Tasha Tuesday

 Today is the type of day that I love. Winds are shifting, but it’s still warm. Dark clouds are gathering in the west, it’s got the look of gray foreboding. It’s Bronte weather. A storm is going to blow over the prairie soon.
  Of course that meant first thing this morning I needed to leash up the dogs and head out into it. I think Tasha Tudor would approve. I imagine she went out and walked her corgis in all kinds of weather. She probably slipped on a beautiful cloak or something and went out into the wilds like a Bronte sister as well.
   Then, I’m sure, she realized how perfect a good gray and stormy day is for painting and headed in to her work table. That’s my plan for today as well.
   There is nothing, nothing more perfect, then cuddling up with a quilt, sleeping dogs at your feet, paint brush in hand as thunder rumbles in the distance. Rainy days make for good art.

   I don’t know about you, but the world around me here in Oklahoma in late January is sort of brown. In the past I hated that. But as I get older, the more I like brown. Brown is the perfect mellow backdrop for all sorts of things. And, like white, there are all sorts of wonderful shades and depths to brown, from earthy dark to gentle pale. Just look at the tones of these gourds, hanging off the back fence just waiting for some adventurous wrens or chickadees to move in and devour last summer’s giant sunflower:

   And while from all appearances the field just outside my back gate is all asleep, there is some life to it! little birds and hawks and even an evening owl are always flitting around in it. My bunnies have gotten quite spoiled and prefer the prairie grass (with some rosemary from the herb garden— it’s the only thing still green around here!) with their morning breakfast.

   People are often surprised that I keep the bunnies outdoors in most weather (aside from when its 114 outside, a sweaty rabbit is quite a miserable sight!) but they love it. They have lived indoors as well and they get agitated and jumpy. Outside, they love to feel the breeze in their fur and smell the smells and hear the sounds. They are so laid back and happy outside. They are definitely outdoor creatures. Of course I do cover their hutch when it rains or gets very windy. And they’re latched in so they can’t get out (although they have escaped a time or two…one morning a while back I came outside to find the girls exhausting and lounging in the yard from a good pre-dawn romp around the yard! Mr. Darcy, of course, was waiting patiently in the hutch for them to return. He’s not the adventurous sort.)

  As I’ve written to you the sky has darkened and it’s that quiet before the storm. I am off to wet my brush and get to work. I’m sure that Tasha would agree!~

~H

287 thoughts on “Tasha Tuesday

  1. wow, thats so interesting, I have never heard of this test, I'm a water color artist and my inspiration usually comes from nature that I see on my daily walks.Thankyou for sharing this today.

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  2. Wonderful post, Heather! I definitely agree that creating your own life is an art. I haven't taken that test but I have a feeling I am a 4 too! Sounds just like me! 😉 ~Lauren

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  3. Well, I am a tie between 1 & 6 which are reformer and loyalist. These categories pretty much describe me too. But I scored lowest on 4!!!!! I love that Tasha was able to use her life as a living experiment for botany, animal husbandry, handcrafted living and painting and writing for generations to enjoy. What a gift to so many people around the world!!

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  4. Interesting post Heather. About the comment \”some say it's frivolous to live life in pursuit of beauty\”, there have been times in my life when I have felt frivolous, guilty even for pursuing an art filled life but then I try to imagine what the world would look like if no one did, so I continue on using the talents that God gave me.Here's to living a life that's uniquely you.By the way, I'm a 4 too followed closely by 7.

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  5. I had a tie between 1 and 5. People usually tell me I'm \”practical.\” Not very romantic, but probably true! That being said, I don't see the pursuit of beauty as a problem. I may not create it, but I try to always surround myself with it. I'm a consumer of beauty rather than a creator!

