TRADING PLACES

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Have you ever ventured into a Home Exchange?  Remember Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet trading places in the movie “The Holiday?”  Well, while Rick and I were basking in a beautiful mountain contemporary home in Colorado this month, the young family who owns that home was occupying ours!  A first for both of us, and we mutually agree, we’d definitely try switching again.  We just registered on Home Exchange.com and through a few emails and texts the whole operation came off without a hitch.  Plus, our sweet doggies could accompany us!

Here are a few of the mountain activities we were able to experience:

VISITED CLIFF DWELLINGS

VISITED CLIFF DWELLINGS

TRAVELED BACK ROADS THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS IN THE JEEP

TRAVELED BACK ROADS THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS IN THE JEEP

TRAILBLAZING IN GARDEN OF THE GODS

TRAILBLAZED IN THE GARDEN OF THE GODS

EXPLORED AN ABANDONED GOLD MINE

EXPLORED AN ABANDONED GOLD MINE

LAZED AMONG THE WILDLIFE IN BEAUTIFUL PARKS

LAZED AMONG THE WILDLIFE IN BEAUTIFUL PARKS

TOURED A FEW BREWERIES

TOURED A FEW BREWERIES…

RIVER RAFTING IN THE RAPIDS

RIVER RAFTED THE RAPIDS

RELAXED WITH A BREW AFTER THE RAPIDS...

RELAXED WITH A BREW AFTER THE RAPIDS…

HIKED IN THE MOUNTAINS

HIKED IN THE MOUNTAINS

ATE OUTSIDE IN THE FABULOUS COOLER TEMPERATURES

ATE OUTSIDE IN THE FABULOUS COOLER TEMPERATURES!

Basically, we experienced a completely different lifestyle than we’re used to in the heat of Texas.  But while we took pleasure in the high altitude climate, our mountain exchange family soaked up sun at several of our nearby beaches and selected fresh seafood from our local markets and restaurants.  Definitely a win-win situation!  And while they had an opportunity to get together with family here, we met up with long time friends now living in Colorado.  The Home Exchange is world wide so who knows where our next adventure will be?

Once we unpacked, I set to work on my winter gypsy purses.  Here are three that are hot off the sewing machine–so hot they don’t even have names yet.  Any suggestions?

 

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FRONT SIDE

FRONT SIDE

BACK SIDE

BACK SIDE

You know how I love those sumptuous winter fabrics to decorate with fringe, beads, and tassels!!  As we speak, I am awaiting a delivery from my awesome neighbor, Jeff, who just notified me that he has even more fabric for me!  Oh, the anticipation!!  Until next time, sew long from your

TRAVELING SEAMSTRESS,

ANNY!

WILD CHILD

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Artwalk Galveston was awesome!  Purses were sold and I was privileged to meet the clients who purchase and enjoy my wares!  Since the show I’ve been loosey goosey on sewing.  Both Gracie and Madison visited independently and Gracie made some colorful clothes for her treasured pet collection.  Madison and I took a class in Burlap Flower Making and created all these and more:

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I could attach these to headbands, purses, picture frames, etc.  Speaking of picture frames, I also managed a frame transformation in a furniture restoration class using Amy Howard paint.  I plan to take the follow-up class where you actually bring a small piece of furniture and transform it.  (You know I salvage from the alley when appropriate.) :)

Picture frame Before

Picture frame BEFORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture frame AFTER

Picture frame AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Madison and I also visited thrift shops.  I wish I had taken a before/after pic of the t-shirt that Maddie upcycled!  So cool!  We both bought place mats to turn into clutches.  Hers worked really well.  Here is an exterior and interior shot.   She sewed the interior with several pockets and partitions with velcro closures.

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My place mat purse was made from straw and was so stiff it will be used as a file folder. :)  Besides researching purse patterns and fabrics, I upholstered a chair and accomplished some mending.  Not my favorite thing!  But thinking ahead to fall, I have sewn one bag that I call Wild Child.  The exterior is a soft yet sturdy floral velveteen that has a sixties vibe, with an interior of aqua moire.

WILD CHILD

WILD CHILD

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On the travel front, I managed to visit my favorite city in the world one more time–NYC!  If you’re a fan of Tim Gunn’s Project Runway, you’ll appreciate the following:

SWATCH--Mood Fabrics Mascot!

Still pinned from Project Runway!!!

Still pinned from Project Runway!!!

Shades of Project Runway

Shades of Project Runway

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SWATCH–Mascot of Mood Fabrics

Other than a visit to Mood Fabrics, I tried to incorporate new adventures.  Tender Buttons is a little shop on the Upper East Side that is top to bottom just buttons, and I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Two tours of New York City that I would highly recommend:

1) If you are a fan of Law and Order (and who isn’t), please take the Law and Order Walking Tour of Manhattan.  It is led by a real, retired NYPD detective who has written a book of true crime stories and a guide to true crime sites.  OH!!  And while he was showing us Central Booking, a town car pulls up and two detectives lead a real handcuffed suspect into the door where every arrested person must enter–from petty thieves to terrorists!  Trust me–you will enjoy this tour!

Central Booking

Central Booking

2) If you love awesome food (and who doesn’t) you’ll be so glad you booked the NOLITA/NOHO Food and Culture Tour through Foods of New York tours.  We were led to the most scrumptious food sites imaginable and given samples at each one!

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As you can tell, this tour started with dessert and ended with dessert–my kind of tour! :)  Both of these tours incorporated history through real life stories to keep it even more interesting.

I’ve been a little behind on blogging for the following reasons:

Oh, let’s face it–I’ve just been having fun!  More to come, with reports on Colorado, Italy, and the fabric I might find there!

Ciao!

Anny

 

 

 

SNEAK PREVIEW

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Here is a SNEAK PREVIEW of the THIRTEEN new bags I have been frantically creating for ARTWALK GALVESTON, Saturday, June 7th!  I am honored, once again, to be Tina’s on the Strand Featured Artist.  Galveston galleries and boutiques put their best foot forward for this event all day long starting around 10 a.m., but the most fun happens from 6 to 9 p.m. when patrons wander from gallery to gallery sipping wine, shopping, and socializing.  (Makes a great “girls’ night out!”) I will be presenting all day and evening and the theme will be ST. TROPEZ BOUND, thus the French flair to all the following bags.  Drum roll please…

PARTY ON THE YACHT

PARTY ON THE YACHT!

 

BEACH BOUND

BEACH BOUND

 

SUMMER SOIREE

SUMMER SOIREE

 

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DANCING ON WATER

 

MONET'S GARDEN

MONET’S GARDEN

 

MAKING WAVES

MAKING WAVES

 

DREAMING OF PARIS

DREAMING OF PARIS

 

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RENDEZVOUS IN ST. TROPEZ

 

NIGHTFALL IN ST. TROPEZ

NIGHTFALL IN ST. TROPEZ

 

PARIS FLING!

PARIS FLING!

 

SUNSHINE DANCE!

SUNSHINE DANCE!

 

LADIES' NIGHT

LADIES’ NIGHT

 

(Backside of Ladies' Night)

(Backside of Ladies’ Night)

 

PARIS FLEA MARKET

PARIS FLEA MARKET

And now for something completely different…As you probably noticed,the latter two bags, although charmingly springy, are a total departure from the laminated breezy, beachy vibe.  They were created from 100% vintage materials.  The outer bag was fashioned from a chenille bed covering from the fifties and the blush floral chintz was a vintage remnant from a friend.  To be true to the 100% vintage, I did not add the usual interfacing between layers, nor did I add a magnetic snap.  The antique dice button on Ladies Night, which is Bakelite, serves as the closure, along with the loop made from antique velvet French ribbon. Why did I title the bag “Ladies’ Night?”  Can’t you just picture the ladylike hands wearing those proper little gloves gently tossing the dice onto the casino table in Monte Carlo on the French Riviera?  Oh, yes, we’re still on the French theme! :) Inside I fashioned a pocket from a removed chair covering from a Paris flea market. The floral embellishing came from the millinery section of a department store that closed in the sixties.  An unopened box was found in the back room containing the post WWII “Made in Japan” delicate flowers.  I’ve tucked inside the glove the little fifties style original brochure that came with the pair describing care, etc., and inside the pocket is the original button card from Costumakers (25 cents!)

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I’m really looking forward to Saturday and hope to see many friends there.  But I’m REALLY excited to present the summer line so that I may start my fall/winter line!  You know, when I used to teach, I would be worn out by May and looking forward to summer.  But at the same time, I would be anticipating fall, and my head would already be filled with ideas for my new students!  Well, some things never change–my head is spinning with fall/winter ideas and I’m ready to open that armoire containing my lush chenilles, faux fur, leather, and warm fabrics in rich darker hues.  Aren’t I lucky that I LOVE my work?!!! :)

 

 

Flowers and Beyond!

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Spring has sorta sprung here in Texas and my thoughts have turned to flowers–fabric flowers that is!

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Fun to Wear Fabric Flowers by Elizabeth Helene Searle is a wonderful resource that guided me through crafting all the flowers above.  A 96 page book with fabulous photos and examples.

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Four of the five flowers you see above were sewn from kits I purchased at International Quilt Festival.  The top left flower, though, was made from a pattern by Heather Bailey that’s attached to her purse pattern, “Marlo Bloom Handbag.”  This decorative flower is easily constructed following her well-written instructions and adding a vintage button.  Here is a closer look:

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And here we have the same flower styled with laminated fabrics and a hand-painted button from Mood.IMG_5551

 

Sometimes, as with the Heather Bailey project, the flower is a bonus from a purse pattern.  The same happy circumstance occurred with Carina Gardner’s “Dainty Blossoms Sling” which sports a lovely lush flower that I created for our Springer Spaniel, Kate, from laminated pink floral. She wears it proudly and everyone can see just how feminine she is! :)

For Kate

For Kate

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From that very sling pattern I actually fashioned a laminated bag with a casual vintage vibe that I titled “Welcome Back, June”!  in honor of summer approaching and a nod to June Cleaver. :) “Now, Ward, don’t you think you were a little hard on Beaver?”  Oh, geez, showing my age again…  But it does just channel the fifties, don’t you think?

Welcome Back, June!

Welcome Back, June!

In addition to my journey into flowers, I also sidestepped into headbands.  And where did I find those patterns?  Just Google “how to make a reversible headband” and YouTube, of course, will have you stitching headbands before you know it!  Here are a few of about a dozen reversible headbands I created.  Such fun!  Easy and quick!  Now at Tina’s!

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During Spring Break, my adorable Gracie, The Fashionista, visited and here is a picture of her latest creation–a purse, and of course, it’s in animal print!  Girl after my own heart!

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My return to actual purse making came in the form of an Anny Clutch from a beautifully vibrant laminated Kaffe Fassett print.  Behold “Cheshire Garden.”

Cheshire Garden

Cheshire Garden

One of my favorite Etsy shops, Laminates, provided the fabric (Who’s That Girl? from Robert Kaufman) for this awesome Parisian bag which I deem “Shopping on the Seine.”  And the genuine leather handle is from another favorite I’ve mentioned before, Cindy’s Button Company.

Shopping on the Seine

Shopping on the Seine

Wanting to experiment with laminated fabric using one of my favorite patterns by Cindy Taylor Oates, I stitched a bag with elements from the sixties.  The flower child print is from Stella Dear Stella Designs which I discovered at an awesome Austin shop called Stitch Lab.  Dripping with tassels, fringe, and a large leather flower, I coined a new word for this lovely bag– “Fringeship.” :)

Fringeship

Fringeship

In the spring/summer season, it’s too easy for me to get caught up in the laminates.  (Although, that seems to be what the customers like.)  AND I was ready for a pattern that was completely new and different to me.  I chose a pattern called Laguna from The Quilter’s Dream.  When I saw the sample ready-made at Quilt Festival, it was sewn from all cotton.  Instead, I chose to fashion it from a teal floral heavy linen, then machine appliqued the large flower from a fuchsia chenille.  I placed a purchased light pink fabric hibiscus in the center, then topped the rim with a sage green ball fringe. I’m delighted with the outcome and titled it “Floral Magic.”

Floral Magic

Floral Magic

And now for the Anny Bags–all laminated.  The first is a wild Brother/Sister Designs fabric, alternating with a Michael Miller polka dot, which I named “Psychedelic Gardens.”

Psychedelic Gardens

Psychedelic Gardens

Then I reverted to my four ruffle Anny Bag pattern.  I am continually tweaking (not twerking–although that would be exercise) my Anny Bag pattern, usually fiddling with dimensions.  I always think, “Ah, this is perfect!”  Then, I adjust it again.  What’s that about??  Anyway, the following are three that I have delivered to Tina’s in the last week or so.

Black and White and Red All Over

Black and White and Red All Over

Garden Party

Garden Party

Flirty Flowers

Flirty Flowers

And there you have it, folks!  The fruits of my labor!  This week I plan to produce three more Anny Bags.  Yikes!  Actually, Tina’s on the Strand has chosen me to be the featured artist at Artwalk on June 6th, and fear of inadequate inventory drives me!  I text pics of the completed bags to my daughter who last night inquired, “Do you ever leave your sewing room?!”  Well, yes.  I go to Curves, Bunko, Mah Jongg, Lunch with the teachers, friends, and family, mani/pedi, etc.  But the REST of the time, I’m sewing.  Happily Sew! :)

 

What do you get with Dismal Weather?

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What do you get with dismal weather?  Eight purses!  Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed sunshine, so I’ve been stitching up a storm!  Temperature down=production up!  Here are six that I haven’t shared with you…

Madison’s birthday was last month and she (like her Granny Anny) loves all things British.  I had seen an Indygo Junction pattern for a British flag pillow at Quilt Festival.  Madison’s room decor, however, wears teal and many other colors other than red, white and blue.  Aha!  I shall convert the pillow pattern to a bag!  Using Amy Barickman’s new Crossroads Denim (which is softly washed and available in many colors), I stitched the front and back following pillow directions, then added a gusset, handles, and lining of navy ticking to create this patriotic bag.  BTW, the front and back consist of layering red, white, and navy, stitching along pattern lines, then cutting through either one or two layers to expose the red and white and allow the edges to be rough and free.  Love this textured effect!  I’ve always been a huge fan of Amy Barickman!

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Not wanting to leave Europe I guess, my next two bags were fashioned from what I call my Paris fabrics.  Ooh La La by Jo Moulton for Wilmington and Salon de The’ Paris by Holly Holderman for Lake House Dry Goods.  Two Anny bags, one with a fabric handle and one with a purchased clear bamboo textured handle.

IMG_5278DANCING IN PARIS

IMG_5290 LA BOUTIQUE DE FLEURS

Since a bit of the luscious Downton Abbey fabric, licensed to Andover Fabrics, was spotted still lounging in a corner of my sewing cabinet, I decided to give it a whirl in a completely different pattern.  I harkened back to a Pink Sand Beach pattern called the Manhattan Bag, which allowed the various Downton fabrics to piece together in a lovely flow.  This time the gusset featured the castle fabric. The handle was purchased.  I replaced a jewel on the flower with a crown charm, and the necklace type embellishment on the front was a reclaimed charming but broken bracelet. Since this style has a wide bottom and the castle was a light colored fabric, it was the perfect time to try something new–purse feet!  

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DOWNRIGHT DOWNTON

Mardi Gras celebrations in Galveston are huge–second only to New Orleans.  So my next bag (an altered Amy Butler design) presented with deep purple velvet handles. The look was completed with dangling jewel plum beads and a lush blue violet flower. Did you know that Pantone’s Color of the Year 2014 is Radiant Orchid?  The perfect title for a bag fit for a Mardi Gras Ball!

RADIANT ORCHID

 RADIANT ORCHID

The sixth bag was created from a deep desire for sunshine.  I chose the most spring/summer fabrics available and fashioned a bag I call Gardens of Paris.  The blue floral is a heavy linen, surrounded by a buttery loop fringe and dazzling golden beads.  I love this gypsy style, which is a modified Cindy Taylor Oates pattern.

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 GARDENS OF PARIS

Am I gathering fabrics, trims, and patterns for bag number seven?  Tempting…  But I’m taking a break to “sharpen my saw” as they say.  More tutorials are calling my name, as well as books, patterns, and gorgeous ribbon (some vintage) for crafting fabric flowers.  As Jimmy Fallon would say, “Thank you, Dismal Weather, for enticing me to sew!”

DOWNTON ANNY

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Are you a Downton Abbey fan?  After fighting the mobs at Quilt Market this year for the official Downton Abbey fabric (exclusively licensed to Andover Fabrics) I was determined to fashion a bag for Downton fans.  Thus, the DOWNTON ANNY was created!  Adding a feather embellishment to the band, and adorning it with a rhinestone crown, I whisked it off to Tina’s just in time for the Season 4 Premiere.  The faux leather handle is from Studio Mio and the interior is lined with the quintessential castle fabric seen here in the first ruffle layer.

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And so, still feeling those royal vibes, I designed my next bag, “Lady Berkeley.”  I’m so in love with the vibrant colors and textured body of this lovely bag, parting was such sweet sorrow.  Fashioned from upholstery fabric from Cowgirls & Lace, faux leather for the gusset, and a bold vintage tassel, this bag would feel just as comfortable on the Berkeley campus as it would at tea in Berkeley Square!

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So until next time, I’m wishing you Happy Times in the Kingdom!

Love,

Lady Anny

Thank You, Bloggers!

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I would like to thank DeDivah Deals for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!  In accepting this nomination I am completing the following tasks:

Acknowledge the blogger that presented the award:  DE DIVAH DEALS

* Name 15 deserving bloggers

* Let them know that they have been nominated

* List 7 interesting facts about yourself

I am nominating the following bloggers:

Manhattan Image & Style

Pillows A-La-Mode

Maison Bentley Style

The Renegade Seamstress

The Frugal Crafter

Susie D. Designs

Buttons and Birdcages

ZIBERGIRL SEWS

Russell Ray Photos

The REmissionary

Knitting to Stay Sane

Second Hand Roses

Sew Katie Did

U*Handbag

Mandy Munroe

Seven Facts About Myself

1)  I’m crazy about the beach but rarely enter the water.

2)  I am an excellent sleeper.

3)  I love big dogs.

4)  Two degrees:  Economics and Teaching, but Sewing is my Passion.

5)  My sister and I still get in trouble for giggling in meetings and workshops.

6)   Fantasy careers:  Country music singer, magazine editor, over the road trucker, and doctor.

7)  I love roller coasters and roller blading.

Thank you, bloggers, for entertaining me and supporting me.

Love,

Anny 

Thanksgiving in NYC

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Jennifer, Madison and Grayson accompanied Grandpa and I on an incredible Thanksgiving Week in the BIG APPLE!  Although Jen had been before, it was awesome seeing wondrous sites through Madison and Gracie’s eyes.Even though we arrived in the evening, we still had time to

IMG_4859Visit BLOOMINGDALE’S

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And ride the ROOSEVELT TRAM with an incredible view, and visit DYLAN’S CANDY BAR  before having a 9:30 p.m. dinner at

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SERENDIPITY which was magnificently decked out for the Holidays!  (Wish I had a pic of the their famed fabulous frozen hot chocolate!  We ordered four!)

So next it was back to home base in TIMES SQUARE where it looked like daylight, of course, and shopping ensued.  Did you realize that the TOYS R US store in Times Square has a huge Ferris Wheel inside the store?

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Apparently, we were still living on Central Time (and more than a little NYC adrenaline) so we opted to taxi over to the

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EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

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Last elevator to the top is at 1:15 a.m. :)

Finally, ready for rest, we headed for our rooms that someone is going to LOVE on New Year’s Eve, because we faced the crystal ball that will be dropping at midnight.  Rick and I witnessed this magnificent spectacle in Times Square at the Millennium!  So exciting!

The View from Room 2636 at the Marriott Marquis

The View from Room 2636 at the Marriott Marquis

The following day we had the daylight city view from the TOP OF THE ROCK in ROCKEFELLER CENTER.  After visiting AMERICAN GIRL, Gracie watched scaffolding being placed for The Tree decorating.  And then Jen and I (like so many others) took our turn at posing with New York City’s Finest!

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Then it was off to the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY…

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The famous Origami Christmas Tree

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Posing with Theodore, just like Night at the Museum!

Later in the afternoon, we hopped over to F.A.O SCHWARZ and spied some awesome window decorations on FIFTH AVENUE.

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Here’s an example of the intricacies from BERGDORF GOODMAN.  Just amazing!

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Sometimes a drizzle creates a dreamy effect, as in this example of contemporary meets classic: The Apple Store with THE PLAZA HOTEL in the background.


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That evening we attended the musical, ANNIE, which was utterly charming, even for adults.  The scenery and costumes were magical, the dialogue was witty, and the dog all but stole the show! :)  Afterward we hurried over to Grand Central Terminal for a late dinner in the balcony of CIPRIANI DOLCI overlooking the terminal.  What a view!

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On Wednesday morning it was still drizzling and cold so we experienced the STATUE OF LIBERTY from the STATEN ISLAND FERRY. :)

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By evening the rain had stopped and we were invited to a Blowing Up the Balloons cocktail party on the Upper West Side.  The THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE floats were anchored all around the block like elephants on parade.  Here are a few you’ll recognize.

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On Thursday, after the parade, we had our Thanksgiving Dinner atop the MARRIOTT MARQUIS  at a restaurant that revolves, hence its name, the VIEW.  The never-ending buffet was simply scrumptious.  I started with dessert and ended with dessert!

After dinner we visited the CENTRAL PARK ZOO.  It was delightful but mighty chilly.  We wimpy Texans entered the tropical bird zone, then saw other animals, then tropical bird zone, then other animals, for our off-and-on-again heating system! Beautiful but Brrrr…

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For an evening of fun, we boarded THE RIDE, a sightseeing bus that interacts with entertainers on the street.  It’s like Gray Line Tours meets Saturday Night Live. :)

So did I ever shop for fabric you ask?  Why, yes.  Friday was our last day, so after encouraging the others to sleep in, I headed to MOOD FABRICS!  Project Runway!!!  Times Square isn’t far from the GARMENT DISTRICT so I taxied over and fell in love!  After reminding myself that I didn’t have to choose my fabric in 30 minutes or less (ala Project Runway show) I let my heart browse and selected the most delectable pin dot velvet.  You’ll see it in future purses!  Some hand-painted buttons, heavily pleated bright orange polyester for flowers, and I just had time to snap a pic before heading back.  You know how they always show the stairway when the contestants walk in the door?    Here it is…right under the Mood sign…

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The clerk said filming is in the summer, their slower season.  An elevator attendant takes you up to the third floor and then you enter MOOD!  So classy!  I was so pumped, I walked back to the hotel.

We almost didn’t take time to visit the METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART but I’m so thankful we did.  We all enjoyed it, from the Egyptian Exhibit, to suits of armor, to Washington Crossing the Delaware!

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Our next stop was the 911 MEMORIAL.  Very, very touching and beautiful.  Dress warmly!

The newly finished building.

The newly finished building.

The Memorial Wall.

The Memorial Wall.

We couldn’t leave New York without a visit to LITTLE ITALY.  We had a lovely dinner at CAFE NAPOLI, then a few doors down, visited The Cannoli King of New York City at CAFE PALERMO!  Um, um, good!!  Cannoli and Hot Chocolate completes the evening!

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Have you hugged a cannoli today?

 

WHAT DO SWEET POTATOES, EVENING BAGS, AND GELASKINS HAVE IN COMMON?

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Anny has them all!  Let’s start with the yummies:

PRALINE TOPPED SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

2 large cans sweet potatoes

2/3 c. (small can) evaporated milk

1 stick butter, melted

2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar

4 eggs

TOPPING

2  c. brown sugar

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup chopped pecans

1 stick butter, melted

Drain and mash sweet potatoes; add butter, sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla and eggs.  In separate bowl mix all topping ingredients.  Spread potato mixture in dish and spread topping on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.  Serves 16.

This is more like dessert than side dish.  Mouthwatering!  I make it every year and it’s delicious and easy. I also wholeheartedly recommend a Pinterest recipe called Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake.  My niece served it yesterday and it was awesome!  Paula Dean–need I say more?

Now let’s visit the sewing room.  Going into the holidays, I’m downsizing to evening bags. I’ve taken some to Tina’s and the rest will be in the It’s Sew Anny Etsy shop.

Here you see Ali Foster clutch design bags fashioned from sumptuous upholstery fabric.  Zipper bags with inside pocket and they fold over to a magnetic snap.  They feel so good!

IMG_4621 IMG_4616I created another bag from a lightweight velvety deep brown with just a dusting of golden threads design throughout.  The interior is a soft faux fur leopard with pocket.  Oh, and the frame was a cinch.  Just sew a casing and slide it on.  The ends of the frame have screws.  Studio Mio, of course!

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This last bag was an internet pattern from eHow.   “How to Make a Drawstring Purse With Round Bottom.”  I modified the pattern to make the drawstring a two-way and covered a round cardboard shape for bottom stabilization.  Fashioned from a lovely teal washable damask and embellished with elaborate beading.

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There is a fabulous Dickens Christmas celebration in Galveston the first weekend in December and many ladies dress in period costumes with fancy gowns and purses like the one above.  Men in top hats and tails, little boys with knickers and smudged faces–so fun!

And now for something completely different.  Have you heard of Gelaskins?  This is a sturdy, flexible covering for your iPad, Kindle, even laptops.  A large selection of designs are available.  Here are some I’ve chosen.

This is my laptop.

This is my laptop.

Front of my iPad

Front of my iPad

Back of my iPad

Back of my iPad

Front of my Kindle

Front of my Kindle

Back of my Kindle

Back of my Kindle

Just thought I’d mention these because they make great gifts.  They’re removable with no residue–gently peel off, which makes it easy when you’re applying and positioning also.  No, I’m not being paid by Gelaskins–they don’t know me except I keep ordering…  :)  My daughter introduced us.  They just make technology even more fun!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

S’MORES AND MORE!

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We were in LaGrange this weekend and I had a chance to experience the Texas Quilt Museum once more.  Quilt displays are changed every three months and the setting is a beautiful century old brick building.  I highly recommend it if you’re visiting the Texas Hill Country near LaGrange. They don’t allow photographs but I asked permission to snap an overall shot to entice visitors to this lovely quilt haven.

Texas Quilt Museum LaGrange, Texas

Texas Quilt Museum
LaGrange, Texas

Right next door to the museum is a fabulous quilt/yarn shop, The Quilted Skein.  Very inviting fabrics greet you (think Kaffe Fassett, etc.) and one whole side of the store is devoted to yarn and knitting.  I could spend hours there.  Since it’s finally cooler here in Texas I have the urge to knit and bought just enough yarn to make a scarf.  Check out this warm and cozy scene:

The Quilted Skein LaGrange, Texas

The Quilted Skein
LaGrange, Texas

Late that afternoon Farmer Rick wanted to show me the property he’s working on, and I must say, it is quite lovely.  Here is a photo down by the creek and another of sunset:

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That evening we met my sister and her family at Bistro 108–the place in LaGrange for delectable meals (we had brunch the next day as well.) :)

Fantastic Food!

Fantastic Food!

After dark my nephew built a huge fire and we all roasted marshmallows (giant size) for drippingly good s’mores.  A choice of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or Hersheys with almonds.  Oh so good!!  I had seconds. ;)

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Our visit was topped off the next morning with sitting on the porch with our coffee while my sister finished binding a quilt and I knitted.  Ah, heaven…

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One more thing.  Since it’s great soup weather, I’ll share a recipe made a few nights ago which came from another quilter friend (thanks, Beverly) that I’m sure you’ll find delicious, quick, and very easy.

Chicken Enchilada Soup Um-Um-Good!

Chicken Enchilada Soup
Um-Um-Good!

CHICKEN ENCHILADA SOUP

1 can Chicken Broth

l0 oz. can enchilada sauce with green chiles

10 oz. can medium enchilada sauce

Tortilla strips (I used “Crunchy Toppings for Salads” kind)

1 tsp. ground cumin

Frozen Fully Cooked Chicken Fajita Strips (I used about 1/2 of a 1.37 lb. bag)

1 cup half-n-half

1 medium diced tomato

1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese

sour cream

Combine both sauces and chicken broth in a large pot.  Cook over medium heat until broth thickens somewhat.  Add cumin, chicken strips (still frozen) and half-n-half.  Toss in a few handfuls of tortilla strips (but save some for topping in the bowls.)  Heat through until the chicken is thawed and hot.  Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with diced tomatoes, cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and another handful of tortilla strips.  Yum!!