href="http://home.comcast.net/~bret.mcginnis/newcherry.ico" type="image/x-icon" /> PamKittyMorning: December 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy

We're still not 100% yet but Frankie I were going a bit buggy having been trapped at home for so long, so we headed out to the Japanese Bookstore in Saratoga. Many of you are familiar with Kinokuniya, Jackie told me about it a few months ago. I knew that Frankie would love it, being a devoted fan of Hello Kitty and Cute. I was not disappointed.
I found the craft magazines or books, they've moved them and removed the tags that say "Craft" so I was at a decided disadvantage. Frankie walked along with me but got side-tracked by a book called Petits Appartments a Paris and I lost her. Later, I heard what I thought was a familiar voice over on the next aisle. Sure enough, around the corner came Jackie! What a happy coincidence!

Anyhoo.. we found a lot of fun stuff. Here's Frankie's photo of goodies. She got the Paris Apartment book, a date book and a little animal. She's also been busy with her little pompom garland courtesy of Kiddley, next year she'll have her own apartment, so she's got a little garland to start her Christmas decor.



I found this darling book. I have no idea the name of it, but the ISBN number is ISBN4-05-604283-7. It has a lot of nice photos of purses, notions and some CHARMING 30's Quilts. I love the photos in these books. And the use of fabric.


And as a bonus, I had hopped on over to this site and scored this. I have loved this fabric for so long, now I'll have my own hunk of it.

So my tired little elves, I hope you have a very safe and happy New Year! See you in 2007!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Clover Pom Pom Maker



Is it just me or is anyone else feeling a little post-holiday letdown? I can't seem to get it together to get stuff back where it belongs. Around here when company is coming we need to move a couple of chairs into the living room, put the leaf in the table, and just in general shuffle crap around so it doesn't look like we're the packrats we are. Which seriously, why do we have so much stuff? I'd make a resolution about it but I figure that would doom it to failure.

In the spirit of grip getting, yesterday Frankie and I cracked out the Clover Pom Pom makers I ordered from SuperBuzzy and got busy. I don't know what happened to all the pom poms we made but it was fun. We're inspired by the cute pom poms on designer goods we've seen. I tried one out of fabric strips but really didn't care for the results. I think the idea deserves looking into again. It could be cute with slightly thinner strips and possibly adding different mixed up fabrics. I'd love to see what anyone else comes up with. I remember making pom poms with my mom when I was little. We always used the cardboard from the package of bias tape or rick rack, old skool style.

So what's everyone else up to? I'm going to spend some time in my sewing room even if I don't do a thing. Maybe I'll pick up some stuff in there. Hmm. Well, better not get ahead of myself.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

!! Quarantined !!

Well, we're not, but we should be. Everyone is sick. All three of us. Sick. Even Bret, who said so gallantly "I don't get sick" has fallen. He's gone off to work still pretending that he's not feeling that bad but I can tell. He's going to have to sit in the freezing cold data center all day, so I feel particularly sorry for him.
Luckily, we were all feeling pretty good for Christmas. Santa treated us to a wealth of goodies, as did our friends. We had the Moms and Bret's brother and sister-in-law. It was fun. Lots of chatting and eating. But it was over earlier than normal as Bret had to go to work Tuesday. I have this week and next off, which is perfect since I'm not feeling all that great. We'd hoped to take a trip but with us all still sick, well, don't know. Maybe we'll lounge about and watch movies. Nothing wrong with that.
In the meantime, I have just enough time to get dressed and watch my old friend Perry Mason.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Its Christmas Eve!




Well it's here, whether we're ready or not! Bret spend the day cleaning up and running errands yesterday, which was a lovely treat. Usually I'd spend the week getting ready but that bug had me down. He does a much better job. Just a few things to pick up around the house and we're ready. Well as ready as we'll ever be.

I send my wishes for a Happy Holiday your way and hope that Tuedsay morning finds you all content with how it worked out!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

And now for something TOTALLY inappropriate...

Its Pamalicious, so please, watch at your own risk!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRaUXbVM29I


I love it, totally, its Pamtastic.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Cough. Cough Cough. Is anybody out there?

Greetings my little snowflakes! Its been a rough week around here. Sunday had me feeling a little funky in the throat and by Monday I felt like I had a cold coming on but I was tough I could lick it. Got sent home from work to keep it a germ free zone, which was a smart move. By Monday night I felt crappy and from there on out it was downhill. But it's Friday and I'm back. Not 100%, but still, back. If there is an upside to being sick, its spending the day in bed, and since I'm not in the hands-on mom game anymore, that's a luxury I have.

