seed pod newsletter
Sketch in black and white © 1998 by Annie Moon
"Sketch in black and white" © 1998 by Annie Moon
seed pod #026
© Copyright 1997 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends,

while skimming over my old letters i found one that spoke about a baby humming bird in one of my flower gardens. the little bird was undaunted by my presence and preformed acrobatic antics within inches of me. it was one of those moments that make you just marvel at the wonders of this world in which we live. the moral of the story was to keep an eye out for "tiny inspirations"... and i just think that it's worth saying all over again because you never know where they will come from.

primitively yours,

maria pahls
drop a line
miscellaneous letters sent in by readers

kate sent a note to thank everyone for their congratulations:

"Thanks Debby for nice remarks about my Broom Seller. I just wanted to say how good it is to be recognized by other doll makers, and I appreciate those who have taken the time to write a few words to me. I'm still unsure sometimes(often) about the things I make and positive feedback really helps set me straight. I hope beginners who hesitate to contribute, feeling a bit shy maybe, will take the plunge and write a short message to those they admire. Don't ever feel that what you do is LESS than someone else's. "

joann sent in some details on her latest project,here is part of her letter:

"Just completed 4 angels called "thistle #19", a pattern from "Sew Country". I saw her complete in a quilt store and just had to try her. She is about 30 inches long, very skinny, and her legs and arms are dowels. so very simple to make. Just pencil sharpen the ends to almost a point and slip in the tubes. She has a very country dress made out of material that is similar to cheesecloth. She has a muslin ship and antique lace trim. Her hair is kind of short and mine on a bad hair day."

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

what to sell a 12-15in.doll for? (# 25)

" i'd say somewhere in the low $20s, but of course that depends on details and such. if it's just a plain muslin body with a very simple dress, maybe just $18 or so; but if there's more work involved, possibly even upper $20s."-tana

what to do with small square coffee tins? (#25)

reets' rags to stitches has a pattern called "hot mocha mamas." the pattern doesn't show them made up as primitive, but i'm sure they could be. the dolls are 12" high and sorta like beanbags with heads. funky is the best word i can think of to describe them."-tana

"kathy,since these are nice and square i think i'd prime then paint it and letter "toys" on the front and fill it with a little primitive bear,annie doll and some toys made from fimo. or- maybe paint & prime it then poke holes in the bottom and use a heavy gauge wire to make sleigh runners and attach them to the tin to make santa's sled. of course then you'd have to make a santa & toy sack to fill it!"- maria

idea for small items- (#25)

" try small ornaments or things sculpted from polymer or even little wooden signs. i also paint stamp boxes, mache boxes and other little things that can be sold for minimal amounts. have you seen the kindred spirits wool stuff book? they have little wool bracelets that are pumpkins,christmas themed etc and look fairly simple to do...or what about small wooden birdhouses made of scrap wood and tin with wire hangers or dowels in the bottom.folks could use them as christmas ornaments or put in the garden or a potted plant."-maria

"mostly stuffed hearts of various sizes. used to do these with my quilt scraps and always had a large basketful for $1 each. people would dig thru them trying to find their favorites."-tana

pods, drieds and other natural findings(issues24&25)

"On the question about faces on pods? - I have seen some done with very detailed "porcelain dolly"-like faces, which has an appeal, but I prefer the mere suggestion of a face on pods. I guess there's also the point that I am not capable of drawing a very detailed "porcelain dolly" face, but there ya go... I really love the look of the poppy pods - like the doll has a little crown... Adds a bit of dignity to the doll. I think there are two kinds of primitives that really appeal to me - the kind with a real offbeat sense of humor (like Hickety Pickety, and Frannie's work too) and the kind where the raggedy torn up doll holds herself with grace and dignity. "-debee

"While raking our yard last year I noticed under our walnut tree, a bunch of needles that were similar to long pine needles. I decided to bundle a bunch of them up just for the heck of it and try to come up with a way to use them. Later while making a snowman pattern, I came to the instructions for making the broom for the snowman. It said to use a med. sized stick for the broom handle and tiny sticks for the end of the broom. Just then I remembered all of those needles I had gathered from under our walnut tree and guess what? They made the broom look great!!! The needles from the walnut tree aren't as brittle as thin sticks either. "-cheryl

deb h had a variety of items she makes use of:

*Sweetgum ornamental trees ... the "seeds" are awesome...round balls 1/3" to 1" diam. --has quilted look to seed skin. 1/2"- hooked spines radiate perpendicular to the seed's surface. dries to a nice dark oak color (i only use these). drill thru the middle, thread on twigs, lash splayed grapevine for long handle to either side = made great leaf rake for primitive snowman. drill thru the middle, thread on length of sisal/jute; picture country hearts on a string... used for handles on sleds, lanterns, rusted church birdhouses, used as lacing on winter clothes/boots for santas, use individually for pompom on stocking hats. Thread 5+ together on strings for dangly legs. Used for hair eyes, mouth, and/or buttons, on larger wood pieces...Dip in ivory/beige swirled, thinned paint--go outside, &shake off fairly hard-- primitive snowballs!

*Horseshoe nails- rusty ones, make great buttons and spikey hair...

*Aspen & sycamore tree bark. Peels will curl into tight rolls as they dry and make great santa legs, bundle 'em for angel wings, use for tube sacs to hold earthy stuff on santa's back. Stake Flatten in middle, stake to dry leaving ends free to curl-- makes perfect "papyrus roll" for handwritten messages or simple "sanded" painting to tack to primitive collagé wall hangings, etc. natural-dries out quick, preserve with gel stain or oil, rub down, wood grain really pops out

*Azalea stems--thin at one end (but stiff-goes into fabric w/o breaking or cutting hole), flattens like horse hoof on the other-can pick up a hundred and they will be same size; snowmen love these for "flat-tops" and "Mohawk" do's.

*Heavy "lichened" bark (we have the Verde-green color round here) used for shutters on birdhouses/Dracula's Mansion, and for eyebrows on wood santa faces.

*thin slice apple rings in concentric (continuous) circle; dry, looks like a ruffle; used for angel wings, hair styles, filler for natural garlands[the more constant your thickness, the better]. *Purple thistles make great head/hair... they go bald a little too fast though."

hickety pickety on "your creative process"...

"when I do make up a new pattern, really hate to call it designing, I always think of a design as in clothing or interior designing, anyway I just call it makin' up some stuff......but anyway when I get ready to do a new ad for Country Sampler I usually wait until about 3 days before I have to mail it in and usually come up with 3 new things....if it's a seasonal ad that makes it easier because then you're more limited in what it can be, halloween, easter, etc....but if it's what I call a generic theme, holiday, etc....then i usually do just an everyday decoratin' thing......dolls, etc....usually I look around at what supplies I have, sorry the expression but I'm a real tight-ass on spending money on supplies, I only buy what I need, most gals would think that I would have stockpiles of fabric, I have NONE....I buy ONLY what I need at the I see what I might have around, paper mache, etc...and then I make whatever I come up with according to that......I never really have an idea ahead of time.....just sometimes whatever strikes me, or sometimes if I've been wantin' somethun for my own house......I never have bought crafts and such unless they are old junkie collectible types and so I've always just made what I wanted or seen and made my own......the comin' up with an idea for the pattern is the easy part, the instructions and all the garbage that follows is the nightmare......takes me about 3 days to type and draw up a pattern, then a day to take the photo and get them developed, then a day of runnin' the patterns off, and another day of puttin' the patterns's a constant circle, by the time that ad has started to lose steam there is another one to get ready, and there are always wholesale and distributor orders to fill in between time....that pretty much explains why I don't do finished dolls.....I would really like to do some one-of-a-kind stuff with lots of detail and all, but patterns that are that detailed and time consumin' don't sell well to professional crafters and I personally don't have the time right now....I figure when I no longer have to do patterns for a livin' and can slow down that then I would like to produce just whatever I want..."-sonja/hickety pickety

judie had some comments as well...

