Monday, December 30, 2019

Victorian Happy New Year Illustration From The Harper's Young People Illustrations Book From 1889

What better way to send a "Happy New Year" greeting than with a beautiful illustration from the cover of the February 2, 1889 weekly in the Harper's Young People Illustrated Book on page 177.  It was entitled "New Year Greeting" and was drawn by F.S. Church, N.A.

I, too wish you all a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Loved Decorating With My Gingerbread-Man Collection of Custom Product Designs

I've been working on adding custom product designs to my Linda Walsh Originals Designs Gallery   The past month I have been adding some Christmas custom products to my gallery.

One of the designs I decided to create custom products out of for Christmas was my gingerbread-man design.  I ended up creating all sorts of adorable gingerbread custom products for the holiday season like, Christmas stockings, place-mats (paper, cloth, and laminated), tablecloth, bathroom towels, kitchen towels, coasters, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, LED candles, ornaments, stickers, paper plates, napkins, pillows, tote bags, gift bags, wrapped canvas pictures and so much more.

I even created gingerbread-man nail art, cutting boards, postcards, jigsaw puzzles, key-chains, vinyl crafting stickers, ribbon, ornaments, tree skirts, magnet, greeting cards, fleece blankets, throw blankets, custom fabric, tissue paper, bandanna's, men's ties, gift labels, return address labels, gift tags, cake pops, scrap-booking papers, cooking aprons, cake stands and paper cups.  I'm still working on this collection so there may be more.

After creating the custom gingerbread-man design products I decided to purchase a long table gingerbread-man cloth tablecloth for my dining table.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town!

Yes, Linda, there really is a Santa Claus!

I can remember my Mother telling me that, as I'm sure most of you can too.

We all know Santa as the familiar image with his red suit, sled or sleigh, reindeer's, and sacks of toys delivering packages to "all the good girls and boys!"

And, we all know about Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, the hard working elves, and all the reindeer.

For me the Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year.  I just love the Christmas season and I always have.  Whether it's the hustle and bustle and busy nature of the season, the colors, or the festive atmosphere - I just love it.

Of course, when I was a child I loved it for very different reasons - the presents.  I could hardly wait for Santa to arrive so we could open presents.  In fact, back in 2005 I wrote about an incident that happened to me as a child on my Victorian Dolls, Victorian Traditions, The Victorian Era and Me blog entitled "Who Doesn't Love Christmas Presents!"  I hope you click on the link to read this story.  Let's just say I wasn't a "good" girl that year.

In thinking about Santa Claus and the Christmas season I was reminded of another Linda's Blog post I had written back in 2005 entitled "Yes, Linda, There Really Is A Santa Claus!" about the history of Santa Claus and thought you might like to re-read it. So, here it is:

The Christmas Decorations in the Farmer's Porch and Bathroom This Year

Entry ways and bathrooms are sometime overlooked when it comes to Christmas decorations.  I like to decorate them, even the bathroom.

On the farmer's porch wall I decided to hang one of the quilted pictures hubby and I had made years ago, one of my new custom designed gingerbread-man wrapped canvas pictures, and one of the cloth wreaths I had made years ago.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Christmas Decorations In The Sun-room This Year

One of the cheeriest and sunniest rooms in our house is our sun-room. It's one of my favorite rooms and was both my "beloved" mother's and our "beloved" Bud's favorite rooms. I know why it was my mother's favorite rooms - she just loved sunshine. Since this room is on the south side it gets a lot of sun and because of this can be "hot" at times.

I often wondered why it was "Bud's" favorite room too until one day it dawned on me that the sun-room was the only room in the house that he could see out of. He'd sit in front of the french doors all day just looking out.

So, I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of the Christmas decorations in our sun-room.

Christmas Decorations In The Dining Room This Year

One of the reasons I just love the Christmas season is that everything is just so festive. Lots of bright colors and lots of wonderful color.  Add beautiful handmade Christmas decorations and you have a perfect season.

