I have loved dolls, history, and the Victorian Era since I was little and can credit my grandmother for that. As a young girl she gave me a Godey’s Fashion print for August 1870 from my great, great Aunt Flossie. I was captivated by the dresses and became hooked. I just love to research everything and anything about the Victorian Era. I also love to design Victorian dolls. I hope you enjoy my Victorian Dolls, Victorian Traditions,The Victorian Era, and Me blog.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Giving Of Christmas Cards - A Wonderful Tradition!

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is the wonderful tradition of giving and receiving Christmas Cards. I love Christmas Cards, especially if they are handmade or contain a handwritten note or letter.

Why? Because they are just such a joy to give and to receive. A way to wish your friends and family a happy holiday season, tell them what's happening in your life, and catch up on what is happening in their lives.

Sadly, however, Christmas Cards with personalized notes are becoming a long lost tradition. People just don't want or haven't the time anymore to write you a note. Sadly, some people don't even have the time to send you a card. I hope that doesn't happen as it could be the end of a beautiful tradition.

In this fast paced, no time for anything world traditions are important. Some Christmas Cards contain computerized notes informing everyone of what is happening with them and their families. In a computerized world this was bound to happen. This is fine. At least you can still keep in touch. And, it sure saves time for the sender.

In fact, I have to admit that this year will be the first year that I will be sending computerized notes. I usually spend a week handwriting all my cards, but this year, I just do not have the time. So, I will just have to enclose my computerized letter. I hope nobody minds.

However, there is something happening which is just wonderful and could become a lovely tradition all unto itself. The paper industry, scrapbook, and create your own cards industry is booming. It seems like everyone is into making your own cards. If you do this you can't send out as many as you do with boxed cards, but how delightful it would be to receive them.

This year I thought it would be nice to create all my Christmas cards myself. I found some Christmas card kits where the card has a sewn with material image and message contained within. I loved it and decided I'd join the millions of scrapbook enthusiasts who are making their own cards. I'm not a scrapbooker, but just love looking at all the products they have nowadays for card makers and scrapbookers. Unfortunately, this too will have to wait until next year. I just don't have the time. And, I'm not happy about that. However......

So, why do I love sending and receiving Christmas Cards? Because I love catching up with what is going on whether it's a handwritten note or a computerized letter. I cherish all the Christmas Cards that I have ever received with handwritten notes or computerized letters. For some of my friends this is the only correspondence that we have every year and it provides a way for us to stay in touch.

In fact, I have never thrown a Christmas Card with a handwritten note or computerized letter away. All of them are in my memory books (albeit I'm on Volume #32 now, but...). For someone like me who is getting older my memory books provide a means of looking back and remembering. The Christmas Cards provide the timeframe.

I know my family would be astonished by this, too. I have kept every single Birthday card, Valentine's Day card, Anniversary card, Christmas card, etc. that I have ever received from anyone since I was about 7 years old. It's so nice to be able to go back and look at the cards I received and what was said by my beautiful Step-Daughter, Grandmothers, Grandfather, Old Family Friends, and my Father, all of whom are no longer with us. Re-reading them always brings back such warm and cherished memories for me. I know, call me an old softie. I admit it.

I have to admit that some of my FAVORITE and most beautiful Christmas Cards that I have received have been from my niece. You see, she makes every single Christmas Card by hand. They are all elaborate, artistic creations she has designed and I cherish everyone of them.

Last year the card became a three dimensional ornament. Another year it contained a phrase from a John Lennon song. They are always beautiful, have exquisite detail and I love to receive them. I have spread pictures of them throughout this article so you can enjoy them too. She's probably going to kill me for doing this, but I'm such a proud Aunt. My niece is so talented I just had to show all of you. She can throttle me later.

So, since, we're coming into the Christmas Card giving season I thought it would be a nice idea to take a look at this Christmas tradition. Where did the tradition of giving Christmas Cards begin?

Well (surprise, surprise), it began in Victorian England in 1843, the same year that Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol." John C. Horsley is actually credited with this, but it was actually at the suggestion of his friend, Sir Henry Cole, that the first Christmas Card was created and published.

It seems that Sir Henry Cole was caught in the mad holiday rush (sound familiar) and was unable to send the traditional written Christmas message to his friends and associates. Instead he sent them an illustrated holiday greeting. The card was divided into three panels and was designed by his friend John C. Horsley. The main illustration showed the three elders at a party raising wine glasses in a toast the side panels showed two Yuletide traditions - feeding the hungry and clothing the needy. The message inside 150 years later is still the most popular greeting of all: "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you." Henry Cole's cards caused quite a stir. Back then you could send letters for just a penny each (can you imagine 1 penny!)

In the 1860's greeting card companies began appearing all over England. In 1846 Christmas Cards started in America, but didn't really take off until 1920 when advances in printing technology added to the popularity of Christmas Cards. That's also when the color red started being associated with Christmas.
Christmas Card giving is such a wonderful and lovely tradition. Sending warm holiday greetings is such a beautiful way to say

"A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To You!"

Copyright © 2006 - All Rights Reserved - Written By Linda Walsh.  Linda is a doll maker and doll pattern designer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another Victorian Cross-Stitch Picture And It's Absolutely Wonderful!

I don't know if you remember or not, but last December I wrote a blog post entitled  "You Spent How Many Hours On That Cross-Stitch?" that talked about my spending over 250 hours on a cross-stitch picture. Back then you may have thought that 250 hours is a long time to spend on one project. Well, if I told you that I just spent 315 hours on another cross-stitch picture you might think I really have lost my mind.

I started this Dimensions Needlecrafts Counted Cross Stitch, In Her Gardenon December 29, 2010 and finally finished it on May 14, 2011. Hubby painstakingly documented my progress day by day so we'd have a detailed breakdown. I worked on this a few hours every day - every chance I got. I quickly learned that there were a lot of color changes due to all the flowers and, as a result, this was going to take a lot of time. And, for sure, it did.

So, was the 315 hours worth it? Absolutely! I'd do it again as the cross-stitch picture framed (shown in the picture above) is absolutely stunning.

To give you a little background on why I would create yet another massive cross-stitch picture I have to take you back to the rationale for my previous cross-stitch picture.  In July, 2010 I wrote a Linda's Blog post about my pressed flower pictures entitled "My Pressed Flower Pictures - Now That's A Great Idea!" In that post I told you about a large pressed flower picture I had made that was hanging in our master bedroom and, sadly, was fading which meant it needed to be replaced.

Well, my husband thought a needlepoint picture like the one I had done in the dining room but much bigger would be nice. I wrote about this needlepoint picture awhile ago in a Linda's Blog post entitled "Needlecraft Picture From A Decade Ago - Or So!"

So, since our house is filled with dolls and pictures of buildings & houses I thought a cross-stitch Victorian scene might be just the thing. So, I set out to find some large cross-stitch kits that would be suitable.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Day For Lilies

Easter - the end of the winter and the beginning of spring. What a wonderful time of the year. When I think of Easter I think of Easter outfits, Easter baskets, church services,  and Easter lilies.

My favorite, of course, is Victorian Easter dresses. Second to that is the Easter lily. I can remember coming home each Easter from church with an Easter Lily. I loved them then and I love them now. In fact, I have a garden filled with them along with tiger lilies, daffodils, tulips and day lilies.

The reason my garden is filled with them is because each and every Easter for the last 30 years or so my Mother would bring one to me. After the blooms were gone I'd plant it in my garden. That way, every year I got to marvel at the sheer beauty and delicacy of its blooms. They are magnificent.

The lily is a symbol of purity because of its whiteness and very delicate form. It symbolizes innocence. It's called the Easter lily because the flowers bloom in early Spring, around Easter. The white lily, or Bermuda trumpet, was brought to the United States from Bermuda in 1880 by Mrs. Thomas P. Sargent of Philadelphia, Pa. It has become the mainstay of Easter floral arrangements and church decorations.

This will be the second year without an Easter lily from Mom.  While we won't have a lily to look at we will have many, many wonderful memories of beautiful Easter Sunday's with Mom.  Sitting in our sun-room or outside in the gardens we will always have treasured memories of times filled with love, laughter, and beautiful lilies.

If you have an Easter lily or have been given one make sure that you plant it in your garden. That way you'll see it bloom time and time again. So, each year you can't help but marvel at its magnificence.

We hope everyone has a very Happy Easter.

Graphics - Courtesy of The Graphics Fairy at http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Don't Ask Hilda To Gossip! She's Too Much Of A Lady For That! - Victorian Lady Doll

Hilda is a very friendly lady and just loves to visit the neighbors, especially those who are new in town.  She's a one woman welcoming committee and just loves to tell her neighbors all about her town and all the activities that are going on.  It's a small town so Hilda is well informed as to all the activities.

Hilda is an 11" free standing cloth and wood doll.   Her arms are wire-shaped and covered. She also has a painted wood head and covered round wood base. Her inner body is made from a dowel covered with fabric and eyelet lace.  Her lace trimmed slip is gathered at the waist.

She has a ruffled at the shoulder dress with long ruffled and gathered sleeves and ruffled bottom. Her shawl is  fringed and a silver heart serves as a clasp.  She has long black hair wrapped in a braid framing her face, and is carrying a food basket.

Hilda just loves to tell her new neighbors all that's going on. However, don't ask her for any gossip. Hilda is too much of a Victorian lady to engage in gossip.

Designer - Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals

Friday, March 18, 2011

Helen Louise Is Ready For Her Graduation Day! - Victorian Lady Doll

Helen Louise has been anxiously awaiting her college graduation.  Much more so than when she graduated from high school.

You see, she is the first person in her family to graduate from college.  She worked very hard during her high school years and graduated as valedictorian of her class with a 4.0 GPA.  She wanted to get into Harvard , to study law, and become a lawyer.  She even had dreams of one day serving on the Supreme Court.

Right now she is just thrilled she is graduating and that her whole family will be at the graduation ceremony, including her grandmother.  So, she's wearing an outfit that she knows her grandmother would love.

Helen Louise  is a free-standing cloth and wood doll.  Her arms are wire-shaped and covered. She also has a painted wood head and covered round wood base. Her inner body is made from a dowel covered with fabric and eyelet lace.  Her slip is lace trimmed and gathered at the waist.

She has a fancy multi-tiered 2 color lace trimmed dress with long lace trimmed and gathered sleeve and a ruffled and laced collar.    She has a lace shawl wrapped around her shoulders and a  pearl necklace around her neck.  Her beautiful brown curly hair is tied in a ponytail at the top of her head with floral accents.

Helen is especially proud that her grandmother will be attending her college graduation. She hopes she will be attending her law school graduation and will be the first person she calls when she passes the bar.

Her grandmother always wanted to attend college, but that was not in the cards for her. However, it was for Helen Louise and her grandmother could not be prouder of her.

Designer - Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Adorable Little Guy - Elmer - Victorian Boy Doll

One of my most popular e-patterns continues to be "Elmer's Little Boy." It's not difficult to see why that is. He's just so cute you just want to squeeze him. As a result, he gets squeezed a lot.

Elmer's Little Boy" is so cute you just want to squeeze him. With a big pot belly and big ears he has loads of charm. Worse - he knows it and uses it to his every advantage. He can charm them young, he can charm them old, male or female. It doesn't matter. They all succumb to his charm and that impish gleam in his eyes.

Nellie - My Victorian Snow-lady Doll

Two things today got me to thinking about "Nellie" my Victorian snowlady doll pattern. The first is that it is once again snowing outside. This is the fourth time this week. I'm beginning to think that Mother Nature is out to get us or, at the very least, inundate us with snow.

The second is a comment from my husband. When the Christmas decorations are put away the Winter decorations, also known as snowpeople, make their appearance. In the front foyer of our house I have a seasonal display. Right now there is a large floral basket with all the winter blue colors and three of my snowpeople dolls there. The focal point of the winter display is my "Nellie" Victorian snowlady doll.

"Nellie" was named after my husband's GrandAunt who was born in May of 1889, definitely during the Victorian Era. Or, at the very least, towards the end of the Victorian Era. All I could think of while I was designing her was that "Nellie" had to have been a bit on the shy, defined, and eloquent side. So, my "Nellie" had to be also.

Yah, so? Linda, will you please get to the second reason!!! Okay, okay. You know how I love to get off track. In any event, my husband told me yesterday that he thinks that my "Nellie" Victorian snowlady doll is the best doll I've ever made. Well, I couldn't agree with him more. She really is quite stunning. I have to keep that to myself though as "Nellie" is quite full of herself as are most of the dolls I've made. She just loves to be on display and begged me to show you the new pictures that I've just taken of her so you could judge for yourselves.

"Nellie" is a free-standing 23" tall and is wearing an 1893 Victorian Ladies Street Costume. She has a fancy double-tiered lace trimmed dress, full length double-tiered laced trimmed (inside and out) lined jacket with long puffed sleeves, fancy lace and floral decorated lined hat, lace trimmed and gathered slip, lace trimmed and gathered bloomers, lace trimmed parasol, and lace gloves. Her arms are wire-shaped and covered. Her hair is white with bangs and is fastened in a bun. Her face is partly embroidered and she has a covered Styrofoam head and cloth body supported by a wood dowel and covered wood base. Her fancy hat is tied with a lace ribbon into a bow on the side of her head.

"Nellie" is one of my more advanced patterns and requires a more experienced sewer. It's not that she is "difficult" herself (she told me to tell you that) it's just that her clothing is intricately designed. Her lined coat is adorned with lace both inside and out.

So, what do you think? Is she stunning? If you think so, please don't tell her. Make sure you send me a confidential e-mail. "Nellie" is quite the snoop and if she found out there would be no living with her then. She'd want to be on display year round. And then I'd have "Dollie WWIII" going on in my house. Please, please if you think she's gorgeous let ME know. Just don't tell"Nellie."

Designer - Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I Just Love My Victorian Cross-Stitch Picture

If I told you that I had spent over 250 hours on a cross-stitch picture you'd probably think I was nuts.  However,  if you're a follower of my The Book Review Corner blog you already know that I love needlecraft's.  So, spending 250+ hours on a cross-stitch might not be hard to imagine.

I did spend that much time on one cross-stitch during the last few months and I'd do it again as the cross-stitch picture (shown in the picture above and shown framed in the picture below) is absolutely stunning.  If you click on both images you can view an enlarged version of the picture.

To give you a little background on why I would do this, back in July I wrote a Linda's Blog post about my pressed flower pictures entitled "My Pressed Flower Pictures - Now That's A Great Idea!"  In that post I told you about a large pressed flower picture I had made that was hanging in our master bedroom and, sadly, was fading which meant it needed to be replaced.

Well, my husband thought a needlepoint picture like the one I had done in the dining room but much bigger would be nice. I wrote about this needlepoint picture awhile ago in a Linda's Blog post entitled "Needlecraft Picture From A Decade Ago - Or So!"

So, since our house is filled with dolls and pictures of buildings & houses I thought a cross-stitch Victorian scene might be just the thing. So, I set out to find some large cross-stitch kits that would be suitable.