June from Brother - My Island Journey

It has been a busy several weeks of travel for me. For the past 12 days I have straddled the retail worlds of mass marketing and independent dealerships in Puerto Rico.  I have been to this island several times but this is the first time that I have visited a retailer other than International S... [More]

LaRueSews - Have Quilter, Will Travel

Since Christmas is just right around the corner, there’s really not time to go into a quilting lesson.  I’m taking the month of December off from blogging.  But I shall return in January to give you new insights on the subject of quilts.Let’s take a trip.  We quilter... [More]

Zip-Around Eyeglass Case

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alph [More]

The Sylvia Furniture Story

A long time ago in a land far, far away there lived a man named Horst Kunow.  Horst was young and strong and enjoyed working with his hands and constructing furniture.  Being born and raised in Germany, his heritage was from a long line of quality craftsman.  As an apprentice he learn... [More]

Magic Bookshelf - New Site Features and a Question for Readers

Greetings, all, from the Great White North! It's been a busy last couple weeks here, so I thought I'd better get my act together and get back to the Magic Bookshelf. My greeting notwithstanding, we have no snow up here yet, but they say it might come next week. Any of you down in the warm p... [More]

LaRueSews-Do It Round or Do It Square?

So, my friends, you have covered a lot of territory with LaRueSews quilting.  Now what?  I guess it’s really time to decide whether you want to hand piece or machine piece.  Most of what I have talked about so far can apply to either technique.   With a few exceptions,... [More]

This Holiday Season With My Brother, Literally

Hello Everyone,             Now that the trip is over with, my bags have been unpacked, the laundry done, and things are settling back into the humdrum everyday life, I had to make some decisions about this next year and what I will be doing. First... [More]

June from Brother - Brother at the Houston Quilt Market and Festival

  Everyone is busy on so many counts at this time of year.  Some of you are changing over the house to have that warmer cozy look, others are visiting family members and still others are involved in a wide variety of political activities.  Whatever it is, it is keeping everyone busy ... [More]

An Anniversary and a New Journey

Today wraps up AnnTheGran.com’s 12th year “on the air.” With all the excitement about our new digital scrapbooking area, and all the time I was spending getting my own products ready for the store, I completely forgot until I looked at the date. It’s been a long journey and m... [More]

Piggyback Hooping

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alph [More]

The last Minute-Addendum

As you can see, I found the gaggle of travel drives and software security devices that I THOUGHT I had inadvertently left at home when I flew to Kentucky last week. Of course, as soon as I get home, the first place I went was to the computer bag from which I had transferred my laptop for travel. I f... [More]

Off The Beaten Path

Hi Everyone, I hope you all enjoyed the writings about thread, I do realize that it was a little intense. So I decided to keep it light this time and give you some fun things to ponder. I know some or most of you know that I was a bit "out of touch" these past days. I suddenly realized th... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilting-Quarter Inches to Heirlooms.

To begin this time, I want to relate a very “telling” experience.  This experience told me that you very well can become a really good quilter if only you practice, practice, practice.  My husband and I went to my daughter’s house last weekend to attend our grand daughter... [More]

June from Brother - Tone-on-Tone Designs & Hole-Punching on the Quattro

Not sure where the last two weeks have gone but it seems like it is time to check in with you all,  again.  I have recently been to Des Moines, Iowa for two reasons.  The first was so I could film a video for a new feature on www.allpeoplequilt.com (part of Better Homes and Gardens) a... [More]

If it weren’t for the last minute I’d never get anything done.

Well, this is a first for me. I’ve frequently thought that if I didn’t get something finished before leaving on a trip I could do it in the airport or on the plane, but I’ve never actually done it. Until today.  As we were leaving for the airport I turned to Bill and said, &ld... [More]

The Spool Mini-Series Part 2, The Condensed Edition!

