Friday, November 28, 2008

Sorry everyone. . .

. . . For not posting for so long! Okay, it's only been a few days, but I've still been feeling a bit guilty. At the beginning of the week I had half-a-dozen ideas for posts, but so far none of them have come to fruition! I'm sure all of you bloggers know the feeling. . .

So, what have I been doing the last few days. . . yesterday morning I had a guitar lesson, and last night I was up at church for music practice, so it was a somewhat musical day.

Earlier in the week there were birthday celebrations - and we got Prince Caspian on dvd! We had a ball watching it. We've now seen it about 4 times in two days. The rest of the gang are out in the living room right now, watching it. . . again! BTW, if you like, you could head over to they're currently running a contest, giving away 5 copies of the special 3-disc edition of Prince Caspian.

Someone on the Sense and Sensibility forums recently posted a link to this website For anyone who is even remotely interested in their family history, this is a very interesting resource. You simply type in your surname, and a map of Great Britain will come up, showing whereabouts in Britain people with your surname lived in 1881 (or 1998, depending on which option you select). I entered my surname--my ancestors showed up mostly in and around the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. I then had a great time typing in the surnames of all my friends, finding out where their ancestors came from!! Fun.

Photo from, another great long hair website to browse through. . .

Finally, another friend of mine from another forum, Blessed Maidens, mentioned a link to a website that I found very interesting - If you're a long-haired girl like me (I have thick, wavy, [occasionally messy] hair down past my waist!), head over and have a look - there is a blog, and there are some articles written by other long-haired women about caring for long hair. . . a lot of the stuff that they recommend is basically what I've been doing anyway, but I found it edifying and absorbing nonetheless. I often found myself nodding and saying "Yes, that's exactly how I feel about that!" or "I have exactly the same issues with my hair!". . . Looking after long hair is very different than caring for shorter hair - it was nice to read advice and info written by long-haired girls who understand! Also check out some of the great hairstyles - one of these days I'll have to try some of them out on my sisters!

Have a great weekend! Blessings,

The Editrix

Current Mood: Relaxed

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brooke Fraser's "Albertine" CT's No.1 album

I was browsing through Christianity Today's Top 12 Christian albums for 2008, and to  my surprise and delight, Brooke Fraser's Albertine was No.1!! 

As the article stated, Albertine has been available in Australia and New Zealand  for a couple of years now, but it was only released in the U.S. this year.

I'm so happy for her. . . and so proud! For we Aussies have of course adopted Brooke as our own, just as we do any good thing to come out of New Zealand. . . :P! LOL - how do you Kiwis put up with us?

Anyway, as I was saying, Albertine is a brilliant folk-pop album, and Brooke is a tremendously talented artist - not to mention a wonderful person. She has her heart in the right place. . . read the story behind the title track of Albertine and it will make you cry. . . 

Congratulations, Brooke! You thoroughly deserve every accolade that comes your way. :-) And well done Christianity Today for having the sense to put Albertine at #1! 

Current Mood:  Happy.

A blessing

Image from

May the LORD bless you
    and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you
    and be gracious to you
May the LORD show you his favour
    and give you his peace.

Numbers 6:24-26 NLT

Saturday, November 22, 2008

'Finding Feminine Inspriration' resuscitated

Click here to view full-size image.

I have decided to revive my series on Finding Feminine Inspiration. I hope you all don't mind. 

I felt in need of a little lace and silk and general prettying up.

In this post I will look at April, from Les Tres Rishes Heures du Duc de Berry.

I have a passion for all things mediaeval - castles, cathedrals, gothic architecture, fair maidens, handsome knights in shining armour riding white horses, etc.. I also enjoy studying the clothing worn by women of this period. Some of the trends in men's clothing during the mediaeval period may seem slightly ridiculous to us today - the tights, the exaggerated sleeves and elongated shoes, and - worst of all - codpieces, although the latter did not come into fashion until the late Middle Ages. The extremities in fashion were not limited to men's clothing, however - enormous sleeve cuffs and elongated footwear were fashionable for women, too. Also, some of the women's headgear of the time was quite - bizarre.

However, there is a certain grace and simplicity in many of the outfits worn by mediaeval women. This is exhibited to some extent in the picture I am highlighting today.

