I belong to a dear group of women who have one thing great in common, and many many other wonderful things in common. The one great thing is our love and admiration for the late Tasha Tudor. The other many wonderful things are a love of nature, gardening, arts, homesteading, and of course, motherhood. Our group is called Take Peace and we range from the West coast of America, to my little Ohio River Valley, all the way to Tanzania. These women, and also a few men I might add, have become such dear friends. I would have never thought it possible to learn so much about so many through a group that very rarely has a chance to meet face to face. We have exchanges through out the year, and especially at Holiday times, and this Easter is no exception. The exchange is called the Colonel Bunn exchange, named after Tasha's dear rabbit character that she drew in honor of a real visitor from her childhood. I have an ongoing love of band boxes and decided this would be my medium. The problem was that I do not paint. Not that I have never wanted to, I just have never had any instruction. I am somewhat talented when it comes to refinishing furniture but this little painting of a rabbit is a whole other card indeed. I began with a brown base coat on everything. Since these were to house tea in the recipient's tea room, I left the insides with just this first non toxic base coat. Next went on a layer of colored non toxic paint, in shades of pink, lilac, and fawn brown. I stared at Colonel Bunn for a few days noting just how many colors Tasha had worked into this little furry friend. There were so many I didn't know where to begin. So I finger painted his outline in shades of brown. I didn't trust myself with a brush. Layers after layers went on until I could deny no longer that it was time to add detail. The detail went on in the form of an antique calligraphy pen. I literally applied and scratched my way through Colonel Bunn. A thin clear coat was applied to all outside surfaces. Then I took a very fine sandpaper and aged everything. A light coat of non toxic stain went on after the sanding. It was all finished off with a coat of Murphy's pot wax, a most heavenly smell if there ever was one. The boxes are lined in hemp and ready to be sent out today. On the inside cover of the smallest box is a secret message that says Colonel Bunn has come to tea 2009. I hope Linda enjoys them as much as I enjoyed making them. And Linda, I really hope you do not read my blog! If you do, please accept my apologies for showing you your gift too early! It's a week more or less until Easter and we will be busy coloring eggs, putting together Easter baskets, and enjoying this beautiful weather in the gardens.