Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shelby's childhood room + more

Random post today about random, but hopefully comical and uplifting things.

I'm out of a real job until May. I have a competition Feb 7-12 for my senior show in Ogden so that's what I'm working on right now. After that I plan to stay in Utah until I have nothing left to do then drive home until my next job. A trip up to Boise to see a friend is also an option, time TBA. Today I went into my old hair and make up class to say hi to my Emmy award winning hair professor, making my own introduction as his "favorite natural finger waves!". We got to talking and he's doing a film in the area set in 1939 and mentioned I should be an extra since my hair's perfect, end of February-ish. Extra in a movie because I have fabulous hair? Ok :)

Talking about all my books yesterday made me want to post this picture of my bookshelf at home. I have another that's not as big, but has all my magazines, sketch books and other coffee table books on it. These are the books I didn't take to or buy in college. I have other boxes full of costume, sewing and theatre books I just had to bring to school.

I took the picture of my bookshelf right before I stripped my childhood room of its decorations. These are the closet doors of my formative years. On it you can count 7 Anderson Coopers, 3 Hugh Dancies (5 Burberry ads total), 2 Salinger covers, an article announcing Blair's banning of fox hunting (the negation of an entire historical costume), Steve McQueen, old Twiggy, 2 Vanity Fair and 2 Vogue covers. I was the coolest kid you knew!

And this was the best part about cleaning out my room this summer. Folder labeled "Shelby's Super Awesome Important Papers". What were these papers?

Pictures of David Tennant. I kid you not. I don't remember creating or filling this folder, but I did and am awesome because of it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Barnes & Noble binge

I haven't been in a Barnes & Noble for two years, to the day. The last time I went was for a blind date and we had hot chocolate and there was no book buying involved. Completely unaware at the time that today was my two year B&N anniversary I headed that way after I realized that I couldn't stand reading The Great Gatsby  at the library everyday (bc my BYU card is no longer active). So off I went and got Gatsby and then made the mistake of checking out the bargain books....

Anything Erte must be mine, and Mucha is like my favorite to the max, plus Taschen is like the best publisher ever. Sad story: I have nowhere to put these books, nor do I know when I'll be using them, but now they're mine!! On the way home I thought of all the times I went to B&N with bestie Sarah and always got books and how my bookshelves at home are covered with books I won't have room to store for many many moons. Oh books, how I love thee.

Downton Abbey 2:4

:-: I told you William was going to die!
:-: Matthew's make up was real good, esp the shadows around the eyes, but why did he have a mangled "5" on his right cheek?
:-: As much as I want to dislike Lavinia I don't, except for maybe her too perfect bangs.
:-: Lady Violet working her magic to get William transferred was classic Lady Violet.
:-: Time seems to be a little off...didn't we just finish episode 3 in 1918 and Ethel already has a chubby baby boy by this episode?
:-: I'm glad William did die, for a second I figured they'd have him live to so's Daisy's story gets worse and worse.
:-: Mad props to Mary for taking care of Matthew, catching even a loved one's bile is not at all savory.
:-: As much as I hate Mrs. Bates, I love her voice. It's just so gravely and evil.
:-: Sir Richard is not going to be nice a/b Mary wanting to be with Matthew now that he's bent over backwards to shut up Mrs. Bates.
:-: Bawled my eyes out during the wedding.
:-: Branson is a total d-bag, like a lot. I'm not going to be convinced that Lady Sybil loves him when they inevitably run away together.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

magazine collages

When I was in high school I used to spend entire weekends in my room making artistic messes, working on the portraits that have been highlighted previously, amongst other projects. One of my favorite pieces that I've always wanted to revisit was a collage I did of a Winterhalter painting made entirely of magazine clippings, seen below. From afar it really looks like an oil painting!
my collage, I'd say about 20"x24"
I used a projector to get the outline onto the paper. I'm not against using a projector for a project like this. The whole thing had me shut up in my room collecting colors and cutting and gluing for probably around 20 hrs, which isn't bad at all I think.

Like I said, I've always wanted to pick up this technique again. As I'm between jobs in Cedar City at the moment I might just have time to do so! I've been told if I do collages of the Mormon Temples I might just have a paying market. Of course I'd do a collage of anything for moneys. What d'yall think? Would you/do you know anyone that would buy a collage like this? If you're underwhelmed by the Winterhalter remember that it's been nigh on five years and I'm pretty certain I could pwn that one by now.

Wedding Designs Winter 2012

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for! My annual "I sketched a lot over Christmas" wedding dress designs, modest but unique and beautiful of course!

I found this dress on Pinterest and thought it'd make a great simple but interesting dress.
I've always loved this Oscar de la Renta dress as a reception dress, so this is my take on it as a wedding gown.
I'm loving the idea of flesh under structures for the illusion of skin w/o showing it so you can still be modest. The top of this look inspired this dress.
Very simple with just a little touch of special.

