Thursday, December 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Jane

Jane's Birthday

Join the Jane Austen Birthday celebration!

Happy Birthday Jane!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Jane Austen Portrait Unearthed

….Or is it?

Possible Jane Austen

Read Daily Mail article here

Is it Jane??????  On the one hand I think it looks more like her than the drawings we've been presented with over the years. It looks very similar to a picture of her aunt I've seen, Philidelphia Hancock. It also looks a lot like her brothers. I think it probably resembles her a lot but I doubt it's an authentic likeness of her taken during her lifetime. I may be a skeptic but it just seems unlikely that you are writing a biography and your hubby goes to the auction and finds a never before seen drawing of the author you are writing about. Seems fishy. I can't wait to see what the experts say.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Hunger Games Costume

Jordan as Katniss 102doublecrop and color editHave you read the series “The Hunger Games”?  My daughter wanted to be the heroine, Katniss Everdeen for Halloween. I loved the series and had a great time helping her put the outfit together.

Jordan as Katniss 76This Halloween was pretty poignant in that my youngest was 14 and not going trick or treating. She did have a few places to wear her costume though. And, one benefit of having an older child, in lieu of the normal hectic Halloween evening rush, she let me take her out to the woods for a photo shoot in her costume.

Jordan as Katniss 100color editJordan as Katniss 108 BW

I love reading books and have always thought it would be fun to do a photo shoot based on the scenes and imagery of a book, so this was a blast. Jordan made a great Katniss and we had a lot of fun. Then I brought the photos into editing software and tweaked them a little bit.

Jordan as Katniss 75 effects croppedThanks Jordan, for indulging mom!Jordan as Katniss 110 light edit

Jordan as Katniss 76 BW cropped


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween 2011

halloween 2011I usually don’t do as much Halloween decorating as some people in my neighborhood, but since it’s sort of the kick off to the holidays I had to do some. Pictured above is my feather wreath. I love it, it’s dark and spooky but still sort of pretty. I’ve had it for a couple years and it holds up pretty well despite the fact that the wind keeps tossing it across the porch. I added a wood trim piece onto a cheap wreath hanger and painted the whole thing black.

halloween 2011 3

This is one of a pair of grape vine wreaths I made last year. I patterned them after the decorations on The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland.halloween 2011 2

I also made this Happy Halloween sign last year. The banner, which is the only new thing I added this year, is a printable from Moselle that I found on Pinterest, I printed it and cut it out, and then to make it stiff cut cardboard from used cereal boxes in slightly bigger triangles, painted black and glued the letters on. The whole thing says ‘Happy Haunting’. I think it is so cute. Here’s a close-up of the printout.halloween 2011 4


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jane Austen Made Me Do It

What better way to welcome in the chilly days and windswept leaves of fall than with a cozy new bit of reading material?

JAMMDA book release small Today is the release date for

Jane Austen

Made Me Do It

Original Stories Inspired By Literature’s Most Astute Observer of the Human Heart

This is an anthology of short stories edited by Laurel Ann Nattress, editor of the #1 ranked Jane Austen blog, Austenprose.

I was the lucky recipient of a preview copy and therefore have had the book in my hands for over a week now. It’s been a delightful  getaway whenever I have a few spare moments. This book is a collection of twenty two short stories and a good sampling of the authors who write Austen sequels and other novels based on Jane Austen and her characters.

The stories are the perfect length for a bubble bath (as I’ve tested out) or a few moments curled up in front of the fireplace while the rain is beating against the window outside. I highly recommend it.

I am all praise for Laurel Ann Nattress who has collected a fine group of writers, and a fine volume of stories showcasing everything from ‘historical to contemporary to young-adult fiction to paranormal’. I am hoping to have a chance to meet her at a book signing in the Seattle later this month. For those readers in the Seattle area, she will be at a book signing on October 22. Here are the details:

Saturday Oct. 22nd, 2-4 pm.

Barnes and Noble Booksellers

19401 Alderwood Mall Parkway

Lynnwood, Washington

And there will be an additional treat thanks to the Puget Sound area members of the Jane Austen Society:

“Put on your dancing slippers and best party frock for a Regency-themed Seattle book launch of Jane Austen Made Me Do It, a new Jane Austen-inspired short story anthology edited by Laurel Ann Nattress, Jane Austen Society of North America – Puget Sound chapter member & blogger.

After the discussion and signing, enjoy tea and scones, live music and country dancing with English Country dance troupe, Nonesuch, in celebration of all things Austen.

Book Fair: Fundraiser for the Jane Austen Society of North America - Puget Sound Chapter
Use the cope code # 10577344 at checkout, and the Jane Austen Society of North America - Puget Sound Chapter will receive a percentage of the sales.

If you can't attend the event on Oct 22, you can still support JASNA by shopping at Barnes & Noble online:
Visit to support us online from 10/22/10 to 10/26/10 by entering Bookfair ID# 10577344 at checkout or bring the bookfair code with you to a Barnes & Noble location from 10/22/11 to 10/28/11
Invite your friends & family!”

Well, friends, if there’s dress up and dancing you know how excited I am!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Living Room Corner


For a while now I’ve been working on this little corner of my living room. I had this crazy idea to paint an ugly 70’s lamp, so of course I did. My husband HATED it. Oh well. I was sad but more determined to put it front and center. I returned two shades to the store as ‘not quite right’ before my sister and I stumbled upon this one at a local Goodwill. It looks like it was made for my room. Once the lampshade came home everything else started to fall into place.

