seed pod newsletter
039 image © 1998 by Maria Pahls
© 1998 Maria Pahls
primitive pals #039
© 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 i'd like to remind every one who enjoys the archive issues that there are also up to date issues available. the membership to primitive pals entitles you to a subscription of the seed pod. why wait a year to read the fun primitive news become a primitive pal !

primitively yours,
maria pahls
drop a line
miscellaneous letters sent in by readers
shari lutz went to a neat shop called hentown in pa here is what she wrote:

" went to Hentown in Saturday. I drove to Nancy Gibbs house, 2 hours away. It is like an old country store. Dolls are everywhere,in all shades of primitive some prices were pretty outrageous!!! But fun to look at.. Angels, cat dolls, lady dolls, santas,tin ware, crockery, fabrics and patterns of all sorts. Crow and the Weasel patterns was just one company I recognized, as well as Gail Wilson kits. They also had an old fashioned candy store.I bought a hank of flax to use for doll hair, as well as a Baker Bear Teddy pattern. I love bears that are all raggedy, droopy, made with patches, and excelsior poking out, dressed in beat up shoes and old children's' dresses. We've been cleaning out my late father-in-law's old house. In the process my husband found 14 pairs of baby shoes, all beat up, worn out. Hurray! shoes for my dolls.

I went to the second hand shop to buy old wool coats and suede skirts to recycle into doll clothes. I created an elf's body yesterday, ended up dressing him like this: wool knickers, recycled. black stockings (baby socks pulled up to the knickers, leather elf shoes--recycled! a blousy shirt, and a vest---all recycled. I was going to put a beard on him, but my son says he has a great face, so will leave him whiskerless. He has a sculpted face, and sculpted hands, one hand holding a needle and thread,the other hand holding a teddy bear---in the making!I used fake fur--longish---for his hair. I still have to make a cap for him. He has a wire armature, so you can pose him, and right now he sits. He's kinda big. ---about the size of a 5 month old baby." shari

saundra s wrote in about one of her recent projects:

"I just made the coolest primitive looking bear. It was with Sonja Sandell's (Hickety-Pickety) Elwood pattern. I must tell you that the little guy was a messy project, but he is adorable. Elwood is a panda that is crudely painted and then stained with an oil based stain. His sweater vest is made from a thrift shop sweater that I cut to fit. I made one for me and one to put in my next show. I have already forgotten just how messy a project he was and intend to do more - I am sure that one for the craft show will be swept up immediately. What a shame it would be not to share such a precious primitive. Right now I'm finishing up a clown so I can have one to take to my next craft show As soon as I finish I am going to make a primitive raggedy ann and andy that is in a book I just purchased. The book is fantastic -entitled The Toy Box by SueEllen of Pieceful Heart Designs. She even suggests antiquing it by mixing 1/2 cup of coffee or tea with 1 teaspoon of black acrylic paint. Although she doesn't say, I guess you don't mix it well so that it will end up with smudges of black. I LOVE these dolls. The pattern book is new so the lady said at the quilt shop. In addition it has two sizes of bears, shooffy quilt and flower basket penny rug, homespun start quilt for a doll bed and much more. "saundra

editor's note: we are proud to have author and pattern designer sueellen wassam as a member of primitive pals.

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

carolyn replied on spring items for shows (#38):

"In answer to your new question on "big" items in the spring, I really don't have much foresight, but I feel sure that primitive bunnies are always a bet. Gloria Bowlin, last issue's featured primitive artist,has some really primitive bunny patterns, some of which I plan to order. I was in my favorite antique/gift shop during Christmas and they had some bunnies handmade from mohair, about 16-20" tall with curved paws and feet. They were fully jointed and one had a pair of socks on his hind feet and one a knit cap on his head. Just wonderful but very expensive, but I like to look anyway." ~carolyn

a new question from bunnie:

"I'm writing to comment on an excerpt from newsletter #36: saundra writes:"I just did a simple sewing patch job, which only added more charm to her. Besides, I'm sure there was many a mom in a covered wagon who did similar doll surgery for their daughters."

