August 29, 2016

Tasha Tudor Birthday Celebration 2016!

Tasha Tudor 101st Birthday; Celebrating Kindred Delights!
August 28th, 2016 would have been Tasha Tudor's 101st birthday.

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

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.

My daughter Sarah was the model for Tasha Tudor's illustrations of the little girl Kathy in "The Real Pretend".

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!

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!

The teapot and teacup are decorated with handpainted roses.


The Queen Anne English wooden doll and her wonderful silk gown with antique lace, sewn with tiny stitches, were made by talented dollmaker Kathy Patterson.
She is weaving a lavender wand.

The sundial indicates 'tis time for tea in the garden.

I made a tussie mussie with one of my David Austin Roses.
In addition to roses, the teacup also has little handpainted sprigs of lavender.

Queen Anne has finished her lavender wand and enjoys its lovely scent.
She ponders how fragrant it will be amongst her linens.

Pretty blue Baptisia flowers with leaves that look translucent in the sun, almost as if they have a glow about them. In the background, Dame's Rocket flourishes and has the most delightful scent that  fills the air as twilight approaches!

The earliest violets of the spring, blooming in April. What a luscious fragrance fills the air from these delightful violets! When I am raking leaves off the garden in the spring I can smell them before I see them.

At The Corgyncombe Dairy the mixture for making goat ice cream is ready to be put into the old White Mountain Ice Cream Freezer.

Cranking the ice cream freezer.
For Tasha Tudor's Birthday we made ice cream using the receipt in "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook".

Tasha Tudor's Corgi Cottage

This is Tasha's back door where in "The Springs of Joy", illustrated by Tasha Tudor, a young boy is turning the ice cream freezer crank, whilst other children, anticipating the ice cream to come, wait with spoons in hand. The corgyn also eagerly wait hoping they will get a lick of ice cream, too. Ralph Waldo Emerson is quoted on the page "Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

These are my own personal photographs of Tasha Tudor and her cottage.

The receipts for the cake and ice cream are from "The Tasha Tudor Cookbook".
Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille provided the cream and the milk used for the ice cream and cake.

At The Corgyncombe Dairy, a bowl full of Corgyncombe Dairy Goat Carmella Lucille's cream.

Cream is churned in the dasher churn by moving the dasher up and down. The repeated agitation of the cream causes the fat part (the butter) of the cream to separate from the buttermilk. The buttermilk is saved for baking.

Diane's butter churn that is a reproduction of a churn Tasha Tudor had.

The butter is pressed into pretty butter prints. Butter from the cream of goats is white. Printed butter is lovely to use at the table. Years ago farm wives would print their butter and take it to the country store for trading. If the housewife was known for superior butter, people would seek out the butter with her print.

A favoured view of the goats at pasture, framed in apple blossoms!

Sarah, Rosebud the goat, and Tasha Corgi.
Rosebud liked to nibble on the new growth of the spruce trees.
Sarah tried to persuade her not to.

Sarah with Corgyncombe Nubian goat kiddle Lucy.

We oft' times fondly refer to the goat kiddles as our "goatie puppies" as they will follow along behind as a puppy would.

Corgyncombe's Louisa May named after our cousin Louisa May Alcott.

The goat kiddles also like the Red Astrachan Apple tree but not for its apples but for its tasty leaves! They stand on their back hooves stretching and reaching for the prize leaves. They look like little ballerinas as they hop, stretch, and dance about on two hooves! Our apples are all organic so we don't have to worry about obnoxious sprays on the leaves or the apples!

Our apples from our favorite apple tree. I found this old basket near Tasha's in Vermont. It has the initials W.D. and is dated 1894.

We have an old cider mill and press much like Tasha Tudor's.

Corgyncombe's Darling Little Clementine
Our Sweet Goat Kiddle
Amongst the apple petals!

Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress mouse and lacemaker at Corgyncombe, peeks out from under the chair.

The bobbin lace lavender sachet was made by Sarah.

