seed pod newsletter
Soaring Heart © 1998 by maria pahls
"Soaring Heart" © 1998 by maria pahls
primitive pals #042
© Copyright 1997 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends:

i often get the question, "i'm confused, what is the difference between primitive pals and the seed pod"

well the primitive pals is the club that i formed a few years ago via e-mail. the news letter i send to the primitive pals is called "the seed pod". i also have a small line of patterns and finished dolls under the name "the seed pod"...

another question i usually get is "what involvement does homespun peddler have with primitive pals and the seed pod?"

homespun peddler's stephen and pattye kent joined primitive pals a short while after it began. they liked the group and it's concept - i loved their web site and enthusiasm for primitive stuff. the partnership just blossomed from there! in an effort to share my newsletter with a wider audience, the kents kindly offered to provide a home for the seed pod at homespun peddler. through special arrangement homespun peddler posts the copyrighted archive issues of seed pod for you to enjoy.

the homespun peddler gets many questions about the photos in the seed pod gallery...such as "are these dolls for sale?" or "are these patterns?" in a few cases the images shown are patterns by the individual artists other times they are one of a kind dolls that are already sold. members of primitive pals have direct contact with the artists and we provide all the information for contacting them with regard to purchasing their work. the gallery corresponds to current newsletters that are being distributed to the club. as a bonus the general public is welcome to view the images. every effort is made to answer inquiries about gallery photos,but the best way to stay on top of the information is to actually join primitive pals.

hope that helps!

primitively yours,

maria pahls
drop a line
miscellaneous letters sent in by readers

cindy wrote in about the dolls her swap partners sent for the primitive raggedy ann exchange :

I just wanted to tell you how happy I am with the two Raggedy Anne dolls I received from my two partners. The first was "American Raggedy" from Rosetta, she is wonderful. An angel Raggedy with tin wings and floss hair, her dress is made of American angel fabric and she holds a eagle in it nest. I just love her. She used floss I think for the hair and her face is so well done. My second Raggedy was from Jo Ann. Dressed in blue with red star fabrics and a red plaid apron with hearts on it . This doll has jute for hair.

lucy shared this about the quilt squares swap:

I received beautiful neatly worked squares from Barb down under. She used some wonderful Australian flannel and did an applique of a Joey (baby kangaroo)sewn on a small plaid print with in diamond at each crossing. Also were two basic but beautiful nine squares, one with a Teddy stenciled using the same fabric as the Joey block. I'm watching the mail box I can hardly wait to put this quilt together.

paula s. sent in a note about a debee nees creation:

Just saw a fantastic primitive garden doll Debbie Nees made. The arms were old spindles and the legs fence posts. She had four inch twigs for hair and a simple blue ticking shift. On her dress was a pocket that was embroidered "how does your garden grow". The pocket was filled with dried roses, black-eyed susans and other plant material. Hanging from her spindle arms, which stuck straight out, were more dried flowers and plants. Attached to the end of her arms were a pair of small gardening gloves.

dolly shared what she's been up to:

I just finished several pieces of furniture they turned out great. now i am working on some floor cloths and some dolls and other fun stuff I am trying to make some mini signs to sell using a bunch of old fence wood a friend gave me. I made a bunch of tote boxes and color copied some old labels and shellacked them on the boxes for a wonderful effect. I want to use the leftover pieces of wood to make some little signs

a note from rosetta on some doll exchanges with the primitive pals:

i participated in 2 swaps - primitive animal and raggedy ann. my bunny named hilda mae came from debby nees. she's great. she has an embroidered face. she is painted and then sprayed with tea. her dress is a navy homespun with a tea-dyed muslin collar embellished with a doily and a button. she carries a wreath.

my raggedy ann came from cindy allison. she's painted and stained wearing a red homespun dress and a jacket that has mis-matched buttons, and a bit of lace around the collar. her leg stripes are hand painted and she carried a small sampler "a is for annie."

these were too great swaps. i certainly hope my partners are as happy with their dolls as i am.

ellie shared about her recent creation:

I recently made a Lavender Lady......My daughters' mother in law loves lavender and purple , so I made a silly lavender lady, used an old lavender top for the body, arms and was sort of a velvety look....used a piece of lavender blouse for the head (covered with silk leaves, moss and tiny purple petals),long skinny legs and a skirt of old lavender lace with antique buttons sewed on helter skelter,holding a bouquet of lavender flowers (silk)... her name was Phoenicia, the local physic who loves to dress-up for parties and always wears shades of Lavender. My daughter insisted I bring her when I visit her in N.C.

