Saturday, May 31, 2008

"The Midnight Dancers" releases at...Midnight!!!

As some of you know, I run the fan forum for Regina Doman, author of the excellent Fairy Tale Trilogy. Tonight her newest book will be released online at! There has been quite a stir over at the forum where we are planning a virtual release party including lots of "virtual" dancing....and "virtual" refreshments too...(I love virtual parties!)

Anyhow, over the next few days I hope to be posting my reviews of all of her books, culminating with a review of "The Midnight Dancers" itself. So stay tuned!

(From the official website)

On June 1st, a new book, The Midnight Dancers is being released! Check out

Regina Doman's other titles are:

They are each loosely based on a Grimm's Fairy Tale, but set in modern times and expanded to a novel-length story.

You can find out about the books and read the first chapters online at

Fencing. Fighting. Fire. Faith. Torture. Revenge. Knights. Nuns. Chases.Escapes. Rescues. True love. Miracles.

Read the books!

EDIT!!!!!!!!! The book is now available for order!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Spindle's End

Robin McKinley's "Beauty" was one of my favorite retold fairy tales ever. I literally read it six times in the first year.

Spindle's End, however, is a bit harder to place.

The fairy-tale being reconstructed is "Sleeping Beauty" and the same basic plot is followed. The world of the Princess Briar-Rose,however, is marvously embellished.

Katriona, a fairy-in-training, lives with her aunt in a land where magic is wild and requires the daily invention of the local fairies to keep it under control. She is a quiet, unassuming girl who shows no sign of magic other than an ability to talk to animals. Were it not for her aunt's insistance that she is a fairy, Katriona would likely live out the life of an ordinary villager.

But all of this changes when the King and Queen give birth (after many long years of waiting) to a baby daughter. In an impulse of generosity they invite one person from every villiage in the land to the christaining of the princess.

And Katriona is the one picked from her villiage.

From there everything changes. As an evil curse descends upon the young princess, another magic allows Katriona to take the baby away and hide her in the woods. There, the young girl and her aunt raise young Rosie (as they call her) into a fine young lady...

But danger still rests over the land. The curse cannot be broken until Rosie's 21st birthday and until then she lives in fear of her life...or at least, Katriona and her Aunt do. The young princess has no idea of her real identity...

The book has a lot of merits. I enjoy Katriona and her Aunt, as well as Katriona's fiance (and eventual husband.) I also like Narl, the blacksmith, who ends up playing a surprising role in the conclusion. However all of these characters are not given nearly enough "screen" time. The "real" heroine of the book, Rosie, doesn't really appear until halfway through. And so even though Katriona has been the heroine, and ought to stay the heroine, we suddenly make way for a new protagonist...who isn't quite as engaging. A bit too masculine- and thus, for me, hard to relate too. A girl can be stubborn without being a tomboy!

The scenery too, though intriguing at first, becomes rather confusing by the end. The final battle lacks description to make it quite clear- things are half described by never quite explained.

The book's strength is it's first half. A world with wild magic, and interesting customs, and engaging, "real" characters make a solid beginning...but the moment the book switches over to Rosie it looses those strengths...such a disapointment.

Still, the first half makes it worth reading. The second half, though a bit scattered, is interesting, and better than no ending at all.

And magic is always...well...magical. Especially in fairy-tale realms, where it is less problematic than in our world.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Del Toro and Jackson answer Hobbit Questions

Here at last are answers to those questions we've all been mulling over...concerning "The Hobbit," that is. Via live chat Peter Jackson and Guillermo Del Toro answered 20 pre-selected questions (as well as a few on-the-spot ones) about the upcoming project. The PDF is 17 pages- a good deal longer than I was expecting, and quite informative concerning that they have only just begun pre-producting.

Over all I think the chat is quite reassuring. It seems like Del Toro and Jackson will make a really good team and that their creative visions should be able to merge well.

