WELCOME

WELCOME to the Take Joy Society. We are a group of ladies who first met because of our love of Tasha Tudor's art and lifestyle. We are broadening our focus to include other artists/writers/people of interest who embody Tasha's philosophy to Take Joy in all the good that life has to offer. Here you will find a record of our get-togethers and resources to help you see that the gloom of the world is but a shadow so that you, too, can Take Joy!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Tasha Tudor's 100th Birthday Anniversary

It is only fitting that the first post on Take Joy Society's web journal is one about Tasha Tudor's 100th birthday celebration.  Six members of the Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society gathered in my arbor for a supper of BBQ beef sandwiches, potato salad, corn on the cob, tomato, basil & watermelon salad, and strawberry iced tea. . . .


Using the quote by Henry David Thoreau that Tasha often shared. . . .
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.    
. . . .we will spend the coming year focusing on fulfilling our dreams--whether they've been in the background or newly acquired.  To facilitate this I presented each member with a journal in which they were to answer the following questions. . . .
1.  If you had the time each day, what would you do to have fun?
2.  If you had five other lives to lead what would you do in each of them?
3.  Is there something in one of those lives you could be doing now?

Then I sent them off into the woods to contemplate their answers. . . .

When they returned we celebrated Tasha's birthday with Becky's Birthday Cake with Cocoa Frosting. . . .

I had a list of corrections for this cookbook and corrected the amount of butter before printing this out.  When I made it I discovered that the 1/2 cup of milk was not nearly enough, so I added an additional 1/4 cup.  It was still almost like cookie dough rather than cake batter.  It was a very dense cake, so if you wish to make this recipe I would suggest you experiment using similar recipes to see what might be amiss. . . .
The frosting, however, turned out just right. . . .
We enjoyed our cake and ice cream . . . .
Cindy, Debra, Carol, Edie, Linda

As I was preparing for Tasha's birthday celebration on Friday I remembered how I was taken totally by surprise when I received the news in June 2008 that she had died.  I'd always believed she'd live to be 100.  She was such a vital, creative, hardworking person that I could not imagine her living any less than a century.  It was then I realized that she had lived to be 100 for me.  This past year I collected the last of her books to complete my collection, made recipes from her cookbook to serve at our gatherings, made crafts from her craft books, and read/watched again all the biographical books and videos about her.  I was a "student" of Tasha Tudor, learning everything I could about her and shared all this with the Chapter.

To name a few of our activities:  we made gingerbread ornaments. . . .
Cut-wool rabbits. . . .
Sparrow Post Boxes for Valentine's Day. . . .
Attended a Maple Syrup demonstration . . . .
I'd focused each of our gatherings around activities she wrote and drew about each month in her many books and in the process found like-minded friends.  Each of us were drawn to Tasha Tudor for different reasons, but the underlying quality that she held for each of us was her ability to take joy in her everyday life.  It seemed only fitting to highlight this aspect of Tasha as we moved into the next phase of our journey as a group. . . . which is when I announced I'd resigned as leader of the Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society and was starting my own Society. . . .
Art by Susan Branch
This Web Journal will be one of our resources for encouragement as will our get-togethers.  As the Take Joy Society we will broaden our focus to include other women of note who have forged their way in their field despite the challenges, using and developing their talents.  We will look for ways to spread Joy within our group and in our community.  To get us started I gave everyone a copy of Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance, because Sarah is another woman I've greatly admired.  Simple Abundance contains daily readings based on the Simple Abundance Principles . . . .

Gratitude
At the heart of Simple Abundance is an authentic awakening, one that resonates within your soul: all you have is all you need to be genuinely happy. All you need is the awareness of how much you really have and then give thanks.

Simplicity The simpler we make our lives, the more abundant they become. There is no scarcity except in our souls.

Order Lasting change does not happen overnight. Lasting change happens in infinitesimal increments: a day, an hour, a minute, a heartbeat at a time.

Harmony Harmony is the inner cadence of contentment you feel when the melody of life is in tune.

Beauty Creating a beautiful life is your highest calling. It is in the ordinary and overlooked details of the every day that beauty is revealed, sustained and nurtured.

Joy Your happiness is not a frivolous expendable luxury. Joy is your soul’s purpose.

And because I like to give surprises, I had a copy of Tasha Tudor's A Time To Keep to give away.  This was the book I used to plan our monthly themes this past year.  I put a small flower sticker on the back of the gift tag of the bag containing the book Simple Abundance.  Cindy handed out the bags and Debra ended up with the winning tag!   She said she never won anything until she joined this group (she won the book at our Christmas Tea, too!)

Other handouts were . . . .
Susan Branch's. . . . 
. . . . and Susan's Vitality Bookmark which can be downloaded from her website.

I included a poem about keeping a dream in the making. . . .
We discussed the questions I'd sent them into the woods to contemplate and will use their answers to plan our gatherings for the coming year.  My dream has been to learn to draw so I can illustrate the many children's stories I've written.  These are a few of my renderings from Tasha's sketchbook that I've drawn. . . .


As we wrapped up our evening I took everyone past our little pond to see the lily pad candles--representing Becky's Birthday cake floating down the stream. . . .

It had grown dark by the time everyone departed, but "The gloom of the world is but a shadow.  Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy.  TAKE JOY!

Our agenda this coming year?  We will explore what it means to Take Joy in the little things.  We'll express our creativity; look for ways to help others (i.e., make cards for members' shut-in mothers, visit them taking along tea and scones); take steps toward fulfilling our dreams; notice the beauty all around and share it with others.  These are just a few ideas so far....won't you join us?

P.S.  Take a moment to explore the resources on this web page:  The tabs at the top of the page:  Poetry, Music, Quotes, Movies, Books which I will add to as I find them (feel free to suggest links).  Along the side is the Fra Giovanni poem that inspired this Web Journal; a beautiful meditation with video that reminds me of a Monet painting; and other Web Journals, as I discover them, that embody the message of taking joy in the little things that life has to offer.

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Take Joy!

Cathy