This painting is part of the famous Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry - a book of hours, or calendar, created by the Limbourg brothers in the early 15th century. The picture shown here represents the month of April.

If you're wondering what exactly is going on this picture (as I was at first), I'll do my best to explain.

A newly betrothed young couple are exchanging rings while witnesses look on and two maidservants gather flowers from the ground below - though unfortunately these flowers are very difficult to see, though I am told they do exist. Perhaps they are invisible flowers. . .

The betrothed pair were real people - the painting is supposed to represent the pledge of troth between Charles d'Orleans and Bonne of d'Armagnac, granddaughter of the same Duke of Berry who commissioned this book of hours. The castle in the background is the Chateau de Dourdon,which belonged to the Duke of Berry.

It is a beautiful picture - the glowing colours, the impossibly blue sky, the greenness of the grass, the overall aura of springtime  and young love - though I must say, the bride-to-be does not seem to look overly enamoured with her future husband, although he certainly appears to be very pleased with himself and his bride. Perhaps she is only hiding behind a discreet veil of feminine modesty and decorum, as  was proper for mediaeval maidens!

I love the outfits worn by all four women in this painting - the high waists and simple lines of the gowns are quite lovely. One gets the feeling that these garments would have given the wearer a delicious sense of luxury, as well as the comfort of the generous and expansive folds of fabric.

I especially like the gown worn by the young betrothed woman - the combination of blue, gold, and white is exquisite. I am not expert enough to know whether the pattern on her dress has been embroidered on or has simply been woven as a part of the fabric itself - either way, it looks lovely!

Current Mood:  Good.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rumour: New adaptation of Emma in the works

*Bounces up and down excitedly!*

There's a rumour going around that the BBC are making a new miniseries based on Jane Austen's Emma, which should be aired in 2009!!!!!! I've only just found out about it, I'm so thrilled!

I've had a gut feeling for the few months that the next JA adaptation would be a new version of Emma. . . and I was right! I can't believe it!

The BBC haven't announced anything officially, but according to AustenBlog, Sandy Welch (who wrote the screenplay for the wonderful North and South as well as the 2006 version of Jane Eyre) has a written a four-part miniseries adaptation of Emma! A nice break from the recent slew of Andrew Davies costume dramas. . . 

Richard Armitage fans have already begun a campaign to get him cast in the role of Mr. Knightley. It is my personal opinion that RA is a little too good-looking for the part, but other than that minor 'disadvantage', I think he would make an excellent George Knightley. :-)

And so now the speculation begins. . . who will play Emma? Frank Churchill? Harriet Smith? Will Richard Armitage play Mr. Knightley, or will it be some other actor? (Probably the latter, I'm afraid.)

Which actors would you cast if you were the director?

Current Mood: Ecstatic!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Book meme

I saw this meme at Hannah Jane's blog, and simply couldn't resist. . . 

The rules are as follows:

   1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages)
   2. Open the book to page 123.
   3. Find the fifth sentence
   4. Post the next three sentences
   5. Tag five people.

1. Okay, there are about twenty books scattered all over my bed, but the nearest one to my laptop is Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.

2. Yesss. . .

3. The fifth sentence is: Throckmorton heard that even the king of Spain had advised her to be prepared to temporize in matters of religion, on her first arrival.

4. Next three sentences are: Melville tells us that all the Frenchmen who had recently returned from Scotland advised her to be most familiar with James, Argyll, Maitland and Kirkcaldy of Grange, in short to learn to repose most upon the members of the reformed religion. Such practical advice, coloured by tolerance, accorded well with Mary's own temperament and religious convictions. In religious matters, her leaning was towards the tolerance of her mother, rather than the fanaticism of a cardinal of Guise.

5. I tag: Theresa of the UTTERANCE, Emily from Songs I Sing, Erin from Seven Little Australians Plus One, Isabella(s) from Watajoke, and Jessica from The Writings of Jessica Nicole McDonald.

