Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And Isabelle, What Can I Do?

The Duchess
2008, Saul Dibb

I was suspect of this film from the start. Apparently not a whole lot of people were madly in love with it, and I can't say it's exactly a feel-good film, even for those who consider misery to be their kind of feel-good (*casts a shifty glance at her own dvd collection*). But aside from that, I was under the impression that it was just Marie Antoinette in a different package, and yet another period film starring Keira Knightly with funny hair. Happily, I was mostly proven wrong.

The Duchess tells the story of the unhappy marriage of Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire. Excited to be married off at 17 to the handsome and powerful Duke (Ralph Fiennes....yeah yeah, now you know why I REALLY bought it), Gee is quickly disenchanted when she realizes that her husband has no desire to even be friends with her, and that she will be sharing him with his many side-conquests. While she is pregnant with their first child, the Duke brings a little girl into their home...his daughter by one of the maids, recently deceased...and tells his wife that she can practice her mothering skills. Rather than crumble under all this, the young Duchess rises above, and cannot help but love the girl. In the absense of any relationship with her husband other than trying to produce a male heir, Georgiana threw herself into society and politics instead.

But the hits keep coming. For all her beauty and despite how beloved she was by others and her daughters, she is worthless in her husband's eyes until she has a boy (causing me to wonder just how it would have affected 18th century society to know that gender is determined by the father). She has one true friend, who then becomes her husband's mistress, and with whom she is forced to share a house for the rest of her life. Though the Duke is allowed as many affairs as he wishes, when Georgiana falls in love with her childhood friend she is forced to give him up, or never see her children again. While her husband's illegitimate daughter is raised in their home, Georgiana is secretted away and forced to give away her baby daughter by her lover. She was one of the most influencial women of her day, and yet she was, essentially, powerless.

Though I was suspect, Keira very quickly won me over in this film. She really is a wonderful actress, despite her staying in her safe period niche. I loved how the two females who could have been her greatest foils...her stepdaughter Charlotte and her husband's live-in mistress Bess...also shared with her a closeness. Because, much as they may have hated it, without the Duke all three of them would lose everything. For the first time I absolutely loathed Ralph Fiennes on screen, which is saying something...Lord Voldemort and Heathcliff were rotton, yes, but you LOVE to hate them. The Duke was just a jerk...but also a product of the society he lived in.

So yes, not exactly a feel-good film, rather melodramatic, but definitely good for a cry! And, of course, it's very pretty.



Wardrobe project!



Inspired by Katers,
I dug my favorite white sundress out of my closet today.
It is yet another hopeful gesture.


I actually wearing a teal cotton slipdress underneath.
Shoes and wrap from Old Navy
Dress from Rock'n Willy's :D


Ew thighs.
I love this top, for I bought it with my best friend Dena!
We have the same one, in different prints.
The shorts over tights thing is a new venture for me,
But as it is spring, it seemed a nice option for the weather!
Plus, I've seen it look really adorable on some fashion blogs and pretty friends :D


Henley, tanktop, shorts, flats and tights all Old Navy.
Hat is from TJ Max.
TARDIS key is by me ;)



Until next We Meet,



~ Amy

Monday, February 23, 2009

Funbrella...ella...ella...



Today, it is cold, very rainy and windy, very dark and ominous.

So naturally, I chose today to do my shopping for the week!

Happily, it was an excuse to whip out my buttery-yellow raincoat, and my Funbrella!


(Picture from this past summer)
My nana left me this umbrella, all trimmed in silk roses.
Everywhere I go with it, it makes people smile.
And if they ask me about it, I get to tell them all about my Nana, who loved flowers.
I like to think it would make her happy, to know it's still making people smile :D


♥,
~ Amy

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Love Is Enormous


Fashiony Post!


I walk the line, between living practically in these harsh time, and feeding my love for off-the-wall self expression via clothing. I think I do so well ;)

Describe your personal style?
Audrey Hepburn went to a Social Distortion concert dressed as a Faerie lolita?

What are the staples in your wardrobe?
I'm trying to phase jeans out. Skirts & Tights & Scarves. Tight henleys to go under ridiculously flowy, shapeless things. Ballet flats. Huge band shirts that I've turned into dresses.

What's your signature look?
Oh I don't know, I have many. I mix really girly things with really tough things a lot. My FAVORITE outfit is my powdery blue and brown Free People nymph dress over a lacy pair of tights, my black combat boots and my black military/Return of The Jedi jacket. <3>What inspires you most?
Music, Nature, Music, Fairytales, Music, Gypsies, Music, FLB novels, Music, Japanese Lolita-girls, Music, Project Runway, Music, Marie Antoinette, Music, Firefly, Music...

