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March 30, 2015

spring tins and whimsical egg candlesticks

We met again last Friday night to craft our hearts away.  I am so proud of my girls they have become the best crafters and such good friends.

I decided it would be fun to present each of the ladies with a cute little Easter basket filled with jelly beans, malted eggs and milk chocolate.  I figured it must have been a very long time since these givers of baskets actually got one themselves.

I tucked the paper nests in a cute little box and made them each a pretty He is Risen tag as well.

I love how each of their spring tins and whimsical egg candle sticks came out.  They were so much cuter than my samples.  I am going to selfishly say that it must be my exceptional teaching skills that has their creativity surpassing the teacher.  Ha, ha!

I've promised them a Mother's Day inspired memory journal for April's workshop which means I have some creating to do this week.

Thank you so much for your kind words to my post yesterday, you are all such an encouragement to me.  Hope this Monday is starting off with plenty of sunshine and the promise of a beautiful spring week for each of you.

xo, Patty

March 29, 2015

a time for everything

I want to be able to be very honest with you here on my blog and sometimes that is not always going to cause the best reflection on me but if I can't be real here then I might as well just stop writing.

I went to bed really early last night because I was tired for sure but also because my heart was heavy.  Did you know that you can have a heavy heart over a good thing, even something that is an answer to years of prayer?  You can.

If you have visited here for a while you probably know that my daughter and my six year old grandson lived with us from the time he was born until he was five years old.  For those of you who have had grandchildren live with you, you know that causes a special and unique bond between the grandparents and grandchild.

Yesterday after his baseball game my grandson was given the option of going home with me and his pop pop or going home with his mom.  There was a time not so very long ago that he would have (without hesitation) said he wanted to come home with us but he (without hesitation) said, "I want to go home with mommy".

His answer took me by surprise and even caused a little twinge of something inside me.  I thought about it off and on for the rest of the day.  Why was it significant?  Why did it make me sad?  What did it represent?  Shouldn't it have made me dance with joy?

After a long and sleepless night I woke up to these words in my devotional...

"Stop trying to work things out before their times have come.  Accept the limitation of living one day at a time.  When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today's agenda.  If it isn't, release it into My care and go on about today's duties.  When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life; a time for everything, and everything in its time." Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

You see for so long I have been trying to work out this very situation before it's time.  I have fretted and worried about it for years writing out various scenarios in my mind on a nearly daily basis.  This morning I felt the Holy Spirit gently and reassuringly tell me, now is the time to let go.

"There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven..." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Our house is our grandson's (and all of our grandchildren) safe haven and will always be his home away from home.  But God in his infinite glory has raised up my daughter to provide him with his primary home and where ever she may move to physically, his home will always be with her.

Let the dancing for joy begin!

xo, Patty

Note...for those of you who asked the bible I faith illustrate in is an old Note Maker's Bible Wide Margin Edition and I am not sure it is still available but here is one similar.

March 27, 2015

paper nests

I have been busy this week getting ready for my March Makerie party guests.  We meet tonight for a bit of crafting, some fun conversation and plenty of food.

One of my favorite things in preparing for the workshops is coming up with the tablescape and little appreciation gifts for each of the ladies.  Sometimes the ideas I start out with kind of evolve organically and turn out even cuter than I imagined.

These paper nests definitely fit into that category.  I knew I wanted to make the little flower pins but wasn't sure what I wanted to put in the center and then it hit me...make them into little nests.

Aren't they cute?  And they were so simple to put together.  I just made miniature paper blooms out of old dressmaking pattern paper (you know, the kind you fold like a fan and then separate into flowers), added a bit of moss to the center and hot glued a speckled egg.  Then I added a pin fastener to the back and voila...an adorable paper nest pin.

I promise to take pictures after I've set the table for the party to share with you soon.  Have a great weekend!

xo, Patty

March 25, 2015

a mind shift

I find that my mind has already begun the shift from cool weather to warm weather activities.  Even though the weather is mild here in Southern California, we still mark seasons just the same.  If we are lucky enough to get a bit of rain in the winter, now is when our local mountains take on a beautiful soft green and the trees begin to leaf out.

Most of my roses are in full bloom and the cutting has started in earnest.  I could easily cut a bouquet every couple of days right now but they are so pretty on the bush that I settle for a few fresh blooms a couple of times a week.

Thoughts of no school and heading out to the pool or beach have started to sneak into our conversations as well.  I plan on doing a little porch and patio decorating this weekend because I know BBQ season is just a week or two a way.  We are in need of some pretty new pillows for the front rockers and I want to find a colorful oil cloth fabric for the patio table.

What about you?  Is summer on your mind or are you just holding on to the hope of spring?

xo, Patty

March 23, 2015

an honest heart

Last week I made a decision to use this little blog of mine to share a bit of beauty everyday from a very ordinary life.  A life filled with happy moments and sad disappointments...

