March 14, 2012

The Izannah Walker Sisters Bridget and Eliza!

Ooooh, What a Lovely Bonnet!!!
The Exciting News that Trilly Tweet Sweet shared with Melissa!
'Twas a joyful reunion when Bridget's sister Eliza arrived in the beautiful, sparkly new fallen snow!
Bridget and Eliza are Izannah Walker inspired dolls and they both were made, along with their wonderful clothes, by talented doll maker Margaret Flavin!
Eliza looks like the breath of spring in her exquisite bonnet with yellow feather flowers and blue capelet!!!

The chosen music to accompany this post is "Edelweiss".

Click Here for Specially Chosen Musical Entertainments.
Return Here to Read the Corgyncombe Courant.
You might want to replay the music more than once as it is so lovely whilst reading!

Izannah Walker (1817-1888) made dolls using a special technique.
Izannah Walker lived in New England and her Walker ancestors lived very near where Diane and Sarah's Walkers came from.
You can find more information about Izannah Walker dolls and the technique used in making them in the Christmas 2011 issue of "Early American Life" magazine and in the August 2011 issue of "Antique Doll Collector" magazine.

A chickadee one beautiful morn at Corgyncombe Cottage.

Eliza and Bridget love to look out the window at the birds at the feeder.
As it is snowing and blowing they wonder how the birds keep warm in the cold.
Snow and rain have covered the window with an icy glaze.
This photograph was taken outside, looking in to the sisters reading from
"The Child's Bijou". Bijou is a Jewel.
Willy Nilly Tweet Sweet has fluttered onto Eliza's lap and listens to the poetry reading.
As they are reading, a dappled bit of sunshine is coming in through the window onto the book.

Song of The Snow-Bird

The ground was all covered with snow one day,
And two little sisters were busy at play,
When a snow-bird was sitting close by on a tree,
And merrily singing his chick-a-dee-dee.

He had not been singing that tune very long,
Ere Emily heard him, so loud was his song;
"O, sister, look out of the window," said she,
"Here's a dear little bird singing chick-a-dee-dee.

"Poor fellow, he walks in the snow and the sleet,
And has neither stockings nor shoes on his feet;
I pity him so, how cold he must be!
And yet he keeps singing his chick-a-dee-dee.

"If I were a bare-footed snow-bird, I know
I would not stay out in the cold and the snow;
I wonder what makes him so full of his glee?
He's all the time singing that chick-a-dee-dee.

"Oh, mother! do get him some stockings and shoes,
And a nice little frock, and a hat, if he choose;
I wish he'd come into the parlor and see
How warm we would make him, poor chick-a-dee-dee."

The bird had flown down for some pieces of bread,
And heard every world little Emily said;
"What a figure I'd make in that dress," thought he,
And he laughed as he warbled his chick-a-dee-dee.

"I'm grateful," he said, "for the wish you express,
But I have no occasion for such a fine dress;
I had rather remain with my limbs all free,
Than be hobbled about, singing chick-a-dee-dee.

"There is One, my dear child, though I can not tell who,
Has clothed me already, and warm enough, too;
Good morning, oh, who are so happy as we!"
And away he went, singing his chick-a-dee-dee.

~ Woodworth

Before coming to Corgyncombe both Bridget and Eliza lived with their dear sister Jane and their dear Mother Flavin (as they fondly refer to Margaret Flavin) who made them all. Margaret Flavin named Bridget, Eliza, and Jane after Izannah Walker's real sisters.
Bridget came first to live at Corgyncombe Cottage and her sister Eliza soon joined her.
When Eliza told her sister Jane that she also was to be leaving, Jane was in tears at the thought of their parting!

Eliza brought her delightful peacock blue traveling box with her own name beautifully framed on top. Inside the box were cards from Jane to her sister Bridget and to their Cousin Charlotte.

On the art stand made by Seth Tudor, son of Tasha Tudor, is the
"New Cyclopaedia of Botany and Complete Book of Herbs", an advertising card with a lovely dove delivering a letter and a rose, and a trade card with forget-me-nots from an Apothecary in Bellows Falls, Vermont.

The card to Bridget has a loving message from her sister Jane.
Tucked in the envelope with the card, Bridget received the pressed rose.

She will find a special place for the rose in her Herbarium.
Eliza brought with her a gift from Jane, for Bridget, a splendid pincushion edged in lace!
How she treasures the card, the rose, and the pincushion!

