Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Angel in the Waters

I would like to share a very sweet story with you.

Angel in the Waters is a picture book written by one of my favorite authors, Regina Doman. It tells the story of a baby growing in its mother's womb- along with an angel.

The story developed when one of Regina's sisters learned that children who talk at a very young age can sometimes remember what it was like in the womb. Another one of their sisters had just started talking at that time, and (yes indeed) she was young enough to have memories of being in her mother's womb. She told her older sister that "there was an angel in there with me." (not verbatim, I'm paraphrasing an interview).

Regina was inspired by this story to write Angel in the Waters, which is now available to read online. I would like to encourage you all to take ten minutes and read this beautiful and enchanting picture book- and perhaps order it for an expectant mother.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Road goes ever on and on... they try to figure out the best way to do the Hobbit.

Jeffrey Overstreet has a pretty informative post with some interesting updates...we finally have a concrete interview with Del Toro, and some info on preproduction. (or the first inklings of it.)

And I will write more "contemplative" posts soon. The last week has been full of the Children's Musical, illness and prom. I still need to "compare Mr. Darcys" although I don't know if I dare risk the outcry when I declare my personal preferance for Matthew MacFayden's version...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Frodo is grea- Who is THAT?

Okay, I'm rather late in posting this (considering that the LOTR craze is pretty much over) but I had no idea that Figwit actually had his own Wikipedia page!!!!

Talk about the power of the fans...did you know we can actually create characters out of almost nothing?

If you've never heard of the famous Figwit, please read the Wiki article. It's hilarious. (Especially because it is completely serious.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Prince Caspian Theatrical Trailer

Yes folks, it's here at last! The theatrical trailer for "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." Check it out. Is the River God cool or what?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Susan's Purple Dress- Part One

Welcome to post one of my first costume chronicle! For those of you who are not seamstresses...just enjoy the pictures.
My project is Susan's purple dress from Prince Caspian, as pictured below. I and many other Narniawebbers have been scanning dozens of pictures for every possible detail we can find about this dress. I owe much of the current sucess of my project to the many details the Narniawebbers discovered.

First of all was the task of finding the proper fabric. It is unbelieveably difficult to find purple fabric with purple stripes. I was able to find one shirting fabric at my JoAnn's that I felt was workable. However, I did make the decision to use the same fabric for the entire dress. Finding TWO purple striped fabrics would be pushing it. (The bodice is actually a smaller stripe). Then I pulled out some blue that I had in my stash (last used for Captain Jack Sparrow's vest) and bought a bit of gold for the flower applique. The picture below shows how they react to shadow and light.

One of the secrets I picked up during my year as an alterations assistant was to chalk out hems instead of pinning them. It saves tons of time and eliminates a lot of pricks. The blue fabric was actually too slippery for this technique to be very effective, but it worked wonderfully with the purple cotton.

I marked out the hem two inches up, so that when I folded it over, I had a nice 1 inch hem. I decided to zig the inner seam as opposed to doubling it over, because it made a smoother (and quicker!) hem.

I made an underskirt instead of an underdress, but I made the waist flat to eliminate bulk and create the same smoothness that an underdress would have.

I love the way the underskirt folds in the back. The skirt was purposely cut so that there would be more fabric in the back. (As we saw in pictures of the original dress.)

When I got the purple panels sewn together, I started wondering if maybe I had a little too much fabric in the skirt!

I did the purple hem the same as the blue one.

Actually, it was by looking at Lucy's dress that I realized that the hems on the split needed to be four inch folds. That creates the smoothness in the front.

The back folds have been causing a lot of puzzlement over at Narniaweb. I played around with them abit, and came up with this:

It's really a double pleat, not exactly what I was expecting, but it lays flat and still creates lovely folds.

The front split is sewn together for about six inches down the front.

Blurry, but you can see the draping.

Next I began making the bodice pattern. Whenever possible, I always make my own patterns. The dress form makes this a lot easier. This bodice was a bit difficult though, since it was hard to determine the actual length. I did end up recutting the pieces you see here to make them about an inch longer.

