Monday, February 28, 2011

A Damsel's Daybook I

Hosted by Autumn at Storygirl
Outside my window - It is very dark, but I know the stars are shining.
I am thinking about - Pretty things like cameo rings and stars (see above) and books.
From the kitchen - Mmm...chicken, rice and beans.
I am creating - A blog post; but I plan to make some bookmarks tonight.

I am reading -
  • Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer
  • Star Crossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
  • Everlasting by Angie Frazier
I am hearing - Celtic Woman singing Danny Boy (heaven), the keys on my keyboard clicking merrily, and my sister breathing/laughing next to me.
I am hoping - Tomorrow will be sunny.
I am planning - To make bookmarks after I finish this blogpost.
I am wearing - My PJ's...teehee
Around the house - All is quiet and calm as my parents watch a film, I write this post as my sister watches, and my younger brother reads (my older brother is not home yet).
My wish of the week - To find a job!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fairytale Tidbits

 As you probably know, I love fairytales.  So I wanted to do a fairytale post!  I do a lot of fairytale reading and looking at fairytale art and watching fairytale movies; you get the idea.  I wanted to share some of my findings.
Firstly, I have discovered a website that has a few of the different versions of Beauty and the Beast (my favourite fairytale) that are available.  The link is below the stained glass window picture I found.
 Another of my favourite fairytales is The Little Mermaid, written by Hans Christian Anderson.  It is so beautiful.  I was on Etsy, and I found a really beautiful necklace: Silver Mermaid Locket.  Needless to say, it immediately went on my wish list.  I love things that have meaning to me that I can wear.  My own fairytale fashion statement!
 I think the things I like most about these two fairytales is that the heroines are so selfless and loving that they are willing to give themselves for love; Belle to save her father, and the little mermaid trades her life for that of the prince she loves.  I really admire their sweetness and goodness and overall loveliness.  They are true princesses.  Did I ever mention it is my goal to be a true princess?  Hence the picture on my journal...I forgot to mention the significance of that.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Peek Into My Journal

This is my journal.  No, I don't write in it every day like Emily Starr, but I do write in it whenever I feel either so inclined or inspired.  I fill it with things that inspire me, too.  I have some beautiful pictures and poems and quotes and things.  I just wanted to show you a taste of it.  I love sharing :)  The lighting is horrible and I do apologize, but you get the general idea.  One of my favourite pages is the one with the William Shakespeare quote; on the opposite page to it (which I didn't take a picture of...but I will post it at the end) is one of my favourite pictures.  It's very romantic.
  I actually made this journal (sort of).  It was just a plain black notebook, so I glued the picture on the front and added the silver elastic, which I got off a chocolate box, I think.  And I really like it!  What do your journals look like?  And do you write in them everyday, or just when you feel like it?


And here is the romantic picture I just love.  It's for Swan Lake...what else can I say?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Literary Heroine Party

Thanks to Elise at Ribbons of Light  I found this!  A lovely lady named Miss Kellie is hosting a 'Blog Party' and all 'eligible young ladies are invited to attend,' as The Duke in Cinderella would say.  I do feel rather as if I'm attending a ball, I'm so excited!  Have a look over at her blog, A Maiden's Musings, through the picture below.  It's delightful.
~ The Questions ~
Compiled by Miss Kellie & Miss Natasha

What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? Hmm...kindness, strength of character, just overall goodness.  Someone I can look up and relate to.

Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to.

Catharine Morland from Northanger Abbey - She's not perfect, and is very different from all of Jane Austen's other characters.  I think I am more like her than any of them.  She is imaginative, which gets her in trouble sometimes (check), falls for Mr. Tilney (check), and loves a good book (check).
Emily Starr from The Emily Series - Not only do I share her name, but her temperment.  I was always able to relate to Emily more than Anne.  She's more laid back and less exuberant.
Edith Hamilton from The Inheritance - I haven't actually read the book, so I am just assuming that her character is the same as in the movie.  She is such a sweetheart!  I hope someday to be as good as she is.

Five of your favorite historical novels? I'm just going to assume this means written in a historical time period, but not necessarily around a certain historical event.

