Friends and Followers of Ann

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 25, 2013

Artfully Ann and her elves wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas!!  We hope that Santa brought everything you wanted.  If he didn't you know where you can come to shop!!  Artfully Ann's would love to have you come visit.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Art of Needle and Thread - December 22nd 2013

My how the time flies!

I've been so busy moving to a larger area and expanding my work capabilities ten fold.  I didn't know I had so much stuff.  John could see I was busting at the seams...literally.  He offered to trade office space. 

I nearly tripled work space, but it is already full.  My only defense is that all the kids toys and a desk for each of them is included in the set up.  

They love climbing under my cutting tables,which are new and fill up a lot of space. Building forts are high on both Nolan and Maggie's list of things to do in Artfully Ann's studio. I finally have the area and machines I need to create some awesome items. Now it is time to learn how to use some of the new additions

My first example is an apron that can be personalized for the lucky recipient. No matter it Birthday, Christmas, Valentines day or other occasion, this is a present that will put the sparkle in any chef's eyes. This bib apron is 100% hand made of green broadcloth. 

The embroidery layout is designed and applied by Ann. There is even room for a name right on the top of the bib. This apron has three front pockets for those items that a chef needs close at hand. It has a long tie back and a long adjustable neck strap and should fit almost any size adult...male or female.

You can see that I had fun making this apron.  There are bigger and grander things to follow  No doubt there will also be more aprons in my future.  If anyone is interested in a custom apron let me know.

Check all my creations at

There will be more frequent adventures...I promise.  Have a wonderful Christmas and a Great New Year.

Cheers from Ann and her elves Nolan and Maggie!!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Art – October 25, 2013

Part I of the Best of the Northwest, sponsored by Northwest Art Alliance was held this last weekend.  It had so many wonderful pieces of art and we enjoyed seeing all of them.  There were some repeats, but many new vendors were present as well.  The Best of the Northwest has been split into two parts this year to give more artists exposure.  The second show will be held November 8, 9, and 10 in Building 30 at Magnuson Park in Seattle.  It is one, if not the only premier fine art and craft show.  I would highly recommend you take the time to see it.  The admission is $6.00 and it is worth every penny.  Check out their web address for further details. 

STUDIO  Martha Colins

I’ve limited my review this year to one primary business that literally blew me away!  This small woman owned business is “Studio Martha Collins” from Sequim, Washington.  Martha has been a skilled cabinet maker for over 40 years who has turned her highly honed skills to the making of intricate jewelry and decorative objects.  In one of her bracelets there are over 700 pieces of wood.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Each one is truly a piece of art.  Who wouldn’t want one of these beautiful bracelets on your wrist?  Her small decorative bowls are beautiful and draw you in for a second and third look.  The candle sticks and salt and pepper sets are also intricate and would look great on any table, for everyday use or for decoration.  You can see see her store at :


Martha’s background also makes her items unique.  Martha was in graduate school when she saw the guys in the woodworking class having fun with wood.  She decided to enroll in a class and was hooked after that.  In those days women were not allowed to become cabinet makers, that is until “Title 9””.  Martha was lucky to have been on the forefront of that movement.  She graduated from the State Technical College of Michigan Trade School as a cabinet maker’s appetence and was an early beneficiate of the Title 9 program working alongside her fellow male apprentices. 

Currently she teaches woodworking at the Port Townsend School of woodworking and holds private classes in her studio.  Her first Chevron Brilliant Bracelet with 700 pieces was made in 1977 and she has been making and selling them every since.  To find out more about Martha and her Studio see her website at

 Martha, my hat is off to you for your strength to forge ahead in what was once strictly a man’s world and in awe of your talents as a woodworking craftsperson creating beautiful and unique jewelry and art.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


The 2013 Fall Craft Show by Country Creations starts TOMORROW at VASA Park in Bellevue, WA. Artfully Ann's booth is stocked up and all ready for Christmas shopping.

The show is open from Thursday to Saturday. Times are 10 to 7 on week days and 10 to 5 on Saturday. It's located at the VASA Park Resort on Lake Sammamish, Bellevue, Washington. Get a jump on Christmas shopping!! It should be loads of fun.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Artfully Ann's will be at Country Creations 2013 Fall Craft Show this coming weekend at VASA Park in Bellevue, WA. Check out the site below. My booth is stocked up and all ready for Christmas shopping.

