August 3, 2015

August around the cottage

I'm having trouble starting a blog post without referring to time passing quickly.  I'm afraid it may be an age thing so I will refrain from mentioning the fact that it is August already and summer is nearly over...except if you live in Southern California and have two or three more months of hot weather ahead.


It's been a while since I shared pictures of the cottage mostly because not much has changed around here but also because it is difficult to find a time when there are not legos, trains, papers, dirty glasses and all manner of stuff on every flat surface.  Just being real.  While small homes may breed close families, they also breed a never ending amount of clutter.



I fight the good fight in trying to keep up with it, nagging encouraging everyone to pick up after themselves but to a certain extent I have just accepted that a noisy family of five lives here and it will not always or even mostly always be neat and tidy.



I am ready to start transitioning to fall decor, which is my favorite, in the next few weeks.  I have in mind a couple of new pillows for the sofa and a pretty new quilt for the living room.


But for now we are just enjoying this last full week of summer break, noise, clutter and all.

Happy August!

xo, Patty

July 29, 2015

feeling settled

I had a dream (okay, a nightmare) last night that the water heater burst and we had hot water flooding the upstairs.  In my dream we were all sitting on the floor playing a board game, very Norman Rockwell like, when I saw smoke rising from the floor boards.  My husband pulled back the throw rug to find water buckling the wood.


I am not a person who dreams very often or at least I don't usually remember them, so waking up with this vivid memory has me thinking about what my dream was trying to tell me.


I started thinking about my life feeling pretty settled (in a good way) right now and realized that I don't trust the calm.  Given the changes in the last year, the ups and downs of this season in my life must have me waiting for the proverbial other shoe to fall or water heater to burst.


I don't like living that way because it squanders the time of peace with worry about the future.

"So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.  Today's trouble is enough for today"  Matthew 6:34


So today, I'm going make a conscious decision to appreciate the calmness of life right now and if (and when) trouble comes I'll deal with it then.  Today I'm heading back up to my craft studio, closing the door and sewing the day away.

xo, Patty

July 27, 2015

on this Monday...

Hello Monday.  It's amazing how quickly you sneak up on us...



Is it just me or does it seem like for as fast as the days and weeks pass by, the month of July is taking FOREVER?  Maybe it's just the five long weeks from payday to payday but the 31st can't get here quickly enough for me.


It has been such a busy month with lots of small trips to the local beaches and mountains and day visits for swimming with friends.  It's hard to believe that the kids will return to school in just a couple of weeks around here.  We still have some things left on our summer bucket list before then including movies in the park this week and a few more swim dates plus back to school shopping.


As fun as summer has been I am starting to think about fall and even started a little holiday sewing over the weekend.  No, not that holiday...just a little Halloween project that I'll share with you next time.


I find myself stealing away as much time as I can tucked away in my craft studio.  It truly is the place where I recharge and find peace in my busy life.  I am even learning not to feel guilty when I shut the door for hours at a time.  There is such therapy in cutting fabric and watching the sewing machine turn those little shapes into beautiful things.  Remind me next time I even think that I can do without that space how wrong that would be.

That's all for me on this Monday.  How is summer going for you, so far?

xo, Patty

July 23, 2015

passing on the domestic arts...

Grab a cup of something hot, this is a wordy one (smile)...

One of the things I wanted to start doing this summer was to begin a mentoring group of young marrieds in my home to pass on my love of the domestic arts.  Sewing, quilting, crocheting, embroidery, paper arts, baking, gardening and home keeping in general are a few of the subjects I'd like to cover.


I knew a couple of sweet girls who had already expressed an interest in learning these skills so I sent a message out to them a couple of weeks ago, encouraging them to bring a friend they thought might also like to learn.


My hope is to meet twice a month focusing on a knew task until the project is finished, making a quilt will obviously take a few sessions, where as an embroidered hoop will most likely be finished in one.


I remember how full my days were when my girls were little so I let them know that the time we spend together is flexible.  Missing a day here and there is absolutely no problem, family is always first.  This should be fun and relaxing and never a burden on an already busy schedule.


The response was positive and yesterday we had our first meeting, making these cute pin cushions.


The fabric is called Vintage Market Place, the designer is Tasha Noel for Riley Blake Fabrics.  Isn't it adorable?


Next up is a sweet and useful portable sewing kit, perfect for all those times you find yourself waiting at kids activities or doctors appointments with just enough time to work on a small handwork project.


I can't tell you how much I love working with these young women, how much it encourages me.  If we rely on the negative image the media reports about the next generation, we can fail to see the promise that they actually hold and the hunger they have for face to face time with a more mature woman.


