Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community!

Welcome to the AnnTheGran Community! Many people know AnnTheGran.com for free embroidery designs, and that's great, but now the site offers so much more. If you've just been using my site to get free designs, you've been missing out! If you have a question about anything related to you... [More]

An Addiction to Embroidered Greeting Cards

Can you believe that July is almost over?  We have the strangest weather here this year.   One day it’s about 100 degrees and the next it barely gets into the 70s.  The month has breezed by filled with gardening (my tomato plants are all dying and I don’t know why), g... [More]

Learning by Teaching, Teaching by Learning

HH Fellow MEers!!, HOW are you doing???!!! I’ve missed hearing from you !!! Warning….(If you want quick and easy and lots to do with embroidery…skip this blog and wait to read my next one that I will be posting very soon.) (Sorry on my part because Chatty Cathy wasn’t ... [More]

Quilters and Machine Embroiderers - Their Common Threads

I've been invited to Blog about quilting for ATG. I’ve used LaRueSews as a nickname because I do all kinds of sewing. But maybe sometime it will change or morph into something more "quilty."* My name is LaRue Jones. (LaRue is spelled with a big "R"). I was born in ... [More]

Time flies, whether you're having fun or not.

Time flies, doesn't it? First I had a house full of kids. Then I had a car full of kids. Then my nephew in Tallahassee had a boat full of kids. Then I had a car full of kids again. Then I had no kids. Then I got on an airplane and spent 4 days in Kentucky with my youngest grandson, 3 1/2, who sa... [More]

Recent Changes and New Features - The Magic Bookshelf Under Construction

Expanding Bookshelf Hard to believe, but it's only been four months since my inaugural post here on the Magic Bookshelf. I've covered blogs, wikis, digital scrapbooks, tags, product ratings, and lots of other topics, and some great ideas have come back from you. The idea of this blog was to... [More]

Of course I like green but what’s this KIWI craze really all about?

Now, what is all this about green paper?  This was my initial thought when I first heard the term KIWI paper.  Oh, its paper and you can supposedly embroider on it.  We've all done that before but it is so hard to find really fun designs that don’t ruin the pa... [More]

Grandchildren, gotta love 'em!

Here it is July already. Where in the world has the year gone? One place it went was lickedy split right by me and until today I hadn't seen any of my grandchildren since Christmas, two of them since before Christmas. But today was delicious. DD's 3 oldest are in Florida for the month with t... [More]

Hand Cross Stitch leads to Machine Embroidery Cross Stitch

With so many gorgeous designs available in machine embroidery, why choose Cross Stitch?  Don’t Cross Stitch designs take forever to stitch? What about all those thread changes and jump stitches that need to be clipped? These are all legitimate questions for machine embroiderers. My name is Don... [More]

Time to Get Comfortable - Making the Magic Bookshelf Your Own

Digital Hugs  People are really starting to have some fun in our community. Many of you are taking advantage of some of the great features that make it possible to really share yourselves and the results of your creativity. A number of you have commented on the blogs and fo... [More]

Does size matter? Well, that all depends.

Size matters if you have a design that’s 5 inches wide and your largest hoop is 4 inches wide. Size matters if you want to make a border along the edge of a tablecloth. Size matters if you want to combine two or three designs, each the size of your largest hoop, into one big design. Firs... [More]

When you need really BIG letters

Hello, all ME blog readers.  I got to know many of you at this year’s Community Circle in Orlando. If you were there and don't remember me, there's a picture of me on our About Us page. I also post from time to time in the forums under my username db1921 and I created the cof... [More]

What's in a name (tag)?

A while ago I nudged y'all a little about forming local "Community Circles" so you could get together once in a while to have lunch, chat, make projects and generally help each other out. Believe me, it was NOT my doing, but the "How many live in Central Florida?" thread has ... [More]

Fathers and Dads and Daddies and Grandpas and Poppies, oh my!

This one's for you, DaddyWhen I was small we didn't have a lot of money. Sometimes I don't think we had any. As time went on my parents incomes improved. But they didn't really change their lifestyle very much. Oh, the year I left for college they did carpet my bedroom (which had bec... [More]

GETTING ORGANIZED...or one can at least hope!

HH ME’ers!!!, (Hello Hello, Machine Embroiderers)Just back from a glorious trip to the beach. Yeah!!!! While there, I came to the conclusion that before I take another embroidery class in order to blog about it,I needed to …… Whoa! …… Stop!......... & GET ORGANIZED!!! I needed to:1.  &... [More]

Lace - The Ultimate Beginner's Project

Hear Ye’ Hear Ye’ …STOP the PRESS ….  The ULTIMATE Beginner’s Project is………….. LACE!! HH ( Hello Hello )  all you fellow ME’ers!!! I have been shopping up a storm!... and MEing too…. Speaking of shopping, Ann’s store has some good specials right now!!!!! Have you gone to her ‘shop' ... [More]

A Whirlwind of a Week - AnnTheGran in Toronto

It feels as if I was just packing for this trip and here I am home again! Bill and I had a fabulous time in Toronto. First and foremost it was a delight to have a 3rd annual "Spring Fling" with our dear friends Loes and Theo van der Heijden from the Netherlands. Second, it was wonderful to... [More]

Fun in the Magic Bookshelf - What's Your Idea?

Recent Brainwave   Believe it or not, it only occurred to me very recently that, with all the wonderful things available on our new site, we had never actually asked our loyal users where they want us to go next. I’ve told you on my blog here what we’ve planned, but I haven’t asked you w... [More]

Even If I can't Hoop it, I can Embroider it!

Hi, folks,  Had another great question in last week's post from gpleasant, who asked how to hoop towels, under and over. I can tell you how I hoop towels. Bath towels are as liable to be viewed from the back as from the front, so I want both to look good. That means two things. First,... [More]

Great Embroidery Mysteries - The Case of the Messy Alphabet

  Digitizing Mystery  I began digitizing alphabets eight or nine years ago. I like doing it and I take a lot of pride in my work. You can imagine how distressed I was when I began receiving a few messages telling me that the capital and lower case letter "A' was appearing as a b... [More]

Tons and Tons of Questions - Who Has Answers?

HH (Hello Hello!) Fellow Embroiderers,  How are ALL of you??? What things are you doing these days???!!!!! How many NEW embroiders are out there like me. (I stitched my 1st design last week. Yeah!!!). It would also be interesting to find out who has embroidere... [More]

Introducing Crash Course Cathy...

Hello Hello fellow  AnntheGran Embroiderers & New Orlando Circle of Friends!!!! :):):), Who Am I?  For those of you who attended the VERY SPECIAL 1st annual AnntheGran's convention in Orlando in April, you may remember me...it was pretty hard to miss my loud scream and waving arm... [More]
Quick, Easy and Inexpensive Gift

Quick, Easy and Inexpensive Gift

If my embroidery gifts are not - quick, easy and inexpensive, I am not going to do them.  Year round, there are great reasons to give items that we create with pride. 

I don't want to keep giving the same things over and over again.  How boring is that?  Furthermore, I want the gift to be reflective of their tastes, not mine.  After selling embroidery products since January 2005 - 9 years - I know that what I think is super is a yawn for others and vice versa.  Another aspect I was looking for was that the candle not be holiday related. I often use candles any time it is cool/cold. My project this time is a candle sleeve. 

I thought about all the different fabrics that I could use:

  • burlap for the recipients that enjoy a casual lifestyle
  • a child's pattern of fabric - I am going to be using the 'flameless' type of candle - this would make a WONDERFUL NIGHT LIGHT
  • a voile for a more elegant appearance
  • lace fabric for a fancy tablescape

Then, I was thinking of the type of glass (or plastic) container I would like to present:

  • a Mason jar - available at hardware and many craft stores
  • a clear candle holder - the 99 cents stores have them
  • an interesting glass or antique type of jar
  • a flameless candle that comes in so many different sizes

I will probably place some embellishments with the fabric/embroidery:

  • Any thing that sparkles, including metallic thread
  • Any thing that I have around the craft area (lots of things there)
  • Any thing that may be of interest to the recipient
  • hot fix crystals (really fun on a mason jar with burlap!)
  • bows, purchased or of my creation
  • glitter for a small amount of gleam
  • small trinkets like stones from an earring that has lost its mate (never toss jewelry, place it together with your sewing findings)

Well, you get the idea.  I am using a flameless candle and some lace fabric.  In this case, after completion, I could see that it was entirely too loose.

I want a candle that won't be put away with the holiday decorations.  I decided on a really nice design that I found right here:


I also love this one, when you find the dog, you just have to laugh!


As you can see from the second photo above, the fabric caused a lot of puckering.  I felt that the 'flaw' made it look more dimensional, so I loved it as is.  But, in the future, I would definitely use something sheer but more sturdy.

I cut my fabric and Badgemaster to fit the candle.  I left the Badgemaster a little longer and all I had to do was wet one side and attach the other end and - voila - I have a sturdy bond.  A little glue for the net and it is secure.

 I added a black bow at the top and bottom and placed them with other candles. 

A second discovery was that I may have used a resizing program for the sleigh and horse.  It really was too long to appreciate as is. 

The last few projects I have done have been not exactly as I might have wanted them.  These are really 'discovery sew' items.  I considered if I should only show you 'perfect' items, or would it be more beneficial for me to show what I learn and perhaps you have a critique as well.  I am fine with showing you what I would have changed.  We can learn from each other this way. 

Lastly, from all of us here at AnnTheGran, we wish each of you and yours good health and joy for the New Year and many more to come. 

Comments (2) -

Great idea for weddings, too!

WOW, sewblest, what a great idea.

There are so many things one can do to change this.  Colors and candles are so much fun to work with.

Pat, The Avid Embroiderer

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