I had fun making these life size witches this year. They took some time but they are pretty impressive on your front porch or in your entryway. She certainly takes guests by surprise!
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Witch on Box of Potions
She has a fly on her ole' warty nose
Witchie Hand with spider ring holding her cat
Old Green Witch
Green Hands holding her broom with her book of Spells tucked under her arm
Witchie feet with spidery broom
Cauldron of Eyeballs
I had fun making these life size witches this year. They took some time but they are pretty impressive on your front porch or in your entryway. She certainly takes guests by surprise!
One of the events that kept me busy this spring was the wedding of my son and daughter-in-law.
It was a beautiful affair and we were so pleased to welcome Erin into our family. As you can
see from this picture, they had fun with some of the photos.
This past weekend was Fall Festival time in our area. Although I didn't spend too much time there this year, I was fortunate enough to bring home a couple of lucky finds. I just love finding the unepected. You just never know what you may run across when you are just browsing.
This pantry box was just waiting for me at the Appalachian Artisans Festial. The artist drew the rosehip design around the rim of the lid. Just as I paid for it, she opened the lid and put in a boquet of the dried rosehips that she had grown.(picture on top of the box) I thought that was such a sweet and thoughtful gesture.
This old sled almost made my heart stop! I have seen similar ones in Country Living Magazine but never saw one in person. I even haggled the price down an extra fifteen dollars so I got a pretty good deal. I have it on the center of the table in my dining room. It makes a stunning centerpiece.
Now I can hardly wait until next year!
Miss Hilde Boggs
Miss Hilde's Sweet Annie Bagha
Miss Minnie Boggs
Miss Minnie's Face
Miss Hilde Boggs is wearing her best shoes so she walked gingerly through her herb garden gathering her Sweet Annie and placed it carefully into the bag she was carrying. She had to be quick about it because she was meeting her sister, Miss Minnie Boggs later for tea.
This is my latest project. In fact, I just finished them last night. They were a joy to make. I saw a picture of a similar doll and made my own pattern by altering the face from a pattern I had and borrowing feet from another pattern. I just love their sweet little prim faces.
Miss Hilde's best shoes
Monday, March 5, 2012
One of the chickens on my brother's farm "gave birth" to this really big egg. This happens pretty frequently. These jumbo eggs usually have a double yolk. You can see how big it is in relation to the other regular sized eggs. The chicken is probably still walking funny!
Friday, March 2, 2012
I would like to introduce you to the newest member of our family. This is Mozart, or MoMo as he is lovingly called by my grandchildren. MoMo is a seal point Himalayan male 6 month old cat. He is the most adorable little guy you would ever want to meet. I had been looking for a Ragdoll cat. I looked on several petfinder and pet rescue web sites. A lady from one of the rescue sites posted a message to me on Facebook telling me about this cat who had been named Wicket. I immediately called the Rescue animal hospital to see if he was still available. To my good fortune, he was still available. I drove about 90 minutes to get him but it was a wonderful decision. He is just about the sweetest little guy I have come across. He has bonded well with me and most nights he hops up on my bed and nuzzles me wanting a good petting session sometime in the middle of the night. A Himalayan cat is the product of crossing a Persian cat with a Siamese cat. They have the wonderful personality and fluffy hair of a Persian and the markings of a Siamese.
At first, our other cat, Rickey Martin growled and hissed at him (the first two days, in fact), but has come to decide that he really likes him. Now they roll and play together and have even been taking occasional naps together. My two dogs, a Boston Terrier and a Bichon Frise, have also accepted him and all four animals play well together. So our new addition has worked out very well.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
This article was written by my good friend Emma Kay Simpson Jones and published in the "Reflections" section of the February 22, 2012 edition of the People's Defender newspaper.
This is dedicated to my sister, Barbara Bailey, my two brothers, Ronnie and Darrell Simpson, and in memory of my sister, Mima Fulton.
In my opinion, good memories are a gift from God. I am one of the people that had the good fortune to have been raised by loving parents, Lane and Julia Simpson, on a small farm in Adams County. As I reflect on my years in Adams County, I hope the stories that I am going to share will warm your heart and bring a smile to your face.
