Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Tomorrow Mama Ds is moving to a new location. Yep, we're packing it all up and joining the artisan's at The Good Waters Gallery located at 704 S Austin Ave (Chupa Rosa building) in downtown Georgetown. Tomorrow is moving day. We should be fairly well set up for April 1, First Friday in downtown. The gallery is open Monday through Saturday 10-5 with the exception, of course, of First Friday of every month when it is open until 8 or until the last partier goes home. So come see our new space. I won't be at First Friday because I have babysitting duties. Remember you can always find me online.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meet Butler

Butler waiting for some love.

Recently I posted about getting a dog. Since my dog, Zoey, died in December, I've been missing the companionship she offered. Always there to greet me when I returned home. And offering me oportunities for exercise. I thought I would be happy not having the responsibility of pet care, but finally loneliness has won.

Meet Butler. He is a 2 year old mix - daschaund and basset hound - found at our local shelter. My son and his 3 kids were with me and fell in love with him. They are my back-up for dog care, so it was important that they approved. So far Butler is laid back. His requirements are lots of ear rubs and regular meals. It's early days, and he hasn't met the master of the house yet, but so far he and I are settling in well.

Butler making himself comfy in my sewing room.

I'm full of smiles. Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Balancing Acts

In January I set some goals for myself. One was to find balance in my life. How to balance my passion and time for sewing and creating with time for family, self and others. And I have had some successes. My husband and I try to go to the movies each weekend followed by a dinner out. I find it's a nice way to get me out of my workroom for a break. I do hit the sewing with renewed energy the next day.

I try to see or talk to my kids and grandkids a bit more often. Grammy time over spring break was great. And although I'm concious of impending deadlines, I made myself relax and not worry. The mind is a wonderful tool and can be talked into not obsessing. What I concenttrate on is enjoying the moment not the future except to think how revived I'll be when I return to the workroom. Does that make sense to anyone else?

But I haven't made any progress in the area of giving to others. No volunteer opportunity has appealed to me. That's where I'm asking for your ideas or input. I know I will feel fuller and my creative life will be fed by giving time and energy to others. My special interests are women and children. Narrow that to education. What I won't do is fundraising where most of the suggestions seem to lead. I'm not good at raising money. I don't like raising money. I want to be hands on, maybe one on one. No kudos or thanks for what I'm doing, but I need to feel like I am helping. Making a difference for someone or some group. Have any of you run across interesting programs?

I'm not interested in the big national or international organizations. Ideally I'd like to be involved in something local. With all the cuts in arts and education, I think there may be programs or such that other people have implemented that might work locally on a small level. Any ideas? Any web sites to check?

I have some energy and time. All I need is some direction. Ahhh, balance.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ahh, a good night's sleep

Sure enough, after a good night's sleep, the camera sent the pictures to my computer. I have no idea why they weren't talking yesterday, but now they seem to be friends again. anyway here are the pics of all my fabrics. Do you think I have enough?
While I had my camera in my hand, took a shot of some of the onsies I've been creating. They make me smile.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When does a hobby become an addiction?

Tonight I dashed to Hobby Lobby for 3 spools of tread. I walked out with 3 pieces of fabric for a total of 12.5 yards, 7 spools of ribbon and 3 spools of thread. I seem to be unable to stop buying fabric and ribbon. I love the colors. I love the patterns. I visualize the garments that they will become. Help me, I think I'm addicted.

If I sewed non-stop for the next year, I would still have leftover material. And leftover ideas. I took some photos of my stash tonight, but the camera is not co-operating and won't download. (I assume that after a good night's sleep, we all - computer, camera and me, will be better tomorrow.)

I don'twant a cure for my habit. I just want to laugh about it. Is that denial?

Good Night.

Monday, March 21, 2011


A friend found out this week that she will be a first time grammy. She's been waiting patiently, well almost patiently, for several years and finally the time is here. She and her husband will be terrific grandparents. Eager to share their lives, interests and rememberances with the baby. I'm so happy for her.

It got me thinking about my life with 6 grandkids. I quite enjoy having the fun of kids without the responsibilities of rearing them. They keep me supplied with hugs and funny observations. Grandkids are a delicious treat. My job is to spoil them with candy and late nights. There are the occasional teaching moments, but mainly I try to show by example.

Times are changing. My grandkids think it is hysterical that I grew up with only one phone that hung in the kitchen with a long tangled cord. They can't understand what a party line was. Was that in the time of the dinosaurs? They've never seen a typewriter in real life, only in the occasional historic photo. Life without a computer is unthinkable.

In my parent's time they saw an explosion of innovation and invention in transportation - from bi-planes to jet planes. The growth of the culture of the car until it became a must for every suburban household. From steam engine trains to the bullet trains.

I'vs seen the birth of communication. I remember the first TV in my home. I was about 8 at the time. From 3 networks, if you were lucky where you lived, to 100's of channels. My children and there children have never known a home without a TV. Now the computer and i-phone. My grandkids will never know life without instant communication. I wonder what new inventions my great grandchildren will have easy access to and easy familiarity with.

Although I try to keep up with the new technology and pop culture, I must admit a bit of nostalgia for some of the old fashioned ways. I hate that everyone is on the phone all the time. Where is the peace and quiet of yore? Sometimes we all need time to be alone, don't we? Without voices or texts to bother us. I miss the idea of good language. The F word has become too common. We need to express our thoughts and feelings without the shortcut of swearing. How lazy some writers and speakers have become. The word doesn't shock me in my old age; it saddens me.

In my sewing I have kept many of the old-fashioned techniques because they improve the durability of the garments. I pink all my seams so they wash without ravelling. I topstitch mostseams that are visible so they stand-up to lots of wear and play. I hope my dresses and skirts will be around a long time - until they are old fashioned. (But I embrace the modern fabrics which are easy care, comfortable and fun to work with.)
Happy Monday!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Deep Breaths

After 2 weeks of busy with sewing and grandkids, I'm caught up. The last special order went in the mail yesterday. House is quiet. So I'm taking this weekend to breathe deeply. Working, but at a leisurely rate. Catching up with my blog. Posting a few new items on etsy.

Surroundings are so quiet I find myself thinking dog. I miss the company of a dog. I miss the enthusiastic greeting when I walk in the door. I miss the warmth at my feet in bed. Am I crazy? Dogs are also messy. They require attention. When I'm on the road, they need someone to care for them. But despite trying to list all the difficulties with having a dog, I can't stop wanting one.

My requireents for a dog are many. No puppies, please. I need a mature dog - translate that into low-energy. Small or no larger than medium. Not so small it can trip me up in the kitchen. But not so large that I can, if necessary, pick it up. Lastly, little to no shedding.

I'm so close to visiting my local shelter to see what's there. I'm trying to force myself to take deep breaths and take time to really think about this. To balance my need for companionship with the responsibility of pet care. Anyone out there have any perspective for me?

Above skirt is a crazy combination of 5 fabrics in spring colors. Somehow the multiple patterns and hues work. The girls love the skirts over leggings. Versatile and good for play.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Feeding the Animals

One day trip I made with kids and grandkids was to an exotic animal ranch where they piled us on an open wagon to drive among the animals. Armed with buckets of food, we got up close and personal with all sorts of hooved creatures. Everyone had a grand time. Here are some pics of all the fun!

Aren't they, the kids not the animals, good-looking.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Break

Beginning of spring break here. I'm going to be hanging out with my grandkids. Grammy camp strikes again. Plus I get to hang out with my son. We have a couple of events planned but nothing big. We're just going to enjoy being. We do hope to see "Rango." All that ugliness intriques me.

I'm a little behind in my sewing room. Despite my best efforts to be ahead as I start into spring break, you, loving customers, are buying. Love ya!! Don't mind having to hustle a bit. But I'm taking a break for 4 days. Going to relish life. Going to have laughs with my beautiful, clever, funny, talented grands.

Give hugs to your family and friends!!!
Talk with you on the other side of the weekend.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Report

It's another spring update. You'd think after all these years spring would no longer bring me such anticipation and joy, but it does. And I am once again delighted with noting the progressions and changes that occur. Most of the lawns are more green than brown. Dandelions wave their yellow heads in the breeze. Trees sport a haze of green as the leaf buds begin to unfurl. The Bradgord pear trees that line the entry to my development are filled with white flowers - reminds me of brides with full veils. I haven't spotted my first bluebonnet yet, but soon.

Georgetown, where I live, has red poppies. It's known as the red poppy capitol of Texas. There are many homes in our historic downtown that sport yards full of red poppies. It is quite a happy sight. In April the town has a festival which honors the flower. (In truth, it's a good title but it really celebrates all of Georgetown and its inhabitants.) This year it is April 16-17. There is always good music - local and national. Mark Chestnut is the headliner on Saturday night. Fair food favorites range from kettle corn to funnel cakes to sausage on a stick. Lots and lots of arts and crafts booths. Annarella Girl will be there sharing a space with Mama Ds. Put it on your calendar. For all the up-to-date information go to the Red Poppy Festival website.

Black and pink skirt with pink underskirt and black and bright pink flower sundress will be at the Red Poppy festival. They say come and see them in person. My poor photos do not do them justice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Busy Signal

" pretty in pink" Barbie, eat your heart out.

Having a bit of a flurry of activity. Must be spring. Are you all thinking of warm weather, light clothes and pretty girls? Yeah!

Sewing room is busy as I try to keep on top of everything. Love when I have lots of projects. As well as completing special orders I'm still trying to build inventory for my spring shows. (More about those tomorrow.) Never enough time to accomplish all I want, but I'm keeping my sewing machine humming.

More spring green. Can you see the butterflies? I am inspired by spring gardens. They are coming soon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Man with a Plan

My grandkids continue to be fodder for my blog. Jack, a second grader, has come up with his life plan. (Not sure what precipitated this conversation with his parents.) First he is going to work at MacDonalds until he gets fired. (Don't know why (What do you suppose he has heard about working at Mickey D's? I wish I knew the back story to this comment.) Then he is going to be a doctor. Finally he will work at Lego Land. Not a bad plan.

Don't you love a man with a plan? Let's not squash his enthusiasm with what happens with the "best laid plans...etc." Seems to me he has allowed for mixing work and fun. First mindless, mind numbing work, then an interesting career followed by a job that incorporates something he loves with pay. Way to go, Jack.

I'm lucky enough to be in the stage where I am combining a passionate hobby with some money-making. Life is good. Unlike Jack, I didn't plan it. I just kind of stumbled on to it. Until 4 years ago I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. (There have been a lot of different jobs in my life, teacher, mother, retailer, etc, most of which I have found challenging but satisfying.) Even though I'll be 67 next month, I'm not sure if I'm grown up, but for now I'm enjoying every day I get to create Annarella Girl clothes. The business end is a constant mind-stretching exercise. Mixing fabrics, colors and patterns is a soul satisfying occupation. I'll say it again, life is good.

In central Texas we are watching spring creep in. Lawns are greening, and trees are budding. I caught a glimpse of a flowering tree this week. Wildflowers are soon to show their glory. I've written about it before but indulge me again. Spring green - the tender, fresh, bright green - is my favorite color. I love mixing it in the clothes. Hello, spring!