Thursday, August 31, 2006

Seriously, and I'm not Kidding

I am sewing today. I have not been doing anything but cruising thru the internet looking at other peoples accomplishments. So today, sewing. Last night I was working on some small sawtooth stars and good grief, the last section was not matching up. I hate that. Clearly, I need to be spending some time at the table. I have a Mystery Woman movie on tape to play in the background. That movie series reminds me a lot of the Death on Demand series I've read for years.

So all you chickens, have a swell day. I'll be shutting the windows to trap the nice cool morning air in soon, its going to be hot here today. I'll need the a/c I'm sure with the iron and hot lights going. Keep cool!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Oh Blogger, you sweet talker.

This is my pile of fabrics for the table runner. I can' t just be satisfied with a few. I love the brown print and really love where this pile is going. One of the things that I find interesting about projects I see on blogs is that the fabrics are not all what I'd expect. Like who in a million years would put a Civil War print in with that wild brown border. Well the new hip blogging me would. Because now, that's how I roll. Interestingly enough, ok, well maybe it's not that interesting, Frankie chose the same floral in the green and pink colorway for a purse. We picked that up last week in Pacific Grove at Back Porch Fabrics. I have it pressed and ready to cut out tomorrow.
Here are my cool finds from my outing on Tuesday. They are all just waiting to be jammed in a box with the rest of the stash. And who could resist the darling Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster that Elizabeth brought back from Scotland. She's a bobber, and I think she'll be bobbing on my sewing table where her little neck will get a workout. She rocks, so thanks Elizabeth. Lastly, here is the little fig. Mom thought it was delish. Just 2 left now...

Good Morning!

Good morning my fine feathered friends. Apparently I've done something to hurt Blogger's feelings this morning, I can't upload my photos. Ok, sure they're not that great but still, I did promise to share. I guess that will have to wait.
I had a lovely day out with Elizabeth yesterday. We went to Thimblecreek and Quilter's Inn. She brought me back some lovely things from her vacation, one of which I would have shared today but of course, well Blogger, you know what I'm saying.
We both managed to find a few things to buy. I picked up a few quarter yards just to add to the stash. I don't buy too much anymore, I make a lot of samples for the shop, and all the fabric needs to be available there. Most of the time that's fun, but sometimes you want to see something new.
I came home and tried to be productive. I picked up around the sewing and cutting table and got started on the runner. Maybe I'll finish that today, Bret is going to be home late, so no matter how late I stay at the shop today, I won't need to fix dinner or do any chores. My mother is coming over to play with Peep and Rocket, our two Norwich terriers so I don't need to worry about them needing a comfort break during the day. My mom's ulterior motive is the ripe fig on my little tree.
I guess at this point getting ready for work would be good. Maybe Blogger will allow me to post my photos later.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Book Meme

Ok, I was tagged by Jackie to work on this Book Meme! First one for me.
Here are the rules:
1. Grab the book closest to you...NO cheating! 2. Open to page 123. Scroll down to 5th sentence. 4. Post text of next 3 sentences on blog-and name of book and author Tag 3 people (that will be the hardest part!)
"Good. So where are they thinking of going?"
"I thought down your way would be good."
And that gentle readers, was a passage from The Witness at the Wedding by Simon Brett. Its part of the Feathering Mystery series and I really like it.
What really cracks me up is that today I am off and going down Jackie's way... I'm headed to Thimble Creek and then Quilter's Inn with my friend Elizabeth. We're in need of a fix, shopping in stores other than the one we work with. Its a 'business trip' you know, since we'll be discussing her pattern business, Late Bloomer Quilts, and things that need to be done before Quilt Market in October. I'll be consuming quarts of coffee along the way.
I'll be sure and post any findings! I have a nice pile of fabrics from yesterday to show as well. I was inspired by Pink Chalk Studio and her table runner. When I saw that her focus fabric from Alexander Henry, was in the shop, I had to get a pile of goodies to go with it. I'll post those later. Frankie had already selected the same fabric in pink for a purse.
I need to make a list of things to do or I'll fritter my day away, as my mother would say. But gee, getting dressed should be one of them if I expect to be at Elizabeth's by 10:30. How sad is it that it now takes planning to be somewhere that late. I've lost my edge now that I don't have to get anyone anywhere.
Oh and tagging people... yikes. That is the hardest part. Sandy , Laurie and Capello. Although they're all busy bee's so who knows if they have the time!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Royal Mail

