Robbie White ~ Artist

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This morning I began my projects that will appear on the website, on March 15th.  I've chosen a fairly complicated project that starts with this block of clay.
And let me apologize for the poor quality of this photograph.  This is an air dry clay, and I actually find it somewhat difficult to work with at first, usually getting too much water on my hands, but eventually, characters begin to take shape.  This morning it took about and hour and 1/2 to handsculpt 2 rabbits, 2 bluebirds, and 1 duck or chick.  Though the birds seem lifeless and plain, the final result will be much more whimsical.

Now the rabbits were a bit more complicated, and each one seems to take on their own personality as the projects progress.

The heads will now sit and dry for several days or possibly up to a week, then each one will be handpainted and used to create some Spring designs.  I won't tell you just what I'll be making, but will post the projects in their completion when I'm done.  Now, I must get back to work, as I have orders to be filled on Ebay.  Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dixie Doodles

In between my projects and blogging about them, I find myself thinking about the most cherished stories of the “old days” as told to me by my Mother. Now, I will tell you that I have said many times, that God broke the mold after creating my Mama. She is one of a kind, and she makes me laugh, soothed my aches and pains as a child, and continues soothing and healing my emotional aches and pains now that I’m an adult.

Mama was a true born Southerner and is a country bumpkin. My Mama is fun, and loves with everything she has, body, soul, spirit, and makes me laugh. My Mama is Miss Odene (pronounced O-dean)…..she will be 81 in May.

When I find it hard to be creative, stuck in a slump, feeling the “blues block”, can’t get the artistic side cranked up, I think of Miss Odene. My Mama has a knack for being one of the most creative people I’ve known. She is a fantastic mathematician, she loves the “art” of retail, one of the most self-controlled people I know, loves to dance, loves a party, and adores her children. My Mama never baked a cookie or cake that I can remember. She wasn’t a house wife, she was and still is a hard working woman, and whether she knows it or not, she is a precious Southern comedian, and so a little story, with many to follow.

Miss Odene was “next to the baby”, the second from the last in birth to Henry and Vida Brock. There were 5 girls and 2 boys. Sundays found the Brock family in church in Havana, Florida. They walked. I have never heard my Mother talked about her Daddy or Mama driving anywhere. A car was a luxury they never had. My Grandparents were married to each other, and they were married to The Depression. So, on Sundays they walked to church. Obviously from her stories, a hell fire and brimstone preaching church that would make any small child shudder to think of the consequences of “falling by the wayside”. Attending Sunday worship was not an option to her and her siblings whether her parents went with them or sent them on alone, but her parents gave what they could, and each child was given a dime, (ten cents), to put in the offering plate each week.

Now, here is one of the first signs of the “mathematician” of that small child in my opinion. After church, the family would walk back home, passing a retail establishment of some sort, famous for their ice cream, and one very special treat, the Dixie Doodle! Even at 6 or 7 years of age, Miss Odene knew the price of the enticing “Dixie Doodle”, and in order to acquire that lustful treat, it cost 5 cents, a nickel. She was too young to hold down a job, and if she did, that money would have gone into the family sugar jar for the expenses of the Brock household.

So, as the offering plate was passed around on summer Sundays, and as she pulled her dime out of her pocket and held it above the vessel of giving, the beauty of education and a small wee mathematician overwhelmed with the desire for that special treat, with no reservations as the subtraction tables whirled through her mind, that small dime was gently placed in the offering plate, and quickly a nickel snatched up, in change, and placed back in her small pocket. And as they traveled back home, barefoot and whistling, and with baffled and suspicious looks from her siblings on those hot humid summer Sundays, the nickel was proudly placed into the hand of the proprietor, payment for the Dixie Doodle, and I chuckle as I think of how many times my Mama has told me that story. The story of a child, her inner light and the genius of that little girl within, who found the where-with-all despite the threats of going to hell being shouted and reverberating throughout that clapboard church, to make change in that offering plate during those post Depression years, in order to get her beloved Dixie Doodle when walking home on those summer Sundays.

