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July 31, 2012

shopping my clutter

My kitchen and dining room are in the middle of mission reorganization and I have accumulated quite a bit of clutter laying about as I decide what stays and what goes. 

I find it's easiest for me to get started when things are empty so I usually move everything off of surfaces and cabinets and on to the dining room table while I begin the purging process.

Needless to say this doesn't make for the most picture worthy house.  So when I heard that Brenda from A Cozy Little House was going to have a Tweak it Tuesday party this week I panicked a little bit wondering what on earth I could post to join in the fun? 

When she said it was all about tweaking an area of your house I started playing with the area on top of my wine cabinet.  I normally have the white candle sticks (from Home Goods), the antique scale (a $9.99 score from Goodwill last year), the yellow iron pot (a gift from my SIL) and the rooster picture, as part of the arrangement there. 

I shopped the clutter on the dining room table and added the enamelware coffee and sugar containers, the bee mug and the two little white pitchers (both family pieces from my mom) to create this new farmhouse inspired vignette.

Even just this little bit of tweaking has inspired me to get a move on with the rest of the junk treasures I have accumulated.  I am in the mood to pare down and simplify so if I don't love it or use it then it's going to the booth to be sold.

Next week I'll share with you my entire kitchen all reorganized and refreshed.

Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to visit Brenda and all the rest of the party over at The Cozy Little House.

xo, Patty

July 30, 2012

a finished project

Am I the only one who stayed up way too late watching the Olympics?  What dedication those athletes have to the years and years of training it takes to compete at that level and what heart break to come up just a little short of your lifetime dream. 

I know I'm just happy when I finish a project I started, let alone achieve that kind of goal.  It takes a special personality to stick with it the way those Olympians do.

I was lucky enough to spend some time behind my sewing machine and I did manage to finish the baby quilt I started last week.  It feels good to add it to my list of completed projects. 

I worked on my granny squares as well (they are quite addictive once you get started). I even started a new batch of them with some new Fall fabric I bought last week.

I jotted a few things down on my calendar that I'd like to accomplish, but overall I have one of those weeks that won't require me to leave the house for more than a few errands. It's been a while since that's been the case and I am looking forward to it.

I also started a list of things to do to pamper myself next month.  How do you relax when life gets a little too stressful?  I'd love to hear your suggestions....while a trip to Hawaii sounds wonderful, remember, I am on a budget so keep that in mind.

xo, Patty

July 28, 2012

a nurturing heart

Losing someone you love tends to magnify the best and the worst in families.   I was never so proud to be a part of a family than the days before and after my dad's passing.  I have never felt more sure that I was loved and a part of something very special.

Now that a little time has passed it seems our need to ease others pain can sometimes prevent the grief process from working it's way through the stages required to bring about true healing. 

Our desire to protect our children can cause us to over react to the small things so that we don't have to face dealing with the big things.  We try to use a band aid to stop our hearts from breaking.  That only works for a little while.

Loving, grieving and healing are all a natural part of life and death. Even when they are painful, they can't be rushed...they can't be brushed under the rug...not if we are to truly be restored.

Our family is not so different from any other. We may bicker and fuss and fret amongst each other but let any outsider come against one of us and you take on the whole lot of us.

I have seen grief look different on each of us and I have learned how important it is not to lose sight of one anothers heart even for a moment.

It took me a while to realize that while it is so important to protect and nurture others, there comes a time when you have to focus inward or there is nothing left to give.  I got that trait from my mom...

As selfish as it may sound, I am going to focus on nurturing my own heart for the entire month of August.  In some small way, I am planning to do something just for me each day. 

Why don't you try it with me?  I am sure your heart could use some filling, too.

xo, Patty

July 25, 2012

a change in the air

Every so often I get the urge to change things around here at home.   Maybe it's my way of wishing Autumn's early arrival, but I find my decorating taste pulling away from strictly cottage style and more toward rustic farmhouse. 

Richer tones...golden yellows and warm reds with a sprinkling of blacks as a neutral have found their way into Lemon Lane Cottage.

That's why when I found this rustic box with worn out hinges at Home Goods, I just knew I needed to bring it home with me.

