Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I Just LOVE This Ornament

I love buying handmade goods especially when they come from some of the amazing artists I have met online, some of the amazing artists who are friends of mine on Facebook, and some of the amazing artists I have met on Etsy.

Well, one of those amazing artists is Robin Armstrong Seeber who is an extremely gifted artist and art doll maker. I have admired Robin's beautiful art doll creations for years and when she had a sale this past fall I decided to buy a few. The ornament above is one of them and I just LOVE it.

I hope you do, too. If you'd like to see some of Robin's amazing creations yourself her website is Outside The Box Primitives at, her Etsy shop is at, and her blog is at

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Large Pinecone Tree

Another one of my favorite Christmas decorations is a  pine-cone tree that I made in October of 2002.

This pine-cone tree stands 30" tall and has gold bead garland and a combination red/green aluminium leaves garland wrapped around it. White snowflakes that I cut from a winter flower sprig are glued intermittently throughout. Red heart and red apple ornaments are hanging all over the tree and it has a gold star glued on top.

My pine-cone tree is one of my favorites. I think it looks good in any display I put it in and hope you do, too.

It Was The Holiday Season After All -When Anything Magical Could Happen

As I was walking the aisles of BJ's I could hear someone's name being called and, funny thing, it sounded like mine. Someone was calling "Linda." For sure they couldn't have meant me. After all I didn't know anyone at BJ's other than hubby and he was in another aisle. So, I looked around, but there was no one here but me. Odd. So, I kept walking.

The closer I got to the end of the aisle the louder the name calling got. Someone was definitely calling for "Linda." I heard, "Over here, Linda. Look over here." I didn't see anything. Just a BIG white box.

Someone said, "I'm in here, Linda. Look in here." So, foolishly I did. Sitting inside the BIG white box was a HUGE (and I do mean HUGE) white teddy bear.

"Well, hello there," I said.

"Hello, Linda. I'm T.T.D. which stands for Theodore Teddy Bear. Theo for short."

I said, "Nice to meet you Theo. What are you doing in there and why are you calling my name?"

'Well," he said, "I've been waiting a long time for you. Waiting for you to take me home."

"Home to my house," I replied.

"Well, yes," he replied, "that is home after all isn't it?"

"Oh, Theo. I would LOVE to take you home with me. You're so adorable, so BIG, and so CUDDLY. Who could resist you? Certainly not me. Plus, you'd be perfect for my dining room North Pole Christmas scene. But...."

"Well," Theo said, "What's the problem?"

I replied, "Well, the last time I brought two wonderful nutcrackers home without consulting the "dollies" I nearly had World War III in my house. I wrote about it in my Linda's Blog in a  post entitled, "I Should Have Known Better!" The "dollies" were infuriated that I would bring non handmade dolls into the house without consulting them first. So, to keep the peace I apologized and said it wouldn't happen again."

"Oh," Theo replied, "I see. I wouldn't want to cause you any problems at home. I was just so hoping to finally find a home of my own and yours would be just perfect for me. There's so much love and laughter at your home. And, I'd heard that the "dollies" really do love it there. So much so it's really hard for them to leave when they're sold."

"I understand, Linda. It's okay. Maybe someone else will come along to love me."

Well, how could I just leave this beautiful, HUGE, cuddly, adorable bear brokenhearted. That would be horrible for me to do. After all he was just looking for a good home. And, it was Christmas after all. And, he'd be perfect in the dining room scene. Perhaps the "dollies" would understand. Or would they?.

I wasn't sure what to do. Theo was just so BIG, so HUGE, and so cuddly. And, thanks to me, heartbroken. I felt horrible.

Just then I caught sight of hubby out of the corner of my eye. He looked at me and saw my sad face and said, "What's the matter, darling? Are you okay? Are you sick?"

"No, no," I replied, "I'm not sick. I'm okay. I'm just talking to Theo."

But, that wasn't the truth. I really wasn't okay. So before he could ask me who Theo was I said, "I was talking to T.T.D. - Theodore Teddy Bear or Theo for short. He's this HUGE, beautiful, cuddly, white bear who's just looking for a home and I've crushed his heart by telling him we couldn't take him home with us."

To my delight and surprise hubby said, "Well, why not? He'd be perfect for the dining room North Pole Christmas scene - wouldn't he?"

I replied, "I could kiss you right here in the middle of BJ's for saying that, darling. It's just that...well, you remembered what happened with the nutcrackers - don't you?"

"Ah, I remember now. The "dollies" got in a snit that they weren't consulted first. Right?"

"That's right, darling."

