Saturday, January 26, 2013

Currently Loving...Fan Art

Evening, everyone! I thought today I'd share something I've been absolutely loving lately...Fan Art! Thanks to Pinterest, I've found all these lovely drawings made by talented fans! Unfortunately, the original links are often gone, so I'm not always able to give credit where credit is due!

Why do I love fan art? Some of it's funny, some of it's sweet, and some of it's is plain accurate. Mainly, though, I love that fan art always embodies the idea that someone was left with after reading or seeing something. It's how many fans show the feelings a certain book, or movie, left them with.

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How about this adorable one inspired by Sherlock? "Psychopath!" "Freak!" "Who let you in here?" "Amazing!" "I'm keeping you!". Too cute!

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Painting of Faramir from The Lord of the Rings. I just fell in love with it instantly...what talented person did this? I REALLY wish I was this good!

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I've already admitted to you guys that I am absolutely obsessed with Tangled, and I'm pretty sure this picture was in a previous post, but I couldn't resist sharing it again! I love this so, so much.


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This is probably my favorite from out of all the ones I'm showing you! I love how many people have really gotten into the Heirs of Durin! It's so easy to forget that Thorin actually raised his nephews, Fili and Kili. 

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This one almost brought me to tears. "Fili and Kili had fallen, defending him with shield and body, for he was their mother's elder brother." It's ironic how part of the reason Thorin wants to reclaim Erebor is because of his line's rights to rein there, and yet, all of the Heirs of Durin are slain.

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'A Memory of You'. Bilbo, reflecting on Thorin, and Fili and Kili while he writes 'There and Back Again.' 

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After all those deep and sad pictures, I thought I'd share this way too adorable one. :) Teeny, chubby little hobbitses! I just want to squeeze Sam. :D

Don't know abut you, but good fan art never ceases to make me happy. :) I wish I was better at drawing, so I could attempt something on my own...even if they're only simple sketches! I really should start drawing again....

Your Thoughts? What is your opinion of fan art? Do you ever draw your own? Which was your favorite out of the ones I posted? Any others you'd like to share with a link in the comments? What have you been loving at the moment? Please leave a comment!

Thanks for reading!

~Gillian






Friday, January 25, 2013

A Year In Photos...August 2012

Whoa! Haven't done one of these in ages! I want to finish them out before the end of January, though, so let's go! Not much happened in August....so here are some pictures of lazy, summer days.

A typical summer outfit....



My attempt at knitting with my own 'repurposed' yarn....not really a success!


Biking.


Here's a video of me skating!


That's it for now! Hope everyone enjoyed. :)

Thanks for reading! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Don't Mind Me.....Downton Abbey, Season 3, Lady Edith

Note: This post may, most likely will, contain spoilers! You've been warned!



Hello! How many of you have been watching Downton Abbey, Season 3 (you lucky ducks in England already had it ages ago!)? Now I'll admit something right now; I haven't really gone all gaga over Downton Abbey in general. Season 1 was okay, but not my favorite Masterpiece Classic, and Season 2 seemed a little bit...cliche...at times. I'm almost watching Season 3 as some 'duty' to myself to see how it finishes up. That's not to say I haven't enjoyed it, but Downton Abbey won't be making my top favorites list...

With that mini rant out of the way...which is your favorite sister? Lady Sybil has always been my favorite, and I loved her even more when she married Branson. He is amazing! For some reason, my favorite characters always end up being some revolutionist driver.....

Today I'm not going to talk about Sybil and Branson, though (they're coming later!). Instead, I thought I'd focus on the lovely Lady Edith!

I've definitely liked Lady Edith's character more in this season than I have ever before. She's a quiet person, used to not really asking for anything and living in her sisters' shadows. How can she compete with perky, rebellious Sybil, or outspoken, dramatic Mary? To the family, she always seems to fall to the wayside, and as a result, usually does to the audience as well.

All these characteristics should make you feel sorry for her, right? Love her because she's misunderstood? Pity her when her people disregard her? Well, the funny thing is, it doesn't. We may feel sorry for her, but we don't love her as a martyr.

To me, it's because I don't see her as having many redeemable qualities. She doesn't stand up for herself, form her own opinions, or have any confidence in her own abilities. Worst of all, she always feels sorry for herself. Rather than getting up and actually doing something, she just moans and becomes more bitter.


In the last episode (episode 3), however, she finally showed some grit. Recovering from the shock and disappointment of being jilted at the alter, she has trouble finding a purpose. I just love this quote from Lady Violet Crawely, as played by Maggie Smith, "Edith Dear, you're a woman with a brain, and reasonable ability. Stop whining, and find something to do."