Woopee, that was fun. . . my first meme. :-) 

Current Mood:  Optimistic

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Bride for Donnigan

Flower-seller in London, by Jules Bastien-Lepage. The girl in this painting reminded me a little of Kathleen, the heroine of this book; only Kathleen sold bread, not flowers, on the streets of London. Picture from

A good friend [ ; ) thanks 'Koala'! ] recently lent me a heap of Janette Oke books. The first one of these books to catch my eye was A Bride for Donnigan. I had heard about this book - indeed I had almost bought it, but I thought No, I'll wait until I read it before I buy it. . . and as we have seen, I recently got the chance to read it, and 'read it' I did!

A Bride for Donnigan tells the story of seventeen-year-old Kathleen O'Malley. Both of her parents are dead, and she lives under the roof of her widowed stepmother. When she discovers that her stepmother intends to remarry, keeping Kathleen as only a servant, Kathleen makes a decision to respond to a certain advertisement she had seen in the street:

"Ladies! The Opportunity of a Lifetime in the New American Frontier! Well-Secured Ranchers, Farmers, and Businessmen Desire Wedded Partners to Share Their Life and Prosperity. INQUIRE WITHIN."

It's a fascinating read, especially in light of the historical context. What may seem crazy to us today - farmers and ranchers living in the remote far west of America "ordering" mail order brides from Europe! -- actually made perfect sense to the people involved in this type of match-making. It also looks at the reasons that could drive the said mail-order brides to endure a lengthy voyage across the Atlantic, to arrive in an unfamiliar land, all for the sake of marrying men they knew practically nothing about. . .

Unlike most of Janette Oke's other books, which deal solely with life on the American prairie, A Bride for Donnigan offers glimpses of what life was like for women living on the other side of the pond, in industrialised Britain. 

It is perhaps one of Oke's most dynamic novels, but it is not without its flaws. . . In particular, the first half of the book is considerably better than the second half. As with some of Oke's other books, A Bride for Donnigan begins with a lot of momentum, but loses pace about halfway through the book.

Nonetheless, it is an entertaining and enjoyable read, definitely worth picking up sometime if you're after some pleasant light reading.

Oh, and BTW -- since I first wrote the above I've wasted 10 minutes fooling around with the webcam on my laptop, taking snapshots of myself and just being wacky. . . I look so WEIRD in some of them! I'd post some of here were it not for (a) I think my parents would prefer that I don't post pics of myself online for safety reasons and (b) you'd all think I was bonkers because of the crazy faces I'm pulling -- seriously, I was laughing my head off at the silly faces I was making.

God bless you all! Now I must go to bed. . . I'm a bit tired, I woke up at 5:30 this morning for some reason. . .

Current Mood:    Weird

Monday, November 17, 2008

If I could write the future in the sky. . .

If I could speak with tongues of angels
If I could write the future in the sky
If I could know the wisdom of the ages
But have no love what would it mean

If I have faith, faith to move a mountain
If I give all I own to the poor
If I surrender my body to the flames
But have no love I have nothing

~ Rebecca St James's rewording of 1 Corinthians 13, the famous "Love Chapter" of the Bible. From the song For the Love of God from the album Transform. (Excellent album, BTW.)

Current Mood: Blah

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Little Princess 1986

Frances Hodgeson Burnett's children's classic A Little Princess has been a great favourite of mine for many years. When I as around five or six years old, my mother bought a pocket-sized illustrated abridged version of this book, which she would read aloud to me.

The story captured my imagination. It inspired me, this tale of a girl who loses everything yet still tries to behave with the true goodness and graciousness of a princess. As Elizabeth wrote in this recent post at A Maiden's Wreath, there's something magical in the idea of pretending to be a princess, no matter how miserable one's circumstances are.

When I was older, I read the complete version, and enjoyed it just as much.

And now I am very happy to say that I have found what I think could be classified as the definitive version of A Little Princess - it's an obscure, lesser-known tv adaptation made for a U.S. tv network in 1986.

It is, for the most part, reasonably faithful to the book - much more so than either the 1939 or 1995 versions. Many of the characters seemed as though they had stepped straight from the pages of the book! The actresses who played Miss Minchin, Miss Amelia, most of the schoolgirls and Becky were particularly well cast, I thought.

Amelia Shankley plays Sara Crewe, the heroine. At first she seemed to me to be too old for the part - she was about 14 years old when this was being filmed - but she did such a fantastic job; and the costumes made her look younger, too. Clothes for Victorian little girls were so pretty - I loved the outfits worn by most of the girls in this movie, they were all so lovely and frilly. . .

