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Feeling Like Mary Crawford

I have been thinking about that passage in Mansfield Park after the ball when Edmund, Henry Crawford, and William Price have all left Mansfield Park.  Fanny is alone in the great house with Sir Thomas and Aunt Bertram and Mary Crawford is at the parsonage with her sister and Dr. Grant:

The week which passed so quietly and peaceably at the great house in Mansfield had a very different character at the Parsonage. To the young lady, at least, in each family, it brought very different feelings. What was tranquillity and comfort to Fanny was tediousness and vexation to Mary. Something arose from difference of disposition and habit: one so easily satisfied, the other so unused to endure; but still more might be imputed to difference of circumstances. In some points of interest they were exactly opposed to each other. To Fanny’s mind, Edmund’s absence was really, in its cause and its tendency, a relief. To Mary it was every way painful. She felt the want of his society every day, almost every hour, and was too much in want of it to derive anything but irritation from considering the object for which he went. He could not have devised anything more likely to raise his consequence than this week’s absence, occurring as it did at the very time of her brother’s going away, of William Price’s going too, and completing the sort of general break-up of a party which had been so animated. She felt it keenly. They were now a miserable trio, confined within doors by a series of rain and snow, with nothing to do and no variety to hope for. Angry as she was with Edmund for adhering to his own notions, and acting on them in defiance of her (and she had been so angry that they had hardly parted friends at the ball), she could not help thinking of him continually when absent, dwelling on his merit and affection, and longing again for the almost daily meetings they lately had. His absence was unnecessarily long. He should not have planned such an absence—he should not have left home for a week, when her own departure from Mansfield was so near. Then she began to blame herself. She wished she had not spoken so warmly in their last conversation. She was afraid she had used some strong, some contemptuous expressions in speaking of the clergy, and that should not have been. It was ill-bred; it was wrong. She wished such words unsaid with all her heart.

Her vexation did not end with the week. All this was bad, but she had still more to feel when Friday came round again and brought no Edmund; when Saturday came and still no Edmund; and when, through the slight communication with the other family which Sunday produced, she learned that he had actually written home to defer his return, having promised to remain some days longer with his friend.

If she had felt impatience and regret before–if she had been sorry for what she said, and feared its too strong effect on him–she now felt and feared it all tenfold more. She had, moreover, to contend with one disagreeable emotion entirely new to her–jealousy. His friend Mr. Owen had sisters; he might find them attractive. But, at any rate, his staying away at a time when, according to all preceding plans, she was to remove to London, meant something that she could not bear. Had Henry returned, as he talked of doing, at the end of three or four days, she should now have been leaving Mansfield. It became absolutely necessary for her to get to Fanny and try to learn something more. She could not live any longer in such solitary wretchedness; and she made her way to the Park, through difficulties of walking which she had deemed unconquerable a week before, for the chance of hearing a little in addition, for the sake of at least hearing his name.

Mansfield Park, 1814, pp 285-287

It seems to me as we have been staying at home with physical distancing orders and being isolated from others, we all feel a little like Mary Crawford—missing happier times and wanting to connect to each other.  Even getting outside for a walk feels wonderful now.  Like Mary, I am willing to walk in windy, rainy, and snowy weather now just to get outside. 

In coping with physical distancing, I have been thinking about Jane Austen’s messages of perseverance, fortitude in struggles, and having faith.  I am trying to find ways to connect with others that do not involve physical contact.  I have enjoyed the virtual events we have hosted on our Facebook page and just connecting with people on social media or through email.  I have found solace and comfort in reading Jane Austen. I hope that eventually we will return to meeting in person. But for now, we will continue to meet on our Facebook page and through Zoom. I hope you will join us.

