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Hi, Primmies... I stitch reproduction antique samplers and dolls. I also have lots of great artists and their sites featured as well as tutorials and some recipes for you to enjoy. Eventually we will have our own items for sale. Until then I hope you will enjoy the content, please leave a comment on any post you wish to.

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January 2, 2012

Inside The Clutter Of My Mind

(Long Post, girls - you might want to save me for last)

Hi, Prim Friends- 
I've been encouraged by the numerous posts from fellow bloggers about them taking time to think about and do the things that they love.
Do you ever see patterns, fabrics, books, etc., and
just have to have them? And then you don't know what to do first? Or worse, like me, forget that you
even have all of these things unstarted? Well, I've
realized that I could do this the rest of my life and
that's just silly. So I had to pick (and it was really
difficult) just two mediums to concentrate on and
to actually make something.  I don't know how it's going to play out with my physical disability but
I'm going for it!
I see from my 'stash' that my passion lies with all
things fabric, so I chose to begin with cross stitching a sampler, which I did a lot of years ago, and to do
something brand new and a real challenge, which is
trying to make my own version of an Izannah Walker inspired doll:
The sampler I chose to start with is from an original
1732 miniature band sampler stitched by a woman
named Dorothy Allen, Ethan Allen's cousin. I live not far from the Vermont border and I love history
about the Revolutionary War, so I decided to start
with this sampler. Plus, it's the easiest one in the book! 
The reason they are called band samplers is due to the fact that 16th and 17th century looms did not weave fabric any wider than 9 inches in width. In the 18th century the looms could weave a wider piece of cloth.  But the earliest samplers , English as well, were stitched on narrow, long 'bands' of linen.
When finished, this sampler will be only 3 7/8 x
six and 1/2 inches. Dorothy also omitted the letters
U and J and spelled 'samplar' instead of sampler, all three being common for samplers stitched in this time.
Also, her numbers are not marked and stitched in straight lines, she used them in the date, her age and at the bottom with her 'pine trees'.
This book was a treasured gift from my sweet
Mr. Glen Oaks. I have wanted the book FOREVER and I can't believe I finally have it. Another thing that I had wanted to do but never had the money for was to take Dixie Redmond's Izannah Walker Work-
shop online class. Well, Mr. G.O.P. did it again, he
got me the next best thing, Dixie's eBook in PDF:
Unfortunately I can't show you anymore of the
Izannah book like I can of the samplers. This is
Dixie's own book and I don't have permission to
share online.  I also got some patterns for gifts by
another talented artist that I have wanted forever,
Gail Wilson, a published doll maker. She and Dixie
have both been in Early American Life's Directory of Artisans. Wow, these ladies are awesomely talented.
Here is Gail's pattern for an Izannah Girl and Boy doll pair:
Sorry, Mr. Glen Oaks Jr. scanned for me and it went the other way. I also have her pattern for the perfectly round head Columbian Style Doll:
There, that's the right way! Now, Dixie's workshop
takes you through the clay sculpted face and
shoulderplate over cloth doll method. I'm not sure I'm ready for that, so I'm going to start with the
Izannah Pattern above. I will make the girl first and
hopefully the boy will follow. I love to see dolls in pairs of boy and girl. They are usually one or the other sold singly. And to make sure that it's goof proof, Gail includes vellum transfers for the eyes and the curls in the hair that Izannah was known for. I also have the 'cheek pouncer' to make Gail's perfect feathered cheeks. And a set of her oil colors that she mixes for the flesh tone and the other features. And I've got her own blend of antiquing wax for the final step. I don't know, gals, can I do it?
I still have to learn the needle felting dog that Joyce and dear Prudence sent to me. See, I'm cluttered in the head again...
I'm planning on reading where I left off with Dixie's book, I always read through whatever I'm going to make before I start, just like a cooking recipe. The eBook is large so it's going to take a while. The boys are all sick here (cats included), the little guy brought the germs with him from his little sister back in New York. So it's slowly creeping through to the mister and I have a twinge of it. Mostly just a piercing headache over my left eye and temple. They are horribly congested in the chest and head. The coughing is bad, I am trying to avoid them as best I can since I was just sick for weeks. Ugghhh... kids are little germ vessels, poor things.  
I'm going to share some history on samplers with you and I didn't forget about the excerpts from my old cookery book. The boys went to the fish market for dinner items, I hope they have tilapia. This is day two of my weight loss healthy eating plan. It will be broiled fish with a dash of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of bread crumbs and capers, rice pilaf and a salad. This healthy eating ain't bad!
Later, primmies -


The Bear's Blog said...

Hi Miss Susan,

Oh, the sampler that you picked is "bee-u-tee-ful", can't wait to see you get started. Mom wants me to ask you if you are doing counted crosstitch or stamped? She can't do counted. Giggle - shh...

Clay sculpted face and shoulder plate over a cloth doll? I didn't know you were a doll maker, she will be lovely.

M&D make Tilapia lots here. We eat lots of fish and chicken. When it's warmer outside try grilling the Talapia - it's my favorite. Now I'm hungry....oh Mom, is it dinner time?

Please don't get sick.



Can't wait to see your dolls and samplers. I used to cross-stitch, but I found I don't have the patience for it, but I love the way it looks when it is finished. Good luck with the healthy eating and hoping you are get well soon. Cyndy

Connie said...

Hope you don't get too sick Susan and that everyone else gets better soon. I think all of us who are creative want to work in so many different mediums and unfortunately we have choose only a couple as there isn't time for all of them. Enjoy!

Deb Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Susan, I can't wait to see your creations and thank you for the history lesson on the samplers, I love learning about the origins of these treasured crafts. And I applaud you on making the Izannah inspired dolls, they are so beautiful but I wouldn't have a clue where to start! Can't wait to see yours and stay healthy my friend, love those little ones but they do enjoy spreading those germs!! Deb

Carol Stuck said...

Very interesting post, Missy Susan. You are a woman of many talents. I look forward to seeing your finished projects. I am sure each one will be beautiful. Wishing you health!


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a great post...we all love learning more about this art! You inspire us too with all of your creative ideas! Happy New year, my friend! ♥

Debra said...

Susan- you picked a wonderful sampler to cross stitch!
Thank you for the fibromyalgia info and for the nice comment you left on my blog tonight.

The Olde Country Cupboard said...

Hi Susan, I know what you mean I have been a pattern collector for years. I have too many things I want to try to do. I had hope of doing lots of wood patterns this past year and it just didn't happen. so like you, I am going to concentrate on what I know I can get done. It makes it a whole lot simpler. Hope you are doing well, going to try to get back sewing this week, take care,

Sheila said...

I'm excited for you Susan, you are starting the year out right with a new project. Can't wait to see the dolls.

Gettysburg Homestead said...

Alright Miss Susan email me your address so I can get your goodies in the mail :-)

As for the sampler, it is just wonderful. And I appreciate the history lesson. I never knew that.


frontporchprims said...

I love the projects. Good for you to pick a couple and just get them done. I have a ton of things rolling around in my head and I just need to go to the store, get what I need and just do it. Hope you don't get any sicker. Good luck. -Steph-

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