Friday, December 28, 2012

Les Miserables: A List

Here 'tis, here 'tis. I'm actually surprised and rather flattered at the number of people that were a) sad I had a stomach bug yesterday and b) were upset that they had to wait yet another day for my review of Les Miserables.

I'ma go at it like one of my Downton reviews. It's just so much more fun to geek out than formulate a review. And at the end of the day (you're another day older!) I just want to yap and not really be critical.

I'm going to reveal things so if you haven't seen the movie you might not want to read this. I was worried I wouldn't like it, but knew it would have its issues, and still loved it! I never thought it was going to be a filmed stage production so was not upset that it wasn't. After dressing 65 performances I'm still in love with this musical, even after the film. Someday I'll see it live...yup, that's right, I've never seen a professional production, just one high school production (woof) and the anniversary concerts on PBS. Anyway...

:::Ok, the beginning. The French flag in the water, BUST OUT AND IT'S THE WORK SONG CHORDS!!! That was it, I was sold. There was a huge ship, those familiar notes were playing and Russell Crowe was being blasted by surf.
:::I love Russell Crowe. If you'll look at my past entries I wasn't sure of his voice. One of the main grievances with the film is Russell Crowe. I didn't have high hopes, and so was pleasantly surprised! Yay Russell! Yay Russell in blue! So glad it's French so he could wear that blue. He always wears that light blue (Gladiator and Robin Hood). It matches his eyes.
:::Hugh Jackman's janked up gnarly half shaved head, brilliant. The hair and make up design was divine.
:::Hugh Jackman, always knew it was Hugh Jackman. I always knew each character was their respective actor, probably because I've been so invested for so long. Oh well. My bestie had no idea it was Hugh Jackman, so there you go.
:::Ok, this one's for Elizabeth. She used to find pieces of Valjean's yellow slip on the set and would bring them downstairs. There's a very long shot of the yellow slip that made me miss her.
:::I liked that there was more dialogue and more clearing up of facts in the film. The musical can get kind of muddy and the part about parole and the mayor and all that was made much clearer.
:::Colm Wilkinson! I was SO happy to see good ol' Colm. I knew he was coming, but it was like seeing an old friend. Yay Colm!
:::ANNE HATHAWAY. Really?! really?!! I mean, come on. I Dreamed A Dream is one of the all time tear jerkers of my life. I just wept and wept. and wept. Lovely Ladies was less raw than I thought it might be, but the added bit with Fantine's patron into I Dreamed A Dream was hard times. Rough.
:::Anne Hathaway again.
:::Seriously, Anne Hathaway.
:::The little parts like the foreman and a soldier at the barricade were cast with really beautiful voices.
:::I'm sad there was no 24601 tattoo. That changed a lot about the show for me, and the whole plot with Thenardier.
:::Master of the House was disgusting. Not the usual romp, but I loved it.
:::I was so much more in love with Stars than I thought I'd be. I love B. Vaughn and so was worried I'd just hate Stars and Javert's Suicide, but Stars was far better than I thought it'd be. I felt like it was more of Russell Crowe. A lot of Javert's conversation with Valjean can get so one note, like literally. I felt like with Stars he was using the song. The bit in both songs with him walking the line of the ledge was great.
:::Russell Crowe, on a horse, galloping down stone corridors chasing Valjean. That was great.
:::Castle on a Cloud was lovely. Her little rag doll made me so sad.
:::It went FAST! I was surprised that they'd added more solos and wrote more music and yet the film was as long as the musical is on stage. They sped through a lot of things. They cut lots of lines and reworked lyrics that I don't think were necessary to change" "attack us from the right" to "attack when it is light". They also changed happenings during the barricade and cut a whole attack. I didn't feel like we had enough time with Eponine or Gavroche, but maybe I feel like we get more time with them in the stage musical because I got time with them four nights a week.
:::Gavroche died fast, and anybody I worked with this summer knows what a blessing that is.
:::You still get the fact that Cosette and Marius are dumb dumb children. Gosh, they're so dumb. It's just written that way. No fault to the movie.
:::Hugh Jackman is huge. Kind of strange to see buff, fit Valjean in Cosette's bedroom with his shirt open and his chest all tattoo-less and huge.
:::The students looked so British.
:::As the barricade broke down and was overtaken I was so worried we wouldn't get the moment when it turns on stage and all the bodies are revealed and Enjolras is hanging there. Having him shot out the window was a) very Joseph Smith (strange for me to think about that?) and b) SO moving. I still got my upside down Enjolras.
:::Revealing Enjolras' body before the part in the score where he's revealed also worried me. What would they fill that time with?! Javert putting a medal on Gavroche with Eponine's body in view. That was nice.
:::I liked that Jackman sang older as time passed. Valjean can get kind of La Boheme where he's ballading until the end. Valjean's old and tired. I also liked that he kind of had a heart attack, maybe? I'm telling myself he did, because it's never made sense to me that he just up and dies. I get that we're supposed to believe he's old and tired, but he sure sings well until he dies. This is why I liked Jackman's progression.
:::SO much poo! SO MUCH! I'm glad Javert didn't get in the poo.
:::Javert's sucide. It's normally a black out. NOT ready for Russell Crowe to break his back. YIPES. I gasped big time. Less at the violence of it and more at the "holy crap, they SHOWED Javert break his back!"
:::I definitely habitually went into dresser mode at times. "Heart Full of Love is over! Time to change Andy!" "Turning is over! Time for the nun change!" "Cosette's singing to Marius! Make way for Elizabeth! It's ballgown time!".
:::They cut almost all of Beggars at the Feast. HOW was the film so long still? I mean it didn't seem long, but minutes wise it was.
:::Yay Anne Hathaway at the end, but was sad they didn't do the duet with Eponine.
:::ECSTATIC to see Colm again. Like really, I lost my mind, and it made so much sense.
:::BIG OL' BARRICADE AT THE END!!!! I lost it. The end. That was nuts. woof.

