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]

Spring has Sprung

Spring has sprung in New Jersey.  Everyone is out and about walking and enjoying the beautiful trees as they bloom. That is here in New Jersey, apparently Mother Nature has a few things confused and my grandchildren in Colorado are still wearing their snow boots. Don’t forget though that ... [More]
Keep Your Hand Out Of The Hoop
AnnTheGran.com | Beautiful people make beautiful things

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]

Keeping It Simple- Lollipop Covers In-the-Hoop

I am convinced that clutter multiplies all by itself.  I have been trying to clean closets and drawers and am amazed at the number of bags we have to give to the local charity.  Not to mention how many times I have filled the recycle and trash bins with stuff that someone "just had to... [More]

New Trends in Embroidery - Create More Business

I just got back from the Atlantic City Trade show and I noticed some very interesting trends.  Diversification is moving ahead full force.  Companies that only offered 1 decorating type have now branched out into many different areas.  After all, you can only sell the same embellishme... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Designer Infant Gowns

Girls, girls and more girls.  Although I have five brothers we have not followed that tradition.  We have two girls, two granddaughters and now another on the way.  Personally, I think this is great!  After growing up with all those little brothers I have always loved little girl... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Stitch With Care

It’s time again for LaRueSews to tell all of you a bit more about Quilting.  For the past few months, we have been doing a Block of the Month.  This time, it will be little more challenging.  The block will be the Arrowhead block, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Right now... [More]

Internet Connection Slow?

This information may help you if you are using IE 7 or IE 8 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 don't know anyone who thinks that their Internet connection is as fast as they wou... [More]

Baby Bibs

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

Taking African Folklore Embroidery to a new level... African Kettles and grocery bags

While I love teaching the techniques to complete a African Folklore Embroidery, I get even more pleasure in seeing how each person takes their design to a whole new creative level. Chain stitch is the dominant stitch, and any color can be used to stitch on the pre-drawn black fabric, however wh... [More]

Photo Analysis

One of the most interesting, IMHO, studies of the human condition is body language.   Posed or casual, many of us can see the indications that are coming from the way a body presents or does not present itself. Taking that one step further, if we really look at photographs, we can often o... [More]

Leaping in with a Mac, part 2

Leaping In with a Mac part 2 It turns out that a lot of you here at AnnTheGran are Mac users or, dare I say, “Mac curious?” You have seen the ads and heard the talk, but your embroidery stuff runs on Windows, and the kid down the street (nephew, son in law) can keep your system running.... [More]

Customers Large or Small?

Hello everybody, welcome back to Scott's Corner.   I recently had a conversation with one of my customers regarding a big customer of his that was very demanding.  This customer had great volume but a low profit margin.  My customer was considering telling the customer that h... [More]

Keeping an Eye on Things

 Anyone who reads the supermarket tabloids has been seeing all kinds of advice about the easy way to lose weight. I and a group of friends decided to follow one of the more popular diets.  We formed teams, printed out the diet plan, communicated every day and were positive that we would lo... [More]

Composing a Terrific Photograph with Matt and Frame Tips

With the new digital cameras on the market, photo taking can and does take on a new reality.  You can take 100 photos and discard 99 of them without the expense of processing.  That is only one of the benefits.  There are so many features, most of them universal, they are too numerous... [More]

LaRueSews-Quilts-Applique-My Favorite

Hi there, EveryBuddy.  This Blog is a milestone.  Ya know, sometimes when you count things, (anything noteworthy) the numbers that end in Zero are important.  That goes especially in Birthdays, like 20, 40, etc.  Some of ‘em, are BIG ones.  Well, my friends, this Blo... [More]

Exhibition of African Folklore Embroidery Art draws 20,000 people

I was so excited by the number and diversity of entries and the positive response from over 20,000 people that viewed the African Folklore Embroidery Exhibition at the Road to California Quilt Show. While the rules of African Folklore Embroidery are simple,  (‘Whatever color you choose to... [More]

Take The Quiz!

--> It’s time for some fun. I was recently asked about doing a Facebook application. You know, Facebook, one of the social sites on the internet. Where people who haven’t seen each other can chit chat and generally make a nuisance of themselves. It’s a good way to keep ... [More]

Keeping It Simple – Getting the Right Design to the Machine

Getting the right design into your machine is a most important part of enjoying your embroidery experience.  I have been using an embroidery machine for so long that lots of things have become second nature and I just do them without thinking.  Like viewing designs using the Brother PED-Ba... [More]

I know, I know...you want a blog!

It sure has been a busy month....On December 10, I took the plunge and had toe surgery....I had two hammertoes that required a bit of slicing and dicing.  That meant I hobbled around with "the big boot" for a few weeks and then I got to don the "little boot." I had to chuckl... [More]

Rogue Security Software

These tips can be used for Windows XP and Vista - Operating systems vary, if in doubt, check with your provider and/or technical support.   Perhaps the term Rogue Security Software is new to you, it is a form of computer malware that deceives or misleads users into paying for the fake or si... [More]

Keeping It Simple - Crayon Chalk Tote

  I have been dog sitting a five month old puppy for the last 2 weeks.  Sage is pretty good, but she is definitely all puppy.  And Big! Ok, I admit I am used to small dogs - Papillons, which are usually 7-10 pounds.  So, when this pretty Brittany Spaniel jumped in my lap right b... [More]