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December 28, 2013

hello saturday

Hello Saturday, the very last Saturday of 2013.  You bring with you a week of the most glorious non winterish weather in the high 70's and we are basking in it.  The garden that I just weeded and pruned back is bursting with buds and new weeds alike.  But that's okay, I'm sure winter will turn up fashionably late, as this is Southern California after all.

I am in the midst of sickies at home and in my immediate family, with a bad bout of some sort of flu bug or cold virus (depending on who is describing the symptoms) with high fevers, chills, nausea, vomiting, headaches, coughing, sore throats and all manner of yucky feelings abounding.

So far, I have escaped with only a minor headache (and I think that may just be the result of playing nurse, a role I was not born to play) and I am hopeful that this bug will fly right over me.

I hope you and yours are fairing better and are happily enjoying the last hurrah of 2013.  If I stay healthy, I am off to my moms tomorrow for a last visit with my sister before she flies back to Texas.

Happy Saturday!

xo, Patty

December 27, 2013

my new planner - a little tutorial

One of the first things I do after Christmas is to get my new planner ready for the new year.  I have been purchasing the same planner from Target for the last couple of years but thought this year I wanted to personalize one a little bit so I picked up an expensive plain one from Walmart.

I always use a big 8.5 x 11 week a glance planner because I am a writer and note taker and this size gives me plenty of space to do both.

I picked this pretty teal blue color because I new I had some new Pink Paislee paper that I was itching to tear into.

And I mean that literally...

I started off by deciding what paper I wanted where and then started tearing and placing them jigsaw puzzle style until I was satisfied with the result.

Then I just started modge podging it down in reverse order.  (I always take a picture with my camera phone for reference at this stage.)

Once it was all down and dried a bit I started adding paint and stamps and doodling...

Then I finished the right side edges off with a couple of rows of washi tape.

I love the idea of having a single word to inspire you throughout the year and had already decided mine would be "home"...as in stay home more and get stuff done...home comes first...love your home, etc.  but then as always happens, I started reading other peoples words and was having second thoughts about mine.

That's when it hit me to make a list of all the words and phrases that I want to live by in 2014 and put them on the cover of my planner.  You'll notice that I left just enough room on the bottom to add another word or two if I am inspired to do so.

I varied the fonts and mixed up the placement and I really like how it turned out.  I used another layer of modge podge to adhere the words down and finish it off.

Now all I have to do is put all the important dates inside and write my list of one year and five year goals on the back cover.  I love starting the new year off organized, even if it doesn't last as long as I wish it would.  What about you?  Do you have a day planner for the new year?  Will you write down any hopes and dreams?  I'd love to hear them.  I'll share mine tomorrow as well as my list that I started 2013 off with.

xo, Patty

btw...If you'd like a copy of my words and phrases just let me know and I'd be happy to email you one.

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December 24, 2013

the gift of Christmas

I am getting ready to start my final day of baking before we head out to spend Christmas Day tomorrow at my mom's with my brothers and sister and their families.  I wanted to take a minute before my sink fills with measuring cups and spoons and the flour starts flying to wish all of you the very merriest Christmas. 

I pray that you feel loved and cherished by those around you and that you know and accept the unblemished love of the Savior Child who's gift to mankind was to be born willingly for the very purpose of dying for you personally. 

In this season of trying to achieve perfection there is such comfort in knowing that His love is unchanging...no matter how many times you mess up, how you might disappoint, what unkind words just slip out of your mouth or impure thoughts pop up in your head...YOU ARE LOVED!  Isn't that the best gift of all?

Merry Christmas!
xo, Patty

December 23, 2013

and the rest of the Christmas pictures

We are down to the wire on this Christmas season and I realized I haven't done a very good job of posting pictures of the many nooks and crannies of our Christmas home.  So I figured a good old photo dump post was in order before it's too late.

I have had the most wonderful month of celebrations with family and friends and food...oh, the food.

In fact, I can't recall a nicer Christmas season and I am so very thankful and blessed to have shared it all with you.  I hope to be back one more time with a holiday wish but in case I am not...
 to you.

xo, Patty

December 21, 2013

hello saturday

Hello Saturday with your crisp wintry 40 degree welcome.  How do we find ourselves on the last Saturday before Christmas and in the midst of so many other wonderful celebrations of light and love, so quickly?  Usually I just ask where did the week go, but today I find myself wondering where did the month go?

This last week has been one heck of week in the headlines, hasn't it?  I am not the most political person, choosing to follow the golden rule instead, being kind and gracious (and, as my family knows failing sometimes) but it is hard not to speak out when hatred falls so easily all around us.  I am not a chicken little kind of person.  I generally believe the sky is not falling and things will work themselves out but I have to tell you, I am truly scared that the America we inherited is not what we will be leaving to the coming generations.

In some ways that is good, some things needed changing...there is no place for hatred, suppression or segregation in the land of the free.  But in others, it's frightening.

I am not just talking Duck Dynasty here but also all the hoopla about Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas.  With the 'Left" yelling foul over one man's opinions and the "Right" crying wrong over Happy Holiday greetings, censorship one way or the other looks just as bad.

If an interviewer wants my opinion on a matter it is still my right to give it.  I have many opinions that would surprise my family and friends, some would even find them out of line with their own beliefs and what they think mine should be but I am still entitled to have them and express them.  I admire someone who doesn't waffle when asked a theological question, no matter what religion they are.  (I wish I was bolder that way but the people pleaser in me comes out and I soften my answer so as not to offend.)  They have integrity in their beliefs.  I may not agree with them, their delivery may seem crude to me but as long as they are not espousing violence, I don't have the right to tell them they can't express those beliefs.   We also have to be willing to accept the consequences of those words.  I have the right to turn off that program or not buy that product.

If I choose to wish you all a Happy Holidays and not a Merry Christmas, that is my right as well.  It doesn't mean that I am negating the birth of Jesus, it just means that I am wishing you happiness no matter what holiday you are celebrating and there are many celebrated in December.  That includes the religious Christmas that I love and the secular Christmas that others celebrate and so many more.  It doesn't change how or what I celebrate...it doesn't change the origination of Christmas nor the true meaning to me.

What scares me about this last week is that the act of censorship may one day prevent me from saying Merry Christmas without the threat of losing my job, my reputation and any good works I do.  What scares me is that we as Americans might sleepwalk right into an America we never saw coming and wake up without the fundamental right to have an opinion and to speak out for injustice and hatred and basic religious freedoms.

I know this is not a normal hello Saturday post but this was not a normal week for me.  Something was awakened in me and the need to express myself became more important than everyone liking me.  If we are not careful the beacon of light that we know America to be will be put out.  Blast me if you will, but I adore the life I have been blessed with in this country and I want my grandchildren and great grandchildren to adore it too.

xo, Patty

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December 19, 2013

how to make scrappy tutus

Oh, how I wish I was five years old again!  I would have loved having one of these little scrappy tutus to twirl around in. 

Just like I thought, they went together so sweetly.  I just love how flirty and flouncy and full they turned out.  I know my nieces and granddaughter (yes, even though we have already celebrated our Christmas together, I had to make her one as well) are going to have so much fun playing and dancing around in these.

They were so simple to make.

  1. First cut 10 strips of  2" x 22 - 23"  pieces of fabric in four or five different coordinating colors.  You will need around forty strips total give or take depending on fullness.
  2. Cut a piece of one inch elastic the same measurement as your child's waist.  Then join the two ends together using a half inch seam allowance.  Don't add extra to the waist measurement this will keep the elastic taught around her waist.
  3. Then just tie the strips over the elastic circle knotting them in the center so that equal amounts of fabric hang on each side.  Continue all the way around until the elastic is completely covered.

I can't decide which is my favorite, the purple...

the pink...

or the truly scrappy multi-color one.

Since I don't have a toddler girl in residence I used this old lamp from my craft studio as a model.  Now I think I just may have to make up one to keep on it permanently.  What do you think?

That's it from me today.  I still have a little more Christmas sewing to finish up and I may just make up a few more tutu's for my friends to give away. 

Happy Thursday!

xo, Patty

December 18, 2013

scraps of fabric

I have five little girls under five in my life that I wanted to make a little something for this Christmas.  My first thought was to create for each of them a little rag doll that resembled them and a matching dress to go with it. 

Pretty ambitious, huh?  Well, here we are seven days from Christmas and something (like the calendar) is telling me that just isn't going to happen.

But thanks to the many creative souls out there, I stumbled on the idea to make scrap tutu's.  These little tutu's are made from scraps of fabric that are cut into strips that are one to two inches wide and knotted around a simple elastic waste band.

I pulled out my girliest pinks and purples from my scrap bins because that's what I'm told little girls still love and started cutting strips this morning.  Hopefully, I now have a big enough pile to make each of these little's a tutu of her own.

Once the waistbands are made, the actual tying of the fabric can be done tonight in front of the television.  I am used this tutorial here as a starting point.

I'm hoping to have a competed skirt or two to show you tomorrow.  Wish me luck...

xo, Patty

December 14, 2013

hello saturday

Hello Saturday.  You are the cap to what has been a fun filled holiday week.  After spending time with family and friends all week, today I am off to our hometown Christmas parade with my grandson and then over to a good friends for lunch with the girls.

I put together a couple of handmade gifts for them which I am so tempted to share with you but it will have to wait until Monday so as not to ruin the surprise.

Wednesday's brunch and shopping with my mom and sis in law was so much fun.  I made my first quiche for them (which was so easy and quite yummy) along with some Trader Joe's cranberry scones and fresh fruit.  Then we headed out for some shopping and a late lunch at my favorite bakery/bistro.

Thursday evening it was off for wine and appetizers with two of my favorite ladies.  The conversation always includes plenty of laughs and a few tears and usually ends up with me nodding off on the sofa while they keep right on talking.  I don't know what it is, whether it's the sound of their voices, the comfort of friends or the second glass of wine but as the night wears on my eyes always grow tired and I find myself in la la land before long.  It's a running joke now and I don't even try to hide my heavy eyelids from them.  I would say that's a sign of good friends wouldn't you?

I head into today feeling very blessed with where life has me in spite of my best attempts to create chaos from this relatively peaceful time in my life.  I hope this second week of December finds you content among people you love, too.

xo, Patty

December 12, 2013

sometimes an oreo cookie will do...

I worry about the silliest things.  Is that the true sign of a control freak?  I am beginning to think so.  With all the great big problems in the world I find myself obsessing over a situation that will not even be remembered in a month or two.

I hate that about myself. 

Every time I think I am making progress (you know, letting go and letting God) a little event or circumstance will come along and plop me right back to where I started from. 

Why is it that I think everything needs to line up in a neat row to make life easier?  Isn't it true that difficult situations teach us to be strong and to appreciate what we have? 

Sometimes we want life to hand us a freshly baked, loaded chocolate chip cookie when an Oreo will do.  Not only will it do, but it is actually just what we needed. 

Thanks for letting me vent...now I think I will take a deep breath, put this blip on the radar screen of life into perspective, and thank God for the Oreo cookie He provided.

xo, Patty

btw...you do know the Oreo cookie is a metaphor don't you?  Just checking...