The Conscripted Seamstress

From the Madsen Creations tumblr: Fashion Inspiration Journal

So I do not sew-not at all. I have tried to do it and have failed again and again. Sewing is just not for me. I get completely flabbergasted.

From the Madsen Creations tumblr: Fashion Inspiration Journal

I am like Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality, when I look at the sewing machine and the instruments.

So those of you who follow me on instagram and facebook may have seen my embroidery, and might be wondering, isn’t that the same thing as sewing?

Sewing is about construction-in clothing or accessories. Typically you are joining two pieces of fabric together to make something or mending a hole or frayed edge.

Embroidery is about style-you are adding careful and intricate stitching to something, to elevate a pillowcase, dishcloth, blanket, or other home goods.

So embroidery is something I know how to do, my mom taught us young and I have embroidered pillows, dishcloths, pillowcases, blankets, baby shirts, etc. After all:

So last week my friend was getting married and she was planning on saving money by wearing her mother’s old dress.

I told her to try it on months before, just in case it didn’t fit, but she didn’t. On Thursday, two nights before the wedding, she tried the dress on and it didn’t fit.

They weren’t able to add more cloth to it, instead a new dress had to be made. Friday, the day before the wedding.

But my sister, she went to work and created a dress in a day.

What?

After the dress rehearsal, I went over to my parent’s house and saw my sister sewing on appliques to the dress. If she was to be doing it on her own, she was going to be up all night and we were supposed to be at the church at 9 on Saturday.

Ouch!

So my mom lent a hand and then they conscripted me into service.

Like I said sewing is not for me, and I kept messing up. I threaded the needle wrong and it kept falling out. And I was moving so slow…

We stayed up until two in the morning and my sister and mother did lots of appliques…but in the four hours I sewed….I did one.

Yes, this is why I don’t sew. But I was pretty proud of my one applique.

For more on sewing, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 3, Threading the Needle

For more embroidery, go to Jane Austen Manors

For more on weddings, go to Crazy Rich Asians

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 4, Best Foot Forward Part I

 

So in the last episode, we had the sewing circle which I rocked. I love embroidery.

Miss Eliza Parsons also taught me the pianoforte, making it my newest accomplishment.

In this episode we are going to have a garden party in my honor, how will it turn out?!!

I’m nervous

So it is exciting, a party for me and the Duke is coming, that is just one step below Prince Regent!

Grandmother offers me a very fancy dress to wear, but it costs 25 diamonds.

That’s a lot of money…

In the other games I have played on Choices I have never purchased clothes as I don’t see the point, but I decided to in this-I want the full experience for the blog.

There will be dancing at the Garden Party and I am very worried as I don’t know how to dance! I was never taught that in the village I grew up in.

I decided to take up Miss Parson’s offer to teach me a Boulanger.

But to get the lessons I had to buy some more diamonds as I had used mine up. In doing so I acquired the dancing shoes!

At the garden party things are going well. I befriend Mr. Woods the butler, (who my maid Briar is interested in) as I know he will be a good ally.

Oh yes. my stepmother is awful.

Luckily my father loves me and defends me from her. He introduces me to Mr. Sinclaire-you remember him.

You have a conversation with him, and it is up to you if you want to go the Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy route, be mean and reject him, or flirt. I choose the Elizabeth and Darcy route as I like Mr. Sinclaire. He’s not as noble as the others and I can relate with my birth.

And in case you were wondering, Mr. Sinclaire is Mr. Darcy.

I also discover that Mr. Sinclaire really appreciates my father, as he helped them when Mr. Sinclaire took over Ledford Park, his estate. After we talk for a while, he invites me to a game of nine pins. As I was out of money and did not want to purchase more diamonds, I decided to wait until I had earned enough diamonds to play with Mr. Sinclaire.

For more Desire and Decorum, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 3, Threading the Needle

For more Pride and Prejudice, go to Dangerous to Know, Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues: MILD

For more on Choices, go to Desire & Decorum: Chapter 2, The Ties That Bind

For more Jane Austen video games, go to Jane Austen Manors

Desire & Decorum: Chapter 2, The Ties That Bind

So it has been a while since we last went over Desire & Decorum, so I will do a quick brief.

On with the review!

Choices is a video game that combines film and book storytelling with you making choices as to what will happen next. One of their newest releases was an Austenlike game Desire & Decorum.

In the last chapter your character has lost her mom and found out that her father is the Earl of Edgewater. With you mother’s death you, and your beloved best friend turned lady’s maid, have traveled to meet him. Now the question is, will he accept his daughter?

What if he doesn’t want me?

So we meet the Earl and he surprises us that he completely accepts us! Yay!

Not only has he fully accepted you as his daughter but he has legally made you part of the family. You are now a Lady of Edgewater!

But of course every story has a villain, and yours is no different. You have an evil stepmother:

We will have to keep an eye out for her shenanigans. It turns out she has a son from another marriage and she is hoping that your father will adopt him and leave him all his wealth, land, and title.

