Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ship's In

I'm living on an island called Little Harbor Cay, but to the cruise world it is known as Coco Cay. We are the only private house on the island which is otherwise inhabited by Royal Carribbean Cruises. If you take a cruise to the eastern Carribbean, likely you will visit this isle. Perhaps some of you have already been here. Weather permitting the ship anchors just offshore, then shuttles interested passengers in for fun on the beaches. Frequently we join them for lunch. We've met some very nice people and had some interesting conversations at the picnic tables.


When the seas are too choppy, the ships have to bypass us. Some times we enjoy having the island to ourselves (along with about 70 Royal employees), but then supplies don't come in either. We are quickly finding out how the weather governs our lives. The month of November has seen many windy days. Old hands here say it is a little early for this but that is what we can expect in Dec and Jan. We are learning to stock up when possible for we never know what tomorrow will bring. And after several days of no ship, we welcome the early morning cry of "Ship's In."
PS. Good sign, #2 day with internet. Early days but all my fingers and toes are crossed.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Life on an Island

This is an experiment. As some of you are already aware, my new life on a tiny Carribbean island has had its challenges with communication. Today my friend and IT specialist, TD, is trying something new to connect me to the web. So I'm trying every system I used to use to keep friends and family updated on my life and my business - email, facebook and blog. Who knows this may be a permanent fix, or as with several tries in the last month, a temporary glitch - not understood or repeatable.

I'm taking this opportunity to say hi to all of you with a few pics to show you that I really am in paradise. If this experiment works (the internet connection not the island adventure), you will be hearing from me more regularly. I have a backlog of possible blog titles I might bore you with - such as "when going astray be sure to take your IT person," "chicken run," "ship's in," and "talking to myself."

Here's the first dress I've created on the island. Annarella Girl is going to take a new form, but I'm not sure what or how yet. This is all part of the adventure.

Warm, sunny thoughts going out to all. I hope to sign on again soon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


For the last 2 weeks my house has been full - 5 extra people, 1 extra dog and lots of stuff. Three generations together! My oldest son and his family have had a 3 week gap between moving out of their old house and moving into their new house. So they are camping out with me.

As a social experiment this intergenerational living isn't bad. I've gotten to enjoy the unscripted moments with the grandchildren over the breakfast table; the whoops of delight when a video game goes well; the boundless energetic sword fights; a quiet conversation on the porch over popsicles.

There have been moments of frustration, consternation and anger, on all sides; but isn't that part of life? Messy at its best.

My son and daughter-in-law have made it their mission to make my life easy. They have climbed up to high cabinets to empty and clean, cooked some awesome meals, and arranged for a cleaning lady to keep the dust and dirt at an acceptable level. I feel loved and appreciated.

We have 4 more days before the big move out. They are ready for their own space, but they have been good housemates, and I will miss them even if it is only a 7 mile drive.

I plan to enjoy our last few days of extreme togetherness. Hooray for family!!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Meant to Do My Work Today

Poet - John LeGallienne

I MEANT to do my work to-day -
But a brown bird sang in the apple-tree
And a butterfly flitted across  the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand -
So what could I do but laugh and go?

Here's hoping everyone has a day when they can enjoy the pleasures of nature! Thanks for the inspiration of the pics, Allyson and Tyson.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Another Sleepless Night

Okay, enough is enough. I need my sleep.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to get rid of stuff? If it were you, what steps would you take? Your thoughts will be listened to and appreciated.

J is helping me with pictures of furniture this week.

This is the master bed, or should I say BED! I found this in a barn in Pennsyvania in 1970's. Love it. But we have no idea of age. Looks like it is handmade. Much of it is pegged. Through the many family moves it has some splits in the frame, but it is still sturdy.

I'm finding that craig's list is a limited tool. Most responses are spam! "Send us your private email because we like your 'posted' so much." That is one example of the responses to my listings. A little aside, I have met 2 amazing crocheters who between me have given great homes to my yarn stash!) Now we (J and I) are thinking about trying Etsy. We'll see if that is a better audience.

AND, what am I going to do with Annarella Girl? Any ideas? I've never been wildly successful but steady orders and a few shows have been good to me. I've kept busy while exercising my creative muscles. At the end of a year I usually break even or a smidge on the plus side. I can't see quitting - I need a reason to get up in the morning. But what form will my business take? One idea that niggles at my dreams is to do 3-4 shows a year. Keep participating in Red Poppy Festival, Georgetown, and Wilmington Flower Market, Delaware. I'd love to find a late summer and fall show - maybe near Chattanooga or Jacksonville.  Now all I need to do is sucker, oops mean entice, someone into helping me. I'll be toying around with this dream for a while, so you have plenty of time to give me input. (If you think the time has come for me to stop making dresses, I'd like to hear from you, just be gentle!)

