August 28, 2015

needle books and life

I read this quote over on Natalie Creates blog this morning and it really struck a chord with me.

"How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives."  Annie Dillard

Isn't that so true?  We can wile away our days waiting for all our ducks to line up and before we know it we have waited years away.


When I think about all the days I've lived doing just that I can feel such regret.  What I could have accomplished or the places I could have visited or even the mountains I could have scaled (metaphorically not physically, of course) if I had lived each day like it was a vital part of my life story.


But then I realize that how I've lived my life, each productive and squandered day, has been an important part of my story.  Each one has helped me to be ready for what has come next.  Each day has shaped me into the person I am now and am becoming.


Does that mean I just coast through life willy nilly without purpose because it's worked for me so far.  No, I don't think so.  I think it's important that I look back at what I could have done better and do it better the next time.  What regrets do I have?  What would I like to change in my life?  What is in my power to do to move me in that direction?  What do I need to just accept?


As long as there is air in my lungs there is time to change.  I can't go back and undo but I can do my best to set things right, whether others choose to accept it or not, and move on hoping to do better in the future.


Like these little needle books I make, each day is but a stitch in what it is to be a completed project. Each one is a vital part of what the end of my story will be.

xo, Patty

August 24, 2015

finding my niche

Dare I say that it's Monday again...already.  We had a quiet, uneventful weekend around here and I am coming to think those are the very best kind.


I had hopes of taking everything out of our sunroom/storage shed and reducing, reboxing and reorganizing it but instead I pretended it was just too hot to tackle and put it back on my to do list for when the weather cools down.  (That list is quite long now and includes painting our master bedroom and sanding the stairs.)


Instead I ended up in my happy place behind my sewing machine.

I keep waiting for my hubby to walk up the stairs and say enough already but so far he has let me while away my time cutting and sewing all the live long day.


I'm thinking he knows my crafting phases pretty well and figures this one will pass just as quickly as it came but I think he'd be wrong this time.  I could sew pretty much every single day, hour after hour and not grow bored.  I think I've truly found my niche.  The ideas still seem fresh and many and goodness knows I have enough fabric to keep me going for the next year or so.


I often get asked about my pretty mugs so I thought I'd share my favorites with you individually and since they match my fabric so perfectly, why not pair the two.


This is truly one of my favorites.  I got it at Anthropologie a few years ago.  There are not many things that I own that I would be upset if they broke but this is one of them.  It is delicate but big enough for a decent cup of coffee.  I love the floral pattern and do I even need to mention that delicate little flower under the handle?

That's it for me this fine Monday morning.  Now let's see what wonderful adventures this week has in store for us.

xo, Patty

August 21, 2015

a fresh start

My grandson and I had a hard day yesterday.  He is in 2nd grade now and his mouth has taken a turn to the sassy side.  After a few more warnings than I should have given he ended up going to bed after his shower, an hour before his scheduled bedtime, with no dessert or his treasured half hour of television.


I could hear the sobs coming from his room as I cleaned up the dinner mess in the kitchen. I knew how upset he was over both losing out on his evening time but also in having disappointed me. Before he drifted off to sleep I went in to assure him that I loved him and that there was nothing in the world that he could ever do that would change that.  I might be disappointed in his choices or even angry when he disobeys but I would always love him.  I also reminded him that with the morning always comes the chance to begin again with a fresh start.


It occurred to me how much we as adults need to hear those same words and rest in that truth.  We too have Someone who gives us room to roam and who loves us enough to discipline us when we stray too far but who is all about fresh beginnings.  Someone who says he will never abandon us or forsake us.  Someone who promises no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

I thought maybe you might need that little reminder, too.

I tried my best to think a way of weaving this patchwork bag I made into the story but just couldn't do it, ha, ha!  Have a great weekend.

xo, Patty

August 19, 2015

what comes in must go out...

I had every intention of writing this post this morning but then one thing led to another and before I knew it, here I am contemplating dinner and typing away.


Every time I blog in the afternoon or night I wonder if anyone will read it?  I usually do my blog reading in the morning with my coffee before I start on whatever housework or errands I have planned for the day and I wonder if you are that way, too?  Every once in a while I will open up my laptop in the afternoon to see what new posts there might be but mostly I'm a morning blog reader.

Well that was little off topic, I guess I should get back to the post.


A couple of weeks ago I pre-ordered Erin Cox' (from Why Not Sew) book called Sweet Tweets.  I have been anxiously stalking the postman waiting for its arrival and was so happy to see it in my mail box today.


I love her whimsical style and the book does not disappoint.  There are so many sweet projects in it that I want to make.  As usual the issue is time, specifically not enough of it.


But that's okay, I like the dreaming and planning stage as well.  For now it's stacked on top of my growing collection of handmade books.  These are my current favorites.  I have a few more that are not pictured but for now these are the ones that keep me up at night.