Modest version of this dress.
 Kind of random but could be very beautiful with tons of lace and chiffon for the skirt.
Very 1910s, you'd need a really swell lace for this with beading and all.
This one got a speck of crud scanned onto the face, but it's my favorite. Raised waist, same sleeve idea as the first. I just think it's so so great.

I had one more design but it didn't get scanned. Anticipation for later!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Men's shoes preview

So, remember how I promised you a comprehensive illustrated source for mens shoes? Well I have been working on it. These are pencil sketches of two types of shoe, of the brogue or closed lace variety. I've started on open lacing and loafers. I need to pen outline these, scan them and really clean them up. Also, I lost my word doc of their official definitions, what joy. But it's coming along!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why I love working in theatre:

:-:You have new friends the first day you work.
:-:You have life long friends by the last day you work.
:-:There is no schadenfreude in theatre, seeing someone else struggle reminds you of your own struggles and vice versa. Everyone helps out.
:-:Watching an audience watch your work is just as great as watching the production.
:-:Actors, technicians, designers are all so different and speak different languages, but everyone's more than willing to translate and teach you.
:-:Some of the bossest people in the world work in theatre, utilikilts come to mind.
:-:Theatre makes beauty.
:-:Theatre is a world on stage for 2 hours. It isn't stop and go like film, you are taken to a new place by living breathing people (actors and others).
:-:Theatre people are some of the most respectful and understanding people around.
:-:Theatre has lots of meetings! I love meetings and collaboration!
:-:Theatre tuckers you out like nobody's business. It leads to the best nights sleep of your life.
:-:Rehearsals are great. I love every stage of them, first read through, blocking, dress rehearsals. I love watching actors grow and experiment through a character.
:-:Wearing black and going backstage makes me feel so important.
:-:Musicals are extra magical and make me cry.
:-:Theatre produces so many types and styles of stories that film doesn't.
:-:There are always attractive, charming people about because that's what actors are paid to be.
:-:Because everyone depends on everyone else you can feel infinitely helpful.
:-:Theatre makes me laugh, backstage, onstage, building costumes, having pie parties. It's always a riot!
:-:Theatre is full of people that watch the movies I watch, like the shows I like and have the interests I have.

(L to R) hemmed those pants, made that vest, made that skirt, made the trim, nothing (sorry Will!), altered that jacket, hemmed those pants (C) USF

I just got done as first hand for the Utah Shakespeare Festival educational tour, costumes designed by Scott Anderson. I got hired back for the summer and fall seasons at USF as a stitcher and dresser. I get to stay in Cedar City with old and new friends for six months! I'm getting so ready to hunker down and put up curtains!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Downton Abbey 2:3

-Bates is back, ballin'
-Anna and Bates don't kiss now that he's playin' it safe about the divorce, it's rather endearing.
-Cousin Isobel has been warranting feelings that I once only reserved for Mary. I'm glad she's gone to France.
-Way to go Cora for telling Isobel off. Frankly I'm shocked at my character preferences these days.
-Mary and the Dowager Countess' hats in their outdoor scene were phenomenal.
-Branson is bordering on d-bag and needs to cool it! I've seen no recent evidence as to why on earth Lady Sybil should run away with him.
-Edith's telling Mary about Matthew was a very nice moment.
-Mary losing it over Matthew right after Edith tells her was heartbreaking and wonderful.
-Tomas hit it on the nose when he called O'Brien sweet and sour. What's up with her these days?
-Ethel is ridiculous.
-I'm just sayin' it. Matthew's last scene was smokin' and I was squealing w/ my roommate like nobody's business! He looks so svelt and handsome and finally has a jawline! When he started singing I lost my mind and just wanted Mary to run to him!
-Why do they say Richard Car-lyle?
-Soup kitchen, done.
-I've just got to say that overall the feelings that characters are engendering this season versus last are sometimes so starkly different from what they were! I love Mary, Branson's making me furious, Cora is becoming a favorite, O'Brien is just baffleing me,  and Isobel is bugging the crap out of me. Such great writing!

And now a special treat. My journal entry from exactly a year ago:
"Sunday 23 January 2011
PBS posted Downton Abbey so I had to watch it! Oh Anna and Mr. Bates! Brendan Coyle is the most perfect man (bar Russell Crowe) to play the sincere, simple romantic. It makes my heart hurt. Also, Mary is awful and I don't think any amount of personal betterment will convince me that she and Matthew should be together."

