Keeping It Simple - Barrette and Band Holders

Girly Girls! They love to primp at even the youngest ages.  Our five year old granddaughter loves makeup, jewelry, nail polish and curly hair.  Of course she has the straightest hair imaginable and no matter how much of that holding gel you use the curls never last more than ten minut... [More]

An African Bird Safari

Any one up for a Bird Safari... introducing the SANUFU BIRD,Roosters and chickens... Bring your binoculars.... South Africa has a large and varied bird population. Over 3 000 birds (and small animals) of 400 different species are uniquely presented in more than 100 spacious landscaped walk t... [More]

Puzzles and Catalog Xpress Tip #1, Notes

I recently read somewhere that in order to keep our brain fresh and vibrant, it is important to exercise it the same way that we exercise our body.  That exercise includes doing the embroidery we all love, but it can also include games, puzzles, as well as the everyday issues we face.  Tod... [More]

Don’t Be Afraid of Pillows! *Beautiful Hemstitched Boudoir Shams*

Greetings to all! In my travels I get to visit with customers who love to sew and embroider as much as I do.  I try hard to listen to what people are wanting and asking for, and what they need help with most.  I'm always surprised at how many experienced embroiderers are afraid to sti... [More]

My House is my home

  Home can mean different things to different people. To many of us home implies the house we live in, with solid walls and floors.  To many in Africa, home is a hut with thatched roof, known as a “rondavel’   South Africa, the country in which I was born and grew up, i... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Embroidered Boxes for Trinkets and Gift Cards

Summer is here to stay I think.  The vegetable garden that I planted in April has started to produce... I have little green tomatoes on each and every plant.  We will soon be able to pick the first zucchini and I think there will be lots more coming on!   I have cucumbers that wi... [More]

Free Fun Fonts For Family - Friends

  The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. I like to be a little more individual than most; I change my colors of my embroidery at will, and I use many different fonts when I am able t... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts--Major Project Finished!

Some of you may remember that I have been working on a complicated project.  I called it my "1,000 year project" when I began in 2003. Well, I am 993.5 years ahead of schedule. I finished it after having surgery on my hand in March.  Here it is:  Indigo Sunset. This time ... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Covered Cookies for a Charity Auction

My Brother is quite involved with a fundraising group here for kids with cancer.  Last week they had a  group walk, a big dinner and a silent auction.  There were all kinds of items in the auction for  almost any dollar level including a $10.00 purchase table that did not require... [More]

Two More Really Terrific Free Software Programs

  The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. I had a lot of difficulty with my Adobe Reader recently.  All things considered, it was a very bad situation and I wanted to drop kick t... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Did You Needle Turn Today?

I just finished a dress for a friend this week.  I seem to have a hard time getting to my quilting projects.  Saying “yes” to too many things besides quilting keeps me from doing what I love most.  Right now I have at least five quilts in progress.  That is not to men... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Embroidered Baby T-shirts for Cool Summer Fun

I am not sure why but many of our favorite shops for infant clothes have gone out of business over the past year or so.  These shops featured handmade items that were unique but really reasonable in price.  In the past, when life was too busy to sew we frequently bought clothes for the gir... [More]

Post That Project Proudly

  The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. If you ask me what I most enjoy about the AnnTheGran site, it would have to be the people on both sides of the computer who make up the commu... [More]

Show Me Your Jumbles

     Individual characters (letters, numbers and punctuation marks) from my alphabets andindividual designs can be found on my Stock Design Page.  My designs are also available inpacks, as described in this blog.  Those can be found here.  For designs and packs ava... [More]

Nine of the Best Internet Sites - IMHO

  The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary. If in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. Here is my version of great Net information and money saving tips and tricks.  I love finding these, and get a lot of my links from high... [More]


This Blog is a week later than it should be because I have been on the mend from a little surgery that I had three weeks ago.  I had a trigger finger on my right middle finger.  That is a very important finger for me because it is my “needle-pusher” finger when I am quilting.&n... [More]

Two Great Freebies

The following tips can be used for both Windows XP and Vista.Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support. I hope by now everyone has read my blog on Rogue Software.   Protecting yourself and your family on the computer is really important. ... [More]

Silk ribbon in African Folklore Embroidery

I recently began teaching a new class called: "The application and inclusion of silk ribbon in your African Folklore Embroidery design". The class focuses on using the silk ribbon as one would regular embroidery thread. Silk ribbon is wonderfully versatile and forgiving fiber. For those of... [More]
It's Good to be Home

It's Good to be Home

Just to clarify, the rumors that I fell off the face of the Earth are patently false. While it’s true that I was skipping about all over the face of the Earth, at no time did I actually tumble into the stratosphere. So, where have I been? First I went up to Kentucky for two weeks with my daughter and her brood.

Then I flew out to Los Angeles with my sister to spend a week with her daughter, my dear niece, and her daughter, my new grandniece. We pondered the question of why, while I’m a great aunt, baby Eliza is my grandniece. After all, I’m the grandmother to my grandchildren and, someday (not too soon, please), will be the great grandmother to my great grandchildren. At the conclusion of that two or three minute discussion, my niece decided that I would be Grant Ann from then on. While in Los Angeles I visited the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach, attended performances of Fiddler on the Roof (with Topol!) and Spamalot, ate all manner of new to me foods and spent countless hours enjoying that baby.

After that I flew to Holland to visit with my friends Loes (Pre-design Studio II) and Theo van der Heijden. I re-visited a Rijker’s Naaimachines in Veghel where I was greeted warmly and generously by Leo Rijker and his staff, after which we drove to Denmark, visiting Odense (Hans Christian Anderson), Legoland, and Roskilde (the Viking Ship Museum) before heading to Copenhagen for a two day Pre-design seminar sponsored by Conny Rasmussen’s AJ Strik. I got to actually take the classes for Pre-design in English and get a real handle on this helpful program. Whenever Loes had been teaching here, I’d been teaching at the same time and whenever she has been teaching in Holland she’s been teaching in Dutch so this was my first opportunity to spend some quality time learning my way around the program.

In October I spent 5 days at Disney World with my Kentucky daughter and her family. Living in Orlando I’d been to the Disney parks numerous times but this was the first time I actually stayed down there and played tourist. It was great fun, especially with a 5-year-old along.

I wasn’t home long before I left to spend 10 days with a dear embroidery friend in Maryland. We visited Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon and the World War II Memorial in D.C. and spent a day scrapbooking.

Interspersed with those travels, I drove up to Tallahassee six or seven times to visit my sister, who is undergoing treatment for CLL, and my mother, who is slowly forgetting the names of her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and for Thanksgiving and an after Christmas family get-together.

Now I’m out of frequent flier miles and grounded for a while. What did I learn from all that traveling? I learned that there’s no place far enough away to escape your heartache and that you can be lonely in a room full of people and surrounded by friends and family in an empty house. When push comes to shove, there really is no place like home.

Buried Treasure

While digging through my linen closet I found this little treasure. It’s the only thing I have made by maternal grandmother, after whom I was named. Annie May Brobst Levenson died in 1933, when my mother was only 14 years old, so, of course, I never knew her. That makes this little embroidery even more precious. I’d like to find a way to display it safely and with honor and am open to suggestions. It’s a rather large towel and the design isn’t centered. I do think I’m going to trace the pattern with Pre-design Studio II and create a new pattern. Thankfully, now, I can do the whole job in one program.

On My Agenda

Other than the usual eat healthfully, get some exercise, finish combining my office and sewing rooms into one room (more about that later), get out more, sew something, etc., the first item on my agenda is to finish the bibs I started for my grandniece. I’ve finished the embroidery on 4 and need to finish about 6 more. I’m not happy with the way the backs of the bibs look so I’m going to line them. I’ve figured out a quick and easy way to do it and will post pictures and instructions in my next post. That will give me the incentive I need to get those bibs finished and in the mail before Eliza doesn’t need them any more.

That’s all I’ve got. It’s good to be home. Let me hear from you. TTYL


Comments (12) -

thecomputerist 1/15/2010 4:44:37 PM

It is great to open the Blog page and see you!  You have been in my thoughts and prayer since we last met in March, 2009.  

We, and I speak for the many friends I have made here at AnnTheGran, welcome you back with loving arms.

As for the lovely, tresured towel, I recommend a shadow box large enough to include not just the towel, but something from your monther's works and something from your own projects.  I would then call it, Three Women.  WHAT A TRESURE!

Stay well, and delighted to see you again.

Pat, The Computerist, (aka The Avid Embroiderer)

tourlady522 1/15/2010 6:56:58 PM

Hi Ann

So happy to have you back. We sure have missed you.

Is there any word on whether or not there will be a Community Circle this year and if there is when will it be. Can't wait to get back to it.


gillrichards 1/16/2010 7:36:17 AM

Welcome back home to wherever your home is now!

Seeing your picture of your Grandmother's towel reminded me I have the cushion slip cover that my mother made when she was about 14 (in 1928) and for which I have the original winning vellum scroll for the Handicrafts Show for Portsmouth in the UK that year for which she won First Prize.  She died in 2008 at the age of 93 and talked about her success all the time when we were children.  She was an avid embroiderer and half-made thousands of items and only finished items she was being paid for - or fancy dresses for my sister and I!

Seeing your passion to display the towel has re-ignited my aim to show her piece.  Thank you and welcome back to all your "sewing family".

Gill, Winchester UK

Hi Ann,

Good to *see* you again here. We sure had a wonderful time together in Holland and Denmark.

Let's start cooking up ideas for the next trip - in USA!

Theo and I  will be in Kansas Overland Park in May to launch our new Art and Stitch digitizing software. Will stay over for a couple of days in Newark/New York, so we will have to find a way for a quick nice trip together then.

Curious about what the new ArtandStitch software for longarm quilters can do? Then look at the YouTube movie here:">

Isn't it great that you were actually with us in Canada when this all started?



Ann it sure is wonderful to have you back!! Have wondered how you were doing and hoping that everything was settling down for you. Glad to see that you have been doing some traveling and have had a chance to meet up with lots of your old friends.  There is nothing better than good friends to help heal. Welcome back!

Hi Ann,

Like everyone else says 'Welcome Back', the site really hasn't been the same this year.  Maybe it will get back a little of its spark now that you will be blogging once in awhile.


I love your tea towel..for displaying it why not take it to a frame shop and have them frame like a wonderful photograph. If you have several items you love dearly you could also get a display box ( a photo frame type available at Michaels) Or perhaps even a glass topped serving tray where you could disply it under the glass and hang the tray on the wall...or under a glass topped coffee table.  just a few suggestions! Sounds like you had a wonderful time on your journey!

dianegarner 1/16/2010 12:37:28 PM


We have never met, but it is good to know that you are pressing forward.  Women like you give encouragement to those of us yet to experience such sadness -- you light the path for us that most of us will have to walk.

A suggestion for the bibs.  Our granddaughter's other grandmother and I teamed up to make bibs for her.  Grandma Louise cut out the bibs, and before finishing stitching them, I embroidered designs on both fabric pieces.  That makes them reversible and the back side of the embroidery does not show.



thecomputerist 1/16/2010 1:33:10 PM

Sorry for the spelling error - TREASURE is what it will be!!


sweetness1950 1/17/2010 2:35:21 PM

Ann,  I have just joined Ann the Gran and although I thought of it as a design resource I am feeling that there is a wonderful group of women who have come together thru it.  I don't know what you have experienced that was so very sad but I know that sadness and grief do get better thru the comoraderie (sp) of friends and family.  I just began quilting a couple of years ago and of course it also flowed into embroidery.  I have found a love for this craft that I didn't think possible.  I found it while going thru cancer and a divorce at the same time and though I had many friends,  lost alot of them thru divorce and illness.  I watch as they slowly drifted away.  Anyway so I am fairly lonely in my endeavors and would love to share in the adventures of Ann the Gran and would really love any get togethers or meetings you may embark upon however near or far.  My prayers are with you.


Happy to see your  return Ann. You are correct, there is no place to escape what is within our hearts., once again correct when saying there is no place like home.

Happy to see you back in any way you feel comfortable with.....................

cherrylmaree 1/19/2010 7:42:11 AM

What a lovely, newsy blog....welcome back have been in my is lovely to hear about your adventures and thankyou for sharing your 'Grant' niece with us.

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