About Blog Title...

As a child, it was one of my greatest delights to visit my grandparents in the spring when the whip-poor-wills began to call. Grandma and Grandpa lived in a remote valley of the Ozark Mountains where there were trees a plenty, and, seemingly, a whip-poor-will, or two, in each one.
My grandmother insisted that a whip-poor-will's call was not "whip-poor-will," but instead, "chip-butter-white-oak." I would listen really hard trying to hear it exactly as she said it was, but all I could hear was "whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will,..." But, I never let on to her.
I remember my grandpa watching and listening, with an amused look on his face, to one of these listening sessions. Shortly after that he began to call me, just for fun, "Chip Butter." It is a name I am proud to wear for I still love to hear that long, lonesome call on a warm summer's eve. And, sometimes, when I listen really, really hard, it seems I can hear quite clearly, "chip-butter-white-oak, chip-butter-white-oak..."

Monday, February 12, 2018

What's on your February Calendar?

The sky appears broader now than it did.
The day has opened its eyelids wider.
The lengthening of the days, commenced a good while ago,
is a kind of forerunner of spring.

~Thoreau's Journal, Feb. 19, 1852

I really love the dolls at this stage - clay and pencil marks.  I am anxious to finish this one.  I am calling her Annalee.

The "She-Shed," as I am now calling her, is waiting on warmer days, so we can put insulation in her walls.  What we will use over that, I am not sure.  I am anxious to get moved it!  Dan is happy that the hummingbirds will be on this front porch, this year, instead of on his.

What a joy this little "shelter" dog is.  The cold, wet days of winter haven't slowed us down!  :~/  We are on walk number 219.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Turn left at the old Blackjack Oak...

The hilltop beckoned.

And, Millie waited at the door. 

It was cold...20 degrees with a stiff north wind blowing!  But, there was that self-imposed challenge I had made back in the summer:  To walk every day, rain or shine, for 365 days. I suppose that also included freezing cold days as well. 

Why, even the pond was nothing but a shimmering, frozen surface of reflections in crystalline ice.

And, the Great Blue Heron seemed to be having trouble finding a bit of open water in which to fish.

Millie and I decided that, instead of crossing the hill top meadow where the wind blew strongest, we would take a more sheltered route.  We would turn left at the old Blackjack Oak, the one with three trunks, and take an old trail that meanders through the woods and down to the wooded side of the pond.  So, that's the trail we walked for three days, after which the sun began to shine and we could go back to our old paths again, where Milie can run, to her heart's content, across the meadow where the cattle like to graze.  Yesterday was Walk # 181

(A funny note about Millie's picture above:  On these cold mornings, Millie's one floppy ear was standing almost as erect as the other.  What's to be made of that?)


Chip's Corner....

The girls seemed happy with the Christmas dresses and jackets...can't seem to get away from those little jackets! 

I so enjoyed sewing the peach-colored one.  The dress is made from a piece of vintage 36-inch wide fabric and was a dream to sew; makes me understand what it means when someone says, "It has a good hand."

Tilly, the seven-year old, who says black is her favorite color, was delighted with her doll's black corduroy dress.  Her sister told me that Tilly's doll wears the dress every day. 

I am excited how far I have come with my dolls.  The bottom photo shows were I am with the torso.  The head to body ratio seems right.  And, it sits well! 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Around the Year, 2017...

The old calendar is almost filled.
There only remain three empty spaces in which to write
before a brand new calendar will be opened up to begin all over again.
The new one has larger squares with space for more notations.
There will be room for a few rough sketches; 
no doubt Millie will be there,
and the Cowboy too.
There will be space for a certain long neck,
even if he has to extend into the space above.
There will be weather and gardening notations,
birthdays and other special days ...

And so it goes,
Around the Year...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Naughty or Nice?

Naughty or Nice ~  There were times, long ago, when the word "naughty" would send terror through me.  It's such a dreadful word, don't you think?   I will confess to having been reminded a few times of what the consequences might be on Christmas for children who were "naughty!"   Really...was it possible that Santa Claus would bring me nothing but a bundle of switches? 

