Monday, November 2, 2009

Hallowe'en is over ... for a year, anyway

Wow. This was some weekend, wasn't it?! Everybody was busy online and in real life, making the most of the Hallowe'en weekend. I've read and watched so much Hallowe'en stuff over the past three days, I feel as if I drank all the Day of the Dead wine before anybody could stop me.

Have you heard about the event that Gabriella is planning this month at her blog Gabriela Delworth? It sounds fabulous. Gabriella always puts together such lovely lovely events. This is a holiday inspired event: Marie De Fête - The Festival of Marie! If you are as much a fan of all things Marie Antoinette and French as I am, you won't want to miss it. Gabriela promises special guests and artists, a giveaway, and more. You can read more by clicking on the button below.Isn't this sofa the best? I usually am more attracted to furniture with a bit more - well, a bit more - dignity. But this one just grabs me. I would love to have it - though I do believe it needs huge chunky tassels hanging from the scroll arm rests. So much color and texture - I would love to walk into my studio every morning and see it sitting there; I know it would make me smile.

Speaking of making me smile. I received a delightful mannequin torso today from the Marie Antoinette Mail Art group. It was made by Becky Swartzlander of Rebecca Rose Designs. It's a Marie Hallowe'en costume torso swap - and I just love it! I have it on a shelf in my studio where I can see it all the time.And, would I like to see this all the time! This amazing Day of the Dead ceramic sculpture is by Veronica Castillo-Hernandez and titled Tree of Death. It is currently on display at the Fowler Gallery at UCLA. I wish I could find more information about both the artist and the work, but I'm not having a lot of luck. But, nonetheless, this really knocks my socks off!
And, while my socks are off, wouldn't this wonderful button from Nancy at Dare To Be Unique make a really terrific rug? I would love to have it in a foyer with no furniture sitting on it. I don't know who created the button/poster/canvas/whatever it is - but I think I have a crush on them.
Hallowe'en weekend didn't have a lot of irresistible treasures at my usual online auction houses. Though what was around was certainly special!

How about this French beauty? The clock is Louis XV ormolu and patinated bronze. It also stands a full two feet high. It must weigh a ton. But, oh, the craftsmanship - and it certainly conforms to my adage 'more is more!'
While we're looking at 'more is more' examples. This 19th century French Saxony porcelain chandelier is one of the most elegant porcelain chandeliers I've seen. It's not terribly large - only 18" high - but there is so much going on! It doesn't have the detail nor intricacy of the Sévres pieces we saw at the special exhibit at the Metropolitan this past summer - but I find the coloring and exubuerance of it very special. And it's so small, it would fit very nicely in a bathroom. (Why do I always want to put small treasures in the bathroom?!)
For something a little more dignified, this 1880 Louis XV serpentine settee would be so beautiful in a sitting room or library. Of course, I would need a sitting room or a library to actually place it in, but it might be worth adding on. And I want to paint the walls the salmon color of the blooms in the silk upholstery.
And, finally, this absolutely gorgeous Piero Fornasetti secretary. These photos show it closed, open, and the graphics on the drawers. I would give up a small toe for this incredible piece. Oh, who am I kidding? I'd give up a large toe for it. Unfortunately, it is selling for £85,000 - which is approximately $139,353.75US. So, the only way I will ever have it is to find somebody fabulously wealthy who is completely enchanted with my large toe. If you'd like to see more of Fornasetti's work, be sure to check out the website - which also has the most fun entrance click!




Over the Hallowe'en weekend, we watched two movies Friday evening, two on Saturday evening, and two on Sunday evening. We were scary movie watching fools!

One movie that always scares the pants off me is "Carrie" with Cissy Spacek and Piper Laurie. Of course it was based on the Stephen King horror novel of the same title, but no Stephen King novel has inspired the sheer terror that "Carrie" does. I'm sure it's because the acting is above reproach. The first scene between Carrie and her mother, Margaret, is both awesome and frightening - and it's all because the acting is so absolutely superb and believable!

