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    *click on pictures to enlarge* Dinky Holden Special Sedan No. 196 Excellent Original Car & Box P

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    *click on pictures to enlarge* Matchbox Commer Milk Bottle Float No. 21C Excellent Original Truck wi

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  • 08/11/14--01:30: A Little Pumpkin History!

  • For some reason I got to thinking about pumpkins the other day.

    And, as you probably know - when I get to thinking - well, watch out! There may just be a history lesson coming.

    Pumpkins are a big part of the Fall line-up. Whether they are used as food or used as decorations or carved for celebrations they have a big role. So, I got to thinking about pumpkins and the history of pumpkins. How long have they been around and what started the jack-o-lantern craze?

    Artists and crafters have long had a fascination with pumpkins. The reason has to be because they are so versatile and no matter what type of arts & crafts you like to create - there is a pumpkin that can be made. They can be cute, delightful, and whimsical. Or, they can be downright scary and frightening. They can be wholesome or a little bit naughty. Kids love to draw them and carve them. I, of course, love to create pumpkin dolls and especially love to create custom pumpkin fabric.

    My research tells me that pumpkins originated somewhere in Central America between 5,500 and 7,000 B.C. and have been used as a food staple ever since.

    So, what exactly is a "pumpkin?"

    Well, according to "Pumpkin is the name of a plant that refers to certain cultivars of squash, most commonly those of Cucurbita pepo, that are round, with smooth, slightly ribbed skin and deep yellow to orange coloration. The thick shell contains the seeds and pulp. Some exceptionally large cultivars of squash with similar appearance have also been derived from Cucurbita maxima. Specific cultivars of winter squash derived from other species, including C. argyrosperma, and C. moschata, are also sometimes called "pumpkin". In New Zealand and Australian English, the term "pumpkin" generally refers to the broader category called winter squash elsewhere.

    Pumpkins, like other squash, are native to North America. Pumpkins are widely grown for commercial use, and are used both in food and recreation. Pumpkin pie, for instance, is a traditional part of Thanksgiving meals in the United States, although commercially canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie fillings are usually made from different kinds of winter squash than the pumpkins frequently carved as jack o'lanterns for decoration around Halloween.

    Pumpkins, like other squash, are thought to have originated in North America. The oldest evidence, pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 BC, were found in Mexico.

    Since some squash share the same botanical classifications as pumpkins, the names are frequently used interchangeably. One often used botanical classification relies on the characteristics of the stems: pumpkin stems are more rigid, prickly, and angular (with an approximate five-degree angle) than squash stems, which are generally softer, more rounded, and more flared where joined to the fruit.

    The color of pumpkins is derived from the orange pigments abundant in them. The main nutrients are lutein and both alpha and beta carotene, the latter of which generates vitamin A in the body.

    In America the pilgrims learned about pumpkins from the Native American Indians who would cut the pumpkins into strips and then cook them over the fire. They called pumpkins "isquotersquash." Very quickly pumpkins were added to the diets of the pilgrims.

    However, the pilgrims decided to cut the top of the pumpkin off and scoop out the seeds and then fill the pumpkin with honey, milk, and other spices and then baked it in hot coals. This concoction eventually became pumpkin pie as we know it today.

    The pilgrims, in turn, brought pumpkin seeds back to their European countries where it became a popular part of the European diet.

    In addition to use as a food staple, pumpkin shells were dried and cut into strips. Then the strips were weaved into mats.

    For the Iroquois the pumpkin was grown together with corn and beans and the three became known as the "three sisters." As with many things there is a legend surrounding the "three sisters."

    According to Iroquois legend, a pregnant woman who was living in the sky world wanted to have some bark of the root of the great tree that grew in the sky world. Her husband scraped the dirt away from the base of the tree to expose the roots and while doing so created a hole. After her husband had obtained the bark the woman leaned over and peered into the hole that had been created. She lost her balance and fell through the hole to the earth below and subsequently become the first human on earth.

    She eventually gave birth to a daughter who grew up and and became pregnant herself with twins by the West Wind. Just before the twins were to be born they got into a fight in the womb about how they were going to be born. The left handed twin did not want to be born in the usual way and, instead, forced himself out through his mother's left armpit which subsequently killed her. The twins buried their mother and after doing so noticed that corn, beans and pumpkins sprouted from the spot where she was buried. The three later became the main food staple of the Iroquois.

    Every Spring the Iroquois women would plant corn, bean, and pumpkin seeds together. They would dig holes and into each hole would put one corn seed, one bean seed, and one pumpkin seed along with a dead fish. The dead fish fertilized the ground while the corn stalk provided support for the bean vine to climb. The pumpkin plant provided ground cover to keep the weeds out and the roots of the bean added nutrients to the soil.

    Eventually with the arrival of the Irish in the 19Th century the use of pumpkins for "jack-o-lanterns" was born. The Irish already had an ancient tradition of hollowing out the inside of turnips and placing lighted candles inside to scare off the evil spirits. When the Irish came to America, they discovered that the pumpkin was a much larger substitute for the turnip. If it's larger, it's scarier. If it's scarier it will ward off evil spirits.

    So now we know about the history of the pumpkin. But, why are they called jack-o-lanterns? Well, it all started with a stingy Irishman (of course) named Jack who was a miserable old drunk. He like to play tricks on everyone including the Devil himself - which, of course, was very foolish. Well, he tricked the Devil into climbing up an apple tree and then placed crosses all around the base of the tree. The Devil couldn't get down from the tree due to the crosses so Jack made the Devil promise not to take his soul when he died. Jack removed the crosses and the Devil climbed down from the tree.

    Years later, when Jack died he was told by St. Peter at the gates of heaven that he would not be let into heaven due to the life he had led on earth. Since the Devil had promised Jack he wouldn't take his soul Jack wasn't able to enter hell, either. So he was forced to roam the earth between heaven and hell in darkness with just a burning coal inside his turnip ( i.e. "Jack O'Lantern) to light the way for him.

    I, personally, have made many pumpkin dolls and and various decorative crafts using my custom pumpkin fabric for my Linda Walsh Originals website.   All of my pumpkin designs and  handmade decorations made using my custom fabric designs are shown in the picture at the top of this post.   All of my handmade pumpkin decorations can be seen HERE.  My pumpkin e-patterns can be seen HERE and my print patterns can be seen HERE.

    I have also designed many custom fabrics using some of my pumpkin designs, including an adorable line of "Babies In The Pumpkin Patch Baby Shower" custom fabric designs.   My Fall Custom Fabric Designs Collection can be seen HERE and my "Babies In The Pumpkin Patch" Custom fabric Design Collection can be seen HERE. 

    I have also made many pumpkin dolls based on other designers patterns which can be seen in the picture in the middle of this post and HERE.

    So, pumpkins have been around for a long time. They have become an intricate part of the Fall season and Halloween. I suspect that that they will continue to be a popular tradition of families and children for years to come and, as a result, popular among artists and crafters as well.

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    I wanted to share some photos with you that I took as part of a promotional campaign for the new movie The Hundred-Foot Journey. The goal is to fuse French and Indian culture using decor, DIY’s or recipes. I had such a blast working on something a little out of my usual confort zone! Though […]

    The post one hundred feet and some photos appeared first on Small for Big.

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    set database: LEGO 6679 exxon tow truck

    image courtesy of bricklink
    image courtesy of peeron
    image courtesy of lugnet
    image courtesy of supadeef
    set number: 6679
    set name: exxon tow truck
    theme: townmaintenanceExxon
    year: 1980
    pieces: 65
    price: us$na
    minifig: 1
    nice town set.
    come with a town truck and a car.
    minifig included a driver minifig.
    great playability.
    overall design is great.
     Bookmark and Share

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    Warning: Madoka Magica movie spoilers ahead!

    There's pretty much a holy trilogy when it comes to super popular characters - scale figure, Nendoroid and figma. You have to be pretty in-demand to merit all three, a feat which all five of the Madoka Magica girls managed on original release. Now homura has managed it again, as Figsoku have revealed there's going to be a Nendo of her new 'Akuma' form, to go alongside the already seen scale and figma.

    I'm a little lukewarm on this, since hugely, complex designs tend to lose a lot when they're shrunk down to Nendo scale. The whole point of this looks is to be as huge and pectacualr as possible, which doesn't really match the super-deformed look. Still, I'm sure those who have already double dipped will be eager to add another piece to the shrine. Any readers out there pumped for this?

     [via Figsoku

    Nendoroid Akuma Homura completes the trilogy  screenshot


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    This weekend we saw a fan take their Supernatural Pop! needs into their own hands. Now it looks like there will indeed be more figures in this series. However, before you get too happy, you should know that these will be Hot Topic exclusives.

    So that means you will probably have a hell of a time trying to get your hands on them. Yes, I remember the fury fans were in trying to find a Castiel Pop!  I guess Funko saw that as good business, because they are again offering another Castiel figure as an exclusive.

    This time the Castiel Pop! figure will have his angel wings. Hot Topic will also be offering an exclusive pre-release of Felicia Day’s character, Charlie. This is the first female character to get a figure and has been made with her wearing her earphones and bag.

    These Supernatural figures will be available at Hot Topic soon, so if you want one, be ready!

