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..."


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Without even waiting to put on his coat...





...in cool little pockets of the deep woods.



Nothing expresses the way we have been feeling around here, on these fabulously warm days of February, quite so well as Kenneth Grahame's, Spring House Cleaning, from his wonderful book, The Wind in the Willows. 

"The Mole had been working very hard all morning, spring cleaning his little home.  First with brooms, then with dusters; then on ladders and steps and chairs, with a brush and a pail of whitewash; till he had dust in his throat and eyes, and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur, and an aching back and weary arms.  Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing.  It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor, said, "Brother!" and "O blow!" and also "Hang spring cleaning!" and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat."

One thing's for sure, our heavy coats have been left hanging, all week, on their hooks beside the back door.


                   

Ready for a bit of clay...




Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Not So Ordinary...




"Should I take my camera?"  How many times have I asked myself that question, as I was going out the door?  (Of course, the answer is, "Yes, always take your camera!  You never know what might be lurking beyond yonder bough or crag.)

However, as of late, as winter begins to wear us down, when every leaf and stem seems a bit frayed and forlorn, I have been prone to think, "What's the use?  There's nary a pretty picture to be had."  February can be like that, you know...perhaps, the drabbest month of them all.

Lately, I've even found myself wishing, as in days gone by, I had a half dozen pretty spotted ponies, and a barnyard full of beautiful speckled hens, but, alas, no more....  There are, now, only the trails and what lurks there...the little unexpected things that, when the light is just right, catches one's eye and the ordinary becomes not so ordinary.




Reflections so vivid that it's hard to tell what is up and what is down...










The very ordinary, but oh-so photogenic Millie...





A little surprise just off the trail...

The Doll Pattern...the one I have been drafting for oh-so-long...the one with the set-in-seat that I am so determined to have... is back on the table. Both the dolls in the picture are made from an earlier version of that pattern, which I am still trying to improve on.  I am determined to get it right this time, and the only way to do that is to keep guessing, testing and revising...prototyping, I suppose.  So, I have done that this week...several times, in fact.  I am getting mighty close...







Saturday, February 4, 2017

At the Foot of these Mountains...
















Millie has learned a lot about what to do and what not to do as far as the cattle are concerned.  She is a cow dog, you know.  I take great pride in how well she is progressing in her training.  She obeys commands ~ "Come here, Millie,"  "Stay back,"  "Stay here,"  "Let's go," "Want a hot dog?" and, best of all, "Give me a hug."  However, she still won't get into the side-by-side.  Even a hot dog doesn't do the trick. We may have to go to night school to master that one.






Millie ~ All grown up now


The sewing room is now swept clean, and the shelves are dusted and straightened.  The dolls and I are definitely enjoying the quiet calmness of a clean, tidy room. We could even find the scissors should we have the need to.  However, in the back of my mind, ideas are swirling around for the next project.  I am like Millie, in a way, having learned so much about making dolls (in her case about being a cow dog), but there are things yet to be learned.  Oh, heck!   I'll just think about that tomorrow....




Willow ~ three years ago

Oakley and Temperance ~ five years ago




Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sundresses and Wilderness Trails...













The last of the little dresses are sundresses with coordinating jackets.  (I have now made four of these little jackets...think I could make one in my sleep.)  The dresses and jackets were made from fat quarters or pieces I found in my scrap box, so there was no cloth to spare, and certainly not enough for matching of dots and plaids.

My mother used to say that her mother said the only thing we can take with us when we leave this world, is what we have given away.  I once asked Mom if I could go with her to help carry her stuff, for she had given so much away.

So, I am adding the little dresses to what I have given away.  I hope the girls will be pleased.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I hear the wilderness trail calling.......



































Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Living Inside a Cloud.... (And, The Brown Corduroy)












There have been so many foggy days and foggy nights here, lately, it has seemed we must be living inside a cloud; certainly not days fit for getting out with the camera, or so I thought.

A couple of days ago, I had a strong desire to go exploring in search of something to  "shoot," so when Millie and I headed into that foggy cloud, my camera was right at hand.  I was surprised, but not disappointed, at the results.  In the top photo, I can almost see Thoreau stepping down to water's edge as he contemplates the day. 

                    

Now for the brown corduroy... It is exactly like the red corduroy, except it is brown...my color, for sure.  Both dresses have back ties or sashes, just as my dresses had when I was a kid. ( I have previously written about those sashes here.)  There were four ties to be narrowly hemmed all around, so I pulled out the old Singer with her narrow hemmer attachment, and went to work.  She stitched as though she were new, right out of the box, despite the fact that she is now fifty years old.   It was good practice, for sure, but I think the next dresses I make won't have sashes. 









Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Red Corduroy...









Shakespeare once said that, "Clothes make the man," (which I strongly disagree with) but, if that were the case, do clothes also make the doll?

Our two youngest granddaughters might readily agree with that notion, for they surely do enjoy dressing their dolls (American Girl dolls) in nice clothes.  Hopefully, they will be delighted with the new clothes that Mrs. Claus is sewing for them. (She's a bit slow these days, it seems!) 

The Red Corduroy is the first of four.  One of my earlier dolls, Noelle, who hangs out here in the sewing room, has volunteered to model each one when it is completed, with the stipulation that she will get a new dress of her own when we are all done with the Santa Claus thing.

I remember well my best Christmas ever, when I got a trunk filled with doll clothes that Mrs. Claus had made.  Why, she could sew almost as well as my mother could!  The doll in the old photo below could well be the doll these clothes were made to fit.  This photo was taken on a long ago Christmas Day, when my little brother and I were posing with toys that Santa Claus brought.  It must have been a warm day for we weren't even wearing coats, and we both had a bad case of sun grins.   










Friday, January 6, 2017

Millie's First Snow...



"The night veils without a doubt a part of this glorious creation; but day comes to reveal to us this great work..." ~ Thoreau


Even though Millie is now eighteen months old, snow was something unknown to her, for last year's winter was without snow.

 


Tasty....




The Oaks seem to embrace it...




Two sets of tracks...hers and mine.  She won't ride!




Saturday, December 31, 2016

Farewell to 2016





2016 is fading fast, and all of us here at Chip Butter White Oak really can't say we're sorry.  We won't be looking back, but will keep our hands (and paws) on the wheel and look straight ahead into the brand New Year.  Thanks to all of you who take your time to stop by and walk with us as we explore these trails.  Happy New Year to you all!



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Photo of the Year...



Second Runner-Up...


First Runner-Up...

2016 Photo of the Year...

It has been a big year for this little shelter pup that was picked up by Animal Control from a ditch along the side of  a remote county road, along with a little brother, last Christmas eve. I can't help but wonder what the pups might have done that got them ousted from their previous home only one day before Christmas.  Perhaps they demolished the colorful lights and ornaments that adorned the Christmas tree... or tore apart the brightly wrapped holiday gifts decorated with shiny ribbons and sprinkled with glitter...  or maybe the stockings that had been hung with care were no longer hung at all!

 Millie was at the shelter, according to the records from December 24, 2015 until February 4, 2016, when we brought her home.  I won't say we "rescued" her, for I think, in reality, she may have rescued us. She has been a mega chewer, but it seems the worst is behind us.  If you should come calling, you'll not find a welcoming mat at the door, and that's for sure!  Congratulations, Sweet Mille (aka Dingo Dog)! 




Sunday, December 18, 2016

Merry Christmas





Wishing you all the old-fashioned, heartwarming joys of the Christmas season.