Monday, August 27, 2007

Stuck on Pincushions

Pins and needles and pincushions and I go back a long way. I don't like to think of myself as old, but my goodness! ~ I can remember back ~ gasp! at least 36 years ago! I can actually remember back about one more year, but the first memory I have of sewing was when I was 4 years old. Yep, I'm 40 ~ there you have it! I was staying with a babysitter while Mama was working at the hospital I think at that time. The babysitter was also a family relative and I loved going to her house. Anyway, I suppose to keep me occupied, she must have provided me with fabric and needle and thread. When Mama came to pick me up, she asked what I was making and I told her "an apron for Kitty". Now whether or not Kitty was real, I don't recall, but I sure was busy stitching that day. Another time when I was 4 and can remember sewing ~I know my age because I wasn't in Kindergarten yet ~ we were in the woods. Mama loved going for walks in the woods. That particular day, her best friend, Vesta, and Vesta's brother and his wife were with us. I think Daddy was working at the steel mill then. To keep me occupied when we stopped for a break, I had my sewing with me again. I remember losing my needle while sitting in the dirt under a bluff and sifting through the dirt trying to find it. Then all of a sudden I cried, "I found it!" and held up my finger with the needle stuck in it! Thirty-six years later and things haven't changed ~ I don't lose my needle, but I sure do stick my fingers often enough.

For the last few years I've been collecting pincushions as well as making them. I can't resist an old pincushion, the older and dirtier the better. The first two green ones are pincushions that belonged to me when I was a young girl. Obviously I sewed them myself as they are pitiful looking. Beside them is a little plastic container of thread that I used. I recently found these while going through Mama's things.

The next one is a pincushion that was in her attic.

The rest are ones that I've found here and there, yard sales, thrift shops, ebay, online antique shops, etc.

Thankfully, I've gotten better at making pincushions. After submitting make-do pincushions to be judged, I was honored to have been chosen for Early American Life magazine's Directory of Traditional American Crafts for 2006 and 2007. Below (& the very top of this post) are the ones I submitted to EAL.

If you'd like to read more about make-do pincushions, please visit the Sewing Sundries page of my website.

Thanks for checking back to see what's going on here at The Primitive Gathering blog.

Lana of Honeysuckle Lane

Friday, August 24, 2007

Summer Vacation is Over!

The beginning of school for us on Monday seemed to end the fun of Summer for our family. It's back to work for Dad (he teaches half days as a High School Choir Director) and back to the books and computer for me and my two boys. This is the second year we have been enrolled in an online charter school.
It's great for Mom (me) because the curriculum is set up for each child, so I'm not having to find curriculum and create lesson plans. And there is also an actual building where we go once a week and talk with real people! to make sure we are staying on track and for any help we might need...Did I mention one of my sons is taking Pre-Algebra? I'm the one that needs the extra help!

Just a quick announcement, or reminder for those who already know:

The Primitive Gathering will be having a Fall Auction on Ebay starting Sunday, August 26th, and continuing all week long. Please type in PGKS in the search box to see all the wonderful hand-dids by the talented artists of The Primitive Gathering.

Suzanne ~Pear Tree Primitives

Monday, August 20, 2007

Silly Old Bear....................

I guess I had to start somewhere.......

My oldest daughter asked me the other day~ 'When did you start making dolls Mom?' And I got to thinking.....when was the actual 'first' doll or Teddy I made???? I started cross stitch in grade school.....I made an Eskimo dolly entirely out of one of the Beaver skins my Grandpa Ioerger trapped at his lumber mill.....but I think that was even after I made this 'something'....cause I still have him and he's dated 1989.............So I took Tressa to the wash room and had her get down this horribly NASTY dirty old box.... I thought to myself, Hmmmm~ I can't believe I still HAVE this!'.....I was as particular as a young person, as I am now, and even then, wrote on the box, all sealed round with cellophane tape~ "Packed by RL Brown, July 15, 1987"
So here I am, a smidge over 20 years later, opening this box........................and yup~ hes STILL in there! I cant remember exactly what grade or year it was, but I do remember the circumstances around this fellow's happening.......We had an English assignment to make something that in some way pertained to a figure in literature that we were currently reading I picked "Mars"~ the God of War. I can remember that I stayed up working on him the night before my a bit carried away, and NEVER went to sleep! English was the last subject in the day, and Honestly, cross my heart, If you offered me a million
dollars, I couldn't tell you WHAT I said during my presentation~ I was so tired! I got an A, so it must have been something wonderful! Ha!
I made this Teddy Bear out of brown fake fur~ he has somewhat faded to a rosy pink in some areas....poor guy! He is entirely jointed....I didn't do too bad on him, looking him over today..................Pippin sure does like him! I made him a pair of ultra sued sandals, a gladiator type dress with fake metal mesh for the closes with 2 buttons on the sides.......(flowers, but come on~ who's gonna see them under his armor ~ right?), and a cape
His armor is heavy board, all covered over in tin foil. I used some of Ma's cookie molds that had bears on
them, and pressed the foil in to make his breastplate and helmet decorations. They sure don't make tin foil like they used to~ this stuff is so THICK~ I can hardly believe that they haven't flattened out over all these years!
Golly~ Just look at that helmet! No God of War could be without his head gear...... I can remember I spent weeks looking for something suitable for the red brush thingy at the top~ I still cant remember what it's actually called.......time came down to the wire, and I STILL didn't have anything~ so Ma took me down to the grocery (NO Craft stores then!), and Safeway had these """things""" in the floral shop. I think they're some kind of dried and dyed I brought them home and then was trying to figure out a way to make a helmet brush out of them......hmmmmmm~ I see some old dried flowers there in the living room~ I'll just go sneak a piece of that green foamy stuff and stick them in there!~ YA! So I wrapped green floral oasis in foil, and poked all the red grass stems worked, but little did I know that it was still sort of WET, and they FLOOFED~ went to seed! I opened the box today, and can verify, they are STILL FLOOFING! So there you have it, my very first actual made from scratch 'dolly', was in fact a Teddy Bear dressed as Mars~ the God of War!!