Between books and fabric it looks like it's going to be a handmade Christmas just to justify my purchases.  I'm thinking I'll be doing a give away here on my blog soon, too.  Mostly likely to coincide with the reopening of my Etsy shop in a few weeks.  (My husband says if I keep having fabric come in then I better have some way of getting it to go out as well.)

I think it will be fun to share a peek into a few of my other craft books in the future as well and maybe even show you a glimpse of my ever growing collection of fabric, too.

Better get on dinner before the hubby gets home.

xo, Patty

August 17, 2015

ants and other random thoughts

We are battling ants here big time.  It seems like every time I gain control of the them in one area of the house, they pop up somewhere else.  They are tenacious little critters I will give them that much. I have really been trying not to spray poison in the house but I must confess I have resorted to it these last few outbreaks.

I am open for any natural (or at this point, unnatural) suggestions on how to keep them out.


In other news, I was able to spend nearly the entire weekend in my sewing room.  I caught up on a few ongoing projects and started a couple of more.  I know I said I was going to try not to start anything else but at my age when the ideas come you better get on them toot sweet or they may never return again.  (Can I get an amen from the mature crowd?)


The garden is a hot mess right now.  It is just so darn hot and even with morning and afternoon watering things are really wilted.  Even the tomatoes have given up the ghost.  At this point I'm really just trying to keep the perennials alive for next year.


I did manage to declutter the living room by removing any unnecessary toys, rearranging and organizing book shelves and fluffing up the pillows.  It's amazing what a difference just that little bit of effort can make in how you feel about a room.  Now I can't wait to get it ready for fall in a couple of weeks.


I guess that's enough randomness for one post.  Anything fun going on where you are?

xo Patty

August 14, 2015

wishing for tea and scone time

I know it's only August and we are in the midst of the hottest temps of the year but earlier in the week after re watching (yes, I have several saved at any given time) an episode of the Pioneer Woman, I broke out the butter and flour and whipped up a batch of her Maple Pecan Scones.


Of course, I didn't have pecans or maple extract (I haven't been able to locate the real stuff) so I settled for walnuts and imitation maple flavoring.


It had been a long while since I made scones from scratch, having developed an unhealthy obsession with Trader Joe's version, but they turned out pretty good.


I pressed my dough a little thinner than hers so that I could get a few more out of the batch for sharing and my maple icing was a bit thin and yes, my patience wore out and I put it on before they were completely cooled and yes, I sampled one before the icing had a chance to set, but the recipe is definitely a keeper.

(I'm seeing a major issue with patience riddled all throughout this post, are you?  Got to work on that...lol.)


I know some of you in colder climates are hanging on to every last day of summer but I am definitely ready for autumn.  I even stopped in at Home Goods and picked up a little candy corn wooden garland yesterday.  I've made a vow to myself that the totes of fall decor won't come out until the first of September but I have to tell you I am struggling with that one already.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my last post.  I'm hoping to respond and visit with each of you this weekend.  Just know I'll be typing with one hand and finishing off the last of the scones with other, so if you find a few crumbs or typos you'll know why.

xo, Patty

August 10, 2015

rediscovering embroidery and blogging

This blogging gig is such a funny thing.  I can't even tell you how many times I've thought about just giving it up and using my time on more "important" things.  I mean seriously life is so busy and full and demanding and time conscious that there must be something else I should be doing.


Sitting in front of this computer screen trying to decide if anything in my life is blog post worthy, taking photos, editing pictures and editing my tongue can take a fair amount of time.


Sometimes (okay, most of the time) I find myself thinking that my life is so mundane and so very ordinary, and I've been telling you about it for six years now, that there is certainly nothing going on that you even care to hear about.


I mean do you really care that I've rediscovered my love for embroidery?  The simple act of sketching a little doodle out, transferring it over to fabric and pushing that needle and thread through one stitch at a time, watching my vision come to life and how that brings me joy.  How that adds just a bit of sunshine into my life after a hard day.


Sharing with you how much I enjoy passing by this little basket full of floss and an unfinished projects and how it makes picking up toys for the hundredth time that day a little easier.  Just knowing that at the end of it all when the house has quieted, I will find myself in my favorite brown leather recliner, hoop in hand, winding down in body and filling up in spirit.


And then I remember why I blog and who my blogging friends are.  I don't blog for money or numbers (I gave that up a long time ago) I blog to record my life, to share my passions, my heartaches and yes, even the everydayness of it all.  I blog so that you can remind me through your kind comments that I am not alone in this and that we all share in life's ups and downs.  I blog to hopefully encourage you to find joy and happiness in the little things and to never give up even if you feel like crawling back in bed and pulling the covers up over you head some days.


I think I blog because I don't believe we were meant to do this alone. We were created to be in families whether they be blood related or not, we are part of a community.  I guess I mostly blog to share life...because at the end of the day it was meant to be shared.

xo, Patty