Can't remember more, but I was pleasantly surprised throughout. It had odd bits, and it was hard for me not to take myself out of it every time a lyric was changed or the order of things was messed with, but it was beautiful. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Project: Merlot and Lace in March

I'm crazy. I'm crazy bc I already have two irons in the fire and I'm writing this entry instead of getting presentable for company.

As you may recall I have the OND'13 I'm working on and long ago I draped my Striped Dress which I want to finish by the summer, if not by my NYC trip. Since NYC is in March I wanted to make a dress that can match the mood of March at its best and worst and still move into summer. I've also been looking for an application for a panel of vintage lace that like many other bits and bobs, found its way into my bedroom whilst I was away. Along with the lace I inherited some nice dark floral rayon that I think will make a nice late winter/early spring dress:

So, the panel is going to be the center front with the fabric behind it. I got the idea for the silhouette from the above Vivienne Westwood dress.

Here's the fun thing: Since the center front is going to be high bc that's a beautiful piece of lace and I want to use as much as I can, the Westwood dress is the inspiration for the back. The front will have a Peter Pan collar that will go around the back, which will be open.
I got a dress form for Christmas so I draped the bodice last night. The collar is JUST FOR SHAPE. This WILL NOT be used with my beaded collar. Right now the plan is to have the collar on a band that will button in the back. We're going for a quirky Zooey Deschanel kind of a thing. The form is my measurements but significantly shorter (which all are), and I'm counting on it not having the precision of a Wolf form, but I'm so excited to have a form to work with!

So there it is. I need to correct the pattern for OND'13 and get this pattern together. I also start work for real soon and go to my brother's wedding, so my off time will be very full, but I love it! I love getting new clothes. And by getting I mean spending a lot of time making them.

And lest you doubt, I am making this 100% LDS modest. I'm as pleasantly surprised as you are that the back can be that low.  Mormon fashion revolution!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

OND '13: Rendering

Why does it look so blurry? is it my rendering? Probably. It took all I could not to outline everything in black ink bc that's my M.O. (really, look at any of my renderings on my website). The face is weird, I know. And my dad's scanner isn't big enough. There, excuses out of the way.

PS it still looks way too blue. It's TEAL! the paint is TEAL

Monday, December 17, 2012

Music of 2012

In January I started talking to friends about music. Somehow of all the things my brain can retain music does not seem to stick as well as I'd like it to. This year I tried to change that, and with Pandora and Spotify it's been really great! Here are the 12 songs of 2012.

