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January 31, 2013

Am I that brave?

I've been walking around my little cottage list in hand, wondering what simple inexpensive projects I can do to just update the look a bit.

 I think I want to paint to the walls...are you ready?


I still love color but I find myself leaning more toward a colorful, bohemian cottage style and I think I need a white canvas as a background to pull it off.

So, am I that brave?

To forgo color on the walls when I fought my husband so hard to put color on the walls so many years ago.

To mix colors and patterns with restrained abandon?

To cut into my gorgeous vintage sheet collection?

To follow my heart?

 Am I that brave?

Are you?  What's the bravest decorating thing you've done and do you regret it?

xo, Patty

***Thank you for your kind words and prayers for my brother and family.  You are in my heart as always...

January 30, 2013

life is good

My family was given a bit of devastating news on New Years Eve that threw us all for a loop.  Just at a time when we were a bit thankful to say goodbye to a difficult year and usher in a fresh new one, we discovered that one of our own was in a fight for his life.

Why is it that the doctor gives you the news without the details?  The grim prognosis without the hope?  All they know is that it is this...but what and where will be determined over the next few weeks.

So. very. frustrating.

So what is every modern age family to do but google it.  Key that nasty thing into a search engine and see what comes up.  Unfortunately what usually comes up is out of date and worst case scenario, so you sit on that information until the new facts come in.   And we mourn the news, we wonder why and we count the days.

Until the one in the eye of the storm walks in after talking the whole thing over with God and says God is good...even in this, God is good.

And we marvel at his strength and he points us to the One that gives him strength.  He reminds us that there is a plan and a purpose for his life and God is in control.  He knew this diagnosis would come even while he was in our mother's womb.  That life is good and to be savored and he is young and healthy (except for that) and that he has no intention of rolling over.

He reminds us that life...this life, with all it's ups and downs...is good.  That he has been blessed beyond measure no matter what the outcome.  That there is still beauty to be found every day.  That he knows what the future holds for him and it is a heavenly eternity.

The tests are all in now and the news, while still devastating, is mostly good.  It was caught early and treatment has begun.  He is in a fight for his life, a fight that he will never win but only hold at bay, but we have hope for many more years of this good life with him.
My life is good...your life is good.  We have life...we are blessed with right now.  Let's live like it.

xo, Patty

linking up to life in grace for Time on Purpose

January 28, 2013


The sun is shining brightly here today after our gloomy weekend and it is such a welcome sight to this native California girl.

Something about it streaming through the windows just inspires me.

My house has been sadly neglected while I have buried my head in my studio so I think this week I will shut the craft room door and focus on a little sprucing up.

I pulled some fabric (both vintage and new) out of my stash to make a few new pillows for the living room sofa.  I am craving more color in there and I think that will do the trick.

I still have a gift card to Home Goods from Christmas so I think I will head over there today and see if I can find a small lamp for the bookcase under the window.

Refresh, energize, rejuvenate, flourish...that's my plan for this week.  What's yours?

xo, Patty

January 25, 2013

rainy friday...

(Edited to add...All the garland are gone.  Thank you all so much. )

It has been raining here since yesterday and it looks like we can expect more of the same all weekend.

After our week of 80+ degree weather, the rain is definitely a welcome sight.  If we were in the 80's in January what does that promise for spring and summer?  I will definitely take a few rainy days and some 50's and 60's now with the promise of warmer days ahead.

The rain means I just might be forced to stay in my craft room all weekend.  Sigh...(wink, wink).

I wanted to let you know that I have a couple of Valentines Day garlands left in the shopette (along with a few new art hearts) and they are now 20% off.  Just use discount code love13 when you check out.  I will have them in the mail as soon as your order is placed.

How's the weather where you are?  Does it feel like Spring just might be on its way or is Old Man Winter still knocking at your door?

