Monday, December 31, 2018

For The Love Of Needle Felted Pictures Free Tutorials, E-Books and How-To's

Four years ago my love of crafts expanded even more when my sister and her husband became alpaca farmers and started Rock Garden Alpacas. At the time neither they nor I had no idea what a big impact that would have on my art doll making and craft designs.  

With the alpacas came Rock Garden Alpacas Fiber for selling all their alpaca fiber products, including roving, raw fiber, carded batts, handspun yarn, hand dyed roving, doll hair fibers, knit scarves, and handmade nuno felted scarves. With this came my desire to create needle felted art dolls and other crafts using their products.

My sister and I were looking for ways to show her customers how to use her products when the idea for needle felted dolls and other crafts came into being. Hmmm... Lets do needle felted art dolls. Hmmm... Let's do some floral pictures... Hmmm... Now why would I think of both of those? Hmmm....

My sister gave me several large (make that HUGE) bags of roving and several carded batts (which I loved) from her alpacas Sunflower, Ivy, Cosmo, Zinnia and Masquerade which I used to make my needle felted art dolls and flower pictures, like those shown in the two picture collages above.   I loved working with the natural alpaca roving and carded batts - especially Masquerade's gray fiber batts. It was fabulous for crafting everything.

I fell in love with needle felting four years ago and decided to create free e-patterns, tutorials, e-books and how-to's for my needle felted floral pictures so you could try needle felting too.  I hope you fall in love with it as much as I did.

Just click on the links below for the needle felted craft pictures below that you'd like to try:

Sunday, December 30, 2018

For the Love of Free Picture Crafts Tutorials, E-Books, and How-To's

If there is any type of craft I have made more of over the years in all different media it has to be pictures.  I've made a  large yarn picture, needle felted pictures, silk floral and ribbon pictures, pressed flower pictures, wool felt pictures, needle craft pictures, punch needle embroidery pictures, stenciled shadow box pictures, and quilted pictures.

Most of the pictures I've made have been gifts for my family that I enclosed in sponge painted frames that I painted and made.  If there is a choice between regular painting and sponge painting I always opt for the sponge painted.  Some of these gifts are shown in the picture collage below.

For The Love of Wreath Crafts Free E-Patterns, Tutorials, and How-To's

As far as home decorations are concerned you can never have enough wreaths. They're just so much fun to work with and so versatile.

Holiday wreaths, seasonal wreaths, wreaths for special occasions, wreaths of every media - glass, real floral, silk floral, natural greens, wood, painted, paper, metal, ceramic, clay, needle felted, yarn, wool, fabric - even popsicle sticks or lego's. The list is endless.

Wreaths can be shabby chic, romantic, Victorian, primitive, rustic, recycled, contemporary, country, folksy - the list is endless.

For The Love Of Wedding, Bridal, and Bridal Shower Crafts Free E-Patterns and Tutorials

Who doesn't love weddings and beautiful brides? I know I do. So much so that I've designed and made several bridal dolls.

 Some are "faceless" and some have embroidered faces.  I've even made bendable grooms like the doll pictured below:

Here's An Idea - Terracotta Painted and Stenciled Pot Decorations

As you probably know I LOVE to create and decorate with just about anything I find for the various seasons and holidays.  So it should come as no surprise that I'd be looking for different ways to decorate over the years and back in 1999 fell in love with the idea of using painted and stenciled terra-cotta pots.

Whether it's decorating with dolls, floral arrangements, or wood crafts I just love decorating - especially when it comes to decorating my sun-room for the different seasons and holidays.

The reason this is so much fun for me is because I've now limited the seasonal decorations in my home to a couple places in the house.  I used to try and decorate every room for every season and holiday, but that was getting to be a  OF WORK.  And, I just didn't have the time for it.  So, I've been limiting the decorations to a few areas - which I'm very happy with.

Well, several years ago I was looking for something different to decorate my sun-room and thought that maybe I should paint some of the terracotta pots I had bought on one of my many shopping trips. And, I had bought a few - well, make that A LOT!

