Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's resolutions. . .

1. I WILL keep a journal. I WILL write in it every day.

2. I WILL be organised. I WILL keep a diary.

3. (Actually I should have put this at No.1) I WILL make time for Bible reading/prayer/quiet time everyday.

4. I WILL keep my bedroom tidy. I WILL be neat and organised.

5. I will not buy any more books until I have read all the books I've bought/mooched and not yet read.

6. I will post on my Gallery at least once every day. I will post on this blog at least twice a week.

7. I will practise my music for at least one hour every day.

I'm trying to think of another 3 to make it 10. Never mind - 7 resolutions are more than enough for me to try (and fail) to keep. . .

100,000 hits!!

Wow. . . Thank you, everyone.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hey, you! Yes, you!

Feeling starved of beauty in an ugly, postmodernist world?

Sick of being force-fed images of stick-thin celebrities by the media?

Tired of a fashion industry that upholds hideous emaciation as something we women should aspire to? (Not to mention trying to pass off bizarre and repulsive creations as "clothes" and "art".)

Fed up with ugly, abstract, modernist art? Ever wondered if the emperor is indeed naked?

Introducing. . .

My Other Blog. For your daily dose of timeless beauty.

Nerissa, by JW Godward

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

One of the more apocalyptic Nativities I've seen! But a very powerful one. Detail from Concert of Angels and Nativity by Grunewald.

It's just occurred to me that I'd better write my "Happy Christmas" post now! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve here, and we're going to be busy all day!

May every one of you have a HAPPY and BLESSED Christmas, surrounded by family.

And remember the reason why we celebrate this holiday.

This is probably goodbye until next year! Until then -

"God bless us, every one!"


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quick update

I was going to post this on the facebook fan page, but it was growing rather too long to post as a status update! I thought I might as well write a blog post instead.

I'm getting close to the end of Little Dorrit. It's *really* starting to get good. Of course, it's been good all the way through. Dickens novels always are. They're just so - long. Once I finish LD, I'm going to have a break from heavy, 1000 page tomes and gorge myself on light fluffy books until I can't stand any more silly (albeit sweet and innocent) Christian romance novels and have to reach for another classic.

And we've rented the new (well, relatively new) version of A Christmas Carol, so I'll finally get to see it tonight!! It's turning into quite a Dickens-filled day - no complaints from me on that score. ;-)

What else. . . hmm. . . After months of wet, warm, humid weather, the last couple of days have been un-humid. Erm, dry. It feels weird. I feel all dried out, and find myself missing the humidity, much as a normally complain about it.

Christmas is 4 days away. FOUR DAYS! And I haven't even added a Christmas-themed background or playlist to my blog.

I'd better stop rambling and get off because my 15-year-old brother is desperate for this computer.


Love Aussie Christmas. . .

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Damsel's Daybook XVI

~Hosted by Autumn @ Storygirl~

Outside my window....... A hot, steamy summer day.

I am thinking about......... Miss Wade. :-/ Trying to dissect and understand her character. Also about a couple of movies I recently watched (thanks, Rebecca!).

From the kitchen.......... Nothing right now. . .

I am creating......... Again, nothing at the moment!

I am reading......... Little Dorrit.

I am hearing....... How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack. :-D As currently featured on my playlist.

I am hoping......... That Australia's cricket team can pull their act together for the third test. . .

I am planning.......... To read and read and read over the summer holidays!

I am wearing............ Denim skirt, blue t-shirt. . .

Around the house.......... We recently set up the Christmas tree. . . we also had new blinds put in our main living area.

My wish of the week......... That I could continue to build stronger friendships with all of my siblings.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dawn Treader is out in America!

Once you've seen it, please come here and discuss! Rant or rave, according to your inclination. Tell me what you thought about every little detail of the film!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I scored at the op-shop today!

Or thrift store, or whatever you call them in America, LOL! An armful of classics for $3! Now, to show off the spoils:


From top to bottom: Gone With The Wind, What Katy Did at School, Far From the Madding Crowd, The Eustace Diamonds, and an almost-complete set of the Bronte sisters' novels - only Villette and Wuthering Heights are missing.





The Bronte set are published by the Folio Society. The FOLIO SOCIETY!! And featuring beautiful woodcut illustrations.



Bound in silk *contented bibliophile's sigh*. . .


I am a happy girl. :-D

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader review


Oh boy. All those months and years of waiting over at last. I woke up yesterday morning. . . after a minute or two of semi-consciousness I suddenly remembered with a thrill - "We're going to see the Dawn Treader today!!!"

This was the first time I'd been to the movies in a couple of years - we haven't had a working cinema in town for a looong time - and it was also the first time I'd seen a movie in 3D, all of which added of course to my excitement.

I'm assuming 90% of my readers are familiar with the plot (and if you're not, go and read the book), so I won't bother with a synopsis.

