Primitive Bunnies in a Garden

Happy Earth Day!

It is almost time to start my garden in the backyard again… in the meantime, I just finished a primitive garden vignette. It is a pair of grungy bunnies in a cabbage leaf garden along with carrots and turnips. Click the images to enlarge them.
primitive bunnies in a cabbage leaf garden

primitive summer garden with extreme prim bunnies

The cabbage leaf is made of heavy muslin with a stuffed stem and some wire sewn between the leaves to form spines that help the leaf keep its shape. The leaf was painted in multiple shades of green, coffee dyed, and grungied up with cinnamon. The bunnies, carrots, and turnips are made of muslin stuffed with natural fibers. Each was painted, stained, sanded a few times over and dusted with cinnamon. The bunnies have sewn black eyes and noses, sticks for legs, and vintage cotton batting tails. The garden is a Kentucky Primitives design and was really fun to make! They are for sale on Old World Primitives now.

To circle back to Earth Day: I started a compost pit in the yard this year to celebrate Earth Day. Composting recycles organic household waste back into the earth, returns nutrients into the soil, and reduces the amount of organic waste going into garbage dumps and landfills. Compost also makes great garden fertilizer!

How to Rust Primitive Bells, Safety Pins, or Other Tin Items

I am going to share a primitive rust recipe of my own creation that works well for me, and doesn’t leave a toxic concoction that is hard to dispose of afterwards. First, place your items to be rusted into a container that has a lid – I use an empty glass candle jar. Pour enough bleach into the container to cover the items you are rusting, and then put the lid on. Let it sit like this for about 24 hours. I then drain the bleach into the toilet (get a second use out of it as a disinfectant!), leaving the metal items still damp in the jar. Next cover them with cider vinegar and add in a healthy dose of salt. Cover again, and let sit overnight. Pour the used vinegar down the drain (you can also get a second use of this as a drain unclogger if it follows a dose of baking soda), leaving the damp bells/safety pins/what have you in the jar. Put the jar out in the sun to dry, uncovered, and the metal items in it will rust as they dry.


This post is ©2008 by Stephanie Baker of Old World Primitives. You may not copy or repost this text elsewhere without express written permission, but you are welcome to link to this post if you would like to share the information.

Tagged!

I have been tagged by Lone of ddd-favoritter – I have to write 5 things about myself and then go on to tag 5 more bloggers.
Here is my list:

  1. As I child I hated baby dolls and refused to play with them.
  2. When my grandmother gave me a sewing caddy that she hand-painted herself for my 13th birthday, I was horrified. It wasn’t a toy! I use it every day now, as well as her sewing machine – I think that she knew something that I didn’t.
  3. My Mom and I always compete for the same items at antique stores.
  4. I am trying to teach myself to speak Polish – it’s slow going, but I am determined.
  5. The head of my household is a small orange female cat named Slayer whose authority none of us dare to challenge (unless we feel like taking a sound beating).

Now I am tagging the following people…

  1. Tonya of Olde Country Creations
  2. Debra of Pilgrims and Pioneers
  3. Lana of Honeysuckle Lane
  4. Doreen of Vermont Harvest Primitives
  5. ? If you are reading, feel free to fill yourself in here!

New Grungy Primitive Pumpkin

I just finished another Netty LaCroix pumpkin – I made this one more grungy than the last one. He was stained, painted, and sanded many times over and then dusted with cinnamon. I grungied up the stem as well, and added vintage buttons on top of circular patches for eyes.

grungy primitive pumpkin doll

This pumpkin is up for sale now on Old World Primitives.

