February 23, 2011

Classic Movie Inspiration: Meet Me In St Louis

via Dr Macro
I've been in a Technicolor musical kind of mood with my movie watching recently - upbeat, vibrant, and just plain fun. I admit, I've never been a big musical fan; even when living in Manhattan, I can think of only two times I attended a Broadway musical, both being when I had visitors in town. But there's something about these old musicals made for mass audiences that's just so classic...I can't help but find that they still resonate with audiences today. 

photo via here
photo via here
photo via here
photo via here
The color, imagery and style portrayed in this movie, though reflective of the early 20th century, translate so well to modern times. Here are a few modern elements of style this movie has me wanting at the moment:

February 20, 2011

Read With Us: Tess of the D'Ubervilles

The Bride by Gertrude Kasebier via here
 A few months back, I decided to join in on the book club Read With Me La Porte Rouge. For a while, I've wanted to be part of a book club but for one reason or another hadn't found the time or the right group, so I was excited when I came upon this book club, started by Nadia at La Porte Rouge, that focuses on classic literature that we could all blog about on our own time. This month's selection: Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy.

Having never read Hardy before, but being an admirer of Victorian era literature, I was eager to engross myself in this story of feminine woe and love's misfortune. From the very onset, Hardy is honest with his reader, writing descriptions with grave overtones and unhappy foreshadowing for our heroine Tess; for there really is not much good that comes to her. But it is not the tale's misfortune for which I kept reading through the most difficult of passages, but the hope for better things to come, the hope Tess found in her love for Angel.

The novel was largely viewed as a commentary on the social restraints of the Victorian era, but what I enjoyed the most was the over arching theme nature played throughout the story, whether good or bad. From the misfortune of the death of the family horse, Prince, and the wooded foggy area where Alec D'Uberville preys upon Tess to the lively milk cows and the fertile valley of the dairy farm where she falls in love with Angel; there isn't a page without description or reference to the natural world around her. In my mind's eye, so much of the nature around Tess affected how I imagined the story in my head; sort of like in The Wizard of Oz, Tess' life without Angel is all nature in black and white, but her life with him is nature in astoundingly bright technicolor.

I've gathered some images, that for me, capture the images and feelings I had while plowing through the emotional heaviness of this story.

 May Day celebration where Tess first spots Angel; via here

Keeping Poultry at the D'Uberville estate; via Justin D M flickr
Returning home with child - field work, via here
Falling in love - the Dairy Farm, via dcysurfer flickr
Engagement & Marriage, via A Cottage In The Woods
Estrangement & Correspondence, via French Larkspur
Waiting in Flintcomb Ash, via Crumpled Envelope
Fleeing with her love, via A Cottage In The Woods
Capture & Death, Stonehenge by Simon Marsden via art.com

February 15, 2011

A-round and A-bout: Snow

It's not often that we see snow in Austin, so it was quite a treat to have about an inch of snowfall a few weeks ago. Mind you it only lasted several hours, as the sun emerged around 11am and melted it all. I, however, took full advantage of my snow day; rising early enough to begin the day with a good homemade breakfast that kept me full and warm while trekking through the cold to capture the beautiful winter wonderland!

pawprints and footprints
tread-prints and texture
frozen pothole = mini-pond
snow covered Agave
shoe outline
mini snowman

February 8, 2011

Classic Movie Inspiration: Lust for Life

photo via here
With the Academy Awards just around the corner, I've been spending some time catching up on previous years' award winning films. As an art history and French major in college, I was extremely excited to finally watch Lust for Life, the story of Vincent Van Gogh, with Kirk Douglas starring as the moody and temperamental artistic genius. Winning the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actor-Drama and nominated for the Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards, Kirk Douglas was absolutely smashing in this role...
via Dr Macro
via Dr Macro
Anthony Quinn won the 1957 Oscar for Best Supporting Role, playing fellow artist, friend and sometimes foe, Paul Gauguin. Another spot on performance, I must say...
via Dr Macro
via Dr Macro
Despite Van Gogh's mental madness, his depictions of his surroundings are filled with color, light, emotion and beauty. Here are a few things I've found that reflect both his work and this film that I'm wanting right now...

February 4, 2011

Love: Mail Swaps

I love getting mail...real mail, like an actual handwritten letter with a stamp on it that's delivered by my friendly neighborhood postman. In this digital age, it's not very often that someone takes the time to write a letter and post in the mail. So, I was thrilled when a little while back I became blog acquainted with Cha at the runaway romantique. Living in Paris with her husband, she's a lover of mail...real mail...like me! And so, after exchanging a few emails, we began work on our first mail swap, aka care package full of goodies.

Cha's package arrived on my doorstep this past week, bringing with it an astounding sense of warmth that's kept with me through these cold dreary days we've had recently.
Lovely packaging & a personal handwritten letter
French candies & vintage postcards and prints from a Parisian Flea Market
London Goods: event fliers, gold headband, mirror and cow (love that cow-makes me smile) 

Paper goods, gift tags & ribbon
Notebooks & notecards
Little things: highlighters, bookmark, vintage lace & candles
Cha, thank you for all the lovely goods and for introducing me to mail swaps! Now that I've completed my first one, I'm hooked! Are you interested in doing a mail swap?

Update: If you're interested in seeing the things I sent Cha, check out her post here

February 1, 2011

A-round and A-bout: Lily

This is Lily. She's my best bud and gal pal...a girl's best friend, if you will. Now, Lily and I spend almost every moment that we can together (we'd both not have it any other way) and a lot of that time is spent outside, exploring the neighborhood on walks and enjoying the usual sunny weather we have around here. Lily and I barely go a day without a good walk - she obsessively sniffing everything in sight and gaily prancing around, flipping her tail in an effort to gain anyone's attention that might be happening by - and me, bopping my head, singing along to my latest playlist while snapping pictures of anything that catches my eye.

 I thought it would be fun to showcase some of my pictures from these walks here in a series called A-round and A-bout. For this first, A-round and A-bout, I'm featuring Lily, since she's my daily inspiration to get up off my bum and get outside. Isn't she cute?


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