Monday, February 28, 2011

My Feelings Will Not Be Repressed

I have now watched three cinematic versions of Pride & Prejudice.  And I must discuss.

1) The BBC/A&E Version from 1995 starring a young Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.
2) The $28mill Universal Studios production from 2005 starring Keira Knightly as the witty & spirited Elizabeth Bennett.
3) Pride & Prejudice: An LDS Comedy, filmed in 2003.

I also have in my hot little hands, thanks to a friend, the Bollywood version "Bride & Prejudice" which I will be viewing soon.  Oh, and I've put in for the more recent BBC version at the library which I believe was produced in 2004.

But, for the purpose of this discussion, let's just focus on the first two, mmkay?  

In short, the BBC is hilarious, brilliant, sigh-inducing, follow-the-book-almost-to-a-T, charming & I will be watching it again.   The Keira Knightly version (henceforth known here as the KK Version) is a piece of poo with a few bright spots scattered throughout.  I will most likely not watch that one again.

The Best Things About the BBC Version

  • As I mentioned, it follows along with the story almost exactly.  The lines are straight from the book.  They obviously figured, and correctly btw, that they should not mess with an already perfect manuscript.  
  • Colin Firth is knuckle-biting hotness in this thing.  Wow.  And, with all the close ups they put in there of his perfectly set jaw and adorably curly hair, they knew it too.
  • Mary.... oh my gosh.  I giggled every time poor Mary made an appearance.  She was truly as homely and socially awkward as described.  
  • Mrs. Bennett.  Yes, she's annoying but she's supposed to be!  I'd put Lydia and Kitty here too.  All fit their characters perfectly.
  • Mr. Bennett.  I love this man.  And this actor & his delivery of his witty lines nailed it.  
  • Elizabeth Bennett.  Jennifer Ehle is truly the perfect Lizzie.  Charming, happy, witty, spirited... she made me believe that was really Elizabeth.  What more could I want?
  • Mr. Bingley made me laugh.  Was he the happiest guy or what?  
  • Mr. Collins.  Bwaahahahahaha!  His combover hair & mannerisms were perfection.  My favorite was when he'd be speaking and Catherine de Bourgh would start talking and he'd put his finger up to his lips to hush himself, lest he speak over her.  I adored him, in the he's-so-annoying-he's -perfect, kind of a way.
The UnBest Things About the BBC Version

  • Jane.  I mean, she was nice and all, but the most beautiful Miss Bennett?  I think not.  Definitely Ed Rooney as a woman-ish.  
  • Production quality was obviously not up to what films are today.  And sometimes when Elizabeth would be thinking back to something Mr. Darcy had said his head would suddenly appear in the mirror or a window quite startlingly.  I got used to it but it was a little cheesy.
  • I wish they hadn't shown Mr. Darcy going to London to hunt down Lydia & Wickam.  I mean, isn't that ruining the element of surprise?  Aren't we supposed to find that out later?  
The Best Things About the KK Version

  • Obviously the cinematography, costumes & sets were far superior to the BBC.  
  • Jane was, at last, the beauty I had imagined.
  • The balls were more fun to watch.
  • Dame Judy Dench far surpassed the BBC Lady de Bourgh.
  • I didn't hate when Darcy was walking across that misty field that fateful early morning.
  • I also didn't hate the tension in the "rain scene."
  • And, even though it wasn't in the book at all, I wish it were....the part at the end when they are all casual at Pemberley and he keeps calling her Mrs. Darcy and kissing her.  This far surpassed the post-wedding kiss in the carriage the BBC gave me.  
The UnBest Things About the KK Version

  • Sorry to say, but KK herself.  She was annoying for 90% of the film.  Plus, rather than thinking "Elizabeth is doing this..." I'd think "Keira Knightly is doing this..."  
  • Mr. Darcy is wholly and completely unattractive.  Really?  Of all the British actors this is who they go with?  Bad form, Universal, bad form.
  • Mr. Bennett is barely even funny.  It's not Donald Sutherland's fault either.  It's the lame script.
  • Wickam's ponytail bugged and Mr. Bingley was positively giddy the entire film.  Garret (who had never seen it, doesn't know the story line but was kind enough to watch with me) asked me what happens when they find out he is gay so....yeah.
  • THEY SCREW EVERYTHING UP.  Including the most famous line when Mr. Darcy professes his admiration and love.  The word "ardently" never even comes up.  What the?  WHY??  Jerks. 
  • Mrs. Bennett isn't nearly as embarrassing as she should be. 
  • Mary was barely even mentioned and got zero face time.  
So there you have it.  My compare & contrast report on the P&P movies.  