And she does! Taking her opinion on the English woman's right to vote (in light of America ratifying the 19th amendment)  she writes to a local paper, more for the sake of something to do than to actually have anything published. A lady, write to a paper, on women's rights? Suffice it to say, it came as rather a shock to Lady Violet and Lord Grantham. I can't wait to watch Sunday's episode to see what more they have to say about that!


The fact that Edith wrote that article really improved my overall opinion of her. For the first time I can remember, she did something totally independent, seemingly without qualms, and didn't back down when confronted by her family about it. I think that her break up with Sir Anthony left her fed up and rebellious towards her life in general, and writing to the paper was her way of doing something outside of Downton Abbey and all it signifies.

Though Downton Abbey isn't my favorite Masterpiece Theatre, I am genuinely enjoying the third season! And who knows, if they keep developing Lady Edith, I might just have a new favorite character!

Your Thoughts? What are your overall thoughts of Downton Abbey and/or Season 3? Which is your favorite sister? Do you like Lady Edith's character, or feel that she's too 'whiny' or 'need'? What was your opinion of Sir Anthony leaving her at the alter? Do you think she wrote to the paper for a want of something to do, rebellion, both, or neither? Who would you like to see me feature in another 'Don't Mind Me....' post? Do leave a comment!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Don't Mind Me...No 1: Tangled

Note: This post may (most likely will) contain spoilers! You've been warned. :)

Good evening, ladies! I hope you are all having a wonderful Saturday so far. :) If any of you follow my Pinterest page, you've probably noticed that I've been going through a major Disney obsession lately. Pinning quotes, watching songs on Youtube, everything: my love for Disney is just hitting me all at once. :) 


via Pinterest

I've decided to add a new, ongoing series to the blog, called 'Don't Mind Me...' It's where I'll pictures, quotes, and my overall thoughts on movies/TV shows that I love (and probably a little obsessed with). Might as well warn you now: There will be a lot of gushing, rambling, and ranting!

via Pinterest

After obsessing over Tangled for quite awhile, I finally borrowed the movie and watched it again! It is by far one of my favorite Disney princess movies (tied with The Little Mermaid, to be honest....), and would probably make it into my Top 5 list. Rapunzel is a really unique character; strong in her own ways, yet by no means perfect. In fact, all the characters are great: Mother Gothel is complexly wicked, Pascal (the chameleon) plays both a protective and friendly role, and Maximus (makes me laugh so hard....) switches between horse like, dog like, and human like personalities. :)

via Pinterest

One thing I realized while watching the movie last night is how much the dynamics have changed over time. Early on (think Snow White, Cinderella...), the prince was a very minimal role. He hardly spoke, didn't really have much of a personality, and was almost rather 'perfect'. In roughly the middle (think Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast) the princes serve a much larger role, with much more dialogue and interaction between the prince and princess. You get to know each one as more of an individual, but they're still rather distant, with very little back story (with the exception of Beast, I suppose....). More recently, (Aladdin, Mulan, and of course Tangled) the princes are a very large role, and in the case of Alladin, they're the main character! I just think it's so interesting that as time has gone on, the prince in each Disney movie has become more and more a part of the story. Your thoughts?

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While on the subject of princes, can I take a moment and obsess over Flynn (or should I say Eugene?)? I had forgotten how madly in love I am with him! He is THE BEST ever! Well, he isn't technically a prince...but I suppose he becomes one? How does that work? Any way, he's the best. Totally himself, he loves Rapunzel for who she is. He makes mistakes along the way, but in the end turns away from his 'rather shady' life and actually becomes part of a family, something he had never experienced before. Not to mention he's just hilarious. I want to say more about him, but I run the risk of obsessing too much and rambling on forever and ever....but if you love him and want to go all girly, just leave a comment and I'll reply!

via Pinterest

Another character worth a mention is Mother Gothel. She is extremely wicked, and yet, there is something telling me that she is more complex than just that. She stole Rapunzel out of pure vanity and selfishness, but yet, rather than enslaving her or treating her cruelly, she actually raises her as her own. Though the roots of her action are in vanity, it makes you wonder if she couldn't have had some motherly feelings, even love, towards Rapunzel. Of course, you could throw a wrench in the works and say that she started to mistreat her at the end, when Rapunzel started to fight against her, which definitely gives you more to think about. 

via Pinterest

I seriously think this movie has to be one of the most genuinely romantic Disney movies. At the end of the movie, Eugene has been stabbed by Mother Gothel and is about to die. She tries to drag Rapunzel away, to hide her at an even more remote location. Rapunzel declares that she will never stop fighting her, and will always be searching for a way to escape. However, she bargains, she will give in to Mother Gothel if she only allows her to save Eugene before they leave, and Mother Gothel agrees. Before Rapunzel can sing the healing incantaion, though, Eugene cuts off her hair with a shard of glass, knowing that if her hair is cut, it will no longer possess it's magical powers, making her useless to Mother Gothel. He gives up his chance of being saved so as to save her from a life of enslavement. You know how in most of the other princess movies, they're always talking about 'true love'? Well, Tangled never says that in so many words; it shows it instead! Eugene and Rapunzel are very close to being the best Disney couple...

