Masonry is skilled labor performed by masons who build and create different kinds of structures with a variety of building materials, such as bricks, concrete, stones, tiles, and more. Masonry contractors have the knowledge and experience needed to perform almost any job related to masonry inside and outside your property: Think concrete driveways and sidewalks, pavers, laying bricks, fireplaces, chimneys, and tile and stone installations.
The best masonry contractors are licensed and insured, have highly trained and experienced masons and personnel on staff, adhere to safety regulations set by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and are able to provide work references and a portfolio of their work. Check out our list of the best masonry contractors in the industry for your next project.
“First Cow” opens in the world of today, and a discovery both unsettling and of some archeological/sociological interest. The narrative is then borne back into the past, and eventually it dawns upon the viewer that the discovery is also a giant spoiler, and wishes it weren’t.
This kind of narrative sleight-of-hand is not customary for Kelly Reichardt, who directed “First Cow” from a script she wrote with Jonathan Raymond, adapting his novel The Half Life. But it serves well her vision of America as a land of both discovery and dread. In 1820’s Oregon, the end of the line for many frontiersmen, a Jewish cook and a Chinese man—exquisitely enacted by John Magaro and Orion Lee—renegotiate their respective statuses as outcasts by teaming up and going into a kind of business together, concocting fried dough treats that tickle the taste buds of hungry trappers. The accidental entrepreneurs optimistically aspire to move south, to San Francisco, and open a storefront business. In the meantime, they find sustenance in each other’s company, and in refining their recipes. The one hitch is their source of milk, which doesn’t belong to them.
“First Cow” is leisurely paced, letting you get to know and often to laugh with its central characters. If the opening minutes of the movie remind us that, as the blues song says, death don’t have no mercy, the end reminds us that history doesn’t either. But what’s in between shows us what trust, friendship, quick-wittedness, love and a little stolen milk can do to provide comfort amidst the harshness. (Glenn Kenny)
A joyous jumble of a movie in which the Avengers start to really click as a team. Stark’s mad-scientist-playing-God routine spirals out of control when he blends Asgardian heirlooms with AI and advanced robotics. The team ends up having to battle and movie Ultron, a part Terminator/part Skynet abomination with some unsurprising designs on the future of humankind – i.e. extinction. That Ultron the bad robot has a couple of rogue superheroes doing his bidding provides extra fun. After the monster bot is obliterated and the rogues are won over to the other side, a glimpse of Thanos’s purple mug reminds us that this was likely part of a wider plot – but then again, isn’t everything in the MCU part of a wider plot?
Remember when outdoor living entailed a deck or patio with table and chairs, maybe space for patio chairs with cushions, and a grill? Well, say goodbye to that idea and embrace more expansive outdoor living areas. “Outdoor spaces are still very strong, and we are actually getting requests to make them even larger,” says Jonathan Boone of House Plan Zone.
Today, outdoor spaces are bigger, more stylish, sophisticated, and equipped with the latest in technology. We’re talking rear porches and patios with LCD and LED flat-screen televisions, entire kitchens with sinks, dining areas, fire pits, and fireplaces.
Balconies, terraces, and patios are being redesigned to extend the Great Room to the backyard – and seamlessly connect the indoors to the outdoors. “Glass walls” that allow spaces to open completely during warm weather are predicted to pick up in popularity. These are multiple sliding glass panels that can be fully retracted to one or both sides of the space to open it up to the outdoors. When closed, the glass panels protect the area from rain, dust, noise, insects, and strong winds.
The second princess movie Disney made after Snow White, Cinderella finds true love with the help of her fairy godmother and animal friends despite the evil workings of her stepmother and stepsisters. Featuring several classic songs, “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” was even nominated for an Academy Award for best original song in 1951.
Homeowners Adam and Beth, along with their two elementary-school-age sons, were recent transplants from the Bay Area when they bought this 1906-built Craftsman in Minneapolis. It checked all the boxes: historic and charming, yet updated. “We’re not the DIY type who can take on bringing a 100-year-old house up to modern expectations,” says Adam.
While there was no need to renovate, Adam and Beth wanted assistance designing thoughtful, functional common rooms that everyone in the family could enjoy. They also needed to fill out their furnishings, which now felt sparse compared to when they lived in an economic California space. “Our home is a blend of 1906 Craftsman architecture and a modern extension. We wanted to integrate the two styles into a cohesive balance,” says Adam. “Yet we didn’t want to get trapped with a period look, either stuck in the past or too much of today’s fashion.”
Enter Victoria Sass, principal and design director of Prospect Refuge Studios. She first bonded with Adam and Beth over a stack of Japanese design books, and immediately drew a connection between their Craftsman-style home and peaceful Japanese style. “Craftsman and Japanese design aesthetics both have a deep appreciation for craft as art, honesty, and simplicity of material,” says Victoria.
