Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year

After a grand Christmas with family, I'm back feeling refreshed and energetic. I have most of my spring and summer fabrics. Now I'm playing with various combinations. As I work my way through new pallettes, I'l be frequently giving you a snapshot of what I'm doing. You know I love to share. (See above, size 2 sundress in a mix of new and old.)

Business wise, my goals for the next 4 months have been made. Count down with me as I build inventory. Also I plan to start a newsletter for Mama D's and me. Want to receive it, send email address to

Personally, I continue on my quest to be healthy. Less food and more activity. (Dull, but effective.) My dog died in early Dec and since then I'm more sedentary. Not good. How about water aerobics? Push me, prod me to put some plan in effect!
Goals, not resolutions. Last year I did pretty well on accomplishing my goals. Some how using the g word is so much better for me. I moved along in my business. Focused on slow, steady growth. I don't think I can handle explosive growth and its challenges. I'm more a tortoise than a hare! I want to try some new shows this year, bigger and better suited to the handcrafter. But don't worry I'll be back at the Wilmington Flower Market in May and FBC Christmas Spectacular in Nov. As I firm up the rest of my show schedule, I'll let you know.
Enough rambling today. I'll be back more frequently in January. Meanwhile have a happy new year. I just know 2011 is going to be great!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Hiatus

For the first time in 10 years, I am facing a calm December. When one works in retail, the month of December is the busiest time of the year. But this year I've finished my scheduled shows, caught up with all my special orders, and now I'm free. So I'm taking a week to join 2 long, long time friends in Naples, Florida. Wahoo! a girls week of relaxation, good talk and doing nothing special. Sounds great to me.

These friends are the ones that know me at my ugliest and still cradle me in love and understanding. They've seen me at my skinniest to my fattest. They've listened to my deepest fears and shared my highest joys. Friends like this are rare because it takes years of shared moments to create such a trust and acceptance. A week together will be a rare treat. As you can tell I'm really, really looking forward to this.

Sadly we'll be missing one friend of our original quartet, she is busy elsewhere; but we'll be thinking of her while we share reminiscences, glasses of wine, new adventures, movies and beach time. See you next time, Norma.

Posts for the next month will be sparse. I'll be more regular come January.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Making My Christmas List

1. new computer - actually I have one sitting in a box, but as with almost every improvement project in my house, getting it hooked up and operating has required several trips to the store. Why, oh why, does it always take an unanticipated trip/s for cords, parts, programs etc? So I'm working on my sloooooow computer, fighting a virus (the machine's not mine), now hoping my computer tech, also known as my son J, can schedule me soon.

So don't give up on me. I know the blogs are infrequent, but it is time-consuming right now on this old lady - machine not me.

Have a great Thanksgiving. Stuffing is my favorite left over in the world. What's gets your mouth to watering on your holiday table?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I (Heart) Kind People

Saw this slogan on a tee shirt this weekend. (with the symbol for heart, not the word.) Loved it!

Is there a move afoot to make it fashionable to be polite, considerate and kind? I hope so. That is a movement I would support. How about you?

Possible sayings for more tee shirts. "It's Cool to be Kind."
"Kindness is the New Chic."
"Kill Them with Kindness."
"Confuse Your Enemies with Kindness."
"Change the World One Kind Act at a Time."

You get the idea. Now come up with some sayings of your own!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

After the Show

I'm back after a very busy weekend. It always takes me a couple of days to get reorganized, but here I am. I miss when I'm not blogging.

The show was successful. I have several special orders to fill this week. Then there are several sizes of dresses and skirts which need replenishing. Lately medium and large skirts are going out the door. For dresses it is size 18 months and girls 5. Is there any logic in these sizes? Always a challenge to figure out what is going to be popular!

One of the best parts of these shows I do, is catching up with old friends and customers. One cutie showed up in her dress fom last year! What a thrill to see my clothes on a girl. Her Mom reported that it was her favorite dress, and she wore it constantly. The colors were still so bright! It looked like new. I wish I could bottle her comments for everyone who wonders if Annarella Girl clothes ae comfortable or wear well. Yes, yes , yes!

