Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Eye Candy For The Soul


It's always nice when in the middle of a somewhat blah day you get pleasantly surprised. It's equally as nice when it's something that lifts your spirits.


As I was getting ready to take an afternoon walk with hubby several days ago I walked into the kitchen and saw my darling hubby standing there beaming.


Right next to him was a HUGE bouquet of flowers. And, I do mean HUGE!


They were beautiful, glorious, stunning, exquisite and, quite literally, took my breath away. If I had been in a somewhat blah mood before seeing them I certainly wasn't after that.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Pin 2011



I was surprised when I went to write this blog post as I was sure I had written about it every Christmas since 2005.    Obviously what I had remembered and what actually happened were two different things.  It seems the last time I had written about this was December 2008.  It's not fun when your mind starts to play tricks on you as you get older.  It's either that or I just have too many fires going at the same time and can't keep track of all of them.  Probably the latter!

If you're a reader of my Linda's Blog then you know that I love Christmas traditions and have been posting for a couple of years about a Christmas tradition my Dad started a very long time ago.  Or, so I thought!

Many, man years ago my Dad wanted to give "his girls" meaning my Mother, myself, and my sister something special for Christmas. Back then the term "his girls" did not imply the possessive chauvinistic implications that it does today. To my Dad it was nothing more than a term of endearment. One that separated us from "his boys", my brothers.

So my Dad decided to buy each of "his girls" a special Christmas pin to wear during the holidays. He bought us pins the first year, and then the second, and so on and so on and so on. My wonderful husband decided to carry my Dad's tradition on after he passed away. So, every year he gives me a Christmas pin. Sometimes he can't decide which one he likes best so I get two special Christmas pins. That's okay with me as I cherish each and every one of them.

This year hubby gave me the Christmas Santa & reindeer pin shown above. It's an adorable and cheery little pin and totally unlike any of the others I have in my collection.  I just LOVE it.

Friday, January 13, 2012

More Christmas Gifts - Noel Ornament Cross-Stitch


Hubby liked the cross-stitch bird stamp that I had created for my sister-in-law so much that he asked if I was going to do one for us.  I, of course, said "SURE!" After all if you're a cross-stitch junkie who can resist an invitation to create another cross-stitch. Definitely not me!

I only had two bird stamps left and decided to go with the "Noel Ornament" as it was also very festive and cheery.  Plus, since the Dimensions Gold Collection Petites were all  4 1/4" squares I knew I could make a small picture for us as well.


Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection kits I had bought the   "Noel Ornament"   kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count ivory cotton Aida, felt, needle and instructions.  They also said that thick craft glue and quilt batting would be needed.

The  "Noel Ornament"   pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch and outline stitching  for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch and outlining being used for artistic effect.

The pattern came with starting, stitching, finishing and even cleaning instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, and color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow.

While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

More Christmas Gifts - Wish Ornament Cross-Stitch Kit From Mill Hill


When trying to decide on which small cross-stitch kits I wanted to try this year for a Christmas present for my sister-in-law I knew I wanted to create something with a bird theme. You see, she's a bird lover and every year I try to give her something with a "bird" in it. So, this year I decided to buy some adorable counted cross-stitch kits that were historic copies of old bird stamps - with postage markings and all. So, I choose three and ended up making two of them.

All of the bird stamps were Dimensions Gold Collection Petites that were 4 1/4" squares. As I intended to frame this as a little picture the 4 1/2" size was perfect. So, of the three I chose the "Wish Ornament," shown below, as I thought it would make a wonderful miniature picture and was so bright and festive.


Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection kits I had bought the  "Wish Ornament"  kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count ivory cotton Aida, felt, needle and instructions.  They also said that thick craft glue and quilt batting would be needed.

The  "Wish Ornament"  pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch and outline stitching  for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the half cross stitch and outlining being used for artistic effect.

The pattern came with starting, stitching, finishing and even cleaning instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required, and color coded keys (with code #'s, lengths, color names, and cross-stitch symbols) and a chart with color coded symbols. The colors and symbols on the keys and chart were easy to read and follow.

While I was very pleased with the end results of this design there are some things in the kit and in the instructions that can be improved upon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Christmas Gifts - Rocky Mountain Santa Cross-Stitch Kit #MH20-8303 Beartooth Santa From Mill Hill



If you haven't already been able to guess - Christmas gifts this year were of the cross-stitch variety. Actually this year and last year and maybe even a few the year before.  What are you going to do when you're a cross-stitch junkie?

