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, March 18, 2019

"Spring was moving in the air..."






 "The Mole had been working very hard all the 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...."   ~Kenneth Grahame







Spring Cleaning, the pantry...

Now, Mole pretty much describes the way I have been feeling lately. "...with its spirit of divine discontent and longing..."  I, too, want to be outside doing outside stuff.  Like digging and planting and pruning and chopping and, well... you know!





Suffolk Puffs and French Knots (Karen Ruane's "Ledgers...")



And, more French knots...

Class is going well.  I am almost caught up.  I look forward to learning much more from Karen Ruane.  It is a year long class, so there's still a long ways to go.  I took a small watercolor notebook apart and washed over each page with a very thin burnt umber wash.  I am just not a white on white kind of gal.  I did have a moment of panic when I thought I might not be able to get it back together again.  You know, kind of like, "Humpty Dumpty had a great fall....and all the king's men and all the king's women..." Ha, Ha, that's not the way it goes!  :~)

The Christmas dolls came calling yesterday.  There were new Easter frocks for both.  We had a fun time dressing the dolls up.  I have been giving the girls sewing lessons so that, hopefully, before long they can design and sew their own dolls' dresses.



A new spring frock for Kate...



And, one for Mae...




A few added details...



Sarah was a great help in fitting sessions.  She really wanted to keep this dress.  Bless her heart!  

 And, finally, here we are taking one last long look at the magnificent oaks before they become clothed in thousands and thousands of new bright green leaves.   I think these trees are especially beautiful in winter, as though they are spreading their arms wide for the whole world to see.






Thank you, Lord, for another day!  
And, another spring!





23 comments:

  1. Yes, the trees are so pretty.
    I'm sure looking forward to seeing some green on the trees and blooming flowers.

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  2. I love to see our oaks in winter-their bare branches silhouetted against a sunset!

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  3. Such lovely thoughts of spring, Chip. I too, would much rather be digging in the dirt vs. spring cleaning. The dolls new outfits are sweet with nice detail. How nice to help the girls with their sewing. What a fun thing to do with them. On our walks I have been enjoying the tree structure that is barely visible when they wear their green.

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  4. Leafless trees in winter are fascinating--all the flaring and twisty shapes of branches that become almost invisible as the leaves return.
    The frocks for your dolls are lovely--I admire that you get the sleeves in so tidily.

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  5. This is such a beautiful post. I just want to read it over and over. The new doll dresses are so pretty and so special.

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  6. Your trees are beautiful all throughout the year. I love the pattern of colors they are showing on the picture above. Spring cleaning is not often fun. I always wonder how so much dust can gather in the winter months with the ground frozen solid. I am seeing some pretties in your pantry...love the spice cabinet. I also love seeing your doll sitting along side. The oil lamp and the pretty tea pot too. Your stitch work is amazing. That does not look like someone just taking lessons. As young girls we always had a new Easter outfit. I love the dresses you have made for Kate and Mae; I think I see some applique. How perfect that you are teaching the girls how to sew some doll clothes themselves. You are opening a whole new world of excitement for them. As for me...I am changing directions. For now I will just be blogging about my hand stitching. I am still making quilts...just taking my time doing the hand quilting. I still decorate my home in a somewhat Country style. My new blog is not how I decorate my home; but still a part of me. I have been going through my boxes of things and did not realize how many cross stitched and embroidered pieces I have collected over the years. Thought I would take some time to share them. So instead of Prairie Patchwork Quilts; I am now Vintage Linens. I've changed my logo too. We are starting to see patches of grass again. We still have some piles of snow on the ground as well. Two more days till Spring officially starts. I hope that you will soon be feeding the birds and watching your flowers grow.

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  7. Lovely post....I am so pleased to see spring coming too, and that lovely green aura around the trees, even though as yet there are no actual leaves.

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  8. Lovely photos, as always. I am about to transform my sewing room now the bunk beds have been sold, and then I can have all my sewing stuff in one room instead of spread about the house. Then I will probably have a shock as to the size of my stash of material and "stuff"!!!

    Lovely new frocks for the dolls.

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  9. Beautiful post-I love your photography. I am not a white person either in fabrics-or paint. the class sounds amazing.
    Love the dolls new spring dresses-and what an excellent learning tool to learn how to sew-love that.
    Happy Spring

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  10. Spring cleaning always comes at the worst time of the year--Spring. That is when we should be outside enjoying the warmth and color. Think next year, I will do it in the Winter when not much is going on anyway.
    That last photo is suitable for framing.

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  11. Such a lovely post, enchanting as well as uplifting.

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  12. Each year, I'm amazed at the coming of spring and how quickly things green, and leaf, and bloom! Your dolls are amazing with all of their details and personalities! I took a course with Karen Ruane several years ago, and her work continues to inspire me. Your classwork looks like fun; I know it is work, but it is the pleasing kind!

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  13. Oh, what a lovely post, Chip Butter!
    It is worthy of being in a book about the seasons - very stirring. You are such a gifted writer and photographer :)

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  14. I loved reading about Mole; it's from one of my very favorite books! It makes my imagination come alive!
    Glad I got to see the spiral notebook and the new dresses.

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  15. When I began reading about the Mole, I truly thought you were the author. Your place is heavenly, the nature, the dolls, the dresses, the antiques....it's all so special.

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  16. Such a wistful post-to get outside again! Oh yes-that feeling about makes me crazy! Spring fever, for sure. The dolls are so pretty, and so is your notebook. I love the stitching you are doing.

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  17. I lingered over each word and each photo of this lovely post, drinking in all it's beauty. Such a treat to be greeted by Kenneth Grahame's sublime narrative, once again. Kate and Mae's spring dresses celebrate freshness and pretty detail. Oh that every doll should be seen in such pretties. I too, love the sculptural beauty of winter trees. Your little notebook holds such promise. I can well imagine the beauty you will gift it. May your spring cleaning be interrupted here and there by glorious walks in that glorious landscape in which you live; and with the digging and planting and chopping......and all those outdoor, springtime activities.

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  18. Spring cleaning is bad, but you do get to see some things you have put up in cabinets. You might also be tempted to downsize because, of, you are tired of so much stuff and needing a easier house to have to clean up. Going out to work in the yard is also hard, but nice to get out into the sun and see things cleaned up and back to neat and pretty yard. Your new grand daughters doll dresses are very pretty and I know the children love them. How special to have made them these wonderful dolls.

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  19. What beautiful dresses you've made for the dolls. This is such a lovely posting. I love the photos and I love your notebook. You are very talented and wishing you a very happy spring!

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  20. You will get out for digging soon--you really will!

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  21. The dolls are so pretty in their dresses! Your photos are always so captivating by the way! I love that pretty notebook! Hope the ground will soon be letting you dig into it soon!

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  22. This was such a charming post... The dolly’s must be so pleased with their new dresses and also the girls with the sewing lessons..What a fabulous gift to pass on ...It's so lovely to see Spring budding to life...Your photo are so wonderful...I truly enjoyed my rad this morning..Thank You for sharing...Hugs

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