February 27, 2010

Bundles and Baskets, Old Ways to Carry Things!

Beatrix Potter, Tasha Tudor, and Gertrude Jekyll: Kindred Spirits!
When Diane worked at the museum she carried baskets and bundles with her down to the farmhouse. She carried her lunch and a cup in an old basket covered with a cloth. Many other things could be carried bundled up in handwoven scarfs and handkerchiefs, such as knitting, wool, some sewing, and books. Many times a bouquet of flowers would be added to the load, as Diane liked fresh flowers in the parlour and would stop and pick some whilst on her way to work. It was a bit of a walk to the farmhouse, so an umbrella was usually included. Diane still uses baskets and bundles to carry things. Within the bundles are a frock and an apron, books, and skeins of yarn.


Some of Diane's collection of handkerchiefs and woven cloths. Besides being used for bundling, they can also be worn on the head or around the neck.

In Gertrude Jekyll's "Old West Surrey" she writes: "Sometimes, though always more rarely, one sees at a railway station a good old body with her light load of luggage done up in the nice old way in clean cotton handkerchiefs.

These large blue and white handkerchiefs may still be bought at the ready-made clothing shops in country towns. Fifty years ago, when paper was much less cheap and plentiful, they were more used for carrying purposes. Country women shopping, were always provided with them, as well as with a capacious basket.

Labouring men had the bread and meat they carried for their dinner, in a clean handkerchief, inside the rush dinner-basket. Now it is taken, for the most part, in a piece of newspaper, and the paper is thrown away by the side of the road."


Gertrude Jekyll's "Old West Surrey"
Gertr
ude Jekyll describes some of the old cotton handkerchiefs: "They are still to be had, and are commonly used as pocket-handkerchiefs by labourers, but their old use for wrapping and carrying is now but little seen." Diane feels such a kinship with Gertrude Jekyll and enjoys all the old fashioned things and old time ways in "Old West Surrey"! Gertrude Jekyll was oft' times not shy in speaking her mind!


Material from an old blue apron.


An old scrapbook Diane found in an antique shop has material samples for aprons. It also has many old receipts (recipes) cut out from magazines and newspapers, "The Schedule for Seasonal Housekeeping", "The Housekeeper's Daily Routine Schedule", "A Weekly-Schedule Outline for the Housekeeper", and "Simple Weekly Schedule With Day Labor".


Aprons were also used to bundle. Many is the time when in the garden Diane's basket was full and her apron was drawn up in a bundle and filled with more of the good Corgyncombe harvest.


Material from Diane's antique frock.


A warm antique flannel bonnet.


Beatrix Potter's Mrs. Rabbit, Peter Rabbit's Mum, is carrying an umbrella and a basket.


As Diane always says, "When the trees start getting shorter you know it has been snowing!"


A rabbit and chickadee last year, below the Corgyncombe bird feeder.


Corgyncombe Cottage has had several days of Nor'easters and winter storms. Most all of February has been days of fresh, new snowfalls.

In Susan Denyer's "At Home with Beatrix Potter", on page 19, a rabbit couple can be seen walking in the snow under an umbrella, the lady rabbit carrying a basket.


Diane's old umbrella.


Beatrix Potter's Mrs. Rabbit

In Beatrix Potter's book "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", Peter's Mum can be seen carrying an umbrella and a basket as she sets off to the baker's. Peter's Mum had a red with white dots handkerchief and Peter wore it about himself in "The Tale of Benjamin Bunny" as he and Benjamin went on an adventure to retrieve Peter's clothes that he had lost in Mr. McGregor's garden and that Mr. McGregor had put to use on his garden scarecrow. After Peter had reclaimed his coat and shoes, he and Benjamin used the handkerchief for bundling up the gathered onions.

Mrs. Rabbit's same red with white dots handkerchief can be seen again in "The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle" by Beatrix Potter. Lucie came across Mrs. Tiggy-winkle whilst looking for her own lost pinny and three pocket-handkins. Mrs. Tiggy-winkle has laundered and ironed Mrs. Rabbit's handkerchief and she and Lucie delivered the bundled laundry to their owners.

In Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Pigling Bland" Mother Pig sent Pigling Bland and his brother Alexander off on their journey with bundles that held their dinner.

