It’s Finally Time!!!!

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We’ve been waiting soooo very patiently and the time has finally arrived!!!  Downton Abbey starts in a few hours.  Embedded image permalink

Follow along as I live tweet (@DowntonDame) all the excitement and zingers.  Squeeeeeee!!!!  I can hardly wait!!!

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Merchandise Monday – Downton Abbey Gets Stamp Deal

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First there was tea, then lotions and potions, and jewelry, and paint, and fabrics, and heaven only knows what else,  except for stamps.  But don’t fret my fellow Downtonians because now we will have stamps in the near future.

Knockout Licensing has granted the U.S.-based Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corporation the rights to create Downton Abbey Postage Stamps as well as Protective Stamp Albums, Presentation Art Frames, and other philatelic items.

“We are delighted to put our stamp of approval on this deal with IGPC,” says Carole Postal, co-president, Knockout. “IGPC impressed us not only with the quality of their postage stamp designs, but also their knowledge of the international stamp industry, close relationships with official government postal authorities and large distribution network of international stamp dealers.”

(Did the Knockout co-president intend to make a pun? Or was “putting our stamp of approval” on a stamp design unintentional?  Either way, it made me chuckle.)

IGPC is looking forward to working with the team at Knockout Licensing and NBCUniversal, as well as Postmasters General at our government postal authority clients, to create beautiful Downton Abbey postage stamps, which will be not only great items for fans and collectors, but also a wonderful testament to the worldwide popularity of this captivating television program,” says Yossi Malamud, executive vice president, IGPC

“Whether it is used for postage fees on envelopes mailed internationally or as a unique collectible treasured by international stamp collectors and enthusiasts, an official government issued postage stamp serves as a travelling ambassador of the nation for which it was created,” says IGPC Executive Vice President Yossi Malamud.  “IGPC is looking forward to working with the team at Knockout Licensing and NBCUniversal as well as Postmasters General at our government postal authority clients to create beautiful Downton Abbey postage stamps which will be not only great items for fans and collectors but also a wonderful testament to the worldwide popularity of this captivating television program.”

I can’t wait to see what countries will have Downton Abbey stamps.  It doesn’t really matter what countries though, because I plan on collecting all of them!

~~~ Happy Shopping ~~~

The New Men of Downton Abbey Pose for Vogue

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Downton Abbey has old and new characters this season.  Among those new characters are three handsome men who happen to be inside the February issue of Vogue.  Julian Overden (aka Charles Blake), Tom Cullen (aka Anthony Foyle, Lord Gillingham), and Gary Carr (aka Jack Ross) are seen looking dapper and picture perfect.

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They even dished about their time filming Downton.

Cullen, on refining his natural Wales accent to that of a British aristocrat: “I pretend to be my English grandmother. She’s so posh her jaw doesn’t move when she speaks.”

Ovenden, on the contentious relationship between Charles Blake and Lady Mary: “He stays in the house, which is awkward, but they discover things about each other that are perhaps less different.”

Carr, on his character possibly encountering racism: “As a black man in the twenties, he’s already a celebrity. He doesn’t have such a chip on his shoulder. He’s wearing tails and sharp suits. It’s really great.”

Looking good, gentlemen.

Merchandise Monday – Pride and Prejudice: Keepsake Edition

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Woohoo!!!

Okay, I know you shouldn’t start an article with “woohoo” but I am so excited I just had to “woohoo”.

There is a new version of Pride and Prejudice out on Blu-ray!!!  It is the Pride And Prejudice: Keepsake Edition Blu-ray and includes new featurettes.

The mini-series is the granddame of period costume dramas.  In my opinion, if this version of Pride and Prejudice hadn’t been made then Downton Abbey and other period costume dramas would never been made.  This film has inspired countless other period costume dramas and for good reason.

In 1995, the BBC and A&E collaborated in to bring Jane Austen’s clasic 1813 Regency romance Pride and Prejudice to television.  It stars Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy (((swoon))) and American Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth “Lizzy” Bennet.

I remember watching it on PBS and being mesmerized.  The costumes and the music were wonderful.  It was charming and captivated and you could lose yourself in Regency romance for a few hours.  The story was told almost just like the book which is always admirable.  And who can forget the Pemberly pond scene!!! Okay.  So, that wasn’t in the book but in my mind, Jane Austen would have approved of that little bit of delicious artist licesne.   I just had to buy the VCR version of the series.  It was 5 tapes long and was $89!!  That was a lot of money for 1995 but so worth it.  Shoot, that is a lot of money for 2014!  And then it came out in DVD and I bought that and that was worth the money.  The Blu-ray came out but I never got around to getting that version but it was always on my Christmas list.  But I will certainly be getting this version.

The Blu-ray extras include ” ’Pride and Prejudice:’ A Turning Point for Period Drama,” “The Definitive ’Pride and Prejudice,’” “Love or Money? Courtship and Marriage in ’Pride and Prejudice,’ ” “The Music of ’Pride and Prejudice,” “Lifestyles of the Wealth in Early 19th Century England,” “Technical Restoration,” and “Lasting Impressions.”

“Pride And Prejudice: Keepsake Edition” Blu-ray Set is $29.99 and available at Shop PBS.  And if you act quickly, you can get 20% off until 11:59pm PT on 2/10/14.

