March 25, 2011

A Surprise Encounter with Samuel Whiskers!

Stolen Items for a "Roly-Poly Pudding"!
The rat in the portrait above is not nearly as horrid looking as the one seen in the barn last evening!
Last evening, as I was about to hitch up the chain on one of the goat pens, what should pop up from the other side of the wall, just a couple of inches away from me, but a big fat rat! His head suddenly came out from behind and over the goat pen wall! We were face to face! I immediately jumped back, screamed to the rafters (which are 45 feet high) and started jumping up and down screaming "It's a Raaaat!!!!!" When Sarah realized what was going on she started screaming, also up to the rafters! My husband stood there and nonchalantly said "You had better set a trap."

In "The Tale of Samuel Whiskers" or "The Roly-Poly Pudding", written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter, Samuel Whiskers and his wife Anna Maria steal a pat of butter, a rolling pin, and some dough. In the photograph above, Samuel Whiskers is seen running away with a pat of butter. Below the book is a pat of hand churned butter from Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille.

In Beatrix Potter's book there are illustrations of the goings on in the dairy whilst the mischievous, missing kittens were being sought. Whilst Tabitha Twitchit was looking for her missing son Tom Kitten, another one of her kittens, Mittens, had hidden in an empty jar near the milk pans in the dairy. When Tabitha finally found her, Mittens exclaimed to her mother that she had seen "a dreadful 'normous big rat" who swiped away a rolling pin and a pat of butter. Another kitten, Moppet, reported that she had spied a woman rat who had pilfered some dough from Tabitha's dough pan. Upon hearing the news of the stolen items, and remembering a roly-poly sound in the attic under the floor, they feared that perhaps a roly-poly pudding, with Tom as the main ingredient, was in the make...

John Joiner the Terrier was summoned to find and free Tom Kitten. In the photograph above, he can be found at the bottom of the page carrying his bag of tools.

In "The Private World of Tasha Tudor", by Tasha Tudor and Richard Brown, Tasha speaks of trapping a rat that reminded her of Samuel Whiskers.


March 23, 2011

The Colours of Sunset and Flower

March Beauty!

As evening approached and the crocus closed, the sun set, providing colour in the sky similar to that of the early spring flower.

The first two photographs were taken in March 2006.
The third photograph was taken in March 2011.


March 21, 2011

Gifts From The Mousekins

Mousie Gifts, Fashions, and Tea in Tillie's Parlour
Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress Mouse for the dolls at Corgyncombe.
She is the proprietress of Tillie Tinkham's Frocks and Fashions.
Last week a package arrived in Tillie parlour, having been transferred to Finch Post, and then delivered to Tillie's cozy mouse dwelling at Corgyncombe. Inside were cards, a letter, a housewife, a Mousekin Mills Catalogue, and a pincushion and thimble in a bandbox.

Tillie received cards and letters from the Mousekin family.

Missy Mousekin made a housewife needlekeeper that unbuttons and opens up to find pins, a needle, and a needle threader. The Mousekins included a Mousekin Mills Catalogue.

Cards from the Mousekins and the back of the Mousekin Mills Catalogue.

The little red eyed mouse is ready to take a look inside the Mousekin Mills Catalogue. Wrapped in the bandbox were the satin pincushion made by Missy and her Mummy Millie Mousekin and a thimble made by Millie's husband Owen. Tillie and her Mouse friends look over the Mousekin Mills Catalogue. After they finished looking at the book, they had tea.


March 19, 2011

Big Moon O'er Corgyncombe!

Lovely Lunar Light!


Corgyncombe Reindeer Herders!

Furnishing the Lavvu!
A huge winter storm brought lots of moisture into Corgyncombe's hills and dales in the form of snow, snow, snow! There was a four foot drift in front of the barn door one morning and the snowfence on the hill had totally disappeared! Diane has always fancied a Lavvu of her own and has been gathering interesting items for its interior. A lavvu is a dwelling that looks like a tent that the reindeer herders could frequently move as they traveled with their reindeer. In the photograph above are big reindeer boots, little boots, a decorated tea cozy, a teapot not from Lapland but Diane thought it fit in quite well, and a woman reindeer herder's hat. The reindeer herders didn't wear socks but stuffed their boots with dried grass.

Diane is quite used to life in the tent as she used to spend part of her summers climbing mountains and living in a tent and cannot wait to have her own lavvu. One can imagine on a morning with all that snow drifted round a lavvu could be quite snug!

Lydia, Corgyncombe's reindeer herding pup, atop a snowbank.

Little boots. Aren't they sweet with their little turned up toes?

An old postcard showing a reindeer herding family outside their dwelling.

"Children of Lapland" the little child reminds Diane of her husband when he was a little lad. Diane's daughter Sarah has Norwegian and Swedish ancestry on her father's side.

"Norwegian Handknits, Heirloom Designs From Vesterheim Museum" by Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel. The book has patterns for sweaters, hats, mittens, socks, a knapsack, and other knitted and felted items. Intermingled with the patterns are antique photographs. Some of the patterns are based on old designs with a more modern interpretation. The knapsack on the cover features the Selbu star motif. The pattern originated in an area near where some of Sarah's Norwegian ancestors came from.

