Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Migraines+Insomnia=Grumpy, Cranky, Unhappy Girl (Who knows when this will get published or if it will make any sense at all!)

No progress has been made on the Top Ten Things to do this Summer. Ciara and I are trying to schedule a trip to Barton Springs. In our defense, we did try. However the day we went they were CLOSED. (Barton Spings+Padlock+Rain=Distressed Ella+Depressed Patty+Supremely Creative and Accommodating Ciara.) How is that for some real life applications of Algebra. Are you proud Ms. Mills?

I DID cast on 30 stitches with the help of Mama Maria (Keese) and now I need to drag my lazy rear out of this bed and get my "knit bag" to start my "knit knit pearl pearl" scarf of the summer!
Oh yeah! She's a 19 footer. She's been all over Idaho and Montana. She was droppin' her mama off at the airport in Reno as we were boarding our plane home. I just walked straight up and asked for a photo of this gem! The man was giving me way more details than my head could keep up with. He must have thought I actually have some working knowledge of the Airstream sub-culture. I pretended like I did and then feigned anxiety over missing my flight. I stopped short of asking if I could go inside....but only because "Mama" was in there relieving herself and that would have been odd, to say the least!
I have been "loving" this blog for a while. I just never really knew how to take a "screen shot" of it. I FINALLY learned how to take screen shots and size them down or up to the dimensions I need. It is seriously easier than breathing or blinking!

design*sponge is BY FAR my FAVORITE blog in the "world wide web!" What an amazing job the founder has....she wakes up and blogs about pretty, pretty, pretty "stuff!" She gets PAID of PAYED (whatever) to do this! "AH AH AHHHHHHHHH!" (The angels sing as I ponder the goodness!) If you love design and things and design-y things then check this out DAILY! She also share recipes, floral design, "before" and "after", OUTSTANDING gift guides (especially at Christmas), art....if you can look at it and your eyes can smile, she includes it in her blog. However, I believe she is located in NYC so most of the information is relevant to the east coast.
I must sign off now. I am so busy today....busy doing absolutely nothing of any importance. As much as I am enjoying the days to is getting to be "that time." I am needing to get back to a schedule. Ergh....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Everyday is Like Sunday

I have been remiss in maintaining the "daily celebration" portion of this blog. This is in essence an egregious violation considering the ENTIRE purpose of this blog was to identify celebrations on a daily basis. Please, don't get me wrong, celebrations occur daily in my life. And I am certain for every one celebration that I am actually aware of; about 100 more take place that unfortunately go unnoticed by me because I tend to get wrapped up in the "Patty-ness" of being "Patty."

I am feeling terribly open and vulnerable today. My life is in a state of huge transition. Well, let me be more specific, my Christian life is in great transition today. I have been largely reluctant to introduce my faith into this blog; mostly because I know religion and spirituality are often heated points of contention and I never intended this blog to be anything more than a "happy place where fun meets gratitude." But it would be a gross betrayal to pretend an entire shift has not taken place in my life. The truth is that roughly 11 to 12 months ago God reached out to me, when He knew I needed Him most and introduced me to His son, Jesus Christ and graciously allowed the Holy Spirit entrance into my heart. While I have enjoyed an enormous amount of peace and happiness as a result; I have also been challenged with very difficult notions and questions. Ever the loving God; He has graciously "loan" me powerful people and studies to make sure I wasn't drowning in a sea of questions without throwing me a number of flotation devices! He is just kind of great like that!

Today has not been an easy day. It's hard to put into words; but I do want to share. Similar to any relationship; a relationships with Christ has periods of discomfort and transition. Today was a major "transitional" day for me. Essentially, letting go into God is an uncomfortable exercise in giving up a considerable amount of control. I have never, and probably will never, be any good at this. Relinquishing the notion that I am "in charge" of it "all" is probably the most difficult thing I will do....or at least has been the most difficult thing I have done thus far.