Monday, May 26, 2008

In Defense of Ramandu's Daughter

I will be the first person to admit that I enjoyed this pairing. The subtle but sweet romance between them was a very enjoyable part of the film and I think it worked with their character arcs.

However. (Mild Spoiler warning)

One of the outcomes of this that some Narniawebbers predicted was that C+S lovers would then go on to hate the Caspian/Ramandu's Daughter pairing in Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I didn't pay much attention to that at the time because Caspian and the Star's daughter end up married- and what is a teenage flirtation compared to that?

Well, turns out I was wrong. We've got facebook groups going up now to champion the C+S cause. *sigh*. That's what happens when you stray even a little from the book. You end up creating a whole generation that is ready to totally throw the books away and create their own endings.

I'm sorry but that just really fustrates me. I loved the small romance (as I said before) but I'm certainly not ready to throw the Star's Daughter completely out of the picture! She is Prince Rillian's mother for goodness sake's! (And not to mention my favorite hero, Tirian's great-something-grandmother!)

There is no possible way that Susan and Caspian could end up together. She is barred from returning to Narnia- and even if she does end up in the "New Narnia" at her death (Once a King or Queen of Narnia, always a King or Queen of Narnia), she could not possibly "marry" him there since we know that in heaven there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage. (Not to mention the fact that without the Star's daughter, neither Silver Chair nor Last Battle could come to pass!)

So we are going to have to be satisfied with the fact that Susan and Caspian- like thousands of other young people- grow up, move on with their lives, and don't marry their high school sweethearts. Does that mean that their future spouses won't be even better than they would have been for each other? Of course not.

Friends, wait for Ramandu's Daughter. The filmmakers know that they have to make her a lovable and worthy character to suceed Susan in Caspian's heart. Because, remember, the moment Caspian sees the Star's Daughter, he falls in love with her. She is true love. She is the one he waited for.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

One Step Further...

Today we finally got around to recording the commentary for our last film, Little Women. It's been over six months since we premiered it last fall, and the DVD is looooong overdue. I think it will prove worth the wait though. The commentary (from director, cinematographer and...director #2?) is peppered with humor, fun facts about filming, and even some useful tips for beginning moviemakers. My two co-producers (all three of us have half a dozen differant titles) felt that they could have recorded twice as much as we did, but I felt that we covered the important things without becoming repetative. The film itself is about 55 minutes, which is a good length for our audience. We have something substantial and therefore can show that we're capable of difficult things- and yet it's not so long that our "fans" can't find time in their busy lives to watch it.

We had a bit of a scare in the beginning. Well, two actually. First of all we weren't sure whether we actually had a burned copy of the final cut. That resulted in a bit of a scramble as both my brother and I dug through our extensive CD collections to find a workable copy. Thankfully our commentary recorder already had it on his computer so we were safe.

Secondly the tornado siren went off in our area and we could actually see some cloud formations that looked rather dangerous. It was very windy. But, that too was nothing worse than a heavy rain and we were able to proceed as planned.

The cool thing about this time (we've done two other commentaries for our previous films) was that we were able to watch the film on a huge screen! Our recordist has a projecter that projected the film onto a large stretch of blank wall. The quality wasn't the best, but it was a pretty cool way to do the recording!

And then after that we watched the last 15 minutes or so of LWW on the same cool to see it on the big screen! (It was the extended version too, which I had not seen before). So over all a pretty cool day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

If you haven't done so already, I would like to invite you again to start reading the blog for the Fellowship of the Fairy Tale Forum. As I said before, a group of us from the forum have started a blog, on which we will chronicle our daily exercise. The fun twist is that we are writing in "Middle Earth personas" and twenty minutes of vigorous exercise counts as one mile on our journey from Rivendell to Lothlorian. We've had a fun start...nothing too disasterous has happened yet, though I have been warned that my character (Elenatintil, same as here) shall apparently be falling down a well at some point...*shakes head* previously stated, the hobbit that instigates that will be severely punished!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Prince Caspian and The Critics

I just finished reading a particularily heart-breaking review of Prince Caspian. Literally- it made me both indignant and want to cry. And that's not the only one. So I thought I should put out a few more thoughts about this movie- why I loved it so much- and why others (with valid reasons) don't.

