September 25, 2014

Izannah Walker 197th Birthday!

Izzibeth Heads Off to Birthday Party!
Izzibeth, her pink frock and sunbonnet were made
by talented dollmaker Paula Walton.

September 25th was Izannah Walker's birthday!

Izannah Walker (1817-1888) lived in New England and made dolls using a special technique.

Paula Walton is holding a Birthday Celebration in honor of Izannah Walker.

When Izzibeth heard about the Celebration she wanted to head off to the party!

Paula has featured "The American Girl's Book" on her blog, showing different games that the Izannahs will play during the celebration. The Izannahs and the Hittys here at Corgyncombe also own an old copy of this most delightful book!

Paula's Izannahs have made some tasty treats to enjoy at their picnic Celebration!  Izzibeth is getting hungry!

Here are links to Paula Walton's
Izannah Walker Birthday Celebration:

copyright © 2014 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

September 7, 2014

Hitty, Tasha Tudor Birthday, and Old Sturbridge Village!

Tasha Tudor Birthday Celebration & Asa Knight Store
Tasha Tudor was in our thoughts as we photographed Hitty exploring the Asa Knight Store at Old Sturbridge Village!

August 28, 2014 would have been Tasha Tudor's 99th birthday.

My daughter Sarah and I were so blessed to have Tasha for a friend.

Hitty pointing out Sarah at the Country Store.

My daughter Sarah was the model for the illustrations of the little girl Kathy in "The Real Pretend" written by Joan Donaldson and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. In "The Real Pretend" Tasha did an illustration of Sarah as Kathy in an old country store choosing what she wanted to purchase with her profits from selling Larkin products. Country stores have been a favorite subject of Tasha Tudor's, as she has illustrated them in books and greeting cards.

In "Wings from the Wind, An Anthology of Poems Selected and Illustrated by Tasha Tudor", there is a poem by Rachel Field titled "General Store". Rachel Field also wrote the book "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years". In the poem "General Store, Rachel talks about a variety of things that she would have in her store, such as crockery, packages of seeds, sugar, peppermint, tea, scissors, string, yard goods, pots and kettles. Rachel speaks of how she imagined her store would be with drawers, counters, windows, shelves, and display cases. From the way Rachel described the old country store, one can tell she had a fondness for country stores and Tasha Tudor splendidly illustrated Rachel Field's "General Store" poem.

Hitty loves Rachel Field's poem "General Store" and is looking for all these things as she peruses the store!

The ladies at the Asa Knight country store were delighted to see Hitty and admire her and said how well made she was! Hitty blushed! The lady placed her atop a shelf amongst the materials. Hitty was a little worried lest someone think she was for sale. In the book "Hitty", it starts out when Hitty is for sale at the antique shop. Our Hitty got an idea of how it was for Hitty in the book, as she looked out the window and around the store from up on the shelf. In real life, the original Hitty from the book was found in an antique shop by the author Rachel Field and illustrator Dorothy Lathrop.

Tasha Tudor, Sarah, and Owyn Corgi in the garden at Corgi Cottage.

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.

Tasha Tudor delighted, as we do, in refined, simple elegance, in a country way, and the combining of the every day old fashioned tasks as our ancestors did, with artistic skill that could be seen by the beauty in their accomplished results... such as baskets, clothing, gardens, pottery, textiles, furniture, food preparation, architecture, and even their tools.

We had many kindred interests in common with Tasha such as spinning, weaving, knitting, natural dyeing, dolls, corgyn, goats, birds, gardening (flowers, herbs, and vegetables), old fashioned clothing, boots and frocks, fireplace and woodstove cookery, canning, sewing, quilting, old books, and the old ways of living.

These daily things remind us of Tasha.

How grateful we are to have been her friend and kindred spirit!

We love it when people truly like Tasha Tudor and the old fashioned things that she did!

In celebration, we have for this post, chosen a gathering of our photographs that we think are reflective of what we and Tasha Tudor loved! We hope you will enjoy them here at the Corgyncombe Courant!

Some of the photographs and some of the writings on this post are from previous Corgyncombe Courant posts that can be found here on the Corgyncombe Courant and from our web site "Our Favorite Things ~ The Old Ways".

Asa Knight Store at Old Sturbridge Village.

