Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gotta Love Celia's New Custom Fabric

We hope you like our new fabric designs.

We're working on all sorts of creations to show you what you can do with our new designs so be sure to check back often to see what we've created.

© 2007-2019 Copyright Linda Walsh Originals - Fabric Designs By Linda Walsh.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Who Doesn't Love Chefs? Especially Chef Fabric

(Note:  Actual fabric will not contain © Linda Walsh or © 2014 Linda Walsh Originals watermark.)

We hope you like our new fabric designs.

We're working on all sorts of creations to show you what you can do with our new designs so be sure to check back often to see what we've created. 

© 2007-2019 Copyright Linda Walsh Originals - Fabric Designs By Linda Walsh.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Artful Gathering Session 1 Finished Project Piece - Let's Go For A Ride

I had been anxiously awaiting the start of Session 1 for Artful Gathering and was so happy when class finally started on June 6.

This is my 3rd year taking online classes at Artful Gathering and I have to say I have loved each and every class I've taken. The instructors are fantastic and I've had a blast in each class learning something new and, best of all, making wonderful new friends.

There were so many fabulous classes to choose from this year it was hard to decide. I really only had time for two and decided to take Julie Haymaker Thompson's Let's Go For A Ride class in Session 1 and  Mary Jane Chadbourne's The Imaginarium: Anthologies of an Art Doll class in Session 2. Both classes dealt with mixed media, which I've been anxious to try.

So, for the last two weeks I have been taking my 4th online class and working on my project. The project called for making an adorable little mixed media shadow box scene with 3 pets sticking their heads out the window of a car that was driving over a hill. The class looked like it would be a lot of fun to take.

A kit was available for purchase from Julie's Etsy shop so I ordered one as it's a lot easier to do that than run around to get supplies. The kit came with everything you needed to create the project including thread and needle. It was fabulous.

For my online classes I like to view all the video's first and then go back to watching them as I follow along with the instructions. Here's where my Ipad comes in really, really handy. It's great for this as I can zoom in and out of the video pictures, advance and reverse them as needed, etc.

I tend to be a bit of a rebel when it comes to my classes. For the most part I follow the instructions, but sometimes I just have to be me and do it my way. Such was the case with my "Let's Go For A Ride" project.

The project called for using two twigs for trees in the front of the shadowbox but I decided to go with silk floral instead. Now I know my using silk floral will come as no surprise to any of you as I love silk floral, but this time I had a really good reason for using it. You see I'm allergic to poison ivy so there was no way I was going to get anywhere near the woods let alone touch twigs. Improvising with silk floral was the perfect solution. Worked for me anyway.

Plus, the kit that I purchased came with a box that was deeper than the one Julie was working with in the video's so adding some silk floral to the front of my shadow box versus using the two twigs for trees was a perfect solution for filling up the depth difference.

To do this I cut a rectangle of 1/2" tall florist's green foam about 5/8" deep and wide enough to fit in front of my hill and then glued it in. Once it was dry I painted it with several shades of green acrylic paint to match my hill. Then I inserted the small sprigs of silk floral (mainly grasses) I had cut to fit the height of my scene into the foam. Voila! Filled the area and best of all, no poison ivy!

Instead of creating two dog heads and a cat head sticking out of the car window I decided to go with three doggies. I had to change my doggie heads once the clay was dry as they were too big to fit into the area for the open car window. So I sanded them down quite a bit so they would fit.

I decided to paint one of my dogs gray, one black and white, and one dark brown and black. I should have painted the dark brown and black one a lighter brown color as Julie had done as the three heads I painted are quite dark and a lighter brown would have been better.

The dogs were supposed to be more whimsical looking then mine turned out to be. I had to sand the whimsical noses down as they were just too big for my doggie heads once they were sanded down to fit in the car window.

Painting the doggie heads was a bit of a challenge as they were really small and I couldn't keep my hand, paint brush and/or pencil from shaking when trying to paint their little eyes. So, instead of painting the eyes with a paint brush and/or pencil I used a toothpick. Painting faces is not my forte but they came out good enough for this project.

I didn't realize when I decided to take this class just how involved the project would be and how many different techniques I would learn. It was fabulous and Julie was so easy to follow along with. For me the fun is in the learning and I learned a lot in this class.

I had so much fun with this project that I decided to order a few unfinished mixed media items from Julie's BisBeeBliss Etsy shop so I could experiment some more with mixed media and collage. What I'll make and how they'll come out remains to be seem. The fun part is experimenting with some of the techniques I learned in Julie's class and seeing where this takes me.

Thanks for the ride, Julie. It was a blast.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Gotta Love Fall Dolls

Fall is my favorite season of the year. There's just something about the Fall that makes me want to create something. Maybe it's all the vivid colors or all the holidays and the decorations you can make for all of them.

Whatever it is I LOVE the Fall.  So, of course, I love creating dolls with Fall themes, Fall colored clothing, etc.

