Sunday, 28 December 2008

One year of blogging.

I can't believe I've been blogging for exactly one year now, what on earth have I been rambling on about all this time! I guess this entry is just to say thanks to all my readers and that I probably wouldn't blog if I didn't think anybody was reading! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Double Twilight Review - Book & Film.

Introduction
Welcome to my double review on the Twilight book and film. I'll warn you now that it's going to be pretty long with lots of spoilers. Also, it's taken me days to get this finished, I think I had typed about two pages of my blog before thinking that it was better to split it all into sections and edit down!

The Main Characters
Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. I thought the chemistry between both actors was perfect and I truly couldn't think of other people playing their roles. However, there are moments in the film where they both seem genuinely embarrassed about something. I didn't think this was part of the acting at all but I liked it because from reading the book, there is a bit of awkwardness between the two characters at first. I instantly took a shine to Kristen Stewart (who plays Bella) because I thought she was a brilliant when she played Jodie Foster's diabetic daughter in 'Panic Room' in 2002.I have often read in other reviews that Kristen Stewart's portrayal of Bella in the film was 'dead and dull', but I really disagree because I felt that her personality wasn't supposed to be upbeat or happy-happy. Her voice was quite monotone, but it completely suited the character. I also thought she looked like the Bella I had in my head, she wasn't the conventional beauty, but I found her quite striking.Robert Pattinson played Edward Cullen, the 'vegetarian' vampire who falls in love with Bella. He can hear the thoughts of everyone around him, apart from Bella's. I see this as the foundation that makes Edward curious and the reasons why he asks her so many questions about her life (mainly in the book), so he can at least predict what she is thinking, rather then trying to hear them! - If you are interested in Edward's version, check out Midnight Sun, the fifth installment which is 'Twilight' told again but from Edward Cullen's point of view. You can read the first (very rough) 12 chapters on Stephenie Meyer's website and reasons for why it's available to read.

Vampire Characteristics
I was glad that Stephenie Meyer did not fall under the typical cliches of vampire characteristics. There was no sign of any garlic, or Cross allergy, or death by sunlight... this was all explained in the book. It was also mentioned and mocked at by Edward Cullen in the film, which does remind the viewer that they are watching a modern vampire film. However, another part of my mind then wonders if avoiding the cliche, is a cliche in itself? Anyway, I wanted to mention that instead of exploding or melting in sunlight, the Twilight vampires simply, sparkle. I loved reading Stephenie Meyer's description of this, so I was a bit disappointed when it looked like they sprinkled glitter on Robert Pattinson's face and shone light at it from all angles. I suppose this is something I can forget, because it was a low budget film... but I was expecting something so much more amazing. This part of the film is also part of the meadow scene, which is such a crucial part of the story as it truly shows the blossoming of the relationship...there were several pages of this in the book but it was cut very short in the film and with extended, unneccessary cinematography.

Edward Cullen's ability to read minds comes from his human ability of empathy. I loved how Stephenie Meyer continued a certain flair from each character, which makes each one very individual, whether it is an advanced ability, or an emphasis in personality. As a human, Alice was put in an asylum for having premonitions, which is the reason why she is able to see the future as a vampire, Carlisle is compassionate, Esme is motherly, Rosalie is outrageously beautiful, Emmett is the strongest vampire in the family and Jasper has the ability to manipulate emotions.

Missing Scenes
There was quite a lot of scenes from the book that I really wanted to see on screen... and would have also given the film more depth and substance. For example, the film did not include the blood typing lesson, which Bella attends alone after having a very informative lunch with Edward (another missing scene). She passes out after seeing Mike's pricked finger to which he then takes her to the Nurse. Bella stops to rest on an outside bench and Edward appears. There is some chit chat between him and Mike, and he promptly picks her up and carries her to the Nurse. I felt this was a part of the book that would further emphasize Bella's fragility, Edward's protectiveness and Mike's fascination with Bella. In the book, it is clear that Mike is extremely fascinated with Bella, but I didn't really get the same feeling watching the film.

Another part that I would have liked to see is when they are in the dark classroom, having to sit through an hour watching a video and there is clearly a lot of sexual tension arising. I think that would have been as funny as the part when Edward first smells Bella which was a very humorous scene!

Added Scene
Just a small thing I noticed in the film that I don't remember in the book - Edward is talking to Bella in the canteen, an apple rolls off the counter, Edward kicks it up with his foot and holds it in the palm of both hands - thus making reference to the book cover. I quite liked that!