Pig Robinson from Piggery Porcombe was sent by his Aunt Dorcas and Aunt Porcas to market with a basket in Beatrix Potter's "The Tale of Little Pig Robinson". Beatrix Potter writes: "In the basket were two dozen eggs, a bunch of daffodils, two spring cauliflowers; also Robinson's dinner of bread-and-jam sandwiches."

In "The Tale of The Pie and The Patty-Pan" by Beatrix Potter, Duchess the Dog has been invited to tea by Ribby the Cat. Before the party, they passed each other whilst walking, each carrying a cloth covered basket.

Ribby the Cat came to Tabitha Twitchit's door with a basket and umbrella in hand, in "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers" by Beatrix Potter. Ribby then used her umbrella for searching under the beds for Tabitha's missing son Tom Kitten.

Baskets used for carrying things can be seen in many of Tasha Tudor's books. Oft' times girls and women in Tasha Tudor's illustrations wear kerchiefs about their head.

In "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame, Tasha Tudor illustrated the Sea Rat resting on the roadside with his bundle. As Kenneth Grahame put it: "his small belongings that he carried were tied up in a blue cotton handkerchief".

Beatrix Potter, Tasha Tudor, and Gertrude Jekyll are Kindred Spirits to Diane and Sarah!

From "The Bundle Handkerchief" by Elisabeth Merritt Gosse: "The bundle handkerchief, like other things interwoven in Salem's history, has disappeared. Paper and string, prosaic, rustling, tearable, and to be quickly thrown aside, have taken its place. But in the minds of Salem children of a generation ago will always linger a respectful memory of the neat, sweet, fresh, handsome and always useful bundle handkerchief, with its dainty whiteness or its brilliant hues. The fashion of this world passeth away; but there are often revived more inconvenient and less picturesque fashions than that of the bundle handkerchief."

Here is a link to "The Bundle Handkerchief" by Elisabeth Merritt Gosse, which starts on the second half of page 62 (scroll down): "The Bundle Handkerchief"


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February 22, 2010

George Washington's Birthday!

A Day to Celebrate!
George Washington's Birthday marks The Corgyncombe Courant's 100th post!

George Washington's birthday is celebrated at tea with Washington Pie and Old-Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream with cherries on top. They are so delicious together! The receipts for Washington Pie and the homemade ice cream are from "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook". Tasha Tudor describes her ice cream as delectable and she is so right!


George Washington is honored on his birthday for his glorious services as General and President. In the days of Diane's ancestors, George Washington's birthday was celebrated with processions, music, speeches, dinners, and the discharge of cannons. It was, and is, a day of joy, respect, and gratitude. From the Johnsons' Library, "Life of Washington" by Jared Sparks, is shown above. Diane and Sarah have many ancestors who served in the Revolutionary War.


An antique towel commemorating George Washington's election as President.
The Corgyncombe Courant loves George Washington!


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February 20, 2010

Baking Cookies for Valentine Tea!

Tea in The Parlour
A Valentine's Day addition to the Corgyncombe Library, two old volumes of old fashioned apples.


Making cookies for Valentine tea. The receipt for "Christmas Cookies" is from "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook" and Diane made three different cookies with this same receipt: cut, pressed, and strawberry jam pie cookies.








An old Valentine from the Corgyncombe Valentine Collection, featuring a pony pulling a festive cart, children in old fashioned clothing, a lot of lovely forget-me-nots, and a big dog that reminds us of Rufus.


Rufus guarding the door at Corgyncombe Cottage.


Valentine Tea in the parlour by the light of the Christmas tree. None of the needles are falling off, as the doors are usually shut and the room remains quite cool. The parlour is used for special occasions, as parlours were used in the old days.


Diane and Sarah sent their own handmade Valentines to Tasha Tudor for Valentine's Day. Here is the end of a letter where Tasha Tudor thanked us for the Valentine package. She wrote: "Thank you endlessly for the best Valentine ever. Gratefully, Tasha". Wow, we considered that quite a compliment from someone who has made so many delightful Valentines!


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February 19, 2010

Ichabod A. Paine and A. Bronson Alcott

Ichabod walking about the garden and picking flowers for Auntie Nicey Ethlaurinda.
He was met whilst antiquing, which led to his employment at The Corgyncombe School.

Ichabod A. Paine is an Assistant Professor and helps Auntie Nicey with the children's Botany lessons. He has taken quite a shine to Auntie Nicey Ethlaurinda and oft' times can be seen picking bouquets to delight her with. Well, the bouquets delight Auntie Nicey, but she really isn't interested in him romantically. He reminds her far too much of Bronson Alcott (also known as "Abel Lamb" in Louisa May Alcott's "Transcendental Wild Oats"). Ichabod knows his field of Botany but other than that all he seems to do is have his head up in the clouds.


