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My Pride...and My Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice  

My Prejudice

I should have listened more when I was eleven. It only took forty years for some of this to sink in and really take hold, at least for some things. At that age I read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and found them to be mind numbing. What they were about, I truly don’t recall very much, but it made me dread the day I would have a whole year of English class devoted to British Lit. (Grade 12) and it was sure to include these two ‘gems’ and another not so 'fave'...Will Shakespeare. It was truly with great relief when the day arrived that graduation requirements had changed and a final year in English was no longer required!! Joy!! Yes, I was indeed a bit prejudiced when it came to English Lit.

Imagine my shock, horror and near dismay when my own students, yes, almost all, loved The Bard and Austen and poets too! Being homeschooled they had the opportunity for self-study that usually required little participation on my part (sigh of relief.) Annually they would take in two Shakespeare plays done by the traveling troupe from Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia…and yes, we even made a trip there to see a play as well. Even my non-reader took up Austen and finally became a reader. For that, I am thankful.

The BBC provided more than enough versions of all things Austen to give visuals to the books and then the version I have most enjoyed has been the Kiddie Lit. version of P&P. It is a counting book Hannah bought to share with Isabella and from her very first words, even she identified the important page…”2 Rich Gentlemen”…yes, we may all dream of marrying a rich man, and perhaps it is correctly said…”Jane Austen…giving women unrealistic expectations since 1811”, but even this tiny wisp of a child grasped the opening line from the story: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,"without knowing it. (I am doomed)


 Isabella, Auntie Hannah and Jane Austen. First Birthday.

So how did I want to proceed with this challenge? Admittedly, I love the fabrics and details of the fashions at the time. Unfortunately the fashion museum at KSU doesn’t allow photography, so doing a piece on that alone was put to an end quite abruptly.

I’m not a hopeless romantic…I dare say I probably don’t have a romantic bone in my body these days. So there is no great love story to relate. However, something you can’t see or visualize very well from reading the story, is something the movies have provided splendidly. The scenery. Yes, these movies succeed because they are not filmed on a set, they are on site at many of the still standing, still in good use, manor estates, and the gardens well maintained and preserved just as it was over two hundred years ago.  It is exceedingly easy to stand atop a hill, drinking in the view and fall madly in love with a place.  For this challenge, I have chosen to share, my spot on a hill, my view, my history.

My Pride


Welcome to Beannie Farm.

This is where I wished I had understood more at eleven when my father told me of The Farm. I thought he referred to the large field I could easily see from my bedroom window. Just beyond the chicken coop with an old antique style piece of rusted farm equipment, likely once pulled by horses. It wasn’t. It was only in the past ten years that my acquaintance with The Farm he referred to, the stories of the Roman wall around the corner and the Castle on the other side of ‘the burn,’ or river, came into focus for me.   


Somewhere in the mid to late 1700’s ‘my greats’ took up farming Beannie Farm on the road north of Braco, Scotland. The family in one form or another remained on the farm for nearly one hundred years. This puts the farm in the same time frame, but it is most definitely a working property, unlike the landed gentry of the P&P story. Many of the buildings on the farm have been standing for as long, although improvements and additions have no doubt been made over the years. There is indeed a castle nearby, below the view on the other side of the river, but it is mostly unseen as trees obscure it from view. Beannie Farm was on my quest list on my last trip ‘home.’ My cousin, Liz, kindly drove me back to explore and take photos. We spoke to many people along the way who added to our story.  


For me, it was taking in the breathtaking views around the farm, with a few cows and many sheep grazing on the rolling hills. I was in love with the view, breathing in the surrounding vistas… I could not imagine why anyone would leave here in exchange for the city, undoubtedly the management of a farm this size suffered its share of difficulties in keeping with the historic events as well as the possibility that siblings would move on to follow their own dreams and lives off of the farm.  My own 'greats', the last ones in charge of the farm, just moved into the wee town below, Braco, and became innkeepers. This is where my father would eventually grow-up living with his granny, mother and brothers, and where I too lived for a summer. The Roman fort and wall (yes, the grounds are still tiered and the wall still stands!) are indeed just around the bend from the inn, and are now marked with an official sign and a noted tourist stop.  I had doubted the veracity of Dad’s story because teachers said the Romans were never that far north (they were wrong.)  How often I wish I could go back and ask questions to fill in the blanks…a lesson learned too late, to listen when you are young.   

 

These are the views I fell in love with and seemed to fill a spot in my heart as soon as I saw it. I felt like I belonged. Photos unfortunately do not do it justice, but they do serve to remind me of what has been written on my heart.   


For this layout I chose to use 2-12 x 12 Mosaic Moments Grid Paper in Eggplant, a deep rich purple that brings out the tones in the stone of the farm buildings. I have also used Sand and Deep Spring Green Paper Tiles.


Page One

Without the photos added in the 2 x 3 blocks, see the full page layout for the photos I use to hide the directions.

In an attempt to bring an element right out of the Pride & Prejudice Regency Era, I have included some embroidery techniques. Using Viva Décor Cream Pearl Pen and a flat brush, I have included some brush embroidery, a technique that has often been used in decorating cakes. Recently I saw the technique applied to card making and thought, why not scrapbooks too?  

I began with a sketch, Sand tiles,Pearl Pen, flat brush and some water to keep the brush clean. You must work in little bits as the pearl dries quickly. Lay a bead of Pearl Pen and pull the brush through the edge of the Pearl in the direction that you want your design to develop. Leave an outer border untouched for a more authentic stitchery look. A cross-hatch pattern was used in the lower section of the thistle to represent the natural pattern. Running the brush across all the pearl sections leaves texture resembling stitching.

   

 

Additionally, I did a small embroidered piece in the 1 x 6 block size beneath the Journal block using unbleached muslin, ecru pearl cotton and my own random pattern to represent Scottish heather. So many of the fashions at the time P&P is set included white muslin fabric and tone on tone embroidery that is absolutely beautiful. This was one way for me to incorporate stitchery into the design.

Unbleached Muslin, ecru pearl cotton, heather pattern


I have used two of Tami’s page patterns for this challenge #35 and # 63. I have altered page pattern #35 to work alongside #63 as a pair. The two 2x3 blocks were dropped to line up with the same size photos on the second page.

MPP8


MMPattern63

For the top photo I thought the larger size would in a sense mirror page two, but it actually removed too much of the photo, namely the bend in the road that I thought was important to show, so a 2 1/8” strip divided into 1” squares was used. However, that division ran right through the buildings of the farm I was trying to highlight so I instead went with 1” x 2 1/8” strips.


Now the two sets of 1” squares from the bottom joined the space above the 2x3’s and were turned into 2 1/8” squares, a perfect spot for the brush embroidery thistles. 


I have included journaling in the center block that is just portions of what I have written here. In the 2x3 green blocks to either side I noted the views and directions for my future reference, but I thought I'd really like to add two photos in these spots, so the photos will be attached by a tape hinge to have both the photo and the directions. 


Page Two

The photo on the bottom right as printed did not fit into this size space, so I did a bit of editing.Because there is just so much greenery I had to choose what to sacrifice and the view was not going to be it..nor the sheep...so, here's what I did.

From this:

To this:

I think unless you are examining it under a magnifying glass it will pass.


Thanks so much for dropping by and sharing a portion of my heritage, my pride, and I hope, the humor in my prejudice; until next time…

Andrea

 

 

Shared by Andrea Fisher on June 1, 2014 | Memory Date: June 1, 2014
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