My darling kit from The Laughing Hens arrived Friday. Its everything I need to make the adorable bag and I can't wait to get started. I have not done a lot of knitting, and certainly nothing that wouldn't get felted and have all the errors camouflaged. With this kit you need to make sure you follow the pattern so your stripes match. My friend Terri and I are knitting these bags, she picked the light pink, I chose the darker berry color. The bag has eyelets for the drawstring and a picot edge. YIKES.
I called my mom to check in today and tell her my kit arrived. She's a big time knitter from way back. She used to do work for a little knit shop while we were in school. People would start things and then be unable to finish, and the shop owner would have my mother finish the project , and then she could pick a project do to for herself. She knit some amazing things over the years, a ribbon dress,coat, a suit, and many a cardigan for us all. Anyhoo... I asked her if I couldn't knit this in the round because I was very concerned about matching my stripes, ala garment making, and she said "Oh honey" in that way that means you're a loon, "You need to knit on both sides of this to make eyelets!" Oh.
This is just one of the many projects that I'll soon have going. I need to get back to that quilt and just start sewing again in general. I've put a lot of things on the back burner but with Frankie gone and long relatively uninterrupted days, I should be able to get myself back into the sewing room. Right. RIGHT????
And lastly, THANK GOODNESS that the Kitty-Craft site is up again. Its not open for business but come tomorrow I'm having myself a PamKittyMorning or else.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Bye Bye Birdie

I'm still tired out from Thursday's early morning trip to take Frankie to school. She and I left in her car around 7 am. We jammed her car as full as we could get it and left, with Dad following us a little later in a borrowed Explorer (thanks Shawn!!) carrying the fridge and the big suitcases.
Based on last year's experience we figured that the lines to check-in would be long and slow, but apparently at this school things are more laid back and people take their time over the four check in days to show up. So we whizzed right through and got the key and the student id. Dad joined us just as we were ready to start unpacking so that went fast. There were many people lined up to help as well, which was so nice. Luckily, she's on the ground floor. Being organized, we had her room set up within an hour! This is just a fraction of it, but you can see its all neat and tidy. Probably the last time. Its a huge room, really almost like a studio apartment. And no roommate!
After we unpacked we went out for some lunch, then hit Target for some last minute odds and ends to finish hanging pictures and organize things. There was also a GROSS shower curtain that we replaced with something cute, of course!
That's when she decided to take a nap, and we decided to go get her a TV, like the devoted parents we are. We truck off to Circuit City and of course the TV we want is out of stock. They offered our second choice, more expensive, at the same cost. We pack it up and head back. We get the dolly back out of the truck, pack the whole thing down to the far end where her room is, unpack it and it's damaged. We pack it back up, head back and get a new TV.. Kind of look into the box before we go even. You can see this coming a mile away.. we unpack it in the room DAMAGED. Back in the box, back to Circuit City where they upgrade her to an even bigger TV and FINALLY we got that set up.
What makes this even funnier in that pathetic way is after we got the TV set up, we pulled out the bathroom cabinet to assemble and the pieces aren't the right size so it won't go together. It was late by then so we packed it up, went to dinner, said our good-byes and then dropped her off.
It was a lovely day though and we all enjoyed ourselves. She loves her new place, she just called me to tell me she was eating a dinner made in her room. Rice and ham, all cooked in the rice cooker! She's got a fridge and a microwave so she's safe if the dining hall food is too gross. She has a nice big tv with tons of cable channels. I'm talking everything but premium movies! I'm happy for her and glad that she has this almost-apartment experience while still safe in a dorm situation. (well as safe as that is)
When I think of all the kindergarten moms out there I can remember thinking then that I'd never ever be able to let her go to the 5th grade week at camp, but then 5th grade came and I could.. so I guess we all grow and learn to let go. A tiny bit at a time.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tip of the Iceburg

Almost ready!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Ok, so I'm over-reacting. A little. We're getting ready to make the big move back to school. Frankie has kept most of her school stuff separate but of course a few things have migrated into the main household. I've been trying to ferret them out tonight. Tomorrow is all about getting the stuff that's moving out, into its container and ready to move. Pants need to be hemmed, and maybe one more load of laundry done.

