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..."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Autumn's Chill....

There's been a deep chill hanging over our neck of the woods this week, and even a bit of snow... just enough to dust the branches of the gnarly old oaks that are still heavily clad in masses of beautiful golden leaves.

It seems a booklet with the title, Four Strong Winds, should surely have at least one map.  I do, in fact, have somewhat of an obsession with maps, so why not stitch one?  Right?  Well, it is proving to be a bit challenging, for all the lettering on this little cloth map will be less than a quarter of an inch in height, and there are many little words yet to be stitched! 


And finally, look what friend Dixie Redmond did with the junk that was stored in the Indian cave I wrote about here.  It is gone! Yay!  Thanks to an app. Touch Retouch in which unwanted stuff in photos can be removed.  Oh, if only it could be so easy to be rid of unwanted things in our lives...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Muslin and Falling Leaves...

Muslin + falling leaves = new cloth and lots of surprises, some welcome and some not.  The cloth on the left came out of a pot of black walnut dye.  I was expecting it to look like the cloth I dyed a couple of years ago and used for making Willow's dress. 
Willow dressed in walnut-dyed linen

The cloth I am using for this little book is sacking, flour or feed, I am not sure which.  The markings on it are from my very first experiment with eco-dying, soon after I bought my first India Flint book on the subject.

I am ready to turn the page on this little book.  Three buffaloes are enough! 



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

If These Walls Could Talk...

This is the oh, so lovely place I chose to eat "out" for my recent birthday celebration. The weather was perfect, the food was delicious, and the company was good.

After lunch, we went exploring and ended up at an Indian cave nearby, where several years ago archaeological excavations unearthed ancient artifacts, including one skeletal remains of a young woman.  These artifacts are on display at a state university museum - a place on my want-to-visit list. 

Even though I had visited this cave before, I had never been inside it, and was amazed to find it so large and spacious.  And, the colors in the rock walls and ceiling all around and above are so, so beautiful.  Those long-ago inhabitants must have felt they had a bonanza here.  If only these walls could talk... 

The cave is on private property, and the owners seem to be using it for storage.  I would like to Photoshop those things right out of the picture!

My wanderers of The Four Strong Winds are ready to move on to a new place and to a new page.  I almost threw this page into the scrap box, since my original intention was to dress these people in colorful trade blankets. (Those will come along directly.)  But, these good people really wanted to stay in their little book and go on with their story.  I agreed, so now they are dressed in furs and hides just as the bluff dwellers might have been who once made this cave their home. 


Saturday, November 1, 2014

"The Happiest Day of the Year..."

"It's my birthday. The happiest day of the year.  Can't you see?  Look at all the presents I have had.  Look at the birthday cake.  Candles and pink sugar.  Can't you see them?"

                                                           ~A. A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh

Of course, we know that there really was no cake, or candles and pink sugar, and no presents at all for poor, miserable little Eeyore.  But, in the end, it didn't take much to make Eeyore's birthday a happy one.  Perhaps, it was just the "no proper notice" taken of him that mattered most. 

Well, there doesn't seem to be any presents or cakes, or candles and pink sugar around here either, but it would be next to impossible for one to have a miserable birthday on a day like today when the meadows, the ditches, the fences, the mountain sides, the trees, the gardens, and really the whole glorious valley, are all kindled with the fires of autumn.  It really is "The Happiest Day of the Year."

And, a little stitching makes it even better.  It seems to me that there may be two different stories emerging here...two little books instead of one.