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April 29, 2015

busy, busy, busy...

Did I mention that I signed up to sell my art and stuff at a local hand made craft fair?  (Only about one hundred times, right?)  Well, that is happening this weekend.  As in two days from now...

So to say I am busy, busy, busy is kind of an understatement.  I purposely left this week for packaging and booth prep and I am so thankful.

It is time consuming to make the things you love to create beautiful for those who are sweet enough to get what you do and spend their hard earned money to purchase them.

I have to be honest, I am having a blast and am so excited.  If you are local to Southern California, I would love to squeeze your neck and say hello.  Do stop by...and bring a friend.,.wink, wink.

xo, Patty

April 24, 2015

my week on instagram

It seems a lot of my life these days is recorded on instagram.  Love it or hate it is a quick way to record those moments that happen each day at break neck speed.  The photos I post in my regular blog posts are very intentional and have been edited but the pictures I share on instagram are quick and dirty.  They are the fun things in life that happen all the time.  I know they are not so different from yours and I thought it might be fun to share them with you here each Friday just as a reminder that there is much to love and celebrate each and every day.

My week on instagram...

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo, Patty

April 23, 2015

our first month and other random stuff

It's been just about a month since our household grew from two to five and for the most part we are all making the adjustment just fine.  We still have our hiccups and boundary issues but day by day we are falling into a routine and for this over scheduler, routines are good...very good.

The boys are thriving and seeing them so happy certainly off sets any of the growing pains we adults are facing.  They went from an apartment with little outdoor time to our big yard so outside time is a favorite.  In fact, it is hard for me to sneak outside to putter without a certain fourteen month old lifting those deliciously pudgy arms for me to take him out with me.

I have gotten quite good at finding ways to contain him out there without him realizing it.  It's amazing what comes back to you when you surround yourself with little people.

The other thing that has come back is our need for food and lots of it.  Needless to say, my weekly trip to the grocery store is just not cutting it.  I seem to be running for more bread, eggs and milk every other day.  My discretionary food budget (aka art supply and plant money) has dwindled to nearly non-existent.

Being outside watching little ones has certainly motivated me to get some work done on the gardens. I have been buying a few annuals every week to freshen up the pots we have tucked into the perimeter of the yard.  I finally managed to clean up the area in the back with my raised beds and found a few tomato plants that had reseeded themselves with fruit already on the vine.

Life is good here on Lemon Lane, not perfect but really good.  It's amazing the difference a positive attitude makes in accepting life changes.  Focusing on the privilege it is to help raise another generation instead of the loss of my freedom made all the difference.  I don't know how long they'll be with us but that's not really important anymore because just about the time I set a time schedule, the whole thing could change again.

This lesson of acceptance has been a hard one for me but hopefully...it's one I'm finally getting.

xo, Patty

April 22, 2015

pretty things and busy days

One of things that makes birthdays fun are the people in your life you get to share them with.  Last week two of my best friends took me to dinner to celebrate and showered me with love and pretty presents.

I didn't waste any time adding this sweet sign and colorful little chest of drawers to my dining room hutch.  Turns out it was just what was needed to freshen the whole thing up.  Thank you girls, you both know me so well.

I am still busy preparing for Blush Market, my first handmade fair of the year, in a couple of weeks. At this point that means a lot of almost finished projects.  I am trying to stop starting anything new until I finish what I've already begun, if that makes sense.

I tend to work best under pressure but even I'm starting to sweat getting enough pretty things completed in time for the show.  Between that and my work in the garden, the days are just flying by. Needless to say my house is in need of a good cleaning and my plans for a spring purge have fallen by the wayside.

I am enjoying my work (if you can call it that) in the garden and in my studio so much that I don't mind the busyness.  What about you?  What's keeping you busy?

xo, Patty

April 20, 2015

hello Monday

I decided to sneak outside into the quiet coolness of the morning for my coffee today.  I spent most of yesterday puttering in the garden filling pots with fresh herbs and pretty flowers.  The overcast sky and stillness of the early hour called me out to take a quick stroll and a peek at the fruits of my labor.

There was the most beautiful sense of calm and peace out there.

The baby swing that I've pushed a thousand times in the last six years sat still...

The swish, swish, swish of the lawn sprinklers offered a gentle serenade...

