Friday, November 13, 2009

Free Image Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th.

Some fear this day unlucky.  For me personally, I look forward to Fridays that fall on the 13th of the Month.  They've always been lucky for me!

For those of you who need some luck to come your way today, here are some beautiful butterflies -- said to bring luck then they land upon you.

Have a lucky day and may that luck spread throughout your entire life!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Finally New Work ...

Now if I only had a new camera, I would be able to post really nice pictures.  This is a scan.  The aqua color beads in this piece are my own design.  Polymer clay with gold leaf.  The scan just doesn't do them justice.  The stones are died agate, I'm pretty sure from Rings & Things, but might be from Michael's, JoAnn's or my LBS.  The clasp I found at JoAnn's.

I really think that I have grown as a designer, comparing this piece with some of my earlier designs.  I get compliments every time I wear this.  I made earrings to match -- too bad I lost one at work the other day or I'd post a picture of those too.

Note to Santa (you never know who's reading):  the best possible gift for me this year would be an IPod Touch.  I've been a really good girl all year long!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Movie Madness -- "Love in the Time of Cholera"

Based on the wildly popular novel by Nobel Prize winning Columbia author Gabriel Garcia Marquez this film is set in the magical and sensual city of Cartagena, Columbia at the turn of the century, a man waits over 50 years for his one true love.  Florentino Ariza (Javier Bardem), a poet and clerk for his uncle (Hector Elizondo), falls helplessly in love when he spies Fermina Daza (Italian actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno) through the window of her father's villa.  Through a series of passionate letters, Florentino gradually awakens the young beauty's heart.  When her father (John Leguizamo) discovers the budding affair, he is furious and vows to keep them apart forever.  He takes the screaming Fermina into the night and moves her to her family's farm in the countryside.  Years go by and the family returns to Cartagena and Fermina meets the young Dr. Juvenal Urbino (Benjamin Bratt) -- who has brought order and medicine to the city, stemming the waves of cholera that mysteriously besiege the area -- when she becomes ill and is treated by him.  Dr. Urbino asks Senior Daza for Fermina's hand and they are married.  Florentino is crushed.  The newlyweds go off to Paris for an extended period and when they returned to Cartagena to start their lives, Fermina has all but forgotten her first love; however, Florentino has not forgotten her.  He vows to someday have a life with her.  The years go by and Florentino discovers that sex with myriad women is the only thing that can help to ease his heartache.  His uncle leaves him the shipping company that he was clerk for and he becomes a very wealthy man.  His heart (and only his heart) is patient and he will wait a lifetime to be with his love.

I've always wanted to read this book, but somehow never have.  This film is beautiful, and the romantic in me was very moved by Florentino's character.  That being said, the rest of the characters in this story (perhaps it was just the acting) are very hard to like.  There is plenty of eye candy in the cast, sets and cinematography however, and on that basis, I recommend this film.  On a scale from 1 to 5, I give it a 3.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Free Image Friday

Paper dolls, I don't know about you, but I just can't resist paper dolls.  I loved them as a child and I love them still.

Have a blessed weekend!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Just Peachy, Thank You

I designed this pendant a little while back, using polymer, embossing and mica powders.  I just love it's organic shape and the peach and rust colors.  I'm not sure how to finish it, however.  I really wish that I would have made some beads to go with it, and because I'm the type of color-mixer that doesn't write down what she mixed with what, there is no way that I could replicate the colors.  Any suggestions?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Movie Madness -- "Atonement"