First of all, I want to say that I did not love this film because I am a huge Narnia fan and followed the making of it on Narniaweb for over two years. I did that with LWW too. And, as I said before, I was furious with that script's inability to use any dialogue from the book. Now, as a scriptwriter, I know that dialogue often must be changed- but all of it? Insane. I also was disappointed by how whiny both Peter and Susan were. And the White Witch's costumes really bugged me. Still, it was entertaining and sweet and worth watching.

But the script was bad. It was almost scene for scene from the book- but definetly a million miles away from word for word. So, after a couple months of digesting this, I completely wrote off Prince Caspian. I knew it wasn't going to live up to any expectations I could have (and it never was my favorite book anyhow). So, at that point, it would have taken very little to create a film that I would have loved.

As the first production news came trickling in, it seemed that my fears were confirmed. So I made a decision. I wasn't going to gripe about the differances. I was going to love this movie for being an entertaining film- I was going to embrace the changes precisely because they were new. (Even though I still think Lewis made it clear that as golden haired and English speaking, Caspian was NOT of Mediterranean descent.)

As the trailers came out, I started becoming much more involved in this production. I read just about every article that came out on Narniaweb, became obsessed with creating costume replicas, and planned to attend the midnight opening. And I began to be secretly worried that this film would never live up to my now rising expectations. I remembered the lame humor and just plain bland lines of LWW and- even though everything else looked great- feared that the script would sink the ship.

Even after I had evaluated all the supposed changes (including the C+S romance) and decided that, after all, they were probably going to be for the best, I was still worried about the dialogue.

But I didn't have to. As I said in my review, it totally rose above my expectations a thousand times over. And I fell in love with all the changes- especially because so many things were not nearly as drastic as I had prepared myself for! Everytime there was a nod back to the book- whether visual or audible, I silently cheered and and smiled. And, as I said before, I fell in love with this movie.

That, my friends, is why my review ignores so many things that other views are grousing over. I digested and dealt with them months ago. Otherwise, yes, I would have been unprepared and possibly fustrated with some things.

Possibly. I still think that most of the changes were made for the better- and that the script (dialogue particularily) was much, much better than LWW.

I am a book purist. Ask any of my friends- I have a reputation for inciting loud groans while critiquing a film's literary faithfulness. Yet I think that, as far as films go. this version of PC did a remarkable job of pulling all the elements they had to consider together. And yes, it is easier for me than for a lot of other critics because I have read all the interviews- and I do understand why they made the decisions that they did.

That's a weak point for the movie, though. The unprepared book purists will have problems...especially the theologically concerned ones. (Hey- I don't really get the complaints. We got a lot more of the book's message than I think we actually had a right to expect, all things considered). On the other hand, those not familiar with the book will miss out on the joy of familiar lines and will grow fustrated with plotlines (such as the C+S) that were not fully developed because they weren't in the book.

In the end though- it's just a movie. We can love it, we can dissect it to pieces- but should we really waste our energy tearing it down- especially when, as far as movies go, it's actually pretty good? (It's clean, it's fun, it's deep, it's entertaining, it's gets kids reading...)

One of my main fustrations with movie critics is that sometimes I think they forget how much work goes into a film. I've made three films- two of them were year long processes and though they were still a far cry from Hollywood, I really understand the backbreaking work and heartache that goes into creating a movie. Years and years of people's lives go into these things, and unless it's really, really horrible, I think we should be very careful about what we say. I'm not perfect at this myself. In this very post I bashed the LWW script. That was my personal opinion. I know a lot of people that loved it. And even that, as far as scripts go, was decent. Just not as good as PC.