"Usually it is a new fabric or accessory I find that makes the idea JUMP in to my mind. My problem is, my mind works faster than my common sense. I have a whole shoebox full of pattern pieces that are a mystery. When in the frenzy of creating a new piece I usually forget to write on the pattern piece who it is for. I make my patterns out of old file folders. So if I do need to go back and make a second doll I often have to shift through a mix of blue and red and yellow arm and leg pieces trying to find just the right one. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to organization. My dolls are usually completely finished in my head, so all I have to do is sew them. But every once in awhile one will surprise me and turn in to something I didn't have in mind at all. Also when putting a doll together I will get several more ideas on new pieces, like if you would just change the shape of the body or make it a rabbit instead of an Annie. All in all, coming up with new ideas is the easy part for me. Sewing is the bummer, I really don't like to sew!"-judie

new questions:

" I was wondering if any one has had experience distressing fabric with acids. I believe that I read some where that you can buy some kind of acid from a swimming pool supply store. I am sure it's dangerous, but I think it's the only way to make new fabrics REALLY look old. I use dyes to drab tones, but it doesn't "age" the fabric." -caryn

"I'm gearing up for the fall season...first even is an open house at my house. Anyone ever do one? Any suggestions to make if a warm and cozy atmosphere?"-joann

# # # # # # # #
tips & techniques
highlights of tips sent in by readers

judie had such a great note about making small items for sale that i thought i'd pass it along as a tip:

"At this time of year, one of the things I include is cloth pumpkins. I made them first a few years ago just to add color to my booth in a craft mall. I didn't really expect to sell them, just wanted my booth to stand out. But I sold them almost as fast as I could replace them. So every year I make 200 or so and when they are gone that's it. Take a circle of fabric, gather around the edges, {I use button thread}, stuff fairly firm, pull tight and tie off. Then take a long doll needle and orange or gold crochet thread and segment off the ball to look like a pumpkin. Go in thru top and out bottom, back in top {hope this is clear}. Add some torn strips of green cloth and some strips of raffia, tied in knot, hot glue to top. I also add a few "vines"made with green covered floral wire twisted on a pencil. I make the pumpkins from many fall colors. Halloween prints, but also golds, yellows, greens, peach, black, almost any prints. Orange & white check and the fall Hoffman prints sold best last year. These sell all the way thru Thanksgiving. Make them in several sizes. I display them in big baskets tied with raffia bows and spread a few around the booth. But people seem to love to dig in a box or basket for just the right one."-judie
burlap sack
mail order resources section
american reflections primitive patterns
508 haines neck road
salem,new jersey 08079

sew country
2166B RT 322
Orwell, OH 44076 phone #216-437-8754.

reets rags to stitches
Box 127
Blocksburg, CA 95514
Book Wormie   book reviews
books of interest

seasons at counrty living,seasons at seven gate farm
hearst publishing
this book contains many room settings for two men who are supurb primitive/country decorators and gardeners: james cramer & dean johnson the rooms often contain primitive dolls. they also share many ideas for creative decorating in this style.
spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest
this site had tons of wonderful & intersting links

kindred spirits catalog page on Homespun Peddler.
poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.
"A friend is someone who knows your song
and sings it to you when you forget."

"only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches"

        old english proverb

#2       #3       #4       #5       #6       #7       #8       #9
#10       #11       #12       #13       #14       #15       #16       #17       #18       #19
#20       #21       #22       #23       #24       #25       #26       #27       #28       #29
#30       #31       #32       #33       #34       #35       #36       #37       #38       #39
#40       #41       #42       #43       #44       #45       #46       #47       #48       #49
#50       #51       #52       #53       #54       #55       #56       #57       #58       #59
#60       #61       #62       #63       #64       #65       #66       #67       #68       #69
#70       #71       #72       #73       #74       #75       #76       #77       #78       #79
#80       #81       #82       #83       #84       #85       #86       #87       #88       #89
All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review with appropriate credits; nor may any part of this newsletter be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means -- electronic, mechanical, photo- copying, recording, or other -- without written permission from the publisher.
Prior Issue         INDEX         Next Issue

For more information send e-mail to the Peddler.
peddler wagon HOME PAGE
Site designed at OJ Advertising, Inc.
Site developed and maintained by Mid-Michigan Computer Consultants
Report problems or suggestions to
Jackie Gannaway Cookbook Cupboard Index.