September 16, 2012

Tasha Tudor Tea with Pink Lustre Violet Jelly Cookies!

Mary's Lamb at School!
Celebrating Tasha Tudor's Birthday
with Pink Lustre Violet Jelly Thumb Cookies and Tea.
The pink jelly is so pretty and tastes so good in the cookie when it all is baked!
A simply elegant cookie for a special day!
Tea is served in an early hand painted tea set decorated with the Queen's Rose.

August 28th, 2012, would have been Tasha Tudor's 97th birthday.

Tasha Tudor's Birthday Celebration is more than just a one day celebration. It is, to us, every day kindred old fashioned tasks and the seasonal celebrations all throughout the year that we have in common with her.

The chosen music to accompany this post is "I Believed It All":
Click Here for Specially Chosen Musical Entertainments.
Return Here to Read the Corgyncombe Courant.
The music is so delightful whilst reading!

Tillie Tinkham on the writing slope with her quill in paw!
On the slope, a list of ingredients for the cookies has been written out.

I was inspired by the receipt for "Linda de Christopher's Thumb Cookies" in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook". Instead of using raspberry jam as the receipt called for, I used my own homemade Violet Jelly and instead of almond extract, I used vanilla.

I call them Pink Lustre Violet Jelly Thumb Cookies because the pink glistening jelly in the cookies reminds me of the pink lustre that decorated many of Tasha Tudor's favorite tea sets!

Above, Emma is wearing her a chemise, petticoat, and pantalettes.
Emma's plaid party frock has been laid out on the bed to wear to the Tasha Tudor Birthday Tea.
She is showing the Little Dear One her lovely handmade hat with the antique flowers, that goes with her party frock.
Emma, her clothing, hat and shoes were made by talented dollmaker Margaret Flavin.

Little Dear One

Little Dear One thinks Emma's hat is so pretty!

All dressed up in her frock, Emma is gathering asters for the tea party table.
She has her frock gathered up with her bouquet, revealing her pantalettes and shoes.

Emma brings her bouquet inside to the tea table where there are Pink Lustre Violet Jelly Thumb Cookies set out to tea.
Emma has found a new old frock for Little Dear One to wear to the party!

Such a sweet tin type that I recently found, of a little girl in a pretty frock with a bouquet of flowers on her lap.
She looks as if she was going to a party, too!
Alongside the picture is Herb Robert.

Little Dear One with her her own little tea cup.

Pink Lustre Violet Jelly Thumb Cookies

Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress mouse for the dolls at Corgyncombe, has joined Emma and Little Dear One to celebrate Tasha Tudor's Birthday!
Tillie is the proprietress of "Tillie Tinkham's Frocks & Fashions", which includes a millinery department and tea room.

Tillie looks as if she is at a bakery with the display case and a window behind her.

For years we have been inspired by Tasha Tudor's doll families. Tasha Tudor made her dolls look so real and we know that they were real to her. How we love our dolls, and their little critter friends such as mice, ducks, and birds, inspiring imagination, fashion, and stories, the lives they live that are so very real to us, too!

The dolls and the little critters lives are rather like a dream, made up of favorite bits and pieces of different eras... but once all these pieces are put together the dolls lives are very real! The dolls all have different personalities and when my daughter Sarah and I are writing a story each doll has a certain way they talk and way their "voices sound", each with their own likes and dislikes. A vivid imagination is such a gift! Sarah, the dolls, and I have ever so much fun! I remember when I was a little girl playing and then thinking "What could I use for this?" and then thinking "Aha, I know what would be just perfect!" and running up the stairs to my room to retrieve it. Nothing has changed as with delight I run and find or make what would be just perfect for the dolls' next activity!

Tillie Tinkham and Little Dear One.

Tillie on the writing slope with her little quill.
The quill is one of Phidelia Finch's feathers.

Violets that grow wild about the lawn at Corgyncombe, gathered for making Violet Jelly.

Pink Lustre Violet Jelly made from wild violets I gathered in May at Corgyncombe.

Tasha Tudor Birthday Tea

On the writing slope is displayed a portrait of Queen Victoria and a Kate Greenaway card.
Beside the writing slope is a tussie mussie that I made using flowers and herbs from my Garden of Herbs, rosemary, Johnny Jump Ups, winter savory, wild marjoram, larkspur, and sage.
I just love Johnny Jump Ups, they forever remind me of spring and I liken their fragrance to apricots!
The tea cup is part of an early hand painted tea set decorated with the Queen's Rose.

