Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Elizabeth Bennet Keepsake

First off, I  must say, Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy to my way of thinking. Always has been always will be.

Now that I cleared that up, I will continue.

As I sat outside in our tiny backyard one fine summer day, rereading Pride and Prejudice, I started thinking about Elizabeth Bennet's life after marrying Mr. Darcy. I know there are a million books written on this topic. But I wanted to bring Elizabeth and Darcy's happiness home to my tangible world. 

Here's how I did it. 

Of course Elizabeth and Darcy lived happily ever after. We all agree on that but what did Lizzy
treasure as a keepsake? What did Darcy give her for their anniversaries?

I am sure whatever the gifts were she treasured all of them. But like most of you know, things break.
 Kids sometimes pull on your necklace and the pearls fall off the string.
You keep thinking you're going to get that necklace restrung but you don't.
Perhaps a favorite dress wears outs, or a a ribbon falls of a hat. Well, I think Elizabeth had the same issues.

With this train of thought I came up with
an idea I'd like to share with all you Jane Austen lovers.

First I downloaded the Jane Austen font for free Jane Austen Font
 The font is really beautiful. So I printed some of my favorite quotes from
Pride And Prejudice.
Come on who doesn't love, Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her
or You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you?

Once I printed those out on a tan cardstock I cut out the quotes and then distressed the edges
with Ranger Distress Ink in Vintage Photo. Next, I used a sharp
paper distresser around the edges so they looked crinkled and worn.

I also ran a black inkpad around the edges to add more depth and distressing.
Then I cut out and added some double sided adhesive paper to the back of the quote.
Next I chose a vintage glass bottle.
Remember the broken necklace and ribbon on the hat? Here's where that comes into play. I placed inside of the bottle a few pearls from Elizabeth's broken necklace Darcy had given her years ago, and a piece of ribbon from a favorite hat he had bought her on their third anniversary.

I also slipped a little note inside that Darcy had written Elizabeth.
It says something about, it taught him to hope as he had scarcely ever allowed himself to hope . . .
The note was one of Elizabeth's treausured notes from Darcy.

Next I put a cork on top of the bottle. I sawed off the excess cork so it was flush with the edge of the bottle.

Then I peeled off the back of the adhesive on the quote and stuck it on the glass bottle.

Elizabeth's keepsake is almost complete.

Finally, I grabbed some household wax I found on the canning aisle at the grocery store. I melted a brick of it in the oven. It only takes a second or two.

Once enough was melted, I dipped the bottle top into the wax. I repeated this several times so it created
a build up over the cork, so the cork was no longer visible.

On my first jar, I accidentally dropped the jar in the wax. After it dried I scrapped off some of the wax
but the rest I left because I loved the effect it had on the label and the bottle itself. It gave them a filmy aged looked that was very appealing.

On my next bottle I held my hand steady as I dipped the jar( and drank my coffee with
my other hand). The result is a different feel entirely but one I like.
Once the wax build up on the top of the jar made me happy, I tied some antique lace
around the neck of the bottle and some jute on the other.

There you have it. Elizabeth Darcy's keepsake jar.

If you have a friend who loves Jane, as much as I do, wouldn't it be great to give her these
jars with a old copy of Pride and Prejudice?

You could even place the bottles in a flower basket like the basket Jane and Elizabeth
collected flowers in. Add a book to the basket and some tea and you have a wonderful girlfriend gift for any Jane Austen lover.

They lived happily ever after . .
The End


  1. What a clever idea!! Love it! I have a few girlfriends who would love such a Jane Austen themed gift basket.

    You should do one for "I Capture The Castle"...something with tea staining.

  2. That's just beautiful. I've been thinking about doing a Jane Austen girls night in and that would be a perfect party goody.

    I wonder if you can tint the wax to make it old looking?


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