Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Join us for Tasha Tudor Day, August 28th

August 28th, 2014 is Tasha Tudor Day, or what would have been Tasha's 99th birthday. We like to celebrate by having a quiet tea time with Tasha's favorite tea and goodies, savoring the memories of time together, reflecting on what Tasha would think of the new grandchildren and dogs, what she would have said about the weather. We might pick up a craft in honor of Tasha, bake a special pie or cake, pick beries or can jam with loved ones...whatever fills our hearts with a sense of Tasha.

We invite you to join us!

If you'd like to join us in blogging about what you are doing to take a moment to celebrate Tasha Tudor's memory on her birthday, this Thursday, August 28th, you're invited to use this blog button on your post. Simply copy/paste the code in the box below and add it as an "html gadget" to your blog's sidebar or paste the code into the "html" editor of your blog post. 

Tasha Tudor Day 2014

There is also a small version you can put in your sidebar. Here is that image:

Tasha Tudor Day 2014

We are also making this our first-ever link-up. If you have written a blog post to honor Tasha or share your memories of her on this special day, we invite you to share it with other readers by linking up here (you can hit "Click Here to Enter" and the prompts will show you how to share your blog post).

Happy Birthday, Tasha, we love you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


We've had a lot of cold, rainy days this summer. It's been quite astonishing, really, in stark contrast to the heat of last summer.  

Then again we have had many beautiful days, sunny, 75 and perfectly pleasant. On days like this it's a shame to be inside, so we take reading outside, work outside, the children and animals outside. We take lemonade and watermelon and iced tea out on the porch. We tell stories outside, laugh, run, swim, pick berries. 

We make hay while the sun shines, as they say (even though we don't make hay these days, Tasha has depicted it in the classic scene above, available as a print here). 

It has been so chilly on our mountain that we haven't even had to take the violas out of the windowboxes. They bloom happily in profusion, enjoying the blissful respite from heat. But the more showy stars of the garden haven't abandoned us, and they, too, bloom contentedly.

They always say that a flower doesn't look around it to see how tall or how high or how colorfully another flower is blooming, it simply blooms. And so we should as well, bloom of our own accord and to our own fancy.  A whole field of flowers, each blooming individually, being the best it can be, is an awe-inspiring sight, to be sure.

The corgis have gotten up to some mischief while we've been outside. I return to the Rookery daily to find them in new predicaments. As you can see, Freddie got stuck in the flowerpot by Seth's candle boxes

Then there are the more serious corgis, who supervise to make sure the new soaps are packaged perfectly for you. We have a fresh batch of all of our scents and they make great gifts or little luxuries for a gardener in your life whose hands could use a little soothing.

We start with a whole table full of empty boxes.

And add some comfy bedding for the goats and roosters and nests for the hummingbirds...

Finally, we nestle the freshly cured goat's milk soaps in the boxes, safe for their journeys to their new homes. A fresh bar of soap is such a pleasure. Get yours here before this batch sells out.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer.
Are you excited for autumn?

Story and photographs by Natalie Wise

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 2014 Tea Story by Winslow Tudor

A hot, humid, sunny, windless July day invariably brought an extra degree of happiness to Tasha, especially if she was gardening. By July the perfection of a June garden has mellowed into a green and pastel sprawl of perennials and annuals, some still in bloom but also preparing fruits and seeds. 

While the growing process of a garden at this stage is more subtle, it is no less gradual. Tasha pulled witch grass, goldenrod, chickweed and other garden invaders, as well as jewel weed, though not her special yellow bloosomed variety behind the house. Many of these weeds appeared vigorously after a heavy and sustained rain. She piled weeds on the grass paths throughout the day. 

In the afternoon she served tea, and from her old oak rocking chair on the front porch surveyed the pink blossoms of the beauty bush, the sea of roses and their light green leaves and the darker green of the pines to the south. “There is no purer pleasure than gardening,” she would say. After tea she and any visitors would gather the weed piles and deposit them on the compost. Then it was time to start supper.