Whatever the weather might be...have a wonderful weekend friends!

xo, Patty

January 23, 2013

preserving her memory

When I am out thrifting I often wonder about the people who owned all the stuff lining the shelves.  Especially the things that are handcrafted.  Those old quilts and afghans and original oil paintings...

I stumbled on these two plastic cases of embroidery thread at the thrift store the other day.  They were tucked in the grab bag section of the store where miscellaneous threads and lace and zippers are sold.

It is one of my favorite places to dig through because what has been deemed not worthy to sell alone is zip locked together to add value by volume.  I find bags full of jewelry beads and vintage spools of threads and antique lace for a couple of dollars all the time.

I almost didn't notice these at first.  I didn't see past the dingy plastic containers and nearly missed the treasure inside.  Some dear lady (I imagine her older because of the wavering scripted numbers) lovingly wound and labeled the floss and organized them all by number.  She even had a color chart that I am sure she referred to all the time.

I imagine the countless nights she spent creating beauty from these simple strings...the samplers and pillow cases she gave lovingly as gifts.  Did she pass away or did her eyes just grow too dim and her hands too unsteady?  I wonder who in her family felt it was time to drop them off at the thrift store along with worn out shoes and out of season blouses. 

What an honor it has been for me to thread these pretty colors through a needle and begin to create new beauty to share.  I wish I could tell her how much I love her little boxes of string and how glad I am to continue to bring joy with my hands, a little more beauty to the world and to preserve even a small part of her memory.

xo, Patty

January 21, 2013

texture in the garden

I was going through my photo files looking for pictures I may not have shared with you before and a theme started to emerge...texture.

Specifically, texture in the garden.

I am a die hard cottage garden lover and traditionally that means masses of colorful flowers over filling their borders.  A garden where the blooms definitely take center stage.

But what does that leave us with in the dead of winter?  When here in California we begin the labor of cutting back and thinning out?  It leaves us with texture...

 Blue grey cactus and frosted over foxglove leaves...

old metal railroad buckets showcasing a few spent blooms and rusty bike planters filled with gathered pine cones.

Sometimes the lack of expected beauty makes us look beyond our normal thinking and seek it elsewhere...in the texture.

The flowers will not always be blooming so we had better find a way to find beauty in a bucket full of rusty rakes or we will definitely miss out the hidden beauty of texture...in the garden or our lives.

Happy Monday Friends.

xo, Patty

January 19, 2013

doing what you love

"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that.  Don't be impressed with yourself.  Don't compare yourself with others.  Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."  Galatians 6:4 MSG

I am drawn to color...flowers and fabric and paint and paper and ribbon and buttons, oh my!

I can't imagine my life without it.  I believe even if I wasn't living in a place that gave me such full access to colorful things I would still seek them out.  I would figure out a way to turn the vibrant colors of flowers into paints and dyes.  I am just wired that way.

Turning that love into a vocation has been a dream come true for me.  For so long I compared what I did to others and never felt what I did was as good, or good enough.  The encouragement of family and friends (like you) has given me the courage to share what I love to do with others.

The positive response to my little shopette on Etsy, has led to a couple of other dreams that will be coming together in the near future.

I will be teaching a bible study to single moms that will also include making beautiful bible verse tags in March....and I just agreed to teach a banner making class this spring at my local quilt store. 

It has taken me a long time to figure out that doing what you love...whatever that creative expression is that brings you joy, is service to God.  He gave you that creative ability to use for others.

Oswald Chambers says, "God gets me into a relationship with Himself whereby I understand His call, then I do things out of sheer love for Him on my own account.  To serve God is the deliberate love-gift of nature that has heard the call of God.  Service is expressive of that which is fitted to my nature..."

Service is expressive to that which is fitted to my nature...I love that.  What I love to do...what you love to do...that is meant to be our service.  That is how God equipped us to serve.  Our only responsibility is to do it!

Happy Weekend.

xo, Patty

January 16, 2013

peppered with love

I have been busy adding a little touch of Valentines Day to Lemon Lane Cottage.  Having the memory of putting away Christmas fresh in my mind, I don't go overboard.