Michele 5/2/20   

Fun, Uncategorized

East Coast/West Coast Discussion of EMMA. (2020)

One of the joys of social media is that you can connect with people from around the country and around the world.  Kirk Companion, the man behind Austen in Boston: A Jane Austen Book Club (AiB), has been one of our region’s long-distance supporters since we started on Facebook in 2017.  He has come to many of our online events and, like Mr. Knightley says of Robert Martin: “I never hear better sense from any one than” Kirk.  I asked him to join me in this discussion of the 2020 EMMA. movie.   Michele Larrow, Co-Regional Coordinator JASNA Eastern WA/Northern ID

**Note: There are some spoilers in this review.**

Kirk:  I saw EMMA. 2020 in a free preview Feb 25 (the Biogen conference that brought Corvid-19 to Boston had just started that day) @ Brookline’s Coolidge Corner Theatre. I attended with two members of AiB, two members of the Jane Austen Reading Group, and one friend from a meetup.com social group. The Director Autumn de Wilde and Lead Actress Anya Taylor-Joy of EMMA. 2020 attended a Q&A afterwards. It’s on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyDhhwDq-S4

Michele:  I did not see EMMA. until it came out for rental because it came to Pullman when COVID-19 started shutting things down. I watched the movie three times since I had the rental for 48 hours 😊. I also re-watched Clueless, Emma 1996 movie, and Emma 2009 before writing the review.

1.  What aspects of the 2020 film did you like? 

ML:  The cinemaphotography is amazing with lots of wide shots out of doors.  I also like the locations and set design, although having Mr. Knightley live in a palace seems ludicrous.  The costumes are wonderful and derived from period fashion magazines, but I feel like they came out of a Georgette Heyer novel (i.e., Regency high society and nobility) rather than a Jane Austen novel.  I loved the music and how it both feels modern and of the time period; I bought the sound track and am enjoying it a lot.

KC: Hmmm….well I liked Harriet Smith’s story. She gets a delightful ending. I agree about the cinemaphotography and the locations. Laugh at myself…not big on costumes in general (I’m as unfashionable as can be!) and disliked 2/3 of the one Heyer novel I read. I’m glad you enjoyed the music. I enjoyed the classical music in the movie. Whereas….I hated (going full Marianne) that music from the Cold Mountain (big US Civil War reader) sound track in an Emma adaption. Seriously???? NO NO a thousand times….

2.  You and I are both huge Mr. Knightley fans.  What do you think about the way the character is written in the movie?  Thoughts about Johnny Flynn’s performance?

KC: Okish. While apparently, he is actually not too many years younger than most of the other Mr. Knightleys, he appears to me to be in his mid 20’s. I hate to say he lacks gravitas but… One moment unacceptable…rolling on the floor…seriously???   One of the trailer scenes is Emma and Mr. Knightley arguing about Harriet (I think). That’s fairly well done.   While I think he’s the youngest to play Mr. Knightley on screen, he is in fact nearly the actual age in the book…which matters not one wit to me. Judge the performance, not the age of the performer! 

ML:  I thought the movie was trying to romanticize Mr. Knightley—to turn him into a silent, brooding, isolated hero.  He is the center of the community in the book—always doing for others and, in his own word, “amiable”.  I agree about the rolling on the floor—also, OUR Mr. Knightley does not run anywhere, least of all through Highbury to Hartfield.   I did like Johnny Flynn’s performance of the role as it was written.  He is a fine musician and I loved that he played the violin and sang in the movie.

3.  What about how Emma is portrayed in the movie—do you feel like anything is missing compared to how she is characterized in the book?  Any thoughts about Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance?

ML:  I thought Emma in the movie was missing the sweetness and care-taking with her father that makes her character more likeable in the book.  The book also shows how much of a strain she experiences in trying to manage his life and minimize his distresses.  Movie Emma doesn’t seem very friendly with people—in the book she may be bored with Miss Bates, but knows what is expected of her and talks politely to her.  I also thought that Emma’s reaction after Mr. Knightley’s proposal of telling him she can’t marry him because of Harriet lacks the impact of Emma’s decision in the book to keep Harriet’s love of him a secret from Mr. Knightley in order to maintain Harriet’s dignity.   Anya Taylor-Joy was so serious in the role—it seemed like the fun of Emma was missing, although she did capture her self-confidence and condescension. 

KC: Far far too chilly! 90% unpleasant 10% pleasant…whereas maybe Emma ‘09 the reverse. And the nose bleed…no…gross…not not acceptable EVER!!!

Alas…having watched and read various versions of Emma, it’s hard to compare to the actual book, and I reread the book this year! 

