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January 31, 2012

another chapter ending

I have been thinking a lot lately about how random life can seem at times...

Just when you think you have life on a string, something happens and your world can come unraveled.

I am stepping out in faith that as one chapter ends...

another one begins... "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord.

As one area of my life has shifted in a way I wouldn't have chosen...another adventure that I have longed for is officially here.  As of February 21, 2012, I am a stay at home (and loving it) wife...by choice.   I have retired from State service after 27 years of punching a clock.  Since I have a little vacation time on the books, my last day of work was yesterday.

Just think, more time to do the stuff I love, and as if you are not sick of me already, more time to visit with all of you.  Woot....woot! 

Have a wonderful Tuesday.  Patty

January 30, 2012

is it Monday already?

Ask me how many leaves got raked this weekend? 

Let's just say the time got away from me...I started playing in my craft studio and before I knew it the weekend was over.  It seems these are the only flowers I have to share with you today.

Does that ever happen to you?  Oh well, I had so much fun inside that I'm not even going to feel a little bit guilty.

Fortunately, there is always tomorrow...

Have a wonderful week everyone.

January 28, 2012

cleaning up

I spent yesterday doing laundry and cleaning inside so that this weekend could be all about playing outside.

I cut a few of the rose bushes back before the green waste was taken earlier in the week but there are many more bushes to go and the fall leaves are right where they fell last November.

Every year I say that I'm going to keep up with the leaves from our mature California Ash trees but they have the nerve to fall during the busy holiday season and my best intentions are soon forgotten.

I could put it off a while longer but the weather is perfect right now and if I wait the rain or heat could arrive at any time and then I'll be sorry.

Besides I know the nurseries will soon be filling up with beautiful pansies and snap dragons and I won't be able to withstand the temptation to buy a few six packs (or twenty) and I will have no where prepared to plant them.

February and March are Southern California at it's finest.  Have you started to think about your spring flowers, yet?

January 26, 2012

good morning

After our rain and cooler weather earlier in the week, I couldn't wait to get in the kitchen and do a little baking.  Never mind that the thermostat reached 80 degrees yesterday.

Nothing fancy just some old fashioned chocolate chip cookies.

I couldn't resist a chilled glass of milk in this adorable vintage cherry glass that my sweet friend Debbie of My Vintage Daydreams gave me.

A few fresh flowers from my afternoon in the garden and I'd say this day is off to a wonderful start.

I don't know about you but it doesn't take fancy to make my heart sing. 


January 24, 2012

my little writing desk

The work in my studio is just about complete.  I have a couple of sewing projects to finish up and then I will give you the full tour.

Today I thought I'd show you my little thrift store writing desk.  This is one of the pieces that my hubby brought up from my old space downstairs.  I am still happy with the paint color so it was all about accessorizing this time.

As you can see it holds a good deal of my favorite crafting supplies and my ever growing collection of Somerset magazines and hobby books.  The little pink chest was one of the pieces I purchased at Goodwill last month.  It is solid wood and only required a quick sanding, a couple of coats of my bubblegum pink paint and a little bit of distressing.

This letter holder has some sweet note cards just waiting to be written out and popped in the mail.

You'll notice I have jars of buttons tucked in every where.  I hadn't realized how my collection had grown until I started organizing and consolidating them into jars.

This is the red leather overnight case I shared before.  I store my crape paper, tulle, velvets, tea stained muslin, old sheet music and vintage wallpaper in there.  I love the lid propped open so that it's all visible and I can remember to use it on my projects.

The cases and tiered wire stand are filled with ribbon and lace.  I'm still working on the labels so that I don't have to keep opening them to remember what I stashed where.  It's kind of like a game of concentration with my middle aged brain losing the majority of the time.

Now if I can just slow down long enough to sit and journal a little or write out a few cards I'll be happy.  I wish I was better at putting my private thoughts down on paper.  Maybe I wouldn't keep running them over in my head if I just wrote them down in a journal.

If you journal faithfully, how do you discipline yourself to sit and write?  I'd love some suggestions...sometimes that blank sheet of paper only sets my mind to stewin' and not my hand to writing.

The sun is out today, so I think I'll head outside and take a look at the gardens.  It's almost time to start the clean up...not today, today is just about dreaming of Spring.


January 23, 2012

my safe haven

It's another rainy day here in Southern California and another reason to stay inside and cocoon myself away from the world outside. 

There is no place I would rather be, when the stress of living crowds in, than in my little house. 

Whether it be to pull the blankets over my head for just a while longer or spending a little extra quiet time in the morning or curling up with a cup of tea under a warm quilt, my home is definitely my safe haven and I don't ever want to take that gift for granted.

It makes caring for my home a joy.  I am lucky enough to have two spots just made for comfort, an old leather recliner in the living room with a perfect view of the mountains and now this cozy little corner in my craft studio.

Where is it that you retreat to in your home?

January 20, 2012

the weekend

I am sitting here in my very old, very comfortable, Navy sweats hot chocolate in hand, watching the clouds roll in with the promise of a wet few days. 

Just the perfect type of weather to keep me indoors this weekend with nothing better to do than clean and putter around the house.

I am happy with the progress in my studio so far and can't wait to get back in there and dig in again.

I haven't had a weekend like this in a while and I am really looking forward to it.  What about you?  Any special plans for your weekend?

