April 30, 2011

May Day's A Coming!

Gather The Sweetest Posies!
May Day's A Coming!
Diane learned to make May baskets like the May basket above in kindergarten from her teacher. Diane's dear kindergarten teacher Mrs. Platt had also been her Mum's grade school teacher. We make our May baskets out of wallpaper from wallpaper sample books, lined with stiffer paper, in the shape of a cone with a handle. The wallpaper for our baskets is so much fun to pick out from all the samples! Sometimes we also make paper flowers to add to the May baskets, too! Making May baskets is a May Day family tradition at Corgyncombe!

Diane and her daughter Sarah's dolls and animal friends also make small May baskets of their own!

The May basket above is hung on "A Time to Keep" illustrated by Tasha Tudor! Tasha Tudor has done delightful illustrations of children leaving their May baskets at the door and children dancing around the Maypole with a joyful Corgi herding the children in a circle. In the borders round, their are beautiful spring flowers, robins, barns swallows, and a bluebird.

When Diane came down this morn, as the sun shone on the lovely bouquets of daffodils in Diane's old kitchen, she found yet another bouquet that her husband had picked, to add to the 49 he had picked the other day. He picked another bouquet of 52 daffodils, making 101 cheerful daffodils to greet her in the lovely morning sun! What a lovely fragrance intensified by the warmth of the sun!


April 29, 2011

Marbleized Eggs for Baby Doll!

Dilley Dibble Dabble's Egg Delivery!
Becky fetches something for Daisy from Daisy's "Little Mothers Kitchen Cabinet".

Diane and her daughter Sarah have always been inspired by Tasha Tudor dolls and animal friends.

Whilst Daisy prepares Baby Doll's porridge, Dilley Dibble Dabble hops up onto the chair with a basket full of marbleized eggs for Baby Doll. Dilley Dibble Dabble causes breakfast amusements for Baby Doll when she hops up on the chair!

Daisy's Baby Doll

Dilley Dibble Dabble


April 27, 2011

Mousie Gifts!

Marbleized Eggs and More to Come
Tillie Tinkham and her Mouse friends fashion marbleized eggs.
 Stay tuned, dear readers, as Tillie has been busy making even more surprises.
Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress Mouse for the dolls at Corgyncombe,
is the proprietress of Tillie Tinkham's Frocks and Fashions.

We at the Corgyncombe Courant have always loved Tasha Tudor illustrations of mouse dwellings underneath the floorboards and Beatrix Potter's mice Tom Thumb, Hunca Munca, Mrs. Tittlemouse, Timmy Willie, Johnny Town-mouse, Appley Dapply, Mr. John Dormouse and his daughter, and all the mice in "The Tailor of Gloucester". Our Cousin Jeri Landers has also illustrated many an adorable little mouse!


April 25, 2011

Annabelle Takes A Stroll Through The Corgyncombe Conservatory!

Dibble Dabbles and Emily Corgi Found Amongst the Spring Blooms!
Annabelle M'liss walking amongst the flowers at the Corgyncombe Conservatory.
We love the book "A is for Annabelle", written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, about an old fashioned doll and some of her belongings from A to Z. Annabelle M'liss was named after Tasha Tudor's doll in
"A is for Annabelle" because she reminds us so of her.

The Dibble Dabbles have joined Annabelle M'liss in the Conservatory. Dilley Dibble Dabble in the middle was named after Diane's 4th great grandfather's sister Dilley. The duck on the right, Wakefield Dibble Dabble, was named after Diane's 7th great grandfather Wakefield Dibble.

Emily Jane Jones Shepard Corgi appears in the Conservatory as a reflection on the glass!


April 24, 2011

Resurrection Sunday!

He is Risen!
The book "Hours with Mamma" by Mrs. S. E. Dawes, published in 1865.

Jesus Has Risen!


April 18, 2011

A Bonnet Grandmum Would Have Loved!

Lettie's Fashionable Lovelies!
Diane's great great grandmum, Celestia loved pretty things! She would have adored this antique velvet bonnet with the fashionable feather from the Corgyncombe Frocks and Fashions Collection! This bonnet was originally owned by a lady who lived not too far away from where Diane's grandmum lived. It came in its original hat box with extra feathers included. The hat is on display in front of a beautiful antique green wool mantle with sewn on soutache trim.