In my house we have three fireplaces that I have loved decorating for over 20 years. I used to decorate all three of them, but that got to be a bit much so I scaled it back to the family room fireplace and mantle and the dining room fireplace and mantle.

Here's what the Christmas decorations in the dining room look like this year.

The focal point of the dining room is the large Rumsfeld fireplace and mantle.  In front of the fireplace I placed the following Christmas decorations:

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Christmas Decorations In The Kitchen and Dining Area This Year

The kitchen, family room, and dining area are the focal point for our Christmas decorations every year and, if time is of the essence, is the only room I decorate every year.

I had spent the summer making all sort of mixed media Christmas decorations for our house this year and was anxious to see how they would look around the house.  In particular, I wanted to see how my mixed media Santa and Mrs. Claus trees, mixed media bottle vase with handmade paper poinsettia flowers, and mixed media Christmas trees would look on my dining table.

My Skinny "Pencil" Christmas Tree Decorations This Year

In 2017 I bought and fell in love with my pencil Christmas tree. While shopping in Michaels I saw some tall, skinny artificial Christmas trees that I call "pencil" trees and thought they might look nice in our family room. My sister had bought a tall, skinny artificial tree a few years before for her living room as the tree she had was just too big for the room and was really, really happy with it.

So I thought about our Christmas trees over the years and wondered if the pencil tree would be good for us too.  The problem with our Christmas trees every year was they always ended up in the dining room, living room, or sun-room. That's okay, but we spend most of our time in the kitchen and family room, which isn't big enough for a large Christmas tree without moving some of the furniture out, and as a result we don't really get to see much of the Christmas tree.

So, I mentioned this to hubby and we went to look at them as they were on sale in 2017. We both thought it would be nice to see a lighted Christmas tree (albeit tall and skinny) in the family room. So, we bought one as the sale price was good and brought it home.

After setting it up I put on all the ornaments I've made, my mother or sister made, or were given to me by family members and I was determined to uphold this tradition with my skinny tree. I wasn't sure the tree would be big enough to hold them all but decided I would give it my best shot.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I was finished. I was happy to see that all my decorations fit perfectly. In fact, I loved the way they looked on the "pencil" tree as it really highlights the decorations and there's still plenty of room to add more. That's when I fell in love with it.

This year I had made quite a few new mixed media ornaments like small gingerbread houses and small decorated presents cubes and was hoping there would be room on my pencil tree for them along with everything else I like to put on it.  To my delight everything fit including my new decorations.

I couldn't have been happier and even more in love with my pencil tree.  It is just so beautiful this year.  I'm happy, hubby is happy, Mr. Jolly is happy, and the little doggie is happy.

Like the past two years both Mr. Jolly and the Little Doggie took their place of honor next to the pencil Christmas tree.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Christmas Decorations In My Family Room This Year

I just love decorating for the holidays for a couple of reasons. The first is I love the bright colors of the holiday season - especially the red's.

The second is that it gives me an opportunity to display some of the handmade dolls and crafts I have made or bought over the last 45 years. And, yes, given my age and the number of years I've been doing this I have quite a few items in my Christmas decorations stash.

And, thirdly - it gives me the opportunity to display some of the floral craft creations I've made during this period as well.  What always amazes me every year is how well the floral craft decorations I've made over the years are still as good as new. Not only do I love to make dolls, love to craft, but I also love to create pine cone baskets, silk floral arrangements, decorated Christmas trees, and wreaths.

Over the years from time to time I've shown you many of the Christmas decorations in my house.  Given how many mixed media Christmas decorations I've made this year I thought some of you might be curious as to how I blended them with all the other Christmas decorations I've made or bought over the years.

I have a lot to show and several rooms so I figured I would break this down into several Linda's Blog posts so stay tuned.

Here's what's up in the family room this year.

The first item in the family room is a large ceramic Christmas tree from five decades ago that belonged to my "beloved" mother-in-law.  She cherished it and put it out in her apartment every year so we put it out as a tribute to her now.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Mouse Christmas Decorations From 1975

Like many of the Christmas decorations in my house the mouse boy and girl Christmas dolls in the picture above have a story.  They are actually piggy banks that I got back in 1975 when I was 21 years old.  Back then  I worked at a bank first as a teller and then as a trainer to all the tellers.  It was the 3rd professional job I had gotten in my life.

Technically I'd been working part-time for eleven years by then.  I'd been babysitting for neighbors all over my neighborhood for less than $1.00 per hour an hour since I was 10 years old.  My first professional job was at 15 1/2 years old working part-time as a nurse's aide in a nursing home that my grandmother was in. The women who ran the nursing home used to be the school nurse so she knew me and I knew her.

After that I worked part-time as a cashier in a grocery store and then as a deli clerk in another grocery store.  While working at the deli store I lost the tip of one of my fingers, but that's another story for another post.

I Have "Joy" Inside and Outside of My House


I think about my beloved mother, who was my best friend, all the time and are always pleasantly pleased when I find items that say "Joy" as that was my mother's name.  She was everything that the word means and was herself "joyful" inside and out.

According to the name definition websites the name "Joy" is taken from the word "joy", meaning delight or great happiness.  It is derived from the Old French word "joie"and is a virtuous name like Hope, Faith, Charity and Patience.

Given it's meaning it's no surprise that the word "joy" is seen everywhere at Christmas time.  Sometimes I see the word during the year and like to think that when I do it's my mother's way of letting me know she's watching over me from heaven.  Thinking of that always makes me smile as that gives me great comfort as an adult in this often crazy world.

When I was a child and did things I shouldn't have, as children always do, she always seemed to know no matter how secretive I thought I! She always knew when I had been up to something.  I always thought she had eyes in the back of her head and everywhere else.

In reflecting on this years later it suddenly dawned on me that she didn't have eyes everywhere or in the back of her head.  She was just very intuitive, like mother's always are in regards to their children -  she knew just by looking at my face.  There was no way to lie to her.  If I tried to I ended up smiling when she would give me that look that only a mother can give and say, "Linda."

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

My Sister's Beautiful Nuno Felted Scarves and Hand-Knit, Han-Dyed and Hand-Spun Scarves

I am so proud of my sister, Debbie Bohringer.  Not only does she sell alpaca fiber products but she also sells her beautiful handmade scarves and nuno felted (wet) scarves from the alpaca fiber of her own herd of Full Accoyo and Perucoyo Huacaya Alpacas.  She and her husband, Karl, are the owners of Rock Garden Alpacas which they established in 2011. 

She sells hand processed, hand spun yarns, mill processed rovings, and hand processed carded batts in her Rock Garden Alpacas Etsy Shop  as well as beautiful one of a kind handmade nuno (wet) felted scarves, and beautiful hand-knit, hand-spun and hand dyed scarves.

If you love hand made items like I do you'll appreciate the beautiful colors and workmanship involved with creating beautiful handmade one of a kind nuno (wet) felted scarves.

Beautiful Nuno Felted Scarves -Rock Garden Alpacas Pinterest Board

If you love hand made items like I do you'll appreciate the beautiful colors and workmanship involved with creating beautiful handmade one of a kind hand-knit, hand-spun and hand dyed scarves.

Beautiful Hand Knit Scarves - Rock Garden Alpacas Pinterest Board

I hope you get a chance to visit her Rock Garden Alpacas Etsy Shop  to see for yourself.

Monday, December 09, 2019

New Mixed Media Christmas Decorations - Adorable Gingerbread Houses

As I mentioned in my previous Linda's Blog post when I fell in love with mixed media crafts I was searching the web for various mixed media crafts suppliers websites and found which sells collage supplies.

In perusing their blog I found several projects, make that many, I wanted to try.  One of the projects I wanted to try was "The Jolly Christmas Houses of Jingle Lane by Kristin Batsel!"