My Mom and Dad moved from Flemingsburg, KY, to Ohio in 1946. With them came my two sisters, Mima and Barb. I was born about a year later in the farmhouse, delivered by a midwife named Murdy McNeil. After me came my brothers, Ronnie and Darrell. My parents bought a farm from a woman named Ebrite. It is located about a mile and a half from Eckmansville, on Eckmansville Road. This small town consisted of a few houses, a crossroads, a Presbyterian Church, a small blacksmith/welding shop and a general store. The store was owned by a man named Glenmore Roberts. It had one gas pump. Glenmore would let people charge groceries and gas on their word alone. That's a way of life that is almost unheard of anymore.
The farm had 78 acres, and sat on both sides of Eckmansville Road. My dad donated a corner of the property to build a Christian Holiness Church, and Bruce Stamm donated the adjoining property for the parking lot. My dad was a deacon and a Sunday School teacher. My mom wholeheartedly supported the church, and I think she cooked for every visiting evangelist that came around. The church is still active today.
The farmhouse sits on a small hill overlooking a big yard with a pond on the side of it. There is an artesian spring at the mouth of the pond that has the best tasting water in the whole country. There was always a bucket at the spring with a small rope tied to the bail. All you had to do was throw the bucket in and give it a slight "yank" while on the top of the water, causing it to sink and thus filling it with crystal clear, cold thirst quencher. Later on, Daddy dug a ditch, and had the water pumped into the farmhouse.
We didn't have electricity in the barn, so Daddy dug out a hole beside the spring, and encased it large enough to hold two milk cans. The cold spring water around it served as a refrigeration unit to keep the milk cold until the milk truck came to pick it up. I can remember the milkman having ice-cream packed in dry ice. It was always a special treat to get some of the ice cream, and us kids had a ball playing with the dry ice.
My Mom and Dad were honest, hard working, and God fearing people. My mother went from "Mommy" to "Mom" but my father stayed "Daddy". All five of us kids still called him "Daddy" till the day that he died.
Daddy milked a few cows by hand at first, then later on he had a Grade A dairy, with the bulk tank and milkers. He always had hogs. I can visualize the new litters of piglets; the baby pigs' skin felt like velvet when you stroked it. Daddy was great with hogs. He hardly ever lost a baby. He would say, "a hard pig is a good pig". Even when there were eleven babies, and only ten dinner plates, he always managed to save the runts. There were times when the sow would accidentally step on a baby, and break the skin open. Daddy would bring the baby pig to the house and someone would hold it tightly for him while he sewed it up with a needle and thread. He always had a magical touch with animals. In the winter, sometimes a cow would deliver a calf out in the freezing cold. When Daddy found it, he would bring it into the back porch room to get it warmed up. He kept a bottle of whiskey handy to give it a little shot. Then back out it would go, to it's mom and all was well. Mom didn't like animals in the house, but she always made an exception when it was necessary.
We never ate much beef, but we always had pork on the table. Daddy had everything to slaughter hogs with. We had the hoists, scalding troughs, and all the other tools of the trade. When he got ready to do the job, several neighbors came with their hogs to slaughter also. On slaughtering days, it was a busy, busy time. After the hogs were killed, gutted out and cleaned and washed, they were cut into halves and from there came out the hams, shoulders, bacon, sides and so on. Mom had a sausage grinder and she would make up patties and bake them in a big pan in the oven. After they were cooked, she put them in canning jars and poured the hot grease over them. She sealed them tight, and turned them upside down so they were sealed. When the lids all popped, they were ready to take to the cellar and be stored, still upside down. I loved the fresh sausage on crackers with a little mustard. Mom sugar cured the shoulders and hams. I used to watch her work her fingers down in the bone, putting the salt and sugar at the perfect spots. I only remember one single ham going bad in all those years. She rendered down all the lard. She had a lard press, and after the grease was all out, you were left with the cracklings. I loved it when she made a pone of cornbread with cracklings in it. Yum! Yum! She always gave away the feet; she just didn't like doing anything with the feet. She usually gave away the head also, but she saved the brains, and we had fried brains. Mom always laughed and told us that eating brains would make us smarter.
Mom and Daddy raised their own chickens from babies. One time a weasel got into the brooding house and killed a bunch of Mom's chickens. She cried and cried. I've seen her wring a chicken's neck to make chicken and dumplings. She would hold it tightly to keep it from bruising. Sometimes she hung it on the clothesline to bleed out. Then she would scald it to get off the feathers, clean out the insides, wash it, then wash it again. to get off the pin-feathers, she used a rolled up brown paper sack that she had set on fire, or she held the chicken over the flames on her gas stove to singe them. I hated the smell of the feathers burning! But it certainly did a good job.
Mom loved to cook; she lived to cook. Her biscuits were perfection; she made them in a big granite bowl with sifted flour. She added a little of this and a little of that , and made a big dough ball, then pinched out every biscuit by hand. She added a little dab of bacon grease to the top of each biscuit before baking and when they came out of the oven they would melt in your mouth. I loved hot biscuits with squirrel gravy and homemade black raspberry jelly. She loved to cook for company, and we had LOTS of company. Daddy could always get work hands to help in hay or tobacco because they knew that Mom was going to fix a scrumptious meal at dinner. Our meals were breakfast, dinner and supper rather than breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Daddy baled hay for people all over the county and share-cropped tobacco in addition to raising his own base. He was a township trustee, and loved to read and talk the Bible. He was also a great story teller. He would hypnotize you with his coon hunting stories. One story that he would tell happened right after he and Mom moved here from Kentucky. He loved to coon hunt, and one night he was out with his dogs on a hill somewhere between Eckmansville and Decatur. The dogs were walking close to him, and he started holding up his lanten to light his way when he realized that he had walked through the entrance to a graveyard. It had a rock wall around it and several tombstones with the same name on all of them. They had all died in the same year. He thought that meybe they had died from the same disease, then all at once, out of nowhere, a snow white cat jumped up on the rock wall. The dogs made no effort to chase it, or even bark. It sat there for a few seconds, then jumped off. Daddy went his way, and when he got home, he told Mom what he had seen. Years and years passed, and my brother took up coon hunting. One morning at the breakfast table, he said, "You won't believe what happened to me last night. I found myself in a graveyard up on a hill between Eckmansville and Decatur. On one of the tombstones sat a big snow white cat. It sat there a while, then disappeared into the fog. The dogs didn't even bark." My brother had never heard Daddy tell his story about the cat and the graveyard; my brother wasn't even born when it happened to Daddy. Now you see why the stories were hypnotizing. Daddy would tell about being chased by a wild cat, and tell stories so vivid that the hair would stand up on the back of your neck. Us kids inherited our Daddy's storytelling ability, and I love it
Mom and Daddy raised a huge garden. I'd like to have a dollar for every quart my Mom canned over the years. She lived to be 95 and at 94 she still canned beans and picked them herself. She and Daddy were married 71 years, and always worked side by side in the garden.
I have so many memories. One sad memory was when our big old red barn burned to the ground. I cried and cried and my husband tried to console me. He said, "Kay, it was just a barn." But it wasn't just a barn; it was where I walked the rafters with my brothers, and chased bats with tobacco sticks. It was where I gathered the eggs, and had my hideout in the hay. It was where the baby animals were born and where I made my mud pies and played house. When it burned, a part of me was gone. No, it wasn't just a barn.
Just like the farmhouse wasn't just a house, it was a shelter full of laughter, a kitchen filled with the smells of fresh-baked breads, pies and sassafras tea. It's where we ate meals as a family at the table after grace was said. It was a place where we learned to respect others; where we learned morals, and right from wrong. It was where us kids bonded together, and loved each other because we saw so much love coming from our parents.
My brother, Ronnie owns the farm now, and whenever I get down there and turn into the drive, I can see the house still sitting on that little hill. It needs some repair and things will never be the same since Mom and Daddy are gone. But when I step through the back door, in my mind I see Mom cooking in the kitchen, and I hear Daddy laughing from his easy chair. And in my heart, I'm always coming home.
I was fortunate to know Lane and Julia Simpson very well. We attended the same church - that little country church in Eckmansville, Ohio. Clark and I were married in that church and Lane and Julia had our reception in her little kitchen. Clark remembers that once he was short on money for his car payment and Lane loaned him fifty dollars until Clark earned money to pay him back. Clark worked in the fields for Lane many times and enjoyed meals prepared by Julia. That woman could put on a huge spread in a short amount of time. She was a small lady, full of energy and love for her family and friends. Whenever the church had Homecoming Day dinner, Lane and Julia would bring out the large farm wagons into the yard and everyone would bring covered dishes for dinner. Julia always made a big pot of chicken and dumplings. Everyone always made it a point to get some of that. This was a wonderful tribute by Emma Kay to a wonderful family. May God Bless You!
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Such a wonderful kind of day! The snow fell last night representing the first really significant snow we have had this year here in the Ohio Valley. It is one of those blowing kind of blustery snows and the temperature guage read 16 degrees this morning. My little dogs made short work of their morning trip outside. Clark built a crackeling fire in the fireplace and I made our breakfast of eggs, sausage and pancakes with mugs of steaming hot coffee. Now the dogs are keeping me company as I write this. Katie, our Boston Terrier has found a sunny spot on the couch and Izzie, our Bichon Frise is snuggled next to me in my chair.
This is a day to decide on spring projects and sprucing up our homes for the new season. The Primitive Decorating style is very easy to accomplish and is also a very forgiving style. Several ladies that I have talked to about this style of decorating seem to shy away from it even though they really love it. You can change many styles to coordinate with the Primitive Style by just working in a few prim style items with what you already have. You don't have to be a purist and have everything be a genuine antique. Of course, the more antiques and true primitive items, the better, but you can also achieve the look you love by adding in some readily available reproduction items. You can also decide the degree of primitives that you decide to add to your home decor. You can go as pure prim as you want or as in my case, I like mixing prim antiques and reproductions with my other items to achieve just the degree of prim that I am comfortable with. The picture above shows a mixture of old and reproduction items and I think it makes a pleasing display. The slate, school books and shoes are all very old. The little dress, candle holders, candles and make do pincushion are reproductions.
These little resin shoes are a wonderful treasure that I found in my friend, Becky's shop, The Tin Shack in Georgetown, OH. While they are not old, the add that great touch of prim to a table.
I also found this little bird in Becky's shop. It is also a reproduction, but I love the patina that the moss gives the piece. This is a great addition to a spring display either indoors or outside in the garden.
This is a display of a new lamp, a small antique stool, a reproduction box tray with tin patchwork filled with a candle. The signs are also reproductions. I love the way that these items complement each other.
Your home represents your own personal signature. Place your items and stand back and look at them as a guest would upon entering your room. If the display is not pleasing to your eye, repeat the process until it looks right in your eye.
Monday, February 6, 2012
I have come to a difficult decision. I have decided to close the Persnickety Primitives gift shop. We just don't have enough traffic here to sustain a gift shop. We roll up the sidewalks in our little village at night (wink). Really, we only have a bank, post office, gas station, dairy bar and a Subway. That's just about it. I don't mind, though. I love the quaint quietness of our village. That's why we live here.
I will be taking my merchandise from the gift shop to my friend, Janie's shop (Janie's Closet) in Hillsboro, OH who will sell it for me. This is the shop where I sell my primitive bag dolls. I will keep several things in the cabin: the wood stove, the hoosier cabinet, the fireplace, the dry sink and several pieces of wall decor to keep the cabin decorated in the primitive style. We have a fire ring beside the cabin where we often have cookouts and weiner roasts and make Smores. The cabin will make a nice addition to our cookouts for our friends and family.
I will continue to write in this blog promoting the primitive and country decorating style and way of life. I will be visiting many prim shops and attractions that I will write about in this blog as well as writing about my "treasures" that I find when I am out and about. Please check back often as I am back in the blogging business!