In Rachel Field's book "Hitty", when the little girl Thankful arrives back in America she is to attend a party so her grandparents give her a new sash and shoes to fancy up her outfit until she could have a frock custom made.

"With real glass cases and counters wide
 And drawers all spilly with things inside."

~ from "General Store" by Rachel Field

 Many of the things in the store remind Hitty of things she has seen at Corgyncombe Cottage and Pumpkin House the large golden dollhouse!
Hitty recognized the bandboxes from home.

Boxes with labels of feminine fancies.

In "The Real Pretend" the little girl Kathy's school teacher planned on purchasing red calico to make a frock.

Tin knitting needle cases and thimbles.

Fancy combs for the hair.

Hitty says "It's Sarah!"

In "The Real Pretend" illustration, Sarah as Kathy is trying on a hat in an old country store. One can see the display case with hats, many yard goods, drawers and labeled boxes on the shelves, kerosene lamps, slates, a thread cabinet on the counter, barrels, baskets, boots, pumpkins, and a stove.

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."

Post Office in the Asa Knight Store.
In "The Real Pretend" when Kathy's brother sends the "pretend" order to Larkins, goods from Larkins arrive at the post office with money due!

As we continue around the Asa Knight store...

Hitty is thrilled and taps me on the shoulder "Look, Mother Shepard, a Rose teapot, a lot like the one you have at home!"
 (All the dolls call me "Mother Shepard", it has something to do with my Grandmum Shepard, and some day I will explain why!)

I tell her, "Oh, Hitty, how lovely it is!"

Hitty says "Nanny Nettie-Kin loves her rose teapot, too!"

My rose teapot with Pink Lustre Violet Jelly Thumb Cookies at Corgyncombe Cottage.

Nanny Nettie-Kin's rose teapot with Pink Lustre Violet Jelly Thumb Cookies at Pumpkin House.

Gathering violets that grow wild about the lawn at Corgyncombe!

Violet jelly made from wild violets I gathered in May at Corgyncombe.

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!

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!

Nanny Nettie-Kin, Hitty, and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe, celebrating a Tasha Tudor Birthday Tea in the parlour of Pumpkin House.

Hitty tells Nanny "I love visiting Old Sturbridge Village, I felt so at home there, in a good, cozy way!" "Well, it certainly sounds like they have wonderful stock at the Asa Knight Store! Some of my favorite things!" exclaims Nanny Nettie-Kin.

Our Large Golden Dollhouse
 "Pumpkin House",
 an old New England House.

Nanny Nettie-Kin was made by dollcarver Judy Brown.

Before a visit to Old Sturbridge Village, Hitty found an illustration of a reticule in "The American Girl's Book" and asked Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe, to help her make one. "The American Girl's Book" was originally published in the 1830s.

Hitty was made by talented wood carver Judy Brown. Hitty's pretty dress and pinafore were made by Gail Wilson.

863 Park Avenue where Tillie has her shoppe "Tillie Tinkham's Frocks & Fashions" with Millinery and Tea Room.

The dollhouse, with its two large opening doors, reminds us of Beatrix Potter's doll's house at Hill Top.
 The dollhouse was from the Parsons family's stone summer home at their estate in Conncticut. The dollhousue is a miniature version of 863 Park Avenue in Manhattan where the Parsons family had lived at one time.

Tillie Tinkham in her shoppe "Tillie Tinkham's Frocks & Fashions", displaying the reticule that she helped make for Hitty.

Hitty at the Asa Knight store with her reticule.

Hitty is so delighted, she loves the old fashioned things in the Asa Knight store at Old Sturbridge Village!

As Hitty was on the store counter at the Asa Knight store, a joyous little voice of recognition rang out, "It's Hitty!!!" A sweet little girl, I think she said she was six years old, with blonde hair and blue eyes wearing an old fashioned sunbonnet recognized Hitty! It was amazing, the moment she came in the store, with all the other many things to see, she saw Hitty and knew who she was! Hitty was so pleased! We took Hitty down from the counter so the little girl could see her closer. We showed her how she could move and the little girl hugged her Mum and said "I want one." It was such a special, magical moment for Hitty, us, and the little girl as we all truly know how special Hitty is!

Goods hanging from the ceiling at the Asa Knight store.

Sugar cones wrapped in blue paper and string, alongside sugar nippers.

