Tag Archives: Laminated Fabric

SNEAK PREVIEW

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

PARTY ON THE YACHT

PARTY ON THE YACHT!

 

BEACH BOUND

BEACH BOUND

 

SUMMER SOIREE

SUMMER SOIREE

 

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DANCING ON WATER

 

MONET'S GARDEN

MONET’S GARDEN

 

MAKING WAVES

MAKING WAVES

 

DREAMING OF PARIS

DREAMING OF PARIS

 

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RENDEZVOUS IN ST. TROPEZ

 

NIGHTFALL IN ST. TROPEZ

NIGHTFALL IN ST. TROPEZ

 

PARIS FLING!

PARIS FLING!

 

SUNSHINE DANCE!

SUNSHINE DANCE!

 

LADIES' NIGHT

LADIES’ NIGHT

 

(Backside of Ladies' Night)

(Backside of Ladies’ Night)

 

PARIS FLEA MARKET

PARIS FLEA MARKET

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

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

 

 

Flowers and Beyond!

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

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

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

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

 

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

For Kate

For Kate

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

Welcome Back, June!

Welcome Back, June!

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

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

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

Cheshire Garden

Cheshire Garden

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

Shopping on the Seine

Shopping on the Seine

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

Fringeship

Fringeship

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

Floral Magic

Floral Magic

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

Psychedelic Gardens

Psychedelic Gardens

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

Black and White and Red All Over

Black and White and Red All Over

Garden Party

Garden Party

Flirty Flowers

Flirty Flowers

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

 

THE SUCCESS OF PASSION

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I  had the great privilege to take two classes at Quilt Market–The Success of Passion and How to Let People Know Who You Are. Both classes were led by Jo Packham, hosting a panel of exceptionally talented and creative ladies who shared how their passion led to successful businesses and how they stay ahead of the game in this media driven world.  Jo Packham created the fabulous magazine, Where Women Create–Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women. www.wherewomencreate.com.  This led to Where Women Create-Business and Where Women Cook.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of perusing these publications, you are in for a treat.  Get a cup of coffee, ease into a cozy chair, and prepare to be inspired.

Speaking of inspiration, the classes were followed by the actual Quilt Market where companies like Westminster Fabrics, Moda, Anna Griffin and countless booths offer patterns, fabric, notions, books, machines, and all the latest items available for quilting, sewing, bag making, and embroidery.  Here is just a sample of booths at the Market.  Pure eye candy!

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Marcia of Abbey Lane Quilts displays a pillow that I bought the pattern and fabric for last year, and a new bag pattern that I can’t wait to sew!

ABBEY LANE QUILTS BOOTH

ABBEY LANE QUILTS BOOTH

If you quilt, I know you’ll recognize this sweet lady–Eleanor Burns!  Check out her new book, Quilts from El’s Kitchen.  www.quiltinaday.com.  Savor fresh new quilt blocks along with recipes for tasty treats.

ELEANOR BURNS

ELEANOR BURNS

I had a great time shopping as a “business owner” and chose new patterns for my bags, along with handles, and yes, FRAMES!  No, I’m not really a masochist.  I’m just determined to conquer those challenging glueing and stitching frames.  Checking out those tutorials on frames, I discovered that it’s not just me.  Usually in tutorials, the instructor seems to breeze through, finishing with “And there you have your beautiful project!  Wasn’t that easy?”  However, I noticed that the frame tutorials used words like “Now here’s the tricky part…” and, “You may have to practice and redo a few times…”  I didn’t hear any actual curse words but you know you can edit those videos. 🙂

So between classes on Friday and Sunday, friends joined Rick and I in partaking of German beer and scrumptious homemade apple, cherry, and cheese strudel at the local Octoberfest.  Perfectly gorgeous weather as well! 

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OKTOBERFEST TUNES

Yes, I did manage to sew one bag this weekend.  A Victorian drawstring bag that’s appropriate for evening, or festivals like our upcoming Dickens on the Strand here in Galveston.

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And now I must go pack, for my sister and I will be checking into the Hilton tomorrow that connects to the convention center for the International Quilt Festival, the largest quilt festival in the world, and the largest convention annually for the City of Houston.  This year, as well as continual shopping and viewing the lovely quilts, we’re taking a class–something along the lines of “How to Make Time to Sew.” 🙂   So what am I looking for that I couldn’t find at Quilt Market?  Well…fabric.  The fabric companies that I mentioned above sell to shop owners who buy wholesale bolts at a time.  But Festival is for the individual quilter (at retail prices.)  So now I’ll have the opportunity to buy just enough fabric for my purses.  I’m looking for spring/summer fabrics like cotton, laminates, vintage fabrics, and hopefully, colored denim.  Each year Nannette and I treasure this time together where we shop, eat, giggle, and gab until the wee hours.  We’ll be there until Saturday, in the room that we had to reserve at this same time last year, since rooms sell out immediately.  Go Quilters!  Support the Economy, right?

