Saturday, October 25, 2014

What I've Been Up To This Week: Halloween Edition

This week has been full of great food, talent and sights! Everything started off with the Yelp's Art in Action event at the Tim Faulkner Gallery. Then, I went to see Dracula at Actors Theatre. To top everything off was the Jack O' Lantern Spectacular at Iroquois Park. 

Cookies from Whole Foods Market

Yelp' Art in Action
Yelp is a great way to get involved in your city. I love finding new places where I can go to eat, shop or just be entertained. Not only can you read and write reviews but you get to connect with people about the things you truly love! They also host wonderful events and if you are lucky you can become an elite member and receive many extra perks while helping show pride for your city! 

This week I went to the Louisville Yelp's Art in Action event at the Tim Faulkner Gallery in the Portland neighborhood. There was an array of restaurants, adult beverage companies and other local businesses all trying to "Keep Louisville Weird"! I sure hope we raised big bucks for the Colon Cancer Prevention Project!

I wore a 70s style Bell Sleeve Woven Top from Forever21 (similar here) with Calvin Klein skinny jeans (old pair) and Madden Girl Sharpen Black Booties. I accessorized with a long gold necklace and a vintage cream purse. 

The Blue Moon Circus preformed and my favorite act was the fire eater! She was a hot act to follow!

Then, there was this guy on a 5 foot unicycle! Needless to say, he had amazing balance which I could use more of in life. 

Fifth Third Bank's Dracula

In honor of Halloween I went to go see Fifth Third Banks Dracula at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. While the plot does not directly follow Bram Stokers novel (which I recommend you!) I loved the play! The actors were fantastic. It's pretty hard to act crazy, possessed and deranged. Renfield, the twisted and hilariously funny patient, almost stole the show. Dracula ends October 31st so call the box office at 502-584-1205 for ticket availability. Next up will be Fifth Third Bank’s A Christmas Carol. I cannot wait to go and get into the Christmas spirit!

Dracula's stage.

I was amazed with the effects surrounding this small and intimate stage. The haunting sounds and screams, the flashing lights and scorching fire, they all draw you in into the dark and crazed minds of the mental institution in Dracula's grasp.

 I wore a Marled Knit Dress from Forever21 with black H&M tights and Blowfish booties (similar here). I accessorized with a silver pointed "stake" necklace.

Jack O' Lantern Spectacular

Jack O' Lantern line, sign, Belle of Louisville, Sponsors and theme "A Walk in Time"

The Louisville Jack O’ Lantern Spectacular at Iroquois Park has 5,000 carved pumpkins! The amount of time and artistic talent to create this event is mind blowing. Proceeds benefit the Louisville Metro Parks Foundation. The hours are from dusk to 11p.m. (midnight on weekends) and ends November 2nd.

So many pumpkins!

The theme is "A Walk in Time" and begins with beautifully carved pumpkin clocks and the prehistoric times. The pumpkin themes move through the history of mankind up until current times and include bits of mythology and aliens.

As you walk along the path and reach the modern age the themes are set up by decades and the pumpkins portray wars, famous people and entertainment icons.

These events are just a few of the options around Louisville for entertainment during the Halloween season. What are you up to? Let me know in the comments below and subscribe to my page!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit


Illustration from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There
by Sir John Tenniel (PD-1923)
"There is a curtain, thin as gossamer, clear as glass, strong as iron, that hangs for ever between the world of magic and the world that seems to us to be real."

The time between 1858 and 1925 is known as the golden age of children's literature. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Princess and the Goblin, The Wonderful Wizard of OZ, Peter Pan and many other books influenced children and adults alike. The industrial revolution along with numerous scientific discoveries changed the way people viewed the world.  Anything seemed possible and the curtain between this world and the magical world seemed to be at its thinnest. One of the many authors to feel the effect was Edith Nesbit, author of The Enchanted Castle (1907). Nesbit and a multitude of other authors inspired great works like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Chronicles of Narnia and my all time favorite, the Harry Potter series.

"He had the extraordinary feeling so difficult to describe, and yet so real and unforgettable - the feeling that he was in another world."

Edith Nesbit is not a popular author for classic children's books in America. After reading The Enchanted Castle, I feel she should be. You are taken on a wild, magical ride full of mystery and laughs. I would love to see this story made into a movie. There are great lesson to be learned in Nesbit's books like being polite, not to lie or steal and to be brave. Another teaching tool would be to show how times have changed and/or improved from the early 20th century. One thing to remember when reading classics, these were the groundbreaking works that led to what we have today. Many books may seem unoriginal and less exciting but if you put yourself into the time period the book was written and open your mind a magical experience awaits. Below is a brief description of the book.
The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit
Brothers Gerald and James are staying at sister Kathleen's school for the holidays. They couldn't go home because their cousin, who was already at their house, got the measles. They all wrote home saying they didn't want to stay with a local, Miss Hervey, who lived in a "house where it is impossible to play".  The only people, besides themselves, at the school are the French mistress and Eliza the maid. The children pretty much have free reign once Gerald gets on Mademoiselle's good side and get permission to go out into the woods during the day. The next day they set out in search of a cave with a castle nearby that Gerald heard about at school. While sitting down to rest and eat he almost falls into a hole which turns out to be the cave. Gerald bravely leads the others through a passage, into a gully and under arches until they entered upon a picturesque garden with a lake, maze and castle beyond. 

Illustration from The Enchanted Castle 
by H. R. Millar (PD-1923)
"I'm going to believe in magic as hard as I can. This is an enchanted garden, and that's an enchanted castle, and I'm jolly well going to explore."

As they hungrily try to reach the end of the maze they meet a princess. If only they new then the number of twist and turns their future's held and how often they would be hungry. They play in a secret room where they find "it" (It's not "It" from Five Children and It) and unexpected things start to happen. The story is packed with magic and adventure at every turn. Oh and did I mention trouble.

Illustration from The Enchanted Castle 
by H. R. Millar (PD-1923)
Trying to deal with the real world and the unusual circumstances circling around the enchanted castle at the same time can be trying. While the children deal with all types of situations and people they also have to figure out the secrets of the castle and what they found in the hidden room. This is a delightful read for both children and adults and stands the test of time.
Final Sketch: Harry Potter Book One courtesy of Elisabeth Alba
 "I don't understand how railway trains and magic can go on at the same time."
What are your favorite books written in the golden era of children's literature? Have you read The Enchanted Castle or anything else by Edith Nesbit? Let me know your thoughts on this or any of her other books below in the comments. Also, you should hear about Nesbit's real life dramas, but that's another story. Lastly, check out the enchanting illustrations by Elisabeth Alba in the link above. Happy reading!