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January 30, 2014

love is kind...

Doesn't it seem that words can go in and out of style?  Times when their importance is emphasized and others when they just fall out of favor or at the very least, off the radar screen?

Words like awesome.  For a while there everything was awesome.  From the flavor of the latest coffee drink to the glory of a majestic sunset, if it was good, it was awesome (and if you're from California, it was awesome dude). 

I kind of feel that way about kindness.  There was a time when we stressed kindness, to our kids, to our spouses and just to the world in general.  We were taught that being kind was a virtue, that if you loved someone you were kind to them.  Is it just me being cynical or is that not true so much anymore?

Kindness has gone from a virtue to a weakness.  From aspiration to avoidance.  In this me centered, paranoid culture we live in I think people are afraid to be kind, to trust and to be nice. 

Somewhere along the line we have pushed the idea that "love is kind" into the corner.  Now, love is grand and expensive and over the top. 

Every day kindness has been replaced by lavish date nights or production style birthday parties.  Somehow our husbands just being good, kind, hardworking men, isn't enough.  They need to wine us and dine us and jet us off to far away locations and provide us with the latest gadgets, trinkets and decor...that's love.

And men look at all the stimulus available to them at every level and expect women to attain that level of perfection in their looks and their work and their homes.

It sounds grand on the surface but in reality, it's exhausting and unsustainable.

Marriage (and life in general) is hard enough without adding to it the expectation of living the life of a Hollywood couple.  Real life relationships take work and forgiveness and acceptance of others short comings and in return theirs of ours.  In reality, most of us will never board a private plane, travel with an entourage or even have a stamp in our passports. 

We need to make that okay again.  We need to make it enough to be kind to each other, to respect each other and to appreciate the occasional night on the town, even if that's just a trip to Sizzler.

A little kindness in love goes a long way in easing hurt feelings and overlooking insensitive comments.  A little kindness to our children shows them that being at home is the safest place to be.  A little kindness in the world can restore someone's faith in others and maybe even encourage them to be kind to someone else.

"Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.  It does not demand its own way.  It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Okay, I'll jump off my soapbox now.  Just don't get me started on gentleness...

xo, Patty

January 28, 2014

vintage lace book marks

One of the things I've been working on while I've been holed up in my craft studio are these vintage lace bookmarks.

They actually evolved from another project that I'll share a bit later but right now these pretty place keepers have captured my attention.

Each one is layered with antique lace and hand beading plus a string of pretty beads on the end.

The words are hand stamped and can be customized with any praise song, verse or saying you desire.  I think they would make the perfect pick me up gift for a friend or even for yourself.

I have a few ready made in my etsy shop or you can contact me to make a personalized one. I also added a link to the bar under my header for quick browsing.

Sorry for the quick visit but I'll be back tomorrow for a longer chat and to share a little progress that I am making on my "finishing up" to do list.

xo, Patty

Linking to Jennifer Rizzo at Fabulously Creative Friday...

January 25, 2014

hello saturday

Hello Saturday with your gloomy skies and tease of rain.  Oh, how I wish the clouds would open for a bit and drench the parched California soil.  While much of the nation is knee deep in snow, we are still looking at a week in the high 70's and low 80's.  As wonderful as those temps sound, this is January and we have not had a single drop of rain in months. That certainly spells for one long hot, dry year to come.  Send us some winter!

You'd think all that sunshine would have me outside playing in the dirt but that hasn't been the case.  I have happily been holed up in the house all week.  Along with the time I spent in my studio, I also did a bit of cleaning and refreshing of things around the cottage. 

And I finally took a minute to take a few pictures of these colorful goodies I was gifted with for Christmas.

My friends know me so well.  It seems orange is popping up as an accent more and more around the house.  I just can't help but smile when I pull out something practical and it is pretty as well.  Don't you agree?

It promises to be a quiet weekend around here for the most part.  Other than a few errands and maybe a trip to the nursery, I will be hanging out at home.  What about you?  Anything fun planned around your parts?

xo, Patty

btw...I had a couple of extra love heart banner kits and so I listed them for $10.00 (includes shipping) in my Etsy shop.

January 23, 2014

spending time in my studio

I have been spending plenty of time in my studio creating up a storm.  I love it when the creative juices are flowing and you actually have time to turn your thoughts and ideas into handmade lovelies.

If you follow me on instagram you have seen pictures of the cuff bracelets I've been making.  I haven't had a chance to take pictures with my big girl camera to share with you here but they will be coming soon, I promise.

In the meantime, I wanted to share the second project we worked on at the Valentines Day Makerie last week.

Isn't this little banner adorable?

This project has my name written all over it.

All the little doo dads and embellishments...

pearls and lace and flowers and glitter...

love it all.

I wanted to take a minute and thank you for your words of encouragement.  My intention is always to get back to everyone who leaves a note but that "dropping the ball" syndrome kicks in and I get distracted.  After reading all the comments, I know you know exactly what I mean.  I realize there are so many other blogs to visit and the fact that you stop by here to read my thoughts and look at my pictures is so appreciated.

I am heading back into my studio to do a little more playing work.  I am planning on re-opening my etsy shop on February 1st and I have lots of shelves to stock up. 

I hope you have a beautiful Thursday!

xo, Patty

January 21, 2014

comparison- my unword

When the challenge went out from Edie over at life in grace to find my "unword" (whatever word you want to undo in your life) it didn't take me long to settle on this one...
Whatever word you want to {UN}do in your life
Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/#lofYpAUQ6BfGi8Xe.99

Whatever word you want to {UN}do in your life
Read more at http://www.lifeingraceblog.com/#lofYpAUQ6BfGi8Xe.99

Such a nasty word for us women isn't it?  I have struggled with it my entire life.  I can remember as far back as kindergarten and wishing I was someone else or that my life looked like someone else's.  I was never thin enough, pretty enough, athletic enough, popular enough, I just wasn't enough.

I grew up in an intact family and I was loved.  I know my mom will be reading this and I don't want her to think it was anything she did or didn't do.  I can't explain it and I am not sure when it even began but at some point early on I started thinking that the grass was greener in other people's yards and the comparison began. 

What I do know is that I am tired of it.  I am tired of letting that nasty word suck the life out of what I have been blessed with.  I have gotten better as I have aged but it still pops up when the universe doesn't spin according to my plans and purposes.  My thoughts will start to drift off to what I perceive other peoples lives to be.

Here's the thing with the mind, once you begin to believe a certain way or think a certain thing it is extremely difficult to reset your default button.  Even though I know that nobodies life is perfect and that we will all have times of color and times of black and white, without changing the way I think, I don't have a chance of ridding myself of comparing my life with others.

One of my memory verses this year is Romans 12:2.

"Do not copy the customs and behaviors of the world but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

As long as I am focused on God's will for my life, what's happening in other peoples lives isn't important.  As long as I am living my life for an audience of One, it's just me and Him and I have know one else to compare my life to. 

I loved this challenge.  I am all about seeking out one positive word to focus on each new year but how much better served my life will be if I can give over my "unword" to the One who desires to give me a life which is good and pleasing and perfect.  How much easier it would be to live the life I was intended to live.

xo, Patty

January 20, 2014

dropping the ball

Hello my name is Patty and I am a ball dropper.  There I said it...

I am a terrific starter but not a very good finisher in art, in home improvement, in writing, in books read, in life in general.  (And all the people who really know me are lovingly nodding their collective heads in agreement right now.) 

Do you know that point in a job interview where they ask you to tell them your weakest quality and you fidget and say something lame like, "I tend to be a perfectionist and so sometimes this makes me take my work home with me".  When what you really mean is "I don't manage my time very well so I have to haul my work home at night which I resent, just to stay current".

My answer would be something like this, "I have a lot of great ideas and wish there were more hours in the day to implement them."  When what I really mean is, "I am good at starting projects but lose interest or move on to something else before I finish the first one so I really don't get much done in a day."

One of things I want to do this year is finish a project or two that I've already started.  As I type this I am staring at our staircase that we removed the carpet from and discovered beautiful oak flooring that was in need of sanding and a little TLC...in 2011.

It looks

Definitely on my list of things to finish.  That is just the tip of the iceberg.  I have five gorgeous quilt tops that need to be quilted, a bathroom with the wallpaper partial torn down, a vegetable plot with raised bed planters that I begged my husband to build that have been sorely neglected, a guest room/dressing room that has slowly become a storage unit and so much more.