Here's some of the Fall dolls I created this Spring::

Penelope Pumpkin Lady

Peter With The Big Eyes Loves His Fall Outfit 
Pamela With The Big Eyes Loves Her Fall

Luther The Folkart Doll Loves The Fall and His Pumpkins 
Lili The Folkart Doll Loves The Fall and Her Pumpkins 

Melanie Munchkin
Morty The Pumpkin Munchkin 
Punky Elmer's Little Scarecrow 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Fast and Easy Cut and Sew Dolls Is A Great Way To Teach Kids How To Sew

When I was designing my cut and sew dolls I couldn't help but think about my own experiences as a child learning how to sew and thought that cut and sew dolls would not only be a good way to teach a young child how to hand sew but also how to teach them how to machine sew as they could be put together either way. Plus, they quickly see the results of their efforts.

My mother and her best friend taught me how to sew when I was about ten years old. First they made me practice sewing two pieces of fabric together by hand until my running stitches were even and I knew the difference between a running stitch, straight stitch, back-stitch, etc. Then they explained the various types of stitches and their use and some of the sewing terminology.

I, of course, was anxious to start with the sewing machine. Just let me make something.  They tried to explain that I needed to master the hand stitches before moving on to the sewing machine. I couldn't understand why back then. I can now.  I wanted to create something right then and there.

When they were happy with my hand sewing I moved on to the sewing machine. First they explained how the machine worked, the different parts of the machine, the different machine heads, the different stitches, winding bobbins, etc. I couldn't move on until I knew this. I had no idea when I wanted to learn how to sew how much I needed to learn first. I was ready to go. Let me at the sewing machine - now.

Finally, the day came when I was allowed to start my machine sewing - or so I thought. Au contraire!

First my mother and her friend explained all the sewing terms, showed me how to sew a straight line with the machine, how to sew in reverse, etc. Here, too, they had me practicing rows and rows of stitches on single pieces of fabric. I, of course, thought I was ready after sewing two or three rows of stitches.

My mother would look at my rows of stitching and tell me to continue practicing. My rows of stitching were crooked. I wasn't allowed to move on until they were straight. I really think my mother made me practice much more then I needed just to keep me out of her hair. In any event, I practiced sewing straight lines forward and backwards until I could do it with my eyes closed.

When I thought I was done and ready to start my project here, too, I was wrong. I had no idea they had a test in store for me. YIKES! I'm learning to sew not going to school. Needless to say I passed my quiz with flying colors and they decided I was ready to move on to my first pattern.

The first thing I decided to make was a shirt for myself. I set about buying a pattern, buying the material, supplies, etc. My mother wanted me to start with a simple pattern like a pillow. I convinced her I could handle a shirt. Little did I know that here, too, I would need to understand patterns and how they work before moving on.  Just put me in front of the sewing machine. I can do this!

So, she showed me how to read the pattern and how to layout the pattern pieces on my material. I never followed the pattern layout instructions, then, and I still don't as I always thought they wasted too much material. She also told me to read the instructions carefully and to follow the pattern step by step. For my first few years I didn't dare go to step 5 before finishing steps 1 through 4. I thought the earth would fall apart if I did. What did I know I was just a kid!

So my mother explained how to read the various instructions on the pattern sheets and what the little black notches meant. I used to cut them off until I realized they could be quite useful. So I set about cutting out my shirt and then attempting to sew it.

I knew what I was doing, or so I told my mother. Let me do my shirt. So she, as mothers always do, sighed and said "fine!" Go ahead!

I sewed the side seams and the shoulders, then the side seams of the arms. Piece of cake. This is easy. Then the instructions said that I needed to sew the arms to the shirt easing the fabric so that it fit. Well, I looked at the shoulders of my arms and the armhole opening of my shirt. No way that was going to fit. The shoulders of my arms were way too big. I figured the pattern must be wrong so I cut the arms of my shirt straight across the top of the side seam so that the armhole opening of my shirt and shoulder of my arms would fit. Hey, no problem now. No more excess material. Oh, was I good. I sewed both of the arms on and then turned the shirt RSO.

I figured this might be a good time to try my shirt on. Of course when it came time to put the shirt on it was difficult at best. Well, you all know what happened. The sleeves were way too short and my armhole opening was a bit too tight. I looked ridiculous. So, when I asked my mother what the problem was she could barely contain her laughter. She didn't want to laugh as I knew she didn't want to discourage me but, I really did look ridiculous.

When she asked me to tell her how I had sewed the sleeves on she gently explained that there was a purpose for the shoulder curve of the sleeve after all. She helped me remove the stitching, cut out new sleeves, and showed me how to ease the shoulder seam of the sleeve to my shirt. Of course, when I tried my new sleeves on they fit.

My mother told me that there were so many things to learn when sewing that you can't master them all at once. She, in fact, was still learning. So, when in doubt the best course of action is to ask. 

What else did I learn. Well, I wasn't a superstar and laughter is the best medicine. No matter how old you are or skilled you are sewing is always an adventure. I figured if you don't try something you'll never know if it would have worked. My solution could have worked and the pattern could have been wrong! Right?

