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    Copyright ©  2012 - All Rights Reserved - Written By Linda Walsh

    I just LOVE embroidering with blanket stitches.  Since several of my e-patterns require blanket stitching I thought I'd create a blanket stitch illustration and add it to my group of free Linda's How-Do-I Series? of e-books.  Enjoy.

    Please respect My Terms of Use: All patterns, e-patterns, e-books, tutorials, how-to's, and e-products © 2004-2012 Linda Walsh Originals-Designs by Linda Walsh. All rights reserved, including downloading, mass producing, photocopying, enlargements, reductions,and all other forms of reproduction, website sharing, Email, RSS feeds, or any other means of redistribution. Commercial selling or reselling by any means, including eBay or any other website by permission only.

    Copyright © 2012 - All Rights Reserved - Written By Linda Walsh of Linda Walsh Originals, Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns, and Linda's Blog. Linda is a doll maker and doll pattern designer.

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    One of the free style needle felted pictures that I wanted to create recently was a needle felted winter scene with a church so that I could use some of the wonderful white roving that my sister had given me from her alpacas.  She and her husband are the owners of Rock Garden Alpacas and Rock Garden Alpacas Fiber.

    I thought it would be nice to create a mountain type church winter scene with a church, evening stars, mountain range, evergreen trees, and oak tree and then create a pattern so you could create one of your own.

    At the last minute I decided to add the Dimensions Needlecrafts Needle Felted Character Kit, Snowman that I had created and blogged about and reviewed in a Linda's Blog post entitled Dimensions Needle Felted Snowman Kit" as I thought he looked cute with the scene.

    However, my e-pattern does not include directions for making the Dimensions snowman. You will have to purchase the Dimensions Needlecrafts Needle Felted Character Kit, Snowman yourself if you want to add him to your needle felted picture.

    My pattern includes tips for needle felting, step-by-step instructions for completing my church winter scene picture (minus the snowman), a colored church picture instruction steps sheet so you can see what piece belongs to what step, a colored church picture layout sheet that is the actual size of your needle felted church picture, and pattern pieces.

    Designer - Linda Walsh Originals

    For more information and to purchase my new needle felted church picture e-pattern please CLICK HERE.

    I hope you like my needle felted church picture and hope you decide to create one of your own.

    Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals Dolls - "Handmade Dolls & Crafts for Grown-up Girls!"

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    After my sister and I had gotten a feel for the roving from our Dimensions snowman and penguin needle felting kits we decided we wanted to create some free style needle felted pictures. I decided on a conservative, less challenging winter snowman and tree scene while she embarked on a daring landscape scene the beginnings of which is shown below.

    My sister wanted her free style needle felting picture to be some sort of mountain scene with trees, sun, mountains, grasslands and a moose which she's working on in the picture below.

    She worked on her scene for quite sometime while I was experimenting with some of the flower molds. All of a sudden I notice out of the corner of my eye that she was ripping felting off her picture. That's the beauty of needle felted crafts if you don't like something just rip it out! So, she did. Rip! Rip!

    I didn't realize what she had ripped out until I heard whimpering and then saw the following on my work area:

    It was the baby moose. She had ripped the baby moose out of her free style needle felted scene. The poor guy! Just ripped right out......

    I really felt bad for him and asked her what happened. She replied that she didn't like it so out he came! Poor baby moosey.....

    He was still whimpering after she finished her scene with flowers instead of a moose. Poor baby moosey....

    I could see that she was pleased with the flowers and how her scene had turned out. I had to admit it was nice, but poor baby moosey.....

    We wanted to use some of the unfinished wood trays we had bought as shadow boxes for our pictures and after trimming her scene a little the medium sized tray worked like a charm as you can see from the picture below:

    So, she left it for me to sponge paint and moved on to another free hand style creation. This time it was a gingerbread man that she made using her alpaca, Ivy's, wonderful medium brown roving.

    She worked on it for a while until she got it just right and was pleased with him when she was finished.  He had really turned out quite cute so she decided to take him home with her.  In fact, he had a place of honor in the passenger seat for the ride home.

    All the while this was going on I could hear whimpering in the background.  I had moved baby moosey to a different spot so she couldn't throw him away.  I just felt so bad for him.  Poor baby moosey....

    After my sister went home and I had finished with the other needle felted free style pictures I was creating I decided to sponge paint all the unfinished frames and shadowboxes we were using for the needle felted crafts we had made.   I sponge painted my sister's scene with a dark brown base with burgundy, light brown, green, and light gray sponged highlights.

    I really liked the way it turned out (which is shown in the picture below) and thought the shadowbox tray really enhanced her free style picture.  I hope she does, too!

    I had put all the sponge painted projects I had completed on my dining room table over night so I could take pictures of them the next morning.