Susan's dresses usually have double princess seams...which makes way too much work for the rest of us...the bodice, including all three layers and NOT counting the peplum or the sleeves, will have 21 pieces!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ben Hur's Evil Twin

My first thought on this was..."Oh, so the moment Charles Heston is dead they remake one of his most famous roles?"

My second was- "Oh, they're going to be closer to the book...might not be too bad..."

My third, after reading the following quote was "Did you miss the whole point of the book?????"

New version will also downplay the religious aspects of the source material.
“We want to look at the spirituality within the piece rather than directly
relating it to a specific religion,” Wyler said. “It’s a very complex story.
It’s been 50 years since my father’s version, and we think we can bring
something new and contemporary to it in the same way that ‘Gladiator’ did for
that genre.”

Note to Mr. Wyler. Do some research on Lew Wallace. Find out what his purpose was in writing this story. Then do some heavy analyzing with the help of some qualified professors and theologians and figure out exactly what the messages of this story ARE!


Sorry. I doubt there will be many Heston fans tuning into this one.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Writing needs a community

On Friday night I had the wonderful opportunity to get together with a writer's group that meets in my area. It is composed of young people, most of whom are interested in screenwriting. I had met them a year previously at a film camp, and one of my best friends remained connected with him. Having reached a point in my life where I actually need more social interaction, I finally made it to a gathering.

It was a really fun night. Besides talking about an upcoming film project (and Prince Caspian!) we also took the time to complete an exercise in description was really fun! The five of us all wrote a paragraph or two and then we read them outloud to each other and commented on them.

Then we started plotting out a started with a person sitting in a tree...and grew a lot...I'm looking forwards to finding where it goes next!

Writer's groups, of course, are hardly new. We all know that the group "The Inklings" nutured the genius of such writers as C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams. But, sadly, I think a great many young authors these days either a) have no group or b) are too shy to share their works.

Feedback is important. I have one good friend (who is a very talented writer) who is very hesitant about revealing her work to others. However, she and I are both very comfortable with exchanging ideas, and both of our projects have benefited greatly from having an outsider's opinion.

Even if you don't have a writer's "group" (though it's easier to start one than you may think), I would still highly recommend having a trusted friend or family member look at your work. They may not be a good "critic" but they might be able to give you some good ideas about plot and character development. (some of us get ideas from younger siblings...they can be pretty sharp sometimes!)

Anyhow, I'll sign off with a my description from the other night, to give you all a brief taste of my narrative style.

NOTE: we weren't suppose to write the emotions, only show the situation. Usually I would say something like..."her face was sad..." or "her steps were heavy." The challange of this was to describe those feelings without telling them.

She walked along the shore, a few feet away from the breaking waves. She was avoiding the water, although she was barefoot and the day was warm. The sand beneath her feet was damp and hard, and her toes left no impression to remember her passing.

The sun was just past its peak- lunch hour, the hottest part of the day. A dozen half-completed sandcastles dotted the shore, waiting for their constructers to return when the air was cooler. One, in particular, rose imposingly over the deserted beach, clamoring to be completed.

The girl stopped and stared at the sand castle. It was tall, perhaps four or five feet in height. Scattered around it were milk jugs and plastic cups. There was also a large pile of drift wood, hinting at a structure beneath the immense mound of sand.

Curiously, the girl moved towards the castle. It was on the other side of the tidal line, a barrier indicated by dried seaweed and sharp brown shells the size of her hand. As she passed the line, she stooped to pick up one of the brown shells. She weighed it for a moment, still staring at the castle.

A laugh came from one of the distant condos. She shook suddenly and dropped the shell, her resolution gone. She returned to the waves, this time letting the water bury her feet.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Reading is your passport... Narnia! At least according to this lovely ad! It is a literacy encouraging endevor that uses Narnia footage. Very sweet and cute!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Shoes and ships and sealing wax....

...and candlesticks and kings.

They quote that in Anne of Green Gables all the time. Rather fun to say...or type...

Four days without a post...why does that make me feel like a failure? Hmmm....perhaps because it makes me happy when other people update their blogs regularily. I'm obsessed with checking all of my friends blogs every day...or almost every day...