Next up was Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train," starring Farley Granger and the creepy Robert Walker! This isn't as much a horror movie as a suspense drama. The final chase scene at the carnival on the merry go round is so well done, it still gets me excited - even after seeing it about a dozen times.We started out Saturday with Deborah Kerr in "The Innocents," based on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. From the moment the new governess arrives at the exquisite - and isolated - chateau, you know that there is going to be some tense moments ahead for all involved. And, indeed there is! Another film that has thoughtful and intense acting by all - the two children are too perfect for words...in more ways than one!

Of course, it wouldn't be Hallowe'en, without watching "Halloween," starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence and directed by John Carpenter. Though there is absolutely nothing to recommend "Halloween 2" through "Halloween 847," the first one really is one chilling 90 minutes! The later sequels were not about much more than adding up the body count (which is not interesting to me, at all). But, this first one really exhibits why it became a franchise. It's hard to watch without jumping - and, of course, Jamie Lee, in the first of her Scream Queen roles, is just the right combination of innocent naiveté and brave protector.
Sunday, we started with my favorite of all Hitchcock films, "Vertigo." I'm always surprised that this film was not successful or popular when it was first released. I'm always completely engrossed and enthralled while watching it. I've never been lucky enough to catch it on the big screen - but I hope to do so someday. What I find fascinating is the way we're completely drawn into the supernatural obsession of Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart - only to find out later that there is nothing supernatural going on at all...just old fashioned greed and a clever and insidious plot.
We finished off our Hallwe'en film festival with Brian dePalma's "The Fury." I had never seen this film before. It was dePalma's follow up to "Carrie," and I'm sure that he had a lot riding on it, as "Carrie" was such a smash hit with both critics and audiences. He had a big name cast: Kirk Douglas, Carrie Snodgrass, Amy Irving, John Cassavetes, Andrew Stevens, and Charles Durning. Unfortunately, this tale of telekinisis and mind control was a confusing and bizarre disaster. And the cinematography is dreadful - it actually makes a holiday on the Mediterranean look pedestrian and ordinary. It's unusual for me to be this disappointed in a movie. But I was just bored to tears. I might even have dozed off for a few minutes mid-way through...and I never do that! However, five fabulous films out of a possible six is a pretty good statistic!
When I wasn't watching movies, I was finishing up the first of my mini-theatre circus commissions. I really like the deep rich colors and textures in this one. I had completed all the 36-40" high pieces last week, and now am working on the smaller (approximately 18" high) pieces. I am enjoying making these so much. I wish my client needed a hundred of them!


Before I close this post, I want to share a poem with you that I found very evocative. I hope it makes you think, too ... or, at the least, that you enjoy the word play.

The Tortoise Survives the Fire

He's at my friend's house now.

In the driveway, we watch him

with our arms crossed, the beer-stained

winter light seeping through fence, vines.


He's the size of a coffee table

80 years or so they say, dumb-ass slow

but with cinder-burn eyes.

He eats nasturtiums. We have our health

he says to us. Suffering and the end of suffering, he says.


He does not say carpe diem. He does

not say bombs away, bottoms up. Nor does

he say the Good Lord will provide.

He does not say I've been lucky. He does not say:

They had it coming.


The house was burned to rubble, ash,

skeletons of charred beams. The humans survived

because they were out. The bird

(exotic, singing, caged) died. A firefighter

found the tortoise in the ash, walking out the melted


garden gate, all blessed in soot.

He said: You think that was hot,

let me tell you about this South American tortoise I knew

in '68. Not really. There's nothing glib

about survival. Is there.


So either it was a miracle or a thick shell.

The tortoise shakes his head.

Everybody wants wings, he says, but not in a gloating way.

I go home. He's not my problem. From my window

I see my children running in from school, their backpacks


bouncing. It is January. They are young.

I have lots of time.


Copyright © 2009 Lisa Allen Ortiz All rights reserved

from Crab Creek Review

Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission


I hope you enjoyed your time with me today...and that you found something to inspire you!

Don't forget, only two more days to enter the giveaway ... click here to get the details! You'll need to scroll down towards the end of the post to find the information.

Now! Go make something beautiful!
♥´¨)
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥
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