This is a “Banner Day” post that I wrote for Wisteria & Sunshine today, but I wanted to share it here, too, as a part of the celebration of Tasha Tudor’s birthday that I have found here and there around the webby world.
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As a girl, I was charmed and comforted with the few Tasha Tudor books I had on my shelf…her Old Fashioned Gifts, The Secret Garden and A Little Princess with her illustrations, some tiny prayer books….She was one of many who fed my old-fashioned spirit that was a little bit lost in the very modern world…
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As a young woman, I was drawn to The New England Buttr’y Shelf Cookbook and the Almanac on my library’s shelves, Springs of Joy was a Christmas present from my parents and I could tell you exactly where Take Joy and Drawn from New England were on the bookstore shelves were I worked…
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When I became a mother, I paid more attention than ever before to her books and more especially, to her way of finding the Art and Beauty of life. A Time to Keep joined my collection, and Pumpkin Moonshine, both becoming fixtures in our family’s celebrations of the months and seasons and holidays. I would almost hold my breath on the visit to the library in late November when the Christmas books appeared in the Children’s library…hoping…hoping that nobody else had spied the pale grey cover of Becky’s Christmas and it could be mine again that year. Even this past year I looked for it,¬† didn’t find it and was quietly thrilled when I unearthed it still in its ordinary place on the shelf, overlooked for the Christmas collection.
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The nineties were the Tasha years for me when The Private World of Tasha Tudor came out, and her garden book and the video Take Joy and I was even able to see her dollhouse and her hear speak in Williamsburg. Her domestic creativity inspired my own, especially in the celebrating of special days with my small sons…and in the making of ordinary days special days through the opportunities for artfulness that Tasha helped me to “see”.
She is almost completely responsible (to blame, my husband might say!) for our acquisition of two dairy goats in 1997.
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I am so glad the goats came into my life, but also learned that I was not Tasha Tudor when it came to goats…and many other things. I do not have her single-mindedness, and would say that, for my family’s sake, that is a good thing. And for my sake, it is a good thing that my life has been illuminated and adorned by hers.
The last two images are from Springs of Joy (a beautiful book to have open around the house…my mom gave mine to me more than thirty years ago and it is gracing a tabletop again…now giving her pleasure when she comes upon it…). I’ve kept the postcard in my typewriter in my studio for a few months, to remind me that we all need a little spot for our hands-on creative work (did you spy the scissors and paste?). The very table the typewriter sits upon is my spot….now I need only to find the time to be at it, head bent, hands busy.
And I will find it…indeed…the finding of Time is a part of the many things we will be focusing upon in September…but more on that later. For now, I wanted to leave you with a quote, but really already shared the best one two photos back. It was Tasha’s credo, and might very well describe what we are aiming for here at Wisteria & Sunshine. So I give thanks for both Tasha Tudor and Thoreau and look forward to hearing your own Tasha Tudor memories and thoughts.
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(first three photos are from the September 1992 issue of Victoria magazine)
And here is a link to Clarice Fox-Hughes’ Tasha Tudor posts, if you would like more to read about T.T. on her Banner Day. Clarice makes a lovely tradition of this day as a day to do something Tasha-like in honor of the anniversary of her birth. Since Tasha enjoyed so many simple pleasures, it is not hard to find a way to celebrate. I may find some maple leaves and feed them to Mackay, our last remaining goat…
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