London old store, Disney & movies hidden treasures

Hi everyone! Today I found in a pile of old drawings and cinema memorabilias one of my favorite things ever! It is very simple, but it is so precious to me. When I was a kid, and when I went with my dad in London, we would always go and take a look in a wonderful art gallery, which sadly no longer exists. It was called Catto and it displeyed always the most wonderful things, all related to cinema and movies. Especially Disney! They would sell original prints, framed art, gorgeous screencaps, pictures and autographed stuff. Once, they even had a maquette event, where they would sell AMAZING “Nightmare before Christmas” maquettes AND Tim Burton in person did attend and autographed the little busts and statues. Unfortunately, it happened the exact day of our return at home with the plane… 🙁

And I always collected everything I could take home with me, little leaflets, cards, free pictures, etcetera. And one of my most beloved treats that I took home was this lovely, thick cardboard little pamphlet from Disney’s “Beauty and the beast“. In a short time they would have a display of the movie new edition maquettes and I remember it looked like the most amazing thing ever. I couldn’t attend to this event either, ugh!, but just having this leaflet was sooo good!! It felt like taking a piece of something rare and beautiful with me!

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I wouldn’t mind having these two beauties at home, now! I LLLLLOVE maquettes!!!! And these two look absolutely wonderful! As you can see, the exact same colours from the movie were used to paint these ones!

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Let’s dream about this adorable maquettes! Now that we are all waiting for the 2017 movie to arrive in theaters, it seems to me that everything concerning “Beauty and the beast” is more great than ever?? Don’t you too? 😉

A Jane Austen simply sensational cineforum – part 2 – AUSTENLAND

Hi everyone! Continuing with the Jane Austen cineforum, guys, and today I have to say it will be … oh, yeah! AUSTENLAND!!!!!!!!!! I mean, have you ever seen this movie?? I once read a list featuring The top movies list to see when you’re stoned. First place, Pippi Longstockings (no arguing with that AT. ALL!!!), but I believe that THIS ONE totally deseraustenland-2ved a place too!!! (I don’t do drugs, embrace it, so I will switch to… Top movies list to see when you’ve eaten a 14 courses meal, preferably in the evening, ok??) That being said… uhm, I WILL do a post about that! Austenland. AUSTENLAND!!!

Inspired by the book by Shannon Hale, this 2013 movie deserves a place of its own! On the dvd shelf, in the cinema history, in your mind, in your dreams, you name it! It has a cast of interesting names, beginning with JJ Feild (who was chosen because of his GRRRREAT performance in the movie I’ve just written about, Northanger Abbey), Keri Russell, Jane Seymour (the hostess and owner of Austenland), James Callis (Gaius Baltar in Battlestar Galactica) and… ooohhh, Stifler’s mum!! Jennifer Coolidge!!! (aka Sophie Kaczynski in 2 Broke Girls!) I must buy the book because after seeing the movie I NEED to read the real thing. Basically, the story is about this nowadays girl Jane, who is completely, hopelessly obsessed with Jane Austen and decides to spend all her savings on a vacation at … Austenland! A theme park, a mansion, a palace surrounded by meadows and romantic spots, all in Regency style! Everyone dresses appropriately and talks and behaves in the fashion of Jane Austen’s times and novels. A dream come true? Definitely not! Because… Well, now it gets tricky. Because the idea was great, but then I lost myself and it all becomes so strange, weird, funny and… if you’re expecting a romantic comedy or even a historical movie.. no no, you have to watch this with tons of friends and tons of pizza! I will try to write it down! Are you familiar with those lists that people do such as “My 100 thoughts during Spiderman 4”, well, here it comes! 🙂 Takes dvd out, watches the cover, (oh God, oh God) opens it and… play!

