Tag Archives: Etsy

Purses Have Feelings Too…

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When my sister and I were little girls on a road trip vacation from Indiana to Texas, we would bring toys in the car, of course.  One of our favorites was the game Cootie.  With Cootie, the object was to be the first to build a bug-like object using a variety of plastic body parts.  Unfortunately, while traveling through Arkansas, one of the body parts landed out the car window.  Now it only made sense to us that if a body part was laying out on the ground in a far away state, we would have to deliberately throw out another body part to keep that one company.  Everything has feelings…

All that being said is to introduce you to a few bags that were created last year and didn’t make it into the blog.  We wouldn’t want a bag to have its feelings hurt, would we?  So before I go off to a therapy session, here are the omitted bags. 🙂

I actually made two bags from a Charlie’s Aunt pattern called the High Tea Clutch Bag.  The first one I call “She Wore Blue Velvet.”  The velvet, inside and out, is from Mood Fabrics.  Then I added a beaded ribbon.

She Wore Blue Velvet

She Wore Blue Velvet

The other is titled “Hidden Butterfly.”  That’s because I randomly sewed two little metal butterflies to the front, along with an upcycled jewelry piece.  I believe the fabric was from Britex Fabrics in San Francisco and has lovely textured suede flowers on ivory linen.

Hidden Butterfly

Hidden Butterfly

Next is a bag that was sold before it was even placed on the shelf–“Confetti Candy.”  I’m showing both front and back to display a variety of fabrics and trims.  On the front side I used a suede-like tangerine fabric from Mood.  Added to the front was a pocket of Kaffe Fassett floral with colorful popcorn fringe and a sparkling pink broach from Trims on Wheels.   The reverse side featured a magenta upholstery weight fabric from High Fashion, with a ribbon embellishment from Renaissance Ribbons.  Surrounding the bag is multicolor confetti loop fringe from Cowgirls and Lace.  The pattern is one of my favorites from Cindy Taylor Oates.

Confetti Candy

Confetti Candy

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“Venetian Dream” is created from my original pattern, The Jenny Bag.  The fabric, from Michael Levine in L.A., is embellished with a heavily beaded trim and an elegant tassel.

Venetian Dream

Venetian Dream

I wanted to try my hand at using new purse hardware, which is what attracted me to a purse kit and pattern by Penny Sturges and Darci Wright found at Quilt Festival last fall.  It turned out well, and I learned to install a twist lock closure.  The pattern is Mini Messenger, and I named the bag “Elizabeth.”

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Last year, after viewing gypsy bags on Pinterest, I was inspired to design a romantic creation.  “Gypsy Rose” is fashioned from the magenta fabric used on Confetti Candy, a coordinating pink faux ostrich, and a leather flower from Michael Levine.  It features a multicolor loop fringe from Cowgirls and Lace, a pocket of antique cut velvet, and a strap of vintage moss green velvet and leopard.  I still have not parted with this purse.

Gypsy Rose

Gypsy Rose

One of the most popular patterns I use is the Rachel Bag from Bag Boutique by Amy Barickman.   I wish I could remember where I purchased the zebra–perhaps Interior Fabrics in Houston.  The purse is accessed through a zipper down the backside and carried by a simple black bamboo handle.  The back features an organdy ribbon attaching a rhinestone heart-shaped key, hence the name “Wild at Heart.”  To create the front embellishment, I layered two buttons and looped over a silky black tassel.

Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart

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By the Sea is a fun bag I created from scraps of thick tropical themed fabric from a local Galveston upholsterer, distressed denim from Indygo Junction, faux ostrich from Michael Levine, and a plush vintage velvet ribbon from Los Angeles Antiques.  I sewed small beads on the eyes of the seahorses, and the crab and fish on the back.  The pattern is from Kati Cupcake Pattern Company and has twelve pockets. Such a challenge it was, using grommets with heavy thick fabric.  The problem is, the grommets are added at the very end, so you’re basically cutting large holes in your finished bag, and hoping that the grommets install properly.  And it’s actually hard to cut with your fingers crossed! 🙂

By The Sea

By The Sea

Cowgirl Chic was fashioned from faux cowhide and leather from Cowgirls and Lace.  The lush fringe was from Interior Fabrics in Houston.  Not sure I can part with this bag, either.