~~~ Happy Shopping ~~~

Porn Parady of Downton Abbey! Oh My!!

It was just a matter of time, I suppose.  But Downton Abbey now has the distinction of being an adult (a.k.a. porn) parody.

Down on Abby has been produced by Harmony Films.  It is an adult parody of our favorite show set at Bottomley Manor, with characters including Lord and Lady Grabhem, and their stepdaughters Abby and Fanny. The servant’s name is, of course, Master Bates.

“As Down on Abby is our first foray into the world of adult parody and with Harmony being a British studio, it was a no brainer that our first offering would be with something that is quintessentially British,” James Wright, Harmony’s VP of sales and marketing, explained.

Filming has already been completed on the steamy film – with a release date set for April 1st.

Just a guess, but I am thinking that the costuming budget on this film was fairly low.

And I’m pretty sure if you ask yourself “What would the Dowager Countess do?”, the answer would be to not watch this.  Considering that Ethel got the sack for “getting it on” in a closet with the Major that porn would be considered déclassé.  But who am I to judge???

Downton Abbey goes to the Cats

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Ever wondered what would happen if cats ruled the world?  The Pets Alive animal rescue in Middletown, New York remade the opening of Downton Abbey to show us exactly what it would look like.

Sort of scary, if you ask me. Cat domination might be right around the corner.  EGADS!!!

And don’t worry, no animals were hurt in the making of this film and all cats are available for adoption.  (Just click the Pets Alive logo below to get to their site.)

Pets Alive

Merchandise Monday – Downton Abbey: The Board Game

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Are you bored during the week waiting for Sunday night so you can watch Downton Abbey again?  Don’t fret.  There is a new board game to keep you entertained until the next installment of our favorite family and staff is available.

The $64.99 game (£21.99 in the UK) is being sold on Amazon and is based on our beloved Downton Abbey characters.

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“The fast moving game that transports you into the world of Downton Abbey.  As maid or footman, you have to complete the tasks you are given as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Starting in the Servants’ Hall, each player is dealt Destination cards which have varying values indicated by the number of bells on the card. This relates to how important or difficult the task is.  The player must then navigate their way around the corridors and stairs of the Abbey, throwing the dice to determine how many moves they can make. Once they reach the destination of a task, they collect their bell tokens, and the next player throws the dice to set off for the next job.  But nothing is that simple! Along the way, a player can land on a ‘Carson Card’ space and have to take a card, which could either help or hinder them. On other spaces, the players may have to collect a ‘Letter’ which could call them away from the Abbey, slowing them down, or costing them bells!  And which route will they take? A short easy looking one to get a job done earning only one bell, or a longer route with the possibility of collecting a higher reward?  The winner is the player who has completed all their jobs and collected the most bells. Good luck and enjoy the game!”
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Beware the Carson! This card can either help or hinder a player as they navigate the board

It sounds a lot like cross between Monopoly and Clue but without Park Place and Colonel Mustard in the drawing room.  Since I have always loved Clue and Monopoly and I definitely love Downton Abbey, this is going on my wish list.  (But I won’t be playing with my sister – she cheats when we play board games, just like I imagine Thomas would do if he played board games.)

~~~ Happy Shopping ~~~

Chat live with Downton Abbey’s Gary Carr Monday at 12n ET

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Chat live with Downton Abbey’s Gary Carr Monday at 12n ET with Masterpiece on PBS.org Gary Carr as Jack Ross in Downton Abbey

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/programs/features/live-chat/downton-abbey-s4-live-chat-gary-carr/

We met the American jazz singer Jack Ross on Downton Abbey a few weeks ago.  Did you know Gary Carr’s character is based on a real-life cabaret star Leslie Hutchinson, who had scandalous affairs with white British socialites?

Best known for his role in Death in Paradise along with roles in Bluestone 42 and Foyle’s War, Carr will participate in a live chat with Masterpiece on Monday, February 3 at 12n ET on PBS.org.

Get your questions ready and find out what it has been like for Carr to join the cast of Downton Abbey.

Merchandise Monday – Heritage Lace’s Downton Abbey Home Decor Collection

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First there were soaps and lotions, then wine, fabrics, ornaments, and heaven only knows what once the producers of Downton Abbey started licensing the rights for Downton Abbey products.

The latest addition is from Heritage Lace and will be everything from napkins and pillows to gloves, ladies shawls and shower curtains.

Heritage Lace has obtained the licensing rights for an extensive line of well-crafted home décor and textiles associated with the award-winning PBS series Downton Abbey.

The new Heritage Lace collection captures the color, texture and tactile appeal of fine laces, sheers, linens, velvets, burlap, natural wovens and embroideries that would be right at home in Highclere Castle – and fit right in with modern tastes and sensibilities.

There will be more than 200 products in the collection which will begin to show up in stores and online later this month.

I just love the pillows shown in the picture!! It is going to look perfect on my couch.

To receive exclusive updates and the first to know when the Downton Abbey collection will be available for purchase online, fill out the form at heritagelace.com .