Thursday, December 25, 2008

sugarplum fairies

I should have done this yesterday....

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
 When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes--how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cheery!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

I hope you all had wonderful Christmas days 
and that all your wishes and dreams were filled with magic!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Once upon a time...

...there was a dear little girl who was loved by every one who looked at her, but most of all by her grandmother, and there was nothing that she would not have given to the child. Once she gave her a little cap of red velvet, which suited her so well that she would never wear anything else. So she was always called Little Red Riding Hood.
One day her mother said to her, "Come, Little Red Riding Hood, here is a piece of cake and a bottle of wine. Take them to your grandmother, she is ill and weak, and they will do her good. Set out before it gets hot, and when you are going, walk nicely and quietly and do not run off the path, or you may fall and break the bottle, and then your grandmother will get nothing. And when you go into her room, don't forget to say, good-morning, and don't peep into every corner before you do it."
I will take great care, said Little Red Riding Hood to her mother, and gave her hand on it. The grandmother lived out in the wood, half a league from the village, and just as Little Red Riding Hood entered the wood, a wolf met her. Little Red Riding Hood did not know what a wicked creature he was, and was not at all afraid of him.
"Good-day, Little Red Riding Hood," said he.
"Thank you kindly, wolf."
"Wither away so early, Little Red Riding Hood?"
"To my grandmother's."
"What have you got in your apron?"
"Cake and wine, Yesterday was baking-day, so poor sick grandmother is to have something good, to make her stronger."
"Where does your grandmother live, Little Red Riding Hood?"
"A good quarter of a league farther on in the wood, her house stands under the three large oak-trees, the nut-trees are just below. You surely must know it," replied Little Red Riding Hood.
The wolf thought to himself, "What a tender young creature. What a nice plump mouthful, she will be better to eat than the old woman. I must act craftily, so as to catch both." So he walked for a short time by the side of Little Red Riding Hood, and then he said, "see Little Red Riding Hood, how pretty the flowers are about here. Why do you not look round. I believe, too, that you do not hear how sweetly the little birds are singing. You walk gravely along as if you were going to school, while everything else out here in the wood is merry."
Little Red Riding Hood raised her eyes, and when she saw the sunbeams dancing here and there through the trees, and pretty flowers growing everywhere, she thought, suppose I take grandmother a fresh nosegay. That would please her too. It is so early in the day that I shall still get there in good time. And so she ran from the path into the wood to look for flowers. And whenever she had picked one, she fancied that she saw a still prettier one farther on, and ran after it, and so got deeper and deeper into the wood.
Meanwhile the wolf ran straight to the grandmother's house and knocked at the door. 
"Who is there?"
"Little Red Riding Hood," replied the wolf. "She is bringing cake and wine. Open the door."
"Lift the latch," called out the grandmother, " I am too weak, and cannot get up."
The wolf lifted the latch, the doors sprang pen, and without saying a word he went straight to the grandmother's bed, and devoured her. Then he put on her clothes, dressed himself in her cap, laid himself in bed and drew the curtains.
Little Red Riding Hood, however, had been running about picking flowers, 
and when she had gathered so many that she could carry no more 
she remembered her grandmother, and set out on the way to her.
She was surprised to find the cottage-door standing open, and when she went into the room, she had a strange feeling that she said to herself, oh dear, how uneasy I feel to-day, and at other times I like being with grandmother so much.
She called out, "Good Morning," but received no answer. So she went to the bed and drew back the curtains. There lay her grandmother with her cap pulled far over her face, and looking very strange.
"Oh, grandmother," she said, "what big ears you have."
"The better to hear you with, my child," was the reply.
"But grandmother, what big eyes you have," she said.
"The better to see you with, my dear."
"But, grandmother, what large hands you have."
"The better to hug you with."
"Oh, but, grandmother, what a terrible big mouth you have."
"The better to eat you with."
And scarcely had the wolf said this, tan with one bound he was out bed and swallowed up Little Red Riding Hood. 
When the wolf had appeased his appetite, he lay down again in the bed, fell asleep and began to snore very loud. The hunstman was just passing the house, and thought to himself, how the old woman is snoring. I must just see if she wants anything.So he went into the room, and when he came to the bed, he saw that the wolf was lying in it. "Do I find you ere, you old sinner," said he. " I have long sought you."
Then just as he was going to fire at him, it occurred to him that the wolf might have devoured the grandmother, and that she might still be save, so he did not fire, but took a pair of scissors, and began to cut open the stomach of the sleeping wolf. When he had made two snips, he saw the Little Red Riding Hood shining, and then he made two snips more, and the little girl sprang out, crying, "Ah, how frightened I have been. How dark it was inside the wolf." And after that the aged grandmother came out alive also, but scarcely able to breathe.
Little Red Riding Hood, however, quickly fetched great stones with which they filled the wolf's belly, and when he awoke, he wanted to run away, but the stones were so heavy that he collapsed at once. and fell dead. Then all three were delighted. The hunstman drew off the wolf's skin and went home with it. The grandmother ate the cake and drank the wine which Little Red Riding Hood had brought, and revived, but Little Red Riding Hood thought to herself, as long as I live, I will never by myself leave the path, to run into the wood, when my mother has forbidden me to do so.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

"Dear Beauty,

try not to regret all you have left behind you, for you are destined to a better fate.
 Only do not let yourself be deceived by appearances."
Beauty found her dreams so interesting that she was in no hurry to awake, 
but presently the clock roused her by calling her name softly twelve times,
and then she got up and found her dressing-table 
set out with everything she could possibly want; 
and when her toilet was finished she found dinner 
was waiting in the room next to hers.
But dinner does not take very long when you are all by yourself,
 and very soon she sat down cosily in the corner of a sofa, 
and began to think about the charming Prince she had seen in her dream.
"He said I could make him happy," said Beauty to herself.
 "It seems, then, that this horrible Beast keeps him a prisoner.
How can I set him free? 
I wonder why they both told me not to trust appearances?
 I don't understand it. 
But, after all, it was only a dream, 
so why should I trouble myself about it?
I had better go and find something to do to amuse myself."
 So she got up and began to explore some of the many rooms of the palace.
The first she entered was lined with mirrors, 
and Beauty saw herself reflected on every side,
 and thought she had never seen such a charming room.
Then a bracelet which was hanging from a chandelier caught her eye,
and on taking it down she was greatly surprised
 to find that it held a portrait of her unknown admirer, 
just as she had seen him in her dream.
With great delight she slipped the bracelet on her arm,
and went on into a gallery of pictures,
where she soon found a portrait of the same handsome Prince, as large as life,
and so well painted that as she studied it 
he seemed to smile kindly at her.

excerpt from Beauty and the Beast, 
part of The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang

It snowed all day.
My blizzard dreams came true.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Down the Rabbit-Hole

"Well!" thought Alice to herself, "after such a fall as this, 
I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs!
Why, I wouldn't say anything about it,
 even if I fell off the top of the house!" 
(which was very likely true.)
Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end?
"I wonder how many miles I've fallen by this time?" she said aloud.
" I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth.
 Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think--
(for, you see, Alice ad learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, 
and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge,
 as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over)
"--yes, that's about the right distance--
but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I've got to?"
(Alice had not the slightest idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, 
but she thought they were nice grand words to say.)
Presently she began again. "I wonder if I shall fall right through the earth!"

excerpt from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
photos from weheartit

I'm working on a photo shoot with a water theme, 
so I'm looking for plenty of inspiration!
Hope you're all well, dears!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow delay?

"Safe in her room again, Scarlett fell on the bed,
careless of her moiré dress, bustle, and roses...
...After a time, she rose from the bed and nervously paced the floor,
shedding garments as she walked.
Reaction from strain began to set in and she began to shake.
Hairpins slipped out of her fingers and tinkled to the floor
and when she tried to give her hair its customary hundred stokes, 
she banged the back of her brush hurtingly against her temple.
A dozen times she tiptoed to the door to listen for noises downstairs
but the hall below lay like a black silent pit."

excerpt from Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
photo series by Rune Guneriussen

I have awards and tags that I have been ignoring and I feel dreadful for doing so.
BUT I am officially all moved and the semester is over.
So now I have no excuse.
(well, except if I'm out playing in the snow!)

Love love love you all.
Thank you for being so patient.