Cowgirl Chic

Cowgirl Chic

The last two bags really are for me.  They will accompany me on a Mediterranean Cruise this summer.  I needed a hands-free, cross-body bag for shore excursions.  Not large–just large enough for essentials.  The perfect pattern for this is the Chattisham Clutch Bag from Charlie’s Aunt.  Bright red faux crocodile is from Fabric Decor in Houston.  I did not embellish it, as the fabric speaks for itself.  The zebra bag’s flap is sewn from a vintage crushed velvet found on Etsy, and the ruby bauble is upcycled jewelry.

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Tomorrow my granddaughter, Madison, arrives.  She just earned her driver’s license, so when we’re not beaching, shopping, or creating, I’m sure she will be happy to chauffeur us anywhere we travel. And until next time, happy summer travels to you!

Love, Anny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trips = Happy Blood Pressure

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Hmm, just noticed that my last two posts have been mostly travel related.  When I started this blog I imagined most all my posts would be about purses/bags or at least sewing.  But travel is a big part of my life, especially since retirement.  I once told my doctor that one of the ways I’ve managed to keep my blood pressure in check is to always have a trip in the works.  As long as I know that eventually I can escape and be forced to unwind for a bit, I’m happy.  And usually, to some degree, that travel includes some fabric or embellishment shopping. 🙂 Sometimes, the whole trip is about sewing, such as the International Quilt Festival coming up this month!  Very excited about that and will report back.  But in the meantime, here are a few projects completed recently.

Last fall, I found a pattern on-line for fabric pumpkins.  Since fall fabric is plentiful in my stash, I was excited, but as with a lot of projects, I ran out of time and it was beyond fall before I knew it!  But, this year, I started early and here they are.  This pattern is called Patchwork Pumpkins by Kim Kruzieh at RetroMama.Etsy.com.  You can download this pattern which has clear instructions, pattern pieces to cut out, and pictures.  The stem and leaves are made from felt.  The leaves have some handwork stitching, which you probably could leaf (lol) off, but I found very relaxing.  In case you’re not familiar with or have forgotten some of the embroidery  stitches, they are illustrated as well.  All in all, a very fun project–maybe for a gift!

FABRIC PUMPKINS

FABRIC PUMPKINS

You may recall my problem with purse frames.  I haven’t practiced like I intended, but here is one that’s always a sure-fire hit with me.  It’s an arched metal frame with a kiss-lock closure and an added chain that can be removed or tucked inside.  The purse is simply sewn with a sleeve at the top.  Then you unscrew one side of the frame bottom, slip the sleeve on, and there’s your purse!  No messy glue or stitching!  You can order it on-line from Mica’s Room.  I embellished it with an antique brooch, designed by yours truly, from Victorian lace and a vintage button.  Binge watching Project Runway while I sewed, of course, called for fabric from MOOD!  These are silky pin-dot velvets, inside and out.  I named this purse Victoria.

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Cowgirls and Lace, one of my favorite places to gather fabric, is near my granddaughter’s house, so Gracie and her mom accompanied me to their Semi-Annual Sale.  I think Gracie scored even more than I did!  She had store personnel joining in her hunt for sample treasures.  She designs sets for her LPS videos.  It was like, “Oh, Gracie, this would make good wallpaper!” or “How about this fabric for a rug?”  They even gifted her with a sample book!  That’s my girl!