Fitz And the Dizzyspells, Andrew Bird, Noble Beast
Will told me about Andrew Bird in January.
Lava flows over crooks and craggy cliffs to the ocean
And explodes in a steam heat fevered cyclical motion

5 Years Time, Noah and the Whale, Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down
Eliot told me about Noah and the Whale in January. I tried to learn this song on the ukulele. I still might get it.
and she'll say,
oh yeah, well i feel pretty happy too.
and i'm always pretty happy when i'm just kicking back with you

Dog Days Are Over, Florence + The Machine, Lungs
Janell and I drove up to Ogden super late one February night for ACTF regionals and we screamed this song. Also, I Did It My Way by Sinatra
And I never wanted anything from you except everything you had
And what was left after that too

sad song, Christinia Perri, lovestrong
Along with more Florence I bought lovestrong for my ride home in March. It wasn't really a road trip album, but I like it.
So don't, don't let me go
Just let me know
That growing up goes slow

Primadonna, Marina and the Diamonds, Primadonna
I saw Marina and the Diamonds on The Graham Norton Show in May sometime. Jack let me know how great they are and what I'd been missing. This is when I started using Spotify.
Get what I want 'cause I ask for it
Not because I'm really that deserving of it
What Makes You Beautiful, One Direction, Up All Night
Christina and I played this song for hours while making apple pie for Richard with Tess.
Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed

Hey Ho, The Lumineers, The Lumineers
This music video played at the gym and I really like these guys.
I belong with you, you belong with me
You're my sweetheart

Send Me No Flowers, Nellie Mckay, Normal As Blueberry Pie
Matt introduced me to a lot of new music. Normal As Blueberry Pie (previously blogged about), is a Doris Day tribute and I love it. I love love this song, such great sentiments.
Send me no flowers today
Instead of sending flowers come back to me
And hold me in your arms again

Some Nights, Fun., Some Nights
Everyone loves this song. My Fun. station on Pandora pretty much covers all the bases I currently am into.
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I'm still not sure  what I stand for, oh

Home, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeros
Found these guys from my Fun. station. This track in particular has a very Johnny Cash/June Carter sound to it and I love it. Again, Jack let me know how much I'd been missing.
I follow you into the park, thru the jungle thru the dark
Girl aint never loved on like you
Moasts and boats and Waterfall, Alleyways and payphone calls
I been everywhere with you
Laugh until we think we'll die, barefoot on a summer night
never could be sweeter than with you

King And Lionheart, Of Monsters And Men, My Head Is An Animal
Fun. station. Jack told me to look into them more. Spotify.
Taking over this town, they should worry. 
But these problems aside I think I taught you well.
That we won't run, and we won't run, and we won't run.

I Will Wait, Mumford And Sons, Babel
I listen to I Will Wait, and Babel over and over. I love Mumford and Sons. I love the instrumentation,  I love the poetry, I love the voice, I love the drive. Their new album is fabulous. Will and Eliot told me about Mumford and Sons in January, now they're my favorite favorite.
Now I'll be bold, as well as strong
And use my head, along side my heart
So tame my flesh and fix my eyes
a tethered mind freed from the lies

The above list was more or less "new" music in the sense that they're not oldies. Below are some songs I was introduced to from a bye-gone time. Some I was just reminded of, or really struck a chord this year.

What'll I Do? Irving Berlin
woof, this song. makes me so.sad. in a masochistic, must listen to over and over and cry kind of way.
What'll I do, when you are far away
And I'm so blue, what'll I do?
What'll I do when I am wondering 
Who is kissing you? what'll I do

If I Were A Carpenter, Johnny Cash and June Carter
I can't recall hearing this song before. It's wonderful and I love Johnny and June together.
I gave you my onliness
Give me your tomorrow

Cavelleria Rusticana: Intermezzo, Pietro Mascagni
Yes, this is in The Godfather or Part II or something, but I first heard it at an orchestra competition in high school. I wept and wept. I rediscovered it this year. Just watching the conductor of this link is phenomenal.

It's All Coming Back To Me Now, Celine Dion, Falling Into You
I added a Celine Dion station last year, but this year it's kind of annoyed me on shuffle, except for this song. Ug, I love this song. First CD I remember as a child.
There were moments of gold
And there were flashes of light
There were things I'd never do again
But then they'd always seemed right

The Talking Heads
I was introduced to Stop Making Sense about 5 or 6 years ago. Reminded how much I like The Talking Heads this summer.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

OND '13: Patterning and Mock up

I got the pattern and mock up for my opening night dress 2013 thrown together this week. I used a pretty basic McCall's pattern as a starting point. I have a sloper for my skirt, but I never took my bodice apart from my patterning class so just decided to start with a commercial pattern. Ideally of course I would drape the pattern because I like to see proportion on a form, but I don't have one. It's good to work on my drafting!

I cut the bodice off the pattern, moved the dart to the neck and made it a pleat, lengthened the torso and did my shoulder and hip alterations. It's a lot of work, but is so tedious I love it!
The skirt was something else. I just kind of took my waist measurement and drew my hip line and blah blah blah flared the back and added a train, then did this other thing that seemed to make sense. At the end of the day it's a little too full. The mock up fabric is much lighter than the medium weight jersey I have. Too bad I had to flip the pattern so one of the patterns is not sparkly, otherwise I'd totally finish and wear this skirt! Heck, there's enough fabric in there I'm sure I could figure it out. 
I married the bodice to the skirt (I always giggle when I hear people say to "marry" pieces together. It makes sense, and it's super professional sounding, it just gets me sometimes) and ta da! I kind of hate the pleats in the neckline. I'm sure I might be able to fix and keep them, but I'm not wild enough about the look so I'll just take them out.
Since this is a knit I can tell from just jimmy rigging myself into it that it's too big. That's usually how it goes. I made the pattern to my measurements so it's typical that I'll have to take it in. I'll do a proper fitting today or soon to figure how much and to work out some other hiccups. I don't put sleeves in until I know my shoulder issues have been worked out, so I'll do that too.

The pictures are pretty dumb, but I'll take better ones with my real camera later, maybe?

Friday, December 14, 2012

New skincare routine...different but working.

This entry's a plug for the new skin routine I'm trying. I found it here via Pinterest. Warning: Zit and menstruation talk ahead!

The process is meant to treat hormonal acne which manifests itself around the chin and jawline as very deep and swollen zits. I've read into this type of acne a lot because with the face wash I use I've had a near flawless complexion except for my chin. Zits actually occur on the corresponding side you're ovulating on! Which, of course leads to very even scarring. Anyway, I've had constant chin acne for about 6 months now and off and on before that for years, with major break outs during high stress.

This skin routine is based on the idea that today's harsh skincare items strip your skin of too much natural oil, causing your face to overcompensate which leads to break outs. Essentially you wash your face with caster and extra virgin olive oil. Read the blog, it'll probably convince you.

I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now and have had mixed results, but overall I'm very happy with it.

-My acne cleared COMPLETELY in four days. I will say it was the best time of the month for my skin, but I haven't been acne-less since....April? May?
-This routine also takes off your make up.
-I've used Proactiv for 8 years which prevents acne at my temples and the hollows of my cheeks which is where I'll break out in about 2 days if I stop using it. I did get a zip on my cheek and my temple about 4 days after starting this, but they were pretty close to the surface and cleared up quickly. I haven't had any zits of that kind since.
-Parts of my face that weren't oily before (the sides of my nose) felt pretty oily the first week, but have since evened out with the rest of my face.
-This takes awhile. I used to just use a baby wipe to take my make up off, but now this is the main face wash for the day. Every night I debate skipping it just this once, but it's done such a great job I always bring myself to do it anyway.
-It's a little gross on your washcloths. I only use a cloth for 2 days and so am washing a few washcloths pretty regularly.
-It's cheap. You just buy oil from the supermarket.
-I'm still working on how much moisturizer I need to use. Right after I wash my face it feels tight and dry, but if I wait a little I can feel where I actually need to moisturize. I moisturize my whole face in the morning.
-Unlike the woman on the blog I can't stand not washing my face in the morning, so I use a very gentle green tea cleanser I got in Seoul during my shower.
-My face is softer, but unlike the blogger, it's not brighter. This could be because Proactiv straight up bleaches your skin (the proof is on the washcloth). I really actually like that about Proactiv as I've always gone for the porcelain look, but this is probably better for my skin. I think really I'm just seeing the natural tone of my skin for the first time in a long time.
-I do currently have one hormonal zit on my chin, BUT it hasn't gotten anywhere near the severity of my acne in the past and has started to clear up already.

