Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vivien Leigh turns 100

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vivien Leigh. To celebrate her birthday, I decided to share some of my favorite photos of her.

Vivien preferred performing before an audience, on stage, as opposed to making movies. Therefore, she only made nineteen films, in her 32 year career as an actress.

Here she is as Titania, from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, in a 1937 theater production.

In the movie, Dark Journey, she plays the very fashionable spy, Madeleine Goddard.

Vivien also posed for many fashion magazines and famous photographers. Angus McBean, Cecil Beaton, Lazslo Willinger, Vivienne and Bassano are just a few of the photographers who attempted to capture her beauty.

I first saw Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind when the movie debuted on television. My mom was so excited about this movie, that my sisters and I caught her enthusiasm for GWTW before we ever saw it. It aired over two nights and we were allowed to stay up past our bedtime, which was a really big deal, to finish watching it each night.

No matter how many times I watch this movie, I still love it. The barbecue scene is one of my favorites. Below, Scarlett and Rhett embrace. This image is from a lobby card.

While filming Gone With The Wind, Vivien was involved (& had been for a couple of years) in a real-life, love affair with Laurence Olivier. Since both were still married to other people, the studio kept it hush-hush. This photo is one of my absolute favorites of the two of them.

This candid of  Vivien was snapped in a parking lot, near Lux Radio Theater, circa 1940, in Los Angeles.

Here, Vivien tries her hand as the Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra. This movie was based on George Bernard Shaw's play, Caesar and Cleopatra. A few years later, Olivier and her would bring the play to the stage.

Simply a lovely portrait.

Laurence Olivier in make-up for his stage role in Titus Andronicus, along with a bewigged Vivien Leigh. This pic was taken in Paris, opening night, 1957. In the 1950s, it was fashionable for "older" women to wear their hair short. This was a trend that Vivien followed. When I see her in wigs, such as this one, I can't help but think that longer hair made her look years younger.

As the beautiful Karen Stone in The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, costarring Warren Beatty. Vivien played an aging actress preyed upon by a young gigolo.

In the garden of her home, Tickerage Mills, with her friend Godfrey Winn.

I hope you've enjoyed this photographic journey in the life of Vivien Leigh.

Thanks for your visit today!

Aynsley Tea Cup and Saucer

This week I'm sharing an Aynsley tea cup and saucer set.

I love the birds on the cup and saucer, unfortunately I don't know the name of this design.

All the colors are really vibrant in person.

There's a lot of gold trim going on!

Thanks for your visit today!

I'm linking up to:
Terri at Artful Affirmations
Martha at Martha's Favorites
Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Versace Barbie

I haven't posted in awhile, so I thought I'd start things off with a return to one of my favorite things: Barbie. I love collecting vintage Barbies, but I also love when Mattel creates special dolls.

This is the Versace Barbie doll, created by Donatella Versace. Versace Barbie was released in 2004. She wears a floor length taupe colored gown with matching heels.

There is so much detail on this gown. Her form fitting bodice laces up in the front and extends to her hips.

The bottom half of her taupe gown falls to the floor in a cascade of ruffles and has a thigh high split.

Underneath the box's lid, the doll is protected with a second, plastic lid. The plastic covering acts like a mirror, so I had to remove it to photograph the doll. Otherwise, all you'd see is me!

Lifetime recently debuted a movie, "House of Versace", based on Donatella Versace's life, before and after her brother's death. The movie stars Gina Gershon as Donatella and Enrico Colantoni as her brother, Gianni. It's not the best movie, but it should be watched simply for Gina Gershon's performance. She's completely amazing as Donatella.

 Thanks for your visit today!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Supernatural TV Season

I love the supernatural and this TV season seems to have a plethora of shows dedicated to the genre. The following are my returning favorites and a couple of new ones that I'll be watching.

Jensen Ackles as Dean Winchester
One of my all-time favorite shows is Supernatural. This show is about the Winchester brothers who hunt down, fight and kill things like demons, shapeshifters, bad witches and ghosts.

Season 9 premiered last Tuesday night on The CW. Sam Winchester is played by Jared Padelecki (on the hospital bed) and Dean Winchester is played by Jensen Ackles. These brothers fight, argue, namecall and play jokes on each other. Their great on-screen chemistry is what's kept the show on for all these years.

Another show returning this fall is Grimm, October 25 on NBC. Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) is a homicide detective in Portland, Oregon, who discovers that he's a descendant in a long line of Grimms.

A Grimm is a hunter of mythological creatures known as Wesen. Nick only hunts down the Wesen who do bad things to humans. Wesen look like humans until they morph into their supernatural being. However, since Nick is a Grimm, he can see the Wesen even when they are in their human form. Nick is helped out by Monroe, a Wesen blutbad, kind of like a werewolf, played by Silas Weir Mitchell.
Nick's girlfriend, Juliette, is played by Bitsie Tulloch and Nick's partner is Hank (Russell Hornsby). Other cast include: Captain Sean Renard (Sasha Roiz) also a Wesen; Sgt Wu (Reggie Lee); and Bree Turner plays Rosalee, Monroe's love interest. Season One focused mostly on Nick, whereas Season Two became more of an ensemble drama. There were a few times in S2, where I wished the focus would be more on Nick as there were too many little storylines running through the main story. Hopefully, this'll be corrected in Season Three.

American Horror Story: Coven is the third season for this great show. Each season is a different story . Season 1 concerned homeowners in a haunted house in California and Season 2 took place inside an asylum.

In Coven, Jessica Lange plays a Supreme, which is a very powerful witch and Sarah Paulson is her daughter, running a school for young witches in New Orleans. Joining the cast this season are Kathy Bates, Emma Roberts, and Angela Bassett.

The Witches of East End premiered last Sunday night on Lifetime. Joanna, a witch, has raised her two daughters, Ingrid and Freya as normal humans, instead of witches. Her sister comes to town to warn her about an evil doer posing as Joanna. Of course, her daughters then find out that they are indeed witches.

The main characters are all likeable and each set of sisters are believabe as such. Joanna is played by Julia Ormond and her sister, Wendy, is played by Madchen Amick. Joanna's daughters are Ingrid (Rachel Boston) and Freya (Jenna Dewan Tatum (wife of Channing Tatum)).

Another new show is Sleepy Hollow on Fox. At first, I didn't want to watch this show because I love the Johnny Depp movie so much. How could anyone play Ichabod as good as Johnny, right?

Well, so far, British actor Tom Mison is doing a great job. Ichabod Crane is fighting the Headless Horseman and the next thing he knows, he wakes up in 2013 Sleepy Hollow. Unfortunately, the Hessian also arrives in 2013. In this updated version, he's now one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I'm not really fond of this idea, but hey, it's good TV and I find that I'm willing to suspend my disbelief for this weekly show.

 Ichabod's sidekick is Abbie, a deptuy sheriff played by Nicole Beharie. Beharie and Mison play off each other perfectly. Katia Winter is Katrina (Ichabod's wife) and Orlando Jones is Captain Frank Irving, Abbie's boss.

Katia Winter, Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie and Orlando Jones
Dracula will premiere next Friday night on NBC with Jonathan Rhys Meyers taking up the cape. I'm torn on this show-- to watch or not to watch? The advertisements look really good, but vampires really, really scare me. Silly me, right? I know they don't exist, but sometimes my mind likes to play the "what if" game when I'm outside at night.

By the time I was twelve, I'd watched every vampire movie, make that every horror movie, ever made. When I was around ten, I'd take my pencils, rubberband them together into crosses and strategically place them around my bedroom each night. This way, if a vampire crawled up the side of my house, he wouldn't be able to get me. Luckily, that only lasted a year or two. However, not sleeping with a window open, or even allowing a window open after dark, lasted into my mid-twenties.

Synopsis from NBC:  Golden Globe winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("The Tudors") stars in this provocative new drama as one of the world's most iconic characters. It's the late 19th century, and the mysterious Dracula has arrived in London, posing as an American entrepreneur , who wants to bring modern science to Victorian society. He's especially interested in the new technology of electricity, which promises to brighten the night - useful for someone who avoids the sun. But he has another reason for his travels: he hopes to take revenge on those who cursed him with immortality centuries earlier. Everything seems to be going according to plan... until he becomes infatuated with a woman who appears to be a reincarnation of his dead wife. From the producers of the critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning hit "Downton Abbey" comes "Dracula," a twisted, sophisticated and sexy take on Bram Stoker's classic novel, proving that some stories never die.

 Thanks for your visit today!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Duchess China

Is anyone else excited that Fall is here? The tree in my front yard has almost completely changed color. I don't know what kind of tree it is, but it's always the first one to change color in the Fall.
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a
bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
~George Eliot
This week I'm showing off this white tea cup and saucer by Duchess China. I believe I shared this one last year, though instead of carnations, I filled it with snowball flowers.

I was playing around with material contrasts in my journal and decided to apply that thinking to this cup and saucer. I like the softness of the flowers in delicate china against the roughness of brick and wood.

The saucer, cup and handle are trimmed in gold.

Both the saucer and the tea cup are marked Duchess Bone China.

Thanks for your visit today!

Linking to:
Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Teatime Tuesday
Terri at Artful Affirmations for Tea Cup Tuesday
Martha at Martha's Favorites for Tea Cup Tuesday

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Black Barbie 1980 Reissue~ Barbie Saturday

Barbie Saturday on a Sunday! Honestly, I don't know what happened to yesterday. Saturday flew by so fast and I'm absolutely positive that had nothing to do with the time I spent playing Candy Crush on Facebook!

Today, I'm showing off  a reissue Barbie doll. She's Black Barbie from 1980.

She's wearing a belted red, sparkly dress with a gold collar. Red heels and red earrings complete her outfit. Isn't her hair amazing? I love the style!

I found her on clearance at Target for only $11. I couldn't pass up a deal like that.

Barbie comes with an additional outfit: a white suit with matching heels, a gold collar, belt and purse. Two things come to mind everytime I look at this white outfit: John Travolta, wearing his white suit, in Saturday Night Fever and the song Stayin' Alive by the Bee Gees.

The doll also comes with a reissue of Barbie's World of Fashion from 1979 (bottom right).

Thanks so much for your visit today!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Marseille Caper

A few days ago, I finished reading "The Marseille Caper" by Peter Mayle. The book is set in the south of France and stars Sam Levitt in his second Mayle outing. The first Sam Levitt outing is "The Vintage Caper", about a Bordeaux wine heist.

Sam and his girlfriend Elena travel to France at the request of Reboul, a "friend" of Sam's. There is a seaside area that the town of Marseille wants to develop. They're down to choosing among three development projects. Two projects are high rise apartments geared more toward the wealthy and tourists. One is represented by Lord Wapping, a British fellow and the other is represented by a Parisienne, Gabrielle.

Reboul's project is the third one, a low-key apartment complex, which would blend in better with the environment. Sam's hired by Reboul to present his land development deal to the town's committee, headed by Patrimonio, an enemy of Reboul's over a woman. Mayle tosses in lots of Marseille facts and delights in the restaurants' menus. Of course, there's a bad guy or two, mixed up in all of this, who causes mayhem (or attempts to anyway) for Sam and his project.

At first, I found Peter Mayle's writing style to be choppy, which made it difficult for me to stay interested in the plot. It took a few chapters for me to want to continue reading. The plot's light and definitely on the frothy side, while the characters need to have additional depth. In other words, more flesh on the characters and less whipped cream in the plot, please!

Once I overcame Mayle's style, the story moved pretty fast, though at times it read more like a travelogue than a novel. This book is definitely an easy read.

Thanks for your visit today!

Linking up to Literary Friday, hosted by Ricki Jill

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Royal Chelsea Tea Cup and Saucer

This week, I'm showing off one of my favorite tea cup and saucer sets.
 I love people scenes! The cup and saucer feature a trio of folk, in a black and white design.
 Two ladies are being assisted by a gentleman in trying on buckets as hats. Nearby, a cow and dog show no interest in what these silly humans are doing.

The gold trim is in excellent condition. There are two bands of gold around the foot of the cup. Each side of the handle is trimmed out in gold as well.

Both the cup and saucer are marked Royal Chelsea/Made in England/Fine Bone China on the bottom.

Thanks for your visit today!

I'm linking up to:
Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday
Martha at Martha's Favorites for Tea Cup Tuesday
Bernideen at Bernideen's Tea Time Blog for Tea in the Garden