This gifted tomato plant reminded me that there is yet more garden time to come a bit later in the day...

But oh, the stillness of the moment was just what this girl needed.

Hello Monday.  Let get this day started.

xo, Patty

April 17, 2015

putting yourself out there

I have been working like crazy getting ready for Blush Market hand made craft show in May.  My art studio is a beautiful mess of mixed media journals and notebooks, specialty papers and hand painted canvas totes and pouches.  It's always scary putting yourself out there artistically, never knowing whether or not your art will appeal to the shows audience but I am getting better at it.

I am feeling good about the direction of my art right now, feeling like I've finally found my sweet spot so to speak creatively.  I think I spent so many years following the trends that I lost myself artistically for a while.  Now I am just painting from the heart.  Making sure each piece makes my heart sing.

I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea and that's okay.  There is no way we can please everyone and the more we try the less happy we will be about what we are doing and who we are for that matter.

I love this handwritten sign I bought from a friend.  It reminds me daily that I am God's masterpiece and that makes my authentic self worth everything.

If you are local to Southern California I would love for you to come by, take a look at all the artisans there and stop by and say hello.

I will be listing a few pieces in my Etsy shop soon as well.

Happy Friday my friends!

xo, Patty

April 15, 2015

more than a little milk for my coffee

I really didn't mean to stay away for nearly a week but you see I was busy having myself a little pity party.  I am actually quite embarrassed to be typing that out.  It sounds as selfish as it really is when you just come right out and say it.

My life took a turn that I hadn't planned on and I took a few days (okay, almost the entire week) to feel sorry for myself over it.

The very thing I had been so sad over just a few months ago has reversed itself and I was feeling all mopey over it in reverse.

My briefly empty nest is now quite full again.  My once quiet mornings are now teaming with life. Poor me, I have to endure giggles and laughter, tears and tantrums, hugs and smiles, watch me's and don't touch that's, all over again.

I hope you know me well enough now to hear the tongue in cheek tone I am saying all that with.

I wish I could say that I was so optimistic about all of it from the start but I wasn't.  I was rude and arrogant, disappointed and discouraged, self righteous and self pitying and then I woke up to the fact that I am indeed a blessed woman who was behaving like a spoiled child.

At the height of my selfishness I had a hissy fit to my husband over the fact that the once full gallon of milk was now an empty shell laying in the garbage and I had no milk for my morning coffee.  I mean how dare my grandchildren nourish their bodies before I could splash a bit of the white stuff in my cup.  Sheesh!

Embarrassing I tell you...embarrassing.

Why does it take seeing ourselves at our worst to make us take a closer look in the mirror? Thankfully, I am over it now.  It took me a bit longer than it should have to realize that this was hard on all the parties involved.  That things happen in life that cause families to come together and that there is no other place that I would want my grandchildren and daughter to be (until mommy is ready to move out with them on her own) than under our roof.

And just to avoid another hissy fit, I am making sure to keep my little creamer filled with milk hidden in the back of the fridge.

xo, Patty

April 10, 2015

sweet sundressess

When I was a little girl my mom used to make my younger sister and I matching dresses every Easter, so it only seems fitting that I would do the same for my grand daughters.

Nothing complicated to be sure just these little pillow case inspired shifts.

With their six year age difference it's hard to find matching clothes so I have a feeling I will be making these little dresses until six year old Emily puts her foot down and says, no more.  I think I was probably around ten or so when I made that request.

Not that it did any good.  My mom continued to sew them up and every Easter picture from that time until she finally stopped will find me with a preteen attitude showing on my face and in my crossed armed, slouched shouldered body language.  Oh, the angst of girls for sure!

We are expecting gorgeous weather in the high 70's this weekend so hubby and I are headed out to my moms to celebrate my birthday.  That means a little golfing (for him) and shopping (for me). After thirty two years of marriage we are good with that arrangement.  No worries, we will reconnect around dinner time for a little celebrating together.

What about you?  Anything fun planned this weekend?

xo, Patty

April 9, 2015

one thing that stays the same...

Hello friends.  We are in a time of change once again here at home.  Nothing bad thank goodness, but change just the same.  If there is one thing that seems to stays the same here lately is that nothing stays the same.

