seed pod newsletter
I'm a little teapot
"I'm a little teapot" © 1998 Maria Pahls
primitive pals #028
© Copyright 1997 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends,

the hectic fall season is a time when many are busiest with shows and sales. it's alot of rushing about trying to get things finished at the last minute. remember there are things you can do to make life easier during these times...cook double batches of dishes such as lasagna and casseroles then freeze the second half for a quick dinner when you need it. get chores such as laundry,ironing and dishes out of the way first thing so you don't have them waiting at midnight to be done. tackle boxes with scissors,glue gun, extra tags,cards,pens etc are great for taking to shows for last minute needs. trying to keep the sewing and shop areas organized can be a true test too. just a quick 5-10 minute cleaning spurt of these areas every day can help keep the mess under wraps. try doing this when you are on the telephone. i like to keep a "to be put away" box and i empty it once a week, putting stuff back in it's area. keep lists of things to do and update them frequently... hope these tips are helpful!

primitively yours,

maria pahls
drop a line
miscellaneous letters sent in by readers

here's an idea from lynne c on an ornament display you can make that is a space saver:

"I wanted to share an idea I saw a while back for displaying Christmas ornaments. It might be of interest to those who do boutiques or shops as it doesn't take up much room. Buy a large wire tomato cage, the things that are funnel shaped. Turn it upside down so that it rests on the large ring around the top. Place it on top of a Rubbermaid turntable (lazy Susan), this way customers can turn it around to see everything and you don't have any wasted space at the back of the tree. Using the artificial pine greenery from Christmas garland, wrap around uprights and rings of tomato cage. Be sure to tie the loose wires together at the top. To hang ornaments on the tree just run a piece of the garland through the hanging loop on the ornament and fold it over to secure, or tie them on with ripped fabric pieces. Ornaments won't be bumped off and are less likely to be stolen."

jo ann sent this note :

"Thank you all for the tips on an open house.Mary ellen mentioned going to Boston and visiting Colonial Crafts...such a wonderful store. I'm fortunate enough to live close and get the pleasure of visiting on occasion. I went a few weeks ago and bought a witch pattern and an angel pattern, and of course some wonderful fabric. I've made two of the witches so far, need to make more since a friend scoffed one up. She is about 35 inches long and has legs that look like she has shoes on her feet already (shape of feet is neat). She has a dress and a vest and a black straw hat. She holds a bunch of fall leaves in a piece of burlap fabric. Her wild gray hair and "goofy" face are the perfect touch. The pattern is from Bonnie B. Buttons. The directions for the pattern are great. Was also making an angel and I needed to match a doily for a color to the skirt fabric. I mixed some acrylic paint added a little water and plopped the doily in! Worked just great!!!! Would work great on anything! "

a letter from kate t:

"Firstly, I'd like to thank Judie n for replying about my idea of a table of dyed fabrics, unusual trims etc. Thanks, that's exactly what I wanted to hear ! You're right, we do like rifling through boxes of bits looking for that special inspired BIT. I know the tables I always visit at the shows are the silk remnants, lace & trims, buttons etc. It's helped me to hear your feedback. Loved all those ideas for rusted tin. I didn't know any of that stuff.! I designed my first primitive/country doll, because the table near me at the last doll show was selling a lot of floppy bunnies & teddies & soft, tea-dyed floppy dolls. I thought I might turn in a slightly different direction. So, I made "Kate". Her face is flat, painted. Her shoes are sewn to her legs, her hair is torn calico that I dyed a rusty brown. She has a gingery-brown & blue checked dress with patches & buttons. I made her body from oatmeal-ish knit & very lightly stuffed. Then I painted her with tea ! That's a SO WHAT for most of you but do you remember the first time you did it? I took her to an appointment I had at a country style gift shop & he liked her & ordered 10 of her in a variety of colors. I was really pleased with my new creation. He also ordered 15 of my kits.Request: I'd like advice about quilt batting. Is that what those soft, floppy bears are made of?"

and this note from lucy:

"I was thinking last night and I couldn't get primitive hair out of my mind. Do you know the soft boat rope. You have to burn the end or weave it back into itself or it unravels. Well unraveled would make wonderful primitive hair. And being cotton it would dye wonderfully" - lucy

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

on using acid on material( #26)

" acid on material.... don't know who has done that, always thought acid ate holes in stuff tho.... try just usin' material with the wrong side out... lots of times the back side of a too bright of fabric is just right after ya tea dye it...... also just throwin' it in the washer with some clorox will help too." - sonja

on patterns & their development/creative process (on going discussion began in #26)

" As far as patterns go.... I have found that when creating patterns that most of us feel that going to far in the primitive direction really cuts down on the selling of the pattern.... us that like the primitives can always make any pattern more primitive ourselves. for the sake of makin' a livin' ya will find that many of us will hold back a bit by tryin' to stay somewhat in the middle ... If I was personally makin' the stuff for finished shows, etc... my stuff would be much more primitive... dependin' on why you are makin' stuff... rather it is for fun and your own personal use or for an income... if you are creatin the patterns or the finished dolls then you have to do what is gonna make you money... Primitives are still not very widely accepted... the majority of gals still decorate their homes in a very safe fashion..... very uncluttered... very lit'l on the walls or sittin' around... I must admit when movin' from my old 80 some year old home into my new home (which still isn't completely done, since we are doin' all the work ourselves), I found myself not wantin' the so-called crafts everywhere.... I have alot of old primitive collectibles, but I'm a lover for the glass stuff too, any plate with roses, porcelain birds, mother days pictures, etc... so part of my house is more what I call classier crap and the rest is crappy crap!!! Anyway, just wanted ya to know that your group of gals sound highly creative and talented... wish I could share more in their discussions, but since I don't do the finished and not doin' the shows have lit'l to suggest...... Doin' patterns is so different, you have to keep supplies and ways of doin' things very generic so as not to scare off gals... but doin' finished you want to add as much vintage embellishments and make the stuff look as difficult as possible as to make 'em not say"I can do that"!" - sonja

paula s had a few questions:

"Has anyone ever used hair dye to dye flax? (When I use rite dye the flax becomes very stiff and I loose a lot of fiber combing it out. ) Has anyone ever used anything besides paint to give a barefoot doll dirty feet? Was wondering about mixing paint with a little glue and cinnamon?"
# # # # # # # #
tips & techniques
highlights of tips sent in by readers

these are all from joann

sand the edges of the wooden (signs,buttons accessories) after are painted to give them an old look.

try making a banner for an angel to hold or a "naughty and nice" list for a santa by brushing some "stiffy" onto your fabric an drying the piece in the microwave.

just finished a garden angel and the instructions for coloring her dress were interesting. Make the dress from muslin (not dyed) and put it in very hot water with some acrylic paint. I used a country blue and it came out like a very light uneven denim color... loved it.

An interesting material for garden angel fiberglass screening! Great effect! Also good for making dragon fly wings! Best of all, it's a cheap material to buy!
burlap sack
mail order resources section

sent by deb h:
treehouse designs
15 vintage court
cartersville, ga 30120
patterns $10; bro $3; ck/mc/visa/mo

bonnie b buttons:
1466 alcona dr.
burton, mi 48509

keepsake quilting
route 25B
po box 1618
centre harbor, nh 03226-1618

pattern designs by maria pahls
send a sase (.32) for brochure or you can see the patterns on the gallery page of homespun peddler
po box 58492
cincinnati ohio 45258
Book Wormie   book reviews
books of interest

more fall pattern books:

the need'l love company, inc.
p.o. box 672
liberty, mo 64069
acorn threads book... acorn quilts and motifs for wool applique, penny rugs, rug hooking, purse, wool acorn doll, and cross stitch
spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest

poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.

"Who has not found the heaven below-
Will fail of it above-
For angels rent the House next ours,
Wherever we remove."
        emily dickenson

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#21       #22       #23       #24       #25       #26       #27       #28      
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