  1. Well, I like the red screen with the nice golden opening credits and the classical music
  2. Jane Seymour is holding a stuffed lamb! (note: there will be stuffed animals ALL OVER Austenland!! Why?? To convey a sense of countryland? Of nature? Why not real animals? How much is a real living lamb? Or is it ironic?? I must read the book. Will I find my answers there?)article-2385961-1B2FDAD6000005DC-924_634x298
  3. Flashback of Keri Russell at highschool. Why? Couldn’t they put a highschool girl? Mgh…
  4. She and her friend look at each other awkwardly. What’s going on?
  5. Flashback finished. Nowadays. Ok, that was helpful. …Cut!
  6. She and her boyfriend are watching BBC’ Pride and Prejudice and he punches mister  Darcy’s cardboard that she keeps in the living room. 🙂 I like that!
  7. I like how her best friend is telling her that going to Austenland is crazy. Thank you, dear friend. SHUT UP!000
  8. If a 30 year old girl is really having all that crazy Austen stuuf in her house… no, I can’t believe it, and that’s coming from a cinema memorabilia lover too. That’s simply too much, come on!
  9. Of course her friend gives her a goodbye gift: a dress that should be Jane Austen-y, while it seems a carnival red costume, all wrong and … I don’t know. Is it ironic? If not: “Thank you, dear friend, you really made an effort. …” I must read the book.
  10. Some film shots of London. Ehm… I…I don… I… Really?? A woman with a fuchsia hat in a red telephone booth?? In 2013?? Come on!
  11. Jennifer Coolidge yay!!!!!!
  12. Jane is wearing THE carnival costume WITH … SNEAKERS. Why???
  13. Oh yeah, they have to wait for the guy who’s picking them up at the airport and be dressed in Regency style. So why the sneakers??? I must read the book.
  14. The guy who picks them up… using a…carriage? Nope. A car. A vintage car. Why? WHY?? I am missing something. Are they being deliberately non accurate? Why? Why????? WHAT???
  15. She apologizes with the driver guy because she is dressed with a costume. Isn’t that the whole point of the vacation? If she loves it so much why is she apologizing? It’s the guy’s job to see hundreds of people dressed like that? Why the apology? What, jane, what?? What is your problem??austenland
  16. They arrive at the first house before getting to the grand mansion. And here you have the first clue that the driver thinks this whole thing is idiotic. And he kinda begins to get flirty with Jane, in the way: “This is all stupid, but I get along to keep the job. Let’s hate it together, shall we?” And she… she LOVE THIS. WHY?????????????? You already hate it here too, Jane? Why????
  17. Jane Seymour, aka mrs Wattlesbrook, shows an unexplicable hatred towards Jane. At first sight. Why??? And she treats her from the very beginning as rubbish because, get this: the Park offers different kinds of experiences, the gold, silver, copper vacations. That being, the more you spend, the better we’ll treat you. Even as a person. So, because Jane bought the “cheap” packet, they intend to treat her as a poor, humble, silly girl. What? Why? I would take my luggage and leave. At once. No. She will endure that. THE HELL WHY?? What’s your game, Austenland??? I must read the book.127784_037
  18. The driver’s flirting. I hate that.
  19. Mrs Wattlesbrook explains the rules. No nowadays/modern objects are to be used. And every guest will be guaranteed a love story with a Jane Austen’s type guy. … er. … that… sounds… normal. Ehm. What do you mean by “love story”? … Uhm… ergh… Moving on.
  20. The dress up scene where they get prepared. How cute! Finally some dress… aaaaaaand she hides a phone in her cleavage. Right. Perfect. WHY??????????? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT??? If I went on a historical themed vacation I wouldn’t…for the world….aaaaarrrgghghh!!!!!!!!!! I hope they’ll bust her in a minute, GOD!!!!
  21. Thank you very much for the upbeat music. That… just… yes. Great. *Tunz tunz tunz tunz!!!!*
  22. They get a carriage to go at Pembroke Park, and another carriage is going away. Sitting in it is a girl in Les Miserables style, looking like a greek tragedy, kinda like she’s been kicked out of the house, after being punched in the face. Is… this… a horror movie??1376581944000-AUSTENLAND-52979199
  23. Jennifer Coolidge aka Stifler’s mum aka miss Charming takes a look at the servants’… ehm… well… at their… erm… WHAT KIND OF A MOVIE IS THIS ANYWAY???
  24. And mrs Wattlesbrook goes “Tut tut tut!” like “No no no, not yet!” ….WHAAAAAAAAA????
  25. The butlers and the maids are all lined up in front of the house. They are… like… 30. Aaaaanddd… as the two women get inside, we are revealed how many guests there are at the famous Austenland Park!!!
  26. 3
  27. Like 3
  28. As in. Three guests. Jane, miss Charming and another girl. three. 3 girls. And 30 butlers. Oooookkkk. Who’s paying the all thing? I don’t know, frankly. Beats me.Austenland-2-DI
  29. They take them to their rooms and, since miss Charming is Paying and I mean PAYING a lot, guess what: SHE HAS A FLAT SCREEN IN HER SUITE ROYALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A FLAT SCREEN AS BIG AS A HORSE!!!!! WHAT. THE. HELL!!!!!!!ztPhROQLNZ4gbNBqUduOweld0IW
  30. Oh, yeah, right. Jane will sleep in the gutter. I mean, she payed just, what? 300.000 dollars? Copper treatment, copper treatment, boooooooooo!!!!!!!!
  31. Now let’s meet the actors who will entertain the girls during the vacation! The husband of mrs Wattlesbrook. Useless drunken man. Colonel Andrews, lady Amelia (the other guest) and the Darcy like type, a mister Nobley, who seems in the part. The others are just… I don’t …know…
  32. Oh look. All the girls are wearing shiny make up. So Regency. Is it ironic? I’m getting tired…
  33. Mister Nobley getting molested by the loud miss Charming Stifler’s mum is good! 🙂 He is great! That is believable! Why the movie isn’t all like this??
  34. So the wonderful Austenland experience is about seven people in a mansion as big as… I don’t know, Switzerland? I thought there would have been lots and lots and lots of guests and people dressed in lovely clothes and… no. They all fit on two sofas. Grrrreat.Austenland-Movie-1024x576
  35. But, hey, it seems there’s some nice chemistry between Jane and mister Nobley, uuhhhhh…wwwait, no, the driver again. Yes, Jane goes for a walk and meets the driver/gardener: flirt flirt flirt. Jane expresses her first doubts about Austenland. That seems… legit. After all, it’s her first day!!!!!!!!!!! “Yes, I am already done with all this!” …….