  I did try two or three ‘objects’ to set on the books, moving them from other locations in the house and nothing looked quite right. Then, while eating Thai food and thinking about the neon sign of our local Thai restaurant, with it’s mommy and baby elephant, I got the idea that what I really needed (OK, maybe not NEEDED) was a little ellie of my own. The next thing you know I come across this ceramic elephant on the clearance shelf at Michaels. Happy me.

Our Kana Poster is from our stay in Japan, and the Heywood mirrored bedside cabinet in from Pier One (there’s a similar on the other side of the piano).

How do you like it?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sharp Dressed Men!

I have to pass this on to all my fellow Janites and other fans of period dramas.

Quite a few Jane Austen clips in here, and a few other favorites as well. (Movie clips that is)!!!!!


Sunday, August 7, 2011


I know everything has been about the wedding or New Orleans lately, but I almost forgot to mention Snowballs.snowball in pail

I grew up in Utah where there was a lot of sno-cones or shave-ice available, but a snowball is something special. Our hosts took us to Williams Plum Street snowball, because it’s the best. They make your snowball in a Chinese take-out pail, wrap it in a plastic bag, and put tons of syrup on it.plum_st_sno_balls

And the syrup is different. It’s so good. It doesn’t make your throat scratchy the way normal sno-cone syrup does. And the flavors……..YUM! I had praline flavor and it was so good. You can also get praline and cream, which has sweetened condensed milk over the the top.

IMG_0363cropped edit

Next time I get to New Orleans I’m starting with beignets and then heading for a snowball, and throwing in a po-boy for dinner.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

July in New Orleans

NOvisit rainy daylight edit

While we were in New Orleans for a second wedding reception for Nicholas and my daughter Hillary we went out and about to show my husband some of the town like I had seen in June, except there was one big difference….The Rain!

Brightness editIt wasn’t pouring on the night of their reception, which was the most important thing. But the rain on the other days did make it tough to see the town. Our host’s Nick’s family brought a big umbrella, though no one bothered to use it except me. I still ended up pretty soaked because water was everywhere, but it did enable me to take some pictures without ruining my camera.IMG_0310 art edit

After a very rainy so-far summer in Seattle we were looking forward to sweltering in a Louisiana steam bath for a while. But it rained, we toured, and made the most of it. And I still loved it! I want to go back.IMG_0302cropped

We went to the wax museum, where my husband was determined to get a picture that looked like he was patting a bathing Napoleon Bonaparte  on the head as he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase (not pictured).IMG_0303

We had a fun time being shown around by Nicholas’ family while the newlyweds were having time to themselves.


My husband and I and our two younger daughters at Jackson Square in the rain.


Then we decided to dodge the rain and drop into house of blues for lunch. The restaurant was SO cold, and we were soaked, so we decided to eat out on the covered patio. I loved the funky decorating, and the patio was the cutest part. Bring on my Po-Boy!








After the day on the town it was time to head back to our host’s house for family, swimming, and, yes, more food!

Thanks for reading my post.

And, OK, OK, I know you really wanted to see this………



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Statues In An Old New Orleans Cemetery

Two ladiesWhile in New Orleans we went to a cemetery so my daughter and I could take some pictures of the gravesites and the beautiful statuary. IMG_0435In New Orleans the water table is so high that they bury people above ground.




Key cropped

Most of these graves are owned by a family and contain the remains of several family members.

IMG_0461This one had some very unique ironwork.

IMG_0434 Many graves were built to look almost like a front porch.

Most of all I loved the angels and other statues.

crucifix angel







I can’t help but think about when these statues were made and chosen, and the love and sorrow they express.



Saturday, July 30, 2011

The New Orleans Reception

IMG_0556 straightened plus lighting editAfter My daughter Hillary and Nicholas’ reception we had a few days to prepare for our New Orleans trip. This time my husband and youngest daughter would join us and I was excited to show them the city. But first we had a few days of packing, taking clothes and tuxes to the cleaners and hoping they’d be done on time, shipping photos, and catching up on sleep. I’ve been tripping over boxes hastily packed at our reception venue and eating Jordan Almonds by the handful. Why were there so many left over?

  Nick’s family were wonderful hosts and the reception was beautiful. Here are some of my photos from the New Orleans wedding reception.IMG_0477The room was very elegant. We had a Rosemary chicken dinner, and the first course?……..Gumbo. My husband was in heaven.IMG_0482In stead of numbering the tables they were named after famous New Orleans streets.

IMG_0496There was a head table for the bride, groom, and their families.

IMG_0498My Husband and my younger daughters

IMG_0499Me and Hillary

IMG_0486 cropped and coloredMy husband and I pose for a picture on the balcony

IMG_0502 diffuse glowHillary dancing with her new sister-in-law. Darling!

IMG_0509 lighting editThe single girls assemble around the bride for the cake pulls.


IMG_0476Cake pulls are a southern tradition. Before the frosting is completed silver charms are put into a cake attached to ribbons. each young lady takes a ribbon and they all pull at the same time.

IMG_0513 cropped and red ey fixHillary with her younger sisters. Jordan got the Four Leaf Clover (Luck) and Arianne got the Fleur de Lis (Prosperity & Love).

IMG_0523The bouquet toss

IMG_0539lightenedNicholas and Hillary