EDIT: Congrats to the winner, Living In Song (Emily!)
Hello friends, and welcome to another Tasha Tuesday! This week we continue to celebrate the beloved author, illustrator and lifestyle icon in the month that she would have turned 105 years old.
Each Tuesday this month, I will have a new Tasha Tuesday post, chatting about something Tasha Tudor related, and also a little bonus treat– I will be giving away a Tasha Tudor related prize each week as well. To enter to win the prize, you just leave a comment here on my blog, and/or on the corresponding instagram post on my instagram feed! You are welcome to comment in both places to increase your odds of winning. I am also so so thrilled to announce that I have a wonderful partner in these giveaways– Anokhi— who make gorgeous authentic Indian block printed scarves like the ones Tasha was famous for wearing. Anokhi is also a small, family run business that is now in it’s second generation. I know you will love them, I have several, and they are all beautiful!
Read through to the end to see what this week’s prize is, and a special thanks to Anokhi for being a part of Tasha Tuesday!
This week I’d like to share a bit about my favorite Tasha Tudor books, and starting a Tasha Tudor book collection–
My Favorite Tasha Tudor Books
Sometimes when I post about Tasha Tudor, I get asked what are the best books to buy about her, or which of her books are my favorite. Tasha has a large catalog of work, and there are several wonderful books about her life written by Richard Brown and Tovah Martin. Sadly, many of her books are going out of print and becoming harder to find than they were even 5 years ago. That might make them more of a challenge to find, but now I consider Tasha books a bit of a treasure hunt, and have had some great luck finding cheap used copies for sale online, at estate sales, library sales and at antique malls. Estate sales are especially good places to find nice quality Tasha Tudor books, because her books tend to be family favorites that are loved and well kept. But I’ve also happily added tattery, much read and even a little marked in library discard copies to my collection.
So if you’re up for the hunt, here are a few of my very favorite books to keep your eye out for, and I hope you enjoy them…
1. The Private World of Tasha Tudor by Richard Brown
Perhaps “the” book about the life and work of Tasha Tudor, this gorgeous book is filled with amazing photographs and beautifully written vignettes about Tasha. It also includes photos of her illustrations and is a wonderful blend of art, photography and story. This is the first book I ever read about Tasha and her life, and it was my gateway to her as a person. It was published in the mid-1990s, around the time that Tasha was often featured in Victoria Magazine. It shows Tasha at her very best, I think.
The book is part biography, part gathering of quotes and loose stories and a ‘year in the life’ study of this very interesting and unique artist. If you’re wanting to learn more about Tasha herself, this book is a fantastic introduction. I’ve heard that it’s getting harder and harder to find now and is perhaps no longer in print. But it worth hunting out, and if you happy upon it, snatch it up! You wont regret it.
2. The Tasha Tudor Cookbook
This book is a family favorite, and the pages of my copy are so smudged and a bit dirty, so that you know it’s well loved. I believe this one has also gone out of print, but it is well worth searching out. Inside, Tasha shares many of the ‘iconic’ Tasha dishes, such as Dundee Cake, gingerbread cookies (two recipes, one for eating and one that’s more for making her famous decorations) and dishes for all seasons and tastes. One of my husband’s most favorite meals is in this book— Tasha Tudor’s Meatloaf is a common request from him for a birthday or anniversary dinner!
This cookbook is very thorough, and it’s fun to read the little introduction to each recipe where Tasha shares how she came to have the recipe. Some were taught to her by her beloved Scottish nanny, and others were passed on by friends of her children (including a granddaughter of Maria Vonn Trapp!). It’s heartwarming to hear her talk with pride about which dishes her children are particularly good at making, and her son Seth and daughter Bethany both have recipes included that are their specialties.
3. A Time To Keep
A Time To Keep is a precious, beautiful book that goes through the whole year in story form about “what we used to do when mummy was a little girl.” It is more or less a retrospective of the fun things Tasha Tudor’s family did while she was raising children, with the characters existing in Tasha’s unique world of old fashioned living, with small glimpses of modern life. You’re not exactly sure ‘when’ Mummy was a little girl, but it’s delightfully nostalgic, and the best of what you’re looking for when you want a good Tasha Tudor story.
The text in the book is minimal, so it would make a good book for early readers. It also gives you tons of ideas of seasonal activities to do as a family, which is great. We could all make a year’s supply of candles! Why not!!?! 😉
Another similar book to this is Tasha’s “Around the Year” which also goes through a year depicting old fashioned seasonal activities but it is smaller and doesn’t have a specific narrative like this book does. If you’d like to find other Early Reader books “1 is One” is a great book that also includes counting practice, and “A is for Annabelle” is a lovely alphabet book.
4. Becky’s Christmas
This book I selected as a specifically Christmas book, because I absolutely love it. Unfortunately it is hard to fine and long out of print. My copy is a bit rough because it was obviously a well loved copy in a library, but that’s fine by me….the text and art are still lovely. This book is more of a substantial read and a detailed story about how a little girl named Becky and her family are preparing for an old fashioned Christmas. At one point, Becky goes to her grandmother’s house to work on a big old loom for a gift for her mother— you know I love that!
Becky’s Christmas (and it’s companion book, Becky’s Birthday) are wonderful, old fashioned stories. They are the kind of things I would have loved as a little girl, since I was very into the Little House books and anything ‘old timey’ or pioneer. The story is beautifully showcased by Tasha’s detailed artwork, full of old fashioned living, New England atmosphere and of course, lots of corgis. If you happen upon this book second hand, snatch it up and count your blessings! It is truly a treasure.
If you’re looking for other great Christmas books by Tasha, “The Christmas Cat” by Tasha’s daughter Efner Tudor Holmes (and illustrated by Tasha) is a very sweet book, and is easier to find. You can also find Tasha’s illustrated version of “The Night Before Christmas” fairly easily, as I believe it’s still in print.
I hope this list is helpful to you if you’re interested in collecting the work of Tasha Tudor. I have been collecting her work for many years now, and my collection is far from complete. The fun of it now is the hunt, as sometimes I come across a Tasha Tudor book when I least expect it, and it’s like coming across a dear old friend.
I wish you best of luck as you make your own collection! Maybe you’ll come across your very favorite book!
And now— for this week’s giveaway!
This week’s giveaway includes another gorgeous scarf by Anokhi, in a cheerful yellow and teal color scheme as well as an 8×10″ print of my own original Tasha painting, Tasha Tudor at Home. To enter to win, just comment on this blog post! You can also post on the corresponding instagram post. Good luck! And— Take Joy!!
Winner will be announced here on Friday. Good luck!!