Wednesday, September 30, 2009

~*Beauty Sometimes Come With A Good STINK!*~

Good Day Dear Friends! Did you read the title for this post? Kinda silly sounding... but today I proved it TRUE!

Normally when I dye wool (which isn't very often ~ I'm a total NEWBIE at it!), I use commercial dye... and, you have all known me to dye my finished works with stain made from walnut crystals. Well, today I did it the 'natural' way & dyed wool with dye made from the walnuts in our own yard. In the April 2009 issue of Wool Street Journal, Dawn Cody wrote a great article/tutorial ~ Natural Dyeing with Black Walnuts. The article has very clear 'step by step' directions with wonderful photos. I purchased Dawn's book, Colors From The Market, a few years ago... but haven't gotten the 'nerve' to try the natural process until now.

I do just LOVE the results ~ don't you?

(the wool on the far right is what it all looked like before)

Oh... and the title of the post? Well... black walnuts really STINK when they are boiling! I'm so thankful it was a nice, windy day so the windows could be open!

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Monday, September 28, 2009

~*Many Warm Smiles*~

Hello Dear Friends!

Monday... the start of another, sure to be busy, week. Today was a 'catch up day' of sorts with a few errands and a cheeseburger lunch (nope, not on the diet plan ~ but oh well... t'was worth it!). The wind is picking up and it is somewhat cooler because of it, but the sun is shining on us with a great big, warm smile! Homework is finished, Tony is mowing the grass and Trinity is riding his bike and playing with our dear dog, Brownie. Supper will be started soon... but I thought I would take a few pictures to share with you first.

I've got a few projects in the works...

Really... this is only a FEW of them... dolls, cross stitch, and rug hooking. I think the only thing I don't have in the works is a needle punch right now! (there are many projects that are not in the picture... this is only a small sampling!)

Sometimes I think it is a problem... having too many projects going or on the brain... but then other times it is reassuring that I have so many ideas & inspirations. Hummm... what do you think? Am I just crazy?


Here is some FUN before I go find the supper pans...

Trinity wanted me to take a picture of him 'catching some air' on his ramp in the backyard...

Still toothless... but quite the cutie...

I'm not sure who is better at this tug~of~war game... they both enjoy it though...

Well, it is pushing 6pm... guess I'll go rattle a few pans.

Wishing you all many warm & sunny smiles...


Sunday, September 27, 2009

~*And the Give~Away Winner Is....*~

Good Evening My Dear Friends! Thank you so much for the outstanding response to my latest give~away! You have all been so very kind with your praise & sweet comments. There were 101 entries! WOWSERS!

I used an online, random number generator ~ gave each entry a number ~ and had it choose one number from 1-101 and the winner is...

~*~*~*~ drum roll please ~*~*~*~

Riverwood Primitives! YIPEE!

Thank you again, to all of your, for entering! Give~aways are great fun!

We have had a full weekend & I hope to post about it soon. However, it is getting close to bedtime for the kiddo... gotta get him to the bath & tucked in.

Have a blessed evening!

Warm smiles to you all...


Friday, September 25, 2009

~*Friday Finishes & a Tutorial*~

Hello & Good Day to ya My Dear Friends! To keep up with my promise of ~*Friday Finishes*~ I'm posting a few things I've just finished today...

~*a few fabric covered boxes and an 'olde', prim bottle*~

This bottle was found in one of the outbuildings on our property. It was filled with dirt and ick... but a good washing made it usable... for decorating anyway. It isn't that old... but years of 'farm' wear made it look as if it is. I found the label in a great stash I had purchased a while back from Yankee Lane Primitives. (I just LOVE her labels ~ they are rich in color and coffee fragrance!) I wanted a 'tall' label, but only had 'wide'... I filled the finished bottle with whole cloves & tied on a scrap of grain sack to keep them put. Kinda a fun finish... don't ya think?

~*~*~*~ Would you be interested in a tutorial?~*~*~*~

There have been many GREAT tutorials given online for fabric covered boxes... but I thought it might be nice to share how I do it. Most of what I do is the same as everyone else... but here and there I think my ways are a little different.

Start by choosing your box. For this tutorial, I have chosen paper mache' boxes. I buy them mostly at the craft or discount stores, but occasionally I do find them at garage sales. So what if they are painted with something you don't wish to decorate with in your home. It is only paint... and you can paint over it.

Next, gather your thoughts and ideas to pick your fabric and embellishments. For these boxes, I wanted to attach a simple cross stitch to the tops. I found a design that would fix my needs & started stitching on some scraps of linen. (This Quaker squirrel design is part of a sampler offered by a $1 donation will allow you to download the full chart!)

The next step is to paint your boxes. Use regular craft paint ~ paint both the inside and outside of your boxes. While you are painting, don't worry about being perfect. A little variation of thick/thin paint will only add to the finish. Plus, the fabric will be covering most of the outside anyway.

Now, grab your matte-finish Mod Podge and begin by decorating the inside of your boxes. For these, I decided to use some old hymn book pages. They are yellowed, and slightly brittle... but give a nice look. Cut the pages to fit the inside bottom and under the lid.

Using an old, cheap paintbrush... paint a thin coat of Mod Podge first...

Place your paper on top of the glue... then apply a thin coat over top of it.

You are ready to start with the fabric on the outside now. I am a 'ripper'... meaning I measure what I need & rip the fabric instead of cutting it. I like this better because of the frayed edge it leaves. Measure your desired fabric to fit around the outside of the box. Rip it so it is one long strip.

Apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the outside of the box. Place the fabric and apply more glue until it is covered. *** You can apply the glue over the fabric if you desire. These boxes I have done both ... one has the glue over the fabric and one does not (the larger box doesn't have glue applied over top). Either way is fine & primly attractive when finished.

Let your glue dry over night. *** Do Not leave setting on newspaper... be sure to place your items on foil or other surface that can be easily removed. Yes, I know this from experience. :)

Your next step is sanding. Use any grade sandpaper you wish... I have used it all, just whatever we have around the house. Today, I had box a 60 grit and a 150 grit. The rougher the grit, the rougher the finish. You can sand by hand, or on open areas use the palm sander. Sand all surfaces of your box... inside and out ~ over the paint, paper, and fabric. The intent is to mar the surfaces so they look as if they have been through lots of years and wear n' tear.

Now, grab an old rag and your brown shoe polish... it is time for some staining! Rub as much or as little polish as you want. The brown in the polish will 'stain' your piece... and the wax will give it a good 'seal'. Do this to all areas of your boxes... inside and out. Use a cleaner rag to whip off any excess. Set aside to dry for a bit afterward.

Your next step is to add the embellishment... in this case, the cross stitch pieces. I trimmed the linen and frayed the edges to the size I wanted. Using a sharp needle, thread, and a THIMBLE... begin on the outside to poke a hole in the lid. Do this slowly and carefully. Once the needle goes through the box ~ twirl it around a little to widen the opening. (You may be more comfortable using a small drill bit to make the holes. Some paper mache' boxes are 'tougher' than others.)

Remove the needle. Knot your thread and bring it up from the underside of the lid... then down. You will want your knotted thread to start and stop on the underside. Make about three stitches to hold each corner of your design. Knot to finish.

On the backside, to give a little added strength... it is a good idea to dab a little Tacky Glue on the knots. This will dry clear. You don't need much.

These boxes go together quickly... and make sweet gift boxes. In fact, one of these is a gift box... but I can't share 'for who' just yet.

Please holler if you have any questions about how to do these. I'm always happy to help!

Oh... I mentioned the squirrel design... but haven't mentioned the 'olde crow' design. It was an exclusive design I offered to an online group recently. It was only for that group.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead... and don't forget ~ there is still time to enter your name in the give~away if you haven't already done so! (it is just a couple posts below)

Warm smiles...


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

~*New Ebay Listing*~

Hello Dear Friends! I know I've posted already today with the give~away... and I hope you keep signing up!... but I've just listed this on Ebay...

You know me... I started the offering at only 99 cents! To visit the listing ~ CLICK HERE or search seller id ~ primitivebettys

Thank you for letting me share... warm smiles to you...


~*An Autumn GIVE~AWAY!*~

Good Day to ya, my dear FRIENDS! Happy Fall to Ya! To celebrate... I've decided to do a give~away! It has been quite some time since I've offered a freebie or given a gift to one of my bloggin' buddies... so it is definitely due!

I'm going to give this lil' witch dolly to one of you...

She is a prairie, stump doll (she does not have legs)... made of stained osnaburg, sawdust filled, and measures about 10 inches from the top of her brow to the hem of her dress. Her dress is made of antique black wool. I've stitched a lil' linen apron for her with a few primitive motifs ~ moon, potted bloom, and a black cat standing on an olde key. Also stitched is the year '1863'. For extra touches... a few rusty safety pins & a bell, a vintage button... and a handmade broom (made from a stick & a gathering of straw from a bale in the back pasture). My initials & x09 have been stitched on her lower body.

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post. Please make sure though... that I have a way to get in touch with you ~ if you don't have a blog, post your email addy.

I'm going to allow anyone living around the globe to enter. So all my friends are welcome to enter their name.

The give~away will end on Sunday, September 27, 2009... sometime in the evening. Only one entry per person please... to keep it fair for all.

Oh... and I may just drop a few other goodies in with the lil' witch too... so enter NOW!

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Monday, September 21, 2009

~*Weekend Fun*~

Good Day Dear Friends! I hope you had a nice weekend with great weather, sunny smiles, and warm hearts! We did!

On Saturday, Tony and I set out to enjoy a day together... kind of a 'date day'. We started by driving to Greenwood, MO. We have been there once before & I was really excited to return! The last time we were there, I TOTALLY feel in love with a shop called Greenwood Mercantile. What was even better, looking at their calendar, they were celebrating their Harvest Fall Bounty Festival. Their festival was mostly a combine Autumn Open House... there were a few crafty booths set up in the yard of one shop, the decor was warm with luscious Fall themed items, and a few shops had apple cider & other yummy baked goods to offer. My favorite shop is still the Mercantile & I am sure I drooled over the wools in Anita White's booth. Of course, I did buy an armful! It was also GREAT to visit Maggie Bonanomi's booth. I really wanted to buy this from Maggie... but, unfortunately it wasn't in the budget...

Don't ya just LOVE Maggie's style? I for one DO! I've got her latest book, Nature's Offerings, pre-ordered... and wish it was here NOW!

A close~up of the center...

After our stroll through Greenwood... we drove back towards home... but stopped in Ottawa, KS to meet up with Robin & Jimmy for a car show. The city was hosting the 23rd Annual Ol' Marias River Run. This was something that was OUT OF THIS WORLD UNREAL! It is, by far, the largest car show I have ever seen! We heard there were over 1700 cars entered in the show!!! We stayed well into the night & we were even able to be there for the 'Back to the '60s Cruise' too! Tony said he had fun in Greenwood, but being at the car show... well, in his exact words... "this is STELLAR!" Doesn't he look happy?

Jimmy has a, really KEWL, '71 Mustang that he entered in the show... (He also owns an SWEET Charger & Robin has an AWESOME old Thunderbird... but they didn't enter those here this year.)

Tony spotted my Aunt & Uncle's car from about 100 feet away! We didn't even realize they would be there. They weren't sitting by the car, but thank goodness for cell phones! We were able to find them & visit for a few minutes... wish it could have been longer. This is their '67 Chevy Chevelle Malibu...

My Uncle JR can't be accused of loosing his marbles... because he GIVES them away! This basket was sitting on top of his radiator...

I tried to snap some fun pics while riding in the cruise...

It was really GREAT fun! Would you believe it took about an hour to make one full loop of the cruise path? The streets are blocked off from other traffic... only the antique, car show cars cruise...

We cruised well into night...

This annual event has been added to our 'must do again' list! The only thing different we will do next year... we have to take Trinity with us! I feel so bad that he missed out. We didn't realize it was such a BIG deal! I tried to explain to him exactly how many cars were there, but it is difficult to explain '1700' to a 7 yr old. Even telling him that there were more cars there than he has in his Hotwheels collection wouldn't register with him! LOL

For the week ahead, I have a 'crafty' week planned. Yesterday I worked on a gift for a friend & hope to have it finished today. But also, I have a sampler in the works (a new release!), a few dollies planned, a rug that needs hooked, and wool wanting dyed... just to name a few things. I hope to stay on track & focused to have lots of finishes to share.

Wishing you warm smiles & a happy week...


Friday, September 18, 2009

~*Friday Finishes*~

Good Day Dear Friends! I'm keeping my promise of sharing ~*Friday Finishes*~! I've got to admit, I was somewhat worried about keeping a deadline... 'cause if you know me ~ you know how I often wait until the very last minute & stretch the limit with crossing the finish line. BUT... I've made it today!

I've received emails for two fabulous finishes this week. Both are in the ~*Halloween*~ spirit. Enjoy!

Nan has stitched up a ~*Wicked*~ lil' pinkeep...

The coffee stained linen and the touches of orange floss are perfect! Plus, the skeleton key is a sweet lil' accent. Wickedly Darling!

Cindy has punched up ~*Boo Jack*~ & placed it on the top of a paper mache' box...

The colors Cindy choose really add to the Halloween Spirit ~ the bright orange & purple border. So sweet! I really like how 'Boo' was punched too... kind of a ghostly lettering effect, don't ya think?

Cindy was offering this at her local mercantile. I was 'was' because she has already sold it. WTG Cindy!

Thank you, both of you, for working with the freebies and sharing. I do love to see finishes!

Everyone, keep 'em coming!

As for finishes here at home... well, guess I'm a slacker. I don't any new ones. Although, I have baked two batches of cookies, and several loaves of banana nut bread this week!

Wishing you all a fabulous Friday with many warm smiles,


Thursday, September 17, 2009

~*Trunk Show Drop Off*~

Hello Dear Friends! I'm just so excited! Yesterday I met up with my good buddy, Marianne, so she could direct me back to Heart's Desire... plus, we had a nice lunch together & shared lots of friendship, inspiration, and smiles too. (I'm not familiar with driving in Wichita what~so~ever. Thank you Marianne for helping me out!) I was dropping off patterns and LOTS of models for a Trunk Show. The shop will have my items displayed for the month of October... BUT, Debbie (the sweet owner) told me she may just set things up before she leaves for market next week. So... if you are in the area, please stop by! This is my first Trunk Show... and I am honored to have such a quality shop interested in displaying my primitive cross stitch wares. You know I'm nervous, but tickled and excited too!

Warm smiles to you...


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

~*Sweet Gift From A Sweet Friend*~

Hello Dear Friends! I wanted to share a sweet gift I received over the weekend. In Saturday's mail was a large box & in it was this...

Tressa and a prim pumpkin ~

and this...


Lori and I have known each other on the 'computer' for several years now, but have never met face to face... we live in different states. I am very blessed to have been gifted these most wonderful items. Lori is so sweet to have thought of me. Thank you, Lori! I love my goodies!!

The doll is an original of Lori's. She is made with stunning craftsmanship & quality. The attention to detail is amazing! The pumpkin is so unique! Both are perfect decorating accents for Autumn. The book was one Lori had on her shelf that she sent along to share with me. The ideas & photos are just.... well, WOW! If you get a chance to look through (of buy your own) copy... DO IT!

I would like to mention too... Lori offers her delightful handmades on her website. You will want to go see everything she has to offer... plus, you will truly enjoy seeing photos of her sweet puppy, Zoe! Her web site... Homespun Prims By Lori.

Thank you once again Lori! I will treasure my gifts & love my Tressa doll always!

Warm smiles to you all...


Sunday, September 13, 2009

~*Was It a Selfish Saturday?*~

Well, it could have been... guess it depends on how you look at it.

Hello Dear Friends! Yesterday I took the day for MYSELF & crafted to my hearts content! While I didn't stitch on anything, I did hook & finish up two trash~to~treasure pieces. Tony was working in the garage building a packer for the go kart track and Trinity spent the day playing with the dog & later on with two of his cousins... so I did my own thing! It felt GREAT too!

Here is what I did...

First, let me remind you of what I started with. This is the group of stuff I found when my good buddy, Sher, and I hit the thrift shops in town a few weeks ago...

Look closer at this...

It now looks like this...

The cross stitch on the top was one I had done several years ago for another idea I had that didn't pan out as envisioned. 'Willard School' was the name of the one~room school house my Dad went to (well, both my Aunts too). The building has now become someones home. I don't get to Willard, Kansas often now... but each time I do, I make a drive by & imagine what it would have been like as a school.

Here is a close~up view of the stitching... I've aged it with some sandpaper & a few snips here and there...

The slate sitting at the bottom was also from the thrift store. The large part of this piece was only 25 cents... and the slate was only 99 cents. Hard to believe it only cost $1.24 total!

My next project of the day was the stool. Here is a view of how it looked before (it was only $5)...

Here is how it looks now...

Using cheap spray paint, I first gave it a coat of black & then a quick coat of red. I didn't even bother with sanding before painting... I figure I do enough sanding after painting to make up for it.

After the red was applied...

After the sanding... notice the school board 'thingy' there too... I didn't even bother repainting it...

Then a coat of shoe polish to stain & wax... (remember I told you that lil' secret before)

I grabbed a scrap of linen & one basket of woolly worms... drew up a geometric design... then headed for my spot under the Oaks in the backyard... (the linen was actually one I had scribbled on the other side for another rug that never became a rug)

While hooking... I decided to make a change in the design...

Tony had to ask me if I was hooking a pizza. I wasn't amused by the comment... but we did have homemade pizza for supper last night. LOL

Another view of the finished stool...

So, was it a selfish day? Maybe it was to some extent... but it sure feels good to have a few of the things on my list finished. It always feels good to me to have worked with my imagination, heart, and hands. Plus, I feel the creative juices are regurgitated for more.

Wishing you a day of warm smiles, sunshine, and crafting joys...