Great Great Grandmum Celestia ("Lettie")

Some of Grandmum's favorite things.
The hair comb was not hers but reminds us of those she wore. Diane's Grandmum inherited the mirror and the perfume vial; the mirror she always kept by her bathroom sink and the perfume vial she kept on her dresser in her bedroom. Diane's Mum inherited the red beads from her
Great Grandmum Celestia. Diane always loved these beads and when she was a little girl, on Saturday mornings she would take the beads from her Mum's dresser and her Mum's music box, then she would jump in bed between her parents and listen to the music box whilst admiring the beads.

Celestia's daughter Ethlyn

Annabelle M'liss loves pretty things, too!
In "A is for Annabelle", by written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, there are many lovely and fashionable items illustrated from A to Z.

Emma Lydia wears a hair comb, necklace, and earrings.

Although this photograph is torn and part of the top doesn't show because it is whited out, it still shows a charming country scene of Diane's Great Great Grandmum Lettie with her cow and Diane's Grandmum, the little girl, looking on. The fence in the background looks to be split rail. Great Great Grandmum went out west near Jamestown, New York, where they had a small farm. She lived there until her husband died as a young man, when she then returned east to live on a farm near her parents.

Diane's great great grandmum Celestia with her horse Molly. Although Celestia lived well into the age of the "autymobile" she still preferred always to drive her horse Molly and travel by horse and buggy. Sweet Molly lived for years and was a devoted, well loved horse. Diane's Mum remembers sitting on the porch looking down the road waiting for her great grandmum and Molly to come into view...

Here is a link to:
"The Making of a Farm at Old Sturbridge Village"
by our Cousin John A. Mott.

John Mott's Grandmum Nettie was first cousin to Lettie who was Diane's Great Great Grandmum.
John and Diane have shared grandparents through the Cook, Greene, Matteson, Cummings, Mott, and other families.

As you can see, Diane and Sarah's love of the past comes naturally. Diane and Sarah would spend afternoons with their cousin John going through his photographs and discussing old houses, old barns, old farming techniques, and genealogy.


April 12, 2011

Seasonal Changes at Corgyncombe Cottage!

Hush, Is That The Peepers I Hear!
Corgyncombe Nubian Goat Louisa May in the barnyard.
She was named after our cousin Louisa May Alcott.

The rushing waters of Corgi Creek.

At the beginning of winter, a snow fence is put a little ways up on the hill to keep the snow from drifting into the yard so much. During the height of winter the snow can make it to the top of the snow fence and over. This is how the fence looked last Saturday as the snow is slowly melting but there is still a huge snowbank left. After the snow melts, the fence is taken down for the season.

Diane's husband took a walk down to the lower forty and gathered a bunch of pussy willows along Corgi Creek's edge, much to Diane's delight!

Corgyncombe Moon on April 9th, 2011.

The snow is melting, the days are warming, the peepers were heard last night, but what's this we hear about snow flurries in the forcast!

There are a lot of goats and goat kiddles that Tasha Tudor illustrated in "The Springs of Joy". In "Around the Year", written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, one of ways April is portrayed is with a creek with rushing waters and emerging ferns at creek's edge. In "A Time to Keep" Tasha Tudor illustrated goat kiddles running and jumping in April.


April 8, 2011

Fanny Belle Bunn Gives Quilting Lecture!

The Tail of Fanny Belle Bunn!
Fanny Belle Bunn points out the antique quilt square that Diane found last weekend at the same shoppe that she found Fanny Belle. The quilt square is displayed on the art stand made by Seth Tudor, son of Tasha Tudor. Diane would love to make a quilt out of this pattern. Diane loves piecing quilts! This last winter she found a wonderful old quilting frame at one of her favorite shoppes! Tiny cucumber, lettuce, and carrot sandwiches were served along with chamomile tea after the lecture. All the bunny ladies attending the lecture took a bunny nap after tea!

In "Rosemary for Remembrance", on the November page, Tasha Tudor has illustrated a quilting bee with ladies gathered round, quilting. A table with tea, cookies, and cake are set out for refreshments, two little girls are delightfully occupied playing dolls with a trunk of doll clothes, whilst a slumbering baby is in the cradle , two corgyn alongside, with one corgi peacefully resting its head on the rocker. The illustration is accompanied by the quote "When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece." - John Ruskin.