Finished Extreme Prim Garden Doll with Pear

I finished the aging process on the tin watering can for my new extreme primitive Garden Doll (a Netty LaCroix design) and added it to her as a finishing touch. I also added a loop of string behind her shoulders so that she can be displayed hanging up. She now comes with a primitive pear that I made as an accessory too. This is the finished doll with pear – she is up for sale now on Old World Primitives:

garden doll with pear - a Netty LaCroix design

New Extreme Primitive Doll

I just finished a new extreme primitive folk art doll today. She is a garden doll, just in time for spring. As soon as I age her little tin watering can I will tie it to one of her stick hands as a finishing touch.

extreme primitive netty lacroix doll

extreme primitive netty lacroix doll

I made her using a Netty LaCroix pattern, and I tested out my new bamboo fiber fill as stuffing. I really like the bamboo stuffing – it has a great texture and is so soft. This prim doll has a muslin head, a dress made from homespun, a cheesecloth apron with some dried grass tucked in it, string for hair, a pinch-stitched nose, painted eyes and mouth, and twigs for arms and legs.

Did Some Shopping For Primitive Craft Supplies Today

I went to my local Jo Ann Fabric and Craft and Pearl Paint stores today to do some shopping for craft supplies. It is always so fun to come home and unpack all of my goodies.

primitive craft supplies

I can’t wait to try out the new Bamboo fiber stuffing that I found! It is so soft and silky! Even softer than the big bag of sheep’s wool I have, but with no VM to clean off first. Plus the bamboo fiber is eco-friendly and naturally antibacterial. I think I am hooked on it already.

I also love the texture of the Osnaburg that I picked up:

Onsaburg fabric

It is so prim!

Grammy’s Vintage Sewing Machine

I have so many new primitive doll patterns that I can’t wait to make. I am working on creating another Netty LaCroix pumpkin doll before moving onto some of the new prim patterns for spring that I just purchased.

my vintage sewing machine surrounded by primitive patterns and dolls

I have reached a point in my life where I deeply appreciate the now-vintage Viking Husqvarna 6430 sewing machine that my grandmother left me. It still works just like new. I brought it into the local sewing machine repair shop for a tune-up once and the staff acted like I had just brought in the holy grail. Grammy, I hope that you can see me sewing now.

A Brief History of the Make-Do

A make-do is created using items that are immediately available, historically out of necessity.  Make-dos can either be antique or new (often made to look old by primitive folk artists).  They incorporate items that broke and were repaired using whatever was on hand, or broken parts that were used in creating something new.  The most common make-dos are handmade pincushions added to the top of the salvaged bases of broken candlestick holders, oil lamps, or teapots.  Pincushion make-dos created by women who made do with what they had were prevalent during the 18th & 19th centuries.

How to Tea Stain or Coffee Dye Fabric for Primitive Dolls

Primitive folk art dolls get their aged, antiqued look by tea staining or coffee dying the fabric they are made with. I prefer to work with undyed muslin fabric when making primitive dolls because it already has a bit of a primitive texture and color to it, and it absorbs the tea or coffee nicely. The muslin can either be dyed before or after you start making the doll. I find that doing my dying after the doll has already been constructed is easier, so that is the method I am doing to describe.

Tea staining is the less extreme of the two methods – it will give you lightly stained, yellowish-brown areas on your fabric. I create my tea dye by adding 1 tea bag to half a cup of water and letting it brew for about 10 minutes. Then using an old sponge, I soak up some of the tea dye and blot it onto the doll. The more tea dye you use, the darker the stain will be. This process gets the doll fairly wet, so I bake it in the oven at about 200 degrees for a few minutes to dry it afterwards. Reapply additional coats of tea dye as necessary.

I prefer using coffee dye for my primitive dolls because it creates a darker, richer stain color that makes the dolls look more old than tea dying does. I create my coffee dye by mixing 5 tablespoons of instant coffee crystals in half a cup of hot water. Add a few drops of vanilla extract to for a great scent. To stain my dolls with the coffee dye, I use the same method described above for the tea dye – sponge-blotting the dye on and then baking the doll in the oven. You can also spray tea or coffee dye on with a spray bottle, or dry your dolls outside in the sun on a warm day.