    After setting up the backdrop for my pictures and setting up my camera I put my sister's southwestern shadow box tray on the counter and this is what I saw through the lens:

    It was baby moosey. He had found a way to be part of her scene after all.

    Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals Dolls - "Handmade Dolls & Crafts for Grown-up Girls!"

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    Episode THIRTY-FOUR of the AFB Podcast is live at iTunes and is now available for direct download! Download and subscribe to the podcast at iTunes now!  Please note there is no enhanced podcast this week! Join&nb...

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    set database: LEGO 8242 slammer turbo

    image courtesy of peeron
    image courtesy of bricklink
    image courtesy of lugnet

    image courtesy of peeron
    set number: 8242
    set name: slammer turbo
    year: 2001
    pieces: 253
    price: us$20
    minifigs: none
    medium technic set.
    main model is a racing car.
    can be built into a building alternative.
    building alternative included a tri wheel racer.
    come with a slammer.
    overall design is good.
    Bookmark and Share

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    Way back in 2006 and 2007, the Disney Store introduced mini RC’s with a town playset that was quasi in scale (the leftover sets were available until about 2010). But now they are back … Luigi’s Della Casa Tires The Mini RC’s are actually quite nice – pretty responsive controls and fun for little tykes [...]

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    DC Collectibles, the exclusive line of collector items from DC Entertainment, has added even more high-end custom graphic prints to its online store. The prints have proven to be extremely popular and ten new prints have been added to the store, making a total of 32 prints now available for sale online. Check out all [...]

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    Kato N Scale UnitramUnitrack – Unitram Power Feeder Cable KA-44-847 See Discount Price Kato N

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    Undisputed Single Source Party Supplies – 25 Skylanders (EARTH) Cupcake Edible Icing Image Top

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    Single Source Party Supplies – 25 Skylanders (UNDEAD) Cupcake Edible Icing Image Toppers 11

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    Secrets Single Source Party Supplies – Justin Bieber Cake Edible Icing Image 2 – 80 x

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  • 10/21/12--13:18: Ogre Ladder Toy
  • I found this awesome Asian children’s toy while I was picking at a local antiques dealer. You

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    New images of the third Party toy maker SXS new A-02 accessory kit for the Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime deluxe class action figure. The new pics show this upgrade that adds a sword that is modeled after the one shown in the game as well as a shield of unknown origin. Check out the new images for the SXS Toys Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime sword and shield accessory kit below.

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    So, if you could have three Steiff wishes, what would they be?  Steiffgal knows that's a really hard question, and would have trouble answering it herself.  But it's certainly easy to dream big when it comes to Steiff auctions!   And, many of the lots at the upcoming Teddy Dorado auction on October 27th, 2012 offer plenty of opportunity for happy thoughts!  You can check out the event's online catalog by clicking here... but be forewarned that you just may fall in love with a treasure or two (or more!)  Take a look at Steiffgal's bronze, silver, and gold picks for this upcoming Steiff auction... and what makes them so interesting from a design and historical perspective.

    Steiffgal's bronze medal choice makes her want to shake, rattle, and roll.  Here we have an adorable Steiff rattle bear in like new condition.  This tiny Ted is 10.5 cm sitting, 13.5 cm standing, five ways jointed, and made from white mohair.  Her face is detailed with black glass eyes and a brown hand embroidered nose and mouth.  She has long and slender arms and legs and a pointy muzzle.  Because of her petite proportions, her hands and feet do not have felt paws.  She is hard stuffed with excelsior and has a bell rattle in her belly.  Ted retains her large, trailing "F" button; it it is estimated that she was produced in the 1912 through 1925 time frame.  Interestingly, she come in a pretty, festive cardboard box that is labeled "Weihnachten 1925" or "Christmas 1925." 

    And what makes this sweet Ted the leader of the band?  Clearly, no Steiff enthusiast could resist her adorable facial expression or immaculate condition.  Not bad for a gal who's probably close to ninety years old!  But she's got rhythm for sure!  Her still functional rattle - a feature which Steiff used on a handful of its most popular c. 10 cm models through the 1920's - can't help but make most Steiff collectors feel like dancing!

    Our silver medal choice is truly larger than life.  Here we have Steiff's Dwarf Spitz dog; he measures 20.5 cm high and approximately 20 cm long.  This Miniature Pomeranian dog is unjointed and standing.  He is hard stuffed with excelsior.  His body is made from long pile mohair, while his face, legs, and the back of his ears are made from short white mohair.  His face is detailed with dark brown and black glass pupil eyes and a black hand embroidered back nose and mouth.  The insides of his ears are lined in white felt.  He has a working lateral pressure voice squeaker.  Spitz retains his original red leather collar with metal ring; short trailing "F" Steiff button, "Dwarf Spitz" named chest tag, and fully legible yellow ear tag.  This delightful dog was manufactured in the 1935 through 1943 time frame. 

