Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saisons sampler - May 2009

I couldn't resist starting another Anagram Diffusion design after finishing the Elements sampler earlier this year!

Design: Anagram Diffusions, 4 Saisons
Thread: DMC 498 & B5200
Fabric: 32ct olive green Belfast linen

I finally got the entire border finished last week and started the ornate 'A' this week! I got to work on the first two rows of designs this weekend ;)

As always, I love working on Anagram Diffusion designs! I'll have more updates soon, hopefully!

Until next time!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday :)

Something nice on a Friday! Lovely purple hydrangeas!

I should have some stitching pics to show you this weekend! We are working on the yard tomorrow, but any spare time I have, I will be stitching and taking photos ;)

Until next time!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rosaline Woodbridge Summary

Rosaline Woodbridge: or the midnight visit. A romantic tale by Hannah Maria Jones
London : George Virtue, 1827
712 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.

If you don't want to read my VERY long summary of Rosaline Woodbridge, please check out this summary!

The book begins with the background story of Rosaline Woodbridge and her connection with the St. Aubyn family. Rosaline is the daughter of a gamekeeper, Will Woodbridge, who works on the family’s estate. After the death of her mother, Rosaline is educated at the instruction of Lady St. Aubyn who took pity on the child. She is raised as a companion to Emily St. Aubyn.

The St. Aubyn’s son Frederic was also raised in the company of Rosaline; he grew to admire her greatly. When Rosaline was fifteen years old, the brother of Lady St. Aubyn, Mr. Somers, paid them a visit. He observed the interactions between Rosaline and Frederic and concluded that Rosaline had ‘designs’ on Frederic. Lady St. Aubyn allows Mr. Somers to take Frederic away for an extended visit to see if his passion for Rosaline abates. Unfortunately, when he returns, he speaks of nothing but Rosaline and compares her manners and beauty to all the women he had met while staying with his uncle. His mother decides that the best course of action is to take Frederic and the rest of the family abroad to the Continent; Rosaline is no longer favored by the St. Aubyns.

The ‘start’ of the book brings us back to the reception awaiting the return of Frederic St. Aubyn and his family who have come back from their travels abroad. It has been 3 years since Rosaline and Frederic have met. At the party, Frederic is seen in the company of Lady Julia Dewarden who knows of his regard for his childhood friend Rosaline. Julia always them to converse together before Rosaline’s father takes her away quite suddenly after seeing one of Frederic’s guest Lord Winterborne.
When they arrive at their cottage, Will tells his daughter that he must leave and that she must go and stay with a woman named Mrs. Thomas. He does not tell her why they must leave their home, but seems quite agitated and crazed. Rosaline questions her father to what has caused this sudden departure, but gets no answers. Her father leaves and Rosaline is left to settle their affairs before she can leave for Mrs. Thomas’ residence.

Upon arrival, Rosaline realizes that Mrs. Thomas is not a polite woman, she is an overzealous woman in terms of her religion. Rosaline eventually leaves to take up lodgings at a friend’s house in town. Jenny was a former servant of the St. Aubyn family and remembers Rosaline fondly and allows her to stay for a monthly rent. Unfortunately, Jenny and her husband have been secretly in correspondence with Frederic St. Aubyn. He made several visits, trying to convince Rosaline of his feelings, but she would not accept his proposal. Rosaline had heard that Frederic was to be married to a lady in London and that his proposal was a scandalous one, an offer to be his mistress.

Rosaline is taken ill with Frederic’s persistent visits to assure her that he still loves her. She is nursed back to health by Dr. Lenox, an old doctor who has been widowed for a long time. One night when Rosaline is coming back from visiting her father secretly in town, a party containing Mrs. Thomas, swears that Rosaline and her father tried to rob Mrs. Thomas. She is made to stay with a friend of Mrs. Thomas’ named Mrs. Godwin. She is taken ill again and once again nursed by Dr. Lenox. He remembers her fondly and gives her an introduction to a friend of his, Lady Lessington, a low-spirited lady whose daughter is a frivolous and cares nothing for her mother’s company.

Rosaline lives quietly with Lady Lessington as her companion and enjoys the comforts of that position. Her friendship with Lady Lessington is the cause of jealous with several wealthy friends of the lady, namely the Bradshaw family: a mother and her two daughters. Both of the sisters are intent on finding a husband and when Tyrawley, the nephew of Lady Lessington, comes to visit they constantly put themselves in his way. When they see that his attentions are engaged to Rosaline, they decide to start vicious rumors about their relationship. Sadly, Lady Lessington believes the Bradshaw sisters and Rosaline flees the household to Mrs. Crofton’s house who was a milliner for the Lessington family.