Rachael Kinnison, Diamond K Folk Art

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Needle Punch

Although I am primarily a rug hooker, I started needle punching a few years ago. Needle punching is done on a much smaller scale than rug hooking, thus making it far more portable. It's also a lot less messy -- I tend to leave wool dust and snippets wherever I hook. I thought I'd share my favorite punchneedle tools with you today, so if you haven't tried it yet, maybe you'll be inspired to do so.

My favorite needle is the Cameo. I like it's size -- it fits as comfortably into my hand as a pen or pencil would. I've tried the smaller Russian needles, put they are so tiny my hand cramps quickly. I also like that you can get 3 interchangeable needles for it -- small, medium, and large (I usually use the medium) -- and you can easily adjust the height of your loops with just a twist of the shaft.

I use two frames when I am working. The easiest to use and transport and the least expensive is a plastic hoop with a locking lip. The locking lip is important because you must have a drum tight surface for your punching to go quickly. The plastic hoops are available in lots of sizes. I like the tiny one -- you can stick in your purse. Just don't leave your project in a hoop overnight -- it will leave a dent in the surface! The second frame I use is a wooden one -- an 8 1/2 inch square with gripper strips, just like on rug hooking frames. The gripper strips keep your backing really taut. It's drawbacks: the strips can really tear up your wrist if you have a tendency, like me, to lean on your frame, and you cannot get your finished work caught on the strips -- it will rip the threads right out.

For backing I use weaver's cloth, a tightly woven blend of cotton and polyester, which holds the threads nicely and is also very economical to use, costing around $5 a yard. I've been told that you can punch on just about any fabric -- even silk or loosely woven wool -- if you iron on interfacing first. I haven't tried that yet, but I will soon!

I love DMC Medici wool thread for punching. Lots of people use cotton embroidery floss, often up to 6 strands at a time, and get great results. But i like the wool because the finished product looks more like a miniature hooked rug. I can get more detail with a single strand, but I also like the look of using two colors at the same time. Also, using multiple threads makes your punching go faster.

I buy both small skeins and large hanks of Medici, which I've heard is not going to be manufactured anymore. It comes in a wide variety of colors, but I recently tried hand dyeing some to get variegated backgrounds. I have a favorite light background and a favorite antique black background that I use in many of my hooked pieces and I would like to get the same effect in my needle punched pieces.

Many people sell punchneedle equipment and patterns these days. Try your local needlework or quilt shop, or simply google "punchneedle" and you'll be on your way!

Happy Punching!
Hallowed Hill Primitives

Monday, August 6, 2007

At home in East Tennesee

Here we are in Historic Rogersville. The second oldest town in Tennessee. There are many old homes and buildings here as well. I recently took a ride with my girlfriends and we had so much fun. I learned a bit more than I already knew and I'll share my findings below. We are in a great location here. Within short driving distance to Virgina, North Carolina, and Kentucky. We also have the Great Smoky Mountains in our back door. There is much to do and see here in this area which God has surely blessed. If you are ever in the area, you'll understand just what I'm telling you.
Now, first stop on my trip was out to Sandy Valley, where we visited the old cabin of Ms. Lipe.

This place is fantastic. So serene, and I'll just say if I lived there, you wouldn't see me out very much. She has the most beautiful scenery and "sound" right out her front door. Grapevines growing on the old log shed out back and she even had tomato plants growing in bales of hay. Yep, I said it, bales of hay! Her sunflowers are breath taking with the hills in the back. Just the best place in the country.

Next is Ebbing and Flowing school house located next to the Methodist church which still holds service. You'll also find Ebbing and Flowing Springs here. It is one of only two known like it. To read more about the Springs please visit Ebbing and Flowing site. It actually flows right across the road way. I love those back country road trips!

Don't know much about it, but I've always dreamed of it being my studio

The Kyle House is one of my favorite buildings.

Now, the old Spring House is my favorite place, and I had the pleasure of speaking with Janet Netherland Brown, who is the present owner and she had graciously agreed to give me information. You'll have to visit my picture trail for a special story on that coming soon.

Thats all for now. Next time, I'll try to share more of "Me". I'd like to kindly Thank my friend Nikki for her photography talents...
Until next time...Be Blessed. Sherry

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What's New @ The Primitive Gathering

We folk artists are planning eBay auctions, with Autumn flavor at the end of August. We'll have lots of Primitive Goodes, so
be sure to come visit ..the LAST Sunday of August begins the kick off.

We'll also have FUN give aways on the WebSitE in October, so
be sure to visit for more info and to sign up for the drawings.

Currently looking for GUEST ARTISTS for 2008, if you'd like to be considered
please contact us ..just visit our site & click the button to send us an email.

Be sure to visit our friend, Jenny, Country Rustic , at her site
for the most wonderful birdhouses, you'll love them.

The Gathering has  some exciting new artists coming in September !!
We continue to bring you the BEST in prims & whimsies.

DId you know you can send ECARDS from our site
LOVELY photos from our artists & some vintage images!!
just go to our POSTY ECARD page.

Check our SHOWS & NEWS page for shows our artists will be attending!! Stop in during your travels!!

Thanks for visiting and we'd LOVE to hear from you!!