I feel very appreciated by all the positive comments. I look forward to seeing the many people who stopped by my booth at Mama D's in the weeks to come. Remember we're the red bungalow on University Ave in Georgetown - #407.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Extra Hands

back and inside of apron - child's medium

front of apron - child's medium

front of apron - child's large

How often do you hear your cell ringing and realize it is in another room? Don't have that pen or pencil handy when you need it? Where is your baby's pacifier? Seems like we all need a spare hand.

This slim, short apron, styled after a waiter's half apron, will lend you a helping hand with a pocket to hold, close and convenient, all the small neccessities of your busy life. Designed for comfort without the excess fabric or frills that can get in the way, you'll love the easy wearability of this apron. Easy care - just throw in the washer and dryer on the permanent press cycle.

I think this would be a perfect gift for the new mother or a crafter or a gardener. Plus don't forget the little ones who like to help mom (or just like having a pocket to hold their treasures.)

For more examples of the aprons come see my booth at the First Baptist Church Christmas Spectacular starting Thursday. As you enter the gym, Annarella Girl will be in back left corner next to Mama D's.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Didn't make it to Corpus Christi show. There is no juicy story involved so I won't bore you with a long narrative. So onward to First Baptist Christmas Spectacular next weekend. This is my favorite local event. A percentage of every sale goes to benefit the preschool programs. So it's a feel good show - you win with a unique handmade dress, skirt, apron or other gift; the school wins with money to support its students and teachers; I win with income to grow my business. You got to love all those wins!!!

Above are 2 of the tie on headbands I now make. They are totally reversible in two widths - 3" & 2". Super comfortable way for kids and adults to keep hair out of the face.
Below is the back of the owl dress seen in yesterday's post. Love it!!!

Have a good weekend. And visit me next week at the FBC Christmas Spectacular, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Now I'm off to sew up some more goodies!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Black and Blue

Well, its all over except the shouting(in the House and Senate.) Halloween, Day of the Dead, Election Day and T's birthday. I applaud the end of the constant airing of obnoxious political ads. I congragulate all of you who voted. My family had a fun and funny Halloween. Did you know David Lee Roth is alive and living in Georgetown, TX? lol. Now lets see if we can move beyond the arguing and meaness of politics into the holiday season of winter.

This weekend is the Peddler Show in Corpus Christi. Mama D and Annarella Girl will be there. If you're in the area or know anybody in the area, come see us. There are lots of top notch artisans exhibiting so you can shop for one-of-a-kind gifts while chatting with the artists. Support us by buying handmade. Its fun and feels great to give a unique present to everyone on your gift list while encouraging those who design and make it.

Here are some of the new things I'm taking to Corpus Christi.

skirt, size small (3-4)

skirt size medium (5-6)

romper size 6-12 months

dress/jumper size 12-18 months

apron dress size 6
I'm having fun. Are you?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pity Me Not

Blow out the candles! Throw away the moisemakers! No more silly hats! That's right, the pity party is over.

After my last whining post I spent some time cruising the blog world which made me realize how boring I had become. So I declare a new outlook. My world is filled with good things, and I will look at those. While I sew, I will concentrate on positives. I will watch less mind-numbing TV and listen to more music. (I know my mood will improve if I'm not constantly exposed to those negative, lying political ads. How depressing to be constantly reminded of the state of our political choices.) Its amazing how powerful the mind is once it is made up! My world is looking better already.

Enough dribble for now. Have a great Tuesday. Tell me what you do to break out of the doldrums. Inspire me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sometimes Life Gets in the Way

Yes, I'm still struggling. Just when I think I'm getting back on track, here comes life to throw some challenge my way. Occasionally a challenge is an unexpected opportunity or just a change in my routine, but rarely does my day end the way I have envisioned it when lying in bed in the morning. So I'm not keeping to a production schedule or working on inventory. Instead I'm indulging in mindless TV watching or endless games of text twist on the computer.

How are all the rest of you out there doing? Is anyone being productive or very creative? Or are we all spinning wheels? Pass along your words of wisdom to me. Meanwhile tomorrow is another day!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thoughts on Life and Death

What a heavy title, but I find myself grappling with heavy thoughts now that I'm home after 2 weeks of a deathwatch. My mother-in-law, Ethel Vifginia Curtis Skross, passed quietly away last Friday. She defied all medical predictions and lived 2 weeks longer than anyone thought she could. It gave her children and their spouses lots of time to say goodbye.