However, I have a dear, wise friend who keeps reminding me that knowing "the fake Patricia Vela" is far less satisfying than knowing "the real Patricia Vela." That is tough stuff....I mean can I REALLY be me.....scared, confused, blissfully flawed, beautifully quirky me? Will that not drive an individual directly in the opposite direction of where I stand? Today it occurred to me that is exactly how God loves us....for he created us; unique and loves our flaws and gave His Son up on the cross so that our quirky little unique flaws are all forgiven away. Today....that is what I celebrate!
I just finished Margaret Atwood's most recent book The Year of the Flood. In her typical dystopian Handmaid's Tale style this book is a fascinating and rather frightening look at where this world might be, or metaphorically already is, as a result of human living. I highly recommend this book. It is both challenging and lyrical. She pits gentle living against violent humanity. If you can get through the first few chapters without feeling will be hooked and the confusion will be cleared up very, very quickly!
Adam One, the kindly leader of the God’s Gardeners – a religion devoted to the melding of science, religion, and nature - has long predicted a disaster. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women remain: Ren, a young dancer locked away in a high-end sex club, and Toby, a former God’s Gardener, who barricades herself inside a luxurious spa. Have others survived? Ren’s bio-artist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers? Not to mention the CorpSeCorps, the shadowy policing force of the ruling powers… As Adam One and his beleaguered followers regroup, Ren and Toby emerge into an altered world, where nothing – including the animal life – is predictable.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A New Way of Seeing Things

What is an Holga? According to Wikipedia (so it MUST be true) an Hogla is an inexpensive, medium format, 120 film toy camera manufactured in China. It is known for it's low fidelity aesthetic. "The Holga's low-cost construction and simple meniscus lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera's limitations have brought it a cult following among some photographers, and Holga photos have won awards and competitions in art and news photography."

I purchased my Holga about a year ago at Urban Outfitters. I was inspired by my wonderfully well rounded and eclectically diverse friend, Johnny Seale. He has created some beautiful Holga photos! He provided me some simple advice and led me to various web sites and I started playing with my Holga on my summer trip (2009) to The Deep South. Enjoy the photos that I JUST had processed (shame shame shame).......
I took this photo at a cemetery in Savannah, Georgia. I love how you can read that Mary Ann was the wife of Moses Coburn. I wonder what her other roles in life were. Perhaps mother, sister, daughter, friend? Giving into the slightly maudlin mood today I am curious what mine might say: daughter, friend, hater of the telephone, lover of antiques, insane Gilmore Girls fan, mother to three kitties, chronic procrastinator?
This photo was taken in the same cemetery. The outer walls were filled with these old tombstones.
Upon my return home, these photos were taken at my neighborhood swimming pool. This is intentionally blurry. You can expose the same piece of film as many times as you like. It looks like this was exposed three times.
This photo was larger, and how shall I say this, not so flattering! Thank goodness for "cropping!"
What award winning photo does not have a Pepsi cup from the local corner store in it?
Just a different perspective. Throwing this up on the world wide web is a true leap of faith for me...but I liked the angle and the color of the photo.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Who was Scene in SA? I WAS!!!!!!!!

Remember last year's Hearts in Harmony Gala? was featured in the July issue of Scene in SA magazine! (Better late than never!) Anyhow....the dark, twisty, secret, 15 minutes of fame side of me has ALWAYS wished to once, JUST ONCE, appear in Scene in SA. Friends, my 15 minutes (more like 15 milli-seconds) have arrived......
Yes, bottom left hand corner! I am photographed with State Representative Joaquin Castro and one of the hippest hippsta's in the world...the one, the only, Traci Gomez, Executive Director of The Children's Bereavement Center of South Texas! Two photos above mine are some of my very favorite ladies, Linda Fugit, Jenifer Brown and Sallie Chasnoff. What an amazing evening and what a blessing to be spotlighted in Scene in SA. We are ALL already hard at work preparing for next year's event! The Gala will be held on February 24, 2011 at The San Antonio Country Club. It isn't too early to inquire. If you would like to know how you can purchase a table or individual seats please contact Jan at 210.736.HUGS!
If you are interested in volunteering at Gala (and we will need MANY) contact me at

Nap time! Keep checking the blog for photos from our family Tahoe vacation AND some photos from my Holga! Yay!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Progress...Minimal, at Best

I have developed a new crush! I am such a fickle little gal and I develop new love affairs with classic pieces of furniture just as often as the wind changes direction.

