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May 30, 2014

marketplace field trip

I know I've mentioned before that one of my dreams is to start selling my handmade wares at local craft shows and marketplaces.  Unlike my normal mode of operation, I have really been researching and planning this next venture for my creative work.  (Normally I'm just a jump right in and figure it out later girl).

One of things I'm doing is traveling to vintage, handmade events, taking notes and deciding if what I do fits at that particular marketplace before putting together a presentation, filling out the application and shelling out the entry fee.

Earlier this month I traveled South 75 miles to check out the Queen Bee Market.  I really liked the eclectic mix of vendors.  Now I wish I'd taken more pictures to share with you.

I loved seeing how the booths were set up and imagining how I will set up my own space.  For me that's half the fun...creating your own little piece of vintage/handmade heaven.

I even got to chat with one of my favorite artists Stephanie Ackerman and purchase one of her hand painted zipper bags that I'll share with you a little later.

So, do you like going to craft fairs and vintage market place events?  What kinds of things do you go looking for?  I'd love to hear...

xo, Patty

May 29, 2014

summer favorites

I'm not much of a summer girl anymore.  I much prefer Spring with it's mild temperatures and ever abundant blooms.  While so much of the U.S. has experienced a longer than usual cold winter, we Southern Californian's have had just the opposite conditions with warmer than normal days, already hitting the triple digits a few times.  To be honest, the thought of what summer will bring is a bit discouraging at this point.  (Can it really get much hotter than it already is?)

Like it or not summer is just around the corner so I thought I would take the optimistic approach to the changing season and make a list of all the things I look forward to the most as the days grow longer.

1.  Barbeques and casual dinners.
2.  Sunflowers and daisies in abundance.
3.  Lazy mornings and less structured days.
4.  Ice cream cones
5.  The smell of sunscreen.
6.  Trips to the beach.
7.  Summer vegetables.
8.  Watermelons and peaches.
9.  Campfires
10. Movies in the park.
11. More daylight hours.
12. Back to school supplies on sale.
13. So You Think You Can Dance returns.
14. Flip flops and sandals.
15.Trips to the garden center.

Okay, now it's your turn to add to the list.  I know I forgot something...

What would make your favorite things about summer list?

xo, Patty

May 27, 2014

back to work again...

I hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend.  We had a nice drive out to my moms and enjoyed a BBQ with family.  My six year old grandson commented on the lack of traffic since it was Material Day...I had to chuckle at the words of this fabricaholics grandchild.  I explained that it was Memorial Day not Material Day and that we were celebrating the sacrifices that our service men and women make so that we can live the wonderful lives we live.  I think he got it but hey, I wouldn't mind celebrating a Material Day next weekend.

After a nice long weekend of fun outside it seems only right that I spend the day inside putting things back in order around here, so I've declared today a cleaning day.  I am ashamed to admit that I probably should have declared a day last week as a cleaning day but have been holed up in my studio obsessed with making stuff and have totally neglected my chores. I haven't had a chance to take pictures of what I'm working on with anything other than my phone camera but once the house is clean I will, so that I can share it with you here.

It is so easy to post on instagram and facebook that I have been neglectful of this little blog space but I do miss it and am going to get back into the habit of sharing here more regularly.

Happy Tuesday!  Back to work again.

xo, Patty

May 10, 2014

wandering in the garden

I have the most wonderful view from my studio window.  Just beyond the raised bed planters that are now teaming with green growth (fodder for another post) is my perennial bed.

This bed is one of the first I began working on when we moved here nearly seven years ago.  Slowly replaceing shrubs with perennials.

Each year I add a few more of my favorites and each year the reward is greater.  This columbine was a little four inch pot when it went into the ground now it towers at over three feet enchanting me with these delicate blooms.

I love the chaos of a cottage garden and the tufts of yellow coreopsis mingling with the dianthus and statice never fails to deliver.

And then there are the stately delphinium with their ever finicky ways.  They continue to test my boundaries as a gardener but my stubborn streak to make them love my garden is as strong as theirs to make me earn their favor.

It amazes me that I sometimes forget to look out the window when I am busy in the throws of every day life.  But then I catch a glimpse of what lies just outside and I am so thankful for this little slice of beauty and I wander outside and breathe it all in and I'm reminded once again to slow down and truly live.

Happy Mothers Day!

xo, Patty 

May 7, 2014

early vegetables

We are headed into another week of 90 degree weather and it's only early May.  Thankfully we had a really pleasant April with nice mild temperatures and I was able to get out in the garden and work the soil.  My cool season veggies are in and I have already started harvesting the earliest of them to produce, these radishes.

I am not a fan of radishes but my husband is and they are such an instant (well, almost instant) gratification vegetable that I love putting their seeds in the ground early.

These are a french variety and have a rather long tubular shape to them.  My husband says they are the best tasting I have ever grown.

Since they are a cool season vegetable and I live in Zone 9 climate, I constructed a shade covering to protect them from the intense afternoon sun and it seems to be doing the trick so far.  I will plant a new crop every couple of weeks through May and hopefully will continue to harvest them through June, depending on the weather.

I have two small raised beds tucked into a corner of the yard.  One for vegetables (I also put in a couple of tomato plants, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, strawberries and cilantro) and one for cutting flowers.

I have already picked a few strawberries and have lots of small tomatoes that should be ready to harvest soon, as well.  I find my time in the garden so relaxing both mentally and physically and picking fresh food for the table from a small plot of ground is such a happy bonus. 

What about you, have you had a chance to get your hands dirty in the garden this spring?

xo, Patty

May 5, 2014

snap shots...

I love taking pictures.  I try to get my camera in my hands every day and use it.  Some days are better than others but I know the only way I'm going to get better is to take more photos so I keep this goal in mind. 

When I look back over the pictures I have taken the last few years I can see my growth as a photographer. From snap shots with my point and shoot to learning to go fully manual mode with my big girl camera.  I still have so much to learn but that's what keeps it exciting. 

How to blur backgrounds or capture action shots...when to best photograph the garden or how to capture cute pictures of my grandkids...

All of it is a fun challenge.  I put together a list of a few things I've learned about taking family shots over at Lessons from Lemon Lane.  Nothing earth shattering just a few simple tricks I thought I'd pass along.  I hope you'll go over and take a look.

xo, Patty

May 2, 2014

little houses

I have been spending time in my studio working on these 5" x 4" mixed media blocks.  I got hooked in an online class by the talented artist Junelle Jacobsen. 

I've been experimenting with a couple of different techniques, trying to make them my own.  I'm not sure I'm quite there yet but that's alright, I am having so much fun trying.

For now I have a pretty good supply of blocks to practice on and have been eyeing my husbands wood pile for suitable scrap lumber for him to cut some more.  If my calculations are right, he has enough wood to keep going for quite awhile.

And that's a good thing, these silly little blocks are kind of like potato chips.  You just can't stop at one.

xo, Patty

May 1, 2014

container gardens

The weather has been perfect for puttering in the garden.  For me that means heading out to a couple of my favorite local nurseries for some inspiration.

I always come home with as many plants as my budget will allow.  This time it's pretty annuals and a little time spent at my potting bench putting together some sunny container gardens.

Isn't it amazing how much beauty can come from a couple of hours with a few plants and a bag of potting soil.

The best part is that these will continue to make me smile for months to come.

I put together a little tutorial on how to plant a container garden on my teaching blog Lessons from Lemon Lane if you want to give it a try.

xo, Patty