Zero calorie cupcakes

When I was a little girl growing up in South Africa, Fridays were always special baking days and cupcakes were my favorite thing to bake with my mother and sister. Even better than baking the cupcakes was the frosting and decorating of them afterwards. My mother would decorate each cupcake with twir... [More]

New Contour-Cut Outs Alphabet from Fancy Jumbles

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

LaRueSews-Quilts,1/2-Square Triangles, Easy?

This blog could be considered as an Anniversary Blog, since it has been a year and seven days since I posted my very first Blog.  I didn’t think it would last this long.  But thanks to all of you and your faithfulness, I’m still here.  Also, I’d like to give a lot of... [More]

Girl Friend Get Togethers

As it happens I have 2 daughter in laws who are quite entrepreneurial!  This week Kendal was invited to bring her Pampered Chef product to an event that had 50 attendees who also got to look at other wares that included aprons.  As it happens a local gal has begun a business making aprons,... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Binding Isn’t the End

The subject matter this time is probably one of the “testiest” that I have approached.  We are nearing the end of making a quilt from start to finish.  Adding the bind is the best part, right up to stitching down the binding on the back.  The photos I am using were ma... [More]

Keeping It Simple with a Quick Casserole Carrier

If you are like me, you subscribe to more than one embroidery and quilting magazine and scour them all front to back when you finally get the chance. Sometimes I'm inspired by the projects in the magazines but many times I'm overwhelmed. And any time that I sit down to sew I'm likely... [More]

The Prom, the Purse and the Lady

Last time we met here, I left you with two photos that I said I would Identify when I came back from my little sojourn from the BLOG.  Here’s some answers for you.  Several months ago, my granddaughter told me that she planned to make her prom dress.  Since she was a senior... [More]

How a computer stopped an embroidery business ..

Computer repair can be costly, I don't just mean out of pocket cash .. but, cash that doesn't reach your pocket because your computer issues are halting business.  As you can probably tell, I have been MIA for the last 2-3 weeks.  Blame the computer .. I spent hours of my time tryi... [More]

Flag Day Celebration

Did you know that Flag Day is this Sunday?  It is nice to take a moment and remember how gratef [More]

Tea for two

Some people are surprised by our African tea cup designs... Why tea cups? What do tea cups and teapots have to do with Africa? Good question. What many people do not know is that South Africa used to be a British colony. For many years the British ruled South Africa and as a result many of the Briti... [More]

Where exactly did I put that? You mean I could make money tagging other people's precious items?

Every month is Start Your Own Business these days, but Brother has gotten serious about this concept.  Infact if you go to our website you can see a great financial opportunity that we have for you all.  You can actually save lots of money if you buy a PR-620 NOW!  Whether you are an ... [More]

Twitter - An Annual or Perennial in Your Social Media Garden?

Inspirational PlaceMy family is very fortunate that our home has been blessed with a beautiful garden in spite of having nary a green thumb in sight. When my wife and I first saw this property two-and-a-half years ago, it looked like something out of a magazine - the inside was pristine and the outs... [More]

June Brides...Old and New!

Did you hear me laughing this morning? I was reading an email from Quilter's World magazine and they were recommending that you re-purpose a wedding dress into a christening gown.  Not a bad idea, but for me that would never have worked because I had a mini-length wedding dress! I rem... [More]

A new roommate, a new niece and a new quilt!

You may remember my January 17 post "What is all this stuff and how did it get into my house?" Well, the situation has worsened. There is now 3 people's stuff in a house that was already overstuffed with 2 people's stuff. How in the world can this have happened? I was just beginnin... [More]

It seems the art has 100 colors, what is a digitizer to do??!!

I just had one of those embroiderer and 'can't make up her mind' customer interactions. The antagonist of the story, played by the customer, is a great water color painter -- if you don't believe her, just ask her -- and, she brings in 3 water color paintings.  Well,... [More]

I get by with a little help from my friends

Although I haven't posted in my blog for more than 10 weeks, you all have always been close to me in my thoughts and I've felt your warm collective hug. With the help of your prayers, warm thoughts, words of condolence and encouragement I've been able to somehow get through the dark days... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts- Quilting and ME Working Together

Yes, friends of Ann The Gran, Quilting and Machine Embroidery are great partners.  They can be used in ways other than making a quilt with machine embroidered blocks.  The two following photos are the first of a number of photos what will appear on LaRueSews-Quilts in the not too distant f... [More]

Digitizing Training ~ The RUN Stitch

Sorry for taking the week off .. I really like to prep for Mother's Day .. after all, my Mom is THE Queen and I really like to dedicate the whole weekend to her .. cooking, cleaning, taking her shopping and and out to a nice dinner and maybe a movie (though there isn't much at the movies her... [More]

A Social Media Star is Born - The Many Facets of Facebook

Celebrity GossipThe prevailing wisdom of our celebritized culture seems to tell us that, when everyone has an opinion about you, you know you've done something right. Facebook is a celebrity, a big star. It's a cultural phenomenon. Everyone has an opinion on Facebook. And just as the tabloid... [More]
FREE: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote on Sky Drive and Catalog Xpress Tip #6 Multiple Sorting

FREE: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote on Sky Drive and Catalog Xpress Tip #6 Multiple Sorting

It seems like it was very recent when we were learning computers, the Internet and cell phones.  I am on my sixth computer and I cannot remember how many cell phones I have had.  Change is inevitable; stand still and you will be run over. 

Sky Drive, a program by Microsoft, is one of the most recent innovations.  It was trailing behind Google Documents and other ‘free' software programs, but since its inception on June 15, 2010, I think it has become a true contender.  (Imagine Microsoft having to ‘contend' with anyone. . . .)

If you have not tried Sky Drive, you owe it to yourself to at least check it out.  Software, the lifeblood of Microsoft and many other companies, is free.  Let me restate that, there is no charge for using the software. 

There is one ‘catch'- - and catch has such a bad name (poor PR no doubt), you can only use it online, you are not using it on your computer. 

That is such good news, I cannot emphasize that enough, and it is good news for these (among others) reasons:

  • As software does more and more, it takes more and more memory. Eventually, it just fills up your computer. Further down the line, it will be too memory hungry for any computer.
  • There is no charge for the use of the facilities.
  • Saving files is really ‘problem proof.' You cannot lose your documents, they will likely never become corrupt. Your hard drive may crash, but your document is safe.
  • You don't have to buy anything.
  • You can share your document with whomever you choose. You both can work on that document (photos are included in this system) and be in different cities, states, countries, continents - and perhaps someday, worlds.
  • They give you 25 GB of free storage for photos (memory hogs) and documents. Imagine never losing another photo!
  • Software available is: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote; everything is password protected through your sign in. Then, you select if others can read, write, delete or change your items.
  • Did I mention it is free?

 Well, you get the picture/photo. 

I will walk you through the general process. 

  1. You will need to have a Windows profile.  You may already have one.  Hotmail, Messenger or MSN are part of the family of Microsoft Windows applications.  If not, you will need to sign up for one of them.
  2. Once you have completed that, you are done!

Go to your program in which you are registered, mine is Hotmail.  You will have a link at the top of the window indicating your Sky Drive "Office" area.  For this exercise, enter using "Your Documents."




Your first time in Office, you will be selecting limits for your profile.



You can also allow permissions and limits down to the document level. 


Let's get in via the Documents link:




And through to My Documents, to begin working (this is my personal preference, you may select a different folder or create one yourself).  Make sure you select Personal until you are ready to work with others and share your documents and/or work:



After selecting My Documents, I can either upload by browsing or create a new document.




Now, if you wanted to purchase my spreadsheet "How Much to Charge" for computing the amount to charge on your embroidery work, you can do so without having to buy Excel!





 Well, the rest is up to you.  You can do so much online and at any computer than has a browser.



Here is the next installment of my tips on Catalog Xpress.  I hope you have found them helpful; I enjoy bringing them to you.  Always try to get the best and highest use of all your programs.  You will be pleasantly surprised at what they will do for you.

BTW, Alpha Xpress is on sale this week, 40% off, take advantage of a really fantastic program and a terrific price.  Write on!

  1. Keep notes on issues (your input) - Notes
  2. Search by the usual information AND by Notes - Search
  3. Resize designs - Resize
  4. Convert the format  - Conversions
  5. Recolor designs and background colors - Recolor
  6. Categorize designs in multiple subjects (place a design of girl in garden watching a butterfly in multiple categories)
  7. Arrange designs in multiple methods (Name, Type, Number of Stitches, Colors, Dimensions)
  8. Print the entire catalog of designs in 3D (as small or large as I like)
  9. Work with Alpha Xpress to create wonderful projects.

As I have mentioned before, I have a large number of designs.  I collect them, enjoy them and sometimes, cannot find them.  This is another super way Catalog Xpress is helpful for me. 



This design has so many items that I might want to consider for a project.  I will look over the pattern and place the ‘data' (remember, Catalog Xpress does not hold the design, it holds the information about the design) in several places.  Let me list a few here, some are obvious, but some may be just a little covert:

  • Snow
  • Sled
  • Fence
  • Winter
  • Pine tree
  • Birds (there are 2)
  • Rabbit (do you see it?)

Now, here are some that are more subtle:

  • Child (cool on a backpack)
  • Seasons (a possible set of 4 designs)
  • Animals (general)
  • Multiple Sizes (I have this design in 3 sizes)

When I am looking for an idea, because sometimes I get a bit of a ‘block,' I may look for a concept rather than something specific in an image. 

I could have this in 11 different categories, but only have a single design on my computer. 

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