We had a very long drama practice today. I am directing the drama for the children's musical at our church, and we only have four practices left, so I'm getting rather nervous. The kids are doing fine...but not fine enough for a director's sanity, if you know what I mean! Plus one of our main actresses broke her ankle, so we have to work with that. Prayers would be greatly appreciated!

However, I'm having a simply splendid time creating Susan's Purple dress for Prince Caspian. I've been photo-documenting the whole process, so I hope to write up a detailed post later! It's mostly for the benefit of my fellow Narniaweb costumers, but hopefully the rest of you will be impressed by the amount of work that goes into costuming.

Actually, it's been quite interesting. I think my year of working as an alterations assistant has taught me a lot about patience in sewing. Or maybe it's just because cotton fabric is so much nicer than anything else I've worked with...and I rarely use it....

Then my dear friend RJ (Maantikvah) got me hooked on Gilmore Girls. Who knows how much of my time that is going to swallow up? I've been delightfully surprised with the first season so far...very entertaining. (For those of you who don't know me well, I rarely watch TV shows.)

And finally I've been re-reading a great favorite of mine- "Christy" by Cathering Marshall. As soon as I'm done with the book and in a slightly more alert mood, I'll write up a long interesting post about it...although I find that sometimes I write some great stuff when I'm not quite alert...perhaps I'll give it a try now....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Guess the movie quote...

A friend of mine posted this on her, needing some amusement, I decided to do the same thing.

1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.

The only ammendment I'm making to this is that since blogger doesn't let me use strike through, I'm going to highlight the correctly guessed ones in blue. And check the comments before you guess- someone might have already guessed one wrong.

(Just for the record, I'm not doing LOTR, POTC, Star Wars or Jane Austen movies, because everyone knows that I like them, and they are MUCH too easy.)

#1. 'You don't look totally ridiculous in that dress.
'Is that obnoxious brother talk for 'You look kinda nice'?
'You look beautiful.' - Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer- Laura S.

#2. With two of us digging, we can cover twice the ground. It'll only take us, oh... 8 years to reach the outer wall.
Ohh... and does something else demand your time? Some pressing appointment, perhaps? -Count of Monte Cristo- Josh

#3. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come into dinner. -Much Ado About Nothing- Sam

#4. do you see another world out there? No, you see a field. Do you see anything non human? No. And you know why? Because it's a field! - Stardust- Laura S.

#5. This from the boy who hated Easter because he couldn't find the eggs.
Yeah, because you BURIED the eggs!
That's beside the point.

#6. There's a diffrence between a failure and a fiasco. A failure is merely the absence of success. Any fool can achieve failure. But a fiasco, a fiasco is a disaster of epic propotions. A fiasco is a folk tale told to other's to make other people feel more alive because it didn't happen to them.

#7. Theoretically, if you go to the past in the future, then your future lies in the past. This is a picture of you in the future - in the past. -Kate and Leopold- Laura S.

#8. My father told me, It takes the glory of God to conceal the matter and the honor of kings to search it out. -One Night with the King- Josh

#9. You're a thief and a liar.
I only lied about being a thief, I don't do that anymore.

#10. This moment! Is there some wrong I can right, some peril I can face, some quest I can undertake?
Well... actually... there's not much going on today. The Queen and some of her court have gone a-maying.
Gone... a-maying?
Well, it's a sort of... um... picnic? They pick flowers and chase young...
It's a custom we have here. This is England, you know. And this is the season for gathering flowers.
Knights? Gathering FLOWERS?
Well, SOMEONE has to do it!

Okay, good luck! (And no Meg, I know you've seen pretty much all of you may only answer 3)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Narniaweb! Er....I mean...Barnesweb?

April Fool's day is my absolutely favorite day to check out mean Barnesweb, of course. (Although if you check the site after midnight tonight, you'll miss that joke). There are always tons of hilarious false news reports (only a year or two ago the Caspian/Susan one apparently was truer than we guessed! So you never know!) and this year the forum itself has been populated by several highly entertaining jokes by forum members.

My favorite thus far is the "Prince Caspian Script" for the scene "Sorcery and Sudden Vengrence" which combines all the controversial elements...twice...into one scene. Hilarious!