March 14, 2018

Most Cordially Invited

Dear friends and followers, I am most happy to announce an upcoming party that my friend Molly and I are giving later this month! Being the month of March, we thought it most appropriate to celebrate one of our favorite classics: Little Women!

Image result for little women book

We'll be having a grand old time March 25-31, so get ready for a tag and some other fun posts we have in the works. We'll be covering both book and film versions of this timeless story. And if you'd like to join in with a post of your own, you are most welcome to (just let us know so we can link you up!)

Go head over to Molly's blog, A Ramble in the Woods to check out her announcement post here, and while you're over there (and if you haven't already), give the girl a follow! You won't regret it. :) Also, if you'd like a beautiful button for your blog, Molly has some in ready stock for you!
PS: As is already self-evident, I am indeed alive even after a whole month of silence. ;) My only excuse is school, and a rather adventurous spring break! 

February 16, 2018

Another Period Drama Tag

Happy February, everyone! I'm writing to you all knee-deep in homework and school and stress, which is not a good sign given that my job hasn't kicked in for the year yet. :P But I could not resist doing a period drama tag (and I'd like to do at least one post a month!), so here is Another Period Drama Tag that Molly was so kind to tag me in. :)

1. What was the most recent period drama you watched? Share what you thought of it.
I'm currently watching Victoria, which is so beautiful and lush with detail! I love studying the hair, clothes, and furnishings. The characters are (for the most part) very well-written and acted. I always have Sunday nights to look forward to, when I watch it. 
I'm also watching a period drama on Netflix called The Time in Between and it's all I can do to keep myself from watching it this very minute. I have a blog post to write, for heaven's sake! This a great, high-quality show about a seamstress who becomes a spy in Madrid during World War Two. It's Spanish, but the subtitles are very good; I feel like I'm not missing out on anything. 

Rosalinda Fox pantalón y blusa estampados en la playa. El tiempo entre costuras. Capítulo 5 vía

2. Do you generally prefer period dramas in the form of a movie or a TV series/mini-series? Why?
I love both kinds, but I like series a bit more in general, partly because there's more period drama to enjoy! Movies can feel overly Hollywood-ized, or at least cramped into a 2-hour time limit. On the other hand, there are a few period dramas that are too drawn-out over multiple seasons. As much as I love watching them, some directors need to wrap things up before they run out of good ideas!

3. What is your favorite musical period drama?
1776, hands down. Cheesy? Absolutely! But I'd like to see you watch it from since you can remember every Fourth of July, on the living room floor with the smell and sounds of the day's fireworks in the air and tell me it's not a good movie!!


4. Read the book or watch the movie first?
It depends, and while I would think myself the kind of person who would have a standard order, the time-frazzled me says just watch/read whichever comes your way first! 

5. What is a valuable life lesson you learned from a period drama?
I try not to use period dramas as a moral guide per se, but I do try to emulate Austen's characters in general. Collectively, they have influenced my behavior. I want the goodness and kindness of Jane and Lizzy, the responsibility of Eleanor, even the sweetness of Harriet. 
One specific lesson I have learned surrounds the "badly done, Emma" scene. It's a strong reminder not to get careless or lazy about the way I talk about others. 

Badly done, Emma! // As soon as the words left his mouth, my eyes started stinging. ;-;

6. Which period drama hero would you be likely to fall in love with in real life?
Mr. Tilney. :) He's so kind and witty. He can dance, he's a noble, honorable man, and hey, he does understand muslin!

7. Do you ever like to binge-watch a period drama series?
Part of me does, but I don't always feel very good after doing so. Period dramas are great, but I feel so terribly unproductive if I watch more than two hours at a time. Being sick is the one exception. There's nothing like having wisdom teeth out for watching BBC's War and Peace in a matter of days! 