Agree?  Disagree?  Let's hear it.

Also, have any of you read this?  Do I WANT someone telling me what happens a year later?  I can't decide.  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Entry Way ReMixx

**** If you're here from a fabulous link party, please go HERE to see this post in its proper home!****

My house was boring me to death.   Not literally, but almost.  




Taupe every where I looked.  I can't live in a taupe world.  I just can't.  At least not for more than 4 years and 10 months, apparently.  I'm on a bit of a re-decorating kick so here is the first submission to the "Landee De-Lame-ifies Her House Project 2011."  It's a bit of a mouthful.  Sorry.

So here is our entry way as it was last week.

Are you falling asleep yet?

Its only saving grace was the curvature of the wall.  Otherwise it was choking on neutrals, coughing them back up and then gagging on them again.   Sorry to put it so graphically but people, c'mon!  How boring can walls be?  Nary a color nor an accessory to be spotted anywhere.  

So I put a plan in place and set off to complete it.  

We had to rig our ladder to reach up to that right hand corner up there.  The left side of the ladder was resting on the railing at the top of the stairs and the bottom part was wedged between the spindles.   We then zip tied it to the railing on both ends, zip tied a board to the top flat part and away I went.  

And if you don't think that is scary up there then you are an idiot wrong.  It was the scariest thing I've done in a long while.  I could sit on the top of the ladder and be fine, but up on my knees and stretching up?  Yikes.  I would break out in a sweat and shake the entire time.  I could only be like that for about 3 minutes at a time so that top part took a while.  

But I persevered.

After it was painted (it's sort of a robin egg blue bordering on turquoise color), I went and downloaded a template from here, printed it and cut it out of cardboard and set to work on my "painted wallpaper."  When I came across this design/technique I knew it was the perfect marriage of funky & traditional I was looking for.  Plus, it saved me $50 for a stencil.  Free is always better than $50.

I had to get an action shot.  Had to.

I decided to use a metallic white paint for the design.  I love the shimmer it gives off.  Just a touch fancier than regular white paint would have been.  It's reflecting off the flash in the above pic so it looks taupe but it's not, just FYI.

This girl camped out under the ladder for the duration of the project.  She was busy making cards for people, asking me how to spell things, and talking my ear off.  Sometimes when I was freaking out reaching up to the tippy top I'd have to ask her to please stop talking for a few minutes so I could concentrate.  It was fun having a little "helper" though.  

After the kids were in bed was when I'd listen to my audio books and paint into the wee hours of the morning.  It was really quite enjoyable but it did take a while.

So here is the big AFTER reveal.  

I am so excited with how it turned out!!  After consulting with my long-distance design consultant, Memzy, I opted to not do the design down below.  She said it would be "too much" and I said "good cuz I'm lazy" and that was that.  

That table and the pillow are from the living room and that chair was from our guest room (I would prefer a cushy upholstered one there but I'll need to keep my eye out for one).  I got that mirror at Goodwill for $4.  It is plastic and was crazy shiny gold.  10 minutes and some spray paint later it was the perfect shade of white.  I also painted a picture frame for that small table with the same metallic paint.

Here are the before & afters side by side.  

I now smile when I go up & down the stairs rather than get sleepy.  Not bad for 1 gallon of paint, a couple of small craft paint bottles of "metallic white" acrylic paint and a $4 mirror, huh?



Friday, February 25, 2011

I Ardently Admire & Love You...

... but I'm mad at you.

Why did no one INSIST I read Pride & Prejudice?  You guys are mean.

I've been working on a few projects around the house (posts on that later).  They require time, not thinking, so I downloaded a couple of books to listen to as I worked.  As my FIL says, I paid someone to read them to me.