Oh, my, I see more sleepless nights heading my way.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Anxiety Reigns

Or maybe that is anxiety rains. I've just been cruising along. Sorting out closets, cleaning drawers, searching into the darkest reaches of cabinets. I'm not breaking any speed records but just trying to keep moving forward in the great "GET RID OF IT ALL" project.

Screech!!! That's the sound of brakes locking up. Wide awake at night wondering - who's gonna buy or take all this stuff?, how can I get all this sorted?, what do I do about Annarella Girl?, why did I think changing my life so drastically was a good idea?. (Even as I write this I can feel my heart pounding.) In short, what were we thinking??????

So welcome to my anxiety week. You might want to tune out at this point unless you enjoy a good whine!

I'm frightened by the sheer volume of the stuff we own. Furniture - antiques, vintage, and modern; art - oils, prints, pastels, contemporary and varied; china - fine, everyday and in-between; pottery - vases, plates, cups; silver - serving pieces, bud vases, sterling, silverplate, cutlery; linens - tablecloths, runners, towels good for rags; kitchen wares - small appliances, utensils, baking tools, casseroles, bowls, knives; tools - lawn and garden stuff, hand tools, screwdrivers, assorted nails and screws; glasses - some crystal, water, wine and cordial; and more craft supplies, books, cds, lamps, miscellaneous office tools. And all this is just a sampling of what we have. How am I going to find homes for all? 

There is some good stuff which should not be thrown out. My dream is that someone will enjoy and treasure the art as we have. Some of the furniture is worthy of a good home where it will be treated with care. Some of the furniture will be good for a student apartment or house. I live in a small community which probably doesn't have enough homes for everything. That is the reality. So some things will probably wind up at a Goodwill or even a dump.

Today I concentrate on putting one foot in front of another in hopes that baby steps forward will eventually leave anxiety far behind and the end goal in clear sight. My heart says that change is good even when scary. On pinterest I'm collecting pictures of beaches and oceans to remind me of what I can anticipate.

Heart racing, palms sweating, hot flashing, teeth grinding I leave you and go tackle another cabinet.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Travels with Dunbar Furniture

So how does it go? I'm moving along here. I have sorted through my dining room. Lots of STUFF!! But now it is organized and priced for the BIG SALE (sometime in October). I've posted the dining room furniture on Craig's List just to see if there is any interest.

mid century modern Dunbar table

What memories form around this dining room set. We purchased it second-hand in Syracuse, NY in early 70's for our very first house. It hosted our first dinner parties. We were part of a dining club where each couple would take turns planning and cooking a themed meal. I remember doing a French menu. With a newly purchased copy of Julia Child's "The French Chef Cookbook," and we were into some delicious food. (I still have that cookbook complete with food stains. Imagine it is 40+ years old.)

mid century modern upholstered side chair by Dunbar
Two kids, station wagon and all our worldly goods next traveled to Illinois, Naperville to be specific. Brr, didn't like the winters. Once a visitor's car actually froze to the driveway. But we endured 5 years. Our dining furniture hosted many spirited discussions as we made some lifelong friends. The table still bears faint fork marks from a wild cajun making his point. Yes, here we are years later still friends.

mid century modern upholstered end chair by Dunbar

Onto Wilmington, Delaware into a unique house in a unique community, Arden. Known as an artist's community we overlooked the green where dogs and kids romped. A too short sojourn close to family. and off to Houston.

mid century modern Dunbar credenza

For 5 years these chairs held friends and neighbors for large, frollicking holiday meals. Did I ever tell you about the time we forgot to turn on the oven to cook the turkey?  That happened to be the first year of the butterball hot line. Did you ever wonder who actually calls that? We did and their advice was wonderful!!

On to Geneva, Switzerland, to Atlanta, and finally the final spot here in Georgetown, Texas. This furniture has seen a lot, held some excellent food, and the wine, ooh-la-la. As I sift through my memories I see many special people. Strangers who have become family in all these places, who have shared our joys, who have supported us during troubles. I am reminded of the rich, vibrant life I have led.

I hope that the next family that owns this furniture has as much fun as we have had. On our island we will continue in the tradition of good food and visitors but without these beloved pieces.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Pause

Monday, finds me with a full list of "to do's, " but my mind is on my son and his cat. A phone call tells me that Fyodor, the cat, has died. So what's the big deal, you ask? Fyo has been a part of my son's life for a long time, and, by extension, a part of our family.