She was part of my life for almost 50 years. Now she's gone. There is always a time of disconnect. It's like a bruise, You can ignore the ache for periods, but then you bump into a reminder and the hurt throbs. I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that she won't be sitting in her chair the next time I journey to my sister-in-law's home.

The last 2 weeks have taught me that the act of dying is much like having a baby - each body has its own time frame. My mother-in-law was a strong woman. Her body was reluctant to stop functioning. On the one hand we all wished her peace, but we all were thankful for the extra days to say goodbye. We're left with some good memories of shared times. I like to think that she heard the reminiscing and expressions of love.

Now I'm back to my life here. Thinking about my life. Wondering how well I'm living. Am I using what she taught me? Would she be proud of me?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grace and Dignity

As a culture we Americans have so much to learn about dying and death, but luckily the health care systems seems to be learning how to treat the dying person with dignity and helping the family make some decisions with grace. My mother-in-law is beginning her final phase, and the nursing home where she is living seems dedicated to making her comfortable along with making us comfortable. Hospice care has been called in to treat us all. And overall the level of care for us is excellent. Her doctor has spent lots of time making sure that each decision made is right for our family. I feel cradled by all this support.

I know Mom is being made to feel as comfortable as possible. She is doing a lot of peaceful sleeping. This is the way we all want to approach death - softly, painlessly. Nothing can totally erase the sting of death for the survivors but knowing that the suffering is minimized certainly helps. When my time comes, I hope I have a caring team like this to help me leave with grace and dignity.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Little Bit More of Fall

I'm taking off again. Going to the soggy East to see my mother-in-law who is ill. I probably won't be blogging. But I leave you wth some colorful pics Carrie Ellen has posted on her site. They are beautiful!

For another view of autumn stop by Susan's blog for a pic of nature's fall bounty. Pumpkins make me smile.

Finally go to Brene Brown' s blog for inspiration on imperfection. She talks about how much time nd energy we waste on being perfect or trying to show only our perfect side to the world. I, for one, am very guilty of that. Instead we need to embrace each other's imperfections, move on and use that energy for good. This takes some courage - to acknowledge my flaws - but can be so worth it. And what a gift for my daughter or granddaughter to show I'm not afraid of or governed by my flaws. While I always strive to be better than my flaws, I want them to know that my fear will not stop me from living, starting a newbusiness or being me. I AM IMPERFECT!!
PS. New romper aize 18-24 months.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I feel like I've neglected you all thia week. I don't have a good reason. I've just been moving slow and slower. Must be fall fever. LOL.

Last week I talked about how I didn't really like autumn, but in the spirit of trying to be postitive I must note that there are some delights in the fall. Crunchy, tasty apples. I especially like homemade applesauce and apple crisp. Both smelling of cinnamon and combining the tart/sweet taste of good apples. Now this is a fall treat. Anyone else love fall apples? And what is your favorite way to consume them?

Another fall treat is the crisp air which accents the first smell of a burning fireplace. How delighful to step out the door and catch the scent of smoke from those first fires. Since we're still in the 80's & 90's I'll probably have to wait awhile, but I'll be thinking of you northerners who get to enjoy it now.

And finally I have some family birthdays to mark in the fall. Two of my kids and one of their spouses celebrate birthdays in the autumn. That alone makes this time of year special. There I feel better now. Thanks for letting me ramble.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

As we ease into Autumn here - low 90's - I fight falling into depression. Fall and winter are my least favorite times of the year. I dislike the shorter days and longer nights. As trees shed leaves I prepare for the winter palette of grays, whites and blacks. Although it is better here with a few trees staying green through the winter, I miss the greens of leaves, bushes and grass. Since I can't hibernate, I indulge in some of my guilty pleasures as a means to uplifting my spirits.

Chocolate, candy corn and black licorice - not just any chocolate but milk chocolate. Hershey's, thy name is sweet. I enjoy the whole process of unwrapping the silver foil, removing paper name strip and then popping it in my mouth. I don't want dark chocolate. I don't crave dark chocolate. For me the indulgence is in the original humble chocolate kiss! Seasonally I love candy corn. I know, I know pure sugar with no redeeming feature, but isn't that part of the guilty pleasure. Finally black licorice jelly belly buttons - ahhhhh! What candies or sweets are your favs?