As Rosaline tries to figure out where she will go next, Mrs. Crofton communicates to Frederic the whereabouts of Rosaline. He persists in his misguided love for Rosaline and sends her letters daily. Yet again, she doesn’t succumb to him because he is a libertine and is known throughout London as such. Rosaline’s father comes back and she goes to live with him. That life doesn’t last long, her father constantly spends the last of her money from Lady Lessington on liquor. One night Rosaline realizes that her father has informed Frederic of her location. He continues to assure her of his feelings. One day shortly before her father and Frederic return, Rosaline makes an escape, but only makes it to the first floor of the building before Frederic and her father discover that she has fled and are coming down the stairs. She meets a lady in the hall and begs her to let her stay with her. While staying with Mrs. Elmore, Rosaline meets her friend Mr. Arundel Ramsey, a poor gentleman. They form an immediate attachment to one another. He gives her a letter of introduction to a friend of his named Lady Maria Cornwall. This lady was a companion of Ramsey’s when they were growing up together. He refused to marry her at the insistent of Maria’s father and was banished.

Rosaline greatly enjoys the company of the plain, vivacious Maria. They attend numerous parties, plays, and other social outings. Maria’s father approves of Rosaline, but insists that she resembles Lady Rosaline Dewarden, though she swears that she has never known the Dewarden family besides Julia Dewarden, friend of Frederic. With the help of Rosaline, Maria persuades her father to help Arundel with his debt. He is sent away to the Continent to relieve it.

Fate forces Rosaline out of the Cornwall family when Lord Cornwall realizes that Rosaline and Arundel have formed an attachment. He thinks that his daughter has been slighted, when she has in fact given Rosaline her blessing. Before leaving, Rosaline’s father showed up again and asks for more money in order to make a fresh start in Switzerland, Maria lends a hand and gives Rosaline the money for her father.

After leaving the Cornwall family, Rosaline falls ill again and is nursed by Dr. Lenox who insists on taking her away from the city to the countryside to stay with two ladies who will look out for her, Ellen and Mrs. Purdon. Mr. Lenox proposes marriage to Rosaline, but she refuses him and tells him of her love for Arundel. They remain friends despite her refusal.

While staying in the country, one of Frederic’s friends Lord Roseburn takes residence nearby. He takes a fancy to Rosaline and tries to accost her, but he is thrown out of the house. During this time, when Rosaline attempts to write to Dr. Lenox about Lord Roseburn, she learns that he has died from a fever, which he caught from a patient and passed off as a mere cold. Tyrawley, nephew of Lady Lessington, is heir to Dr. Lenox’s estate and fortunate. Dr. Lenox had set aside some of the fortune for Rosaline’s inheritance when she came of age. She is sent to the household of the Stanhopes, who will be her guardians until that time. Before residing with the Stanhopes, she hears of the accidental death of Lord Roseburn.

Rosaline’s life with the Stanhopes, a minister and his wife, is a good one. They enjoy one another’s company and love her like their own daughter. One night at midnight, Rosaline and Mrs. Stanhope hear noises downstairs of robbers who have broken in. When they come into Rosaline’s room, she shoots a man who has accosted Mr. Stanhope and is trying to kill him. The man who has been shot is her own father Will Woodbridge.

As he lies dying he confesses his sins and tells the story of Rosaline’s birth. Will was the illegitimate son of Lord Winterborne. He was not treated with the same kindness as his half-siblings and did not figure into the inheritance of the family so he vowed revenge. Rosaline’s parents, the Earl of Winterborne and Lady Rosaline Dewarden, had both died. The lady had died in childbirth; Ormsby (Will Woodbridge) traded his own wife’s dead baby for that of Rosaline when the lady passed. No one knew that the child buried with the earl and his lady was not their child.

The current Earl of Winterborne is not the rightful heir to the fortune of the family so Rosaline inherits all. Arundel comes back to England and eventually confronts Rosaline with the help of Tyrawley and the rumors about Roseburn are cleared up. Arundel is related to Roseburn and he assumes to title of Lord Roseburn. He and Rosaline are married. In the end, they meet with the Lessington and Cornwall families and all misunderstandings are forgiven.

Would I read another Hannah Maria Jones novel if I came across one? Yes, I think I would.

Until next time!

In a Dickens frame of mind!

