Friday, September 30, 2011

19 Tracks of Bliss- The Downton Abbey Soundtrack

So this was pretty much the most exciting thing to happen all week.
I can't tell you how many nights I've spent raking the world wide web to find this flimsy album.  I've even considered making friends with someone from the U.K. with good intention to eventually ask them to purchase the album with their U.K. iTunes account for me. (I know, I know. Low point...because not only is that a terrible reason to make a friend, but the digital album would only leave me wondering about the album I often do with the soundtracks to Juno, Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist, Whip-It, & Adventureland.) Here's the post of my desperation to catch you up to speed.

But I can relax and my ears can enjoy what has finally arrived. (And I was pleasantly surprised to receive not one, but TWO albums.)

The Downton Abbey Suite is guaranteed to give anyone within earshot the chills. Every time it played during the Emmy's I was affected. The entire album is superbly done.  If you couldn't tell, I'm very keen on this series-very keen indeed. Have you seen it yet? If you haven't, you still have time to catch the first season before the second season airs January 2012. I'd even lend you my season, if you'd like.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm having withdrawals...

It's only been 3 weeks or so since I finished reading Jane Eyre. Have I told you how much I loved that book. Would it be too soon to start reading it again? I'm afraid so...right? Curiosity led me type Jane Eyre in the Etsy search bar...which reminds me, I should make an etsy treasury with items inspired by the novel. I'll just have to add that to my enormous list of goals to accomplish. I digress...Upon my search, I discovered that my 1943 edition of Wuthering Heights is being called "vintage". I like that word. Apparently my edition also has a companion. There is a version of Jane Eyre in the same style. The problem is that I'm not going to be paying the price that they are asking for because I'm going to wait to find it in some dreary but magnificent bookstore someday.

I also learned from Etsy that this edition of Jane Eyre is the one that Isla Fisher's character April is searching for in the movie Definitely, Maybe. Ryan Reynold's character eventually finds it for her. Über-romantic.  Chandler Bing even tracked down a rare copy of Velveteen Rabbit for a woman he was harbouring a secret crush on. (Remember that one? Joey had mistaken it for a book about cheese.) Regardless of what your friends may think, it's still romantic.It's personal. It's memorable. See, if I purchase this, not only will I be digging deep into my pockets, I will be robbing some guy of a romantic opportunity.

Here, I'll show you all what my version of Wuthering Heights looks like.

This illustration is on the cover. Oh, Heathcliff. What a tortured soul.

Gorgeous font, don't you agree? What I find disturbing is that I can't remember where I found this. I certainly did not pay a pretty penny for it. More than likely it was on a bottom bookshelf at a library sale.

This unfortunately looks like something dark that my brother would request to have drawn for him. Anyone remember James' birthday present from last year?

The engravings are a bit too retro for my utmost approval, but I haven't seen the illustrations from Jane Eyre yet. I can only imagine. If you'd like to see the pair of books I have been rambling on about you can click here to be taken to the Etsy site.

What books do you search for everytime you find yourself in a little book shop around the corner? I so wish to know.

"Here Comes the Bride...Pa Rum Pa Pa Pum"

My lovely friend got married this summer. She married a talented musician. I think I saw him play a wicked drum solo several years back...then again I have not confirmed this detail. Nevertheless, I wanted to work his musicianship into a card that also reflects my adorable friend.  What do you think of it? Drumroll, please. 

A Variety Pack or Two

Did you know you can order a Variety Pack from Ice Box Cards?

'Tis true.

I always like to switch them up. Here's the Winter 2010 Line

And the Winter 2011 Line below should be available any day now. If you click on the image it should direct you to if you would like to place a pre-order. ;)
Or you can always order a pack of the same kind. That's okay, too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thieves Break In And Steal

The internet has been set ablaze with news pertaining to the latest scandal.

A necklace from the Titanic exhibit has been stolen.

Based on the article I read, the necklace was worn by survivor-Eleanor Widener of Philadelphia. She was travelling with her husband, George and their son, Harry. But the males of her family would be listed among the deceased that fateful April night. There was a story that her son would have survived, but as he was getting into the lifeboat, he took it upon himself to preserve a rare edition of "Bacon's Essay's" (1598) which had been left behind in his cabin. He got out to fetch it. When he returned, all the lifeboats were gone. "The boats are gone!"
When I searched Titanic necklace, part of me wanted it to be Le Coeur De La Mer - The Heart of the Ocean, but that didn't really exist in the first place and even if it did, the late Rose Dewi--I mean--Dawson plopped it over board while she was sleepwalking. (Has anyone else ever noticed how odd it is that she brought her collection of photographs with her and had to be surrounded by them whilst she slept? Can't you just hear her? "Set my pictures up! NOW! I cannot sleep until a boat-load of snapshots that have been taken from every era of my life are arranged nicely beside my bed!"

Ah, but this is not the time to be bashing Titanic. I actually love that movie, but this post is more about the art of thievery.

I really hope Catherine Zeta and Sean Connery were involved in this heist. Even if they weren't, I hope somebody at least had to perform an intense maneuver through a field of lasers in order to reach the modest necklace.

