seed pod newsletter
tattered angel  © 1998 by Maria Pahls
"tattered angel" © 1998 by Maria Pahls
primitive pals #040
© Copyright 1998 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends:

some folks have asked "why does it take so long for more newsletters to appear on this web site archive?" well you may not realize, but it is actually more difficult to re-edit an old newsletter and place it here than it is to compose a new one. because the material i work with is over a year old, sources must be rechecked . certain information (such as email addresses for members) needs to be removed and in order to fit our "template", items must be "floated" from various issues or new research must be done to fill space. some items, such as the introduction letter must be re-written. new art work must be created or solicited from my friends for each issue.

tho there is much more to it than that, this does give you some idea of the workings to prepare the newsletters for the web. hats off to homespun peddler for their end of the job too! once i do all of the stuff i just mentioned, they turn it into the wonderful stuff you see here! lots of busy bees behind the scenes to bring you the seed pod archive!

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

debee nees had this to say about meeting with sonja of hickety pickety and taking a class with her:

" I can't really do her justice in a paragraph, but short of taking over the entire newsletter, here is an attempt...Sonja Sandell of Hickety Pickety came to Maryland to teach a class to the Crooked Tree Hollow Doll Club. She would never have come at all, being the most unassuming talent I have ever met, but Frannie is hard to resist once she gets her mind set on something. Sonja came in on Thursday and left on Monday,so we all dragged her all over Maryland for the whole time she was here, pumping her for details about her work, her patterns, her family, her house, and intruding every which way we could on her life. She was very patient with us, answering the same question umpteen times with the same off-the-cuff attitude and humor. She is as funny as her patterns and her newsletter are.
As for the class....When we saw the sample supplies Sonja sent to Frannie, we were kinda grossed out, to tell you the truth. We couldn't believe it could be anything but tacky, tacky, tacky. But, having seen the Hickety-Pickety line of patterns, and because Frannie would kill us if we didn't fill these classes after she talked Sonja into flying to Maryland, we all signed up anyway.
Pattern inspired by visit
to Crooked Tree Hollow

The week before she came, Sonja shipped packages to Frannie with some samples. The fool wrote on the boxes "DO NOT OPEN" thinking (ha ha) that she would be able to open them when she got to Maryland. Well, let's just say she knows better now. Frannie called us over to see the finished doll, before Sonja ever left Kansas - and it was wonderful. At the class, some people made theirs look like an antique, but some left with cutesy frilly little things that you couldn't believe came from a Hickety Pickety class. Anyway, I hope that is description enough to make someone want Sonja to teach them. She is incredible - and she fit in with this bunch of middle-aged nuts quite well!

here's what "miss sonja" the hickety pickety gal had to say about her adventure in maryland:

I just got home from Crooked Tree Hollow Doll Club in Maryland... wow-wee what a bunch of gals! I'm jealous to think that someone else will be gettin' the royal treatment in a couple of months and that it won't be me! They are the most sweet-thoughtful and givin' group of gals I've ever gotten the privilege of meetin'....I mean the type that ya want to stay gal-pals with 'em for life! I went there to pal around and show 'em my ways of doin' stuff.....told 'em I really don't do much of nothin and I think I definitely learned more than they did.....geez I feel that I truly got the best end of the deal.....I could write a book about my 5 days there..many of 'em I got to personally meet are your gals from the Primitive Pals. If they had half as good of time as I did, whelp then I'd chalk it all up as a winner! Before I quit jackin' my jaws tho I want to just tell ya gals that live close enuf by 'em there that ya are pure-de-nuts if ya don't join up with that group.....ya just can't even imagine what ya are all missin'.....I miss all of 'em already...felt like I just left my life-long best friends.

shari lutz attended a meeting at her local doll club:

Lancaster PA has their own doll collectors' group, the Red Rose Doll Club, and I was invited to attend last night, WHAT FUN! There was a talk on felt dolls, and then each of the 35 members shared a cloth doll. My favorite was a black doll that someone bought for 50 cents at a garage sale. He was primitive, with black fabric. His hair almost looked like a bunch of reddish brown lint. It was great, he was only about 14" tall, thin, and wore pants and a shirt. Makes me think I ought to start going to those garage sales! Another doll that was found at a flea market and bought for $5.00 was valued at $2,000.00 (this was a cloth doll).

rosetta wrote about a doll she just made

I have been so busy - i'm just starting to catch up with organizing or reorganizing after the holidays. i made the cutest raggedy "I Love Mama" from Konfetti's. she wears size 2 baby shoes (she's got BIG feet!) and an embroidered face. the first one sold the day i brought it into my consignment shop.

diane b wrote in and told me about a room in her house that sounds quite interesting

In my home I have an "angel room". the room,actually a guest room has handmade angels from a few inches to almost three feet tall throughout. What began on one wall now pretty much covers the room. The angels have a varied history, some I have purchased, others I received ass gifts and some were made especially for the room. Adding to the theme are a few angel prints and some porcelain angels - a real eclectic mix. I enjoy it and I think that most folks who have stayed in it do too. Everyone calls it the angel room and if you have trouble sleeping in a strange bed that room does much to make you feel that you are definitely being watched over! I have a mirror hanging above the bed which has angels around it but as you walk down the hall, you can look into the room and see the mirror which has the reflection of the opposing wall which is nothing but angels. It's really kind of a neat view.

diane! that sounds neat, i once house sat for a family that had a CLOWN room! it was really creepy sleeping in there i felt more "watched" than "watched over"!! ~maria

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

on early sewing devices and how far back do they date #39...