    Hello Happy Stitcher's!   I am going to cut right to the chase here today, as I have been wading through 35 pages of information on thread!  Yes 35 pages!  I understand, Wow! So I am going to give you some things you will likely want to print out and ... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts, More on fabrics and color

As I start this out today, there are so many things Zinging around in my head, it’s hard to tell which way this edition of LaRueSews will go. I’ve heard writers say that sometimes they start out with just an idea and then just let it roll. I think I’ll tell you a bit about the qui... [More]

Gift-Giving Journey #2 - Something For the Neighbor

I have had it in my head for weeks what I wanted to do this week on the blog.  But, as many of you can probably relate, I backed myself into a corner with my schedule and wasn’t able to create the vision I had in my head.  I’m right in the middle of two of my busiest weeks of t... [More]

Next on Your Safari - Gorgeous Giraffes

TALL , GRACEFUL AND ELEGANT- GIRAFFES The Giraffe, the tallest animal in Africa is both elegant and graceful. Its height allows it to keep in contact with other giraffes over large distances as well as spotting predators from afar. It is not uncommon to see other animals following a giraffe using i... [More]

June from Brother - More Quattro Magic

Hello there folks…. I am sitting here in my sewing room, yes I do have one and just so you feel better I can tell you that it is total disaster area at the moment.  I am actually sitting with my laptop on my ironing board and writing to you as my Quattro is humming along.  You migh... [More]

Crash Course Cathy - Locations of AnnTheGran Users Worldwide!

  HELLO HELLO WORLD ME’ers!!!!! Here it is…HOT OFF THE PRESS….drum roll please……AnnTheGran MAP – Level 1 In a nutshell I’ve heard from ME’ers from 39 US states, 1 territory and 16 foreign countries so far. THANKS again for your input!!!... [More]

Create special Christmas Treasures with our 9 Santas Quik Quilt Book and CD!

We have found that by making our cross stitch designs the centerpiece of a quick-to-quilt piece, a lovely finished result is achieved. Many embroiderers also love to quilt, so combining the two “media” seemed like a natural! Cross Stitch designs, especially the small ones, can be use... [More]

My First Christmas Project - Stylish Cocktail Napkins

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A Fall From Grace

  Here it is, the second day of Fall, and it’s already cold in the mornings here in Orlando. By “cold” I mean 68° (20° C) which, for me here in Florida, is sweater weather.  It doesn’t usually cool off until the middle of November, so this is quite a treat ... [More]

The Spool Mini-Series

         Hello all of you Happy Stitcher's! Wow, can you believe it? This is the 5th edition of this blog! It is hard for me to imagine that I have written 5 already! It sure doesn't seem like it at all. I guess that must mean I enjoy what I do and sharing this ... [More]
Random Thoughts and Mindless Miscellany

Random Thoughts and Mindless Miscellany

Ways to save!

I’m not unaware of or unaffected by the present state of the economy and I know that this isn’t the time to be asking you to spend money on non-essentials. On the other hand, when times are difficult it’s more important to connect with friends and take time out for ourselves. In order to help you do that we’ve come up with a couple of ways to save on the registration fee for the upcoming AnnTheGran Community Circle.

  1. Bring 3 and you come free! Yup, just round up 3 friends and you can come for free, or get together with three friends and divide the saving among the four of you.
  2. Oh, you came to the Community Circle last year? That makes you an alumna (or alumnus!) and you qualify for the $60 alumni discount.

Now there is a downside: you mayn’t combine discounts. Choose the one that’s best for you. If you're unsure about how to take advantage of either of these discounts, contact support@annthegran.com and put "Community Circle Registration" in the subject line. 

Now about digi-scrappery . . .
I’ve enjoyed seeing a few of you getting into digital scrapbooking and visiting my "other home" at Gotta Pixel. Stacy has been writing some really terrific tutorials to help you get started. I have several graphics programs: Photoshop, Elements, Paint Shop Pro and others that I use with photographs, preparing graphics for embroidery digitizing, web site design, etc., but for scrapbook layouts I use a simple program called FotoFusion. All of the layouts in my Gotta Pixel gallery (I'm ScrappyStitcher" there) and FotoScraps gallery (and I'm PurpleCow there) were created with FotoFusion. Recently I spent a few days in Atlanta helping a few embroidery friends get into digital scrapbooking with that program. Now these are women who have worked with computers and graphics for embroidery and web site design for years and who have several of the graphics programs I have, so they’re all very bright and no slouches in the art department. Yet, they needed a little help getting started. Believe me when I say a “little” help. Once I got them started they just took off. Anyway, that got me to thinking that maybe there are some of you who would like to get into digital scrapbooking but you’re a little intimidated by the software and might feel more comfortable with a simple scrapbooking specific program than with a complicated graphics program. FotoFusion is a simple program to use and the learning curve is nearly flat. You can download and use the program for as long as you like before purchasing. The only difference between the trial version and the registered version is that you can’t save your layouts in the trial version. There’s a video demo on the web site and a really friendly and helpful support group on Yahoo.  Stacy wrote a tutorial on using quick pages on her blog a couple of months ago and I thought you might enjoy a mirror tutorial for the same thing done with FotoFusion. I’ve created one in PDF format so you can download and print it. Just click here if you’re interested. Oh, BTW, there was an acronym that we used in my first machine embroidery group when we recommended something: NAYY, which stood for No Affiliation Yadda Yadda. I have no affiliation with FotoFusion other than being a happy customer. NAYY

Points I’ve been pondering

All of my life until the past few years the term “off the wall” meant wild, wacky, unconventional, etc. and the term “off the hook” meant freed from danger, obligation or blame. A few years ago I began hearing people say “off the hook” when they obviously meant to say “off the wall,” i.e. “That party was really off the hook.” At first I thought these were misguided errors. Lately, however, I’m hearing people all over the place saying “off the hook,“ meaning wild, wacky, unconventional, etc. I’m not resistant to change, so my question is: now that we’re apparently saying “off the hook” instead of “off the wall,” what  are we saying when we want to say what “off the hook” used to mean, freed from danger, obligation or blame and, just as important, do we say “off the wall” anymore?

I’ve been watching a series about the British monarchy on PBS. So far I’ve watched episodes about the queen’s visit to the United States, the queen’s birthday and, today, about the opening of parliament and the queen’s visit to Estonia. That last episode was of particular interest to me because Bill and I will be visiting both London and Tallinn, Estonia, in the spring. Anyway, I’ve noticed that wherever the queen goes she’s carrying a purse.  Being a person who never carries a purse if what she needs to carry will fit in a pocket or tucked in a sleeve, I couldn’t help but wonder what in the world the queen of England could possibly be carrying in that purse. Finally, this morning, I Googled “what does queen elizabeth carry in her purse.” I’ve found that Google is surprisingly responsive to very specific questions like that and I was not disappointed this time. I was whisked to a web site that answered that question for me.  So now I know. And if you want to know, too, you can visit the site.

The acronyms “ATM” and “PIN” have become such common parts of the ordinary conversations in our daily lives that I’m thinking that either people have forgotten what those acronyms stand for or, perhaps, never knew in the first place. As all of you who are reading this know, ATM stands for Automated Teller Machine and PIN stands for Personal Identification Number so people who say “ATM machine” or “PIN number” are actually saying “automated teller machine machine” and ” personal identification number number.” Just saying . . .

Well, this one isn’t something I think about very much but here it is anyway. Here in Orlando Who Wants to Be a Millionaire comes on right after Good Morning America so sometimes I get hooked into watching it. Then a contestant will miss as question like “People buy a surge protector  for protection from unexpected surges in electric current, water flow, air pressure or buyer's remorse” and the contestant answers, “water pressure.” That’s when I slap my forehead, roll my eyes and decide it’s time to get to work. Want to bet he calls an ATM an ATM machine? Big sigh . . . .

Yeah, I know, I spend WAY too much time in my own head . . .

Speaking of acronyms, as I seem to be doing today, and that first machine embroidery group, one day I was reading the digest and I saw someone referring to my web site as ATG, as in “ I found the design I was looking for on ATG.” At first I didn’t even realize that the person was referring to me and then, when I did, I said to myself, “Wow! I’m an acronym! Who knew?”  And with that I leave you for this week. Take care of each other until next time. TTYL

Comments (21) -

OOPS.  I have refered to Ann The Gran as ATG a number of times on LaRueSews.  I know you keep up with everything, so you must have read it.  Were you offended or flattered at learning that you are an acronym?  ;o)  Whatever, we love you, just the same.  Personally, I would be flattered.

Stitches . .


Well, ATG, I have always felt that we give 'brief' names to those we really like.  

I think that the Queen carries gum (for when NO ONE is looking), her Drivers License (for those quick trips to Taco Bell) and her credit card (it is good for over a million pounds).   Now I will check to see how right I am!

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer - aka - TAE

Gee - I now know what she carries AND I know how to "De-jelly my Belly"  What an informative site!

Pat, tae

Oh, LaRue, I was most definitely flattered! I thought I'd "arrived." I even digitized a monogram parodying the old "I want my MTV" with "I want my ATG." Maybe I ought to give it away and give a special prize to anyone who wears it at the Community Circle! Hmmmm.

Dear Ann

I love your site.  When I started embroidering 5 years ago it was the only site I knew!

This is not an embroidery question - but - the picture of you in a field of yellow, what sort of flowers are those?  It reminds me so much of our own Namaqualand in South Africa when the fields look like that during August and September.

Kind regards

Anna - Johannesburg - South Africa

Hi, Anna,

That picture was taken at the bulb fields in Holland a couple of years ago. Maybe one day I'll get to visit  Namaqualand and have my picture taken there!

mamaweinland 2/28/2009 10:26:55 AM

This is my first time commenting. I love your stuff just have never figured out how to comment before. I looked and finaaly realized I wasn't signed in. Sorry, I am not very computer saavy. Thanks for your blog I look forward to reading it!

I am new to making comments too.  I have always enjoyed your web site.  You were the first site I went to.  I have been enjoying my embroidery machine for about 6 years now and keep promising myself to stop getting new designs until I use the ones I have.  Well we all know how that goes.  Lots of luck on that.  I do enjoy reading all your articles too.  Thanks and keep up the good work and thanks to all your helpers too in case I don't have time to comment to them.  Angie Williams in TN

Hi Ann, i do enjoy reading all the blogs but very rarely comment on any groups I am with.

As for the Queen and her handbag, I was taught a LADY always wore matching hat, gloves, shoes and handbag. That was a complete ensemble.

As I am in Aust.I am unable to attend your Comm.Group but wish I could.

Kind Rgards Marie

karenseviour 2/28/2009 10:49:54 PM

G'day Ann,

I do so love reading your bits and bobs, taking up machine embroidery and cycling (Heaven forbid) at the age of 65 has cracked all my friends up. Soooo, saving like mad now to be able to be a proper member, the pound sterling is so weak I feel I might have to find a job of sorts.

Have a brilliant time in Orlando, I'm green with envy! Have been spoilt in the past and enjoyed 15 holidays in Clearwater Fla before moving to Western Australia. Keep safe. Cheers, Karen

Love your site just never left a comment before.

Thank you for all the little snippets giving an insight into life as a ME in the US.  You make me feel part of a sisterhood instead of a little stitcher on my own!  I look forwrd to reading all about the Community Circle ...have a wonderful time.


Love your site and this is my first time to comment.

Patty from WI

lindaconklin 3/3/2009 8:23:31 AM

I love your site, too, but being an old fart on a fixed income, I cannot afford to "join the club". I have tried a few of the free embroidery designs, and more than half of the time find my poor Janome 3000 can't handle them. I'm getting broken threads and constant jambs, especially with the complicated designs. I also find many of the free designs are broken up into illogical blocks, and sometimes I have to delete the blocks and re-digitize them. When I digitize clip art, I don't have anywhere near as many problems. Does anyone else have these kinds of problems?

Linda from Michigan/Florida

lmartinez4171 3/5/2009 9:13:14 PM

Thank you

Ann..just want to let you know that I love the blogs.  You were the first website I went to when I first started embroidering...about 3 yrs ago.  Still not that good but I welcome all the tips that I find here.  I like ATG- when I see it I know exactly who they are talking about.  You should feel flattered.  I ususally don't leave comments because I am always in a hurry,,,my time doesn't seem to be my own since I took up the embroidery quest.  I too am envious about the community circles..maybe one day I'll be able to join.  Have a great time.

janethockenberry 3/8/2009 2:12:51 PM

Ann I love to read your blogs.  Am so looking froward to seeing you again at the Community Circle in Orlando.  I need to get my bag embroidered before I come doen.  Getting anxious.

Janet Hockenberry

judykellyinstl 3/9/2009 6:04:41 PM

I am guilty. I read the blogs but have never commented.  I love your website.  Would love to come to the Circle, maybe next year.  Would someone who doesn't embroider but likes quiting enjoy coming to the Community Circle?

judykellyinstl 3/9/2009 11:22:47 PM

I meant does someone that enjoys quilting and is not an embroiderer, find the Community Circle enjoyable. LOL

I wanted to comment on several different blogs but didn't realize that I had to be signed in to find this magic Comment box til I read mamaweinland comment here.  I love the 'pet peeves' you write about on ATM and PINs, must confess I've done it myself.  The ATM machine... another is the CPU unit...Central Processing Unit unit... lots of them out there!

cherokeesnowbyrd1 6/9/2009 8:59:16 AM



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