Adam and Beth had already coined their small, quiet sitting area the Winter Room, a space where they practice cello and enjoy an afternoon tea and which, at the time of their first meeting with Victoria, looked out onto a row of gingerbread-like snow-capped houses. “That was when we decided each room should have a season,” Victoria says. “So these ideas cross-pollinated: Japanese design, Craftsman ethos, and honoring the spirit of the seasons as a progression through the home.”
Upon entering the home, you’re greeted by the autumn-evoking living room. The fireplace, which had been painted over many times, was painted Aganthus Green by Benjamin Moore, a minty green that highlights the carved elements, then topped with a slim walnut mantel. The linchpin of the room’s autumnal spirit, though, is the sofa, an ’80s modular that Victoria reupholstered in a playful print, which they jokingly referred to as “Taco Bell–style” upholstery.
This movie is terrible but the stories that came out of it are beyond delicious. More than ten years in the making (the rights were first optioned in 1971 and Disney reacquired the rights last year), The Black Cauldron was the first Walt Disney animated film to feature computer-generated imagery, the first to have a Dolby Digital soundtrack, the first to be rated PG and the first to extensively use 70mm since Sleeping Beauty in 1979.
It was the nadir of the post-Walt period; the production was wasteful, exorbitant and creatively unfocused. And that was before Roy Disney, Walt’s nephew and a key board member, saw a rough cut of the film and was horrified by what he saw as excessive violence. He suggested trimming bloody sequences but according to James Stewart’s Disney War, confessed to producer Joe Hale, “I just don’t understand the story.”
But that was nothing compared with the reaction it elicited in Jeffrey Katzenberg, the newly installed head of animation who had followed Michael Eisner from Paramount. “This has to be edited,” he proclaimed. “Animated films can’t be edited,” Hale informed him. Katzenberg stormed into the editing room and had to be talked out by Eisner, who informed him that Roy could handle the situation. The movie was postponed a year, with more of the objectionable material taken out and additional dialogue recorded. When Roy appeared on The Today Show and was asked what the movie was, he couldn’t say. When the film finally opened, it lost at the box office to The Care Bears Movie. The reign of Disney was official over. They had hit bottom. And watching the movie now, it doesn’t hold up any better. It’s still ugly and muddled, with simplistic designs (and this is after they had coaxed Milt Kahl out of retirement to do additional conceptualization).
John Hurt as The Horned King, though, is the stuff of nightmares and is easily one of the scariest (and most underutilized) Disney villains ever (there used to be a very creepy Audio Animatronic version of the character in Tokyo Disneyland – YouTube it). The Black Cauldron is a noble failure but that doesn’t make it any more interesting or watchable.
It’s important to watch a feel-good, happy film once in a while, whether it’s to cheer you up from the grey weather outside, a stressful day at work or just because you’re in need of a good, old giggle.
Whether it’s a romantic comedy like Jerry Maguire or La La Land to watch while tucked up in bed, or animated films like Up, Soul and Enchanted to accompany you while you sit with a takeaway in your pyjamas, there’s nothing quite like a film to lift your spirits.
As we all know, life is better with cheer, laughter and a bit of a singalong.
Cher Horowitz, a privileged high school student from Beverly Hills, and her friend Dion tackle teenage life – friendship, boys, sex and how to accessorise a plaid skirt – while trying to makeover new girl at school Tai, before realising they might need a lifestyle makeover themselves.
From the pure optimism of Cher, laugh out line one liners, and that happy making wardrobe – everything about Clueless will make you feel good.
La La Land, 2016
Damien Chazelle’s romantic musical comedy-drama sees coffee shop girl/aspiring actress Mia and die-hard jazz pianist Seb struggle to make their dreams a reality in Hollywood. Cue tap dancing, singing, musical numbers and Los Angeles shot at magic hour. The most beautiful film, ever.
Sun-drenched Hollywood cinema at it’s best – anyone who doesn’t feel happy watching Emma and The Gos together is the grinch personified.’
Right, let’s get it out of the way. Yes, you will be weeping buckets after that scene early on in the Pixar film but you’ll soon feel inspired by Carl, a septuagenarian balloon salesman, who has always dreamed of traveling South America. Little does he know his life is about to be changed by an eight-year-old wilderness explorer named Russell. Oh, and a talking dog. This film is sure to turn that frown upside down.
The wood frame is the most used construction technique because it can adapt to the traditional styles of each region or to realize houses of contemporary style. Wooden frames are spaced about 50 cm – 2 feet apart, they constitute the structure of the walls between which an insulating material is inserted, such as vegetable wool for example. Wooden frame creates robust and insulating walls of flexible sizes, sometimes further reinforced with an outer layer of heavy insulation. This wood frame construction technique, assembled on site or prefabricated, is both quick and economical to build.