The show is the VASA Park Fall Craft Show on October 17-19 at 3560 West Lake Sammamish PKWY SE Bellevue. Hours are Thursday and Friday 10 am - 7 pm and Saturday from 10 am - 5 PM.  Mark Your Calendars NOW!!  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Business, September 29, 2013

I've been thinking of Artfully Ann's business future, we turn one year old on October 1st.  YEA!!!

A recent exchange of emails with an officer in TAFA (Textiles and Fiber Art) and I have resulted in many interesting discussions.  One of them happens to be pricing of items for sale and selection of markets.  She suggested I read an article written by a creator/writer in France.  It is a great article and I've posted the website here.

I've recently discovered TAFA and their members beautiful work.  You can go to their website at     for more information on Textiles and Fiber Art.  It's worth the effort.

Thanks to Rachel for trying to enlighten me!!


There will always be more adventure!!!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hey, I found this really awesome Etsy shop at

Saturday, August 31, 2013

ART -  August 31, 2013

Where did the month go...then again where did the summer go.  It is almost September and we are already in the middle of Labor Day Weekend.  Wow did it go by fast!!

Today I've been very busy.  I went to take more pictures of Dahlias today.  I'm going to make a collage on canvas for the owner of the garden.  should be beautiful.  I wanted to share a few of the flowers with my friends.  They are all so beautiful!!  These flowers should bloom through September.  The owner has over 150 plants.

I loved having the opportunity to take pictures.  I also have a lot more made into cards on my Etsy site.  Check it out at

Bye for now...I'm off to make the collage!

Have a great labor day!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Travel  - August 24, 2013

We had loads of fun at the Snohomish County Fair yesterday. One thing we saw, that I didn't think I'd ever see was a pig fly. Take a look.... We saw the pig races and the horse costume competition. Horton hears a Who won the costume competition. Maggie and I strolled around and said HI to all the animals. Lambie got to say HI to all of her relatives. As you can tell we had lots of fun. It was a perfect day.

Adventures will be picking up soon.  Right now I'm busy making items and taking pictures of them for my Etsy page.  Christmas is coming FAST!!!

Stay tuned for more adventures.

By for now!!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Art - August 11, 2013

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes and support!! The Taste of Edmonds Fair was another learning experience.  Each one is different.  

This fair was more like a carnival.  We were next to a booth that sold fairy wings on one side.  Every kid at the fair must have stopped there.  Across from us was a large booth that sold lots of things made in a third world country including jewelry at give away prices (bracelets 3 for $5).  

Just across the way a young lady was calling out to everyone passing by offering free samples of cinnamon roasted nuts. They were wonderful and I fell in love with them.  She even gave us a bag to take home.  However, she was difficult to compete with.  Who wouldn't want a free sample.   YUM!!  So much for being in the Art and Craft section of the fair.  

I don't think I'll try the Taste of Edmonds fair again.  However, much was learned, I passed out lots of business cards and got lots of exposure.  Hopefully my Etsy store will be busy this Christmas.  

When all was said and done John and I gave ourselves pats on the back and agreed we had done a good job. Now for a rest and more research.  I need to figure out what type of fair really fits my products. 

HUMMMMMmmmmm    Stay tuned....the adventure continues....I'm not giving up!!

ART - August 11, 2013

A Taste of Edmonds - One day left

We have been busy getting ready and the setting up for the Taste of Edmonds fair these last few weeks.  Lots of people at the fair, lots of food to taste and many things to look at.  

John and I are enjoying meeting people.  Those that run their booths are interesting and those that stop by to view and/or purchase at Artfully Ann's have been delightful.

If you have not visited already there is one day left.  Please come out and see us at Booth 46 on 6th St in downtown Edmonds.  

Have a great Sunday!!Ann

Saturday, August 3, 2013

ARTS AND CRAFTS - August 3, 2013

How the time flies!  I've been so busy getting ready for The Taste of Edmonds fair that my blogging has suffered.  I promise that more will come after this next week has passed.  This is too much fun to just leave it all hanging!

For those of you in the Seattle, Washington area please make sure to come visit Artfully Ann's booth, number 46, located on 6th Street in Edmonds, on August 9, 10, and 11th.  The booth is right in front of the Police station.  There are some eye popping pictures, lots of jewelry, cards, and a large selection of sweater bowls and jewelry pouches to choose from.  I'd love to have you stop by.

