a great writer and helping more animals in need.

Sharon E. Cathcart

hIf you’ve known me for any length of time at all, you will soon hear about my passion for animal rescue and humane education.  I was always the one bringing home a stray cat or wanting to adopt a puppy from the box outside the grocery store, as a kid (I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, in a rural part of Oregon … that was a common sight at the time).

I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up, so that I could help animals.  Unfortunately, that dream got put on the shelf.  While my language skills were in the tippy-top percentile, my math skills were not.  It was not until adulthood that I learned I had dyscalculia.  Anyway, those math grades were enough to keep me out of veterinary school, so I put that dream on a high shelf.

IllustrationCut forward to many years…

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Art Nouveau Jewelry


This is a brilliant overview of how Art Nouveau arose from the cultural and political forces at the turn of the 20th Century. In just a few days the A to Z Blog Challenge kicks off. Many thanks to Fay Cullen for such a fascinating post!

Fay Cullen

FCI would like to recognize and give special thanks to Veronique Brunner for her generous contributions to this fascinating article.

Literally translated as �new art�, the Art Nouveau influence spanned roughly thirty years, from 1890 to 1919, shocking the Victorians and Edwardians in forms of diverted self expressionism. Greatly influencing Western architecture, textiles, metalwork and interior design, this period was fanciful, sensual, playful and sensitive in its use of feminine flowing curvilinear lines and exquisite depiction of the female form.

While seemingly shameless and unimportant to the Victorians and excessively emotional to the Edwardians, its appeal was to a new generation excited to celebrate the non-conformist style of the day fed by environmental and social pressures. Such pressures included finding a style suitable for the industrial age, as opposed to applying past styles to contemporary works such as the academically trained architects of the �Parisian Ecole des Beaux-Arts� were doing.

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