Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's Kind of an Annual Thing

Percy Day has come 'round again, and though I feel I said pretty much all that I had to say about His Awesomeness last year, I can't let the day go unnoticed, now can I?

So I shall just share a few of my favorite Percy moments with you....

....and then I shall get off the computer so I can finish watching The Scarlet Pimpernel.  :D

Friday, April 26, 2013

Permit me to make an introduction...

Friends of the blogging world, there's someone I'd like you to meet.  

No, I don't have a suitor.
Was that what popped into your head when you read the post title?

Nope, this someone is of the female variety.  She's a bit hard to talk to, but quite accommodating once you get to know her.  I can't exactly say that she has a good head on her shoulders, but she's dependable.  She's rather stiff, but is willing to adjust when you have other plans for her-- in short, she is quite the nicest dressmaker's form anyone could ever want, and I think she and I are going to be great friends.

Her name is one I chose myself, and after much deliberation and consideration of many literary characters' names, I decided to bestow upon her the all-encompassing title of Mademoiselle.  Mademoiselle, meet the Readers.  Gentle Readers, this is Mademoiselle.

Mademoiselle has proved most useful and helpful over the last few weeks (she was a birthday gift in celebration of my first eighteen years on this earth, and I've had her for nearly a month now) as I scurry around like a distracted mouse getting ready for a Big Event.  You see, in two weeks I shall be advertising Miss Dashwood's Historical Costuming in the Young Entrepreneurs' section at the Christian Homeschool Association of Pennsylvania's (CHAP) annual conference.   (Mentioning all this because if you're going to be at the convention, do please stop by my booth!!  I would so love to meet you!)

So I've been very much occupied of late in getting as many sample items ready as possible.  And Mademoiselle's been a dear in putting up with it all.

She has modeled...

...and helped with fitting (though she's not built on the exact same proportions as I am, so a closely fitted bodice is not the easiest thing in the world)...

I call this dress the Donwell Strawberry dress-- not because it's printed with actual strawberries (they are in fact wee rosebuds) but because it rather reminds me of the dress Emma wears to Donwell Abbey during the strawberry outing when everyone is being horrid to Jane Fairfax (click image to enlarge).

I had some pictures of her modeling some petticoats I've made, but I seem to have somehow deleted them, so I'll have to take them again another time.  Sigh.

Anyways, I shall close this short but rambly post with a few more pictures of the dress above-- in that picture, the buttonholes are still in progress and the dress is pinned onto Mademoiselle so that it will lay (lie?) properly.  It's an 1850's style, a design I've dubbed the Esther Summerson, and it appears to maximum advantage when the model is wearing a corset.  Now, Mlle. is capable of wearing a corset, but since she's a bit unyielding, the corset doesn't perform its functions as well as it ought to.   So here's the dress on me (and there's a corset on me, too, but I'm not posting pictures of THAT.)

Forgive the "down" hair.  I was in a hurry and hadn't had time or inclination to put it up.  But as we all know, properly styled hair is totally not necessary to achieve the historically accurate look, right?  Right?  Perhaps I should just get myself a job in a Michael Landon Jr. movie...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sensible Readers Must Proceed at Their Own Risk

Y'all know that I have a sister.  Well, I have three biological sisters, and a twin who wasn't born on the same day as me (but that is immaterial), but the sister I want to talk about today is known to many of you as the Anne-girl.

Well, actually her real name is Carolyn.  But she goes by Anne-girl on her blog.  And on the cover of her debut novel, she goes by Anneliese Blakeney.   I love that pseudonym, but I'm not quite sure why she chose it.  I suppose she just liked the name Anneliese-- and as for Blakeney, I think she just picked it at random out of the phone book or something.

Anyways.  For the last year or so Cara's been working on a novel known as The Princess and the Sage.  I can't put into words how much I adore this story.  It's silly.  It's ridiculous.  It's off-the-wall.  It contains pickles and mud angels and a mysterious Jub-Jub bird and foreign diggity-dogs dignitaries and a cook who lets you do what you want so you'll learn about consequences.  It's about a Princess, a perfect and prim and proper princess, whose whole life is turned upside down when a young Sage comes barreling into her quiet castle life.  Yep, you read that right-- he's a Young Sage, and don't you forget it.

First of all he was not one of those old sages with long white beards and doddering mustaches, he was the Young Sage, and if you dared address him without the Capitals... well, withered doesn’t begin to cover it.  You could leave off the young part if you wanted too.  At least he lets me leave off the young part.  But then, I’m the one writing it and that puts us on rather intimate terms.  

I could have begun the story at any number of places but I decided to begin it here: with the princess and her last lesson with a governess. Why? No reason. This is a nonsense tale you must remember; and beginnings and endings, while important, are not considered relevant.

