Tag Archives: fabric bag

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW MANY EUROS?!

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Wow!  I feel like I’ve had a whirlwind summer and FINALLY the temps here have dipped to the 70’s!!  (Ok, just at night…) Although I had booked our trip to Italy for the End of August/Beginning of September to avoid the Texas heat, Italy was much hotter than I anticipated.  And a word to my sewing friends out there–major fabric retailers in Italy disappear in August.  They simply close their doors, post a sign, and go on Holiday.  While I did visit a few old school, super classy shops in Florence and Venice, I was not so lucky in Rome.  But without further ado, here are pics of Italy–a scenic dream!

COLOSSEUM

COLOSSEUM

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Next stop, the Roman Forum.  Somehow I felt it needed to appear in black and white…

ROMAN FORUM

ROMAN FORUM

A side trip to Naples and Pompeii.  I had no idea that Naples was the third largest city in Italy and densely populated.  Home to Sophia Loren and birthplace of pizza, but also home to organized crime.

Naples City View

Naples City View

Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius

Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius

Chained Slave at the time of the volcanic eruption.

Chained Slave at the time of the volcanic eruption.

Florence, I do believe, was my favorite city.  Everywhere you look, there are artists, cathedrals, cafes, and beauty.  Speaking of beauty, nowhere have I seen such picturesque towns as the five little villages of Cinque Terre.  Perched on the seaside cliffs, overlooking the cobalt and aquamarine waves, these villages are accessible only by foot, ferry, or train.  Our tour combined all of these to see each and every village in its glory–colorful homes, quaint shops, and lovely people.  Here is a taste of Cinque Terre:

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Vernazza

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Riomaggiore

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Riomaggiore

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Of course we couldn’t visit Tuscany without a peek at Pisa and Lucca, with its intact medieval wall.

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Seriously, when is the last time you were in a bookstore built with true ancient columns and skylights?

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And, our last stop, Venice…

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The Grand Canal

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A lady showing me how to make lace in Burano.

It is said the colorful homes served as a beacon to the sailors returning home from their fishing expeditions.

Colorful homes of Burano.

Colorful homes of Burano.

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St. Mark’s Basilica

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Navigating the narrow streets.

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In our gondola…

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We pass under one of Venice’s 417 bridges.

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Dusk view from the gondola.

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Venetian traffic jam. 🙂

I mentioned visiting a few fabric shops.  At Casa Dei Tessuti in Florence I purchased an exquisite half meter of sage green velvet.  Hopefully you will see a future delicate evening bag or two?  It didn’t take long to realize that I was in over my head euro-wise.  (Thus the small purchase.)  It should have been a clue, even before I checked prices, since there were several framed articles and pictures of personnel with the Royal Family!  Even so, I managed to sneak a few pics of my own.  Notice the fabulous antiques!

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Oh, yes, and I purchased a few elegant tassels in Venice at Mario Bevilacqua!  This small but opulent fabric store had the most lush items you can imagine.  Plush fabric, beads, tassels everywhere!

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Can you believe this place?!  I was in heaven!  I consider myself very fortunate to have afforded those two tassels.  Why?  Well, let’s put it this way.  The most gorgeous, golden, textured fabric I had ever seen beckoned me from the corner.

Hand on the roll, I ask timidly, “Do you sell this by the meter?”  (Thinking I could pull my half-meter trick as in Florence.)

“Yes,” answers the nicely dressed gentleman.

“And how many Euros, please, would that be?”

“2500, Signore.”

Okay–I guess the look on my face encouraged him to explain.  “You see, the fabric is hand-woven on family looms from centuries ago.”

I back away and approach the tassels, choosing a ruby red beaded and a golden beaded, which were only nine euros each.  I pay for my purchase, and as I slink out the door, what do I notice but another one of those darned, framed, Royal Family articles and pics!  Of course!  Hmm…a few more trips to Italy and I’ll have this down!  But not in August, right?!

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?!!! 🙂

 

 

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!”

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!

QUILTERS’ PARADISE

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QUILTERS’ PARADISE

It is back to reality for me.  From Wednesday to Saturday Nannette and I were in P-A-R-A-D-I-S-E!  2013 International Quilt Festival, Houston, Texas.  This gallery of pics will give you an idea of our many ventures.  Let’s start here:

OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!  Quilters flocking to the door.

OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!
Quilters flocking to the door.

An overall view from the Window Up Above (Wasn’t that a Mickey Gilley song?)

IMG_4430Let’s go shopping:

Nannette and I with Kaffe Fassett and his new book, QUILT GRANDEUR.

Nannette and I with Kaffe Fassett and his new book,
QUILT GRANDEUR.