Anthropological studies have uncovered many needles made of bone and ivory from the very early 'primitive' societies of far as more recently, I can remember the wooden eggs that were used for mending socks.... but I don't think that too many folks mend their socks anymore. They just disappear in the washer (the socks that is!)- diane b.
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tips & techniques
highlights of tips sent in by readers

stick doll by verlene brooks

"Joe Blow"
  • supplies:
    • 2 scraps of muslin (2-1/2 x 6) for head/body stuffing material
    • 1/4" dia. twigs (two 10" long; two 8" long)
    • drill with 1/16" bit
    • needle&carpet thread
    • Floss - blue, brown, & red
Begin by stitching the 2 rectangles together for the head /body, leaving one short end open - and rounding the opposite top corners to make the head. Turn and stuff firmly, then close the opening with carpet thread. Pencil in a primitive face and stitch with floss. Before attaching the arm/leg twigs, I like to hold them up in pairs, by the ends, and see how they hang -if there is obvious knots or bends. If you want the toes turning in, adjust the twigs according to the bend. Do the same with the arms. Placement of knots or side branches (trimmed) make wonderful knees and elbows.

To attach the twig arms and legs, drill a tiny hole in the upper end of each twig, about 1/4" from the end,and sew them on like a button, using the carpet thread. Make a basic T-dress to finish. Then embellish to your heart's content.

  • clay head variation.... additional materials
    • baling wire
    • duct tape
    • acrylic paint,colors of your choice
for holding the head on you can use another twig, or baling wire - I prefer baling wire. Sculpey brand clay is what I use, it stays soft until you bake it.

Begin with two rectangles of fabric for the body, 2-1/2 x 4 each. Stitch all around, leaving an opening in one short end. Turn and stuff firmly, close the opening. Set aside for now.

Cut a piece of wire 12" long and bend it in half. If you use a twig, make it 6" long. The clay will not adhere directly to your twig or your wire. You need to take a square of aluminum foil and wad it around the 2 ends of the wire, making about a walnut size ball. Remember to keep about 4 inches of wire free for the backbone. Tear narrow strips of the duct tape and wrap the foil ball, connecting it to the wire. Wrap several times firmly.

Now you can begin with the clay. Form an egg shape about the size of a golf ball - and then flatten it. Cover the foil ball with the clay so you have about 1/4" of clay thick. Smooth it into a nice oval face shape. Use the knuckle of your little finger to make eye sockets. Roll up 2 tiny balls for the eyes and flatten them. Place them in the center of the eye hollows. Now with your thumbs, press downward in the eyebrow area, pushing the clay down over the eyes, which will create little eyelids that partially cover the eyeballs. Roll up a tiny cigar shape for the nose and press into place. Blend it into the face with the side of a round toothpick. If desired, add a small ball for the chin and blend it into the jaw line. The mouth is painted after the piece is baked.

Place the head/wire on a piece of foil and bake according to package directions. Allow to cool before handling. Paint with your choice of acrylic colors. Once dry, Cut a tiny slit in the center of one end of the body piece. Slip the folded end of the wire down into the body, placing it like where a backbone would be. With needle and thread, stitch the folded end of the wire to the bottom of the body to hold in place.

Glue or stitch a jute loop high on the back of the neck for hanging. The clay-headed dolls are top-heavy and look best if you can hang them. Attach the twig arms and legs, and finish with clothes and primitive accessories as desired.
burlap sack
mail order resources section

      9160 w 96th dr
      westminster, co 80021
      (308) 424-6488
      usa b/w brochure cost is $1

the gathering
      8910 fishlake rd
      holly mi 48442
      (unsure of cost)
book wormie   book reviews
books of interest

"Cloth Dolls from Ancient to Modern A Collectors Guide with Values" by Linda Edwards.       It has some marvelous primitive dolls in it.. Has a chapter about rag dolls of the 19th and 20 century. Plenty of wonderful color photos with dolls from that time. Just packed with dress ideas and face ideas, and body ideas.
      Schiffer Publishing
      (610) 593-1777
      ISBN # 0-7643-0213-2
spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest

to see the doll and sampler designed by hickety pickety and inspired by crooked tree hollow click here and see pattern #084.

fruitful hands country style patterns
      614 valley vista dr.
      brandon fl 33511
      phone 813-661-1775
poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.

In the dell in our garden,
my dolls and I take tea,
And days when I have raisins,
the catbirds dine with me.

Cradle Song         by Ann and Jane Taylor
Sleep, baby, sleep,
Our cottage vale is deep,
The little lamb is on the green
With woolly fleece so soft and clean.

Sleep, baby, sleep,
Down where the woodbines creep,
Be always like the lamb so mild,
A kind and sweet and gentle child.

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