  36. Okay this is a must. “We are going a’-hunting!!!” Yes, the hunt scene. And: the servants put DEAD PHEASANTS on wood branches sticking out of the earth. They have pheasants with branches up their … Oh wait no. Thos are not branches. Those are those things you use to throw things in the air after screaming “PULL!!!” and then you shoot. So basically they are shooting dead stuffed animals flying across the sky. With guns. The three ladies are shooting. Very Regency.
  37. Oh, yes, Amelia, the third guest, is wearing a black top hat.
  38. And the gardener is wearing a pirate hat. … A pirate hat. A PIRATE HAT. YOU READ THAT?????? PIRATE. HATTT!!!!!!!
  39. Uuuuuh, she gets caught in the rain and mister Nobley arrives on a white horse to rescue her!! This is sooo rom… No. Yeah. Great. Britney Spears music. No, I know it’s not B. Spears, but the feeling is the same. So Regency.
  40. Jane wandering in the evening around Austenland reminds me of a Dirty dancing’s Baby, when she walks alone looking around. But more depressing. … Shouldn’t she want to be where the action is?? With her six friends?? At home? No. Wander around, Jane, no one to find anywhere, anyway, just so you know…
  41. And just like Baby, she finds the hut (yes, the HUT), where the flirty gardener lives. And he is singing AND playing the saxophone. Ok… Stress release, I get that. … … And when he invites her into the hut, we see how this is working as a true home: like, he has hay bales, those singing salmons hanging on the wall, a lantern, postcards, cds, yeah… I’ll live there for months. … …God.
  42. Oh, look, he gets into a fake crybaby act about: “It’s all so FAKE in here, I can barely stand it…” And she is all: “Yes, I hear you, they all seem crazy to me. It’s nice to take a break from them!” LIKE. ARE YOU KIDDIN’ ME???
  43. A noise! What’s that? A female horse nearby is giving birth! … (really? NOW?) And the guy becomes the hero helping her! So romantic. I… I think I’ll skip to Pippi Longstockings…
  44. Normal Austen moment: the three girls read together some novels in the living room. Great! No. No. Nooo, she GETS TIRED and goes outside looking for THE GARDENER. STOOOP!!! ENOUGH!!!!!!!!
  45. I said enough? Well! My friends, now there is a true TOP MOMENT because a new actor arrives!!! Mrs Wattlesbrook calls a new actor to entertain the girls and a handsome, sexy hot pirate guy enters!!! Now this guy is gonna spend all the time bare chested, dressed in gold trousers, with no shirt and golden earrings, tellin’ tales from the sea. I… don’t… get it. Ironic? But why? Why should mrs W be calling for this sexy man who is the least Regency guy in da world??? When Austenland has all these stricht rules about being in-character????fhd013AUS_Ricky_Whittle_004@005449
  46. The pirate guy kisses Jane and the gardener gets angry. Mister Nobley gets offended. Jane is just enjoying all the craziness.
  47. Top scene: we discover that the poor actors in Austenland park need a … weird, modern place to relax and just recharge. So they spend their free time among barbecues, a big blue pool, pink plastic flamingoes, tons of little televisions, drinking cocktails and playing videogames. …Wearing white wigs, sunbathing in sunglasses and Regency shirts and… all but mister Nobley, who stays in character all time and never gets undressed in public. But. It seems like all the other actors… they all HATE pretending being regency Jane Austen actors. WHY???? Why did you take that job then? I must read the book.
  48. In the living room they all beg Jane to play the piano. I like that, very Regency, perfect 🙂 Aren’t you happy, Jane? That’s the kinda experience you wa… No. She sits down and starts singing: “I’m gonna take my clothes off!” … Ok. Stop. Stop right there. WHY?? Why does she wants to ruin everything for everyone? Do you hate mrs Wattlesbrook? Then, react in a Jane Austen way, HUH??? You hate Austenland?? LEAVE!!! You… I… I must read the book.
  49. Mister Nobley acts all kind and gentle. Surprise! She hates it! …Ok. Jane. JANE!!! You were kissing a CARDBOARD of Colin Firth, now you have mister Darcy RIGHT HERE, although equally fictional, and … well, that’s what you wanted, right?? SO: what is your problem????????
  50. I love mister Nobley.
  51. Jane has a super idea! She will take control of her own character and no longer be treated as a poor humble girl, but she will try to be funny and flirty and the queen of the prom! That would be a great idea, Jane! Although… all she does is: steal some clothes of the third girl and – during a slow motion scene (…) – kisses every possible man on the cheek, touches every possible man’s shoulder in a seducing way (….!!!!!!!!) and other delighting things that a proper girl during those times WOULD HAVE NEVER DONE!!!!!!!! Jane: you claim that you read Pride and Prejudice a thousand times by the time you were.. five? And that’s how much you know that world??? And those girls??? AAAAAuuughhg!!!
  52. Croquet game: the captain plays bare chested wearing just a striped vest. DEAR GOD!
  53. The girls decorate bonnets and hats! Cute 🙂 …With hot glue guns. RAUUURRGGHHGG!!!!
  54. Stuffed peacock on a column in the garden
  55. Mrs Wattlesbrook writes a comedy script so that the guests can perform on stage a little romantic play. And the audience? The servants on garden chairs. And get that: they even “boo!” and “Go home!” the girls!!! …
  56. The way Jane talks about this suspension of reality in Austenland, WITH the actors, and how she laughs at it, opposed to how she persist on breaking the rules AND yet she tries in some moments to follow the rules. I don’t know. I don’t understand it. What… why, Jane? What’s in that mind of yours, Jane? I cannot fathom it… I just can’t.
  57. The great ball scene. AAaaand: hundreds of people. WHAAAA???? HOW? WHERE? WHY?? The gardener explains it all. Mrs Wattlesbrook has called everyone she knows, neighbors, maidens, butlers, gardeners, the TAXIDERMIST!!!!! But… how… wh… I mean… why don’t they act as normal Jane Austen people ALL THE TIME!!! So that this house and the whole experience can look REALISTIC AND PLAUSIBLE??????
  58. And NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, spoilert alert. I cannot ruin the finale, I can’t. Please, please watch the movie!!!!austenland00023

