Monday, August 24, 2009

Etsy Kids Treasury

Etsy Kids is a group of artisans making items for babies, toddlers and kids. Every month they create a "treasury" of items that members have created around a general theme. Just for fun they urge everyone to vote for their favorite. these photos are just a sampling of what is posted. Follow this link to see all of the items and vote for your favorite.

Last day of SALE at my etsy shop. Later this week I'll begin listing my fall dresses and skirts.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Feast for Your Eyes

A pause from the business of sewing....a recess from the business of creating....a look at art refreshes my soul. I invite you to feast your eye on these artists; your soul will be fed.
All these artists are drawing inspiration from history, present and future. Their palettes and scenes are a blend of simple and complex. Enjoy their works on the surface or delve into meanings. The paintings will bring you pleasure at whatever level you want to experience.

Dan Zinno has a new series titled Unearthed. Color-saturated surfaces are broken with decorative designs; the robust and the dainty side by side.

Go to Zinno's website, to see the whole series and read what he has to say about his process.

Tracy Helgeson was brought to my attention by Dan Zinno. I love her blocky shapes and bright colors. It all looks so simple until you sink into the colors and realize how many variations there are.

In her words she says that she tries to simplify her landscapes without losing the personality. Go to her website,, to learn more about her and her work.

Tyson Skross has posted his new work from his Berlin exhibit. He is doing some small sculptures which are intriquing. The paintings implode with color and content as he explores the relationship of history with the modern life.

Go to his website,, to experience his latest works.

Allyson Smith also refers to history for her works. As a figurative artist her history is personal yet universal. She allows, even encourages, the viewer to apply his/her own story to the paintings.

I love the optimistic energy that flows from her lines and colors. Check out her web site,

My spirit is revived through my enjoyment of the paintings from these 4 talented artists. My soul is fed. I hope you will get the same pleasure as you look at the websites. Give your eyes a feast.

Don't forget the SALE at my etsy store, It runs until Monday, Aug.24.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Little Rant

As I age I have the irresistable urge to rant about modern life - more and more. Little things that have entered the mainstream as accepted, are driving me crazy. I've tried to postpone the rant as I know it marks me as an old fogie, but I can't help myself.

(Several years ago a wise and funny niece suggested that after a certain age, maybe around 55 or so, all fogies should be fitted with a geezer alert. You know something like those beepers on trucks and heavy equipment that announce that they are backing up. Except the old fogie alert would let everyone within hearing range that an old geezer pontification was imminent. Maybe it would sound like "Hrmmph")

So back to my rant....hrmmph, hrmmph. How and why did the F word become so common and, even, acceptable in conversations, movies, TV and books? It is a cuss word. Doesn't that mean it is not to be used in civilized conversation. But now it is everywhere. It hurts my ears! It shows a lack of respect for people within hearing distance! In movies and TV it signals a lazy writer! They use it as a short cut; the writer doesn't have to work hard at crafting a good line. just put in the F word and move on. Somehow I can't imagine Charles Dickens or Jane Austen employing such lazy artifice.

Is this laziness and lack of respect for our language a sign of a general decline in our culture? Are we really going to Hell in a handbasket? What would it hurt if we declared that the F word could only be used once an hour or 2 times in a movie? How about we institute a national cuss jar? Everytime someone drops the F word within anyone's hearing, they must pay a dollar into the cuss jar. The accumulated money would then go to pay off our national debt or pay for health care for everyone or subsidize teachers' salary? We can painlessly solve more than one problem. Cleaner air for my ears and more revenue for programs that would help everyone. Think about it.

There is so much more I could say, but my battery is running down. Next time...why is everyone screaming? What is the world coming to? Hrmmph, hrmmph!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

SALE on Etsy

Just finished listing 20 sale items on etsy. Above is one of my favorites with its colors like a Texas sunset. Stop over to my shop to see all the dresses and skirts on sale. Sale will run until next Monday, August 25. These are end of the season items so I can't take any special orders for them in different sizes.

Don't forget almost every dress and skirt on sale can also transition into fall and winter. Picture this dress with a long sleeve tee and long leggings or skinny pants. Soooo cute! Sooo versatile.

