Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Monday, October 31, 2011


It has been a few years since I have carved a pumpkin.   This year, I was feeling kinda festive, and this little guy was sitting by his lonesome just waiting to scare off some spirits.   Let's face it... No one would dare go near the sick guy! LOL

Due to my extreme fear of setting my table on fire, I stuck a clip light into him with a notch for the cord to exit out the back of the lid.  He glows like a beacon in the night!  His shell was so thin that even his skin even glows.  One of my little trick or treators kept staring at him.  She said he was one spooky pumpkin. LOL

Trick or Treating is over for another year. *sigh*  Hubby and I have been hitting the leftover popcorn balls and candy bars... Guess I'd better quit pigging out before this little guy and I have something in common! ;)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making Little Gourd Snowmen ~ Works in Progress

Sometimes I've just got to take a break and play with some paper clay! :)  There were a few other projects that needed to be finished up, but these little guys were calling to me and won the afternoon time slot.   I hadn't realized that I had some "Slushpile Gang"  mini members patiently awaiting to be created. Gee Whiz!!  Below is the line up of new inductees in the rough.  The tallest of this group is 8 inches and the shortest is 5 1/2.  They do not have much room for art on their little bellies, but rest assured... I will get some on each. ;) 

One of  the gourds got kicked out of the group.  As I was fitting him for his mittens, he had a lean that strongly resembled a chicken or turkey.  You know that kind of crook to the neck that only a cocky bird can get.  It is funny how each gourd's shape has such a personality.  There was just no way that gourd could have ever have been a snowman.  So, he is waiting in the "wings" (accidental pun!) for his costume fitting at a later date...

My drafting table looked as if a bomb went off!  Little bodies laying everywhere.  As you can see, a few larger members to the gang are in the beginning stages.  I can see a lot of white paint in my future! ;)

Friday, October 21, 2011

SBS Challenge~ #10 Ohio Star & #13 String Block

I have been concentrating so hard on my Etsy items that I have fallen a little behind in the Skill Builder Challenge.  :(   Maybe it was due to Flying Geese burnout!!  But do not feel sorry for me, Kenzie and I have made some progress this week and will be caught up in no time... Although, we both decided to do a little jumping out of sequence! ;)  

The next block in the series to be completed was  #10 the Ohio Star.  I really like doing these triangles sooo much more than the Flying Geese.  The geometric shapes are nice and clean.  I definitely could have been more precise on lining up my points, but the block came out to exactly the right size... that is always a great feeling! :)  

I jumped to lucky #13 next - the String Block.  This was accomplished using the paper piecing method.  I have never done any paper piecing in my life and have been so anxious to try.  Anxious enough to skip a few block challenges to try it! ;)  The method was an absolute blast... I loved it!!  It was so precise with a little bit of a surprise element once the blocks get trimmed.  The only draw back to this block is that it was designed to be random, and I am a control freak and like to have some say on placement of colors.   I stuck to the assignment and let the patterns fall where they may.  You can see where I tried to keep a little control over the color theme.  After looking at the finished work, I could see this block being more bold with a crazy amount of mismatched colors.  I am now hooked on this technique.  It is such a great feeling to learn a new talent... Even better when one falls in love with it! :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thrifty Finds ~ Old Jelly Jars

Lookie, Lookie...  I was sooo excited to find these on my thrifting travels.  Old Kerr and Ball jelly jars are just wonderful and have a variety of uses in this house --Yippee!!  Usually, I only find these style of jars in singles, but imagine my shock when they were sitting there by the box... They made my face light up with joy. :0)  One of the boxes hasn't even been opened yet!   Maybe I'm the only fuddy duddy that likes these, since the thrift store seemed to be more than happy to be rid of them...  

I also picked up a few sweaters that I already felted.  The earth tones are so inviting.  The weight of the felt is just perfect.  There are a few designs that I would like to get working on soon that will fit right into these colors.