I don't know why I'm always drawn to the terracotta aisle of the craft store, but I am.  I just love all the different sizes of the terracotta and love experimenting with different ways to use them.  And use them I have.

It's A Girl and Boy Mini Pillow - Free E-Pattern

Pillows are such fun and so easy to make - especially little mini ones.  Plus, they make great decorations both for the shower and for use afterwards by the mother-to-be.

If you like decorating with mini pillows I have an irresistible pillow that you can make in minutes to decorate your baby shower and nursery that is made using the following fabric:

It’s A Girl! It's A Boy! Dolls With Stars and Squares Fabric at
(Please Note: The design was changed a little in 2018.)

My "It's A Girl and Boy Mini Pillow" is a mini pillow with gathered doily lace edging with our adorable centerpiece dolls image on both sides. It truly is irresistible

The pattern includes step-by-step color diagrams for finishing the pillow from start to finish.  It also includes a color finished layout sheet with measurements for the pillow.

"It's A Girl and Boy Mini Pillow" is a wonderful pillow to make and is an adorable decoration for any baby shower or newborns room.  It also makes a great gift for any mother-to-be.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas To All!

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
(Alecia Elliott)

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

My Pinterest Boards Are Getting 1.1 Million Monthly Viewers - WOW!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I fell in LOVE with back in 2011 and have been in love with it ever since.  It is by far the most wonderful way to organize everything and anything about "you."

What moves you, what you like, what you're keeping tabs on, things you saw online that you want to remember, things you want to try in the future, places you've been, what you consider "beautiful", your creations, your interests, foods you like, websites you like, blogs you like, your dreams, future plans for a wedding, dream home, your decorating style, must haves, things you'd like to make, inspirations, DIY projects to try, tips for everything and anything, tutorials to try, your bucket list, beautiful pictures, beautiful colors, things for your kids, nature at its finest, beautiful animals, decorations for the holidays, and your favorites - whether they are artists, crafters, movies, pictures, collections, music, recipes, favorite hobbies, etc.  The list goes on and on.  Your boards and your page give your followers and the world a pictorial glimpse into the essence of "you."

Back in 2011 I created different boards for all sorts of crafts I liked, such as: some of my handmade Victorian dolls (of course), my cross-stitch projects that I'm very proud of, some of my e-patterns, creative embroidery I'd love to try (if I had a few spare moments), my favorite art doll artists, my favorite mixed media artists, my favorite doll pattern designers, my favorite teddy bear artists, my favorite needle & wool felt designers, doll and craft classes I'd love to take, my favorite "softies" designers, Victorian fashions and Godey's fashion plates I love, my favorite prim and folk-art designers, doll houses and miniatures, crazy quilt designers I love, beautiful art quilts, amazing art, cross-stitch and punch needle designers I love, quilt things I'd like to make, craft books worth reading, felt things I love and would like to create, fun paper crafts, mixed media, items I wish I could paint, sewing ideas and notions, etc.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Mr. Jolly Left Me A Note!

When I came downstairs this morning to have breakfast I found a note on my chair.  It was marked "confidential and for Linda's eyes only!" Hmmmmm...... Who could this be from?

The "dollies" have been leaving me notes from time to time over the years so I thought it was from one of them.  They think they're human and can be very temperamental from time to time - especially at the holiday season.  So, I opened the note figuring I would recognize one of the "dollies" handwriting.

To my surprise the handwriting was beautifully written in cursive which the "dollies" don't know how to do and, therefore, a mystery to me as to who wrote it.  So, I read the note.

It said:

To my dearest Linda, 

I want you to be aware of a situation that I don't think you are aware of and which is causing someone much consternation.

Hmmmm...... I thought, who talks like that.  None of the "dollies" that I was aware of. Hmmm....

So, I continued reading.

Monday, December 10, 2018

"Stained Glass" Ornaments Kit by Design Works Crafts

When I first looked at the "Stained Glass" ornaments kit by Design Works Crafts I thought how pretty and how wonderful they would look on my pencil Christmas tree. They looked pretty simple and easy to me.  Turns out looks can be deceptive.   It took me much longer than I first thought to finish the six ornaments in this kit.