But back to Amelia Shankley - she truly was wonderful as Sara. She has such beautiful, expressive eyes. I don't know whether or not she is still acting, but she certainly showed a great deal of talent at a very early age in this production.

In fact, I was very impressed with pretty much all of the acting. I thought the actors here were in general better than the those in the 1995 version. Ironic, considering the '95 version was a (comparatively) big-budget Hollywood production, whereas this was just a small, made-for-tv movie. . . Oh well, I guess it just goes to show once again that the British know better than anyone how to do period drama!

Another thing that I noticed here was that this version did a much better job in getting across to the viewer just how dark and bleak Sara's existence was. She really was in a horrible situation, and her heart and mind were not immune to it - princess that she was, bitterness and distrust still managed to creep in a little. This adaptation did not shirk from this darker aspect of the story. I am glad, because it adds depth and realism to Sara's character.

Finally, I was pleased to find that they stuck with the original ending for the story, just the way it is, straight from the book. Both of the other versions changed the ending to make fuzzier and more feel-good, but the ending as it is in the book is much better - maybe not happier, but more believable, and ultimately still full of hope.

So, I now have you all ready to go out and buy the DVD ( :D ), but guess what - it isn't available on DVD! *Collective groan*. . . It is such a shame. I know there are a great many people who would buy it if only it were available on DVD. Someone ought to put together a petition for Little Princess fans to sign, then we'd make them put it onto dvd. . .

If you want to, you can buy the VHS second-hand from certain places, Amazon included.

But wait, here's the good news - some wonderful person has posted A Little Princess, in its entirety, on Youtube! Click here to watch part 1.

I should add that it is a miniseries in two parts - altogether, it goes for close to three hours, so you may want to watch it over a period of several days, as I did. Then again, you might want to watch all of it in one go - I've heard of people who will watch all 5 hours of Pride and Prejudice '95 in one sitting. . .

Here's the IMDb page if you want to read more information or reviews of A Little Princess. It has a user rating of 9 out of 10 from 200 votes - a remarkably high rating for IMDb. . .
Current mood: Tired

Friday, November 14, 2008

Austen paraphernalia

I found out about this text generator from - you just say how many sentences you want, and it'll put random lines from Pride and Prejudice together. Sometimes the results can be hilarious! Here a some examples:

However, he wrote some verses on her, and very pretty they were. I have this comfort immediately, that it has not been more than an error of fancy on my side, and that it has done no harm to anyone but myself. In my opinion, the younger son of an earl can know very little of either.

You deserve no such attention. You never see a fault in anybody. Whatever I do is done in a hurry and therefore if I should resolve to quit Netherfield, I should probably be off in five minutes.

There is one point on which I want your advice. The far and the near must be relative, and depend on many varying circumstances. I think I have heard you say that their uncle is an attorney on Meryton.

I also recently discovered these Austen mood themes, so from now on you will know precisely what state of mind I was in when I wrote any given post!

What else is there to say. . . oh yes -- we've already had S&S this week, but you must brace yourselves for a further barrage of costume drama. I recently had the pleasure of watching an old and forgotten tv adaptation of Frances Hodgeson Burnett's A Little Princess, and I hope to post a review of it in the coming days. And I finished watching Cranford a few days ago, so you might hear something about that, too.

In the meantime, have a lovely day - or afternoon, for North American readers.

Current Mood. . . Amused

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

S&S v. S&S

Yes, that's right, it's this:

versus this!

Sort of. Okay, let's start this properly.

Sense and Sensibility is one of my favourite Jane Austen novels. Actually, every Austen novel is my favourite Austen novel, if that makes any sense - it probably doesn't. (If I had to pick an all-time fav. JA novel, it would probably be Persuasion.)

Seriously though, let's take a look at some of the reasons why Sense and Sensibility stands unique among the pantheon of JA books.

