just a quick hi

We’re just back from being away for the weekend. Iowa this time. It was beautiful, too bad we were too harried to take any decent photos. Things have been really hectic around here for Tim and I lately and I’m not handling it well. Busy is not our thing. We need boredom. Weeks and weeks of same old, little activity, no plans, etc. I’m having an especially frazzling afternoon trying to get organized and prioritize things. I have lots of things I want to blog about but, here too, I just can’t get a handle on things. I’ll try again tomorrow. Only reason I tried at all today was because I wanted to show off my new vacation knick knack and confess that I’m becoming more and more drawn to primitive, country craft stuff. Maybe it’s Halloween on the horizon that’s doing it to me. I was trying to figure out where to find/buy the stiff overdyed distressed cotton muslin stuff that all the primitive crows and candy corns and halloween ornaments from the gift shops are made out of. Anyone know what I’m talking about? Am I making any sense?

21 thoughts on “just a quick hi

  1. Cricket says:

    I think what you are looking for is easily (and best) made at home. My mom made it for some dolls.
    Take the cotton muslin and let it soak in starch and water overnite. You can also throw in some tea (the stronger the tea, the darker the distress.) Wring it out and let it air dry. If you want it to look wrinkly, then crunch it up for the drying process. If you want it smooth, stretch it out. For an extra crispy starch feeling, iron with starch spray.
    To make it really stiff, it helps to use two layers (one as sort of the interfacing.)
    My mom did this several years ago, so who knows…maybe you can buy it distressed and aged online now.

  2. Amber says:

    I have used coffee to dye muslin it works faster than tea because it is stranger. I would put it in a spray bottle lay the fabric on a table with old towels under it and then let dry do again if you wanted it darker. You can spray it all messy and then it looks more aged. When it it dry iron it with starch. Hope this helps.

  3. k8tykat says:

    the coffee method works great. i’ve done this several times and really love how old and grungy it looks afterwards. also, if you bake the fabric in the oven on your lowest setting possible it gets really stiff. fyi : this is the preferred method of most primitive craft makers who sell for BIG bucks on eBay.

  4. k8tykat says:

    let me add : bake the fabric in the oven AFTER you distress it with the coffee spritz. and, you can sand and then repeat the process if desired until it’s as primitive as you like it.

  5. kate says:

    Aslo, Hillary- here are some more ideas- Roclon brand from Joann’s
    It’s 1.99 per yard and 40 or 50
    percent off using the coupon in their ad.
    Also- Onasburg, also from Joann’s (and Walmart). Hope this helps…

  6. leeanne says:

    i used to do alot of primitive stuff when i lived in iowa. i did alot of the things above but i would spray it with clearcoat after. my grandma and i would also soak everything in sugar, just mix 2 parts sugar to one part water and warm up on the stove until the sugar melts. we also used to use this for cheesecloth ghosts and to stuffin crocheted little doilies for xmas ornaments. i would love to see what you do primitive, im sure it would be wonderful!

  7. lindsey says:

    Thanks! i have been looking for the exact same thing. i thought it would prob be easy to make, but wasn’t sure how to begin! i would love to see some pictures if you guys have done it or are going to try!

  8. blair says:

    Where ever it is that they sell the stuff, I hope they also sell you a relaxing dinner, a babysitter, and a stiff drink! (Make that two).
    I’ve been making “wees” all week, such a lovely way to pass time with my machine. The wee workshop is this weekend.

  9. Jenn says:

    a lot of primitives are painted as well. the pumpkin head doll I just made is muslin painted with acrylic paint. it is really fun to do and has endless possibilities! I made muslin chickens at one point. very fun. there are a lot of people that sell primitive patterns on ebay and each one gives you a new “take” on how to make prims. I just bought one that has you use paperclay over a styrafoam ball. too fun!!

  10. madmommy says:

    I can’t help you with the primitive craft ideas, but if you’d like, I’ll switch lives with you for a couple of weeks, lol! Been a litte too prosaic around here; I could use some more action!

  11. Stephanie Cullison says:

    I too have been drawn to the primitive folksy artsy stuff. My husband usually just shakes his head wondering why I thought a crackled spotted flattened pig was such a great garage sale find. LOL. It is only second to the flat headed polka dotted kitty I found. :o) Gotta love the slightly weird and wacky!

  12. amy k. says:

    relax and chill and hope you can unwind a bit. traveling is hard, at least it is for me.
    -and primitive country crafts? nothing is better!! all sad and lumpy and not too perfect-that little fellow you found there is golden!

  13. Angie says:

    I used to do “prim” dolls, and after they were made out of regular muslin, I “dotted” a really soaked tes bag all over the doll, sometimes just tea-dyed the muslin first.

  14. Natasha says:

    Tea or coffee dying is the best way, the dotting method mentioned by Angie is my perferred way. Also when you “bake” it leave it crinkled so the dye settles in the kinks, the sun works well for drying too, if you still have some. Another idea is using different flavors of tea, I love the look of rasberry or any red tea.
    This web site, http://www.thecountryhouse.com, is a good source for ideas and prim products, you can even order a catalog. Their prints are to “dye” for. hehe, hope this helps!!

  15. kirsty Campion says:

    I,m going the opposite way from prim to the funky softies. Now I have two sections on my web site to accommadate both styles. I love using Parisian essence which is a browning essence used in cooking. You can make it up as strong or weak as you like and just keep spraying it on untill you are happy. I find tea and coffee too subtle.I have my latest prim creation on my blog today.

  16. Tammy says:

    I know a lot of the country style dolls are muslin dyed with tea or coffee but I also heard that those compromise the integrity of the fabric (they’ll rip/wear too fast?) – what about walnut inks that all the scrapbookers are using to dye paper?

  17. Dannielle says:

    I’ve done the coffee/baking thing with great results. However I just tried using a walnut ink solution for the first time and it’s so much nicer, imo.
    With coffee staining and baking I distressed the fabric before sewing. When I used walnut ink I sewed and stuffed the doll first, then painted on a walnut ink solution. What I really preferred about it is that the staining looked more authentic because it wasn’t cut off by the seams.
    For my crustier projects (some crows I made come to mind) I sewed (muslin) and stuffed them. Then I painted them with a watered down black paint mixed with textile medium. When that dried I sanded them. Then I painted over them with a coffee solution (would use the walnut ink now).

  18. kathy harlon says:

    i just loved everyone,s ideas. i would love to see some pictures. i am sure going to try these ideas thanks alot. kathy

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