    [via Pop Vinyls]

    More Supernatural Pop! Exclusives will be coming to Hot Topic screenshot


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    Hasbro and Ubisoft have announced the Hasbro Game Channel, a destination for family game entertainment on leading consoles, featuring games based on Hasbro’s most popular brands. The Hasbro Game Channel will be available to download this fall on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. All games will also be available for download individually on Xbox 360 [...]

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    WOW!! How lovely are these Bedtime Bunnies by Peter Kato and Andrea Kang?! This dreamy collaboration is the first release of Peter’s Bedtime Bunnies Artist Series. Andrea Kang x Peter Kato Bedtime Bunnies will be available Thursday, August 14 starting at 6pm PST at There will be 10 individually hand painted designs by Andrea […]

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    Hot Toys has announced another sixth scale collectible from Marvel Studios’ latest hit – Guardians of the Galaxy. The deadly assassin, and one of Thano’s adopted daughters, Gamora is specially crafted based on the image of Zoe Saldana from the movie. Sideshow Collectibles currently has the figure available to pre-order for $199.99. It's expected to […]

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    Anyone who has ever played with dolls, has come across paper dolls: figures cut out of paper or thin card, with separate clothes, also made of paper, that are usually held onto the dolls by folding tabs. They have been around as long as paper has: the Japanese folded origami into kimono shapes as far back as 600 AD. I first came across them as a young boy around 10 or 11 years old, in the teen-girl magazines my cousins used to buy. Soon I was buying them too: not only to collect any Olivia Newton-John photo I could lay my hands on, but also to cut out and play with my first fashion models. In no time, I had started to design clothes for them, then made my own dolls too. It wasn't until my late teens that I discovered the king of paper dolls: Tom Tierney.

    Tierney was born at Beaumont, Texas, on October 8th, 1928 and his formal art instruction began at the age of six with a private instructor, Juanita Brown. He began studying life drawing and landscape painting at the age of twelve under Coleman Cohen and still-life painting under Mrs. Joe Price. On graduating from high school in l945, he received the Nancy Beeman Strong Art Scholarship award and the Veesy Rainwater Painting Scholarship award. He attended Lamar Junior College from 1945 to 1946 and in 1947 entered the University of Texas College of Fine Arts, graduating in 1949, magna cum laude, with a B.F.A., majoring in painting and minoring in sculpture. 

    While attending the University of Texas he worked as a student assistant in the art history, sculpture, and graphic arts departments. In 1948, while still attending the University of Texas, he won the Texas Fellowship Painting Award and spent a semester studying in Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (University of Colorado). He also worked on stage sets with the Hanya Holm modern dance group. He was an accomplished artist and professional illustrator long before he started making his paper dolls.

    Tom began freelance fashion illustration while in high school for local department stores in his home town and continued doing freelance fashion illustration in Austin, while attending the University of Texas. Upon graduation he became a fashion illustrator for Scarborough's Department Store specializing in women's wear. Tierney then moved to Houston, and became a layout artist for Foley's department store. From Foley's he was then hired from The Fashion woman's specialty store as a fashion illustrator: while he was working there, it was purchased by Nieman Marcus, becoming Nieman's of Houston. In 1954, he moved to New York and attended Pratt Institute (1954-55); while being there, Tom began free-lancing for J. C. Penney. His association with the firm lasted for over fourteen years. At the same time he did freelance art for Harper's Bazaar, Sports Illustrated Magazine, and many other brands and stores.

    In 1975 Tom was looking for a unique Christmas present for his mother. Remembering that she had saved her paper doll collection from when she was a girl in the early 20th century, he decided to make her some paper dolls of the 30s movie stars who had been her favourites. Pleased with the dolls (Garbo, Harlow and Gable), his mother showed them to a number of friends, one of whom was a literary agent. The agent in turn convinced Tom that it was possible to get them published, and as a result, his first book, "Thirty from the `30s", came out by Prentice-Hall in 1976.

    Tom Tierney's first paper doll book, cover image from The Judy Garland Database

    In 1978, Dover Publications Inc. contacted Tom and proposed that he do some paper doll books for them. During the '80s Tom and Joyce McClelland published a series of paper doll folios under the imprimatur of "Fine Arts Limited Editions". These folios included a series of famous stage and screen personalities as well a several folios on famous women authors. In 1994 he began an association with B. Shackman Inc. Publications in addition to his affiliation with Dover.

    The New York Times reviewed Tom Tierney's work thrice: he is the only paper doll artist to have a review in their Literary Section. He appeared on several TV programs and featured in a number of major newspaper's articles, all about paper dolls.

