Life Lessons From The Halloween Queen Morticia Addams

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Some may know the classic television program The Addams Family from the 60s, while others may know the movies based on the show that came out in the 90s. Whichever one you may remember or prefer ( I love the 60s version) you have to admit that this family was nothing less than iconic! However my favorite character in that show is Morticia Addams! I Love that she marched to the beat of her own drum. She thought that others were weird when they abided by the social rules. She lived her life exactly how she wanted to.

She was very intelligent and in my opinion the mastermind of her family. She may have been different, but I think that there are many ” life lessons” to be learned from her zany character:

 Surround yourself with what makes you happy:

Morticia didn’t feel the need to sacrifice her happiness and put herself in                 situations where she was out of her element. She surrounded her self with the people who she most loved and created a home for her self that was her kingdom! She was so secure in who she was and did her own thing while just letting everyone else do their own thing including the kids. She constantly worked on new hobbies and interests in that spooky mansion of hers, made her own potions and spells, always improved on them and never settled for anything less than what she was satisfied with!

 

 

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Never loose your cool in any situation:

I love that Morticia sounded a bit of a snob in many funny situations! She always controlled her temper and was always classy and put-together even in the most difficult situations. She exuded self confidence and ruled almost quietly in the background. Everyone turned to her when things went out of control (which they normally did) because she always kept her cool! She ruled her family with grace and careful tact. She always knew exactly what to say and what unorthodox advice to give!

Because of that calm and collected and self-control manner she was the glue that held her family together. She was the strongest and most intelligent member of that household and ruled just like a wise and regal queen!

 

It is ok to be different, belive in your own beauty:  

Morticia was confident in her own skin. She was beautiful, and intelligent. She never changed who she was for anyone. She embraced her looks and never questioned her them. She didn’t put herself or her appearance down. She did’t seem to see other women as ‘prettier’ – only ‘different-looking’. She believed in her self, she believed that she is beautiful inside and out. Gomez fell for Morticia because she had a beauty inside her that she nurtured so it shone out. She didn’t look to Gomez to validate her beauty or intellect. She validated it herself. She was always quietly self-assured and although she so obviously loved and wanted Gomez, she didn’t need him. And that’s what made her so irresistible to him.

 

Family comes first:

Morticia valued her family. She loved her family very much and prioritized them. She always took the time to ensure that her children knew and respected their older. She encouraged the shared interests of the family. You never felt that her brother-in-law or mother were imposing on her life even though they were living in her house.. She was always loving and accepting of her eccentric kids. She raised them to be unique, creative, and honest individuals.

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Morticia also made her husband a priority. They’ve been married for years yet still incredibly in love. They always made sure that they spent quality time together, from the occasional waltz to extravagant dinners and romantic evening strolls through the family tombs. She was devoted to him and supported him in all of his crazy ideas and didn’t mind cleaning up his messes. As a result of her loyalty and love to all her family members they learned to love and take care of one another. They always had each others backs specially when faced with outside forces.

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Happy Halloween In advance 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Victoria

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The 2nd Season of Victoria has been released and I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to write about it!

It’s impeccably written and staged. Aimed at the same audiences that enjoyed Downton Abbey, and The Crown.

Victoria follows the young Queen from the time she becomes The Queen of England through her passionate courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. The TV series Victoria dramatizes the romance and reign of the girl behind the famous monarch. Jenna Coleman is absolutely perfect as Victoria, and there are strong supporting roles like Tom Hughes as Albert and Rufus Sewell as Lord Melbourne. I have to say that Rufus Sewell is superb in the role of Lord Melbourne. He managed to appear supremely noble, with just a hint of sadness and vulnerability lurking beneath the surface!

I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorian era and I love how the Queen and her Prince have changed the face of London to what we know it today! .. My favorite novels have been written in her era and yet I always imagined her as a sad lonely old woman!…..I guess it’s because she spent half her life in mourning the death of her beloved husband!

I can honestly say that this show made me look at her from a different light … I’ve gained a new admiration for the Queen! Here she’s been portrayed as an independent outspoken, and quite a determined young lady… Love that!