Then it's arts and crafts time. And movies, and inappropriate food and fun. And the last family dinner at home for a while. This is her second year of college but this time she's moving a little bit farther away, so we won't see as much of her. All part of the natural rhythm of life, so I'm happy for her, and hope that she has a HAPPY and successful year. Not that we won't miss her!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mmm coffee

Just reading my Martha Stewart Magazine and drinking some coffee this morning out back. There is a lovely article about one of my favorite little stores in Hollywood, French General. This year I finally got to go to the store, and it was great fun. Kaari Meng has a book coming out this fall, and I can hardly wait. The shop is in a little old Hollywood house and its chock full of goodies. I'd love to live close enough to take one of her classes. The day we visited she wasn't open but her husband let us in. She was sitting in the back working on the last of the book.
In the mean time, relaxing morning then off to a surprise party. I can't remember the last time we did something fun like that. This is probably our last 'whole family' event for a while, Frankie leaves this week for school. We'll sure miss her. The rhythm of our days change when she's not here and it's just the two of us. This is her second year in college, so we're accustomed to her being away, but this year she's a tad farther, and won't be dropping in so often. She's been home since mid-May so I've had almost 4 months to enjoy her company but its time to send her out into the world again.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Shady Biz-ness according to Bethany!

Bethany emailed me wtih some suggestions for my IKEA lampshades, and as you can see, she's hip and with it. Ok, its not the best photo ever, but I really tried to do a little bit of photo magic like Alicia P. Without much success I might add. But it does show the lampshade in all it's glory, so thanks Bethany! I'm enjoying my new lampshade a lot!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sew What?

I've got to get off this computer and get sewing. Seriously. I've just been reading and looking at pictures for days on end. I have to finish another 20 blocks of the red and white quilt and Frankie wants some cute headbands. She leaves in less than a week now, so I need to just DO IT.
I have been so inspired by the photos of peoples homes and work. They all seem so fresh and new, different styles, different color combinations. Working in a shop sometimes limits you to things that are available there or appealing to our customers so it's good to break out once and a while. Leave the rut and look around. I went to International Quilt Market this past May and really enjoyed it. I noticed how there are more 'hip' looking people around, people who come to the quilt world on a different route. Or maybe its just that they're traveling the same route in just a different time. There are a lot of new programs by publishers and fabric companies directed at the younger cooler quilter, less Eleanor Burns and more Amy Butler.
So anyway.. I don't know what that means to me today really except I'm feeling inspired to get back to work.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Say Cheese

Congratulations Frankie

This summer Frankie took two courses, one at each of the local colleges. They have rules about how much you can take so she had to go to two schools. Anyway, one school was right on top of grades, A !! but the second school, grrr, its taken three weeks. And, it was a tech class online, and constantly the teachers mailbox was full. How can you run a tech class that requires you to email stuff to the instructor then HAVE A FULL MAILBOX? And a full phone mail box and not ever ever answer any of the in person messages that are left at the school itself? Well all rhetorical questions I know. This morning grades are FINALLY posted, B for my darling daughter. Congratulations my dear. All your hard work pays off!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sunflowers Dreams

This morning I took this picture of my new little sunflowers. I planted the seeds a week ago Sunday morning. I'm so hopeful for a lovely crop of shining faces. My local nursery noted there was still time to grow a glorious crop from seed.. so I'm giving it a try. These are my sunflowers this evening! Already they are taller, and look a whole new little sprout has joined the mix. I can't wait.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

