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!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Little Golden Books Get-Together


To go along with last week's "Picture Book Perfect" Get-Together the Take Joy Society planned another outing in order to see the Golden Legacy: Original Art from 65 Years of Golden Books exhibit in Hagerstown. . . .

But first, member Carol Brashears, who planned today's activities, wanted to share the mission and lovely building of the Women's Club of Hagerstown. . . .

Here we are admiring a flower arrangement in the Club's very large banquet room, where dinners are served for special occasions and concerts and plays are sometimes performed by local groups.  The portrait is of Mrs. Emmett Gans, the founder of the Women's Club. . . .

As we toured the first floor we passed several displays the ladies had put together and I thought how fun it would be to have another house to decorate. . . .

They had a collection of teapots and dishes to choose from for their Teas. . . .

We sat in one of the parlors while Carol told us the history of the house.  Here we are looking at the Federal-design border along the ceiling that was added during the remodel following a fire in the attic in 2006. . . .
In 1838 Susan Hughes had the Federal-style house built. It has a very interesting history of women owners.  Hughes sold it in 1844 to David Barr, whose widow was able to keep it and pass it on to their daughter Martha Wroe in 1864.  Being Southern sympathizers, the story is told, Dr. and Mrs. Wroe invited Robert E. Lee and his staff to dinner as they passed through Hagerstown after their defeat at Gettysburg.  As they entertained the men one of their sons apparently provided further entertainment by hiding the officer's pearl-handled revolvers in the barn until his conscience forced him to confess.  The house stayed in the Wroe family until the Women's Club bought it in 1923.  You can read more about the house at the Washington County Historical Trust.  What I find unique and special about this Women's Club are the 14 rooms upstairs they rent to "women in transition"--women who need somewhere to live until they can manage on their own.  If you would like to see more of the building (including the banquet room) you can take a Virtual Tour.

The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts was only a mile away in the historic City Park.  This scene greeted us on the steps of the Museum from the Little Golden Book, The Pokey Little Puppy. . . .

On the other side was a scene from Scuffy the Tugboat. . . .
Inside we viewed original art from various artists (no photos allowed), but we were able to photograph scenes from the books that were set up in the Atrium. . . .
Edie was a good sport and modeled for the "photo op" from a scene in the Little Red Riding Hood, . . . .
. . . .which, incidentally, I included in a post last September on Morning Musings after my visit to the little house where Elizabeth Orton Jones lived and used as a model for this story.  You can see the house and the entire book here.

This photo was taken from the Atrium looking through the museum toward the City Park's lake.  Diana of the Chase by Anna Hyatt Huntington adorns the enclosed portico overlooking the lake. . . .

Cindy told us of her visit to the sculptor's winter retreat near Myrtle Beach, SC.  She says the gardens and sculptures throughout are a must-see.  Here is a close-up I took last year on January 11th when I visited the Museum.  We had snow on the ground then. . . .

As we walked through one of the galleries Cindy took us past the Museum's only Norman Rockwell painting, The Oculist. . . .
Whenever she visits the museum she makes sure she hunts it down (they move it about apparently) She told us the story of how her Dad, an artist himself, visited Rockwell's studio.  She was along, but being four at the time, doesn't recall the details herself.  She said her mother, who was also present, remarked that she wished her husband would keep his studio as neat as Rockwell's.  She said Rockwell told her father he wished he could just paint the way he wanted to like Cindy's father was able to do. As a hired illustrator, Rockwell said he had to paint what would sell.

Outside the Museum was another sculpture that caught my eye.  This little girl gets moved around, too, because she was in the Diana portico last January. . . .

It was lunchtime so we headed into the downtown area to the Rhubarb House. . . .

While we waited for our table for six. . . . 

Carol surprised each of us with two Little Golden books. . . .



As you can see we were having a great time. . . .

Most of us got the chicken salad sandwich and either the tomato or corn and potato soup. . . .

Then we ordered several slices of lemon cream-filled cake, which we shared, and demolished it before I remembered to take picture!

.....Sometimes the joys in life just can't be captured except in one's recalling of them.  