Though modest and valued at $20,000, it is priceless because of its history. If it is ever recovered, it may have a more notable reputation like the Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa (1911), or Edvard Munch's The Scream (1994). I believe they have both been stolen and retrieved, yet I wonder if they were as notorious, and widely acclaimed prior to being abducted.

Is it just me or does anyone else have an urge to watch The Thomas Crown Affair?
Of course all of this reminds me of an incident. six years ago when one of the 5 pairs of original ruby slippers were on display at The Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, MN.  I visited the museum that summer because I was in a local production of The Wizard of Oz and thought it would be fun to take a day trip to Dorothy's home town. They have this festival called Judy Garland Days. It's great! There we met the remaining munchins at a Munchin brunch and skipped down the yellow brick road. I had my picture taken with Jerry Maren of the Lollipop Guild. and Margaret O' Brien from Meet Me In St. Louis. Tootie! True Story.We saw a matinee of The Wizard of Oz on the big screen (which was worth the entire trip for me!)  Then we all posed for a group picture with the Ruby Slippers.

Those slippers were stolen shortly after our visit and as of 2011 have still not been recovered.

I just want to know, why is this girl holding a shoe to her head?!?
Do you have any theories as to what happened to the slippers? Do you know of any other artifacts or works of art that have been ransacked? What comes to mind?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ice Box Cards - Winter 2011 Line

Readers of lapine design are getting the first glimpse of the next 8 cards designed by my father.

May I present the Winter 2011 line for Ice Box Cards

30 Split Rock

Something's Fishy

Father & Son Game

Grandma's Little Helper

Mistletoe Magic

Bearily Down the Stream
 Seven Bridges - or as I like to call it : The Obsessive Compulsive's Bane of Existance (mainly because of the bricks...and the leaves...and the twigs... BAHHH!!!!)

Agony of Cold Feet

Although my dad illustrated them, I have spent what feels like THOUSANDS of hours editing them and preparing them to be printed.

Minute glitches or specks that were on the originals required a tedious amount of attention, so that's my part in the matter. I smooth out the pixels and make everything look crisp...oh, and I made Santa blush, I guess.

Once they are printed, I would like to have a  variety pack giveaway available to my readers. I just have to think of something fun to ask you and wait for the printer!

If you can't wait another millisecond and NEED TO BUY CARDS RIGHT NOW!!!! , you can visit Ice Box and order from the original 8 designs which are just as cute, if I might say so myself. ;)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jane Eyre

Reader, I must confess, I have just finished reading Charlotte Brontë's classic for the first time. I can't believe that all this time it has been sitting on many of the bookshelves in many of the rooms that I have often occupied. I don't know why it has taken me so many years to commit to it, but all I can say is that I didn't want it to end. Early on I started underlining sentences that moved me. By the end of the book I was practically underlining chapters. "My fast falling tears blistered" many a page and there are now scribbles in nearly every margin. It quickly became one of the greatest books I have ever read and has made quite the impact on me.

This year Focus Features released a beautiful film directed by Cary Fukunaga--starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. This wasn't the first adaptation that I have seen, so I knew the premise--but after reading the book, I enthusiastically support this version. It may not be the most literal, but it is stunning to say the least. And I feel that the characters were well represented--if not the raw embodiment of two fictitious characters. My hope is that it will be acknowledged during the award season. The score by Dario Marianelli (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) was entirely exquisite as well.  The learn more about the other adaptations visit The Enthusiast's Guide to Jane Eyre Adaptations.

This is precisely how I feel right now. What road do you take? I must add that I deeply appreciated the absence of dialogue for the first 6 minutes. It set the tone in a remarkable way.

I believe this is also the house where Gosford Park was filmed.

"Adele would like to show us her accomplishments."

The painting on the wall reminds me of Gustav Richter's sister (Andy Richter?). Can anyone else see the resemblance?

There's so much more that you can learn from listening to a commentary. On the contrary, there are ways that the film can be destroyed. (I will not be able to view the trees in the same way in this movie knowing that the leaves were added digitally for some scenes and left out entirely for others when they are all within the same season.) The commentary for the 2011 version was given by the director. In this scene he drew attention to the imagery of the caged bird by filming the window panes. Brilliant.

This reminds me of Becoming Jane when Tom Lefroy wishes Miss Austen, "Goodnight". What do you think?

Some time in the past, I saw an illustration of Mr. Rochester and he was represented in this manner. I'll repost it if I ever find it. 

In this frame, my favourite line in the screenplay is uttered. I fear I would not be able to recall it word for word as Moira Buffini wrote it, so I will not try, but to summerize it: Mr. Rochester is describing the cord of communication between them.

Here is the passage from the words of Brontë:
"Because," he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you-especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame.  And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communication will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.  As for you, --you'd forget me."

I really don't draw my friends and family enough. This winter I aim to make portraits for them.

Of course, I now wish to visit Haddon Hall- the setting of Thornfield. Although the virtual tour would be so much cheaper, it would be quite the experience to actually walk the grounds. Someday...when I go to England...

I hope I haven't inundated you with images. I know there are so many. I just couldn't bring myself to the point of excluding any of the ones posted.

All images from Jane Eyre belong to Focus Features.
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