~The Princess and the Sage, chapter one

Those are the first two paragraphs, people.  And it only gets better after that.  If you like Lewis Carroll, A.A. Milne, P.G. Wodehouse or E. Nesbit--or if you're like Carolyn and me and adore all of the above--then get thee to Create Space and purchase thee a copy of Princess and the Sage.   Your stomach muscles might not thank you for it when you're done, but it'll be worth it.  They say that every time you laugh, you increase your lifetime by a minute.  Once you're done this book, you'll be practically indestructible.

Can we take a minute to appreciate Perry Elisabeth's
perfectamundo cover design?  I love it to pieces!

Again, you can purchase it here.   Is this post a shameless plug for my sister's book?  Yes.  Yes, it is.  It is also a review of sorts for a piece of hilarity that I am strongly recommending to you.  I received this book after buying it from Create Space, and I have written an honest review-- the opinions expressed here are my own and have totally not been influenced by any other person, least of all my sister.

Have you seen her, by the way?  She owes me some dark chocolate for... something.

p.s.  Yet Another Period Drama Blog has a brand-new look, courtesy of my sweet Melody!  Hop on over to her blog and tell her how much you admire her header-making skills, yes?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

And the Winner Is...

North and South!

(Put down your rotten tomatoes, ladies.  I didn't actually react THAT way. Sure, I wanted Anne 2 to win, but I'm a gracious loser.  I hope.)

I will confess to feeling just a wee bit of disappointment... but I must say I don't have a surprised feeling.  It's a splendid ending, after all, even if it's not my favorite, and after all I DID host the poll to see what the universal favorite was.   And now the people too must rise have spoken, and North and South has won.

For your entertainment, I'm embedding the final scene, the version with Henry's bits cut out.  No one wants him hanging around pouting during this part, now do we?


Annnnnd... now I'm quite tempted just to go watch the whole movie again.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Giveaway at American Duchess!

American Duchess, the maker of all that drool-worthy historical footwear, is hosting a giveaway for a pair of Highbury Regency slippers!  Eeeep!  I'm finally old enough to enter one of their giveaways, so I'm ridiculously excited.  Head on over here to check it out!

Friday, April 5, 2013

"Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?"

Can this be true? I don't believe what I see...

Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel and North and South have tied in the final poll with 24 votes apiece.

You know what this means.
... No.  It does not mean you're free.  It means you get your yellow ticket of leave-- you are a thief that we have another poll.  And this time it really will be the last.

Unless they tie again, of course.
Go vote.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I DO apologize...

...though I think by now most of you have realized that yesterday's trivia facts were a big fat fake.  I made them all up.  Out of mine own little head.  And much amusement was had in the doing thereof.  Because I really can never resist a good joke.  I dearly love a laugh.

And I really, really hope that all of you have realized that the second post yesterday, the so-called Les Mis review, was also a fake.  I mean, my dastardly sister even signed her name to it, so it can't be that hard to figure out.  For those of you not in the know, my dear sweet sister the Anne-girl did cunningly and with malice aforethought log into my account on the computer and go a-hacking on my Blogger dashboard.  With cackling glee she did compose this thing and then published it and sat back to wait for comments to appear.

I forget what I did to her.*

Let me just establish some facts here.  I DID see Les Mis last week and it was beautiful to behold, minus the scenes we skipped of course, and a review will be coming soonish-ish.  However, though I did think Hugh Jackman was great and definitely deserved an Oscar (more on that later this week), he was not my favorite Valjean and his singing left a great deal to be desired.  Eddie Redmayne was fabulous as Marius but was not perfection (seriously?  as great as Michael Ball?  DID SHE ACTUALLY THINK PEOPLE WOULD BELIEVE I SAID THAT?).  And then of course there was the part about Aaron Tveit as Enjolras.

"Oh, but your Majesty, this is a lie!"
"It is a FALSE LIE!"

You people have to understand that I'm probably the biggest Aaron Tveit fan that ever lived, and his portrayal of Enjolras is, if not my absolute favorite, a neck-in-neck tie with Ramin Karimloo's.  I kind of wish I had swooned at some point during the barricades, because it would be cool to say I had, but then again I would have missed part of the movie if I'd done so, so it's just as well.

All this to say that I would never, ever condemn Aaron Tveit's Enjo on this blog.  Unless, of course, it was April Fool's Day and I was in a particularly devilish mood.

Also, the name is Tveit, not Tviet.  Really now, Anne.

*I didn't actually do anything except shriek and laugh hysterically and tell her she was horrid, but I said that I forgot because I'm paraphrasing a book quote... name the book and the person whose name has been replaced with "her" and you'll get a pretend hug.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The les Mis Post You've All been Waiting For

Sorry, there was glitch with the photos for the last post. 
So last Tuesday night the I saw Les Miserables 2013 for the first time. I had see-oh so many-clips, and trailers, and interviews, but that night for the first time my sister and I sat down and watched the whole thing{excepting two scenes}.

I loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute. Hugh jackman's Valjean blew me away, Marius was perfection {almost as perfect as Michael Ball ;)}, and I could not possibly imagine a more perfect movie ending.

But there was one thing that I must say disappointed me greatly.

Aaron Tviet's Enjolras. I can't believe I'm saying this but I really didn't like it. Before watching the movie I was anticipating his Enjolras perhaps more than any other part of the movie. But compared with the rest of this epic film his portrayal was rather...blah.

My sister and I cried through the barricades. But while she was crying because Courfeyrac was breaking his heart over Gavroche's death and because J-P was going to die, I was crying because the Enjolras parts were almost over and it hadn't been as awesome as I had expected.

I think in the end it was the way he took everything so quietly that I didn't like.I felt like he was acting the Enjolras of the book and what I really wanted to see was the Ejolras of the musical. All through Red and Black I kept thinking about Ramin and his excited idealism. 
With love,
The Anne-girl
P.S Dear Amy, Please don't be mad. I love you and your obsessions and fandoms muchly! btw after finally seeing the movie I hope Samantha Barks has fully grown on you. 

Trivial Things of a Period Drama Nature

Ever since I realized that Mary Poppins was not actually a story that just happened in real life with a convenient movie camera set up nearby, (I think I was five at the time) I've been fascinated by movie trivia.  I watch behind-the-scenes featurettes religiously, read IMDb fun fact pages in my free time, and derive great pleasure from actors' memoirs such as Forever Liesl.  So today I thought I'd compile some of my favorite period drama trivia for your reading pleasure, just in case you're as crazy about fun, useless facts as I am.

{in no particular order}

~A scene in which Arthur Clennam actually does attempt to eat a toast crust bestowed by Mr. F's Aunt was actually filmed for Little Dorrit (2008) but was cut before release because the miniseries was running overtime already.

~Emma Thompson actually wrote the screenplay for Pride and Prejudice (1995) but sold it to Andrew Davies because she didn't want to be associated with two Jane Austen pictures in one year (what was she THINKING????).

~Anthony Andrews initially refused the role of Sir Percy in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) because he felt the character was too stupid, but after reading the book he saw the light and took the part.

~Sue Birtwhistle and Susie Conklin originally wanted Miss Matty Jenkyns to die at the end of Cranford (2007), but felt that fans might rebel as there were already so many deaths in the piece.

~Emma Pierson (Fanny Dorrit) and Sebastian Armesto (Edmund Sparkler) are actually married in real life.

~The infamous lake scene in Pride and Prejudice (1995) was written into the script (after Andrew Davies got ahold of it) when Colin Firth complained that he did not like having to wear a heavy coat and waistcoat in every single scene and wanted at least a short bit in which he wouldn't have to swelter.

~Jane Seymour hates wigs and refused to wear one in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982), so she grew her hair out and then had it styled in a four-hour process every morning before filming.

~Richard Armitage signed on to play Mr. Thornton in North and South (2004) because he thought the movie was about the American Civil War-- by the time he realized he was to be a mill owner and not a Confederate general, it was too late to back out.

~Justin Bieber auditioned for the part of Marius Pontmercy in Les Miserables (2012) but was rejected because the casting directors felt he was not tall enough.  The part eventually went to Eddie Redmayne.

~A scene was filmed in Emma (2009) in which Emma gave Harriet a complete makeover in hopes of attracting Mr. Elton, but the scene was eventually cut because it was felt to be too modern.

~The blue plaid crossover-bodice dress that Emma Thompson wears as Elinor Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995) is an 1810 original believed to have been worn by Jane Austen herself.

~After much hassle involved with the revolutionary technique of live singing on set, Tom Hooper gave up trying to get Russell Crowe to sing along with the music and hired Josh Groban to dub his vocals for the big numbers.  Crowe sings the minor dialogue bits, but it is Groban's voice that can be heard in The Confrontation, Stars and Javert's Suicide.

~The scene in which Anne Shirley dyes her hair and has it cut off was not originally in the screenplay for Anne of Green Gables (1985), though it does appear in the original novel.  Megan Follows' hair caught on fire during a candlelit scene and had to be cut off as a result (though the actress was unharmed).  A scene in which Anne's hair is cut off was hastily written into the script, and production was then halted for two years afterward while Follows' hair grew back so they could shoot the rest of the movie.

I have lots more, but I don't want to turn this post into a novel, so we'll stop there for today.  Sources for all these bits of fun can be found here.

{inspiration for this post was inspired by the loverly Rachel}