…. …. This is Austenland. I haven’t yet figured it out. I know, you will say: “Well, read the book and understand it!” Yes. I know, I get that. But as for the movie. To me, it is so incomprehensible and weird and crazy that… I LOVE IT!!! It has become one of my most treasured films and I cannot tell how many glorious nights I’ve spent with all my friends laughing and enjoying it in the most complete way!!!!!! SO! My conclusion is: kudos to the director, to the actors, to the writer for this little gem!!! I am so happy to put this movie in my Jane Austen dvds session and I will treasure it forever and WATCH IT, GUYS, definitely watch it and appreciate it!!! You will not regret it! Super funny, super performances, great actors and totally hilarious!!!! A real good time, feel good movie!!! Please consider my list as a silly way to introduce you an EXTRA FUNNY film!!! And now, first AMAZON.COM to get the book, and then…

Miss Charming: “l am Aphrodite, the goddess. Often fickle in my large arse!”

Mrs wattlesbrook: “Largesse!”

Miss Charming: “… Largesse!!!”

Yes. That’s correct. GO WATCH THIS MOVIE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 😀 😀misscharming

A Jane Austen simply sensational cineforum – part 1 – NORTHANGER ABBEY

Hi everyone! This week I’ve been in a very Jane Austen mood! Well, I always feel like it, but these days… more than usual! Now and then I like to read again her novels and here lies the 1698zproblem. When I feel like reading Jane Austen, weel, I must admit that I possess a big, huge collection of all the novels and it is quite difficult to read it easily, such as… in bed at night… So a few weeks ago I started – as I always, sistematically do – to look in bookstores for adorable, vintage looking, real looking, authentic, regency style editions of the books, but separated, one version of Pride & Prejudice, one of Emma, etcetera.. But, sad to say, they do not really make vintage-like editions of Jane Austen anymore, do they? I can’t have a Sense and Sensibility book with the picture of two girls smoking and chewing gum and apparently sisters, on the cover. I can’t. I would rather keep my old old complete collection. So today I had an idea. I had a bunch of old fashioned beautiful papers from Bassano’s Stamperia Tassotti, an historical paper shop in Italy that creates wonderful decorative stationery items. So, I decided to wrap the book! And it turned out, verrry gorgeous! I used a lemon themed paper, so cute and poetical, I really love it… I still will be looking, all my life I suppose, for beautiful Jane Austen novels’ editions, but now I love my old collection even 4eba5638f09153171b2445d0762e6d3685b3777f0905295909fc761964651d2a339dfcb51512b3490cee2c6ee0fbcd3dmore! Just for the fun of it, take a look at these beauties… Touching these books, buying them, having them as quiet companions in your beloved, shiny bookshelves… Oh, I do love these books, I wish I could be under a tree in the spring afternoon, reading… Just reading… Oh, look, it has started to rain and a mysterious man on a white horse is approaching! … 😀Northanger_Abbey

Yes, well, that’s exactly what I am going to talk about today! Because yesterday, for the first time, I watched
“Northanger Abbey”
, the movie, with Felicity Jones and JJ Feild. Oh-my-GOD! Wonderful movie!! I didn’t even know about it, I stumbled upon it, you could say. The plot is very simple: miss Catherine Morland, a dreamy girl who has a deep passion for gothic novels and mysteries, is invited by her family’s neighbors, the Allen, to take a vacation time in Bath. Here she is naively splitting her days with two groups of new friends, the Thorpe and the Tilney. Who are both brother and sister, Isabella Thorpe and John Thorpe, versus Eleanor Tilney and Henry Tilney. When Catherine is also invited by the Tilney family to stay for a short time at their home, Northanger Abbey, the lively immagination of the girl will see everywhere all sorts of ghosts stories, murders and suspects, even when there are none. None at all. In the end, who will be the good match for Catherine and who will be the nice sister she 07northanger0033can trust and keep as a good friend? … Ihih, read the book! 🙂 Or watch the movie!

As I said, I loved every part of it and I fell in love with Felicity Jones: a perfect, delightful portrait of the silly, amiable Catherine. Felicity brings a sense of purity and light to the movie, with her fair, porcelain skin, her big, wide eyes that cannot really fathom what surrounds her and a heart that sees good in everyone but also aches to find excitement and mystery in a life which otherwise lacks in all those things.PDVD_239

Then, I believe that Carey Mulligan was BORN to act in period dramas. Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, The Great Gatsby,
Far from the madding crowd… She has that kind of face, of eyes, of essence, simply perfect for this kind of movies. (By the way, I believe also that within this category fall: Matthew Macfadyen, Robert Pattinson, Emma Thompson, Stephen Mangan, Keira Knightley, Ben Barnes, James MacAvoy, Martin Freeman, Lena nie-ohne-schutenhut-und-nochHeadey… and mannnny others! Please, do period movies, preferably love period movies, please, pleeeease!!! 🙂 ) Yes, Carey Mulligan is a wonderful miss Thorpe, so sassy, so seductive, so girlish, and so well opposing to the pure and naive Catherine, who in the beginning totally believes in the good nature of her new friend. Even in the book the two families will be referred to as the good ones and the bad ones, very appropriate of a child-like girl who just entered society and must choose between good and bad…northangera

And JJ Feild. Oh. OH! What’s to say about this great actor? I must say in the beginning I really began to think he was the bad one: so sassy, so smug, so at ease with himself… But no, he was the hero! Amazing actor, amazing book, amazing film. Mister Tilney, you and your muslin!

I loved how Catherine Morland’s fantasies are presented in a more raw, dark tone, in colour actually, I mean. The director really want to show us how Catherine’s dreams are only and purely made of gothic fantasies. So every time she makes a new aquaintance, she later re-imagines it as a short goth romantic fantasy, daydreaming… I love that!

a9f9db00-6716-0133-9003-0e17bac22e39While reading the book I was struck by how much I felt like Catherine was constantly in dangerous situations. In Bath, left to the care of idiotic mrs Allen, who couldn’t care less, Catherine is always put in uneasy and weird moments by the Thorpe brothers. She reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, like she cannot really take control of her life and is dragged around by evil minds and events. In the movie I didn0t feel all of this very strongly, but in the book it was very vivid to me. I believe it was all intentionally created by Jane Austen. I mean, the girl Northanger-Abbeyin distress of the gothic novels is truly Catherine, though she is just on vacation in Bath, she really is put in danger by those who she considers friends but really aren’t.

I must say it was a very NICE film ( 😉 ) in my opinion and it was the perfect opening for a great Jane Austen’s movies festival!!! See you soon for the second part of our Austen journey!!! And…

Mister Tilney (dancing with Catherine): ” Now I must give you one smirk, then we can be rational again!”

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Les gobelines du “Labyrinth”

Hi everyone! Today I will be telling you about a new little project I wanna start 🙂 If you’ve read abouLabyrinth (1986) Originalt my clayfigurines inspired by “The wind in the willows”, you’ll know where this is heading… yes, new clay figurines – sculpting, uuuh !!!!!!! But this time inspired by the great, magical, wonderful 80’s movie “Labyrinth” !!!!!! And that’s to say… GOBLINS FIGURINES!!!!!

Onglitter my last trip to Austria, which you know is the paradise of papery and DIY lovely stuff and shops, I bought a ton of clay packets and in a hidden box behind the clay I found thousands of these gorgeous vials of glitter!!! For all the fans out there you know what glitter triggers inside us: Labyrinth, Jareth, goblins and magic a gogo! So I told myself, “This time, goblins!”.

 

 

In London I bought this bookle book two years ago, “The goblins of Labyrinth”, a great collection and catalogation of the Labyrinth goblins, by Brian Froud, the painter, and Terry Jones, the man behind the Labyrinth moviescreenplay. It is such a rich and interesting book, funny also, and it was just what I needed to find all sorts of goblins to sculpt and paint.tumblr_static_4

If you are not familiar with the movie, “Labyrinth” tells the fantastic story of 15 years old Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) whose baby brother is kidnapped by Jareth (David Bowie), the fascinating and ambivalent Goblin King in this mythical land where magic creatures and goblins live. Sarah will have thirteen hours to solve the labyrinth that lays around the King’s castle, in order to save her brother Toby and get home safe and sound. It is a pearl of a movie and definitely watch it if you haven’t, it’ll be a wonderful treat!!! 🙂

 

 

bookBeing an 80’s movie, “Labyrinth” has a set design which is very free spirited and carefree, with tons and tons of glitter on trees, landscapes, rocks, streets and even on the costumes of the creatures and animals. So it was veeery easy to chose what to create with those beautiful ampoules of shiny, magical glitter! I bought it in silver, gold and white! Now all I have to do is to chose the goblins I’d like to create! Hope you will stay tuned for more and have fun watching my little figurines taking life! See you soon and thanks for reading! And…

Sarah: “Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young girl whose stepmother always made her stay home with the baby. And the baby was a spoiled child, and wanted everything to himself, and the young girl was practically a slave. But what no one knew is that the king of the goblins had fallen in love with the the girl, and he had given her certain powers. So one night, when the baby had be particularly cruel to her, she called on the goblins for help!libro

Goblin: “Listen…!!!”