4.  In the book, Emma and Mr. Knightley clearly start the story almost like siblings in that they argue, but have a close relationship and then they evolve into a romantic relationship.  What do you think of how the relationship is portrayed in the movie?

KC: Ugh…not like siblings please!!! Too many people who dislike the Emma/Mr. K story use that! (I wrote a blog post about a long time ago) A bit chilly, perhaps. With such a chilly Emma, it’s hard to see the romantic relationship. Also, the short time of the movie. Emma ‘09 and Gwen Emma (and perhaps Kate Emma too) have them doing stuff in a sorta “dating” way. I can’t remember…does Emma in 2020 hold Isabella’s baby? In Kate Emma and Emma ‘09 it is quite touching. And Gwen Emma has the archery scene. 

 ML:  In the book there seems to be several cycles of fight and make up between Emma and Mr. Knightley, where when they make up, you see that they would be good together and there is emotional closeness.  There doesn’t seem to be much making up and emotionally connecting before the proposal scene in EMMA.  Even when they sort of make up at the holidays (where Emma does hold the baby), the 2020 scene ends with discord about Robert Martin’s pain, rather than some emotional connection about it (as is shown in 2009).  I also like the archery scene in the 1996 movie—even though they are fighting it seems gentler than the fights in some of the other versions.  Also missing from 2020 is how Emma and Mr. K tag team to manage Mr. Woodhouse—which was very well done in the 2009 movie!

The proposal scene with that beautiful horse chestnut tree

5.  Aspects of the film that you didn’t like or characterizations that seemed wrong?

ML:  Of course, to condense a long book into a 2-hour movie you have to cut a lot, but I think that the Jane Fairfax/Frank Churchill subplot gets almost written out of the 2020 movie.  Jane is supposed to be a foil and potential rival to Emma for Mr. Knightley’s affections, but she just seemed depressed the whole movie.  There is little sense that the disaster at Box Hill is instigated by Frank Churchill in his frustration about his fight with Jane.  When Frank and Jane become engaged, it is out of nowhere if you don’t know the book. Also, I hated the way that the Isabella and John Knightley marriage was portrayed, with Isabella being a shrew.  WHY?

KC: Apparently a Jane Fairfax/Emma reconciliation was deleted….what?? John Knightley, from what I remember, is basically a blank. Zero personality. While I’d rather be George Knightley, in truth I’d too much like John Knightley in real life!! In Emma 09, he almost steals the scenes he’s in. And Isabella shows a quiet strength and wit of her own. As Michele points out, she is a shrew in 2020. Mrs. Elton 2…no thank you!!!!

6.  Favorite scene in the film?

KC: I hope a re-watch will increase my appreciation for the film. Harriet Smith’s final moments in the film with Robert Martin. Also, Harriet’s moments with her friends.  

ML:  My favorite scene is probably the ball scene when Emma and Mr. Knightley dance.

Rating and Ranking all the Emma versions

#1 Clueless (movie with Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd, director and writer: Amy Heckerling, 1995)  

KC: I’ve seen it once and it was better than I thought it would be. Rolls eyes…I suppose I should watch again.

ML:  Love the new setting, costumes, fun of the dialogue.  Don’t like that Cher is in high school and Josh is in college, ugh!  They do get the playful dynamic between Cher and Josh.  The movie is very funny!

#2 Emma (movie with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam, director and screenplay: Douglas McGrath, 1996) 

ML: Playful relationship between Emma and Mr. K, well written and summarizes the novel well in 2 hours—hits all the subplots.  The proposal under the oak tree is lovely.  Gwyneth is too pouty at times, however.  “Try not to kill my dogs” is a funny line and Jeremy Northam’s performance is perfect.

KC: My first Emma (although my hometown High School was filled with Emmas….Emmi?). I agree with the “Try not…” line! While I hate to use the word perfect….Jeremy Northam’s performance wow just wow. 

#3 Emma (TV series with Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong, director: Diarmuid Lawrence and screenplay: Andrew Davies, 1996) 

KC: Yes, Mark Toooooo Strong. Kate B’s Emma a bit too cool for me but Olivia Williams as Jane Fairfax! The harvest scene at the end is a nice touch…that’s not in the book.