And today, I tease her each time she retells the story, and remind her that The Word, The Bible, clearly states that our offerings were to be ten percent, not TEN CENTS, much less only a nickel, and we laugh, giggle, shed a few tears for those innocent days, and once again with her tales of ole’, she made me laugh, and she healed, for it a sure thing, that laughter itself is the best medicine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter Blues & Calico Too

In the 12 years that I have lived in the State of Tennessee, I have never seen a winter like this.  Occasionally in the past we would have a few days with snow in the forecast, but easily melted away within a day or so, with lots of frigid cold days and frozen water pipes.  This winter, we've had snow for what seems like an eternity.  Each day, the flurries continue to fall. 

Living in an old farmhouse with little insulation, makes for a very cold house.  You squeal as you  run and jump under the pile of quilts and blankets as your back hits that cold sheet, and you learn not to move an inch until your body heat begins to warm up your space under those covers.  Having to get up and out from under those warm quilts is difficult in the wee hours of the morning.  I love old patchwork quilts, and I can assure you that I have at least 3 on our bed.  The antique ones from the 19th Century, cotton filling and lots of turkey reds and indigo blue calico are my favorites.  An old cotton filled quilt that old, usually is so soft and warm, somewhat faded from years of good use, and each piece of antique calico is a treasure.  To be able to find a piece of antique indigo calico fabric is not easy, and you usually will pay a very high price.

Some quilting shops now carry Civil War reproduction calicos, and they are gorgeous and so reminiscent of the past.  I have several fat quarters of my favorites, but since I'm not an avid quilter, I have held onto them wondering just what I could make with these small pieces of fabric.  I've also managed to acquire a few cutter quilt pieces, too fragile and torn for much use, but I do rescue a few of the indigo pieces.  So, during my "winter blues" this past month, I had to come up with some ideas for my participation on the website, where each month I offer a sampling of my work.  My little fabric treasures were the inspiration, and as I cut and tucked tiny fabric treasures between glass, I began to solder and my blues began to subside as my excitement took over. 

3" long glass pieces now are the showcase for my "CALICO STICKS" pendants to wear with jeans, each one with either antique or pieces of the Civil War fabric, and the backs though not shown, are old striped mattress ticking. 

Then the button box came out, and as I shuffled through those, I pulled out blue buttons, layered, stacked, and added magnets, and they turned out so cute and fun for my studio bulletin board, I decided to offer a set of those also.  They are more Cottage Chic in style.

And I didn't stop there.  Another pendant and a pin or brooch showcasing a piece of the calico from the 1800's began to take shape, and added to my presentation for The Primitive Gathering.

For a long time I have wanted to have an old piece of punched tin from an old pie safe door, framed and made into a bulletin board for my primitive kitchen, but kept that idea on the backburner, as I did not want contemporary magnets on it, but ones that fit more into the charm of a primitive cottage kitchen, so I continued soldering and this was the result.  I was so pleased with these, I listed a couple of sets of these also.  So I invite you to check out where you'll find me listed under the Artists Section, Pumpkin Moon Studio.  And don't forget to check out my ebay store, and etsy store also.  Here are the links:
Stay Warm!.......Robbie


Thursday, February 4, 2010


It is winter. It is cold, wet, windy, frozen, and currently raining here in Tennessee. Today I drove up to my bank’s drive in window to make a deposit, the usual small talk between the teller and me. The weather, of course is the subject of our casual conversation. Yes, it is cold, yes I wish winter were over, yes I wish summer were here. Well, if it were summer we would be complaining about the heat. Now, I have to disagree with that, because last year I do not remember complaining about the heat.

My best recollection is actually enjoying the humid evenings, the sultry sway of the trees while the cicadas buzzed away in the branches. Wiping sweat off our brows as we sat on the front porch and enjoyed our evening toddy. A days work done, the sweet smell of fresh mowed grass, Miracle Grow & dirt under our fingernails from digging in the flower beds and weeding the vegetable garden, and the now and then wave to a passerby as they drove home over the ridge.

I do remember however, some very hot summers. Growing up in the South, you cannot help but know what a boiled peanut is. My Dad was a mechanic, leased a gas station from a man, and that man also owned the gas company he bought his gasoline from. That man made more money than my father ever saw. But, my Dad loved to come up with gimmicks, collected things, and was the best gardener I’ve ever seen. And he really enjoyed coming up with ideas to make extra cash, and to keep me busy during the summers.