A life a lot like yours I'm sure.

It seems ever since I made that conscious choice, my life has turned decidedly more trying.  My patience has been tested and failed, my heart has been cold and my actions quite selfish.  I have been tired and acted as if the world (or at least those close to me) have been a bit of a burden.  I have felt empty.  It has been harder to find beauty...

And then this morning God gave me this...

"How precious is your unfailing love, O God.  All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.  You feed them from the abundance of your own house letting them drink from your rivers of delight.  For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.  Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you; give justice to those with honest hearts. "  Psalm 36: 7-10

The source of beauty is not found in my everyday circumstances and brokenness, it is found in God's unfailing love for me and for you.  He longs to delight me, to feed me beauty, if I would but fix my eyes on Him and his creation instead of my own limited, fractured perspective.  If I will live with an honest heart, he will pour out His love on me.

Give me an honest heart O Lord, so that I might see the delights you have waiting for me.

xo, Patty

March 21, 2015

hello spring

It's easy to find the beauty in Spring.  This is absolutely my favorite time of year (with the exception of a crisp fall day with a gentle breeze in the air, or a beautiful chilly winter's day with the fireplace going and a hot cup of cocoa in my hand or maybe a perfect summer beach day...) well, you get the picture.

I love the gardens of Southern California the most in the early spring.  This is when we shine.

I have been decidedly lazy in the garden department this year and yet, the flowers are still amazing.  I haven't done more than weed a patch or two and the blooms are going strong.

My hubby and I are planning a trip to our local nursery tomorrow to pick up a few flowers to fill in the bare spots, so that means plenty of weeding and raking in my near future.  This is one household maintenance job that carries a big return.  Making room for the beauty of a lush, full garden will prove rewarding for months to come.  Seeing the happiness that the garden brings to my family and friends well into summer and fall encourages me to make time to prepare and nurture the soil now.

I love bringing my coffee outside for a morning garden stroll.  This sounds far grander than it really is.  We have an average size suburban backyard so strolling is more of a walk with attitude..There is something about the magic of the early hours that transforms it into a place to linger.

A sip, a sigh, a deep breath and a smile, then take a few steps and repeat.  The best de-stressing exercise I know of.  Try it sometime, this habit works remarkably well in any one's yard or on an early morning walk through the neighborhood.

Have a wonderful weekend my friends and I'll talk to you on Monday.

xo, Patty

March 19, 2015

murphy's law and choosing love

Yesterday was just one of those days.  You know the kind, everything that can go wrong (or so it seems) does go wrong.  Good old Murphy's Law.

From broken dishes, to failed exams...

From cars breaking down on freeways, to expired (by two weeks) road side assistance...

From missed school programs, to teething babies...

From homework meltdowns, to plumbing problems...

We saw it all as a family yesterday.  When you have days like that it can be really hard to see the beauty, to find the proverbial silver lining.  For me it helps to carry out the bad to what could have been worse.

Nobody got hurt when the ceramic pitcher crashed to the ground.

While one portion of the exam was failed, one part was passed and the make up test is only a week a way.

Yes, the car broke down on the freeway but my daughter managed to make it to the shoulder without getting in an accident and Triple AAA did tow it to our mechanic.

While the same daughter missed her six year old's school program, he did have a big hug and I love you mommy waiting for her when she staggered home.

The homework did get finished as my melt down became bigger than his (which scared him straight in no time at all) and grandpa stepped in and played sweet guitar music to soothe the teething baby.

Try as I might, there is just no silver lining to plumbing problems...

Everyone has those days, thankfully they are the exception and not the rule.  And even more thankfully, there isn't too much a big hug and an I love you mommy can't make better.  That and a little time hiding out in my studio!

xo, Patty

March 18, 2015

hey, batter batter

I spent yesterday afternoon at the ball park watching my six year old grandson play baseball.  Every time I sit on those bleachers and hear the hey, batter batter chant I am instantly sent back to my childhood.

My father coached Little League and Pony League ball my whole growing up years.  With three older brothers there was never a time when we weren't headed out to a ball field of some sort.  I loved that time in my life.  The freedom we were allowed back then to run around the park, buy a snow cone and chew copious amounts of pink bubble gum are all such great memories.

Being out there again watching the kids learn the game of baseball, the teasing and horsing around, the errant throws and the thrill of getting a hit reminds me that things are not so different now.  Kids still love the noisy tinny clank of the bleachers, younger brothers and sisters still make their own fun in the grass and dirt while mom and dad cheer on their siblings.

Sure we are more aware of the evil in the world but there is still so much innocence left in the young and if we try...maybe even in the young at heart.

xo, Patty

March 17, 2015

finding contentment

I played hooky from bible study today because I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the state of my home.  I don't know about you but when my house is in chaos (not just disarray but chaos) I cannot function well.