War and Peace Archives - Harry Cory Wright. James Norton & Jack Lowden as Andrei Bolkonsky & Nikolai Rostov in BBCs War & Peace

8. What things go best with watching a period drama?
Tea is a given. Blankets, if it's cold outside. If it's one you've seen before, then you can add coloring, drawing, or sewing in the works. :) 

9. Which period drama do you think you'd fit into the best?
I think I'd fit in with Little Women. I'd be used to the American customs (although New England has a few unique ways of doing things), and I would definitely fit into the physical climate there. Having a bunch of sisters would be new, but I think I would happily adapt to that! 

10. If you could have any period drama character as a friend, who would it be? And why?
Jane Bennet. Because I don't think there would be an unpleasant moment in her company. She would be a good blend of kindness and cleverness, though I wouldn't mind at all if Lizzy would join us to add more sparkling wit to the mix ;) 

Image result for bennet family walking to church 1995

11. Show us a picture of a period drama costume you wish you could wear in real life. 

Victoria itv- Jenna Coleman

THIS DRESS.  I would love to wear anything from Victoria. And basically any period drama. :P This was a tough question!

12. Are there any period dramas you like to watch during a certain season or holiday?
In theory, I like to watch Little Women around Christmas because of its wintry scenes, and Jane Austen movies in January to coincide with my birthday and serve as a winter pick-me-up. But I haven't necessarily been faithful to that. It's always a good season to watch period drama! :) 

13. Which period drama has your favorite soundtrack?
Nope. Too hard. :P Go read this post if you want some old favorites! 

14. Dream cast your favorite actor and actress in a period drama of your choosing; tell which parts they would play and why.
I love Lily James and James Norton both, and their chemistry was amazing when they starred together in War and Peace! I'd pay to see them in any period drama, but I'm thinking they would make a really good Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley, or even a sequel of their marriage like Death Comes to Pemberly

Lily James as Natasha Rostov and James Norton as Andrei Bolkonsky in War & Peace (2016), both in yellow.

15. Are there any period dramas you like more than one version of?
Sure! I like both '95 and '08 Sense and Sensibilities. I  also like both "versions" of Victoria (but I like the series better!). 

16. What are the top three period dramas that you haven't seen on your to-watch list?
There are so many, I have no idea! Right now some ones I really want to see are The Darkest Hour, The Crown, and Cranford

17. Show a picture of your favorite period drama hairstyle.
I did like JJ Feild's representation of Mr. Tilney most of the time-- the problem is that a great deal of Henry was left out.  What we saw was quite good, really, but there just wasn't enough of it.  And a lot of his best lines were missing.  What was up with THAT???

If you can ignore Mr. Tilney's hilarious facial expressions for a moment, take a look at Catherine's hair! I love Austen-drama hair (with few exceptions), and really there are so few I dislike in the entire period-drama world. Honestly Catherine's hairstyles are just one of many favorites. 

18. What was your favorite wedding in a period drama?
This may seem like a strange answer, but I really love the wedding scene in the Luther movie. Martin Luther clearly had a lot of challenges throughout his life, and the movie reflects that; there are plenty of tense and stressful scenes. And then there's this scene of joy and celebration as he and Katharina von Bora get married. The story behind Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora is really neat, and the reflection of their love in this movie is something I always enjoy watching.

19. What is your favorite biographical period drama?
Probably Lincoln. What an amazing, man and leader! This movie was really powerful, and though it doesn't cover his whole life, it involves an important (and often misunderstood) portion of it. And as a side note: the soundtrack is INCREDIBLE

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I think Lincoln is on Netflix now, so I highly recommend you check it out!

20. Which historical novel will you forever recommend to anyone and everyone?
Little House on the Prairie. Technically the whole Little House series, but if I've got to choose one, I"d recommend that classic of classics. It is good for so many reasons, but it means a lot to me specifically as a factor of my choosing history/historic preservation as a career. 

Thanks again for the tag, Molly! I would try to track down some people to tag, but I have a paper due Monday that needs finishing...and starting. So if you'd like to do this (it's fun I promise!) consider yourself tagged!