What I didn't know before I bought the kit was that there was a lot of black floss highlighting for each ornament that transformed them from a pretty ornament to a beautiful ornament.  The highlighting really makes them stand-out and is well worth the extra time it takes to finish each ornament.  It's quite amazing to see them in person.  What added to the length of time was the black highlighting is done one stitch at a time.

The "Stained Glass" ornament kit contained the color cotton floss, #14 plastic canvas, needle and instructions.  The pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and outline stitching for emphasis and depth.

Friday, December 07, 2018

My "The Stockings Were Hung..." Cross-Stitch Picture

I don't think I've ever found a cross-stitch kit that I haven't loved - especially those regarding the Christmas holiday season.  I was drawn to the colorful fireplace stocking display picture in the Dimensions Gold Collection "The Stockings Were Hung...." the minute I saw it.  So, I decided to buy the kit and add it to my other Christmas cross-stitch decorations on my fireplace mantle.

Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count white cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The "The Stockings Were Hung..." pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, french knots and outline stitching for emphasis and depth and this detailing really makes the picture stand out. It also varies the number of threads used with the various stitches to add to the depth emphasis. The design of this cross-stitch gives the finished picture a 3 dimensional aspect with the cross stitch, french knots and outlining being used for artistic effect.

The pattern came with starting and working order instructions as well as samples of the various stitches required and instructions for creating them, 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.

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

A Little "Joy" Outside My House This Year

I know I've mentioned a billion times how much I love finding decorations during the holiday season that say "Joy."  It was my mother's name and every time I look at a "Joy" decoration I can't help but think about my beloved and beautiful mother.  She was a beautiful person inside and out and always brought such "joy" to everyone she met.

Well, during a recent shopping trip with hubby at a local home decor store we stumbled upon the "Joy" sign shown in the picture above.  It was gold and made of some kind of hard plastic with a Victorian type pattern cut onto it.  Gold, Victorian and "Joy" - seems like a perfect fit for me.

Unfortunately, it was large and I didn't have any place inside the house to hang it.  So, I walked away.

Well, to my surprise, hubby said, "Are you sure? It's really quite nice." He knows me too well and knows I might be thinking about it on the way home and decide I did have a place for it after all - which, of course, would require us to go back to the store.

So, I took a second look and "voila!" it dawned on me it would be perfect as an outside decoration for our farmer's porch.  It was quite festive and large enough to be seen from the street and would be a good compliment to my large artificial outdoor Christmas floral decoration, which is placed on the farmer's porch every holiday season.  I wrote about this on my Linda's blog in a post entitled, "I Can Do Better - My Xmas Evergreen Arrangement Decoration." Instructions for making one of your own are here.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

What To Do With All Those Beautiful Christmas Pins?

Over the years I've written many posts about my family's Christmas traditions and handmade Christmas decorations. One of my family's wonderful and sentimental traditions was started by my Dad a long time 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 then 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. For my first pin he bought me the reindeer pin shown in the picture to the left.  I loved it.  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, for awhile, he gave me Christmas pins. Sometimes he couldn't decide which one he liked best so he'd give me two special Christmas pins. That was okay with me as I cherished each and every one of them.

Not only did my loving husband give me Christmas pins but he gave my mother some as well.  Needless to say, over time, both I and my mother accumulated a lot of Christmas pins.

When my mother passed away I inherited some of her Christmas pins.

Every year I take them all out and look at them. What always amazes me is how little they have changed in design from the first pin I received. And, believe it or not, I don't have any duplicates.

Also (and I know this will be hard to believe), I don't have any "dollies." So, a heartfelt thanks to you Dad for starting this tradition and a heartfelt and sentimental thanks to my husband for continuing his pin tradition.

Several weeks ago I was thinking about all my Christmas pins and thought it was a shame not to see all of them as they really are so pretty to look at - especially as a group.  I wanted to find some way of displaying them for the holiday season and wasn't sure how to accomplish this.