So, he pulled out his cell phone and said, "Well, let's call them."

As hubby was talking to the "dollies" Theo and I were holding hands and pacing back and forth in the middle of the aisle at BJ's. His hand was five times the size of mine. But, boy was it soft.

As I looked into his big brown eyes I could see that he was holding back the tears. It nearly broke my heart. I knew I had to take him home with me whether the "dollies" agreed or not. Handmade or not didn't matter. Theo needed a loving home and we had one. He belonged with us.

Just as I was about to tell hubby we were taking Theo home with us whether the "dollies" liked it or not he got off the phone and said, "The dollies said to tell Theo - welcome home. We'd LOVE to have you join our family. You're HUGE and cuddly and adorable. Plus, you'd be perfect for the dining room North Pole Christmas scene."

I couldn't believe it. I should have - it was the holiday season after all - when anything magical could happen. If the "dollies" were here at BJ's I'd kiss all of them too. They're kindness towards Theo was just such a loving gesture.

Theo couldn't believe his ears. He was coming home with us. He was so excited he nearly knocked hubby and I over trying to hug us. What a scene this had to be for anyone looking down our aisle at BJ's. Two people jumping around, hugging and kissing a BIG white teddy bear. Unusual for sure. Then again it was the holiday season after all - when anything magical could happen.

Everyone who saw us carrying Theo out of BJ's couldn't help but smile. Theo had the biggest, happiest grin on his face. And, well, hubby and I couldn't stop smiling.

We decided to buy a big red bow for Theo at Michaels on our way home. It would be a perfect addition for Theo and be perfect for the dining room scene.

Theo was exuberant as he climbed into the back of the car and fastened his seat belt. We were, too. He was going home. As we were driving home I noticed that all the people in the cars that passed us had a BIG smile on their face when they saw Theo. He just made everyone so happy. How could you not instantly LOVE him? I knew the "dollies" had welcomed him on their phone call. But, they were unpredictable (they are human after all - or think they are so they act accordingly) so I wasn't quite sure what would happen when we got home.

As we pulled into the driveway I couldn't believe my eyes. All the "dollies" were there to greet him.  Theo could hardly get out of the car there were so many "dollies" surrounding him, hugging and kissing him.  I was so touched by this unbelievable outpouring of love from all the "dollies" to Theo.

The "dollies" had decided that Theo should sit in Nana's wooden chair for the dining room scene and had it all set up.

As Theo climbed into his chair all the "dollies" said in unison, "Welcome to our family, Theo."

Tears of joy were running down Theo's face. I was crying, hubby was crying, Theo was crying, and all the "dollies" were crying. And, he was perfect for the dining room North Pole Christmas scene. I knew it, hubby knew it, Theo knew it, and all the "dollies" did, too! It was the holiday season after all - when anything magical could happen.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Should Have Known Better!

I should have know better. I had a feeling that they were going to cause a stir, but I bought them anyways.

I always prefer handmade items - especially dolls and silk floral arrangements. However, every once in awhile you see something that is just perfect and that you just couldn't make for the price. Such was the case with the BIG wooden Nutcrackers I saw recently at Joanns.

But, I should have know better. You see, I had decided this year not to decorate my mantels for Christmas, opting instead to use some of the big dolls, pine-cone arrangements, and silk floral arrangements I had made. Well, after finishing the decorating and being satisfied with the way everything looked hubby happened to mention that he thought two candles framing the sides of our large family room fireplace might look nice.

In thinking about this, I agreed and mentioned maybe large Nutcrackers would be nice, too. I, of course, knew I'd never find any that were affordable and knew that I couldn't make two in time for the holidays.

Well, I just happened to be at Joanns the other day buying some Christmas fabric at 50% off and just happened to walk down an aisle of Christmas decorations at 60% off. Well, standing guard in one section of the aisle were Nutcrackers of all different shapes and sizes. I saw some small ones, some medium sized ones, and then I spotted the LARGE 3 foot wooden Nutcrackers. And, they were 60% off.

I thought they would be perfect for the sides of the family room fireplace and, well, how could I pass up a  bargain like that? So, I bought two.

Well, during the ride home I started to think about the Nutcrackers that were standing (or I should say seated) in the back seat of my car and wondered how the "dollies" were going to react. All the BIG dolls in the house were handmade and these two were not. I wasn't sure the "dollies" would like it. I started to get so hesitant about it I almost turned the car around to bring them back.

Then I said to myself, "That's ridiculous, Linda." It was only two dolls after all. What's the big deal?

Well, I should have know better. To put it mildly, the Nutcracker reception in the house was stone cold. Nothing. Not one of the "dollies" came out of The Dollie Storage Room to greet them.

Plus, it was eerily quiet. Not a sound coming out of The Dollie Storage Room. Hubby said, "Do you think they all left?" I didn't know. Would they really resort to such measures? Given that the "dollies" think they're human I just didn't know what their reaction would be. It seemed highly unlikely that all 1,796 of them would just leave over this. After all, the Nutcrackers really were cute and really were perfect for the family room fireplace. But, it was eerily quiet.

So, I went to check on them in The Dollie Storage Room. Well, two of the BIG dolls hubby and I had made were standing guard outside The Dollie Storage Room. When I tried to open the door they wouldn't let me. They blocked my entrance and said, "What's the password." "Password," I said. "What password?"

They responded, "Well, Linda, without the password we can't let you in."

"What," I said. "Are you out of your minds?"

They responded, "Like you were when you decided all on your own to bring two BIG manufactured Nutcrackers into house of handmade dolls to stand guard without consulting us."

Then I knew. The "dollies" were angry at me and they were taking it out on the Nutcrackers. It wasn't the fact that the Nutcrackers were manufactured dolls. It was that I hadn't consulted them first. They were mad at me not the Nutcrackers.

Since I knew there would be no peace in the Walsh household until I apologized for this slight to the "dollies" I decided to do just that. I said, "I'm so sorry. I wasn't thinking. I should have consulted all of you first, but I just couldn't resist them. They were just so BIG, so perfect, and such a fantastic deal. I just couldn't pass it up."

To which the "dollies" responded in unison, "Just don't let it happen again."

I couldn't believe it. Here I was - a 58 year old woman being chastised by "dollies." I just shook my head and moved aside as 1,796 "dollies" left The Dollie Storage Room to greet the new Nutcrackers. The "dollies" after all did have manners and well, it was only polite to greet the new additions.

And, greet them they did. The party went on into the wee hours of the morning.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Scottish Santa

Anyone who creates lots of items knows there are some that become your favorite creations. Some that are sentimental reminders of something. Some that you won't sell or part with. Such is the case with my Scottish Santa.

You see, I made him over 10 years ago and he has become one of the Christmas decorations I display every year.

The reason he's special to me is because he's Scottish. He's my tribute to my Grandmother - Nana who was born in Scotland and came over to this country in the early 1900's.

When I put him out every Christmas I like to think she's smiling down at me. Pleased with the remembrance.

I wish I could tell you who the designer was, but I can't. I made him from a kit that I bought over 10 years ago and there is nothing on any of the directions as to who the designer was.

And, foolishly, I didn't keep track of who I bought the kit from. I do know that the kit came with a linoleum sheet, metal band, unfinished wood spindles, ceramic head and hands.

He stands 15" with a cone shaped linoleum body the top of which his head is placed with upon. The metal band is secured against the bottom of the linoleum cone to support the dolls body. It is covered with the Santa's fur and hidden.

His hooded coat is made of black fur and he's holding black and gold bagpipes which were painted and made from wood spindles. His tam is made of red flannel as is his long scarf. And, he is carrying a long rod decorated with artificial garland and Christmas ribbons.

I just LOVE him. I only wish I knew who designed him.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

New Silk Floral Arrangements For The Dining Room

As I'm sure you all know by now I love creating all types of  floral arrangements.   And, I especially love creating them for the Fall and Christmas holiday seasons and displaying them all over my house.

This year for the first time in many years I found the need to make a few silk floral arrangements for the dining room fireplace display. After putting the display together for my dining room fireplace I decided that It needed something. I decided my BIG Mrs. Santa and Santa dolls needed some colorful poinsettia's at their feet.

I thought I had some, but after looking for them I found out I didn't. So, of course, I had to make some. Oh, what a shame! I had to create poinsettia floral arrangements. How awful was that? Of course, I was in floral designing heaven.

So, off to Michael's I went with my coupon to buy silk floral poinsettia stems at 50%. After looking at everything they had I decided to create 4 arrangements. One tall one in a Santa suit container and three small ones in red and green "Joy" containers.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

It's Christmas Decorating Time - YIPPEE!!!

I know I've told you many times before how much I LOVE the Christmas season.

There's just something about decorating for the holidays that just delights me and puts an enormous smile on my face.

Maybe it's the bright reds, green, white, and gold colors.

Maybe it's the wonderful dolls I made that I get to display (the "dollies" certainly love it). Or, maybe it's the silk floral arrangements I made that I also get to display.