The first was The Sweetness At The Bottom of the Pie.  It was this month's book club at the Smart Remarks Book Club and I knew that if I did not listen to it, it would never get read.  Delightful.  And it made the tedium of painting my walls almost enjoyable.

So, when I finished my first project and started the second I decided it had to include another audio book.  I don't know if I was on an english accent kick or what, but I figured, for some random reason, that now was the time to delve into the world of Jane Austen.   A world I know NOTHING about.  No books have I read, no movies have I seen.

Until now.


I loved this book.

I now get it.

The beauty is how applicable it is to society today.   I swear I could name someone from my own life who mirrors every character in that book.  It made me laugh.  It made me sigh repeatedly.  It made me wish I were one of the sisters of the Longbourne estate.   I am positively in love with their father.  Hilarious.

So here are my questions for those of you more well versed in the world of Miss Jane Austen:

1) I now want to watch one of the movies, of course.   So which one do I watch first?

The BBC version (I think it's, like 8 hours long).

Or the Keira Knightly one? (I'm sure Markie is biased toward this one)

And are there others I don't know about?

2)  How long should I wait to read this?

Like, I'm sure it's funny if you grew up on P&P.  But, as a newbie, should I let the original sink in for a while before taking on this?  Lemme know.

3)  Which Jane Austen should I read next?  Emma?  Sense & Sensibility?

I await your advice on the matter.

Regards, etc, etc.

Miss Landee of Landerson Estate.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Emotional Outburst

Some emotions have been surfacing lately.   I've always considered myself quite dead inside but I think I'm morphing into a ball of goo.   This isn't a bad's just something.  

One event which has spurred this on a bit is the reality of my favorite MIL being diagnosed with breast cancer.  We've been on the complete cycle of emotions with this.  Shock....denial...greif....acceptance...determination.... that's where we are right now.  She had her surgery yesterday to remove the cancer & lymph nodes and, after recovering from that, she will begin chemo/radiation treatments for a few months.  The surgery went well.  No surprises.  The doctors expect the treatments to work splendidly with no further complications.  I will keep you posted, of course.

Gty's sisters, mom and I had a "Girls Trip" planned to Vegas but that needed to be changed due to the recent events with Mary's health.  So we switched it up to the weekend before last in SLC.  We stayed at the Embassy Suites down by The Gateway (free made-to-order breakfast!), went out to eat,  and chatted for the entire weekend.  It was thoroughly enjoyable.  4am two nights in a row did take a good week to recover from but it was totally worth it.  

Anyway, on Sunday my MIL and SIL needed to get back to Logan and left at about noon.  My other SIL flew out at 2pm.  That left Shelly & I to putter around SLC until my flight left at 5pm that evening.  So we set out on an adventure to find Elizabeth Smart's house.  K, not really, but we did want to go drive around her neighborhood because the homes there up by the University of Utah are amazing.  We did manage to find Larry Miller's house and it did not disappoint.  Yowza.  

Then, as we were driving back down out of the neighborhood, we happened upon a cemetery.  Shelly thought this might be where some prominent LDS leaders had been buried.  

Shelly was right.

We saw this:

And this:

Which were amazing.  But then I walk around a corner and BAM I see this...

... and apparently this image immediately pops into my head...

... because I immediately start bawling.  Oh how I love that man.  Apparently more than I realized because the tears would not be stopped.   It was truly amazing to stand there looking at his headstone.  If you are ever in that area I highly recommend you find that cemetery and experience this for yourself. 

Here I am standing by the larger marker:

I also thought of cute Marjorie who I adore as well.  I want to be her when I grow up.  I love this quote from her:

“I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk’s lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”

How could you not love her?

Anyway, I don't want to say it was better than attending church on that Sabbath day, but it was better than some church meetings I've been to.  That is for sure.  

In the mean time I've recently acquired this image and have big plans of getting it printed & framed somewhere in my house.  I can't get enough of these candid shots.  

Speaking of emotional meltdowns, I dare you to go HERE and read this blog post and not bawl your eyes out.   Do not scroll down and breeze through the photos.  READ.  EVERY.  WORD.  Watch it unfold.  Do not cheat yourself out of this one.  It's a 7 minute novel. 