An old Botany book published in 1850.

In "Transcendental Wild Oats", Louisa May Alcott wrote about her family's trials at Fruitlands.
Louisa's father Bronson Alcott took his wife Abigail (May) Alcott and their little girls and, along with Charles Lane, aspired to build an utopian community, which they called Fruitlands. In Louisa's "Transcendental Wild Oats", Bronson Alcott is called "Abel Lamb" and his wife Abigail is called "Sister Hope" or "Mrs. Lamb". Bronson's partner in the utopian society, Charles Lane, is called "Timon Lion" and is also referred to as "Dictator Lion" by Louisa.

Louisa was only a child of ten when her father began his Fruitlands folly in 1843, which lasted only a few months. Louisa May Alcott wrote "Transcendental Wild Oats" many years later and it was published in 1873. Louisa describes the goings on at Fruitlands in a comical way but you also see in her writing how painful the whole ordeal was for her mother.

When speaking of the Fruitlands community, Louisa describes her mother as "unconverted but faithful" to her father.

The book "Louisa May Alcott, Her Life, Letters, and Journals", edited by Ednah D. Cheney, speaks of Abigail (May) Alcott and Fruitlands: "Mrs. Alcott did not share in all the peculiar ideas of her husband and his friends, but she was so utterly devoted to him that she was ready to help him in carrying out his plans, however little they commended themselves to her better judgment."


Dried flowers from Corgyncombe Gardens.

In this Fruitlands community the members were vegetarians, animal products were to be shunned as the leaders Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane did not want the community members to use animal products.


No one worked harder than Sister Hope and in "Transcendental Wild Oats" Louisa describes that upon being asked by a member of the practically perfect society: "'Are there any beasts of burden on the place?' Mrs. Lamb answered, with a face that told its own tale, 'Only one woman!'"

"Abel Lamb" and "Timon Lion" went out on their perfect society lecturing jaunts with no thought to the completing of the harvest of the crop at Fruitlands. In "Transcendental Wild Oats" Louisa describes how, due to an impending storm, the bringing in of the meager crop that managed to come up at Fruitlands was completed by Sister Hope, her little daughters, and the young son of Timon Lion. How pathetic to go out lecturing about the perfect society when such labor was left for the wife and little children to accomplish on their own.

The Corgyncombe Courant does not have too high of an opinion of Bronson Alcott, for you see dear readers, Abigail (May) Alcott was a cousin. Diane's 5th great grandfather Eliakim May was 1st cousin to Abigail (May) Alcott's grandfather Samuel May. As May kin, Diane and Sarah are outraged at the way Bronson Alcott treated their cousin Abigail (May) Alcott. Auntie Nicey Ethlaurinda feels the same way, as she is also of May ancestry.

The Corgyncombe Courant is doing more research into the Pratt family of New England that Louisa's sister Anna Alcott married into.


Looking Through The Corgyncombe Kaleidoscope




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February 16, 2010

Thankful Bacon Attends a Valentine Party!

Valentine Calendar Inspired by Tasha Tudor!
After school on Friday a Valentine party was held in Amelia's parlour for the little girls at Corgyncombe.
In the book "Dorcas Porkus" written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, Tom and Sylvie Ann's pig Dorcas Porkus escaped from having a bath after muddling in a puddle. When she escaped from the tub, Dorcas Porkus ran into the house and into the parlour, where Mother was having a quilting bee, running under the minister's wife's skirt.

Little Sylvie, who lives at Corgyncombe, has read Tasha Tudor's "Dorcas Porkus" and decided it would be fun to bring her pet pig Thankful Bacon to join the Valentine party.

Corgyncombe's Sylvie named her pet pig Thankful Bacon after a memorable name found in genealogical studies of early New England folk. Thankful Bacon the pig is thankful that she will never become bacon!
Thankful Bacon was so overwhelmed by the gaggles of giggling girls that she didn't want to come out from under the sofa. The girls thought it so much fun to see a piggy in the parlour! (When they are allowed in the parlour, the Corgyn at Corgyncombe Cottage also like to go under the sofa as well as to lounge on top. In "A Time to Keep", written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, in the February and December illustrations there are corgyn under the sofa.)