January 3, 2018

A Year to Remember

2017: what a sharp looking number! Even though it's over, 2017 still feels fresh and new to me. So much has happened to me and my family this year, I thought I'd sum it up in the Year in Review tag, which I also used last year.

What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
Oh let's see here...I've gone to COLLEGE! I'm guessing a lot of my answers in this will be college-related!

Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions and will you make new ones?
Well, I know I've finally got a nice routine for makeup now that's a little more grown-up than before without looking silly. That's only a minor part of last year's resolutions though, which included health, work ethic, faith, learning, posture, and hair. So I'll keep improving on all of those next year, I hope. When I started college, I resolved not to gain the freshman 15 and have so far been successful, so I'll definitely carry that one over through the rest of freshman year!

Showstopping Christmas Cakes: Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake
I must resist things like this!

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! I now have an adorable niece! :)

Did anyone close to you die?
My aunt.

Which countries/states did you visit?
Maryland, Illinois (for an evening), and Virginia.

Image result for virginia

What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
My priorities straight and my life figured out!

What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory?
December 13th, the day I got to go home for Christmas Break.

Did you move anywhere?
Yep, I moved to Virginia for college!

Virginia: land of history! (my photo)

What was the best month?
Hard to say, they were all nice.

What was your biggest failure?
Not doing well with scholarships.

Did you suffer any illness or injury?
None beyond a few colds and fevers!

What was the best thing you bought?
Probably my laptop, since I definitely needed it for school (and blogging with you guys, of course! ;)

Whose behavior merited celebration?
So many people in my life, who do the kindest things on a daily basis, and don't realize just how lovely they are. Coworkers, friends, family...I am surrounded by good people!

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Protesters who didn't know how to peacefully or effectively protest.

Where did most of your money go?
Hahahaha! Ha! Ahh....I'll give you one guess!

What did you get really, really excited about?
Going to college! And then going home :P. And now I'm excited to start another semester!

What was the best concert you've been to this year?
There was a great choral concert of Lutheran, Reformation-related music that I really enjoyed!

Compared to last year, are you:
happier or sadder? Happier, I hope!
thinner or fatter? 'bout the same, maybe a bit thinner
richer or poorer? poorer. sooo much poorer :P

authorjordanlink: “Vienna’s New Year’s Concert 2013 ”
From the Vienna New Year's Concert: an annual tradition in my family!

What do you wish you'd done more of? 
Taking walks off-campus and going to off-campus events like lectures and gallery openings.

What do you wish you'd done less of? 
Frittering time away with silly things!

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Either the Master and Commander soundtrack or a group called Ensemble Galilei.

How did you spend Christmas?
With family, in the traditional, homey, nostalgic way.

How are you spending New Year's?
Also with family, in sub-zero temperatures.

A range of children's clothing for different ages. Painter Abraham van Strij.  31december 1753 -  7 maart 1826    Hendrik Weymans and his family  date?

Who did you spend the most time on your phone with?
Probably my reenacting bestie!

What was the best book you read?
Either When Patty Went to College or the books from the Chloe Ellefson series in general. One is a lighthearted story of the adventures of a college girl at an all-women school, the other is a series of murder mysteries set at historic sites, and solved by a sleuthing museum curator in the 1980s. I like a lot of different kinds of genres...

Did you fall in love with 2017?
No, not really. :/

What was your favorite TV show?
Poldark! With Victoria in 2nd place.

What did you want and get?
I got great experiences at my college, both on and off campus.

What did you want and not get?
Still no harp! At this point I don't think Santa's going to get it anymore. :P

What were your favorite films of the year?
I'm drawing a complete blank here: I know I watched a lot of good movies this year (though not many newly released ones) and I liked most of them, but none stand out to me as favorite, I guess! I was really happy discover Master and Commander and its accompanying soundtrack last month, so I guess I'll go with that!

Хозяин морей  Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 15 фильмов, пропитанных духом приключений

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 18 in January, and I'm pretty sure I enjoyed a nice chocolate cake with family.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
A ton of Maurices! When I started doing my own laundry in college, I realized that the clothes I was reusing almost every week were from this same brand! They have some very pretty, feminine things.

