May 23, 2014

A Surprise Project!

Cutting Fancy Trims!
Nanny Nettie-Kin and Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe, have been working on surprise projects that have long been in the planning stages!
copyright © 2014 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson

May 10, 2014

A May Basket Delivered to Pumpkin House!

Forget-Me-Nots Ne'er to Be Forgotten!
Ima and Hitty hang a May basket on the Pumpkin House door for Nanny Nettie-Kin.

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Forget-me-nots are Nanny Nettie-Kin's most favourite flower but, alas, on May Day, none were yet in bloom at Corgyncombe.
Fortunately, Ima's Princess cousins of the British Isles were able to assist with a recommendation of where to acquire the favoured flowers.

Tweet Sweet has the forget-me-nots carefully tucked under his wing.

Ima and Hitty placed a special order for forget-me-nots from the Princesses' favorite greenhouse, which is amongst the most charming of temperate houses in Britain.
Arrangements were made for Tweet Sweet, who flies for Finch Post, to make a special delivery flight.

The Princesses' favourite greenhouse.

Ima and Hitty quietly leave the May basket on the door at Pumpkin House and knock. Quickly, they run to hide.

Nanny Nettie-Kin opens the door to find the delightful surprise!

Ima and Hitty have found a place beneath the daffodils where Nanny can not see them but they can see her find her May basket! Ima tells Hitty "This is a fine spot to see Nanny joyfully discovering her May basket!"

Indeed, what joy!

Nanny steps out to see if she can see who has left her this marvelous May basket!

Ever so quietly, as to remain undiscovered, Ima and Hitty are thrilled as they watch Nanny Nettie-Kin with their gift!

Nanny returns to her kitchen for tea to enjoy her lovely basket of forget-me-nots, as she contemplates who were the kind ones who left the pretty basket for her.

Nanny Nettie-Kin is like a Mum to the children in her care.
They all love her so!

Nanny Nettie-Kin, the Corgyncombe Hittys, Ima, and her Princess cousins were all carved by the talented Judy Brown.
The Princesses will debut in a future post
at the Corgyncombe Courant!

Our "Pumpkin House" is the large golden dollhouse that Susan Branch featured on her blog after she saw it at an antique shop.

I learned to make May baskets like the May basket above in kindergarten from my teacher. My dear kindergarten teacher Mrs. Platt had also been my 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!

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, there are beautiful spring flowers, robins, barns swallows, and a bluebird.

In "Tasha Tudor's Seasons of  Delight, A Year on an Old-Fashioned Farm" there are pop-up illustrations of children filling May baskets and delivering one to Tasha's door.

In "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Cookbook" written by Mary Mason Campbell and illustrated by Tasha Tudor, there is a Maypole with children in costume dancing round.

Beatrix Potter beautifully illustrated forget-me-nots in "The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle" and "The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher".

A joyous May Day Celebration was held when Sarah's friend's came over to dance round the Maypole.
A tiny Maypole with bears, rabbits, and mouse can be seen in the corner of the stone and wattle fences.
The stone walls are made of field stones that were gathered many years ago and used in an old foundation then reclaimed by us to use in the garden wall.

"Song on May Morning"
Now the bright morning-star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
- John Milton

May Day punch and cupcakes at Corgyncombe.

We at the Corgyncombe Courant hope all our Dear Readers had a joyous May Day and have a delightful Mother's Day!
copyright © 2014 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson