Friday, December 30, 2011

Year End Rambles

Crisp mornings and warm afternoons, Butler and I are enjoying time outdoors. Today I got a chance to try out new walking shoes. What a treat.

My thoughts have been as as rambling as the path. Butler takes as he chases after every new smell. I chase after every twist in my mind. Subjects include warm memories of the holiday fun with family. I cherish the time with my children and grandchildren It is amazing to me what paths they are on, how smart they are and how caring they are to me and each other. When counting my blessings, family is my number 1.

Another thought path is Annarella Girl. Where I'm going with my business, strategies for reaching my goals, examinations of what has worked, what hasn't and why. You know, the same old, same old. The constant revolving voice does help me edge toward decisions, just sorry my followers have to listen to the seemingly endless repititions.

Spending a lot of time on walks enjoying the fresh air. Sharing the sheer joy of being outside with exuberant Butler. Looking at the different hues of greens, browns and grays and trying to learn to love winter's palette. Part of my resolution for living a better life is to savor the small moments of beauty and joy. I'm trying to enjoy the gifts of nature, family and friends.

By the end of our short walks Butler and I are ready for coffee and breakfast. I'm eager to get into my sewing room. I'm ready to have my day unfold. Loving it!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winding Down, Gearing Up

My holiday is over. The last chick flew out of the nest this morning. Actually we had the gift of an extra day as his scheduled flight was cancelled yesterday. Today he took off, and as I write this is almost home.

Now I'm faced with loads of wash, mounds of used sheets and towels, lots of ironing, undecorating and a strong urge to get back to sewing. So as the Christmas mode winds down, my fingers itch to create new dresses.

After longhorn orange and sooner red (see pajama bottoms in previous post), I want to work with blues, yellows and pinks. I am inspird by gardens - flowers, butterflies and birds.  After my week at the beach, I have lots of shells  that call out to me with their soft palettes of grays, pinks and golds. Don't be surprised to see some clothes in those colors.

New designs!! The buttoned strap jumper. A mid-length skirt. Onesie with a longer skirt. These should look great in spring and summer fabrics.

My new year's creative energy soars. Next comes meetings with crative buddies to plan marketing and selling opportunities. Lots of thoughts running through my brain. Welcoming 2012.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Wars Continue

The Sooners have been driven off to Houston, but the Longhorns continue to strategize and train for the next skirmish.

The perimeter is secured and manned by the very alert soldiers.

guns, ammo and provisions are ready

target practice by seasoned warriors

and by new recruits

Never a dull moment at the Skross house!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A House Divided

War on Christmas morning in the Skross household. University of Texas vs University of Oklahoma with peaceniks Tyson and flat Allyson (more about that later.) caught in the middle.

A truce was declared for the unwrapping of the gifts carefully monitored by heavily armed Hudson.

While flat Allyson kept peace at the brunch table.

Battling sides posed for group shots as a part of the peace process. You can see that not everyone was happy with the cease fire.

Allyson was unable to make the trip to share our Christmas, so she sent Flat Allyson to take part in all the activities. Below she is getting ready to be a part of the group picture.

then sharing a moment with family at the dinner table. Although she helped with the cookie decorating, stocking stuffing and unwrapping the gifts, it wasn't quite the same. We look forard to the next holiday with real Allyson.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Leftover Day

                          Help! I am thigh high in leftovers and fighting the urge to try to eat them all.

So much good food!

Not enough time to eat it all!

Where to start? What to do? 


Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Wishes

As my family gathers I am filled with Christmas cheer. My wish for all of you far and near is love, peace and joy. Snowed under a flurry of wrapping paper I stop to thank everyone for being a part of my life. In a cloud of flour and sugar I take note of how lucky I am. May happiness put a shine in your holidays as it has in mine.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Oh, Happy Day

My holidays start today with the arrival of Ty. Ah, the joy of family. Hubs and I have our Ty "To Do List" readywhich starts with the traditional grocery shopping trip to Central Market! Isn't Ty lucky!!! Imagine leaving the bustling streets of NYC only to land in the bedlam of Central Market. Such joy will be repeated tomorrow with a folow-up trip to HEB. I love him!!! His fortitude to share the shopping experience with his Dad is a much appreciated gift.

My favorite Christmas gift is the time my children and grandchildren spend with me. Let it begin!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saying Goodby

This week before Christmas has found me saying goodby to a good friend, my hairdresser, Bo. She and her husband are striking out on a new life adventure. They are selling most of their wordly possessions and setting off to explore America. How exciting! I can only imagine the wonders they will see, the people they will meet, and what they will learn about themselves. While I am happy for her, I am sad for me. She has been a wise guide for me - full of good insight and advice as I have tiptoed through the changes of the last few years. I will miss our every 6 week get togethers from which I emerged coiffed inside and out.

On a sadder note my daughter's husband's family has lost a beloved uncle. Al has battled cancer for several years. He has enjoyed a good remission, but now he has succumbed. The end has gone fast without too much pain. He has been surrounded by his loving family. What a loving and gentle end. Saying goodby has its sorrow, but he left alot of good memories.

Continuing on the sad my husband's last living maternal aunt is very ill. Elizabeth has been a very constant presence in our lives. Quiet, loving and with a twinkle in her eye she has applauded our successes and shared our joys.
Aunt Elizabeth, I love you and wish you comfort in the coming days. I am a better person for having known you. Thanks.

There is not a good time to say goodby, but from sorrow arises strength.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Chaos

Blogosphere is getting quiet as Christmas approaches. Many have kids home as school is ended for the year. Some are on the road to see their adult kids and precious grandkids. And there are those of us who are into the Christmas chaos period as we try to finish up shopping, prepare the house for guests and wrap, wrap, wrap.
Sewing room is just about transformed into the wrapping room. Lots of roles of wrapping paper. Lots of bags filled with stuff waiting to be wrapped. Lots of mess.
Christmas is coming. Will I be ready? Will I get everything done that I want to? Those answers are still up in the air.

I want to thank everyone who wrote me or spoke to me about my post Funny Business. You are encouraging. Susan, I appreciated your constructive remarks. I'm thinking how I can get better at my presentation. You've given me food for thought. And for all of you who remind me that we all face challenges, I feel your hugs and support. Thanks.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Kitchen

Gray days outside. Twinkle lights inside. Seems like a good day to be in a warm kitchen. Do you like to make Christmas cookies and candies? Some of you probably finished ages ago. I might be a little late, but the baked goods will still taste good.

What are your family favorites? There are 3 must haves for us - fudge, iced sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. After those I like to throw in something new. This year I've found a yummy sounding recipe for a lemon snowdrop cookie. (Next to chocolate, lemon is my favorite flavor!) And a recipe for a soft ginger cookie. One of my grandsons loves gingerbread, so these look good. And on the maybe list - a chocolate sandwich cookie and a cherry shortbread. Can you see the 10 pounds being gained?

We are also planning the holiday menus. Traditionally Christmas Eve is cheese fondue, viande seche and all those candies and cookies for dessert. Easy meal with little preparation. Fondue allows for a leisurely conversation and enjoyment of being a family together. A great way to unwind, catch up and breathe.

Christmas Day there will be a brunch - egg and sausage casserole is the centerpiece. I'm looking at a make-ahead french toast casserole.. Anybody have any suggestions or recipes to share? Then dinner will be beef tenderloin, twice baked potaotes, creamed spinach, and a corn casserole. Desserts will be pies and leftover cookies. We're still deciding about which pies. My daughter-in-law, A, won't be here to bake the apple pie, her specialty, but a friend has talked me through the "perfect" apple pie. (One of those beach conversations from last week.) I'm going to try it since one of my granddaughters LOVES apple pie. Also have found what looks like a very tasty recipe for a peanut butter pie. When I mention the possibility smiles break out. I'll let you all know how it goes.

So that's some of what is going on in my kitchen. It isn't Christmas at my house without the cooking and baking. I'm exceptionally lucky because my family considers cooking and cleaning up a group activity. Think of it as "The Big Chill" without the choreographed dance moves. Good times. And we only have to remove all sharp objects a couple of times.

Tell me about your holiday kitchen.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Funny Business

This craft business is odd, unpredictable and funny - in a weird way, not ha ha. The second half of 2011 has not been very profitable for Annarella Girl or Mama Ds. Sales have been flat. Shows were time consuming and not much fun. We're happy to see the end of the year.

I have plans for next year, but already I'm stumbling. The first show I applied for has just rejected me. Sad. I just can't seem to break into the next level of shows, the ones with a well qualified jury and a good reputation for high quality, handmade goods. I'm left listening to my insecure voices - "you're not good enough; you're not original enough; you're not forward thinking enough." After 3 years of designing and sewing the Annarella Girl line I thought I would be further along on a trajectory toward success. It all leaves me confused and frustrated. Unsure and losing the enthusiasm to figure out how to move forward.

I need something good to happen. I'm getting tired of slogging through the morass of just breaking even. If it weren't for the thrill I get from choosing fabrics, creating new designs and sewing it all together, I would give up without the constant struggle and whining. But the simple truth is I LOVE what I'm doing. When I consider quitting - the yes, no of it - always the no wins.(Maybe that's why the life lesson advice of yesterday meant so much to me.) Deep inside my heart tells me to continue, it's not time to stop. So 2012 is a big year for me. I have a list of shows I want to do. (Keep your fingers crossed for the ones that are juried.) I'm hoping to create a group of crafters who can share resources, advice, a website and some shows to try and grow our businesses. I want to push a bit and see if I can have some success.

Wish me luck. I need to find some fun in the business end of crafting. Right now it is not funny business. Bring it on 2012.
(In a whisper... if I should quit, tell me. Put me out of my misery.) Okay I'm off to find a cheese to go with this whine. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Life Lessons from the Beach

I'm back. What a relaxing time I had. Lots of it spent on the beach - reading, dipping a toe in the waves, watching the sun dance across the water, and talking. I'll probably boring you with some of the observations, both mine and others, for the next few days.

Love this advice shared by a friend from her brother. When you are trying to make a decision but can't, DON'T. Put simply if you sometimes think yes and sometimes think no, go with the no. You're just not ready yet to say yes. A yes is usually clear and convincing. If you're vacillating, it's for a reason. Step back from the yes. Go with the no.

I think I like this advice. It's valuable for kids when they are weighing their options. And looking back on occasions when I was flip flopping between yes and no, when I followed this system the results were good. So I'm packing my life tool bag with a flipping yes and NO. I think it will cut down on future mistakes.

Good to be back.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Traveling with Friends

I'm taking some time off, not only from the blog, but also from my normal life. sounds drastic, but it's not. For about 2 weeks I'll be basking in the warmth of friendship on a girls trip. A little rest and relaxation before the hectic holidays.

This is a true break - no sewing machine, no computer, no holiday preparations - just time by the pool, hot tub and beach. Long, lazy conversations. A few glasses of wine. Reading, reading, reading. Watching movies. (This is not a "chick flick" group. There will be hours of action films.)  Lots of laughter as we remember old times and make new memories. We're older, maybe wiser, but still giggling and giddy as we enjoy life.

So if I get a chance I might check in with a short post, but don't be suprised if I don't surface before mid month. I plan to be busy burrowing my toes in the sand or languidly trailing my fingers in the pool.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Rain Is Here to Stay

Third rainy day in a row. Beside cleaning up muddy paw prints it is all good. Husband has gumbo simmering on the stove. I'm working on Christmas gifts. We are all snug and warm inside. Happy Sunday.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rain Drops Keep Falling

After months of no rain, dead bushes, rising dust we've been getting bits of rain for the last month. All of us still hold our breath and wish for a good soaking rain. You know the kind that makes each blade of grass wiggle its toes in ecstasy. But the day before the Christmas Stroll its a little harder to be happy for a rainy weekend.

The Stroll has never been cancelled or postponed to my knowledge, so I assume it will continue in a soggy fashion. But what a disappointment for all - for the kids who look forward to meeting Santa, playing games and seeing the parade; for the organizers who have worked so hard to book the entertainment, create Santa's workshop, plan the parade and assemble all the wonderful vendors.

Let's pull on our mucklucks and anotaks, and go forth to enjoy this tradition of downtown Georgetown. Certainly a few rain drops won't stop the joy. Come down and enjoy the smiling faces of the kids - of all ages. Dodge the rain by stopping in to see all the shops and restaurants. Stroll the arts and crafts section. See you there!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Joy to the World

Small joys

Sitting in the sun at the bark park watching a happy dog chase the squirrels. The payoff for the miserably hot summer is to be able to enjoy the outdoors in late November and December.

Each finished Annarella Girl outfit makes me smile. I love mixing the colorful patterned fabrics. I'm constantly tweaking the designs to make the clothes more comfortable and wearable. Meeting and working with my clients is a kick.

Decorating for the holidays. In truth I don't love the work but I love the result. Twinkle lights make me smile and lift my spirits.

Thinking about what cookies and candy to make for the family. Always I make fudge, the old fashioned kind. Plus I make sugar cookies. (Love that grandkids are old enough to do most of the icing.) Then I always try something new.There is great joy in reading cookbooks for new recipes.

I feel like I keep posting about the same things, but this is what is on my mind during this season. I kow women who don't feel joyful now, but instead dread all the work of the holidays. I choose to concentrate on the happy. Over the years I've learned to give myself permission to have imperfect holidays when it comes to decorating, shopping, wrapping, baking if it is driving me crazy. The most important part is the gathering of family and friends. If all the details get finished, great. If they don't, ahh well, we still have the most important part - joy of each other.

Be kind to one another.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The End of the Show Season

This Saturday is the Christmas Stroll in downtown Georgetown this Saturday. Mama Ds and Annarella Girl will be sharing a booth with Diva Chicks outside the store on 7th st.. We will have a smattering of items outside and the store will be fully stocked. This is it the last show of the Fall. Come see us. Wait until you see the baby cowboots from Mama Ds. They are adorable. What else could a Texas baby need? Diva Chicks has lots of stylish clothes. I love the flowy tops which are so comfortable. And outstanding accessories!

The sluggish economy is still impacting us. People are cautious with their purchases. They are sticking to their budgets. I understand since I am doing the same. So I really appreciate everyone who likes Annarella Girl enough to buy.  You've embraced the new corduroy jumpers and long sleeved onesies. Each purchase is an "ooh, you like me, you really like me." Thanks for the hugs and love.

I'm taking those warm hugs and indulging in a girls week in Florida. A very relaxing way to end my business season and mentally gear up for Christmas when my family gathers here. Somehow the house gets decorated, gifts get bought or made, and fudge appears in the kitchen. (Thanks to my husband who shares most of the work.) This is my favorite time of the year.

How is your holiday season progressing? Are you getting lots of warm hugs? Throwing you one from me.
See you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Butler is looking at me askance (love being able to use that word.) because I declared that it was too cold for a morning walk. Brrrr! Maybe tomorrow. At least the dog park should have dried up enough to go this afternoon.

I know I have some readers out there, but you are all so silent. What can I do to get more feedback or comments? Do you ever forward my posts to friends? Sometimes I feel pretty lonely out there in cyber space. (whine, whine)

Latest onesie. Skirt is corduroy. I don't have many of the long sleeved ones left. They've been a huge success. Thanaks to all my Annarella Girl customers.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New! Cute Skirt

As promised yesterday, here is the cute corduroy skirt I made for Sofia.

I'm thinking I'll make more in this style with the narrow waistband and ruffled bottom. Watch for them come spring.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Days in Slow Motion

Computer is running slooooow. Seems like I'm spending great amounts of time watching the spinning ball. Or looking out the window at the falling leaves spiraling down. Bear with me, I'm working as fast as I can.

Today the outside lights and decorations are going up. My husband insists on a giant Santa inflatable. (tacky, tacky, tacky, but small kids and the ones who have never grown up, love it.) Butler is very watchful of this great red alien which has invaded his yard. Wait until he sees lighted wonderland in all its glory. It's interesting to observe the changing scene through his eyes.

As I wind my way through the last special orders, (wait til you see the cute, cute corduroy akirt for Sofia) my mind is moving into plans for next year. I'm getting excited to create new color palettes and 2 new spring designs - a jumper and a skirt. Don't you love the tingle of adrenaline as the creative juices flow?

Yesterday was my 45th wedding anniversary. Where has all the time gone? 3 children, 3 children-in-laws, 6 grandchildren, 8 places lived, countless laughs, and many adventures. Good times!

Slowly I'm going forth to enjoy the day. See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Artist, fellow blogger, Judy Grupp recently posted about rejection. She put out one of her "babies, a manuscript, and had gotten a rejection letter. It happens to almost all creative people sometime in their ccareer and it hurts.

Several of her followers wrote notes of encouragement to her. That is the beauty of blogging. You can put your pain out there and some one is always there to return with a hug, warm words and inspiration to pick yourself up, remove the smarting barbs and try, try again.

Thanks for all my fellow bloggers and artists who keep me going. Stop by Judy Grupp's blog and enjoy her wise words and the supportive comments of her readers.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Thanks to all my family and friends. Your support, encouragement and nudges truly keep me going. You are the wind under my wings as I trudge, skip, dance toward my dream.

Thanks to Butler, dog, to bringing a balance to my life. More walking, more fresh air, more loving you are a treasure. (Despite the muddy paw prints this morning.)

 Thanks to Annarella Girl and all who have bought this year. Your smiling faces and kind words are like a giant hug.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving. Lots of good food, loving dinner companions and laughter!

(Apologies to those family members that didn't get in the pics. I just didn't have others to share. Love you guys, too!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Daily Education

Grammy, gran, nana, paw paw, pap pap, grandma, mimi and granpa. we all came to spend a morning at the Providence Classical School in Spring, Texas.. We sat with our knees to our chests in the first grade chairs and listened to singing and recitations. At the end we were treated to excerpts from Handel's "Messiah." Proudly we gazed at the fresh, shiny faces with the shy smiles and inquisative eyes. There is hope for our future if we let these scholar students grow up expanding their learning, curiousity  and humanity. Lets not put any limitations on their potential to become real leaders.

Thanks to all the caring teachers for allowing us to disrupt their day and to enjoy our trip back to school. Yes, there is hope for a better world, and I caught a glimpse today.

and read a thoughtful comment to my Three Words post with wisdom about the IB school my other family of grandchildren attend in Round Rock, Texas. More good news about educating our future leaders.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

If you say....

If you say something, it will become true.

The power of affirmation.

So today, I am healthy, wealthy and wise.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Words in Three

What brings success? Hard work, ingenuity and passion. Especially true for creative businesses. Of course it doesn't hurt to add a little luck.

What brings personal success? Respect, responsibility and reason.

I find inspiration in these words. What words bracket your life's sucess?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Wonders

My windows are washed. My world sparkles. After the longest, hottest summer I am still revelling in autumn. Cool mornings, warm afternoons. Leaves falling. Occasional showers. Loving life  in central Texas. Feeling very lucky.

What makes your world sparkle? What makes you dance? What is your inspiration? For me, today, it is the simple appreciation of clean windows. Life is made up of big and small pleasures.

Have a good Friday filled with sparkle.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Coming to Happy

Several post ago I said I was returning to Normal. Now my journey takes down the road to Happy. Here are a few landmarks on my way.

This AM spotted a young deer bounding across the lawns waving his white tail at me.

Can't help smiling at polks dots - especially giggle at multi-colored and multi-sized spots.

Ruffles are happy. Give them a twirl.

Thanksgiving is around the corner. At my house that means fun with family and food. Lots of laughter will be heard in the kitchen. Can't wait.

Sunshine after a bit of rain. Sky is bright blue.

What brings you to Happy? I'm waiting for you. We'll dance and sing to celebrate the small joys in our lives.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What to Think

Most of us are horrified by the news out of Penn State and struggle to make some sense of it. Stop by Brene Brown's blog, ordinary courage, for a short, intelligent look at what we can learn,

Grown-up Thoughts

As a parent, grandparent and senior citizen, my thoughts sometimes turn to the legacy my generation is leaving to the future. I fear we are leaving a mess - too much emphasis on money, too much celebration of mean spirits, a too easy acceptance that the end justifies the means, too many of us telling others how to live their lives while not taking care of our own,  too much empahsis on testing our students and not enough on the value of learning and education. All heavy topics which I ponder on my morning walks.

I can't change the world. After all who would listen? But I am trying to live a better life by example. Keep striving to be a thoughtful person. Listening and learning from the people in my life. Not jumping to quick judgement. Enjoying what I have. Valuing the relationships I am blessed with. (And not worrying over ending a sentence with a preposition!)

I choose peace and love.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Returning to Normal

Who are we kidding? Where is Normal? Did I ever visit it? How do I get back to it?

Aah, Normal. A quaint town with quiet tree-lined streets full of smiling people waving hello, shouting kids riding their bikes with wild abandon and busy unique shops where everyone is treated as a friend.

Aah, Normal. A bustling city where everyone is racing in all directions, cars are honking and weaving through congestion, kids are crying from exhaustion and confusion and all the stores, banks and polticians are conniving to wring out our last cent.

Take your pick.

Peace and prosperity!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Characters in the Family Zoo

When Butler and I meet deer on our morning walk, their stately gait makes me think of my daughter. She has a similar stately, graceful stride always with a straight back and pointed toe. I enjoy watching her glide into a room with a stature that demands attention.

I realize that there are certain animals that remind me of members of my family. My father is the soaring, majestic bald eagle. My mother is a red cardinal flying here and there.. My husband is a rhino, commanding attention and filling a room, never ignored.

When Jeff was young he had a split personality - frenetic, funny Tigger or gloomy Eeyore. He has grown into Pooh with muscles. He is a bear with hugs, but very protective when it comes to his family. Pamela is a teal duck. She keeps us all in a row beautifully.

Ty is the owl. He sits above and keeps a sharp eye out, always observing. Allyson is a Siamese cat, sleek, and a soft gray husecat, warm and purring. (I just realized that makes them "the owl and the pussycat" off to sea in a pea green boat. Perfect.)

I almost left out my son-in-law. He is the strong stag to my daughter deer. He is a stalwart companion to her.
And the grandkids....
Sophia - a graceful swan with the wisdom of an owl
Drew - a Jack Russell, full of energy and smart
Ryann - a pink flamingo with dance moves
Ivy - a horse with tenacity
Jack - an inquisative, funny prairie dog
Hudson - young lion

Do you see your friends of family in the animal kingdom?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cleaning Up

Do you all hate cleaning as much as I do? But I really don't like living in filth. And there is a point at which I can get clutter overload. When I don't have a single space that I frequent, like my sewing room, the kitchen or my bedroom, that doesn't have an uncluttered surface, then I reach clutter overload. After the frenetic pace of getting ready for shows, I've officially reached my limit. Today I'm kicking the dust bunnies to the curb. Rehanging all the fabrics. Catching up on ironing.

Tomorrow the window cleaners are coming. I look forward to being able to see outside again, but I'm fearful how much more dirt I'll be able to see inside. That's the good news, bad news of the day.

Peace and prosperity.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Little Piggy...

Off to market again. Last day of the First Baptist Christmas Spectacular from 9-3. Having fun seeing old and new customers or as I prefer to think of them, friends. Also meeting some new vendors.

Sneak a peek at Julie Yost of Count It All Joy. She crochets these incredible scarves. Wearable art, truly. Or as she proudly proclaims, "...this ain't your Granny's crochet." She has a website you can visit or a facebook page.

Tomorrow back to "normal" whatever that is. Butler will be so happy! See you then.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Short Note

Some times it's embarrasing to be a Texan! How many more Republican debates do we have to endure?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Palette

long skirt front

I love this new palette - dark and rich. Faux patchwork is a bit oriental in feel with its touches of metallic gold.

long skirt back

long sleeve onesie

Can't wait to hear feedbackat the FBC Christmas Spectaculr. Starts at 9:00 tomorrow. Mama D and Annarella Girl are ready!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The To Do List

Last day before set up for First Baptist Church Christmas Spectacular. One thing I've learned form shows is that the better organized one is, the better the show goes; so today is "get it done" day. Here it is night, I'm tired, but the to do list is done. Hooray!!

I'm a circular thinker, a dreamer, maybe even a visionary on my very best days; but the day before an event, either business or personal, I settle down and drop into straight line thinking. Here comes focus and, for me, the rare ability to move steadily and smartly to the goal. My dad was an engineer who had a hard time understanding us dreamers. Many are the times when I wished I had inherited the logic, smart shortcut gene. Without fail if there are several ways to tackle a project, I will always pick the most complicated, convoluted method. Bank on it. But for the one day when time is running out, the to do list is endless, and I must perform; out of nowhere I can enjoy taking the shortest, straightest path to the end. Today is that day, and I've enjoyed exercising that miniscule part of my brain.

Do you think in circles or in straight lines? Are you the befuddled dreamer or the logical engineer?

Monday, November 7, 2011

I'm Dreaming of....

I'm dreaming of a long. steady rain day with a pot of chili simmering on the stove, a pan of cornbread in the oven and an apple crisp cooling on the counter.

What are you dreaming of today?

Two days to go for the First Baptist Church Christmas Spectacular, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. See you there!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Roundabout and Flyovers

How do you know when an area is growing? Roads!!! A couple of years ago Georgetown got its first flyovers. Now you can soar over frontage roads to I35 on your way to Temple, Waco and Dallas. We don't have the spaghetti of big cities but we are on our way. Progress?

This year Georgetown constructed its first roundabout. Its quiet, out of the way in San Gabriel Park. but it's there. Four entrances/exits will take you by the river, to the dump or past the old folks home. Certainly doesn't rival the traffic circle around the Arche de Triomphe, thank you! Not sure if our little circle is forward or retro. Time will tell.

Warning: a political observation. As I'm writing this TV is talking in background. Catches my ear: "Rick Perry - there must be something to him since he has been governor of Texas for 20 some years." Wait a minute, I think that shows how little the folks of Texas will settle for. They apparently are not looking for a leader, just someone to occupy the governor's mansion. Texas' answer to a roundabout flyover.
(Okay, I got that off my chest.)

Have a relaxed Sunday. I'd like a rainy one.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Bit of Holiday Cheer

Giving my back a rest this morning, so no walk. Butler is dismayed. I thought it was a good time to share a few more things from my holiday line.

Corduroy flower jumper is so cheerful. Shown over a bright pink tee.which I'll be happy to sell with it. 

Red, red , red. So cheerful. For winter chill add white or black leggings.

Elephants, hippos and giraffes, oh my! Fun and sophistication for the baby. Layer over a shirt and leggings for the holidays. Will be a favorite for all seasons.
 It's a holiday season filled with color. Love it!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pet Peeves

Hi, I'm your guest blogger today, Butler. Mistress Ellie is busy at the sewing machine so I'll be writing in her stead. And while I have the floor I have a few peeves to share.

First, we had to shorten our walk this morning because her back was hurting. Hah! I suspect she was cold and impatient with me sniffing so many trails of night time creatures. Boy, the scents were multiple and pungent on the cold air. I know I wasn't on my best behavior, yanking and pulling. Perhaps I was a bit hard on her aching back.

Second, I don't like when she gets so busy with sewing. It takes away from my ear-rubbing and belly-scratching time. I keep having to nose her to remind her that I want, NEED some loving. Come on.

Third, while I am complaining, what is it with the dried food thing? I don't see my family eating dried pellets. When I'm staring at them as they eat, I'm only asking for equal food treatment. I know I would love hamburgers!!!! Yum, yum, yum!

Gotta run. It's time to chase a squirrel. (Maybe I could teach her how. She needs some fun in her day.) 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sewing Along

Morning thoughts about sewing. I'm finishing up a special order before putting together final plans for my last big show, FBC Christmas Spectacular, next Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  Always a fun show with lots of cheerful vendors and shopping families.

I like to have lots of choices for my little girls. So the next week is a marathon of sewing, filling out sizes and categories. Blogs will probably be short for the next days. More pics; fewer words.

Tonight is first Thursday without Tim Gunn. How will I survive? I'm disappointed in the choice of winner last week, but maybe that is what the producers wanted. a little controversy. Some times it feels like the TV industry is powered by controversy and has forgotten how to tell a good story.

Enjoy a few pics.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Leap up and click my is Ty's birthday. My last born, a talented painter, a wise man, a compassioante spirit. Love him!!!

Second leap with clicking heels....It's hair cut day. What a treat to take my frowsy gray mane to Bo and walk out coiffed. Hooray!

I'll be back a new woman. (Okay, not new but feeling better.)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's Next?

October is over. The challenge to blog daily completed. Suprise, I really enjoyed it, so I will continue to post regularly. Can't promise every day, but even your ears and eyes need a rest from my blah, blah, blah once in a while.

I apologise for my lack of good grammer. I wish I could get paid for every sentence I've ended in an infinitive. Or every incomplete sentence. Or each and every misspelling. If paid evenfive cents each, I'd be so rich I'd be lounging on the porch of my beach house eating bonbons while reading a novel.  Instead I plod on making all sorts of errors, and you are kind enough not to point them out.

Warts and all, I'll see you from my walks and sewing room tomorrow.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Rambling 31: Halloween Reversal

Instead of donning a costume tonight, I wish I could remove my old age disguise and let my little girl have a day out.

What I would do

climb an apple tree
twirl with my eyes closed,
     stopping to fight for balance as the world spins on
roll down a grassy hill
play statues
play 4 square
eat a carmel apple
punch my brother in the arm
dance to "Benny and the Jets"
swing so high my toes touch the sky
catch fireflies in a jar
do somersaults in the pool
sit on the bottom of the deep end
splash in a puddle
jump in a mound of orange, yellow, brown leaves

What would you do?
Happy Halloween!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rambling 30: You Can Teach an Old Dog....

Title should really be "an old human can learn new tricks from a wise dog." This 31 day challenge started with walking with Butler. It ends tomorrow still walking Butler. And I have learned much - about myself, about my neighborhood, about dogs and about life. Don't expect any momentous pronouncements about the meaning of life or the ultimate solutions to the world's problems. Rather I've just continued to learn small illuminations that delight, inspire and enrich my life. Wow! It doesn't get much better than that.

I've learned that this decrepit body can still move. Although I certainly won't break any speed or distance records, my balance and energy have improved with the daily walks.

I've learned that my mind works better with daily intake of fresh air. Not only on the walks but with time spent at the bark park watching the antics and joy of dogs.

I've learned that I am a dog person and happier for it. When my family was young I resented the added responsibility of a dog when I was already overwhelmed with things I must do. Now that I am fancy free (just all you young people wait there is freedom that makes middle and old age stages to delight in and look forward to). I find that a little bit of responsibility adds to the quality of my life.

I'm learning to enjoy the moment, to stop and smell the flowers, not to regret the past, not to obsess about the future. Live, love and embrace the now.

Carpe diem.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rambling 29: Witches in the Trees

This morning was crisp! I added a layer and long socks. Didn't break into a sweat until halfway. Friends have noted on facebook our cool mornings, even calling them crisp, but I find it hard to find the crisp when it's 55 degrees with 90% humidity. Cool, yes. Fall-like, yes, the Texas version. But crisp, no. But this morning, a definite snap, a chill, a crisp.

Butler uses the morning walks to check out who or what has been out at night. Nose to the ground he follows a crooked path dictated by the yummy scents. He is always alert to the smallest changes. Looking out for the neighborhood cats. Eying any tree that might have a squirrel. This morning he was completely befuddled by a witch in a tree. Was it some kind of crazy mutant squirrel? Should he be afraid and run? Or growl and bark pretending to be brave? A dilemma. In the end he chose to give a few halfhearted woofs and then walk on with one wary eye cast back to insure it didn't attack us from behind. Kind of my approach to the politicians of today.

A few things from my sewing room.

a knee length skirt jn a holiday pallette

mid-calf skirt in lovely blues. polka dots make me smile

holiday onesie

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rambling 28: To H... in a Handbasket

No walk this morning as I was meeting a friend for coffee to discuss art organizations. Such sad eyes on Butler as I wlked out the door without him. Awww. But he is getting a treat this afternoon as he will play at the bark park with his favorite friend, Lola and her young owners. He'll be in seventh heaven.

Meeting went well . I have a crush on Jane's mind. She is smart, witty and compassionate. So I laughed at some of her observations on life. Listened with great interest about Georgetown's progress in the visual arts. Overall felt energized with lots of ideas to explore while I worked this afternoon.

Then I turned on my phone.... The colonial day outfit for my grandson is due by Wednesday. Earlier than expected. No problem It is finished, hanging on closet door just waiting to go. Husband goes to Houston on Monday and already planned on taking it.

Next, called husband from grocery store to see if he needed something. Not good. He is immobilized. Bad hip, back, knee, not sure since it all hurts and won't support walking. Uh, oh. He needs me to make lunch and dinner. Nothing elaborate but not part of my daily routine. Yes, am I not spoiled? When he works from home, he gets his own lunch and usually makes dinner for both of us. (He's really not a saint. He doesn't like my choices for dinners.) So there goes a lot of my time in the sewing room. But even worse for my timeline, I can't count on him to deliver colonial outfit by Wednesday. Looks like I may have to take tomorrow to drive to and from Houston.

There goes my creative energy for two days. As the title said all my planning and dreaming of what garments I would be working on just went "to h... in a handbasket." (By the way where did that saying come from and what does it mean?) Of course, it is not the end of my world. This is just an example of the rollercoaster of life. Makes me chuckle. How quickly mood changes. Motherhood has taught me how to take it all in stride. From 0 to 60 in 15 seconds and back to a full stop again. Ah the vagaries of life...keep us young, agile of mind, body, and spirit.

Got to go find that handbasket. Have a good Friday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rambling 27: Flying Carpet

It's a dark, cloudy morning.  Clouds are low and flat. like a flying carpet. My mind soars with plans and ideas.

What material I 'll use for a jumper today - pink corduroy with green circles or a brown corduroy with bright pik, green, cream flowers. What size? I'm at the point in my planning for the First Baptist Christmas Spectacular. when I try to anticipate what sizes will be popular this year. So far sizes 3 and 5 seem to get picked up the most frequently.

Thinking about a small gift that Jenny D and I can make to thank customers. Of course it must use fabric scraps. Just what we need something else to spend our spare time on. lol. But we really do love our customers and want to say thanks.

Lusting for a cupcake I found on Pinterest last night.

Brownie Batter Chocolate Fudge Cupcake. Doesn't it make your teeth hurt just to look at it? All the time I hear healthy, slim people say that they can't eat more than one of something because it is so rich while inwardly I'm already lausting for a second and third. But this looks and sounds like even I, the chocolate glutton, could only eat one of these at a sitting. You can find the recipe at Kevin and Amanda blog.

These are a few of my soaring thoughts this morning. Have a good Thursday. I will be enjoying the finale of Project Runway. I'm secretly pulling for Kimberly, but I think Victor will win.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rambling 26: Ticking Off the List

Whew my week to do list is getting shorter. That's the way it should be, but you all know that sometimes you have to work like crazy just to end up with a to do list that is the same length at the end of the week that it was in the beginning..

1. colonial day outfit for grandson -DONE - just waiting to take it to Houston. Shirt and pants look big, so Drew start eating now.

2. booked airline tickets for girls week in Florida in December. HOORAY! A time to replenish my spirit. Very low key. Read, movies, beach time, talk. We've known each other forever. So relaxing!!!

3. two onesies made. I'll take today to cut out a skirt, jumper and dress. Then I'll be ready to sew with Tim Gunn tomorrow night.

So I'm ticking along. How's your week going?

By the way there is now a space on right top of blog where you can sign up to get me in email. Come on, don't make me beg.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rambling 25: Pinterest

Can you believe it is day 25 of posts in October? I've enjoyed my scribbling. Hope some of you have also. I get so few comments that I'm in the dark whether I'm saying anything.

Have you found What a fun site. Basically it gives you space and sources so that creating your inspiration boards is easy. I have 4 going.

Why not a Darth Vader ballerina?
"Things that make me smile."
I love this little girl's attitude

Joyous sheep. Remind me to dance down the road of life.


I want to learn how to dye.

"foods I want to try"
yummy savoury biscuit

"Places I'd like to go to replenish my spirit"

Ahhh! To sit and ponder.

Warning. Pinterest can be addictive.