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, March 26, 2014

Dressed in Rags...




There were three of them, really just rags torn from an old linen shirt, and just perfect for experimentation in the dye pot.  Having just finished reading India Flint's Eco Color and Second Skin I was eager to try her magic on cloth.  The black walnuts were beginning to fall, so I took the oldest slow cooker (never to be returned, and thereafter referred to as the dye pot) to the garage and mixed up a brew in which went the three linen rags which had been covered with leaves, then rolled and tied into a tight bundle.  The dress and big bow Willow is wearing today is made from those rags.  How I wish this dress was in my size, and Willow had a feather under her nose so we would both be tickled...








Willow is number 24 in my alphabet series of cloth and clay dolls.  (No, I didn't skip X.  Ximraan, a Father Christmas doll was moved ahead of W.)  The more involved I get with these dolls, the longer it takes, especially to make the clothing. She is proud to have a complete set of unders, pantaloons, camisole, and petticoat.  The dress Willow is wearing is all hand-stitched.  I wonder how many times I squinted up my eyes to thread a needle...think I need to invest in a needle threader and a better thimble.   

Willow is about 14 inches tall, a slender doll with long legs that can hang over the edge of a chair if need be.  I went back to my old style of threading laces through her boots.  I made her arms a bit longer, so they fold nicely in her lap.    I have fallen for the big bow look, so, ragged edges and all, she got her very own.  (I see that I need to snip a few stray threads here and there.)  Willow actually sits very well, having her very own flat seat stitched into her bottom side.  I emptied my scrap bag for this doll, using them for stuffing.  With some experimentation, I found I could create a nest of fiberfill, then pack inside the nest with cloth scraps.  She has a nice firm feel, and is a bit heavier too.  All in all, I am quite pleased with both the doll and the dress.  And, as always, I extend my sincere thanks to Dixie Redmond, for if it were not for her, there would be no Willow, or the others before or the others yet to come. 



Thursday, March 20, 2014

"To go, please"...




Ever so often, when we go into town, we order a lunch "to go" and drive about a mile out of town to the river to dine out.  Through Oklahoma and Arkansas, dams artificially deepen and widen this otherwise modest sized river to build it into a commercially navigable body of water. (completed in 1971)  The river is now a series of reservoirs, and sustains commercial barge traffic and offers passenger and recreational use. (Thanks Wikipedia)  There is always something interesting to see...boats, barges, and many, many birds of both land and water.  On our last visit we encountered a pair of Canadian geese, who seemed to be out for a stroll in the park on a beautiful day.


Watching us, he/she may be thinking, "There is always something interesting to see."

Polka Dot Tail seemed to want in on the action too.

Oops, I may be getting a bit too close.

Time to take wing...


And head out over water....

And, away we go...


.

Friday, March 7, 2014

In the history books...



It is with much pleasure that I am officially putting this winter in the so-called history books.  With blue, blue skies and an abundance of sunshine for a couple of days, most of the icy-snowy mixture, which came calling a week ago with plans to stay awhile, is now hiding away in secret shady places.

I am going on with spring-time plans...pruning, planting, piling and plodding about.  Hummingbird feeders are going up on the fifteenth, just in case...