Who is your fashion muse?
Katers! Dayna! Zooey Deschanel, Natalie Portman, Natasha Khan, Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Cintia Dicker, Mermaids...Felicia Day in Dr. Horrible :D

Favorite purchase of all time?
Oh I don't know...most of the clothing items I truly cherish were gifts! One of my first big purchases with my first paycheck from Rock'n Willys was my favorite white sundress.

Biggest splurge?
I don't splurge either, I'm a deal-finder and a goodwill diva. However, whenever I can treat myself to a Free People clearance spree, it's a good day.

What's your beauty routine?
Shower with scent-free Dove and a dash of B&B Japanese Cherry Blossom
Shampoo: Garnier Fructis Color Sheild
Face: Neutrogena Deep Cleanser, a dot of proactiv face mask if needed.
Usually flat-iron my hair, or put in pigtails.
Makeup: powder, shadow, eyeliner, mascara, eyebrow brush.

What jewelry do you never take off?
I rarely take off my wedding rings, but everything else comes off before bed! :P
I do also wear my Morganna ring from mum and my big green daisy ring from nana a lot too.

What are you wishing for?
I would LOVE a cute little pair of oxford heels! But other than that, I'm not really hurting for anything right now. A high-quality corset would be lots of fun.

What are your obsessions?
Everything lovely and never seen before :D


And here's me. Because I don't have nearly enough cause to dress up lately, and the self-esteem could use a boost.



Favorite.
Dress from Free People.
Tights, Henley from Old Navy.
Jacket from Maurice's.
Boots from Hot Topic.
Feathery headband from my brain :D





Second favorite!
Blouse was a gift.
Skirt & Tights = Old Navy.
Vest from JC Penny's.
Shoes were thrifted.

I spend little money :D


And now, the OTHER fashion plate in the house...
Her wardrobe has been a handy way to get myself back into the swing of sewing!

I made everything pictured, minus her socks and chucks.

That dress makes me grin,
for it is made out of a lace top and green skirt
I bought for the sole purpose of wearing together, YEARS ago.



I like the pretties!



♥,
~ Amy

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Death was his road to Awe."


The Fountain
2006, Darren Aronofsky
Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz

The Fountain is one of my very favorite films, but I've never felt I could really do it justice with a review. 20something viewings later, and I may be ready to give it a go! SPOILERY! This film tells the story of three men, all played by Hugh Jackman, all from different times, spanning 1000 years. One is a Spanish Conquistador, sent by his Queen Isabella (Rachel Weisz) to find the Tree of Life in Central America during the Inquisition. One is a present day Doctor, desperate to find a cure for his wife Izzy (also Rachel Weisz), an author who is dying due to a brain tumor. And the last is a space traveler, moving toward a dying star in a protective bubble surrounding a dying tree, trying to bring back his lost love (who is Rachel Weisz...sensing a pattern? Hmmm). The film flashes and melts between the three storylines, which are clearly intertwined but, I confess, I didn't really connect them fully until my second viewing.

All three characters miss a vital clue to their success, of course. The Conquistador misses the fact that even if he is successful, he and Isabella must die. The Doctor is so preoccupied with finding a cure, he misses what his wife is trying to tell him about faith and the afterlife, not to mention quality time with her in her last moments, in telling her last story. Through rich colors, breathtaking visuals and heartbreakingly wonderful acting, we see all three quests fail...until they intersect with each other across time and space, at which point, all three men are the same, all three quests are ultimately completed and together, the lovers do indeed live forever.

Even if you're utterly confused the first time through, I think everyone and their mother can grasp the concepts of love and loss that run through this beautiful movie. Every time I watch it, I find something new to latch onto and mull over. Before this film, I'd never seen Hugh Jackman in such a serious, emotional role, and it suits him. And of course, it's a pretty movie! It's like watching a painting on your tv screen, all in shades of gold and brown and light.


Creatively, not much to report at the mo, other than lots and lots of sewing! I'll grace you with a fashion shoot in a few days, I have a lot of hemming to do.

Also, I need a thimble...


♥,
~ Amy

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valley Of The Doll...


More Adventures In Doll-Altering!

Or Dolltering, if you will.
Having sand-matted my Blythe's features,
I then tried my hand at pastel makeup,

The girl does so enjoy her scarves!

Plain plain plain.
I don't want to try painting her lips just yet.
Plus, I want to keep her looking child-like.
Well, despite the above-pictured Corinthian-esque moments.

