Saturday, February 25, 2006

So, What's It To Ya?

Both of these adorable little boys are my grandsons. This picture was taken during the Christmas holidays and my grandson (in the red sweater) couldn't get enough of his older cousin. I just love to look at this picture. Every time I look at this picture I laugh because I can't help but think my grandson (who is in the red sweater) is saying to everyone "So, what's it to ya?" What do you think?


Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Tide Has Turned For My Victorian Doll Patterns!

We promised to let you know from time to time what the results were for our "Should our Victorian "Ladies" remain faceless?" poll. Well,I'm really amazed by this but the tide has turned and the Victorian Doll Poll is running 2 out of 3 against my Victorian "Ladies" doll patterns being faceless. So now 61% feel they should have faces and 39% feel they shouldn't.

As far as the sexes are concerned, 95% of the responders were female (no surprise there) with only ONE lone vote cast by a very brave male. So we've had 40 females voting and 1 male (albeit a very brave male) casting a lone vote.

So now the tide has turned. You want faces. Will it turn back? Only time and more votes will tell.

I'm currently in the process of making and designing more doll patterns. Whether or not they remain faceless is a secret. Do they or don't they have faces? Hmm..... Only their designer (me) knows for sure. Sounds like that old hair dye commercial, doesn't it? Does she or doesn't she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.

So, the tide has turned! Hmmm, very interesting.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I Did It! I Sent My First New Doll Patterns Newsletter

Simply amazing. I couldn't believe how easy it was to create my first Linda Walsh Originals New Patterns Newsletter. I was dreading it thinking that it was going to be a lot of HTML coding, etc. It wasn't. It was a snap. I was able to create it and email it on Thursday, February 16, 2006.

For this I have to thank Bravenet.com . They are the best company out there for free services for small businesses like mine. They have so many free services. Too many for me to go into here. Suffice to say, "They are wonderful!" Thank you, Bravenet.com .

They have a free mailing list service that includes HTML templates that you can use which make creating newsletters so easy. I just wish I could figure out how to get a picture of it to show it to you here in my Linda's Blog. It had a navy background overall, burgundy colored background for the right hand column and pictures of 6 of my new doll patterns. When you print it the background is white so scanning it in wouldn't show it to you.

Maybe you were one of the lucky ones to receive it as you were already on my New Patterns mailing list. If you were, congratulations you got my very FIRST New Patterns Newsletter.

I really wish I could figure out how to show it to you. It really was very pretty. Oh, well. Maybe when I have some free time.

Friday, February 17, 2006

How Can You Not Love These Faces?

I really don't know how you could look at these two and not instantly love them? They are just adorable. Of course, I can't be impartial when it comes to them. They're my grandsons. And, yes they are twins. Today, on February 17th they are having a birthday party. They are one year old today. HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY, BOYS!

One year old. WOW! Isn't that a ripe old age? Wouldn't you just love to be young again? My answer to that would be - I do and I don't. It's not that I want to be one again or fifteen or even thirty-five. I love being the age I am. It's just, sometimes, having more years than I currently might have(I'm on the down side of the half century curve) would be nice. Please don't misunderstand me. I don't want to relive my youth. I just want more time for all the things I want to do. I just don't have enough time. Between my family, my Linda's Blog, my Linda Walsh Originals website, my doll pattern designing, my sewing, my reading, my genealogy, my floral designing, etc. I simply don't have enough time. There are not enough hours in the day.

But, I absolutely had to make time to wish my two precious grandsons a very HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY. Sometimes it's amazing to think of what the future holds in store for them. I'm sure that by the time they are their grandfathers and my age they will have seen so many things and probably done more than we could ever have dreamed of.

So, before the years fly away we just wanted to wish them a very Happy Birthday and sing Happy Birthday to them.

Here goes - Happy 1st Birthday to you!
Happy 1st Birthday to you!
Happy 1st Birthday to our darling grandsons!
Happy Birthday to you!

Grampy and I are sending you thousands of Hugs and Kisses.

XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO XO

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Story Behind My "Baby Nicky" Doll Pattern

"Baby Nicky" was named after my grandson, Nicky, who I affectionately call "Noodles." Like his brother he too is adorable, cuddly, lovable, and has the most enviable head of brown curly hair that you'd ever want to see. I would give my eye teeth, so to speak, for his curly hair. He, on the other hand, would probably prefer my straight hair. Well, boys will be boys, and girls will be girls. We always want just the opposite, don't we?

My grandson "Nicky" was born premature at 31 weeks weighting 3 pounds 1 ounce and spent the first 9 weeks of his life in an intensive care unit. The nurses there were exceptional and treated Nicky as if he were one of their own. In fact, I began to wonder, at times, if they were dragging out his release just because they loved him so.

Fifteen minutes after Nicky was born his Dad took us in to the intensive care unit to see him. I couldn't get over how humanly perfect he was at just 3 pounds 1 ounce. He just looked like a very, very tiny little man. I don't know what I was expecting to see but, he just took my breathe away. Even then he had a full head of brown hair. It wasn't curly just yet but would be within a matter of time.

His Mom, who was my biggest fan besides my husband and my Mother, used to give me all Nicky's baby clothes and shoes for my dolls. I know she was hoping that they would all come back to her in one way or another in the form of a doll for her house. A lot did.

In any event, I just loved all Nicky's little baby clothes. There's just something special about tiny little Reeboks and little denims. I can remember shopping with her one day at a "Baby Gap" store. We went in and just laughed and laughed at how tiny everything was. I just loved all the clothes and so did she. We went shopping several times after that for clothes for Nicky and always came away laughing. Sometimes we bought some. Sometimes we just went to look and laugh.

So, I knew I wanted to create a doll that would remind me of Nicky and his full head of curly brown hair and his most adorable baby clothes. That's how "Baby Nicky" was born. Isn't he adorable? Don't you just want to grab all those curls? I do. In fact, I used to hate it when his father would cut all his curls off. I tried to teach "Nicky" to tell his Dad "Don't cut my Hair!" It didn't work. Maybe someday Nicky will realize how beautiful his head of curly brown hair is and leave it alone. Yeah, sure, Nana! Dream on!

Baby Nicky is a 20" baby boy doll pattern. Nicky is a free-standing boy doll in his pajamas and ready for bedtime. He has an undershirt, flannel jacket with long rolled sleeves and pipe trim, and flannel pajama bottoms. He has round black button eyes, a fabric covered wood head, wood body and wood feet covered with slipper socks. He has long curly brown hair and has a night cap knotted at the end on his head. He is carrying a teddy bear in his left hand and a cherished flannel blankie in his right hand.

The "Baby Nicky" doll pattern is available as an E-pattern here.

Every time I look at the "baby Nicky" doll I can't help but remember how small and tiny "Nicky" was at 3 pounds 1 ounce and think "how precious life is!"


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Nana, Will You Make Me A Shirt?


I'm so glad the Christmas holiday season is finally over with and ALL my Christmas decorations are finally put away. It seems like that took forever to do between the snow storms and my Linda Walsh Originals website. But, before I put Christmas 2005 to bed I wanted to tell you all a cute story about something that my 6 year old grandson said.

It was Christmas Eve and we had the family and all the grandchildren over for the day. After we had opened the presents and everyone was just kind of mulling around my 5 year old grandson came over to me and tapped me on the shoulder. I looked at him and he said, "Nana, could you make me a shirt!" I replied, "I'd love to Noodles (that's my name for him). I'll make you one sometime." Well, he replied, "No, Nana! I mean now, like right this very second." I responded, "How can I do that right now, Noodles?" and he replied,"Do it on your machine!" and pointed to my sewing machine.

At first I thought how can I explain to him all that would be involved in making him a shirt and why I couldn't do it right that very second. I decided he wouldn't understand that I needed fabric and would need to buy a pattern or would need to measure him to create a pattern. Then I'd have to cut it out and sew it, measure him, etc.