The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Out of those five books who is your favorite character and why? I would have to say Henry Tilney.  He's just!  Kind, funny, and good.

If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there?
I want to go to Prince Edward Island because of L. M. Montgomery...but I'm not sure whether I would like to go to Europe first; Italy in particular.  It's so romantic over there!  And Spain!  I want to go to Spain!  Oooh and Australia...I could even visit Elise :)  And I've always had a yearning for the United Kingdom: all of it!  It must be my ancestors.

What is your favorite time period and culture to read about?
A wide variety!  But I've been gravitating toward the Victorian era. I just love the romantic feeling.

You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert.  Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of?
Well, I would probably sing.  Something like Oh Danny Boy...because I'm obsessed with Irish folk songs.  And I love Always There sung by Orlagh Fallon!  Beautiful.

If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent?
Oh goodness.  Err, give me a minute... Either Catherine Morland or Margaret Hale.  The latter mainly for her hairstyle, I must confess!  (Although I did just watch it again, and I love her clothes!  Why can't we wear those dresses without getting strange looks from people?  Why?!)

What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate?
I must confess I am rather partial to the milk and white types.  They are my one weakness (Lark Rise to Candleford influence there hehe).

Favorite author(s)?

Good grief...
L. M Montgomery
Jane Austen
Charles Dickens
C. S. Lewis
Louisa May Alcott
Here's the list if you're interested.
As a small, imaginative, red-haired damsel might query; would you rather be divinely beautiful, dazzlingly clever, or angelically good?  Why?
As Elise has already very aptly put, to say angelically good 'smacks of hypocrisy and goody-two-shoeism.'  But I really would rather be angelically good because that is the only option that would lead to true happiness, even though that is a bit of a selfish reason to choose it.

In which century were most of the books you read written?
19th century.

In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…
Henry Tilney.  (Sorry, Elise! I really don't mean to copy, but I must add Sir Percy Blakeney as well!  This is getting pretty funny.)

Describe your ideal dwelling place.
Anywhere my family is...but if I had them and this house described below, life would be perfect.  (Not that it isn't already!)

A sweet little white cottage (Victorian style) with gables, blue shutters and a white picket fence around the garden.  There would be trees; a willow in the back by a rippling brook (yes, it must ripple), and an apple tree in the front that produces the best apples for apple pie and cobbler.  Also, I would love a silver birch just for the beauty of it.  There would be a vegetable garden in the back where I would grow peas and beans and potatoes and cucumbers and radishes and lettuce and carrots and many other yummy vegetables.  I would have a flower garden in the front and roses along the fence and little patches of flowers around the house.

Outside the garden, I would have a red barn, one of those friendly looking ones.  We would have goats and chickens and sheep and maybe even a donkey!  It would smell of sweet hay, and we would build houses out of the hay bales just for the fun of it.  Hay Day in August would be the party of the summer!  (We would hay our own hay, of course...doesn't that sound funny!)

Inside the house, I would have wooden floors, staircases that squeak happily when you walk/trip/dance up/down them.  I would have an official library with floor to ceiling bookshelves absolutely crammed with books, and one of those ladders that rolls along them.  (That would be the official place for books, but knowing me, I would have many cracks and crannies where I would tuck a little book in).  I would have a kitchen with a wooden table and gingham curtains that overlooked my vegetable garden.  I won't list all of the rooms, but I would have the bedrooms upstairs, and a nursery for my babies, all of whom will have dimples and laughter.  And when they get older, we'll have a swing set in the back for them to play on (all wooden, of course.  Those plastic things are horribly ugly!).  If they get hurt playing outside, I can comfort them and cuddle them and put band aids on  their sores.  (Can you tell I want children, badly?  I hope I can have eight...)  And every night before they go to bed, we'll all sit together and I'll tell them stories, or read them fairytales and Peter Pan (that book is a must).

And as I've rambled on quite enough, I think I should probably stop before I bore you to tears.  This is so much fun! 

Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name?
Come to think of it, no I haven't!  A bit odd, after all the books I've read.

In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is...
Chauvelin, Bill Sikes, Heathcliff, Carver Doone...yes, I agree with you Elise! Oh! And John Thorpe.  Horrible man!

