When you write again to Catherine, thank her on my part for her very kind and welcome mark of friendship; I shall value such a brooch very much.
Jane Austen to Cassandra
October 7, 1808
For the past month, Miriam and I have paid homages—big and small—to that loveliest of authors. We have tried to incorporate the sensibilities, tastes, styles, and customs of Jane Austen’s era and her works into our lives and into this blog. We wish we could say that we now speak with British accents, and that our children are pictures of propriety, and that our husbands have taken to wearing long cloaks and cravats, but we can’t. What we can say is that we have felt a little prettier, a little girlier, and a little more refined this month. (And by refined, I mean that I plugged in an iron and used the word “wretched” recently.)
As I pondered what to do for our final day of Jane Austen month, I decided it would only be fitting if we had an appearance by the author herself—a silhouette appearance. And what better way to keep “all-things-Austen” close to our hearts than putting her silhouette on a necklace? (A small disclaimer here: I haven’t made a necklace since I was five-years-old and enthralled with the multimedia potential of Fruit Loops and macaroni.)
Jane Austen Cameo:
To begin my Jane Austen cameo, I started by printing out Miss Austen’s silhouette on regular computer paper. I then selected the most clear and uniform flat glass marbles I could find in my collection of craft odds-and-ends. (If you don’t have these lying about, you can find them in the wedding and/or floral section of your local craft store. The marbles I used were about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter).
After centering the marble on her image, I traced around the outside of the marble and cut the circle out with scissors.
I then put a thin layer of modge podge glue on the back of the marble and placed the paper silhouette on top with the image face down. (And don’t worry. You don’t see the glue after it dries.)
I then cut out a piece of black felt the size of the marble. I held the marble against the felt as my template and cut around it.
On the lace side of the felt, I glued on a pendant back with a chain hook at the top. I then glued down my silhouette marble on top of that. After letting the necklace dry for a few hours, I strung my favorite black ribbon through the clasp.
I had so much fun making this one, that I decided to do another, except with a little more bling and a little less lace. Before I glued down the glass marble silhouette, I strung a teardrop pendant on some fishing line and laid the fishing line across the felt backing. When I glued the marble down, it set the fishing line in the glue and the necklace was good to go.
Just a note: the final products are being modeled by my friend’s beautiful neck. Had I done the modeling myself, I would have had to do it hanging upside-down so you didn’t see my second (and third) chin.
It is nice to know that with this necklace on, I can take a little bit of Jane with me wherever I go, even when our experiment is through. May we all save a place for “everything Austen” in our days ahead (or on our necks). Here’s to you, Jane . . .
Miriam and I are sisters who live 700 miles apart from each other in the southwestern United States. Despite the distance that separates us, we share a love for good food, good fun, good decorating, and especially good books. We began a blog to share all of the ways that literature inspires us in our daily lives, beginning with our favorite female author, Miss Jane Austen. For 30 days, we tried to incorporate one “Austenesque” thing into our day, from picnics and paper quilling, to scones and silhouettes. Our “30-Day Austen Experiment” was so enjoyable that we’ve continued the trend with other authors like Lucy Maud Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and William Shakespeare. As “bookbound” sisters, we’ve never been closer, and as women, we’ve never been happier.