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.
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."