Children of Japan

Children of Japan
Courtesy, R. John Wright

The Jumeau 201

The Jumeau 201
Courtesy Theriault's and Antique Doll Collector Magazine

Hinges and Hearts

Hinges and Hearts
An Exhibit of our Metal Dolls

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Tuxedo and Bangles

Tuxedo and Bangles

A History of Metal Dolls

A History of Metal Dolls
Now on Alibris.com and In Print! The First Book of its Kind

Alice, Commemorative Edition

Alice, Commemorative Edition
Courtesy, R. John Wright

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Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory

Emma, aka, La Contessa Bathory
Her Grace wishes us all a Merry Christmas!

Annabelle

Annabelle

Emma Emmeline

Emma Emmeline
Our New Addition/fond of stuffed toys

Cloth Clown

Cloth Clown

Native American Art

Native American Art

the triplets

the triplets

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby

c. 1969 Greek Plastic Mini Baby
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Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Iron Maiden; Middle Ages

Sand Baby Swirls!

Sand Baby Swirls!
By Glenda Rolle, courtesy, the Artist

Glenda's Logo

Glenda's Logo
Also, a link to her site

Sand Baby Castaway

Sand Baby Castaway
By Glenda Rolle, Courtesy the Artist

A French Friend

A French Friend

Mickey

Mickey
From our friends at The Fennimore Museum

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll

2000+ year old Roman Rag Doll
British Museum, Child's Tomb

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll

Ancient Egypt Paddle Doll
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ushabti

ushabti
Egyptian Tomb Doll 18th Dynasty

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

Ann Parker Doll of Anne Boleyn

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Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase

Tin Head Brother and Sister, a Recent Purchase
Courtesy, Antique Daughter

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Judge Peep

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Hakata Doll Artist at Work
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Japanese Costume Barbies

Japanese Costume Barbies
Samurai Ken

Etienne

Etienne
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Dr. E's on Display with sign

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L to R: K*R /celluloid head, all bisque Artist Googly, 14 in. vinyl inuit sixties, early celluloid Skookum type.

Two More Rescued Dolls

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Restored Italian Baby Doll

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tasha Tudor's Doll House Goes Home

