‘Tis the season, so they say, for coloured eggs. The children have spent a glorious day trying their hands at spotted, striped and marbled eggs—I had to boil an extra dozen just to give them enough to try all of their ideas! ‘Tis the season for egg salad and deviled eggs, too, I guess. Still, I had an inspiration for these Jane Austen silhouettes and just had to give them a try. To be sure, I think they looked delightfully sophisticated in their black and white state (perfect for popping under a Jane Austen egg cosy, perhaps?) but my daughters were more thrilled with the coloured results.
You will recall, of course, how we have in years past looked at the origins of coloured Easter eggs, as well as last month’s recipe for soft boiled eggs, but I always like to begin with hard cooked eggs. They can be enjoyed later in salads or as is with pepper and salt. My favorite recipe is quite easy—add your desired number of eggs to a sauce pan (white eggs work best for clear colors, but brown and green eggs have a delightful, earthy look to them once dyed as well.) Cover the eggs with water and bring them to a boil. Once the water is boiling, take the eggs off the heat and let them rest for 10 minutes. At that point, sink the eggs into an ice bath to halt the cooking process. If you wish to dye them at this point, dry them off and you are ready to begin.
You may use any dye method you prefer. There are numerous resources online for various combinations of water, vinegar and food dye (or vegetable dyes, if you prefer) I chose the simplest route today, with a premade PAAS kit, following the provided instructions.
Now for the hardest part! I used the 1” size of my Jane Austen silhouette stickers (these can be found in my etsy shop, regencyaustentation.) Alternately, you can cut a silhouette of Jane from any self sticking source—tape, vinyl adhesive or contact paper. Use the following template as your guide—simply save and print the picture in a 1″ size.
Stick the adhesive to your boiled egg, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles. Bubbles in the tape will allow dye under and you won’t get clean lines. Once the sticker is adhered, dip the egg in your chosen colour for as long as it takes to get your desired hue. Once the egg has dried, you can remove the sticker for a white silhouette, or leave it on for a dramatic colour contrast.
Laura Boyle is fascinated by all aspects of Jane Austen’s life. She is the proprietor of Austentation: Regency Accessories, creating custom hats, bonnets, reticules and more for customers around the globe. Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends is her first book. Her greatest joy is the time she is able to spend in her home with her family (1 amazing husband, 4 adorable children and a very strange dog.)
Hollie Keith’s book, So Jane has many ideas for adding a little Jane to your life. Her Jane Austen inspired Egg Cosy was sweet, but appliqued with flowers. It inspired me to create a truly Jane cosy to bring a little Austen to your breakfast table.
To create this little cosy, you will need both colored and black felt along with scissors (pinking shears make a cute edge), embroidery floss, a needle, fabric glue and a few inches of coordinating ribbon.
Cut two half round pieces and one silhouetter per cosy.
Lay the two pieces on top of each other with the ribbon looped and fitted between them, as shown.
Using the embroidery floss, stitch around the cosy using a running stitch with a 1/8″ seam allowance. A blanket stitch also makes a nice edge.
Glue silhouette to center front of cosy.
Laura Boyle is fascinated by all aspects of Jane Austen’s life. She is the proprietor of Austenation: Regency Accessories, creating custom hats, bonnets, reticules and more for customers around the globe. Cooking with Jane Austen and Friends is her first book. Her greatest joy is the time she is able to spend in her home with her family (1 amazing husband, 4 adorable children and a very strange dog.)
This Easter I added a set of Nail Art Pens to my seven-year-old’s Easter basket. We had seen them demonstrated at our local warehouse club and she was eager to try the fun for herself. The idea is that each “pen” comes with a brush and pen attachment for creating detailed works of art on your finger nails.
After church that morning, we headed off to spend the day with family. Bella with polish eagerly clutched in hand, was sure that her artist Auntie Diana could work some magic for all the little girls in attendance. Being the good sport that she is, Diana had a steady stream of customers for watermelons, ladybugs and even snowmen, but when I saw the white and black pens, I was sure that an Austen silhouette could be had.
To create your own works of Austen art, you will need a bottle of white nail polish (available for French Manicures) and one black nail pen (or fine tipped permanent marker. Used on the polish, it should wipe off with nail polish remover and not leave a mark on the actual nail)
File your nails and paint a coat of white polish, as you would begin any manicure.
Using this silhouette as a guide, gently draw an outline of Jane Austen’s silhouette– your basic design will include the head with bun and aquiline nose, narrow neck and rounded neckline.
Coat the finished nail with a clear coat for added durability. If you make a mistake, no worries– it comes off with nail polish remover!
I think the experiment was quite satisfactory, not to mention a lot of fun!
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a lone crafter in possession of a sewing machine, must be in want of a free tutorial. I’m Colleen Babcock, and I’m here as a guest contributor at the Jane Austen Centre’s online magazine to provide you with just that.