I put on my 3D glasses (for the very first time). I found them very uncomfortable - they kept rubbing against one of my ears. I sat in between my 9-year-old sister (the youngest of my siblings to be allowed to come) and my dad. The lights went out. . . a trailer for Megamind. . . then the film BEGAN. The five-year wait was over at last! (VODT is one my favourite books in the Narnia Chronicles, so I'd been looking forward to this since LWW came out back in 2005.)


I so enjoyed the first few minutes. One thing that struck me right away was an undercurrent of poignancy and sadness that seemed to pervade the film. I suppose it was nostalgia, combined with the knowledge hovering in the back of my mind that this may well be the last Narnia film to make it to the screen. I've grown to know and love these characters through the earlier movies and the books, and if this is indeed to be the last film in the last film in the franchise, then this is farewell to all of these beloved characters and this magical world - on the big screen, at least. Hence the tinge of bittersweet-ness for me.

The second thing that struck me as I watched the first few minutes - Will Poulter as Eustace Clarence Scrubb = PERFECT. What a terrific little actor he is! Hm, I say "little"; in reality he is only about a year younger than me! Anyway, I knew he would be very very good. In all honesty, he outshone Georgie and Skandar in all his scenes with them. What more can I say - the role of Eustace is most certainly in safe hands if Fox does decide to go ahead and make The Silver Chair and The Last Battle.

Ben Barnes as Prince - I mean, King - Caspian! Wow! I was a bit disappointed with him, both in terms of acting ability and attractiveness in Prince Caspian. Dropping the fake tan, fake hair extensions and fake Spanish accent and growing some facial hair seems to to have done wonders - both in terms of acting ability and attractiveness. :P Ben wasn't given a whole lot to work with - I mean, the main focus of the film seemed to be on Eustace and perhaps Lucy, and only to a lesser extent on Caspian. But there were a couple of wonderful, really moving scenes involving Ben Barnes as Prince - I mean, King - Caspian. (Goodness, I'm beginning to sound like Flora Finching - "Dear Arthur - Doyce and Clennam much more proper".)


I think we were all wondering what impact the changing of the reins from Andrew Adamson to Michael Apted (and from Disney to Fox) would have. Well - VODT certainly has a very different feel to it than the other two movies. Much as I enjoyed them both, LWW and PC felt a little like Lord of the Rings-wannabes. They were big, showy, mega-budget fantasy films (PC was one of the most expensive movies ever made). They both - particularly PC, perhaps - seemed to scream "Look at me, I'm a Big-Budget Fantasy Epic!" VODT - with a much lower budget, and a new team behind it - is more modest in this regard. It's less concerned about being a Big Fantasy Film, and more concerned about just getting on with telling the story. It's definitely more character-driven.

Some of us were worried about whether the special effects in VODT would suffer from the drastically reduced budget. We shouldn't have worried. Yes, there's less of a show of effects than there was in PC, but there weren't any jarringly bad effects, either, and the sea serpent and the Dark Island were truly scary and impressive.

Then there was the big question hanging heavily on the minds of all Narnia fans - how faithful will it be to the book? I deliberately stayed away from many of the articles, interviews, and video clips (except the trailer) in the lead up to VODT. With the first two Narnia movies, I devoured every news snippet and juicy tidbit I could find related to each movie. . . but of course this partly spoiled the actual movie-going experience for me when it came time to actually see the film. So, this time I restrained myself, and as a result I was rather hazy on what changes or additions from the book had been made before I saw the movie. I knew there had been some changes made, and I'd read something about a "green mist" in a couple of the reviews I'd read, but other than that, I had no clear idea of what I headed for.

Well - I won't spoil things too much for anyone who hasn't seen the film - but there were some MAJOR CHANGES! I had thought all along that they would have to change and condense the plot a little, otherwise the movie would seem too episodic - they visit one island, do such and such, then it's off to another island, then another. . . but I wasn't prepared for the somewhat radical changes made here! Then again, perhaps they're no more drastic than the changes made for PC. I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm so strongly attached to the VODT book - more so than I am with either LWW or PC. It captured my imagination more than almost any other book in the series, and I've probably re-read more than any of the others.


More than the plot changes, I think what threw me off was the film's visualisation of the book. Like I said, I have read and re-read VODT more times than I can remember, and I had a very clear picture in my head of what each place, each island, each landscape - err, perhaps seascape would be a more apt term - would look like. Well, the way they've imagined each place for the film is, in most cases, completely different to how I had imagined it! Of course I realise that everyone is going to have their own vision of the book, but. . . in many cases they apparently didn't even take much inspiration from Pauline Baynes' beautiful illustrations for the books. Where are the masks in the hall of Coriakin's House? Ramandu's island looks reminiscent of how Aslan's country is described in the book. . . I won't go on nitpicking. It's all still beautiful and impressive to look at, just - generally different to how it's described or illustrated in the book.

I touched upon plot changes above. They've invented a major plot device - bigger and more far-reaching than I had thought it would be. Once again, I can understand why they did this. It adds more suspense and cohesion, and turns VODT from a rollicking, colourful adventure to a classic battle of good vs. evil, building to a big climax at the end. They haven't given up the sense of wonder and adventure altogether, but it is now only one element of the story.

