Don’t Deface Queen Anne’s Lace!

Jane Eyre, the heroine of Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, is not pleased being stuck in contemporary NYC during #Covid-19. As spring commences she longs to be back in Thornfield Hall, dodging madwomen and strolling through the surrounding woods, picking flowers to make into medicine and jewelry. Jane’s favorite wildflower has always been #Queen Anne’s lace. Queen Anne herself was the last of the Stuart monarchs, reigning only five years (between 1702-1707). Best-known today as the gouty, rabbit-loving lesbian from the film The Favourite, where she is played by Oscar winner #OliviaColman, the real Anne was probably quite likable … Continue reading Don’t Deface Queen Anne’s Lace!

You Gotta Be Crewel To Be Kind

  Hester Prynne is the character in Jane Eyre Gets Real who is best known for her embroidery skills. Though Puritans were encouraged to dress mainly in muted or dark colors, with some touches of white for relief–or to be better seen in candlelight?–this code was known to be broken. They might, for instance, wear extra-large collars, gloves with gauntlet cuffs, prominent shoe buckles, even lace trimmings from time to time. This doesn’t mean the fine art of embroidery fell into abeyance. Women and girls were expected now more than ever to practice morality in the home and nothing was considered … Continue reading You Gotta Be Crewel To Be Kind

What Color Is Your Parasol?

Even Jane Eyre, shy governess, knew about the secret language of fans: the way a lady could tilt a fan one way to flirt or flip it upside down to show she wasn’t interested. There is a secret language inherent in parasols too. For instance: handle to lips means “kiss me”, a swing to the right means “I’m married”, and dropping your parasol means “I love you” (just don’t actually drop it on your beloved’s toes). You could even convey fairly complicated meanings like “You’ve changed” (hold the parasol to the right ear) or “We are being watched” (draw the … Continue reading What Color Is Your Parasol?

Battenburg & Ballerinas

This distinctive type of lace, named Battenburg after Queen Victoria’s son-in-law, was developed in the late 1800s. It was distinctly modern in that it combined machine-made techniques with hand stitching. It quickly became very popular and was used for everything from parasols to kitchen curtains. For the next five days read The Grace of the Hunchback by Annabelle Troy, the story of an outwardly ethereal but inwardly fractured #ballerina–as unique as Battenburg lace–for free on Amazon. Continue reading Battenburg & Ballerinas

A Taste for Lace

  Emma Bovary, in the course of her summer shopping, has been delighted to find lace making a come back. In her day she was a mean tatter. For those not into thread work, there are several ways lace can be made: Needle: the creme de la creme, the lace of royalty, made just with a needle and thread. Venetian Gros Point–no, not a city in Michigan– is an example. Bobbin : pins are stuck into a pillow, traditionally one of straw. Bobbins made of bone or wood are used to weave the threads around these pins. Chantilly Lace–no, not the song–is … Continue reading A Taste for Lace