Once I had it in my cart, I couldn't resist this beautiful rooster and little red farmhouse pitcher to complete the vignette.

I know, I know...I am supposed to be editing and purging not finding and splurging.  But it really has been a long time since I bought anything new and these will set the tone perfectly in my dining room. 

 Does it sound like I'm doing a little justifying?  Well, maybe a little...

xo, Patty

July 24, 2012

easy to please

I am having so much fun playing with this fabric.  I have a feeling you are going to get tired of seeing it in no time flat.  A certain four year old likes it, too.  Once he saw the tractor (his favorite thing right now) he had to have something made from it.  I suggested a pair of shorts but he nixed that idea and asked for a place mat.

Easy enough...

I had a left over block from the quilt top I finished this afternoon so I just started adding borders until the dimensions were right.

After a quick run through the washer, it is ready to go. 

I love how easy it is to please him at this age.  Too bad it doesn't last for long.

I have the quilt top all pinned and ready to quilt so I'm sure you'll be seeing this tangerine and blue combo at least one more time soon.

Have a wonderful Tuesday.

xo. Patty

July 23, 2012

what resistance?

So how was your weekend?  Mine was H.O.T.  The plan was to stay inside behind my sewing machine and avoid the high temps all weekend but that didn't happen.  In fact, it seems like I was outside for the better part of both days.

My husband managed to convince me to go to the nursery with him to find a few landscaping bushes and I joined my daughter and son in law (along with sweet Emily) for a picnic in a very shady park.  I also made a trip to the booth to straighten up and add a few new items.

I did manage to sew a couple of more blocks for my granny square quilt but realized that I needed a yard of red and brown to finish it up.  So I headed out one more time in search of two yards of fabric and nothing else...

My self imposed fabric lock down went out the window when I walked into my local quilt store and happened upon this adorable fabric for a little boy quilt that I have been wanting to make for an old co-worker who had a baby boy in June.

The tractors, sailboats, horses, cars and all sorts of other boy things just cut right through my resistance.  Aren't the sherbet colors wonderful?  So very yummy.  I spent last night figuring out a pattern and got started cutting out the blocks.  I am hoping that once I make a dent in my cleaning and to do list I can spend some time behind my machine.

The weather is supposed to cool down a little bit this week, thank goodness.  What about you?  How are you holding up this summer?

xo, Patty

July 20, 2012

seeking beauty

I am back home after a short but sweet visit with my mom and sister.  My mom is settling into her new home and environment nicely even though there is still much left to do.  It is so hard to decide what to display and what to leave packed a way.

Sometimes seeking beauty among our possessions is a daunting task.  Every treasure pulled out of a box has it's accompanying memory. 

It is already so easy to think of how my dad would have handled a situation or how he would insist on peace when new strife arises.  His missing presence seems to grow stronger with each passing day, especially with family gathered round.

I went out this morning to find some beauty among the tired garden to share with you.   What was fresh and new just a month ago is now beginning to fade.  

Such is the cycle of life...what seems to occupy every waking thought will begin to be a wonderful memory.  New memories will be formed, not to replace the old, but to remind us to seek beauty in every season of life.

It is so important to remember that new chapters in life are filled with loveliness even amongst the withered leaves.   We can't control what life brings or how others respond or act in any situation but we can continue to seek beauty every day. 

It's out there, if we have eyes willing to seek it out.

Have a wonderful weekend.

xo, Patty

July 18, 2012

a busy July

I am off in a bit to pick up my little sister and nephew from the airport and then it's off for a couple of days visit with my mom.  A little more unpacking and settling in, a good bottle of wine or two and some wonderful conversation are sure to be a part of this mini reunion. 

Yesterday Andrew and I spent a sun filled (peaceful...hee, hee) day with Kris (of Simplicity) and her grandson and Elaine (Sunny Simple Life) and her cute daughter at Kris' house.  It was a perfect kid combination, no fussing or fighting...wonderful food, a delicious pasta salad with fresh yummy watermelon...and healthy (smile) oatmeal cranberry cookies for dessert.

