primitive pals newsletter
shower of seeds
primitive pals #16
© Copyright 1997 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends:

in these issues you will find descriptions of dolls & items received in our "swaps". these are exchanges where two partners exchange a doll that meets certain criteria via the mail. we usually have several swaps happening at any given time.

primitively yours,

maria pahls
drop a line
miscellaneous letters sent in by readers

here is june's description of her doll from the angel exchange:

"Iewana Ruth has arrived from Hawaii, and what a special day to arrive on! Iewana is the center of attraction. Her flaming flowing red hair is topped by a straw hat. She is wearing a dress that is complimented by a check heart. Her patchwork wings assist her in flight. Many thanks to Rosetta.I must say that I was a little hesitant in joining a swap but I have thoroughly enjoyed participating and I say to all have a go it is fun."

rosalee, too, received some packages in the mail:

"I received my angel swap from Lucy on Friday - she absolutely took my breath away! She has the most beautiful mulberry colored hair, with a circlet of roses and a gorgeous set of quilted wings. Her face is a lovely simple line drawing, with delicate shading around the cheeks and lips. thank you so much Lucy, I love her. She had a travelling companion - a cute little pin doll. this one has a sweet little apron with plaited fabric straps and ripped fabric for hair. She also sports a green suede drawstring bag - amazing Lucy, how did you make those tiny drawers (Yes, I did look under her skirt)

then....Maria's masterpiece arrived on Friday - WOW. A fabulous angel with green homespun robe, a twisted wire halo over lambs wool hair and these fabulous rusted tin wings. Thanks Maria."

pam gives us a field trip report:

"This week I spent at day at the Brimfield Fair. This a antique fair known throughout the country as one of the biggest and best. It is held 3 times a year. I always find things I can use on my dolls there.

This year I got a jar of mother-of-pearl and shell buttons. Then I got 70 specialty buttons that I can use as brooches and such on some of the dolls. I also picked up a handful of old tin buttons with sayings on them or old advertisements to put on the dolls or animals. I got a few old dated Red Cross pins which I have used before and customers love to see them and they always spark a comment or two.

I also bought some old hankies and doilies that I use for collars and shawls. I usually bring home an old quilt too. It is such fun. The people watching is the best part.

If anyone ever has a chance to go, I highly recommend it. Brimfield is located near Sturbridge Village."

barb is in possession of the traveling box! here's what she found inside:

"I thought I would report on the box before I shipped it off. I took the following: A wooden bird painted dark green, a birdhouse with a rusted tin roof and another birdhouse pin. The pin is so clever. It's an inverted wood heart, with what looks like pieces of a Popsicle stick used for the roof. A tiny hole and then a really tiny dowel (could be a toothpick) for the birds to stand on. Really a great idea.

I added the following to the box.. hair fiber samples, a few heart shaped wreaths, (about 3"), more wood cut outs and a brochure I just received that had some primitive stitching on it. I also threw in a few of my patterns for Santas... kind of primitive, kind of not!! "

primitive ponderings
questions asked by readers, then replied upon in later issues.

dian has some ideas on hair for joann (#15)

"I like using natural raffia. I cut the strands to twice the length I need, fold a few of them in half at a time, and then sew to the dolls head, through the loop, with linen thread. Almost any kind of dry plant material, as long as it isn't too brittle, makes nice hair. (You can soak the stuff in glycerin for a day or so, to make it more flexible.) You can take any long fibrous leaves -- like ornamental flax or red hot pokers -- and split them lengthwise into strands for hair."

tana with some ideas on displays:(issue #15)

"marlene was looking for display suggestions for her first craft show. some of my favorite display props are antique baskets and small wooden boxes. i think one of the really important things to remember is that you want to vary the height of your display; don't just sit everything flat on the table. remember the old supermarket trick: merchandise sells better at eye level (that's why the kids cereals are usually where those little eyes can see them from the grocery cart!!!)"

more on displays from helen:

"As an old craft and mall show exhibitor, here are some ideas on displaying dolls:

Use old wooden boxes or even apple crates or coke and wooden crates to display dolls. People love the old boxes and it helps to attract attention to your dolls.

I've also had my husband build me a set of small stairs that will sit on my tables to sit dolls on. You can display quite a few on these stairs.

If both sides of one table are build up use a piece of lattice or something like a ladder to lay across the top to sit dolls on . I usually use this on my middle table or center table that I stand behind . I place my tables in a u shape . One down each side and one in the middle where people have to walk in then you have exposure on 5 sides also. On the middle table I turn a crate facing backwards and this is where I keep my money box , cards charge slips etc. Works great ,but it took time for me to get out of the habit of just sitting tables in a row. Now we make displays out of everything . I've used bales of straw for an outdoor fall show. good luck"

another reader has a question too,
she would like to know how others price their items for sale, do you have an hourly rate plus materials etc...?

another new question/challenge from rosalee

she asked me to post this question and you finish the sentence: YOU KNOW YOU ARE INTO PRIMITIVES WHEN.... Or you know you're a primitive doll maker when....

here's mine....

you know you're into primitives when your hands and clothes are permanently tea-stained.

when you're saving that "ugly" fabric for that "special project".

# # # # # # # #
tips & techniques
highlights of tips sent in by readers
(future issues)

for mailing dolls etc...
re-use boxes, packing & post pack envelopes by covering the prior address with adhesive labels.

here's a tip i want to share:
for those hard to stuff places i use the rounded end of a tiny paint brush to push small bits of stuffing just where it needs to go.
burlap sack
mail order resources section

little folk designs
3069 arthur ave.
medford, oregon 97501
(503) 770-5774
they sell a pattern called beach bum santa, not sure if it's primitive or not.

Rag Bag Creations
P.O. Box 69
Lake Crystal, Mn. 56055
(507) 726-6953

Spices 'N Things
6485 West - 1000 South
South Whitley, Indiana 46787-8747
(219) 723-4571
sells bulk bags of bay leaves, spices, rose petals, etc.
Book Wormie   book reviews
books of interest

spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest

poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.

Nature rarer uses yellow
Than another hue;
Leaves she all of that for sunsets
Prodigal of blue
emily dickenson

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