In the wisdom that sometimes animals have he chose my son on a stormy day. Kind of a "look what followed me home" story. A miserable day in Baltimore this black cat is hiding from the rain and cold under my son's car as he comes out of his apartment to go to class. He runs away but remains in area until T returns. Wet, miserable, hungry he shows himself and follows T inside. A friendship begins. They lived together for 15 years, made at least 5 moves, got married and adopted a tiger-striped friend, Fiona. It has been a long life.

But he is only a cat, you say. Sure but like all good pets, he has offered unconditional love to my son. What a wonderful gift our pets give us. They are always so glad to see us. They bring us smiles with their antics. When life gives us challenges, they are there to cuddle and purr. They make us feel needed and important. So when they leave us, there is a void.

So this morning I salute Fyodor, the one eyed black cat who showed such wisdom 15 years ago to pick my son to be his owner. Way to go, Fyo!!!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Polishing Silver

My days are filled with research as I catalogue my dining room. Silver, silverplate, pewter, china, and linens. Bits and pieces of family history. Some things ignored for long periods of time - very tarnished - but others used lovingly at holidays. Some pieces of silver will find a new home with a sibling so they will continue in the family. A damask tablecloth and napkins made by my mom and used by me frequently will be taken by a sister-in-law. If they could talk, they hold over 50 years of family meals, celebrations, laughter, excellent food. Oh, the stories they could tell!

I am enjoying the slow, steady, warm memories that flow from the handling of all. So much of what is in my house contains stories. For example, as I polish the silver so it will look pretty, my memories start with my childhood. My hands turn gray with tarnish just as it did as a kid. Polishing silver was a chore my siblings and I handled. We complained. But now, as then, I'm fascinated by the soft glow of a knife or vegetable dish as it sheds the dirty looking tarnish and returns to its splendor.  An enduring splendor.

I can't help but regret that my children don't have the same awe of using objects over and over. They seem to be more concerned by the time and energy used to take care of china, crystal and silver. These things have to be handwashed, hand dried, and carefully stored. For me that is part of the celebration. Holidays are good food and special presentation. Ahh, the old fogie emerges. Yes, the most important part of a family meal is the people who share it whether on paper plates or fine china.... But as I handle the cloth napkins, the crystal wine glasses, the special plates and silverware I remember past meals shared with absent friends and family; how we laughed, what we ate, the promise of more good times. Do paper plates evoke nostalgia? Am I an old fool for even caring? (You all don't have to answer that!!! lol)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Different View

Since we've made THE BIG DECISION, I find I'm looking at all my stuff differently. I open a drawer, and I see it as a space to be cleaned out. A closet becomes a sorting opportunity. Not that I've really been so efficient as to get to all the nooks and crannies, but I have been mentally making a list. Where to start? What to do?

Most of my time this week is spent getting ready for the Annarella Girl Sewing Room and Craft Sale. (Doesn't that sound grand.) Now as the day, Thursday, approaches I'm at the point where I worry if anyone will come. There is so much stuff I can't believe that it all came out of my workroom. How did it all fit? The variety of fabrics, yarns, trims and craftiness is amazing. I can trace my crafting life from needlework - embroidery to crossstich to free hand crachet, to baby stuff - flannel to softest faux fur burp clothes; purses using upholstery fabrics - I even have a few to sell; finally to Annarella Girl with all the cotton fabrics.

Gathering it all together, touching it for one more time, reminds me how much I've enjoyed my creativity. I joke about it being my mental therapy; but, in truth, working with my hands, the process of visualizing an idea and then crafting it is important to my well being. Although I've never made a scientific study, I suspect everyone needs to exercise his/her creative muscle in order to be happy. Like food and shelter, creation is a human essential. How else can we explain cave paintings?

Sunday, June 23, 2013


The morning greets me with a sunny smile. A humming bird hovers around the sprinkler shower. Nestled in the green leaves of an old oak tree, a scarlet cardinal ornaments the branch. Swallows flit in and out of their apartment building.

Breathe in, breathe out. My soul is filled with joy. A reminder that it is greaat to be alive!!!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Looking for a Few Good Books

Actually, I shade the truth. I'm looking for a LOT of good books.

See where I'm going there is not a library and UPS doesn't deliver Amazon. What am I going to do to keep myself in reading material? I can't imagine sitting on a beach without one or crawling into bed without reading myself to sleep. I've been know to go into an anxiety attack if I've read everything in the house. When living in 2 story houses I have a book in progress on each level. My favorite buildings in the towns where I've lived is the library. You can see that I'm facing a dilemma.

