Drama, Romance, Intrigue...

Love. Early American Style.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New Handcrafted WHITE Pumpkins listed!

I just finished a great set of three primitive and grungy white french pumpkins that are so unique and perfect for your Fall decorating! They have great grapevine sticks and moss spilling over the sides, so prim!

Please stop by www.finecountrylivingprimitives.com to check them out! I can pretty much guarantee that your friends, family and neighbors won't have these is their festive Fall displays, so grab them while they are available!

I am also working on something special and BIG and prim for Christmas! I am putting the finishing touches on it and hope to list it on ebay for a change later this week. I will be sure to send out an announcement when I do list it, so keep your eyes open, you won't be disappointed!

Blessings!

Mary Jo

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Two New Handcrafted Dolls added

Hello everyone! I've been busy the last few days and wanted to let you all know that I have two new handcrafted dolls added to FineCountryLivingPrimitives.com.

The first one is Miss Annie Crow. She is a primitive raggedy annie that measures a large 26" tall and holds her friend, the crow, on a stick....very prim indeed! This version is a little grubbier, a little more prim for all you prim annie lovers!

I've also created a beautiful Colonial doll named Sadie. She is a petite dolly measuring 16" tall. She has poseable arms and legs and her face was drawn free-hand using watercolor pencils...no pattern here! She is truly a One of A Kind piece and will never be duplicated! Her dress is an antique handmade doll dress from the 1800's that was found in a doll trunk on a local farm just up the road from my home. Her hair is made from Suni Alpaca fiber....the hair from an Alpaca is soft as silk and she looks so lovely with it as her hair!

I hope you will stop by and see these treasures soon since my dolls never seem to last very long, I'd hate for you not to be able to take a peek!

Enjoy and Blessings to you all!

Mary Jo

Friday, August 17, 2007

Two Great Reads!

I thought I would share a great book that I just finished. It's title is "Porch Talk" Stories of Decency, Common Sense, and Other Endangered Species and it was written by Philip Gulley. The back of the book reads "Small-Town Wisdom for a Big-City World. In these witty, moving essays, author Philip Gulley recalls a time when neighbors gathered on front porches across America; a glass of lemonade in hand, the sound of crickets buzzing in the air - passing stories and wisdom from generation to generation."

If you like stories of small town life when times were more simple, this is the book for you! I read it cover to cover in one day, just couldn't put it down! And he has such a wonderful sense of humor, it's a clean, family book and so enjoyable; I think you will find that you enjoy it also!

Another great read is Early American Life magazine. My neighbor across town introduced me to this magazine last month and I was amazed at how wonderful it was! She owns a primitive home also (which is for sale by the way if you'd like to move to Springville, PA!) and is into the primitive lifestyle as well; in fact, her and her husband are very involved in Civil War re-enactments and such!

This magazine has featured homes that are to die for and wonderful articles on antiques, folk art and Colonial life. There are also many great advertisements and resources for reproduction furniture, rugs and artwork. Just a great resource for us prim lovers!

Enjoy!

Blessings,
Mary Jo

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Arrivals & Something to Think About

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Lancaster County, PA, and stocked up on some great items for my little shoppe on the web! I just couldn't stop adding things to my cart, so be sure to stop by and check it all out, I don't think you will be disappointed! BACK IN STOCK are the Colonial style prints that I completely sold out of within days last trip, so if you want any, please stop in quickly!

I've also added a new prim doll, Daisy Mae, and she is prettier than anything! I am trying to make some new dolls, especially Colonial style, but with the rush of getting new items in, many orders (thank you!) and life in general with two little boys, I am a little behind, so please bear with me!

I made this trip to Lancaster by myself for the first time and enjoyed my husband's generous offer of me staying overnight by myself. Even though I missed him and my boys, it was refreshing to have some quiet time to myself, and I thank Russ for this little break that I so desperately needed! Love you hon!

While on this trip I learned a few things. First of all, I met two wonderful people while shopping at the wholesalers. The next morning, they happened to be eating breakfast at Dienner's the same time as me, and I joined them and enjoyed their company! Brenda and Carl are from Tennessee and own Country Tyme Primitives located in Traders Village in Kingsport, TN. If you live near there, stop by and check it out. Not only are they the most friendly and joyful people you would ever want to meet, but they have FABULOUS items and I know you will love shopping there. And if you are reading this Carl and Brenda, thanks for your company and I'm sure I'll see you again in our travels! And thank you, once again, for your kind words and appreciation for my handcrafted items that you so kindly came out to my van to see in person. You certainly made my day!

Later that day I learned a valuable lesson in life. I learned that not everyone can appreciate everyone for who they are. I may lead a sheltered life here in Springville, PA, but one thing is for sure, it's an honest and true life in which peace, simplicity and equality are at the very core of our home.

As many of you know, I love what I do, and most of that is creating folk art dolls depicting many different aspects of primitive life. Some are Colonial, some are whimsical, and some are black folk art. Unfortunately, not all people see items that are respectful, in my eyes, of other cultures and ways of life, and I actually had two individuals tell me that they felt that my folk art would offend others. At first, I was speechless, then after stammering a bit, I came to my senses. I am not offended in the least that they did not care for my items; afterall, art is something that is personal and not everyone will enjoy every piece that is created. What gave me pause was that someone would look at an innocent doll depicting a mother holding a child wrapped in a quilt as offensive; or, that a Santa Clause that had darker skin than the one we see plastered throughout the shopping malls during the Holidays would be deemed inappropriate.

