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..."

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Keeper of the Needles...

 For ever so long, I have kept my needles in an old piece of frayed flour sacking that my mother gave me.  It's sturdy enough to hold the needles firmly, but soft to the touch.  Recently, I began to think I should sew it into a little cloth needle book, so I finally got it done.  The front is needle-turned applique inspired by Janet Bolton's work.  The cover and inside lining is made from black walnut dyed sacking and muslin.  I would like to think that I will never lose another needle...



There's been lots of rain...

The grasses are beginning to grow...

Baby calves are being born...

And, Millie and I are out and about everyday... 
Today was our 245th consecutive walk, and the day's length will be 11 hours and 47 minutes.  


The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
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 (1812~1889)


  1. What a beautiful needle book you've made...so many perfect, tiny stitches. I love your spring photos and the poem is perfection. xx

  2. So lovely and meaningful. I bet you will always find your needles in your beautiful creation. Browning's poem is beautiful and one of my all time favorites. ♥

  3. The needle-turn applique figure on the front of your needle case is amazing. I love how you created her dress, facial features and her hair. After seeing your creations for many years now; I am still always in awe of your work. It is great that you have saved the needle cloth from your mother and made it into something that you can treasure! That is quite the river you have; I hope Millie enjoys getting her feet wet. We are still covered in that snow; at last count we received 10 inches. Still not good to go out for walks; quite slippery in places. It appears that the cows are posing for their pictures. So sweet to see the baby calves so close with their momma's. Congratulations on your days walking with Millie. Spring is so close now and I am sure there is much beauty to be found with your camera.

  4. Love the needle holder. So pretty and useful. Wonderful you worked on it and now it is a treasure from your mother and you. Always love to see pictures of the cows and Millie. Glad you can walk everyday together.

  5. Janet Bolton's work has inspired many of us, but we don't all manage to be inspired enough to make something so lovely and so appropriate for Mothering Sunday (UK)! Your needle case is delightful, a real gem. One of our cats is called Millie, she would rather be a dog. I have to lock her in the house when every time I go for a long walk with Toby-dog. Enjoy your walks.

  6. Oh my! I love it!! And ~ after the mail comes tomorrow, I'll have something for you to put with the needle book! ;) ;)

  7. Well done with your walking. I have had a lot of "house steps" only this past week and my walking was around town this morning, not out for a proper walk, but tomorrow is another day. I love your little needle case.

  8. What a treasure you made in that needle book. So beautiful. Hug Millie for me.

  9. Your needle book is a lovely idea, - I keep mine in bits of weaving, but they often go astray. Spring has made a valiant attempt at getting down the mountainside here, - out for a walk with Bruce and could have drowned in the beautiful blue sky. What a difference it makes in your mood!

  10. Love your needle book...so clever! I enjoyed seeing the calves...I miss that since my brother-in-law no longer farms.

  11. The perfect little needle-book holding so many memories !
    Baby calves being born, what a precious sight to behold.
    We are having beautiful blue skies this week, but ooh how that March wind blows.
    Stay warm dear friend.

  12. The needle book is beautiful...Beautiful! Your work is amazing. You are so talented! We have had lots of rain too. Oh, and baby calves! My sister was just telling me there was one born late yesterday afternoon on their farm.

  13. Very nice. At first I thought the cover was a brushed suede until I read it was walnut dyed sacking and muslin. The applique cover is lovely, what a splendid idea and great needle work.
    Looks like you're enjoying those walks with Millie.

  14. Your needle book is lovely... I never knew that there was such a thing! I think I will make one for myself! Spring will be here shortly... signs are everywhere! Can't wait for snow to go away!

  15. Love your needle holder and it being out of the flower sacking makes it so special. You and Millie are walking every day. Good for you. hugs, lj

  16. I love your needle case! I went back and read through some posts. Had to stop and reread the end of the year notation when you had only 3 days left on the calendar. Beautiful, beautiful. Thank you for writing it.
    I have been watching "The Rifleman" while working on doll clothes. Decided to drive over the hill to your side for a visit. So glad I got in the car. Windows open, wind in my hair. Air rushing through, picking the sand off the floor to join the dust on the road. Watching the mixture curl behind me as I drive up the long road on your side of the hill. Pedal to the floor and tires spinning sideways as I round the last bend up the hill.

    1. :~) Ha! When I see that last swirl of dust, I'll put on the coffee! Did you recognize the old cloth from which the Keeper of the Needles is made? It was/is my favorite piece which is like gold to me. It's rather fragile and must be handled with care. I am hoping there's enough of it to dress the doll I am working on now.