In conclusion, I'm not completely sold. I LOVE that my chin cleared up and is more or less continuing to stay clear, but the overall look and feel of my face is different and I haven't decided if it's a good different or a bad different. I'll try this for a whole month to see how it works throughout the cycle.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Austen Villians: Mr. Crawford

The Austen Villains are any combination of adulterers, gold diggers, or just big fat liars. If we're talking lasting emotional and societal damage I'd say Crawford "wins", followed by Willoughby, then Wickham. Willoughby and Crawford might be tied. Anne as a Heroine didn't let Elliot get away with too terribly much, and Thorpe and Churchill ended up being rather harmless, all things considered. Keep in mind I'm looking at damages presented in the novels, not towards any other women I'm sure most of these fictitious men left pregnant and/or in the lurch. Miss Austen doesn't mess around. These were heavy dudes.

(in order)
Adulterers:        Gold Diggers:        Liars:
Willoughby       Willhoughby         Wickham
Crawford          Elliot                    Churchill
Wickham          Wickham             Willoughby
Elliot                Thorpe                 Thorpe

Henry Crawford
woof, he'll getcha. 
"Fanny seemed to herself never to have been shocked was too horrible a confusion of guilt, too gross a complication of evil, for human nature, not in a state of utter barbarism, to be capable of! His unsettled affections, wavering with his vanity, Maria's decided attachment, and no sufficient principle on either side." Chapter 42

Mr. Crawford is the Londoner that comes to Mansfield Park. Upon being introduced to the Bertram family he decides to pursue Julia, as she's available. This does not however prevent him from securing engaged Maria's affections as well. After Maria is married he decides to make Heroine Fanny Price fall in love with him, unaware that Fanny's affections have always belonged to her cousin, Edmund. Mr. Crawford falls in love with Fanny and proposes marriage to her. Fanny refuses Mr. Crawford not only because she's in love with Edmund, but because she doubts his constancy as he's not displayed the most virtuous of intentions towards Julia and Maria.

Fanny's refusal of Crawford gets her kicked out of Mansfield and sent to live with her family in Portsmouth. There Crawford visits and is the most lovely, considerate, and doting suitor. With Edmund head over heals for Mary Crawford, one wonders if Fanny should settle for Mr. Crawford. However, she does not waiver and upon visiting Maria in London, Crawford starts up with the married Maria and the two elope, leaving the family scandalized.  Maria is divorced for adultery. Crawford chooses not to marry her.
ok, he is pretty genuine for awhile.
Movie version (1999): During Crawford's visit to Portsmouth he guesses that Fanny loves Edmund and consoles her when it's apparent Edmund and Mary will marry. This is quite a lovely if not heartbreaking scene. Fanny agrees to marry Crawford but recants the next morning, leaving him heartbroken. This rejection is used as a catalyst for his involvement with Maria. In the film Maria comes home during Tom's illness and Fanny discovers Crawford and Maria having sex pretty much directly under her bedroom. Not cool.

What a list of offenses Mr. Crawford! Mary Crawford blames Fanny, saying had she given Mr. Crawford a chance he wouldn't have been tempted by Maria, that with Fanny's rejection the temptation of immediate satisfaction from Maria was too much for him.

I do believe Mr. Crawford was genuinely in love with Fanny. He'd never known a woman like her and was, I like to think, attracted to her morality and uprightness (the very qualities that kept them apart). He was an excellent suitor to Fanny and was always respectful, charming, attentive, and considerate. He did everything in his power to help her brother and didn't care that her family was an embarrassment (see first quote below).  However, I  highly doubt he would have been faithful to Fanny if they'd married. His weakness of character throughout the novel leads me to this conclusion. Despite how much I would like to believe, and do believe, that people can change with strong enough motives, I think Crawford is the type that wouldn't (see second quote). I don't think Fanny would have satisfied him in the end.

As I reread Crawford, and given the movie portrayal by Alessandro Nivola, I would most definitely have fallen for him had Edmund not been in the way. He was SO genuine and charming and lovely for that short while in Plymouth, and I love to believe that people can change. Despite myself I know I would have eaten that stuff up.

He's the second adulterer bc he didn't get anyone involved pregnant. He was never really a gold digger, so you have to give him that. He's the last on the list of liars bc while he was a player, he was the most genuine of the liars. Here I might be rationalizing a tad. You might ask, "But Willoughby is the first adulterer and gold digger, why isn't he the worst?". To that I say Crawford's actions during the novel make him the stand out. Willoughby's greatest offense was technically committed before the novel and was with someone we were never properly introduced to. His offense against Marianne doesn't compare to Crawford professing mad love to Fanny then sleeping with her cousin. More to come in Willoughby's entry obviously.