Diane's handspun, handknit hats have a star much like the Selbu star. The pattern for these hats is not in "Norwegian Handknits". The hats above and below were amongst the first projects that Diane made with her own handspun 2 ply yarn. The gray, black, and white are the natural colours of the sheep. One Christmas Diane made hats similar to those above except with some dyed yarn as surprises for her father and her uncles. Needless to say they were delighted!

One of the patterns in the book "Norwegian Handknits" is a "Sami Sweater". This sweater was inspired by a garment knit in the 1940s that was in turn inspired by the original Sami garments. Sami are reindeer herders in Scandinavia. Diane and Sarah prefer the 1940s knitted garment as it has a fluted skirt to the straight sided modern sweater. There is also a pattern for matching mittens to go along with the sweater.

In "Folk Mittens, Techniques and Patterns for Handknitted Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski, there are patterns for mittens inspired by Lapland, Norway, Sweden, and many other countries.

In "Tasha Tudor's Old-Fashioned Gifts", by Tasha Tudor and Linda Allen, there are some Scandinavian patterns for mittens and slipper-socks.

In "And It was So", Tasha Tudor illustrated children from several different lands dancing round in a circle with a World Map on the wall behind them with the dove, symbolizing peace, above the map. One of the children is a little girl wearing the traditional clothing of the reindeer herders of Scandinavia.

Priscilla Francelia, also known by her friends as Frizzy, and her Baby Doll in reindeer herding outfits made by Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress mouse for the dolls at Corgyncombe. Frizzy is petting the little reindeer. Someday, when the reindeer grows up, it will have antlers like the ones Frizzy tied on. Frizzy and Baby Doll think that the little reindeer is so sweet! In the background, a child's Saami and Norwegian language book by Margarethe Wiig is open to one of the many illustrations of reindeer herders.

"Norsk, Lapp, and Finn or, Travel Tracings From The Far North of Europe" by Frank Vincent, Jr.

A New Year's card

Here is a link to: An Old Photograph of Reindeer Herders' Dwellings


March 17, 2011

'Tis St. Patrick's Day!

Corgyncombe Green!
Emma Lydia pretty in green!

A Corgyncombe Shamrock

Becky with a basket full of Phidelia Finch's eggs!

Molly pouring a cup of Tasha Tudor Tea.
Shamrocks decorate the cookie plate.

Sarah and Daisy Petals.
Sarah's great great great grandmother was Bridget from Ireland.
The Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden is in the background with a large potato crop to the upper left.

Red Pontiac Potatoes from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden.

Potatoes in the process of being riced.
In "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook", Tasha speaks of putting potatoes through a ricer to mash them.

The ladies of Corgyncombe were up into the wee hours last night settling in dear little Cecily Parsley.
More to come later!


March 14, 2011

Tasha Tudor, Gardening, and Old Fashioned Tasks

Natalie Wise Has Lovely Article About Tasha Tudor Published!
Congratulations to Natalie Wise, Office Manager of the Rookery at Tasha Tudor and Family, for having her lovely article about Tasha Tudor published! The article appears in the latest issue of MaryJanesFarm magazine. 'Tis Natalie's sweet voice you hear when you make your order at Tasha Tudor and Family. In the article, Natalie speaks of gardening and Tasha wearing her well used wellies. This brought back to us fond remembrances of Tasha in her wellies!

Diane knits her handspun yarn into hats, sweaters, scarves, mittens, and socks. In the basket above is some of Diane's handspun yarn naturally dyed with the tomato plant.

Tomatoes from the Corgyncombe Vegetable Garden.
During tomato season, Diane thinned out the growth on the tomato plants and, along with the vines and some small green tomatoes, made a dye bath to dye some of her handspun. The yarn was mordented previously with alum. The colour resulting is a soft, creamy yellow!

The big old brass dye kettle filled to the brim with tomato vines and little green tomatoes.

The vines are cooked down and then left to cool.
Then the liquid is put through a strainer to use for dyeing the yarn.

The tied skeins are taken out of the dye pot and rinsed several times and then hung up to dry.

The handspun yarn dyed with tomato vines beside the hand coloured plate of flowers in the antique book
"New Cyclo
paedia of Botany and Complete Book of Herbs".

Tasha Tudor was delighted when I gave her some of my handspun two-ply wool yarn. My handspun wool yarn was knit into socks.

Tasha was impressed with the quality of my spinning that made for long wearing socks.

In a letter to Dia
ne, after lamenting the demise of one of our kindred favorite things, Tasha went on to say:

"I daily wear the h
omespun socks you made me. Every morning and every evening I put them on when I go to milk my goats. They wear like iron."

It's such a nice, comforting thought, Tasha donning those socks along with her wellies to keep
her feet comfortable and cozy every time she milked her goats... an old fashioned task that I, too, do twice daily.

Sarah watching Tasha Tudor milking her goat. Notice that Tasha has her wellies on.

Another page in the "New Cyclopaedia of Botany and Complete Book of Herbs".
me of the plants in the book Diane recognizes as dye plants she has used.