Landee Style V-Day

Full disclosure:  After years of not liking Valentine's Day, I've come to decide it's one of my favorites.  It's the perfect sized holiday for me... enough to make the kids feel special with out going completely over the top (budget-wise and time-wise).    Oh, I've also decided to make it a "family holiday" versus a "couple holiday."   That helped flip the switch for me as well.  We have our anniversary for that.  Oh, and every day of our extremely romantic marriage.  ::snort::  

Anyway, so I decided to do a little decorating for this sweet holiday for the first time ever.  But I was determined to spend $0.00.  So I made this garland out of strips of card stock I already had and fishing line.  Beebs was super impressed.  

And I hung some from the light fixture in the kitchen.  

I saw these adorable little treats on several blogs and decided to try them out.  Strawberry marshmallows dipped in chocolate?  Yes.  I made them for my new little Sunday School class and, needless to say, they adore me now.  They took me about 10 minutes to make an entire bag's worth and Beebee helped with the sprinkles.  And all were happy.  Amen.  

I will probably be making them again soon with Easter-type sprinkles due to their extreme versatility. 

This morning I had a little gift out for each kid for when they came down for breakfast (no time for a Valentine themed breakfast but I put some extra love in their cereal).  They each got a book and another small thing.  They were thrilled.  

{Gty & I then had a little lunch date, in case you were worried.}

Then tonight we made heart-shaped homemade pizzas with heart-shaped pepperoni!  And I've also decided that no matter how you do it, pizza looks disgusting on film.  But believe me,  it was delish. 

We then proceeded into the FHE portion of the evening where in Gty gave a little lesson on "Love One Another" and we decorated some heart sugar cookies I made earlier.  

Someone (Tbone) was having a bit of a tude and did not want to participate.   We begged him to please come to the table and just decorate one cookie.  This was his cookie.

"Can I go now"

Gty quickly crafted a response cookie.

Tbone then countered with this. 


JBird decided to smile for me like this.

 And then Beebs made this too-cute-with-those-eyelashes cookie and posed like this.

And thus ended the Valentine Cookie War 2011.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentines COMPLETE!

I was happy I thought of this (the head thing) because, truth be told, JBird kind of scowled at the idea of holding a sucker in his valentine this year.  Apparently he's getting too big for such things??   But I think this morbid take on an old favorite is doable.  Even for a big 5th grader like himself.

Maybe next year we'll get even more gruesome and have the sucker killing them dead.   Or have it say "LOVE HURTS" or something?  I'm open to suggestions.

For now I adore them immensely & intensely.

Also, PS and an FYI, using an exacto knife to slice the openings is better than using a small hole punch.  It lays a bit flatter that way.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Use Your Imagination Valentine

I know you all remember last year's Valentines.  I stole the idea from the internet machine.  I'm stealing it again but this time from myself....cuz I did it last year and stuff.   I am shakin' it up a bit with the boys too.  Photos taken about 2 hours ago.  This is practically a live blog post!

First, the little sweetiekinz.  Who wouldn't want this in their doily covered tissue box? {This is where your imagination comes into play.... imagine the sucker in her hand.}

And for the boys I thought I'd stick the sucker through their HEAD!  

::high fiving myself::  

{again, imagine it...perhaps at a bit of an angle?}

I'll upload a pic of them finished later.  Just in case your widdle heads can't take all this imagining.  

I loves me some Photoshop Valentines.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Fave Craft-y Blogs

Someone asked for these, didn't they?   

Well, even if they didn't, here they are.  

Let me just say that since I've started perusing these blogs my confidence in a few things has grown....confidence in things such as: doing a class party for my kids, making throw pillows, decorating for even the smallest and lamest of holidays (I actually WANT to make something for Valentine's Day...VALENTINE'S DAY!), making little things for my Visiting Teachees each month.... you get my drift?  It's changed me.  In a good way.  While I'm not that CREATIVE, I can certainly copy stuff.  Like, really well.  

Warning: They are highly addictive.  End of warning.

This is a good one to look at because she pulls together all kinds of ideas/projects/recipes from all over the web in one spot.  It's a good jumping off point for craft blogs.

She doesn't post a ton but I've really liked all the things she has done and her all around style. 