The whole green mist/dark island thing could have seemed a bit silly and contrived, but the fact that the most important battles are internal rather than physical make things much more intriguing. It is still a journey of temptation and personal growth and discovery for each of the characters, just as it is in the book.

Well, I might try to wrap this post up now. I don't want to give away too many plot details, but after you've seen it (or if you've seen it already), please come here and discuss! Plus I want to get this post published tonight, so this will have to do for now.


Verdict: yes, this is in some ways different from the book. But it's still Narnia. It's still the Dawn Treader. The magic is still there. And this an EXCELLENT family film for ages 8-10+ or so. It really has grown on me over the 30 hours or so since I watched it. I came out of the cinema feeling feeling a twinge of disappointment over the changes from the book (or should I say the deviations from how I thought they should have made the movie ;-) mixed with pure enjoyment and that hint of sadness that I mentioned - I didn't cry during the movie, but I was not too far from it.

One more thing - like I said at the top, I saw this in 3D. I almost wish I hadn't. The 3D effects were cool, but not exceptional - you could tell that the film wasn't shot with the intention of being shown in 3D, and wasn't converted to 3D until later in the production process. I don't think the compromise in colour was worth the 3D experience.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Sorry. Longer post to come on this later. I don't know how I missed this most interesting piece of information. I haven't even finished reading the article - I just started squealing and hyperventilating and immediately logged in to blogger so I could share this with all of you. . .

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Damsel's Daybook XV

~Hosted by Autumn @ Storygirl~

Outside my window....... Sunshine, for the first time in about a week. We've just had one of the wettest Springs on record.

I am thinking about......... Lots of things.

From the kitchen.......... I made a double batch of Anzac biscuits today. On my mum's suggestions, I made them with freshly ground flour from our wheat grinder for the first time. Normally I dislike the results when I try substituting wholemeal flour for white flour, but the Anzacs turned out quite well.

I am creating ......... Planning on crocheting some snowflakes sometime soon. We'll be setting up our Christmas tree soon!

I am reading......... Getting back into Little Dorrit! I am making some progress at last - nearly 3/4 of the way through now. I also recently read this book. And this one.

I am hearing....... Siblings. A crow outside. Blue wrens. Sparrows.

I am hoping......... That I don't have to speak at the Church Ladies Breakfast in a few weeks time. I can think of few things I dread and dislike more than public speaking.

I am planning.......... To get organised and intentional and active! Inspired by this article.

I am wearing............ Denim skirt, blue cotton tunic top thingummy. Can you tell I'm not into fashion that much? I always have a hard time describing what I'm wearing.

Around the house.......... Lots of bustle and activity. We have guests staying with us at the moment - they have 6 young children! That makes 14 children in the house altogether.

My wish of the week......... That Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be as good as I'm hoping it will be. . .

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Disney Princess Month

Disney's incredibly beautiful masterpiece, Sleeping Beauty

I have been remiss in not posting this sooner! As many of you know, I love cooking, but my rather shocking memory can be a great hindrance in the kitchen. ;-) Burnt biscuits, wrong measurements of ingredients, leaving ingredients out - I can't tell you how many scrapes I've gotten into in my baking escapades. Well - my memory (or lack thereof) can also be a jolly nuisance when it comes to blogging, too.

Ahem, so yes, I meant to post about this a long time ago, but hey, better late than never!

In celebration of the release of Disney's latest "Princess" offering, Tangled, the team @ Worthy of Note recently hosted a "Disney Princess Month", featuring reviews of 13 Disney classics.

They are also considering having a "Shakespeare" month (partly in honour of the upcoming film version of "The Tempest"). This will be similar, I presume, to the Disney Princess month, only featuring reviews of Shakespeare film adaptations instead. Sounds like fun! I actually haven't seen that many Shakespeare movies yet. Part of what puts me off is the fact that the Bard incorporated a good deal of bawdiness in his plays, and naturally, modern filmmakers tend to play up that element of his works as much as possible! But there are a few Shakespeare adaptations that I would really like to see sometime, including:

As You Like It - partly because it has a couple of my favourite actors in it (Romola Garai and Alfred Molina), and partly because the poster just looks so darn gorgeous; Twefth Night - because Helena Bonham Carter is amazing; and Much Ado About Nothing - though I gather there are couple of scenes in this one that will probably warrant fast-forwarding through.

So - if you have a weakness for Disney Princess films (like yours truly), head right over here

And about Shakespeare - any Shakespeare-based films that you love - or loathe?

Costume Chronicles


Just wanted to let you all know that the new issue of Costume Chronicles webzine is now available to download! I've been looking forward to this - the current November/December issue and next year's Jan./Feb. webzine are dedicated almost exclusively to Jane Austen and Austen adaptations. :-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The wait is over!!!

I can't believe it's finally here!!

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader opens in cinemas across Australia TOMORROW!

Check out IMDb for worldwide release dates. Oh, and I don't mean to gloat, but for once, just for ONCE, we get to see it first here in Australia before you do in America! :-D