Shop the Etsy Way!

March 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm (fashion, history, news) (, , , , , , )

Would you like the “background”, the “story”, or the “pictures”? Probably the pictures!

This necklace just arrived in today’s post — from ENGLADY, in Campbell, California. It’s a silver, hand-crafted piece based on seals once used to … well, seal your letter!

On to some background…

In the early 19th century, when the young Smiths and Goslings were writing to each other, there were no envelopes. One simply folded the letter so that one square on the rear side of the sheet of paper was left blank.

Here’s a Jane Austen letter:

Even with parts of the full page not in this photograph you can see where the “direction” has been placed, as well as see the remains of its RED SEAL.

I’ll talk more about these next time — for I found such a wonderful little collection of different seals in the Smith&Gosling Correspondence at the Hampshire Record Office.

And it was while searching for some of these that I found Englady’s Etsy Shop. Kat specializes in Wax Seal and Gemstone Jewelry. Seals often wove together images and clever (sometimes French) phrases. As is the case with my piece: Telle est la Vie … Such is life: a ship on a stormy sea!

Imagine, too, this seal closing up your letter to mom, dad, sis, brother, friend, or lover. Telle est la vie… maybe literally, if you were oceans away.

In another installment I’ll tell you about seals as well as other seal jewelery that caught my eye. But today belongs to Kat! What a preciously tiny pendant, on an oh-so-delicate chain, fixed with a solid clasp. This necklace is EXQUISITE in person.

I was mildly worried about the length of the chain — but took Kat’s advice and ordered the standard 17-inches. It nestles perfectly around the base of my neck. If you want it longer, though, all you need to do is tell her!

I spotted the padded yellow envelope poking out of the mail box straightaway, but what waited inside? A true present:

a lovely card for keeping or passing on to friends, a handwritten note, and look at the box! All tied up in a bow. My mother and aunt, who both gave me money for my February birthday, said “buy yourself something” —  my mother adding, “something you can wear and not a book!”. Won’t they be ever so surprised.

And you will too, should you shop Englady at Etsy! Highly recommended.

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Happy Birthday, Augusta Wilder!

February 8, 2011 at 9:53 am (people, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

by Frenchie (Photobucket)

In a family with NINE children, never mind the in-laws, the Smiths of Suttons celebrated many birthdays over a calendar year. And today, February 8th, celebrates the birth of the first of those nine: Augusta Smith. Born the year after her parents’ March 1798 marriage, Augusta was “on the way” by the time her mother, also Augusta Smith, finished penning her delightful diary for that year. Alas! no — yet? — diary for 1799. But the thoughts Augusta/Mamma has about becoming a mother exist in the diary we do have. And thanks (once again!) to Mark Woodford, I’ve examined and been able to mull over these thoughts of hers.

But my birthday gift — to myself (birthday last week) and to Augusta Smith Wilder — was the unearthing of a letter, written in 1824, and penning by my Two Augustas! It pre-dates a letter to the same recipient which Angela in Alberta has transcribed.

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Book Raffle: Life in the Country (autographed)

February 2, 2011 at 1:35 am (books, news, research) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

To Celebrate the birthdays of
Mary Gosling and Charles Joshua Smith,
Two Teens in the Time of Austen
announces its first book raffle.
The gift that’s up for grabs?
An autographed copy of the British Library edition of

 Life in the Country: with Quotations by Jane Austen
& Silhouettes by her nephew
James Edward Austen Leigh

**This copy is signed by Joan Klingel Ray, Maggie Lane and Freydis Jane Welland**

**This copy is signed by Joan Klingel Ray, Maggie Lane and Freydis Jane Welland**

Edited by Freydis Jane Welland and Eileen Sutherland, book contents include:

“Jane Austen and Her Family”
Maggie Lane

“The Silhouette Art of James Edward Austen Leigh”
Joan Klingel Ray

James Edward Austen Leigh

Jane Austen

 with an afterword by Joan Austen Leigh

— To enter —

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December 16th

December 16, 2010 at 5:29 pm (books, jasna, news, people, places) (, , , , , , , , )

An important day, historically:

  • Jane Austen born at Steventon (Hampshire, England), her father’s rectory, 16 December 1775
  • Ludwig van Beethoven at Bonn, birth ‘celebrated’ on 16 December 1770, but the only known date is for his baptism on the 17th.
  • Marriage of Emma Smith to James Edward Austen, only son of the eldest son of the Revd. George Austen, 16 December 1828.
  • And the annual publication date of the latest edition of Persuasions On-Line, the Journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA).


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