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Musings: to meditate, think, contemplate, deliberate, ponder, reflect, ruminate, reverie, daydream, introspection, dream, preoccupation, brood, cogitate.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Year With Beatrix Potter & Friends - April

If you are a first time visitor to this monthly Beatrix Potter & Friends post, you may want to view the earlier posts first:  January   February   March

It has come to my attention that our guide, Miss Jemima Puddle-Duck is otherwise occupied with nest sitting.  I am told that Mrs. Cannon, the caretaker's wife, has agreed to let Jemima hatch her own eggs after her earlier near-disastrous attempt.  So, we must content ourselves with a story about two bad mice in the meantime.

Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca were Beatrix's pet mice.  She'd rescued them from a cage trap at her cousin Caroline's in 1903 and wrote a story about them while there during a week of relentless rain.  Later, Norman Warne would provide her a photograph of the doll house he was building his niece, Winifred.  Beatrix's mother would not allow her to visit Warne's brother's home to see it for herself.  One commentator on the story felt, "The tale's themes of rebellion, insurrection, and individualism reflect not only Potter's desire to free herself of her domineering parents and build a home of her own, but her fears about independence and her frustrations with Victorian domesticity."  You can read Beatrix's letters, below, concerning the ordeal. . . .

I shall endeavor to tell you about the goings on inside the little dollhouse. . . . The dolls' house belonged to two dolls, Lucinda and Jane. . . .


One morning they'd gone out in the perambulator for a drive in the park.  Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca, who lived behind the wall poked their heads out their doorway and noticed that there was no one in the nursery.  So they ran across the floor and into the little house where they climbed the stairs to the first floor and peeped into the dining room. . . .

Seeing the food set out on the table they "squeaked with joy!"  But both Tom and Hunca Munca were unable to cut into the ham. . . .
When they were not able to get any of the food off the plates Hunca Munca decided to check out the cansisters labeled Rice and Coffee, only to suffer more disappointment, for they only contained red and blue beads. . . .

The mice were so upset they decided to do as much mischief as they could.  Tom took Jane's clothes and threw them out the window while Hunca Munca pulled the stuffing out of the bolster until she remembered that she could use it as a feather bed. . . .
So with Tom's help they carried it down the stairs and squeezed it into their door hole. . . .
Along with the cradle . . . use for her brood. . . .
This was not all they took.  They carried away some of Lucinda's clothes and several pots and pans.  When the little girl returned with Lucinda and Jane she decided she must post a policeman at the door while the Nurse said she would get a mouse-trap!. . . .

But Tom Thumb had a conscience and decided to pay for the things he broke with a crooked six-pence he'd found under the hearth-rug.  That Christmas Eve they stuffed it into the doll' stocking. . . .

And every morning Hunca Munca would sweep the dollies' house before they woke up. . . .

You can watch the entire story below. . . .


The lesson to be learned from The Tale of Two Bad Mice. . . .
"Violently destroying property that does not belong to you is wrong and inconsiderate.  Stealing, even from dolls, is immoral behaviour.  Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca plunder the doll's house, but later make amends for the damage and stolen furniture with a six-pence coin and housekeeping services."

Beatrix later acquired her own doll's house. . . .

(You can see the miniature food that Beatrix used as her model)

I have my own dolls' house, too. . . .

I've done a post about my doll house that you can see HERE.

These are my practice drawings for the month. . . .

This is the one I decided to paint.  I redrew it on watercolor paper. . . .

Then I painted it using a little more color than Beatrix. . . .

 Here it looks more Beatrix Potter-like if I "fade" the photo a little. . . .

Hunca Munca and I had something in common this month--babies!  Our first little grandson, Alejandro, was born on the 14th--a week before his due date (his father was a day late).  Here is my drawing of the first photo they sent us. . . .

We were able to visit him the next day when he was 27 hours old.  He's as long as his daddy was, but weighs 2 lbs. less--has his nose and hair coloring, but otherwise, looks like his mommy. . . .
I have not seen his eyes open yet!  So I'm eager for our next visit tomorrow.

If you want to make a pom-pom Hunca Munca you can find directions HERE.  The Official Peter Rabbit website has lots of other crafts and activities for children.  Check it out HERE.

There are lots of other Blogs about Hill Top and Beatrix Potter.  Here is one of my favorites:

Art by Susan Branch
In 2012 Susan Branch visited Hill Top and then wrote a book about her two months in England called "A Fine Romance." She also took us along on her trip via her Blog.  You can read about it HERE. She also provided an Appendix on-line to go along with the book which you can see HERE.  You can follow along with her 2-month trip, once they disembarked the Queen Mary II, beginning with THIS POST.