As an antique book collector myself, I loved Tasha Tudor's library at Corgi Cottage. There were also books on various kindred interests such as stoneware, yellowware, and old photographs. Tasha put aside a book by Richard Brown that she especially knew I would enjoy.

Wilma learned to spin on this double treadle spinning wheel soon after arriving at Corgyncombe. She is a talented spinstress and she spins a very even yarn!

A regular sized double treadle spinning wheel at the Woodstock Vermont History Center's Dana House Museum. The wheel is much like Wilma's wheel.

My 4th great grandparents Elias Jones and his wife Esther (Dana) Jones lived in Reading, Vermont, a town adjoining Woodstock. Esther and those who lived in the Dana House descended from the the same founding Dana family of early New England.

Elias Jones was a representative of the town of Reading to the Vermont General Assembly. In 1807 the General Assembly met at Woodstock, Vermont.

The toy cow is similar to one Tasha Tudor illustrated in the 1975 version of
"The Night Before Christmas".

There are many wonderful items and exhibits at the Woodstock Vermont History Center's Dana House Museum, such as dolls and toys, clothing, bonnets, band boxes, a parlour set up for tea with a beautiful old tea set and much more; all things Tasha Tudor loved!

Wilma collecting pussy willows.

I have many letters where Tasha Tudor rejoices in the coming of spring. Two of the first flowers to bloom are the pussy willows and the snowdrops. One can see the same look of delight as Tasha, when Wilma finds the lovely snowdrops.
Having many kindred interests with me, Wilma loves gardening and herbs!

Lydia made a bouquet of the snowdrops and pussy willows.

Easter eggs on Lydia's lap.

Lydia welcoming spring holding a snowdrop and pussy willow.
Behind Lydia is a wallpaper covered trunk to keep Lydia's treasures.

Tasha Tudor's greenhouse and splendid bay tree.

Wilma the herbalist with mortar and pestle.

Lady's Keys and pink violets in spring.

I've always said when these lovely violets all bloom together in May, the lawn looks like a Birthday party!

"Thursday, 18th May  - The violets abound now, everywhere, in the grassy fields, and among the withered leaves of the forest; many of them grow in charming little tufts, a simple nosegay in themselves; one finds them in this way in the prettiest situations possible, the yellow, the blue, and the white. A pretty habit, this, with many of early flowers, growing in little sisterhoods, as it were; we rarely  think of violets singly, as of the rose, or the lily; we always fancy them together, one lending a grace to another, amid their  tufted leaves."
~ "Rural Hours" by Susan Fenimore Cooper

Wilma with a scented violet, the first violet of spring.

My daughter Sarah wrote:
"In reading various entries in "Rural Hours" I was delighted to discover that some of Susan Fenimore Cooper's thoughts reminded me of my Mum's... not entirely put in the same way but still, similar observations, both often coming from an artistic perspective, aware of loveliness. It has been passed down to me, this tradition of appreciation of beauty in nature and landscape and old fashioned good taste. Knowing and hearing my Mum since I was a very little girl, I know her enthusiasm for such things. How I enjoyed reading pages of "Rural Hours" and as I noticed similarities, I kept thinking Mum and I have more in common with Susan than we have with much of society today."
~ Sarah E. Johnson

Iris Florentina

Along Corgi Creek, daffodils gathered for making into bouquets for May Day.
Nothing is more Tasha Tudor than daffodils!

 Lemonade in the garden is so refreshing on a hot summer day. In the background are hollyhocks and delphiniums.

David Austin Roses amongst the fallen autumnal leaves.

Down a country lane near where our ancestors lived there is an old moss covered stile for crossing over the fence into a cemetery. (Sarah's sweater is handspun and handknit, and naturally dyed with goldenrod.) Tasha Tudor loved this photograph of Sarah lovingly petting Tasha Corgi's head! When Corgyn anticipate a loving pat on the head their ears go back in such a sweet way!

Tasha Tudor watering and tending her plants around and about the front porch of Corgi Cottage.

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 previous writings elsewhere on the internet.

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copyright © 2016 Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson