Thursday, December 05, 2013

My Past May Become A Present For You: An Announcement

One of the best things I saw on my Gettysburg vacation was my cousin, Ann.  We're just a couple of years apart--she's younger than me--but once we hit our teens, we never really recaptured the closeness of our youth.  At that point, Ann gravitated more toward my sister Susan, who was a couple of years younger than her, and I wandered off, probably to read or be serious or something.  I don't blame her.  I recall a lot of bossiness, generalized snottiness, and overall being kind of a pain in the ass, to be honest, all by Yours Truly. What happens to some of us when we reach our early teens?  Must we become insufferable?

Ann remembers all the good parts, like all those summer days we spent eating dill pickles (a shared obsession) on Grandma and Grandpa's front porch in their glider, pushing it back and forth and back and forth, then letting it coast like we were riding it.  Other days, we'd go to The Lake, and when we weren't swimming or drinking Kool Aid from the brightly colored aluminum glasses, we were sitting at the big table in the cabin making our own paper dolls with dozens of outfits for any occasion.

Because Ann lived far away from northeastern Ohio, I didn't see her very often.  Sometimes Grandma would go visit her, and the time they had together proved Golden.  Ann would watch for hours while Grandma sewed or pieced together a quilt, lured by the colors and patterns and textures of fabrics.  Sensing a kindred spirit, Grandma taught her to hand-sew some scraps of bright cloth together.  Years later, in seventh grade, and long graduated to machine sewing, Ann made her first outfit, a red and white, very seventies pantsuit.

Of course, I didn't know any of that.  But I do now.  So...why am I telling you?

When I reconnected with my cousin Ann, I discovered that she is a talented artist, especially with textiles.  Her sewing is now her art.  She makes one-of-a-kind articles with incredible design details.  She sews every single day.  Her favourite spot is her workshop, where the hum of her sewing machine soothes her.  And even though she creates something every single day, it still tickles her to know she made it.  It's her idea made real.  That fact never ceases to make her smile.

She has many pieces--functional items--that she would like to introduce to the marketplace, and I'm happy to say that she is opening up a temporary shop here at the Dept. of Nance.  You'll find her initial offerings up for sale by clicking the tab marked Purdy Sew 'n Sews.  Right now, you'll find clutch purses and personal organizers/portfolios.  She makes quilts, purses, bags, pillows, and many, many baby items as well.  Do I know what might be added next? No.  Does she?  Not until the idea grabs her.

Check my sidebar for the Purdy Sew 'n Sews logo for an email link if you have any questions for Ann.  Maybe this will help you with your Christmas Shopping, even for yourself.  At any rate, scroll up top under my blog title where the tabs are and click Purdy Sew 'n Sews.  You may get inspired yourself.

Ann and I reconnected, and this venture was born.  So was a new, more mature relationship.  Thank goodness I grew up.  And thank goodness she waited for me.



  1. I feel a renewed sense of possibility when I meet or know of someone who makes their living with their own hands and inspiration. Kudos to Ann! I will definitely check out her website!

  2. Lovely stuff!

    Thanks for the explanation on my post.

    I do the graphics with CorelDRAW. That one was modified clipart.

  3. Oh, the ability to use a sewing machine! I can only sew by hand, and not very well, so when I see amazing work like this, I'm SO impressed.

    I love reconnecting with family. I'm glad you were able to do this...I found family up in Anchorage when my mom was sick, whom I hadn't seen since I was 7 or 8. It was great, and one cousin went almost every day to the hospital to visit my mom for the 6 weeks she was there. It was a gift to know that someone was there.

  4. J@jj--I'm glad too. It's like finding a sweater you forgot you had, slipping it on, and saying, "Now why haven't I been wearing this?" Pleasant and comforting.

    RE: sewing. Our grandmother, who made every single one of my winter coats until I was 13, was a brilliant seamstress. She could make anything: stuffed animals, purses, coats, hats, capes, bathing suits, all sorts of leather goods, etc. She once tried to teach me to sew on the machine, a very simple little project of three straight seams and two slanted seams. It was brutal. Finally, even she had to give up. I simply had no talent or head for it. "Samantha Jane, you're not made for sewing, but you'll find something else you're good at." is what she told me. Ann got all Grandma's talent.

    Mary G--Thank you for Ann. No charge for blog answers or advice! LOL.

    Rainbow Motel--Me too. Ann makes all the textiles in her home. Gorgeous quilts, wall hangings, pillows, draperies, curtains, etc. I wish she lived closer to me; I'd have her redo my stuffy old drapes in my living and dining room. Her eye for fabric is impeccable.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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