Three favorite Non-fiction books?

The Bible
My Family and Other Animals
The Heavens Proclaim His Glory
can I add a fourth?  The Best of James Herriot

Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon?
  Read outside in the sun, probably either curled up on a bench or sprawled out in the grass.  Or I might go for a walk (somewhere where there are trees...lots of trees!).

Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character.
Something elegant with a rose in the sash...probably broad brimmed.

Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year.
  1) My little cousin's birth, and 2) My acceptance into the library program (I'm currently in my studies for a Library Technician Diploma)

Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.
I tend to go back to the ones that have comforted me constantly, so I would have to say Romans 8: 35-39, Deuteronomy 4: 29, Psalm 91: 11-12, and Psalm 27: 1.  There are many others, but they would take up too much space.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Started Another Blog!

So as if I didn't have enough fun here, I decided that it would be fun to start another blog.  I don't know if I'll keep it, but for now it's staying.  It's going to be exclusively books and book related things; so I'll probably be doing a lot of book reviews over there.  Go have a look if you feel so inclined :)

The Perfect Book

As a side note, I am watching Doctor Dolittle (1967 version) after many years of having completely forgotten about it.  And I am quite enjoying myself.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Favourite Books - The Letter W

It appears this is the last in this list for a while, as I cannot find any favourite books beginning with X, Y or Z.  So here is the final (for now) list.

Wait For Me: Rediscovering the Joy of Purity in Romance by Rebecca St. James - A beautiful book about the treasure of purity.  Rebecca St. James is a true role model and her book does not disappoint.

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier - A retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I really enjoyed this, but just as a warning; if you are against reading about vampires, be informed that there are some in here.  They aren't main characters, per se, but they do play a largeish role.

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham - A childhood classic.  Little Mole just captured my heart, and Toad's antics kept me in stitches!

The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum - Set in Holland during the second world war, this is the story of a family struggling under the Nazi oppression.  A heartwarming tale or excitement and friendship/family.

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell - If you have seen the wonderful movie version of this, done in 1999, and liked it, you should read the book.  It just shows how well the movie was done.  One of the rare instances where the movie and book are at the same level of wonderfulness.

A Woman Named Damaris by Janette Oke - Part of the Women of the West series, I believe this is my favourite so far.  It's about a girl who runs away from an abusive, drunken father and makes a life of her own.  Very touching.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - I still take pride in the fact that I share a first name with the author of this book.  I love how she took all the sad ends left from the lives of Heathcliff and Cathy and wove them together to make something good at the closing of the book.

My Favourite Books - The Letter V

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray - Please don't let the 2004 movie version throw you off.  (I prefer the 1987 movie version, which is very hard to find).  This really is a masterpiece.

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams - I grew up with the version that was illustrated by Michael Hague.  I still think the last picture of the fairy looks like I did when I was a little girl.  (Except I had short hair.)  This is a sweet story of a well loved toy and what it takes for a toy to be real.

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting - Wonderful tales of Doctor Dolittle's adventures.  What exactly do you do when you can talk to animals?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Favourite Books - The Letter T

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo - Possibly one of the most adorable children's books I have discovered recently.  This is the tale of a tiny mouse with big ears and an ever bigger heart.  He is so different from the other mice that they banish him to the dungeons, where he must defend himself as best he can from the evil rats while he fights as the princess's knight.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - This is such a beautiful book.  I fell in love with Sydney Carton when he proved himself to be unselfish and loyal and sweet and...well, you get the idea.  And I was moved to tears when I read the passage:
“Are you dying for him?"  she whispered.
“And his wife and child.  Hush! Yes."
“O will you let me hold your brave hand, stranger?"
“Hush!  Yes, my poor sister; to the last."

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare - I think this is the only Shakespearean play that I can read effortlessly.  (I find it hard to read plays...sigh)  It's so full of humour!  A must read!

A Tangled Web by L. M. Montgomery - What happens when everyone thinks they should inherit the same object?  And what further happens when the old lady whose decision it is decides to make everyone wait for a year after her death until the name of the inheritor is revealed?  In one word: mayhem.  A delightful book of intertwining stories, A Tangled Web is not a book that I loved at first read.  I had to read it twice before I appreciated its full worth.

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy - Such a sad book.  The only reason this is a favourite is because it is so beautifully written.  I think it's the only book I ever liked simply for its style.

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler - A retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses.  I found it an interesting perspective.  I'd never thought of there being a thirteenth princess.  It adds an original twist to the well known fairytale.

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas - An exciting tale with mystery, intrigue and comedy.  I only had a few objections to some scenes, but overall, it was definitely worth the read, and I went so far as to buy myself a copy.

The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White - Childhood favourite.  Again.  The story of a trumpeter swan...the rest is a little fuzzy.  But it is a wonderful book!

My Favourite Books - The Letter S

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness (Emmuska) Orczy - I read this after I saw the 1982 version of the movie (which, sink meh!, I instantly fell in love with).  The book takes some getting into, but is just as exciting.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - One of my childhood favourites.  I especially loved the change in Mary Lennox as she becomes sweeter through tending for her garden.

The Secret Seven Series by Enid Blyton - These were some of my first mystery books, and I remember my siblings and I even made our own secret seven, with badges and everything and secret meetings in the back shed.  I miss those days.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen - One of my favourites of hers, Sense and Sensibility (as I'm sure you all know) is the tale of two very different sisters.  I find it interesting to see how Elinor and Marianne approach things completely differently.  Brilliantly written by a brilliant authoress.

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan - Set in Norway during the second world war, this is an exciting tale of a village of children who are on a desperate mission to save the village's wealth of gold bullion from the Nazis.

The Story Girl by L. M. Montgomery - The first of the Sara Stanley duo, it is chock-full of little stories that she tells during her cousins' stay at her house.  I instantly fell in love with the characters: sweet Cecily, fat Felix, snobbish, beautiful Felicity and her ever faithful Peter (who she scorns, of course), the narrator, Bev, and of course, Sara, who weaves magic with her words.

Stuart Little by E. B. White - Stuart Little is a mouse.  A mouse who makes friends with a beautiful sparrow toward the beginning of the book and for the rest of the story goes out looking for her when she disappears.  His adventures are comical and exciting.  Another one of my childhood favourites.

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George - A retelling of one of my favourite fairytales, East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon.  I would have done it differently, but all in all, it was enjoyable.

The Swiss Family Robinson by Henry Frith - I haven't technically read this.  However, my mum read it aloud to us when we were little, and I have fond memories of large turtles, houses in trees, and explorations in handmade boats.  I have a beautiful old fashioned copy from either the late 1800's or the early 1900's.  I stumbled across it in an antique shop for a mere $5.00 and could not believe my good fortune!  It's true worth must be much more than that.  It's a warm red colour with gold writing and a gold filigree/pillar on the spine.  One of my treasures!

The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White - Although there are some things that I would feel more comfortable about if he had left them out, I must say over all, this is a really good book.  I found it quite funny and an interesting perspective on the life of young King Arthur.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Favourite Books - The Letter R

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale and illustrated by Nathan Hale - A funny twist on the original fairytale of Rapunzel, this was a very enjoyable read.  It is the first graphic novel I have ever truly liked.

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit - The moving story of  a family whose father was taken away from them and their struggles as they wait for his return.  This was a book that I read as a child, but did not fully appreciate until I had grown older.  Now it is unforgettable to me.

The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques - Some people called Brian Jacques an author, he called himself a jack of all trades, but I call him a genius.  I cannot tell you how many hours I spent in the wonderful world he created for us, making friends with all the dear Redwall creatures.  I just learned of his passing and was very saddened by the news.  Memory eternal, Mr. Jacques.  I hope you know how many worlds you brightened through your stories.

The Road to Yesterday by L. M. Montgomery - Another collection of short stories from my favourite author.  I remember these as being sadder than most of her others, but I still enjoyed them.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - This one speaks for itself.

A Room With a View by E. M. Forster - I watched the movie before I read the book, and I'm glad to say, it didn't ruin it for me.  I found it entertaining, but my mum doesn't like it.  I don't know the reason for my liking it or my mum's for not!  We just do.