See below from Cellar Door, which features the works of Tasha Tudor, who was kind enough to write to me and to illustrate her letter with Sethany Ann and Nicey Melinda! serenitysheepfarmstay.com
A plan hatched, arrangements made. The joy is in the journey, is it not? Pour yourself a cup of tea and read about our journey across the miles to tour Tasha Tudor's Garden and Doll house. A visit to Oregon includes my daughter's house and visits with my Tasha friend, Linda. I made a trip in January just prior to the tickets going on sale for the annual garden tours at Tasha's. In my haste of preparing for travel, I apparently skipped over the part in the family newsletter about the doll house coming back to Corgi Cottage. How could I miss such an important thing? Just as I was about to leave, an email from Kristen, another Tasha friend across the continent, revealed she was going to try to get a ticket and go see the doll house. Imagine my surprise and excitement when she mentioned doll house! As I sat on the plane, my gears were turning. Could we possibly all meet back at Tasha's once again? I wanted to wait and discuss this with Linda in person so I could see her reaction! I knew I would know immediately if she had any interest in returning to Corgi Cottage if I could just see her face when I asked.. Needless to say, her reaction was just what I had hoped for and the two of us started planning and scheming! During that visit to Oregon, plans were made for a private tour with our other Tasha friends. This group I speak of is an internet-based fan group devoted to all things Tasha Tudor. It was founded in 2004 and some of us have known each other even longer than that dating back over 15 years. For some it's an entirely internet relationship, if you will. Others have met face-to-face, as we did seven years ago, to tour Tasha's Garden together for the first time. Just one in this group had never been there before. Patricia was seeing it all for the very first time and we were excited to share this with her. My mailman calls us "Tasha groupies" because I am either sending or receiving things from the group, like lovely homemade Valentines or ornaments from a St. Nicholas Day exchange, things like that! I have to chuckle at the thought of being a Tasha Tudor groupie, but there we were. Brian drove from Ohio, Cathy from New Jersey picking up Suzanne along the way and Melinda and Wilhelmina live in Vermont. We were missing my partner in this whole plan as Linda got stuck at O'Hare overnight. With heavy hearts, Kristen and I set out to Vermont without her, but the Tudors were generous and gracious and allowed Linda a tour the following day. Kristen's husband picked her up that afternoon and drove her up to meet us at the motel. Arriving at the Rookery, we all checked in. From there we took a short walk to Corgi Cottage. We were then split into two groups for the tour. The suspense was killing us as we really weren't certain how much we would be able to see. With the doll house contents recently returned from Colonial Williamsburg and the impetus for this trip, anything else we might get a glimpse of in the process would just be the cream on top. As you know, part of the joy is in the anticipation! My group went in the door on the same side of the house as the gate to her home. We knew we had immediately entered a magical space. One of the first things you see ahead of you from that entrance is the deep red wall with all of her impromptu sketches, phone numbers and prose. A quick glimpse and you see a Corgi here wearing reading glasses, a poem about a wise old owl there. Etched in white everywhere on that red wall is a little piece of Tasha's life from the early 70's on. It continues into the kitchen and onto a doorway, a scattered timeline of many things other family members may have already forgotten. What may have simply started out as a matter of convenience for her has turned into a petroglyph of Tasha graffiti where one could spend literally hours! Taking a deep breath, I quickly realized we were now viewing many of Tasha's paintings come to life. It's difficult to put those feelings into words. Seeing the things we've only seen in print, be it paintings, prints or photographs, in a real life setting was like having the pages of a book come to life. The images popped right off the page and into our reality. It was evident by the oohs and aahs that were uttered and the mouths left gaping by all. It was overwhelming with so much to see. For someone unfamiliar with the layout of the house, and only imagining it prior to this, it can seem a bit of a maze. We wove back and forth and up and down narrow halls and stairways with varying degrees of lightness and dark that replicate the checks on the fabric she wove on her own looms so many years before. The width of some hallways and stairways truly gives you a sense of her diminutive size. I personally felt child-like, being led on a secret journey to a fabulous, unknown destination, enchanting indeed. The sensory overload would at times be too much as we found our own emotions floating to the surface to the point of overflow. Her presence is still very much everywhere in Corgi Cottage, but in some places more than others. It was easy to imagine her petite frame sitting in the rocker next to her woodstove and sipping tea from one of her many Canton tea cups. It was the winter kitchen where she did the vast majority of her artwork that her presence was ubiquitous. The tiny little chair she rescued and used at her art table, her paintbrushes and other supplies, all sitting out for us to see. As Linda put it, "It was like Tasha had just stepped outside for a bit and I kept thinking she would walk back into the house through one of those charming little doors!" It was evident that part of her spirit is still alive in her garden as well as the home her son built for her with his own hands. It is like no other and truly one-of-a-kind. The historical aspect of it all is something worth preserving. Although Tasha did not live in the late 1800's, she chose that lifestyle and it was fun to see things we don't use in our everyday lives anymore. One thing that stood out was a huge wool basket. Being a shepherdess myself, I was excited to see the many and varied historical accoutrements of the fiber world. My heart skipped yet another beat as I wondered where on earth I would put a basket of such measure if I owned one too. Cameras aren't allowed on the tour. As a matter of fact, no bags or purses of any sort are allowed. We knew this from our first tour 7 years ago. At first it seems disappointing, but now I relish in the fact that I had to commit so much to memory. I keep going over it in my mind and thinking of things I'd tucked away to recall again later. It helps to have the group members to discuss it all with too. It's fun to take a little tea break, open one of my many Tasha books and relive it all over again. It doesn't matter which book you open, parts of her home and garden are there on the pages for eternity. What a legacy she has left us all. If I yearned to snap just one photograph that day, it would have been of Amy and Winslow's daughter Ellie. Amy arrived in the garden with kids in tow. Ellie was carrying her pet chicken, "Gray". One of the things I purchased 7 years ago at the Rookery was Tasha's print of the little girl holding the chicken. Be still my heart as yet another of her paintings came to life right there in the garden with her own great-granddaughter. If only she could see it too. The weather was perfect although many plants were not yet in bloom. No one minded a bit as we floated back to the Rookery for light refreshments. Our Annabelle dolls had made the trip with us and they had a tea party on the front steps upon a beautiful turkey-red cloth Brian had provided. We snapped some photos, did some shopping and off we were to Brattleboro to the Museum. Melinda works there part time. It was lovely to have her escort us and she promptly put on tea when we arrived. As luck would have it, we had the place to ourselves and felt like school kids turned loose in a candy store. Melinda put on one of Tasha's videos and we could sit and sip and listen to Tasha, reliving the morning all over again. In this world of made-up Hollywood ratings, I found it very refreshing to find that Tasha's life was as portrayed in her books. Of course settings can be staged, but her life wasn't. It must have been a photographer's dream while snapping photos for her books. To steal away a few minutes, sipping tea, reading one of her many books, creating a play with your children for a performance with puppets, playing dolls as an adult, it's all part of the Tasha magic. It is so important in this day and age to encourage those activities, no matter the age. I've always said my discovery and love for all things Tasha gave me two things. She gave me life-long friendships that I would have never otherwise known and she gave me back my child-like imagination. Through her I realized I don't have to grow up even as an adult. I can still play with dolls if I want to! These are 2 very beautiful gifts I cherish. The family is in charge of preserving Tasha's legacy. They were all very gracious and welcoming and we felt as though we were among friends. I would go again in a heartbeat if I lived closer and had the opportunity to attend. Her home and gardens are deserving of the work they are putting into preservation. Photo provided by LaVonne Stucky Now, more than ever, I believe her art, her work and her lifestyle are so worthy of that preservation. You catch a glimpse of all of this through her books or at the Tasha Tudor Museum in Brattleboro, VT. Check out their website for hours and current displays. The time is now to share this all with the next generation. After the tour we gathered at the motel for a tea party. I had reserved the meeting room and Linda had shipped many wonderful things from her home state of Oregon for the occasion. Others contributed their lovelies, be it edible or useful. We each brought a tea cup for a tea cup exchange and drank from the cups we received. Each person brought treats or treasures to share and then we settled in for a little crafting. We each made a bottle doll from an old salt shaker. We had done a couple of crafting projects 7 years ago as well. There's something very therapeutic about sharing tea and crafting with friends, especially when you see them on such rare occasions. Of course the Annabelle dolls from across the nation had their tea too! Photo provided by LaVonne Stucky My hope for all of you is that you can experience a wee bit of this Tasha magic too! Take Peace! LaVonne Stucky We trust that you will enjoy hearing future news and alerts to upcoming events. If you would rather not receive our newsletter in your email, please click on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of this page. Wm John Hare Cellar Door Books www.cellardoorbooks.com 5 Stone Sled Lane Bow, NH 03304-5509 Toll free: (800) 818-8419

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