"Raised and put up by
the United Society (called Shakers),
Shirley, Mass."

Painted, decorated tin teapots, sugar bowls, and trays.

Cologne and soap at the Asa Knight store.

I have always loved old fashioned things, old country stores, apothecary and soda fountain items. I started collecting these items when I was a child.  It is a family tradition, collecting old things. We are of Old New England... of old Yankee stock. My great great Uncle O. E. Taylor was well known for his love of collections and antiques and according to the paper his collection was like a rare museum! O. E. Taylor was born in 1822 in Warren, Connecticut and he was brother to my great great grandfather Carlton P. Taylor.

Above is a photograph of Sarah and Tasha Corgi in the Corgyncombe Country Store, which also includes a soda fountain and ice cream parlour. Sarah has enjoyed having birthday parties in the store.

What fun it is to play store!

I have a huge collection of old price tags, wool union suits, wool muffs, collars, and, as Tasha Tudor always referred to them, "fine boots", made of leather and in a multitude of sizes. These items were found one glorious day in a little country store in the mountains, run by a little old lady. We had the best time in this old country store, picking out things to buy.

Tasha Tudor always admired Sarah's boots and in Sarah's book, the 1975 version of "The Night Before Christmas" illustrated by Tasha Tudor, Tasha wrote to Sarah:
 "To Miss Sarah who wears fine boots!
Love from Tasha Tudor"

Glass bottles of cologne and soap at the Asa Knight store at Old Sturbridge Village.

Tasha Tudor illustrated country stores in "Becky's Birthday", "The Real Pretend", "The Wings from the Wind", "Corgiville Fair", "The Great Corgiville Kidnapping", and "Corgiville Christmas". In "Corgiville Christmas" there is also an apothecary and soda fountain.

Hitty was delighted, as she was jumping up and down with excitement pointing it out, to be the first one to spot a bottle from an old family apothecary in New England.   She knew it might be somewhere on display in the museum as she had heard my daughter and I discuss that it was in the museum's collection. Hitty found the bottle in the "Glass in New England Exhibit".

The bottle's label says:
 "Pennyroyal, Prepared by John Braddock, at The People's Family Medicine Store, 306 North Main Street, Hartford, Conn."
 John Braddock was Uncle to my great great grandmother Juliaett Braddock.

In 1847 John Braddock added a Soda Fountain to his apothecary. Below are advertisements from the The Hartford Times:

 The subscriber would inform the citizens of Hartford and vicinity, that he has recently established a Soda Fountain at his Store, for their accommodation, where pure sparkling Water and a variety of rich Syrups may be enjoyed in their perfection. "The People's Family Medicine Store" 306 North Main street. John Braddock

 The subscriber has just returned from New York with a full supply of Drugs, Medicines, Leeches, Perfumery, &c, which are for sale at "The People's Family Medicine Store," 306 North Main street by John Braddock

Herbs are hanging to dry at the Corgyncombe Herbary.

Apothecary bottles, including Skunk Oil, at the Asa Knight store at Old Sturbridge Village.

Corgyncombe's "Emily & Ethlyn's Potions & Perfumery", where lavender, rose, and clove oranges are favored fragrances. According to the "American Dictionary of The English Language" by Noah Webster, 1828, a potion is: a draught; usually, a liquid medicine; a dose.

Nanny Nettie-Kin also grows and collects herbs for cooking, medicinal uses, and for fragrant delights at the Herbary and Perfumery at Pumpkin House. In the front hall at Pumpkin House she keeps an apothecary cupboard with a multitude of drawers made by Roy Bubbenmoyer.

Nanny Nettie-Kin is holding a bunch of dried thyme.

Shelves, counter and scale at the Asa Knight store.

Chocolate and washed figs.

Teapots, lozenges, wooden boxes of salt, and china.

Painted tin caddies at the Asa Knight store.

A tin caddy that I painted, a bit worse for wear after falling off the mantel a couple of times. I have always loved old decorated tin!

Tinware and spices.

Candlesticks, painted tin trays, and matches.

Cups and card games.

Glass jars with ginger, horehound, and rock candy,
and slates, like in "The Real Pretend".

Bottles of ink, quill pens, and inkwells.
  In the book "Hitty, Her First Hundred Years", Hitty writes her memoirs with a quill pen and ink.