.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!


  1. Congratulations to you and your family, Cathy. Grandsons are so special. Your drawing should go into his baby book. Very nice watercolor of Hunca Munca and her babies. Enjoy your time with your precious newborn grandson. ♥

  2. Thank you, Martha Ellen. ❤️

  3. Such exciting news, congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby Grandson. He is adorable. LOVE the dolls house that you have created, a real dream.

  4. Your Grandson is beautiful Cathy! blessings to all of the family from Auntie Sandy. I enjoyed seeing your watercolor pics & revisiting your doll house!

    1. Thank you, Sandy! I can't wait until you see my grandchildren. ❤️

  5. Good morning, Cathy! I've been away from blogland for quite a while, otherwise caught up in the past researching and documenting our family trees. It's a treat to read your post today and to marvel at the wonderful progress you've made with your artwork! Will try to play catch up over the next few days/weeks. Congratulations on your new grandson.

    Sharon in Alabama

    1. Sharon, I know what it is to get caught up in genealogy research. It's a good thing I finished mine years ago. Thank you for your complimentary remarks on my artwork. It is by no means professional looking, but I am seeing improvement in my drawing which greatly encourages me to keep at the watercoloring.

  6. Greetings Cathy. Congratulations on the arrival of your adorable grandson. I loved reading your journal today as I too am a fan of Beatrice Potter. Your watercolor is so lovely and you captured the color and detail so well. Wishing you a great day, Pat xx

  7. "Very Happy New Grandson" to you and Ken - congratulations Together we do the Dance of Joy!! And of course - Happy Birthday, Alejandro! He is a perfect lil dolly [yes, boys can be dollies, at least they can at THIS age-LOL]. I love his name too! So much fun to say. Such a musical, lilting quality. If I know kids, they probably all end up calling him "Al" but then that's great too. A good solid old-time American name, right? Makes me think of the Turner Classic Movies channel. Humphrey Bogart and Jimmy Cagney - LOL. And I love your Hunca Munca drawing WITH the "original" colors to boot. That little yellow blanket-stitched blankie? I want one. That color is so pretty. I agree with Martha, the drawing you did of the baby should definitely go in his baby book. And how cute would it be to have YOUR Hunca Munca drawing, all matted, framed & hanging on the wall in a certain new Little Mister's room? A very special "birth day" present from his artistic Grandmommy! Sending you a virtual bouquet of violets in honor of your new little guy. Violets ALWAYS me think of babies. Years ago I went to a christening where the godfather had sent the baby a corsage - the teeniest, most precious little baby corsage you ever saw. Of bitty violets in every shade of purple. None of us had even heard of baby corsages before, and it was the biggest hit! What an original idea...

    1. Thank you, Janet! ❤️ I love his name, too. It sounds "strong" to me. 😊 I looked it up and it means
      "man's defender."

  8. Congratulations again on your new grandson. I hope his eyes are open for your next visit! I enjoyed this entry especially as I've read "hunca munch" many times to my grands--even two times last Friday. They love the story and I'll have to show them the video. Discussions have followed about how the two bad mice were doing something naughty and get angry that it doesn't work out, so do more bad things!

    1. I love the discussions you have with your grandchildren! Alejandro DID open his eyes yesterday while we were visiting. He feels so tiny to me--just 7 lbs. 7 oz. His daddy was 9 lbs. 7 oz. My last one was 10 lbs. The first was 9 lbs. 6 oz. so I never had a "newborn."

  9. Congratulation son the birth of your grandson, it will be so exciting to meet him for the first time. I enjoyed reading about the Tale of the two blind mice, it used to be one of my favourite books, i also love the illustrations your painting is wonderful as always. Sarah x

  10. I loved this post!! :-)
    How sweet your new Grandson is!! (I think he resembles you)!!
    I am really enjoying that you are sharing your artwork! It is very insirational!!
    Oh how I love all thing Beatrix!!! :-)
    Now the cupboard that you have converted into a doll house is WONDERFUL!! I would love to come over and look inside at all the lovely things that you have housed it with :-) So sweet my kindred friend !!
    Sending Blessings Joy and Love, Linnie

    1. Thank you, Linnie. I love that you love Beatrix Potter! I meant to mention YOUR Tasha Tudor art work on your post--I love your drawings of her house.


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