Friday, January 23, 2009


This is the part where I tell you way more about me than you probably care to know. I used to be afraid that a few of the things I’m going to reveal here could be used against me but, you know what? I’ve found that I don’t have time to care about things like that anymore (Read: I don’t give a rat’s ass.)

My Christmas tree is still standing. Not quite as majestically but, yes, it’s still looming in the corner of my family room where, because of the two large windows, most of the natural light used to come into the room where I spend most of my “off” time. So, even though it’s been a beautiful and sunny 80 degrees this week, I’ve had the kind of cabin fever I used to get when I was living on the cold, gray, frozen tundra that Iowa’s beautiful plains become at this time of year.

Excuses are useless at this point although the tree has stood much longer in other years that, shamefully, come to mind. Those are back in the days when I used to take a long break after Christmas and go home or vacation elsewhere. This year it’s just work responsibilities (and a strengthening ability to ignore its piney presence) that’s kept me from getting it done.

That’s not even the worst of it. There are nearly five hundred things hanging on that tree. I’ve always loved my collection of ornaments and all of the memories that come to mind every year as we hang them. I love the compliments I get each year on how beautiful the tree is from people who haven’t seen it before. But have you ever had to dust five hundred Christmas ornaments as they came off the tree before you could pack them away? Or roll up and pack twenty five strings of a hundred lights?

That’s what I have to force myself to do this weekend. If there weren’t so many truly cherished ornaments on it, I would bag the whole thing up, as-is, and stand it in a corner of my garage until it was time to take it out again next year at Thanksgiving, so it could offer its usual three weeks of comfort and joy and another three (or so) of anxiety and dread of having to pack it up again.

Okay…so that’s just part of what I’m so excited about today (Read: depressed) Yesterday I finally did something that I’ve nearly done more times than I care to say. I accidently threw something in the garbage that definitely wasn’t garbage. Then, proud of myself for even remembering that it was pick-up day, I carted the can out to the curb and went about my business as they came and took away my trash… and my cell phone.

Lily and I were out for the day and, when we got home, there was the usual ritual of extracting her from the vehicle along with whatever plush plaything she was toting and anything else I needed to carry into the house from the garage. I had my phone (which, by the way, was also the only personal “phone book” I owned) in one hand and Lily and her traveling companion, Curious George, in the other when I noticed a bunch of junk on the seat of the car that needed to be thrown in the trash bin since it was, after all, right next to the car and trash day.

Proud of the fact that, with one free hand (except, of course, for my phone) and the other arm full of 23 pounds of adorably rambunctious baby and her monkey sidekick, I managed to scoop up the paper napkins and straw wrappers, the remains of her sister’s healthful snacks, and lift the lid of the trash bin to discard the junk…and my cell phone.

Only, this one time, unlike so many others, I didn’t realize that I had thrown something in the garbage that didn’t belong there.

I’m not even going to get into how many times, before realizing where it was, I called that phone number from my home phone in order to locate it from its ringing. Or how many times I tore my Mountaineer apart thinking it had fallen into or between the various nooks and crannies. And, as much as I’d love to get into the details of my four phone calls to Sprint last night (spanning more than two hours and leaving me completely exhausted) I’m afraid my attorney has cautioned that I shouldn’t…even though I now have to go BUY a new phone today despite the fact that I’ve paid them seven dollars every month for insurance on my phone that covers, yes indeed, even acts of adult Attention Deficit Disorder. (In their defense, they would have replaced my phone with one of those highly-sought-after “reconditioned handsets of a similar style” you’ve, no doubt, heard tell of.)

Ah…this is the life.

So, my little blog has become more of a rant. You come here looking for inspiring and creative ideas and leave more than a little worried about my state of mind. Thanks for letting me vent.

My only consolation today is that the grandgirls are spending the night tonight…yay! Lily will be cute but completely useless. Lauryn, on the other hand, will be pretty and knows how to use a dust cloth.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Enough of the cold, already!

Since it's been right around 80 degrees here the past few days, I decided I needed to change the snowy home page on my website to my new Valentine's Day page now instead of waiting a few days. Those of you who live in places where it's been so ungodly cold lately probably didn't want to hop onto my homepage and watch snow falling, huh? So it's all changed now just for you.

I spent the better part of the day sick in bed yesterday but I had the T.V. on so at least I got to see most of the Innauguration festivities. What a day!

Nothing else new to report right now. I'm still working on new pattern instructions and my latest book so I can get them to you as soon as possible.

I also had a little camping trip over the holiday weekend with Lily (what a blast!) so I might post a few pics when I have a sec.

Hope all's well with you all and thanks for looking in on me ;-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

S.O.S. (Subscribers Only Sale)

Just a reminder that, if you're a subscriber to my email list, the coupon that went out a couple of weeks ago expires tomorrow, January 16th! Be sure to take a look at my patterns and books in the online shop and use that coupon for 25% off of patterns like Pretty Ribbons, pictured here. It's a great placemat pattern for all occasions.

I might be back to update this post later with news about NEW patterns! There are a couple of other pieces of "news" in the works, so to speak, that I am seriously itching to spill but I can't yet. Stay tuned because these are BIG and so exciting to me. Maybe I'll have a release for you next week?

Again, the day is getting away from me already! Thanks for looking in on me :)

Monday, January 12, 2009


Hands down, the #1 question I'm asked by readers and quilters/crafters is "What inspires you?". I have so many answers that they always end up regretting they asked. So, for those of you that are wondering the same thing, it's probably best that, from time to time, I post a little blurb about something that gives me inspiration.