    And what makes this little guy such a big deal? First, his condition is just extraordinary. It is challenging to find pristine examples of Steiff items from the late 1930 through early 1940 time frame - but this guy takes the blue ribbon in all categories here. Plus, Steiff has a wonderful history and legacy of producing Spitz or Pomeranian dogs. Over time, since the turn of last century, Steiff has produced this breed on wheels, fully jointed, and as a pincushion on a red velvet pillow. The earliest models were decorated with a red cord with two pom-poms or tassels around his neck, giving then a “regal” appearance. The breed does have some connections to German royalty, which may explain why they are decorated like “little kings”.  

    You'll have to take Steiffgal's word on this - this Steiff "book" certainly deserves the gold medal!  Here we have Steiff's Spielbuch or Game Book.   This item is approximately 18.5 cm wide and about 15.5 cm high.  According to Steiff records, it was designed to provide "different templates for children from two years, to the placement of tactile sensitivity, color joy, skill and sense."  This unusual item is made from sheets of thick felt and is "bound" by metal rings.  Each page features hands on to-dos for young children, including activities related to colors, sizes, snaps, ties, buttons, and the like. The cover features a large, mostly flat three dimensional mohair rabbit head; his face is detailed with large brown and black glass pupil eyes, a pink-red hand embroidered nose and mouth, felt lined ears, and a red ribbon and bell. His ear is branded with a short trailing "F" Steiff button and a fully legible yellow ear tag.  The Game Book appeared in the Steiff catalog from 1935 through 1937; this particular example is the property of a former Steiff assistant.  

    And what makes this Game Book today's winning best seller? This page turner certainly meets the gold standard in terms of the WOW factor...  it is so rare, unusual, and in relatively good condition given its age and raison d'être.  And, in all honesty, Steiffgal didn't even realize such an item ever existed in the line before reading about it in the Teddy Dorado catalog, and it's pretty hard to "stump the chump."  Don't you think it would be a divine addition to Steiffgal's library and archive? 

    Steiffgal hopes this sneak peek at highlights from the upcoming Teddy Dorado auction has you going once, going twice, going three times to check out their other amazing offerings at
     Have a question about one of your Steiff treasures, family or otherwise? Let's talk! Click here to learn more. 

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  • 10/21/12--15:59: Sendai

  • Located in the North of Japan is Sendai - the capital city of the Miyagi Prefecture. Sendai is the setting for anime titles like Kannagi and Sengoku Basara and was also the biggest city to be hardest hit by the 2011.03 earthquake.

    The first photo is of daimyo Date Masamune who founded the city back in 1600 - his statue can be found at the Sendai Castle ruins on Mount Aoba.

    We spent a few days in the city after covering the recovery efforts of the earthquake and tsunami - citizens were doing their best to bring back life into the region by celebrating the Tanabata Festival.

    Before we proceed, just want to apologise for the exposure of these photos being too high ><

    At our hotel. A bathroom that looks like this is called a "Unit Bathroom" - small and convenient for houses (yes they come in houses/mansions too) but everything in the unit gets damp - including towels and toilet paper ><

    After hotel checkin, we head out to explore town. Some folks here preparing for the firework festivities that are to take place later on that night.

    There are many establishments in Japan where you can spend time with ladies - and give them your monies.

    Lots of Shotengai to explore in Sendai city.

    On the day before the Tanabata Festival, tall bamboo are in place ready to hold the Fukunagashi.

    Lots of small cozy restaurants in the area.

    Smaller restaurants that have been around for a while tend to have much more character.

    In the smaller places to eat, you can find a shelf of manga to read at no extra cost - just make sure to put them back in the slot that you found them.

    Bacon veggie curry! Was still an iPhone user back then ^^

    Partner in crime.

    The Apple store in Sendai.

    Loads of "Yatai" [屋台[やたい]] stalls out in about during festival time.

    Folks reserving a spot for the fireworks - little do they know that they wont be able to see much from here ><

    At the park nearest to the firework display - many gathering to reserve their spot.

    Nobody can escape the lovely smells of nom nom from the surrounding yatai stalls.

    If you ever attend the Sendai fireworks then dont wasting hours doing what everybody else is doing - trying to secure a spot in the park - because if you do then all you will see are bright lights behind trees ^^;

    We escape from the park to a bridge with a clear view of the fireworks which you can see in the following episode of Culture Japan.

    Melon Milk!

    I love construction signs in Japan.

    The Tanabata Festival is in full swing on the day after the fireworks.

    Exploring the area around Sendai station. Uniqlo is everywhere! Do you have Uniqlo where you live?
    There is a poll embedded in this article.

    Buying tickets for a ride on the subway.

    Trains in Sendai are the same as Tokyo but there is something about them...