What kept you sane?
Phone calls back home!

Which celebrity/public figure did you admire most?
Lucy Worsley, who is curator of Historic Royal Palaces in England, and makes a ton of great documentaries! She has one on Jane Austen, the Regency, the British Romance Novel...I want to be her after I graduate!

Looking  Charming on the Crossing.
Look at how much fun she's having, sharing history with the world!
What political issue stirred you the most?
Again, as always: abortion. How is this still acceptable in the United States, much less anywhere??

Who did you miss?
EVERYONE! I miss my old friends and family when I'm in Virginia, and I miss my new college friends when I'm home!

Who was the best person you met?
I met two lovely girls in college whom I consider both bosom friends. We're an inseparable trio!

Tell a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017. 
Don't wait. Study now. AND Don't spend. Save $ now. :P

Five personally significant events of 2017:

  • Winning an academic bowl in the category of British Literature
  • Graduating from high school
  • Becoming an aunt
  • Getting into college orchestra (and performing with some musical stars!)
  • Getting a job as a tour guide of a historic house

Five things I want to do in 2018:

  • Draw, write, and photograph more: basically be more creative+artsy!
  • Have a summer internship at a historic site
  • Learn guitar
  • Go to several reenactments (hopefully at least 3!)
  • Earn enough money for another year of college

People I'd like to know better in 2018:
Some people at college

Happy 2018!

December 26, 2017

Where I've Been

Well that didn't go as planned.
I had hoped to get a few Advent posts in, and thought the very least I could do would be to write a quick "Merry Christmas!" post. But here we are, on the 2nd day of Christmas (and Boxing Day and Kwanzaa) and I have been AWOL on here for nearly a month.
Let's change that, shall we?
First off, I had a ton of fun the first two weeks in December. Even though it was finals season, I thankfully had time for a lot of fun activities with friends. My college's town is super historic, and several museums had candlelight tours that my friends and I went to. The next weekend there were more candlelight tours of some local homes. When I toured these, it had just snowed, and it was getting dark outside, which created the perfect glowing, Christmas-y atmosphere. Between these, a concert of Handel's Messiah, a Christmas parade, and just hanging out with friends, my weekends were jam-packed adventures!

Yet despite all this running around and having fun, I still studied just enough to get A's on my finals. By the time December 13th rolled around, I was definitely yearning for home. I managed to get through my first time flying without a hitch. I flew out of Washington DC in the dark, which was absolutely beautiful! Looking down as we took off, there was a sea of glittering golden lights and crisscrossed with rivers and roads in a diamond pattern. The only thing that could make this flight better, I thought to myself, would be snow. And then it snowed. :) What's more, I got free hot chocolate, and it didn't even taste bad! Who says airline food is disgusting?
Image result for washington dc night aerial
Not my picture, but about the same angle I saw.

My first step off the plane was into sideways-blowing snowfall and a crisp, cold world all ready for Christmas. I couldn't have asked for a better welcome home!
Since I've been back, I've:

  • spent time with family

  • toured a historic house (because that's just what my family does for fun)
  • shopped at Barnes and Noble (and oohed and aahed at books far beyond my price range)

  •  made Christmas cookies
  • wrapped presents

  • gone to a Christmas lights show and a Celtic Christmas concert with a friend
  • and of course, celebrated Christmas Eve and Day in the most traditional way!
I've had such a good December this year, and I can't believe it's already coming to a close. There's so much more I could say; I make no promises of posting it all (because we all know how that goes...) but I wish you all, dear readers, a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

December 1, 2017

Happy December!

Just popping in to wish you all a happy December! I've changed the blogger look, and have a few Advent/Christmas blog posts in mind for this month (though nothing like last year's Advent Calendar!)

I had so much fun making this! I cut the lettering out of homemade gingerbread cookie dough, baked and then decorated. My house smelled like cinnamon and ginger for days.  I can't believe December ...