Of course its chaos around the house. Lots of stuff still left undone, but luckily the three of us can pull it together tomorrow and Sunday morning. I think the biggest hassle will be getting the groceries. The crowds out today were fierce, just getting across my pokey town took about 45 minutes.

I've enjoyed reading about all the wonderful family traditions everyone has, seeing the pictures of their kids, their decorations, their projects, hearing all the heartwarming tales... its a lovely time of year. I hope each and everyone of you has the Merriest of Christmases. I can't wait to hear all about it!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Nice to be home!

We had a great trip! Frankie was a little under the weather with a cold, but she was a trouper. We picked her up on the way and had a nice family weekend. Every trip seems like a gift, you never know if its the last one. I remember the last family vacation my family took was the year I graduated from high school. After that I was working and going to college and there just wasn't a chance for it. So I treasure each one we get.

The weather was really quite nice, there was rain, but it never interfered with our plans. We made some stops along the way but were in San Simeon in time for a cup of coffee before we rode up the hill. That bus ride at night is a lot like a thrill ride, its pitch black and super curvy.

The outdoor lighting is lovely, with its warm glow. I think the globes are made of alabaster, and the light has a soft quality to it. Makes picture taking rough though. Indoors even tougher. The little view window made some of the photos almost look ok, but once on the computer, not so good.







There were a few places that there were little sewing items out. In the large guest house there was a room set up with a sewing machine, but the lighting there was bad and my photo looks so blurry even blogger wouldn't post it. Here in Marion Davies private room you can see the little sewing notions on the desk. It was a pretty little setting, and there was a lovely dress sitting out on the bed.



Seems like everywhere you turned there was some kind of quilty inspiration. These are little gold tiles around the indoor pool. The bottom of the pool was incredible and I am going to have to look for photos, I think the design would make for a lovely quilt block.



Bret surprised us with reservations at the Apple Farm. I didn't know where we were going to stay till we left, so it was a lovely treat. Its so charming with its Christmas decorations. We got there in time for a fashionably late dinner! Everywhere there are decorations, and the lobby of the Inn was just like a dream.

In the morning in the reception area they have coffee and tea, so I grabbed a cup and sat out front enjoying the crisp air. It was picture perfect.

This is the entrance into the gift shop downstairs from the restaurant.



We had a wonderful time, but its back to the grindstone around here. And to my Oregon friends, good luck with your storm cleanup. Been thinking about all of you since I heard about it on the news.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I don't think anyone is prepared for this...

I know, can you believe it? I finally finished that purse. Why I was dragging my heels I have no idea. It was not hard at all. It has a long strap so you can wear it across your body, and it's chock full of pockets, so there's plenty of room for my Sidekick. A girl's gotta be in contact with her peeps. Check out this pattern at Tammy Tadd Designs. While you're there her Fall Market photos have some familiar faces. (Yikes)

So scary, but I stayed home ALL DAY. Another shocker for sure. I rarely can just settle in and stay. I tried to keep myself off the internet and accomplish something. I got another project done as well, and I'm mighty thrilled with it. I will say only that I am not in love with fusible fleece.




This weekend we're taking a little holiday trip. We're headed to San Simeon to see Hearst Castle all dressed up for Christmas. We have reservations for the Evening Experience Tour. We did this a few years ago and really enjoyed it. The day tours are also wonderful, historical with a side of gossip. If you're in the area, I would highly recommend it.

Another place we're headed is the Apple Farm. Ohmygosh I can't tell you how much we love this place. I wish the website had a tour, so you could see it. All year round the gardens are beautiful. I think they are on their 30th Anniversary, I remember when it was just a farm stand really. And Christmas time, well its particularly lovely then.

