Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Monday, 29 September 2008
Friday, 26 September 2008
Juliette (Kristin Scott-Thomas) returns from 15 years in prison and everyone has their own ideas and opinions about her and what she might have done. This film, although very sad, is very watchable, as it shows us what it may be like for people who are the 'black sheep' of their families. It is not an enviable position. Juliette is a vacant space where someone used to be, but it seems that her soul has left her, and all that remains seems to be a dark, lonely void. Her little, but grown-up and successful sister, is the only family to whom Juliette can return to after all the solitary years. However, her sister seems to be the only person at first who can bring herself to give Juliette a warm welcome.
I thought the film was not a little hard-going and emotional as we are shown the sadness, embarrassment, guilt and regret of the two sisters, but this is where the film's interest lies. I found the two sisters and their relationship, completely absorbing. If I wanted to be picky, I would say that the story fits together a little too neatly, which seems to go against the spirit of showing family life for 'real', warts and all, but then this wasn't reality, it was a story about an unbreakable bond between two sisters.
Wednesday, 24 September 2008
I love Etsy so much I thought I'd share my enthusiasm with you! Here are a few of my favourites from the Etsy UK group on flickr.
1. Who can resist the lovely colours and happy smile of Claire Payne's Smiley Saturn? He's so unusual, I think a Smiley Jupiter is in order (my favourite planet after Earth).
2. Cherry Pip's lilac tartan daisy flower brooch is very pretty, I really like how each little flower is slightly different because of the patterned felt which Nicola has used.
3 and 9. Miss Niff/Stitcher Scribbler's haunted house and sweet pumpkin are wonderfully cute, far too nice for halloween! I really like the attention to detail in these soft sculptures and the neat craftsmanship.
4 and 8. Lusummers/Summersville's beautiful handprinted fabric is fantastic! The blue and turquoise design reminds me of lovely mid-century Swedish fabric patterns and the colours are great! The tiny quilt shows off the designs beautifully and I love the wavy stitching, very neat.
5 and 6. Natasha Smart's decadent handmade felt bags are a delight to look at, and I imagine they're lovely to hold and carry around too! I love the rich, bold colours in these.
7. There are so many felt flower brooches on Etsy, but Kayla Coo's flowers in muted tones are attractively different to the rest, I really like the combination of pastels with the natural greys and pebble-colours.
I hope you're inspired to go and look at these shops on Etsy, and more!
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Oh look! I have 'embedded' my first YouTube video! Hurrah for Joey!
I first saw this animation a few years ago on Channel 4. There's something about its creepiness and other-worldlyness that I just love. It makes me feel uneasy but curiosity compels me to carry on watching. I really like the clean graphic style of drawing and the strange robot characters, and the unnerving repetitive carousel-inspired music running through the film.
Monday, 22 September 2008
Here are the latest Halloween bunnies. You see them here with Jan Pienkowski's Meg lighting up her "Nightmare Before Christmas" tree... yes, long before Tim Burton thought of it!
Thursday, 11 September 2008
At last, I've taken pictures of the Halloween brooches I've made so far! I thought I was planning ahead by starting to make them in August but time moves so much faster than me, and so does everyone else!
I've called the one pictured, "Margaret H", can you guess why? ;-)
The background is a page from a lovely children's picture book called "A Book of Ghosts", illustrated by Pam Adams and Ceri Jones. I had another copy of this book as a child, but as it had lovely coloured paper, I cut lots of it out to draw on and make collages etc... Then about two years ago I was amazed to find it at our local cut-price bookshop, The Works in Sheffield, it had been reprinted in 1990. A real classic.
Anyway, back to the bunnies! Their cloaks and hats are removable - yes, dressing-up brooches! I spent a while designing the little 'slots' in the brim of the hat and the cloak at the back so they fit snugly and neatly around the brooch pin when flattened against someone's coat or whatever they've pinned her to.
Well, what do you think? I'll be making some more like these and i'll post pictures of them in my flickr set and in my Etsy shop of course!
Don't have nightmares.... ;-D
Thursday, 4 September 2008
I found this to be a very moving but disturbing story. This is the sort of film which, once you start to watch, you cannot turn off because you need to know what happens next. Michaela, who, like the rest of her family, is a very devout Catholic and also has an illness. You immediately warm to this quiet, unassuming but troubled character who struggles to be independent from her parents. The story starts when Michaela moves to University, much to the displeasure of her mother, who is afraid that Michaela’s illness will cause her trouble while she's away from her protection. Michaela however, is certain that her strong religious faith will help her through any difficulties which life throws at her.
It was Michaela herself (played by the wonderful Sandra Hüller) which made this film particularly fascinating to me, if not exactly 'enjoyable'. Her illness is referred to as epilepsy but she is also very mentally disturbed in many ways, and we see her go from polar opposites of happiness to consuming anguish and mental torment. Michaela has a very sweet and calm expression but Hüller contorted it into a hellish gargoyle-face during Michaela's darker moments when her stability crumbles completely. This seemed to provoke a feeling that the 'devil' within her was finally breaking free, and Michaela was consumed by her illness and finally broken apart by the cruel 'exorcism' which she was submitted to. The fact that the film was loosely based on a true story makes it all the more compelling.
A fascinating, sad and memorable story, beautifully made.
Trailer on YouTube: Requiem