It's the first year I've decorated a dorm room instead of a bedroom (I'll probably do that too, when I go home for break). It's kind of a shame that when one most wants to do fun Christmas activities is the same time that one must prepare for final exams :-/
That being said, I'm also super excited to be heading home for a while! It's been months since I've seen my family, friends, house, and hometown (much less home state!) I'll definitely keep you posted as best I can with Christmas happenings :)

What are you most looking forward to this Christmastide?

November 9, 2017

Grace of Monaco: Review

When one is balancing 16 credits and a part-time job as a freshman, the most natural thing to do is watch Netflix.
Well, right or not, that's what I do, and I have jolly good fun doing it, too. A few weeks ago when I was in a period drama mood (then again, when am I not in a period drama mood?), a friend and I sat down to watch Grace of Monaco.

Image result for grace of monaco

Now I don't know about you, but I had only heard of the film once before, and had almost entirely forgotten it existed, so I'm guessing it didn't make itself very known in the public sphere. It was made in 2014, so it's still fairly new. If you're interested in Grace Kelly or Monaco, this is a worthwhile movie. If should probably watch something else.

A brief synopsis of the film: Grace Kelly is conflicted about her marriage to Prince Rainier and the consequent struggles that come with being a foreign princess in a very traditional, nationalistic country. She's never really let go of her acting career; in fact she almost flies back to the United States to play a star role in an upcoming movie.

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Alfred Hitchcock trying to convince Grace to come back to the States

Except she can't, because Monaco's in crisis: France is trying to bully the tiny country to pay taxes, and basically become a part of France. Monaco wants to keep its independent identity, but doesn't have a whole lot of bargaining power, since all of its water, electricity, etc. come either from or through France.

For the first half of the movie, I thoroughly enjoyed the set and costumes, but was kind of impatient with the slow pace and the frequent close-up shots of Grace Kelly's face. Not just because it was kind of awkward, but also because she always looks so sad and tired. It's kind of depressing, honestly. Grace isn't happy, Rainier isn't happy, Monaco is in trouble.

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When it seems like all hope is lost, Grace sweeps in with an idea and hosts a ball for the Red Cross, inviting leaders from countries around the world, including the president of France. She puts Monaco in the spotlight of international attention, something her husband has been reluctant to do in the face of potential war. Grace gives a touching speech at the dinner of the ball (complete with more face close-ups) and, according to the movie, causes France to back off in embarrassment of what other countries will think. She is loved by everyone, it seems, and no one could imagine harming her country. Grace finally finds acceptance and love from both her people and the worldwide press.

Image result for grace of monaco

The ball at the end is lovely, and there's also a good deal of suspense and plot twisting (think espionage/double agents!) that I never saw coming in the second half of the movie. Was it historically accurate? Not entirely, but it's factually based, and that's good enough for me. Not ideal, but good enough. It definitely left me wanting to find out more about Grace Kelly and Monaco.

I really liked the realistic quality of this movie. It didn't compress time very much, and had only a few flashbacks, which made it move rather slowly. The film quality was intentionally grainy (or at least naturally lit) I think, and sent me right back to the 1960s. Honestly, the dresses, suits, interior design, and the overall aesthetic made me deeply nostalgic for a time I've never lived in. That's a sign of a good period drama, even if it doesn't have a brilliant, stirring plot.
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Have you seen Grace of Monaco? What do you think of it?

November 8, 2017


College, as you may have guessed from several of my last posts, has been a huge chunk of my life lately. And more recently, my attention (when I can actually focus it) has been on writing papers. Sadly this sucks away any bits of creativity usually reserved for blog posts. Although it's been hard to write consistently on this blog lately (ok let's face it, for over a year), I've been writing about some pretty interesting topics for my classes. So without sharing the actual papers with you, I thought I'd tell you a little about what I've been studying.