Next week I’ll share our pics and bargains scored at the International Quilt Festival.  Join us!

 

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

Gone Fishing!

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Last weekend we attended the most fabulous rehearsal dinner and wedding!  My nephew, Adam, married his beautiful, sweet bride, Natalie.  The whole weekend was just a magical fairy tale from the rehearsal dinner’s Corinthian columns and musicians from the Houston Symphony Orchestra strolling through the setting to the awesome wedding at the lovely church with reception at the Omni Hotel ballroom in Houston.

How does this relate to sewing?  The night before we left, I decided to sew a little bag to accessorize the dress I wore on Sunday.  I fashioned it from upholstery fabric!  Don’t know if I mentioned it, but just as Rick and I were leaving for our cruise in April, my good friend, Jeff, knocks on the door and presents me with a large bag of terrific upholstery fabric which he scored from a friend because he knows I sew purses. What a guy!  This fabric is very heavy duty, as you might imagine, and I created a small clutch wristlet with a fine corduroy lining and  red magnetic snap.  Although this purse turned out perfect for the occasion, I would use a lighter fabric for such a small bag in the future.

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The day after the wedding I planned to sew, but the upstairs air conditioner’s thermostat broke and it was 90+ degrees.  I brought lots of fabric and patterns and cutting utensils downstairs to the air conditioned dining room and spent all day and evening cutting.  (I’ve decided to pick up one of those cushiony kitchen mats to stand on for future cutting sessions.)  I used the same fabric you see here to cut a hobo style bag which will be so perfect if I find the ivory loop trim I want to embellish it.  I cut four other bags that await me in the sewing room.  (Oh, yes, Rick fixed the thermostat!  I have such a handsome handy man!)

One of the bags I cut was the Knotted Bag, all day style, from Craft Apple patterns.  You know I love this design, and when I saw the Brandon Mably fabric called Gone Fishing, I knew I had to use this pattern to accommodate the large fish swimming by.  I used the  Gone Fishing laminated cotton for the exterior and the Gone Fishing regular cotton for the interior.  I paired it with a plain slick red laminate for contrast on the bow, etc.  This is the perfect bright, happy, beachy fabric for Galveston and it is now at Tina’s for sale.  P.S.  That bag in Tina’s window from my last blog sold that very day I posted it!

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I really, really, really, wish I had someone to sew the bags for me.  Not that I don’t like to sew!  It’s very satisfying and therapeutic.  But I have a zillion and one ideas for bags–I have the fabric, I have the patterns, everything.  I already have many, many bags pulled together, in this way, already for next winter.  The fabrics, patterns, buttons, trims, etc. are neatly grouped together and ready to cut and sew.  Here’s a tip:  When I do this, I go ahead and take a picture of these items so I don’t have to rely on my fantastic 🙂 memory when the time comes.  But when I see these projects, I feel frustrated by something called TIME!  I just want to use my time pulling together the fabrics, patterns and embellishing to create one-of-a-kind bags.  Each bag takes so long.  Tim Gunn has said that one of the criteria for Project Runway is speed.  I would never make it!  My favorite part, by far, is the creativity that comes with the initial decision-making process.  If I win the lottery (oh yeah, I keep forgetting to buy a ticket…)  I will start a business where I provide the sewing machines and everything necessary for seamstresses to make the bags.  They will be STYLED by It’s Sew Anny Designs!  Does anyone else feel this way??

Until then, I’m not Going Fishing–I’m sewing,  and happily sew! 🙂

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

Tradition Lives On!

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Spring has sprung!  At least here in Texas…  And what color says spring like the color of sunshine?  My beautifully laminated yellow, gray, black, and white floral cotton was calling to me.  My first Anny Bag of the year, Daisy Dots, is complete!  I used a yellow polka dot for the lining and just happened to have that cute little black and white dot flower for embellishment.  The black polka dot ruffles are a Michael Miller laminated fabric that goes so well with many combinations.  Thank you, Michael!  Three pockets and a magnetic closure make it perfect for traveling and shopping.  The day I completed it I was watching The View and there were models dressed for spring in black and yellow:

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Another laminated Michael Miller fabric, Secret Garden was perfect for my next bag as well–both lining and exterior.  A popular Amy Butler pattern was used but with a twist.  I multiplied the inner pockets and adorned it with blush colored beading.  Speaking of blush, this bag was called Wine on the Vine.  The beading would have been simple to apply (and was) but the effect looked a little skimpy to me so I added a row of burgundy velvet trim to enhance the effect.  A Jennifer Paganelli design called Queen Street lined the interior.