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

(#41) what is primitive?

Primitive to me is old wool, mustard gold anything, homespun darker colors, heavy tea-dying and nothing from "WalMart" if at all possible. I know I have achieved primitive when my husband just looks at what I've made and doesn't utter a word. Then I know it must be very close to what I'm going for! ~carolyn

When I think of primitive I think of my great-great-great grandparents crafting and woodworking with limited supplies and tools. The end products had a lot of character and only increase with character over time. They put so much love into their creations. When I make something primitive I try to make it look as thought my g-g-g grandparents had created it many years ago. ~donna

I can hardly wait for the "what is primitive?" replies. This has been an ongoing topic at the shop I am in. Personally, primitive is in the "eye of the beholder/customer". There are so many levels and degrees of primitive that it is difficult to set a specific criteria. I have made some very popular patterns that are considered primitive, but the owner of the shop I'm in considers them "too cute". Yet, customers will complain that these "ET shaped headed dolls" are "too ugly". I am told to accessorize and embellish, but the dolls of yesterday were not accessorized. They were plain and simple (i.e. primitive??)

Finding the right blend of primitive that will appeal to a wide assortment of customers means creating styles that are varied with in the primitive category, I guess. ( I once had an order to make a very primitive Raggedy Ann - except this customer wanted it to have a brown nose, brown yarn hair, and dressed in peach ! to her that was primitive) We all need to stay true to our hearts in what we like to make and what the customer likes to BUY - not an easy task. But, then again, don't we all love that challenge?~ joanie

brenis wrote in her top 3 "can't live without tools (#37 favorite tool question)

three tools I wouldn't give up...
  1. hemostats: I have about 4 of the silly things and am lucky to find just one, when I am in need - they are all over the house !! but I can't imagine turning anything without them. Also great for when you are trying to turn under edges on small items - or pulling a needle through a really tough seam... or holding very small wood objects while painting !! too many uses to list.

  2. My dremel tool: I got one of these as a gift from my husband. having NO CLUE as to what it was, or what i was supposed to do with it... he was kind of bummed thinking I'd be ecstatic and use it for my wood items. needless to say after I tried it out and messed with it a bit - talk about taking major time off of your projects and being able to get into small places, and put an 'edging' on your wood pieces to make them more 3 dimensional.

  3. green tape: my fingers would just get RAW from the pushing and pulling of the needle - (and i cant wear thimbles and effectively sew) this stuff iss some sort of meshy green semi sticky type of "tape". it doesn't stick to anything but itself. you take and wrap it around your finger at the angle you want your finger to be when you are sewing and kind of meld it together. when you are done, you have a perfect mold of your finger, which i make come down to right before my second knuckle and could sew for hours !! it was wonderful i take it off and can put it back on and so on have about 3 "green fingers" laying around the house

joyce would like your comments on adding rubber stamping to primitive dolls:

my dolls tend to be more country in style with a little primitive flair, I have always admired primitives and would enjoy trying my hand at a few. I was thinking of incorporating rubber stamping and wanted to know if this would be acceptable in primitives? I have some primitive designs that I thought I would stamp along the hem of a muslin apron for example.

carolyn is searching for brie was:

where I can buy Brie Wax (pronounced bree). This is a type of stain or finishing product that can be found at some hardware stores, but I have had trouble locating it locally. (carolyn: see burlap sack for two possible leads on brie wax)
# # # # # # # #
tips & techniques
highlights of tips
sent in by readers
egg dying

Easter will be here before we know it. I love eggs at Easter time. Here are a couple of egg ideas. purchase brown craft paper / 'papier mache' eggs and paint them with acrylics in dark pastel colors. When dry, decorate by painting dots and little squiggles with contrasting pastel colors. Once dry, apply brown shoe polish to darken and gives them an antique look.