In "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook", written by Mary Mason Campbell and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, "Thimble Tea and The Quilting Bee" features an illustration with a similar theme, again with a group of ladies having a quilting bee. Two little girls look like they have been sewing doll clothes, as there is a little sewing basket next to the trunk, and they are about to try a new frock on their doll! The illustration is bordered by a sewing basket, pieces for quilting, thread, scissors, and measuring tape. At the bottom of the illustration are some of the foods served at the all day gathering.

As you can see, Fanny Belle Bunn's frock makes allowances for her bunny tail!

Diane has these fond remembrances of visiting a favorite elderly relative: My great grandmum's cousin Lena excelled at domestic skills such as pickling, breadmaking, sewing, and many others. She always won prizes for her domestic abilities
at the county fair. My family used to visit them often and I would usually take a doll with me. One time she surprised me with a handmade dolly wardrobe in an old basket. Lena was such a wonderful lady! And to think that she weighed only a few pounds when she was born and wasn't expected to live. To keep her warm after she was born they put her in a basket in the warming oven atop the old wood cookstove. It was just warm enough to keep the premature baby comfortably warm. Lena lived to a ripe old age and she passed many of her skills on to me! She taught me how to do piecing and quilting. I inherited some of her quilting patterns and equipment. Lena was so thrilled that I wanted to learn from her!
She always reiterated small, tiny stitches and she was very pleased with my efforts... but then we are from a long line of kindred who love to sew. In the old days tiny quilting stitches were prized and well so because they made items that would last. The same goes for spinning excellence as they wanted good yarns to make into items that would last. These heirloom pieces last because of their fine workmanship. Children were taught at an early age such skills as spinning, knitting, and quilting.

"Hopalong Jack and The Blue Bunnies"
written and illustrated by Jeri Landers
In "Hopalong Jack" there is a rabbit quilting party amongst the spinners, weavers, and yarn dyers.
A "Chippy Hackee"is atop the quilt, working on the acorn quilt square.
A lovely blue bunny quilt is hanging on the blanket rack that Fanny Belle Bunn really admires!

"The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom"
written and illustrated by Jeri Landers

They are wonderful books with beautiful illustrations and clever stories and poems! They are great books for all ages, especially at this time of year with all the little critters scurrying about and all the spring flowers popping up!

Visit our Cousin Jeri at her website: Jeri Landers
where you can find her books
"Hopalong Jack and The Blue Bunnies"
"The Journey of Bushky Bushybottom"


April 6, 2011

Fanny Belle Bunn Finds a Home at The Corgyncombe Bunn'ery!

Pink and Red Look Delightful Together, Really They Do!
This past weekend whilst visiting one of our favorite antique stores this sweet little bunny was sitting outside the shoppe hoping for someone to come along to give her a home. Who could resist such a delightful find! Her lovely hat, blouse, and jumper were purchased at the same shoppe, prior, on separate visits.

Upon arriving at Corgyncombe she cheerfully put on her new outfit and hopped upon Diane's worktable where a bunny book was open to a Mother Rabbit and her little bunns. She felt right at home!

Tasha Tudor did an illustration of a rabbit named Colonel Bunn. A print of Colonel Bunn can be found on the Tasha Tudor and Family web site. Colonel Bunn was named after a person that Tasha knew of. This reminds the "genealogical researchers" (as Tasha would say) at Corgyncombe of Fanny Bunn, a cousin to Diane and Sarah through the Taylors. Fanny Bunn was listed on the census as having 16 little Bunns! One of Fanny Bunn's sons was named Peter Russell Bunn and one of the daughters was named Fanny Belle Bunn. Fanny Belle Bunn is the name chosen for the new fuzzy Bunnyette with the pink jumper and the delightful red hat! Some people have said that pink and red just do not go together but Fanny Belle Bunn thinks they are beautiful together!

Fanny Belle Bunn now makes her home at the Corgyncombe Bunn'ery. Bunn'ery is a word that Diane and Sarah use, meaning a place where delightful wild and tame bunnies and rabbits happily and hoppily dwell.