Your stepbrother is engaged as well, so not only will we have to watch out for the Countess but two others that may be potential threats.

Now the book presents you with many options of love interests. Last time we met Mr. Ernest Sinclaire.

This week we meet in Austenland fashion the complete opposite in man, Mr. Harper, horse groomer.

I wonder which Austen hero he will be like? Romantic and wise like Colonel Brandon? Idealistic and does the right thing like Edward Ferrars? Broody and serious Darcy? Playful and stern like Mr. Knightly? Serious like Edmund Bertram? Playful like Mr. Tilney? Passionate like Captain Wentworth?

Hmmm….

Or will he be a rogue? Sacrifices love for money like Mr. Willoughby? Selfish and narcissistic like Mr. Wickham? An annoying brownnoser like Mr. Collins? A  cruel social climber like Mr. Elton? Only thinks of himself like Frank Churchill? Manipulative like John Thorpe or Captain Tilney? Plotting and cunning like Mr. Elliot?

Hmmm…

Who will you pick? What will happen next? I guess we will see next time:

Some games have a secondary mission, things you need to acquire to unlock special scenes or something special at the end of the complete story. In this I gained the embroidery frame. Yay! This one was free but the future ones I will most likely have to buy. 😦

For more on Desire & Decorum, go toDesire & Decorum: Chapter 1, The Journey Ahead

For more Austenland, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more on Choices, go to Are…You…Scared?: It Lives in the Woods (2017)

For more Jane Austen video games, go to Jane Austen Manors

Jane Austen Manors

So you know me and Jane Austen stuff:

There used to be this really fun game on facebook called Jane Austen Unbound. You had to search different rooms and areas to find certain objects, the more you did the more characters from the books come into play. It was great.

Well like all good things-it ended.

Now they have a different game, Jane Austen Manors

I thought, well might as well try it out and see how it goes.

So the first thing you can do is dress yourself. They give you a few things, you having to purchase the rest. You have the ability to go to town and purchase more. I bought a fan-it was the only thing I could afford.

Then we have the mini games

Needlework-

This mini game you have to fill in the squares with the corresponding colors until you complete the embroidery.

You have to spend your gold coins to get something called a “magic fill”. If you don’t you have to go and do each individual square-one by one. With magic fill, it fills all the squares with the same letter.

It takes forever. By the time you finish an area when you look at the rest of the square you have to do:

It was awful. Boring and it takes far too long. At least real needlepoint you are doing something fun and cool, making something.

The Circus-

This is a hidden pictures game. You have a chance of the different main characters’ manor houses. When you click on one they show you all the rooms and the objects, you job being to go room by room try and find them all.

This wasn’t too bad, but you had to click on the object at the bottom when you found it in a room. If you didn’t it would kick you out and you would have to go through it again.

Word Search-

I think this was the best of the games. You are given text from a novel and have to find the words that make it up.

When you find the word, it marks it red in the text. This wasn’t difficult in what you are doing,but did get a bit confusing after a while.

It wasn’t a bad game-but really boring.

I know there are a lot out there that like it-but I’m not one to be playing it again.

For more Jane Austen stuff, go to Read Jane Austen, Wear Jane Austen

For more Pride & Prejudice, go to Darcy’s ’80’s Power Song

Here’s to Another Year

So I’m sure you all have been wondering where I have been. Vacation?

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Kidnapped?

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Saving the world?

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I’ve actually been sick.

Ew Yuck Gross

Yeah, not fun. But now I am well and back in business.

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So today marks a very special day here at Jane Austen Runs My Life. It is our four-year anniversary.

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And with the fourth year, it is fruit or flowers. Now you all know how I typically feel about getting flowers:

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Yes, usually I don’t like them as a gift.

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I mean they are just so fleeting. I’d rather have something that will be sticking around long term.

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But in this case I’ll make an exception.

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In fact let’s get a little creative.

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So thank you all for a fun four years of Jane Austen, along with a bunch of other fun and interesting things. What will this next year bring?

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Who Knows!

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For more anniversary celebrations, go to Oh, Moses, Moses: Happy 60th Anniversary to The Ten Commandments

For more on my anniversaries, goto Year of the Anniversaries

Darcy’s Dream Date

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet (1940)

In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy has very particular guidelines as to who the perfect woman is. The perfect (accomplished) woman is one who has

“a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved.’ Caroline Bingley…’All this she must possess,’ added Darcy, ‘and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

After reviewing this statement I have discovered that I am Mr. Darcy’s perfect woman.

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1)Knowledge of Music

I grew up in a musical house, although I cannot play any one instrument profusely. Here are some of my musical accomplishments.

  • The Afoxé: I love this instrument and have been playing it my whole life.
  • The Piano: I know how to play Hot Cross BunsRugrats Theme, and Chopsticks.
  • The Recorder: This is the instrument that I am best in. I learned how to play the Star Wars Theme, Hot Cross Buns, Three Blind Mice, Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me), and every song from Disney’s Pocahontas.
  • The Guitar: I know one very old hymn.