So today I had a date with my cleaning supplies.  As soon as my quiet time and coffee were finished I set about feathering my nest.  Decluttering and wiping away grime as I went along from room to room.

Sometimes the mess sneaks up on me and other times I know it's building but life gets busy and I start procrastinating and wham! before I know it I am in full on melt down mode from the stress of it all.

But, if I am going to practice what I preach, I needed to seek and savor the beauty even in this moment.  Sometimes when outward beauty is not easy to spot, I need to look inward and find it in my heart where it's always tucked away...in the knowledge that my house is messy because it is full of people I love and my life is busy with activities that bring me joy.  Plus, I have the physical ability to get it all cleaned up and the comfort of a roof over my head.

And right now, I have my feet curled up on the sofa and a warm cup of tea in my hand and am feeling wonderfully content.  I hope you can feel it, too.

xo, Patty

March 16, 2015

a little sunshine

So happy to hear so many of you have begun to experience a little sunshine and the hope that comes with it.  There is nothing quite like those first shoots and blossoms of spring to put a little pep in your step and a smile on your face.

I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days with my sister, who is visiting from Texas, over the weekend.  To wake up to the chatter of her and my mom whispering over their morning coffee is one of the most cherished sounds I know and one that I hope never to take for granted.

I got home today to a couple of my honey do's completed by my sweet man and a stack of 2 x 4 blocks that he cut for me piled nicely on my studio table just waiting for a quiet moment to be able to stop and create.

Sometimes (scratch that) always...it is so nice to take a minute and appreciate the joy and beauty that is right under our noses.

Happy Monday all!

xo, Patty

March 11, 2015

Styling floral and denim

Spring is definitely here in Southern California (not that we really had much of a winter) and I am so excited to start wearing pretty florals, brighter colors and lighter layers.  What about you?

Remember this inspiration photo?  When I posted it in February the thought of sandals seemed a bit far off but this week we have been hanging out in the low 80's, so I headed off to get a spring pedicure and broke out my summer shoes and that definitely includes sandals.

Aren't these adorable?  I found them at Kohl's last month and have been waiting for the chance to wear them.  They are Candies and super comfortable.

I paired them with this soft flowing floral blouse also from Kohl's.  It is by designer Lauren Conrad.  She has become one of my favorites mostly because she has such a pretty feminine style without being too cutesy.

The skinny jeans are from Loft and I wear them all the time.  I added silver jewelry with a bit of hesitation because the sandals have a gold accents.  It seems it's okay to mix gold and silver tones right now but old habits die hard.

I wore the same outfit to church on Sunday but paired it with tan booties and boot cut jeans.  I like this look as well.

Am I the only one who wears an outfit twice if I only wore it for a little while and in front of different people the first time?  I will do that most weeks as I come home from church and change into my lounging clothes for my day of rest.

Isn't it amazing what a difference just changing out you shoes and the cut of your jeans does to an outfit?  That certainly is one way to help stretch your wardrobe, don't you think?

xo, Patty

Shop my look (similar) on Amazon...

March 9, 2015

March Workshop Info

I finally finished the class samples for the March Easter Makerie Workshop and I am tickled pink with how they turned out.  A little bit of spring sweetness is always a good thing.

A couple of hand painted wooden eggs turned into an adorable candlestick is the perfect addition to a fun Easter centerpiece.

And this little metal bucket decked out with a few colored eggs and a vintage chicken pick will be perfect to display all spring long.  Add to that the mini vintage sheet bunting and it is definitely cuteness overload.

If you are local to Southern California and would like to join me, the date is March 27, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.  The fee is $25.00.  Just send me an email at lemonlanecottage@yahoo.com and I will send you an invoice.  I am taking the first twelve emailers.

If you're interested don't wait too long as the workshop will fill up fast.  This is such a fun time out with friends.  I hope to see you there.

xo, Patty

March 5, 2015

capturing a moment

I am just back from a planning retreat for Women's ministries at my church.  I went with such an amazing group of women, some I've know a while and a few new friends.  I have to admit I was a little nervous to be going, wondering just what I would have to offer.

It turns out those nerves were totally in vain.  From the moment we piled into the car for the hour long drive to the hotel we would be staying at I felt completely at ease.  As our time together went on it was clear we all had a purpose in being there.

Before we left on our trip I put together these little canvas memory journals for each us.

Nothing fancy and only a few pages with just enough room to record a thought or two.

I took a few pictures while we were there and printed them out on my home printer on inexpensive photo paper at wallet size as soon as I got home.  They fit perfectly on the photo page.

I added a thought or two on the journal side and in less than a half an hour I have captured a few of my favorite moments from the retreat.

Sometimes I think we can over complicate memory keeping books.  I have been guilty of this I know.  I plan out these elaborate pages and wait to send out for my photos to be professionally developed and never get around to putting the album together.

Sometimes a quick snapshot and a few words is all it really takes to remind us of the special times in our lives.

xo, Patty