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, December 21, 2015

Christmas 2015...




Christmas 2015

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I can't help reminiscing a bit...




There was the year that Sylvester beat out Nell for the Chip Butter Christmas blog photo.  How I miss that big old lovable cat!




Nell is getting on in years now...going on sixteen and has lost most of her hearing, but not her love for loving and being loved.  I give and receive with all my heart...








Was it only last year that I finished my beloved Zeke...the favorite of all my dolls?  It will be hard to put him back into his box when Christmas is over.

I didn't make a new Father Christmas this year, but have been reworking one of the older ones.  He is hoping to be back to work by next Christmas.












And, there was the year that Santa brought 120,000 baby chickens on Christmas Day.  What a party!





Merry Christmas to you all....





Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ruffles and Rain...









And the rains came down, for two days, soaking the earth and filling the streams to overflowing.  It was a wonderful time...even to make ruffles.

Perhaps I should hang a sign on the sewing room door, with the Las Vegas iconic advertising campaign slogan, "What happens here, stays here."  Oh, the stories this little doll could tell...countless face and hair makeovers, three torso revisions, two sets of legs and feet.  But, finally here she is...including that infamous dress with an attached ruffle.  Hopefully, I have learned a lot.  I think my next doll shall be one styled after the old Skookum Indian souvenir dolls.  Thankfully, they don't wear ruffles!
















Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Ruffler...



Attachment Box which belonged to my grandmother...



The Ruffler and Foot Hemmer

Little Brother and Me  (notice the ruffles and smocking)
They were such fun little things to play with.  Mom didn't seem to mind that my little brother and I sat in the floor arranging the little sewing machine attachments  in all kinds of imaginary games, until... one day the ruffler went missing!

It was an amazing little gadget with its bewitching little up and down movement as Mom gathered ruffles, skirts, and sleeves.  She used this attachment often, and was extremely skilled in its use.  She seemed to know just the right adjustments for achieving the desired fullness, for her gathers always turned out beautifully.

And,  it seemed that my little brother also thought the ruffler was an amazing little gadget, for, as it turned out, he had taken Mom's special little attachment outside to his special dirt place where all kinds of construction projects were going on.  I don't remember who finally found the missing little ruffler, lost in the dirt, but I do remember that our home was in a crisis mode until it was found.

I do not have my mother's old treadle sewing machine and the attachments that went with it.  Wouldn't you know, my little brother does!  However, I do have my grandmother's old treadle and box of attachments, which would have been similar to my mother's.

A few days ago, when I decided that I would use a foot hemmer to narrowly hem a ruffle for the doll's brown dress, I discovered that my ten-year old Bernina didn't have one...nor a ruffler.  They are available for separate purchase, of course.  Thus, I pulled out my old Singer, which has both attachments, cleaned and oiled her up, and with a bit of practice, should have a narrowly trimmed ruffle ready to go...soon!


Ruffled and narrowly hemmed...

Practice on my old Singer...




Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November...



The Pond at Sunset...

The upper meadow...

Do your legs tire?

Morning visitors...

Too pretty to throw away...

Stitches... 



Friday, October 30, 2015

A Nice Finish....



The Seventeen...

The Cowboy kept me way too busy this week with cattle doings and such, so there wasn't a lot of time for play.  We dodged showers here and there, but that was a good thing, for we so needed the rain.

    The last of the cloths are out of the dye pot, so that's it for the leaves this year.  I got some nice results, but this year's attempts fall a bit short of those from the year that I first bundled cloth and leaves and tossed them into a pot.  Both then and this year, the leaves were pulled from the water at stream's edge. Now I wonder if those first leaves might have been a bit more decomposed, for I remember that they were quite soggy and slimy. I will think about that next fall when I try again.  But, for now I am turning to the garden, which still has lots of luscious color that I would love to capture on cloth.

     One rainy afternoon, I modified the little doll-girl, giving her a slightly larger torso and a second skin.  It had seemed to me that her head was a bit large, so I had been pondering how I could fix the problem.  I simply slipped a slightly larger torso over the first one, stuffed around it and stitched it down just below the shoulder plate.  And finally, I pulled the second-skin up and over it all, stitching and gluing around the edges.  It is a nice finish.  Now for that nice brown dress...


Four nice cloths...

So many stitching possibilities...


From a previous year...

Luscious colors still...

 Even a tiny butterfly...

Not giving up yet...

Sassafras ~ a Chipbutter award winner for best of color...

Second skin...


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Golden Days...




Kicking up leaves...

The Piney...

The bluff...

Shagbark Hickory...Love that shaggy look!

The young Bur Oak has acorns ~ five of them...

The largest acorn of our native oaks...up to 2 inches in diameter.  What a  gorgeous fringed cup...

Out of the dye pot ~ washed, dried and ready...

Practicing the stitches...




Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Day in October...


 I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.  ~Anne of Green Gables











The dye pot (just an old crock pot on the back porch) has been simmering night and day.  First, there were bundles of cloth rolled in leaves, so now there are more of my mother's scraps of old, old flour sacking imprinted with autumn leaves.  They make a wonderful canvas on which to stitch, I think.

The half-circle cloth, which Mother had probably cut for a small scarf, will be just that...a scarf.  Unlike Mother, who would have hemmed and edged in properly, I will leave the rounded edge ragged.  I will, however, do a small backstitch around the piece to control how far the fraying can go, should it want to go.  I also doubt that she would have approved of leaf markings on her scarf.

I finished reading the final book, Frightful's Mountain, in Jean Craighead George's My Side of the Mountain Trilogy.  I enjoyed this final book immensely, and haven't been able to get thoughts of migration out of my mind.

Ms. George wrote, "The happening was migration.  It was full upon the Northern Hemisphere.  The shorter hours of sunlight and lowering temperatures were telling millions of birds to go south."  One of my winter projects will be to embroider the migrating Frightful on the leaf-stained and frayed-edged cloth.

The girl is still borrowing clothes, much to the chagrin of her sisters.  We have decided that she shall be dressed in brown to match the old button.  There are not many pieces of brown left in my fabric stash, but we will make do, even if we have to turn again to the dye pot filled with black walnuts.



Friday, October 9, 2015

Just when I thought the last one was gone...




He seemed so hungry!  Intent only on feeding, this little Ruby-Throated Hummingbird paid no attention to me at all.  His table was set well...two feeders still hanging, and Bat Faced Cuphea and other flowers still blooming galore... but it was the Monrovia's firecracker plant on which he dined.





A jungle of Bat Faced Cuphea (Cuphea llavea)



One has to wonder why some of these little critters are so late.  Migration is a serious thing.  Is this one making his way more slowly because he is younger, and possibly weaker, thus feeding more as he journeys southward?  If so, I hope he got his belly full at this pit stop.  I saw him again a couple of times at one of the feeders, so I was thankful that I had left them hanging.
Even a hummingbird could get lost here...

Just ask the Rusty Rooster...

Intent on feeding on Monrovia's Firecracker Plant...

And, just for the record, as I write this at 5:30 p.m. October 9, he is at a feeder.  I hope he knows, if he plans to spend the night, that we will be getting somewhat cooler this evening...