    In an interview published on the website of Dover Publications, he said about them: " I don't mean to boast, but I'm rather proud of having made them into something more than just kids' stuff. My books can be a way to discover things that you weren't taught in school. And I like to think that they bring their subjects to life for readers, just the way they do for me when I work on them. Sometimes I receive very touching letters, especially from students. Recently, I heard from a young man who said that he wanted to thank me for his career. It seems his sister had given him one of my books when he was a child, and he was so taken with my art that he studied and imitated my style. He ended up going to art school, getting a degree, and finding a job as a corporate artist—and he gave me credit for guiding him toward what turned out to be a very rewarding choice of professions. I must say, it's been a satisfying career for me, so if I can help influence young artists, then my work is all the more worthwhile. They started out as a lark, but when the jobs for fashion illustrators began to decline, the paper dolls stepped in and gave me a full-time living. As in any profession, you have to keep ahead of the crowd and learn how to adapt to changing times. I produce one Dover book every month, on the average. It's a lot of work—but I enjoy it, so my work is my pleasure."

    Tierney published around 400 paper doll books, most of them with Dover Publications, and sold more than four million copies. Adults, even more than children, became his fans and started collecting the perfectly drawn and fastidiously detailed creations. He's the one credited with resuscitating the art of the paper doll: breathing new life into it, he pushed it into the modern era and inspired many younger designers who keep on the flame. He was not afraid to push the boundaries of his metier, publishing in the late 70s a book with gay paper dolls called Attitude; years later he did one with cross dressers and drag queens like Ru Paul. He died on July 12th, 2014, 85 years old. He will be sorely missed.

    Biography data from Tom Tierney Paper Dolls

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    Kotobukiya's Bishoujo lineup seems to be growing by the day. The latest Street Fighter gal to hit the, uh, streets is Cammy. Although she isn't out in the US, she is currently available to import from Japanese retailers.

    When a 2D design gets translated to 3D, you'd expect some slight differences. With Cammy, I think there has been a significant shift in style thanks to the sculpt. Whether that's good or bad depends on your tastes, but read on to see what I'm talking about.

    Tomopop Review: Kotobukiya's Street Fighter Bishoujo Cammy screenshot


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    This post brought to you by Post Great Grains Cereal. All opinions are 100% mine. I often think about all of the things that make me feel good. What makes me great is my ability to create something special with what moments I have. My compassion for life and love of all things sunshine are… [read more]

    The post Great Grains Blueberry Muffin Recipe appeared first on Our Ordinary Life.

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    This post brought to you by American Frozen Foods Institute and the Frozen Food Roundtable. All opinions are 100% mine. One thing we like to do is make semi-homemade meals. It's so easy to create a fresh meal for your family in a flash and as we head into the school season it's even more… [read more]

    The post Cheesy Bacon Tater Tot Casserole appeared first on Our Ordinary Life.

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    Palette’s magical journey through tokidoki-land continues! Follow her as she makes her way through the wondrous and dazzling Magic Sky! tokidoki for LeSportsac Animation Series – “Palette in tokidoki-land” Scene 2: Magic Sky. Check back next Monday for the next episode!

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    NECA has revealed more details and a small gallery of images for their upcoming Jet Pack Robocop, which will be shipping in a few weeks time. First off, it should be noted that this Robocop is the...

    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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    NECA has revealed more details and a small gallery of images for their upcoming Jet Pack Robocop, which will be shipping in a few weeks time. First off, it should be noted that this Robocop is the same Robocop sculpt that has been used in past releases. Though this one was given a bluer hue, […]

    Action Figure Fury - Action Figure and Toy News, Reviews, and More!

    More Details and Images Revealed for NECA’s Jet Pack Robocop Action Figure

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    In just 4 short years, Funko has been able to take the world by storm with their cute line of Pop! Vinyl Figures, selling over 17 million pieces. Many retailers already offer exclusive versions of everyone’s favorite characters, but who would have ever thought that Walmart wants to join the fun? Well, they do and […]

    Action Figure Fury - Action Figure and Toy News, Reviews, and More!

    Walmart Exclusive Black and White Daryl Dixon Pop! Vinyl Figure Available This Week

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    In just 4 short years, Funko has been able to take the world by storm with their cute line of Pop! Vinyl Figures, selling over 17 million pieces. Many retailers already offer exclusive versions of...

    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

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    Funko has announced plans to attend Gen Con Indy 2014 and will be showcasing (and selling) its collectibles at booth 153 (across from the Family Fun Pavilion) from August 14th through the 17th.

    Gen Con will offer fans their first chance to pick up Funko's Magic: The Gathering Legacy figures as well as the ONLY chance to own a show-exclusive flocked Pop! Ajani Goldmane. The flocked Ajani will be on sale for US$15.

    Funko heading to Gen Con Indy, bringing an exclusive flocked Pop! Ajani Goldmane screenshot

older | 1 | .... | 1911 | 1912 | (Page 1913) | 1914 | 1915 | .... | 4512 | newer