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  6. I think the majority of knitting work was completed in the winter months, when outdoor chores were at a minimum.I live in south Texas, where there really is no \”down time\” throughout the seasons…sometimes I daydream of a winter season, snuggled in the house…:)

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  7. I'm Canadian, my family is from Scotland, tea for us is Red Rose loose tea, always, and its very hard to find so we buy in bulk.Tea as a meal was always at 3 in our house and mine as well.We sat down for tea at 3, cake cookies and tea, maybe a sandwich for my Dad or Grandfather, I still have tea at 3 but just a small snack, we have supper at 6 .I drink tea in the morning as well, we also drank herbal teas growing up and now but more for medicinal reasons that enjoyment.

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  8. Loose black tea, in a tea pot, with sugar and a bit of milk or cream. This obsession is fairly new to me as well. I found out I'm either allergic to coffee after all these years of drinking it, or am just having bad reactions to the caffeine. Black tea with sugar and crushed mint leaves? Also divine.

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  9. Laurie, Now that is fascinating! I've never heard of Red Rose tea! Where do you get it from? How lovely to have that tradition in your family that you still honor 🙂

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  10. I grew up in a coffee and tea house, coffee for my mom with a touch of milk and tea (usually red rose black tea) for my dad with a ton of honey. I gave up caffeine about a month ago, it makes me all jittery, but I was craving chai this morning so here I sit with my Biggelow vanilla chai I like it with honey and half and half…Yum! Oh, and decaf green tea with lemon in the morning. Yay for tea!

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  11. What a fun post!!! 🙂 I must say that I am a big fan of coffee. I do like tea, but I have to be in the right mood. I adore chai – that is by far my favorite. My hubby is a major tea fan. He drinks all kinds of loose leaf teas. Another tea I like is matcha green tea – it's powdered. I use it for green tea cupcakes, muffins and quick breads. Not only is the bread a lovely shade of green, but it's quite tasty!

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  12. I love tea but have never created the routine of drinking hot tea except on occasion. My first love is coffee( I drink decaf)and that is my go to beverage in the morning, afternoon or evening when I want something hot. Lately, I have been trying to cultivate a tea preference at work since the coffee there is horrible. It sort of works but just does not catch on. Maybe I am just a creature of routine??? Or maybe just not an Anglophile!

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  13. I love hot teas! I'm in south Texas, so when it's too hot, I go with iced, but if the morning is cool, I'll have a cup of hot tea. :)You can decaffeinate any tea by steeping it in hot water for 30 seconds (then move it into your teacup to steep for your tea). 🙂

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  14. My parents are both tea drinkers, so I still have tea every afternoon between 4 and 5. I mostly drink PG Tips and add some milk and even a bit of honey when I feel like it. I love chai, too! I usually make a chai latte with about 1 1/2 cups of tea and another 1/2 cup of warm whole milk. I add honey to it, as well. I also love camomile tea and mint tea. (And camomile and spearmint together!)My dad's family was already in America before the Revolution, but they were loyalists, so I imagine they didn't do any tea dumping!

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  15. I'm an American who moved to England recently and so your subject of tea brought a smile to my face. I've never liked coffee, and always been a big tea lover. My new husband however, who is British, prefers coffee to tea, lol. When we go out to a restaurant they almost always assume I want coffee because I'm American so they giggle when I say that I'll have the tea and he will have the coffee, lol.It's also quite strange because the word tea here in England has several meanings. It's a drink, a meal, a snack, and sort of a time of day, lol. Great post, and I look forward to seeing more of your blog!

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  16. Ååh, thanks so so much dear you! I have missed this one totally, how wonderful..tonight I´m going to the dvd store and look if they have it for rent..do you think they have, and if..we´re going to watch it this very evening. and the bood I just have to read too! I love children movies where it´s magic and lovely old houses..nature. I love of mine is Nanny Mcphee..both of them!!! Didn´t have the time mailing yesterday..this evening I will!!! thanks for all lovely inspiration ***love Lycke

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  17. and about the garden..I feel it is a hidden place. with old beautful gates shutting the rest of the world out in a way..a place of peace and magic..somewhere you can always go..love Lycke

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  18. *sigh* I just love The Secret Garden, both the book and the film.I'd love to have my own secret garden one day, tucked away behind an iron gate locked by a big old key. Some where to sit and relax, listening to the bees and watching the flowers bloom. 🙂

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  19. Briana,its one of my favorites too. Other adaptations have come and gone, but this one seems so real. Love it. And love the clothes. I want to dress like a 10 year old victorian girl, haha!