Continuing summer reading. Curl up in a spot of sun with a good book. Under a soft throw during a rain storm with a good, but easy read. Loving a good thriller or shopgirl romance. My local library is my brain's candy store. Nothing too serious. I read to escape not to think. (Wow, that's hard to admit!) Got any suggestions for this autumn's reading?

Reality TV - Survivor is back, Project Runway is in full swing, certainly Amazing Race can not be far behind. Indulge me in The Apprentice as long as it doesn't get too nasty. I'm not into mean spirited Real Wives no matter were they are from. I will not watch Jersey Shore. Dancing with the Stars bores me. So you can see I have my standards. LOL. I like goal oriented trash.

What are your guilty pleasues? How do you chase away the blues? Come on 'fess up!
Pic is latest etsy listing. I like the jungle animal center panel for a bit of a difference. Very similar to dress with bird panel. Still having fun with dresses. Don't miss waiter's apron listing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Sound Bites Revisited

Sunday quote "music is the language of the soul."

I've often discussed art as the food for the soul, but this AM this quote leapt out at me. What kind of music is your language? For me I love listening to piano. Over the years I've swayed, sung along and smiled with some fantastic piano men - Randy Newman, Billy Joel, Elton John, Ray Charles and Harry Connick Jr. They have shouted out in my workroom, helped me clean house, accompanied me on many a road trip and inspired my creativity. Anyone else out there with a favorite piano man?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gifts Large and Small

Last night I had dinner with a friend who always reminds me of how blessed I am with the gifts in my life. She would never preach about the gifts; it is just her positive outlook is catching and I find myself counting my blessings. Let me share my many gifts.

First and foremost, my wonderful family - the one in which I was born and the one my husband and I created. Both families are filled with diverse people who respect and love one another. How secure I feel. When I fall or am filled with fears and doubts, they pick me up. Wow!!

Friends - like the one mentioned above. She brings out the best in me. Thanks.

My business - I've been many things. Now I'm living the creative dream. It's been a real gift to have the opportunity to try my talents and entreprenurial dreams. Recently this dream has brought a new support into my life, Mama D's. Jenny and Joan are generous in their technical and emotional support. And they are endlessly optimistic. We are dreaming big and working hard.

Here is a "bird" dress in size 3 posted this morning in my etsy store.

My workroom - a family affair in the making. I love walking into it in the morning. With its hanging fabrics, 2 work stations, computer and all, it is an organized area for work. I smile when I remember the help my daughter and husband have provided to give me my space.

The recent family reunion - I'm still basking in the warm afterglow as I remember the morning coffee and conversations while overlooking the river.

Second hand books - a brother-in-law is a member of a Lion's Club in Avondale, PA. They have second hand book store run as a fund raiser. Its wonderful. I return with a bag full to keep me occupied for a while. And know that I've contributed, albeit in a small way, to the many worthy causes they support. If you're in their neck of the woods, I hope you'll search the book barn out.

Every dawn and every sunset - here is another one from the reunion. Enjoy

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New on Etsy

I'm on a mission to post new items in my etsy store every day for the month of September. So check it out. New dresses, new aprons, new rompers and new headbands. You can get there through this link or through link on side of page. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Bites

Ita quiet here on Sunday. As I work - its mostly a compose color palettes and cut out garments day - I watch and listen to CBS Sunday Morning, NPR's This American Life and follow up with The Splendid Table. Often sound bites will leap out at me causing me to think. Here are two from today.

"Education is fine as long as it doesn't stand in the way of thinking." In the current atmosphere of standardized testing, school budget cuts and beleaguered teachers, this statement should be in every teacher's room, every principal's office, every school board's meeting room, every legislative office and in every room in the suite occupied by the Secretary of Education. We need to help our students to sift through and interpret the overwhelming amount of information to which they are subjected at every turn. For the sake of a healthy democracy led in wisdom and courage by the upcoming generations, they must learn to think, to listen and to question intelligently. I leave it to those smarter than me to come up with curriculums to create schools that foster thoughts, don't stifle them.