Have a good weekend my little elves, see you later!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lost and Found

Believe it or not, I was actually working on that purse last night. I felt that I should settle down and do it. Seems like everytime this past week, when I have gone in to work on it, there's been some kind of distraction. You know, like making dinner. What's up with that?
So, I'm cutting the rest of the pieces, and getting the first pocket ready. Mind you turning things and ending up with nice crisp edges and pointy corners is not something I'm great at. And it bugs me because I like things looking nice where the back is on the back and not creeping over on to the front. So, I go to pull out my little pokey thing, and its NOT THERE. My pokey thing is always in that drawer.
This means trouble. Unlike a lot of things someone might pick up out of my sewing room, the pokey thing isn't that useful to anyone else. I looked in the drawer again, not there. I went through everything on my ironing board since I often pile stuff up to the right of the iron and it could have been covered by creeping crap. No, not there, not even the second time I looked. Or the time I picked up everything and moved it to look. Hmm.
On to the sewing table Lots of crap piled up there, strips from projects done ages ago. Books and patterns piled precariously, some fabric with another pattern half out of the package, my needlepunch, some papers.. not there. Not even when I looked again, and picked stuff up.
I try to distract myself by poking out the corners of the pocket with something else, because come on, I'm an adult and can move on. I bet I can buy a pokey thing. I bet it will be nicer than my free pokey thing.
I think we all know that I can't move on. I keep looking. I go through the bag of recycling, I go through the bag of fabric I'm donating, nothing. I'm feeling frustrated and peeved at myself. What if I accidentally threw my pokey thing away?
And then I looked in my drawer one more time.
I think we all know how this story ends.



Hope you have a nice day my friends!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A little more spirit..

We're just a bit farther along than the last photos. (Just don't ask about that purse.)










Saturday, December 09, 2006

Back to business

This is really what I should be working on. The purse. I love the fabric, I love the pattern.. I just can't quite get back in the groove. And its not a hard pattern either. Whatever. Maybe it was the distraction of my recent brush with blogmania. I still can't get over the number of comments. You guys wow me.



Anyway, I've been thinking about a lot of stuff lately. And being inspired by different people and magazines etc. Like Japanese craft magazines, or the elusive Marie Claire Idees . I could look at photos all day. And blog photos. Again, I love how everyone uses color, how they create stories with their composition, and how they really do some kick-a** graphics. Like the tutorial for the patchwork coasters over at Allsorts. I want to make them just because the instructions look so darn good and the fabric selections, well I'm all over that combo. I would totally want to think of cool projects if I could turn out some charming instructions like that!



Like this block.. I would love to do something, like every once in a while make block instructions available and then see who wants to sew along with me. Make the block, make a ton of the blocks, whatever. Kind of like the apron people have, a challenge each month. Well, maybe that's WAY too much pressure but you know what I mean. And in the fun way, not the way where we start to hate ourselves because we're not doing it, or we only made one or whatever. Just for fun. I remember fun, and I'd like to have more please. Does it even sound interesting? Maybe someone else is doing it and we can all join in with them?

But what I should really be doing is more of this..



Happy Sunday my friends.

Overwhelming!

OHMY!!!

You all overwhelm me with your kind comments about my blog. Twenty six comments is unheard of in the Pamkittymorning household! Thank you thank you thank you!

As promised, the staff here at PKM put all your names in a little basket.


Here are the results...


Laurie, Capello, Jenny, Connie Happy Zombie's friend, and Selena, please send me your addresses via email and I'll get your PKM gifts! Thanks for reading my blog everyone! You all make my day!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Chatty Pamie

Well my little blog loving friends, its now been over 100 posts for PamKittyMorning. If I was a television show, there'd be cake and I'd be on The Insider!!! So since I can't give all of you cake, I'd like to have a little give away. Because YOU my friends, make my day!!! When I see a new comment come in I'm thrilled! I am continually amazed that people actually are interested in what I have to say!! I mean people who don't necessarily have to listen!!!
So leave a comment, and Saturday I'll have the staff here at PamKittyMorning pull names out of the hat and I'll send delightful gifts your way as thanks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Bay Area is so beautiful, I hesitate to preach about heaven while I'm here"

~Billy Graham

And Friday was just the kind of day he was talking about. I haven't seen the city so beautiful in years. Normally I don't like going into San Francisco, the traffic and the tension of the drivers. Everyone in a hurry. My old roads are gone, me and San Francisco, we just don't know each other like we used to.

Friday though, San Francisco pulled out all the stops. The sky was so blue and clear, I wish I could have taken a million pictures just on the bridge. I love the symmetry of it. My pictures are not great, since I was driving AND taking photos (which I think worried Elizabeth just a bit.) But OHMYGOD can you just imagine how lovely it was? I mean seriously.

For the first time I could see all the new work going on to the right of the approach, I had only seen the new bridge on TV. I was just not in a good place to get a photo, sorry. I wonder if I will love it like I do the current bridge?





