Monday, October 31, 2016

I've Been Playing Again! This Time With Labeley.com - An Online Label Maker


If you're a reader of my Linda's Blog and have been following me and all my blogs (yes, I do have a few! LOL LOL) you are well aware that I love to play and experiment. Especially when it comes to interactive websites.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I received an email from Ana Brady at Labeley.com (http://www.labeley.com) asking me if I'd like to try their "free online custom label creator developed by the team behind the well-known free online tool for designing and customizing labels, Labeley."

Hmmm... Free online tool for designing..... What's not to love about that?

So, given my love of playing I thought I'd try it out. Plus, she volunteered to write a "How to Create Holiday Decorations For Free With Labeley" article for me. Another plus....

While I had planned to do other things today I decided to read her how-to article and try out Labeley.

Here's what her article said:

How to Create Holiday Decorations For Free With Labeley

You must’ve noticed over the past few weeks how the nature around us has been changing its colors. Leaves on trees turned pale yellow, coral, and even bright red. The whole nature is gradually taking on warm golden, amber and scarlet hues. These changes of colors indicate that the green summer is long gone and fall rolls around. The temperature is dropping, but the holiday excitement is rising. Halloween is just around the corner, while Thanksgiving and Christmas are on their way. It’s that time of the year when you seem to be spending most of your your spare time on decorating your home for the next holiday.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Linda's Review Of Dimensions Christmas On The Beach Cross-Stitch Picture Kit



I don't know about all of you, but I tend to finish my cross-stitch kit projects in spurts. For me it's like reading. I'll read a whole bunch of books and then not read any for awhile. For my cross-stitch kits my bursts usually come in  the Fall and Winter months. Then I won't do any for a few months.

The cross-stitch kit I just finished was a counted cross-stitch kit from Dimensions Gold Collection Petites entitled Christmas At The Beach. I had bought this kit for sentimental reasons which you'll read about in a subsequent Linda's Blog post.

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

The Christmas At The Beach pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half 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 half 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, 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. The pattern included instructions for finishing the piece.

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.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Linda's Review Of MH14-6302 Country Church Mill Hill Buttons and Beads Cross-Stitch Kit



New England is filled with traditional old, white, steeple churches.  It's part of New England's charm and I've been wanting to do a church cross-stitch picture for quite some time. The problem was I just couldn't find the exact church scene I wanted to do as I wanted it to be similar to the church my mother attended, which was a traditional New England church.  Then I saw the "MH14-6302 Country Church Mill Hill Buttons and Beads Cross-Stitch Kit" and knew I'd found exactly what I was looking for. So I bought the kit and decided to complete it this month.

"Country Church" is a counted cross-stitch kit from Mill Hill Buttons and Beads Christmas Village Series. The kit included the pattern with a black & white symbol chart, color code, brown perforated paper, needles and instructions.

The kit creates a 6 by 6-inch cross-stitch picture using full counted cross-stitch and beaded half stitch as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. It also uses straight outlines for highlighting and emphasis. The pattern also calls for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched as the background. In this case they were leaving sections of the brown perforated paper background untouched.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Linda's Review of Hally Levesque's Wee Winter Whimsies Online Class at Artful Gathering 2016


I've had a delightful time the past few days making the dolls for Hally Levesque's "Wee Winter Whimsies" class in Session 2 of Artful Gathering.


2016 - Hally Levesque - Wee Winter Whimsies - Primitive Folk Art Dolls for the Holidays

Once again, Hally's video's and instructions for painting the faces and characters didn't disappoint. She is an amazing instructor and provided lots of information on the painting of the shelf sitter angel dolls & angel ornaments which I appreciated as the drawing and painting of faces and characters is not my forte.


The class called for making 1 shelf sitter angel doll and 5 angel ornaments. I decided instead to make three shelf sitters and three ornaments as I'm a sucker for shelf sitter dolls. I love them.   Plus, I'm a beginner when it comes to painting faces and characters and knew that painting tiny faces and characters on tiny ornaments was going to be a challenge for me. Well, challenge it was.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Linda's Review Of Hally Levesque's "Romantic Rosabella" Class At Artful Gathering - 2016


I finally finished the art dolls that I was making based upon the Romantic Rosabella online class that I've been taking during the first session of Artful Gathering 2016.



2016 - Hally Levesque - Romantic Rosabella - A Ribbons & Roses Doll Project 

The online class was taught by Hally Levesque who is an exceptional art doll artist, photographer and a bit of a history buff. This was my 2nd class with Hally. Last year I took her Bonnets and Beaus: A Regency Doll Project Online Class and loved it. My review of that class is here.

Hally Levesque, is an amazing art doll artist that I greatly admire. She makes the most beautiful historical cloth, primitive folk art, and character original art dolls. If you would like to learn more about Hally her Creative Doll Works website is here and her blog is here.

For this class I was only going to make 2 dolls but could not decide which color I wanted the base to be so I ended up choosing seven different colors from solid color fabric my sister had given me.

I figured at least one or two of the dolls would come out nicely and was pleasantly surprised when they all did. Even though the dolls are all similar looking they all ended up having their own little personalities. To no surprise most are "Diva's" or at least they think they are.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Linda's Review Of Quiet Night Cross-Stitch Kit - Dimensions Gold Collection Petites



For some reason I decided last week that I needed to complete a 5" by 7" cross-stitch kit I had started several months ago. Ten to one I probably delayed working on it as I knew it would take me longer to finish it than the 5" by 5" kits I had been completing.

The cross-stitch kit I just finished was a counted cross-stitch kit from Dimensions Gold Collection Petites entitled Quiet Night. Like the other Dimensions Gold Collection Petites kits I had bought the kit included the pattern, pre-sorted cotton thread, 18 count navy blue cotton Aida, needle and instructions.

