Sunday, April 23, 2017

Slightly Interesting Facts About Me

Evangeline at Over the Hills wrote some fun tag questions and invited participation. So therefore, I am answering them.

Do you have any family heirlooms?
I'm sure there are more general family things, but I personally own two aprons which were my great-grandmother's, and a small silver (plated, presumably) tray with brush, that also belonged to her.

Opinion on letter writing?
I adore writing letters and getting them. Unfortunately, doing the first usually doesn't ensure the second.

Do you prefer tea, coffee, or cocoa?
Tea, hands down. I now have a cabinet in the kitchen which is exclusively designated to be my tea cabinet. Side note: When I start to run low on English Breakfast Tea, and say "I need to buy tea" my mother invariably [and somewhat truthfully] says "you have lots of tea!" Yes, but not tea. However, she did thoughtfully buy me some the other day when I was out. I do enjoy hot chocolate in the winter, but not coffee.

What's your favorite children's story?
Obviously I have a great many, but the one which first pops into mind is Elizabeth Isele's The Frog Princess.
This is the first book I can remember loving. Every time I went to the library I went over to the shelf it was on and pulled it out. I don't know how young I was when I first saw it, but I know that I couldn't read yet, because I recognized it by the color of the spine. Years later I thought about this book and found the library had gotten rid of it (!!). Since I had no idea who had written it, it took me some time but eventually I found it on the internet.

There are many variations on the frog princess/frog prince story, but I've never come across one like this. Elizabeth Isele adapted it from a Russian tale. I still love the Russian setting and the illustrations.

What movie or period drama ending really frustrated you? And how would you change it?
Hm, nothing that was "really frustrating" comes to mind, because if the ending of a movie was "really frustrating" I probably didn't like the rest of the movie. And therefore changing the ending wouldn't help. Such as Somewhere in Time; a happy ending (or a tragic, rather than stupid ending) would have improved it only slightly. Then there's movies like Fiddler on the Roof. I could wish it ended happier, but any different would have been unrealistic. I used to think My Fair Lady would be perfect if Harold Hill acted a little more humbly in the last scene, but now I'm not sure if they should end up together. So, really, I don't know that I have any movies where a) only the ending frustrated me and b) a change would actually be better.

Where do you see yourself in ten years time?
In ten years I'll be almost twenty-eight (!). I see myself teaching small children in another country. I hope to be married with a few children, but that's in God's hands.

What makes you nostalgic?
Well, a lot of things do, but nothing very interesting, I'm afraid. Reading old letters and journals. There is a certain smell that sometimes comes on me, that I can't remember when I'm not smelling it and can never identify what it reminds me of.

If you had to describe yourself as an animal, what would it be?
I've had other people tell me I'm like a cat, I think because I quietly appear places and am not as outgoing as, say, a dog. However, I've often thought of myself as a mountain goat. I enjoy clambering around on rocks and hills and have good balance. Mountain goats may not be fast but they are sure-footed and hearty.

If a loved one was to serenade you, what song would you most like them to sing?

Need I say more? My sister and I both swoon over this.

If you could change your name to anything, what would your new name be?
I wouldn't change my name. I am quite satisfied with it. If I had to, I think I'd go with Elizabeth. I like old-fashioned names and that's one that has a lot of nickname options. (Side note: I went and looked at a list of baby names to refresh my memory on names that I like, and, boy, some of the names I previously liked are so strange to me now. Cessair? Fawn? Really?)

What's your favorite biscuit to dunk?
Dunking biscuits in coffee might be different, but in tea, dunking = crumbs in tea. I don't like crumbs in my tea.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Regency Morning Caps

This is probably the easiest project I have done for this play. These caps can easily be done in an afternoon. The tutorial is so simple that I almost wouldn't post it, except that I have been unable to find any similar tutorials online, and therefore people don't know just how easy it is. Being a new (since Christmas) member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (!!!), I attended a sewing party held in my region a few months ago. In addition to finishing my spencer and gushing over Colin Firth together, the kind lady hosting showed me a cap she had made and told me how she had done it. Following her instructions I made two. This tutorial shows how I made Lady Middleton's, patterned off of the cap of Jane Austen herself.

Charlotte wears a similar cap in the real 1995 Pride and Prejudice, made of all one kind of material. I made Mrs. Jennings and Mrs. Ferrars caps entirely of lace, like hers.

Fabric circle with diameter of 17 inches
Strip of the same fabric 2" by 60" (the ruffle piece)
Coordinating or matching fabric strip 2" wide (the head band; see length below)
Needle and thread/sewing machine, pins

Measure around the crown of your head. Add 1 1/2 inches (in the hat shown, the green fabric is 26.5 inches long). This is how long your coordinating (or matching) fabric needs to be. This is your band.

Run two lines of gathering stitches (low tension and large stitches on a machine) along the edge of the fabric circle. The first line of stitches should be 1/2-5/8 inches from the edge, the second line 1/2-5/8 inches from the first line. N.B. one line of stitches will work as well, but I find doing two lines helps it gather more easily and evenly.
Double line of gathering stitches
Gather the circle to the band and pin right sides together as shown.

 Sew together.
Turn one edge of the ruffle piece over 1/4 inch and hem. Run a gathering stick along the other edge. Pin to the band, right sides together, as shown. Sew together. If the ruffle is wanting to stick up, lightly iron along the band.

Well, here ends the last of my Regency sewing posts (at least the ones pertaining to the play; now that I'll be wandering around the house wondering what to do I'm thinking of adding embroidery to the green dress shown above, and if so I will certainly give before and after pictures). Sense and Sensibility performed for the last time two days ago. This was my last performance with my homeschool drama group, too, as I graduate this spring. I am very excited to be going to the university in my home town this fall, as I know several good friends there and I'm glad I can continue to live at home. But 'tis bittersweet, too.
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