Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sophia Turns 2

Dear friends,

Oh, where did our wonderful spring weather go? It has been cold and rainy for what seems like days on end! But we know how to fix that...a party!

 Christina and birthday girl, Sophia, eating strawberry shortcake!

Goodness, has it already been a year that we've had this blog? My very first post was on Sophia's first birthday (you can read about it here). My, has she grown up, as you can see from the pictures below! Sophia, of course, is Christina's (our wonderful packer/shipper extraordinaire) little girl. Of course this occasion called for a party, because we here at Tasha Tudor and Family love an excuse to celebrate (don't you?).

 Party table!

We gathered at the Rookery with lots of food (mmmm...pasta with edamame and chicken, baked brie with grapes and crackers, and more!) and all of our favorite people, including Kathleen of recent needle-felting fame. Of course we decorated with the ribbon banner Christina made for Sophie's first birthday, that she plans to add to each year with new ribbons and pictures. Isn't that such a wonderful keepsake idea? You can see it in the top right corner of this picture below.

Sophia with Kathleen, watching Meggie the corgi

Sophia was actually taking her nap right before her party, and was a bit sleepy at first. Christina made the most delicious strawberry shortcakes for birthday dessert, which of course woke little Sophie right up! Then, presents! Sophia LOVES dogs, and a dog sticker book was very exciting!

She was also given If You Give a Mouse a Cookie the book and stuffed animal (to which she promptly tried to peel the cookie out of his hand!), some adorable clothes (including a set that matches with Ellie Tudor!).

 Little Ellie and Soph are good friends, and of course Ellie was interested in the dogs, too!

And Sophia also received a....Haws watering can! Tasha loved to use this traditional English brand of watering can, and now they make them tiny (and in plastic), in a huge range of colors, for children and indoor plants. She'll be a Haws aficionado in no time... and, of course, we need her help in the gardens!

It kept her entertained (and soaking wet!) for quite some time :-) 

Would any of you be interested if we carried the Haws watering cans, in regular and/or tiny sizes?

Happy Second Birthday, Sophia!! We love having her and her mom around, and we are so blessed to be able to have such a family business. Thank you for your support!

On another rainy May day in Vermont,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Needle-Felted Menagerie

Hello Friends!

We have such a talented bunch of people here at Tasha Tudor and Family, Inc. and we are always sharing inspiration and projects with each other. I am so impressed by the wool needle-felting that Christina and Kathleen from our team have been doing...truly, they are art! I just couldn't not share with you all! Let me tell you how we got started...(yes, it involves cake and ice cream!)

The year our dear Tasha passed away, we wanted to celebrate her birthday with a special gathering of close, special friends and family. Kathleen (whom you'll learn more about below) taught us all how to make these wonderful little felted pumpkin moonshines, as we sat on the porch with homemade  lemon-lavender ice cream and lemon blueberry cake. Here they are, finished, sitting on the porch. Since then, I think Kathleen has hooked a few of us, especially Christina, on needle-felting!

 But before I introduce our wool-felting artists, you may be wondering what I'm even talking about! Needle-felting uses wool roving and a special needle with little hooks on the end to 'sculpt' almost anything. Wool roving can be a bit difficult to describe, but one site I found says, "The wool is combed to remove impurities, washed, carded to pull the fibers so that they are oriented in the same direction, and then gently twisted." You can find more needle-felting resources online, there is plenty of information available!

I'm not sure if you all are familiar with our dear family friend Kathleen, who helped Tasha in her elder years? She helps us out for a lot of events; you may have met her at the Tasha Tudor Memorial Event at Adams Farm, or perhaps took her needle-felting class at the Pumpkin Moonshine fundraiser for the Tasha Tudor Museum a few years back. Kathleen keeps rather busy with her sheep farm and grandchildren, but manages to find time to make wonderful needle-felted critters, mostly from her own roving! She makes these dog portraits for pet owners...they are so cute and clever and the perfect gift for any adoring pet-mother. Kathleen even creates corgis!

 But my favorite of her creations is her Vermont moose, with real-wood antlers carved from Maple by her nephew. It is truly a Vermont product through and through! You can find all of Kathleen's creations and supplies (and request a custom dog portrait or item) on her Etsy shop, by clicking here.

You all know Christina, I hope, she's our fantastically wonderful packer/shipper who is also the mother of almost-2-year-old Sophia. We love both of them so much! Christina learned the art of needle felting when Kathleen showed us all how to make pumpkins at Tasha's memorial birthday party. Since then, Christina picked it up in her spare time and is making a flock of chickens (amongst other animals) for our sometime-project of a marionette production. Aren't they just the most adorable little things you've ever seen? Complete with real feathers, each one has such a personality.

Christina also made this wonderful flower pin that she normally pins to her gray wool hat, but that I always want to steal to wear in my hair, on my purses and tote bags, on belts, on jackets....(Christina, you know what I want for Christmas now!!). She's experimenting with all sorts of other flowers as well. While Christina doesn't have an Etsy shop yet, we are persuading her to sell her things, so if you're interested, just let us know at Tasha Tudor and Family.

There you have it, some of the crafts and projects we are working on here in our spare time. Hope you enjoy! Do you needle-felt?