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Tasha Tudor

  • Subject: Tasha Tudor
  • From: DonWachtel@webtv.net (Don)
  • Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 10:39:44 -0400 (EDT)
  • Content-Disposition: Inline

Narda mentioned Tasha Tudor in another thread.   I had never heard of
her until a couple of years ago when a neighbor lent me several videos
and books about this remarkable woman.   What a fascinating life!
'They' tell us that.....  the new ways are best ..... you can't live in
the past..... you can't go back.  Well, one person (at least) says 'that
is a lie.' 

I knew that she was a kindred spirit because of  something  she said in
one of the videos.  She loved nature but remarked  "I'll shoot a deer if
it eats my plants". 

For those who are not familiar with Tasha Tudor, here are some remarks
in a promo for the video, "TAKE JOY; THE MAGICAL WORLD OF TASHA TUDOR".
----------------------------------------------

"Happiness is a state of mind. Everything here gives me satisfaction, my
home, my garden, my animals, the weather and Vermont." 
--Tasha Tudor
 
For the first time, internationally recognized children's author and
illustrator Tasha Tudor has permitted a film crew to document her daily
life. The resulting intimate portrait of this remarkable woman with an
uncommonly rich imagination is the subject of the video, TAKE JOY: THE
MAGICAL WORLD OF TASHA TUDOR.
 
Tudor, who has been illustrating books for 50 years, is best-known for
her work in the classic children's books The Secret Garden and A Little
Princess. She also has written and illustrated classics such as Pumpkin
Moonshine, A is for Annabelle, The Great Corgiville Kidnapping and
Corgiville Fair. 
An expert craftswoman, gardener, philosopher and cook, Tudor is in many
ways a combination of Henry David Thoreau, Beatrix Potter and Martha
Stewart. She has a deep understanding of nature, transforming even the
most mundane tasks into a celebration of life. A guardian of many dying
arts and crafts, Tudor spins and weaves, makes her own candles and
soaps, and cooks in a wood burning stove. She dresses the part of a
19th-century gentlewoman, wearing characteristic period clothing - a
shawl, long dress, apron and a bonnet. She says that she is drawn to the
old ways -  everything from threading a loom, growing flax, spinning and
milking the goats -   comes so easily to me.
 
Tudor's home, garden and way of life are testament to an incredible
imagination. As viewers enter "Corgi Cottage," her home in a remote part
of Vermont, they enter another era. The house is a maze of dimly lit
rooms, the walls filled with paintings, quilts, wreaths, costumes, toys
and baskets created by the artist. Animals abound: the indoor menagerie
features a pack of corgi dogs and 41 birds, including a society finch,
African diamond doves, Chinese nightingales and two African gray parrots
that recite verses from "The Owl and the Pussycat." The yard contains
another menagerie: Tudor milks her own goats and tends a flock of
chickens. 
Descended from a long line of gardeners, Tudor is an expert. "I'm a
frightful show-off when it comes to my garden," she says. "It's paradise
on earth." She raises her own fruits and vegetables, and has an
extensive herb garden, which she draws upon for cooking and to make
teas, ointments and skin creams.
 
Viewers discover how the magical scenes depicted in Tudor's stories are
drawn from her real life. There are hand-made marionettes that she and
her grandchildren bring to life at Christmas, and an incredibly detailed
dollhouse featuring Captain Thaddeus Crane and his wife Emma, around
whom Tudor has built an entire story. The dolls have been members of the
family, going along on trips and carrying on an active correspondence
(she penned the letters) with her children as they grew up. 

'TAKE JOY: THE MAGICAL WORLD OF TASHA TUDOR'  was recently (several
years ago) awarded first prize in children's programming at the U.S.
International Film Festival and awarded an American Library Association
"Notable" recommendation.

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