    Japan is a bicycle culture and many folks have their own habits riding their 2 wheeler - not all folks are cultivated with good manners however and posters like this one try to remind folks that they can be a nuisance.

    Arrival at Aoba Castle which is the same as Sendai Castle. Dont expect to see a fully fledged historical castle here though as there are only ruins.

    The castle is not that easy to get to - you need to take a the Loople Sendai bus from Sendai station which takes about 20 mins. We got there by car though.
    [gmap=38.253282, 140.856780]

    These are Omukuji fortunes - which did not turn out too fortunate which is why they are tied to this fence so that they dont come true - its understandable when a fortune says "You will be haunted by 9 spirits who will tear you apart and feed you to rabid rabbits."

    This is an Ema plaque where one would write their wishes - some folks do some incredible artwork on them like this!

    This person who is just about to graduate says...

    Let me start by saying thanks - I got the job which means that I'm able to stand at the entrance to my dream. Please look after the people I meet and this world too. I will do my best!

    If you had the opportunity to write on an Ema, what would you write?

    On the grounds of the castle ruins are folks dressed up in traditional Japanese armor.

    The founder of Sendai City - Date Masamune. In modern times he can be found on game consoles giving naughty people what they deserve in Sengoku Basara.

    Nice view of the city from the top of the ridge.

    This is just about whats left of the castle. Although I hear that some more was made inaccessible after the 2011.03 earthquake.

    A closeup of what they once wore to battle.

    At the castle shop before heading back to Tokyo.

    We stop off at a service station to fill up on gas for the car and ourselves. They had a Taito Station arcade for folks who wanted to offload some cash.

    Some Initial D arcade action.

    Warning signs for folks who are using the carpark.

    Sonic Blast Heroes - the best part of the game is that you get a very cute girl to come up to you to explain the rules - check out the video below.

    Nom nom time - raw meat!

    Mirai-chan cant wait to tuck in too.

    The raw meat is actually cooked by ourselves on the grill - yakiniku style.

    Purikura machines of late do a lot of enhancing - make your skin blemish free and eyes bigger.

    The journey from Sendai is along 5 - 6 hour drive. We stop off at night at another service station for gas and noms.

    Most service stations have one of these huge Death Star plan style screens. They let us know which areas are congested with traffic.

    Service stations have everything that the traveller needs - including some Anpanman.

    They also have magazines for drivers who like to keep one hand on the wheel and the other hand on the "gear stick."

    Folks waiting for their freshly made ramen.

    Black bean tea!

    Vroooom! Time for some Ridge Racer music. Ridge Racer R4 for the original Playstation has some most incredible music which I still listen today when I drive.

    Back to base. Left all the girls at home for this trip.

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    Vannen CMYK Black Edition Out 10/24

    It’s been a year since Vannen first launched their CMYK series of watches with the cyan edition, so I was actually assuming that they cancelled the remaining three colors. The black (or key) edition will be out on Wednesday though. No official photos have been posted yet, but I dug up this picture of the straps.

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    I enjoy coffee but I have to say what I enjoy most about my coffee is my creamer. Not that I always use creamer but every now and again I treat myself with something delicious. My favorite all time creamer has got to be International Delight’s Irish Cream. I know the exact amount of creamer... [Continue Reading]

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    Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition

    Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad EditionThe Apptivity Case for iPad lets babies enjoy their very own applications in a case that's made just right for baby. Simply place the Apple device into the case, twist the locks, and the electronic is protected from baby's dribbles and drool. The durable, rubber case holds the device behind a clear film to project the screen. Offers three ways to play: roly-poly based, easel, or place. Download free Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn applications from iTunes. Babies love to learn when their interactive touches control the action. And this case is the perfect way to let baby be in control while protecting electronic components. Apple Products not included. Compatible with iPad 1 and iPad 2.

    Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition
    • Let baby be in control of the electronic while still protecting your device
    • Place the device into the case, twist the locks, then your device is protected
    • Offers three ways to play: roly-poly based, easel, or place
    • Compatible with iPad 1 or iPad 2
    • Download free Fisher-Price apps from iTunes

    Buy this Pre-kindergarten toys - Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Apptivity Case: iPad Edition...

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    Under the Radar: Man-E-Toys wants your H.U.S.T.L.E. screenshot

    Hey, you. Yes, you; checked out Man-E-Toys' H.U.S.T.L.E. figures and thought you could make a mean sculpt or customization to fit the series? Good news: Man-E-Toys is looking for talent across the whole spectrum of designer toys for future releases! They've already lined up Critters mini figure creator Zectron, Manny X, Blurble and more, but they're also looking for artists/sculptors/customizers/etc. for a selection of single-design releases, versus sets, and an upcoming Artist Series limited-edition 10-pack.

    If you're interested, e-mail either or, and be sure to include any examples of work you might have. Also, if you do e-mail them ... good luck! 

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