So, when I was designing my cut and sew dolls I wanted to create something that would be a great sewing tool for kids as well as something that would give them a more immediate feeling of achievement. Something they could do without have to go to school and pass a final exam! Something that they could be proud of that they had created. Something to inspire them to want to learn more. 

I now have 88 different cut and sew doll designs. Plenty of inspiration for learning how to sew. They're fast and easy and are a great way to teach kids how to sew. If you'd like to see all my cut and sew designs please CLICK HERE.

Linda WalshCut and Sew Dolls & CraftsFollow On

© 2007-2019 Copyright Linda Walsh Originals - Fabric Designs By Linda Walsh.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gotta Love Good Housekeeping Vintage Covers

I don't know if my Great Grandmothers and Great Great Grandmothers subscribed to Good Housekeeping back in the early years of the magazine.  I know both my Mother and my Grandmother on my mother's side did for many, many years.  As a child I can remember flipping through the pages looking at all the pictures.

So when I stumbled upon the Good Housekeeping Vintage Cover Gallery I couldn't help but show you some of the cover I love.

I just love the cover above from the February 1918 issue of Good Housekeeping and the November 1921 issue. Every time I look at them I think of my sister and I. How sweet are they?

Monday, June 09, 2014

How-To Guide For Digital Goods/Product Download Links

If you have ordered digital goods from my website once payment has been made you'll be redirected by Paypal back to our order invoice page (shown below) where you can print out a copy of your order and access your account.

Download links are available in your account after payment has been made for digital products purchased.  Please follow the step-by-step instructions below for downloading your digital products:

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Time For A Little Downsizing

If you've been following along with my blogs and websites over the last ten years you know that the "dollies" and I have had quite a few websites and quite a few blogs. Ten years ago for a small business owner to have a website online that you had control over you basically had to either create your own using HTML or some comparable software that could publish to the web and then FTP (file transfer protocol) it to what-ever service provider was hosting your website and domain name.

I wanted to be able to update my website whenever I wanted and change it whatever way I wished. As a result my first two websites were created in Publisher and FTP'd to my hosting accounts at GoDaddy where my two domain names resided. I used Paypal HTML coding back then and had to copy and paste their payment HTML coding for every item I wanted to sell. While I had complete control over my website design the coding was tedious at best.

When instant download e-patterns came along I used PayloadZ and Paypal to handle the "Buy Now" capabilities. This, too, utilized HTML coding which, again, was tedious at best.

So, before long I outgrew the capabilities of these two websites and needed websites with more sophisticated shopping carts and with the ability to handle instant download e-products. So, I decided to open two new websites utilizing a CubeCart shopping cart at In A Pickle Web Design, which is owned by Annie Kelly.

With the two new websites with Annie I now had 4 websites and a GoDaddy Website Tonight "About Me" page. Two of the websites I was still maintaining with Publisher and transferring via FTP to GoDaddy, two I was maintaining using the In A Pickle Web Design CubeCart interface, and one I was maintaining through GoDaddy.

Five websites, however, wasn't all I had. I had jumped on the blogging craze back in 2003 utilizing an AOL blog, then a Yahoo 360 blog, and then several blogs. For me blogging was the perfect solution for disseminating information about your small business and letting your customers get to know you. Back then, however, there was a lot of skepticism about blogging with some small business owners even claiming they would never buy anything off a blog. Not me. I took a giant step forward and stopped issuing newsletters. I jumped on the blogging band wagon and have never looked back.

My online interests continued to expand over the years as well as my doll & craft interests. Over time my blogs multiplied as each had a different audience and, therefore, a different subject to discuss. So, at one point in time I had 5 websites, 18 blogs, an Etsy shop, a Zibbet shop, 3 Zazzle shops, and several other secondary e-pattern and handmade goods online selling venues. I also had a topsite, several plugboards, and a lot of social media pages and/or groups to maintain.

Needless to say after ten years this had all become too much to handle so I decided to start downsizing gradually. The first to go were the plugboards, followed by half of my blogs, followed by several social media communities and groups, followed by some of the selling venues.

The first of this year I decided to consolidate all of my websites into one selling website that could handle not only all my e-products, all my print patterns, and all my handmade goods but be expandable so it is able to be displayed correctly on all the desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices out there.

I did a lot of research and decided to create my new Linda Walsh Originals Shop at GoDaddy utilizing their Quick Shopping Cart. What I liked about the GoDaddy website is that it would handle all of my different businesses under one roof as well as all my handmade products and all my e-products.

I also decided to upgrade my Linda Walsh Originals Information website which is a GoDaddy Website Tonight website to be an "About me" portfolio with multiple pages of sorts for Linda Walsh Originals.

I'm still in the process of critiquing my business interests as well as my creative interests so don't be surprised if there are a few more changes to come. Sometimes too much is too much and down sizing is good for the soul.

I hope you have a chance to visit my new Linda Walsh Originals Shop  and my Linda Walsh Originals Information page and would love to know what you think.