Soooo, I'm building a library of paperbacks to take with me. Even as much as I read there are thousands of books just waiting for me to find them and devour them. So I'm taking all suggestions for favorite reads from everyone.  Send me names of what you've enjoyed recently. Or how about the books you read, reread and consider essential. I'm compiling a reading list - a "summer reading list" for all year long. Fiction is my favorite - all types - science fiction, mysteries, historical, modern; but I do indulge in a little non-fiction, especially humor and biography.

Every time I go to the Georgetown library I visit the second hand book section with my list in hand. Every time I'm thrilled when I find something from my list. I'm stacking them up ready for the island. This fulfills my mission in so many satisfying ways. Cheap!!!! Light to pack!!!! I will have books to read!!!

I still have room for more. Share with me what you would pack to take to your deserted island. Thanks.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bits and Pieces

So far, this excursion to "no more stuff" is enjoyable but I haven't begun the tough areas yet.

I've been busy gathering, measuring, pricing for my Annarella Girl Sewing Room and Craft Sale. Going is all the dresses, skirts, onesies, headbands from the spring shows. 50% off. What a deal!!!! I want to start with a clean slate when I move. And until then I'll be happy doing custom orders.

De-stashing. All my yarns. There must be 20 containers. I used to do a lot of crocheting. In the last couple of years not so much. And now faced with life on a tropical isle, I don't fancy working with yarn. So it is all going!!!! $.50 a skein.

Fabrics. What can I say. For you who have been in my workroom, you know how much I have, but even you are not aware of my hidden stash from various projects over the years.I used to make faux fur burp cloths. So there is satin and fur. Then I made flannel burp cloths. Soft cotton flannel and minky left overs there. Some years I've made Christmas stockings for all my kids and grandkids. These used upholstery fabrics. More leftovers. Lots and lots of materials and trims. $.25 a 1/4 yard or $1.00 a yd. Lots of remnants have extra since I only measured where there was a full width.

As you crafters know there are lots of bits and pieces, ribbons, embroidery threads, books, cross stitch materials, rug canvases. The supplies are endless.

I'm so excited to see this all go. It is looking for a good home. For everyone in my area spread the word. Lots of goodies for sale at extremely reasonable prices.

Friday, June 14, 2013


I've spent a lifetime gathering stuff. I love my stuff. So it is with no small surprise that I find myself emotionally ready to get rid of my stuff.

In the process of de-stuffing, I'm just at the beginning. I start in my sewing room. The place in the house that is all mine and not shared space. My realistic side realises that when it comes to shared things my husband and I are going to be engaging in some serious negotiation as to what goes. I say "everything." I hear his "but...."

In the workroom I'm the dictator. I created not only a functional sewing room, small business office and a shipping center; but I filled it with inspirational pictures and objects. Ahh, I am attached to these.

I find myself fondling a small viking figure picked up in Denmark. What a fun trip with family and friends. It reminds me of the wonders I've seen.

I smile at a figurine called Thelma which is my guardian angel. She was an aunt who died too young. When I look at her I'm reminded of family silliness and fun in Virginia.

Another souvenir is my Russian doll with the exquisitely painted face. Her patterned clothes with mixed colors marked the birth of Annarella Girl and my fascination with textiles.

And above her the Brian Andreas piece I've had for 15 years which encourages me to dream, work, do.

The saying has always been for me and about me. Now as I let it go, I hope it can inspire the dreams of another.

Family memories, like this picture of my daughter and oldest son one Christmas. What joy!!!

 In main all remind me of people I love, places I've been, thoughts that are inspiring. It's very personal. It will not be the same to anyone else.  I can only hope that some like the Brian Andreas piece find someone else to remind to fly with dreams. Some things may find a home with family. I'm thinking Thelma really needs to go to watch over one of her daughters .

and finally I might take my little viking back to the sea. He's so small he won't take much space and maybe he's ready for retirement overlooking the sparkling blue Carribbean sea.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


As responses come in to my big announcement, it seems that my hubs and I are part of a new trend. As friends and family tip toe towards old age, all are trying to figure out how to live well and follow their dreams. So many are seriously downsizing. Maybe not carrying it as far as we are - that is getting rid of it all - but still going from houses with many collections, much furniture, big yards to condos and apartments.

Why? Many are looking for the same thing we are. Less responsibilities. Fewer expenses. Lowering stress. More time to enjoy travel.

Here are my dreams. No grass, bushes or trees to cut or trim. Well, honestly, we stopped doing that long ago, but now we can be free from paying someone to maintain our yard.

Fewer rooms to dust, clean, paint, update. And a lot less stuff. I've enjoyed all the art that I have. I know how lucky I am to have it. But I can let it go. I can enjoy the thought that it is giving pleasure to others.

Taking the money that we spend for water, electricity, insurance, mortgage and using it to travel, seeing old friends and making new memories. (And those memories don't take up as much room as stuff. A lot less to pack up and carry with you. But so much pleasure!)

When I was the mother of young kids, I sometimes dreamed of running away. (Oh, come on, who of us as parents didn't have this fantasy a time or two?) Finally the time has come.

The only surprise is that we are part of a trend.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Left Turn

After my long break, since end of April, from this blog, I'm back but with some changes upcoming.

We, husband and I, are simplifying our life and responsibilities. We're getting rid of 95% of our belongings, everything except some clothes, one car and some kitchen stuff, and running away to the Bahamas.

How did we get to this stage? We discovered during our long drive to the East and back that we had reached the same point. We were tired of the responsibility of all our stuff. I think of it as the tyranny of STUFF. Our house and possessions have served us well. We've raised a family, seen the birth of grandchildren, celebrated family Christmases and Fourth of Julys,  but we want to pass the baton. Kids, you take over the traditions. We want to be free. Live where we won't be worried about upkeep. Where we can drop everything and go.

I will take a lot of my sewing room. After all Annarella Girl is my mental therapy. But I'm sure the sun, blue waters and gentle breezes will lead to some changes and only make it better.

So we begin the long, arduous task of sifting through it all. Finding new homes for our things. My faithful readers, you will probably have to endure some gnashing of teeth as every corner of every closet is pulled out to make the decision - go, sell, donate, give to children and grandchildren.

I'm excited. It's another adventure in a life that has given me so many wonderful experiences. So stayed tuned. I need your support and thoughts as I work through this.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Break Time

My dear readers, the time has come for me to take a break from blogging. In the immediate future I'll be on the road. Then I'm not sure what I'll do after that. It's been fun - 615 posts, but it is time to say goodbye. Thanks to all of you who have read and commented over the past years. I'll still be talking to you in my mind. I'm making no promises about how long I'll be gone.

You'll still be able to find me on facebook. That's an easy way to see what I'm doing.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

With Apologies

I've been neglecting you, my followers. Somehow I keep running out of time. Do you have people in your life who are always productive? Who seem to have time to run up a quick skirt, bake a couple of loaves of bread, run 3 miles a day, clean their baseboards, have cookies and milk ready for the kids, and even more? Where do they find the time!!! Does their day have 28 hours?

Well, my day only has 24. Truthfully, the morning hours between 7 & 11 are the ones that really count. After lunch I begin to slow down. For me that means going from a saunter to a crawl. I guess I really only have 4 hours in my day. No wonder the rest of you are so far ahead.

Tomorrow is set up for the Red Poppy Festival then with just a little help from the weather man an exciting weekend connecting with old friends and making some new ones. Come on out to say hello!

This little reversible pillowcase dress should be ready and hanging in the booth for some smiling little 2 year old.

After the weekend, I have one day to pack car and set out for Wilmington, DE. For all of you on the East Coast Annarella Girl will be at the Wilmington Flower Market from May 9 -11. See you there.  has all the info about the event.
I'll try to stop in here once in a while to chat with you. If I'm neglectful it's because I've run out of hours, but I'll be thinking of you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Countdown

The sun is shining through my sewing room window, but the temperature is unusually chilly. Who left the refrigerator door open last night?
sunny skirt, size M (5-6)
I'm into the final countdown before the Red Poppy Festival which kicks off next Saturday. So much left to do. That dreaded to-do list is soooo long. Most of the sewing is done, but I have a few "if I can get to it" dresses and onesies I'm dying to do. a lot of the tasks are now organizational and business details. Print off handouts; tag everything; iron, iron, iron all the goodies; make headbands; gather all display items; stamp receipts. Seems endless, doesn't it?

Why go through all of this work for a show? I love meeting all the customers. I look forward to talking to the girls. The feedback is invalauble. For months I work in the solitary confines of my sewing room. A show gives me a chance to see if I'm designing and creating clothes that a little girl wants. Every smile affirms that I'm on the right track. Each excited buyer gives me a shot of love.

Recently a reader left a comment saying that Annarella Girl clothes made her smile. That is the ultimate compliment for me! When someone walks into my booth and smiles as he/she looks, I feel it as a warm hug. Does anyone remember the Oscar acceptance speech of Sally Fields when she exclaimed, "You love me! You really love me!?" I want to shout those words with every smile and each purchase. Yep, these are my creation "babies," and you think they are cute!!! I am a proud mom.

I hope you will be able to put up with my obsessing about Red Poppy. And it doesn't end there. Two days after, April 30, husband and I start the long drive to take Annarella Girl to the Wilmington Flower Market. Hooray!! Another dose of love, I hope.

Hey, if you are close to either show, stop in and say hi. I'd love to see you!! Now, I'm off to make some headbands. Busy, busy , busy.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Header

My favorite photograper, Sarah Havard, has created the new header. I'm going to try this one out for several days. I always have to live with something for awhile to see if it suits me.

All comments and opinions are welcomed.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To Do List, Again

The Wednesday "to do" list is long. The tasks are big. Will I accomplish much? What do you do when you are overwhelmed?

I have to be careful not to waste valuable time fretting about "how am I ever going to get this all finished?" Unproductive. So I remind myself to start, move forward, just do; soon I will see progress and that will inspire me to do more.

Ahh, I'm off to start doing. This is not a day for nothingness. And I'm thinking of you, my readers, with your own "to do" lists. Good Wednesday!!! We're all in this together and will get through it together.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


That is the title of today's poem from Kelly Letke, my favorite poet. Her post is so perfect I can't say anything that would add to the feelings of helplessness and despair all are feeling after the news of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Please follow the link to read her words.

"I, [too] am hungry for a rainbow."

(picture courtesy of Kelly Letky)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why You Haven't Been Hearing from Me

Busy days. There are 3 projects that are converging. I'm as busy as a one-armed paper hanger.

Two weeks until the Poppy Fest. Georgetown's Square welcomes 30,000 visitors to hear the music, see the cars, eat fair food, and visit all the arts and crafts vendors - that means me!!! Go to the website to see the stars and schedule for all events.

I'm also helping the Georgetown Art Works create an outstanding  booth to spread the word about the new art center coming to Georgetown. Look for the big blue elephant at the Red Poppy Fest. There you can find out what the art center will be doing this year, how you can become a member and support this exciting project.

Then 2 weeks later, May 9th - 11th I'll be at the Wilmington Flower Market. I had to skip it last year, but I'm back!!! Great show which benefits lots of worthy children's charities. Come out buy a plant, famous flower market mustard and a colorful sundress!!!

All this has kept my fingers flying at the sewing machine and attending more meetings than I'd like. Here are a few new creations for my booth at Red Poppy and the Flower Market. Spread the word. Mark your calendar. Annarella Girl is coming.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Power of Quiet

The world is a noisy place. The TV blares with discordant views and hyperbole from commentators, politicians, "reality" shows, infomercials. Everyone is trying to get our attention by turning up the volume of their speech. I find myself yearning for some quiet. I think it is time for a quiet movement.
If only we could put a govenor on everyone's speech. You know like a govenor on a car that can cap the speed its going. All the views, opinions, pontificating, explaining, arguing,nitpicking, pointing fingers would be limited in their decibel range and exaggeration scale. Everyone would be forced into a quiet zone.

This is an old teacher trick. When the classroom gets too chaotic and no one is paying attention, a teacher has a choice. He/she can throw their voice into the cachophony, or they can turn their back, get very silent while writing on the board or otherwise occupied. If the teacher screams and yells he becomes a part of the chaos. If he chooses the quiet option, he/she raises above the bedlam. Soon the students become intriqued that the teacher is doing something different. Soon they realize that noone is paying attention to them. One by one they still and alert waiting for the teacher to clue them in. It really works.

So I would like to see more of us try the quiet option. It doesn't mean silence but a lessening of the noise. You don't think it will work? It doesn't mean we won't use persistence, but we won't be screamers. And if we turn our back on the hysterical yellers, they may stop without an audience. I'm a bit tired of reading about town meetings that have been hijacked by a vocal few with a singular agenda. What would take place if the audiences and politicians spoke back quietly and persistently that they would not respond to yelling or screaming? If this kind of quiet reaction is repeated over and over perhaps the verbal bullying would stop.

So think quietly about the possibilities of a, shhhh, quiet world. Take deep breaths and enjoy the tranquility. We could start a "quiet" revolution.

I'm ranting, but with my muting governor on.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Personal Assistant Needed

I used to think I would like a wife. You know for all those picky detail chores that fill our lives. But I'm updating my attitude and daydreaming about a personal assistant. What has pushed this latest fantasy?

Last night talking with the poet sister who was outlining all the many steps ahead of her to self-publish a chap book, I was totally stricken by the load of work ahead for her. Having written her poems and chosen which ones to include, I thought she had maybe 3/4 of the work done. No! Her list of the remaining steps and decisions before the book is a hold-in-your-hand reality leaves me exhausted, so I can't even imagine how she feels.

She needs a personal assistant. Someone you can look at and say, "Macy, after you answer all the emails, research and present me with types of paper, find out pricing for cover - color versus black & white, take this to the printer. Oh, and pick up my dry cleaning on your way back." In my fantasy for my sister and then, of course, me, I see that perky, energetic, tireless assistant who can take care of the endless organizational tasks leaving us to create and make the creative decisions.

Don't all of you creative artists, writers, artisans who are trying to run a business need a Macy?

In my case, if I didn't have to be on the phone or email shepharding my business through shows, etsy and stores, I can be awash in fabrics, piecing together the dresses and watching them emerge, creating new designs. Ahhh, bliss! Instead I'm up to my neck in paper - email and  microsoft office. I need to create a time line for the Georgetown Art Center, email artists and artisans for the gift shop portion, talk budget for the art center booth at the Red Poppy Fest, plus a few more necessary and urgent tasks. Oh,  if only I could swivel my chair around and say, "Macy, take care of this." Then I could work on the next onesie.

Well, a girl (truth in advertising, an old lady) can dream.

Here are 2 dresses that are making their debut at the Red Poppy Fest in the Annarella Girl  booth. I'm in love with the vivid colors.


Notice one fabric is common to both, but the pallette of each is totally different. That's part of the fun in what I do. I hope you are smiling as you look at them. The joy I take in looking at their vivid colors and the pride I take in a job well done, give me a push forward to the to do list. I'm going to corral some of that paper work!!! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Ordinary Heroes

Who are the heroes in your life? Are they sports stars? Or film stars? Tv stars? Reality stars? Politicians? Leaders?

My heroes are from the ordinary. Those who live their lives with an eye to helping others. People who raise the next generations with hope and optimism. Men and women who work daily at living their best lives while constantly learning and improving. I draw from my family, friends, acquaintances and neighbors for my heroes list.

My parents - how lucky I have been to have them as examples of how to be caring, thinking, curious humans. From them I learned to appreciate the sunrise and sunset; books are a window into different cultures, countries and worlds; you should never stop learning, asking questions, discovering; everyone deserves to be respected; music, art, poetry are the foods for our souls, our humanity. Although they would laugh at being called heroes, to me they are superman and woman; Zeus and Hera. They lived life, raised 5 children, moved at least 10 times while maintaining a zest for the new and an appreciation for the old. Now that is a hero!

Mom and Dad, thank you for the gifts of respect and wonder. I'm doing my best to pass them on to my children and grandchildren.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Memories

Sixty-nine years of memories weigh heavy sometimes. So many where to begin.

When I was little.... It was all about the Easter Bunny, basket and eggs. I was excited to don my new clothes and endure church, but my focus was on what happened after - the hunt. Magically the bunny visited while we were at services. How did he know when that was? To a 4 year old the impossible logistics of magic surrounding Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny were not a worry. How they got to everyone in a timely fashion wasn't something I really thought about. No, I was content to buy the impossibilities and concentrate on the fun, chocolate and jelly beans.

Finding and gathering the brightly colored eggs was a joy filled activity. Okay, maybe a little competitive, we always counted our bounty, who had the most? It was amazing how many hiding places there were where the eggs could hide - inside the bend of a gutter, tucked in the tufts of tall grass, balanced in a bush, nestled in the tree roots. We had to look high and low with an occasional clue from our parents. Then there was a short period after we had found all we could the said parents tromped around looking for the one missing egg that was hidden too well. Rarely was that one found until days later when our noses followed the rotten smell to the secret place.

In my teens Easter was less about the hunt, eggs and baskets; more about the clothes. What care was taken to get the right dress, shoes, hat and gloves. We preened and critiqued what the congregation was sporting. Always certain that we were among the best-dressed. Ah, the olden days. A hat was mandatory as well as gloves. Easter bonnets had flowers, ribbons and straw. Gloves were pristine white, at least starting out. The bane of every mother and little girl was keeping track of both gloves and then keeping them white. I was never good at either of those two activities.

Sometime in my teens my mother decided that we were too old for Easter baskets. What an outcry we raised. No chocolate bunnies, no foil covered chocolate eggs, no gumdrops, no jelly beans? So a compromise was offered. She, the resident Easter bunny, would create a communal basket centerpiece for our dining room table. Not a perfect solution since there ws always a little squabbling about the center big bunny. We would break off pieces to eat, but (what follows has no logic to it but familys often operate without rational.) there were some of us who wanted to start with the tail, others who wanted the ears, and still others who wanted to keep it intact for a s long as possible. I was a tail person. I liked the illusion of an full-eared front, and I hated it when my brother would just race through lopping off the tip of an ear recklessly creating a very lop-sided rabbit. But what did work well were the jelly beans. I loved (and still do) black licorice jelly beans. And the family was happy to let me have them all. Bliss in our family of 5 children was not having to fight for your treat.

What happy memories. What are yours?

Friday, March 22, 2013

List Making

Sunrise yesterday was gorgeous - such inspiring colors. Everyday the dawn is different. Mother nature, you rock!

Grabbing a cup of coffee I toddle off to my work room to try and mold my day. Making a list is the way I try to order my time. A few days ago I posted about spring fever and its effect on me - lack of focus, task hopping, and general purposelessness. In order to correct and corral my energies I make a list of tasks to accomplish. Not a glamorous solution but it works for me.

So after breathing in the fresh spring air and feasting on the rosy sunrise, I tackle the to do list. It pays off. Of the 6 tasks I target as important to finish...drum roll please...5 are crossed off. Ahhhhh, my world seems manageable again.

My dream is to spend all my time creating - composing with fabrics; painting with cloth. In reality, the occasional spate of paper work, list making and (dare I admit it) organizing clears my mind and reenergizes my artistic side. Just not too much.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


"No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn."   Hal Borland

This quote greeted me in my email this morning from Goodreads. I post it especially for my northern friends who are still experiencing winter storms. Hang in there!

Bluebonnets, something to smile about.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Tuesday Muse

The world out of my workroom window is green. The new green of budding leaves, my favorite color. So bright. Clean. Clear. It is  filled with hope. An affirmation that life continues anew. My spirit says ahhhhhh.

Here are a few skirts and dresses with some spring green.

Wallow in the new green with me!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Is It Spring Fever or an Allergy Attack?

Last week I could feel a creeping lacksadaisical attitude taking over. Not a sickness. More of a boredom. Lack of direction. No excitement.

You know when you think you are hungry, and you refrigerator surf looking for something that will satisfy that urge, but nothing really seems to hit the spot. A nibble of this, a nosh of that. You end up filling physically stuffed but still unsatisfied.

Well, that is how I was last week except not with food (although I confess I did my share of mindless snacking) but a lack of direction, no concentration. Leaving lots of half-done projects on my sewing table. Feeling at loose ends. When I was in my sewing room, I was looking longingly out the window at the birds flying, squirrels scampering, and leaves budding. When I was outside, I was worrying about everything that was undone whether it be sewing, cleaning, cooking or organizing.

Is this spring fever?

Or maybe it's just a result of increased pollen in the air. Not severe allergies but just enough to make me feel logey (how do you spell that?). A little out of sorts. As if the world marches on and I'm a 1/2 step behind or off to the side or slightly turned around.

This Monday morning finds me hoping that I will be a bit more focused this week. To give each project undivided attention, and every trip outside deep enjoyment. Smelling the roses.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


So sorry for not paying attention to my readers. Hang in there this time will pass. I've been preoccupied with special orders (Yea!!!), business details and lots of the minutia of  ordinary life. I have nothing exciting to say or share.

So bear with me. I will be back. Maybe to pontificate or rant. Maybe to share some designs and creations. Or maybe just to ramble like today.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rainy Day

Here in Central Texas we haven't been getting many rainy days. So we greet one with joy. We want the spring flowers to bloom. Those new green buds and leaves on the trees need the moisture. So despite this being a huge weekend and coming week in Austin, SXSW, we must smile as the raindrops spatter our roads and sidewalks. (Besides, the weatherpeople say it won't last.)

Speaking of spring and blooming, here is something new fron Annarella Girl.

A pillowcase dress with some differences. Pillowcase dresses have been around for a long time. In fact they were originally made out of pillow cases. I've been looking at them for awhile when a customer mentioned how easy it seemed it would be to make them reversible. Light bulb moment. Of course!!!!
Add a top band and a bottom band that echoes the reverse. Make with a bit of an a-line shape for easy running and dancing. Don't you think that is important for every little girl? And Voila!


What do you think? Now I'm into final phase of development. I've put a call out for a local 18 month old who would wear it and then have it washed to make sure of ease of care. Keep your fingers crossed that the idea doesn't need too much more fine tuning.