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Every year I donate a bag to the Salvation Army Benefit Gala’s silent auction.  This year I created Springtime in Paris from a Craftapple pattern called Tailored Bags, and yet another Michael Miller fabric along with his black polka dot.  The main fabric features vintage style scenes of ladies shopping in Paris.  The interior is a cotton called Barefoot Roses from Tanya Whelan.  This was the first time I’ve applied a swivel clasp closure which couldn’t have been easier.  The bag’s nice wide bottom and multiple pockets, including a large pocket on the exterior, would, indeed, be perfect for shopping along the ChampsElysees!  But, seeing as how the bag fits file folders perfectly, it could even be a tote for working at the office.

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We are taking a cruise next week to celebrate Rick’s retirement from Shell.  So exchanging summer for winter clothing in the closet occupied a day or two since there was a lot of trying on, making packing lists, etc.  But I’ve really been enjoying the posts on The Renegade Seamstress’s blog and took a note from her to modify an item I found left from last summer.  I had purchased a white linen J.Jill dress with a hood online and although I really liked the look, I was not comfortable with the length–too short.  So I cut off about 8-10 inches, leaving enough for a generous hem, and created a top!  Even used the cut off fabric to make pockets–yay!  Add a pair of capris and you’ve got a new outfit! 🙂  I forgot to take a “before” pic but here is the new top:

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We’re having another Open House tomorrow, so Rick and I will take the doggies beachcombing for a bit while our trusty realtor does her thing.  Yes, I still need to keep the sewing room spiffed up and tidy!  Oh–last week the doorbell rang and this lady told me she used to live in our house.  So I gave her and her daughter the tour and she was SO happy to see that I was using the lightfilled upstairs bedroom for my sewing room as that was what she had done when she lived here.  And SEW…the tradition lives on!

Here’s hopping, er hoping, your Easter is fabulous!

P.S.  Had my first Etsy sale last week–a lady from Australia purchased The Anny Bag pattern!

SCRAP HAPPY!

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In February I took a little break from sewing to revisit a lost love–scrapbooking!  When my daughter and granddaughters were here recently, they had so much fun trying to draw from a cute little book I have called “Doodling in French:  How to Draw with Joie de Vivre!”  Easy to follow steps lead you to create drawings of the Eiffel Tower, etc.  So for Valentine’s Day, I sent the book to Jen and the girls along with drawing pads.  But when I purchased the drawing pads they had covers that were not very attractive and rather juvenile.  I bought three, though, and for each one I completely scrapbooked over the original cover with photos that pertained to each girl, along with embellishments like ribbon, flowers, and other 3-dimensional items.  It took longer than I thought but it was really fun and now they each have a unique sketch pad for fun!  Here is a picture of each one:

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Another side step from sewing in February was the opening of my new Etsy shop called, of course, It’s Sew Anny!  While I was in Austin, my daughter graciously agreed to model the bags in her beautiful backyard and that was the final step to photographing and posting my items on Etsy.  Three bags are currently listed which you will see below:

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REGAL ELEGANCE

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MINK ME TONIGHT

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I realize that these bags are from my winter style, but when I heard about the recent blizzard up north I decided that perhaps it wasn’t too late to offer a creation that was warm and cozy!  I did, however, manage to sew one spring time bag recently.  I call it Pretty in Pink since it’s dripping in pink beaded glamour and a precious pink peony.  Here are a few pics:

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This bag will make a lady very happy since it’s fashioned from laminated cotton and is super lightweight and easy to clean.  Perfect for shopping, traveling, and everyday wear.

I may have mentioned in a previous post that we are selling our house and seeking another historical home here in the East End of Galveston Island.  Today our realtor held an open house.  What does that mean to a seamstress?  It means that my sewing room is beautifully tidy right now.  What else does that mean?  Oh yeah…  Where in the world did I stash certain items to tidy up?  The next month or so just might consist of more than a few games of hide ‘n seek with me searching for essential tools, embellishments and project items that I’ve so very neatly tucked away!   Until next time…wish me luck!!