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  20. The movie was a favorite of mine growing up but I remember it being kind of strange the first time watching it because it was such a different movie compared to the typical Disney movies I was accustomed to watching at the time. But now I can appreciate the emotion and the story, I will definitely have to read the book.

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  21. Always one of my very favourite books, and some of the illustrations from different versions are just perfect. There was a BBC television adaptation that I have always preferred to the film … did it air in the US? If you ever get a chance to see it I'd highly recommend it 😀

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  22. I love this post! The Secret Garden is one of my favourites too. We even have a pop-up version in my eldest daughter's room with paper characters you can move around in the garden.The whole world is a garden and the possibilities of artistic interpretation are endless.Stephanie

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  23. When my girls were in late elementary school, my friend and I read The Secret Garden every night to our kids and neighbors in early evening. Everyone crowded on the floor and sofa to listen to 1-2 chapters . Even though they could read on their own, there was something magic about being all jammed together for story hour together. It was the most memorable reading of that story that I can remember!!

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  24. Oh, I didn´t know Tasha had illustrated The Secret Garden! What a wonderful picture. I recently re-read the book. And now I want to see the movie too. As for the world being a garden; I have a book that I call \”The Book of Light\”. It´s hand-bound book that I made myself and on the book pages I write down little inspiring notes and add pictures that I like. Last week in my Book of Light I wrote down that \”I will cultivate my inner garden\”. So I think one could call the mind/ soul a garden. And it´s a very interesting thought you have here that whole world is a garden. I hadn´t thought about it those terms before- what an inspiring way to look upon the world!

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  25. I love tea, i have at least 4 cups of tea a day and of course it is always hot with milk and no sugar. But then again i am British and it's what the British do best. I'm sure Tasha would be very proud of you 🙂 xx

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  26. I saw the movie in the theater when it came out! Loved it and had it on VHS. Haven't seen it in forever, though. I'll have to put it on my Netflix queue. Talk about nostalgia!I read The Secret Garden, but the edition I had wasn't illustrated by Tasha Tudor. 😦

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  27. Hi there sweet you! I would love to go too. how wonderful that would be 🙂 you know I´ve always imagined me walking around in dresses and headbands like Tasha, in my garden when old…how wonderful ..the dreams! Mailed you a little just a minute ago. hope you are well from your cold now ***love Lycke

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  28. I'm with you, I look like I'm ready to plant a garden when i'm painting and Tasha always looked so proper, so lovely, I loved the photos of her in her bare feet in her lovely dresses, I wish I was clser I would loveto see this exhibit,

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  29. Vermont has been on my bucket list of places to visit and now I know one place I will visit when I finally get a chance to go!! Love the link to visit the museum too so thanks. It is so hot down here in Florida that most of her dresses would be too heavy to wear. We are into shorts, sleeveless tops and flip flops for gardening down here. Already reaching 90 degrees every day recently!!

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  30. Oooh that would be a really awesome exhibition. Too bad Paul doesn't get more vacation. We're using his two weeks this year to go to England (I'm very excited).I looked through the newsletter online and it made me really sad that I don't live in New England. I really need to be somewhere with more history!

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  31. The Tasha Tudor Museum in Vermont and Beatrix Potter´s home Hill Topp in England are among my dream places to visit. One day I will hopefully. It´s good though that it´s possible to feel a bit \”Tasha atmosphere\” wherever you are in the world. Through her books and through getting inspiration from her life style. I once read about a woman who works in the garden in Vermont. Seems like a wonderful place to work…

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