If you're like me when the winds of change blow I find peace in what I can count on and time spent with my hands in the dirt is one of those things.

My man took me to the garden center over the weekend and treated me to a cart full of flowers.  A new pink rose bush and some pretty annuals to be exact.

We have had a cool down in the weather so I am taking advantage and getting them all in the ground before the heat returns.  I put in a few of the larkspur and sunflower seeds that I saved from last year but as you can see they did a spectacular job of reseeding themselves all on their own.

I have a couple of terracotta pots that are in need of a few new blooms and I still haven't gotten to those porch and patio pillows but I am working on it.

What about you?  Have you ventured into the garden, yet?

xo, Patty

April 6, 2015

Easter memories

I am heading out the back door to do a little work in the garden before the rain comes tomorrow but before I do I wanted to post a few pictures of our Easter weekend.  I was blessed to have all my grandchildren around me both Saturday and Sunday making the holiday even more special.

These photos were from Easter Sunday at my 81 year old mom's another blessing all unto itself.  I have a couple more from Saturday at our house that I'll share a bit later along with the sweet little sundresses I made my grand daughters.

I hope you had the most special of weekends, too.

xo, Patty

April 3, 2015

a mother's day journal

I seem to be getting into a groove hosting my monthly craft workshops here at my home.  I don't have to remind myself how lucky I am to be able to gather friends around the table as part of my job description.

I love it when a new lady enters our group and I love reconnecting with my regulars.

This is proving to be the perfect way to spend time in my studio painting and taking online classes while building my inventory for upcoming handmade fairs and the revamping of my Etsy shop, and still do all the crafts I love.

I put together this sweet Mother's Day photo journal for my April workshop.  My goal was to keep it simple but fun.  I think using this colorful paper that I found at Michael's was just what was needed.  I am careful to only do projects that can be completed during class time because I know most women are busy and the likely hood of finishing at home is slim.  (Says the woman with a box of unfinished craft class projects that I plan on completing someday.)

Each page has a sweet little sewn pocket with a cute tag for journaling a few words and a white frame to add a picture.

A simple embellishment was all that was needed to make the page sing.

I am making one for each of my daughters for Mother's Day and I can't wait to add the cute photos I've printed of their rugrats.

I still have three spots open for the 4/24/15 class if you're local to Southern California.  Just shoot me an email at lemonlanecottage@yahoo.com and I will send you all the details.  I may have a few kits for sale that I can mail out, as well.

I pray you all have the sweetest of Easter weekends.  I am headed out to my mom's to gather with family.  I am hoping all my grandkids are there but I know I have to share them with the "other side" once in a while.  (No guilt intended girls...lol.)

xo, Patty

April 1, 2015

On turning 54 - resurrecting old dreams

Yes, I know it's Wednesday, but...

I have been rather lacking in the fashion department lately.  Spring has sprung and the truth be told, you will more than likely find me in my gardening shoes, or flip flops than anything blog worthy.

I have exchanged cute clothes for my painters apron for the most part the last couple of weeks as my head has been exploding with new ideas to try out in my studio.  I was telling my good friend and accountability partner (love her and her role in my life but that is a whole other post) last night that I feel more comfortable in my own skin, owning my own dreams and soaring with hope and possibility's, than I have been in a very long time.

I know my mood swings the last few months are enough to give you all whip lash but that is just how my emotions have been.  (And no, I don't think it's entirely hormonal, ha, ha!)

I think there is so much truth to that old saying about one door closing and another one opening.  With the new boundaries here at home, I have begun to focus on some things and some people (hello honey) that have been neglected.

I have purposely made an effort to resurrect some old dreams and loves and see how they mesh with the person that I am now and I have to tell you that as I approach my 54th (eek!) birthday this month, life is so exciting.

I think a big part of it has been learning how to let go of one season so that there's room to embrace the next one.  Believe me I do not have a lock on this one and I can almost guarantee that next week I will be sharing a bit more melancholy post, but I am learning that it's okay to be scared as long as you keep moving forward.

My encouragement for you this Wednesday would be to examine your life and make a note of what seasons in your life are winding down and what comes next and then step into the scary, sad, joyful, challenging, dream filled heart of it, one day at a time.

Oh, and I did a little spring fashion shopping over the weekend that I plan on sharing with you next week...

xo, Patty