seed pod
© 2001 Maria Pahls
"hare b dashery"
© 2001 - Maria Pahls
seed pod #078
© Copyright 2001 Maria Pahls
Published to the internet
by arrangement with Homespun Peddler.

Fence Post
the fence post
(editor's letter)

dear friends:

while having prints made in the local copy shop recently, the clerk commented that my "snowman and crows" had the "meanest" snowman he'd ever seen… trying to redeem himself he added "but it's cool - it's like something from the nightmare before christmas… do you know that movie?"…. (of course i know that movie!) i'm not sure if he meant it as such, but i took it as a compliment. i often find myself inspired by the wonderful animation in that movie. i'm pretty sure the copy store clerk was left puzzled that i was not angered by his comments. just imagine if he had called my work "cute"…

well it's just about spring again…do you think that spring is the most promising of all seasons? a whole year ahead, new beginnings, a fresh palette! the birth of new life and a trickle of color that explodes into bloom.

sweep the fallen pine needles off your mantle and decorate with your favorite collection. be it nests, eggs, chickens, stitched rabbits or folk art birds. embellish with small pots of miniature forced tulips and daffodils to ensure spring comes early (at least at your house).

remember those dear to your heart this valentine's with a hand made card or sentiment- such as a lovely hand sewn red strawberry, a tiny velvet pincushion tomato, or go all out and make a piece of beaded fruit (red of course). be sure to bring out the red glass ware and vintage valentines too.

may you be inspired by spring!

primitively yours,

maria pahls

tips & techniques


mr. crow is quite fond of topiary. he keeps his potted sculptures meticulously clipped. inspired by his handiwork i have come up with a wonderful polymer topiary for you to create and enjoy. of course you might want to alter this design some what and make a variety of these for your own miniature garden. feel free to print out a copy of this copyrighted 2001 design for your project packet binder. (to find out how to get more project packs e-mail maria.

a very beautiful and simple project would be to paint store bought wooden (or mache) eggs with pastel milk paint and display in a wooden bowl. inexpensive bowls are easy to come across in salad sets at home stores or for a few dollars at flea markets… basics:

the bowl need not be a hundred years old to look "country" or "primitive". layering of paint, distressing lightly with a hammer or chain and sanding to simulate wear, and antique staining are all welcomed in this project. to begin, sand the finish off of the bowl. wipe with a damp cloth and dry. use tack cloth if desired. white prime, then paint with your favorite color(s) of milk paint adding additional coats as needed.

the milk paint color chart shows how to make pastels by mixing with oyster white. (tip: for a nicer finish strain the milk paint thru cheese cloth as directed in the package instructions). the inside of the bowl can be stained a dark color or painted to match or contrast with the outside. use the milk paint brand sealer to finish the bowl after you have applied any of the fore mentioned finishing techniques.


for those who like nesting boxes (in hat or pantry styles) but can't afford the vintage ones, try painting a set of graduated paiper mache boxes with milk paint or acrylics. they can be nice for storing "this and that" in your work area, gift giving or for treats on the coffee table. black painted boxes can be decorated with brilliant colored (yet simple) designs of floral or other natural motifs.


speaking of storage- those flea markets are great for finding nice picnic baskets which come in handy for storing any thing from fabric to hats and gloves to out of season decorations. they look very neat lined up on a shelf with their contents out of sight. since they come in several sizes they can be adapted for many uses.


did you think mica flakes were just for snowmen? and that you could only use hard to find and expensive vintage mica on your work? well think again! mica makes a great addition to a paiper mache rabbit or candy container. even over some painted eggs. "new" mica comes in colors too, lots of pastels- which are perfect for spring.


buckboard four-wheeled open carriage on which the seat is attached to a flexible board extending from the front to the rear axel.

foxed discolored with yellowish-brown stains, such as an old book or print.

frog 1. a loop fastened to a belt to hold a tool or weapon. 2. a spiked or perforated device used to support stems in a flower arrangement.

nest or nesting a set of objects in graduated sizes that can be stacked together each fitting within the immediately larger one.

poke a sack or bag

scherenschnitte originating in Germany and switzerland, in the 1700's, this form of paper cutting arrived in america with Dutch and German of eastern Pennsylvania. intricate cut designs were made by men to impress a sweet heart and may have had verses or sentiments penned over the surface of the paper.

basically, the design is marked on a folded sheet of paper, the excess is snipped away to leave only the design. additional cuts to make decorative edges or pin pricks might have been added to further embellish the piece as well as water coloring. the cut design could also be mounted on colored paper to show off the pattern.
scherenschnitte examples thanks to Toni McCorkle

  1. a dark brown ink or pigment prepared from the secretion of the cuttlefish.

  2. a drawing done in the pigmet. 3.a photograph in a brown tint.

burlap sack

alison shriver designs, ltd. 1868 annaplis, md 21404
offers scherenschnitte, and small painted portraits in the
19th century style

book wormie   book reviews
books of interest

american primitive hooked rugs
barb carroll and emma lou lais foreword by joan moshimer
chapters on designing, tools and equipment, dyeing ,hooking specific motifs, finishing techniques, plus teaching notes on over 30 different designs and much more.
112 pages color
university of new mexico press
isbn: 0826316166

the book of paper cutting
a complete guide to all the techniques - with more than 100 project ideas
by chris rich
paperback reprint edition (march 1994)
lark books
isbn: 0806902868

paper cutting (new crafts)
by stewart walton, sally walton, peter williams (photographer)
hardcover - 96 pages
(september 1997)
lorenz books
isbn: 1859675336

the art of decorative paper pricking
by janet wilson
paperback - 48 pages (march 1999)
isbn: 0855328673

twenty little log cabin quilts
with full-size templates
(dover needlework series)
by gwen marston, pat holly (illustrator)
paperback - 47 pages
(november 1995)
dover publications
isbn: 0486288099
spider web

paper cutting sites:

crafty lady - a nice site and an informative page about scherenschnitte

wow! look at the unbelievable paper cuttings in the
german museum of cloppenburg:

country antiques

salley mavor - recently featured in the cloth doll magazine-

Two milk paint sites


In the spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove; In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
    Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1883)

(Robin made by Maria Pahls)
And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and goes, like the warbling of music) than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight than to know what be the flowers and plants that do best perfume the air.      Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

In peace, Love tunes the shepherd's reed;
In war, he mounts the warrior's steed;
In halls, in gay attire is seen;
In hamlets, dances on the green.
Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below and saints above;
For love is heaven, and heaven is love.
Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

"hare b dashery"
prints avaliable

"Rabbit With Eggs"
prints avaliable


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copyright 2001 maria pahls~the seed pod 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. photographs posted on homespun peddler site by permission of photographers and are protected under this copyright. eproduced without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a
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