As usual, I found several kits I liked earlier in the year so, I bought a few. Unlike last year, this year I bought  a few cross-stitch patterns that utilized perforated paper.

If your remember, the 1st counted cross-stitch perforated paper pattern that I had tried was a Spirit of Quilting Angel Ornament from Brooke's Books Publishing. It was an angel counted cross-stitch ornament design by Brooke Nolan. As I was going to be giving these as Christmas gifts this year I was glad I had already learned a few tricks to working with perforated paper from my previous project.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My New Linda Walsh Originals Fabric Designs Blog


I've been playing again! This time it's with fabric designs. Actually, I've been playing with fabric designs and new websites/blogs.

I've been thinking about designing fabric for some of my doll pattern lines using graphics of my dolls for quite sometime and last month was finally able to complete one of the lines. Of course, that required a new website and a new blog. You know me - anything new requires a new BLOG!!!!!

I've had many baby shower doll centerpiece patterns and baby shower ornament and/or favor patterns for many years now and have wanted to expand upon that to create decorations for planning an old-fashioned baby shower. I wanted to have not only centerpiece dolls that could be used as decorations, but e-printable ornaments and/or favors, easily sew-able doll ornaments/favors, bunting, and fabric that could be used to make baby banners, tablecloths, quilts, pillows, decorations, etc. As a result my "It's Raining Baby Showers" website was born.

If you're planning a baby shower and would like to host an enjoyable, old-fashioned shower where you can make all the decorations then "It's Raining Baby Showers" can provide you with print patterns, e-patterns, e-printables, fabric, handmade dolls, books about baby showers, a baby shower merchandise store, some baby shower ideas and some freebies.

My "It's Raining Baby Showers" collection has 59 different designs to choose from in 6 collections.  All of the designs compliment each other so you can mix and match with our doll pattern centerpieces, e-printables, baby shower store items, etc. My "It's Raining Baby Showers" fabric designs collection has 9 "Cut and Sew" ornament doll fabrics as well as 50 traditional fabric designs to choose from.

In order to create my fabric designs I decided to utilize the resources of Spoonflower.com which offers independent designers a way to have their custom designs printed onto fabric and then sold to the public.

Here's what Spoonflower.com had to say about their website on their "About Us" page:

Spoonflower makes it possible for individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric designs. It was founded in May 2008 by two Internet geeks who had crafty wives but who knew nothing about textiles. The company came about because Stephen’s wife, Kim, persuaded him that being able to print her own fabric for curtains was a really cool idea. She wasn’t alone. The Spoonflower community now numbers around 150,000 individuals who use their own fabric to make curtains, quilts, clothes, bags, furniture, dolls, pillows, framed artwork, costumes, banners and much, much more. The Spoonflower marketplace offers the largest collection of independent fabric designers in the world. The site has appeared in the New York Times, Associated Press, Vogue, Martha Stewart Weddings, Make, CRAFT, ApartmentTherapy, Photojojo, and many other terrific publications and blogs.

Spoonflower is a start-up and a work in progress. Its growth has been made possible by the enthusiasm of a worldwide community of people who are passionate about fabric, design and making things. Along the way it has also received help, support and advice from lots of friendly people and organizations, including [TC]2, NCIdea.org, North Carolina State University College of Textiles, and Expand Systems. Suggestions and feedback are always welcome and appreciated.

Spoonflower.com seemed like a perfect fit for my fabric designs. So, I designed my fabrics and then set up a Linda Walsh Originals Fabric Designs  shop at Spoonflower.com. All of the fabrics mentioned and posted about on our Linda Walsh Originals Fabric Designs website/blog are sold and serviced through Spoonflower.com.

Please note that Linda Walsh and/or Linda Walsh Originals is not liable for any problems that may occur between you (the customer) and Spoonflower.com. We only provide the graphics for our line of fabrics at Spoonflower.com.

I've only had a chance to develop my "It's Raining Baby Showers" line of fabrics so far.  However, if you know me, you know that there will be many, many more coming down the pike.  So, stay tuned.  We're designing fabrics and LOVING IT!  I do so love to play!

I hope you get a chance to visit Linda Walsh Originals Fabric Designs blog.



Monday, January 09, 2012

My New "It's Raining Baby Showers" Website


One of my all time favorite doll designs is my "Baby Nicky" doll. He's a baby shower centerpiece doll that I designed based upon my grandson "Nicky" who has the most wonderful, curly head of hair you could ever imagine. I just LOVE it and would love to swap hair with him.