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Take Joy!





Saturday, January 9, 2016

"Picture Book Perfect" Get-Together


Take a cozy fire inside a cozy cabin. . . .

On a dreary-looking day outside. . . . .

Add cups of tea and the Best-Ever Scones. . . . .

With several friends. . . .

Lots of children's picture books. . . .

And Edie Hemingway leading a workshop on just what a picture book is and ideas on how to construct one. . . .

And you come away inspired!

Edie is one of the members of the Take Joy Society.  She shared her expertise on the craft of writing a children's book. In addition to being a published author she currently teaches a Masters of Fine Arts Writing class for Spalding University where she received her MFA degree.  Visit her WEBSITE to learn more about Edie and her books.

We followed along with her handout to learn about today's picture book requirements--the different types of books; number of pages for different age groups; what makes a good, publishable story; tips on how to make it fun and interesting.  She passed around books as examples. . . .

We discussed how hard it is to get a picture book published today.  Edie has the experience of being a published author yet she still has difficulty getting an editor interested in her two picture books.  The reasons stories are often rejected may have nothing to do with how good they are, but rather there are too many other submissions with that theme or that particular editor deems it not a money-maker. . . .

It was pointed out that Tasha Tudor's and Beatrix Potter's first stories were both rejected by a publisher initially and, in fact, Peter Rabbit's first appearance was privately published by Beatrix Potter with her original pen and ink drawings. . . .

Edie gave us more handouts with tips on writing a children's story by Carolyn Crimi and how to make a "book dummy" (in order to see how the text and illustrations will fit together) by Christy Hale.  Check out Crimi's website for information about the business of getting published.  Just about everything you need to know about writing and publishing a children's book can be found on the Web or at your library. . . .

While I was up taking the above photos I glanced out the window and saw a deer watching me.  By the time I aimed my camera it had turned to move away.  Did you spot its white tail in the earlier photo above? (see upper, third pane from the left in this photo). . . .

Edie is currently working on a new middle-grade novel that revolves around a steamship that used to travel the Chesapeake Bay.  This story was inspired by her 1930 log cabin's various doors that came from the steamship. . . .

She showed us the picture of the steamship hanging on her wall. . . .


And the keys to one of the doors. . . .

When Edie told us about the flying squirrels that kept finding a way into her kitchen over a period of weeks in the early years of living in her log cabin someone remarked that would make a great children's story!  Ideas for stories abound if you just pay attention, and even if you never get it published, you'll have the satisfaction of having written it.  Just let your imagination run with the idea....Who knows.....if you dare to self-publish (which is increasingly easy today because of the Web), you just might be the next Beatrix Potter.....


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Take Joy!

Friday, January 1, 2016

January Celebrations


    In Mary Mason Campbell's "The New England Butt'ry Shelf Almanac," illustrated by Tasha Tudor, Campbell writes, "Some of our garden planning in January will certainly include a special corner for herbs, perhaps even an eighteenth-century version of a special dooryard herb garden."  
    As the snow piled high, blanketing her garden Tasha Tudor spent long Vermont winters planning her garden, ordering seeds, and probably painting the garden she wished she could be out in as she illustrated her books. 
    This month, Campbell's recipe for Boiled Brisket of Corned Beef would be just the thing to look forward to on a cold winter's evening. . . .
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    Tasha Tudor and family liked to ring in the New Year by building a bonfire and dancing around it while shouting HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Then they had a party supper of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding ending with apple pie with ice cream and cheese....
"A Time to Keep" by Tasha Tudor

    Twelfth night was particularly fun!  They'd have goat sleigh races during the day and dressed up and played charades in the evening....
"A Time to Keep" by Tasha Tudor

    Last year the Maryland Chapter of the Tasha Tudor Museum Society had their own Twelfth Night celebration beginning with a New England dinner potluck, using Tasha's recipes from her cookbook, and ending with charades.  You can read about it HERE.

    In "Around the Year" Tasha depicts more winter fun. . . .



How do YOU like to spend your winter months?


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Take Joy!