Art!
I didn't end up using the cotton balls much at all, except for on her cheeks.
I found that my softest, small paint brush worked much better for me.
Blending chalk-pastels was fun,
however I couldn't get the eye color I wanted.


I'm very pleased with her lips and cheeks!
You can't really tell in these pictures, but her eyes are much too dark,
and much too bluish.
I was hoping to achieve a very very soft sage green.
But that's the great part, I can just buff off the color and try again!
After I experiment with my greens a bit more though.


Also, I made that whole outfit :)
Yeah, I may not want to be one right this second, but when I do, I'm so going to be the coolest mum ever.
Well...providing I have girls >.>


Taa!


♥,
~ Amy


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yellow Eyeshadow Rarely Pays Off Anyway...


Okay Okay let's see....



Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
2008, Peter Sollett

I know, something mildly mainstream, GASP! I actually really enjoyed this flick, and by really, I mean entirely. Nick has been dumped by the cute and utterly vapid Tris. Tris is pseudo-friends with Norah, who is pretty and quiet and has fallen in love with the mix cds Nick sends to Tris in hopes of winning her back. Nick and Norah run into each other in New York City while on the hunt for their enigmatic favorite band, Where's Fluffy?, and adventure ensues!

This is a terribly sweet film, in that it feels real and funny and painfully familiar to anyone who's ever been both madly in love with someone, and madly in love with music. I actually like Michael Cera in this, his awkwardness is endearing and appropriate and part of the world he is put in, as opposed to Juno, where it just felt like a gimmick (and I loved Juno. But you have to agree, some things felt quirky just for the sake of being quirky). Kat Dennings is perfect as the girl who is so used to being overlooked, and Tris...well, let's just say I saw more than one perfectly sane guy friend become a blithering idiot for that cheating ho of a girl during highschool years.

I'd almost lost my faith in the genre, I really had, the last good teen movie that had any sort of HEART was Can't Hardly Wait, in my opinion. Then Juno and this gem came along and made it in the mainstream. Now, if all those cheerleader flicks can start bombing, balance may yet return to the Force.


Creative things! I haven't made jewelry in a while, there's a lot going on. I have started customizing my Blythe though, and that's an enjoyable hobby. This is for those out of the loop, my friends who collect as well, you can go about your business. I enjoy documenting projects!

One of the big reasons people like Blythe is because she's perfect for customization. There are individuals who will buy her for the sole purpose of photography, and/or turning her into a piece of art. Seriously, browse the interwebz and you will see just how creative people get. Me, I am a beginner! And today I successfully sand-matted my girl.

What sand-matting is.

Before:


This is how a Blythe face looks to start.
Even with my fuzzy camera phone, you can see how shiny the plastic is.
Not good for photos, and not a good base for custom paint/pastels.



Prepped:


Oh dear.
With paper protecting her eye-mechanism, I fear that poor Cici looks like
The Corinthian! O_o


After:


As you can see, now her finish is much softer,
her yellow eyeshadow and blush are gone,
And I can now create my own custom face!


The point? Well, it makes me happy to make pretty things :) I won't bore you with her new handsewn wardrobe, though.

Now, I do believe I desire another avocado sandwich....omnomnom....


♥,
~ Amy

Saturday, February 07, 2009

All The Statues In Town Came To Life...

Hullo Blogland, It is I!
I had expected to be up and updating sooner, but, well...
Germs had other plans.
The good news is, I am medically cleared for Japan!
The bad (and mildly ironic) news is, I have an epic cold.
It has kept me from bounding off of the couch and unpacking these boxes of art supplies and jewelry-making tools.

However!
My dear husbot sent me a present, and if you know me at all, you will understand just how joyous it has made me, in spite of my gold medal winning nose.

BEHOLD!
Cordelia Coraline :D





Now, not only is she a boon and dear to my doll-collecting heart, she is the perfect size for testing out my newest venture, being crocheting, as you can see. I find with this particular hobby, it's easier to start small. That's fancy organic homespun yarn she's wearing.

Until next time, be ethereal :D

*SNEEZE*

♥,
~ Amy


Monday, February 02, 2009

I Know I Said No Personal Entries, However...

Blaaaah saying goodbye to people sucks.
Especially when you KNOW that, barring maybe a visit some year around Christmastime, you won't see them again for three years.
I'm so happy to be going, so so so happy.
So happy to be with Rick, so happy to have a home, so happy to be going to Japan.
But that doesn't make going away any easier...

...So, how to diffuse depression before I go back to packing?
FANDOM!
This scene seems oddly apropriate.





Now, off I go to grow my own TARDIS!
~ Amy