Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What's Been Happening On "The Book Review Corner" Blog?

Not too many things can equal my love of dolls and crafting, but reading does.

I just love books and if you're a reader of my "The Book Review Corner" blog you know that I can spend hours upon hours browsing through books in the bookstore.

While I love Internet book browsing nothing can compare to the real thing. Holding a book in your hand and browsing through the pages. Ah.... heaven.

The only complaint I have about bookstore browsing is I wish all the books were at eye level. At my age bending down to see the books on the bottom shelf is a little difficult.

Of course, if everything were at eye level they'd need an enormous bookstore to hold all the book shelves. Lets just say that's never gonna happen! Hey, aging baby boomer's can dream can't they?

So, I was thrilled when I finally had some time to review some more of the wonderful books I had bought last year for my "The Book Review Corner" blog.

Two of the books I reviewed lately I just LOVE and keep going back to them to read them over and over. Part of the reason I love them so much is they're both filled with history and filled with stunning creations. That's for future Linda's Blog posts - so stay tuned.

I'm always getting off track - aren't I? In any event, we have reviewed a bunch of books since the last time we told you what's been happening at "The Book Review Corner" blog, and they are as follows:

Artful Paper Dolls
Cloth Dolls From Ancient To Modern
Pat Winter Gatherings

Summertime is when you can catch up on your reading and I plan to do a ton of it this summer. There's nothing like sitting on your porch with a glass of ice tea and perusing a book. Ah....heaven, once again.

I'm planning on reading a lot of books this summer and will be reviewing each and every one of them. So, please check back often to "The Book Review Corner" blog. We have a lot of books to tell you about.

More iced tea - anyone!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Linda's Review of Artful Paper Dolls - New Ways To Play With Traditional Form by Terry Taylor

As a very young girl I can remember playing with my very first paper doll - Betsy McCall. I would cut Betsy and her clothes out of the magazine ever so carefully. Of course, being a young girl my first attempts at cutting every so carefully didn't go as smooth as I had planned and my mother or grandmother would try to correct for my errors.

I didn't like the paper doll tabs and didn't always utilize them. I quickly learned, however, that the clothes would not stay on the paper doll without them.

I must have a thing for tabs and markers as I also didn't like the triangle placement tabs in sewing patterns when I first started to sew. I would cut them off as well until I learned that for clothing they served a very useful purpose.

Since I had a passion for Victorian dolls from a very young age I loved playing with my Victorian paper dolls. I could sit for hours on end just putting this outfit on or that outfit. When I was finished playing with my paper dolls I would put them back in a cardboard cigar box that my grandfather had given to me for storing them.

Back them I would never have foreseen the enormous explosion in the paper industry that has occurred over the last decade. Nor could I have foreseen that paper dolls would become and art form in its' own right. Who would have know that altered art and mixed media creations would rule the art world in the 21st century.

One of the books I bought last year was Artful Paper Dolls: New Ways to Play with a Traditional Form. Even at first glance I was immediately taken by the visually stunning paper creations of some 22 well known designers.

On every page was yet another beautiful paper doll creation that I wanted to try. Of course, there isn't any kind of doll, paper included, that I haven't wanted to try and make. My problem is always one of time. There are just not enough hours in the day, nor days in the year for me to try everything.

Artful Paper Dolls is not just a compendium of project after project, it also includes a little bit of history on various paper dolls and paper doll artists. So, it's a perfect book for me as it offers a little bit of history as well as project after project after project.

It is divided into four chapters: Figuring It Out, Playing Dress Up, Playing House, and Learning From Books. Each chapter has a multitude of sections and a multitude of paper doll creations to try. I, of course, loved them all but was especially taken with the Disjointed Figure, Elisabeth's Doppelganger (which is a life-size paper doll), My Memory Doll, Secret Messenger Doll, the section on playing dress up, Old Woman In Purple, Stitched Paper Dolls, Sunday Best Dress, and Paper Doll Magnets.

I also enjoyed the chapter on "Who Is Betsy McCall" and "Tom Tierney's World Of Paper Dolls."

If you love paper dolls, mixed media art, and altered art images then you will love "Artful Paper Dolls." Several of the corners of the pages in my book have been turned over as a reminder to me that I want to try that project. I know that I shouldn't do that to the pages of my books, but sometimes childhood habits are hard to break. You could also say that sometimes childhood loves last forever. For me a love of paper dolls certainly has. Now where are my scissors?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My "Arte Y Pico" Award From Sherrie Nordgren

I haven't had a chance to blog about this until now and wanted to let you all know that Sherrie Nordgren of Primitive Peddlers and Symple Tymes Blog awarded me the "Arte Y Pico" in her post of April 23, 2008.