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2) Singing

I have sung my whole life. I absolutely love to sing along to anything playing that I know. I was in many musicals in high school; having little solos. The only bad thing is that I have an alto voice, which has never been prided on. Everyone always prefers sopranos in women. At least I have Motown to fall back on. Motown cannot be sung right by a soprano, they are just not able to belt out the tunes.

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3) Drawing

I took painting and drawing classes for two years before I switched to photography. Now I am not one of those geniuses who can draw or paint a perfect image from memory, but I do extremely well at drawing if I can see the image I am trying to sketch. Painting, I only do well at watercolors, or objects such as a room, plate, frame, etc. I also do very well in pastels and chalk. Cartooning is another thing I do well, as you don’t have to apply to realistic proportions. My main forte is in decoupage, collaging, and photography.

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4) Dancing

I am not the world’s best dancer, but my biggest strength is that I am a fast learner, and can be taught dance moves quickly. However I have been trained in certain areas.

  • Waltz: I learned this from the Sleeping Beauty’s collector edition DVD. It was very easy to learn
  • Thriller: Love the song and know almost the whole dance.
  • Flashdance: I know the whole dance, but am not as good as her.
  • Ballet: Was in a class for a few days before I transferred out, I was put there by accident. However, what I learned there will forever remain in my mind.
  • The Time Warp: Such a fun song!
  • Bollywood: I watch a lot and love to dance along.
  • Mash Potato: Such fun!
  • The Twist: Who doesn’t like to twist?
  • Square Dancing: A fun requirement everyone has to learn.
  • Line-Dancing: I love all types of music, country being one of them.
  • West Coast Swing: Unfortunately there weren’t enough guys so I learned the guy’s part instead of the girls.
  • Breakfast Club Dance: Not only can I do the feet thing, but I have Ally Sheedy’s dance down.
  • MC Hammer: Only Can’t Touch This, and not even all of that.

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5) Modern Languages

I wish I knew more languages fluently, but alas I am only bilingual (and even that some may not count.)

  • Fluent American: Not the same as English as we have a mix of slang from many different cultures and word’s that have multitude of meanings.
  •  Fluent English: I know the proper and elegant way to word things, along with a lot of English slang.
  • Some Spanish: My family is part hispanic and I have taken three years of spanish class. I know how to introduce myself (Me llamo es), say where I am from (Yo soy de), if I want to go somewhere (Yo voy, tu vas, nosotros vamos…), how to ask for things (puedo por favor; donde esta…), help (ayudame), the weather, how to say I am hurt or injured, can count etc…
  • Smattering of French: I know how to say hello, good-bye (five different ways), and a few other things.
  • Sign Language: I know quite a few words and the whole alphabet.
  • Danish: A few words here and there

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5) Something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions

Got all those covered. Everything in my manner of doing things always brings support to what I am talking about.

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6) Extensive Reading

This is where I fit the bill most of all. I have been reading since I was a small child, and I READ ALL THE  TIME. I am never without a book, and devour them extremely fast, no matter the length. In fact I meet my goal of reading 365 books this year a couple of weeks ago. And I love to read EVERYTHING! Mystery, classics, sci-fi, horror, romance, historical fiction, non-fiction, biography, westerns, plays, novels, etc. I love the library, that spend as much free time there possible. One of my favorite things is to just go through the stacks and look at all the different books, choosing which I think will be best. I have too many favorite books and authors that I just can’t pick one. I really want a library like in Beauty and the Beast or The Swan Princess. I mean if Darcy has asked me to marry him in his rude, conceited way that first time; I would have considered saying yes because I would know he would have a fantastic library.

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7) Embroidery

I know that this isn’t technically something that Darcy said was attractive in a woman, but it was something that most people valued a woman knowing back then. I only know hand sewing, and that in itself is mostly subjects related to patching; but I embroider like a boss. I have been doing it ever since I was a kid, amd enjoy it immensely.

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8) Cooking

Yes, I know. Only poor women or domestic help cooked at that time, but I’m proud of the fact that I am an extremely good cook. I can make anything, as long as I have a recipe, and am not daunted at trying new things. And for all the modern men out there, I make the best sandwiches out of every person I know. My older sister and I used to kid that I would make one very lucky guy extremely happy with that talent.

Well with all these accomplishments; along with filling many others that we value today, what guy wouldn’t want me? LOL

To see what you get go here

To see what you get go here

How many of you out there also fit the bill for Darcy’s Dream Date?

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For more on Mr. Darcy, go to Mr. Darcy: Man of Dream
For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to Flirting With Disaster
For more bookish posts, go to Never an Empty Bed
For more quizzes, go to By George He’s Perfect
For more on my thoughts of music, go to On the 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, & 1st Days ‘Til Christmas
For more of my favorite quotes, go to Novel vs. Reality