Nine Excellent Documentaries On Netflix That You May Not Have Seen


Netflix. *sigh* Sometimes it is hard to find something new to watch and their suggested videos just seem to be things you have already watched. Hopefully this will help you out of your Netflix drought. These are just a few of my favorite documentaries that I have discovered over the last six months. They are listed in no particular order, but all are amazing and worth a watch.

Dinosaur 13


I actually found this by accident as I was searching for a movie from my childhood. But what a great mistake. Dinosaur 13 is easily one of my favorite documentaries on Netflix. It tells the story of the paleontologists and researchers who discovered the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found (the famous Sue, which now resides in the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History). But this documentary is not just about dinosaur bones. While a team of preparators began to clean the bones the FBI and soon after the National Guard showed up with a warrant to take the dinosaur. And they did. What follows is a crazy insane legal battle that includes actual jail time, millions of dollars trading hands, and other crazy things that you would never expect to be involved with a dinosaur skeleton. This one is a must watch!


Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery


This documentary really shows that something as simple as a signature changes the whole way we perceive a piece of art and its value. Beltracchi used his insane skills to his advantage to create works of art that are “missing” from famous artists collections. Maybe a piece that was mentioned in literature but has since been lost, or a piece that looks like it could belong with the rest of a collection. Using old canvases bought from flea markets and after mixing his own paints, he created fake masterpieces. He even went as far as to stage old photographs with the paintings in the background to help the forgeries have a history and appear more authentic. It you like art or crime or art crime, this one is for you. Edit: I should maybe give a heads up, this one is entirely in French so you will have to watch it with subtitles.


An Honest Liar


“Magicians are the most honest people in the world. They tell you they’re going to fool you, and then they do it.” -The Great Randi

After The Great Randi retired from stage magic, he turned to challenging paranormal claims and debunking frauds. He was especially bothered by people who used their “magic” to take advantage of people who didn’t know better and spent 30+ years exposing psychics, spoon benders, and faith healers. You have probably even heard of several of these debunkings and didn’t know it was all the same man that proved them to be hoaxes.


The Propaganda Game


Everything you know about North Korea is wrong. Or is it? I still don’t know. This documentary honestly raised more questions than it answered. But sometimes I like it that way. It was filmed by a Spanish film director who had a connection with the only non-Korean man in the North Korean government and was allowed to film some of the things that happen within the country. There are several interviews with citizens about what they think about the rest of the world (especially America), and many who wanted to set the record straight about stories that us outsiders may have heard about this mysterious country and its leaders.


Secrets of Underground London


You may think you know what London looks like, but beneath it is all kinds of historic secrets you may never have even thought about. This documentary is very well written and covers so much history. It tells stories of ancient roman ruins, haunted caves, vaults of silver, mass graves from the days of the plague, as well as secret bunkers and bomb shelters and the digging of famous Thames Tunnel two hundred years ago.

Sorry, I couldn’t find a trailer for this one.



This was unlike any documentary I’ve ever seen. Imagine all the leftover film from the Planet Earth or Human Planet series all put together in one movie with beautiful music and no narration this is what you get. The filming is just breathtaking!


Happy People: A Year in the Taiga


Have you ever wanted to just move away to the mountains and love on your own? That’s exactly what these people do. Yes it looks freezing because it’s northern Russia, but the snow is beautiful and you can really understand why the simple freedom makes these people so happy. The guy even makes his own pair of skis from a tree he chops down!


First Position


This one was much more up close and personal than any of the others on this list. This simply shows a few days in the life of six different dancers as they train and perform in one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in hopes or winning scholarships or being hired by a dance company. It feels very raw and really shows you what ballet looks like from young dancers’ perspectives.


Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace: Hampton Court


So you may know a bit about Henry VIII and the whole thing where he killed a bunch of his wives. Well this talks a little bit about his home life and history while showing his crazy large palace. From the immense kitchens where meals for up to 1,000 guests where prepared every day, to the indoor tennis court, to his royal lavatory chamber, and of course his great court (where the term eavesdropper originated, but I won’t spoil it for you).





Naturalist Journal Style Wall Art: Free Printable Downloads

The style of the naturalists journal has always been one of my favorite kinds of art. Maybe its the simplicity or maybe it just reminds me of adventurers and scientists like Charles Darwin, William Kirby, or Henry Walter Bates. Anyway this is part of a series that I started working on a couple of years ago. I hoped to start an etymology series to go along with it, but I have yet to find the time for that. When it does happen, however, I will post it here as well.

All of these are 8×10 and high resolution.


Stamp Carving

My boyfriend and I have been really into letter boxing recently and I have become obsessed with the hand carved stamps, both finding ones other people have carved, or carving my own. Hopefully I have a few tips here that are helpful and not on every other blog post about stamp carving.

The most important thing about carving stamps is getting the right materials. I prefer the Speedball brand slab of pink rubber which you can buy at most major craft stores as well as on Amazon. The blue rubber is a little bit harder to carve and I’ve heard that it doesn’t last as long (drying out, flaking, and crumbling). I tried both kinds and though my stamps made from the blue rubber have not crumbled in over a year, I still prefer the pink simply because it is easier to work with.

Getting the image onto the rubber is the hard part. You can hand draw it directly on the rubber, but that doesnt leave much room for mistakes. There is an easier way that requires no special tools.

Start by drawing (or printing) the picture you want on the stamp on a regular piece of paper.


Then flip the paper over and draw with the flat side of a pencil on the back of your picture.


Then turn it back over and place the paper on your rubber. Trace the image lightly with your pencil.


And this is what you are left with.


Clean up the edges by going over it again lightly with your pencil. Be sure not to sharpen your pencil too much or press too hard because you don’t want to pierce the rubber.


And voilà! It is ready for carving.


Earl Grey & Honey Cupcakes

My boyfriend loves tea. Earl Grey happens to be his favorite. When I stumbled across this recipe, I knew I had to make it for him. And it was a huge success. The earl grey flavor is subtle and it almost tastes like a spice cake with a hint of tea. And I can’t think of anything better to pair this with than lemon and cream cheese. These are just perfect!

This recipe is my adapted version of a recipe found in the book Two Bite Cupcakes by Viola Goren, probably my favorite cupcake recipe book at the moment.

For the Cupcakes:

Start by placing a teabag of Earl Grey Tea (of if you are using loose leaf tea, about 2 tablespoons) in 3/4 cup boiling water. Do this first so that you have time to allow the tea to cool to room temperature before adding it to the mixture. Temperature is important because adding a boiling liquid like this to a recipe can actually cook your eggs a little bit and throw the whole thing off.

While waiting for the tea to cool, move on to the rest of the recipe.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup earl grey tea

Preheat the oven to 350° and get your cupcake pan ready with paper liners.

With a standing mixer or a hand beater, mix together the sugar, honey, eggs, and vegetable oil until light and fluffy. Gradually add the heavy cream and buttermilk and mix it all together.

In a separate bowl, stir together your flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Once this is mixed, combine with the sugar and honey mixture and beat on a medium speed. Finally add your earl grey to the mixture and mix slowly until all ingredients are incorporated.

Spoon the batter into your cupcake liners until they are about 3/4 of the way full. Then place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Then remove them from the oven and cool to room temperature before frosting.

For the Frosting:

  • 1 cup (1 8 oz. package) of cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a bowl combine the cream cheese, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the lemon juice, cream, and cinnamon and beat until well mixed.

Scoop the finished frosting into a piping bag with your desired tip (I used Wilton 1M tip) and frost your cupcakes. Finish the cupcakes by drizzling honey over the top.

These are best served fresh, but if you must save them, refrigerate in an airtight container.