Whatever it is I absolutely LOVE it.

Some of the decorations I bought over the last forty years. Some were gifts given to me. Most were made by me or made by hubby and I.

Each and every decoration is cherished and loved.

The problem is that I have so many Christmas decorations now it is impossible to display them all at once. So, each year I try to decide which ones to display. It's just so hard for me to choose. I just LOVE them all. But, one has to choose. So, choose I did this year.

I hope you like the decorations I chose for this year.

A BIG thank you to my darling hubby. Without him and his help none of this would be possible.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

My Big Handmade Santa's

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas at our house without all the holiday decorations.

While we have decorations out during all the other holidays and seasons none takes the cake next to our Christmas decorations. Each and every doll or wood craft has their particular place in my Christmas home decor and each and every year they go to the same place.

My grandchildren have gotten really good at reminding me which decoration goes where. After awhile with so many I tend to forget. Either that or I just love seeing if the grandchildren are paying attention. Most times they are.

In any event three of my favorite Christmas decorations are guess what?

You got it - BIG dolls and wood crafts.

One is an olde fashioned wood Santa and another is a Santa and Mrs. Claus pair of wood and cloth dolls.

The olde fashioned Santa stands 45" tall and is made our of 3/4" pine wood. I named him "Kristopher" and he was made based upon a "From My Heart To Yours" design.

He is a "sponge" painted Santa and was painted a deep burgundy red for an "olde fashioned" appearance. The fur along the bottom of his outfit, along his shoulders, and on the edge of his hat are all "sponge" painted with ocean sponges. His pompom is "sponge" painted as well. And there is blue, black, white, and red "sponge" painting all along his edges.

Kristopher is carrying a "sponge" painted sign that says "An Olde Fashion Christmas" and is carrying a medal bell.

Hi beard and moustaches are painted with multiple colors and applied using "wispy" strokes.

He proudly stands in his place in our sun room during the Christmas holiday season and everyone who goes into our sun room makes sure they say "hello!" to him.

My BIG Santa and Mrs. Claus wood and cloth dolls were actually made to decorate the area just outside my mother's apartment.

When my mother lived in an apartment building for senior citizens each and every year my mother and I would decorate an area just outside her apartment for Christmas. She loved it as did all her neighbors. Many of them commented to her about how much they loved our display. She no longer lives there so now they have their respective places in my house.

Santa is wearing his favorite pair of jeans, his favorite green striped shirt, and his favorite embroidered vest. He has multi-colored buttons on his shirt, white socks, and 1" pine painted black for his shoes. Rope is glued to the tops of his shoes for ties. He has a full beard, glasses, and is wearing a Christmas cap.

He is carrying a candy cane tucked into the waistband of his pants. You never know when he might get hungry, so he wants to be prepared.

Mrs. Claus is a wood and cloth doll that stands 36" tall and was made based on a Sharri's Country Classics design.

Mrs. Claus is wearing her favorite lace decorated Christmas dress and favorite coordinating apron with a pocket. She has to have the pocket as she never knows when she may need to carry something and one only has two hands. That is - unless they have pocket. She also has her favorite Christmas shawl wrapped around her shoulders and is wearing her favorite white Christmas socks.

Mrs. Claus has a wire ribbon bow just under her chin and cloth bows on the tops of her feet. She has a full head of white hair and is wearing her favorite Christmas bonnet.

Because she never knows when she has to drop everything she's doing to bake Christmas cookies for the elves she is carrying the cookie molds around with her.

Santa and Mrs. Clause have their place in our dining room at Christmas time. Sometimes Mrs. Claus even helps me bake the Christmas cookies. Never Santa. He's too tired.....

I hope you like my favorite BIG Christmas dolls and wood crafts.

My Victorian Fashions Pinterest Board

One of the things I absolutely love about my Linda Walsh Pinterest boards is I can collect all the Victorian and Historic Periods fashions I love in one neatly organized place.

Well, now Pinterest has a wonderful widget that allows me to add a snippet of my two boards within a blog post or on the sidebar of my blog so I can easily share some of my boards with all of you here.

If you'd like to see more of my Victorian Fashions Pinterest board just click on the board above or CLICK HERE.

If you'd like to see more of my Historic Periods Fashions Pinterest board just click on the board above or CLICK HERE.

I added the Pinterest widget to the sidebar of my my Victorian Dolls, Victorian Traditions, The Victorian Era and Me Blog. so you can visit my Victorian and Historic Periods Fashions boards whenever you visit my Victorian Dolls, Victorian Traditions, The Victorian Era and Me Blog.