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..."


Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Old Green Coat...








The old green wool coat is already hanging on its hook by the back door, after having been stored away for ever so long, or so it seemed.  It has been rainy and cold here in the Ozarks this week and the warmth of a winter coat have felt mighty good when Millie and I made our daily trek over the hill.  I was actually almost reluctant to put the coat on the first time, for it was so soft and clean when I took it out of its chest.  Last spring instead of dry cleaning the coat, I had washed it in the bath tub using a nice smelling shampoo and conditioner instead of detergent, and that smell still lingered, and the softness too.

  India Flint, in her book Second Skin, choosing and caring for textiles and clothing, writes on the subject of washing woolen clothing.  "I recommend avoiding dry cleaning at all costs.  Hand washing delicate garments is so much cleaner and simpler than having them sloshed about in solvents.  I find that a drop or two of shampoo is ideal for washing both wool and silk; these are protein fibres and display properties comparable to those of human hair."

"Wool can be washed in warm water provided that the temperature of washing and rinsing waters doesn't vary by more than 5 degrees C (9 degrees F).  If the garment is very dirty, immerse it in the water-bath and let it soak for a couple of hours which will save scrubbing.  (I did soak the old coat.) If the garment is made from wool, the best way to dry it is to lay it flat." (And, I did that, too.)








Stay close, Millie...


Of course, with the cooler weather, we have already started up the wood-burning stove.  Bringing in wood is a rather messy business, but the benefits of a warm fire far outweigh the small inconvenience of  sweeping up bits of wood chips and ash. As the old timers used to say, "Wood will warm you twice - once when it is chopped, and again when it is burned."




The first fire...



There was a day just three weeks ago that I walked the trail alone.  Millie was sick...very sick.  It was a dark, sad day for me; one I best not think about.   The following day we found out she had a tick-related illness and would need medication for three weeks.   Thankfully, she is almost back to her old happy self and is back to bounding over the trail with me every day.  So, for the sake of record keeping, the score is...  462 walks for me and 461 for Millie.  I hope I never have to walk that trail without her again.  It was a long walk, for sure.





The long walk...




Millie back on track...



I finally gave the doll some hair.  It now needs two or three coats of gesso, and then painted.  This cloth and clay doll also has a cloth over clay head which gives her a nice feel and provides some protection for the clay.  It too will get a coat or two of gesso before being painted.  She is wearing, for now, a dress that she borrowed from another doll.  You know, just to have her picture taken in.  I've done that, haven't  you?  (Thanks for once loaning me the sweater, Charlotte.)

However, for now, I must put this little girl away and get busy on the girls' Christmas dolls.  I promised them they would each have one  for Christmas.  But, it's just that I get so attached to each one as it comes to life, and I worry how I will handle letting them go.  But then, how could one be so selfish?   Well, no matter, I must get busy for Christmas is right around the corner, and those girls will have their Christmas dolls, the best  I can make (I hope!)







Gompf's Pond  ~ October 20, 2018



36 comments:

  1. Chip Butter, this was a thrilling post! Thanks for the information on washing woolen things, the absolutely adorable sketches, and the news that Millie is "back to her old self", and a glimpse of another beautiful doll. But, I'm not remembering a sweater...

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    1. I wore one of your sweaters on picture day when I was a senior in high school. I will try to remember to show you pictures in my yearbook. Frost warning for tonight! Time to snuggle in! :~)

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  2. My goodness I am so impressed by your skill at washing your own coat, I am tempted o have a go myself with an old one first. Glad to hear your little companion Millie is well again. The joy of the doll...stunning, you are one talented lady.

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    1. Lorraine, I can imagine the art of washing wool is practiced by many on your island.

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  3. Love your wood burning fire. I had a fire place in Florida but not here. Go figure. So glad Millie has recovered. A sick animal friend can really scare us. They can't tell us what is wrong. I would never have thought to shampoo a wool garment but it is just hair from sheep. Makes sense.

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    1. Patti, there are a lot of chimneys here in Arkansas that have wisps of smoke coming from them on cool mornings. You probably don't miss the mess that burning wood makes.

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  4. Thanks for visiting my blog and the kind comment.
    You have a lovely blog too and enjoyed reading how you came to be Chip Butter. : )

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    1. That's really one of my favorite little memories. I loved when my grandpa called me Chip Butter.

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  5. I love India Flint but I don't have that book, she always such good common sense about things.
    I really miss not burning wood-Hubs is not healthy enough to split wood anymore, I can still carry it in if I am careful. These in between days before winter I love the warmth of the wood stove the best-Our new lake house has a wood stove in it too.
    I admire your making of dolls-what a special gift you have for that art form.
    I do love to put cardboard down in the garden, even those paper feed bags from the coop work out well too-when its time to plant I scoot them over to plant and then add straw on top of the cardboard-I don't like weeding lol
    enjoyed all of your lovely photos too-

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    1. I noticed your dutch ovens-do you bring out coals on the hearth to cook-bake with those? I always dreamed of a pioneer kitchen

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    2. Kathy, we don't cook with them on the hearth, but wish we could. I have admired your outdoor dutch oven cooking. You would have made a good pioneer. :~)

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    3. my husband and I have always said we were born in the wrong time period lol

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  6. Sometimes I've washed woolens successfully and they were very soft after. Other times items have shrunken and distorted. I daresay the gentlest hand washing is key.
    I've been missing the farmhouse woodstove this week. Messy, yes, with fine ash settling on every horizontal surface and bits needing to be swept up. Still, nothing compares with the comfort of pulling a rocking chair alongside and settling in with a good book.
    So heart wrenching when a pet is ill. I'm glad your doggy companion has a new lease on life.

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    1. You are so right about ash settling on every horizontal surface. Just this summer I removed every slatted blind from my windows for that very reason.

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  7. Great post! I love learning how you wash your wool garments. I do sweaters of course, but I've always sent coat out to be cleaned. Maybe I'll stop doing that; it is very expensive. i have actually bought coats at Goodwill and paid more to have them cleaned than what I gave for them, LOL. I laugh, but it truly is not funny :) I love your coat, the color and the way it buttons . . . it looks so warm, but then wool is always so comfortable and warm, so nice.
    That you for visiting my blog and for the sweet comment you left. I am delighted that there were things to inspire you . . . it is a wonderful place and I never take it for granted. It's a dream come true, but not one that I didn't save a long time to be able to afford. The fact is I was saving for something big, but didn't know what until we bought our little country home and I had the space to make this possible. It's a dream come true!
    Wishing you a lovely week; one with just enough chill in the air for you to wear your pretty coat.
    Connie :)

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    1. Thanks Connie. That coat is my favorite for walking in. It's warm but lightweight and large enough I can add layers underneath. And, green really isn't a bad color although I tell Millie I wish it was the color of her coat.

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  8. Chip Butter, I'm so glad Millie is almost her normal sweet self now. My old guy was very sick this summer, and I didn't think he would be here to enjoy the cool temps, but he, too, bounced back. Happy days now!
    Thanks for the tip about washing wool. Hand washing makes so much more sense the way you have explained it! Your jacket is beautiful.
    Looking forward to seeing your Christmas dolls. What a unique, special gift they will make!
    And finally, enjoy your wood burner. I hope Millie will, too!






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    1. Love your sweet drawings, too :}

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    2. Thank you, Chris. I would love to have you come help me paint the dolls.

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    3. Your dolls are so life-like! Real children in small format that capture my imagination--this little one is just lovely. Thanks for the tip about washing wool and avoiding all of the chemicals. Your coat even looks soft and must feel wonderful. Glad that Millie is feeling better and will be walking with you again!

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    4. Thank you, Jen! What fun it would be if you could come over and help me finish the Christmas dolls, for you are such a talented dollmaker yourself.

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  9. This is such a good post. I loved every word and hated to see it end. Wish I had an old wool coat to wash and make soft. And to think, I just donated one to Goodwill! So happy that Millie is better. I remember getting home from work once (several years ago) and our yellow Lab was lying in the driveway unable to stand up. Scared us to death. Turns out he had Lymes disease. The vet put him on medication and he did recover. Your doll is simply beautiful. She looks so real. I love them all.

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    1. Thanks Henny! Millie gave us a big scare, too. She almost couldn't stand either and labored to climb the steps. I am glad to know that your sweet dog fully recovered. Millie had tick fever (anaplasmosis). I know all's well when she is waiting for me at the door.

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  10. I'm sorry to hear that Millie was so sick, but glad she is doing better now. I know how lonely you must have felt that day when you took that long walk without her. Thank you for the info about washing wool and silk garments. I'll be sure to remember that. I am always amazed at your beautiful work in doll making. Just gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Dianna! Millie has been one of my best little blessings. When I was having some health issues a couple of years ago, she was my inspiration to get me back out walking. So, when she became ill, I knew I had to do the same for her.

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  11. Great information about washing wool. I don't have any wool I don't think, but if I get some I will know how to clean it now. So glad to hear your dog is getting better. When the pets get sick, we are sort of helpless and it is very upsetting, but thanks to the doctor we can get them well most of the time. It is getting cooler now and I know you appreciate your green wool coat. The new doll is very pretty and her borrowed dress looks good on her. You had better get sewing to finish your Christmas dolls as time is flying. Loved the post.

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    1. You are so right, Martha, time is flying and I still have lots to do to finish the Christmas dolls. You know as well as anyone how much time it takes. These dolls are smaller than the one I showed her, but still I can get lost forever, it seems, in the sculpting. As always, I love your comments!

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  12. Such a lovely, comforting post! Thank you for the tips about wool-I have used shampoo too. I didn't know you could wash coats so I'll do that. Your art is wonderful-you have such a good eye, and I love how you've put your emotions into your work! The doll is amazing too-I can't wait to see the finished one!

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    1. Thank you, Debra! More often than not, my hands can't do what my eyes want me to do, but it's always worth a try.

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  13. Nice post and beautiful photos, thanks.I will have to try treating my woolens more gently.

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    1. Yes, India made a point of that; definitely no scrubbing of wool. Thanks for the visit!

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  14. I can't wait to see the Christmas dolls. The girls will be so happy, I'm sure! I have never heard that about the woolen clothes but I will be much more careful about it now. Glad to hear Millie is feeling better now. Love your photos!

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    1. Yes, they keep trying to peek to see how they are coming along! :~) If time permits, I want to try making a box for each doll. My mom made boxes in every size and shape; just wish I had learned more from her.

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  15. Thank you so much for visiting my little place because that led me to your gorgeous blog. So, so happy I happened upon you. Your walks up and down the hills in the Ozarks do sound rather like heaven. How wonderful your Millie is now on the mend. Yes, those walks without her would've felt long and sad. Your dolls are wonderful and as your photos...simply sublime!

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  16. Your name is in the drawing for my banner Give-A-Way.
    Thank you for being such a sweet blogging sister and for your encouraging words. They keep me blogging and enjoying my journey here in blog-land.
    Have a beautiful day and Good Luck!
    Connie :)

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  17. Chip Butter, my heart bothered me that I did not respond to this post. I know the love you have of Millie and how worried you must have been over her not feeling well. I am happy to read that she is doing better and I hope she stays feeling her best and remains your companion on your wonderful walks. As I always am, I love seeing your newest creation of one of your dolls. I love them all and always look forward to your sharing them with us. Great idea with washing your wool coat. So happy you had good results.

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