A Boyfriend for Jane, Mice for Mr. T

(What is Jane holding? Answer at the end of this post.)

My Jane Austen action figure finally has a boyfriend!

And who is the dashing gentleman? Why yes! That is a knitted Charlie Chaplin.

(I KNOW. Let me repeat that.)

Charlie Chaplin! In knitted doll form!

Isn't he amazing? He was a gift from Deb, my favorite old movies enthusiast, and I just about keeled over and died upon opening the box. I love Chaplin. LOOOVE him! And doesn't he look handsome sitting atop my writing desk?

Jane is very happy indeed.

I always find it a wee bit sad that not many people are familiar with Chaplin's work (even though most can recognize his likeness). So, for Educational Purposes, here are three reasons why I admire Chaplin:

(1) He was the writer, star, and director of his films. This means he was in complete control, so each film is a work of art in itself. He made GORGEOUS movies.

(2) He was very, very, very funny. I once took a film history class, and I'll never forget the classroom's reaction the first time we were shown one of his movies. We were in hysterics. Many of us were crying, we were laughing so hard! The extra-cool thing is that his humor was very physical -- in the typical manner of the era -- and all of the stunts were performed BY HIM, not a stunt double.

(3) He was waaaay ahead of his time as far as women in film are concerned. He was one of the first in Hollywood to let women have lead roles and be equals in screen time. Go Charlie!

My favorite Chaplin film is City Lights, one of the sweetest, most romantic movies ever made. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who has never experienced the joy of silent comedy.

In it, Chaplin's tramp character meets a beautiful blind girl selling flowers on the street, and she mistakes him for someone wealthy. When he discovers an operation that can restore her eyesight, he decides to earn the money for it and sets off a series of classic Chaplin gags. I won't spoil the end, but I will say that the last scene is one of the most poignant moments in cinema history.

How cute is that rose on his lapel?

So -- returning back to my AWESOME NEW CHAPLIN DOLL -- my friend isn't just an incredible knitter. Deb also makes gourmet chocolates and specially-blended tea! Upon opening the package, Charlie was surrounded by dark chocolate sake rectangles, milk chocolate caramel turtles, and passionfruit and chai teas. YUM.

(Deb, will you please hurry up and open shop? I'm in agony here.)

And since I'm already on the subject of fabulous things my friends have made, how about this jar of mice?

Aren't they adorable? Those little ears! They're crocheted, and they were a gift from The Asheville Dilettante. Here's a picture of Mr. Tumnus attacking one of the red ones, clearly in ecstasy:

I stole one of the gray ones for myself. I'm hiding it in my desk, where Mr. T can't find it.


So if you've made it this far, and you're still wondering what Miss Austen is carrying, it's . . . a whip!

(You didn't know Jane was freaky like that, did you?)

My husband made it using a toothpick, tape, and a rubber band, and it's one of my favorite gifts EVER. Last August, when the zombies attacked, he gave it to me so that whenever I was angry or frustrated with my novel, I could whip it back into submission. HA HA HA!

I totally use it, by the way. It makes a very satisfying snap against my laptop's screen.


Have a great MLK Day tomorrow, everyone! Cheers to this remarkable man.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."


  1. It was like two posts for the price of one, because I got to read this AND the zombie posts.

    The zombie post was freaking awesome, by the way, and so totally true. I didn't get anywhere with my writing until I made some writer friends. I like to call them my imaginary friends, since they all live in the computer, but still.

    Speaking of friends, yours are freaky talented. Who knew you could do such things with yarn?

    Besides Jane. The way she holds that whip, I have a feeling she knows many, many things...

  2. I don't know much about movie history, but I enjoyed learning a little about Mr. Chaplin. Very cool.

  3. Curse you and your archives...I just found the James McAvoy illustrated post...

    Maybe our previous deal won't work out.

  4. Whoa! I love all the sharp pencils on your desk. It appears that someone is very anal. =)

    I love Charlie Chaplin too. People are so rarely exposed to him these days. Kudos to you for singing his praises!

  5. Kiersten -- NO! NO BACKING OUT! A DEAL IS A DEAL!!! James came over for brunch today, and I've already converted his half of our conversation to an MP3 file. Expect it in your inbox later this evening.

    Natalie -- I'm so glad! I always enjoy spreading the Charlie love.

    lotus -- The pencils were another gift from Jarrod. There's a line in You've Got Mail I always liked about a "bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils." So they were an anniversary gift a few years ago, instead of flowers :) Buuuut having said that: Yeah. I'm notoriously anal!

  6. I don't know, after all of those pictures...kinda left me wanting more.

    Still, as long as all you two talked about was me, I guess we can keep things as they are.

  7. (Yes, Kiersten, James, James, James, he is the standard against whom all movie men must be measured these days. Those eyes, all that hurt. Sigh.)

    Pretty mice, I must say, though Pims doesn't like them knitted, they must have real fur (horrible), and only white fur (disturbing). But if they do, oh if they do, then she'll gloat over them and carry them around and chew at them until they are completely gone. Nothing is left, really.

  8. (I KNOW, huh?!? [Stephanie, please feel free to kick me out of your comment trails at any time.] But guess what? MY HUSBAND HAS THOSE SAME EYES. It's wonderful.)

  9. Tone -- Mr. Tumnus (cough cough, speaking of James) generally prefers the gray ones with real fur (I know! ICK!). The knitted ones are great though, because they won't fit under my stove OR my china cabinet, which is where he likes to shove them. Which requires a yardstick to fetch them back out. Pims is SUCH a cute name, by the way!

    Kiersten -- Of COURSE we only talked about you. He's quite smitten. He asked me what your favorite flower was, but I told him I'd have to get back to him. In the meantime, I think he's sending a teddy bear or something. I tried to talk him out of it (I didn't think you were the teddy bear type), but he had this mad gleam in his eyes. You know. Those same eyes YOUR HUSBAND has, lucky duck.

  10. Yeah, I'm a sucker for big blue eyes, what can I say.

    And the answer is lilies. You're a peach!

  11. I always knew Jane had a dominatrix side to her personality....
    I had no idea Charlie Chapin was that fascinating. Definitely gonna check out City Lights.

  12. Hee - they make a good couple. I'm sure Charlie loves that Jane has a whip.

    Can I have Mr. Tumnus? He is sooo adorable (even while sinking his teeth into a mouse).