These are a Few of My Favorite Things

These are a Few of My Favorite Things
These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Miniature Cattle

My brother, Wendell Carver of Russellville, OH has a small farm and I do believe he would do Old McDonald proud.  He has recently added chickens to his group of several horses and dogs that he has living there.  He is getting interested in the miniature cattle and sent me these pictures as examples of the miniature breed.  Miniature cattle should not exceed 700 pounds live weight at three years of age.  They must be under 42 inches at the hip to be classified as miniature.  Compare this to the standard mature cow which weighs 1000 to 2000 pounds and is 50 to 60 inches tall. 

Miniature cows come in a variety of colors from many shades of brown, brindle, black and occasionally pinto or splashed with white.  Miniature Jersey cows are naturally polled animals which means they are born without horns.

Miniature cows are members of the bovine family.  All cows are ruminants and have four-chamber stomachs.  They are cud-chewing animals.  Male cows are called bulls.  Altered males are called steers.  Females are called cows.  It takes a cow nine months to have a baby calf.  At birth, a baby calf weighs approximately 20 to 30 pounds and is from 16 to 20 inches tall.  Miniature cows can live up to 25 years with the possibility of producing 23 calves.  Miniature cows are very docile and easy to handle.  They can be kept in as little as 1/4 acre of land.  They require 1/3 the nutrition of an average full size cow.

Miniature Jersey Cows are a sound economic investment.  They produce up to four gallons of milk daily and yield higher quality marketable beef.  With the emphasis on health related diets to eat smaller servings of meat, the consumer can enjoy smaller cuts of beef with more marbling and less fat.  Not only are miniature cows very practical for milk and beef supply, their small size, hardy constitution, gentle nature and rarity make them ideal for the exotic investor, weekend farmer, or backyard hobbyist.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mousie's Christmas Letter

This is Mousie writing a letter to Santa asking for cheese for his family for Christmas.  Can't you just see the hot cocoa and plate of cookies waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve as Mousie waits for Santa to come down the chimney?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blinged Out Amelia the Witch

I call this little girl "Blinged Out Amelia the Witch".  She is ready for a night out on her broom dressed in her fancy feather trimmed hat.  I added a little feather boa to the top of her hat and thought it made her look like she is a witch from the "upper class" even though she is still primitive with her rusty pin and bell trim on her apron and boots.
Amelia has a needle sculpted nose and mouth and painted on eyes.

This is Amelia's boot with the rusty pin "buckles"

Rusty pins and bell on Amelia's apron and cheesecloth neckscarf.   You can see the apron material a little better in the top picture.  It is a dyed cheesecloth with black stars stenciled on it.

I usually use a dyed muslin for her dress, but this time (since she is dressing for a night out), I used a fancier material.  I bought this remnant while on the "Yard Sale" trip down through Kentucky at a little upholstery shop.  The owner said the this material had cost $35.00 a yard, but I bought the little remnant just big enough for Amelia's dress for only $3.00.  Quite a bargain for Miss Amelia's dress.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

More Fall Witches and Bag Dolls

I sure have been giving my 30+ year old sewing machine just about all it can handle.  In fact, I think I may have to buy another machine if I keep up sewing at my present pace.  I made two more bag dolls, two more Amelia witches and a new witch pattern.

This is a new pattern (new to me) from Moonchild's Primitives and is called "Americana Flying Witch".  I had a good time making her, although there is a lot of painting and stenciling involved.  The flag is a project in itself.  I was pleased with how she turned out.

This is one of two more Amelia witches I made.  The pattern didn't call for hair but I added raw wool hair on both of them for a fun change.  These are made from Mandy's pattern at Bittersweet Folk Art.  I just love her patterns!

This is a little change on an old design.  She is a Mammy from a Wash House.  I made a white one and a black one.

I tried some new hair on this lady.  I gave her some auburn curls that hang in her eyes.

This is the pocket and bag of washing soda from my Wash House Mammys.

This is the black Wash House Mammy.  I just love her!  The fabric in her dress is a vintage 70's print that I got on ebay.

Both Wash House Mammys have little clothespins at the top of their aprons. 

Well, enough time wasted.  It's back to the sewing machine!  Happy Fall!  This has been a wonderful cool, crisp fall day.  Love it! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Chicken House

My brother, Wendell Carver, of Russellville, Ohio recently completed this Chicken House on his farm.  The box on the left side has a double layer of laying boxes.  He completed this project mainly out of salvaged materials so this is truly a "green" project.  Pictured are the Black Australorp breed and the Red New Hampshire breed.  The Australorps were originated in Australia where they were bred chiefly for their egg production where some were tracked at laying 364 days out of 365.  At 8 weeks these birds have a 2.09 feed conversion ratio so the return on investment is rapid.  He has had a lot of chicken and noodle meals.  Neighbors are calling him for his freshly dressed chickens.  They are ready for the pot in 33 to 38 days.  I think he could be in business if he chose to.  As always, my brother impresses me with his ingenuity and imagination.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Outhouse Story

Looking at my little outhouse sitting in my yard for the past few days has reminded me of the outhouse at my Papaw and Mamaw's house when I was a child.  Their outhouse was a pretty good walk from the house.  There was a fence along the pathway that had spearmint growing in abundance.  My great grandmother used to live with my grandmother in her older years and whenever she went to the outhouse, she always picked a few leaves of spearmint from the fence row and came back chewing it.  Whenever she smelled of spearmint, you knew she had just came back from the outhouse.  Papaw's outhouse had a little window in the side.  It was discreetly placed pretty high up but it let in light.  He made two seats, one higher for adults and one lower for the little ones.  Mamaw usually had a roll of toilet paper in the outhouse but whenever money was tight we would sometimes run out.  She kept her old "Sears and Roebuck" catalogs in the toilet for just that occasion.  In those days, about half the pages in the catalog were colored pages and about half were printed in black and white.  The black and white pages were thinner than the colored ones.  The black and white ones were not as "slick" in texture as the colored ones and therefore were the choice to use as toilet paper.  You would tear out a page and crumple it in your hands and then rub it back and forth making it smooth and soft.  You know, it really wasn't bad.  We hated it when all that was left was the colored pages.  I know a lot of people kept a bucket of corn cobs in the outhouse but I never personally experienced that pleasure.  I can't imagine that the experience would have been all that pleasant.  For some reason, wasps always seemed to build a nest in the outhouse.  Now that was a scary experience.  Papaw would spray for wasps, but it seemed that you could always hear a wasp buzzing at a very inappropriate time.  What about you - do you have a special outhouse story?

More Bag Dolls

Special order of three "white" Mammy dolls waiting to be picked up by my customer.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Outhouse and Fall Decor

I just got my outhouse for my little Persnickety Primitives "homestead".  I have been wanting one for a long time and I am so pleased to have it!

It even has little window boxes on each side.  I have tucked in some small pumpkins and gourds .

I have put some mums in my well bucket and added some small pumpkins, a big scarecrow head and a sign advertising Hayrides to decorate my well.  The sign and the scarecrow are for sale at Persnickety Primitives.

I love this sign - It says:
Crows in the outhouse
Crows in the barn,
Crows in the cornfield
Down on the Farm.

This sign is also available at Persnickety Primitives.

Happy Fall, Y'all!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Green Tomato Cake

Although it sounds quite unusual, Green Tomato Cake is really quite delicious!  I came across this Paula Deen recipe last year and made it for my family and friends a couple of times and it was a real hit with everyone.  My husband asked me to make it again this year so I served it at our family dinner yesterday.  It is almost gone and my husband has already asked me to make another one.  It is especially good with a hot cup of coffee.  The Brown Butter icing adds just the right touch of buttery goodness to put this recipe over the top.  Try it - I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  It's fun to have your family or guests try to guess what kind of cake it is before you tell them.  They will never guess!  Here's the recipe:

Green Tomato Cake with Browned Butter Icing

1 cup golden raisins
2 1/2 cups diced green tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup chopped walnuts
Browned Butter icing (recipe to follow)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 12-cup bundt or angel food cake pan.
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.  Gradually add to butter mixture, beating well.  (Batter will be soft)  Stir in tomatoes, raisins, and walnuts.  Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 70 to 75 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan, and let cool completely.  Spoon Browned Butter Icing over cake.

Browned Butter Icing

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar

In a medium suacepan over low heat, melt butter.  Cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until butter is lightly browned.  Whisk in confectioner's sugar until smooth.


Friday, September 9, 2011


I just finished these two sweet little scarecrows.  In fact, they are so sweet - the crows are not even afraid of them!  They both have a crow perched on their hat and another one on their shoulder.  With this cooler weather, I am in the mood for Fall sewing!  These little guys are about 20 inches in length.  They are a wonderful addition to your Fall decor.  These are for sale at Persnickety Primitives or on this blog for $39.95 each.  Email me at if you would like to purchase one or both of them.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Primitive Magazines

A couple of you have ordered fall magazines and I really appreciate it.  I have both "A Primitive Place" and "A Simple Life" magazines.  They are chock full of good stories and decorating ideas.  If you haven't seen them, take a look!  You can order them from this blog.  (See listing on right margin of blog).  Thanks!

Fall Inventory is Out!

I finally got my fall inventory in the shop this morning.  The weather doesn't feel much like Fall today, though.  This is one of the really hot ones, guys!  It is supposed to cool down the first of the week.  This weekend (Labor Day weekend) is our Caramel Festival in Winchester, OH.  It starts on Friday evening and runs through Sunday evening.  The town has a two day yard sale on Friday and Saturday.  I am planning to get out early tomorrow morning before I open the shop.  I stopped at a yard sale this morning that opened early.  I bought a doll bed and a small folding stroller to display my Reborn dolls.  I also bought some small baby clothes for the dolls as well.  I got an order for a baby bottle for the dolls from a beautician here in town for her daughter's doll.

Take a look at my blog: if you would like to follow the "reborning" process of a doll that I am working on!  Have a wonderful holiday weekend!