For those who live a long distance away, some of the items available have been added to Etsy.  I'll be getting ready for the winter holidays soon.  Lots of new things will be added.  Keep a lookout on either or    Both of these sites contain items you might be interested in.

In the next few weeks I'll be blogging about our trip to Emmett, Idaho.  We had a wonderful time and saw some very good craft shows.  Stay tuned!!!

Bye for now!!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Art - Redmond Town Center Art Fesdival

Check it out... my bowl is shown in the bottom right. How cool is that!! You can tell I'm a first timer. We should have a lot of fun at our first art fair as Artfully Ann opens her doors to a whole new customer base. I'm so excited!! If you live in the Seattle area and have a chance come on by the Redmond Town Center next weekend please stop by. The art offerings should be fantastic!! We are right in the center of the mall, near the Starbucks.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Art - June 17, 2013

Gaudi Tile

It has been very busy since we returned home.  Getting ready for the 2013 Redmond Town Center Art Festival is exciting and hectic.  John has been busy making some beautiful shelves to display my jewelry and sweater bowls.  We have ordered a tent, a cash register, found trellis material on which to to hang my large pictures and so much more. 

Malaga Bull Fight poster

I hope those of you in the Seattle area can make the festival on July 12, 13 and 14th.  The booths will be open from 10 am to 8 pm on  Friday and Saturday, and from 11 am to 7 pm on Sunday.  For more information see their web page  

Crocheted and beaded bracelet

I'm going to have some interesting items for sale.  I am up-cycling jewelry boxes and picture frames.  I am making all types of jewelry.  There will be large canvas, metal etched, poster style and framed photographs.  I even have photos and frames an inch tall.  I have sweater bowls, cards, scarves, hats, and even a yoga bag.  

Here are a few of the jewelry items below.  These were made using some of the materials I purchased on my trip.  The beads on the gold necklace are olive wood from Greece.  The polished shell is from Livorno, Italy.  It has been fun working with some of the items purchased in Europe.

Crocheted and beaded necklace
beads are olive wood from Greece
Carved shell necklace with rose charm
gold snake chain.  Shell is from Livorno, Italy

 It's time for bed.  I have swimming at the Y tomorrow and then it is back to making an inventory and more items for the fair.  

OHHHhhh  and did I tell you...  It was also a good day on Etsy.  One of my jewelry bags is on it's way to Long Beach, California.  YEA!!!!

Good night for now!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Photography - June 9th, 2013

When I was a small child my first recollection of taking pictures was using my grandmother’s box camera in her back yard. I was so excited to see the pictures I had taken and quickly opened the box to see the pictures inside. That was a learning experience! I learned a lot about film, light and the process of photography just by opening that box. Needless to say I was disappointed; but I was also hooked and have been ever since. That progressed to learning how to develop my own pictures in my basement. Frustration set in as I didn't have an enlarger, but again more of the process was learned regarding light and dark, black and white.

Pictures developed in my basement
My sister and our trailer


I lived in the Rockies and as an older child I fell in love with camping and taking pictures of old gold mines. Oh the mysteries those held for me. We traveled all over Colorado taking pictures of gold mines. Of course I only had a black and white camera and Polaroid at that. Those pictures faded out quickly, but the memories still linger.

In high school I was an exchange student to the Fareo Islands in Denmark. What an opportunity for learning and for taking pictures of beautiful places. When I returned home I gave slide shows showing my pictures to many groups at school and social functions telling them about my wonderful experience. My photography experience as a world traveler was priceless.

Carol Ann and the Poulsen Family,
 (American Field Service exchange family)

Since then I've traveled and lived around the world. I’ve taken photography in College and learned all the parts of a 35 mm camera, the tricks with slow shutters, aperture settings and all. This is a dying art with the digital age in full swing. So is black and white photography. What a shame.  However, through working with my son I've evolved into the digital age.  I so much enjoy using digital cameras and working with the tools available on the computer.  I had one of the first digital zoom cameras made by Sony back in the early 1990’s and have not looked back since.


Ansel Adams once said something like it takes a thousand pictures to find a good one. Well I've taken a lot. I hope you find one of my pictures catches your eye and that you enjoy the view for a long time to come.  Hope you can come take a look at more of my pictures at the Redmond Art Festival on July 12, 13 and 14 at the Redmond Town Center, Redmond, Washington. 

Bye for now!!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Travel – June 3rd – Zurich, Switzerland to Seattle, Washington, through Newark, New Jersey. 

4733b - Gimmelwald - Mountain Hostel - Rick Steves.JPG
Rick Steves

All good trips must come to an end, and all tired travelers must return home.  It is so for John and me as well as Rick Steves, well known Pacific Northwest author, television personality and travel guide, who returned on the plane with us from Newark to Seattle today.  It was a long ride, but not an unpleasant one.

 John and I were up before the crack of dawn.  The hotel wake-up call service didn’t work, but the nice lady with our breakfast at the door sure did.  I’m sure glad John heard her knock or we would still be in Zurich.  A quick bite, a quick dressing and we were off to the airport. 

Zurich Airport is located just 10 km north of the Swiss city of Zurich. In January this year the airport handled just over 1.7 million passengers, which represented a gain of 1.3% in a year-on-year comparison. With domestic and international connections to Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Copenhagen, Vienna, Warsaw and Singapore for example the Swiss airport is in ever increasing demand as an aviation hub for this part of Europe.


We checked in our luggage, barely under weight, thank God!  We went through security and they let us keep our shoes on, YEA!!  I still got stopped because they always like to look at either my computer bag or my purse.  That is what happens when you carry knitting needles with you.  Yes, knitting needles; they let you carry knitting needles on the plane.  

No knives allowed

No knives on board, but you can carry nice long straight shafts of metal or plastic.  

SHHUUUuussssshhhhhh, don’t make a fuss; it’s my salvation when sitting for hours in a small chair with no place to go.

Knitting needles allowed

We had to catch an airport tram to our gate, and we knew we were still in Switzerland when over the loud speaker of the tram came soothing music, then the birds began chirping, and then….a cow moooooowwwwwed.  John and I looked at each other and said, “This has to go in the blog; no one will ever believe it!”  What an unusual background sound to have in an airport tram system.  We just laughed!

We flew United Airlines.  I have a United credit card and have racked up a fair amount of frequent flier miles over the years.  One way tickets are usually the most expensive, so we decided to trade in some of my miles for our return tickets from Zurich.  It was a very good use of the miles.  Our seats, for being cattle car passengers’, were mid-section, right side of the plane so we sat by ourselves.  There was lots of leg room, and we had unlimited movies all the way across the ocean.  John read and slept.  I watched three movies and crocheted a complete jewelry bag during the flight.  Eight plus hours and two meals later we were on the ground; fairly painless and uneventful.

 Then there was US Immigration and Customs, always the first stop.  We seem to get in the line where everyone in front of us is a suspected terrorist.  A million questions are asked, records checked twice, pictures and handprints taken, and delays continue as the inspector calls his boss on the phone.  More papers are filled out.  Finally the person or family is let into the US.  This happened in front of us at least four times.  The inspector was so happy to see us it took him two seconds to pass us through immigration.  We must have looked like we were upstanding citizens.  YEA!!!  After such a long flight I was really getting tired of standing.

I'm never tired of returning to the USA
 and seeing my flag waving in the distance

 We found our bags and went through Customs.  They asked us if we had purchased anything that was food of plant oriented.  We indicated we had purchased some Swiss chocolate and some olive wood items.  We were sent to the x-ray line, while everyone else, probably having Swiss candy in their luggage, walked free; so much for being honest.  Having all our items x-rayed, we were on our way with everything intact.  WHEW!  

 Now, getting our bags transferred to the Seattle flight was the tricky part.  If any of you have ever been to the Newark airport you probably know that it’s not well set up and the signage stinks.  It’s that way on the international side of the terminal, too.  We wandered around for at least twenty minutes trying to find someone to take our bags for our flight to Seattle.  We finally had to take our bags all the way out to the front departure desk and have them accepted just like we were newly arriving passengers.  If it wasn’t for the kindness of a United host working the Premium passenger line, it would have taken much longer.  United and Newark Airport….you get a D- grade from me for this.  In all my international flying between major hubs, I’ve never had to go all the way to the beginning of the process to get my bags in the system after customs; SHAMEFUL!

We knew we were back in the US when we went through security again, took our shoes off, went through my bag again, pulled everything out and put it back.  Then we walked to the very end of the longest terminal to get to our plane.  Everyone was either on their lap tops or smart phones.  The price for a cup of coffee was $3.00 and to watch a movie and TV shows on the plane all the way back to Seattle cost $7.95.  (Just slide your credit card here please.)  There are no movies on the plane any more where you can rent head sets for small sum; the media is controlled by Direct TV.  The US overall is a lot less expensive than Europe, but everyone has figured out how to get their pound of flesh.  In the long run, “outsourcing” may be the bane of our existence; just ask Boeing.

 We have a wonderful local limousine company that picks us up when we go on long trips.  The owner was sitting in the cell phone lot waiting for us.  We arrived home, opened all the windows to air out the house and unpacked.  We are headed for our own bed tonight; I can’t wait.  Wait….is this Monday or Tuesday night?  This European adventure may be over, but Ann has many more adventures to follow.  It is never boring when Ann is around!  

AHHHH  we are home......       Good Night!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Travel – June 2nd and 3rd – Zurich, 


Well….it’s raining.  Yes, we are used to it.  We have webbed feet and are handy with umbrellas.  We also know that a day like today (Saturday) is a good day to go to a museum.  We slept in late and ate a beautiful breakfast at the hotel.  I cannot recommend this hotel highly enough.  It is well situated at the bottom of the lake and next to the old city.  And, the breakfast is awesome, not just because it comes with the room!!  (Helmhaus Hotel at Schifflande 30, am Limmatqual, Zurich, Switzerland)  No, I’m not getting any kick-backs  ;-).

Monet, part of an entire wall painting

We decided to visit Switzerland’s well known art museum the Kunsthaus.    The Kunsthaus Zürich houses one of the most important art collections in Switzerland and Europe.  The collection was assembled over the years by the local art association called Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft. The collection spans from the Middle Ages to contemporary art, with an emphasis on Swiss art.

From the Modern Art Section.  The picture looked like a photograph, not a painting.  The picture also filled an entire wall.  If I recall it was painted in 1948.  Looks pretty contemporary to me.

The museum was drawn-up by architects Karl Moser and Robert Curjel, and opened in 1910. The bas-reliefs on the facade are by Moser's longtime collaborator Oskar Kiefer.  There is a large door called “The Gates of Hell” by Rodin displayed at the front entrance of the museum that is inspired by Dante’s Inferno.  I’m currently reading Dan Brown’s book of that name so it was of particular interest.

Gates of Hell by Rodin

The museum's collection includes works from Edvard Munch, Jacques Lipchitz and Alberto Giacometti. Swiss artists such as Johann Heinrich Füssli, Ferdinand Hodler or from recent times, Pipilotti Rist and Peter Fischli are also represented.

van Gogh

van Gogh



The modern arts display includes a new collection comprising a selection of recently acquired contemporary photographs and prints. It brings together a variety of landscapes and nature studies by Christiane Baumgartner, Haris Epaminonda, Thomas Flechtner, Annette Kelm, Helen Mirra and Cécile Wick.

By Yves Tanguy,
This is my favorite modern painting!

The diverse strategies and techniques adopted by each artist give rise to variations on familiar images of nature. The works express concepts such as place, time and space, chance and memory; on closer examination, they also open up multiple ways of seeing and perceiving.  I enjoy looking at the old masters, but for me I liked the contemporary collections the best.  There were also a variety that included a Warhol or two and a number of Picasso's.

By Georg Baselitz,
This is the most unusual
as it's pieces of plywood
 with indentations and paint.

By Andy Warhol, second soup can.

This museum was just up the street from our hotel.  Yes, I said up, Zurich is in a valley with the river and lake at the bottom.  Almost everything else is a walk up hill, but then we are still working off our cruise calories.  We ate at a wonderful Swiss restaurant and had cheese fondue with bread.  I love cheese fondue.  So much for walking off the calories. 

John's favorite picture, by Rudolf Koller (1828–1905)

On Sunday we declared it a “sea day”.  It was still raining and we just stayed inside and caught up on blogging, email and knitting.  We walked to the lake and back and then had dinner in a nice German restaurant.  I had a wonderful beef stroganoff and John had a cordon-bleu.  Both were fantastic.  Again, we had all this within a few blocks from our hotel. 

Walking along Lake Zurich in the rain.

I love being able to spend a few days just living in a place.  You begin to get the rhythm of the city and start to understand how some of the people live there.  Just down the street the theater was showing Spamalot.  On Saturday night the streets were active with young revelers enjoying a night out of entertainment until early in the morning.  And…..the church bells rang on in early evening as the rain kept coming done.  It was a lovely weekend in Zurich!  Good night….there is more adventure to come.

Lake Zurich is Swan Heaven