seed pod newsletter
© Maria Pahls 1999
primitive pals #047
gallery Link
© Copyright 1998 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

"membership sure had it's privileges"

dear friends:

during the last few years i along with many of the other primitive pals chose to participate in what we call "swaps". this is where we trade with another member of the group some sort of hand made creation including but not limited to dolls. what fun to receive the work of both well known artists and those who just make dolls for fun. all are treasures as our the friendships we make when we swap. you can see a selection of dolls and other items traded in the gallery, these photos will eventually be housed in their proper newsletter issue as it is released for public view on the web site.

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

diane wrote this letter:

"I wanted to take a moment to voice my appreciation to those "friends" who have sent me their "babies" to love. It's certainly has been a whirlwind of activity in the swap department for me.

I first had the opportunity to trade in the black doll exchange. This was my first exchange and it's like your heart is on your sleeve . . . everyone who has traded can remember those feelings . . . I first received a very delightful primitive black doll from Maria Pahls. Her face is simply sculpted and she is primitively beautiful. The subtle detailing such as one leg longer than the other, the treatment of the doll's body to harden it and make it look old all contributed to the look of this doll. She holds a chicken in one arm and an armful of poppies in the other. She is exquisite. I also traded dolls with Barbara Cutmore. I feel very honored to have received one of her first dolls and she did a super job. This doll has tied rags for hair (neat idea) and a painted face. Thank you for sending Eliza Jane to me!

On the angel swap, I got to trade with my sister, Sylvia. Her doll is so lovely and unique. She has rose stems with the thorns for wings and the rose theme continues in the halo of dried rose petals and in the rosehip and dried rose leaf garland that she holds. Her face is painted and surrounded by long blonde sisal hair. Her dress is a combination of old embroidered fabric and an old quilt. She was aged to look rather timeless and I treasure her.

My most recent trade, the bee dolls, was pure fun. I received Paula Setter's bee lady first. She is so classic and simple. She puts you in mind of an English garden and the buzzing of bees. Her detailing was so great... she is tea stained but has the blush of a sunburn too! Her face is delicately hand embroidered and shaded by a sun hat with bee veil. She holds a bee skep. She is the bee lady! Thank you Paula.

Secondly, I traded with Brenis Monroe. Brenis comes across as fun and delight and so does her bee! This guy's body is embroidered with a flower garden and buzzing bees. His face is sculpted and painted and dang if he doesn't seem to be frowning! Watch out, this guy can sting! His wings are strong twigs and he sports a bee pin on his shoulder that has a painted body with old quilt wings. Thank you, Bren! Wow, this swap business is sheer delight and is the treasure of the Primitive Pals. I can't say thanks enough for this experience and the pleasure that each of my primitive pals' dolls has brought to me."

rosie wrote this letter after the 1998 quilt market:

"Do you want to hear what a small world it is? I went to a booth at Quilt Market yesterday and wanted to buy a wonderful doll pins pattern by someone named Maria Pahls!! I was shocked to see that she is YOU! I was further shocked to see the "nettie" doll that I had received in the Black doll swap there at the display. I turned to the exhibitor and said, "I have that doll on my wall at home." She said, "You should, I sent it to you!!" It was Sharon Andrews! We hugged and screamed!! People thought we were crazy!! Now that I've seen them, I'll be buying the "guardians of the seasons pattern" from you too Maria!"
Rosie Chapman

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

more on what is primitive (#41)from frannie:

"I have pretty much come to believe that "primitive" is in the eye of the beholder -- However, for me the types of "primitive" dolls that make my heart sing are either WONDERFUL historical reproductions of early doll makers (especially Izannah Walker) or dolls that are homely little rag dolls made by children or their mothers with the materials at hand (whether they be of the colonial, pioneer or even the 1940's or '50's. I also categorize "primitive" as whimsical folk art...

When I started out making "primitive" dolls, I would sometimes sew my stitches with the needle in my left hand (I'm right-handed) so they would look child-like -- or I would pretend I was a 10 year old crossing the prairie in a buckboard wagon while making my cherished doll.

Not long ago, I made two dolls and they were just "too clean" and "new" looking -- so I took them out in the dirt and we all sat down and had a "tea party". Well, lo and behold! -- before I knew it, the girls were fussing about who should get the biggest piece of cake -- so one nudged the other and then the other shoved the one and the next thing I knew they were "tussling about" in the dirt. Well, I soon made them hug and say they were sorry and when we went back inside -- they were "delightfully dirty"!

Some of the words that describe primitive dolls to me would be "naive, unsophisticated, folky, folk-art, plain and simple." I'm not sure that everyone "gets" primitive -- or sees this style of doll making as "art". I believe primitive dolls to have the most heart and soul of all the dolls that have been and are being created by their makers' hands and from their own doll hearts."

new question . . .
"I was wondering if you know how to coat objects with wax mixed with cinnamon? "

tips & techniques

tin imposter:

I have noticed some quick rust tin kits that are now available . . . then I happened to see my husband's sander belt in his car and thought - hmmmm. The rusty colored sand paper cut out into hearts or stars - could be a good alternative in a bind". rosalee

you get the point:

to extend the life of a scissors use separate scissors for paper than you use for cloth fabric. cutting both with the same scissors dulls and unevenly wears the blades. you can write "paper only" on the blade with a permanent marker to keep them separate.

Poppy Seed Pod Fairie
by penny dehoff

Penny's Fairie as drawn by Maria Pahls

Small scrap of homespun 8" x 4"
thin grapevine for arms and legs
1 large poppy seed pod
thin black & red "Pigma Pens" ®
1" clay pot
small poppy seed pod,
hot glue
a pointed object for poking holes in the body acrylic spray glaze
Cut a shape out of the homespun to resemble an curved neck squash. Stitch together leaving an opening-2" at the squash "neck". Clip edges and turn. Stuff firmly with fiberfill.

Using strong thread, running stitch around opening but do not gather yet.

Draw a face on one side of the pod -- look for some natural ridges for a good nose.

Place the nose first by drawing interrupted parallel lines down the center in proportion to the size of the pod making sure to leave plenty room for the eyes and mouth.

Outline the lips--make two upside "v's" for the top of lips and one elongated "v" for the bottom. Draw a line to represent the separation of lips.

Place the eyes so they are almost even with the top portion of the nose. First draw a small dot for each eye and then a curved eyebrow over the dot. Holding the Pigma Pen ever so gently, place the point at the outside of the dot and make a curved upward stroke to resemble an eyelash. Just one or two is plenty.

Using a red Pigma Pen draw in the lips. (For cheek color, dab a little red paint on a tissue and blot most of it away before applying.)

If desired, spray the acrylic glaze over the face, front and back.

Break away most of the stem leaving about 1". Dip the tip in hot glue and shove into the opening of the body. Gather the thread around the natural knot in the stem to hold the head in place. Tie off.

Choose two interesting twigs with tendrils for arms and two for legs. Poke holes appropriately on body so that the fairie's arms are out-stretched as if she were flying. Cut the end that will go into the body so that it has a point. Dip in glue and shove into body. Hold in place until set. Repeat for other arm.

At the other end, poke 2 holes so that the legs will look as if they are flowing with the rest of the body. Repeat insertion directions as with arms.

Try to bend one leg up and the other slightly downward. Your poppy seed pod fairie should look like it is soaring through the air in gleeful flight dodging trees in the night!

Tie some raffia around the neck to hide the stitches. On the rim of the little clay pot, in ultra small lettering, write a message such as, "Bloom Where You Are Planted".

Remove all of the stem from the small poppy seed pod. Draw a face as directed. Dip the chin portion of the pod in hot glue and shove it into the little clay pot. Glue the small pot in the hands of the Fairie.

burlap sack

San Francisco Herb Co
pomegrantes in several sizes. rose hips, and other assorted items
800-227-4530 or 415-861-7174

down memory lane
715 carroll st
boone ia 50036
telephone (515) 432-3222
fax (515) 432-4611
tin rusting kits

book wormie   book reviews
books of interest

Anatomy of a Doll : The Fabric Sculptor's Handbook
by Susanna Oroyan
paperback april 1997
ISBN: 157120024X

The Doll's Dressmaker : The Complete Pattern Book
by Venus A. Dodge
a comprehensive encyclopedia of clothing and accessory patterns . . . 120 designs and 45 patterns for antique european and modern styles plus shoe patterns
Paperback - (September 1991)
ISBN: 0715392891

spider web
web sites of members & other sites of interest

shining mountain traders
dolls by kate williamson

check out the old dolls on this one including schoenhut

victoria magazine website


Cocks crow in the morn
to tell us to rise:
and he who lies late
will never be wise.

For early to bed
and early to rise
is the way to be healthy
wealthy and wise.

The cock doth crow
to let you know
if you be wise
'tis time to rise.

excerpt "Real Mother Goose" book published by Rand McNally but believed to be based on "Early to bed, and early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."
interesting note: Bartleby's Quotations says that this short rhyme is in Poor Richard's Almanac of 1757.

#2     #3     #4     #5     #6     #7     #8     #9     #10
#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
#51     #52     #53     #54     #55     #56     #57     #58     #59     #60
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.
Prior Issue       INDEX       Next Issue

For more information send e-mail to the Peddler.
peddler wagon HOME PAGE
Site developed and maintained by MMCC, Inc.
Report problems or suggestions to
Jackie Gannaway Cookbook Cupboard Index.