Those who love Tasha Tudor have commemorated her birthday since her passing in 2008. The Museum Chapters were started in 2012 and each year the members have celebrated her birthday. Tasha Tudor was a prolific illustrator of children's books, as well as author of many of them, over the 64 years of her career. She was just as well known for her lifestyle. She felt she belonged to the 1830's and lived much of her life within the ideals of that era. There are several books about her life: Drawn from New England, Private World of Tasha Tudor, Tasha Tudor's Garden, The Art of Tasha Tudor. You would also learn much about her life through her children's books since many were stories from her life on the New Hampshire farm where she raised her four children. Her children, and later their children, were depicted in her illustrations.
My first tour of Tasha's garden and house was in 2012. It was a rainy day and I remember wishing it wasn't so dark inside the house. I wanted to capture everything I could in my mind's eye since cameras were not allowed. So when I learned her doll house had been returned to the house in 2014 I went again.....and it rained again. This time Seth, Tasha's oldest son, led our group of four on the house tour. He brought along a flashlight which helped to illuminate the dark areas. You can read about that tour here. I met two ladies, Barbara and Beverly, on the tour who had also been at the first pilot meeting of the Pennsylvania Chapter in 2012 that I'd attended. Barbara shared my Blog post with several friends who corresponded with me about their enthusiasm for Tasha Tudor and I was hooked. I knew I needed to find Tasha Tudor kindred spirits locally and the best way to do that was to put out a call!
I spent all of August rereading the biographical books about Tasha, her craft and cookbooks, and several of her children's books looking for ideas for our Chapter gatherings. I collected Tasha quotes to give as a hand-out, and had a contest to see who had the most traits in common with Tasha. In the folder I made up for each attendee (there were five besides me, plus a reporter from our local newspaper) was a list of Tasha's published works, a museum newsletter, a pen from the museum, a postcard depicting the current exhibit at the museum. . . .
and a lovely illustrated card of what the Museum eventually hopes to build. . . .
I also made recipe cards of the refreshments I served from Tasha's Cookbook and from a Tasha Tudor card Barbara had sent me. . . .
I was so thankful for the respite from the heat and humidity of the day before as everyone gathered in my arbor garden. I served the Lemon Cookies and Stillwater Iced Tea while everyone introduced themselves and talked about how they came to know about Tasha Tudor and what she has meant to them over the years. . . .
Before we got down to the business of the new Chapter I read off a list of things that Tasha was known for. The person with the most things in common with Tasha would win the little prize--a Farmer's Almanac--a publication that Tasha used to help her determine when to plant her various plants each year. As if on cue, someone noticed the hummingbird at the Fushia. I was able to tell them, because I'd just read it in the Almanac the night before, that this was the day when hummingbirds start migrating south. Meanwhile, the reporter from our local newspaper was nearby taking notes and the photographer was snapping away. It made me a little nervous because it was enough of a distraction to make me forget what I was planning to say! Gabriel (my Westie) must have felt my nervousness because he growled at the photographer when the camera was pointed at him. We'll have to see if he makes it into the newspaper article. ☺
Finally, I had to wrap up the discussion if we were going to keep on schedule. I handed out a list of possible activities for the Chapter and asked everyone to add their own suggestions and bring them to our next gathering, Thursday, September 25 at 1:00 so we can plan the coming year's activities.
With that done we headed to the house to browse my collection of Tasha's books. . . .
I served Tasha's special blend of Welsh Breakfast tea, along with the Washington Pie, on the front porch. . . .
I think we could have kept talking (in fact, I told my husband afterwards I should have made it a whole day affair!), but I had to remind everyone if they had a time constraint that we'd better head downstairs to the TV room to watch Take Joy. The video capped the day, reminding us that life is to be enjoyed: taking pleasure in simple things, being connected to nature, and celebrating everyday life.....Tasha shows us what is possible if we put our hearts and imaginations to work.
Rookery Ramblings, the family's Blog, is linking to other Blog posts about the various Tasha Tudor Birthday Celebrations.
The newspaper article can be found HERE.