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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

February 16, 2015

a tour of my studio - part one

I have a young friend named Sara. Sara is an artist.  She believes in who she was created to be and it flows freely into every aspect of her life.  She has encouraged me to embrace the artist in me and I am immensely grateful to her for it.

With this new found admission I knew it was time for me to create a space that would draw me in, that would stimulate the artist in me.  To finally put together my dream art studio...


I've divided the room in to two posts and will share half today and half tomorrow.

We'll start the tour clockwise as you enter the door.


I am a very visual person and know that color stimulates my creativity, so I spent some time adding pops of brights to bring life to the white walls.


 I covered an old bulletin board with scrapbook paper that I had in my stash. (I took pictures as I went and will show you how simple it was soon.)  Now it's too pretty to actually use to tack things up on but that's okay, it reminds me to always be a dreamer and that's a quality I never want to lose.


This large frame has followed me the last couple of house moves we've made.  The glass broke out of it many years ago so now I use it as a place to hang inspiration.  Every one should have a spot to gather things they love, don't you agree?


The tall shelving unit holds a lot of my little what nots including buttons, brushes and washi tape.  The three tiered cart is from IKEA and it stores my mixed media papers and stamps.  The large farm table takes up the majority of the room and is well worth the real estate investment.  I scored it a few years ago at the thrift store for $20.00.


And lastly as we turn the corner on the half way mark of the room, I pushed a drop leaf table under the beautiful sun exposing window to hold all the essential tools I use on a regular basis.  It's not pretty but it is functional and I'm okay with a little organized mess.

There really are no words for how I feel when I walk into this room, I just know that I think about going back in there as soon as I walk out and I can't imagine a better endorsement of a space.

I can't wait to come back tomorrow with the other half of the room.

Happy Monday!

xo, Patty

February 14, 2015

love yourself this Valentines Day

It seems where ever I turn these days I find myself among young adult women.  My daughters, the young moms I am the mentor mom to at church and others beautiful ones that God has placed in my path.


My conversations with them remind me of the multiple demands and roles that they are asked to fill.  And about the high (many times unreasonable) expectations that we as a society place on them and they as seekers to live up to it all, place on themselves.


It doesn't seem that long ago that I was swimming those dangerous waters myself.

Looking back, while there are many things I would have done differently, I know I did my best at the time with the tools in my arsenal that I had to work with.  While I made my share of mistakes, I did a few things right as well.   This is true of all of us.


Even if you read every parenting book on the shelf you are never quite prepared for the role of mother.  Partly because our children don't read the books and behave accordingly, but also because we were children in an imperfect world and we bring to the role of parent a whole lot of built up baggage.


And it is very difficult not to unpack that baggage with our children. But thankfully, they are remarkably resilient.


If I could tell a young woman anything at all about this time in your life it would be to let go of the expectation of perfection.  No one, absolutely no one, except Jesus himself, will achieve it.  Love yourself.  Not in the selfish way the world tells you to, but in the way that a loving Father tells you to.


Acknowledge that you are beautiful, you are cherished, you are special, you are worthy, you are adored simply because you were created to be that way.  Love those in your sphere of influence with those same qualities and allow God to turn the scraps of baggage you've been carrying around into a thing of beauty.   Whether you are eight or 80, it's never too late.

Happy Valentines Day!

xo, Patty

February 11, 2015

keeping it real and fashion Wednesday

Some weeks I just don't feel like.......
you fill in the blank.

For me this week it was getting dressed.  I have been fighting a sinus infection, it has been unseasonably warm, I watched my grand boys quite a bit and I finally finished making my studio into what I dreamed it should be.  

In keeping it real, I just didn't feel like fixing up.  So unless you want to see me in my favorite (read well worn) PJ's with no make up or the same pair of jeans and comfy t-shirt, we will be having ourselves a mini pinterest fest here today for fashion Wednesday.

Here are a few of my favorite looks right now.


I adore this pink lace top.   It is on my short list of things to find.  And those booties...love!


What a cute look this is.  I really like the casual jeans and sweater with the blazer and nude pumps.


More lace here.  So pretty and feminine and you know how I feel about mustard...love it!


I was never the biggest fan of grey but this year I am really liking it.  What a classic yet casual look this is.


I know it's not anywhere near sandal weather for a lot of you but I love these black sandals with the skinny jeans and floral shirt.  Perfect spring look, don't you think?


Don't worry mom, there are no ripped jeans in my future but I do like this coral blouse and floral scarf with skinny jeans.  And more yummy sandals.


Another staple look for me.  Jeans and a black tee.  Love the simple jewelry.  Not sure I could pull off the hat but it looks adorable on her.


And finally this blue lace dress...I adore it!  It has been years since I wore a dress but this spring I feel one coming on.  What about you?  Do you wear dresses?  Do you go bare legged or wear tights?  I think this is definitely a mature woman issue we need to address more in another post.

So there you have it, kind of a preview of coming weeks.  I think I'll try to recreate each of these looks for us 50 somethings and beyond.  Which is your favorite?

Happy hump day!

xo, Patty

All these gorgeous sources can be found here on my "My Style" pinterest board.

February 9, 2015

on hospitality

When I was a kid I was certain that when I grew up I was going to have the house where all the kids gathered and people were always welcome.  There would always be room for one more at the dinner table and the guest room would always be at the ready.


And then I became an adult.  Life got busy, I married an introvert, kids came along and my house was never quite finished.  So I settled for yearly birthday parties for the kids and meeting friends at the local Chili's.

Which is not bad, it just wasn't what I imagined...


And then about ten years ago I decided to accept and respect the boundaries in my life with regards to company but to figure out a way that I could still live the life I dreamed of as a kid.  I gave up the notion of having pop in friends, extended house guests in a perfectly decorated room and a completely done home.  I instead focused on inviting a few friends over just for their company, not to impress them and not to feel embarrassed by a house with mismatched dishes that more often than not looks like an active family lives here.

What a revolutionary notion that was for me.


What I learned is that when family needs a place to stay they aren't looking for a luxury hotel, just a bed with clean sheets and a smiling face handing them a hot cup of coffee in the morning.  When friends come to visit they don't expect a gourmet meal and a pinterest ready atmosphere, they just want a safe place to talk about the ups and downs of life.

I love this quote from Edie at Life in Grace...

"Hospitality is not about inviting people into your perfect home, it's about inviting them into your imperfect heart."

Doesn't that just say it all?  Who might need an invitation into your less than ready home and your perfectly imperfect heart?

xo. Patty