ML:  Kate B. is quite good, but I found Mark S. too angry.  (I know this version the least).

#4 Emma (TV mini-series with Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller, director: Jim O’Hanlon and screenplay: Sandy Welch, 2009)

ML:  Extremely well-written and close to the book.  Romola Garai and JLM are a great match.  Michael Gambon is a great Mr. Woodhouse and we get a full sense of how challenging life with him is.  The Jane F/Frank C subplot is fully developed. 

KC: And Mrs. Weston and Emma joking about Jane Fairfax and Mr. K and the John Knightleys and Frank C that isn’t so foppish and this is my favorite Austen Adaption!

#5 EMMA. (movie with Anya Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn, director: Autumn de Wilde and screenplay: Eleanor Catton, 2020)

KC: A rewatch is needed but my rating declined from 3.5-3.75 just after seeing it to 2.75-3 a few days later.

ML:  I think 2020 has great sets, costumes, and amazing shots but not the emotional connection for me that the others, especially 2009, have.

Our Mutual Favorite: Emma (2009) with Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller

Final Rankings:

ML: (I like them all in some ways, but 2009 is head and shoulders above the others, the next three are close together and the last one is farther back) Emma 2009, Clueless, Emma 1996 movie, EMMA. 2020, and Emma 1996 tv

KC: Emma 2009…big gap Emma 1996 movie…small gap Emma 1996 tv…small gap…Clueless small gap EMMA. 2020.   i.e. maybe 5….3.75…3.5…3….2.75  Frankly….the recent on-line Emma musical and Emma 1972 (sedate version of Emma) are more enjoyable to me than EMMA. 2020…at least without a re-watch of it. I’m not usually soooo critical….well sorta…. oh and there’s Emma Approved too. 

Austenography:

Kirk’s Austenography: My first Austen experience that I remember was S&S 95 movie (my parents watched Masterpiece Theatre every week so it’s possible I could have seen the 1980 P&P (Robo-Darcy!)). I saw it three times in the movie theater. It was love at first sight for me and Marianne!!!!! 🙂 My favorite cousin purchased P&P ’95 and we cousins watched it at holiday gatherings. I saw ’96 Emma in a movie theater. Read those three, found other three Big Six novels, and read them. I then read what little fan fiction was out there, starting with The Third Sister (Margaret Dashwood). I joined several meetup.com groups in January 2010. One was an Austen group that had met three times in 2009 but was inactive. A week later a new person joined and said they had three of the books. So I asked which ones and on the site suggested that the group meet. Lol…the person who started the group then quit!! I and one of people who attended in 2009 volunteered to manage the group for a while (I had never attended a book club before). After a year, she wanted to read all Dickens all the time. NO WAY….and she quit co-leadership. In April 2011 we moved from meetup.com ($) to Facebook and renamed ourselves Austen in Boston (AiB). In Sept 2010 I attended my first JASNA-MA meeting (the great John Wiltshire was the speaker) and I was recruited to the JASNA-MA reading group. 

Michele’s Austenography:  I read P&P and saw 1980 BBC P&P when I was in high school (both probably 1981).  I read the other novels at some point in my 20s, but didn’t become a major fan until re-reading them all in my 40s, when Emma became my favorite novel.  I joined JASNA in 2009.  One of my proudest accomplishments was presenting on “Mr. Knightley’s Development of Sympathy” at the 2016 Emma AGM in Washington DC and then having that published in Persuasions On-Line (http://jasna.org/publications/persuasions-online/vol37no1/larrow/).  Following the AGM, I knew I wanted to form a JASNA region in my area and, with Amy Lyons, founded the JASNA Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho region in 2017.

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Thank Yous for Our Jane Austen Birthday Tea

Our Jane Austen Birthday tea on Sunday November 24 was such fun. We had the event at Heavenly Special Teas in Spokane. The food was delicious, and the holiday decorations were a delight. We raised funds for our region through a raffle of items such as Regency bonnets, basketball tickets, tea cups, books, a Jane Austen advent calendar, and other Jane Austen-related items. Thank you to all the members who donated items for our fundraiser: Debra P., Yvette T., Chuck P., Anne H., Cassandra B., Sara T., Roseann T., Colleen D., Vickey B., Michele L., and anonymous. Jane Provinsal took all the pictures (see the Photos of Past Events page for the pictures) and made cinnamon ornaments of a Regency man (Mr. Darcy perhaps?) that was the party favor. We also had the premier dramatic reading of “Jane Austen’s Juvenilia: Wicked Funny”, adapted by Michele Larrow. There were three acts from “The Three Sisters”, “Jack and Alice”, and “Love and Freindship”. The members who read were dramatic and funny. Thank you to our readers: Chris, Colleen B., Chuck, Yvette, Sara, Debra, Colleen D., Melody, Diana, Cassandra, Amy, and Michele. The video below is most of the first act from “The Three Sisters” (the very beginning was cut off).

Fun, Interviews

Member Mondays: Elizabeth Bennet . . . Brink!

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Brink.

Welcome to another installment of Member Mondays! Every so often, we will share a profile of a region member, featuring answers from our questionnaire. If you would like to participate, please email Jane at jasna.ewanidsm@gmail.com! We want to hear about everyone!

This week our featured region member is Elizabeth Bennet . . . we mean, Elizabeth Brink!!!

Name: Elizabeth Bennet . . . I mean Brink
Location: Spokane, Washington

  • How did you become a Jane Austen fan? How long have you been one? I went to see a play of Pride and Prejudice in high school (age 16) and loved it! That sealed my fate.
  • Favorite Jane Austen novel: Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice
  • Favorite Jane Austen character: Anne Elliot
  • Favorite Jane Austen couple: Mr. Darcy and Georgiana Darcy, such a good older brother!
  • Which Jane Austen location would you most want to visit? The Lake district, even though Lizzy didn’t make it all the way there
  • Favorite JA Adaptation: 1995 Pride and Prejudice AND the 2009 Emma is SO GOOD!
  • Special Jane Austen items in your in collection? A picture of me on the Cobb in Lyme Regis pretending to be Louisa Musgrove, though not actually falling! (Editor’s note: a screenshot of the photo with caption and location is featured above!)
  • Any little Jane Austen rituals you associate with the books or movies, etc.? Not really, but what a great idea!
  • Favorite Jane Austen quote? “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and to laugh at them in our turn?”
    -Mr. Bennet, P&P
  • Best part about being a Jane Austen fan? The connection with my dad, he quotes Pride and Prejudice and then I jump in and finish the line.
Elizabeth and her father at the JASNA EWANID 2018 Jane Austen Birthday Tea at the Roosevelt Inn, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
  • If you could invite Jane Austen or some of her characters to a meal/tea, what would you serve? Who would you invite? What question would you want to ask Jane or a character? Tea and homemade gingerbread. NOT Mr. Collins! What enneagram number are you?
  • Biggest villain in a JA novel? Henry Crawford
  • Favorite JASNA EWANID events so far? The very first tea was so fun and the food was delicious! My napkin kept slithering off my lap like Harriet Vane’s in Gaudy Night.
  • Favorite place to read? Drink? Snack? The back deck in summer. Assam loose leaf tea. Any homemade bread.
  • Are there any other authors you recommend? Anthony Trollope, Angela Thirkell, D.E. Stevenson, Dorothy Whipple, Elizabeth Gouge, Elizabeth Fair, Miss Read
  • Hardback, paperback, or e-reader? Any and all. 🙂
  • How do you mark your place in a book? A literary heroine bookmark from the Carrot Top Paper Shop on Etsy.
  • How do you organize your books? By genre, though my English books are split on a different shelf.
  • Any other thoughts/comments on Jane Austen or JASNA EWANID? Loving all of it!

Thank you so much for participating, Elizabeth! We loved reading your answers!

If you wish you participate (and we hope you will!), please email us at jasna.ewanidsm@gmail.com. Cheers!