Oh how things change! Way to go Mr. Fellowes, way to go!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Project Runway All-Stars: Dressing Miss Piggy

I've loved the season of Project Runway All-Stars so far! The challenges have been rather subdued in subject, but awesome in result. All have been to make a dress, so I'm excited to get onto something else so the likes of Mondo can shine with separates, but all in all I've been ever so pleased with the challenges and results.

 Episode 3's challenge was to design a dress for Miss Piggy to wear to the The Muppets premiere. All the designers were losing their minds about getting to meet Miss Piggy and went on and on about what an inspiration she is. At first I thought this was all rather silly, but Miss Piggy might as well be a real person with how popular and influential the Muppets have been. I harkened back to the Esther Williams bit from The Great Muppet Caper and remembered how much I love Miss Piggy and was totally on board!

Gordana is out. She made a shapeless but pretty dress that she thought would set her apart, which it did, but not in a good way. Gordana has always been an amazing sewer, but a second rate and off the mark designer.
While I'm glad to see Gordana go, and am a fan of Mila's asthetic in general she's a little poop when it comes to designing outside of her realm of mod color blocking. Her rationale for this challenge was basically that she wanted Miss Piggy to wear her line, not for her design to reflect Miss Piggy. Miss Mila, miss.
To speak troth I wasn't overly wowed by any of the designs for my taste, but certainly some worked for Miss Piggy. Rami came in second with this little number that while I think is a good Miss Piggy ensemble, I don't think it is so much a red carpet look for her.
Having had said that none were really favorites I know for sure Michael C's (still use the C even though there aren't any other Michaels) wasn't my favorite. They suggested Piggy would style it in pink, but even then I'm not a huge fan. The palette is too "dusty Great Expectations drape" for me. He won of course. He's shown great sewing skill so far despite the accusations during his PR season.

Photos from Second City Style.
Also, haven't been able to find any pictures of Miss Piggy in Michael's dress. She defs wore a white dress w/ red to the premiere!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chocolate crock pot cake

I found and tried this recipe for a chocolate cake in a crock pot! It's really easy and if you use a gluten free cake mix it's completely gluten free (jello-pudding is gluten free).

18 oz chocolate cake mix
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
8 oz sour cream
4 eggs
1 cup water
3/4 cup oil
1 cup (or more...) chocolate chips

Grease crock pot and cook on high for 2-3 hours. I used my roommate's crock pot which I think was 4 quarts. You can scoop it out while it's still hot, but I love it the next day. It's very moist and dense and I don't even worry about frosting it. I like to use devil's food cake and fudge pudding. Yummy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sherlock season 2 preview

If you like PBS on facebook you can watch a clip from the first episode of season 2 of Sherlock. Favorite quote from it:

"You look taller in your photographs"
Sherlock: "I take the precaution of a good coat and a short friend"

Benedict Cumberbatch is only 6' so it's working!
I'm so excited for season two and the anticipation of season three!

The decline of the British aristocracy

William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, and Kathleen “Kick” Kennedy at their 1944 wedding, in London.
I found this article from Vanity Fair, January 2010. It's written by Charles Spencer, Di's brother and is an intriguing, well written and insightful piece about the responsibilities of British nobility and the decline of the aristocracy in Great Britain. For Downton fans it rings all too familiar with Lord Grantham's speeches about Downton. The stories of individual great families are staggering and heartbreaking. It's really a great read. It makes me angry as an avid Anglophile that knows I could have been the perfect trophy duchess and hostess of a grand estate.

Also, how great is Kick Kennedy's wedding dress? So simple, but so wonderful.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sherlock third season


It's been a great couple of years for awesome British TV. Downton's got a third season, and now Sherlock! Reminder: Second season of Sherlock is on PBS May 6-20. First season is available on Netflix instant play. Can't wait to see the 2nd and the 3rd!

Golden Globes: The bad and the ugly

A'ight, here's what I didn't like...I was surprised by how many there are because even though I have very strong opinions I usually don't actually judge too harshly, but you asked for it. Most of my grievances are for proportion and fit issues on dresses that could have been brilliant.