2014 will be the year of finishing things well.  I am giving you all permission to question, remind and nag me about my progress.  I am going to do my best not to start anything new unless I have finished something old.

This should be frustrating fun.

xo, Patty

January 18, 2014

hello saturday

Hello Saturday.  It looks like we will be continuing on with our dry summer like conditions this weekend and unfortunately into the coming weeks.  The hills beyond our house were ablaze this week, as we watched the high fire dangers come to life.  What a tremendous job the firefighters on the ground and in the air did in making such quick work of what could have been an even more devastating wild fire.

Last night was my Valentine Makerie.  I cannot tell you how much I enjoy my time teaching and crafting with friends. 

This heart plaque is one of the projects we worked on.  It is always so much fun seeing the ladies add their own special spin to one of my creations.  There were plenty of pearls, lace, flowers and ribbons to play with and of course lots and lots of glitter.

Last week was a flurry of fun and visiting and celebrating with family and friends.  Needless to say my house, which was totally neglected, is in complete disarray and in need of good cleaning.  Fortunately, I have absolutely nothing planned for this week and can stay home and get things back in order. 

Even though my beef drip recipe didn't pan out, I am not discouraged and will be trying out a new marinara recipe for Spaghetti night.  I will let you know how it goes and share the recipe later in the week.

I hope you have some time this weekend to spend at home just puttering, straightening and feathering.  It is one of the most grounding things I know to do when chaos closes in. 

Happy Saturday.

xo, Patty

January 15, 2014

a rotation of five - week night cooking

One of the things I wanted to try and do this year was to incorporate a few new recipes into our usual rotation of five basic dishes.  My husband is a simple man and he likes simple food, the way his mama cooked it.  When I was a working girl this was actually a relief.  I mean how long does it take to whip up a batch of semi-homemade spaghetti? (20 minutes from defrost to table, just for the record.)

But now that I am a full time wife at home with more time to cook (or so you'd think) I have been wanting to try adding a few new dishes to our week night dinners. Getting these into our usual rotation requires a two thumbs up from hubby man and believe me, that is not an easy thing to do.

I am a big fan of cooking shows especially Ina Garten, Tricia Yearwood and my current favorite, Rhee Drummond - The Pioneer Woman.  With the exception of Ina, these ladies cook simple foods for real families and I think that's what draws me to them.  (As far as Ina, I just love how she can make even fancy food seem doable and I swoon over her home and garden every week plus she has the most fun friends.)

I have decided to shoot for one new take on a standard rotation meal each week.  For the record our rotation of five consists of...Spaghetti, Chicken, Burritos, Roast (both beef and pork) and something on a bun, usually a hamburger.  A salad or soup must be accompanied by one of the rotation of five meats and no matter what the ingredients are not considered a meal by themselves.

This week after looking at my pantry and freezer, I decided to try PW's drip beef. Her recipe called for a full roast, peperoncini peppers, Italian seasoning and a can of beef broth, all of which I had on hand. I only had beef stew meat and not a whole roast so I cut back on the Italian seasoning...just not enough.

I put it all into my cast iron pot, set the oven to a low 275 degrees for four hours and what I ended up with was the most tender and juicy overly seasoned beef drip sandwich you could possible imagine.  Not heat spicy just too many spices spicy.  Needless to say it was a thumbs down from hubby man.  And I had to agree with him on this one which is really a bummer because I love me a good beef dip sandwich.

I cut the Italian seasoning down from 3 -4 tablespoons to two tablespoons but even that was a good tablespoon too much.  Maybe sometime in the distant future I can try it again. And in Rhee's defense, I'm sure if I had used the entire roast it would have been delicious.

Oh well, not every new recipe is going to be a keeper...I guess it's back to semi-homemade spaghetti for us tonight.

xo, Patty

January 14, 2014

on teaching the younger women

I wish I had a nickel for every time I changed directions on this blog...for every time I thought I had it all figured out and happily set about putting my plan into motion only to find out that my plans are not always His plans and the responsibility of working against His plans can be quite exhausting not to mention unproductive.