Fun, Uncategorized

Beginner Regency Sewing: An Ode to Miss Steele

’Good gracious! I have had such a time of it! I never saw Lucy in such a rage in my life. She vowed at first she would never trim me up a new bonnet, nor do any thing else for me again, so long as she lived; but now she is quite come to, and we are as good friends as ever. Look, she made me this bow to my hat, and put in the feather last night. There now, you are going to laugh at me too. But why should not I wear pink ribbons? I do not care if it is the Doctor’s favourite colour. I am sure, for my part, I should never have known he did like it better than any other colour, if he had not happened to say so. My cousins have been so plaguing me!– I declare sometimes I do not know which way to look before them.’

She had wandered away to a subject on which Elinor had nothing to say, and therefore soon judged it expedient to find her way back again to the first.”  Sense and Sensibility, p. 272 Oxford U. 3rd Edition

Poor Miss Steele is vulgar, unmarried at 30, and left broke by Lucy.  She only wants someone to kid with her about the Doctor and to have the warmest seat by the fire.  She does not get much love in Sense and Sensibility, but it is through her good offices that the truth about Edward and Lucy comes out, so that Edward can be disinherited and Lucy can release him from her grasp.  I think we all have a little bit of Miss Steele in us.  I, for one, love pink ribbons.  This sewing project, which I created for our Spring Tea, was my homage to Miss Steele’s joy in pink ribbons.  I used a sewing machine for most of the sewing and I also used a shirt for the top of the over-dress, so this is beginner-level Regency sewing.

Note: the pictures of the sewing in progress were taken by me.  The pictures from the Spring tea were taken by Jane Provinsal.

The Over-Dress

To create the over-dress, I used a short-sleeve white cotton shirt I had with ruffles sewn onto the top in a diagonal pattern.  The bottom of the dress was made out of some white shirting fabric that I found at a second-hand store with a pink window-pane pattern with a pink medallion in some of the squares.  It was rather sheer, but had good body.  I cut the bottom using my trusty Simplicity #4055 (Sense and Sensibility) pattern, putting the front panel on the selvedges instead of the fold to create a front opening.  I cut the length a little shorter than full-length, but longer than the overlay pattern that comes with View A of the Simplicity pattern. 

For my under-dress, I have a sleeveless full-length lined silk petticoat with a drawstring neckline that I had already made for a previous outfit.  Both the top and the bottom of the over-dress had to be gathered some—the top just a little bit and the bottom quite a bit to create the gathered back.  I sewed the bottom sides together and pressed the seams open, then sewed a small hem along the front opening and the bottom (using the sewing machine).  I basted the back as instructed in the pattern to create gathers and then pinned the right side of the shirt to the right side of the bottom of the dress, gathering the shirt slightly below the bust.  I basted the shirt and bottom together before cutting off the lower part of the shirt to make sure that the fit was correct. 

The bottom of the blouse and the wrong side of the bottom of the over-dress

Once I was sure that the size was correct, I trimmed the lower part of the shirt and then used the sewing machine to sew the basted high waist.  To give the high waist seam some reinforcement, I covered over the raw edges with the seam allowance of the cotton shirt (which I left a little longer) and then sewed that down to the top through all layers about ¼” from the waist seam.  I made belt loops out of the pink ribbon I was using for the belt (hand sewn after folding in thirds) and then basted and sewed them on the seam of the bottom of the dress and straight up on the shirt.  The dress was a little large around the empire waist, but cinched nicely with the ribbon belt (1 ½” grosgrain ribbon).  I left the plastic buttons on the top because I was not able to find anything more authentic looking that was small enough for the button loops.

Me in the dress and cap with Pamela Aidan, our speaker at the Spring Tea

The Drawstring Mob Cap

I really liked the lace that was at the bottom of the shirt that I was cutting up, so I thought I might be able to preserve it by incorporating it into a mob cap with a pink ribbon behind it. When I cut the bottom half of the shirt off, I trimmed it close to the lace and sewed the front two sides of the shirt together, creating a circular band.  I pinned the right side of the band onto the right side of a round piece of cotton (leftover lining material from the petticoat), leaving about an inch and a quarter around so that I could create the space for the ribbon.  After sewing the ruffle and making sure that I was at the very edge of the lace, I flipped it out and then sewed around on the inside of the cap, creating about a 7/8” channel for the 5/8” ribbon.  I cut the seam in the center of the lace in the channel so that the ribbon would be at the center of the cap when threaded.  Once I made sure the ribbon worked (threading it with a safety pin), I tacked the ruffle into the inside of the cap, over the seam allowance, so that the ruffle was not too big and had a little puffiness.  The cap itself was not very large due to making it the size of the ruffle band, but for a first attempt, I think it came out well.

