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

Primitive Cat Dolls

I have been working on a new series of primitive cat dolls this spring.  Here is the herd, so far.

primitive cat doll

primitive cat doll

primitive cat doll

I am having a lot of fun with these cat dolls, so there will be more to come throughout the year – including Halloween cats and Christmas cats.

My Childhood Home: The Barns

As a follow-up to my post about the 1771 farmhouse I grew up in, I now present to you the outbuildings.

1771 farmhouse barn

This was “the big barn,” with its saltbox style roof. An old man in the neighborhood remembered that this barn used to house a cider press that everyone would bring their apples to by wagon. Once the apples had been pressed into cider, he would deliver it back to the customers.

1771 farmhouse barn

This was “the little barn.” (That’s me collecting Easter eggs in front of it, many years ago!) The closest door led to a storage area where we kept shovels, rakes, gardening tools and such. There was also a giant wood pile inside. The second door led to a former blacksmith shop. Inside, there was still a work table, shelving, and a blacksmith’s forge with an old bicycle wheel that turned the fan.

I couldn’t find any closeups of our outhouse  (… except for one where it was in use at the time… ) so you’ll have to look for it in the far right of this photo of my Dad, a snowman that he and my Mom built, and our dog.  The outhouse was a 4-seater, with two adult sized seats and two child sized seats.

the outhouse behind my 1771 farmhouse

Coming up in my next post in this series: pictures of the interior of our house.

Prims Magazine Spring 2011 Issue

cover of the Spring 2011 issue of Prims Magazine

My daily run out to the mailbox to check to see if today will finally be the day that my issue of Prims arrives has finally ended – it’s here!  The Spring 2011 issue of Prims magazine is just packed full of artists whose work I have long admired – and collected.  I feel extremely privileged to have two of my primitive dolls, Laura and Rebecca, featured in such amazing company.

Spring 2011 issue of Prims Magazine


The 1771 Farmhouse I Grew Up In

This is the house that I grew up in. It was a 1771 farmhouse – the entire single-story section on the right was a huge country kitchen with a woodburning stove inside. That section also had a saltbox style roof, which you can see in the second photo below.  The historical society told us that the front room on the left side of the house was once a midwife’s birthing room.  The house is painted white in these photos, which is the color it was when my parents first bought it. I remember the house being the dark blue color pictured here that my Dad later painted it to.

1771 farmhouse

1771 farmhouse

Below is the back view of the house. That’s a grape vine in the foreground. The white door led into what later became the bathroom, so that wound up getting sealed shut and the steps were removed. In 1771, there of course were no bathrooms, just the outhouse, which was still standing on the property. When my parents first moved in, the bathroom contained only a toilet. There was no hot water or heating system in the house either. An elderly woman was living in the kitchen with the woodstove and a space heater.

1771 farmhouse

Below is a side view of the back of the house. The barrel collected rain water that fell from the gutter.

1771 farmhouse

Photos of the outbuildings will be in my next post.

Featured Etsy Friend: Tuckoo And Moo Cow

Sarah-Lambert Cook is the creative force behind Tuckoo and Moo Cow. With a shop name that adorable, can you resist taking a peek? I have recently had the pleasure of getting to know Sarah-Lambert via Etsy, and she is just as sweet as she is talented! She creates hand painted jewelry – each of the items that you see above contains a hand painted original miniature watercolor painting, permanently sealed and protected with clear resin. These are not prints, or mass produced items. Each one is painstakingly hand painted, one at a time.

hand painted jewelry by tuckooandmoocow

I really enjoy the serenity and charm that Sarah-Lambert’s work exudes.  Much of it gives you the feeling of being swept away to the country or a quiet moment in the woods when you look at it.  I’m a huge fan of her product photography as well.

Stop by for a visit with Tuckoo and Moo Cow in her Etsy shop:  Tuckoo and Moo Cow – Hand Painted Miniature Art and on her blog:  Tuckoo and Moo Cow – an artist’s journal.