primitive pals newsletter
032 image     © 1998 by
"Autumn Magic" © 1998 by Verlene Brooks
primitive pals #032
© Copyright 1997 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends:

once again the seed pod is featuring guest artists for newsletter illustrations. this issue we have talented artist Verlene Brooks (her company is jiggety jig). next issue's was done by 6 year old ben pahls. hope you enjoy em!

primitively yours,
maria pahls
drop a line
miscellaneous letters sent in by readers

jonda found some neat stuff at a sale:

"I found the coolest stuff! I went to an estate sale, and found a box of old old, we are talking really old doll clothes. All handmade and very fragile. Some with a child's stitching and embroidery on them! So I guess I will be trying to make some dolls that look old and worn enough to wear them! My mom thought I was nuts to be so thrilled about some nasty old doll clothes. I also bought one doll, there were lots of them but mostly porcelain, which I'm not interested in. The one I bought is all cloth, about 24" tall but skinny. He's male and dressed in a very worn solder type outfit, he has brown beads for eyes. Everyone I've shown it to says he looks russian. He's odd in that his body is all made with brown material but the front of his face is white (well was white). His shoes and hat are brown velvety type stuff(very worn) and his uniform is blue. They also threw in his horse(or maybe it's a dog) all cloth, completely out of proportion, one leg falling off, but he sort of grows on ya. All the clothes, doll and horse for $2 ! The only problem is, when I make all the dolls to wear the clothes I probably won't want to part with them!" Jonda

shari l wrote earlier in the week about a doll she bought:

"Today I bought a wonderful doll!!! She is a beauty, made by Fannie Turgeon She is primitive. Her face is very soiled, which I love. Her eyes and her lips are embroidered, almost crudely. She is very large, and wears real shoes, which were aged. She has stockings, also aged. I just wish you could see her. Her hair is yarn,........well gosh, she doesn't come across as wonderful, but she defiantly is. Her dress is homespun, checked, which the artist used the checks to do a large cross stitch in the bottom of her dress- --some little birds. Her eyebrows are most interesting, She has a place in my heart."

i asked jo ann l to describe her open house that she mentioned last issue:

"Ok, you's some info about my open house!!! Last Sunday I had my "Third Annual Craft Open House". This is an event I basically plan for all year....with needle flying and brush flowing! I make up invitations and send them to 100 of my closest friends! The whole week prior to the open house the weatherman promised a beautiful day, I was so excited!

Well, 6:15 am on Sun. morning I woke to the sound of thunder and pouring rain! Talk about stressed! I planned to have some refreshments outside and have customers cash out outside on my deck to alleviate some congestion inside. Not in the rain...

Well by 11:00 the sun was out beautiful and the temperature was about 76 degrees...just beautiful! The crowd began to arrive around 11:50, running up the driveway to be the first one in...little did they know I had 3 special customers come at 10:00...they spent $700 between the three of them!!! (VERY special customers!)

The afternoon went perfectly...lots of socializing and lots of purchases. Even the food went over well! I have recipes typed up to accompany each item I serve, for everyone to take home and try.

What sold...Christmas stuff and snowmen were very popular again this year. Also fall items and angels. I had some teddy bears and dolls that didn't sell as well as I thought...they'll be saved for the next one! Also signs sold well.

All in all, a very successful onto fill orders and get ready for the next show. The trouble is the weather has been so warm and the foliage so absolutely beautiful, all I want to do is go take a walk....haven't learned to sew and walk at the same time yet!"

(marias 2 cents: did you know that in days of old women would knit socks as they walked?)

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

jonda wants some feed back

"I have a question about primitives. The dolls I've been making lately are old and worn looking, using lots of old material and found stuff, but I can't make myself put 2 dots for eyes or do stitching. I have to paint a complete face! I just have too, I can't stop myself. I do however, make the painting look old with crackle and antiquing, and sometimes I take a scrub brush to the painting. Would you consider this primitive or just antiquing? I'm not sure what to call my dolls. I guess it doesn't matter as long as I like them. I was just wondering what others thought."


"you asked what we have made for Halloween. I don't generate enough output to sell my wares but I did manage to finish a black cat doll for my sister. Cut from a faded pair of thrift store pants, it has a jack o'lantern face in yellow paint and a tea-dyed dress made from a flowered hankie. I meant for it to look fierce but it turned out looking rather sweet tempered." Kelly J

on primitives being "easy" (# 31 )
dian c:

"Oh, I definitely dis-agree! For example, on a recent doll I added yellow paint to the varnish for the "skin", it looked great on the flesh parts. Unfortunately, it looked LOUSY on the black-painted shoes and I had to re-paint them. I think that mistakes like an odd pucker in the sewing, lumpy stuffing, features that are painted or embroidered a little askew, and frazzled hairdo add character. For anything else, I like to ask myself if it's the sort of thing that could or would have happened if some person back in 1870, who was basically inept but doing her level best, was the creator of the doll. I always try to remember that she most likely didn't have any patterns for either the doll or its clothing, and simply did what was easiest. She probably wasn't much of an artist, so the face she put on her doll was pretty plain. But ... she made it for love, for someone that was dear to her, and that's probably the most important thing to remember."

# # # # # # # #
tips & techniques
highlights of tips sent in by readers
for adding "wings" to your witch dolls joanie suggests using those black plastic-look fake spider webs. for a doll about 3 ft tall, such as one used for a door ornament, fold a large web in half and tack to the witches back. for smaller witch dolls use the smaller webs, unfolded.
burlap sack
mail order resources section
candy container collectors of america
po box 352, chelmsord, ma
chelmsord, ma 01814-0351

halloween patterns available:
the seedpod sharon andrews & co
ginger creek The Crow and The Weasel
hickety pickety
Crow and Weasel

book wormie   book reviews
books of interest

halloween collectibles
a price guide by dan and pauline campanelli
(l-w publishing & book sales, 1994, isbn: 0895380277)
above book available from:
        international arts, antiques and collectibles forum ltd.
        1095 washington st.
        po box 69
        norwood, ma 02062
        Phone: 781-762-4209
        fax: 781-762-8708
spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest

karen murphy / karen bush / idaho quilt company

shari lutz

ruths weaving resources

fannie turgeon web site (doll mentioned in sharis letter)
poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.

you make a living by what you get
you make a life by what you give

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