via Pinterest

Truth is: you're never too old for a Disney movie. In many ways, they're made not just for kids, but for teens, and adults. The characters go a lot deeper than any 5 year-old could understand, and the plots are sound. Perhaps most importantly, all the villains have strong motives! I hate it when they just assume somebody's going to be evil, just because they want to, and bring misery to the lives of others because they need a villain. Villains are human, too, and therefore must have motives!

Of course, I have to include something about the music. Everyone loves a good Disney song, right? I was very excited to get both the Tangled soundtrack and piano music for Christmas, which just shows you how obsessed I am with these songs in particular. In my opinion, it's some of the best Disney music since the Little Mermaid (didn't really care for Tarzan or Mulan, although Mulan has some exceptions...). Definitely go on Youtube and look them up! I love how they have a mix of rock/Broadway feel to them. In the meantime, though, here are some videos that I thought rather cute...

Tangled AMV-Enchanted. Get ready for tears!


Tangled [Rapunzel & Eugene] -Fireflies. Love the song, love the movie!


Your Thoughts? Have the feel/characters/plots of Disney movies changed over time? Who's your favorite couple, princess, song? What do you think the the size of the Prince's role says about the society of the time (wow, that sounded deep...)? Did you cry during the Tangled Enchanted song (I'm guilty...)? What do you think about this series idea?



Thanks so much for reading! :)


Love,

Gillian











Monday, January 7, 2013

A Year In Photos...July 2012

Happy Monday, dearies! Did everyone enjoy the organizing post I put up on Saturday? I had a lot of fun writing it. Anyhow, I've got another photo post for you today, while I prepare something rather fun to get out to you next Saturday...so stay tuned! 

We're more than half way through, now! To celebrate the fourth of July, we visited Strawberry Banke Museum with our friends! Need to catch up on photos? Go here: January, February, March, April, May, and June,.

The gardens there are so beautiful!



Flags...


Pretty wallpaper....I'm a sucker for wallpaper!


Spiral staircase...


AJ and Caleb trying some revolutionary war jackets on for size...


That's it for now! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

Thanks for reading! :)

Note: All photos taken by myself.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Getting It Together: Organizing Tactics From One Homeschooled High Schooler To Another

With the first week of the New Year under our belts, it's time to put away the reset of the Christmas ornaments and get back to the grindstone known as 'high-school'. 

For everything wonderful about homeschooling, there is one huge stumbling block: it requires major dedication. Let's face it, making your own school hours and having some say over your due dates makes it easy to get yourself muddled and not quite on track. Then again, perhaps that's one of the pluses of homeschooling; it teaches you to make yourself stay focused and complete tasks even when there isn't anyone 'standing over you'. 

That being said, we all need a little help getting things together. Here, I'm going to share some of my favorite organizing tactics to help start the new year off on the right foot, and keep you organized for the rest of the school-year. Got your own tips? Be sure to share in the comments!





Step 1: Cover The Basics

  • Find out exactly where you stand. Go through all your subjects and determine whether you are behind, on track, or (hallelujah!) ahead. Got a bit behind in history? Make a plan to get back where you need to be.
  • Just clean it up. Go around the house and track down every teacher's manual, worksheet, favorite pencil, and instruction CD. Find somewhere to put it all; a shelf, stacked neatly under that old armchair, in a book bag, or even a milk-crate. Keep all supplies in mason jars or pencil cases. Punch holes in all those loose papers and put them away in the correct binder. Taking the tame to make it all look nice will help you feel more organized.


Step 2: Devise A Plan....Then Put It Into Action!
  • Decide on a system. We all have different tastes and thoughts, so decide on an system of organization that will help you. Personally, I like to do a mix of schedules/To-Do lists, because seeing my day in black and white helps me stay focused. Perhaps stacking books in the order you want them done is a good idea for you, or utilize a dry-erase board where you can update it regularly. If you're very focused, perhaps a mental list is all you need! 
  • Don't just focus on books. Chances are, there is more than just school that got you feeling muddled in the first place. A messy room? Extracurriculars?  No time to walk the dog? Too much Pinterest? Be honest with yourself and make a plan...written down or mental....on how to best budget your time. Sometimes, creating a priority list really helps. Figure out what is most important, and make time for that item first. Use whichever system of organization you decided upon for everything, not just school.
  • Get a partner. It will help keep you accountable...I promise. My best friend and I decided our New Year's resolution would be to get back on track with school, and finish on time. We've promised to do it together, and keep each other accountable. So set something up with a friend, meet with your Mom at the end of the week  (or day) to go over what you need to do, or reach out to a sibling. 

