Jane Austen Birthday Party: Prize Three

Party time!

So I have been planning my Jane Austen 29th birthday party for a few years, and I did not let the Coronavirus get in the way. It was yesterday and so much fun!

So I had planned to do three games at the party. They actually changed from what I originally planned, but I’ll talk more about that later. When you have games then you need prizes! In a previous post I shared one of the prizes being a copy of Persuasion, a tea infuser which I added an anchor charm to, a tin of Harney and Sons tea, and a thimble with the HMS Cutty Sark on it.

The second prize was a copy of Pride and Prejudice, Litographs Pride and Prejudice Tattoos, and a embroidered tea towel.

For the third prize I decided to focus on my favorite novel, Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey is such an amazing novel and has been ignored for far too long. Hopefully the person who wins this will read it and fall in love with Henry Tilney.

For this prize I have a copy of Northanger Abbey, a gothically ghoulish “Squad Ghouls” tote bag from Forever 21 (fits with the type of books Catherine liked to read), a embroidered tea towel, and a tin of Harney and Sons. I love embroidery, don’t you? It is such a beautiful art that doesn’t get as much love as it deserves.

Like I have said before, I just don’t understand why people always seem to hate it, or have their character hate it to show they are “modern” or “intelligent”. Why do we value other artwork but not embroidery? Embroidery is just as artistic as painting, drawing, sewing, etc. I hope people start valuing it and seeing it for the talent it is. Here is everything all together:

This whole bag came out to $7.25: Northanger Abbey book $0.49, Forever 21 “Squad Ghouls” Tote Bage $3, Flour Sack Dishtowel $2.50, and Black & Blue Thread $1.26

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, and even though the party has ended I will be continuing to share all my other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Prize One

For more Jane Austen parties, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Invitations

For more on Northanger Abbey, go to Northanger Abbey Audiobook Narrated by Anna Massey

Jane Austen Birthday Party: Prize Two

Party time!

So I have been planning my Jane Austen 29th birthday party for a few years, and I’m not letting the Coronavirus get in the way. I had always planed a garden party (social distancing check), trying to keep it small (small groups check), and our county has moved a tier down. But even if everything gets on lockdown again and it turns out to be just me, I’m having it!

The party is this Saturday, but I plan to continue sharing everything. I am going to do three games at the part, I’ll share soon: one is to be everyone is given a Jane Austen character and has to guess who, a look at a tea tray or tea/Jane Austen items and they have to try and remember as many as they can, and a Jane Austen Trivia game.

So if we have games then we need prizes! In a previous post I shared one of the prizes being a copy of Persuasion, a tea infuser which I added an anchor charm to, and a thimble with the HMS Cutty Sark on it.

For the next prize I decided to focus on Pride and Prejudice.

After all it is her most known and loved work.

Back in January, I had purchased one of Litographs Pride and Prejudice tattoos when they were on sale. I had originally planned to use them as a giveaway, but then thought they would be perfect as part of a prize for one of the games. I also swapped for a hardcover copy of Pride and Prejudice, and the third thing I decided to add to this was a tea towel I embroidered. As both previous items were purple, I decided to go with the same colors in making this.

This was a lot of work as that gold thread was beautiful but also time consuming as it kept unraveling-but I made it work. I love doing embroidery and I can’t understand why people always seem to hate it, or have their character hate it to show they are “modern” or “intelligent”. Why do we value other artwork but not embroidery? Embroidery is just as artistic as painting, drawing, or sewing. I don’t know, but I hope people start valuing it again. Here is everything all together:

This whole bag came out to $9.88: Pride and Prejudice book $0.49, Pride and Prejudice Tattoo Pack $5, Flour Sack Dishtowel $2.50, and Gold, Green, & Purple Thread $1.89. What do you think, is this a good prize? I still have a day to change it up if not.

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, I can’t wait to continue it will all the other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Prize One

For more Jane Austen parties, go to Jane Austen Birthday: Invitations

For more on Pride and Prejudice, go to Return of the Retellings: Pride and Prejudice, cont.