The garden not only provides delicious, wonderful food but colour for our clothing, as well!

Here is a link to another Corgyncombe Courant post with more dyed yarns, gardening, goats, and canning:
The Corgyncombe Agricultural Fair and Exhibition!

Here is a link to: Tasha Tudor and Family
Here is a link to Natalie's blog: Rookery Ramblings


March 10, 2011

Auntie Annabelle M'liss, Please Pass the Bickies

Bickies for Baby Dolls and Crackers for Quackers!
In Amelia's old fashioned kitchen at Corgyncombe, Annabelle M'liss is wearing an antique frock and apron.
Corgyncombe's Annabelle M'liss was named after Tasha Tudor's doll Annabelle in "A is for Annabelle" because she reminds us so of her.

Clara asks her Auntie Annabelle M'liss if she could please reach atop the cupboard and bring down a box of Baby Bickies from Darling & Domestic Daisy's Baked Goods. Clara recently received an antique Baby Doll as a gift and her Baby Doll is hungry!
Many of the little girl dolls at Corgyncombe have their own Baby Dolls because playing with Baby Dolls is such fun! Annabelle M'liss tells Clara what a sweet Baby Doll she has.

Clara thanks Auntie Annabelle M'liss for retrieving the delicious bickies!

Darling & Domestic Daisy held a bake sale a couple of years ago to help bring Elizabeth's Mummy home after she was shipwrecked on an island. The "b" on the tags stands for buttons. Tasha Tudor had the children use buttons to buy goods for their dolls and animals. The currency for the dolls at Corgyncombe is buttons, as well.

Daisy is especially thrilled with the splendid paper roller for wrapping her baked goods. The little bell atop the roller makes a ting a ling every time she makes a sale!

Above, Daisy poses for the Corgyncombe Courant. She tells her Baby Doll to smile for the camera.
Daisy is holding one of her wrapped boxes of baked goods with Baby Doll smiling from her bassinet. The little basket that Baby Doll is in reminds us of the baby in the basket on the daisy bordered cover of "The Springs of Joy" illustrated by Tasha Tudor.

Darling & Domestic Daisy's Baked Goods is one of the official businesses advertising at
The Corgyncombe Magic Lantern Theatre

The following article appeared in the Corgyncombe Courant, February 15, 2009 edition:

"Won't you be my Quackentine?"
Society Notes
The Corgyncombe Courant reports that the Duckies of Corgyncombe held a special Valentine Tea. They enjoyed Tasha Tudor's Welsh Breakfast Tea and a little ring cake purchased at Daisy's Bake Sale to benefit the cause of "Bringing Mummy Home". Crackers for Quackers were quickly devoured by the fashionable young duckies. The lovely Miss Dilley Dibble Dabble wore a new pink frock fashioned by Tillie Tinkham of Tillie Tinkham's Frocks and Fashions. Her outfit was topped off with sweet little bows about her neck and atop her fuzzy yellow head. Quackenbush had a special red paper hat made for the Valentine's Day occasion, which sports one of Post Mistress Phidelia Finch's feathers tucked in the side. The instructions for making the paper hat is in the book, "Tasha Tudor's Old-Fashioned Gifts". The Corgyncombe Courant reporters have had a personal lesson in paper hat making from Tasha Tudor herself.

At the Valentine Tea, the Quacking Duckie pair were listening to Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" and discussing how the music was to them reminiscent of paddling and gliding on Corgi Creek. Corgi Creek and its banks are a favored place for picnics and other social events.

Quackenbush gave a red heart Valentine to Dilley Dibble Dabble and was heard quacking "Won't you be my Quackentine?"


March 8, 2011

"A Simple Life" and "A Primitive Place"!

Two New Magazines!
"A Simple Life" and "A Primitive Place" Magazines
On the Corgyncombe Courant's desk there are two new magazines that our dear readers might enjoy!

"A Simple Life" has a visit to "Lincoln's New Salem" historic site, showing candle dipping and interiors and exteriors of log cabins. There is also an article "Between Two Mountains" by Joan Donaldson about her time spent in Tennessee at a Mission teaching Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. Joan speaks of Christy Huddleston who in the early 1900s was a school teacher for Tennessee mountain children. Joan has also written the books "On Viney's Mountain", "The Secret of the Red Shoes", "A Pebble and A Pen", and "The Real Pretend". "The Real Pretend" was written by Joan Donaldson and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. Sarah of Corgyncombe was Tasha's model for the illustrations of the little girl Kathy in "The Real Pretend". It is a true story about a little girl who goes round to her neighbors, taking pretend orders from the Larkins Catalog.

"A Primitive Place" has an article called "Take a Gander at This" showing the lovely old 1745 Thomas Swift house. This article was of special interest to the Corgyncombe Courant because Diane and Sarah descend from early Massachusetts Swifts more than once! There is an article called "Made with Love" with an absolutely delightful pantry!

There are lovely photographs in both magazines, including old houses, gardens, antiques, and old fashioned looking things!

Here are links to the magazine web sites:
"A Simple Life" Magazine
"A Primitive Place" Magazine