Sunday, June 05, 2011

What Have I Really Been Up To?

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting as frequently lately as you may be used to on my Linda's Blog. Well, there's a really good reason for that. Actually, there's many good reasons for that. You see, I've had my hand in a lot of different projects during the last few months - all of which have taken an enormous amount of time.

So, if you're wondering what I've been doing  - here's what I've been up to:

First, I've been creating two brand new websites/blogs for my baby sister. I alluded to this in my recent post entitled "A Delightful Surprise From My Baby Sister! She had sent me a bouquet of beautiful flowers as a "thank-you" for all I had been doing for her.

If you're wondering what her new websites/blogs are - well, the first has to do with alpacas and the second has to do with her new patterns. Now the latter (ie: patterns) should come as no surprise for something my baby sister might do. Given my creative juices never take a break and given how many patterns I've created I would hope some of that might rub off on my sister. When she was young she wanted to do everything I did and I didn't always let her. This time, I helped her.

This past winter her creativity went into overdrive. Make that super overdrive. She had decided that she wanted to combine her love of flowers with her love of quilting and sewing so she designed several framed flower appliqu├ęd wall pieces.

She was not only creating like crazy, but wanted to put the fruits of her creative endeavors to good use by creating patterns. And, of course, I told her that on the net "e-patterns" were the name of the game. So, since she didn't know how to create patterns - let alone e-patterns, I helped her a bit. After all, what are big sisters for?

And, since she had created patterns - well, she needed websites/blogs to sell them. So, of course, "the blogging queen" eagerly volunteered to create those for her. Her website/blog is called "Inspired Creations By D."

Inspired Creations By D sells FRAME or QUILT - FABRIC WALL ART PATTERNS. According to my sister, "Inspiration comes from many areas and one of mine comes from my love of the great outdoors, nature & flowers. I love to craft, sew, quilt and design patterns."

I hope you get a chance to visit my baby sister's new website/blog. If you do please leave a comment to let her know what you think.

So, I've explained the latter.  You might be wondering "what's up?" with the alpacas. Well, it seems my baby sister and her husband have decided to try their hands at alpaca farming. I really should say that my baby sister fell in love with "alpacas" (how could you not - they're just so ADORABLE) and managed to convince her "hubby" that this would be a great thing for them to do. Raise and sell alpacas and alpaca fiber. So, they are.

Right now they're in the process of getting their "alpaca farm" ready for the two alpacas and their 2 offspring that will arrive in September. My baby sister bought two "girls" that she named Sunflower and Ivy - who are both pregnant and will deliver their babies in July.

In case you haven't guessed by now baby sister's thing is flowers and gardening which is why she named her alpacas after flowers and which is why she named her new adventure "Rock Garden Alpacas."

So, since she and her husband are now in the alpaca business they needed a website/blog.  And, of course, I had no problem volunteering to create another website/blog for them. Their new website is "Rock Garden Alpacas." a

Rock Garden Alpacas is not only their selling website, but also their blog as it tells about their journey into alpaca farming. According to my sister,"We decided that it would be helpful to document our journey into alpaca farming as a way of "paying it forward" for all the help we received along the way. If you're thinking of alpaca farming we hope "Our Journey" helps you."

I hope you get a chance to visit my baby sister and brother-in-law's new website/blog. If you do please leave a comment to let them know what you think.

On top of all of that I've also been in the process of revising all 272 of my patterns.

The first of the year I decided I wanted to revise my patterns to create computer assisted diagrams and pattern piece pages. I tried one pattern to see how difficult it would be and how long it would take using Microsoft Publisher. I've been using it for years upon years now and would be lost without it.

So, I thought I'd see how difficult it would be to use their computer assisted drawing tools to help me create some of the images on my diagrams pages and pattern pieces sheets. After a few mangled attempts at drawing curves I finally got the knack of it. And, it worked really well once I got used to drawing lines, circles, curves, arrows, different size text, and different positioning of the text and images.

In fact, everything looked so wonderful. So nice and neat (not that my drawn diagrams weren't neat) and organized (not that my drawn diagrams weren't organized - as they were). It really made a difference in my pattern. I just LOVED how they looked - how professional - that I decided to revise all of my patterns.

Well, with 272 patterns this is a HUGE endeavor to undertake. Depending on the size of the pattern it might take me anywhere from one day to three days just to complete the changes. That's a HUGE undertaking to say the least and one that takes up a lot of my time.

So, I decided to take it one pattern at a time and over time eventually they'd all be done. I've got 76 of them done now and they're all updated in my Linda Walsh Originals shop.

Thirty five of those I've posted about on my Linda's Blog .

I've got 41 of the revised e-patterns done just waiting for new blog posts. So, that leaves 196 left to go. It will probably take me the rest of the year to revise all of them, but they're coming out really well and it's well worth the effort.

So, you're probably saying, "with all the above I can understand why she's been a little blog absent."

Well, that's only part of the story. I've been doing something else too that has taken me 315 hours to complete. I started it on December 29th, 2010 and finished it on May 14, 2011. Hubby has painstakingly recorded the days and hours it has taken for me to complete this project.

However, I can't tell you what's taken me 315 hours. It's a surprise for another Linda's Blog post. I will say that it came out absolutely beautiful and was well worth the effort. When I finally reveal it to you I hope you will all agree.

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