Friday, April 12, 2013

Junk to Treasure

click picture to enlarge and see details

Two blogs ago I took a toy out of the trash and thought I could make something out of it.
Here is the finished product with out the limbs and leaves.  It has rained everyday since I started this project so I  will have to wait on those tree limbs off the tree.  The under plastic was brown so I just colored the Paperclay over with a brown.  Then I applied  a Crackle finish on top, let dry.  Using brown, beige, golden brown loaded onto my square flat brush at the same time I painted in short strokes all over to cover the crackle paint.  When dry it has little cracks on it and looks more like bark.  I like this tree.
I originally thought I would use this with my Wizard of Oz set. However  recently I read a book about Johnny Appleseed.  You thought he was just a made up story?  He was a real person  from Pennsylvania and  Ohio.  His family migrated here in the 1700's and he was a very eccentric person who was very enterprising and his desire was to raise apple seedlings and sell them to the new immigrating population to Ohio.  He got his seeds from an apple press in Pittsburgh for free from the mash they threw out.  He handpicked out the seeds and started walking westward in the late fall in his bare feet.  As he walked he planted seeds along river banks with the intentions of going back to retrieve them in a couple of years.  He was often seen in bare feet, and feed sacks as a shirt, and a cooking kettle on his head as a hat.  His route was from Marietta, Ohio, his family settled there, to Mansfield and into Indiana.  His travels were documented by General Store registers and Journals found in Museums from people who had dealings with him and befriended him with over night stays on his journeys. He also had dealings with Indians as he was traveling in their territory.   It is an incredible story.   I would like to think that some of the wild apple trees in my area where planted by John Chapman.  He was still around during the Civil War .  I never knew apples could cause such a ruckus, but it was a very viable and important crop.  It caused political and religious upheavals.  I'm sorry I didn't copy down the name of the book, but it is a recent published one.  This book also gave insight into the quest for land in the beginning stages of Ohio, my Family was a part of the earlier settlers here.  I would like to think he might have stopped  in for a bite to eat on his way across the State, and my ancestors would have fed him as they did Indians as they passed through.
Inspiration can come in many ways and this book changed my mind about the tree.  Since I make dolls, I am going to make one of Johnny Appleseed in his bare feet and kettle on his head, carrying a burlap bag of seeds, perhaps sleeping under this tree.    I have a deer leaning down like its smelling something that would be perfect for this scene. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen! I remember seeing the Disney cartoon from the 60's or 70's of Johnny Appleseed. I had recorded it on BETA, can you believe it and it is lost in the video archives somewhere in the clutter but that was one of my favorite Disney short films. Another was Casey at the Bat and also Mickey and the Beanstalk, and The legend of Sleepy Hallow, all of these cartoon shorts were of the same time frame and a real pleasure to view. I look forward to seeing how your Johnny Appleseed compares to the Disney version. Thank you for sharing the history of this kind,itinerant 'greenpeace' guy on a lifelong mission with a kettle on his head!