The Quiet Night pattern uses full counted cross-stitch, half cross-stitch, french knots 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, 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, 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. The pattern did not include instructions for finishing the piece.

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.

As was the case with previous Dimensions kits the thread sorter was poorly designed. The embroidery threads were glued to two foam backed 6" by 1 1/4" strips of cardboard that had a picture of the color of the thread and it's number. In order to get to the threads you had to separate the foam back from the cardboard strip. Very quickly the threads separated from their section and then you no longer knew what the thread number was to tie to your symbols & legends.

As I have done with other cross-stitch kits I've completed I had to design my own thread color sorter and symbol key. I took a piece of thin cardboard and cut a 1" x 11" long rectangular piece out to use as a thread sorter. I then punched 23 holes in my cardboard strip in which to tie each of the different colors. Just below the hole I wrote the DMC floss # and just above the hole I added the respective color coded cross-stitch symbol. I then inserted the floss threads that went with that # and symbol through the hole and tied them in a loose knot. This kit could be much improved if different thread sorter with respective #'s and color coded symbols was provided.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

It's Not That Much Longer Until Artful Gathering 2016


It's not that much longer until Artful Gathering 2016 and I, for one, can't wait. This will be my 5th year taking online classes at Artful Gathering and I have thoroughly enjoyed every class I've taken.

Here's what I've taken so far:


2012 - Pat Winter -Crazy Quilting CQ101 

2013 - Briley The Birdie - A Vintage Tweetheart by Colleen Moody


2013 - Lovely Sea Maiden - A Needle Felting Adventure by Judy Johnson

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Linda's Review of The Complete Photo Guide To Doll Making by Nancy Hoerner, Barbara Matthiessen, and Rick Petersen


In doing my research on various doll histories I ran across a doll making book entitled "The Complete Photo Guide To Doll Making" by Nancy Hoerner, Barbara Matthiessen, and Rick Petersen. This book contained information on making several of the dolls I was posting about so I thought maybe I should review this as part of my Linda's Review of Doll Making Books series.

If you would like to take a quick peak inside this book Amazon.com offers one here.  Google Books also provides a look inside here.

According to the books description: This book is a comprehensive how-to book about all aspects of doll making. It serves as a reference and technique guide for making dolls in a wide variety of styles. Full-size patterns are provided as well as artist galleries for inspiration. The organization provides easy access to information with step-by-step directions and color photos. Other doll-making books focus on one particular doll style. Some are purely inspirational, showing dolls made by other artists and crafters. This book provides complete how-to instruction on all types of dolls.

If you are a novice doll maker who wants to be introduced to all the world of doll making has to offer this book is a good beginning as it is filled with all sorts of dolls from simple handmade dolls to a beginner to intermediate cloth art dolls.

The book is filled with over 450 color pictures for the 30 doll project tutorials within the book and also includes lots and lots of tips for making those dolls.

There are seven categories of dolls: Toy Dolls, Nature Dolls, Folk Dolls, Paper Dolls, Book Dolls, Clay Dolls, and Cloth Art Dolls.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Linda's Book Reviews - Dollmaking With Papier-Mâché and Paper Clay by Doris Rockwell Gottilly



When I was doing  my research on various doll histories and papier mache dolls in particular I had the opportunity to review a book entitled "Dollmaking With Papier Mache and Paper Clay by Doris Rockwell Gottilly" that I had bought years ago.

Dollmaking With Papier-Mâché and Paper Clay by Doris Rockwell Gottilly has complete instructions and patterns for making more than 20 figures.

According to her bio: Doris Rockwell Gottilly is a multi-media artist who specializes in sculptures depicting a wide range of characters using history and folk tales as inspiration.

This book is a useful for anyone who wants to learn how to create dolls or sculptures using papier-mâché or paper clay, both of which are inexpensive and air dry. It is filled with tutorials, step-by-step instructions, and tips for sculpting in general and for creating 20 figures out of papier-mâché or paper clay.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Linda's Review of Frosty Snowman Beaded and Buttoned Cross-Stitch Kit From Mill Hill #MH14-1304



I was not someone who was hoping for a white Christmas. In fact, given the horrendous snow season we had last winter, I was hoping we'd have a mild winter and maybe even - no snow! Unfortunately Mother Nature was not cooperative. We had our first horrible snow storm last Tuesday and, horrible it was! There was only 4 inches of it, but it was heavy and wet. It was like trying to move concrete. Impossible to push. Needless to say, hubby and I were not happy campers.

Given how much we dislike snow you would think I wouldn't like crafting snowman or snow ladies. Au contraire! I love crafting snowman and snow ladies. Go figure!

So, when deciding what cross-stitch kits I wanted to make this year I decided to do one with a snowman.  This time I decided to do Mill Hill Frosty Snowman Winter Buttons and Beads Counted Cross Stitch Kit, 5 by 5-Inch.

The Mill Hill Frosty Snowman Winter Buttons and Beads Counted Cross Stitch Kit, 5 by 5-Inch pattern uses full counted cross-stitch and beaded half stitch as well as beads of various sizes for emphasis and depth. It also uses straight and Smyrna stitch for highlighting and emphasis. The pattern also calls for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched as the background. In this case they were leaving sections of the navy blue perforated paper background untouched.

I decided to frame my finished cross-stitch picture using a Mill Hill wooden frame with snowflakes on it versus the Mill Hill Wooden Frame, 6 by 6-Inch, Matte Blue that was shown in the pattern picture. My frame is a 6" x 6" handpainted blue wooden frame painted with snowflakes but without glass.  Unlike the shadowbox frames I had been using more of the perforated paper would be seen surrounding the cross-stitch picture.

The pattern called for certain areas of the perforated paper to be left untouched as the background like the picture shown below: