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Reading Maketh a Full Man...

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Currently reading

The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature (Canto)
C.S. Lewis
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents
Michael Gurian, Terry Trueman, Patricia Henley
Ambition and Survival: Becoming a Poet
Christian Wiman
Deep River: The Life and Music of Robert Shaw
Keith C. Burris
Daring, Trusting Spirit
John De Gruchy
The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities, and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church
John Thavis
The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia
Orlando Figes

Drawn from New England: Tasha Tudor, A Portrait in Words and Pictures

Drawn from New England: Tasha Tudor, A Portrait in Words and Pictures - Bethany Tudor This is a lovely book written by Bethany Tudor, the oldest daughter of Tasha Tudor, about her mother. It is rich in photographs and paintings and stories. We know Tasha Tudor from her intricate and beautiful paintings, her simple children's books, and also her emphasis on living in a way that would be described as "old-fashioned". Our family has many of her books, and I have read several books lately about the many artisan level skills that Tasha Tudor has taught herself. She is worth reading about, and her example for handcrafts and taking the time it takes to do something by hand is well worth considering.Amazing to consider that Tasha really was not taught the skills she developed. If she was interested in something, she taught herself the skill because she wanted to know how to do it! There were not people there to teach her, and oftentimes she obtained the tools and taught herself how to manage them. Not really a country girl, she developed a love for the country and made it her goal to eventually live in the country on a farm, which she eventually did. Her mother was a gifted portrait painter, so no doubt her painting skills did get their start watching her mother, but her interest in gardening, spinning, weaving, knitting, raising chickens and goats and cows, making dolls, sewing, making marionettes...... these were all her own interests that she pursued.After I read the entire book, I was struck with a great fatigue! So many things that Tasha did, and did beautifully.... but the ongoing almost back breaking work that went along with it all! Tasha ran her home in the early days without running water and without electricity. She brought all the water for washing, drinking, bathing -- carried in pails on a shoulder yoke. The picture of her on washing day was enough to make me glad of my own washing machine and dryer!Just for one example of her industriousness, Tasha wanted to learn about flax. She ended up growing an entire field of flax, and then taught herself how to process it so that she could weave it into linen. She wove some linen out of the flax she grew herself, then hand-sewed a shirt for her brother. From seed of flax all the way to a finished shirt! And all of the skills she taught herself! How amazing is that?!So while I was encouraged and amazed at the sheer number of creative and beautiful crafts (for want of a better word, for Tasha hated that word "crafts"), I wondered perhaps if a happy balance can be found between the excessive world of machinery and technology and the simpler life of doing things by hand because they are interesting and beautiful.