 

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The Queen’s links with Europe’s royal families earned her the nickname “The grandmother of Europe”! She and Prince Albert had 9 children, 4 boys, and 5 girls … They had 42 grandchildren, of whom 34 survived to adulthood. Their descendants include Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Harald V of Norway, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Margrethe II of Denmark, and Felipe VI of Spain.

 

 

 

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Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day

Madame Tussauds London museum dressed up the British royal family wax figures in ugly holiday sweaters in  honor of the “Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day,” which will take place on December 16 ….it’s a campaign that asks people to wear their favorite silly or ugly sweaters in exchange for donating to the nonprofit Save the Children.

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I must admit that I don’t mind Prince Philip’s sweater…. compared to what the rest of the family ended up with, his isn’t bad at all lol!!!

Here’s the link for more info about Christmas Jumper day

The Crown

Anyone who knows me knows that I love costume dramas…  So it comes as no surprise that I have been waiting for The New Netflix production to be released!…..Other than “Games of Throne” “Downton Abbey” has been my favorite TV costume dramas until now….  “The Crown” to me is just another level of entertainment! It’s my new addiction!

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  “Downton Abbey” was/is fun to watch but it is fiction, whereas “The Crown” is based on fact, with a far weightier dose of history and politics, including issues of constitutional duty and complex political issues. Writer Peter Morgan and the director Stephen Daldry — have succeeded in balancing the seriousness of intent against popular appeal, and for Netflix, which I think has already attracted a huge international audience!

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This is not the 1st time that Mr. Morgan, the creator of the show, has written about the Queen…. He actually has extensive experience writing about her. His 2006 film “The Queen,” won several Academy Award nominations and the best actress award went to Helen Mirren as the monarch, facing public reaction to the death of Princess Diana. Then in 2013 came his successful play, “The Audience,” also starring Helen Mirren and directed by Mr. Daldry, which swoops through some 60 years of the weekly meetings between Queen Elizabeth and her prime ministers. And actually this experience of writing “The Audience” gave him the idea for “The Crown.”

Part of the pleasures of watching “The Crown” is its ability to offer glimpses of life at Buckingham Palace and other royal residences (The furniture! The objects! The clothes! The jewels!). But it also offers a history lesson in world events, politics and the social manners and mores of postwar British society, seen through the prism of Elizabeth’s reign.

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For example, I was really surprised by the relationship between Winston Churchill and the young queen! I never thought the either one of them struggled in this relationship! Never thought that either one of them ever doubted themselves… until now!

I don’t want to say more and spoil it for those of you who haven’t watched it yet… but here are a few reviews I read about the series … Both +ve and -ve:

  • The New York Times says it is “just an orgy of sumptuous scenes and rich performances” in its Review: Netflix Does Queen Elizabeth II in ‘The Crown,’ No Expense Spared.
  • Vanity Fair’s review, The Crown Is Netflix’s Most Expensive Series to Date, and Worth It, says “A grand saga about the British royals begins with a sumptuous look at midcentury monarchy.”
  • USA Today gives The Crown 3-1/2 out of 4 stars in its piece titled Review: ‘The Crown’ is sumptuous miniseries with the stellar cast!
  • From the Maclean’s review by Patricia Treble, ‘The Crown’ on Netflix is riveting. And not completely true. “Unlike many so-called documentaries that are little more than rehashed tittle-tattle and gossip, The Crown’s fact-heavy fiction puts dramatic meat on much more substantial and accurate bones.“

Maria Callas The Exhibition

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The Exhibition is the first major exhibition dedicated to the greatest soprano of all time Maria Callas. Curated by Massimiliano Capella, the presentation marks the 40th anniversary of the death La Divina. It includes costumes and props jewelry, Private clothes, especially those by Biki, the Milanese stylist who fashioned the ‘Callas look’ during the Milan years, as well as several opera costumes; there are personal treasures and stage jewellery; hats, wigs and glasses; telegrams, letters, newspaper articles and photographs illustrating the successes, the scandals, and her loves.