Based on Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name, Atonement is set in England in 1935, precocious 13-year-old Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) lives on her family's country estate with her mother, brother and sister, Leon (Patrick Kennedy) and Cecilia (Keira Knightley). Cecilia is home for the summer from Cambridge where she had been studying with the housekeeper's son, Robbie (James McAvoy).  The Tallises are being visited by young relatives (young twin boys and the lovely redhead, Lola (Juno Temple) from the north, whose parents are in the process of divorcing and Leon’s chocolatier friend Paul (Benedict Cumberbatch).  Paul keenly follows Hitler's political advance and predicts war.  He plans to sell chocolate bars to the British military to give to their soldiers.  While he tries to amuse Pierrot and Jackson, Paul and Lola flirt. Cecilia and Robbie have an uncertain relationship, but a certain romantic chemistry exists between them.  It can also be said that Briony has a crush on the handsome Robbie.  One day, Briony witnesses from her bedroom window an exchange between Cecilia and Robbie at the fountain in the garden, when Robbie accidently breaks a vase and sends a piece of broken pottery into the water and Cecilia strips down to her slip and dives in after it.  Because she does not understand the dynamics of what she sees, she misunderstands the exchange she feels betrayed and the seeds of mistrust of Robbie are planted.

Embarrassed by his behavior earlier in the day, Robbie tries to write an apology note to Cecilia. One of the drafts includes a sexually charged declaration of his love for her. He then writes a more formal apology he intends to deliver to her.  However, he accidentally slips the sexually charged note to Briony to deliver (because he believes it will be less embarrassing if delivered by way of Briony) when they meet in the drive on their way to the house. When he realizes what he has done, he calls out to Briony but she does not hear him.  Back in the house, Briony reads the note and is scandalized. She gives the note to Cecilia but later confides to Lola that she believes Robbie is a dangerous sex maniac.  When Robbie arrives at the house, he discusses the note with Cecilia and they admit their love for one another.  They make passionate love in the library, but are interrupted when Briony walks in on them.  At dinner, it is discovered that Pierrot and Jackson have run away. Everyone goes off to search for the boys. While hunting through the dark, Briony stumbles upon Lola being raped.  Once seen by Briony, the man escapes into the night.  Briony insists to first Lola and then the police that Robbie was the culprit and brandishes the sexual letter to Cecilia as evidence.  Only Cecilia protests his innocence.  When Robbie returns (with the twins), he is arrested for rape.  Tried and convicted, he is sent to prison.  Four years later he is released into the British army and makes up part of the British Expeditionary Force that is sent to northern France in an attempt to halt the Nazi advance.

In northern France, a wounded Robbie and two fellow soldiers attempt to make their way to Dunkirk, where the remnants of the BEF are to be evacuated after the Nazis rout their forces and the French.  Several weeks earlier, before he left London, he saw Cecilia (who is now a nurse in London) again.  She remained true to him for four years and begs him to “come back to me.” She reveals is estranged from family over her love for Robbie and belief in his innocence. She gives him a photograph of a seaside cottage near Dover that they can retire to. It will give him strength as he struggles towards Dunkirk.

Briony, now 18 (and played by Romola Garai) has decided not to study at Cambridge and is herself training to be a nurse.  When Briony sees a newsreel announcing Lola’s engagement to Paul, she is wracked with guilt over falsely accusing Robbie of the rape.  Briony goes to see Cecilia to admit her guilt and state her willingness to do whatever it takes to atone for her sins and clear Robbie's name.  Robbie is in Cecilia's apartment when she gets there.  Although they are angry with her, they tell her what she needs to do to make things right. She agrees, then leaves as Cecilia and Robbie are intimate for one last time before he is shipped to France.

The move then flashes forward to 1999 and Briony (now Vanessa Redgrave), in her late seventies and dying of vascular dementia, is a famous novelist and being interviewed for her new book, Atonement.  What that interview reveals would spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, so I’ll stop here.

Atonement was nominated for six Academy Awards and took the statuette for best score.  Although the acting, cinematography and production were lovely, this is definitely not a feel good film and left me feeling a bit empty.  As I haven’t read the book, I can’t say for certain, but think that it may have been best left a novel.  On a scale from 1 to 5, I give this film a 3.5 and do recommend it just because of the beautiful pre-war English countryside and the acting talents of the entire cast.