I can't believe how fast July is flying by.  It has been a busy month so far and it doesn't seem to be letting up any time soon.  I did manage to get a little bit of sewing done over the weekend.  I have joined the group over at the Great Granny Along and have started a new throw quilt for my bedroom redo.  This is such a fun block to make and I can't wait to get back in front of my sewing machine to put together a few more.

I think the colors in this Fig Tree fabric will go perfectly with the thrift store vintage sheets I bought in the Spring.

This will definitely be an August or even September project, when things slow down a bit.  I love having projects in the wings.

What's in the works for you in the next month or two?

xo, Patty

July 17, 2012

welcoming home a sailor

I haven't shared with you what a wonderful time I had in San Diego last week welcoming my son in law home after his deployment.

There is something about being surrounded by brave men and women as they return home to their loved ones that brings a lump to your throat and a swell in your heart.  

I cannot even imagine what it must be like to greet the one you love after eight months apart. 

My sweet Emily was so happy to see her daddy (and so was her mommy). 

I don't think she left his arms for a day and a half.  The look on both their faces was just priceless.

The happy family is settling into a routine and doing fantastic.  Thank you all for your well wishes and love.

xo, Patty

July 16, 2012

picking daisies

As I sit here with my morning coffee wondering (and fretting)  about the activities of this week and the weeks to come, I am reminded again to slow down my thinking and my planning and to just enjoy today.

It seems even when life is good, as my mom says, I look for trouble to borrow.

Not today...I think I'll just count my blessings and pick a few daisies...

They weather has cooled, the sun is shining and the week is full of promise.  What about you?  Are you a trouble borrower?  Or a blessing counter?

xo, Patty

July 14, 2012

my craft space

When I decided to join Karen over at My Desert Cottage for her annual Where Bloggers Create party a couple of months ago, I was enjoying my recently redone Craft Studio.  Just to show how quickly life can change, our (oh, so briefly) empty nest is no longer empty and my beautiful studio is now my daughter's room once again. 

After touring our little cottage looking for a new craft room (and trying to figure out who I could kick out of what space) inspiration hit. 

I have relocated to a cozy little corner in my four year old grandson's room. Since he tended to join me every time I snuck in my studio to play, it only made sense for me to take my craft toys to him.  He has been around grandma's stuff since he was born and is very good about what he can and cannot touch. 

His walls are painted light blue and his room is accented with red and navy.  I decided to embrace the color palette along with some splashes of turquoise to add a fun twist and bring in a little femininity without being too girly.

The biggest difference I found when adapting to a smaller space is the greater need for streamlined organization.  Plus with limited floor space, find ways to go vertical.

My fabrics used to be folded and exposed in this shelving unit (which was on the floor before) but in this smaller space it was a little chaotic looking so I purchased these fabric totes to store them in and sorted it by line and color.  I couldn't resist leaving a few of my vintage sheets displayed for inspiration.  I also swapped out my mix matched storage boxes for inexpensive paper boxes in white (plus a few of the blue with pink roses). 

I also labeled e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

I rounded up pretty containers for storage since I wanted everything that was left exposed to be beautiful.

Some of my ribbon collection is rolled on round clothespins and placed in these weathered planting boxes.  My copic markers and fine tip writing pens are at hand in a planting tin...

I used this pretty floral pot to corral my wrapping and packaging supplies.  The space underneath the oil cloth covered tables houses all my batting, yarn and paints. Plus a whole lot more...

My buttons are sorted by color and collected on a terraced stand in a cubby and my vintage embroidered hankie and napkin collection looks sweet in a red tin bucket.

Pretty pots and cups hold my colored pencils, paint brushes and more buttons...

I love using pretty things for utilitarian purposes.

I was over the moon excited when I graduated to a big girl studio earlier this year but life changes and you adapt and find new beauty and inspiration.  When the time comes for our nest to be empty again I am sure I will jump at the chance to have my own space but for now, I am just fine sharing what I love to do with my favorite little boy.  I wouldn't trade my time with this little guy for any studio space in the world.

xo, Patty

Now head over to My Desert Cottage for Where Blogger's Create and so many more wonderful creative spaces and be inspired to make a little space of your own.