In old houses such as Corgyncombe Cottage the floorplan is such that all of the rooms have doors. In the old days usually all the rooms in the house were separate, with doors to close, as opposed to the more open, modern floorplans of today. Having the doors that closed would keep a heated room warmer. The parlour was usually reserved for special occasions. Usually corgyn and piggies do not have the free run of the Corgyncombe Cottage parlour.

After awhile, Sylvie was able to coax Thankful Bacon out from under the sofa.

Thankful Bacon sat on Sylvie's lap and Sylvie patted her on the back and told her what a nice little piggy she was!



Thankful Bacon is standing next to the book "Dorcas Porkus" written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. Sylvie gave Thankful Bacon a plate of heart cookies and a saucer of Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea. Thankful Bacon had a delightful time at the Corgyncombe Valentine party!!!
Tasha Tudor's Valentine Calendars and delightful dolls inspired Diane and Sarah to create their own Valentine Calendar to Count the Days Until Valentines Day.

Diane and Sarah's 4th Annual Doll Valentine Calendar "The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" can be found by clicking here:
"The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things"
"The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" Valentine Calendar features the dolls and their animal friends at Corgyncombe as they celebrate the joys and delights of Valentine's Day at this gorgeous wintery time of year!
The link takes you to our web site "Our Favorite Things" where there is a special page with our Calendar with 14 hearts covered with forget-me-nots until the appointed day. Sometime during each day the window should change to the photograph of the day.


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February 14, 2010

Nurse Elizabeth Provides Tender Loving Care!

Sylvie and Violet Require Soothing
Readers of The Corgyncombe Courant have been inquiring about the nature of Sylvie's injury. 'Twas around two weeks ago when Sylvie saw and overheard The Queen of the Night singing "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" in German, which translates into English as something like "Hell's vengeance boils in my heart". The Corgyncombe Courant prefers the instrumental music composed by Mozart to the storyline of "The Magic Flute". Mind you the Queen gives a convincing performance and it is not a pretty sight!



One look at the terrifying Queen wielding the dagger and Sylvie ran in the opposite direction, she slipped, fell down, and scraped her arm.


Violet, who too had been watching and listening, also took off running, her braids standing straight up on end!

As can be seen in the top photograph Nurse Elizabeth provided First Aid to Sylvie's scrape and bandaged it.
Nurse Elizabeth then helped Violet tame down her braids.


Nurse Elizabeth tenderly applied a heart to Sylvie's bandage.

Elizabeth suggested that perhaps they should instead concentrate on what is pleasant and lovely...


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February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day at The Corgyncombe School!

Valentine Calendar Inspired by Tasha Tudor!
Shepard puts a Valentine in little Tasha's Valentine Mail Box on her old fashioned school desk.

Little Tasha was named after Tasha Tudor because The Corgyncombe Courant was reminded of the portraits of Tasha Tudor when she was a girl painted by her mother Rosamond Tudor.


Old Fashioned Valentines.

Tasha Tudor's Valentine Calendars and delightful dolls inspired Diane and Sarah to create their own Valentine Calendar to Count the Days Until Valentines Day.

Diane and Sarah's 4th Annual Doll Valentine Calendar "The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" can be found by clicking here:

"The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things"

"
The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" Valentine Calendar features the dolls and their animal friends at Corgyncombe as they celebrate the joys and delights of Valentine's Day at this gorgeous wintery time of year!

The link takes you to our web site "Our Favorite Things" where there is a special page with our Calendar with 14 hearts covered with forget-me-nots until the appointed day. Sometime during each day the window should change to the photograph of the day.


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February 8, 2010

Violet Loves Lavender!

Valentine Calendar Inspired by Tasha Tudor!
At Corgyncombe's "Emily & Ethlyn's Potions & Perfumery", Violet loves working with lavender.
Violet has lovely violet eyes.

According to the "American Dictionary of The English Language" by Noah Webster, 1828, a potion is: a draught; usually, a liquid medicine; a dose.


Herbs and labels in Corgyncombe's "Emily & Ethlyn's Potions & Perfumery".


Dr. Cupid Corgi has gathered herbs to dry.
Based on Tasha Tudor's illustration, Dr. Cupid Corgi was sold by The Jenny Wren Press.

Tasha Tudor's Valentine Calendars and delightful dolls inspired Diane and Sarah to create their own Valentine Calendar to Count the Days Until Valentines Day.