Now one final thing. This particular review I read (I'm not linking to it because it was just too wrath inciting- particularily since I usually have a decently high respect for the reviewer) did sort of bash Douglas Gresham. I'm not going to say that the reviewer is completely wrong- I've certainly had some of the same feelings. But I think that kind of extreme blame laying is a bit out of line. Yes, I think there are some things that Gresham has allowed that were a bit inappropriete. But here's the thing (and I've read this in other places- it's not my own) that I've come to understand. We fans tend to be more protective of Lewis's stuff than he is himself. In some ways, we compare him to Tolkien, who obsessed over maps and languages and geneologies. But the truth is, Lewis really didn't have that kind of deep attachment to his writings. I could be wrong (I'm not a certified Lewis historian!), but I believe that Lewis was open to discussion about changes. And therefore I don't think Gresham is completely out of line in allowing them. If anything, I think changes should be minimal out of respect to the fans, not necessarily Lewis himself.

Okay, I would totally be interested in discussing these points, if anyone wants to post a comment...but I want to be quite clear that I really do love this film and I'd rather not spoil that by pointless arguing. If you are going to disagree with something I said, please count to three and make sure that it's a productive discussion point, not a destructive one. (I really should post that somewhere on this site as a disclaimer...people can get so defensive online and I've seen waaaay too many arguements over pointless things...have been guilty of inciting them, I'm afraid. I don't want that happening here. Constructive discussion, though, is more than welcome...)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Prince Caspian

I loved it.

Plain and simple, those three words describe my feelings about this movie. There is more to discuss, of course (there always is), but it has beena long, long time since I have so thoroughly enjoyed every minute of a movie.

Yes, I'm a big Narnia fan. But with LWW, that worked against me. I was so disapointed with the script for that movie- loved the actors, but everything else fell rather short.

Not so with PC.

First of all, I want to give big kudos to the script writers. They really made a gigantic leap in the process and totally pulled this story together. PC is probably the most difficult book in the entire series to adapt and I think the writers did a brilliant job. The pacing was good (though a few of the battles seemed a tad long) the humor was almost completely smooth (and not forced), and- this is the best part- they actually used lines from the book- not once, but over, and over again. And they worked! I was so happy with the script and delighted that close-captioning meant that I could enjoy every line of dialogue! (Although what was up with claiming that Miraz had recruits from Tashbaan and Etinsmoor? Not to mention Galma!!! Probably the only lines of dialogue where I your research, people!)

I felt that the characters were great as well. There was concern about Caspian, Peter and Susan, but I felt that overall the character arcs were well handled.

Peter's changes have been discussed in other reviews as adding to the faith message of the story. I totally agree with that and I'm not going to dissect that here.

What I do want to discuss is Susan. Yes, she fights. However, there is a subtle thread running through the movie that she actually is very hesitant to shoot anything. The night raid is a bit contradictorary, but it almost feels like another issue altogether.

And her "relationship" (friendship!) with Caspian was handled beautifully. It felt completely natural that those two, under the circumstances, should have an attraction and interest in each other- but it was also natural that they didn't really have time to handle it. Su, brilliantly, says "It never would have worked- I'm thirteen hundred years older than you!" And I felt that the whole thing was bookcased nicely by the interest of the young man back in set up her future so nicely. And she didn't whine! I hated Susan's attitude in LWW- which is actually much closer to her attitude in the book version of PC- I'm so thankful that, having given her enough whining in LWW, they let her thaw out more this time around.

Edmund was definetely a favorite among my group- he lives up to his title "Edmund the Just" and is a good steady character to have. Plus I absolutely love how they worked his electric torch into the night raid! Fantastic idea!

Lucy continues to be the darling of the films. I was a bit shocked by her role in the "Sorcery and Sudden Vengrence" scene- but my friends seem to disagree. Am I the only person that finds if offensive to see a 12-year-old girl jabbing a knife into people? Especially the "healer"? However, her journey with Aslan was very well done, and she has some lovely lines that she delivers with perfect "Lucyness".

Trumpkin- delightfully handled. Definetly a favorite. Peter Dinklege is a brilliant actor and I am so glad that they were able to get him for this role.