Quotey quotes:

"She turned away, and wished he would not say such things. She was willing to allow he might have more good qualities than she had been wont to suppose. She began to feel the possibility of his turning out well at last." Chapter 41

"As to Mr. Crawford, she hoped it might give him a knowledge of his own disposition, convince him that he was not capable of being steadily attached to any one woman in the world, and shame him from persisting any longer in addressing herself...She had begun to think he really loved her; and to fancy his affection for her something more than common." Chapter 42

Christmas Cards!

You know what's cool? 4x6 watercolor paper. If you put a stamp on it it's a postcard!

I made Christmas postcards for a few friends this year. Sorry if you didn't get one, but I couldn't very well make 100 personalized Christmas cards, and I don't do store bought (she said with a question in her voice?). Thems the breaks I guess? If you did get one then congrats! You're one of my most very favorite people! I will say I remembered some friends after the fact I wish I'd sent them to, so if it makes you feel better tell yourself you're one of those. Also, I didn't even send them to my siblings, so that should also make you feel better if I left you out. Bottom line is I don't love you any less if I didn't send you one, I just love these people more, and/or they're the people I talk to everyday/week, so step up your game if you want in for next year.

 Whew, that was a lot of qualifying.

Here they are. I composed this entry last Friday bc I couldn't wait, but didn't want to ruin the surprise. By now I've gotten word from the most far flung of my friends so I think it's safe to post now. Some are from clip art books. Others I designed, of which I'm particularly proud of the NYC cards and the Nativity card (which I actually designed last year). Also, I think the cactus is just SO cute!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Jane Austen Formula

I need to do another Austen review, but most of the other heroes only have two really viable options, and so I'm going to first, lay out the Austen Formula, and then in another entry I'll discuss the Villains (who's the best/worst, that sort of thing).

What's brilliant about Austen is that even though she follows, almost exactly, a basic and obvious formula, you still freak out about whether or not the heroine will end up with the hero. So, here it is.

There is a Heroine that is meant to be with an obvious Hero. Either the man she's loved for years, the newest man in her life that loves her, or the man she's known her whole life.

There is a decoy man who can be rather villainous and  for a time is a legitimate contender for the Heroine. He has or displays intentions towards the Heroine and either has had past affairs, or will have future affairs, or both. Sometimes he's not all together immoral. Whether or not the Heroine has actual designs on the decoy, or vice versa, he throws the Hero off his game.

There is in most cases another woman; a best friend's sister or a cousin, the new girl in town, the young girls in town, a secret fiance, Jane Fairfax and/or your best friend, or an impregnated former lover. Whether or not the Hero has actual designs on this other woman doesn't really matter. She still throws a wrench in the situation.

There are revelations that get the decoy out of the way. His past comes out, he runs away with your cousin, he's been engaged for months, etc.

There is a revelation that gets the other woman out of the way: We find out he doesn't love her, she suffers a massive brain injury, she's an awful person, she's his sister, she switches brothers.

There is a realization: Usually the Heroine/Hero learns the truth about the other woman/decoy and/or the Hero does something wonderful, and/or the Heroine realizes she loves the Hero, and/or the Hero grows a pair and mans up, and/or the Heroine and Hero just fall in love.

Usually there is a side relationship with sisters, in-laws, cousins, friends that serves as a lesson, or just creates hubbub in general to forward the plot.

Let's start with the most well known, then move on in no particular order other than Persuasion is my favorite and Sense and Sensibility is not my favorite and has the most variations to the formula.

Pride and Prejudice:
Heroine: Elizabeth Bennet
Hero: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy-new guy in town, loves Elizabeth
Decoys: Mr. Wickham and Mr. Collins
Other Women: Anne de Bourgh and Caroline Bingley
Revelation: Wickham is a cad, he runs away with Lydia, and Elizabeth learns Darcy is the Bennet family's savior.
Realization: Elizabeth realizes she loves Mr. Darcy and that he's amazing. Mr. Darcy learns from Lady Catherine's visit to Elizabeth that he should hope again.
Side Story: Jane and Bingley (other woman is Georgiana Darcy, Bingley learns Darcy kept Jane from him, Bingley grows a pair).