Sarah: “”Say your right words, ‘the goblins said, and we’ll take the baby to the castle, and you will be free!’ But the girl knew, that the Goblin King would keep the baby in his castle for ever and ever and ever, and turn it into a goblin! And so the girl suffered in silence. Until one day, when she was tired from a day of housework, and she was hurt by the harsh words of her stepmother, and she could no longer stand it…

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The wind in the willows figurines: summer sculpting!

Hi everyone! Today I am going to tell you about … Wind in the willows‘ clay figurines I’m making!!! Oh yes, clay! I have just come back from a week in Austria, a lovely holiday, and in Austria they have GORGEOUS diy shops!!! I bought tons of cute buttons, lace, paper, crayons, acrylics… oh god, those wonderful shops (Libro, Nantwitwtfsu Nana…LLLLOVE!!!)!!! And so I also did buy two packets of red clay, although I didn’t know yet what to create with it… And today, well, the sky was so blue, soft white clouds, a happy sun, the green garden was calling and I just took the clay, a glass of water, a pen and a knife (I forgot to buy some clay tools) and began. And of course what comes to the mind when thinking of clay? … well, erm, Shaun the sheep… or Wallace&Gromit… or Coraline… Well! I didn’t! I actually thought about the tv series The wind in the willows!!!!

I simply Adore this show, it embodies all the greatest things: great characters, a wonderful setting, the coziness of winter, the lush of summer, the lovely things we love in our homes, the nature, the music… it is just a masterpiece, perfect!

Cosgrove-Hall-Wind-in-the-WillowsInspired by Kenneth Grahame’s book The wind in the willows, these animated shorts show us the adventures of beloved Ratty, Mole, Toad and Badger in an old fashioned, natural, simple and sweet english landscape by the River, where all our friends have their cozy houses and comforts. Animated using the stop motion technique, these “cartoons” are luckily quite numerous: there are five seasons of series, inspired by the book, and even a full movie, entirely based on the book The wind in the willows.

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I really love the book, I always keep it on a near shelf, just to look at it or read a little bit when I don’t know what to do. It is so peaceful, relaxing… And I simply adore the illustrations of my edition, by great artist Inga Moore. They manage to make the book even more precious and poetic and adorable!

the-wind-in-the-willows-inga-moore-illustrator-1368534998_org779e3470defa70e34ce341b7532f946c

And it’s precisely from one of my book’s illustrations, by Inga Moore, that I’ve decided to create a little 3D clay image. The scene is the first pic nic that Ratty and Mole have when they meet, on a warm springtime morning. Yesterday I started with nice mister Mole, who is eating a crunchy and bread-perfumed piece of toast!

 

 

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I started with the body and the head, shaped like a pear, very mole-esque! Then I added the legs and covered them with trousers.

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Then I prepared the shirt, divided in two parts…

talpa 3
Then I cut the jacket and dressed up little Mole.

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The arms then, holding onto the body with two pieces of thin wire, just like a little hidden structure to keep it together more easily.

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The arms needed little hands and also the little piece of toast, which was so cute to make, especially cutting off the cute bitten piece that Mole ate! I left mister Mole out in the sun to dry for a whole day and today I started to paint it, so exciting!

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Tomorrow I am going to do the second hand of paint coating, and little details and more accurate painting… 🙂

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I was so happy with mister Mole, it turned out very cute, nice and smiling, and also he has an air of relax and full tummy that I particularly love:) 🙂 🙂

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It seems to me like he just had a nice, filling breakfast and can now lay down and chat a bit with Ratty and Otter!! So, see you very soon to see if mister Mole and all the others are all right!! Thank you! And…

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“A brown little face, with whiskers. A grave round face, with the same twinkle in its eye that had first attracted his notice. Small neat ears and thick silky hair. It was the Water Rat! Then the two animals stood and regarded each other cautiously. ‘Hullo, Mole!’ said the Water Rat. ‘Hullo, Rat!’ said the Mole. ‘Would you like to come over?’ enquired the Rat presently. ‘Oh, its all very well to talk,’ said the Mole, rather pettishly, he being new to a river and riverside life and its ways. The Rat said nothing, but stooped and unfastened a rope and hauled on it; then lightly stepped into a little boat which the Mole had not observed. It was painted blue outside and white within, and was just the size for two animals; and the Mole’s whole heart went out to it at once, even though he did not yet fully understand its uses. The Rat sculled smartly across and made fast. Then he held up his forepaw as the Mole stepped gingerly down. ‘Lean on that!’ he said. ‘Now then, step lively!’ and the Mole to his surprise and rapture found himself actually seated in the stern of a real boat. ‘This has been a wonderful day!’ said he, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. ‘Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat before in all my life.’ ‘What?’ cried the Rat, open-mouthed: ‘Never been in a- you never- well Iwhat have you been doing, then?’ ‘Is it so nice as all that?’ asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him. ‘Nice? It’s the only thing,’ said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. ‘Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing- absolute nothinghalf so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: ‘messing- about- in- boats; messing-’ ‘Look ahead, Rat!’ cried the Mole suddenly. It was too late. The boat struck the bank full tilt. The dreamer, the joyous oarsman, lay on his back at the bottom of the boat, his heels in the air. ‘-about in boats- or with boats,’ the Rat went on composedly, picking himself up with a pleasant laugh. ‘In or out of ‘em, it doesn’t matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that’s the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don’t; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you’re always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you’ve done it there’s always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you’d much better not. Look here! If you’ve really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?’ The Mole waggled his toes from sheer happiness, spread his chest with a sigh of full contentment, and leaned back blissfully into the soft cushions. ‘What a day I’m having!’ he said. ‘Let us start at once!’ ‘Hold hard a minute, then!’ said the Rat. He looped the painter through a ring in his landing-stage, climbed up into his hole above, and after a short interval reappeared staggering under a fat, wicker luncheon-basket. ‘Shove that under your feet,’ he observed to the Mole, as he passed it down into the boat. Then he untied the painter and took the sculls again. ‘What’s inside it?’ asked the Mole, wriggling with curiosity. ‘There’s cold chicken inside it,’ replied the Rat briefly; ‘coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrenchrolls resssandwichespottedmeatgingerbeerlemonadesodawater-’ ‘O stop, stop,’ cried the Mole in ecstacies: ‘This is too much!’ ‘Do you really think so?’ enquired the Rat seriously. ‘It’s only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I’m a mean beast and cut it very fine!’ The Mole never heard a word he was saying. Absorbed in the new life he was entering upon, intoxicated with the sparkle, the ripple, the scents and the sounds and the sunlight, he trailed a paw in the water and dreamed long waking dreams.”

