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August 31, 2015

I'm going in...

Today is the day...I can't put it off any longer...I've stalled as long as possible...and papa bear finally let out a roar (well at least a "maybe it's time" statement but roar sounded better, forgive the writer in me for the exaggeration).


This house has been sadly neglected since the sewing bug flew in a few weeks ago.  I have stacked and restacked the same papers and linens and folded laundry as often as is humanly possible without actually putting it where it belongs and then snuck into my sewing room for one day too many.


So today is the day that I actually find a place for everything that has been collecting on all those flat surfaces that things just naturally collect on.


I warned my hubby that it might get worse before it gets better because the issue is a storage space one and that means purging and that means taking stuff out of cupboards and that means that stuff has got to rest somewhere until I decide what to do with it.  You do that too, right?


So I'm going in...come looking for me if I don't come out.  If you can't find me anywhere make sure you knock on my sewing room door and make sure I didn't wander in there by mistake, (wink, wink).

Happy Monday!

xo, Patty

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 7, 2015

goodbye summer

Just wanted to take a quick minute to wish you the best weekend.  Nothing special planned here, just a little last minute school shopping for my oldest grandson and maybe a trip to Bass Pro Shop and our favorite Mexican restaurant.


School starts on Wednesday around here and I can already feel the change in schedule working its way into our daily routine.  On the one hand I'm ready for the order school restores but on the other hand I'm not quite ready for the unstructured pace of summer to be over.  I guess you can't have it both ways.

Oh well, like it or not time marches on...so we may as well like it!

xo, Patty

August 5, 2015

in my studio right now

As you can probably tell I have been obsessed with sewing lately, mainly piecing quilts and small projects.  Every spare moment finds me running upstairs to my studio and flipping on the power switch to my sewing machine.


My biggest problem is deciding which of the projects I already have going to work on, or if I should start on one of the many ideas I have swirling around in my head at any given moment, like this cute little tote bag I sketched out.


Unfortunately, more often than not the new idea wins out...which is why I have so many unfinished projects!


I think it's time to make a list of those WIPS (works in progress) and start tackling them one by one. Maybe when school gets back in session next week and my days have more order.  (Read into that, when I actually stay home long enough to get anything done.)  Most of them will be Christmas presents, some will go in my Etsy shop and a few will stay here with me.

One day I hope to be a good finisher...

xo, Patty

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