Now you talk about hot. To give you a little insight however, let me explain that my Mother had traditions and superstitions. You NEVER went barefoot until May 1st of each year. So, basically, you went barefoot in the hottest of hot in North Florida. Daddy decided that he would sell boiled peanuts from his gas station. Now this establishment was located on Hwy 90, the main highway across North Florida. This was before the interstate was built, I-10. So, the tourists that were headed south to the many Florida roadside attractions, seem to always find their way through Quincy, Florida, on Hwy 90, and right past Daddy’s gas station. Daddy figured he could sell many bags of boiled peanuts during the tourist season and peanut harvest, and bring some extra cash into the household.

And so, the big stock pot and his propane gas fish cooker, now became the peanut boiling kitchen in one of the repair bays at Dean’s Texaco Gas Station. Little brown paper candy size bags were filled with the hot salty boiled things, stapled shut, and lined up in a cardboard beer flat box, and handed off to me to make my rounds around what we called the courthouse square. In and out of retail shops I would go, dress shops, toy, hardware, banks, and more, all located around the central courthouse of Gadsden County Florida. I had no reservations about asking if anyone wanted to buy some boiled peanuts for 50 cents a bag. It was fun, I was out of having to do chores, and I had a little jingle in my pocket. Those 2 years of peanut peddling blistered my feet, because I never wore shoes much in the summer. You did okay along the sidewalks in front of the storefronts with their retro striped canvas awnings giving shade to the sidewalks, but Lord, you start to cross a black asphalt street, and you were hopping, squealing and squeaking as you ran for the next corner curb. That “walk” light couldn’t turn fast enough. Hot asphalt and bare feet bring a whole new meaning to the term “hip-hop”. It didn’t take long to whip out some of that jingle, and buy myself a pair of rubber flip-flops about the second time I passed McCrory’s dime store. Now those were HOT summers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Not sure why I felt this necklace was incomplete, so back to the drawing board I went.  I added some antiqued brass charm dangles, and more vintage pearl dangles.  I think this added more romance to this creation.  So here is an updated photo.  My Etsy Store was updated also. 

Vintage Pink Pearls & Enameled Heart & Locket

I love the romantic look of this necklace.  Starting with a vintage aged brass locket, adding an old vintage brooch with heart shaped enameled and handpainted rose.  Very Cottage Chic in style, and the 1950's sweet pink and creamy pearls add more elegance.  A swing chain with a large vintage pink pearl drop and  antiqued brass neckchain completes this romantic piece.  I think it is absolutely stunning, and can be worn with classy to casual.  You'll find this in my Etsy Store,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Antique Glass Earrings - Upcycled Chandelier Grapes

Doing some cleaning in my "junk" room, and while shuffling around boxes, I found two antique glass grape clusters.  Miniature in size measuring only 3.5 or 4 inches long.  One cluster was coming unraveled, so I finished unwrapping each small green glass grape, and when the last string came loose, out tumbled these antique green copper embedded glass drops.  I was instantly fascinated and curious.  What could I possibly do with these wonderful little things?   The copper wire already changed over time with beautiful patina, the small glass ends slightly irregular in shape with lots of bubbles within the glass, obviously handmade decades ago.

They are about 2 inches long, and so I began making loops with the wire, and turning them into antique glass drops for my upcycled and repurposed jewelry.  You can see in these photos, how wonderful they catch the light, and you can see the wonderful whimsical bubbles within the glass.

I don't remember when or where I even acquired these miniature grape clusters, but I'm very pleased with the results of the earrings that have been created using the little glass treasures.  The antiqued kidney earwires add to the vintage charm of them.  I could have embellished with more ornate bead caps or findings, but this old glass speaks for itself.  The beauty is the glass itself.  You can find this pair in my Etsy Store,  

My husband calls me a packrat, but sometimes little things tucked away for years, with the thought of "Maybe I can do something with those one day", actually comes true. 

Monday, February 1, 2010


It is February 1st, and it is still cold.  My studio has been iced in and over for several days, but the sky is blue and gorgeous, and while staying in where it is warm, I wrapped a few silver nests for my Etsy Store, 

Vintage pearls salvaged from old necklaces from the 1950's were the inspiration for my EGGS.  Sweet pink pearls wrapped in non-tarnish silver wire, and topped with a sterling silver bail.   The other, beautiful robins egg aqua blue pearls wrapped, and topped with a gemstone turquoise star and sterling silver bail.  Both ready to hang from a sterling silver chain.  Very sweet pendants.

February is off to a busy start.
Now hoping the studio/cabin thaws soon.