Tasha possessed a quiet fondness for honey bees and Bumble Bees. The latter were her particular favorite, the large, slow, loud buzzing quintessential Bumble Bee. When one was immersed in a particularly compelling flower, she would very gently stroke its soft back with her right forefinger. She could tell the male from female by the ratio of its black and yellow coloration.

There are still plenty of Bumble Bees in Tasha’s garden; the Golden Northern Bumble Bee, the even larger American Bumble Bee, as well as the smaller Red-tailed Bumble Bee. Curiously enough, they live in her house, specifically, in the ventilation system beneath the roof of the north dormer on the main house.

After a section of damaged window trim had been measured, fitted and secured, distressed Bumble Bees began collecting along the top of the new board. Their home, food and baby bees had been sealed off! A half inch hole was bored through the new trim. The bees quickly located it, pushed out the extra wood chips, and carried on.

 For Tasha the only drawback to a hot, humid, sunny, calm July day was the occasional thunderstorm that evening. She worried her favorite pine tree at the end of the azalea garden woud be struck by lighting, or her house or barn. Through the many decades Tasha lived at her much-loved home in Vermont, however, her concerns never came to pass. After a thunderstorm she liked to quote Mark Twain: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

Story and photos by Winslow Tudor

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Limited Edition Easter Eggs 2014

Our Limited Edition Easter Eggs are here! Marjorie Tudor has been lovingly crafted these Easter charms this winter, using out-of-print, specially imported trims to make each one a true treasure.

The eggs start out as a blank canvas for the artist, and Marjorie uses her artistic eye and the lovely, old-fashioned trims to create one-of-a-kind blown duck and goose eggs.

How darling are these eggs tucked into a little box, or hung on an Easter Tree?

Though each egg is different, they are all lovingly crafted and sure to delight the recipient.

Colonel Bunn agrees these eggs are special!

Happy Spring!
Natalie and Tasha Tudor and Family

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spring is on its Way

We hope you had a great Valentine's Day and George Washington's Birthday! 

Now that we've enjoyed the February holidays, our attention tends to turn towards spring and Easter. 

The snow at the door of the greenhouse is dwindling. The sun his shining more often, the skies bluer.

Snowshoe and dog paths in the snow in Tasha Tudor's garden.

I love how, even in deep winter, you can still see the depression in the center of the herb circle where the Bay Tree normally sits. He keeps cozy in the greenhouse all winter, but you can see his presence is still missed and the circle waits for him, as we all wait for Spring. 

Keep your eyes peeled on our website for some spring cheer in the form of our collectible Easter Eggs for 2014. Coming soon!

Story and photographs by Natalie Wise

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 2014 Tea Story by Winslow Tudor

Winter evenings brought to Tasha a quiet expanse of hours between the end of evening chores and bedtime. After the dishes were washed, dried and put away, the goats and chickens fed and watered, corgis walked and the canaries' cage covered with an old grey apron to diminish drafts, Tasha sat in her wooden rocker with the blue wool checked blanket over the back, put her feet up on a chair near the cook stove fender, and wrote letters. She wrote to family, friends, publishers and people she had not met but whose lives and endeavors were of interest to her. 

The corgis slept on the floor in the spacer between the back of the stove and the wall, nose pointed to the door that opened into the exterior hall. Even with the blue sand filled draft dodger against the bottom of the door some fresh air came through, bringing news of the night to the ever vigilant dogs. The cat was not as concerned, and spent her evenings on the black wool shawl on Tasha’s lap. She had “a good motor,” Tasha said, hand on the purring cat.  

 Tasha wrote with a black, fine tipped felt pen, and occasionally the same brand pen in blue. But, she said, she never did like to write or draw with the cap on the pen's end. She put the cap on the small red-brown square side table tucked between her rocking chair and chimney. On occasion the cap wound up on the floor and was subsequently discovered by a corgi, who quietly retired behind the stove again and just as quietly chewed it up. When that happened and it came time to end letter writing for the night, Tasha opened the side table's one small drawer, reached in among her eye glass case, extra pens, address book, art pencils, rolls of stamps and other inevitable inhabitants of such drawers, and located an extra cap from a defunct pen. She stacked completed letters in their grey envelopes against the glass base of the end table lamp.

