My World Of Imagination With Tasha Tudor And Our Victorian Oak 19th Century Icebox

"I've always lived in a world of imagination. Maybe it's because I'm a coward and hide my head in the sand and don't want to see the real world. I don't know. But I can assure you it's a very delightful way to live."—Tasha Tudor

I quite fancy having our cottage and hallway adorned and bedecked with portrayals of dear Tasha Tudor, Beatrix Potter and Laura Ingalls Wilder. This sentiment of placing nearly one's heroes is a quiet, soft remembrance as I dream my dreams true. (The above photo of Tasha is my latest purchase from eBay and now hangs in our cottage.) 

I've spoken about Tasha and her housing arrangement formerly; however, since Tasha remains an essential topic of conversation in my neck of the woods, I thought imparting words of encouragement would be a lovely sentiment on this glorious and brilliant day.

Spring is beginning to burst, reminding me of manifesting my dreams. I believe dropping many seeds daily into this big blue marble will significantly compensate if I remain optimistic that my pips will bring forth a likening harvest. Spring reminds me of how incredible life is and that I can forevermore look forward to the seasons at the consistent play of shifting, always perpetual. Are seeds like old books dropped in the deep grass by casual owners? Will my books, none quite perfect, be the last known of perhaps five existing of the best not selling? Preserved having used and taken sanctuary in someone's lone home library shelf filled with layers of dust where it's been forgotten, worn, dog eared and put out of existence; the only everyday use is for the drying of old flowers or merely destroyed.

My stories are invented with great ingenuity and are happily contrived to excite curiosity and awaken feelings.

Flowers are the breath of faith and trust that all elements are perfect in my world. Tasha Tudor was known to let out, "Nature is God", and I concede entirely.

The First Annual Eastertide Celebration (for The Carter Settlement and Stillwater Petticoat Society) went quite brilliantly. I made Victorian straw hats for each child, my sister-in-law, and me. I want to make something of the explanation in extraordinary detail, so I will save that post for another day this week.

"Copying is about reverse engineering. Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don't come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning, we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying."—Austen Kleon, Steal Like An Artist

As Salvador Dalí said, "Those who do not want to imitate anything produce nothing."

Well, now, where shall I start? Perhaps with our Victorian icebox.

Now that I've restored our icebox and placed it nicely in the cottage, understandably, concept and execution will be another voyage of living old-fashioned. (Perhaps not so much for me as my dear mate and twin flame Jeffrey Shawn.) So now I shall stock her amply.

There's something extraordinarily delightful in the occupancy of simplicity.

As a part of my documenting our portrayal of Victorian life and sharing those employments on ye olde blog of the laborious erecting of our little Carter village (The Carter Settlement) nonetheless, today I wished to share a post about our small oak wooden icebox. Mind you, there are the ongoing frolics and tomfoolery of establishing a Victorian lifestyle using the olden things, such as Tasha Tudor, one of my dearest heroes. I thought sharing with you in real-time would make life a bit more interesting. The latest in my experience with keeping our provisions cold in our small oak Victorian icebox has undoubtedly not been one without adjustment. All in good timing, Raquel, I quietly whisper to myself as I walk through Scarlette Rose Cottage (which I have classified as Cottage of Dreams) because to me it is, most ardently. All be it only in the size of about 500 square feet, it's a lovely little place that has been a place to dream, write, paint, create, heal and become the landlocked mermaid/woman I've dreamed of my whole life long. Of course, some would rather have mansions on high; rather, I'm most satisfied with a tiny limestone thatched roof cottage full of hopes sprinkled with magic. It's pretty small, really, but oh so quaint and charming. I have aspired to use a Victorian icebox since I can recall; however, timing, lifes circumstances and the many things that come our way have always seemed to divert me from my deepest desires. It is vital to account for my voyage as I am quite good at letting myself off the hook in times of reflection.

In October of 2021, Jeffrey Shawn purchased the icebox as a bit of a gift to me. I picked it out, which was an absolute terrible misjudgement. I become transfixed when my boots click the heels of an old porch which leads me ever so somberly inside an antique store. After the immediate purchase and upon further comprising inquiry, my hopes were somewhat dashed in the numerous ways the old icebox was not as good of shape as was led on by the antique dealer from whence I purchased it. I learned countless essential lessons, one remaining paramount; constantly lead with your internal first conclusions. I felt fish gut but then dismissed the impression and proceeded to buy the oak icebox. Stop the presses; I recanted to Jeffrey Shawn; I can salvage the piece. I did, in fact, achieve restoring the icebox; however, I am not apt to spend a small fortune only to restore the article and pay out the nose for it. It's either one or the other, not both. I managed to fix it completely, and it is rather lovely upon its completion, so I shall forget any more rubbish talk about it.