I am so happy though that this experience has occurred. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason; and even though I may not, at this time, understand it, it was meant to be. I'm just waiting for that reason to come to me I suppose.

I have a little saying that I use as my signature on my ebay groups message boards and it is something that I think of several times a day.... "Let Your Life Speak".

That message, in it's simplicity, says it all in my book. :-)

Blessings to all!

Mary Jo

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Keeping Room

Last week I saw my neighbor up the hill sitting out on her porch and I thought that it was time for a visit since I hadn't seen her all summer.

As we began discussing what we have been up to, we got onto the subject of remodeling and I had casually mentioned our Keeping Room. "Keeping Room??? What the heck is a Keeping Room?" she asked, and I found myself sharing a bit of Colonial History with her and I thought I would share it with our readers as well in case you have never heard of it.

In Colonial times, many homes had very few rooms, in fact, many only had one and it was called the Keeping Room. These rooms were a combination of a kitchen and sitting room and always contained a fireplace, or the hearth, to cook in.

During the cold New England winters, many times the adults, small children and babies would sleep in the Keeping Room, always staying close to the fire to keep warm while the older children would then sleep in the attic above the Keeping Room. Heat rises and this would be a warm area as well.

Keeping Rooms are gaining popularity now in newly constructed homes and many home plans are now calling the old "Family Room" the new "Keeping Room" since new home owners wish to have the kitchen and living spaces open and free flowing so that the entire family can be together during meal preparation. I wonder how Colonial Americans would feel about having a flat screen plasma TV in their Keeping Rooms?

We personally have a TV free Keeping Room just a step down from our kitchen. Our fireplace maybe a propane gas version, but it still looks pretty when I am cooking dinner for my family and feels warm and cozy in the wintertime!

Keeping Rooms are a wonderful place to gather and spend some much needed simple and quiet time together as a family. Whether you call it a family room, a den or a keeping room, just be sure to always enjoy your time together as a family and create wonderful memories there!

Blessings,
Mary Jo

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Contest Winner!!!!

Congratulations to Deb from Scranton, PA, on winning my Anniversary Contest! My son, Sammy, pulled her order out of the pile of orders that were placed during the month of July and Deb was our winner! She is receiving a set of my Colonial Sawdust pillows and I sweetly scented them with cinnamon oil because Deb is sweet herself and I wanted those pillows to smell sweet too! :-)

Thanks again to everyone for a great first year and I look forward to sharing many more with all of my wonderful customers, many of whom have become great friends!

Blessings to all!

Mary Jo

Friday, August 3, 2007

Consultant Sign up Sale!

Affordable Mineral Makeup is fun to use and great to sell! I love being a consultant with this company and I think you would too!

Right now AMM is offering their consultant sign up at 50% off! It is only $12.50 to become a consultant, and with no other start up costs, this is a great way to earn extra income for your family, earn some "mad money" for yourself, or just take advantage of getting great discounts on the makeup you already use and love! Home parties are not necessary and you can work right out of your home! You also don't need to carry inventory, customers place orders either through your rep page or through you directly, and the company will ship the product to their home, how easy is that?

AMM offers a generous commission and discount, a free rep page for your customers to order from, and we even have a great support forum in Yahoo Groups where you can chat with the owner of the company and other consultants to get tips and tricks, advertising ideas, and even provide input on what products we should carry!

If you are interested in this great 50% off opportunity or have any questions and want to learn more, just email me at maryjo@finecountrylivingprimitives.com, visit my rep page at www.affordablemineralmakeup.com/maryjo.html and click on the JOIN US button, or call me at 570-965-0985.

ALSO, AMM has just added many great products and some are on special, so be sure to check them out at www.affordablemineralmakeup.com/maryjo.html.

Blessings,

Mary Jo

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Top Five Must-Haves for Doll Making!

Here is a brief summary of my Prim Talk Radio Segment this week listing my top five favorite items and must haves for doll making, hope you enjoy it!

1. Turning Tubes. I found mine on Joann Fabrics website and ordered online. They cost about $10 I believe and are worth every penny!

2. Hemostats. These are those surgical instruments that look like blunt scissors but are really clamps. These are great for pushing out corners of your projects and some crafters use them for stuffing. I also like them for grabbing doll needles and pulling them through a project when I can't get a good grip on the needle. I found mine on ebay and they are cheap, so be sure to compare sellers!

3. Stuffing Fork, my favorite! It's like a fondue fork and I bought mine from ebay. It is great for stuffing tiny areas such as fingers or my eyebrows on some of my 3-D faces, especially the eyebrows. This is a Barbara Willis Design and she is based out of Mountain View California, so if you can't find any on ebay, just search for her on the web.

4. Great Wool suppliers are a must! My favorite is Gloria Lowell. She is on ebay and her userid is folkartfromvermont. She gives you a free felting needle and instructions, so if you are a beginner, this is the way to go!

5. Great patterns! Ebay has tons, but another great source is Patternmart.com and Patternpages.com. I belong to both and even sell them on my website. E-Patterns are the most popular now, and on Patternmart.com and here on my blog, you can instantly purchase and download the patterns and start immediately on your projects! You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer, and if you don't have it, you can get a free download of this software from Adobe.com

For this week only, purchase any pattern on my WEBSITE www.finecountrylivingprimitives.com and mention Prim Talk Radio in the comments section, and I will email you a FREE e-pattern of my Primitive Candy Corn Bowl Fillers. This offer expires on August 10!!!!

Thanks everyone and blessings to you all!

Mary Jo