Elle MacPherson, entirely too much going on, puckering at crotch, bad jewelry choice, unflattering proportions, tulle is disjointed from the rest of the gown.
Freida Pinto usually wows me so much. I love her necklace and the material of this gown, but the waist is too high and the tiny ribbon needs to either go or be much more substantial.
Miss Fashion Police herself, Giuliana Rancic. She just has always kind of freaked me out. She is too overworked as a person and this gown is just a disaster.
I don't know why Guliana Rancic wore two gowns, but both were terrible. The high necked thing and extra junk didn't work for either gown, the styling is also a train wreck.
Oh Jessica Biel. Your head is nothing special and your body is unflattered and awkward. The gown is a bad color, cut and material.
I mostly just want Julianna Margulies' chest to look perkier. I feel like boobs in general were sorely neglected at the Globes this year. Since when is it formal wear to tape them down? I also have no idea what the material of this gown is, but it's not doing anyone any favors. Modest yes, flattering NO.
Again a Fashion policeperson in a dud. This gown is to die for and absolutely stunning in and of itself. On a petite girl like Kelly Osbourne it's terrible. I love a good structural piece, but the dress is just too much for Osbourne, and did no one think to hem it appropriately? I'm a sucker for 6" horsehair hems, but they need to be watched so as to not buckle.
Missi Pyle, while the foundation's color is not the greatest it's nothing to scoff at, however the cheap golden tulle over skirt and flower is. Hem length is also off.
Naya Rivera, a center front seam needs to be oh so carefully selected and in this case it should not have been. And where's the rest of the shaping? If it was supposed to be just a tube I could have lived with it sans center front seam. With the seam you get the feeling you need more. The hem and small train is divine though.
Oh Piper Perabo. I had to look up an interview to see why on earth every picture of her in this dress has her doing something dumb with the skirt. Apparently she just thought it was so great that it was nylon! So great she couldn't just let it be. I'm actually a fan of the color, and the skirt, just leave it the freak alone and wear a bra! 2012 at the Globes was not a good time to be a boob apparently.

Golden Globes

Awards season! I honestly don't watch any show except the Oscars, but I watch the pregame for some. Seeing as I don't have a TV however I didn't for the Globes and am basing opinions off photos, e'en though I prefer to see the gowns in motion. Going through the photos on MTV I was just bored with pretty gowns so I basically picked the really unique, but still appropriate gowns as favorites. In no particular order...

I've always had a soft spot for Nicole Kidman, her being 1/4" shorter than me and all. Mad props for wearing heels and props to Keith Urban for looking so chill (or something...) about it. Her body is just absolutely rocking in this gown and the beading or whatever is awesome. Great styling as well.

Tilda Swinton always makes bold choices and if nothing else I applaud her for that. In this case though I love what she's wearing. The color is divine on her and I love the tailoring with the soft skirt. Her shoes are also killer.

I'm not a fan of Claire Danes as an actress, but her gown is simple but unique and modest. I have a feeling there is more to it than this.

Speaking of modest, sleeves are in and while some actresses totally miss the modest but beautiful train I really like Michelle Williams' dress. Simple simple silhouette but beautiful material. I could lose or change the headband.

The one bit I did see of the Globes showed Angelina Jolie sitting down and I knew I loved her dress. I don't think I need to even explain why this dress is so boss and makes my brain hurt just thinking about the work that went into it.
Evan Rachel Wood, not so thrilling silhouette, but those feathers! Black dress taken to the max. Where the construction part of my brain hurt thinking about Jolie's, my meticulous "yes I've pinned on thousands of pieces of chiffon onto a costume" brain bleeds over this dress.
I pick my boys based mostly on classic menswear. A tux has to be oh so special for me to like it despite its veering away from convention. Clive Owen's tux is classic and he's handsome. His (an many others) pants break entirely too much, but knees up is good. I'd prefer a cummerbund or waistcoat bc I hate seeing the white shirt.
Colin Firth, Mr. Well Dressed Englishman himself. Pants too puddley, but still grand. His French cuffs stick out just right.
Leonardo DiCaprio, way to show everyone how it's done. I personally don't like three buttons, but I won't hold it against him. I could leave the watch, but his lapels and bowtie and studs are great.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Downton Abbey 2:2

It's so late and I'm so tired, but here it is...

-Thomas has a weird chubby/babyface but super handsome thing going on.
-Isobel is cheesing me off, even though she probs shouldn't be.
-Has Edith finally found a noble way to be out of everybody's way?
-Mary has redeemed herself from last season x10.
-I wish there was more dirt on Lavinia.
-Dame Maggie had some great great lines in this one.
-I do feel like we are keeping track of so many characters by now we spend very little time with any one of them.
-If you agreed to let your house be a hospital I don't know that you should be so put out by your house being a hospital.
-Aunt Rosamund is so obnoxious.
-I really want to webcam my roommate and I watching so you can see our reactions, esp to the "up next" part at the end.
-Bates is a good good man.
-Matthew is getting so so handsome.
-I still think William is going to die.
-Oh poor Mr. Lang. But when he leaves Mr. Bates has to come back!
-I'm so confused by O'Brian. She's trying to find a way to live with what she did to Lady Grantham by keeping her in charge of the house, but she's bringing Thomas back and it's all so strange.
-William hugging Daisy is a like Gandolf hugging Frodo.
-Branson needs to cool it so he can be with Sybil, but she's totally above the whole romance thing. Even if she does consider going away with him, I don't think she will.