One of my biggest sources of inspiration is children and, especially, toddlers. They crack me up. It's almost ridiculous (and sometimes embarrassing) how hard I can laugh watching a baby doing something goofy. But it's one of the best feelings in the world! They usually have no idea that they're the ones causing the laughing and that's what makes it even sillier. But my granddaughter, Lily, has developed a little sense of humor and she knows it. She'll do some bizarre little thing and then look at me like "So...are you gonna laugh now?" And, of course, I do.

Here's something I watch when I need a break and some inspiration. If you don't laugh at this...well... there's something wrong. I just watched it again and, as always, laughed 'til there were tears in my eyes. If you want to witness complete, unbridled glee, take a look. I hope it gives you a good, healthy laugh and lots of inspiration too!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

St. Patrick's Day countdown banner

It's great to be Irish AND have a St. Patrick's Day birthday! I'm already counting down :-) You can click on the banner and get a countdown banner of your own, if you'd like.
Do you have any St. Patrick's Day traditions?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What's the (Sugar) Buzz?

It’s busy here; I’ve been at the sewing machine from early morning ‘til late at night the last 3 days in a row!

But there’s something I need to address with those of you who have my book A Patrick Lose Christmas from C&T Publishing. It has come to my attention (through several emails over the last few months and a phone call a few minutes ago with Kathy Runyan, owner of The Quilt Shoppe in Stewartsville, MO) that many of you have made the Caramel Christmas Mix recipe offered in the book. Apparently, Kathy felt no shame in announcing to me that she and her staff had made 4 batches of the stuff over the holiday season. Keep in mind that one batch contains 3 entire boxes of cereal and 2 POUNDS of brown sugar.

I’m truly sorry that you’re having problems fitting into some of your Christmas gifts but I have to say that I warned you. There is a disclaimer printed clearly at the bottom of the page on which the recipe is printed. In case you overlooked it, let me remind you:

"Patrick Lose is not responsible for the intrinsic weight gains, sugar buzzes, gluttony, or cloying addictions (4 batches?) resulting from the consumption of this treat. Eat at your own risk!"

I don’t recall any text in the book telling you to contact me with your tales of woe about what 4 batches of Caramel Christmas Mix does to a person’s waist line. And, no, I don’t need you to send photos of your “transformation”. I went through one of my own a few years back that took me up a couple of waist sizes. And, to make mine worse, I had quit smoking at the time and replaced my cigarettes with the above-mentioned concoction. Trust me, Kathy and crew, 4 batches is only a starting point. And adding things like chocolate chips to the recipe makes me think you’re not even trying to take that first step down the road to recovery.

So, in closing, I don’t think it’s fair that you change the bucolic name of Caramel Christmas Mix to Patrick’s Crunchy Christmas Crack. Take responsibility for your own weaknesses. FYI, I don’t run a clothing alterations business. I have enough of my own to do. What? I never said I was quilting at the machine the last 3 days!

That said, all of the preparations for the new Patrick Lose club are going well…lots of details to iron out! If you’re a shop owner, I’d love to hear your ideas in case we’re overlooking something. If you’re a retail customer, the shop owners and I would love to know what you’re hoping for in a membership to the Patrick Lose club.

I’ve got several new patterns and a new line of fabric just around the corner so be on the lookout!

Patrick ;-)

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Year's Resolutions...bah humbug!

I had the perfect start to the new year spending time with family and friends so that makes it even harder to buckle down and get back to the "business" of my work (which is my least favorite part).

It's a good thing I love what I do because I really do work all the time. From the time I get up in the morning til the time I go to bed at night, the day is pretty much centered around my work. I love the design aspect of my job and making the projects I design. But, eventually, I have to deal with the emails and the phone messages et cetera, et cetera. I could do without that part. But only because it keeps me away from the good stuff...designing.

I don't really believe in New Year's resolutions because I think they're made with the romantic notion that, because it's a new year, the resolutions will be accomplished more easily or maybe even stand for something more profound. (I purposely quit smoking a few years ago at Thanksgiving rather than waiting until January 1st so that I would be reminded at that time, every year, that I had something else to be really thankful for.) But I do believe in taking the time to think about and to consciously resolve to make changes for the better in life. I try to do that but I fall short sometimes...whether it's a new year or not.

I am resolving to make more time for the things I feel passionately about in my life. My daughter, Katie, and I could always use more time together. And that means time with her whole family, too. It's not always available since we all have busy schedules. But I'm going to look for more time in mine. Spending time with everyone that makes my life better just by being around them is something I'm going to strive for.

What may be of more interest to you is that I'm going to spend more time on designing and less time on the business of it. I'll either get "people" to help deal with that end of it or I'll do like everyone else seems to be doing lately...not taking the time to reply to what they deem to be unessential emails or phone messages. It's all about priorities ;-)

Just a reminder, I hope you'll make it a priority to sign up for a subscription to receive email news and special offers from Patrick Lose Studios. A lot of people have already done so and have taken advantage of their first coupon for 25% off in my online shop. You'll be glad you joined when you're the first to hear about all of the new patterns and books and fabrics coming!

Cheers and thanks for looking in on me :-)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Benefits of Membership

Have you subscribed to receive newsletters and email alerts from Patrick Lose Studios yet? If not, you didn't receive a coupon by email today for 25% off anything from our online shop from now until January 16th. That includes all patterns and books at 25% off of retail price!

It's not to late to get in on this S.O.S. (Subscribers Only Sale). All you have to do is go to the subscription page and sign up. It's just a few simple questions on a completely secure form and you'll be all set to receive information on new patterns, books, and fabrics as well as special offers like this S.O.S.!

I hope you'll take the time to join our online "family". I also hope that 2009 is off to a great start for you!
Patrick :-)