KAFFE FASSETT and LIZA PRIOR LUCY

KAFFE FASSETT and LIZA PRIOR LUCY

If Kaffe Fassett doesn’t ring a bell with you, you are probably not a quilter and that’s okay.  Just letting you know that he is the author of numerous quilting books and known all over the world for his brilliant color combinations and designs.  I so love to use his fabric in my bags.  And, oh my, he admired my bag.  MY BAG!  I can die happy now…

My new favorite booth:  ADORNit.  www.adornit.com  These gals (mother and two daughters) have developed an amazingly strong presence in the fabric, pattern, and quilting world.  You go, Ladies!

ADORNit.

ADORNit.

Snazzy contemporary fabric and a pattern book (plus some charm squares) were scored at ADORNit.  If you sew, plan to visit soon for inspiration.

You can always catch demos at the show.  Check out this lady’s sewing machine…

Gelaskin for Sewing Machines?!

Gelaskin for Sewing Machines?!

This next mother/daughter duo is a booth Nannette and I always take time to visit.  Brilliant colors and designs are offered on a number of projects like chair covers, floor mats, travel mugs, mirrors, lamps, shades, clocks and clipboards.  Did I say quilts?  And more. Dianne Springer finds ways to artistically apply scraps on anything–even mailboxes!  Don’t stand still too long–she may find a way to Scrap-o-Late you!!

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www.quiltinacup.com

You’ve heard me mention FRAMES.  Yes, I succumbed to one of my favorite booths, Mica’s Room.  On Halloween, no less.  My friends here entice me (doesn’t take much) to buy frames, patterns, clasps and fabric.  This year I’m trying coin purses.  They do have frames.  But isn’t that a great way to practice?

My friends from Mica's Room.

My friends from Mica’s Room.

This year I purchased  antique ribbons, lace, and vintage buttons and fabric at booths featuring embellishments.  Many more booths featured bags, bag patterns and hardware this year.  Right up my alley!  You know I was crossing my fingers for colored denim and I hit the jackpot.  Thanks to designer Amy Barickman, Crossroads Denim will allow me to fashion totes, slings, and clutches from a softly laundered denim in shades of orange, navy, blues, greens, and neutrals.  I’m so excited!

Some ladies at the show try their hand at longarm quilting.

Longarm quilting booth.

Longarm quilting booth.

It seems as though Nannette ran up a huge total at Quilts By The Bay.

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Oops!  Thankfully, that was just a mistake, but maybe it’s time to turn from shopping to quilts.  Hello–it is a Quilt Show!

The Best of Show Winner is …

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Close Up

Close Up

Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist

There were contemporary, traditional, charitable, whimsical, biographical, autobiographical, military and art quilts.  A sampling:

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Sparkles covered all the flowers on this quilt.

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Yes, Jack Nicholson.  The artist said she was studying expression and emotions.

Yes, Jack Nicholson. The artist said she was studying expression and emotions. 🙂

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This year $102,800 cash awards were given (and the prizes also include airfare to and hotel accommodations for Quilt Festival.)  See all the winning quilts at www.quilts.org.

There were classes offered at Craftsy:

Craftsy University

Craftsy University

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A Craftsy Class.

Many specialties were offered in the upstairs classrooms (Nannette and I enjoyed one) and even classes offered right on the main floor amongst the booths.

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For breaks and a chance to catch a breeze in our fabulous fall weather, attendees are welcome to stroll on the balcony.  When you’re in the midst of shopping and viewing, it seems the world is removed (happily so) but it’s occasionally beneficial to let your brain experience the connection of a view of downtown.

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Often we run into old friends that we usually see at retreats.  This year we had fun meeting old friends in the crowded aisles, trying to catch up on the run, waving, and signaling to meet up later.  Fortunately, I noticed Jo Packham in the Food Court, having just had two classes with the Where Women Create panel, and she joined Nannette and I for a fun and relaxing late lunch. We solved most of the world’s problems and then it was back to shopping. 🙂

At the end of the day, we welcome this sight:

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“Come into the light, Carol Ann…”  It’s the corridor that links the George R. Brown Convention Center to the Hilton Hotel.   Oh, yes.  That walkway reminds us that Starbucks is not a food group.  Without even depositing our treasures in our room, we head for the lovely restaurant where the food is actually quite good.  After dinner, drinks, and dessert, we drag our loot up to the room and share our awesome treasures.  We always vow to get plenty of sleep, but how do you do that when there is just so much to share??  And no sleeping in the next day because, hey, we need to find that fabric we glimpsed yesterday and hope it’s still there!

This year we took a class and it was titled, “Crafting an Ideal Day.”  It basically involved time management and we learned a lot from the facilitator and the participants.  Everyone seemed to have the same problem–not enough time to sew.  We lamented this and brainstormed solutions.  The main idea that Nannette and I took away from the class was this:  Get 20 minutes in your sewing area everyday.  This will lead to more, and if it doesn’t on any given day, at least you will have been twenty minutes productive.  Naturally, we left the show this year pledging to gift ourselves those twenty minutes.  And it may not happen everyday, but, well, it’s a start.  So here I go… I’ll bet I could get a small purse cut out in the next twenty minutes. 🙂 How do you get YOUR twenty minutes in?

Sleep? What sleep?

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Imagine my surprise to find I’d been nominated for the Good Neighbor Blog Award!  Katherine from Pillows A-La-Mode (an awesome site) requested nominations for someone in the blogging world that you would most want to live next door to!  The winner was a fabulous blogger, Crafty Staci, that you will certainly enjoy reading.  And to the person(s) who nominated me, I send my deepest gratitude!  I consider myself fairly new to blogging and as they say in Hollywood, “It’s an honor just to be nominated.”  Amen to that!  Just for being nominated, I get to display a Good Neighbor Award button on my blog, and you will be seeing that just as soon as I learn how to display it. 🙂  Yep, I still have lots to learn about blogging, my friend. So in this world of widgets, buttons, and stats, please just bear with me!

This is Wednesday night and Saturday is my trunk show at Tina’s for Artwalk Galveston.  As noted in my last blog, I thought my fall collection was finished. 🙂  Oh, silly me!  They had requested 15 bags and I had 16 bags.  But when I mentioned that there was not an Anny Bag in the collection, I could read the disappointment in their faces.  While I consider the Anny Bag as something more suited to a Spring/Summer collection, apparently the customers have been requesting the Anny Bag, so… In the last four days, I have designed four Anny Bags!  Sleep?  What sleep?  I needed to find fall/winter type fabric that would also be able to drape for those ruffles.  I am pleased to say that without shopping, I managed to come up with the fabrics and trims I needed.  (That should tell you something about my stash.  Shh! )  Anyway, today I planned to make the tags (see previous blog) but after lunch, Tina’s called.  The newspaper needed a photo preview of my presentation by day’s end.  Whaaaat??  I know NOTHING about photo shoots.  So you should have seen me schlepping bags and lamps all over the house trying to figure out what to do next.  Too much light!  Too little light!  Too many bags!  Too few bags!  Too much background distraction!   I was mainly working with two coat racks.  After taking about 30 pics, I decided less is more, and since they just wanted a sneak preview, here is the photo that will be published:

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Bag #16 is a pattern I designed called the Jenny Bag.  (Publishing it is on my “to do” list.)  🙂  Here it is, fashioned from that sumptuous copper velvety fabric from Cowgirls and Lace, and the Roma Deco upholstery fabric I picked up in L.A. in silver and gold tones.  Embellished with four glass beaded tassels, and a beaded golden applique, I’m not sure what to name it.  Any suggestions?

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So…the four Anny Bags.  The first is created mostly from velvet and a leopard faux fur.  (Can you tell I relish that copper fabric?)  I had purchased the leopard flower but added a brooch from my stash from Trims on Wheels for the center.  This whole bag is so velvety smooth I could just eat it up!

The Fancy Anny

THE FANCY ANNY

The Western Anny was fashioned from faux leathers and a furry leopard print.  Yes, I had these western looking leather straps in my stash from Cindy’s Button Company.  The fringe completes the western look.  Would you believe the beautiful dangle on the front was from a broken necklace?  Don’t you just  love repurposing!!  Yeehaw!

THE WESTERN ANNY

THE WESTERN ANNY

The Autumn Anny (sorry about the pic lighting) is actually made of gold, tan, deep red, and rich chocolate brown floral linens.  The linens were purchased from various sources but worked well together.  The trim features alternating glass gold beads and silky tassels.  The tan leather strap was another past purchase from Cindy’s Button Company.  There is a gold brooch flower pendant that I’m making into a removable pin that has the same beads as the trim but it isn’t in this picture because I haven’t quite finished it.  Last minute idea.  Yikes!

THE AUTUMN ANNY

THE AUTUMN ANNY

I had fun choosing fabric for the Denim Anny.  After pairing two shades of denim with a blue leopard, I spotted a feathery trim from Mood Fabrics.  Perfect!  But, I’ve also been saving this sequined/beaded applique in shades of blue that I discovered last summer at the Pasadena Flea Market in L.A. where a lady was selling vintage fabric items.  It made the perfect focal point!  I wanted to leave the edges on the denim ruffles raw.  If I tried to hem them, they wouldn’t drape,  plus I just think it works as a fun denim look.  After washing, they came out nicely frayed, so I sewed an invisible row of stitching just above the fraying to lock it in.  I honestly don’t remember where I scored the handle fabric.  It was funky and totally matched the style of the denim look but the back was a little wonky looking.  The fix?  Take a navy webbing from my stash and sew the two strips back to back.  Voila!  Handles!  Dang!  My Job Is Fun!!!

THE DENIM ANNY

THE DENIM ANNY

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So, I now have one day left to make five tags, which normally I can finish two per day. Okay then…  It’s all a learning experience right?  Everything needs to be turned in Friday for readying the display and pricing.  Think I’m going to have to shift some priorities tomorrow…

But Hallelujah!  On Friday morning,  Jen, Madison and Gracie arrive and I will be basking in goodness and laughter and fun!  They are my good luck charms for a Successful Artwalk Show!  Hope to see you there!

Say Goodnight, Gracie!

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How lucky can one lady get?  TWO granddaughters who love to sew!  Grayson, aka Gracie, visited this week and not only does she love to sew but she’s a night person as well!  Oh yes– days spent gallivanting around Galveston and nights of sewing.  By day we shopped, enjoyed mani/pedis, visited the hairdresser, hit all the great restaurants, painted pottery, and frolicked on the beach.  Grandpa and Gracie sculpted a man of sand and we all played in the waves (including Buddy.)  By night we visited the Pleasure Pier and rode the Ferris Wheel,  took an awesome carriage ride, and did I say sew?  Just like the Madison visit, we packed it all in!

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Our very first evening together, I entered the sewing room to find that Gracie had already pulled together a combo of black fur, pink ribbon with leopard spots, and a black velvet flower, saying she wanted to make a bag.  Needless to say, a short time later and with a little help from Granny, Gracie had fashioned this adorable bag for back to school. 🙂

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You’ll notice in the second pic, Gracie has her nightgown on.  Bedtime?  What bedtime?  After the successful bag attempt, she was off and running to make miniature bags for dolls, rugs for her dollhouse, and pillows.  But the best part was when she used an iPhone to make sewing instructional videos!!  I loved it when she told the viewer, “Now you really need to use foot #53 for this laminated fabric, so if you don’t have it, you may want to start collecting different feet.”  OMG!  She says she wants to be a director. 🙂  Sounds like the Frugal Crafter to me!  Right, Lindsay?

So did Granny get any sewing accomplished?  Well, that’s why we have two Berninas!  I completed a bag I had started while sewing with Maddie.  I call it Gypsy Style with plenty of fringe and tassels using a Carol Taylor Oates pattern.  But the neat thing is the source of the fabric.  Repurposed!  My neighbor said his friend had upholstery remnants and he knew I made bags, so this beautiful heavy duty red polka dot fabric was intended for upholstery!  Paired with a taupe/red toile lining and an ivory/tan animal print,  it has new life as a stylishly whimsical bag.  Thank you,  Jeff!

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Interestingly, the other bag I created with Gracie was also fashioned from an upholstery remnant, either from Jeff, or my sister’s upholsterer.  I used this floral linen and an Amy Barickmann pattern.  A golden crushed velvet drapes the front with a leopard print tab adorned with a pin from my stash.  Delighted with this outcome.

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Since Grandpa was returning Gracie to her mom that day, I sent the bag along to show her.  They were meeting in LaGrange since Grandpa had property business to attend to.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten to photo the bag before they left, so I phoned him asking if he could please photo it and text it to me.  Uh-huh, you guessed it.  In the first pic I received, my bag is draped over “the other woman” in Rick’s life these days–that cotton pickin’ Kubota tractor!  Not funny, Rick!  Well, he made up for it by sending the one above, which I think is actually stunning.  He’s a darn good farmer/photographer!

The other item I sewed was from an unusual fabric I found in L.A.  (More about L.A. fabric in my next entry…)  It’s a ruffled, blue, animal print, fading from light to dark.  This does not sound very attractive, but drapes beautifully on Gracie as either a dress or gown.

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Finally, a few Gracie-isms.  She informed me that the reason kids have parents is so they don’t say things they shouldn’t.  She says that is when your parent says, “Just keep that to yourself.” 🙂  And then there was the day we were late to the Painted Potter and were running through the parking lot.  She yells, “Wow, Granny!  You run pretty fast for an…uh…your age!”  Nice save, Gracie!  Say Goodnight, Gracie!  I miss you!

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!