Here's what Sherrie had to say:

Linda Walsh: of https://lindawalshoriginals.blogspot.com/

If someone was to ask me about Linda Walsh, I'd have to say she is the *Window* of artistic artists of all media's. She has got to be the most unselfish person I have ever know, She has given countless hours of research for others, Sharing and caring is her middle name, Linda alone has opened windows wide open for other giving of her self ..of her talent.. of her time .. all for the growing doll makers , and artists in any media.

I was speechless, honored, and humbled to have received this award from Sherrie. It has to be one of the most beautiful things anyone has ever said to me and I couldn't wait to share it with my husband and my mother - both of who claim to be my biggest fan!

The "Arte y Pico" award was created and to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and their talents, whether it be writing, artwork in all media's. When you receive this award it is considered a "special honor". Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to at least 5 others.

Please read more info on this wonderful award , visit: http://www.arteypico.blogspot.com/.

So, I have to name 5 bloggers that I consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, posts, and contribution to the blogging community. The rules are as follows:

1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award, creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogger community, no matter the language.

2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award-winning, has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award-winning and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte Y Pico"blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) To show these rules.

This is going to be hard for me to do. I know so many, many talented and gifted artists/crafters and bloggers. Each is uniquely gifted and beautiful in their own right and it is very hard to choose.

However, here's my list:

1) Pat Winter of Gatherings blog and Pat Winter's Gatherings website. Pat is truly a beautiful, compassionate, gifted artist with a beautiful soul. She started "The Comfort Doll Project" out of a concern for battered women and spends countless hours gathering and shipping "comfort dolls" to women's shelters all over the world. She is also a gifted artist who just published her 1st "self-published book" entitled Pat Winter Gatherings - My Crazy Quilting Journey. Pat is an inspiration to all she encounters.

2) Denise Bailey aka NeeNee of KKL Primitives blog and KKL Primitives website. NeeNee has a terrific sense of humor, wonderful spirit, enormous creative talent, and generosity beyond compare. NeeNee always has time to help whoever asks or whoever she encounters who needs help. She is an amazing woman and I remain her #1 fan!

3) Rivkah Rosenfeld of Doll Makers Muse blog and Doll Makers Muse website. Rivkah is an enormously talented doll artist whose creations just take your breath away. She also spends hours upon hours posting FREE tutorials for other doll makers.

Rivkah's mission on her blog is: MY MISSION is to share my love of doll artistry with you, and teach what I know, a little at a time. I would have to say that Rivkah has certainly achieved her MISSION, at least as far as I'm concerned and which I'm sure if you're a fan of her art dolls and blog you will agree. For all her unselfish and countless hours in preparing all her blog tutorials I have to say "Thank-you, Rivkah!"

4) Serena Smith of Embroidery Treasures blog and Embroidery Treasures website. Serena is a phenomenal seamstress who spends untold hours posting FREE tutorials and FREE lessons on her blog for her readers to enjoy and learn from. She is a gifted teacher, has a generous spirit, and has enormous sewing creativity.

A visit to Serena's blog is always a learning experience and you always walk away with a new thought, new perspective, new idea, or new approach to solving a sewing problem. Thank-you Serena for all your hard work and endless hours preparing your blog posts.

5) Lisa Thoms of Q.D.Patooties blog and Q.D.Patooties website. Lisa is a teddy bear artist and an extraordinary plush doll designer. She is also the mastermind behind the "Plush Parade" which is the most delightful parades of plush doll creations on the Internet. The reason that I'm nominating Lisa is because every time I visit her blog I walk away feeling great. Her creativity is unmeasurable and truly unique.

Her creations always make me smile and I suspect she has that same affect on other visitors to her blog. So, for always bringing sunshine and joy to her readers she is deserving of this award. Add to that the fact that she is always posting free ideas and patterns for her readers to enjoy and it makes her doubly deserving of this award.

All of the above are well deserving of the "Arte Y Pico" award. There are many, many more artists and crafting bloggers that are also deserving of this award as well.

There are just so many bloggers that inspire me with their joyous spirits, immeasurable creativity, and amazing senses of humor.

So many bloggers who contribute their time and energy to helping others.

