seed pod newsletter
035 image     © 1998 by Fried Green Tomatoes
© 1998 by Fried Green Tomatoes
primitive pals #035
© Copyright 1997 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends:

now that i've returned from break, let's get back to some fun! i hope all that celebrated had an enjoyable holiday. many thanks to those who sent cards and well wishes my way.

i'd like to extend an invite for anyone who makes finished primitive stuff of any sort or primitive patterns or olde style hand crafts to contact me for mention in a current news letter. also if you are a primitive artist and would like to be considered for an interview -just drop me a note at

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

a letter from cindy on her visit with Hickety Pickety's Sonja Sandell:
"Several weeks ago I participated in a show at Emporia KS, I sold $300 worth of dolls. On Sunday I decided to visit quilt stores in Wichita and planned to leave for home early Monday.

During our frequent email conversations, Sonja kindly invited me to visit next time i was in Wichita. Unsure whether to call on such short notice, I decided to go ahead and if she was busy that would be that. When I called she asked me to stop over. I was so excited!

Her house is "to die for". Her home is still in the process of building, and they are taking great pains to make everything look old.

Sonja herself is a treasure. She is such a gracious sharing person with such a neat personality which comes across in the directions of her patterns. All I can say is what a great talent she is.

Her basement, where she has her pattern company set up, has lots of finished models and they are so neat. I even got to see a finished model of a primitive raggedy ann- one of cloth and one of wood and a stitchery too! the pattern isn't even made yet! she said they would be out after the first of the year. I came home from my weekend with 21 patterns and 8 of them were Sonja's.

Well, I just wanted to share with all of you what a special person Sonja is. I know this sounds like a fan club letter but she deserves it."


i had to laugh at the excitability of some folks over the sometimes lengthy means we use to get the primitive effect. her letter, saundra's story tells itself...

" I couldn't make up my mind if I was going to use sawdust, rags or the 100% cotton stuffing for the primitive doll class I planned to take. I belong to a couple of doll groups on the internet. Under a time constraint to get info on cotton stuffing, I posted a request for information with the other lists. You wouldn't believe the less than positive info that has been posted since my only one-time question. It keeps coming and coming. First was a whole printed page about the inferior material, and if we want to recycle why not find a way of "rotting" grass clippings and maybe even use a buffering rinse to counteract the acidity. Other comments ranged from suggested reusing kid's meal toys to using the plastic parts of roll-on deodorant bottles for joints. It was really funny to read. I know now that they have a hard time understanding the pleasure we take from re-creating a little bit of history and enjoying it's presence in our homes . So much to do about nothing....

I just made the cutest Indygo Junction santa - 17" (Plumb Tuckered Out). He is dressed in a red and black flannel checked nightshirt and cap and has fallen asleep reading a mini santa book with his legs crossed and glasses at the tip of his nose. I used lambs wool for beard and hair. He is sitting on a mini green adirondak lounge chair I purchased at L.L.Bean. He is adorable. Also want to mention Hickety Pickety's pattern #30 called "Festive Fruit" I purchased it for the primitive stanta, which I can't wait to make." ~Saundra

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

a question from shari:

I plan to do some folk art shows next year. (I'm in the middle of one right now.) I'm starting a new line of primitive dolls and need booth display suggestions. I've noticed that at the booths I've visited there were plenty of old shutters used as display walls. Lots of old quilts, crates, things of that sort. Any other ideas out there? While there I saw some wonderful dolls that were dressed in old feed sacks. Their hair was paper-mache. They were quite wonderful, large dolls with faces of hard paper-clay. The bodies are crackle finished, such as I do.They were priced around $350.00.

another new question:
what stuff is popular after christmas but before spring? do snowmen melt away after christmas time or do you keep them about?

and another:
if any one would like to give some advice on photographing your work, it would be helpful....
# # # # # # # #
tips & techniques
highlights of tips sent in by readers

For copying pattern templates, I have found the 16x20" sheets of mylar (used for making quilt templates and stencils) to be beneficial. You can see through it when placing on the fabric to cut and they are virtually indestructible. The sheets are usually found with the stencil supplies and are around $1.60 ea.~carolyn

Remember that polyester threads often repel dyes and tea staining- once you have dyed the fabric, white thread especially, will stand out like a sore thumb.~rosalee

if you have never tried them before, pick up a package of self threading needles. they save lots of time as you only need to push the thread into the slotted eye rather than passing it through.~maria

for making something look snowed on...dip the brush end of a tooth brush into white acrylic paint using your thumb flick it across the bristles causing the paint to spatter. practice first to be sure its not too much paint that is coming off the brush. ~maria

try using the precut architectural wood embellishments sold in most craft stores as angel wings. ~ maria

by Sonja Sandell of Hickety Pickety

in sonjas interview i neglected to ask her the question about trends in is what she had to say when i asked her recently:

" I personally haven't seen anything new and different...just spin-offs of things already done I'm afraid.....I think that stitcheries are big for the hobbyists, but not practical for the professional crafter to do and sale...too time-consuming....

I think that anytime ya can use old things and put with their dolls make them sale better...I can't do that with patterns because gals think if they can't find the exact old quilt, jewelry, etc. then they won't buy the pattern. fickle and silly, but that's the way it is....but when makin' the finished stuff it's a much different market, puttin' odd and ends of old stuff on grapevine wreaths is always a for sure eye-catcher and good seller.....old gloves stuffed and used for wings on an angel, painted paper mache boxes with the lids covered with old jewelry....anything that the customer will buy because they don't have the resources or the desire to find the old stuff.....I think ya can't go wrong with whimsical lookin' birdhouses...don't have to be from wood....take an old CHEAP tin can punch a hole in the front put some old shingles or whatever for the roof and hang with wire.....anything made from old stuff is always a quick sale......Patterns are just the basis for somethun great to develop from...they provide the ground work to build from...that's why I believe those who love primitive will always have their own look even with usin' a pattern. others just usually stick with just havin' their stuff look exactly like the pattern...Stuff from patterns will sale no doubt, but stuff from patterns with an individual twist will sell better....Of course all of this is just my own opinion...not sayin' I'm right of course...."
burlap sack
mail order resources section
Indygo Junction Designs
PO Box 30238
Kansas City, MO 64112
(913) 341-5559
$3 for catalog

The Cloth Doll & Supply Co.
14074 Oakview Dr
Prather, CA 93651
Brochure $2

designer carvings (for architectural angels wings)
available thru
vandykes restorers
(800) 558-1234
book wormie   book reviews
books of interest
making twig furniture & household things
by abby ruoff
isbn# 0-88179-120-2
spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest
homespun fabrics and drapery materials
poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.
by Edward Bailey Birge

Earth now lies sleeping,
Faint grow night's dark shadows;
All is hushed! Over vale and hill!
All is still!

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