Step 3: Work, work, work......
  • The best plan in the world won't work unless you stick to it. As boring as biology may seem now, just imagine; it will be even worse when you're still doing tests through the summer. 
  • That being said...Be willing to change. When you first devise a plan, it will be perfect, bombproof, simple, and revolutionary until, well...until it doesn't work. But that doesn't mean it was all bad! Breathe, sit down, and decide what worked, what didn't, and what you can change. Plans aren't one time deals, they always need updating.
  • Utilize all your time! Most underutilized time ever? Driving. Get a large bag (if your largest text book can fit along with pencils and notebooks, and some extra space, it's big enough) and keep it in a central place, like in front of your bedroom door. As you move throughout the day, throw in library books, the knitting you want to finish, the form you can't forget, and then bring it with you when you leave for somewhere. Make it your goal to always be doing something in the car. Some subjects are better than others. For some reason, I do much better doing Algebra questions in the car than I do, say, reading history. If your the driver? Rent an audio book and enjoy the extra reading time.
  • Early to bed, early to rise. The best way to stay on top of things is to take care of yourself. Set yourself a reasonable bed time. Don't snooze the alarm. Eat healthy meals, and make time for fresh, outdoor air. With all the studying and stress, you want to do everything you can to keep yourself healthy. 
  • Keep your space neat. You'll automatically feel more on top of things if you know where to find your stuff. Keep your space neat with consistent habits, not one time cleaning frenzies.
  • Have a mental list of go-to outfits. I personally can't do a thing until I'm dressed. If I'm in pajamas, my mind's still asleep. So have an idea of basic outfits that are comfy and come together in a flash to help make your mornings quick and simple.
  • Be quiet. This is one I'm trying to work on. With all the running around, exercising  studying, and who knows what else, you need to give your head a break. Find a time at home where you can be uninterrupted for at least a 1/2 hour. For me, I try to make the time around 4:00 or 4:30 until 5:00. Take a walk and just let yourself think, listen to an audio book while knitting, read, journal, or even take a quick cat nap. 
So, those were some of my thoughts! I hope that these tips have helped. Just remember, you've got a lot on your plate and sometimes it's difficult to do it all. But often, it'll be worth the running around. Don't hold yourself back from doing something you really, really love, or that will be good for you, just because you're busy. Learn the scheduling and organizing tactics that work for your life. and put them to good use! Got any of your own tips? Make sure to leave a comment!

Thanks for reading! :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Year In Photos...June 2012

Good morning, everybody! This week has been flying by. :) We started back up with school on Monday, and everything is getting back to it's normal schedule. The play we act in will be starting back up with the first rehearsal tomorrow! This year we're doing 'Bugsy Malone', a 1920's British-American gangster musical...

June was a packed month! We went camping with our super good friends, the M. family, and then it was off to NH State 4-H Teen Conference! It was a BLAST! Need to catch up on pictures? Go here: January, February,  March, April, and May.


Making doughnuts while camping...


My beautiful cousin, Abby, after we were 'playing pageant'. 



Teen Conference! Here we have the S. Co. ladies on the night of the semi-formal: Carolyn, Jack, Me, Bailey, Emily, Deanna, Lily, and Ashley. 


And the S. Co. gents! Chris, AJ, Jacob, Caleb, Turner, Adam, and one of the boys they hung out with.


Brother and sister....can't help but think AJ looks a little less than pleased. :)


That's it for now! I'll be back tomorrow with something other than photos!

Thanks for reading! :)




Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Year In Photos...May 2012

We're now officially in 2013! Here's hoping to a happy and healthy year.

Time to take a look at pictures from May 2012! Nothing too big happened this month....but I have some lovely, day-to-day pictures to share, as well as a prom picture! Need to catch up? Go here: January, February, March, and April.

Our guinea hens hatched out eggs! 


Here's our rabbit, Daisy, hopping around the barnyard....


The garden with some seedlings growing....


Yellow flower.


Apple blossoms!


We had 4H Fashion Revue! Here is my brother, AJ, and our friend Turner modeling the ghillie suits they sewed....


Homeschool prom! From left to right: Deanna, Carolyn, Sarah Beth, Hailey, Victoria, Bailey, and Me. :)


Baby pepper plants (you can see the tomato plants on the porch). 


That's it for May! I hope everyone is having a lovely first week in January! :)

Thanks for reading! :)