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).
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 email@example.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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers!
’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.
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.
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.
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 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
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 email@example.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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
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.
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!
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