Heroine: Anne Elliot
Hero: Captain Frederick Wentworth-old love of 8 years
Decoy: Mr. Elliot, cousin
Other Women: Louisa and Henrietta Musgrove
Revelations: Louisa is engaged to Mr. Benwick, Henrietta is engaged to Charles Hayter, Mr. Elliot is a cad
Realization: Capt. Wentworth grows a pair and writes Anne the most amazing letter ever

Mansfield Park:
Heroine: Fanny Price
Hero: Edmund Bertram- cousin and love of her lifetime
Decoy: Mr. Crawford
Other Woman: Miss Crawford
Revelation: Mr. Crawford runs away with Maria, Miss Crawford is a terrible human being
Realization: Edmund, after a long while, realizes he's always loved Fanny.

Northanger Abbey:
Heroine: Catherine Morland
Hero: Henry Tilney- first guy she's met
Decoy: John Thorpe
Other Woman: Elinor Tilney (whom Catherine mistakes for Henry's date and not his sister, for about a minute)
Revelation: Catherine is not rich and is kicked out of Northanger.
Realization: Henry loves Catherine and doesn't care if she's poor.
Other story: Isabella leads on Catherine's brother and is seduced by Captain Tilney, Henry's brother.
***Northanger Abbey, as the first written, has the weakest formula.

Heroine: Emma Woodhouse
Hero: Mr. George Knightley- neighbor and sort of brother-in-law
Decoys: Frank Churchill and Mr. Elton
Other Women: Jane Fairfax and Harriet Smith
Revelation: Frank is engaged to Jane. Harriet loves Mr. Knightley
Realization: Emma loves Mr. Knightley, Mr. Knightley grows a pair and tells Emma he's always loved her.
Other story: Harriet likes Mr. Martin, Mr. Elton, and Mr. Knightley. Mr. Elton likes Emma but eventually marries Miss Augusta Hawkins. Harriet marries Mr. Martin.

Sense and Sensibility:
Heroine: Elinor Dashwood
Hero: Edward Ferrars- new guy in town
Other Woman: Lucy Steele
Revelation: Edward will not inherit if he marries Lucy. Lucy switches brothers and marries Robert.
Realization: Less a realization, and more of Edward hadn't wanted to marry Lucy for a long time and so was free to propose to Elinor.
***There is no decoy in Elinor's case.

Heroine: Marianne Dashwood
Hero: Colonel Christopher Brandon- loves Marianne at first sight
Decoy: John Willoughby
Other Women: Brandon's goddaughter and Miss Sophia Grey
Revelations: Willoughby has impregnated Brandon's goddaughter and has married Miss Grey for her money.
Realization: Marianne slowly falls in love with Brandon, realizing he's a good guy.

With more than one heroine, and the decoy getting so close to being the hero in Marianne's case, Sense and Sensibility is the most complicated of the formulas, but still adheres to it. In it there is no decoy for Elinor, and no other woman for Colonel Brandon.

So there it is. Like I said, expect an entry comparing the faults and virtues (if any) of the decoy men. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Opening Night Dress 2013: Inspiration and Sketch

 Ah! Where to begin? I guess with the fact that I LOVE dressing up. I've been realizing more and more recently that getting all spiffy is a hobby of mine and I YEARN for occasions to do so. I'm really thinking more and more that I need to marry a man with a career that mandates fancy parties, so politician, philanthropist, actor/director/producer.

The fanciest party I get to attend in the near future will be the USF summer opening night party. Last year I made a dress, then found a vintage beaut and wore that instead. This year I have the intense pleasure of having Jack C. Schmitz as my 24/7 style consultant. I decided on full length this year and Jack suggested late 1930s surrealism as a jumping board. I really have a 40s/30s body, so that's why we're sticking around this era. The silhouette is also not SO formal that it'll be inappropriate for said party. These decisions led to many facebook convos exchanging Pinterest links that eventually got me to this beautiful 1931-32 Schiaparelli from the Philadelphia Museum of Art:

I was attracted to the draped skirt and lost my mind when I read that the train IS the drape. This is perfect bc if I ever have a more formal occasion you better believe that train's coming down! And wouldn't you know? I have 12 yds of a beautiful medium weight knit from Michael Levines in a deep and rich teal. Not the most summery of colors, but I love it and it makes my eyes pop.