Never intending to, I think I have compartmentalized my blog life from my spiritual life.  I think I have attempted to keep this online space going in one direction while God's leading and calling in my life have been going another way.  I feel kind of like that old time act with the man spinning the white plates, running from one to the next, trying his best to keep them all in the air.

Then gravity and exhaustion take over and one by one the plates come crashing to the ground.

That is where I am...

So I took a little break to decide whether or not to keep this blog going or to start a new blog or to only write on my churches blog or even whether or not I even have anything to blog about.

After much prayer and thought, I came to the conclusion that I love to write, take pictures and share my life so giving up blogging altogether is not the answer.  As far as where to blog, I love the online friendships I have formed on Lemon Lane and I would miss you all if I stopped sharing here. 

So, that leaves content...what to blog about.  If you read this post, you know that God has called me to mentoring younger women and I am finding it a role I love to be in, so while my content will not change much, you may find it geared to women who my life experiences and walk of faith may benefit.  You will find more posts about my spiritual pursuit of God and his calling on my life.

"Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God.  They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers.  Instead, they should teach others what is good.  These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and to be pure, to work in their homes, to do good and to be submissive their husbands.  Then they will not bring shame on the word of God."  Titus 2:2-5

If I know my regular readers, you are mostly where I am in life and could write many of these posts yourselves.  I hope that won't stop you from stopping by and leaving your wise and encouraging comments.  I would certainly miss you but if I am to give this a real go, I need to follow where my heart leads me and that is to seek His glory while I write my story and to encourage the younger women coming along to do the same.

xo, Patty

January 4, 2014

hello saturday

Hello Saturday with your cloudy skies and cooler temperatures.  We have had the nicest week of spring like temperatures here in Southern California.  While much of the nation is the midst of a definite cold snap and very wintery weather I have been walking the garden in my flip flops snipping Gerber daisies and roses and lamenting how fast the weeds are growing. 

I am finally feeling like myself and am having a surge of first of the year hope and commitment to change for the better.  Mostly a lot of little things that will hopefully add up to living every day with more intention, more purpose, more beauty and more "in real life" moments.

I made this little sign and attached it to the cover of my computer to remind myself that this grey box is not real life.  Those pretty pictures, dreams and relationships are fun and encouraging and important but life really happens when you close the box and live.

So from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. I am planning on focusing on the family and friends that are close enough for me to love on and visit with...taking those craft pinterest boards from inspiration to reality...finishing my home improvement projects that are halfway done...cooking delicious meals for my family...volunteering more at my church...cleaning and organizing my home...take more photos...writing letters...reading books and all the thousand other things that I want to do but keep putting off.

Oh, and I plan on enjoying a nap under a quilt every now and again, too. 

What would living life every day with intention look like for you?  What's keeping you from doing it?  Love to hear...

xo, Patty

January 2, 2014

Valentine Makerie

Edited - This event is now full.  If you'd like to be put on the waiting list just let me know. Patty 1/3/14

Last year I started hosting Makerie craft parties in my home for friends both old and new.  When I discovered myself overbooked and overloaded and overstressed late last year and decided to start cutting back on commitments, I knew these gatherings would not be one of them. 

They just flat out bring me joy...

My plan is to host one every other month, holding the attendees to twelve ladies and two easy projects. 

Ready or not the first one is on the calendar for January 17th, at 7:00 p.m.  The theme will be Valentines Day, the fee will be the same, $20.00 and as always the spots are on a first come first serve basis.  I always ask that each lady bring either a sweet dessert or savory appetizer and 12 copies of the recipe to share.

Last year I found it hard to turn people away and often overbooked by one or two (okay, maybe four) but this year I am holding firm to twelve.  I have found that's a number I can comfortably fit in my home and still have the time and space to interact with.

These are the pictures and pins from other talented artisans that I have drawn my inspiration from.  Their websites are lovely and I encourage you to go have a look at their work.  If you still need more inspiration take a look at My Valentine Pinterest board.  Oh my...such loveliness!

I won't show you the actual projects we'll be making until the party because I like for there to be a little surprise element for my guests.

If you are local to Southern California and would like to join me, there is a PayPal button on my sidebar to reserve your spot with.  If you really want to come, don't wait too long as the spots fill up fast.

Happy creating!

xo, Patty