The "Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood" book with Tasha Tudor's illustration of Mary's Lamb on display on the art stand. In the illustration, Mary is hugging the little lamb. The art stand made by Seth Tudor is a replica of the art stand that Tasha Tudor had. Underneath are some old cloth covered school books, slate and slate pencil.

Diane hugging a sweet little lamb!
How I have always loved little lambs!
I have loved old fashioned things since I was a little girl, even before I discovered Tasha Tudor!
The first Tasha Tudor illustrations I saw was when I was a child after the above photograph was taken and the illustrations were in "Childcraft Poems of Early Childhood". In the poem "Mary's Lamb" Tasha illustrated an old fashioned schoolhouse with the children working on their slates at their desks when Mary's little lamb appears and tries to enter the schoolhouse. Tasha's illustration also shows the old schoolhouse with the lovely rolling hills in the background. I have always and forever loved rolling hills! The last illustration shows Mary tenderly giving her lamb a hug!
The photograph of me hugging the lamb reminds us of Tasha Tudor's Mary hugging her lamb and of other Tasha Tudor illustrations, as well!

What Tasha has drawn in her illustrations are the same old ways that I grew up with. I find them familiar, comforting, and I am drawn to them.

My father sold World Book Encyclopedia and Childcraft Books door to door, so he could earn both the World Book and Childcraft for us children for Christmas.

Emma sits down beside the wheelbarrow and the Little Dear One looks from inside the wheelbarrow, as the little lamb hops up on Emma's lap!

Little Dear One gets out of the wheelbarrow and sits on the handle for a closer look at the little lamb!
Little Dear One looks absolutely delighted with the little lamb!

Beside Emma is her tin lunch pail.

Sarah sitting on a stile writing on her slate.
Her tin lunch pail is beside her.

The box below features a Tasha Tudor print on the lid. The print is from the book "The Real Pretend", written by Joan Donaldson and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. Tasha's borders are always so wonderful and such a treat to look over again and again. The border of this illustration contains autumnal foliage, school items, and a little red squirrel up top. Sarah was Tasha's model for the illustrations of Kathy in "The Real Pretend". Sarah is seated on the front bench, third from the right, the little girl with the corgi red braids done up, wearing a dark blue frock. Within the box I keep many letters written to me by Tasha Tudor.

In one of her letters, Tasha wrote: "The illustrations are coming so well for 'The Real Pretend' thanks to having so charming a model. So Sarah, you are with me all the hours that I paint and I find you the very best companion."

How remarkable that one of the very first Tasha Tudor illustrations that I saw was Mary's Lamb in an old fashioned school house and one of Tasha's illustrations of Sarah in "The Real Pretend" featured her in an old schoolhouse writing on her slate!

In "Mary's Lamb" Tasha Tudor signed her illustration on one of the slates.
Beneath the art stand, to the right of the slate, is a tin lunch pail.

Emma hugging the little lamb.

From "Mary's Lamb" by Sarah Josepha Hale:

"And then he ran to her and laid
His head upon her arm,
As if he said, "I'm not afraid-
You'll keep me from all harm."

"What makes the lamb love Mary so?"
The eager children cry.
"Oh, Mary loves the lamb, you know,"
The teacher did reply.

And you each gentle animal
In confidence may bind,
And make them follow at your call
If you are always kind."

~ Sarah Josepha Hale

Little Dear One gives the lamb a hug!
copyright © 2012 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson



Christie said...

What a delightful post, my dear friends. I sit here, in this wee hour, with the beeswax candles (from the Rookery) lit and crackling... reading of wonderful tea parties and pretty dolls with new straw hats... as charming as ever! Just like a sweet bedtime story... I will lay my head down, once again, and sleep..
Much love to you, sweet girls,
Christie and dear Eliza (who is elated to have dear John Jacob at Rose Water Cottage..Xavier is happy to have them here together, when he visits:)

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

Dear Christie,

So glad that you enjoyed the post! We had so much fun with it! We have been writing stories and taking photographs all summer!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

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