There is nothing like decorating real eggs with natural dyes. These eggs are not to eat, rather made to be kept for a long time and displayed year to year. Gather small leaves and flowers to lay on the egg. Hold leaves/weeds in place by wrapping tightly with a 5"cut square of nylon hosiery. Secure in the back with a twist tie. Your local florist may allow you to search their trash bin for greenery if you are unable to locate any. Boil the nylon wrapped eggs in onion skins. 2 quarts of water to 6-8 cups onion skins & 1 cup of vinegar. Add everything including eggs in the cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1-4 hours depending on the desired color. The onion water can be re-used. Your local grocery's produce section may have an onion bin that you can get permission to pick through for fallen skins. Red cabbage makes wonderful blue eggs -simmer them for 6 hours. The liquid part of the egg will eventually dry up inside. Add your name and the year to each egg as it is finished and increase your collective display with each year.

by sharon andrews

natural egg
dye recipes
rubber stamp
© Hickety Pickety

ANTIQUE BLUE: Made from blueberries. Crush 1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries. Add 1/4 c. water and 1 T. vinegar. Place hard-cooked eggs in a bowl, cover with blueberry mixture. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Air dry on paper towels

GOLDEN YELLOW: Made with turmeric. Place raw eggs in saucepan. Cover with water, add 1 T. turmeric for every cup water. Stir to moisten turmeric. Add 1 T. vinegar and bring water to boiling. Cover and remove from heat. Set aside 15 minutes. Check color and allow eggs to stay in the liquid until the desired color is reached. (this method and smells offensive, but turns out some nice looking eggs)

SILVER-GREEN: made with cranberries or fresh purple ornamental basil. Purchase whole, fresh cranberries in the winter months and freeze the package as is. Herb gardeners can cut ornamental basil (dark purple variety) before frost, place it in small plastic bags, and freeze it until needed. Place raw eggs in the bottom of pan. Place the fresh, frozen, or dried dye material on top of the eggs. Cover the eggs and the dye material with water, add 1 T. vinegar, and bring to a boil. Simmer gently 10 minutes, remove from heat and let eggs cool in the dye for about an hour. Remove eggs and place eggs in an egg carton and refrigerate.

SPRING GREEN: made with tansy. Tansy is an herb that comes up early in the spring. Use it fresh if you grow it. Follow the same dyeing method as the silver-green above.

ROBIN'S EGG BLUE: made with red cabbage. Save the outer leaves from a head of red cabbage. The leaves can be used fresh or can be frozen and used later. Follow the same dyeing method as the silver-green above, cooling the eggs one hour in the dye water. Then place the eggs in another container; pour the warm, drained dye water over the eggs, and let set overnight in a cool place. When the eggs are removed in the morning, they will be blue.
burlap sack
mail order resources section

a quilt & pattern shop to visit:
Bollweevil's Cotton Patch
      26 Water St./Henderson, Nv. 89015
      tell jackie the primitive pals sent ya!

"Briwax" (a blended wax that comes in several colors including clear comes from Great Britain)

Henry Flack
      Woodcraft catalog
      16 oz. size available
book wormie   book reviews
books of interest

Barbs, Prongs, Points, Prickers, and Stickers;
A Complete and Illustrated Catalogue of Antique Barbed Wire

by Robert T. Clifton
Paperback - 418 pages (June 1979)
Univ of Oklahoma Pr (Trd); ISBN: 0806108762 ;

a catalog of line drawings of barbed wire patents, identified by name, patent number and patent date and arranged by classifying attributes (e.g. 2 points, 4 points, metalic strip, etc.). This makes locating a wire sample very convenient.
spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest

the miniature web

moonspinner's ranch
donna downing
14607 woods valley road
valley center, ca 22082
for 100% linen thread

mulberry folk art
8220 honeysuckle rd
manassas, va 20112
(703) 791-2256
lots of primitive stitchery patterns.
catalog is $3
view stitchery catalog on this homespun peddler web site

jo ann pinto
box 36735
tucson az 85740
send a large .33¢ sase to get brochure
whimsical fairy tale dolls with awesome faces!
poetry and verses to use for samplers etc.
I Wonder?
    "'Tis lovely growing weather,
    And days like this are few,
    I wonder if I ever
    Shall grow as big as you?"

A Fairy Fancy
    Fluffy lambs' tails,
    Fairy sprite,
    Blowing bubbles
    With delight.
    When day deepens
    Into night--
    Watch! You'll see
    This pretty sight.

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#11       #12       #13       #14       #15       #16       #17       #18       #19       #20
#21       #22       #23       #24       #25       #26       #27       #28       #29       #30
#31       #32       #33       #34       #35       #36       #37       #38       #39       #40
#41       #42       #43       #44       #45       #46       #47       #48       #49       #50
All rights reserved. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review with appropriate credits; nor may any part of this newsletter be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means -- electronic, mechanical, photo- copying, recording, or other -- without written permission from the publisher.
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