Tag Archives: Jane Austen picnic mourning Regency

The crafty Janeite: A roundup of DIY projects

By Jennifer Abella

The Jane Austen Summer Program will be here before you know it (I know — we’re excited too!), so if you’re at all crafty — or just want to try your hand at it — here are a few links for DIY projects to get you in the mood, or to show off in June.

Just a few spaces left in a spencer-making workshop at Old Salem in April. Click here for our post on it!

via Darling and Dash

What’s under that bonnet? Duct tape and a Cheerios box, you say? If you’ve got a cereal box, some duct tape and fabric (and okay, maybe a McCall’s pattern), you can check out this tutorial on making a budget bonnet.

Book it: The “So Jane” craft book has tons of ideas, including pillows, paper chandeliers and food.

Wear it: If you’re looking to sew your own dress, this Regency pattern could be The One. And don’t worry, procrastinators, there’s a tutorial for you.

via Bird’s Party

Upcycling: Your well-loved book is falling apart. It might hurt to do it, but you could turn the pages into something else like ….

A candle holder.

Greeting cards.



Then you can spread the love to others.

For experienced knitters: The Jane Austen Knits magazines have some fabulous patterns for shawls, socks, cardigans and more.

If you’ve never made a shawl before, the ball is a perfect motivation to try your hand at it! Click here for a tutorial on a beginner’s lace shawl. And these won’t be practical for June, but I really want these mittens right now.

via Interweave

Put on your dancing shoes: Want to decorate your shoes in a manner Emma would approve of? Here’s how.

Turban it up: Here’s a video of how to tie a turban.


Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow@nextjen on Twitter. And remember to like Jane Austen Summer Program on Facebook and follow @JASPhotlineon Twitter.

Emma Approved, Episodes 68-72: FINALLY


By Jennifer Abella

Previously on “Emma Approved” … Emma was in a Very. Bad. Place.

Episode 68 (The Boy Is Mine): Emma feels awful she has to break Harriet’s heart again by breaking the news about Frank and Jane. Harriet’s like: No big deal, it’s cool. Emma is surprised —  but Harriet is more surprised that Emma even thought Harriet was in love with Frank. Harriet says she needs someone less intimidating … like the guy who saved her from embarrassment at the Elton engagement party. Who was Alex. RUHROH. Harriet says she’s pretty sure Alex returns her feelings. I like the body language here, with Emma physically drawing away from Harriet. Emma says maybe he’s just being nice and it’s Harriet’s turn to get mad at Emma. Turns out Alex asked if Harriet was seeing anyone right now. WHAAAT. Which is what Emma is thinking too. Harriet takes the high road and hopes Emma will be happy if Harriet and Alex work out. Alone again, Emma’s freaking out, saying she can’t believe it. She can’t see him with anyone, well, anyone except …  oh hello lightbulb, my name is EMMA. And just like that Emma realizes what we’ve all be pushing for since time immemorial.

Episode 69 (Strange Days): Emma is desperate to avoid Harriet. So desperate she calls in B-Mart as a diversion. YAY, Bobby! He and his floppy hair fix Emma’s computer in a jiffy. He goes to check Harriet’s computer “unawkardly” since she’s out but things indeed get awkward (although cutely so) when she returns. She asks him to lunch, but he demurs. Emma apologizes to Harriet about Alex and Bobby and generally ordering Harriet around, even though it kills her to say it, she says she will accept Alex and Harriet together if they happen. Alone with the camera, Emma comes to a tearful conclusion: She’s in love with Alex. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Just as she finishes saying that and moves on to other things (she’s going to start paying attention to people around her), Alex — yes Alex — comes through the door, unbeknownst to Emma and walks right back out. WAIT WHY DID YOU WALK AWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY, ALEX? WHY?

Episode 70 (At Last): Emma is being a responsible adult and doing hourly consultations again even though she hates them. Alex walks through the door and she immediately hugs him. She’s in tears. He says he came down because he knew the Frank and Jane news would upset Emma. I love that as wrong as she was about everything — Harriet/James, Frank/Jane, etc. — Alex is wrong in this case, when it matters the most. Everybody’s blind. She says she was never in love with Frank, which makes Alex so happy. He apologizes for the way he left, adding that didn’t make sense for him to leave when … there was someone in the office he cared about so much and he was miserable being away from her. (AWWWWW) Thinking immediately of Harriet, Emma plays it chipper and quickly changes the subject. Clearly disappointed, he mopes out of the office. Emma knows he wanted to tell her about him and Harriet, and she’s determined to be professional about it. So she goes to his office to face the music “as his friend,” she says. He asks if that’s what she wants. He realizes she has no idea what he’s talking about. He gets up and brings back flowers for Emma. She realizes: Flowers are romantic. He confesses he’s in love with her: If I loved you less, I could talk about it more. querioregfsdngmk;byt. Oh sorry I couldn’t see the keyboard through my HAPPY TEARS. Emma asks him about the business and their families and their friendship. And then they kiss and I just literally can’t right now.  HUZZAHHHHHH. She declares their kiss “very Emma Approved.” I concur. But then he asks what she was so worried about before. And it takes her a second to remember. HARRIET. Oopsie. 