It had taken up residence on the back stoop since I first began the restoration process. Even so, as you might well understand, after a tiny bit of contemplation, it takes time in the manner of all things worth the wait.

I should like to speak more openly, perhaps in another post about antique cookstoves as well, and I've got my eyes set on one as of late. Good Time Stove Co. is a magical place to buy restored stoves, and I indeed plan to buy my next stove from them. So perhaps I should commence to what I was prattling on about, to begin with, the icebox.

When I initially purchased the icebox, I chose the second-best one. The one I had my eyes set on originally was acquired when I first moved into my folk's home, and whilst we were pitching fort at my folks as we first intended, it to be a temporary arrangement, I chose not to buy the icebox that I loved at the flea market. I have learned much In these last two years, and a crucial element is how often life is never so cut and dry or, for that matter, predictable. I am still learning to live in the present moment and enjoy it as much as humanly possible.

In creating little stone cottages with Somerset thatched rooves (there will be various cottages, but presently and firstly, I am labouring on Scarlette Rose Cottage.) Scarlette Rose cottage will be a spectacle surely, and I am so happy to show you the whole portion once we've completed it. (If you'd like to see the strategy along the way, I share the behind the scenes with sometimes ghastly debacles on my Patreon. It's quite fun if you enjoy that sort of flinging.)

I believe I will limestone Scarlette Rose with a curved, slightly weathered and hand-trimmed thatched roofing to give that authentic European aesthetic. The company I thoroughly researched and will use when valid is Endureed Thatch. As you understand, execution, timing and concept are altogether separate things. It's rather fun when all hands are on deck with a Victorian way of living. I've managed to have my cake and eat it, too; however, my ways are not for all those involved. In having stated that, I will admit Jeffrey Shawn understandably loves his creature comforts; I respect him, and as he so easily has come aboard, I am in awe. That's a crucial thing to share.

I've had folks ask me what I think of how Jeffrey will respond to say, my wearing of old-fashioned clothing, living in a Victorian manner, consisting of wood stoves and iceboxes, farming and the like. I tell them I do not account for that resistance in my vision. If there is no resistance, there is no validity to it. We receive what we believe to be true. If I were to think that I would feel a barnacle barricade in each desire or dream I spawned in my otherworldly imagination, I would meet with that adverse reaction. However, because I assume he will love everything I do and find joy in pleasing myself, he always goes along with things. How is that? Because Jeffrey Shawn is never berated or forced. I respect and love myself, and I always get what I desire, just as he knows all his desires will also come to him. Folks will often go through their entire lives (I know from first-hand experience in my previous marriage) that if we make exceptions for our mates and never put ourselves first, we will often forfeit all of our dreams to please another. How can we expect others to respect us as an individual if we alone do not respect ourselves? Say what you will, but that is never the answer because eventually, the breastplate of the heart creates a wall of resentment and what's the degree of marriage if there isn't joy and happiness in the company of one's mate. We are the water goddesses of our own lifes voyage, and we should be the captain of our souls. I'll never falter on that score, nor should anyone else. What I find so exciting is that when we start living of our own accord and make no apologies, everyone jumps aboard for the excursion. It makes for a joyous occasion with everyone aboard the ship.

Some may say I am selfish, and they would venture into that assumption to be accurate. To be labelled selfish is not off-putting to me; I feel it's a perfect state of mind to remain. Most landlocked folks spend too much time shaming others into feeling particular ways for their soothing comforts. So who're the selfish ones? Not I said the spider to the fly. Everything a person believes is true for themselves. I do not deny that; I do not stand from human logic; I am not a logical woman. I am complex, just as all human folks. I am from the world of dreams, and I know that what I have said is the truth.

It's taking me a bit of ingenuity to portion out my desires and my dear husbands. I confess I also enjoy my mobile phone and many modern societies, so one must be so feeble in believing I do not want conveniences because I do most certainly. A slight consolation is that even our dear Tasha Tudor enjoyed modern amenities also. Whereas she possessed an antique wood-burning stove, she also had a small room with a modern stove and drove a current (olde chariot) vehicle. Unfortunately, there are very few impressions on the internet showing these little secrets.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the cloaked image her family has preserved so nicely of her. I believe It keeps her magic alive and inspiring. I should only hope my lineage is so kind to me once I've popped my clogs. 

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. I didn't know TT had said that. I was once riddled by a religious person because I said, "God is nature." (backwards from what she said but how I thought of it) Also, you said something that resonated with me ~ "I do not account for that resistance in my vision. If there is no resistance, there is no validity to it." This is brilliant and something I need to get through my thick skull.

    1. Yes, it was in her video Take Joy; she said it to the interviewer and also in the book The Art of Tasha Tudor by Harry Davis. “Thick skull”... You're funny... Thank you for. stopping by for a visit.


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