seed pod newsletter
037 image     © 1998 by Maria Pahls
© 1998 by Maria Pahls
primitive pals #037
© Copyright 1997 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends:

with the start of the new year approaching, i began to think about my beginnings with primitive doll making, and primitive crafting in general. i remember telling every one about myself and how i had only recently decided that primitives are my favorite and the influence seeing other artist's work has had. i was trying to think back further, what had my initial influence been....and i realized it was my mom...from my childhood i remember she used to sit in a chair each evening working on some project,mostly needle work,but any thing that would keep her hands busy. though the end results were never any thing very grand, she drew a great satisfaction of creating anything.

her hands and she are silent now, as they have been for almost 10 years when i lost her. i still fondly remember christmas time and the many times she gave me little craft kits as gifts. it was as if she was trying to introduce me to what gave her so much pleasure....just creating something. i seldom finished any of these little projects, but remember the joy she had when we would be side by side making things, her patience when i came to her with a tangle of thread or when the sewing machine needed coaxing. i know if mom were here she'd be thrilled at what i was doing with the newsletter and in my art itself. i hope someday my children will have the desire to make things and feel that i passed to them the gift of creative hands.

happy holidays and best wishes for a great new year.

primitively yours,
maria pahls
drop a line
miscellaneous letters sent in by readers
a letter from joanie about toni mccorkle's work

I just saw some of Toni's dolls and I was absolutely amazed - such talent, creativity, workmanship... I just cannot imagine how she does all that intricate work.She is a true artisan.

to see one of toni's sampler patterns click here

© 1997 Toni McKorkle
toni tells us about one of her holiday creations . . .

"Isn't it great when something you make turns out like what you see in your mind?! Just finished another beaded wonder doll and it is beautiful. Although this particular adjective is rarely used to describe my dolls,in this case it fits. I actually acheived the effect I looks like it's frosted and feels really good to is a success! The doll is muslin, about 13" wears no clothing - just words (May your days be merry and bright and may all your Christmases be white), beads (600+), a little bit of 50-year old finely crocheted Irish crochet lace embellished with tiny vintage ricrac and old pearls from a necklace. I also added evergreen sprays with red E-bead berries and a white needlewoven poinsettia with an old pearl in the center and a necklace with a little pearl person hanging off of it. Snowflakes of various sizes and shapes of pearls float on the arms and legs and long pearl fringe drips from the arms like icicles. 30 year-old opal-colored seed beads are all over and look like falling snow." Toni

sharon andrews wrote to tell me about her first retail show in some time ...

" We had snow this past weekend. This made the 45 minute drive to the show location an hour & 15min. long. We got there at 7am and the show opened at 11am. I had to display in the round. I had 3 five foot round tables and I made them give me a 6 ft. long table also. This was a challenge for me but the finished display was awesome.

I was very happy with the show for a first time show. (You also have to remember this was located an hour east of Columbus.) It was by far the most beautiful retail show I have ever seen. It was held at The Cherry Valley Lodge. The lodge was wonderful. The shoppers that came could only say WOW! This was not like any normal arts & craft show.

The first thing I sold was my santa on the antique toy ram. Three ladies were fighting over it and trying to decide who saw it first. It sold for $325. I made six snow-angels dressed in vintage whites. I sold 4 of them at $175 each. I did not expect to sell the big stuff. The med. stuff did not sell as well. I sold big stuff and ornaments. I did make some new fun ornaments.

This show was so good for me. It made me get very creative. I've been needing this for a long time. This stuff came from pretty deep down. Even my artist friends were impressed. That's the best compliment. I feel whenever you can be around other artists it becomes a great inspiration. There is something about that creative energy that happens in a room full of artists. There is such a great feeling inspired and your head is bursting with ideas. When you get around people that do very good work, it makes you just want to be better, so you push yourself and it keeps you a step ahead of everyone else."

Sharon's display

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

new questions:

How does everyone schedule their crafting times??? Do they randomly work, have special hours, how do they manage? I had a particularly hard time this year trying to craft at any kind of pace. Since I am home full time and my kids are grown, I just feel I haven't been using my time well or producing as much as I feel I could have. I would appreciate any timely tips or ideas on "creating a crafting time". ~joanie

what are your favorite do-dads for sewing or crafting... tools that you wouldn't want to be with out that others might not know about... maybe one that you've fashioned your self...

# # # # # # # #
tips & techniques
highlights of tips sent in by readers
a primitive doll technique by penny dehoff:

Try this simple primitive doll...

cut a 3x6" rectangle of homespun and a muslin rectangle 3x2 for the head. Sew the two together on the 3" side, resulting in one rectangle. Fold in half, right sides together. Using small stitches run a 1/4" seam along the bottom and sides (leave a 1" opening on the side for turning). Clip corners. Turn and stuff, a little at a time, until very firm. Whip stitch opening.

Draw a simple face with brown (pigma type pen). For hair use mohair,or natural type fibers. Sew a thin piece of antique off white lace around the neck as a collar to hide stitching. Attach a small old button in center front or sew several old mis-matched buttons down the front.

To add a skirt, use a homespun strip about 8" x3". Use a running stitch 1/4 down along the 8" length then gather.Leave frayed edges showing on waist and hem and attach to doll.

© Penny Dehoff

© Penny Dehoff

Lastly, poke a hole on each side near neck for insertion of cinnamon sticks or twigs for arms. Put a little hot glue on the hole and quickly stick in the cinnamon stick and hold it down so the arms don't stick straight out. Poke two holes in the bottom for legs. Apply hot glue and poke (cinnamon) sticks in so they are the same length and hanging straight. Spray with tea or coffee and let dry in the sun.

For variations try different sizes of rectangles, add wings for an angel, make into a pin... Instead of attaching a muslin piece for a head, sew the homespun rectangle and attach a poppy seed pod, or mount a pomegranate, dried lemon or nut on a dowel as a head after stuffing body.
burlap sack
mail order resources section

Country Harvest Patterns
PO Box 2382
Loveland, CO 80539
(970) 669-9018
book wormie   book reviews
books of interest
Country Woodworker: How to Make Rustic Furniture, Utensils, and Decorations
by Jack Hill, James Merrell (Photographer)
Paperback (April 1997)
Chronicle Books
ISBN: 0811815897
spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest

tasha tudor has a web site:

RAG DOLL DAZE newsletter (written by penny dehoff)

poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.

sylvia r sent in these gems from an autograph book of 1927

Pigs like apples,
Cows like squash,
I like you!
I do by Gosh!

When you get old and ugly,
As most folks do,
Remember, you have a friend,
That's old and ugly too.

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