Episode 71 (A Little Less Conversation): Now that we’ve got Alex and Emma settled, what to do about poor Harriet? Emma’s practicing her speech for Harriet when Alex comes in. He says she might not have to worry about it — and is interrupted by a very cheerful Frank, who’s there apologize to Emma. Frank even says Alex might not have made a move if Frank hadn’t come into the picture. Emma looks SO HAPPY, y’all. Frank fills us in on the Jane situation: She’s thinking about things and starting her own foundation. Frank explains why he sold his company: because Jane was angry his company had done something to hurt one of her causes. He’s obviously still in love with her. While Frank and Alex go off to have coffee, Emma breaks the news to Harriet about Emma and Alex. But Harriet already knows, and she’s taking it really well actually. Emma says she was wrong about everything and that Harriet she should do whatever feels right to her.

Episode 72 (After All): Here it is: the last episode. Harriet and Emma are affixing something to the ceiling of Harriet’s office — they’ve got some scheme cooked up, it seems. Aww, and Harriet is wearing a lovely dress with birds printed on it — nice costuming choice. Harriet startles when Bobby enters. Turns out somethings “wrong with her computer.” He can’t find anything, though, and gets up to leave; she panics to get him to stay. He’s looking at her like a http---makeagif.com--media-1-01-2015-bPDf0dcrazy person. Then she asks him for a second chance to go on his quest (the cranes, remember?). He’s surprised and happy. She asks him: If you got your wish after fulfilling your quest what would you wish for? AND THEN HE KISSES HER. Gooooo, Bobby! And suddenly a thousand paper cranes fall from the ceiling. [Side note: Many of the cranes were made by “Emma Approved” fans at an online-video convention.]  Meanwhile, Alex has to hold Emma back from going to Harriet’s office to peek. Alex asks if she’s told her father about her and Alex yet? He says he’d be willing to leave the business if that’s what Mr. Woodhouse wants. He’d rather he be her partner in life than in business if necessary. Harriet comes in to take off with Bobby. And it’s all YOU get a happy ending! And YOU get a happy ending!

At the end of the last video, Harriet discovers footage of Jane and Frank, so if you watch more videos, I recommend theirs, which show their interactions at her desk.

Final thoughts: Overall, “Emma Approved” really grew on me over time, even if it took me a while to love it. I wish we had seen Mr. Woodhouse, and the Isabella arc seemed like filler, but I thought the modernization of the novel (the workplace setting, the Boxx restaurant opening, etc.) worked well.


Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow @nextjen on Twitter. And remember to like Jane Austen Summer Program on Facebook and follow @JASPhotline on Twitter.

Emma Approved, Episodes 11-13 (plus Q and A): Oh, hi, Bobby Martin

Emma no
Martin? NOPE.

By Jennifer Abella

Previously on Emma Approved … Emma saved Annie’s wedding thanks to some subterfuge.

Episode 11 (Underwhelmed): The wedding took place. YAY! That’s one story arc done and dusted. I don’t know about you, but I was ready for this arc to be done with. It deviated from the book, where there was no doubt about Mr. Weston and Ms. Taylor’s nuptials, but at the same time it showed the lengths this Emma will go to to get the outcome she wants right from the get-go. Still, all in all,  I kept waiting for the actual story to begin.  Anyway, now, heeeeeeeeere’s Martin, Bobby “My Friends Call Me B-Mart” Martin, actually, he of the epically high hair, geeky yet endearing personality. Emma called him in mostly so she can check him out herself. He loves bird watching, and in poker, he won a year’s supply of nacho cheese. Awwww, Emma, he’s adorkable. Emma says, “Uh, NO, Jenny, he is NOT.” At least that’s what the look on her face says.

harriet and martin
Can you feel the love?

Episode 12 (The Rooster Obstacle): Emma has set up a webcam at Harriet’s desk. Well, that’s not creepy at all. Martin’s at Harriet’s desk fixing her desktop. Emma watches as the two awkwardly flirt with each other without knowing they’re flirting with each other. Meanwhile, Emma’s made up busy work for Harriet to keep her away from Martin — hence, ahem, the episode title. Harriet is researching suitable bachelors for a “client” (Harriet, unbeknownst to her). One name stands out: James Elton, a state senator. Oooh, I like this twist: A vicar and a state senator hold some sway within a community and must put forward a public persona. Emma asks Harriet to pick a bachelor. One guess whom Harriet picks.

Q&A 1 with Snarky Knightley: The Q&A’s are interspersed throughout the series with different characters answering questions from Twitter/Facebook followers; sometimes they add to the story in little ways, but mostly they’re just for funsies. The takeaways in this one: (1) Emma says Mr. Woodhouse doesn’t get out of the house much. (2) She hasn’t met Lizzie Bennet yet, which means the characters from the two Web series — “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” and “Emma Approved” — exist the same universe. Hmm, I wonder if these two ladies would get along….(3) Emma doesn’t think much about finding her soul mate — she’s too focused on helping others find theirs. And (4) speaking of soul mates, Alex arrives to answer this question: Why does Mr. Knightley work with Emma? He says he asks himself that question every day. Oh like we don’t all know why, dude.

Episode 13 (Tweetception): Emma tells Alex she’s found a new high-profile client: James Elton. Well, he will be once she convinces him he needs her help. She’s going to follow the advice she gave Harriet: “Find something out there and take it.” As she brainstorms ways to get Elton’s attention, Emma realizes he and Ryan are friends and follow each other on Twitter. So Emma thinks nothing of calling Annie — on her honeymoon! — to get Ryan to tweet something about Emma’s work. Annie, you should’ve let that call go to voice mail.

Next week: Eps 14-18.

Jennifer Abella is a TV/movie/pop culture/knitting/sewing/Jane Austen geek. Oh, and a total Anglophile. Follow @nextjen on Twitter.