"I'm sick and tired of anger." This quote comes from one of the 911 widows. Such a simple statement fom one who could be filled with rightful anger at what life has dealt her, but instead wants the world to move beyond the rage and vitriolic language that is so prevalent in out country, the media, the politics and a vocal minority (I hope it is a loud few.). Lets listen to her. Lets start a movement for civil debate that is polite and respectful of our differences. Lets stop the name calling, the shouting, the talking over people and the factless generalizations. Each one of us can take the first step by treating others the way we want to be treated. Lets all try it for a month and see what happens. Lets insist that our children practice it for a month and see how it feels. Such a grass roots movement would be away to give back to one who in the death of her spouse asks for so little.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Family Ties

Returning fom my family reunion I am filled with thoughts, new memories, old memories and awe. Like so many of you, I'm sure, I think my family is special. Since we are spread out across country maybe it's easy to hold onto the illusion that we are wonderful, but after spending 4 days together I hold my family in high esteem. Although filled with faults and flaws like all groups of people. I am filled with wonder that so many unique, likeable individuals are part of my family pool. (I called us a rational family at one point which caused brother, Randy. to fall out laughing. And at our age and physical limitations falling out is not easy. I suspect he is laughing at my white-washed ramblings here.)

Here we have the oldest generation - the 5 siblings. Yes, our smiles are wide because we have all survived this far. Among us are a Jewish family, an Episcopalian family, a Catholic family, and an agnostic family. Educationally, 1 doctorate, 2 masters, 1 bachelor degree, and 1 associatedegree. We have long term marriages, 1 widow, and a long term bachelor who announced his upcoming marriage (Hooray!!!) We are liberal, conservative and shades in between. We share a love of reading, music, humour and each other. I think we are rich in diversity. And the next generation is all we are and more!

Thanks to Brad and Bev for planning it all with great help from Jessica and Rick. Thanks to all for coming from far and wide. For the first timeI got to meet the last spouse added. The second generation treated of us oldsters so well. Thanks for Bob's breakfasts, K Brad's telescope for the stars and planets show, third generation's entertainment in the water and out,

and all the spouses who put up with the endless stories of the old times. Thanks for the sister who brought us her beautiful words. Thanks for the puzzle. Our time was relaxing, fattening and filled with good conversation! Thanks. (A little aside, off the broad topic, but very much in the thanks category. A huge thanks for the save often feature of blogger since I've been kicked off twice with only a small loss. Thanks, thanks, thank goodness!)

I look forward to the next one. Can it be more often than at 10 year intervals? Hopeful for 2 years from now in Georgia!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Work in Progress

I'm taking a break for some family time. I won't be on my computer for a while, but don't fear I will be back. Here's a glimpse at what I'm leaving on my iron board. Makes me think of you, Mrs Cie.
Have a happy Labor Day!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cleaning Up

I've had a few requests from masseuses and other vendors for waiters' aprons. They need pockets for cell phone, pens, order pads, small bottles and a cloth. Then I got to thinking it would be great for mamas to hold wipes, ointments, little toys, burp cloths, etc.

So this week I've been fooling around with some. Here are the results. Of course, I had to put the Annarella spin on them with some bright fabrics and ribbon. Pocket is generous and divided for all the bits the wearers need handy. Ribbon tie is long enough for skinnies to wrap and tie in front which means us, chubbies, can easily tie it in back.

Behind the pink apron you can glimpse a couple aprons for kids. Can use them for dress-up or as mommy's helper. They are very washable so they would come in handy for the kitchen, too.

It's been fun to fool around with these. Let me know what you think. (I'm so sucky at pics, I'm never sure how much you can decipher in my photos.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Christopher St Leger

Most of you know how much I like Christopher St Leger's watercolors. They are so vibrant, robust and vital. His palettes are complex. His subject matter is not the traditional for watercolors. Rather it is urban and gritty. Well, he is now offering glicee prints to allow everyone to have access to his art regardless of income level. Thanks, Chris. What a great idea!

Swing by his website to see his latest work and get info on his prints. It will brighten your day!

Monday, August 23, 2010


First day of school in my neck of the woods. The youngest grandchild starts kindegarten. Where has the time flown? I can't wait to hear how his day and that of his big brother, 2nd grade, and big sis, 5th grade, go.

I learned a few lessons this weekend in Corpus Christi. And not easy ones. I went expecting a big successful and slunk out with a huge failure. Luckily being with Mama Ds I could review it all with Jennifer D. So by the arrival home I'd decided quitting was not the answer (and by Sunday afternoon I was ready to just shuck it all.). But I think I have it in perspective now. A big thanks to Jennifer D.

