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, 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...




21 comments:

  1. all your baskets are so pretty. They say that walking is the best exercise, good for the soul and the body. I know Millie enjoys it everyday too.

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    1. Millie is so spoiled for our daily walk that it's hard to disappoint her. I really think walking helped pull me out of the ditch last year when things weren't going so well for me.

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  2. Your baskets have a rustic charm. That was one talented lady.
    Awesome record, 103 days and only missing 27. You and Millie should be in top shape. Winter time walks sounds lovely, cold, but lovely.
    I was looking at an embroidery foot like that the other day. It looks like it would be quite handy for many sewing tasks along with the embroidering. You're so multi-talented, I figure you'll master a class with no problem. I look forward to your progress reports. You go girl. :)
    Millie is a true beauty. Give her a big hug for me. :)

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    1. "In top shape" really does describe Millie. I am constantly admiring her strength and speed. I do worry about the barn kitties when she gives them a chase, but so far, so good.

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  3. Beautiful basket, and made with such an appealing variety of grasses and vines and barks. You must really treasure them. Good luck with your walking record, - Bruce and I just saunter twice around the block and down the lane, but we do it twice and day and enjoy the leisurely sniffing and smelling and investigating.

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    1. Hildred, I so understand the "sniffing and smelling and investigating" that goes on when walking with a dog. If only Millie could tell me what she knows that I don't know! Also, I am not surprised that the grasses and vines and barks would appeal to you, too.

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  4. Those baskets are amazing, what a talented lady I loved them all. I was impressed with the embroidery foot, looking forward to seeing some of your work using it.

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    1. The embroidery foot is something new to me. It will take some getting used to manipulating the cloth to get the desired result.

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  5. My first thought was, oh, you've got to go!! But, as I read on, thinking about Millie and the trail, and the baskets you have, and since Millicent is no longer there...I don't think I could go and leave Millie and the beauty that surrounds your home. I LOVE the baskets!! You write the most beautiful posts!!!

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    1. Henny, when I think of the crowds of people at the fair, I really am happy to be home with Millie.

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  6. Embroidery School? Tell us about it...
    I would love to see the crafts this year, but you know me ~ stay at home body.

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    1. Well, I'm not very far into the lessons, but the goal is to make a book with decorated pages. The instructor speaks with a very British accent and I am having some difficulty understanding some of the instructions. Where is the closed captioning? I was wondering when I wrote this if you would be sending some of your quilts to the fair this year.

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  7. The baskets are all so wonderful and uniquely made. They are perfect for the decor I would expect to be in your home. So sad that the basket maker is no longer at the craft fair. I am happy that you were able to get the ones that you do have. Our big craft fair comes in November for our area. I look forward to going. I have been taking an interest in walking too. My son got me a Fitbit and it is fun to count my steps. I don't have your beautiful scenery or the companionship of a dog to walk with me; but I still try to reach my 10,000 steps daily. Congratulations on the walks you are taking with Millie and good luck seeing how many more days you can go; before the snow? I wish you luck on your free-embroidery classes. You are very creative and I am sure you will do great.

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    1. Sandra, I am so impressed with your 10,000 steps. My daughter gave me a Fitbit for Christmas a couple of years ago, so I know how hard it is to reach that number. But, I also know how good it feels when you do! I just can't walk in freezing rain, heavy snow, and strong cold winds. Hopefully, we won't have many of those days this winter, but folks who believe such things, tells us that the persimmon has a spoon inside this year which means lots of snow. I think you have seen a bit of snow already. Right?

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    2. No snow for us here yet; it was expected but did not happen. Our son and his family that lives in our area had to relocate for his job again. This time they are only two hours away and not in Denmark. They are keeping their home here to return to whether it be one year or maybe three? They had snow one day. I miss the more day to day time with them; but so far they have been coming home on weekends. Until the weather changes and then not so much anymore. I know I will have to do a lot of my walking indoors over the winter. I wish you many more pleasant days to enjoy the outdoors!

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  8. I envy your fortitude for walking every day! Cappy and I still walk but not as often. The road to the creek has been made difficult due to my arthritic knee. The return trip is a steep incline that I cannot do as often as I'd like. The other direction has several unruly dogs that Cappy is petrified to encounter, so our walks have gotten shorter. It makes me sad. Your baskets are wonderful. I went to War Eagle yesterday for day one of the fair. I actually saw 1 split oak basket maker and was very surprised. I fear some of the wonderful old arts are now relegated to history.

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  9. As a basket maker, I can really appreciate the work that is put into just collecting the items from outdoors before you even begin to make the basket. Then there is the planning of what shape the natural material are telling you to make. Then you start. I haven't make a basket in many years and at times, yearn to put my hands on grapevine and scrapped willow bark. I have a stash of deer antles that I'm saving. Some day.... We love your walks with Millie. Thank you for bring us along with you two. Keep up the good work. I have been biking 4 times this week. Perfect weather for it right now. Sounds like you have great memories of the festive. That's almost as good as going.

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  10. Wise decision... :-)

    and as to the pictures, of neat desks, posted on pretty blogs... We must remember that those pictures are staged!!!! -grin-

    We could do that too, if we got rid of everything that doesn't look "pretty." -smile-

    Although I do admit, I really "need" things pretty neat. Nothing unnecessary, around my computer, for instance. But!!!! Don't look up at those shelves, on my computer desk!!!!!!!!!!!!!! >,-)

    Luna Crone

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  11. It sounds to me like your heart is not in the Fair anymore, and you and Millie have a goal. Enjoy it, and if next year you wanna go, then go. But either way, the baskets you have collected--amazing works of art!--are still yours and they hold the memories you need of Fairs Past. Maybe you can begin collecting bits (although I suspect you already do) on your walks with Milie to put in some of those baskets? Instead of a Curiosity Cabinet, you can have Curiosity Baskets. :~)

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  12. Oh my, Friend! Those baskets are absolutely beautiful! What craftmanship! I love baskets also. Good luck on the embroidery class...you can do this! I know you can. :) Good for you (and Millie) for walking! I need to do a lot more of it. Have a wonderful remainder to your week!

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  13. Lovely blog, Thank you for visiting mine. Beautiful surroundings and reading this blog just made me happy. Blessings to you

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