Well, surely these nice old gents, Belsnickle and Santa figures, brought out from the old trunk upstairs, would never do such a thing...even if a little girl hadn't always been nice. 

"'Twas the night before Christmas
when all through the house..."

Happy Christmas to all...

Monday, November 27, 2017

Around me the trees stir...


"Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, 'Stay awhile.'
The light flows from their branches
And they call again, 'It's simple,' they say
'and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.'" 

Mary Oliver, "When I Am Among the Trees"

Cabin in the Woods
A Playhouse really
I am calling it my Shanty
Where a friend might come for tea
Maybe something like this... :~)

The Shanty
stitched into my sampler book

Web Stitch

"When you learn a craft, practice it.  That learning comes through the hands."

~Rumi, "A Basket of Fresh Bread"

Monday, November 6, 2017

Live Each Season...

Live each season as it passes.
Breathe the air, drink the drink,
Taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each.

~Henry David Thoreau

And, oh so gladly, that's just what we are doing!  

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Changing of the Seasons...

While I was intent on admiring the changing of colors around the pond, Millie seemed to be interested in something else.  She is a magnificent animal, having amazing speed and agility, so in a flash, she was out of the water and around to the other side to sniff and smell and listen. 

The other side...

The first fire of the season...

The mornings have been  down right chilly here, so last evening we enjoyed a cozy warm fire in the wood burning stove.  The first fire of the season is rather a celebratory event for us - a true changing of the seasons.  It's a time we always look forward to.

Ecoprint Dyed Cloth...

I am still struggling on in Embroidery School.  Other than watching videos, about all I have done is to choose fabrics for the first lessons.   Even though the instructor used three different pieces of white silk, I have selected pieces of my Ecoprint dyed cloth.  The pages of my cloth book, if ever completed, will definitely have a different look!

Distractions abound here in the sewing room, causing my attention to stray from the lengthy video lessons. It seemed during one particular session, that the shelves in an old cabinet just had to be dusted and straightened.  And, at another time, The-Doll-That-Wouldn't-Sit just had to have a new, larger body stitched on.   ( I think I might have to replay those videos!   And, to think that I was a teacher for a lot of years!  I should know better!)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

To Go, or To Not Go, That is the Question...

A wonderful sewing basket...   A lucky find for I've never seen another ...

There was a time when almost nothing could have stopped my going!  The calendar would have long since been marked.  There would have been no forgetting the War Eagle Mill and Craft Fair scheduled for the third weekend in October when thousands of eager shoppers would be heading to the beautiful hills of Northwest Arkansas for the annual event.

I had been afflicted with a fever...basket fever!  I remember well the first year we attended the fair, and still have the first basket I bought.  Each year afterward,  I would save my dimes and dollars in anticipation of the next year's new basket.

With each year's fair, the fever that possessed me grew even worse, and went completely out of sight the year Millicent Phillips first brought her wares to War Eagle Fair.  Millie's baskets created from  natural materials found in the Ozarks ~ snake bones, Cattails, Turkey Berry Vine, Cacamus, Philodendron, Crossvine, Rattan Vine, Willow Bark, Grape Vine, twisted grass dyed with walnuts, Virginia Creeper~  were truly unique and beautiful.  I loved them all!  Choosing just one to take home was the hardest thing...


My first Millicent Phillips vine basket...

More of Millicent's work...

Snake bones and clay beads Millicent fired in her wood-burning stove...  (She told me that!)

My favorite Vine Basket...

Actually, to attend this year's fair was but a fleeting thought...  Millicent is there no more; nor the other basket makers, either. And, there are things that need doing here.  There's the trail to be walked.  Millie and I are on somewhat of a marathon, having walked it 103 days without a miss.  (We have missed 27 days in 2017.)  We (Millie and Me) are thinking it might be fun (and healthy) to see how far we can continue this streak into winter.  Millie is beginning to get her winter coat and I still have the old green wool, so we will be good to go, unless....

We haven't missed in 103 days...