* It is the darkest of Jane Austen's novels. A light-hearted romp through Regency society this is not. The opening premise of the book is not a happy one: a man dies, leaving his wife and three young daughters at the mercy of their half-brother and his selfish, scheming wife. The four women have to leave their home and move to a run-down little cottage in the middle of nowhere (Devonshire. No offence to modern-day residents of Devon, I was only implying that Devonshire would have seemed like the middle of nowhere to the four Dashwood women.) As the story runs its course, the two elder daughters both fall in love and subsequently have their hearts broken. Yes, it is at times quite a depressing book to read, even though it (fortunately) has a happy ending. . .

* It is also the most melodramatic of Austen's novels.

* It is (possibly) the most utterly romantic JA book. Pride and Prejudice fans will no doubt take exception to this. :-) I think this impression of romance springs from the fact that, within the pages of S&S dwell two of the most 'hopeless romantics' ever created by Austen - Marianne Dashwood and Colonel Brandon. . . one might also include the Byronesque John Willoughby, although, as Marianne discovered too late, it was Brandon, not Willoughby, who was the "true romantic". . .

* It is the most "Bronte" of Austen's novels.

Of course, in spite of all the bleakness and heartbreak, Austen's brilliant wit and humour are still very evident in S&S, particularly in the wonderfully witty and ironic dialogue given to Elinor Dashwood.
Now, there have been three major screen adaptions of S&S produced in recent years: the 1983 BBC version which I have yet to see, the much acclaimed 1995 version, and most recently the 2008 BBC miniseries.

There are certain pros and cons to both versions.

S&S95 Pros:

* Emma Thompson's Academy Award-winning screenplay. Simply brilliant, especially when you consider that she had to squeeze all of Sense and Sensibility into a two-hour running time.

* Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood. She is absolutely gorgeous, and she portrays the innate sweetness and luminosity of Marianne's character very well.

* Emma Thompson, while obviously too old to play Elinor, is nonetheless a great actress with a strong presence. Her performance was very good. Alan Rickman, while also a little too old, made a lovely Colonel Brandon.

* Lavish and beautiful production values. Everything - from costumes, musical score, scenery, all are exquisite. I though the London ballroom scenes and the scene where Marianne goes out walking alone in the direction of Combe Magna were particularly well-done.

* Ang Lee was the director.

* Hugh Laurie as Mr Palmer - one of the best things about this film.


* Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars. Ugh! I don't like that man.

* As I mentioned earlier, Emma Thompson was about 15 years too old to play Elinor Dashwood, and the same goes for Alan Rickman as Brandon. Certain other characters, including Mrs. Palmer, Sir John Middleton, Lucy Steele, and Mrs. John (Fanny) Dashwood, also looked older than they are in the book.

* Several minor characters were omitted. These included Anne Steele, Lady Middleton and her children, and Mrs. Ferrars, who is mentioned but doesn't appear onscreen.

Now, for S&S08.


* The cast were, in general, a good bit younger than the cast for S&S95, so a lot of the characters looked closer to their proper ages (e.g. Elinor is supposed to be 19, Marianne 17, Edward 24, and Colonel Brandon no older than 35-6).

*This was a miniseries, not a movie, hence more time was available for filling out the details of the plot. It also meant that they were able to include more of the minor characters from the story.

* The scenery is absolutely stunning. The soundtrack is also good - it is by Martin Phipps, who also composed the musical scores for Persuasion 2007 and North and South (2004).

* Dan Stevens (Edward Ferrars) had the advantage of not being Hugh Grant. Some of my fellow Janeites complained that he was too good-looking to be Edward, and perhaps he was, but he captured the character of Edward very well, I thought.

* David Morissey was wonderful as Colonel Brandon. Hattie Morahan, while not the actress Emma Thompson is, did a good job playing Elinor nonetheless.

* The little kid who played Harry Dashwood - absolutely priceless!

* I loved the duel between Brandon and Willoughby. :) I am very glad they chose to include it.


* Dominic Cooper as Willoughby - wrong, wrong wrong! This was probably the single major jarring note in this production, for me. Willoughby is supposed to be tall, handsome, and completely charming. Cooper's Willoughby was simply not as charming or attractive as he is supposed to be, making it very difficult to fathom why Marianne would fall for him.