So hop on over to my shop. Sale is on for one week. Next week I begin to list all new clothes with vivid colors and slightly different design, but still as always, very comfortable for active girls and easy care for busy moms.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Mind Vacation

I've been on a mind vacation. Did you miss me? I burrowed into my hole here, othewise know as my workroom, sewed and sewed; but while it looked like everthing was normal, I took my mind to the beach.

Watched the pelicans soar the waves, the gulls swerve and sweep, dolphins cavort in joyous leaps. Stood at the edge of the surf where the sand was pulled beneath my feet. Wept with mindless summer novels. Gorged on fresh boiled shrimp and summer salads. Slept deeply rocked with the rhythm of the waves.

It was a great mental break where I revisited all my summer trips to beaches up and down the Eastern seaboard, but now I'm back. Ready to deal with the essentials of Annarella Girl - designing labels, posting on etsy, bringing my books up to date, etc. Those parts that are not as fun as the sewing and designing.

Check out esty page starting tomorrow as I put some of my summer dresses and skirts on sale, 30% off, to make room for the fall and winter styles and colors!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Modern Handmade Child

Members of an etsy team known as Etsy Kids have produced a slick ezine called Modern Handmade Child. (Click on title to view.) It has information on handmade products, the artisans who design and make the products, tips for raising creative children, and things to do for adults and children. Give it a read. Better yet subscribe. This is a great way to support the handmade community.
We artisans work in solitary workrooms, usually out of our own homes. Etsy has become our art fair and community. Our blogs are our communication with the outside world. This ezine supports and celebrates all our work. Read it and pass it on.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Goodbye, Uncle John

A favorite uncle has died. My family will miss him and remember him.

Uncle John was a country boy who grew up to become a country gentleman. Born and raised in Spotsylvania, Virginia, he never strayed far from home except for his time in Europe during WWII. He was proud of his achievements - a long and loving marriage; a still growing family with 4 kids, 10 grandchildren, and, at least, 4 great grandchildren; several successful businesses; voluntary contributions to his community, especially the baseball field; and a love of God.

Surviving the great depression left him with a dedication to hard work. I doubt if he spent much time questioning if he was "happy," he just dug in and worked hard. And he respected those around him that worked hard. Once he told my husband and me that he made enough to support his family and (with a twinkle in his eye) "a little bit more." To mark his sucess his biggest personal extravagance was his Lincoln Continental. He loved riding the country roads in style and comfort. Turn on his favorite country music and cruise. He, also, took great pride in having his wife, Elizabeth, dressed in nice clothes and shoes, nothing flashy, but quiet quality that he knew reflected nicely on his ability to support his family. Otherwise his wants and needs were pretty simple.

He loved baseball - from the kid with his first mitt to the Baltimore Orioles. Many of life's lessons are learned from the game - patience, the benfits of practice and hard work, team play. the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. He coached, groomed fields, built fields, oversaw leagues, drove players to games and tournaments. No task too small or too great for him to do for love of the game and love of the players. He hoped he passed along the lessons of the game to countless kids. And exposed them to the joys of the game for the rest of their lives.

With a twinkling eye and thick southern drawl he was quite a storyteller. Hunkering in the dirt or leaned against the bed of his pick-up truck, he would tell tales of the people he admired, poke gentle fun at the characters he knew. recount many of the interesting encounters in his day. The war was the one area about which he kept quiet like so many of his fellow soldiers. But from his many businesses and deals he could harvest the colors, textures and patterns of life that made great stories told with respect for the country folk he knew and lived with.

Although not formally educated in business, he had an innate wisdom for building a good business, buying the right real estate, backing the good idea at the opportune time. He worked hard and made the good deals. I don't even know the many businesses he ran throughout the years, but I remember the lumber mill, the clearing and excavation, the gas station and the auctioneering. (How I loved to hear him do the auctioneering spiel.) He was proud of his successes. For him all these were done with honor - for many years his deals was sealed with a handshake - and respect - the other guy needs to feel he has gained from the deal. He was a gentleman in business and in life.

I'll miss Uncle John. I'll miss the twinkle in his eye. I'll miss his stories. I'll miss his love. I hope I can honor him by working hard and developing my talents. I'll continue to try to earn his admiration. He is one of the people in my life who by example make me want to do better and be a better person.

Goodbye, Uncle John.