IKEA Knows

Its true. IKEA knows I am not hip. I found out on a little outing with Frankie. She wanted to go to IKEA. It was her idea but I got really into it because on the way we were having a nostalgia lunch at Lyons. We used to go to Lyons all the time, and she had found one in Emeryville and wanted to go. For old times sake. We had a lovely cheesy garlic bread filled lunch and headed over to the big blue box. I should have known right off, but I let myself get sucked in. I loved these lamp shades, LOVED THEM. (and yes, for your information, I could marry them Frankie.) I would have put one on every lamp in the house but I thought one in my sewing room and one in the living room would be enough. So I got them. She got some plain white plates and bowls for school. Yeah, that' s a long drive for white plates but whatever. Laaaampshades.. From there we did a nice little open air mall type place.. not crowded and the absolute perfect temperature. Everything seemed to be going well. We had a pretty happy day. Not the best day ever but still, good enough.
Flash forward, we're home. (although with the traffic it didn't seem so flashy) I get my lampshade out and it in no possible way will go on my lamp. It has some crazy kind of hinged armature inside that defies my understanding. And the drawing.. yeah, I am way too old for that kind of picture drawing and only one word of description. "Click" just didn't put me in the know. I didn't even unwrap the smaller one. Apparently my wonderful shades only go on some kind of Swedish lamp. Which, while cute, were too small and flimsy for my taste, further demonstrating that
I. Am. Not. Hip.
This comes on the heels of Tommy Hilfiger telling me that I am too old to wear his darling cherry blouse. Or any other piece of his clothing. It doesn't matter if its in plus size and actually fits on me.. I am just too old. And not hip to boot.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lovely Ladies

A couple of years ago I made pin cushions out of old planters. I think they're darling, and I had a lot of fun with it. The whole process of finding the little planters, chosing the fabric, it all was fun. After I finished my batch of 15 or so, I couldn't find the little planters anymore, and the few I saw on ebay were way over my planter budget. I still love these little ladies. I hope they found good homes!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


My family is watching Mythbusters again. This is nothing but trouble. Oh so innocently they (my husband and daughter) ask if they can make peanut brittle. Oh, like I don't know that if you can make peanut brittle you can make a smoke bomb. Who do they think they're dealing with?

Nature Nut

This guy is so bold. I am sitting not three feet from him here and there he sits at my feeder. I think he's glad for a larger perch there to lean on while he stuffs his face.
I don't mind much though, its lovely entertainment over coffee in the morning sitting on the swing. No time to dawdle, its a work day so I'll bid you all farewell and hope that you have a lovely day! (P. S. I LOVE John Acorn, the original Nature Nut. When his show played here one summer my daughter and I had the hugest crush on him. Still do. Sigh. )

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Summer in the City

What a lovely day we had yesterday! Frankie and I headed into SF for gift market. The owners of the shop kindly let me bring her for a little cash and carry shopping. Super fun. She found some great items and then walked the show to see what was new and exciting. Almost educational for my business major!
The drive in was perfect, no traffic and no fog, the city was the perfect temperature, we didn't get lost, found the parking garage right off and strolled right in as the show opened. AMAZING. And we had a wonderful time together, so it was just a great day all around.
On the way home we cruised to Berkeley and went to Addison End Papers. Their shop is small and there was not a lot to look at but they told me about their shop around the corner that should be open on a more regular basis soon that will have all the little bins filled with ephemera that I've heard about. I can't wait to check that out.
It was a happy day. Just a few weeks till she moves back to school, so I have to cherish the happy days as they come along.