 

 

 

Magic wands à la Harry Potter

Hi everyone! Today a very magic post! Oh, yes, inspired by the J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter‘s magic world, Iharry_potter_and_the_sorcerers_stone_poster5 found the cutest tutorial to create your own magic wand! Brilliant! I have to say that after discovering this video, I found out an astonishing amount of sites and other tutorials on how to create wands… I felt like the last to know this nice idea, however, you always discover something new, huh?

When little Harry first gets to Diagon Alley to get his first year school stuff, he needs a magic wand and what better wand shop to visit than Olivander’s?? Don’t you just LOVE that shop? The long and dusty boxes for the wands, the atmosphere you breathe in that place, the magic pouring from within in that old, mysterious, charming place… and mister Olivander himself! A decent, polite yet witty wizard, a man who has seen a lot… a wise wizard who knows better… You are in good hands if you turn to Olivander for magic advice! f6fb22048e3a308031974df88d82c9c2

Yesterday I read a bit about magic wands and it seems that there even is a calendar that connects a wizard or a witch’s birth to a certain, right kind of tree. You need a wand made with the right kind of tree wood. Say perhaps that you’re born in July, well then, you need an oak wood or a holly wand! That’s nice, heh? This is the Celtic calendar of the wands’ trees!hpatss012

Birch December 24 to January 20
Rowan January 21 to February 17
Ash February 18 to March 17
Alder March 18 to April 14
Willow April 15 to May 12
Hawthorn May 13 to June 9
Oak June 10 to July 7
Holly July 8 to August 4
Hazel August 5 to September 1
Vine September 2 to September 29
Ivy September 30 to October 27
Reed October 28 to November 24
Elder November 25 to December 22

Merchandise product shoot for internet online store Harry Potter HP merchandise on white seamless

… and incredibly, the wood I used to create the three magic wands I did was picked from a hazel tree, and my birthday is in august… magic stuff!

 

 

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Now, the procedure is very simple and funny too, very easy and entertaining to do. All you will need is:

1) old brushes, the wooden part, or chopsticks, or simple little sticks or branches collected from your garden or a forest! Maybe a magic forest would be ideal…

2) hot glue

3) some sand paper

4) a little knife or scissors or gardening scissors

5) acrylic paint

6) decorations such as little beads, pearls, pieces of minerals, ecc, everything you love

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And so, take your branch or chopstick or brush, if it is a branch, as I used, use the scissors to cut off any rough part and use the sand paper to make it nice and smooth.

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Make it long 30 cm approximately. Now take the hot glue gun and decorate very carefully the part you’ll use as the handle.

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Follow your imagination, do what inspires you! I looked up online the Hogwarts’ magic wands and tried to recreate that lovely, magical style.

glue wands clearAdd on the lukewarm glue (be very careful when it’s too hot at the beginning!) the beads, the pearls … I used two pearls and I was sooo pleased with the final look of that particular wand!

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Oh, and very important, keep twisting slowly the wand so that the glue doesn’t dry in odd shapes falling down. Then let the wands dry completely and get cold. When they are completely dry, you can proceed by painting them! And now they’re done! Very good!

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Now you are ready to play, make spells and charms, cosplay or just goof around! Your magic wands are ready! Believe me, they feel very real and VERY magic when you will see the finished product!!! You’ll be happy! I was! So goodbye and…

“Accio!”

“Alohomora!”

“Aguamenti!”

“…” 

Ok, go and try all the spells you know!!!!!! You’re a wizard now! 🙂

 

A thing of Beauty is a joy forever

Hi everyone, yesterday I watched Bright stara stunning movie, an incredible work from bright_suk1sheet_ref1031the too-great-to-be-real New Zealander director Jane Campion. The movie tells the tale of the delicate yet passionate and softly spoken love between the poet John Keats and miss Fanny Brawne.