The exhibition is on display until September 18, 2016, in Verona and will soon begin its international tour, from Athens to New York, from Paris to Mexico City…. I don’t have information about the international tour yet but I’ll add it at the bottom of this post as soon as I find some!

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The Curator Massimiliano Capella has used 2200 mannequins and has divided the exhibition into fourteen sections starting with America and Greece and ends in a small dark room with a video of Callas’s ashes being scattered on the Aegean Sea.

Here’s a quick background of her life for those of you who are interested:

I’m going to start from her “Milan years” because to me that’s where she rose and gave her greatest performances and, of course, it was at La Scala where she recorded many of the EMI recordings. On 17 September 1947 Callas had auditioned for La Scala with Casta Diva and O Patria mia, but the Artistic Director, Mario Labroca, didn’t think she was suitable. However, a substitution for Renata Tebaldi on 12 April 1950 in Aida launched a relationship that would continue for more than a decade. Between 1950 and 1962 she would sing 23 different operas, appearing on the Milanese stage 181 times.

Although critics and public were mostly enthusiastic about her vocal performances between 1947 and 1953, comments about her physical aspect were less favourable. Although she was quite tall at 1.73 meters (5’ 8”) she weighed almost 100 kilos (220 lbs); quite a large girl. In 1952 a tactless critic wrote, “It was impossible to distinguish between the elephants’ feet and those of Aida.”

So between the summer of 1952 and the spring of 1954, she lost 35 kilos, and in doing so – with the help of Biki – transformed herself into a style icon. Many of her outfits are reunited for the Callas exhibition. (The iconic portrait by Jerry Tiffany in New York for EMI in 1958 demonstrates how the transformation was complete).

In 1952 she made her debut at the Royal Opera House in London as Norma. London would later be the place of her last appearance in a complete opera, in 1965, and one of the dates of her final concert tour with Giuseppe di Stefano in 1973. But London was to also be the setting for a famous… infamous encounter.

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In 1959, when Callas was one of the core members of the international jet set, a party was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was hosted by Aristotle Onassis. the picture above was taken at the event!!!! The next month Callas and her husband were already guests aboard his yacht Christina and the fatal relationship began.

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Her relationship with Onassis ended in 1968 when he left her for Jacqueline Kennedy.

In 1969 she did interpret one of her opera characters again for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film of Medea; though on this occasion she wasn’t required to sing. Piero Tosi’s magnificent costume for the film is part of the exhibition, so is the favourite black leather jacket that Callas wore during this period. Various documents on show illustrate the intimate nature of the friendship between the director and his leading lady.

The final rooms contain some of her hats, bags, shoes, turbans and other accessories which Biki so carefully labelled in the early years to help her young protégé coordinate the right hat with the right gown. Biki continued to dress her when she lived in Paris, as well as Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Hérmes and Alexander for her wigs.

In the early ‘70s she appeared at Juilliard for the legendary workshops, directed I Vespri Siciliani together with Di Stefano in Turin, and Di Stefano convinced her to join him on an around-the-world concert tour which finished in 1974.

27 November 1973: Maria Callas gives a farewell concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

In 1975, Onassis died in a Paris hospital, a few months later Pasolini’s murdered body was found on the beach at Ostia near Rome, and the following year saw the death of another friend and mentor Luchino Visconti, who once said that he’d only started directing opera because of Callas.

She died of a heart attack on 16 September 1977. She was 53.

Modern Face Painting for Halloween!

I feel that art adds beauty and interest to our everyday lives and as a result, I love incorporating it in almost everything!!….. A few years ago I saw this series of Moscow-based photographer Alexander Khokhlov  called Weird Beauty and somehow thought it would be a great inspiration for some last minute Halloween costume!!! Face painting is nothing new, I mean African tribes and aboriginal tribes have been doing it for centuries … But I loved that Khokhlov took it to the next level and modernized it!… Here Khokhlov used model faces as canvas and painted on them in only black and white.