Friday, August 04, 2006


When I was growing up my mother had a policy, don't start anything on a Friday. I don't know where that came from, some superstition she had and at 81, still follows. She's busy knitting up caps for chemo patients and if its Thursday and she thinks she'll be done with her current caps, she'll just start two or three more just to get her thru Friday. Sometimes I confess, I am still a little tiny bit affected by that, if I remember it just when I'm starting something. Like today. I want to make a cute halter top for my daughter, should only take an hour or so, but its Friday morning... well I did work on it yesterday when I pressed the fabric and test laid out the pattern.. so its not really starting today is it??
But first I plan on sitting out back on my swing drinking coffee and looking at some inspirational pictures. Sandy gave me the book about craft spaces for my birthday and everytime I pick it up I get interrupted, so this morning its time for me. The new American Patchwork and Quilting is out, and it's my favorite magazine. Mine arrived in my mailbox yesterday. And lastly this is my first issue of La Vie Claire and I've yet to get a chance to really do more than flip through it.
Because I notice many people post about Work in Progress Friday, I am posting this quilt that I have basted and ready for machine quilting, probably later this afternoon. I made it as a sample for the shop a couple o f years ago and now need a baby quilt by the end of the month. I just pulled it out of the box. Its been on my mind all week. I couldn't remember exactly what it looked like and I didn't know if I had saved fabric for binding or not. It has a darling little Moda pink on the back with branches and tiny birds but its a weird pink, and knowing how Moda is, impossible to match. I was afraid that I would have a lovely quilt with nothing good to bind it with, but now I see that tiny bit of yellow and I have TONS of yellow that will go with this and make lovely binding. I love yellow. I probably even have the same yellow as the birds to use. This quilt is from a book Quilts from Larkspur Farm (or something like that) and I believe it's out of print now. So my friends, I have a busy and relaxing day ahead of me, I hope your week ends well and you have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Today Elizabeth is in Scotland at the home of the Loch Ness Monster. Lets hope she sees Nessie! I took a picture of this sign in Long Lake Minnesota as a shout out to her and her love of Nessie. I don't know what the heck this sign is about, we couldn't find any info, like is this a joke or what? Notice the tiny little Nessie sticker in the lower right corner.
Long Lake is the home of the Junk Ladies. My cousin Linda and I drove out to see their shop. Unfortunately they're only open a handful of days a year! What a dissapointment. We had cupcakes and coffee at the Country Cake Cupboard but it was small consulation when you want to see some Junk!!! I always have a wonderful time with Linda though, so my vacation was till great, even sans junk.
Anyway, another day at work for me. Today Alex Anderson is teaching two hand quilting classes at the shop, so it will be a jumpin day around there. Alex is a great teacher and just a fun person to be around.
I'm feeling good about getting so much stuff done the last couple of days, the two quilts are bound, and my banner is up. I can stop obsessing about it now. Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

My New Look!

I love my new look. Sandy cooked up this cool banner for me. I took photos of the darling triangle fabric banner from Elizabeth , some cute scottie pins and some home dec fabric and she came up with this cute design. I LOVE IT. Thanks Sandy!

Fixing the template though was a challenge. Harnessing my ex-geek powers after so many years was a real stretch. That whole area of my brain was reprogrammed 15 years ago with the formula's for cutting half square and quarter square triangles and how to calculate the size of setting triangles for quilts on point.

Thanks for all the positive comments over my new blog. You all inspire me so much!


Yesterday morning I finished up the binding on my sample quilt over coffee before work. It was a lovely morning out, nice and cool. I'm glad to have that done, it was such an easy project and was just hanging over my head for DAYS. I finished piecing the quilt in just a few hours, but the machine quilting took forever. I don't know if it was machine tension or my own tension but I couldn't get it right. Meandering has fallen from grace around here, but for somethings it really is the perfect solution. So instead of the monofilament I wanted to use, I ended up chosing some pretty pale yellow and went all over it with a meander throwing in some cherries here and there for good measure.
The weather has really cooled off so it was pleasant in the shop. We had enough customers to keep it interesting and still have time to play with making up more kits. I ended up staying later than normal and when I came home I had a call from my mom, my sister is coming to town TODAY!!! If you read below, on my list of things to do was machine quilt her quilt. Holy Crap Batman.
Luckily, it was a small easy quilt to machine quilt and I found backing for it in my stash. I 'd picked up some binding fabric at the shop so there was nothing to do but scrounge up some batting from the batting pile and GET BUSY. Here's how it turned out. She loves rabbits so I think she'll like it.

Newer›  ‹Older