Books and writing supplies.

On the right are cigars.
In "Corgiville Fair", written and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, Edgar Tomcat fed Caleb Corgi's goat Josephine many cigars in order to keep her from running the race that he intended to win.


Peppermint and Moore's Celebrated Essence of Life.

Packages of red wafers, used to seal letters.


In the large room in the back there are many useful household items such as iron pots and crockery, as well as farm tools.

Rakes and brooms.

A scrub board at the Asa Knight store.

Tasha Corgi liked to keep Sarah company during wash day.
Tasha Tudor said she loved my fine wringerstand!

What a joy it is to take a moment from your chores to smile at your corgi.
Tasha Corgi smiled back at Sarah!

Hitty Holly and Ivy doing the wash and hanging the clothes to dry. The laundry set of clothes bars, tub and scrub board were made by Gail Wilson. Little Lolly, also made by Gail Wilson, sits by the wash tub. Hitty Holly was made by dollcarver Judy Brown.

In the "Bucket Town" exhibit at Old Sturbridge Village, a scrub board and wash tub in miniature, made by William S. Tower.

863 Park Avenue reminds us of the dolls' house in the book "The Dolls' House".

"The Dolls' House" written by Rumer Godden and illustrated by Tasha Tudor.

In the book "The Dolls' House", the doll Tottie reminds us of Ivy, a peg wooden doll who was made for us by Gail Wilson. On her lap sits little Lolly. In the book "The Dolls' House" two sisters who inherited an old dolls' house fix it up for their dolls to live in. In the doll family the father figure was Mr. Plantagenet and the mother was Birdie, Tottie played their daughter, Apple was their little son, and Darner was their dog. Tottie is an old peg wooden doll. The doll family were so happy to have the dolls' house to live in!
Problems arise when Marchpane, a fancy doll with elegant clothes arrives. Tottie and Marchpane had known each other before when they were both owned by the girls' Great Grandmother and Great Great Aunt Laura. When the box containing Marchpane arrived, Darner the dog, who was made from a darning needle, growled "prick"... he knew what trouble was inside! One of the sisters in particular loves Marchpane. She makes the other dolls Marchpane's servants and allows Marchpane to take over the dolls' house. As the story goes along Marchpane is responsible for the demise of Birdie and almost the end of Apple! It took awhile for the one sister to figure out that Marchpane was a problem but when she does figure it out, the sisters decide they would rather have the Plantagenet doll family back in the Dolls' House where they belong, without Marchpane.

In "The Dolls' House" by Rumer Godden and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, Tottie would oft' times think of the tree whose wood she was made from.

Tottie reminds us of Hitty as they both would think of the strong wood they were made of.
 Ivy and Lolly are sitting in front of the book.

I made the above photograph of Sarah and Tasha Corgi into a Valentine card that Tasha Tudor was delighted to receive. After Tasha received the card she illustrated the scene. The illustration appears in the book "The Art of Tasha Tudor". Tasha Corgi was named after Tasha Tudor, and Tasha Tudor was very honored and declared herself to be Tasha Corgi's Godmother. We have had six corgyn: Tasha Corgi, Katrina Corgi, Ethlyn Maria Weaver Corgi, Emily Jane Jones Shepard Corgi, Eliakim May Corgi, and Lydia Rebecca Sly Corgi. We are so grateful to Tasha for showing us through her illustrations how delightful corgyn can be!

A cake at one of our Tasha Tudor Birthday Celebrations.
The cake receipt, "Becky's Birthday Cake",

 is in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook".

We hope our Dear Readers had a lovely day remembering Tasha Tudor!

Be sure to check in again as the series of
"Hitty's Journey and Adventures
at Old Sturbridge Village"
will continue with more more posts to come at the
Corgyncombe Courant!!!

Here are links to our previous posts:

 Hitty Visits Old Sturbridge Village, Freeman Farm!

At Old Sturbridge Village Hitty Finds George Washington!

The September/October 2014 issue of Yankee magazine features an article about Tasha Tudor.
We are fortunate to find Yankee magazine at our local market but if you are not near New England the magazine is available at
Tasha Tudor and Family.

Here is a link to:
Yankee Magazine

Here is a link to:
Old Sturbridge Village
copyright © 2014 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson