Tag Archives: Fabric stores

Hill Country Thanksgiving

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Our Hill Country Thanksgiving started with cooking and feasting on a scrumptious meal at our daughter’s home in Austin.  That is where we met George,  our newest sweet grand-dog!  He’s called a Goldendoodle.

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Black Friday did involve a bit of shopping in Fredericksburg, Texas.  Even though the weather was miserable, shoppers didn’t seem to care while they explored this historical quaint town.  Our first stop was Carol Hicks Bolton, a huge, fabulous store featuring Bella Notte linens and French antiques.  I scored a few French pharmacy items and financial documents from Paris, 1891.  Greeting you were scenes like these:

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Having worked up an appetite, we visited Vaudeville:

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Where you can dine downstairs…

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Then shop upstairs. 🙂

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We returned to Austin by way of Johnson City to view the amazing Christmas lights!  Behold!

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The following day, I took time to visit one of my favorite fabric store, Cowgirls and Lace, in Dripping Springs.  On the way, I spotted a quilt shop I’d never noticed before, and I’m so glad I stopped!

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Colorful fabrics including many Kaffe Fassett, gifts, books, patterns, classes, and even refreshments!

But, alas, it was time to say good-bye to Austin and family.  Aww, sad to go, Georgie:

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One more stop for Granny and Gramps in beautiful San Antonio.  We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Hotel Contessa on the Riverwalk.  And capped off our trip with a riverboat tour of the holiday lights before returning to Galveston.

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Never a dull moment.  Time to pull out the costumes we wear to Galveston’s Dickens on the Strand.  More about that later… Happy Holidays!

 

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WILD CHILD

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

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

Picture frame Before

Picture frame BEFORE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture frame AFTER

Picture frame AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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WILD CHILD

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

SWATCH--Mood Fabrics Mascot!

Still pinned from Project Runway!!!

Still pinned from Project Runway!!!

Shades of Project Runway

Shades of Project Runway

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SWATCH–Mascot of Mood Fabrics

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

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

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

Central Booking

Central Booking

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

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

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

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

Ciao!

Anny

 

 

 

Thanksgiving in NYC

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

IMG_4859Visit BLOOMINGDALE’S

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

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

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

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

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EMPIRE STATE BUILDING

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

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

The View from Room 2636 at the Marriott Marquis

The View from Room 2636 at the Marriott Marquis

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

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

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The famous Origami Christmas Tree

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Posing with Theodore, just like Night at the Museum!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The newly finished building.

The newly finished building.

The Memorial Wall.

The Memorial Wall.

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

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Have you hugged a cannoli today?

 

S’MORES AND MORE!

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

Texas Quilt Museum LaGrange, Texas

Texas Quilt Museum
LaGrange, Texas

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

The Quilted Skein LaGrange, Texas

The Quilted Skein
LaGrange, Texas

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

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

Fantastic Food!

Fantastic Food!

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

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

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

Chicken Enchilada Soup Um-Um-Good!

Chicken Enchilada Soup
Um-Um-Good!

CHICKEN ENCHILADA SOUP

1 can Chicken Broth

l0 oz. can enchilada sauce with green chiles

10 oz. can medium enchilada sauce

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

1 tsp. ground cumin

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

1 cup half-n-half

1 medium diced tomato

1 cup finely grated cheddar cheese

sour cream

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

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!

Dramamine, anyone?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be Careful What You Wish For!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrate with Bags!

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Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebration is the third largest in the country averaging more than 300,000 people each year.  Lavish parades are held in the historic downtown and beachfront.  What does this have to do with my bags?  Since the boutique that sells the bags is right in the heart of all the merry-making and parading downtown, I try to add a little purple, green and gold to the bags I offer.

Three of the four bags completed this month have had just that color scheme.  The most Mardi Gras of them all I call “French Quarter.”

French Quarter

French Quarter

This is a laminated Jenny  style bag with velvety black straps, sparkling feather trim, and a black rose with tassels dangling.

Next is Beaded Bliss created in the original Anny Bag fashion.  Of course it sports multiple pockets and a beautiful purple floral Kaffe Fassett lining.  Don’t know if you can tell by the picture but the print on the laminate consists of a variety of strands of colorful beads.  Mardi Gras–hello!  I purchased a large lilac polka dot flower to which I added a big purple jewel in the middle and backed it with layers of lavender netting.  It was fun doing the Anny Bag pattern again which had been on the back burner since warmer weather late last summer because  I like to use it with laminates and softer cotton fabrics that drape well.

Beaded Bliss

Beaded Bliss

Purpleicious was aptly named by my granddaughter, Gracie, who was visiting as I finished this bag.  (She told me her sister said she was “really good at naming” and she was!)  This elegant little clutch (pattern by Abbey Lane) has a feathery purchased purple flower centered on the Tencel pleats.  I believe this was the first bag that I lined with the same fabric as the exterior.  This time it just seemed perfect–not plain since I spiffed it up with three Kaffe Fassett floral pockets.  Another neat item, new to me, that was very appropriate for this interior was a purple magnetic snap.  I was surprised and happy to find these snaps in many colors at Joanne Fabrics.  You’ll notice that the interior also has a hand-sewn black floral embroidered trim which I found at Trims on Wheels at the Quilt Show this year.  I’d like to give a shout out to these folks.  They have every trim you could imagine, including jewels, buckles, etc.  Three visits to their booth at the show served me well in the embellishing department!   Great booth for my sister, as well, since she’ll be sewing some crazy quilts this year, right Nannette?

Purpleicious Interior

Purpleicious Interior

Purpleicious

Purpleicious

The latest addition to the inventory of  bags at Tina’s is called Midnight Rose!  It is fashioned from a fabulously chic textured floral on black.  What fun it was to embellish this shoulder bag from a Cindy Taylor Oates pattern.  Scarlet beading adorns the exterior pocket, a golden and black fringe trim outlines the entire body, and a hand-made zebra fabric button adds to the fun!  The handle consists of two pieces tied together (hence adjustable) and they’re made of sumptuous black velvet on one side and a very soft, thick golden textured fabric on the other.  I actually have a bag very similar to this and kept getting requests for it.  I have used it for over a year now and it has certainly served me well–from New York, to Indiana, to L.A.– that bag has been through many airport security checks, wild open jeep rides, pedicabs, carriage rides, crowded subways, you name it, and that baby has held up so well.  My favorite comment was from a Very Stylish gentleman rushing through the fashion district in SOHO who looked back and called, “Your Bag Rocks!”  Ahhh, the supreme compliment!!  I finally broke down and made one for Tina’s after I was paying for an item at their checkout counter and a customer really wanted my bag.  I took her over to show her some of my other bags there and she said, “No, I want one black with flowers, just like yours.” And so it is.  Midnight Rose.

Midnight Rose

Midnight Rose

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

NEW YORK REVIEW

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Holy Smokes!!  I miss New York City!!  (The only thing I love to do as much as sewing is traveling. ) My daughter and I had a fabulous time exploring and taking tours.  Our hotel was right in Times Square where they were setting up for the New Year’s Eve celebration.  Needless to say, one of the highlights of my trip was a visit to the Garment District.  Fabric stores everywhere–one after another!  We tried to visit Mood Fabrics (Project Runway digs) but they were closed for the holidays.  Regardless, I hit several shops and scored some outstanding trims and fabric.  Did you know they make navy blue fur trim??  Rose and gold crochet trim?  I was given a rather large piece of fur for free–just a remnant one store had tossed aside.  My fabric purchases included a navy blue/gold striped upholstery that will make a great satchel bag with that navy trim.  Also I found a beautiful moss green silk pleated fabric that will be perfect with some floral accessories for a spring bag.  I tried not to go overboard with the fabric and hoped they wouldn’t charge extra poundage for my luggage but I definitely brought enough home to have fun and will retain the business cards in case I go into withdrawal and need some more of that chic and unique NYC fabric!  In case you’d like to see photos of our trip, I will attach a few

Garment District

Sewing on the Button

.  Can’t wait to return to the Big Apple!

Up next, a wonderfully thoughtful idea from my granddaughter.  Stay tuned!

International Quilt Festival

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Shopping Opportunity

Wow!  My sister and I have decided that staying two nights for Quilt Festival is just not enough.  (What you’re seeing in the pic above is actually about 1/4 of all the booths at the Show.)  Next year we plan to stay three nights so we can be a little more relaxed with our quilt viewing and shopping schedule.  Remember when your parents used to ask, “Haven’t you had enough fun for one day?”  Well, no.  Obviously, Nannette and I need Preview Night and three more days to have enough fun–as if there is such a thing! 🙂

The magnificent quilts are always inspiring and leave us awestruck.  And we’re very excited about the opening of the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas.

We visited our favorite booths:  Cabbage Rose, Material Girl, Abbey Lane, Dianne Springer, C & C Fabrics, Hannah’s Quilts, The Quilt Studio, Robyn Pandolph, Painted Pony, and stopped at antique booths to snag some awesome buttons and embellishments for my bags and Nannette’s crazy quilts.

What did I buy?    Some patterns:  an Abbey Lane “Long Tall Sally” quilt, Abbey Lane’s Pillow Book, and a Crabapple Hill redwork design of a pumpkin (guess it’ll be “orange” work.)  Picked up a few Christmas gifts, and a coat!  Yep, a coat.  Nannette chose a beautiful jacket and I chose a black and tan print coat.  Reversible!  This was at The Velvet Hanger booth.  And, last but not least, my favorite fabrics–mostly Moda’s new Basic Grey line, Robyn Pandolph, Kaffe Fassett, and Amy Butler for my bags.

Speaking of bags, I was stopped numerous times because I was carrying the large laminated Anny Bag.  I passed out several cards and hope to see the all those lovely people I met join me in sewing the Anny Bag.  What a heartwarming response!  Love you guys!