In his beautiful little mind Nana makes everything else so she could easily make him a shirt. So, I decided that instead of explaining why I couldn't do it right away that I'd hug him and give him a big kiss and tell him "OKAY! I'll try to do it in a minute!" Well, he was happy that I would and then he got distracted (which I knew he would) and was off to play with his presents. For me, I was left with a wonderful feeling that in my grandson's eyes there wasn't anything I couldn't do and that was a feeling I'd remember forever.

"Noodles" was off happy and content that Nana was going to make something special just for him. However, I know that at some point in time he's going to turn to me and say, "Nana, where's my shirt?" If I don't want to disappoint him I'd better get working on it.



Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Future Is Here Now With Instant E-Pattern Downloads

Forty plus years ago when I bought my very first pattern I don't think I would have envisioned a future where I'd be able to get a pattern instantly from my home while still in my pajamas. In fact, I probably wouldn't have envisioned that even ten years ago. Well, as with all things the years have passed, and yes I'm a lot older - but wiser, and what I couldn't predict 40+ years ago is now here. The future is upon us RIGHT NOW with Instant E-Pattern download capabilities.

If you're a reader of my Linda's Blog then you know that Linda Walsh Originals has a store at the new Pattern Mart website where they offer Instant Pattern Download capabilities.

Pattern Mart is a brand new website owed by Kelle Arvay. Kelle has done a wonderful job with the Pattern Mart website. Instead of my telling you what the Pattern Mart website has to offer I thought I'd let Kelle do it in her own words,

"We carry a wide variety of i-patterns™ (Instant Patterns) that you can download! No more waiting on an e-mail to arrive. Just purchase your pattern, make your payment and download your pattern within minutes. Be sure and read the Order Info page before you order. We also carry mailed patterns, kits and craft supplies that you can order from the original designer and have the item mailed to you. You'll find we have many pattern categories to chose from including doll patterns, quilt patterns, knitting patterns, stitchery patterns, cross stitch patterns, sewing patterns, and many more craft patterns. We also will be offering our customers online classes with some of the best designers! Be sure and check back as new patterns are being added often and don't forget to visit the online message board and come join the fun! Pattern Mart™ Staff"

Sometimes I yearn for the good old days when I was a lot younger and things seemed easier. This is not one of those times. It's so exciting to be able to instantly print my patterns, save them to my computer, and print them again and again if I want to. I can even reduce them and enlarge them. Talk about not needing any physical storage space. My husband will be thrilled that we won't have boxes and boxes of paper patterns anymore. Every once in a while I do think of him.
Ah, the future is here RIGHT NOW. It is exciting, isn't it?


Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Story Behind My "Elmers Little Boy" Doll Pattern

One of my first posts was "The Story Behind Elmers Little Boy." I thought it would be fun to post it again as it's such a nice story. So, here's the post:

In thinking about what to write next for my blog I thought it might be a good idea to tell the story behind some of the dolls I have created. I'd like to begin with the story behind Elmers Little Boy. So here goes..... My sister-in-laws parents who are in their 80's recently had a yardsale because they were moving into a much smaller house. Elmer (my sister-in-laws father) had an old plastic kewpie doll that had previously belonged to his deceased sister that he had kept I think in his toolbox (I might have that wrong).

In any event, he had held on to this doll for over many, many years. The only problem with the doll was that it had no clothes. He was going to throw it away but decided instead to give it to me. I was touched as I got the sense that this doll had a lot of sentimental value for him. In any event, I decided to take it home and design some clothes for it. I wanted an early american little boy look so I decided on pantaloons, a vest, shirt, and scully cap. Since I had already designed the clothes for his kewpie I decided to design a cloth doll as well. A little while later I took the plastic kewpie doll (with his new clothes) back to Elmer. Elmer was thrilled. It touched my heart to see how happy he was with my gift. Elmer's kewpie doll now sits proudly on the top of his bureau (I think).

I named my cloth pattern Elmer's Little Boy after Elmer's plastic kewpie doll. Elmers Original Kewpie is shown above and my Elmers Little Boy cloth version is shown below. The clothes for both dolls were made from some of Elmer's old clothes that I had gotten from his yard sale. I hope you like both dolls.

My Version - Elmers Little Boy.