Reep- very well done. A bit more comical than I would have written him, but not as much as I feared.

The Telmarines were also very well fleshed out. General Glozelle, especially, was a great character to watch. And I loved Prunaprismia's role in the night raid/bedroom scene.

Caspian himself...well what can I say? I've been a Caspian fan ever since the trailers started coming out. Excellently done- not nearly as arrogant as he could have been. I did feel that he could have used even more screen time, however, and I wonder if some of the Susan/Caspian scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor could have added to that. However, I'm guessing that I will be more satisfied when I watch it a second time.

The design elements were fantastic- particularily the costumes. I had been somewhat fustrated with some of the costume choices in LWW- but PC, for the most part, was beautifully and delightfully dressed. This movie really should be a contender for Costume Design at the Oscars next year, but since it's a "kids" movie and "summer action flick" I doubt it will get any serious consideration.

There are perhaps only two concerns I can think of adding. First of all- the pop song over the last few scenes- although it worked really nicely, did annoy me. It felt a bit too "Disney" and cliche. I'm not sure that it was really horrid or anything, just a bit unexpected.

Secondly- this really feels like a PG-13 film to me. There is almost no blood- but it is very, very intense, and there are some scenes that younger kids could find very disturbing. Nothing more intense than Harry Potter 2 and 3 (which were also PG) but I think those could have gotten a higher rating as well. Still, I know they worked really hard to get this film in proper PG shape, and I'm glad that they did. It's just worth noting.

All that aside, I will say once again- I loved this film. It could very possibly become one of my top favorite films. I hope they stay on a fairly similar path with VotDT (although it shouldn't need quite so much scene shifting).

If you haven't seen it yet- go ahead and make the time! It's fun, entertaining, has food for thought, is artistically beautiful, and, to top that all, is almost 2 and 1/2 hours long. Definetly worth the price of admission.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Queen's Own Fool

I am always keeping my eyes open for good historical fiction- by good I mean compelling, accurate, and without unecessary offensive elements. Such books- particularily for young people, are difficult to find. However, Queen's Own Fool not only meets these requirements, but also carries a bit of magic of it's own.

The book relates the story of Mary, Queen of Scots, through the eyes of Nicola, a young French acrobat. She is hired (though "adopted" would be a better term) and educated by the Queen, becoming her devoted servant through the death of two husbands and multiple betrayals and imprisonments.

Nicola is an engaging heroine- more endearing than some, though not as memorable as others. Her wit is what she will most likely be remembered for- she is, after all, the Queen's own fool. However her devotion is inspiring and her willingness to risk all for the Queen's safety.

The rest of the cast is portrayed with likewise vividness (though being older than the intended audience, I could not help wishing they were all given more screen time). The queen's four ladies-in-waiting all share the same first name: Mary. The author's cleverly allowed Nicola to nickname them "Regal Mary," "Pious Mary," "Pretty Mary," and "Jolly Mary." Need more be said?

We also meet the religious extremist John Knox, the intelligent but manipulative Ricco, the slimy Darnley and the "boar" Bothwell.

And then of course there is the sparkling, beautiful Queen who inspires love and admiration wherever she goes. It is hard to see how such an endearing woman could fall into such tragedy.

Perhaps it is because the Queen, after all, was the fool, and the Queen's Own Fool was the wise woman.

Yolen and Harris make a good writing team. I was less impressed, though satisfied by their other effort, Girl in a Cage and therefore surprised to find this one superior. Indeed, there were times when I found it difficult to put the book down- always a good sign.

However, though Girl in a Cage is suitable for pre-teens, more mature (though still tastfully handled) content makes Queen's Own Fool more appropriete for the 14+ crowd. Young and old will find it engaging- and full of enough historical facts for the older readers to feel justified in the indulgment.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A New Fellowship...for the purpose of exercise...

Currently my Numenorean alter-ego is arranging a new adventure at Rivendell, which you can read about on the new Fairy Tale Forum Fellowship blog.

I'm not going to repost all the links here, as they are in the blog's introductory post, but, in short, we are going to track the miles of exercise we do over the next few months and *track* our way from Rivendell to Lothlorian. We will be posting on the FT Fellowship blog in our various personalities. I, for instance, am Elenatintil (she who shines like the stars) a young woman of Numenorean descent (the same as Aragorn).

All credit to this venture goes to Mamselle Duroc, a lovely young lady who is a regular visitor at the Fairy Tale forum and a reader of this blog. I would highly recommend reading her own regular blog, Romance and the Roses, as well as her "in character" blog for her own personal "Walk to Rivendell."

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Tale of Many Costumes

Thus continues the saga of my recreation of Susan's Purple Dress, and begins the stories of Caspian's Brigandine and Edmund's Battle costume. Below is the red (fake) velvet I bought for Edmund's tunic. It was cheap and 50% off. So in other words, double cheap. ;) The brown lacy fabric is going to be transformed into passable chainmaille by the help of my friend, the silver spray paint.
Below is the beginning of Caspian's Brigandine. I am basically following in the footsteps of the very talented DeLancy who is introducing me to the wonders of FUN FOAM.
8x2.5 rectangles...although unlike Delancey, I no longer have a nice paper cutter. So once again my wax-based tailor'schalk becomes incredibly useful.
And, since I bought the foam in a roll, I am trying to "unbend" my pieces...We'll see how they look tomorrow morning.
Next- the daffodil applique for Susan's dress. I have no idea if this is going to work or not...but here's what I'm doing. I spread fabric glue over some fusible interfacing on the non-fusible side...
...and smoothed the gold fabric over that. Now, however, I am thinking that I should have just attached it with the fusible side and sewn it directly onto the dress. If the glue doesn't work, I'll try it that way.
Meanwhile I had already sewn the piping as shown below...
And spent all of Monday attaching it...
...pretty much by hand...
...the same way I did the peplum...
...and enjoying Gilmore Girls season 5, which has become a guilty pleasure for me...
And unfortunately it is too late at night to take a proper picture of the finished piping, but I assure you that it looks wonderful.

Now, lacing, sleeves, and the guy's costumes!

A discussion about Suburban Lawns...

Instead of properly mourning Master Paul Xavier's temporary absence over at the Catholic Discussion Blog (He's in Poland), Lady Angela Rose posted a hilarious article on what a discussion between St. Francis and God might look apart from the fact that I think it would probably take place the other way around (since God is all knowing), I think there are some really good points in it.

“Frank you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on
down there? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistle and stuff I
started eons ago? I had a perfect, no maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow
in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar
from the long-lasting blossoms attracted butterflies, honey bees and flocks of
songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are
these green rectangles.”

“It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great extent to kill them and replace them with grass.”

“Grass? But it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees, only grubs and sod worms. It’s temperamental with temperatures. Do these suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?”

“Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.”

“The spring rains and cool weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.”

“Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it _ sometimes twice a week.”

Read the rest here...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Prince Caspian...less than two weeks away...

...and too much advertising?

I don't know! It seems like they are releasing an awful lot of television May 16th we'll probably be missing 16 shots and the credits...why even bother to go to the theatre? Oh yes! The big screen! And costumes! And the missing 16 shots...

Hm. Says the young lady who brings the Prince Caspian Illustrated Movie Companion along to Writer's Group and the conversation then dwells on it for almost all the pre-dinner conversation...

At this point there seem to be 3 things that movie goers should be prepared for. (Yes, SPOILER warning here)

#1. Prince Caspian's accent. I like it, personally, but everyone else (including my younger sister) have taken a dislike to it. We'll see how that plays out.

#2. Peter the Magnificent has a "big chip in his shoulder" and Susan the Gentle has been given the name "Susolas" on narniaweb for the similarities between her archery skills and a certain pointy-eared elven princeling...