* Screenwriter Andrew Davies messed up in several places, most notably in the infamous opening scene with Willoughby and Eliza. I was very disappointed that this scene was included. I thought it was distasteful and unnecessary, and it mars what would otherwise have been a fairly family-friendly series that I could have watched with my younger brothers and sisters without worrying about scenes to fast-forward through. I still watch it with them, I just have to be sure to skip past that bit. The wood-chopping scene was also rather silly and unnecessary in my opinion.

* Mrs. Jennings was not nearly as boisterous and loud and hilarious as she is supposed to be.

Well, there are a lot of good points and both points to both versions. Sense and Sensibility 1995 has been my favourite Jane Austen movie for some time, so it was always going to be difficult for S&S08 to overtake it. . .

The first time I saw S&S08, I didn't like it very much. Here's an excerpt from my journal, written after I watched the first couple of episodes online in January 2008:

Andrew Davies is truly an extremely aggravating man. Who does he think he is, taking such liberties with my beloved Jane's books. But I really think [the problem is] not so much his script as the cast. Nearly every one of the actors is dreadfully miscast. With a few notable exceptions. Lucy Boynton is gorgeous as Margaret, Hattie Morahan makes a lovely, luminous Elinor, and David Morissey (arguably the most skilled actor in this production) does an admirable job in portraying Colonel Brandon. . .

Finally, I actually like Dan Steven [as Edward]. . .But I am afraid that even the best Edward in the world cannot atone for the worst Willoughby AND Marianne. . .

The final consensus: 3 out of 5 stars.

Since writing that earlier this year, I have changed my mind on several things. . . I have softened a good deal in my opinion of Charity Wakefield as Marianne, even though I still don't like Dominic Cooper as Willoughby. I can't say how or why, but Sense and Sensibility 2008 continues to grow on me. . . S&S95 still remains as my favourite version of Sense and Sensibility, but I would now recommend both versions to anyone. I would now give it a 4 out of 5 rating - maybe even 4 1/2 out of 5.

So, my advice: rather than trying to pick just one, buy both versions, if you don't already have one or both of them on dvd! :-)

So - what was your favourite version of S&S?

Monday, November 10, 2008


Look to this day . . . for yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision . . . but today well-lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

~Author Unknown

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pretty snowflake decorations

Over the last few days I've been crocheting a few snowflakes. They're such fun to make - I love crocheting lacy things and snowflakes  often combine a lot of my favourite crochet lace techniques. The one in these pictures  wasn't stiffened when I took these photos - I thought it looked nice as it was, all soft and un-starched. The photos were taken in our frontyard. . . 

Here's the pattern for making this particular snowflake. It's surprisingly simple, you really only need basic crocheting skills to make it. I found this pattern online and printed it out several years ago. I don't think the original pattern is available on the net anymore, so I'll share it here. Just note that this is not my pattern, it's Priscilla Hewitt's! And for lots more gorgeous snowflake patterns, go to Crochet Pattern Central.


Priscilla Hewitt’s Picot Snowflake Ornament

Aus and NZ crocheters bear in mind that 1 US dc = 1 tr, 1 US sc = 1 dc, and so on.

Materials:Small amount crochet cotton and Steel crochet hook [I don’t think it really matters what cotton and hook you use. Just pick whatever cotton you like – I used some medium-fine mercerised white crochet cotton – then find a hook that seems the right size, according to how thick the cotton is and whether you are a tight or a loose crocheter - Editrix]

Pattern Note: There should be an unworked ch between each picot.

To make dc picot: ch 5, dc in the 4th ch from hook

To make cluster picot: ch 5, yo insert hook in the 4th ch from hook and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook, yo, insert hook in the same ch and pull up a loop, yo and pull through 2 loops on hook, yo and pull through all 3 remaining loops on hook, sl st in the same ch

Work tightly for best results. If you tend to crochet loosely, use a smaller size hook.