The Shawl

The shawl was created using a purchased Ralph Lauren Home white viscose/cotton bed throw (found on clearance!) that had 8” fringe and measured about 70” by 50”.  I cut the throw about 21” from the long side so that it would sew to a 20” by 70” shawl (plus the fringe).  I took the fringe off of the cut side where I was going to turn it in (it had a double thickness) and sewed it on the long edge, as close to the edge as I could get it.  The hardest part about sewing the shawl was making the side even, since the inside of the fabric was slippery.  I was glad I had my shawl the day of the tea because the weather was cool.

None of these projects took great sewing skills.  I especially liked the ease of using a blouse for the top of the over-dress.  Other than using the Simplicity pattern for the bottom of the over-dress, I eye-balled the other measurements, such as when creating the mob cap.  Basting before cutting really helps.  It was fun to create a full outfit for the Spring Tea (although I did not have time to make a reticule).  Several other members came in outfits that they had sewn too.  You can see more pictures in https://jasnaewanid.org/photos-of-past-events/. Wishing you happy sewing! Michele

Back view of the cap, shawl, and dress. I was watching Pamela Aidan speak at the tea.
Fun, Interviews, Uncategorized

Member Mondays: Diana S., Our Giveaway Winner!

As our region membership expands, we want to learn more about you, our members, so we have come up with a new thing: Member Mondays! We kind of kicked it off with our interview with author Pamela Aidan (read it HERE). Every Monday (or every couple of Mondays), we will be sharing answers from our “Member Mondays” questionnaire with a different member of our region. If you would like to participate, please email Jane at jasna.ewanidsm@gmail.com! We want to hear about everyone!

We are so happy to share answers from our 2019 Spring Giveaway winner Diana S. today! She is a newer member and her first event with us was our Spokane Northanger Abbey discussion meeting in February.

2019 Spring Giveaway winner Diana S., pictured at our recent Spring Tea in Pullman, Washington, with her prize!

Name: Diana S.
Location: Spokane, Washington

  • How did you become a Jane Austen fan? How long have you been one? Decided to give P&P another chance, fell in love. Twenty years ago. (Hated it in high school)
  • Favorite Jane Austen novel: Persuasion
  • Favorite Jane Austen character: Henry Tilney
  • Favorite Jane Austen couple: Admiral & Mrs. Croft
  • Which Jane Austen location would you most want to visit? Chawton Cottage. I’ve been to Bath, but years before I was a Janeite, so I’d like to go back and see it anew.
  • Favorite JA Adaptation: 1995 Persuasion, starring Amanda Root & Ciaran Hinds
  • Special Jane Austen items in your in collection? 1st editions of her juvenalia 1922, 1933, 1951. 1885 Northanger Abbey & Persuasion. 1890 Life of Jane Austen by Goldwin Smith. 1898 Letters of Jane Austen.
  • Favorite Jane Austen quote? There are too many brilliant quips to be able to choose just one.
  • Best part about being a Jane Austen fan? The sense of peace & fulfillment upon finishing one of her books. The feeling that all is well with the world.
  • Biggest villain in a JA novel? John Thorpe.
  • Favorite JASNA EWANID events so far? Northanger Abbey discussion and the annual tea. I loved them both!
  • Favorite place to read? Outside, on a sunny day with a slight breeze, in the garden, with a glass of wine. (Editor’s note: that describes today’s weather perfectly! Happy reading, Diana!)
  • Are there any other authors you recommend? Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Bronte . . . the usual suspects. 🙂
  • Hardback, paperback, or e-reader? Hardback, preferably antique.
  • How do you mark your place in a book? A ribbon.
  • How do you organize your books? I guess by genres—music, art, gardening, but antique books are separate from modern.

Thank you for sharing, Diana! We hope you enjoy your giveaway prize!! If you would like to participate in Member Mondays, send us an email at jasna.ewanidsm@gmail.com!

