Monthly Archives: July 2013

Dramamine, anyone?

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The Madison Visit–We began with sewing and ended with sewing but mucho entertainment in between!  Our first mission was to purchase fabric for the cute McCall’s vintage romper pattern we recently ordered.  Madison chose a lovely red stripe seersucker.  Luckily, we borrowed a tape measure and discovered that the size was wrong.  But, after visiting two stores we located an almost identical pattern (also McCall’s) and promptly had it cut out and ready to roll!  We woke up to crashing thunder and lightning the following morning which, as you know, is perfect for sewing up a storm. 🙂  That sewing room had never seen so much cutting and stitching!  Maddie is a very quick learner, cutting and sewing with minimal guidance from Granny, and soon delighted with her new summery creation.  Encouraged by this awesome success, she proceeded to sew with me throughout the evening, fashioning matching hair accessories, belts, and bracelets!  Here is the new outfit…

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On Sunday we visited with Nannette and Laura, then back to Galveston for evening sewing.  This time Madison was itching to try her hand at stitching a bag pattern (with a zipper!) for small travel items.  She selected a laminated chevron fabric from my laminated scraps bin and again, with minimal guidance, created a lovely bag.  With even less guidance, she produced yet a second bag for pencils etc. to coordinate with her backpack.  As I sewed my latest bag, she continued at the Bernina, trying her hand at fabric flowers.  Yay!  A beautiful turquoise polka dot laminate rose was generated, along with a fabulous shabby chic satiny silver peony.

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No, we didn’t spend four days just sewing. 🙂  We experienced the Duck Tour, visited Moody Gardens Aquarium and The Texas Seaport Museum, learned to Segway along the Seawall, took a carriage ride in the historic district, and rode the Ferris Wheel (Galaxy Wheel) and Log Ride (Pirate’s Plunge) at the new Pleasure Pier over the water.  Wow!  I am a little lacking in sleep but happy as a clam that we had such fun together!  Except for the sewing, Grandpa was a great sport at escorting us and being the bank. 🙂  We dined at our favorite places and sampled some new ones.  If you’re in Galveston, we highly recommend the following:  Mosquito Cafe, Farley Girls Cafe, Hey Mikey!’s Ice Cream, Mario’s, Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, Olympia Grill (umm, the blue lump crab cakes are divine), and Galvez Bar and Grille (try the bacon wrapped shrimp.)  We also sneaked in a little shopping here and there at Tina’s on the Strand, Colonel Bubbies, Flea by the Sea (Maddie picked up a cute nautical bag), and Modern Vintage on Post Office Street, where I snapped up a beautifully embroidered silk pillow and an antique bird feeder for Grandpa’s wildlife preserve on the Hill Country property!

I mentioned we also ended our visit with sewing.  Last night I helped Madison start some embroidery and she took to it like a duck to water, stitching a tea towel with a pear design–a foray into hand stitching.

You must be thinking, “But I thought Madison just arrived Thursday evening?”  Yes, she did, and sadly bid us farewell today.  But anyone who has traveled with me knows that I do like to pack in the fun until you drop.  Grandpa told Madison the story of our honeymoon and how I planned a fantastic agenda but forgot to include little things like travel time and sleep.  On the fifth day, he fell asleep in his plate at Trader Vic’s in San Francisco!  I stayed up that night reading magazines and viewed more action out the window of our downtown hotel.  When I traveled with the teachers, they learned a little secret–I get sleepy if I’m taking Dramamine.  Now they threaten to sprinkle it in my food! 🙂  Well, Warren Zevon had a song in the 70’s called, “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead.”  Anyone remember that?  Somehow it resonates with me…

Just need to restore a tiny bit of shut-eye to prepare for our upcoming trip to L.A., followed by a Gracie visit!  Hmm, Dramamine anyone? Zzzzzz

Be Careful What You Wish For!

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They say, “Be Careful What You Wish For!”  Well, I’ve always wished to be a featured artist on one of Galveston’s Artwalk Evenings.  AND…my wish has been granted!  On October 5th, I will be the featured artist at Tina’s on the Strand on Artwalk night!  However…by that time  fifteen bags must be ready for my “trunk show.”  Whew!  Yes, I can do this, I tell myself.  It’s been a few days since my “wish was granted” and I have spent those days basically taking inventory of all my exquisite fall/winter fabrics, trims, and potential patterns.  You know that’s my favorite part!  It’s true, I need to get in gear and churn out those bags, but planning is a very necessary step for me.  It is psychologically energizing!  Last night my mind was whirling with possibilities until 4:30 a.m.  (Yes, I’m also a night person.  Too bad most of the world is not in this mode. 🙂  But I digress.)

I have been sewing, though, since we last met.  Creating a Victorian style bag was a goal that I can now check off the list.  Below you see a sumptuous exterior upholstery fabric trimmed with richly colored tassels and silk ribbon fringe.  Lined with Dupioni Silk, this bag has a pocket and zipper top closure.  Now for sale in my Etsy Shop–ItsSewAnny!  Yay!  Progress!

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Next, I tackled another goal of fashioning a gypsy/hobo/chic bag, which is now at Tina’s on the Strand.  Extensively embellished with silk ribbon loop fringe, beautiful beading and large tassels on the back, this bag is definitely one of a kind!  Again, it is thickly woven upholstery fabric but very lightweight and the lining features three dimensional bees–yes, bees.  My friend, Pattie, suggested we name her Honey, Bee Chic!  Take a look!

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My sister, Nannette, had a birthday last week which gave me the opportunity to stitch a bag from a kit I purchased from Cactus Quilts in Texas City, Texas.  Fabrics and pattern provided transformed into the sewing tote bag that you see here.  Hmm, wouldn’t mind having one of those myself!  Lots of pockets both inside and out!

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Speaking of my sister, she and her husband, daughter, son, and daughter-in-law invited us to join them at their ranch house in LaGrange (Texas Hill Country.)  We had a blast despite 104 degree heat!  We pitched in for  a mock Thanksgiving Dinner to pretend it was fall! 🙂  In the evening, it was cool enough to go down by the river in a grove of trees, sip some wine, and enjoy the most striking sunset ever!

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But a fabulously fun feature of this awesome weekend was everyone’s dog was also invited!  Yay!  There were seven adults and eight dogs! Here is a sample of a few trying to share a bed that actually belonged to Natalie and Adam. 🙂  P.S.  Kate, our bird dog, seen here, was the smallest dog there…

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Everyone had a grand time but had to say good-bye on Sunday, so we loaded up Buddy, the  Golden, and Kate,  and, like a typical kid, Kate seemed to be saying, “Are we there yet?”

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BUT, the fun continues!  My darling granddaughter, Madison, selected a vintage romper pattern (really vintage–the price on the pattern envelope is $2.50!)  Those were the days!  Anyway, she arrives this evening when we will visit the fabric store and see if we can fashion a new chic outfit! (Been a long time since I’ve sewn a garment.)  Perhaps in my next post, you will see a pic of Madison modeling that adorable romper!  Until then…Happy Sewing!

Oh! The Sparkle of it All!

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Release me!  That’s what my new Anny Clutch Pattern kept saying, but I kept editing and testing and editing and testing and getting help from my computer guru (aka Hubby) until finally today (Yes!  Today!) I was able to put the new pattern on my Etsy Shoppe for sale!  Hallelujah!  Like birthin’ a baby! 🙂  I added more pictures with the directions this time and a template for the main part of the bag.  This new creation has a choice of button/loop closure or magnetic snap, three pockets, and is actually a generous size for a clutch.  Width – 11 inches, height 8 inches, and depth at the bottom 3-1/2 inches.  Here’s a pic of the new Anny Clutch and my sweet, granddaughter, Madison, who modeled it for me:

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Fashioned from Michael Miller quilting weight cotton, this bag will be calling my closet home because I always keep the prototype for my pattern in case there are any questions from customers.  (That’s what I tell myself.  Could it be that I have separation anxiety and/or would love to use this clutch?  Moi?)  Since this was the prototype, it features both a magnetic closure and a loop closure with a button I covered from my stash.

However, my second test of the pattern will be for sale on my Etsy Shoppe (remember, Its Sew Anny–no apostrophe) and here is a picture.  Hard to part with…uh-oh.  No, this baby’s already listed, and I’m sure it will find a great home.  Styled from Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study Collection (and a little Moda thrown in for good measure), this clutch is sturdy enough to stand alone because these beautiful fabrics are actually linen!  I chose a floral removable pin with distressed ribbon for embellishing, and there is a magnetic snap and three pockets.  Someday soon I’m going to experiment with creating my own fabric flowers.  Here is a pic.  Too bad Madison’s not here to model for me…

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Along with fabric floral experiments, my near future plans include a foray into Victorian type purses and perhaps some gypsy upholstered boho/chic type bags.  These lend themselves to the fall season, and although we haven’t seen Independence Day yet, with temps in the 100+ range, I fantasize about fall everyday!  Speaking of Fourth of July, here is a pic of my current redwork.  I had visions of it becoming a pillow before the Fourth of July but I guess we’re looking at 2014. 🙂  I had forgotten what a stress reliever redwork is!  Love it!

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In other news, we had a quick trip to Austin last week, with a stop along the way to visit the LaGrange property so that Rick could introduce me to his pride and joy–the new Kubota tractor (and all its many attachments.)  He coaxed me up into the seat and took my picture which I should probably publish before he does…but here is the proud new owner and operator himself.  The mean machine has actually cleared quite a lot of land already!

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Also along the way, he showed me an old farmhouse that we may move from a nearby town to our property.  Stay tuned…

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Once we finally made it to Austin, we had a super visit!  The first evening we headed out to a fabulous Italian restaurant (with gelato!) and threw an early birthday party for Gracie.  Grandpa put together the awesome dollhouse that is bigger than she is!  That was a lot of work, Grandpa!

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The next day I snagged a chance to visit my ultimate home dec fabric shop, Cowgirls and Lace, in Dripping Springs, Texas.  You should see the exquisite fabrics I gathered, and trims!  Actually, you’ll spy quite a few in the fall season bags I’m planning.  A quick trip but such fun!   Shortly after we arrived home, I felt something stuck under my shoe.  A rock?  A tack?  No…  Now where were we the last few days?  Oh yeah, with our crafty, artsy granddaughters!

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But of course!  It’s a lovely fuchsia stick-on craft jewel!  Oh, the sparkle of it all…:)  And speaking of sparkles, I hope you all have a fabulous Fourth of July with plenty of Fireworks Sparkles!