Just a few trinkets and signs and what's left of the roses from the garden.

I thought the fireplace needed a little pop of something, so I made this cute pom-pom and quilted heart garland.

Since I can never make just one of anything...I listed a couple of them in my shop.  The hearts are reversible and stuffed with quilt batting which allows them to lie flat.  I have a couple in turquoise and red and a couple in pinks and red.

Will you pepper your house with Valentine love this winter?  Or will just wait until spring for a pop of color?

xo, Patty

January 14, 2013

the art of friendship

Today is one of my best friends birthday and it has me thinking about how fortunate I am to have women in my life that know the real me.  The me who most of you will only get a glimpse of... The no makeup, red puffy eyed, angry at my husband me, who sometimes says too much and some times says too little.

The me who sometimes lets my unreal expectations of people and situations cloud my ability to offer grace to those closest to me. In short, the most unflattering me but loves me anyway...
There was a time in my life when I thought everyone had these kinds of friends but now I know better. I have talked to far too many women who have been hurt or betrayed by those they thought were their friends and have kind of given up on the whole idea of a true friend.
If you are one of those women, don't give up on our gender yet. There are good women out there they just take some searching out. You are wise to be cautious, just don't let that cautiousness turn into cynicism. I am lucky enough to have been born into a family that gifted me with a sister and a mom who are now among my best friends and if that wasn't enough, I married into or have had marry into my family, two women who also fall into that category.

But looking back beyond them, I have always had one of two women in my life who knew the art of friendship.  Who showed me how to love and learn and yes, to forgive...

It can be scary to reveal your true self to someone else.  I have been hurt and burned on more than one occasion but I wouldn't trade any of it if it meant giving up what I have gained.

Happy Birthday Shelly.  Thank you for all you have brought into my life.  Thank you for loving the real me.

xo, Patty

January 12, 2013

a saturday morning stroll

It's been a while since we strolled through the garden.  Since so many of you are knee deep in winter I thought a Saturday morning walk through the garden was the perfect way to remember that Spring is just around the corner.

Truth be told, there isn't much left blooming but I think that makes what is still full of color all the more special.
I love searching out beauty in different pockets of the garden. Dainty blooms that get lost in the noise and lushness of early summer, just shine in the quiet still of winter.  I am always amazed at what remains flourishing left alone to persevere.
It is often in those moments of alone time with God that He reminds us of our beauty and perseverance, too.  He uses those times to explain things more fully...to quiet the noise surrounding our lives and speak intimately to us.
"When He was alone with his disciples, he went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots." Mark 4:34 - The Message

Oswald Chambers says, "God is making us spell out our own souls.  It is slow work, so slow that it takes God all time and eternity to make a man and woman after His own purpose.  The only way we can be of use to God is to let Him take us through the crooks and crannies of our own characters."

I imagine the crooks and crannies of our characters are rather like pockets in the garden...amongst the barren dirt are beautiful flowers persevering, waiting for their time to shine.

Happy Saturday!

xo, Patty

January 10, 2013

art hearts in the shop

Just popping in to thank you all for your encouraging words regarding my art work and to let you know that I listed a few art hearts in the shop.

You can choose the art heart to keep for yourself or...

as a pretty gift package already for you to give to a friend.  I made these pretty hand painted tags to coordinate with the heart and included the perfect friendship verse from Proverbs 17. 

"A friend loves at all times."

Who says a friend can't give another friend a Valentine heart?

Or a small token of apprecition for being there for you?  Or a little gift of encouragement?

All the hearts are different and can be customized to say whatever you want them to say.  Have a favorite quote or scripture?  Just let me know, and I will make one that suits you perfectly.  I can even tweak the color scheme to go with your decor.

I only have a few listed right now but will be adding more as soon as the sun comes out and I can take some pictures.

Thank you again for your sweet words.  Now I better get back to work (insert big smile here).

xo, Patty