The Ending
By the time the film reaches the end, there is finally some vampire action, and the film suddenly felt 'darker', because admittedly, I giggled the whole way through. For the 12A movie rating, I could understand why they couldn't necessarily show the vampires ripping James apart and burning his remains but then I think back to programs such as Angel, where fight scenes are great and convincing without being too gruesome for a younger audience. I also think James (played by Cam Gigandet) got defeated a bit too easily in the film. Because the book is narrated by Bella, we don't really know what happened in detail, so this scene didn't have many limits. Laurent describes James as being “absolutely lethal…with a brilliant mind and unparalleled senses...", so I expected the fight to last a lot longer. He doesn't seem to have a brilliant mind being beaten after 2 minutes but he does get what he wants - to bite Bella. Which leads me on to when Edward has to suck the venom out of her to stop her from becoming a vampire, but to also stop himself from biting her afterwards! The audience was in hysterics.However, despite James being defeated so quickly, I really liked the whole set up of the ballet studio. I also loved the prom scene when they are dancing alone, it was when I really started to take the film a bit more seriously as you can almost see that they are really in love! I wasn't impressed with what Bella was wearing though (an unflattering, un-waisted, royal blue tiered dress), but her vintage-looking cardigan made up for it.Final Note
I think everyone needs to remember (especially myself!) that the film was low budget with no expectations, no CGI, and no amazing stylists or hair and make up teams! So I think they did a pretty good job! The first vampire book-translated-on-screen that I think of is 'Interview with a Vampire'. I never read the book but it was a big budget film with established actors, so I have high hopes for the Twilight sequel, 'New Moon', to be really, really, good and to hopefully feature more of the Cullen family and the stories behind each one.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

The Third Weekend Later.

On the 22nd and the 23rd weekend of November, I had completed a dress to sell in my Etsy Shop. I then promised myself to try and complete something each weekend, which you can read about here. I then went on to skip the following weekend as I was away from home, I have no idea what happened the weekend after that, but luckily, I got back on track, and finished this ivory crushed velvet and tulle top!It started off being entirely experimental. I had recently bought some polka dot tulle and wanted to incorporate it with my ivory crushed velvet fabric.I knew I wanted something quite girly and flirty... so while I was redoing my pattern pieces, I decided to scoop out a substantial amount of the back and to have it in tulle! I think I might try making it in black this weekend. I will also be listing it in my Etsy Shop some time soon.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

2009.

I've recently noticed that I have become a little over-prepared for 2009! I got a new calendar which you can read about here, but now I also have a pocket sized planner! Everything I write on my calendar, I'll write in here, and vice versa. Talk about organisation!If you've been following my blog, you will quickly realise how much I love art... and I wanted my planner to have some art! I came across this Gustav Klimt 2009 planner and knew it was The One. I don't remember studying about this artist at college but the name, and art style is so familiar, so maybe I did? Maybe I wasn't so interested in it at the time? I am now! I bought it straight away (on eBay), not even knowing how much art would be inside, but when I got it, I was very happy! There is a piece of artwork every three weeks or so and I couldn't help but check some of them out straight away! Here's a peek!This one is called 'Judith and Holofernes', I actually find it very modern for something painted in 1901 as it looks almost like a high-fashion shot! Gustav Klimt uses women to dominate a lot of his paintings which I noticed right away in this one, I hardly even saw the male head in the corner! This painting is based on The Old Testament heroine, Judith, who saves the city of Bethulia from the Assyrians and holds the head of Holofernes. I have never heard of this story before, but I love it! Next up is 'Beethoven Frieze -Yearning for Happiness'. This is one portion out of three which decorated three walls for an exhibition in celebration of the composer....and just one more (although there are so many more beautiful paintings in my planner!), 'Hope II'. It was painted in 1907/08 and is an example of his use of gold leaf. I would really love to see the real thing. I love how so many images are moulded into one such as those three female faces at the bottom, blended right into the cloak.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Book Review - Twilight.

Firstly, this isn't really a review (sorry), because I'm going to watch the film when it is released on Friday and thought it would be more exciting to make a side by side comparison, while it is all fresh in my head... but wow. Honestly, this book was amazing. I read almost 500 pages in about 10 hours, within 3 days, I just couldn't keep away from it and I even ended up dreaming about it each night! The last time I was this hooked on a book was a long time ago, when I read The Historian... and funnily enough, they both have a connection, they're both about vampires.

I actually first read about Twilight (the film) in a newspaper way back in August, the advertisement caught my eye and I knew it would be something dark and wonderful! I then skimmed through the paragraph and as soon as I saw the word 'vampire', I was very very interested. They also mentioned the book, so I thought I would read the book first as it was still quite a while until the film was released. I bought the book, and even blogged about it here... but then I forgot about it. A while later, I saw the film trailer, and it provoked me to finally start reading my book... and when I started, I was annoyed I'd left it for so long! Here is the film trailer being shown in the UK!



Having seen the trailer, I had an idea of what the characters looked like, so as I read the book, I could easily put faces to them... although some I am not so keen on. However, I will leave all of that for my film review, where I will not be holding back at all! Also, I remember my little sister going on about a band called Paramore being absolutely amazing a few months back but I never really paid attention... until I heard their song 'Decode' which is on the official soundtrack for Twilight. It is so damn good! I love their video too, which shows other scenes from the film... although at this rate, I think I am spoiling the film for myself but I really can't wait!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

TheGoldBug.

