If you've been following along with my blogs and websites over the last fourteen years you know that the "dollies" and I have had quite a few websites and quite a few blogs. Fourteen years ago for a small business owner to have a website online that you had control over you basically had to either create your own using HTML or some comparable software that could publish to the web and then FTP (file transfer protocol) it to what-ever service provider was hosting your website and domain name.
I wanted to be able to update my website whenever I wanted and change it whatever way I wished. As a result my first two websites were created in Publisher and FTP'd to my hosting accounts at GoDaddy where my two domain names resided. I used Paypal HTML coding back then and had to copy and paste their payment HTML coding for every item I wanted to sell. While I had complete control over my website design the coding was tedious at best.
When instant download e-patterns came along I used PayloadZ and Paypal to handle the "Buy Now" capabilities. This, too, utilized HTML coding which, again, was tedious at best.
So, before long I outgrew the capabilities of these two websites and needed websites with more sophisticated shopping carts and with the ability to handle instant download e-products. So, I decided to open two new websites utilizing a CubeCart shopping cart at In A Pickle Web Design
, which is owned by Annie Kelly.
With the two new websites with Annie I now had 4 websites and a GoDaddy Website Tonight "About Me" page. Two of the websites I was still maintaining with Publisher and transferring via FTP to GoDaddy, two I was maintaining using the In A Pickle Web Design
CubeCart interface, and one I was maintaining through GoDaddy.
Five websites, however, wasn't all I had. I had jumped on the blogging craze back in 2003 utilizing an AOL blog, then a Yahoo 360 blog, and then several Blogger.com blogs. For me blogging was the perfect solution for disseminating information about your small business and letting your customers get to know you. Back then, however, there was a lot of skepticism about blogging with some small business owners even claiming they would never buy anything off a blog. Not me. I took a giant step forward and stopped issuing newsletters. I jumped on the blogging band wagon and have never looked back.
My online interests continued to expand over the years as well as my doll & craft interests. Over time my blogs multiplied as each had a different audience and, therefore, a different subject to discuss. So, at one point in time I had 5 websites, 18 blogs, an Etsy shop, a Zibbet shop, 3 Zazzle shops, and several other secondary e-pattern and handmade goods online selling venues. I also had a topsite, several plugboards, and a lot of social media pages and/or groups to maintain.
Four years ago I decided to do a little downsizing. All of this had all become too much to handle so I decided to start downsizing gradually. The first to go were the plugboards, followed by half of my blogs, followed by several social media communities and groups, followed by some of the selling venues.
Four years ago I decided to consolidate all of my websites into one selling website that could handle not only all my e-products, all my print patterns, and all my handmade goods but be expandable so it is able to be displayed correctly on all the desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices out there.
Back then I did a lot of research and decided to create my new Linda Walsh Originals Shop
utilizing their Quick Shopping Cart. What I liked about the GoDaddy
website is that it would handle all of my different businesses under one roof as well as all my handmade products and all my e-products.
My consolidated website handling both digital products and handmade products has worked well for the past four years, but was still a lot of work with everything else I was doing, including online classes that I love to take. So, I decided to downsize even more and closed my Linda Walsh Originals Shop which was selling my e-patterns and all my handmade doll and craft decorations.
I also decided to upgrade my Linda Walsh Originals Information
website which is a GoDaddy Website Tonight website to be an "About me" portfolio with multiple pages of sorts for everything and anything concerning Linda Walsh Originals.
This doesn't mean you can't still buy my e-patterns and handmade doll & craft decorations. You can. All of my instant download e-patterns are available at my Linda Walsh Originals Etsy Shop
and I will be adding my handmade doll & craft decorations as time permits over the next few months.
I'm still in the process of critiquing my business interests as well as my creative interests so don't be surprised if there are a few more changes to come. Sometimes too much is too much and down sizing is good for the soul. Plus, it allows for plenty of time for creative processes. So, stay tuned to wherever my muse takes me.
The lure of the leprechaun! Sounds ominous - doesn't it?
What do I mean by this? Well, what is it about leprechauns that makes people love them? What is their hidden attraction - their lure?
Is it their devilish nature? The twinkle in their eyes? Their dimples? Their rosy cheeks? Their sheer luck?
Maybe it's their tenacity? Their studiousness? Their lively spirits?
Or, the fact that they have little "pots of gold?" Hidden treasures and mischievousness?
Or, is it because they wear green outfits and live in the forest? Or is it because they are cobblers by trade? What?
So, what's the lure? Why do people far and wide love the little men in the green suits? (Almost sound like martians, doesn't it?) And, did they always wear green suits?
It's definitely something for everyone loves leprechauns, especially crafters. Of course, then again, crafters love just about anything that they can create. And, crafters love other crafters and leprechauns are shoemakers which makes them crafters after all. That's "crafters logic" for ya.
So, really, why do crafters love to create them? Is it their red hair? Is it because they are inherently lucky and we all hope some of that their luck will rub off on us? Or, is it because we can appreciate all their hard work and hard efforts to make their creations - shoes? What is it about these little men in green suits that lures us?
So, (surprise, surprise) that got me to thinking about the history of the leprechaun. If you're a reader of my Linda's Blog
you had to see this coming a mile away. So, of course I had to find out - where did their legend begin?