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As a matter of fact, my most recent bag is almost completely fashioned from items from Cowgirls and Lace.  Finding two very beautiful and unique tassels, plus gorgeous fabric, inspired the bag I titled Serengeti.  The fabric is from American Folk and Fabric’s antique collection called Kings Muir.  If you look closely, you will see that one of the tassels is an elephant.  And the other is just plain elegant!  The lining is a sage green silk Dupioni with three pockets from the exterior fabric.  In some bags, this one included, I now add a swivel hook to the pocket to attach keys.  The hook is attached to the pocket with a piece of leather from one of the sample collections I found recently at Cowgirls and Lace.  I bought about six rings of leather samples, assuming I could put them to good use since each sample is 5″ x 5″ and they were only a few dollars per set!

SERENGETI

SERENGETI

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To create Fields of Gold, a fabulous and fun gypsy bag, I chose a golden brown embroidered floral fabric for the exterior and a silky red interior.  A textured leopard print handle was added, along with teardrop tassels, thickly braided fringe, and a flower centered with a piece of upcycled jewelry.  This bag truly has it all!

FIELDS OF GOLD

FIELDS OF GOLD

Oh, and my good neighbor, Jeff, stopped by to bring me a beautiful rose and gold brocade fabric from his generous upholsterer friend!  I’m sure you’ll be seeing that in the future, maybe as an elegant clutch!  So many patterns, so much fabric, so little time!  I love it all!!

Happy Sewing To You!

Anny

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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 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!

Pivoting in Downtown L.A.

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Well, I’m two days post op from minor knee surgery–tear of the medial meniscus.  Doctor O’Neill says my left knee probably was aggravated by a lot of pivoting motion.  Pivoting?  So the final blow to my knee was from mucho pivoting??  Hmm, I don’t play sports, I’m not what you’d call athletic these days, and my only real exercise is going to Curves.  But wait–!  Where was I last month when it really starting hurting so much more?  That’s right–L.A.  And here’s where the pivots come in.  As I explore the Fashion District in Downtown L.A.  I see—a fabric store–pivot–another fabric store–pivot–a trim store–pivot–more fabric–pivot–pant pant–well, you get the picture. 🙂  I was in Fabric Heaven and this blog entry is to share with my fellow fabric lovers.

It actually started even before we left Galveston.  I was purchasing vintage velvet ribbons from a fabulous Etsy Shop, Rosa’s Creations, and I realized the seller was in L.A.  I contacted the seller and decided to pay her store a visit where I could actually see all the ribbons she had to offer.  Oh My!  What a wonderland of vintage ribbons, antiques, and linens!  I worked with Ashley, who was so very gracious, and before long I had a luscious treasure trove of exquisite velvet ribbons.  (I couldn’t even bring myself to check them through baggage on our return flight.  I managed to fit them into my carry on bag!  No parting with those beauties! )

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Shortly after returning to Galveston, I fashioned what I’m calling the “Spend the Night Bag.”  This bag (a variation of my Anny Bag pattern) came together larger than I intended but it’s a fabulous travel bag.  Very sturdy straps with metal rings, six pockets inside, as well as another interior cross/bag secure strap and magnetic closure.   The fabrics are from Cowgirls and Lace in Dripping Springs, Texas.  Ruffles are a velvety upholstery weight, as well as a wonderfully textured faux crocodile turquoise band and strap.  But as I finished the bag, I realized it needed a certain something.  Velvety upholstery=velvet ribbon, right?  So, as scary as it was to actually CUT  aaaaahhh!  that sumptuous vintage velvet ribbon, I held my breath and reached for the scissors.  Hallelujah!  This was exactly what my creation was calling for!  And in the second picture, feast your eyes on the whole array of ribbons from that beautiful collection.  I’m sure you’ll see them in future creations as well.

After the visit to Rosa’s shop, what do you think I spied across the street?  MOOD Fabrics!!!!  Yes, except for NYC, this is the only other Mood Fabrics store!  As seen on Project Runway, this store is beyond belief.  The pictures do not do it justice.  It’s simply indescribable, and the staff was very courteous and helpful.  Wish I could just helicopter you all in to see for yourselves, but these pics will have to do.

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I hope you can enlarge that first picture to see the detail, but keep in mind that you’re only seeing half of the store.  If  you could look the other direction, you would see a similar scene.  Nirvana!  The second pic is just a sampling of the vast assortment of beautiful embellishments they offer. In the third pic you will see exquisite patterned silk velvets that I actually mustered the courage to cut recently. Yikes!  And, yes, I’ve also used one of those gorgeous hand-painted buttons.  Here is a recent bag (an Ali Foster pattern) that I styled with one of those sweet buttons.

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This blue leopard fabric has an ultra-suede feel to it.  The interior is a hot pink satin with pockets.  Embellished with a feathery row of black roses,  a black tassel, and hand-painted button on the reverse side.  Love this pattern and can’t wait to fashion yet another bag with it.

On the third day of our vacation, we headed right into downtown, L.A.  The Fashion District there is akin to NYC.  Blocks and blocks of nothing but fabric and trim stores.  (Hence the pivoting and pivoting and….)  Avant Trims  provided some beautiful embellishments, including the brooch that I added to a previous bag.  And Roma Deco had luscious fabrics including a multicolored over 100+ inch wide that I’ve already used for two linings.

Flowers and Brooches from Avant Trims

Flowers and Brooches from Avant Trims

An Avant Brooch on the flap of this bag...

An Avant Brooch on the flap of this bag…

Lining from Roma Decor Fabrics

Lining from Roma Deco Fabrics

More lush fabrics from Roma Decor

More lush fabrics from
Roma Deco

My favorite was  Michael Levine, a huge store that was having their month-end clearance sale.  Yeehaw!!  This Texas gal dug in and scoured every aisle.  I LOVE the discoveries I made, including these fantastic leather flowers and colorful faux ostrich fabrics!!

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Aren’t they fabulous?  Here is a mini-messenger bag utilizing both.  (And one of the hand-painted buttons as well.)

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This bag turned out so well, I can’t wait to make another!  You can bet your bottom dollar, I’ll be returning to Michael Levine on my next trip to L.A.  Thank goodness our son lives there!  When we weren’t shopping, we visited Bryan and his lovely lady friend, Liz. All in all, it was a fabulous trip.  And once again, Rick was such a trooper, taking his Kindle along and never complaining as I shopped to my heart’s content.  I am one lucky gal!

My final show-n-tell is yet another Ali Foster pattern that I love.  This fabric feels like someone embossed black suede onto white leather–nicely textured.  It styles so well with plenty of body to keep the shape of the purse.  The pattern called for sewn handles but I had some handles in my stash from a while back that I thought would work well.  So I just made some tabs to hold these handles.  A velvety, yet sturdy fabric created the bow.   Black and white damask with a zipper pocket complete the interior.  The pattern called for the bow to have a center of the same fabric but I liked the look of this rhinestone buckle.

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You probably wonder how this knee setback is going to affect my production of 15 or more bags for the Artwalk trunk show on Oct. 5.  Actually, I’m doing quite well (knock on wood) because I have now completed bag #13.  Whew!  Just writing about all this has tired me out.  I’m gonna go prop up this poor pivoted-out knee with some ice.  Until next time, HAPPY SEWING!

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!

These Boots Are Made for Walkin’

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Oh, Happy Day!  Imagine my surprise when I delivered a new bag to Tina’s on the Strand and  Fiery Fiesta was part of the window display!

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Fiery Fiesta is the large version of the pattern I designed and now sell in my Etsy shop, Its Sew Anny.  It’s called “The Anny Bag Pattern” (a PDF pattern) and the idea originated with a glance at an apron from Pier 1 that had been cast upon the back of my sewing chair.  I had been dreaming of a pattern with ruffles but everything I searched to buy had too small and tightly gathered ruffles.  There was the perfect configuration in that ruffled apron, and thus, the birth of The Anny Bag.  The summery Fiery Fiesta bag was made from Kaffe Fassett laminated cotton.  The bag I delivered was Tropinkal Chic.  Fashioned from hot pink and tropical laminated cotton, with a flirty pink polka dot lining, this bag is the medium size version of the Anny Bag Pattern.

