March 5, 2015

capturing a moment

I am just back from a planning retreat for Women's ministries at my church.  I went with such an amazing group of women, some I've know a while and a few new friends.  I have to admit I was a little nervous to be going, wondering just what I would have to offer.

It turns out those nerves were totally in vain.  From the moment we piled into the car for the hour long drive to the hotel we would be staying at I felt completely at ease.  As our time together went on it was clear we all had a purpose in being there.

Before we left on our trip I put together these little canvas memory journals for each us.

Nothing fancy and only a few pages with just enough room to record a thought or two.

I took a few pictures while we were there and printed them out on my home printer on inexpensive photo paper at wallet size as soon as I got home.  They fit perfectly on the photo page.

I added a thought or two on the journal side and in less than a half an hour I have captured a few of my favorite moments from the retreat.

Sometimes I think we can over complicate memory keeping books.  I have been guilty of this I know.  I plan out these elaborate pages and wait to send out for my photos to be professionally developed and never get around to putting the album together.

Sometimes a quick snapshot and a few words is all it really takes to remind us of the special times in our lives.

xo, Patty

March 2, 2015

hello March

I am busy packing for a mini planning retreat with a few women from my church.  This has been on the books for a couple of months and I am really looking forward to it.  It comes on the tail end of a busy but fun couple of weeks.  It will be nice to slow down and recharge with friends.

This is the kind of thing that my husband scratches his head over.  He can imagine nothing more uncomfortable than to spend a couple of days with people that are not family in such close quarters.  The thought of sharing a room and worse yet a bathroom, is the farthest thing from relaxing to him as you can get.

I tried to explain to him that it's more about the conversation, food and the fact that I have no one to take care of but myself that I find so appealing but he still wasn't having it.  I thought this was just a man thing but some of my girlfriends feel the same way.

I wanted to take a minute and share a few pictures of February's workshop from last Friday before I bombard you with photos for March's Easter Makerie.

I loved this mixed media project and banner and so did the ladies who attended.  They did a beautiful job especially since the canvas project was so far out of their comfort zone.  I was a bit afraid they wouldn't like the messy unstructured work of mixed media but I was wrong.  I will definitely be including more projects like this in the future.

I better get back to my packing now.  I like to leave the house clean and at least one meal ready for my hubby plus our dog gets all moody when I go away so I need to give him a little extra loving as well.

I hope the beginning of March is good to you and that the hope of Spring shows up in your weather, or at least in your memories, soon.

xo, Patty

February 26, 2015

setting boundaries

Setting boundaries is hard for me.  I've gotten better at saying no as I've gotten older but it is still not my natural response.

One of the things I've learned in saying no is that sometimes (probably most of the time) people would rather have you turn down a request up front than have you either say yes and have a bad attitude, or say yes and not have the time to do the job justice, or worse yet, say yes and then flake out at the last minute.

Another thing I've learned is that sometimes saying yes is actually the selfish answer.  I have mentioned before that I am a people pleaser and saying yes is a big part of that.  Sometimes I say yes to please someone and sometimes I say yes to have someone think more highly of me.

What I can fail to realize is that my yes may take the opportunity away from someone else.  And that someone else can very likely be more qualified in time and ability than I am.

Also, when I say yes too often I eventually have to say no to other things, I mean there are still only 24 hours in a day.  Something's got to give.  Usually that something for me is time with my family and time to myself.  Neither of which provides for a healthy environment.

I have found that saying no to a few things has meant that I can say yes to more time for me.  More time to dream, more time to garden or more time in my studio.  More time dreaming and creating feeds my soul and allows me to offer my family and other commitments a happier more satisfied person.  One that doesn't feel as stressed and stretched out.

And ultimately, I believe that allows me to be the best me possible.

Are you a natural boundary setter?  Is it easy for you not to become over committed by saying yes to too many people or projects?  Or do you need to start setting boundaries in order to be the best you?

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo, Patty

February 25, 2015

memories and fashion Wednesday

My life has finally slowed down enough for me to head over to my mom's for a couple of days.  I am typing this from her family room sofa with one eye on my laptop screen and one on her sitting at the kitchen table reading the newspaper, contemplating the days crossword puzzle and feeling extremely blessed to watch her.

Are you like me in having snapshots in your mind of how you think of those you love?  Which chair they sit in at the dining room table or their favorite recliner, a morning routine or nervous habit.

My mother in law used to stick her tongue out of the side of her mouth when she was focusing hard, she used to clank the bowl with her fork as she ate her morning apple salad, she used to let a little burp slip out and say, "excuse me, I never do that".

I can still see my dad watching TV in his favorite recliner with his socks on and pajama shirt unbuttoned.  It seems like just yesterday that he was using the last bit of his toast to clean the gooey mess of eggs off the bottom of his plate.

The older I get the more I tuck these memories away for future reference.  I wish I had been better at keeping a journal when my kids were small.  I wish I had captured those cute mannerisms and sweet mispronunciations as they happened.  I am trying to do better with my grandchildren. Each faze passes so quickly.

It seems I've rambled right through this fashion Wednesday post and can find no clever way to transition.  Sorry about that...

Remember this inspiration photo from a couple of weeks ago?  I chose it for it's timeless look and I knew it would be easy to recreate from my closet.

I found this embellished sweater at Target on clearance for under $15.00 right after Christmas.  I paired it with boot cut jeans from Loft and my grey booties.  I chose not to wear a necklace because of the gem embellishments on the sweater but added some dangling silver earrings and multiple silver bracelets.  It has been nice to be able to wear a sweater the last couple of days after our flip flop weather for most of February.

With March just around the corner it's time to start thinking about transitioning to Spring fashion.  Any ideas or trends you'd like me look in to?  And if you have any memory you want to share, I'm all ears.

xo, Patty

February 23, 2015

seedlings in the garden

I took these pictures of the garden on Friday, it was sunny and clear and very springlike.  Now as I'm typing this it has turned chilly and we are getting a much needed down pour of rain.  Such is the world of blogging.

So many volunteer seedlings coming up and filling in the empty spaces in my back perennial bed.

I am way behind in my garden clean up and spring plantings.  Usually by the end of February I have a pretty good show of new flowers surrounded by fresh mulch.  Not this year.

I don't know why I haven't gotten the urge.  Maybe it's because we never really had a winter so the need for spring flowers doesn't feel as urgent.

Whatever the reason, I am thankful that these pretty annuals didn't wait for me and showed up all on their own.  Daisies, cilantro, cosmos and larkspur dotting the beds...

I'm hoping to play catch up in the next week or two and I'll be sure to share a few photos along the way.  What about you, are you in the planning or planting stage? Or is your garden already bursting forth with blooms?

xo, Patty

February 18, 2015

giving up facebook and fashion Wednesday

It's hard to believe this is Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent.  2015 seems to be happening at break neck speed.  That's a gruesome term...anyone know the origin?  I haven't always been one to give up or sacrifice anything during the Lent season but have found value in doing so the last couple of years so I am choosing it again this year.  I have decided to give up the time I spend on facebook.  It's a decision I have been toying with for a while anyway...but that's another story for another time.  Do you practice giving up something for Lent?  What is it for you this year?

What I will not be giving up is fashion Wednesday.  It has proven to be such a positive thing in my life.  Encouraging me to look presentable and to value time spent on myself.

So let's get on with it.

Last week I showed you a few looks that I wanted to try for more mature women from my "My Style" board on pinterest.  This week I decided to start out with this inspiration photo of mustard yellow cardigan, lace top and jeans.

Isn't this a great lace top?  It has been hanging in my closet for two years and never been worn.  I bought it out of a Northstyle catalog because it is so pretty but never knew how to style it.  It is sleeveless and I still am not comfortable showing my 50 + year old arms.

Thank you pinterest.  Why didn't I think of throwing a lightweight cardigan over it?

It reached into the high 70's yesterday and the outfit was still very comfortable.  The blue statement necklace is from Kohls and I think I only paid around $10.00 for it on sale.  I've already worn it a couple of times so it was definitely a good purchase.  I added simple silver hoop earrings and some bangle bracelets and my black cowboy booties.  Such a great, polished look and super comfortable, too.

I'm already wondering when I can wear it again.

Happy Wednesday my friends.

xo, Patty

quick note...If you receive my blog notifications through facebook, you will still get them as they are automatically linked and I didn't delete my account.

February 17, 2015

the studio tour continues

Thanks for coming back to see the rest of my art studio.  It's hard to miss the focal point on this side of the room.  I found this large wooden easel at the thrift store for $8.00.  It is solid wood and in great shape except for the front panel which has been replaced with particle board.  I knew I needed to cover it up and decided a little paint job might be in order.  Never one to shy away from color, I love how it turned out.

The sewing machine table is another thrift store find.  A coat of reddish orange paint transformed it into the perfect spot to add a few stitches to my art work.

This framed canvas was used as a photo board in my old craft space.  I knew I wanted a little more order in how I displayed my grand kids pictures in the new space so I treated the whole thing as a large mixed media art canvas and painted four flowers to frame each of my grand children's picture.  The photos are held up with push pins which allows for me to change them as often as I like.

I found this vintage wire basket at the Pasadena Flea Market a couple of years ago and decided to hang it on the wall and use it as a display case.

The wardrobe mirrors will be used as a large display board and are slowly being used to showcase works in progress and copies of my favorite art journal pages.  The small hutch is being used as my printer stand as well as magazine holder.  I love the jewelry wall which I've shared with you before.

I've stored my baker's twine in these sugar canisters for a while now and I still love the mix of cuteness and function.  As you can see I hung a banner or two or three around the room as well.

I love the natural light that flows into this room and the large trees just outside the window make me feel like I'm in a tree house.  I added a row of white lights and my heart banner as a the window treatment.

Vintage sheets are tacked around the open shelves to hide plastic storage bins and totes.  I love that everyone including the dog likes to hang out in the chair while I'm working.  My grandson thinks the whole room is too pretty to get all messy with my art but he's coming around.

I'm glad I took these pictures when I did because it didn't stay this neat for very long.  I think I would be worried if it did because the whole point of transforming the room was to get me creating and creating is messy, wonderful business.

xo, Patty