Tuesday, February 2, 2010

UPDATED BIO~January 2010

Art~ always a part of my life. Inspiration~my best friend, my mother, God rest her precious souI. My father~my biggest fan keeping me encouraged and inspired. Self taught they call it…but with successes and failures, having been taught and mistaught, inspired, uninspired, lead and mislead, all by ‘self taughters’ ,I am where I am today and continue to grow and learn from life and others. I am a wife and mother of 6. As a practicing RN for over 20yrs, I realized my life didn’t fit “me”.

My real dream was to own a horse and live on a small farm. In chasing that dream, I caught it, and presently dwell in a small Pennsylvania farm house circa 1870, with my hubby and our horses, etc, etc, etc. I hadn’t touched art for 7yrs, THEN…since we love candles, began a small beeswax candle business 2005 called, The Primitive Chandler.

The Bumble Bee is the signature doll for Outside the Box Primitives because beeswax restarted my creating, after much encouragement from my children! While working as a nurse for a sweet handicapped girl…her family told me she loved art. I began bringing my doll art with me to work. It made her smile. She enjoyed watching the dolls go from flat to fat and plain to personality. The dolls became quite demanding in my head, scratching, and entering my dreams anxious to be let out. I began creating the “tinies” full time spring 2008, leaving nursing behind. It makes me happy.

My first published doll was a witch in Art Doll Quarterly, fall 2008. I am still humbled and honored with each new publication. The latest accomplishment is to be an officially licensed artist for Bethany Lowe Designs. My dolls are presently being reproduced in the Philippines, and I look forward to their debut in the July 2010 catalog and in stores January 2011.

I thank my husband, Dr. Roger Seeber for all his encouragement and tolerance being married to an artist, he is a scientist! If it weren’t for him, I would not be able to do what I do. Thanks to my daughter Shanna for her help, support and expertise in banners and backgrounds! Thanks to all my customers who love, purchase and collect Outside the Box Primitives.

“ a daily saturation of art gives reality purpose”.

Please come visit me on my web site; www.outsidetheboxprimitives.com,

join my email list; outsidetheboxprimitives@gmail.com

Thanks for your ear...I hope you enjoy my work, keep in touch!

Robin~artist " it makes me happy"

Monday, October 13, 2008


Robin Beth Armstrong (Seeber) born and raised in NJ, with two older brothers, moved with her family to Pennsylvania in 1974. With encouragement from her father, she attended nursing school and has been an RN for 19+yrs, taking a sabbatical from nursing last March to pursue her art. She has three grown children of her own, and three as a bonus from a second marriage. She became a gramma Seeber for the first time this past July.

Robin has always been involved with art and crafts from a tiny girl shadowing her mother in cub scouts and summer camp, to a Girl Scout leader and craft organizer for Girl Scout camps, woman’s clubs and school functions.

FAO Schwartz, of NYC carried robin’s first dolls called Lil’ Darlins, over 20yrs ago, in which several of them live worldwide. There were a total of 200 dolls made from that original pattern. They were a children’s doll, and govt. approved and tested for safety.

After a 7yr sabbatical from any creative outlet, robin is back (March 2007) with a new line of collectible dolls, called “Outside the Box Primitives”. As The Primitive Chandler, fondly named for the beeswax candle business that restarted the whole “crafty” thing, she felt a whimsical name was in order for the doll end of the business. “Without bees, I wouldn’t be here today”. A bumble bee is OTBP signature doll. They are her original pattern, made of osnaburg fabric and aged and detailed by hand with various acrylics, pastels, clay and sealers. The “tinies”, her small doll collection, measure just 8” over all, with button jointing for posing. “sometimes large dolls are more difficult to collect as they take up more decorating space, so the “tinies” were my solution, as they fit anywhere and can be even grouped together. They range in style from whimiscal and fairy tale, to gothic and macabre. “ One of my customers has collected over 120 dolls. “ Robin, on occasion creates larger dolls as well, measuring upwards of 25”. Clay has recently been introduced to venture into a new avenue for expression.

Robin has had several businesses over the years including Sentimental Silks, a silk wedding floral company, Country Peddlers a home party company, and the most recent past, Castlebrooke Originals, with a variety of arts and crafts in the Peters Township, Washington County area of Pennsylvania.

Robin began selling her OTBP dolls on ebay about two years ago, and that is where Ashton Drake Galleries discovered Robin. They found her work to be “incredible” and asked if she would be interested in working with them. Robin is presently awaiting a project.

Art Doll Quarterly, published one of Robin's flying witch dolls in their 2008 fall issue. Tansy Tormental proudly introduces "Parade of Witches" article on the title page, pg.39.

Soft Doll and Animals magazine contacted Robin and asked to do a full feature article on her dolls since the editor loved them so much. All the information and photographs have been sent in and received. 12 photos were used and many of Robin's customers will have dolls published in that magazine for May 09!
Soft Doll and Animals magazine recently published two more of Robin's dolls in their Dec/Jan issue 09.

Such companies as Enesco, and ECS, have also been very interested in her work for overseas production, but at this time Robin wants to keep the dolls one of a kind, original and hand made by her personally.

Robin has always dreamt of living on a small farm with a “view to a horse pasture”. She realized that dream just 9yrs ago, and has 5 horses viewable from her studio window. She also enjoys the company of 4 dogs, too many cats, and various farm vermin, all a true inspiration for her work.
She lives on her farm with her husband of 4yrs, Dr. Roger Seeber, a biology professor at West Liberty State University, West Liberty, West Virginia.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Robin Armstrong Seeber

Primitive in Art, Innovative in Business

Who says you can’t live small and dream big? That you can’t run an international business from your front porch? Well whoever said that, or believes that, should meet Robin Armstrong Seeber of West Alexander, PA (Population 320). Robin, better known as The Primitive Chandler, is living the small town American dream. A registered nurse of eighteen years, Robin now pursues her true passion by operating Outside the Box Primitives, an innovative primitive folk art business, out of her 138 year old farm house.

What does Outside the Box Primitives do? “I bring dolls to life,” says Robin, “they begin as images in my mind and basically, they don’t leave my mind until I create them.” Using Osnaburg fabric and clay accessories, she personally handcrafts each and every doll from scratch. Design themes ranging from the whimsical, to the fantastical, to the macabre, are for sale daily on her website and through the online auction site EBay. Standing 8 – 11 inches tall and equipped with button-jointed, pose-able limbs, each doll tells a unique and personal story which collectors can read and share. Robin tells of her process, “the doll really begins to communicate its story to me after I’ve finished creating his or her facial expression, so it’s really a fun thing to share that story with interested collectors.” She adds, “But my dolls aren’t just for the avid collector either. While I am at the mercy of inspiration when creating dolls, I’m often influenced by the season, or a particular holiday, so typically you can find a doll on my site that would make a terrific and unique gift for someone.”

Websites like Blogger, EBay, and MySpace have helped to bring more than just raving fans and a strong customer base to the email inbox of The Primitive Chandler. Many of primitive folk arts most respectable industry associations and partners have been in the hunt for her designs. Newly inducted into the prestigious primitive folk artist group PFATT, Robin explains “I’ve worked with FAO Schwarz in the past, and have had ongoing talks with Ashton Drake Galleries, but really my talent and heart is in creating uniqueness for each doll, so licensing my designs for mass production has always been a difficult decision for me.” She stresses, “Outside the Box Primitives will remain a company that strives to put originality first.”

Seemingly disadvantaged by living in a town of just 320 people, Robin attributes the growth and success of her business to the internet. “Without technology, I could only be a store front in the very small downtown of West Alexander, and that would really limit my ability to do this as my career. Thankfully, I’ve been able to develop a large customer base online, so I’m not forced to move to a large metropolitan area. I can live in the country, enjoy time with my husband, my kids, maintain a horse farm, and just really have fun with life.”

If you’re interested in seeing her creations firsthand, The Primitive Chandler recommends you visit her website www.outsidetheboxprimitivesales.blogspot.com where you can then follow the links to all of the various sites offering her dolls. Robin can also be reached via email at outsidetheboxprimitives@gmail.com.

written by:
Keith Brawner


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