Wednesday, January 25, 2012

childhood influences: the secret garden

click here to view more pretty edited screen caps (frankly, I didn't feel like posting the tumblr name on my blog).

I started this post months ago, as a companion to my Little Princess post.  I don't know why I never finished it, because it's always been in the back of my mind.  So I figured that now is as good a time as any, because really, I haven't had much opportunity to go out and take pictures because of the terrible weather.    It's either pouring rain, or snowing, or frigidly cold.  I can only take so many pictures of the knicknacks on my shelf, you know?

Anyway.  The Secret Garden.  Another Frances Hodgson Burnett masterpiece.  Another film that I popped into the VCR on a weekly basis, until the tape started wearing down.  And yet another reason why I'm sure I love all the things I do, because nostalgia is definitely a running theme here.  The haunting portrait of Colin's mother, which was always strangely beautiful to me, is probably why I still love portraiture circa 1900 and earlier, and why as an artist, I have always leaned toward images of the human face.  It's probably why I love collecting old photographs too.

Here's a recent photograph I picked up (along with my Notman). I love his expression, and it's in fairly good condition too.  I'm sure the girls must have fawned over him.  Not to mention, that jacket looks awesome.

And how could we forget the key?  Isn't that how the whole thing started?  I remember being instantly smitten with the giant skeleton key that Mary discovers in her aunt's dusty, forgotten room.  The intricate design, and the grating sound it made when she put it in the lock.  It may even have been the sound more than the look that attracted me.  Just like I loved the sound of Mary's mother's ivory elephant as she walked it along wood.  Is that weird?  I don't know.  But I know that I still think of that sound, and when I hear it elsewhere, I still like it.

I've had this key for quite some time.  I used to carry it on my keychain, with all my modern keys, and occasionally I put it on a necklace.  Mostly it sits on my bedside table looking rustic and pretty.  It's obviously not the same size or complexity as the  Secret Garden key that you can see in the screen cap at the beginning of the post.  But it was the closest I could find at the time (and I still haven't come across anything better), and I love to imagine what it might have opened.  Part in parcel with the key, is the jewelry box in that screen cap.  A couple years ago, Luke's mom gave me one of her old jewelry boxes, and it looks a lot like that one.  I absolutely adore it.  I didn't take a picture of it, because's kind of obscured by a whole lot of junk on my book shelf at the moment. 

 Last, but not least, is the clothes.  Pretty much of all of it, really.  I love her pea coat, and the big red tam (I still haven't found one that was just right...but I'll keep looking!).  In the meantime, I have a number of other ones, mostly gray, and one that's a delightful mustard colour.  I love the ribbons in Mary's hair, and the lace on her adorable little dresses.  I wish I was dainty enough to wear those stockings, but alas, I think it would just make me look ridiculous.  I'll stick to the lace, and the long gray coats.

I bought this lace shirt at Christmas-time, but I haven't worn it yet.  I'll either wear it for the rehearsal dinner, or after our wedding when Luke and I go out to dinner (paired with a really pretty lace skirt, both from Jacob).

Well, there you have it.  Yet another book/film that has continued to inspire me over the past twelve years or so.  And I think they did such a good job of that movie, that it's timeless, as far as I'm concerned.  They just got it right.  There's nothing to date it (see, for example, Diane Keaton's attempt at 1940s hair in The Godfather, which really just looks like it's from the '70s), and I think all the kids did a really terrific job at carrying the story.  The ten-year-old in me still has a bit of a crush on Dickon.

via mala-lesbia ; check out her gallery -- it's filled with beautiful, dream-like imagery.

*** I'd also like to note that the pictures I took were processed with Sara Lynn Paige's beautiful Reminisce film style actions.  I bought them a few weeks ago, and they are truly lovely.  Sometimes digital images can be too crisp, too clear.  This puts just the right amount of colour, and depth into my images.


  1. Haha, ditto on Dickon! ;)

    Isn't it amazing how something from your childhood can influence you so greatly? I'm also obsessed with "The Secret Garden" - to the extent that whenever I walk past a stone wall with vines creeping over it and an arched gateway or doorway I can't help but try and peer through and let my imagination run away.

    Great photos! I always enjoy them.

  2. The Secret Garden was a favorite of mine as well. It still is, actually. Ever since I first saw it I've wanted a big red tam, but, like you, have yet to find just the right one...

    This will probably sound silly, but to this day whenever I see a robin I'll do my best Mary impression and say "Hello Robin."

  3. That's so funny, because that's how I am with Anne of Green Gables with trees. I always think of trees as people now.