The girls I mentor are not looking for another mother just someone who has been where they are before and can offer a listening ear and a safe environment to talk through their concerns.

What about you?  Is there something that you might consider teaching a younger woman?  It doesn't have to be involved or complicated, just something you love doing.  I can almost guarantee there is someone within your sphere of influence who would love to spend the time with you learning.

xo, Patty

July 21, 2015

messy and beautiful and that's okay...

I went to breakfast with a couple of good friends yesterday and we chatted about our lives and families as women tend to do as we lingered over coffee.  As one talked about the retirement years and what that would look like for her and another reflected on still having a teenager in the home who is just starting to date, it got me thinking about my life right now and how differently it looks than I would have imagined even ten years ago.


If you'd asked me then, I would have told you that we would be empty nesters and that I was looking forward to retiring in a couple of years and spending time crafting, gardening and maybe even moving to a little farmhouse with a few acres of land in the country.


But then life took it's twists and turns and I find myself three years into retirement with a full, noisy, messy house and that's okay.  If things had gone according to my plans there would be so much of life that I missed out on both good and bad.  You see, I've felt joy during that time that has been indescribable and pain that I would have thought insurmountable.  Those ten years have showed me who I am and cemented Whose I am.


Yes, my home might be cleaner and my garden might be lusher and I might be able to craft uninterrupted into the wee hours of the night but I wouldn't have had the chance to experience all the other life moments that have happened along the way and that would not be okay...

When I look at the outward appearances of the lives of the women around me both in real life and online, I have to be careful not to focus on what their lives appear to be or even what I imagined my life would have been but to purposely celebrate the messy, beautiful life that I have.

xo, Patty

July 16, 2015

some catch up sewing...

I spent most of yesterday behind my sewing machine which is such a rare and welcomed treat these days.  I am joining Lori Holt over at Bee in my Bonnet in her Farm Girl Vintage quilt along and am running a bit behind.  I started late so I am actually playing catch up and any chance I get I try to finish a block to add to my stack.


Her book is adorable with so many cute vintage looking blocks.  The directions are easy to follow and most of the blocks have been very easy to put together.  I am trying to work with fabric I already have in my stash but must admit that I've made one or two (or five) trips to the quilt store to round out my selection.


I've been sharing them as I go on instagram but I am hoping to line them up and show them to you here soon.


I don't know if I shared with you that I gave up my studio when my daughter moved back in a few months ago and claimed a corner of the living room to craft in (that's a whole other post) but last week I reneged on my selfless move and have restaked a claim to my craft space upstairs.


This pretty wall of inspiration is part of what pulled me back in.  I'll show you both spaces in the days to come.

So that's it for me...what's new with you?

xo, Patty

July 14, 2015

sharing summer

Last month my hubby and I took a quick trip up the California coast to Santa Barbara with my brother and sister in law.  I had no idea how much we needed the get away until we got away.  Does that make sense?


We'd been planning the trip since the spring and were really looking forward to it and then life happened and we started to think maybe the timing wasn't right for us to go.  There seemed to be so many loose ends at home, I was fighting a cold, the dog had allergies, the money could be spent on plumbing repairs...you know the drill, anything that might keep us from going.


Thankfully we resisted the urge to cancel, packed our bags, gassed up the car and headed north.


Our first stop was the cute little town of Carpenteria. We always stop off at Reyes Market for a burrito, a walk on the beach and hit a couple of our favorite antique stores.




After lunch we got back in the car for the 45 minute drive to Santa Barbara.



We stayed at the Franciscan Inn which is a quick walk from the sand.  My sister in law and I checked in as the guys wanted to hit the links and she and I never lack for things to talk about.  After dropping our bags off in our rooms she and I headed down to the beach with a cup of coffee and our complimentary cookie in hand.



The room we stayed in was actually a little cottage suite complete with tiny rosebud wall paper and a charming wooden headboard.  Surprisingly my hubby loved the room and insists it is the only room we will stay in when we go back.





We did a little hiking, visited the mission, shopped on State Street and ate and ate and ate...

The weather was perfect, the company was entertaining and easy and the food was scrumptious!

We had the. best. time. ever...




It was such an important reminder to us that a marriage needs to be given priority, nurtured and invested in.


We've decided we need to get away at least a couple of times a year even if we think the timing isn't right, the money isn't there or the world will stop spinning if we leave home.  A healthy relationship has a trickle down effect on everything else in your world and is worth whatever the cost to maintain it, but then you already knew that.

xo, Patty