"Arrival in San Francisco is an experience in living"~William Saroyan

Ahh, the local lunch specials, nothing so colorful as the one a bit past this, "Lap Dance Lunch Special". Hmm, weird.

Russian Hill is a beautiful neighborhood. It isn't too crowded during the day and with a few trips around the block we managed to find a decent parking spot. Decent being neither up or down a steep hill. My only disappointment in the day was that my little shop, Brown Dirt Cowboy, was out of business.




Luckily all was not lost, there are still charming stores on the street and we went to this one. It was very cute. I saw some little felted gnomes and I thought they looked very familiar. When I did a little research back home I found that indeed they were from the imagination of the lovely Lucille. I've become familiar with her works through her good friend Angelina. All our lovely purchases in the city are Christmas gifts, so they are not to be revealed here.



During the ride back towards the bridge, the sun was shining and the bridge looked like it was clean and fresh. Sparkling. It was like seeing it for the first time. We drove along the Embarcadero, and without that freeway the whole view is open, the area revitalized. Post card perfect.








"San Francisco has only one drawback. ''Tis hard to leave"
Rudyard Kipling



It was a very fine day.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Button Button, Who has the Exclusive Button?

After having read Harriet the Spy about forty billion times as a kid, showing me some pictures of a secret button store was a little bit like putting a bone in front of a dog.. a very hungry dog. A dog hungry for buttons. Particularly secret ones.

I asked Melissa if she knew about a secret button store. She didn't, but within a couple of hours she had a list, as well as some other fun places to check out. Later I remembered Sandy had told me about a great button store she'd found and I knew I was onto something. I cross-checked it against my list of potential stores and BINGO! There it was.

Friday Elizabeth and I went to the Exclusive Buttons in El Cerrito, CA. Its very unassuming from the front. But inside its extraordinary. Chock full of all kinds of buttons, except plastic! Vince and Mary Sortile have owned Exclusive Buttons for years. Around 25 years if I remember correctly. Only open Fridays and Saturdays due to Vince's frail health, they welcome their customers with enthusiasm. Mary showed us many lovely buttons and told us a lot of the history but I'm afraid I was overwhelmed by the site of all those buttons and really had a hard time paying attention. Vince came out after a while, he's still got some spunk in him. He told us how he sold wholesale to dime stores, and we reminisced a bit about dime stores in general.

Vince and Mary were very nice and let us take photos. Mary told us people come in and want to keep it a secret, which both Mary and Vince agreed doesn't pay the bills. There's plenty of buttons to go around. So I told them I'd tell the world (or the 20 or so people who read my blog) that their store is at 10252 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, CA. Call ahead to make sure they're open..510-524-5606. Its really worth the trip.




One of the many drawers of shirt buttons.



I love red.. I can't help it.



I wish I could buy this whole drawer.



Mary shows us one of her favorite glass buttons. She knew where they were all from, but of course, I don't remember. I'm thinking Czech Republic? Elizabeth, do you remember?



Mary and Vince Sortile. Lovely people.


It surely was our Lucky Day.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Road warrior Part One

Do you ever have those days where you need to get out of the house? Friday was the great escape day. I had a list of places to see and the Mapquest routes to take us from one place to the next. I picked up Elizabeth and we hit the road.
The weather as wonderful. I haven't seen such brilliant blue sky in ages, and in subsequent posts you'll see what I mean. But back to the trip, it took about 40 minutes to arrive at our first destination. Elizabeth had no idea where we were going till we got to the exit for Port Costa. Imagine how surprised she was that we were heading to Wendy Addison's Theatre of Dreams Studio for her Christmas Open House. I had been reading Pam Garrison's blog the night before and saw her entry about the open house. Talk about good fortune. I had places on my list for our tour, and this was a super bonus.
Port Costa is a lot like a cross between a ghost town and what I imagine it's like on the bayou (movie bayou, you know- Tammy and the Bachelor Bayou). It dead ends right on the Delta. As a kid my dad would take us out there to fish, and I have fond memories of it being a much more thriving town. It has a rich history. Driving down towards the water, I couldn't believe how blue the sky was and how well you could see the river. The last time in town it was grey and overcast, rather sad and slightly spooky looking.
Here are some photos of the occasion for all those who couldn't attend. We enjoyed ourselves, and Wendy very graciously let me get some photos for my blog. They're not the greatest, but I was trying to get photos around her happy customers.



















Next stop.. coming soon.


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