According to Wikipedia.com
- "In Irish mythology, a leprechaun (Modern Irish: leprechaun) is a type of male faerie said to inhabit the island of Ireland. They are a class of "faerie folk" associated in Irish mythology and folklore, as with all faeries, with the Tuatha Dé Danann and other quasi-historical races said to have inhabited Ireland before the arrival of the Celts."
As with many legends and folklore Irish legends are steeped in Celtic or Druid superstition and folklore that are handed down one generation to another.
Irish folklore, in particular is full of tales of fairies, leprechauns, banshees and other supernatural beings. Centuries ago it was believed that fairies lived in fairy forts which were large mounds of earth and that if you were to touch a fairy that would bring you bad luck.
Banshee's were female spirits who had long flowing hair and who wailed outside the home of someone whose was about to die. In rural Ireland to this day many people still believe in the banshee.
The most famous Irish fairy of all is, of course, the leprechaun. They are said to be aloof and unfriendly and busy themselves all day making shoes. They aren't easy to spot, but are industrious - stashing away all their money in hidden pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. According to legend, the only way to track a leprechaun is to follow the sound of a leprechaun hammering the shoes.
The image of the Leprechaun is that of a mischievous little old man who is 2' tall and a cobbler or shoemaker by trade. They are usually thought of to be rich, having buried many, many "pots of gold." According to legend, if you come across a leprechaun do not look away. If you do they will disappear. If you keep your eyes fixed on them they cannot escape or vanish. But, they are cunning and often can trick you into looking away.
In most of the folklore surrounding leprechauns they are characterized as harmless creatures who live alone or in remote locations. They like their solitude, but if engaged in conversation can be quite worldly. But, don't expect them to tell you where they've hidden their "pots of gold." They aren't likely to tell you that and will trick you before they do.
According to some legends leprechauns can be ill-mannered and cunning.
One interesting fact that surprised me was that in 1831 Samuel Lover wrote that the leprechaun wore a red coat, and Yeats in 1888 in his book entitled Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry describes the leprechaun as follows:
"He is something of a dandy, and dresses in a red coat with seven rows of buttons, seven buttons on each row, and wears a cocked-hat, upon whose pointed end he is wont in the north-eastern counties, according to McAnally, to spin like a top when the fit seizes him."
Now-a-days he wears a green coat or green frock and is synonymous with shamrocks and St. Patrick's Day. And all of that is synonymous with the Irish.
The Irish have celebrated St. Patricks Day for thousands of years. Surprisingly, the first St. Patrick's Day parade took place not in Ireland, but in the United States. Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City on March 17, 1762.
Over the next several decades Irish patriotism amongst American immigrants flourished and parades and "the celebrating of the green" became synonymous with Irish American pride.
Millions of Irish immigrants started pouring into to the U.S. during the Great Potato Famine of Ireland in 1845. They soon came to realize that their sheer numbers had political clout. As a result, their voting block, known as the "green machine," became an important swing vote for political hopefuls. To this day in the U.S. annual St. Patrick's Day parades and breakfasts are a must-attend event for seasoned politicians and political hopefuls. And, everything, including the food is "green" in color.
So, as with most legends and folklore the legends become history and the folklore becomes tradition. Soon it becomes hard to tell the legends and folklore from the facts. So, are the Irish lucky (i.e. the luck of the Irish) because of the leprechauns or the leprechauns lucky because they are "Irish?" We'll never know.
"The luck of the Irish" has been a saying tossed around for decades, along with images of tiny green men, green beer and, of course, the four-leaf clover. Some say that the saying "luck of the Irish" doesn't infer luck at all - but, instead, infers "bad luck!" We'll never know for sure. In any event, if you are lucky enough to be Irish or to see a "leprechaun" maybe you'll soon be finding your own "pot of gold." Maybe that even means that if you're a crafter who makes them "you will soon find your reward for all your hard work!"
For crafters, leprechauns come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, They are short, fat, skinny, tall, made of cloth, wood, ceramic, plastic, etc. They can be made out of just about anything, but for sure, they are all mischievous. Whatever it is that lures us to make them - they are a delight to make.
And, if you do make a leprechaun doll - watch out. They can be mischievous and cause quite the stir in your household.Happy St. Patrick's Day.
Here's some St. Patrick's Day jokes for the kids:
Q - Why do people wear shamrocks on St. Patrick's Day?
A - Real rocks are too heavy!
Q - When is an Irish Potato not an Irish Potato?
A - When it's a FRENCH Fry!
Q - What do you call a fake stone in Ireland?
A - A sham rock!
Q - Why do frogs like St. Patrick's Day?
A - Because they're always wearing GREEN!
Q - What is out on the lawn all summer and is Irish?
A - Paddy O'Furniture!
Q - How can you spot a jealous shamrock?
A - It will be green with envy!
Q - Why did St. Patrick DRIVE all the snakes out of Ireland?
A - Because it was too far for them to CRAWL!
Q - What kind of bow can't be tied?
A - A rain bow!
Q: What do you get if you cross poison ivy with a four leaf clover?
A: A rash of good luck!
Q - Why should you never iron a 4-leaf clover?
A - You never want to PRESS your luck!
Q - What do you call a clumsy Irish dance?
A - A JIG mistake!
Q - Why do so many people live in Ireland?
A - Because the capital is always DUBLIN!
Q - How can you tell an Irishman is having a good time?
A - He always DUBLIN over with laughter!
And, finally:Knock! Knock!
Irish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day!