Roverandom by J. R. R. Tolkien - Not one of his more well known titles, I read the tale of Roverandom as a child and loved it.  It is still one of my favourites of his.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Since today is Valentine's Day, I thought I'd put up some old fashioned valentines.  Also, (completely coincidental, I assure you) I happen to be in the middle of Juliet by Anne Fortier, which I picked up because it was about the famous tragedy of Romeo and Juliet which was made immortal by William Shakespeare, and had a scrumptious cover.  It's exciting, interesting and well written, but bodes a little too much 'romance' shall we call it, in further unread pages.  If it turns out well, I'll do a book review.  (Edit: Unfortunately, it did not turn out well.  It just kept going downhill.  There were so many things she could have left out.  On the upside, it was exciting, interesting, and mysterious, and I'm glad I read it for background on Romeo and Juliet, but I would not recommend it.)  Here's the cover:

And here are the vintage valentines.
 So, without further ado:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fairytales Retold Video

I made a video of retold fairytales!  Some of them I don't like as much as others, for example: Beastly.  But most of them are really good.  Have a look and let me know your favourites!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My Favourite Books - The Letter P

Thank you, Elise (from Ribbons of Light) for getting me back on track!  It's been a while.
I know, I know, I skipped the letter O.  I honestly couldn't find any!  I'm sure one will come along someday, but for now, I have no favourite books that begin with the letter O.  So now, I'm onto the letter P, which has always been one of my special letters (it stands for so many nice things!  Princess, Pretty, get the idea).

Pat of Silver Bush by L. M. Montgomery - Someone told me once I was like Pat when I was raving about how I would never leave home unless I married.  And when I realized it was an L. M. Montgomery book I hadn't read, well, I read it!  It is now one of my all time favourites.  It's also very quotable!

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie - This has got to be my favourite children's book of all time.  I remember asking my gran to read it to us when we were little (she always wanted to read Alice in Wonderland, which I found to strange it scared me).  I loved the idea of never growing up, the adventure, the pirates, the Indians, the fairies, Tinkerbell, and Peter Pan (of course!).  Recommended to everyone, everywhere!

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lingren - Such a laugh of a read!  I used to check this out of the library all the time.  Guaranteed to make you chuckle, guffaw, you name it!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - What can I say about this that hasn't already been said?!  Please, do yourself a favour (if you haven't already) and read this  timeless classic.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale - I read this just last year and had to get my own copy.  It's an exciting princess story that will leave you feeling warm when you close the cover.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman - Why is it that most of my favourites are books that make me laugh?  This book has a little bit of everything for everyone: adventure, mystery, romance, sword fights, revenge, friendship and greed.

The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald - The last time I read this was many years ago, and I am long overdue for a re-read.  It's a sweet story about the friendship between a little princess and a young peasant boy.  It is the sequel to the next book on this list.

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald - This is the story of a little princess who is kidnapped by goblins.  Her friend, Curdie, has to save her.  It is a very sweet tale, full of wisdom from C. S. Lewis' favourite author.

The Princess Tales by Gail Carson Levine - These are all very original twists on well known fairy tales.  They made me smile.

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George - I must confess; I bought this book for its cover!  Although I had read one of her other books before, so I knew it was going to be good.  It was well written, sweet, and overall a really good read.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Fight For Molly

I just heard about this dear little girl recently, and wanted to share, in the hopes that the news will spread. 
She is the youngest child ever to have been diagnosed with leukemia.  Her family is struggling to pay for the medical bill to save her life.  I am not going to post the video I saw here because it was too much for me to watch, but you can find it on YouTube through this link:
I hope her story will touch you in the same way it touched me.  Please, if you can, donate and pray for Molly and her family!  Even if you can't donate, please remember her in your prayers.

"More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of." - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Here is a link to their webpage:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rapunzel Concept Art

 I have been obsessed with concept art recently...well, ever since I saw Tangled, which I suppose wasn't recently.  However, I wanted to share my obsession so you can see what has captured my heart.  Also, so you can see why I want The Art of Tangled so much!
So, here is some of the concept art for the tower:
 And then the forest:
And the castle:
 The town:
And finally, Rapunzel herself:
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