 How many letters Tasha wrote during her life is speculation, though certainly it was in the many thousands. Tasha was unfailingly grateful for her fans and combined with an upbringing and background where she never thought of not replying or thanking someone, answered as many letters sent to her as she could. Of the letters she did write, a percentage no longer exist. But letters that were saved present with unique clarity Tasha’s life at that moment. Little sketches of projects she was contemplating, the weather, what was happening in her garden, or how her illustrations for a book were progressing? These letters bring the unique phrases and enthusiasm that defined Tasha. These letters let us visit with her again. The Tasha Tudor Museum is always extremely grateful to those people that donate letters from Tasha. It allows the increasing number of fans to understand and appreciate her to a greater degree. Thank you for the letters you’ve sent, and please send more.

Story and Photos by Winslow Tudor

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 2014 Tea Story by Winslow Tudor

By January the snow on the ground at Tasha’s home in Vermont is here to stay until spring. Tasha was always grateful for the snow and the cold. Her perennials were far more likely to come back in the spring if able to sleep beneath the snow, and the cold killed some of the diseases and troublesome insects that haunt all gardens. Her barn, house and animals were warmer when a nor’easter banked two feet of snow around the foundations and on the roof. She always commented on the beauty of blue shadowed snow immediately after a storm. 

Tasha did not shovel snow. Her corgi dogs made a narrow track in which she followed. After a few passes a sturdy path resulted and she said she found a small, narrow and not perfectly straight path with undisturbed snow on either side more aesthetic than the wide swath friends and family made for her with shovels. She had two paths during winter. One went out to the driveway where her old green car sat, the other to her chicken house just opposite the back door. She cleaned the ashes from the cook stove and spread them on these paths when they became icy.

      She spent the brightest hours of her winter days opposite the fireplace in her art chair with the light from the North window over her left shoulder, pallete of watercolors to the right, paintbrushes, pencils, inks, erasers, paper, art stand and a cup of tea and speckled sugar cookies before her. If a corgi was not by her feet, it was keeping a lookout on the path by the backdoor.

      Each morning, noon and night Tasha opened the yellow panel door adjacent to the cook stove and the grandfather clock and walked down the hall leading to the barn. That large, solid structure was the winter abode of Tasha’s goats and chickens. The loft held hundreds of light green hay bales. There was stack of four or five down below in front of the milking stand. Tasha climbed the ladder into the loft, threw them down and cut the baling twine that held them together with a long pair of scissors she kept hung on a nail in the wall. The grain room contained barrels of cracked corn, layer pellets, sunflower seeds and a large blue- green chest with molasses-infused goat food. 

The goats lived in a large stall accessed by a Dutch door. They also had an attached shed to the outdoors with a large south window so they could bask in the sun. Tasha opened the top door, threw in a few flakes of hay, filled the manger on the west wall, filled the pail with fresh water, and brought out one of the milk goats to the milking stand. Tasha attributed her lack of arthritis to the fact she had milked cows and goats all her life. She loved her goats, as she did all her animals, and took the most remarkably good care of them.

      Occasionally a white footed mouse fell into a barrel when on occasion the lid was left off. Sometimes Tasha put the mouse in wooden box with a glass front and set it on her art table. She furnished the box with bark, branches, dry leaves that had blown into the corner of the woodshed earlier that autumn, sunflower seeds, a slice of apple and a bit of wool for the mouse to make a nest. During the day she sketched the occupant, then a few hours later, let it go.  

     Tasha was prepared for the long nights and prolonged cold, wind, snow and ice that are the companions of January. With a large woodshed, midsize chest freezer containing vegetables, chicken, tea, broth, ice cream, blueberries, soups and her many interests to keep her occupied, she welcomed approaching snow storms and the peace, solitude and comfort that accompanied them.

 Story and Photos by Winslow Tudor