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, February 22, 2017

The year's at the spring (almost)...




An early morning shower...




The Cowboy going to work...





The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew -pearl'd'
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven~
All's right with the world!

      ~Robert Browning
                                  


Then coming back...








Red sky at night; Sailors delight...for sure!









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