Uncategorized

Spring Tea Thank Yous and Recipes

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Our Spring Tea on Sunday April 28, 2019 was wonderful.  Pamela Aidan spoke on “Creating the Regency World” and enthralled listeners with information about the Regency era, her writing process for creating the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series, and stories about the Prince Regent.  A highlight for many attendees was getting to talk with Pamela individually as she signed copies of her books.  If you have not had a chance to read the interviews with Pamela we did on the website before the tea, scroll down on the blog to find them.

Thanks to all our attendees, many of whom drove long distances to join us. They were patient with us when we were not quite ready on time. We appreciated their enthusiasm for Pamela and their love of all things Jane Austen.  Our members are the best!

There were three businesses that helped to make our day a success.  The setting of The Seasoned House was beautiful and appropriately historic. Goose House Bakery made the tasty scones and wonderful desserts. Since we had lots extra, happy attendees took home goodie bags!  Sam’s Apothecary in Pullman created tea blends with a Pride and Prejudice theme, including the Mr. Darcy (Rooibos Blue), Elizabeth Bennet (Madame Grey),  and Mrs. Bennet (Brain Off), and members were able to take home samples or buy larger jars.

Many people contributed to the success of the day.  Cassandra Dole Bates and Michele Larrow did most of the shopping and prep work of the food, and they attempted to organize the chaos of the day! Cassandra, our new treasurer, moved to our region from the JASNA Mississippi region. Although not originally from the South, she imbibed all the rules for hosting a proper tea and her contributions to the day were huge. Jane Provinsal, Amy Lyons, and Chuck Pierce did our set-up and clean-up.  Vickey Bolen, Sara Thompson, and Nancy Tschida were an amazing team who helped the day happen with tea sandwich making and cleaning the dishes!  Jane Provinsal created the beautiful menu party favors with the teapot charms and got people settled with their choices of tea.

Recipes

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Goat Cheese-Pecan Jane Austen Silhouette Tea Sandwiches

This is an adaptation based on a recipe from Southern Living.com.  That recipe used pepper jelly.  The fruit paste makes this recipe sing!  Cassandra made the filling, and Nancy, Sara, and Vickey constructed them and decorated them the day of the tea.

  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, with about 30-60 cleaned leaves for decoration
  • Rutherford and Meyer fruit paste (apricot and cherry were used)*
  • 15 bread slices (we used Franz Hawaiian-style sliced large loaves)

Using a JA silhouette cookie cutter**, cut two Janes from each slice of bread. Stir together goat cheese, cream cheese, pecans, and parsley. Spread on the bread Janes. Cut one fruit paste (cherry) for hair and a strip of  the other flavor (apricot) for the dress along the bottom.  Tuck 1-2 parsley leaves as ruffles behind the dress fruit paste. Makes 30 silhouettes.

* We found the fruit paste, which is from New Zealand, in the deli section of the Pullman Walmart!  It is on Amazon too or they have their own website.

**Thank you to Roseann Thompson, a long-distance member of our group, who sent me a JA silhouette cookie-cutter made on a 3-D printer!

Mock Clotted Cream

Several people asked for the recipe of the clotted cream that Cassandra made (you can see it in the black tea cup in the top picture or in the last picture).  The recipe is from the Pioneer Woman website by a food blogger named Erica:  https://thepioneerwoman.com/food-and-friends/how-to-make-mock-devonshire-clotted-cream/.    It uses three simple ingredients: butter, sour cream, and cream cheese.  No wonder it was so decadent!

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Kentucky Benedictine Tea Sandwiches (adapted from Southern Living.com)

  • 1 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup peeled and seeded cucumber, grated on the large holes of a box grater and drained of some liquid (or more, use English cucumber if possible)
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions (or less to taste)
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh dill (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 16 bread slices (used Franz Hawaiian-style sliced large loaves)

Stir together first 7 ingredients. Spread mixture on 1 side of 8 bread slices; top with remaining 8 bread slices. Trim crusts from sandwiches; cut each sandwich into 4 rectangles with a serrated knife.  Makes 32 large quarters.

The tea was such a wonderful experience.  Pictures will be coming soon, but we wanted to get our thank yous out quickly.  Michele

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