I am a cloth art doll and craft designer, as well as a Jane Austen fan, living in London. Originally from Canada, I teach and exhibit in the UK and across North America. With work featured in several books and magazines, I also write guest posts for popular craft blogs while keeping the creativity levels high with free tutorials on my own blog, The Magic Bean.
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.
Then, to gussy the pendant up, I glued some black lace around the edge of the felt using a glue gun. When I flipped the felt over, this is what the backside looked like.
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.
The Regency silhouette went through a fair few changes…
Wednesday. — Mrs. Mussell has got my gown, and I will endeavour to explain what her intentions are. It is to be a round gown, with a jacket and a frock front, like Cath. Bigg’s, to open at the side. The jacket is all in one with the body, and comes as far as the pocket-holes — about half a quarter of a yard deep, I suppose, all the way round, cut off straight at the corners with a broad hem. No fulness appears either in the body or the flap; the back is quite plain in this form , and the sides equally so. The front is sloped round to the bosom and drawn in, and there is to be a frill of the same to put on occasionally when all one’s handkerchiefs are dirty — which frill must fall back. She is to put two breadths and a-half in the tail, and no gores — gores not being so much worn as they were. There is nothing new in the sleeves: they are to be plain, with a fulness of the same falling down and gathered up underneath, just like some of Martha’s, or perhaps a little longer. Low in the back behind, and a belt of the same. I can think of nothing more, though I am afraid of not being particular enough.
Jane Austen to Cassandra
May 5, 1801
The popularity of the high-waisted regency gown is due to both to French influence in fashion and the Neoclassical rage that swept Europe during the 18th Century. Marie Antoinette is said to have inspired the round gown of the 1790′s, which is essentially a dress and robe joined together and tied in the front. Later, Josephine Bonaparte who reigned supreme in her position as a fashion icon, influenced the slim, high-waisted, gossamer thin chemise dress of the early 19th Century.
The round gown, a precursor of the Empire gown, had a soft, round silhouette, with full gatherings and a train, and straight, elbow-length sleeves. These gowns were in stark contrast to the stiff, brocaded or rigid silk dresses of the rococo period. The round gown’s train, which was common for a short time for day wear and lasted until 1805-06 for the evening, would be pinned up for the dance, as Katherine and Isabella did for each other in Northanger Abbey. One must question how practical these long white muslin dresses with their trailing trains were in England, a country renowned for wet weather and muddy roads.
In England especially, daytime dresses were more modest than their evening counterparts. A few French images depict young ladies wearing day gowns with plunging decolletes, but this was not generally the case, and it is a point that cinema costume makers frequently miss. Until 1810, a fichu or chemisette would fill in the neckline. At first, embroideries on hems and borders were influenced by classical Greek patterns. After Napoleon’s return from Egypt in 1804, decorative patterns began to reflect an eastern influence as well.
Around 1808, the soft gathered gowns gave way to a slimmer and sleeker Regency silhouette. Darted bodices began to appear and hemlines started to rise. Long sleeves and high necklines were worn during the day, while short sleeves and bare necklines were reserved for evening gowns. The sleeves were puffy and gathered, but the overall silhouette remained sleek, with the shoulders narrow. The shape of the corset changed to reflect the looser, draped, shorter waisted style.
Due to the war between England and France, and the restrictions of travel to the Continent, the designs of English gowns began to take on a character of their own, as French influence waned. Between 1808 and 1814, English waistlines lengthened and decorations were influenced by the Romantic movement and British culture. Dresses began to exhibit decorations that echoed the Gothic, Renaissance, Tudor, and Elizabethan periods. Ruffled edges, Van Dyke lace points, rows of tucks on hems and bodices, and slash puffed sleeves made their appearance. The length of the gown was raised off the ground, so that dainty kid slippers became quite visible.
After the 1814 peace treaty, English visitors to France began to realize just exactly how much British fashion had split from its French counterpart. Parisian waists had remained higher, and skirt hems were wider and trimmed with padded decorations, resulting in a cone-shaped look. English fashion quickly realigned itself with the French, and the silhouette changed yet again.
Dresses now boasted long sleeves, high necks, and a very high waist, The simple classical silhouette was replaced by a fussier look. Ruffles appeared everywhere, on hems, sleeves, bodices, and even bonnets. In 1816-1817, the waistline fell just under a woman’s breasts, and could go no higher. There was only one way that waistlines could go, and by 1818, they began to drop by about an inch a year.
By 1820 the simple classic lines of the chemise dress had disappeared and completely given way to a stiffer, wider silhouette with a quite short hem. New corsets were designed to accommodate the longer waistline. Remarkably, Anglomania hit France, and the French began to copy the English fashion.