...That statement prompted me to wonder? When "were" hand-sewing needles invented? And that, in turn, sent me off in so many directions,wondering... Among other things, I wonder what kind of sewing devices were available to our foremothers that they could/would use to make/mend items? Does any one have any thoughts?"
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tips & techniques
highlights of tips sent in by readers
milk paint

some history: invented by the shakers, milk paint was the first paint made and sold in the united states, and pre-dates all of the traditional colonial paint manufacturers from the 1860's. it was made using the natural products: milk, lime, and earth pigments. many original examples of this superior, durable, non-toxic finish still exist today.

this recipe for home made milk paint comes from a craft bulletin board.
    1. 1/2 cup non-fat powdered milk
    2. 1/2 cup water
    3. powdered paint pigment in color of your choice available at most craft or art supply stores.
* mix powdered milk and water. stir until all milk is dissolved. gradually stir in pigment until desired color is achieved. apply with a sponge paint brush. store unused paint in the refrigerator in an airtight jar for up 7 days.

milk paint is best used on raw wood that has never seen a finish. when used on an already finished piece it is best to use a milk paint primer. rather than coating finished projects with polyurethane (which will cause an amber tinting) use a water based latex designed for milk paint.
    application formulas:
    pickling:2 part water to 1 part powder
    staining: 1 1/2 part water to 1 part powder
    solid painting: 1 part water to 1 part powder
    stenciling:1/2 part water to 1 part powder.
milk paint can also be purchased in powder form, be sure to store it in a dry glass jar to extend the life of the powder. the old fashioned milk paint company also sells the primer, crackle and sealer for milk paint as well.

what's it's head?
diane and i were talking about a current swap among the primitive pals called "what's it's head". the object is to make a cloth doll with a head that is not cloth. you can use our conversation, she shared some info on a doll she made this past fall:

"This past fall, I had a lot of fun making primitive angels with walnuts for heads that I painted orange and then stained. I had attached stems in the top of the walnut and then used a very fine florist wire (green) which I wrapped around the end of a paintbrush for a nice curly effect and curled/secured it around the stem and then at odd angles from their heads for hair. I painted eyes on them and with the shape of the walnut the rest of the features were complete. The dolls had cloth bodies, I used flannel and stuffed them. I then attached twig arms and legs with wings of rusted tin. I punched holes in the wings and used a heavier gauge wire to make a curled "hanger" from which to hang the angel for display."

note; diane says to hold the nut sideways and allow the seam to be in the front english walnuts have a natural raised area that looks just like a nose.
burlap sack
mail order resources section
The Toy Box
by SueEllen Wassam
Pieceful Heart Designs
2715 East Tara Trail
Beavercreek, Ohio 45434-6256
phone and fax (937) 320-9003
item # ph 11-97

hickety pickety

715 s elm
wellington ks 67152 $2

edinburgh imports inc.
po 722
woodland hills, ca 91365
bear stuff

ewe & me
325 lancaster rd
walnut creek, ca 94595
unusual fibers

hen town
326 w. butler ave.
new britian pa 18901
(215) 345-8286

baker bears
1540 New Gambier Rd.
Mt. Vernon, OH 43050
      patterns $7.00, kits start at $18.50
      send $1.00 and large 33¢ stamped envelope for brochure.

Gail Wilson Designs
Grout Hill Road
South Acworth, NH 03607
      catalog $2
book wormie   book reviews
books of interest
Making Bentwood Trellises, Arbors, Gates & Fences
(Rustic Home Series)
by Jim Long
Paperback (June 1998)
Storey Books
ISBN: 158017051X
spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest
w.cushing & co rug hooking site:

hooked! the traditional rug hooking home page

by the door rug hooking studio

milk paint sites:
the milk paint co.

sharon illa antiques
a wonderful site for finding cutter quilts & textiles & more...
poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.

my guardian angel (a folk song)
my guardian angel, pure and bright,
god's face forever seeing,
protect and guide my path aright,
while I have breath and being.

when day departs and night is near,
thy light in me be shining:
teach me all evil deeds to fear,
my heart to good inclining.

       (sent in by: dian b)

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