Old World Primitives Gift Certificates

CHRISTMAS ORDERING UPDATE: Chenille ornaments and dolls or spun cotton ornaments listed as “in stock and ready to ship” in the Old World Primitives Etsy shop will ship the same or next business day throughout the entire month of December.

My schedule is now booked solid through Christmas for “Made To Order” spun cotton ornaments and dolls, which are handmade especially for you after your purchase.  You may still purchase these items in the Old World Primitives Etsy shop throughout the month of December, but orders received after November 28th will not arrive before Christmas.

If you were hoping to purchase a Made to Order item from my shop as a Christmas gift and were not able to place your order before my deadline, I am offering the option to purchase gift certificates this year.  When you click the button above, you may choose the amount that you would like your gift certificate to be, and fill out who it is To and From.  You will also have the option to either e-mail the gift certificate directly to your recipient, or to print it and wrap it for Christmas.

1770s Festival and Quiet Valley Harvest Festival

This lovely October I have had the pleasure of attending two historic festivals – the annual 1770s Festival at Lord Stirling Park in Basking Ridge, NJ and the annual Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm Harvest Festival.

1770s Festival - Basking Ridge, NJ

The 1770s Festival happens each year on the first Sunday in October.  I attended this year’s festival on October 2, 2011. The setting for the festival was on the grounds of Lord Stirling’s grand manor house and estate, originally constructed in the 1770s.

1770s Festival - Basking Ridge, NJ

We had a long and interesting talk with a member of the Revolutionary War military detachment camp, who taught us all about the weaponry and methods of combat during the Revolutionary War.

1770s Festival - Basking Ridge, NJ

Skilled artisan Homer Hansen demonstrated paper cutting techniques to achieve beautiful and intricate silhouette designs.

Quiet Valley Historical Farm Harvest Festival 2011

The Quiet Valley Harvest Festival takes place on Columbus Day weekend each year.  The setting is a beautiful historical farm with buildings dating back to the late 1700s – 1800s.   There is plenty of yummy food to eat at the festival…

Quiet Valley Harvest Festival 2011

…farm animals in their pastures (like the sheep above), barns (there were 13 three-week-old piglets in the barn with their mother this year), and petting areas…

Quiet Valley Historical Farm 2011 Harvest Festival

…and  demonstrations of many early American skills and crafts, including  spinning, weaving, yarn dyeing, tatting, coopering, quilling, broom making, oak split basketry, outdoor brick bake oven, Dutch oven cooking, butter making, and rope making.  I learn something new about these crafts every year.

Quiet Valley 2011 Harvest Festival

Primitive Halloween Folk Art

Time got away from me this busy holiday season, and I never got a chance to post all of my newest designs for fall and Halloween before it was time to start working on orders for them.  So now that I have already started working on Christmas versions of the two primitive dolls below, I figured I should finally post their Halloween versions first.

primitive cat doll in a witch hat

This is a reclining primitive Halloween cat doll, dressed in a black witch hat and a black cheesecloth scarf.  Look for her in a Santa hat in my Etsy shop later this week.

handmade spooky Halloween moon man in a witch hat

And this is primitive Halloween moon wall decoration wearing a black witch hat. I envisioned him as a Halloween man in the moon, but some think he looks like an old crone, which I can see too. S/he will also be in my Etsy shop wearing a Santa hat later this week.

handmade spooky Halloween moon man

Sweet Annie Harvest

I grew my own organic sweet annie this year to use in crafting my spun cotton and primitive doll creations.  Today was harvesting day.

sweet annie

Fresh sweet annie smells so wonderful!

Earlier in the day, a black swallowtail butterfly visited the carrots, dill and parsley in my garden, and laid her eggs in them. Another swallowtail had done the same earlier in the week. I am looking forward to seeing the caterpillars hatch in a few days.

Halloween Spun Cotton Ornaments

spun cotton ornament

Halloween spun cotton ornament

spun cotton Halloween ornament

spun cotton dog ornament

spun glass Halloween ornament

The ornaments pictured above are my newest spun cotton and spun glass designs for the 2011 holiday season. I am now working on another batch of Halloween primitive dolls – a black cat, a witch cat, and a witchy moon. More spun cotton Halloween ornaments will be added next week, and perhaps a Halloween paper doll or two.

spun cotton ornament display

Halloween Ornaments

The orange and black chenille Halloween ornaments below are the latest additions to my line of chenille ornaments for the 2011 holiday season.  Click an image to visit them in my Etsy shop.

halloween folk art

primitive halloween ornaments

What will emerge from my workspace today?
artist workspace

I have new spun cotton ornaments and spun glass ornaments in the works – they will be added to the Old World Primitives Etsy shop later today and tomorrow.

Back to Work

One of the greatest things about being my own boss is that I can have cause to make two vacation posts on my blog in a row.  After being back home from my Yellowstone trip for a little over a week and spending that time working on some new creations, prepping to improve some of the older photos in my Etsy shop (which I hope to complete this week), and planning for Halloween and Christmas (I know, it’s early – but I promised myself it had to be done earlier this year!)… I was lucky enough to be able to leave for another vacation to California, where my husband spent two weeks road tripping, camping and hiking our way through Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Below are some of my photos from our travels.  My husband has also added a bunch more (even better!) photos to his Etsy photography print shop, Max Gorski Photography.

Liberty Cap and Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park
Liberty Cap and Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park. It was in the mid 60s during the day in Yosemite, and just above freezing overnight.
Death Valley Sand Dunes
The desert sand dunes in Death Valley near sunset. Here it was 109 degrees.
The Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley
The Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley - a vast salt pan left behind by in an ancient dry lake bed.
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park
Giant Sequoia in Sequoia National Park
A giant Sequoia in Sequoia National Park. For a sense of scale, the tiny black upside-down V that you see at the bottom center of the trunk is about the size of a person. It's hard to comprehend just how massive these 2,000+ year old giants are until you see them in person.

I also have two new spun cotton ornament designs to share – two kitties in fall friendly colors. The second one is the first of my Halloween 2011 designs – many more to follow!

spun cotton cat ornament

spun cotton cat ornament


An Inspiring Wilderness Respite

This week I am back from vacation after a week spent backcountry hiking and wildlife watching in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. This was my 4th time visiting Yellowstone, and this time I was lucky enough to spot wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, bison (including a mother and newborn calf – just 2 hours old – right in front of Old Faithful), pronghorn, big horn sheep elk, mule deer, sage grouse, sandhill cranes, marmots, colonies of ground squirrels, eagles, and two nesting osprey. I also saw a moose in the aptly named town of Moose in Grand Teton on our final day.

It was definitely a great year to have my brand new spotting scope along with me! Through it I saw a wolf attempt to steal a bison calf from the herd, only to be chased away by an angry mob of mother bison; a grizzly bear sow with two cubs charge away a male who was stalking them… twice!… until he got the hint and left; and a large bison bull charge a black bear who decided that meant it was time to flee the area.

Below are some photos from my trip of the wildlife that was within range of my 300mm lens.

migrating bison herd

bison cow and newborn calf in front of Old Faithful

black wolf in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011

bighorn sheep in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011

black bear in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011

grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011

moose in Grand Teton National Park - spring 2011

bison calf in Yellowstone National Park - spring 2011