The rows of ruffles, pleats, appliques, and horsehair-padded decorations stiffened the skirt into a conical shape, creating a puffy silhouette. Big hats were worn to counterbalance the broad shoulders, much as big hair balanced wide shoulder pads during the 1980′s. By 1825 the waist had reached a woman’s natural waistline in fashion plates, but according to evidence in museums, it would take another five years before this fashion caught up with the general public.
Leg of lamb sleeves (gigot sleeves) appeared, and dress decorations became intricate and theatrical.
By 1820 the basic lines were almost submerged in ornamentation. The romantic past held a treasure trove of ideas for adorning a lady’s costume. From the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries came puffs bursting through slashed and the revival of the Spanish ruff. collars and cuffs developed points a la Van Dyke and sleeves could be a la Babrielle (after Garielle d’Estrees, mistress of Henry IV of France). Skirts were festooned with roses or made more flaring with crokscrew rolls … Fantasy seemed to now no bounds. (Ackermann’s Costume Plates, Stella Blum, page vi)
Read more about regency fashion trends in the links below:
Vic Sanborn oversees two blogs: Jane Austen’s World and Jane Austen Today. Before 2006 she merely adored Jane Austen and read Pride and Prejudice faithfully every year. These days, she is immersed in reading and writing about the author’s life and the Regency era. Co-founder of her local (and very small) book group, Janeites on the James, she began her blogs as a way to share her research on the Regency era for her novel, which sits unpublished on a dusty shelf. In her working life, Vic provides resources and professional development for teachers and administrators of Virginia’s adult education and literacy programs.
This article was written for Jane Austen’s World and is used here with permission.
This little up cycled Jane Austen candle holder is deceptively simple. Using upcycled pages from one of Jane Austen’s novels, you can, in a few minutes, create one, or dozens of these little charmers, guaranteed to chase away the last of winter’s shadows and add a romantic glow to any room. You will need the following materials:
A small, straight sided glass votive holder
A page from one of Austen’s novels
A foam/sponge brush
a small silhouette of Jane Austen (print our, below)
Cut the paper about 1/2″ longer than the height of your candle holder and wrap it around the glass until it overlaps slightly at the back or sides. I usually cut the paper in half (top and bottom) and wrap the the top half around the votive, using the additional piece to supplement the back and cut the bottom circle. Judicious cutting will allow you to feature favorite quotes or scenes.
Trace the bottom of your glass on to an additional piece of paper, cut out and reserve for later.
Slice vertically into the paper strip about 3/4″ up at 1/4″ intervals, along the bottom of your paper.
Coat the back of your paper with Mod Podge, using the sponge brush.
Align the paper along the top edge of your votive holder and wrap the paper around the glass until it overlaps at the seam
Carefully turn the votive over and tuck each flap down, overlapping as necessary, to create a neat circle at the bottom. Sometimes these votive holders are tapered slightly at the bottom. Cutting up a bit further than the bottom edge, will allow you to ease the paper along the natural lines of the glass.
Coat the reserved circle of paper with mod podge and paste over the bottom of your votive holder.
Trim along the top, as necessary, to make sure all the paper lines up with the top edge of the glass
Add your Austen decal (I use a small self stick vinyl cut out) and an additional coat of Mod Podge.
Let dry, upside down, for at least an hour, preferably on a baker’s rack to avoid having it stick.
Add your own votive candle, light and enjoy!
Not a fan of crafting? Not a problem. You can find our beautiful no-assembly needed, glass Jane Austen tea light holder here.
The lovely and talented Jennifer Holmes, owner of Dear Lillie, was kind enough to share the following tutorial for her Jane Austen silhouette pillow cover. This simple craft takes less than an hour, but has stunning results. To purchase a 18″ by 18″ screenprinted version of this pillow from Jenni, visit Dear Lillie.com
Now here is how to make it:
1). Purchase some iron on adhesive
2) Find the fabric you want to use.
3) Now follow the directions on your interfacing and iron the fabric to the interfacing
until they are fused together.
4) Next trace your silhouette or whatever design you would like onto the paper side of the interfacing.
(To get your silhouette you can either print a design out from your computer onto cardstock and then cut it out or use a silhouette machine to cut it).
5) Here are the traced out images.
6) Now cut out the images.
7) Flip them over to the fabric side to make sure you are happy with them.
8) Now just peal off the paper off the back of the interfacing.
9) Press into onto the front of a blank pillow cover.
10) Iron it on
11) Now stuff your pillow form in and there you have it!
Embroidered silhouette pillows can also be purchased from our giftshop.
Jennifer Holmes lives in Williamsburg, VA with her husband and their two little girls. Her blog covers a wide array of things from new Dear Lillie products, giveaways, home decorating and bits and pieces from their day to day life.