If you've been following my Linda's Blog you know that "Baby Nicky" is involved in a lot of what goes on in "The Dollie Storage Room." He's a fun loving doll and is very popular among the other "dollies."

When I was designing new patterns a couple of years ago I wanted to design some more baby shower centerpieces and favors or ornaments to compliment "Baby Nicky." So, I ended up designing 10 different favors and 2 new centerpieces.

I wanted something for the centerpieces that would capture the guests attention at a baby shower and decided that a baby boy and baby girl doll around 16" tall each would be perfect. Something that could stand alone on a center table or individual tables and be easy to make.

I also wanted the centerpiece to look soft, cuddly, warm and inviting so I decided to create my dolls out of some old flannel pillowcases that my sister had given me. You see, in our family we never throw anything away that could be used in sewing or crafts. So, as you might expect I get a LOT of stuff. In any event, the old flannel pillowcases were perfect for the two baby centerpiece dolls I had in mind.

After the centerpieces were designed I decided that I wanted to design some FUN baby shower favors. Again, the key was they would be easy to make and could end up being ornaments for the guests to bring home. Plus, I wanted a variety of different kinds of favors that could be made.

While thinking about what to make for favors I again thought about my grandson, Nicky,  who was born 31 weeks premature.   He had spent 9 weeks in a special care nursery and I remembered that the nurses would wrap him in a swaddling blanket which allowed them to easily carry him around. They always looked like they were carrying him around like a football.

The nurses taught all the family members how to bathe, feed, and dress Nicky so I learned how to wrap my grandson in a swaddling blanket. So, I thought maybe a baby shower favor with a primitive baby head sticking out of a swaddling blanket would be cute.

Then I decided I wanted to create baby head favors that could stand alone and decided to use wooden spools and terracotta pots as the base.

I have to admit that I just LOVED making the baby heads on pink and blue spools.  I had wanted something that would make everyone smile and when you're looking down on them you can't help but laugh. I was laughing my head off while creating them and when my husband saw the finished heads lined up on the table he started laughing as well.

I thought they would definitely make for a very enjoyable baby shower and could picture a room filled with tables and a baby head favor holding the place setting for each guest. I figured the guests could take them home to function not only as a pincushion but as a nostalgic reminder of a wonderful baby shower.

I also enjoyed working with the terracotta pots and baby heads. I love crafting with terracotta and always try to think of different ways to combine flower pots with my doll creations. I had created various holiday ornaments using terracotta and thought the baby heads would be perfect. Again, they could stand alone or could be hung as ornaments by their ribbon hangers.

So, my baby shower line of patterns and e-patterns was born. Ever since then I have wanted to create a line of baby shower decoration products. Coordinated decorations that would fun and easy to make.  Cozy and intimate - just like an old fashioned baby shower.

I can remember baby showers that I went to years ago that were held at a neighbors house or a girlfriends house. We would decorate the living room and invite between ten and 20 guests, We'd make all the decorations and all the finger food and would sit around while our "mother-to-be" opened the presents. We'd play a few games and some of the experienced mothers would tell stories of their various pregnancies. There was always a LOT of  teasing going on and you could hear us laughing for hours on end. It was always a delightful time.

I wanted to re-create that atmosphere.  To design baby shower decorations that would all compliment each other.  That were fun and easy to make.  I also wanted to combine my dolls with graphics of my dolls, as well as create baby shower graphics I could use for printables and fabric.  And, for baby products.

So, I designed centerpiece doll patterns, easy to make e-printables using graphics of my baby shower dolls and favors, cut and sew doll and favor ornaments using the baby shower graphics, coordinating fabrics using the baby shower graphics for baby shower decorations as well as for making baby shower presents. Just about everything you could think of for a delightful baby shower except the food.

And, with all this my "It's Raining Baby Showers" website was born. I've been working on my new website since November and have added many, many items. We've got patterns and e-patterns, e-printables, cut and sew ornaments, baby shower decorating books, and lots of fabric. It's still a work in progress and I'll be adding to it over the next couple of months.

If you're planning a baby shower and would like to host an enjoyable, old-fashioned shower where you can make all the decorations then you've come to the right place. "It's Raining Baby Showers" can provide you with e-patterns, e-printables, fabric, books about baby showers, a baby shower merchandise store, some baby shower ideas and some freebies.

We're here to help you plan, make and decorate for your baby shower including handmade decorations, baby favors, centerpieces, ornaments, and so much more.

It's raining baby showers!

Let's have some old-fashioned decorating fun!