It was just so adorable I had to try it! She utilized the house treat box, which is a chipboard house to create her Christmas gingerbread houses.  So, I bought four.  As always, I figured I could keep one and give some away as gifts.

I put the chipboard houses together and then looked at my mixed media crafts stash to see what supplies I wanted to utilize for making my gingerbread houses.  Needless to say, like the other smaller gingerbread house ornaments I had made,  there were a lot of stash supplies containers out while making these houses, too.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

My New Miniature Mixed Media Gingerbread House Christmas Ornaments

When I fell in love with mixed media crafts I was searching the web for various mixed media crafts suppliers websites and found which sells collage supplies.  It's a wonderful website filled with all sorts of supplies for mixed media crafting including: Beads, Charms & Filigree, Collage Sheets, Collage Supplies, Digital Images, Kits, Miniatures, Paper, and Rubber Stamps.

They also have a blog filled with all sorts of inspiration for various creations you could make utilizing their supplies.

So, of course, I started perusing the blog and found several projects, make that many, I wanted to try.  I found a post for "The Jolly Christmas Houses of Jingle Lane by Kristin Batsel!" and thought the gingerbread house was just adorable.

After looking at the blog I started looking at the 3D Chipboard Collection and found several chipboard house ornaments I could use to make some gingerbread house ornaments of my own.  One was the house treat box, one was a small chipboard house, and one was a 2"cube Kraft boxes.

I thought the small chipboard house pieces would make adorable mixed media gingerbread house ornaments for my Christmas tree so I bought six of them.  I figured I could put some on my tree and some I could give away as Christmas gifts.

Friday, December 06, 2019

How I Made My New Mixed Media "Twas The Night Before Christmas" Wood Cube Decoration

I have always loved the "A Visit from St. Nicholas" poem which is better known as "Twas The Night Before Christmas" poem.  It has always been my favorite Christmas holiday story and over the years I've read it so many times I almost have all the words memorized.

According to it was first published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837.  For more of the history of this beautiful poem please visit the page here.

During the past few months I have been creating a lot of mixed media Christmas decorations utilizing wood, paper, paper-clay, sponge painting, collage, decoupage, and scrap-booking crafts.

One of the scrap-booking papers I had was a 12" by 12" page that contained the entire "A Visit From St. Nicholas" poem as well as several Christmas graphic images.  I believe it was from the "Echo Park - Twas the Night Before Christmas Collection - 12 x 12 Collection Kit - Volume 1" that I had bought a few years ago.  I also had bought stickers, die cuts, and other scrapbook pages to match this collection.

I loved the page when I saw it and had been wanting to utilize this poem and scrapbook sheet in some way.  I decided to use a large 6" by 6" unfinished wood cube that I had in my stash to show case the page, words, graphic images, die-cuts, and other scrapbook pages and thought decoupaging the cube in a mixed media collage type mode would be nice.

I also decided to add four 1 1/4" unfinished wood spools to the bottom as legs and add a 1 1/2" unfinished wood knob to the top center so the cube could be easily turned and the poem read.

So, first I drilled four 1/2" deep holes 1/4" wide in the bottom corners and top center of the 6" x 6" cube to hold the 1" by 1/4" wood dowels that I was going to cut and then insert into the wood cube to hold my legs and knob.  Then I drilled a 1/2 deep hole 1/4" wide in the center of the flat side of my unfinished wood knob.

I added wood glue to the holes in the bottom of the cube and inserted the 1" dowel 1/2" down, leaving 1/2" showing.  Then I added wood glue to the holes in the wood spools with 1/4" openings and inserted them onto the 1/2" wood dowels that were showing until the spools and bottom of the cube met.  I turned the wood cube with legs over until the wood glue had dried and the legs were secure.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Victorian Christmas Illustrations From The Harper's Young People Illustrations Book From 1889

I decided that one of my all time favorite illustrations that I saw in the Harper's Young People Illustrated Books was the one that appeared on page 97 of the December 29, 1888 weekly.

I love it for three reasons: 1) The most adorable Santa figure I've seen;