This Herbarium in the Corgyncombe Library Collection is one of the most exquisite that we've seen.
2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the compiling of this quaint and charming Herbarium, made in 1862.

The adorable girls Eliza and Bridget are so happy to be together!

Burgundy Rose. Language, Gentle and Innocent.

Bridget (in the right of the photograph) is rather quiet and shy,
whilst Eliza, as Margaret Flavin says, and we agree, is more adventurous.

Sisters Eliza and Bridget are holding hands.
Jane has written Bridget's name on the bottom of the pincushion.

The dried pressed flowers are attached to the paper with delicate tiny stitches.

Eliza's darling shoes and stockings, made by Margaret Flavin!

A Remembrance Book
with beautiful script written in 1849.

Several views of Eliza's beautiful bonnet made by Margaret Flavin!

Flowers gathered and arranged at Corgyncombe.

Eliza and Bridget love the peacock's feathers!

The Herbarium Endpapers

Bridget and Eliza enjoy going outside to visit the peacock.
Doesn't he have a lovely crown?

Bridget holding one of the Peacock's feathers.Bridget tells Eliza "See, sister dear, this is how the birds stay so warm; 'tis the fluffy, downy feathers underneath. They do not need stockings, shoes, a frock, nor a hat."

Edelweiss under glass looks like a sweet little sleeping face.

Whilst antiquing we found this darling little bodice that fit Bridget perfectly!

Eliza is wearing an antique bodice that was already part of the Corgyncombe Clothing Collection.

Bridget is holding a mirror that reflects one of the flowers on her bodice.

Bridget and Eliza's doll.
They want Tillie Tinkham, Corgyncombe's Seamstress Mouse, to help them fashion her a frock.


Valley in Winter

Blowing winds and drifting snow in the high altitude of a Corgyncombe winter.

A tufted titmouse in flight at Corgyncombe.

Eliza holds Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe.

The Corgyncombe bird watchers report the
Return of the Red-Winged Blackbird on March 2 and that the first
Robin was seen on March 12!

As the window has cleared and their reading is over,
Eliza thinks she sees a little red squirrel out near the bird feeder.

She thinks she would like to go out about Corgyncombe and see more of that little red squirrel... 
copyright © 2012 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson


March 4, 2012

Childhood Winter Delights!

All Day Sledding!
Diane with her sled.
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.

Corgyncombe's exciting news post is almost finished but we at the Corgyncombe Courant are still polishing up some details! We know that you will love it! In the meantime, since it has been snowing, the Corgyncombe Courant is posting one of Diane's Childhood Remembrances.

'Twas the days when we went outside playing and sledding until the midday meal. Then on with dry mittens and socks and out to the hills again! We would head off and not return until almost dark when we would come in with the reddest of cheeks and we would collapse on the floor and sleep by the fire. What fun we had!
I've always felt a kinship with the little girl in the movie "Prancer", dragging her sled behind her and then whizzing down hills!
We always heard tell that one of those who lived in the house before us brought the maple tree, that is to the right of my head, home as just a seedling in his lunch bucket.

Old Fashioned Terms of Sledding!
Belly Whopper, Belly Flopper, Belly Bumper, Belly Gutter...
Diane's Mum Sally Ann just loved sledding, which was sometimes called coasting!

Sally Ann

The 1903 magazine "Outing, The Illustrated Magazine of Sport Travel Adventure and Country Life" described of some of the different terms for Sally Ann and Diane's favorite style of sledding, which they called the "belly whopper". The magazine says: "Style two may be described as throwing the body prone upon the sled, with arms extended to the points. While this method was popular in all sections, hardly any two localities could agree on the names applied to it. Thus, in New England the terms used were "belly-bumper" and "belly-bunt," with an occasional "belly-gut;" Connecticut added "belly-flopper," and little old Nantucket tried to individualize itself by calling it "belly-flouncer." Eastern New York and vicinity allowed "belly-gut," but "belly-gutters" and "belly-whopper" were the favorites, and what little coasting was done in Washington, D.C., in this style was "belly-buster." Western New York advocated "belly-whack" Ohio and Indiana were divided on "belly-bumper" and belly-buster"; and "belly-smack" was heard in Pennsylvania, with "belly-guts" and "belly-whopper."

Tasha Tudor illustrated children coasting down hill in "Around the Year" and in "First Delights, A Book About the Five Senses" Tasha Tudor illustrated the little girl Sally with her sled with the beautiful mountains in the background!