Jane Austen: Her Heart Did Whisper

Jane Austen: Her Heart Did Whisper by Manuela Santoni

So we added this at the library and I was jazzed for it-Jane Austen biography? In graphic novel?

It seems like a win win to me!

But it wasn’t-I did not like it.

I’ve read several Jane Austen biographies, books and online, and I really enjoyed read Just Jane last year. I do not know everything about Jane, but I feel enough to know that this had quite a bit of historical inaccuracies it.

Hmmm

It also felt like they wanted to make her “ahead of her times” but it just feels like something we have seen before and not as if the author really was trying to show Jane, who this book is supposed to be about. Like how Nostalgia Critic words it in the Alice in Wonderland review.

It starts off with Jane sick at the end of her life writing a letter and thinking back on her life.

Hmm…

We go back to them as girls and Jane hates the piano playing:

But in reality, she enjoyed piano playing. From The Jane Austen Centre:

“Jane, studied with the respected composer and organist, William Chard well into her twenties, long after most girls would have given up their lessons. After that point, it was up to the student to progress if she wished, on her own. Jane owned a small piano at various times during her life and, when this was not an option, rented one. She played for her own enjoyment and would rise an hour before the rest of the family in order to get her practicing done.”

And Santoni has her hate doing embroidery:

But she was extremely talented at it, most likely loved it. From Jane Austen’s House Museum:

“Like all women of her time and class, Jane Austen learnt to sew in childhood and gained a life-long skill. Sewing was something she was particularly good at. In 1796 Austen wrote in a letter that she was “the neatest worker” of a group making shirts for one of her brothers. Edward Austen-Knight remembered of his aunt that “Her needlework both plain and ornamental was excellent, and might almost have put a sewing machine to shame. She was considered especially great in satin stitch.”

And I am currently reading Praying With Jane: 31 Days Through the Prayers of Jane Austen by Rachel Dodge and she shares this in Day 5:

“From this description, we see that while Jane sat and worked (needlework) quietly, lines, descriptions, and plot ideas for her novels came to her in delightful bursts.”

“She [Jane Austen] could have declared needlework a boring, repetitive task and herself too intelligent for such menial jobs. Instead she appears to have spent the time in happy reflection.”

I am so sick and tired of authors being like, oh I want my historical character to be modern and powerful so she will hate embroidery. Why? Why is music revered, painting treated as a superpower, sewing something to be proud of-but embroidery is treated like dirt. Embroidery is a lot of hard work, amazing art, and takes blood, sweat, and sometimes tears to create.

Santoni gives Jane unruly curled hair that just seems to show again that she is “modern” eschewing society’s idea of how women should be.

So the story has Jane proposed to twice and she turns them both down, but in real life she only officially ever received one formal proposal, when she was 27, from Harris Bigg-Wither-but the next day refuses him.

Santoni also has Jane fall in love with Tom Lefoy, he propose, she accepts, and then turn him down as she can’t be a wife and mother but has decided to be a writer. Now there is a bit of leeway here as Cassandra Austen destroyed a lot of Jane’s letters, but she seems to ignore what history we do know.

Thats not right!

It even says at the end of the book “many suitors asked for my hand…” I found this hard to believe as there is no historical proof to confirm this, along with the fact that she had no dowry and very little to entice someone to marriage. I felt like did Santoni do any research? She says she is a Jane Austen fan, but it seems she was making up her own story and characters.

Yeah, not as good as Just Jane

For more Jane Austen biographies, go to Just Jane

For more Jane Austen inspired books, go to Rational Creatures: Catherine Morland, Eleanor Tilney, & Lady Susan

For more Jane Austen inspired work, go to Northanger Soapworks Review

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.

Oh well…

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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 know how to sing, but will only do it around friends and family. But it still counts!heading-banner11970857801243195263Andy_heading_flourish.svg.hi

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 well f I can see the image I am trying to recreate. Painting, I only do well at watercolors, or objects such as a room, plate, frame, etc. I also do very well in pastels, charcoal, and chalk. My main forte is collage 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)

  • Some Spanish: I’m half Mexican 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 bit and the whole alphabet.

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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. 😊

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Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

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, and 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 Pride and Prejudice, go to Flirting With Disaster