December 7, 2009

Inspired by Beatrix Potter and Tasha Tudor!

Mice Sewing and Carolers Singing

A story that is always fun to revisit at Christmastide, and especially enjoyed by Tillie Tinkham of Corgyncombe, is "The Tailor of Gloucester", by Beatrix Potter. "The Tailor of Gloucester" was employed to make a coat and waistcoat for the Mayor of Gloucester's wedding, which was to take place on Christmas Day in the morning. After he had cut them out, he went home and sent his cat out to get several things, including one penn'orth of cherry-coloured silk twist, to be used for one-and-twenty button-holes. Whilst the cat was away, the curious Tailor, upon hearing tip, tap, tip, tap, sets free the mice that the cat had captured under tea-cups. The Tailor became ill and Christmas was fast approaching. If you have never read "The Tailor of Gloucester" before, we are sure you will enjoy discovering who completes the coat and waistcoat, except for one button-hole with a little note attached stating "No More Twist". In Diane's photograph above, there is a charkha spindle of Diane's handspun silk. In the small bowl is cochineal for dyeing the silk a pleasant shade of cherry. Do you hear a tip, tap, tip, tap, tip?

Tillie Tinkham, Corgyncombe seamstress


Silk has been spun on the charkha spindle. The charkha is a delight to spin on! Diane's two-ply silk twist is in the upper compartment.

Elizabeth shows her sister Violet, and their bear Theodosia, some clothing choices for the fashionable bear in the Christmas Issue of "The Bouquet, A Journal for the Lady of Fashion", by Tasha Tudor. "The Bouquet" is a delightful publication that contains news, poetry, garden notes, fashions, the receipt of the month, music... and library items. The Library section lists in small volumes, the complete works of William Shakespeare. Amelia's library also boasts the complete works of Shakespeare in volumes just her size!

Elizabeth is thinking about where she put that fine piece of red material that would be perfect for a jacket for Theodosia, whilst Violet studies the fashions. Blue material is waiting to be made into a skirt, with scissors and thimble at the ready. Elizabeth used to model for the prestigious House of Bluebird, and now she is under the tutelage of Tillie Tinkham, of T. T.'s F. & F (Tillie Tinkham's Frocks and Fashions). Elizabeth is learning how to design and sew and she finds "The Bouquet" very interesting and helpful. Tillie Tinkham designed and made Elizabeth's charming apron.
The words for "The Holly and the Ivy" and an illustration of carolers are in "The Bouquet" by Tasha Tudor.
Carolers can also be seen and heard in "The Tailor of Gloucester", part of "The Word Peter Rabbit and Friends, Beatrix Potter".

Here is a link to:
"The Tailor of Gloucester" from YouTube.


In the video, the girl playing the violin and the child in the red hat both bear a striking resemblance to Sarah when she was little.
Here is a link to: the Victoria and Albert Museum page featuring "The Tailor of Gloucester". You can click on the pictures on that page to make them bigger.
Tasha Tudor's Advent Calendars and delightful dolls inspired Diane and Sarah to create their own Christmas Calendar.
Diane and Sarah's 4th Annual Calendar to Count "The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things" can be found by clicking here:

"The Days Until Christmas: Amelia's Favorite Things"
The link takes you to our web site "Our Favorite Things" where there is a special page with our Calendar with 25 round red windows covered with holly until the appointed day. Sometime during each day the window will change to the photograph of the day. The windows of the day are done alphabetically, going from A to Z and feature the dolls and their animals friends at Corgyncombe as they celebrate Christmastide joy!



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4 comments:

Lady Farmer said...

Simply Charming!

Anonymous said...

What will you do with your silk? I love your blog and website; finding a kindred spirit makes me smile!

Stay warm in this frightful weather,
From a little farm in Vermont,
Beth

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Beth,

I do several different kinds of needlework and make bobbin lace. I also knit and weave. I always like to knit something with fine yarn for Amelia and her family.

Glad you are enjoying The Corgyncombe Courant.

Your kindred spirit,
Diane

Paula said...

Dearest Diane and Sarah,

Your photos are so beautiful! I love seeing your lovely vignettes! You have such a gift for making everything so pretty! The Tailor of Gloucester is one of my favorite Beatrix Potter stories! Oh, your seamstress Tillie is so sweet! Elizabeth, Violet and her bear look very happy enjoying The Bouquet! Tasha was so talented! Thank you for sharing the link to the video. I must watch that!

Your advent is delightful!

Much love and blessings from your kindred spirit,
Paula

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