TheGoldBug is a fellow Etsy seller whom I have recently purchased a necklace from. I came across her shop through my new little obsession called Pounce. Pounce is a clever little 'machine' on Etsy, where each time you 'pounce', an item that has just sold is shown. I love using this to find Etsy shops that I haven't had the chance to come across yet... it is very addictive and you are prone to impulse buying!Back to my necklace! TheGoldBug creates the most beautiful pieces and when I spotted her discount offer (a Thanksgiving sale), and found something I wanted, I had no choice but to get it! I got her 'Sparrow Jewels' necklace which is just so pretty and I love how it embellishes my collar bones.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Goodbye Gazette du Bon Ton, Hello Erté, again.

In 2007, I had a beautiful Erté calendar, then I bought a Gazette Du Bon Ton one for 2008 (in May, which is too late!) and you can read about my transition here.
If you clicked on that link (and read my entry), you will know that the December artwork was my favourite, and of course, here we are in December with an illustration by George Barbier in 1924. I always get this style of wall calendars (artwork on the top, dates on the bottom) because it gives me room to write things and the artwork is big, clear and beautiful! ... but, there is a huge, massive, colossal, gigantic, enormous, calendar design fault. The hole that is used to hang off a nail, is going right through the artwork, it drives me bonkers. (...I've also just realised while typing this that it seems like my December girl is embracing the fault!)

If I wasn't in the creative field, I probably wouldn't even notice it, but don't you hate noticing things you wish you didn't?! I will still keep the artwork regardless, though. (Which is what I usually do with all my old calendars.)
So, it's coming up to 2009 and there's no way I'm getting it almost half way through the year again so I have bought myself another Erté one!

It's in the exact same wall calendar style but this time with different artwork. I don't think I would've bought it if it was the same and would've gone for the much desired Gil Evren Pin-Ups one instead, which is what I've wanted for the past three years but I am obsessively loyal to all things 1920s... and one last thing, I can't wait to reach the October one!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

7 facts - Part II.

A teeny tiny littlebird has asked me to reveal 7 random facts about myself! Although I love reading these about other fellow bloggers, I always feel mine are so boring in comparison (this one was my last, and first one) so to make it easier for myself this time, I thought I'd go by the things I loved.

1) I love jacket potato with cheese and beans, although I probably have it way too often.
2) I love singing, but unfortunately can't sing to save my life.
3) I love (almost obsessed) with anything to do with Vampires.
4) I love After-Eight Mint Chocolates and Terry's Chocolate Orange. I am still so impressed at the orange segment idea of the latter!
5) I love 80's music... which is what I also said in my first '7 random facts', gosh, I must really love it!
6) I love all shades of blue.
7) I love Ancient Greek Mythology.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

New ACEOs.

You only need to visit this link to see how crazy I am about collecting ACEOs. I've been interested in them for a while now, and my collection is getting bigger and bigger. They're simply pieces or art where the only rule is that they measure 2.5" x 3.5". I love the pocket size concept of it, which I assume has sprouted from my childhood love of competitively collecting Marvel and other Superhero cards with my older brother. I guess you can say that collecting ACEOs is the 'grown-up' version of this?Anyway, I recently received my latest purchase of ACEOs which I was incredibly excited about! I bought these lovelies from fellow Etsy seller The Brilliant Magpie who is actually someone I have already blogged about all the way back in January, you can read all about it here. She created the most beautiful original ACEOs, but unfortunately out of my spending range... so when I read that she was to start offering Limited Edition print versions of them on her blog, I jumped straight in!
I specifically love her art because a lot of it is 1920's inspired (my favourite decade) and I feel like each piece tells a story, it's very dramatic, and I love it! I adore my new ACEOs and will definitely be getting many many more! I must also make a point of her 'What's behind the Mask' illustration which you can see below on the right. It was this image in her avatar that I saw floating around on the Etsy forums that made me curious as the character and I just had to click into her shop.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

We Make London.

'We Make London' showcases the talents of independent UK designers and there will be an event in London on Saturday 6th December 2008 where you are able to personally meet the designers and purchase from them.It is being held in a great location, pretty much in the heart of London, at The American Church - 79a Tottenham Court Road. Nearest station is Goodge Street... and the event starts from 11am-5pm.
I'm really hoping I can go to it and get some Christmas presents sorted! To see previews of the designers, you can visit the We Make London Blog. I would also like to introduce fellow Etsy seller Ei!kumpel, who is also a Fashion, Design and Lifestyle Team-mate and will be participating at the event! She creates the most delicious felt items, my most favourite must be her pretend food!I wish her all the luck at the event and possibly even bring her a hot cup of tea... I can't describe how cold it has been in London!