Tropinkal Chic

Tropinkal Chic

Recently I created another one of my favorite patterns (CraftApple’s Knotted Bag–“Afternoon” size) that I call Paisley Polka.  The laminated fabric is a Riley Blake design called Sugar & Spice by the Quilted Fish.  And the whimsical turquoise polka dot bow and bib is from Michael Miller.  Available in my Etsy shop.

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That same pattern from CraftApple’s Knotted Bag also offers an “All Day” size which I styled from an Amy Butler fabric from her Alchemy Collection, called Sketchbook Rose.  I named this bag Blue Skies and Roses.  The quilted weight cotton lining had been in my closet for some time while I searched for the same print in a laminate.  I finally discovered it at the online shop called Laminates–a very fun store with a huge selection of laminates, as well as quilted weight cottons.  This bag is large enough to even carry a laptop!  There is a generous pocket inside but a huge exterior section that they call a “magazine pocket.”

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And now for something completely different, last night I went back to using non-laminated fabric and created a design by Sue Kim that she calls Hobo Chic. I call it Just Plain Mod!  The fabric I chose is straight out of the sixties!  It is a durable canvas weight and I lined it with yellow polka dot with two pockets.  (This bag is also available in my Etsy Shop. ) As a finishing touch, I added a tan leather button right in the middle of one of the giant flowers.  All you need to complete this look is a pair of GoGo Boots!  Oh, I’m showing my age…  These boots are made for walkin’, right Nancy?  Well, that’s just what they’ll do–right up the stairs to my sewin’ room!

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“Do you have a pet hummingbird?”

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Oh, Yes, I am a New Woman!!  Wow!  A lot can happen in just a few weeks!   Two weekends of Homes Tour were a great success;  literally thousands of people toured our home and nine others here in Galveston.  The first Sunday, Rick and I were enjoying breakfast at a neighborhood cafe while docents led guests through the tour of our home.  But–is it ever a good thing when the House Chairperson calls your cell and asks, “Do you have a pet hummingbird?!”  It was a beautiful day–bright blue skies, swift breezes, and perfect temperature.  So naturally, I wanted to leave all doors and windows open and convey to our guests a sense of coastal living–you know, those lovely tropical breezes drifting in.  Apparently, that wasn’t all that drifted in. There was a hummingbird flying around our kitchen.   By the time we arrived to help, the little fellow had taken himself back outside.  Just the day before I noticed the hummingbird feeder was empty, but didn’t have time to fill it, so Rick suggested that the hummingbird was probably there to lodge a complaint!  Needless to say, that issue has been addressed. 🙂

The Galveston Historical Foundation had also asked Rick and I if we would host a dinner on Saturday evening.  They sold tickets, they provided a chef (who was marvelous), they provided drinks, and Rick and I gave a private behind-the-scenes tour of our home.  I only had two stress points–the timing and the number of guests.  Including Rick and I, there were fourteen seated at our long, long dinner table.  Coming up with fourteen place settings, etc. was not an option for me, but Martha Stewart says you can mix and match, right?  So that is what we did.  I said, “I don’t even have fourteen napkins that match.”  My friends said, “But you sew.  Somewhere in that stash of yours, you will find enough coordinating fabric to make fourteen napkins.”  And sure enough, I had been collecting French fabrics that complemented the French Second Empire style of our house and our dishes.

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Yes, I seriously sewed fifteen napkins (just in case) and my friends had suggested using raffia for napkin rings.  I ended up tying raffia while sitting in bed at the hotel the night before.  Eek!  Then I decided they looked too Western and the next day I ran to Pier 1 for napkin rings which were perfect.  I said, “You know, hosting a dinner party for fourteen would be stress enough, but I don’t even know who I invited!”  Since tickets were sold, I had no idea who was coming but, oh, my, it was so much fun!  We had a very eclectic mix of guests, to say the least, and by the time we actually sat down to dinner, we were laughing and talking so loudly that the dining room echoed!   We made awesome new friends and had a blast.

I mentioned timing being an issue.  The Saturday tour ended around six, the chef arrived at six, and dinner was scheduled for 7:30.  After dinner, everything had to be restored to its proper place because at ten o’clock the next morning, the tours started again!  A very sad event occurred the evening before, which was that my father-in-law passed away.  He had been quite ill for a long time.  Rick was making funeral arrangements up in Houston during this same time, but welcomed the distraction of that Saturday evening.  With the arrival of relatives from Tacoma, we were soon grateful to be reminiscing with cousins and sharing awesome memories of a fun-loving, gentle family man, who lived to be 89 years and 5 days.

In happier news…  Due to a number of circumstances, we have decided not to sell our lovely home!  You know, it’s hard to part with something that has just received so many compliments.  Since Rick retired in April, he was anxious to get started on clearing the land we have in the Texas Hill Country and start building a weekend home.  The thought of moving was becoming an obstacle to other progress.  We really didn’t need yet another project.  Not to mention I will be keeping my awesome sewing room!

In sewing news we have the following:

I completed an Anny Bag that I call Rhapsody in Blue.  Created from Michael Miller, Phillip Jacobs, and Kaffe Fassett laminated cotton fabrics, this item was only at Tina’s a very short time before it was sold.

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Another laminated bag that I just turned in to Tina’s is an Abbey Lane pattern (The Lucille Bag) that I call Bali Dancing.  I seem to be stuck on Phillips Jacobs, Michael Miller and Kaffe Fassett. 🙂  This pattern came together so easily.  I have always been happy with Abbey Lane patterns and anytime you have a question, they will respond very promptly.

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A side note about the tours through our home… When we came home to deal with the hummingbird crisis, the upstairs docents asked me if I had business cards because so many people had enjoyed seeing the purses in my sewing room.  Long story short–I ended up selling two bags on Etsy.  I had to say good-bye to these little beauties:

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After receiving more requests, I’m currently working on a few more of the bow style.  A great pattern by CraftApple.

Our son was home from Minneapolis and since his plane left at six in the morning, he just took a nap from midnight until two.  So, of course, wanting to stay up and say good-bye to him, I just sewed.  Ended up sewing until 4:00 a.m.  Here’s hoping your spring has sprung and you’ll be visiting your sewing/crafting area often!  Don’t leave your windows open without screens, or a little birdie may fly in to help you…

So What’s the Drink of the Day?

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Our first day back on shore I turn to Rick and ask, “So what’s the Drink of the Day?”  Oh yeah, back to REALITY!!  No more Mango Mungo Madness!  Back to selling the house, readying house for Homes Tour, Rick starting on Hill Country land, putting Spring items on Etsy, sewing for Tina’s, having the flu…  Yep, the first week back from the cruise I think I’m dizzy just getting used to land again but no!  Very sick, but just for a few days.  Now I’m good as new!

So, about the cruise…  If you know Flat Stanley, you know that since Gracie is in second grade, Rick and I were in charge of photographing  this nicely dressed flat boy doing various activities in settings that prove he has visited countries outside the U.S. so Gracie could share with her class.  Duly noted!  As the pics portray, Stanley went to the On Deck Sailaway Party, Belize zip lining, marketing in Cozumel, enjoying the Atrium, and even getting his hair styled (his hair always did look nice…) in the ship salon.  He’s a dandy!

Docked in Cozumel.

Docked in Cozumel.

Sail Away Party.  See those deck chairs?  Drink of the Day setting.  Non-alcoholic for Stanley. :)

Sail Away Party setting. See those deck chairs? Drink of the Day setting. Non-alcoholic for Stanley. 🙂

My Cabana Boy

My Cabana Boy

Waving to Roatan, Honduras.  Too choppy for ship to dock.  :(
Waving to Roatan, Honduras. Too choppy for ship to dock. 😦
Stan dances the night away.

Stan dances the night away.

Zip lining in Belize.
Zip lining in Belize.
Market visit in Cozumel.

Market visit in Cozumel.

Salon visit for Formal Night.

Salon visit for Formal Night.

Although Stanley zip lined in Belize, he passed on the Cave Tubing expedition, and on the Helmet Diving in Cozumel.  He prefers dry activities.  A great time was had by all and it was amazing how many people recognized Stanley.  When taking that Market pic, a policeman says, “So…how many countries has he been to?”  🙂   The one place I planned to buy fabric was Roatan since we had friends there who actually knew where to take us.  So no new fabric.  (Although I did place an order today from QuiltHome.com. 🙂  And I plan to order soon from another fav, Laminates.)

So…still keeping the sewing room tidy for house showings (an open house yesterday) but before we vacationed I took time to finish a few items for Its Sew Anny on Etsy and a few evening bags for the cruise.  (P.S.  If you visit my store on Etsy, please don’t place an apostrophe in the “Its” or you will visit someone else’s shop. Yes, I’m a teacher and this just drives me crazy…)

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These bags are a wonderful design by CraftApple.  I can’t say enough about their patterns.  Very clear, attractive, easy to follow instructions.  I carry a fall upholstery version of this bag and love it because it’s just the right size.  It’s shoulder style, holds more than you realize, and I’ve added three pockets inside.  They offer two versions.  The magenta and gold bag is the gathered style and while pulling the fabrics I found this embroidered ribbon in my stash that matched perfectly and was a nice little embellishment.  When the straps seemed too lightweight (even with interfacing) I decided to add lines of stitching which gave a quilted effect and a much sturdier strap.  I opted to use the non-gathered pattern on the blue bag since I didn’t want to interrupt the beautiful floral design.  Blue beads called to me from my embellishment stash, so voila!  I don’t remember where I purchased these fabrics–it’s been a while–but I have been waiting for a project worthy of these beautiful colors and designs.  I do know that the magenta fabric is from Timeless Treasures called “Darling Clementine.”  The lining is Garden Pindot.  The blue lining is from Moda, and probably the floral also.  The polka dot is from Marcus Fabrics, “Authentic 1930’s from the collection by Judie Rothermel.”

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This evening bag is a Studio Mio design with the clever slide magnetic clasp.  Fashioned from the most opulent copper plush fabric I own, and embellished with a feathery accent.  The strap was enhanced by a rhinestone buckle found in my trimmings drawer.

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Recuperating from the flu I decided to try this Katie’s Draw-string Bag pattern from Amelie Scott Designs.  This is a gem of a pattern that I plan to use again.  I had some Michael Miller laminated cotton that begged to be used and I was able to whip this drawstring/backpack style bag up in no time.  The pattern comes with flower embellishment instructions which I plan to create from a coordinating fabric.  Next time I would add pockets.  What was I thinking?  Hmm, coming off the flu I guess.  But you know how I love pockets!!

In other news:

My hubby retired right before the cruise and is anxious to get started clearing property in the Texas Hill Country where he wants to build a vacation home for us.  He is there today which means that I will probably sew until late tonight. 🙂

We have been asked to participate in the Galveston Historical Homes Tour 2013 which happens the first and second weekend in May.  Very honored, we are, and very excited to be sharing our home built in 1886.  Wednesday the docents arrive for the orientation meeting.  On those two weekends, we will stay at the Marriott Hotel Galvez on the Seawall–an historical landmark as well and host to classic celebrities as Frank Sinatra and past presidents.  During the day, we will probably spend half our time touring the other homes and half the time on our own deck answering any questions from tourists.  We are blessed.

So happy to be home and back with Buddy and Kate!  Our teacher friend, Amy, did a terrific job of house/pet sitting for us!  She did say that if she gets to return to earth as an animal, she wants to come back as a Heiberg dog!  🙂

With that I bid you farewell and I’m taking those Heiberg dogs up to sew!

Love,

Anny