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.