Diane and Sarah's 4th Annual Doll Valentine Calendar "The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" can be found by clicking here:

"The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things"

"
The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" Valentine Calendar features the dolls and their animal friends at Corgyncombe as they celebrate the joys and delights of Valentine's Day at this gorgeous wintery time of year!

The link takes you to our web site "Our Favorite Things" where there is a special page with our Calendar with 14 hearts covered with forget-me-nots until the appointed day. Sometime during each day the window should change to the photograph of the day.


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February 7, 2010

Tasha Tudor Valentine Calendars and Books

Valentine Loveliness
Sarah amongst the flowers.

Diane's lovely and fragrant pink rose.

During the Days of Valentines the Corgyncombe Library displays some of their Tasha Tudor Valentine delights. In the upper left is Tasha's "Be Mine" Valentine Calendar. It has 14 doors to open with quotes behind them. The book in the upper right is Tasha Tudor's "A Time to Keep". "A Time to Keep" and "Around the Year" (not pictured) are such beautifully illustrated books for those who like to partake in all the seasons' monthly celebrations! There is always something nice to look forward to in the upcoming season. They are two of Diane's favorite Tasha Tudor books and she highly recommends them. Below "A Time to Keep" is the "Dr. Cupid Corgi" Valentine card, "The Jenny Wren Book of Valentines", and the "Be Mine" Valentine card. In the lower right is "Dr. Cupid Corgi's Laboratory of Love" Valentine calendar with 14 doors to open. In the lower left are the wrappings from a gift that Tasha Tudor gave Diane and Sarah. Next is "All for Love" filled with poetry, songs, and Tasha Tudor's Valentine traditions. It was a gift from Diane's husband.

Tasha Tudor's work is always so cheerful and lovely, especially in February near Valentine's Day when it's cold and snowy outside. The "Be Mine" Valentine Calendar and "Dr. Cupid Corgi's Laboratory of Love" Valentine Calendar are such fun to open as Valentine's Day approaches! Sarah was the model for the little girl in Tasha Tudor's "Be Mine" Valentine Calendar and Valentine card.

The Mum looks adoringly at her sweet little daughter.

Tasha Tudor's Valentine Calendars and delightful dolls inspired Diane and Sarah to create their own Valentine Calendar to Count the Days Until Valentines Day.

Diane and Sarah's 4th Annual Doll Valentine Calendar "The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" can be found by clicking here:

"The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things"
 
"The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" Valentine Calendar features the dolls and their animal friends at Corgyncombe as they celebrate the joys and delights of Valentine's Day at this gorgeous wintery time of year!

The link takes you to our web site "Our Favorite Things" where there is a special page with our Calendar with 14 hearts covered with forget-me-nots until the appointed day. Sometime during each day the window should change to the photograph of the day.


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February 4, 2010

Corgyncombe School Inspired by Tasha Tudor

"The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things"
Auntie Nicey Ethlaurinda is the teacher at Corgyncombe School. On the blackboard she has written some rules that she expects all of her students to follow and she will tolerate nothing less. Auntie Nicey Ethlaurinda loves her students, that is why she expects the best behavior from them. The children love Auntie Nicey, too, as they know that she wants what's best for them!

Auntie Nicey Ethlaurinda was named Nicey due to her close resemblance to Tasha Tudor's doll Nicey Melinda.
Tasha Tudor thought the name Ethlaurinda to be quite imaginative.

Everyone probably remembers the joy of presenting a special Valentine to a most admired teacher!


A sketch from Sarah's sketchbook of a teacher at her desk.


A Sunbonnet Baby at school from "Sunbonnet Babies in Mother Goose Land" written by Eulalie Osgood Grover and illustrated by Bertha Corbett Melcher.

Tasha Tudor's Valentine Calendars and delightful dolls inspired Diane and Sarah to create their own Valentine Calendar to Count the Days Until Valentines Day.

Diane and Sarah's 4th Annual Doll Valentine Calendar "The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" can be found by clicking here:

"The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things"

The Days of Valentines: Amelia's Favorite Things" Valentine Calendar features the dolls and their animal friends at Corgyncombe as they celebrate the joys and delights of Valentine's Day at this gorgeous wintery time of year!


The link takes you to our web site "Our Favorite Things" where there is a special page with our Calendar with 14 hearts covered with forget-me-nots until the appointed day. Sometime during each day the window should change to the photograph of the day.


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