Going on a Historic Preservation Scavenger Hunt

My professor gave the class a list of architectural terms and told us to go downtown/off campus and find them, taking pictures along the way. This was really fun; I am appreciating old houses and architecture like never before! Understanding architectural vocabulary is like learning a new language, with every building having its own statement. I could have used this picture to cover the terms "clapboard siding" (aka wood), "Palladian window" (the 3-part window on top), or "front-facing gable" (the way the triangle part is facing the street). Neat, huh?

Analyzing a Specific Historic Structure
This one was a little less fun and a lot more technical. I was assigned a specific house to describe from foundation to roof-cladding, on one side of the house only. This follows a certain basic structure and uses all the terminology I learned in the scavenger hunt. Then I had to identify the style the house was built in. It is a bit of a challenge, which I like, but I wish I got something a little more exciting than the plain-Jane house I received. :/

Researching and Comparing a Piece of Art (x 3!)

Image result for mausoleum of galla placidia
Mausoleum of Galla Placidia

For one of my art history classes, we are to choose a piece of art and analyze it in three separate papers; the first is to simply report on the piece itself, and the following two are to compare it to other works of art in relation to a theme in art history. I chose The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy as my focus piece (quite the mouthful, I know! It got the word count up, at least! ;)). Basically, it's a chapel from 425 AD that was built by early Roman Christians. It's in the shape of a cross, and the mosaics inside are really dazzling. I want to see it so much now...anyone have plane tickets to Ravenna? ;)
In my next paper, I compared the mausoleum to The Church of San Clemente in Rome on the grounds of religion. Obviously both are Christian structures, but I focused on comparing both structures' uses of previous cultures as an inspiration for their decoration, but also how they are united by using the same symbolism from the Bible.
My most recent piece compared the mausoleum to The Tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, Egypt. This was based on the differences in burial practices, in which my main point was that while the mausoleum's mosaics were meant as a comfort and a lesson in salvation for the living, the paintings in the Egyptian tomb were for the deceased queen to use in order to get to the afterlife.

A Painting Analysis

The Dancing Couple
The Dancing Couple by Jan Steen

This was from my other art history class. My professor told us to go to an art museum either in the state capitol or in the DC area, find a painting, and write a four-page paper on it. Rather vague instructions, but I ran with it and found a fun Dutch genre painting in the National Gallery in DC.
This is such a fun piece, with a ton of symbolism and interesting details, and even a moral lesson! Long story short, make sure you and your sweetheart are well-matched for a relationship. Exhibit A of what not to do: the man and woman dancing (if you can consider the woman to be dancing at all...she's a bit, shall we say, trepidatious of the idea!). Exhibits B, C, D, etc. of what a well-matched couple looks like? Pretty much everyone else in the painting.

A Big, Scary Research Project

Image result for plimoth plantation

This is from a history class that's formatted for incoming freshmen to be almost like a college-version of homeroom, where you can learn the ropes of a college class while still learning about a more unconventional topic. My class is on the history of American Tourism, which is really a fascinating topic! I have to write a 6-8 page paper for this class on the history of any American tourist site. Not the history on which the site is based, but on the history of the site's being a site. Does that make any sense? Here's my example: I'm researching the history of Plimoth Plantation as a tourist destination, which started in the late 19th century, and really picked up in the 1940s when it became a more established corporation.
The deadline for this one is coming up quick, and while I've been scrambling to get the aforementioned papers done, I've sorely neglected this one. Shame on me, I know. But I'm going work like mad tomorrow, and hopefully get everything done well and on time.

What I've Learned
  • 700 words is not that long for a paper
  • High School was even worse than I thought, learning-wise
  • The world is an even bigger place with more information than I ever imagined
  • Even four pages is still a doable length for a paper
  • The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is really cool. The more time I spend with it, the cooler it gets.
  • "The Dancing Couple" is also really cool. And Jan Steen. And Dutch painting in general.
  • MLA format doesn't always cut it anymore. I've had to learn Chicago style now too.
  • Six to eight pages is still a long and scary paper length, especially when one puts it off...
What was your favorite of my assignments?
Do you have any big projects coming up, writing or otherwise?
What was your favorite school-related paper or project you've done?