To all of you I say "thank-you" for bringing joy to my life and joy to the lives of all the readers who check in daily to your blogs or who just happen to be passing through. "Thank-you" for inspiring all of us, lifting our spirits, or just plain making our day.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Linda's Review of Cloth Dolls From Ancient To Modern by Linda Edward

If you are a reader of my Linda's Blog then you know that I just love dolls and books about dolls, especially cloth dolls.

One of the books that I bought last year was Cloth Dolls: From Ancient to Modern : A Collector's Guide (A Schiffer Book for Collectors). It is a collectors guide of cloth dolls and their values and I was especially interested in it because it contained cloth dolls, which up to this point in time were often overlooked by the doll collecting society as a whole.

I never understood this as I always thought that the category of dolls would include dolls with cloth heads as well as dolls with wood, china, bisque, clay, or cernit heads. Fortunately cloth dolls are gaining in popularity amongst collectors and especially amongst the ever growing segment of people who love "primitives." Unfortunately, cloth doesn't always survive well over time so there are not a lot of examples of really ancient dolls made solely of cloth around.

Cloth Dolls: From Ancient to Modern : A Collector's Guide (A Schiffer Book for Collectors) starts with a small chapter about cloth dolls of long ago. Unfortunately, not a lot survived.

Chapter 2 contains homemade rag dolls of the 19Th and 20Th century and has several pages of wonderful pictures of dolls and a brief history of cloth dolls during that period along with mention of the 1st doll patterns. Looking at the pictures of the dolls I couldn't help but wonder who the creator was, who the recipient was, and why the doll was made.

Chapter 3 covers the cottage industry dolls of the 19Th and 20Th century. What captured my attention was a line from the 1st paragraph that stated, "In the world of cloth dolls it is very interesting to note that most of these companies were started and run by women." My guess would be that a LOT of these women were mothers who had started out just sewing dolls for their children.

In Chapter 3 you will find information and pictures of Izannah F. Walker who started making dolls around 1840, Roxanna E. Cole, Moravian Rag Dolls, Martha L. Wellington, Presbyterian Rag Dolls , Columbian Rag Dolls, Mother's Congress Dolls, The Alabama Indestructible Doll, Kathe Kruse, Martha Jenks Chase, Missionary Rag Babies, Philadelphia Rag Babies, Anne Maxwell, Gertrude F. Robinson, Wold War I Paris, Tynietoy, Kamkins, and Regional Dress Doll.

Chapter 4 covers big business rag dolls in the 19Th and 20Th century. These are large scale factories and whole sellers including: Montanari, George Hawkins, Carl Weigand, Worsted Dolls, Steiff Dolls, Babyland Rag Dolls, Bruckner Dolls, Dean's Rag Book Co., Krueger Dolls, Jane Gray Co., Farnell-Alpha Toys, American Art Dolls, and one of my favorite sections - Raggedy Ann and Andy.

It also includes Chad Valley Dolls, Bing Art Dolls, Lenci, Messina-Vat, Madame Alexander, Norah Wellings, Liberty of London, Nelke Dolls, Georgene Novelties/Madame Hendron, Averill Manufacturing Co., Mollye Goldman, Poupees Raynal, Venus, Gre-Poir, The Blossom Doll Co., Ideal Novelty and Toy Co., and Hallmark Dolls.

Chapter 5 is a lovely chapter devoted to dolls by the yard - cut and sew dolls. It includes E.S. Peck, Arnold Printworks, Cocheco Manufacturing Company, Gutsell Dolls, Art Fabric Mills, Horsman, Dean's Rag Book Co., Saalfield Publishing Co., and The Toy Works.

Chapter 6 is devoted to 20Th century advertising and personality dolls. These include The Chase Bag Co. whose 1st advertising doll was "The Jolly Green Giant", Miscellaneous Advertising Dolls, Personality Dolls, and Knickerbocker dolls like "The Campbell's Soup Kid."

Chapter 7 is devoted to doll artists of the 20Th century such as, Grace Dayton, Celia and Charoty Smith, Dorothy Heizer, Frances and Bernard Ravca, Dewees Cochran, Annalee Mobilitee Dolls, WPA Dolls, Dianne Dengel, R. John Wright, Xavier Roberts, and Current cloth Doll Artists - of which there are many pictures.

If you are a lover of cloth dolls in particular or "primitive dolls" then Cloth Dolls: From Ancient to Modern : A Collector's Guide (A Schiffer Book for Collectors) is a fascinating read and a must have for the serious cloth doll collector. I especially loved the section on Raggedy Ann and Andy as it contained several pages of information on the history of these dolls that I was not aware of before.