Ch 6; join with a sl st in the first chain to form ring

Round 1: Ch 3 to count as the first dc, work 11 more dc in the rings; join with a sl st to the top of the beginning ch 3. (12 dc)

Round 2: Ch 1, sc in the same st as joining, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in the next dc, *sc in the next dc, (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc) in the next dc * Repeat from * to * 4 times; join with a sl st to the first sc. (6 “points”)

Round 3:Ch 1, sc in the same st as joining, (dc picot, cluster picot, dc picot), ch 1, sl st in the same sc, ch 1, 2 dc in the next ch-3 sp, work 2 dc picots, work 3 cluster picots, working along the other side, skip 3 cluster picots, sl st in the next unworked ch, (ch 4, dc in the 4th ch from hook, skip next dc picot, sl st in the next unworked ch) 2 times, 2 dc in the same 3-ch sp, she 1 skip next 2 dc, *sc in the next sc, (dc picot, cluster picot, dc picot), ch 1, sl st in the same sc, ch 1, 2 dc in the next ch-3 sp, work 2 dc picots, work 3 cluster picots, working along the other side, skip 3 cluster picots, sl st in the next unworked ch, (ch 4, dc in the 3rd ch from hook, skip next dc picot, sl st in the next unworked ch) 2 times, 2 dc in the same ch-3 sp, ch. 1, skip next 2 dc* Repeat from * to * 4 times; join with a sl st to the first sc. Fasten off. Weave in ends. 


Finishing [optional]

You’ll need: Fabric stiffener, small zip lock bag, stainless steel straight pins or wooden toothpicks, waxed paper, sheet of flat Styrofoam, fishing line.

Place snowflake and fabric stiffener in a small plastic zip lock bag. Work stiffener into the snowflake through the closed bag then let it soak for at least one hour. Place a sheet of waxed paper on a flat sheet of Styrofoam. Remove snowflake from bag then wring out any excess stiffener. Shape snowflake on waxed paper paper and tack in place with pins or toothpicks. Allow to dry completely. Remove pins. Add a loop of fishing line to the snowflake to hang.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I love going to the dentist's. . .

 . . . not!

Over the last few days I've kept telling myself, "You should be grateful that there ARE dentists. You are very lucky that you don't live in the middle ages when there was no such thing as dentistry. As you got older you would have had rotting teeth with no-one to pull them out except some lunatic at the town fair. [Incidentally, did you know that medieval tooth-pullers would hire musicians to play loud music outside their stand in the fair/marketplace so that passers-by wouldn't hear the screams of their 'patients' having their teeth yanked out! Yeeouch!!] You should consider yourself lucky, my dear, that you live in the 21st century where there are such things as dentists, toothbrushes and dental floss in existence." 

Unfortunately, these thoughts were not very consoling to me. I did not entirely succeed in convincing myself that going for a dental checkup was a good thing.

Well, I went this afternoon, and ended up walking out from the clinic alive and well. Don't get me wrong, I like the dentists themselves. Dentists are excellent people. I just don't like the things that they do to you. . . 

I didn't leave empty-handed. They gave me a bag of various tooth-cleaning things - toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and two disclosing tablets. These are brightly coloured tablets that you chew. They cause any plaque on your teeth to turn a revolting bright pinky-red colour. The idea is to help you see where you have/have not cleaned your teeth properly. The tablets came with this message attached:


LOL! Oh that made me smile . . . going to the dentist's was worth it after all. :-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Secret Garden

Under the Dock Leaves - An Autumnal Evening's Dream, by Richard Doyle. Image from -- click here to view full size image

Over the last few days I have been reading Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden aloud to my seven-year-old sister. We have both been enjoying it a great deal. It has been some years since I last read The Secret Garden. As I read it again now, I see it through fresh eyes. The magic of this classic book works itself upon me in new ways.

It's strange how, as we grow older, we see the same scene in such a vastly different light. We understand certain elements of a story as we never did before, and we notice various little details that seemed insignificant before.

It is the mark of a true classic - the ability to transcend time (The Secret Garden was first published in 1911) and reach beyond a reader's age and experience . It touches the soul, it seems to reach out to something in our humanity, so that no matter what background we come from, or whether we are old or young, it moves something deep within us. And if we would glean what we can from some such book, we will be a better person as result of having read it!

The person who cannot appreciate and learn from good literature must be a fool indeed. . . however, I don't know that I have ever met with such a person. It seems to me pretty much everyone is moved by a good story well-told. :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A most compelling method of folding shirts

I just had to share this with all of you. I tried it, and I can assure you that it works!! There's always a lot of clothes to fold and put away in our house - I might have to try this new method sometime. . . 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Don't be afraid

Photo by M. Daniels from

Don't be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.

Revelation 1:18 NLT