Posted in Uncategorized

A Desperate Plea for More Austen

Just finished reading Persuasion. If you’ve ever read it, then you are probably feeling so jealous of me right now, in the bloom of first-time Persuasion completion. I have only recently decided to become crazy obsessed with Jane Austen, after I rewatched all the film adaptations of Pride & Prejudice (and everything else with Colin Firth in it, for good measure), and decided I had better legitimize my film binge by reading the novel.

Sense & Sensibility and Emma soon followed, and then I finally hit Persuasion. The best of the Big Four, in my (obviously correct) opinion. Why had I never even heard of this book before?! My guess, no good film adaptations. I’m of the Clueless generation; why has no one bothered to reboot this of all the novels? Possibly because it is already so relevant. A reboot might seem disrespectful of its undimmed brilliancy. But come on, so many Pride & Prejudices, can’t we just have one more Persuasion…(btw, I’d be fine with a new P&P film adaptation as well. I don’t think annual adaptations is an unreasonable request, Hollywood. Or, BBC. For your consideration).

To help Hollywood & the BBC along, I have some suggestions about Persuasion on the big screen (or slightly smaller screen, as TV has become). One, the book did NOT feel so dramatic. I mean, there was a lot of drama. and desperation. and feelings. and probably fog; this is England. But, the 2007 BBC Persuasion with Sally Hawkins was such a downer, and I think the spirit of the book is ultimately comedic. Like Emma, like Clueless, like Sense & Sensibility, like Bridget Jones’s Diary, for goodness sake. Jane Austen’s wit was lost. The only comedy relief in that version was Mary, played by Amanda Hale, who succeeded in becoming a caricature, which was intended. In the next adaptation, let’s have a George Clooney type playing Sir Walter, because that’s how I pictured him, comically vain and handsome. Or let’s have Hugh Grant in that role, since he’s already got the appropriate accent, and he is no stranger to Austen. We should, in that case, also have Colin Firth somewhere. Admiral Croft, maybe? Mr. Musgrove? It doesn’t matter. He’ll totally nail the role whatever it is.

Two, this is not a long book. I think a film adaptation could remain pretty faithful to the plot and sequence of the book without exceeding a normal runtime. I don’t know why the 2007 version had so many rewrites and mixups. Don’t mess with perfection. Why did it turn into Run, Lola, Run at the end? That wasn’t in the book. I just read it today. I know.

And finally, you really gotta cast Anne Elliot properly. If time travel is an option, let’s get mid-90s, Sabrina-era Julia Ormond in there. Honestly, she’s barely aged. Maybe current day Julia Ormond is my second choice. If both Julia and Julia refuse, let’s aim for mature 20’s, able to pull off vulnerable and invisible and underappreciated, and maybe steer clear of anyone in the Harry Potter movies or Downton Abbey. Who does that leave? Also, maybe we should go redhead. I pictured her as a redhead. But there are few protagonists that I DON’T picture as redheads. Oh I know: Lily Collins. Not a redhead, but she’ll do.

Also, BBC take note, Cillian Murphy as Mr. Elliot. Because he can play hot & evil so well. Also, put Cillian Murphy in more things. Full stop.

Posted in Sewing Projects

Totes cute totes

I scored an invitation to THE party of the summer. It is tomorrow and we will be celebrating two four year olds, who are both big fans of books. So I decided to make some library portfolios from Little One Yard Wonders. 

This worked out well since I have ordered a bunch of fabric online, where one cannot Feel the fabric that one is purchasing, so it is rather easy for one to accidentally order an adorable pattern and accidentally overlook that is it slub duck cloth or canvas. Not great for quilting or for kids clothing, but perfect for totes. I knew I’d find a use for these eventually.

I made a few modifications, as always, and because I had two opportunities, I had a lot of room on the learning curve to swerve around and be creative. Here they are: 

  

   
    
  So one fabric was not so wide as required and yielded a shorter bag with, in turn, longer handles. I ended up preferring that shape to the actual pattern, which was the blue peacock feather bag, and was too tall for a four year old, with short handles. A hard cover book fit perfectly, with spines showing, in each pocket of the shorter yellow God’s eye pattern (is that a god’s eye? I don’t know where I got that name. It looks more like a series of vaginas, but I’m guessing that is not the name of the motif). 

The book called for handles made of webbing, which is that stuff on tents and backpack straps, but I used this woven twill on the peacock bag and a rainbow jute ribbon on the god’s eye bag. I definitely prefer the twill handle. Seems sturdier, looks sportier. Totes cute. 

   And I love the denim pockets on that bag. Denim pockets on everything, from now on. Denim pockets on bags, clothes, quilts. Denim pockets for dinner. 
Overall, I think they’ll be a success. To ensure this, I stuffed each bag with a spiral notebook, some washable markers (curse Sharpies), an I Spy book in the interior pocket (perfect size) and some other terrific kid-lit finds. I did NOT find the Rules of Summer at the bookstore, but I did find a suitable predecessor in its genre, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, by Chris Van Allsburg. A worthy substitute. 

These were well worth the effort, even factoring in that it was one million degrees in my sewing room (garage). And they prompted a trip to the bookstore, which (like Paris) is always a good idea.