Why such a dismal show for me? Mama Ds had lots of sales even though her sales were off about 1/3 from last year. It felt like the slow economy had finally hit there. That are depends on tourism and the oil industry. While not subject to oil on the beaches the Gulf oil spill has made people stay away from the Gulf shores and workers in the oil business very aware of the fragility of their incomes. So all the customers were very cautious with their purchases and orders.

Children, children children, bless their hearts. Shopping is hard on them. We had quite a few falling apart in our booth. (And I don't blame them, sometimes shopping makes me want to cry!) This makes it very difficult for the Moms. Impossible to make a choice with a crying toddler pulling at you. Or refusing to try something on. If you were one of these moms, please email or call me. I'll be able to send you pics of what you were looking at.

On the plus side I met some great people. Got lots of positive comments. And some very good suggestions which I'll be looking into this week. Oh well, in this business you never know what to expect. Good show, bad show. So I'm not quitting. Gonna try to learn as much as possible from this to improve my business and move on.

PS. If you want to send me some love and encouragement, itwould be a welcomed hug.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

How Did You Get Your Wings?

Among the many benefits from the ecourse, Flying Lessons, by Kelly Rae Roberts, was meeting and being touched by so many creative voices and blogs. One I try to visit often is Suzanne from Blue Sand Studio. This artist, see her gorgeous jewelry, recently posted a 3 part interview with Jenni Adkins Horne, another flyer. I find it so interesting to learn about the journey of an artist from where they began to where they are now - the background, the education, the evolution. Stop over to Suzanne's blog where Jenni shares her story.

Don't forget to visit me at the Peddler Show in Corpus Christi this weekend. Fri 3-8, Sat 9-6, Sun 11-4. Check out website for reduced admission. Here's one of the new rompers that I'm taking.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fingers Crossed

Hope, hope, hope my computer is whole again! For 2 weeks I've been limping along with limited internet access, but thanks to my smart, handsome, talented oldest son and tech supporter I think I'm back. Along the way I've managed to keep up with this blog and most of my email, but everything has taken more time. I haven't been able to view all my blogging friends, so now I look forward to keeping up with you all again. whew, I am happy, happy happy!

Look for me this weekend at the Peddler Show in Corpus Christie. Log onto the website and get times and directions. This is my first trip to southwest Texas. I hear the people are warm and welcoming. All my fellow exhibitors talk with much anticipation about how much they enjoy this show. So I hope I'll have a great time making new friends and customers!!! I'm taking lots of dresses, some new rompers, embellished leggings and lots of headbands. I am so excited. Look for me with Mama D's. See you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tickle the Soul

Heard this phrase as part of the intro to a segment about fountains on CBS Sunday Morning. It caught my ear and made me smile. Don't you just love it? Picture a long finger of water reaching out to gently poke. Or the your soul giggling because it is so tickled. And it brought to my mind so many run-on thoughts.

Artist, Dan Zinno, often picks his titles from random phrases he hears on NPR. Phrases he finds thought provoking or reflective of his work in progress. When he told me this, it brought an added dimension to his abstract pieces and what he wanted his audience to experience in each painting, or not. Tickle your senses by paging through his website. What do you think his titles tell you?

Apologies to the Next Generation by Dan Zinno

Back to the subject of fountains and tickling. The phrase brought back memories from my youth when every summer my mother would take some of us to Longwood Gardens to see a show followed by the dancing fountains. For the life of me I don't remember any of the performances although I think at least one might have been a Gilbert and Sullivan. But I remember being mesmerized by the fountains painted in colored lights and dancing to music. I was so excited each year. Truly it was an awesome display to this young lady. The fountains still dance, now in concert with a fireworks show. If you ever have a chance to see these at Longwood Gardens, remember that girl thrilled by the spectacular. I thank my parents for exposing me to them even if they were sure I'd remember the musical play too.

Other waters, simple and not, stir my creative juices. When trying to work out a problem or unblock a design, water always helps. From a shower to washing dishes the feel of water seems to unclog my thought processes. Feeling a little down, sitting by a stream or watching the play of light through a sprinkler can bring back a lightness to my being. Water has the magical quality to "tickle my soul." Make me feel whole, again. How about you? What pulls you out of the doldrums? Anybody else out there use water like I do?

I leave you today with one of my favorites, Buckingham Fountain in Chicago.

Friday, August 13, 2010


While working on these new headbands, I overheard a movie clip talking about the need to change one's locale to learn to marvel at life again. How lucky I am! There is so much in my life that is marvelous.

As I work a large butterfly flutters around my bushes. This has been a particularly wondeful year for butterflies. From large yellow ones to small speckled ones they flit through the flowers and bushes in my garden. Beauty in motion. Can you help but to smile with delight at the marvel of nature's wonders?

Two days ago we experienced one of the pop-up thunder storms that occur often at the end of a hot, humid day. The power of the rumbling thunder and the sporadic flashes of lightening are another example of nature's glory. Where some fear the random possibilities of strikes, I marvel at the sudden beauty in each bolt of light. And who doesn't love the rainbow at the end of the storm? Ahh, a pot of gold.

I don't have to explore a new region or country to find life's marvels. They are all around me. In what everyday things do you find delight? A baby's toenail? A child's laugh? A dragonfly's wings? The sparkle of water from a sprinkler? So much inspires me to smile. What about you?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Taking Flight

Love, love, love this new top! My current favorite fabric is with the hummingbirds. I don't have much of it, just enough for 1 or 2 more tops. What's new about it? Fabric placement is a bit different. Length is shorter. Just love when an idea, a vision in my mind comes together so well when executed. What do you think?
For the cooler days and nights which are sure to come (down here, not until Oct. but in the north soon) pair this with a tee shirt and these soon to be embellished leggings like the ones below.

Back to the machine. Today is a headband day. Getting ready for Corpus Christie show in 8 days. Yikes, not much time left!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Blogs for Thoughts, continued

A friend, Susan, write a personal blog,, which is about her life and random thoughts. Her voice is gentle and insightful. a true reflection of her. In the last month she has written several posts that have really resonated with me.

First she did a mid-year review of her personal goals for the year. What a super job she is doing at keeping her resolutions moving forward. Have you been able to progress in self growth or business growth? I decided it was a good time to take account of my goals and plan follow-up for the last quarter of 2010.

Businesswise, 1.I've worked on using the internet better with changes on my blog. Goal - want to start a newsletter for Mama D and me. 2.Found a new home with Mama D's which gives me a chance to attend more shows in Texas. (By the way, the next one is in Corpus Cristie, Aug 20-22.) Had a great time at The Wilmington Flower Market in May!!! 3. Have acquired 2 part time assistants to help with computer work and sewing. Hooray!

Personally, trying to find more balance - all work, no play make me very dull. Hence you've seen here more time with grandchildren and children. And more time with friends. Getting out for lunch, dinner or just a cup of coffee at least once a month. It doesn't sound like much but for me, the driven hermit, it's an improvement; and it does make me feel better. Stay tuned I want to add some physical activity next quarter.

Spiritually, I'm trying to live my best life possible - always learning and stretching. I find the current mean spiritedness as seen on reality TV, news sites, on internet blogs really, really distressing. So I'm working on being positive, not petty, and celebrating all the good events and good people I know. Click here for one woman's 90 day journey to being less negative. Also, read Susan's blog for her cheery take on life. The blog was part of her new year goals. Congrats on a success.

So, how would your mid-year review be? I suspect most of you are moving forward in a positive manner. Share your proud accomplishments - business or personal. Keep up the good work!!!
PS. a small look at the owl apron dress as promised.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Sunday Thought

anyack (lower bridge mine) by Tyson Skross 2010
If we, citizens,do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our
imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing
in nothing and having worthless dreams.
Yann Martel
(Author's Note) Life of Pi

Take some time to enjoy some art. It feeds our souls, makes our lives brighter and lightens the tedium of daily life. I love living with original art. Do you? Can't afford contemporary art? (Although with the number of prints and photos out there, we all can afford a piece or 2 or more.) Visit a museum or gallery. Happy Sunday!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Catching Up...More

Here's a pic of Lucy showing off her first complete - from start, cutting out, to finish, sewing on label - skirt. She is so proud of it! She has proved to be a meticulous sewer. Her top stiching is super straight.
This marks the end of her training. From here on out she is no longer a newbie. Congrats to Lucy and welcome to the Annarella Girl team. Now with another pair of hands working, I'll be more consistent with my blog. (Oh well, I can dream.)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Where to Begin

Water and kids. Is there anything better on a hot Texas summer day?

Always after taking a break from blogging, it's a bit awkward coming back. Where to begin...with the reason for absence, with the work I've been doing. or bits and pieces of what I've been thinking? My instinct is to move forward. But I want to chat about what I've done.

It was another stint of Grammy time. This summer my grandchildren have been around more than usual. I love it!! Sometimes they are with their parents but often without. The solo periods have meant I have really gotten a chance to appreciate each one and the phase they are in as they grow. They are such good kids who try hard to help me and be kind to each other. And you know when you are ages 5 to 10 that is not always easy!

Meanwhile I'm grabbing every minute to sew. Now that my house is quiet, I am catching up with business projects on the computer, house cleaning and errands. Getting back to my usual schedule feels comfortable. It's like putting on that old shoe...ahhhhh!

a small complication - computer is acting squirrelly. Right now I can't upload any photos for this blog. WHY? I'll never understand the mysteries of computers. Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with their machine like I do?

Hopefully next blog pics will return.
Well, I decided to give it one more try. Voila!! The pics are back.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

In a Hurry

I still will feature some more blogs that have given me food for thought.

I just keep running out of time. Bear with me.

In the meantime take a peek at news at and atmagnoliasend. Then maybe you all can write your thoughts.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Blogs for Thought

This week 3 very different bloggers have given me food for thought. First, just for some fun, Jane of Seven of discusses favorite films, especially the ones she, family and friends use as deal breakers. You know, the ones that are tests to see if the new people in your life are on the same wave length as you. The ones that if someone does not like them, you look at that person differently. Read her blog she puts it so much better than I.

So here is my list. I put it out in no particular order but with the hope you maybe can connect with one or two. Or let me know what your favorites are.
1. Shirley Valentine - as a woman growing up in the beginnings of the woman's movement this film holds special relevance for me. The story of finding courage to change and love held me in thrall - oh the possibilities!

2. The Commitments - Irish soul. Magnificent sound track!

3. A Chorus Line - not sure why I love this but everytime I see it is playing on TV I find myself sinking into the story and dance. Hold onto the dream!

4. Little Women (1949) - this was the first movie I remember seeing. I fell in love with the characters, Meg, boyish Jo, gentle Beth and Amy. What a strong cast it had. Elizabeth Taylor, June Allyson, Janet Leigh, Margaret O"Brien and Peter Lawford. It's, also, good fun to watch the 1933 version with Katherine Hepburn as Jo. Alternately, I read all of Louisa May Alcott's books over and over when I was 8 and up. This was my first look at the possibilities for young women. I could be a teacher, a writer , a mother, and a wife. I could have it all!

5. Gone with the Wind - hokey, maudlin and a good cry.

6. To Kill a Mockingbird - eloquent and still relevant.

7. Ferris Bueller's Day Off - don't we all remember a teacher like Ben Stein's character? Silly but filled with authentic coming of age moments and dreams.

There are so many more - Pink Panther, most of the Monty Python movies, ET. and Saving Private Ryan. I could go on and on.

So what movies are special for you?

I've run out of time for today so will write about other blogs tomorrow.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mama D and Me

Life is always full of opportunity. So last week I went and knocked on its door. Mama D's is a local handmade business. They make wonderful purses, diaper bags, burp cloths and more. As they like to say - they are accesorizing babies and mamas everywhere.

I've been aware of them since doing the First Baptist Christmas Spectacular together last year. They caught my eye with their flair for putting patterns and colors together and their workmanship. (Is that not right up my alley?) Mama D's is a mother, Joan, and daughter, Jennifer, business. Last year they opened a small retail space in a little red historic house here in Georgetown at 407 W University Ave. They also do lots of shows. They generously have accepted me to share their retail space and some of the shows.

This weekend we're doing The Peddler Show in Cedar Park. It starts Friday at 3-8 and runs Sat 9-6 and Sun 11-4. It will be great fun working with Mama D's. I can't wait to meet all the customers. Annarella Girl will have dresses, tops and skirts as well as an assortment of fabric headbands and embellished leggings. Log on the Peddler Show website for a coupon for discounted admission.
Enjoy a couple more bags from Mama D's etsy shop. As cute as they are in pictures, wait until you see them in person!