Above, Fanny Belle Bunn is considering what colours to paint the goose egg that Diane acquired from Elmer the Goose and his wife. On the art stand is an old postcard of a Grandmum Bunny with a basket full of eggs. Hanging o'er the art stand is a pieced quilt block, found at the same shoppe, that Diane is thinking of replicating.

Elmer the Goose guarding the woodshed.

"Tasha Tudor's Old-Fashioned Gifts" by Tasha Tudor and Linda Allen, has many things to make by hand including patterns for and a tutorial to make a wool rabbit! Marjorie Tudor, Tasha Tudor's daughter-in-law, makes cut wool rabbits and has given classes in making cut wool animals.

Here is a link to where you can find the Colonel Bunn print and Marjorie's cut wool rabbit:


April 1, 2011

The Joyful Sights and Sounds of Spring!

The 1st of April!
Sir Redfield Opulent Epaulette

The days 'fore April flew by and the Corgyncombe Courant neglected to report to our readers that a couple of weeks ago hailed the return of the Red-Winged Blackbird to Corgyncombe after their long journey!
Such a joyful, cheerful sound of Spring!

"The blackbirds make the maples ring
With social cheer and jubilee;
The redwing flutes his o-ka-lee"
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The background colours remind us of snowdrops at sunrise.

The four photographs above are different views of a Corgyncombe sunrise all taken the same morning looking in different directions.

The Red-wing calling at early morn.

The above photograph was taken a few years ago.

"Bird Songs, 250 North American Birds in Song" by Les Beletsky, "Featuring Audio from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology", is a wonderful book that has beautiful illustrations of birds with a button to push to hear the sounds the birds make. The book was added to the Corgyncombe Library several Christmases ago.

The Corgyncombe Library gives "Bird Songs, 250 North American Birds in Song" by Les Beletsky, five stars! This book is great for children!

In grade school one of Diane's teachers loved birds and always fed them in a tree outside the window. Diane always liked to watch the birds instead of concentrating on school work. One of Diane's favorite birds to watch was the Nuthatch. Diane received an award for perfect attendance which was a certificate to be redeemed at the bookstore. The second Diane walked in the bookstore she knew which book she wanted... a big wonderful book about birds. The book included a recording of all the lovely bird songs. The book that Diane was awarded in school reminds her of "Bird Songs, 250 North American Birds in Song".

Sir Redfield Opulent Epaulette points with his beak to the postcard calendar that reads April 1st!

In "A Time to Keep", written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, pussy willows and red-winged blackbirds surround the March illustrations of a sap house and sugar bush with a family partaking in the annual tradition of gathering sap. In "The Springs of Joy", illustrated by Tasha Tudor, there are some red-winged blackbirds amongst the cattails.

A "Chippy Hackee" was seen under the bird feeder this morn.

Skunk Cabbage near Corgi Creek

In May, the meadow behind the garden and along the creek are abundantly full of almost continuous O-ka-lees.

In "A Year with the Birds" by Wilson Flagg, he writes of the Red-winged Blackbird's song: "These notes seem to spring from a fulness of joy upon returning to their native swamps."

In "Bird-Life" by Frank M. Chapman, he describes the Red-winged Blackbird's song: "The Redwing's liquid kong-quer-ree is pleasantly suggestive of marshy places, but it is his early spring music for which we should chiefly value him."

He also writes: "But when early in March the Redwings come, then we know that the tide of the year has turned. With perennial faith in the season they come in flocks of hundreds, singing their springtime chorus with a spirit that March winds can not subdue."

In the summer, whilst in search of other lovely things, we happened upon a serendipitous find, a Great Blue Heron amongst the reeds. The cover of "Bird-Life" by Frank M. Chapman reminds us of this Blue Heron.

Found tucked in the pages of "Bird-Life", a penny postcard sent to Mr. E. G. Tabor from Frank M. Chapman, the author of "Bird-Life".
"Dear Mr. Tabor: Glad to hear you are using your camera again. You do too good work to be long idle. I shall be delighted to have the pictures for Bird-Lore and when I return in July I will tell Professor B? about the negatives. Yours truly, Frank M. Chapman"