More of a home decor blog but i like her style and she does some crafting from time to time.  All while being budget conscious.  

The name of this blog makes me laugh.  And she's funny and is quick to say if something she is making turns out to be lame or ugly.  It's hilarious.

One of my absolute favorites!!  LOVE these sisters' style.  And they always have such fun printables.

Her writing style is almost unbearable (an lol every 2 seconds) but I love her style.  I'm thinking about doing the treatment she did in her pantry {here} to the backsplash in my kitchen.  It might tide me over until I can do some fancy tiling there.  

Love her style (houndstooth anyone?) and she's funny.  

Classy & cute projects and I love here simplistic style.  

I've found some cute stuff on here too.  

This is Kim's go-to "joke" for craft blogs..."What, did you see that on Little Birdie Secrets?"  so yeah, gotta check that one out.

Similar to tipjunkie in that she pulls together some fun projects from all over the web.  She does some of her own as well.  

Do you have any favorite ones that I missed?  Please share.  But also know that by sharing, you are enabling my addiction.  And you'll have to just live with that.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

::breathing sigh of relief::

Every year I forget the "January Craziness."  

I always think that once I get through Christmas then I'll have a little time to relax and snuggle in for the winter.  I'm an idiot.

How do I always forget that I birthed three babies in January?  

But now, on this, the First day of February, I am actually seeing that relaxation and said snuggling in my future.  But it takes on the form of cleaning out and organizing closets, cupboards and doing some redecorating.  Still, relaxing takes on many forms.

But let's get to it.... we had some birthdays this month.

January 13th

::said in quiet, golf commentator voice::  I've chosen a black & white depiction to represent the moodiness/teenageris of the gifts JBird asked for and received for his 11th birthday.

::normal voice now::  He got a guitar and lessons with a cute kid in our ward (SolidGold's son, remember her? Oh, and former ward  ::humph::) and a phone as his main gifts.  Now if only some of his friends would get phones so he would have someone to text besides us.

January 25th

TBone asked for every form of Plants vs. Zombies he could think of.  I was able to find him a PC version and a DS version.  It has kept him busy.  He also got some Heelies but took a bad spill and has sworn them off forever.  ("I broke my back!  I broke my back!" he was screaming as he walked over to us.  Traumatic.  But no broken back, obviously).

And here he is sharing his day with his little sister.  Something I always feel bad about although I know I had zero control over it.

At least they each get their own cakes.

So this year we did a combined birthday party.  And when I say combined, I mean COMBINED.  With TBone...JBird.... and Standsmom's boys, Link & George.  All born within days of each other.  It was brilliant, if I do say so myself.  We could invite 25 kids for the set price.  What kid, may I ask, has 25 friends?  I can see if maybe you had a ton of cousins around or something, but we don't.  So each kid invited 6 friends and it worked out perfectly. 

Not so perfect, however, was the lighting since it was a "glow party."  So I got some pictures that are, um, artistic.

This brings us to this last Saturday when we had Beebs' party here at the house.

It was the first party Miss B has ever had.  And, combining that fact with my current obsession with craft blogs, you get a veritable pink explosion.

Here is my party committee.  Syd, Stands, and Taybay.  The girls helped with setting up, the party activities and clean up.  And Stands did the mini-cake and cupakes. Eeeeek!  <---I made that exact noise when she walked in with them.  And of course you remember me discussing these adorable cake plates {here}. 

Tutorial on these napkin flowers {here}.  These really were fun & easy to make.

For that cute circle garland I just punched out adorable paper with my 3" paper punch, put the circles back to back (so it wouldn't matter if the circles flipped over) and sewed them together. See? I knew buying my sewing machine wasn't a total waste of money. 

Tutorial for these crepe paper rosettes {here.}  This.  Took.  FOR.  EVER.   And I made the bunting with paper, letter stickers and bias tape.  More sewing, you gize! 

We made bracelets.  We decorated cookies.  We painted nails. We girlied it up.

Beebs got the diva treatment....Tay doing her toes while Syd does her fingers.  Girl heaven.  

(I just like Tay being creepy in the background here.  And Sarah looks cute too, of course)

January was fun.  But I'm glad we are done now.  I have 11 months to recoop.