This is the Louis Ghost Chair designed by French designer Phillipe Starck. In my mind....I have a perfect location for this chair in my house. (You know...there is a very empty spot where the Christmas tree once was!) While I have tried to find some information on the chair (to be honest I haven't researched it all that well) all I can come up with is that it takes it's inspiration from (one of the) Louis!
The summer to do list is inching along. (Emphasis on the word "inching.") As predicted, too much time on my hands has rendered me slightly loopy. Common symptoms include needless crying, sleepless nights, inability to make a decision....I have come to terms with the truth and the truth is....I NEED TO WORK! Granted, I am the first to complain about "work" and "waking up early" and "following directives," but the fact remains....I do not do well when I have nowhere to go on a daily basis in a routine fashion.

However, I have managed to complete a few tasks. The closet is coming along nicely and many of my clothes found a new home at Buffalo Exchange; where I "exchanged" them for my first piece of Diane von Furstenberg silky happiness. I also dis-assembled the Christmas tree. I cleaned out my stash of books and received a WHOPPING 30 dollars from Half Price Books. I organized my coat closet, more or less, and made room for all of the random pieces of "entertainment" table ware that I never use because I never invite anyone over! (All of my friends are nodding their heads in sarcastic agreement.) I have remained committed to my Bible study and have also spent joyous time at The Children's Bereavement Center of South Texas visiting, planning, volunteering and feeling happy!

As of tomorrow I will be "on vacation"-for real. I may or may not have the ability to I will wish you all a good evening and if I can post...I will! (Although most of my 10 readers will actually be with me!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pretty for my Eyes

Thomas Paul! I am lovin' Thomas Paul! I have taken the liberty of copying Thomas Paul's biography from his website which can be accessed by clicking here.

Thomas Paul was born and raised in New York City. He got his start in the fashion business working as an intern at DKNY in the mid-nineties after graduating from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in textile design. While working as a colorist and designer for a silk mill specializing in neckwear and scarves, he worked on neckwear collections for such designers as Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, and DKNY. This eventually led to the creation of his own neckwear collection, the short-lived digities in the late 90's. From this was born the start of the thomaspaul pillow collection, launched in 2001, which was originally conceived of as an idea of utilizing the silk printing mill's capabilities for home accessories instead of personal accessories. Since then the line has steadily expanded into other categories apart from silk pillows to include tabletop, stationery, and lamp shades. The ultimate goal being to have products covering every aspect of the home, all with thomaspaul patterns gracing them.

Below are some fabrics, pillows, lamps and melamine plates and trays. Thomas Paul designs can be purchased at Velocity Art and Design. Enjoy.....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Get Your Groupon!

For all my fellow San Antonians......

I just joined "Groupon!" Ciara, in Austin, has been asking me if San Antonio had "Groupon?" Having no idea what she was talking about, I humbly answered, "No." (I mean....Keep Austin Weird, Keep San Antonio Lame...I just figured San Antonio did not have "Groupon.") Much to my surprise...WE DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Knowing that I have no real words to explain what Groupon is...I have borrowed from their website in hopes of clarifying their purpose.

Each day, Groupon features an unbeatable deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in your city. By promising businesses a minimum number of customers, we get discounts you won't find anywhere else. We call it "collective buying power!"

Just click "BUY" before the offer ends at midnight. If the minimum number of people sign up, we'll charge your card and send you a link to print your Groupon. If not enough people join, no one gets it (and you won't be charged), so invite your friends to make sure you get the deal!

I am "inviting" all my friends to join Groupon! I know a lot of you appreciate a "deal!" This allows us to each get the "deal" and redeem it together. Think of the possibilities! Dinners, movies, manis, pedis, spa days, cupcakes....the possibilities are endless! Let's do this! Please visit to sign up!

Have a wonderful day and try to stay dry! I am having my fourth ridiculously lazy day at home! progress towards that Top Ten List. Pathetic!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Updates and Day Lates

A few days late, but exciting nonetheless! Straight from Pimlico Drive in Dallas, TX....Todd's flamingos celebrated The Fourth of July with the style and aplomb we have come to expect.
You simplify your life in many ways and find great rewards!
So far the Top Ten list isn't going so well. However, I am happy to report that a task that was much needed and long anticipated was completed today, despite the fact I forgot to include it in the Top Ten List. I finally undressed and disassembled my Christmas tree. I realize it is July and in less that six months I will have to pull all the ornaments out again. The flip side is that I have the ornaments (more or less) organized and that will make "dressing the tree" much easier come December.

Goodnight, friends! Let's see if I can't knock out a task or two on that Top Ten List! Remember, you are all to hold me accountable.....