I must be in a Charles Dickens mood lately! I picked up the newest adaptations of Little Dorrit and The Old Curiosity Shop recently when they hit the shelves. I’m a fan of Andrew Davies’ version of Little Dorrit. My favorite characters are Flora with her awkward ‘girlishness’ even though she is pass her youth and Mr. Pancks, the debt-collector with his constant puffs and snorts. I love how Andrew Davies brought these two characters to life.

I’m currently reading Little Dorrit; it will take me a while since I’m only reading it in the morning and on my lunch breaks at work.

My favorite passages so far:

“In our course through life we shall meet the people who are coming to meet us, from many strange places and by many strange roads, and what it is set to us to do to them, and what it is set to them to do to us, will all be done.” II – Fellow Travelers

“Flora, always tall, had grown to be very broad too, and short of breath; but that was not much. Flora, whom he had left a lily, had become a peony; but that was not much. Flora, who had seemed enchanted in all she said and thought, was diffuse and silly. That was much. Flora, who had been spoiled and artless long ago, was determined to be spoiled and artless now. That was a fatal blow.” XIII – Patriarchal

And I can’t tell you how much I love the illustrations by Hablot Knight Browne, known as Phiz. I remember reading David Copperfield during grad school and I loved looking at the illustrations.

I was recently at one of the local antique shops in town and they had a set of Charles Dickens novels, which you know I was going to grab, right?! :)

The works of Charles Dickens
Collier’s unabridged ed.
New York : P.F. Collier, 1870?

While I was at the antique shop, a very nice Russian man was helping the cashier to bring the books up to the front counter. He said, "You like Dickens? Most people don't know Dickens." Well, I'm sure he is known, if only for The Christmas Carol ;)

If you haven't seen any of the new adaptations of Charles Dickens' works on BBC you should stop by your local library, video store, etc. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Harvest Blessing framed!

My aunt and I had gone by a framing store in Satsuma called Saps to get my Harvest Blessing design framed. I was able to pick it up last Saturday, just in time for Mother's Day!

What do you think? Isn't it a great job of framing?! My aunt helped to pick out the mat board and the frame color. I thought the LHN design was perfect for my mother since she loves to garden!

Also for Mother's Day, I got an Estonian lace knitting book for my aunt Snowbird and my other aunt the Illustrated Kitchen Bible since we all love cookbooks with great photos :)

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day!

Until next time!

Garden goodies

Hi, everyone! It's been a while since my last post. As you may know if you've read my aunt's blog that our grandmother passed away last week. It was quite sudden and unexpected. I thought I'd post something that she would have liked: pictures of the garden that we started in her backyard in April.

My sister had planted some strawberry plants in one of the pots on the front porch! I had 'stole' this one off yesterday :) I'm having visions of strawberry shortcake, preserves and jam! Hopefully we get enough this year to freeze a bag or two!

My mother jokes about the pot that has the strawberry plants because it's been around since the 80's, but I think it's doing a great job of holding our strawberries! My mom, aunt, and I went by Lowe's today and picked another pot for some more strawberry plants. I just got finished planting those so I hope they do well.

In the garden in the backyard we planted all sorts of veggies. Everything seems to be doing well expect for my lettuce and cabbage, which have been attacked by bugs O_o" Grrr!! Besides that we have blue lake green beans growing along with some carrots, squash, corn, pumpkins, and lots of tomatoes!

When I was at Target earlier in April I decided to pick up some corn plants. LOL It was just an experiment, I wasn't at all sure that they would do well, but I am quite surprised how they have grown. I have two corn plants growing :)

My sister's tomato plants! These are her beefeater tomotoes! WOW! I'm still convinced that she sings to them, they are quite well taken care of :) My sister has gone to Birmingham for the weekend to visit some friends and she took one or two tomatoes that were ripe and a few strawberries to share!

She even has one that is becoming ripe! I can't wait to taste it. You can't beat home-grown tomatoes! It makes me miss my grandmother's canned tomatoes when we were kids. She would always make chili with those canned tomatoes, which was great in the winter when you wanted some warm for dinner.

Cherry tomatoes. Yummy! I love these little tomatoes in salads :) This morning I actually picked a few off the vine that were getting ripe.

Yummy! I can't wait to eat these....I really don't want to share ;) You know what's really good, a sandwich with cheese, mayo, and tomatoes! LOL The Tesco stores in England always had those sandwiches in their deli about addicting!

One last photo of the hydrangeas on the side of the house! Aren't they lovely?! It makes me miss walking past all the little gardens in Egham's subdivision behind Royal Holloway :) The British definitely know how to make a small space look amazing with their landscaping!

I'm sure our grandmother would be proud of our garden! Hopefully, I'll have more pictures to show later on during the summer of our produce.

Until next time!