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Thursday, November 6, 2014

MD Chapter TTMS - November Gathering


The Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society (TTMS) had their November Gathering today to make Tasha's gingerbread ornaments.  The table was set for lunch. . . .

I put out all the books Tasha illustrated for Christmas and turned on the Christmas music to get us in the mood. . . .
The standing book is an Advent Calendar. . . .
Tasha would cut out her ornaments free-hand. . . .
Since it was November I put out the books that told how she celebrated November. . . .
I made her Corgi Cottage Soup and her Great-grandmother's cornbread. . . .
Foot note:  3 cloves of garlic added at the end in the ingredients list was enough for me!  So taste after each clove to make sure it's not too much for your taste
         
After clearing away the dishes we got to work on our ornaments.  Most of us used cookie cutters. . . .
While the gingerbread ornaments baked we watched Take Peace, the video about Tasha's Christmas preparations and celebration. . . .
Then the icing was put on the ornaments. . . .
We mustn't forget tea time!   I served Tasha's Welsh Breakfast Tea and her Gingerbread cake receipt topped with whipped cream or lemon curd. . . . 
We weren't done yet!  Time to make our dried fruit garlands.  Everyone dried apples and oranges and brought them along with other adornments from nature.  Collectively we ended up using the acorns, star anise, cranberries, raffia, fabric strips, sweet gum pods, rosehips, pinecones, candy canes, garlic bulbs, and the gingerbread ornaments we'd made. . . .
We chatted about our Christmas traditions and which ones we shared with Tasha: the whole family carrying lighted candles into the night to visit a creche in the woods or making an advent calendar with little doors for each day like Tasha's.  Before we knew it, it was time to go even though we weren't nearly finished.  Here are the garlands that were started. . . .
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 After everyone left I stayed at the table and finished mine. . . .It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.  You just need to repeat a sequence of different items, thread them on twine or string, and VOILA. . . .
There was so much leftover I think I'll see what else I can make.

.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!

32 comments:

  1. Cathy this looks like GREAT FUN!!!!! :-D
    I want to.live near you and be in your chapter !!! :-D
    Many Blessings and warmth Linnie

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  2. O that I were in those pictures! What a fun, fun day ... surrounded by Tasha's inspiration and kindred spirits. Thank you for sharing the 'receipts' also; everything looked scrumptious. Wondering if everyone brought their own rolling pins, cutters, etc.? You provided the perfect space for creating memories - well done!

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    1. Yes, they did, but I had a few extras, just in case.

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  3. What a lovey and very full day you had, Cathy! Thanks for sharing your creativity. The other year I finally threw away cinnamon ornaments I made a decade ago; the fragrance was long gone. With all this inspiration, I am thinking about oranges and apples and new cinnamon ornaments for this coming season. I can smell them already...

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    1. I'm going to either use my leftover fruits in a wreath or just hang them on the tree with raffia or ribbon--along with a popcorn and cranberry string. I think going all natural this year might just be the thing!

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  4. Cathy ~ What a lovely day you all had! All of the food looks scrumptious and nice to include the 'receipts'. The dried fruit garlands and baking cookies looked like FUN! Loved all the photos for those of us not in attendance---all around nice day was had by the MD chapter, it seems! What a way to celebrate November with Tasha Tudor kindred spirits!

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    1. Thanks, Mary. We DID have fun! But as always, we needed more time. I've said this before that I need to make our gatherings an all day affair. I think I will propose this for our February gathering, which, of course, will be all about making Valentines.

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  5. What a lovely day you all must have had, Cathy. Not just one meal, but tea too! And all homemade! You put so much into everything you do, that is just great. Everytime you post about one of your events it makes me wish I lived in Maryland. Anywhere in Maryland would be OK, I'd make the drive! LOL. And what a beautiful table you set, by the way. Your dining room is beautiful and so welcoming. What is that china pattern? It's so pretty. I used to know 100s of china patterns by sight. When I was in my 20s and teaching, I also worked part-time as the "bridal registry lady" for 5 years at a department store in Rochester and was introduced to the World of Tabletop. Needless to say, this was the bestest part-time job I could have ever hoped for. Right up my alley! The store I worked at was the premier store in the city at the time and we consultants were all very well-trained. We needed to be able to assist brides in compiling their registries and also answer any questions shower & wedding guests might have. So there were workshops & seminars all the time at different branches of the store on all aspects of tabletop [china, crystal, silver], housewares, small appliances, linens. Manufacturers would present their lines, answer questions etc. There was even training in color and design. We learned the differences between bone china, porcelain, stoneware, ironware, ceramics. We learned about lead crystal versus standard glassware. Did you know that certain manufacturers even have unique shapes for their china? For example, I can spot a Lenox pattern "at 20 paces" as they say [don't need to see the design]. I learned so much that I still use today. I can even still ID a lot of patterns, although not many of the newer ones of course. I could tell you more about thread count than you'd ever believe possible [just be sure you never ask, LOL!!] Well, I'm looking forward to the next TTMS event even though it will be virtual for me. PS - those dried fruit ornament garlands are really pretty. Is there any scent left to them after they dry? Take care and talk to you soon.

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  6. I've noticed different shapes but did not realize they were specific to certain manufacturers. My dishes are by Johnson Brothers and is a Laura Ashley design from the 1970's--my first real set of dishes (not dime store bought). I've bought other dishes since then because I wanted a change or needed a larger set, but have kept these because I love them so much.