January 19, 2012

a new found collection

One of the nicest things about a major reorganization is finding forgotten treasures and grouping them all together to form a beautiful new collection.

I hadn't realized what a bounty I've acquired of vintage embroidery and lace until I gathered them into this pretty red bucket.

I wouldn't have noticed how pretty all this old hand embroidery looks stashed in amongst my vintage sheets.

One things for sure, they won't be stashed again...they won't be stored willy nilly, here and there.  I already have plans to use them dancing in my head.

Once I get this room put back together, I can start using them to embellish pretty things and hopefully, help others appreciate their delicate lacy beauty and honor the women who created them.

January 18, 2012

first things first

I shared with you that my mom came by for a visit on Sunday.  She reads my blog (it's part of her job description) and she was as anxious as you are to see the progress in my studio.  Let me just say she was speechless and not in a good way.  Even though I warned her ahead of time, I don't think she was prepared for the piles of stuff she peeked in on.  

My dear hubby worked extra hard moving all the large furniture up the stairs and placing it where I wanted it but the organization part is all up to me.  Right now most everything is at least piled where it will eventually go but it still needs to be sorted through.  In true optimistic fashion I found one small area worthy of a photo or two...my TV station/coffee bar.  

This drop leaf table was a purchase from a few years ago that has been on my list of "needs painting" for the longest time.  I knew I wanted the base white but was not sure what color the top should be.  I am trying to repurpose and work within a very small budget so I headed to the Home Depot's rejected paint shelf.  I fell in love with this pink the moment I discovered the hidden quart.  For a mere $2.00 dollars for a good quality quart of paint I was able to transform this table, a little side table and a box storage unit plus I still have enough left in the can should the desire strike to paint anything else bubblegum pink.

The coffee lamp and canisters were a Christmas gift from my sister in law as were the little vintage coffee mugs and sign.  I know it's not much, but it's a start.  I tend to work better finishing one little project at a time, that seems to help keep me motivated to move on to the next area.  Otherwise I can become so overwhelmed with what needs to be done that I become discouraged.  Are you the same way?

My vintage sheet collection is folded and placed on a shelf so I will be back tomorrow to show you a little bit more.
Thanks for stopping by,


January 15, 2012

winter and a winner

After a few weeks in the 70's and 80's we finally had a wintry day here in Southern California.  I was quick to take advantage of the cool down and put on a pot of the Pioneer Woman's Tortilla Soup to share with my mom who came by just to hang out with me. 

You know, we never left the house, we just sat around and visited.  Unfortunately, that's kind of rare for us.  We are usually knee deep in the activities that having a large family entails.  It was just a slow, napping kind of day, one that I will treasure for a long time.

I want to thank you all again for playing along with me this week.   I numbered all 198 comments and dropped the slips into my blue ball jar.  I had my grandson stick his little hand in and pull out one lucky number.  As you can see he drew #69 Nancy Jo.  Congratulations Nancy Jo, please send me an email with your address and I will mail off your box of goodies this week.

I have been busy working in my new studio space and hopefully, will have some pictures to share with you this week.  One thing is for sure, this will not be an overnight project but I can already tell I am going to love it in there.

Have a wonderful week.


January 14, 2012

wrapping it all up

I'm sorry this post is so late.  We made the final push to get the big pieces of furniture back into my craft studio and the time got away from me.  Now the work of organization can begin in earnest.

I'm afraid all I have to share with you today are some garden pictures from last spring.  I am hoping the change from winter's brown and dreary will gain me a little forgiveness.

Thank you all for playing along this week, I had a blast.  And to you new followers, I hope you come back and visit often.  I am hoping to go and say hello to everyone this week.

The give away ends tonight at midnight and I will draw a number tomorrow.  Good luck to you all and I will be back tomorrow with a winner.


January 13, 2012

a touch of handmade

I promised you handmade, so I've added this feminine little hand bag to the prize.  I love the little yo-yo snaps and the fabric is still one of my favorite combinations.

Keeping in the spirit of romance and Valentines Day, I thought today it would be fun to share our favorite romantic movie.

If I go with what pops into my mind first, it's Sleepless in Seattle.  I am such a sucker for that movie and will watch it every time I catch it on TV. 

But as I mulled it over in my mind I would have to add Hope Floats, there is something about Harry Connick, Jr. that gets me every time.  I love that scene at the dance where he smooth talks her around the floor....SWOON!

But then how could I leave out The Notebook?  Such a true romance...And that doesn't even touch on the classics...

Okay, I'm ready to hear yours.  Contemporary or Classic?

I'll wrap it all up tomorrow, I promise.  Patty

January 12, 2012

adding a little vintage

I'm having so much fun adding little bits and pieces to this give away.  It's a good thing we only have a couple of more days to go or who knows what I might throw in.  Today I've added a couple of sweet vintage pieces to the pile...pyrex and an apron.

I love imagining the women before me who have used these pretty, practical things while showing love to their families.

The cute little red pyrex dish is just the perfect size for some fresh cut fruit and the pretty red polka dot apron brings back memories of some of my favorite television moms.

I thought it might be fun today to name your favorite TV couple from the past when you leave your comment.  I'll start us off...mine weren't actually a married couple but they are the perfect image for vintage family in my mind...Aunt Bea and Andy from the Andy Griffith show.  Their kitchen meals and front porch times just spell down home comfort and family love to me.
Okay, now it's your turn.

Tomorrow I'll be adding something handmade to the mix...