So, that's the skirt. Obviously with my modesty standards the top needed to be different. Jack Jack and I started discussing color blocking and I eventually settled on nude on top in some way, then found this Jenny Packham dress on my bridal board:

Super simple, neckline pleats and set in sleeves with sheer and beaded shoulders and sleeves. Mine will be in nude with bugle and seed beads. I'll look for a belt and/or trim in NYC when I go, or I can make one. The train can hook under the belt, or if I line the top (as yet undecided) I can hook it under the waist like the original.

color rendering to come
This is going to take a lot of work, but it won't be all that hard necessarily. I've never done an evening gown in knit. I've been researching online and reading my books and picking Jack's brain (who is currently KILLING it at Parsons Meares in NYC). There will be a mock up and the beading will be done on a hoop before the pieces are actually cut. Like I said, it's going to be a lot of work and is going to take awhile. Add the fact that I don't have access to dress forms or drafting tables. This is going to be an adventure!

Below is a quick sample I did with some silver bugle beads I have. The collar I got from Seoul has silver bugle and champagne seed beads, I want to do something along those lines for when/if I decide to wear my collar with the dress. The back is beaded as you might tell from the sketch. I want the nude to look like shimmering skin. Cross your fingers! I'm anticipating at least 3 leisurely weeks of just beading.

And what height of shoe should I wear with it? I have 4" nude pumps, but to be honest heels that tall at a party where everyone stands makes it pretty awkward to talk to anyone but Jack (when he stands up straight). 3" heels only make me 6'2". I wear heels bc they make my legs and butt look fantastic, but the legs are taken out of the equation in a full length skirt. Decisions decisions!

I can't tell you how great it is to have a project to think about. I want to make at least a couple more items for my NYC trip and other USF events, so it's good that I have 6 1/2 months for this. Hoping I can get it all done except for hems by the time I get back to Cedar. Then Jack can help me :).

Also, I got hired by David's Bridal as a part time sales associate! I start training next week, so I better get some work done this week! I'm excited to have something to do and to be making money and to be in the bridal business as I hope one day to have a custom LDS standards boutique. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Project: Opening Night Dress 2013

This was a sneak peak I put up on Facebook. It's the makings of my opening night dress for the 2013 season at USF (no matter what my contract MUST run through opening). You can also include more champagne beading in the supplies list. The collar will be optional, and there is 12 yds of the teal....(yes, it is teal, not blue). This is all I'm going to show for now, but there it is. I've got seven months and in case you were wondering it's going to be 100% LDS approved bc by then it'll have to be :D. All the modest!!! Excited?! I am!

Friday, December 7, 2012

favorite picture: rainy day in Seoul

My last full day in Seoul we went to the holiday palace and it was raining and freezing, BUT the colors of the autumn leaves were spectacular. This is one little leaf that came along for the ride. I loff him.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

vlog: Birthday!

I made you a birfday video. It's not a song or a poem, just me talking. What more could you ask for?
***When I say "What happened when I was 24" I mean "24th year".
P.S. I also went to my first Husker game this year. 

Monday, December 3, 2012


I saw Riverdance when I was 14 and sure, the step dancers were amazing, but the flamenco dancer mid show was sex on stage. She was phenomenal. She wore red and she moved oh so slowly.

My first show I designed was Blood Wedding by Fredrico Garcia Lorca. Our directors, one a choreographer, had wanted to produce this piece for years and focused on Spanish flamenco movements to inform the play. I watched a lot of flamenco for research, Antonio Gades specifically. This man, woof. I don't go for skinny boys, but woof. I watched his Blood Wedding and Carmen, both flamenco "ballets" with the story as rehearsal and performance.  El Amor Brujo is more of a traditional production in that there is no rehearsal as performance.

Gades' partner in these three, and in many of his YouTube videos, is Cristina Hoyos. This woman, while not classically beautiful, is the sex. She performed at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic opening ceremonies. These two together are ridiculous.

Things that are great about flamenco:
-The hands: SO deliberate and fluid
-The feet: I don't know how they make all the noise they do with what looks likes so little movement
-The faces: SO intense!
-The music: Spanish flamenco singing is haunting and raw
-The clapping: major part of flamenco, so great
-The pants: so high waisted 
-The dresses: I've said it before and I'll say it again, female dancers, and performers, get extra points for working their costumes. It's a big job.
-The men: so so skinny
-the women: so so curvy

Case in point about the pants and the dresses. She WORKS that dress:

And then there's Carmen Amaya. THE dancer of her generation. This clip has her in pants and a dress. Skip to 7:35 if you must. She might be in pants, but she works that hair.