English Romantic poet, mister Keats dedicated his short life and his vibrant work to a continue and most serious research of the perfection: a perfection obtained by the unique use of words, of a liquid and flawless, flowing use of the english language, getting his inspiration from the medieval myth and the legends of the ancyent Greece. Keats admired the value and the appalling emotions deriving from Beauty, from the concept of Beauty, from loving and letting himself being absorbed by Beauty in things and in Nature.

After his beloved brother death, in 1818, John Keats travelled to London and stayed at his good friend Charles Brown’s house. There he met miss Fanny Brawne, guest as well in Brown’s home with her family. At this very moment begins the movie Bright star, and we are taken by the hand and their love is shown to us. With such a delicacy, a fairy like touch, as if the story is pulled on by invisible silk threads.

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John Keats is played in the movie by a hypnotical and incredibly charming Ben Wishaw. An actor with such a unique way of acting, that I believe it is the perfect John Keats… You never really can tell what he is thinking and that just enhances the developing and the telling of the romance… In the same way, miss Brawne is played by Abbie Cornish, as well such a misterious actress to me that she is the most right match to Ben Wishaw. Their voices… They…

Snubbed ... Abbie Cornish, who plays Fanny Brawne in Bright Star.

Well, I must begin at the beginning. This movie is just intoxicating.

6271406541_38d36e7f62_oIt is a … light wing… a flash of pink flowers… It has … the most… exquisite music… It develops itself like the flight of a butterfly. The screenplay is perfection. To me, it’s as if this whole movie is a poem. You lose yourself watching it, you get lost into a beautiful, soothing mist of images, voices reading poems, nature sounds, birds singing… flowers, meadows of blue flowers… And you begin to029_bs_01239-abbie-cornish-as-fanny-brawne-in-bright-star4 understand that it is not a movie you’re watching, no, it is a delicate dream, the edge of a ribbon… the… oh, yes… the ribbons, the sewing, the fabrics… Fanny creates and designs clothes. But not ordinary clothing, oh no, they are “charming”, lovely, pleated masterpieces of an utter elegance and avantguarde for their times and she is lulled by her greatness with the sewing. It is her power, it is her nature and it is used as a first way of getting to know poet Keats: talking about the art, the beauty of what she creates. Everything is told to you with such politeness and amiable words, that you are instantly transported into this world. This magical world of love, poetry and tailoring. And then his art, the poetry, and her art, the tailoring, get infused together and create something magical. The days pass, while the two lovers talk about poems, life, love, happiness, summer… And you wish you could live in that world, as light as a flower petal…

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And the music… ooh, that music, you have to listen to the soundtrack of this movie, which by the way is also enriched with Ben and Abbie reading poems… oh, so beautiful, so decadent…
After watching the movie I just took a few photographs of little details as though I was seeing them through Fanny’s eyes… Embroidery details… Beautiful fabrics… White lace, trimmings… Fanny is depicted as a fierce young lady who struggles to find something else in her life, like many of the most beloved female characters in books and movies. She yearns for something more and I believe that by sewing she is kind of creating a world where she can hide herself and be alone and content, thinking, planning, dreaming. And so does John Keats with his poetry. It’s their own way of escaping the world. But when they meet, the world opens up and embraces them and they walk through flowery fields and lay in the sun together, finally finding their true natures and happiness…

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The highest moment in Keats’ poetry can be found in Ode to a nightingale, where the poet wants to recreate a somehow stupefying work of art, a reading that would lull away his beloved in some kind of daze, of amazement and astonishment for the surrounding Beauty.

ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE

by John Keatsrim1

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
         My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
         One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
‘Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
         But being too happy in thine happiness,—
                That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees
                        In some melodious plot
         Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
                Singest of summer in full-throated ease.
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
         Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
         Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,bow1
         Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
                With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
                        And purple-stained mouth;
         That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
                And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
         What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
         Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
         Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
                Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
                        And leaden-eyed despairs,
         Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
                Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
         Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
         Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
         And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
                Cluster’d around by all her starry Fays;stitch1
                        But here there is no light,
         Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
                Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
         Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
         Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild;
         White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine;
                Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
                        And mid-May’s eldest child,
         The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
                The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
         I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call’d him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
         To take into the air my quiet breath;
                Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
         To cease upon the midnight with no pain,pleated1
                While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
                        In such an ecstasy!
         Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
                   To thy high requiem become a sod.
Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
         No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
         In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
         Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
                She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
                        The same that oft-times hath
         Charm’d magic casements, opening on the foam
                Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.white cotton rose1
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
         To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
         As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
         Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
                Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
                        In the next valley-glades:
         Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
                Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?
I have loved this movie so much, I recommend it to all of you who are looking for a moment of escape from our world and sinking into a misty world of fairies and white cotton gowns, poems and Beauty… above all Beauty… and…
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Fanny Brawne: “I still don’t know how to work out a poem.”

John Keats: “A poem needs understanding through the senses. The point of diving into a lake is not immediately to swim to the shore but to be in the lake, to luxuriate in the sensation of water. You do not work the lake out, it is a experience beyond thought. Poetry soothes and emboldens the soul to accept the mystery.”

Fanny Brawne: “I love mystery…”