Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Great Gatsby

Last night I went to see the latest film adaptation of The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann, starring Leonard DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire.

The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was published in 1925 and though it is now lauded as one of the greatest works in American literature, Fitzgerald died at the age of forty-four in relative obscurity. It is a commentary on the American dream and the Jazz Age as well as a story of love, dreams, and of our perceptions of the past. Nothing is what it seems.

The film has received some mixed reviews, most notably the article written by New York Times film critic A.O. Scott.  The book is very dear to many and it seems that it's most recent film adaptation is one that people either love, or love to hate. Film adaptations of books are never easy.

Personally, I loved it.

Its conception, its design, the costume, the cast... it drew me in and I was entranced. Yes, sometimes the sequences were near spastic in their presentation, but Luhrmann created a fresh and imaginative version of the film. Had he done otherwise, the film would have simply been another hum-drum version of its predecessors. I also feel Luhrmann did well in presenting the brilliance of Fitzgerald's writing. Though I knew the story before I saw the film (and that it always causes me much heartache) I still had to hide welling tears towards the film's conclusion.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Jordan & Nick

Myrtle’s Party

Nick’s Cottage

Nick & Gatsby

Jordan & Tom

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A designer and his muse: Piero Fornasetti and Lina Cavalieri

Here is something I've been fixated with for the last while. Throughout the 20th century, Italian designer Piero Fornasetti used the same face as the template for more than three-hundred and fifty designs which are instantly recognizable as his work. The iconic designs were transferred to everyday items such as dinner plates. Below, you'll see just a few examples of these designs, which I'm drawn to for their whimsy and imagination.

They're just wonderful!

The 19th century Italian opera singer Lina Cavalieri served as Fornasetti's muse after he encountered her image in an old French magazine. 

From the Fornasetti site, we learn Fornasetti's reasoning with keeping Cavalieri's face as his template for so many designs.

Lina Cavalieri’s face, explained Piero Fornasetti, was another archetype – a quintessentially beautiful and classic image, like a Greek statue, enigmatic like the ‘Gioconda’ and therefore able to take shape into the idea that was slowly building in his mind. It was this formal, graphic appeal (rather than Lina Cavalieri’s celebrity) that demanded such loyalty and inspired the spontaneous and ceaseless creativity of Fornasetti. For him, this face became the ultimate enduring motif.

And to see photographs of her, who could question him?

Hers is a beauty not easily forgotten. (And those clothes!!)


via Beautiful Century
Lina Cavalieri, 1910s
[Submitted by agreyeyedgirl]

Picture of Lina Cavalieri

Friday, April 12, 2013

A bookworm gets an e-reader

Spring seems rather temperamental this year. Though the snow has melted here this last week has been very rainy and chilly, with some excellent thunderstorms, and so I've remained inside with some good books and a steaming mugs of tea.
My birthday was last week and my future parents-in-law got me an e-reader. I quickly became excited about it, even though I'm a fan of the 'ol paper copy books and I hadn't given much thought about owning an e-reader. What I'm particularly excited about is that I can "borrow" a great deal of e-books from my local library and most literary classics are available through Project Gutenberg (helllloooo JS Le Fanu, Alexandre Dumas, and Jane Austen!). It's a bookworm's dream.

There was, and still seems to be, a feeling of anxiety among many that e-readers are the undoing of the book industry. I don't know the figures, but I feel that book lovers will always keep buying paper copies of books. With libraries now lending out copies of e-books, it's yet another way they've maintained their relevance and importance within their community. 

Personally, if I read a book I love that I've come across digitally through my e-reader I'm still going to go out and buy a physical copy, because you never forget your first love and your first love is worth bringing home.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Leaping over puddles

It's that time of year that the snows are melting and we're all hopping over puddles. Here in Southern Ontario, spring is becoming less hesitant and seems to be asserting itself. It's a lovely feeling, to open the windows and let spring air freshen a sleeping, wintry house. The baby daffodils and tulips are reaching towards the sun. I've even started thinking of those summer clothes in storage.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Where I blog about my wedding

It was inevitable, all. I was bound to blog about my wedding at some time or another.

Besides, it's really beginning to dawn on me. Hubby and I are getting married in July... which is NOT THAT FAR AWAY!! Hurray!  We are getting married in a park overlooking lake Huron, followed by a Sunday luncheon in an old coaching in. It's going to be so much fun!

Everything's been a family effort so far and I couldn't be more grateful. Seeing as I'm enormously sentimental, I'll be wearing my mum's dress (a near dupe to the one shown here!), grandma Alice's pearls (worn by her, as well as my mum, on their wedding days - I get shivers thinking about it), and my future mother in law insists we visit a milliner to find a hat. Hubby's sister has been wonderfully generous and has found a suit for him (he looks so handsome, ladies). A friend of ours will be playing some music in the park for the ceremony and another friend will be the photographer. We are have wonderfully caring, talented family and friends, and couldn't be more fortunate to have them contribute to our wedding. 

We have an old-fashioned budget, so we're having an old-fashioned wedding and I wouldn't want anything else. We want to keep everything as simple as possible. So long as everybody has a good time, is well fed, and has a proper drink in their hand we'll be happy. Then, weather permitting *fingers crossed* we'll be off to the beach in the afternoon!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Love and excitement for the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club

Boy oh boy am I every excited about this one folks! This is one of those things that happens every so often in the Land of Internet that perfectly demonstrates why I love social media and it combines two of my favourite things! Snail Mail and Geekery!

Emily Farqueharson and Darling Stewie founded the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club. Any ladies over the age of thirteen can take part. When signing-up, you indicate what your top five geek loves (are you a Whovian? a Trekkie? a lover of all things Sailor Moon? or maybe the Lord of the Rings is more your thing), then Farqueharson and Darling Stewie will match you up with a fellow Lady Geek and you will both exchange post!  I believe there's a geek in all of us - the fun and imaginative part of us.

There's also good news and bad news - this is the project's first run, so unfortunately a limit of 1,000 people had to be set and it's been met.  The limit of 1,000 people was reached within a mere 3 days - 9 days before the sign-up limit date of April 1st! Fantastic!! And if you didn't manage to sign-up this time, despair not! They are going to do it again!

And who says regular post is dead? In my experience, a great deal of people still love receiving "real" mail from their friends and family. I know I keep a box of my correspondence and value it as much as any other treasures. Whenever I've lived (as I do now) in a province away from my family, my mother's always sent me a letter every week or so and it's special in a way that's different to phone calls, text messages or emails. I've also exchange post cards with fellow Tweeps, and just the other day a good friend of mine sent me a text message saying, "I've just sent you a letter - I'm feeling Jane Austen-y."

So there you go! Make sure to sign up on the second round of the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club if you can and have fun!

Us girls have to stick together ;)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

-William Wordsworth