    OK, I won't ask about thread count! But I am interested to know, concerning sheets, what the best # is. Below 300 is too scratchy for me and I've read that if you go too high, the sheets wear out faster.

    The fruit don't have a lot of scent left, and I decided to try spraying them with acrylic spray to preserve them and now the apples smell like chemicals if you sniff too closely! But at least the oranges "aired out" and I can't smell anything now. One of the ladies dried her limes weeks ago, put them in a plastic bag, only to find them all moldy the night before our gathering--I shared mine with her since there was no time to make more.

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    1. Will try to keep this short. OK, there isn't a "best" thread count or a magic number. The best count is whatever feels comfortable to you. High count definitely does not mean high-quality. It does, however, mean more $$$. Which I personally think is not justified. Thread count is just the number of threads woven within a square inch of fabric. The higher the count, the softer & silkier the sheet. Good-quality sheets can come as low as 180-count. Anything over 200 is generally marketed as "better-quality." Personally my own preference is for lower-count because I like texture & crispness. I buy 100% cotton muslin or cotton flannel sheets no higher than 200-count. Would buy these even if I was a millionaire. PS - higher count linens aren't more or less durable either. Durability depends on the fabric, not count. For durability, just buy cotton [100% when possible]. Cotton is really one of the best things God ever put on the planet for us. Can't be beat. Breathable, comfortable, absorbent, easy-care, versatile, natural. If softness is important as well, look for "bamboo cotton" [bamboo fibers are woven into the cotton]. The bamboo [very sustainable resource] keeps cotton pliable & soft. Pretty much forever. And I can vouch for this. I have multiple pairs of navy blue bamboo cotton socks that have been washed 100s of times & still feel exactly the same as the day I took them out of their packaging. Hope this was helpful [even if not short]. LOL.

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    2. Janet, so you mean Egyptian Cotton isn't anything special then? I should look for something with bamboo fibers instead? Thanks for the lesson! Penneys used to carry my favorite sheets, but don't anymore. I'd always buy them when they had their 1/2 price sale. But now I have to find a new favorite as my sheets start to wear out.

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  7. Cathy, your gathering for your Tasha Tudor group looks like so much fun! What a fun packed day you all enjoyed. Your home looks lovely ---all filled with kindreds enjoying yourselves. Oh how I wish I lived in MD. Enjoy your weekend! ♥

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  8. Looks like a wonderful time for all. Puts me in quite a Christmas' y mood to be sure :) Blessings friend

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  9. Another wonderful meeting! So wishing I was nearby to come join in the fun! That sounds like a wonderful day, I wouldnt mind doing that myself! I love all the thought and care you put into it. And your tea set is beautiful, I have a weakness for blue and white dishes!
    Ive been thinking of doing little winter garlands as well. Also, when you're done with them, you could hang the ones with the fruit on them outside to feed the birds! What a treat!

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    1. Thank you, Heather. I'm thinking of going all natural for my tree this year, except for the lights (can't risk candles!), so I'd better get started!

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    2. With a baby under foot, we're going to go with 'unbreakable' as our tree theme! Thinking of using mostly my straw scandinavian ornaments, they're so simple and sweet!

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  10. No, you're correct - Egyptian cotton is probably the best type there is, followed closely by pima cotton [grown in US - look for marketing name "Supima"]. Supima is better-regulated than Egyptian however, so I prefer to buy that when I can. Linens made from either of these cottons, however, will be very high-quality, no matter what the thread count. You should pay more attention to the type of cotton than the thread-count. I like items made from "bamboo cotton" [a blend of bamboo and cotton fibers] better than any other fabric I've ever bought because for some reason, it remains pliable and soft no matter how often it's washed. Normally an item changes, and not for the better, after its first trip through the laundry. But bamboo cotton always feels the same and some of my socks are years old now. I used to have bamboo cotton towels which were the same way, but they were so well-used that they've been consigned to the rag bag. If you'd like to try it, I recommend just getting a pair of bamboo socks and seeing how you like it.

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  11. As one of the people at the November event...it was perfect in every way. Cathy thinks of everything to make our meetings fun, productive and memorable. Thank you, thank you thank you. Cindy

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    1. Well, Cindy, it's because you and the other ladies are very easy to please and show your appreciation in such lovely ways. It was my pleasure! I love having the company to do fun things with!

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  12. What a wonderful way to spend a day. It didn't seem like anyone had to rush away for another appointment if you were able to fit all of that in. The food looks delicious.

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    1. We did run out of time, though, so most of the garlands had to be finished at home. Also one person needed to leave before we even started the garland, so we could easily make our gatherings an all-day affair.

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  13. Oh my I am speechless! What a beautiful day you all had--I am with Linnie, wishing I lived near you:-)

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    1. It's really quite easy to come up with ideas when you're inspired by Tasha Tudor!

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  14. Cathy, you certainly are doing a GREAT job with your chapter. Lucky ladies that get to attend:) Joyce M.

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  15. Th is such a special post, thank you Cathy for haring this special day with us. How I would have loved to have been there with you all, I would have so enjoyed all that you did and ate. I bet you had such fun with friends.
    The garlands are lovely, I use dried things too.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. I wish you could have been here, too. You probably could have had some great ideas!

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