I also struck pay dirt for my kid with a bunch of new name brand work shirts.  He got 5 shirts for $10.50.  Score!!   My hope is for a mild winter so this fun lasts! ;)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sweetest Day

Today was the rose delivery day for Sweetest Day hosted by the Lions Organization.  Or commonly referred to as... The holiday that they guilt my hubby for a donation to send me roses! ;) LOL   Joking aside, my cat and I were very surprised when these were delivered to our door.

They make for a beautiful arrangement on the front room table and fill the room with their fragrance.  How do you like the wide mouth mason jar that is filling in for a vase!  I am not a big fan of cut flowers, so a vase in this house is hard to find.  The mason jar actually works well with the decor. :)

Since she was at the door when they were delivered,  Mew has claimed them as hers.  The blossoms are an odd mixture of peach, yellow and green and match her eyes perfectly...  Do you think that she even has a clue that she is a cat? ;)


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Handmade Felted Sweater Mittens

Winter time is coming fast!  I thought that I would try my hand at making some warm woolen mittens out of my stash of felted sweaters for my Etsy Store.  Here is the first batch on the cutting table.  I am going to embroider and applique on the solid colors (already did the third one in from the top row) to give them a little individuality. ;)   

I am absolutely addicted to felting wool and cashmere sweaters.  When out thrifting, it is exciting to find an intricate pattern or new blend of colors.  On my last thrift run, I scored some beautiful variegated  fuchsia sweaters that I cannot wait to work with!  Not all sweaters felt well, but I am finally getting to the point of being able to tell the difference before purchasing.  My stash is getting huge... so I thought that this would be another way to get to use these upcycled sweaters in a repurposed way.    

My first attempt to create a pair of mittens happened last winter for my sister.  She works at her local school and is outside with the kids during recess and has a tough time keeping her hands warm.  She asked me to create a pair of mittens in their school colors with paw prints on them (school mascot is a Husky).  It took a few weeks of hunting, but I managed to find an orange sweater. Yay!!  I cut out my pattern and used the small scraps to create the paw prints.  I love to stitch while watching TV, so this project was so fun!  Plus, I got to practice my blanket stitch on a smaller format.  Here is the mittens completed... tada!! 

I was absolutely thrilled with the final product and had a great time working with my beloved wool. *sigh* ;)  Since my sister stands outside for long periods of time, I took some of my wool fulled from a thick winter coat and made some removable liners.  Upon completion, they were packed up and on their way to their new home.  The mailman must have knew that she needed these, because she was wearing them before I had a chance to call and say that they should be arriving soon!  LOL    The best part of this project was that she loved them. :)  It was very cold the day that they arrived, and she tested them out with the liners and said that her hands had never been so warm!

As you can see from first photo, I am working on a second set that will be identical to my sister's.  Her daughter keeps reminding me that she would like a pair, and her Mom made it clear that she is NOT borrowing hers! ;) 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Edgerton Thresheree ~ Labor Day Weekend

I know this is a late post, but here are some of the happenings at the Edgerton Thresheree on Labor Day weekend.  This is an event that we attend every year.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  We even had a slight chill to the wind... That's a first!! ;)  The flea market was the best variety of vendors that I have seen there in a while, and the machines displayed and in use were a pleasure to view.   So just in case you are thinking about attending next year, here is a little glimpse into this years festivities...

Here are some attendees entering the thresheree.  The field to the left of the road is busy being plowed and picked with vintage machines.  There are also tractor drawn "people haulers" to get spectators to the gate. :)

Some vintage threshing equipment on display.

This machine was a such a blast to watch.  I would love to get one for my kid.  You put the stalks of corn in... and the machine separates the ears from the stalk.  The little conveyor to the right is where the ears ride up and into the wagon.  I tried my best to capture one on its travels but as you can see... I missed! :(

Displays like this are set up all over the grounds of various machines.

Did you really think that my hubby wouldn't find the Minnis?? ;)

How would you like to have to crush rock this way?   And I thought some of the jobs that I did were dirty...  Yikes!

Have you ever seen a belt that long?  This machine and that extremely long belt run the saw mill blade.  It was a pleasure to see this working mill in action...

Love the old logging machine! :)

Cornmeal and Buckwheat flour for sale!  The cornmeal and buckwheat are donated by local growers and are ground, bagged and sold here.

This gentleman is grinding the cornmeal.  They had a vintage machine for the buckwheat too, but it was vibrating like crazy and creating such dust that I didn't get a photo!

Have no worries...  I may have not got the second photo, but I did get my cornmeal and buckwheat.  The bags are complete with recipe cards! :)

I had to make a few purchases from the flea market. ;)  Some rooster hangers that I just fell in love with... and a vintage copy of Gardner's book  "Art Through the Ages".  This was the book that was a thorn in my side during Art History class.  Ughh... memories!  I sold it back at the end of semester and years later- wished that I hadn't.  I figured enough time has passed that its pages would be more appreciated and maybe easier to understand! LOL 

Oh... And this year, they also had a tractor pull!  Yay! 

It's hard to believe that another thresheree has come and gone... *sigh*   If you are ever in Edgerton, WI on Labor Day weekend and are interested in flea markets and agriculture, this is truly terrific event to attend.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gayes Mills Applefest & Pumpkin Hollow's 1st Birthday!

Pumpkin Hollow Primitive blog turns 1 today!!  Can it truly be already??  Gee Whiz...  This is fixing to be a big week.  This post is number 93 (closing fast on 100!), and Farmerboy (aka my son) will be turning 21 years old on the 6th.  Definitely some big happenings around here!  Kind of funny how everything centers in on my favorite month of the year. :)   Even the weather is cooperating with temps in the mid 70's.  Talk about Karma... ;)   

For my year marker, I cannot think of a better post than the trip we just took to Gayes Mills, WI for their Applefest.  They have a huge flea market, a parade, and best of all... the apple orchards are all open to visit!!  This is my favorite trip of the year.  I just LOVE visiting Sunrise Orchard.  Here is a pic of my McIntosh apples.  I picked up two bags to make a bushel.  They consider them seconds, but they look way better than the ones I get at the store, and they only cost $18.00 for the bushel! 

Two gallons of apple cider found their way into our vehicle, along with 2 dozen cider donuts that were freshly made.  Yum!!  Lucky for us, there was a bag of caramels in the freezer at home, so I cut up some fresh apple slices to pour the hot melted caramels over.  Double Yum!!

I almost forgot to add my finds from the flea market!  My mind gets distracted by "good eats"! ;)  One of the vendors had some cool Shiney Brite ornaments, and I am a Shiney Brite junkie.  ( Before I end this post, I'll have to check my memory card on my camera for a photo of my collection to add to this post.)  As you can see, there were two boxes of the smaller specialty shaped ornaments and two boxes of the mini ornaments.  My hubby was relieved to see that I was being picky! LOL 

She had larger ornaments that were priced individually, and they were definitely priced to sell, but I have to be careful on how many duplicates that I have.  My boxes of ornaments are stored in my front room in a over sized cabinet that Farmerboy made, and if he ever decides to reclaim that piece of furniture, I am going to be in big trouble! LOL  I like to keep the ornaments where the temps will not fluctuate dramatically, causing condensation.

I was surprised to find this one in the box that I purchased.  When haggling over the price for the lot of boxes, I thought that this was a round ornament.  How is this for a nice surprise??  This is a first for my collection.  Yay!

Okay, I found this photo on my memory card of last Christmas.  I was getting ready to decorate my main tree and had downsized my ornaments quite a bit from the year before.  So, my hubby cannot say that I  am not trying to curb my collection !  (I am so addicted to these vintage ornaments!!)  Maybe this is a form of hoarding, but  I swear that the majority of them do end up on trees in my house.   I can't help but look at them and think of all the wonderful Christmases that they have seen.  And since we are in October and the topic should be Halloween, I will not get into my appreciation of the craftsmanship and intricate designs on these wonderful glass creations.  I will save that for a chilly month! ;)  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Scarecrow Picnic Basket

It has been a busy time with the paint brushes here in the Hollow lately! ;)  The colors of Autumn were calling to me all week, and this scene captures the essence of fall in a whimsical fashion.  Tole artist Chris Thornton created this wonderful design, and it is the second time that I have had the pleasure of using it on a basket.  Don't you just love those cheery little pumpkins? :)

When doing multiples of large designs, I always try to change up the colors to make them unique.  I have never used the colors suggested by the books...  Just like giving the color scheme my own personal touch...  I guess. :)  Plus, I am constantly mixing colors (which drives the student's crazy at the ceramic shop!) for just the right shade to make the characters come to life.

This basket is large enough to hold treats for Halloween (would work well for my popcorn balls!) or as storage for fall sewing projects (would keep a curious black cat out of mine! ;) ).

This creation will  be heading over to Etsy with some of my other seasonal items this week.  I have made the decision to concentrate on creating projects and designs centering in on Halloween, Christmas, and Primitive themes for my shop.  Christmas use to be my favorite topic, but the colors of fall have always been near and dear to me.  My favorite primitive and rustic collections embrace these warm and earthy colors.  Guess that makes sense since October has always been my favorite month of the year!  Which is probably why my son made sure to hold out for this month to be born in! LOL 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Straight from the Slush Pile ~ Making a Snowman Gourd Finished

I am very excited to introduce to you the first inductee into the "Slushpile Gang."   My newest line of snowmen gourds that will have a characteristic "lean"  from warming temperatures. ;)    These new snow gourds will be a little different from my previous snowmen.  The Slushpile Gang will sport mache feet to help them stand in wintry displays.  They will be the first of my snow gourds to welcome the winter with upcycled clothing... Yep, natural and green!! :)   A few of these little guys and gals will also be proudly displaying some mixed media paintings based on my original sketches.  Yay!

The first to enter this group is a little gourd that I endearingly refer to as "Leaning Lenny".  His big blue pear shaped eyes just melt my heart!  He slouchingly stands approximately 14 1/2 inches tall and hails (no pun intended! LOL)  from a gourd patch in North Carolina.  His carrot nose, mittens, and feet shaped base are all sculpted from mache.  His hat and scarf are all hand sewn from felted sweaters, and color matched to coordinate with his mittens and the scene painted on his belly.  He is one dapper little dude! ;)

This photo shows him sitting on my drafting table and watching me type up his debut on my laptop! LOL  I think it shows his front lean more accurately.  I love the way his eyes appear to be peaking  from under his woolly hat. :) 

How's that for a loving look?!?  LOL
Couldn't resist!!

Lenny sports an original sketch of mine entitled "Santa's Moonlit Ride".  The mixed media scene is created from acrylic paints and pastel chalks and measures 6 x 4 1/2 inches.  

As you can see on Lenny's back, he has a few natural blemishes.  There are gourd artists that prefer to sand their projects smooth, but I like to leave a few of the blemishes to add character/uniqueness and remind the viewer of the beauty of a natural surface.  Also, underneath his felted hat is his long stem.  I had to shape the hat to fit  around the stem and pinned the wide tail back to the band.

This gives a good look at Lenny's mittened arm created out of mache and scarf that is hand pieced from two lengths of felted sweater.  As you can see, his leaning head is more noticeable from the various side pics.

This pic shows a better view of his hat and scarf.  The natural fibers give a cozy, warm feeling to this chilly snow gourd.  

I am creating more free standing painted gourds in different sizes and have some more of the Slushpile Gang in various stages of completion.  Lenny and some of my other creations will be making their way to my Etsy store this week in time for the holiday shopping season.  I will be showing my finished work on Pumpkin Hollow Primitives first, so my blogging friends will have a chance to adopt first. :)