#3. A TV spot confirmed it. Susan and Caspian- (SPOILER WARNING! YES. MAJOR SPOILER WARNING!) I'll start over again...Susan and Caspian, yes, they do...kiss. In the TV spot. You can see it now, if you'd like, and mentally adjust to it. Is that in the actual movie? At this point, probably. If you like it- cheer! If you don't like it...start preparing yourself now.

I am fairly happy with what I've seen so far. All the interviews and clips have assured me that most of the creative license the filmmakers took has been for the best. I still don't have extreme confidence in the screenwriters (as far as dialogue goes)...but my nature tends to be optimistic, so I hope they don't let me down.

So...readers...from my poll over on the right side of this blog I know about a dozen of you are pretty excited about this movie...what are you opinions on the issues I've listed about? Particularily the amount of advertising? And what do you do about spoilers? I'm usually all for them, but now I'm beginning to wonder if I should withdraw for the last 12 days...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A request for prayer...

I am currently examining the possibility of beginning a new novel. It's a historical story that I feel very strongly about- but I'm not certain that this is the time to begin it.

If I do undertake it, I want to truly write it in the will of God. I feel that it is a difficult story to do, because it is about people who dealt with quite a bit of sin and bad choices in their lives. It's really a story about the consequences of selfish actions- and the recognition of that. And finally, it weaves the story of the writing of a great classic into the other threads.

The heroine, at the peak of the story, is my age, which is why I feel this is a good time to begin it. But because some of the subject matter is dark, I want to make sure that the timing is right.

So, if you have a few minutes, would you mind praying for me that God would give me clear direction? First, if I should go ahead and begin it, and secondly, if I do, that he would guide me in the writing?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Susan's Purple Dress- Part Two

All's high time for an update on my recreation of Susan's Purple dress...
In my last post I had just finished cutting out the bodice. During the process of bodice assembly, I realized that some of my seam allowances were not big enough. This meant going back over several seams and taking them in.
The blue fabric that I'm using as the middle layer is the same as the underskirt materical. It is very slippery, and waterproof, which makes it almost impossible to iron. Therefore I zigged down all of the seams to keep them flat.
I used a very narrow boning that was incased in black fabric. This made it rather difficult to thread through the tube casings, so I had to sew down each end to keep the boning from slipping out of it's cover. Once that was done it worked like a charm.
I ended up doing eight differant pieces of boning. Lady Eowyn had suggested six, but I felt that the extra side front piece was needed to ensure proper support.
I had to cut out the peplum pattern twice. I realized that I should draw the final shape I wanted first, and then add the seam allowance around it. Worked perfectly!
Here you can see a sewn and ironed peplum piece
This was my first idea for the peplum trim, but it was much too shiny and complicated so I went back to JoAnn's and got some duller cording.
On this picture you can faintly see the duller cording, as well as the beginning of my attempts to figure out how to attach the peplum to the bodice.

All pinned! (Yes, there is a bit of overlap in the back pieces. The illustrated movie companion shows this)
Then I basted the pieces down in the front
Ironed them, turned the whole thing inside out, sewed down the iron crease (while the basting held the pieces in place), turned the thing right side out, and tacked the lining down to the inside with hand stitches.
Very nice results.
Still to come:
daffodil applique
and the very complicated sleeves!

And then...Caspian's Brigandine!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lucy's Red Dress Part One

This (above) is the dress that my younger sister is making for the Prince Caspian opening. Basically, I create the pattern and tell her what to do, and she does it. She's quite a talented seamstress for her age.
These are the fabrics we chose for the dress. The embroidered bodice fabric is a bit too golden- but it was the closest we could find at JoAnn's. The rust fabric is actually a suede, since we couldn't afford a velvet. The home dec was a good section for finding these.

We made the skirt fairly basic, the waist is fitted, not gathered. The bodice is separate from the skirt and we are faking the top with an old t-shirt to save time. Simple. Easy. Comfortable.

The underskirt is also faked- there is only a front panel that we attached to the sides of the four inch center hem.

Here we took a pattern from a dress my sister made last year and altered it slightly to make the bodice.

More coming soon!