Patience Brewster Blog

  • The LLS & Patience Brewster

    Greggs1999 Patience and her family in 1999

    We were clobbered, just like every patient, every family, gets clobbered when there is  a cancer diagnosis.

    In 2002 our healthy brilliant 23-year old son came home to discover that his misdiagnosed lumps were, in fact, Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

    When initial treatments failed, we contacted the LLS.

    I recall huddling in a little pocket of space between booths while frantically working at a bustling trade show, trying to carry on a life and death conversation with a man at the LLS who had important information for me.

    I remember pretending to be normal but I was not even close. I was a wild bear desperately trying to save her cub. 

    One becomes a believer in all things that might lead to health. One becomes vulnerable and  insatiably ravenous for vital, verified information, a path back to a possible world of “normalcy”.

    There were more incidents, more urgent searches, and thankfully, an open door and someone genuinely helpful answering the telephone at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

    Ultimately, we were not able to cure our boy, to save his beautiful life, but we were able, in many of the darkest hours, to find hope.  Hope came in the form of information, in knowing what we were up against and then in the form of innovative treatments. We found treatments that worked briefly for Herm, treatments that, today, ten years later, can save a patient like him.

    Holland his senior year of High School Holland his senior year of High School

    Knowledge was all we could offer. Knowledge was the gold we could mine through the LLS. We are grateful to know that research continues, that same research that our son and daughter were part of, immuotherapy research that is saving lives now, without horrible side effects . The outlook is hopeful. The cures are getting kinder and closer, taking bigger, faster footsteps.

    The Holland C. Gregg IV Research Fund is an LLS fund in our son’s name advancing immunotherapy work being done by Catherine Bollard at Children’s Hospital in D.C. and Baylor University in Austin Texas under Hellen Hissup. We raise funds through A Dinner for Herm every other year. Everyone is invited and everyone who arrives helps the cause. The event involves sponsors and lots of volunteers so that ALL the proceeds go DIRECTLY to research. 

    I design a different LLS Ornament every year for the purpose of raising money and awareness. This year it is Huck, the Woodland Raccoon. My son’s favorite animal was a raccoon and one of his many nick names was Huck. 

    Huck the Raccoon our 2015 LLS ornament Huck the Raccoon our 2015 LLS ornament
    Herm with one of his first raccoon stuffed animals Herm with one of his first raccoon stuffed animals
    Herm holding their pet raccoon, Fidget Herm holding their pet raccoon, Fidget

    If you are like me and you’d like to make an effortless donation, we have an easy way to give one dollar if you like by pushing a button too!

    Our additional donation-made-easy section of our check out Our additional donation-made-easy section of our check out

    Every little bit helps. Every ear that know this is a place to go for help can pass it on to someone in need. Someone who gets clobbered.

    Mer Herm jims first wed060HG MBG

    								

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  • Dog Blog

    Ruben solo on table 1 Ruben always knows when a camera is around and is happy to pose... usually with his tongue out.

    We look for any excuse to gush over our dogs. It just so happens that today is National Dog Day! What a happy coincidence!

    We wanted to share a little about the divine canines around our office!

    Willis Willis isn't typically a fan of having his photo taken, but his sweet nature is captured here.

    Name: Willis Wilber Wigglesworth Garbanzo Bean Gregg

    Breed: Maltese-Pomeranian

    Age: 10 years old

    Will was an only puppy so he feels like the whole world is his oyster. One of the happiest boys ever, he was easily distracted as a pup as to who to love the most, first. White and puffy with a thick coat, he has a constant yearning to embellish it with anything dark and decaying from the great outdoors. Worm is his preferred perfume, way better than eau de shampoo. He has a passion for women’s purses, cars and the porches of Central NY and will not miss an opportunity to investigate them. He has matured into a well-rounded lap dog with a long attention span for snuggling. Especially fond of the game of “How Much of this Chair or Bed Can I Occupy?”. At 8 pounds, he is a champion, just ask Jen.

    FullSizeRender Bindi fresh after a bath

    Name: Bindi Margaret Birdie Foxington

    Breed: Maltese Yorkie

    Age: 18 months

    Bindi arrived and her weight did not register on the postal scale. WE had a tiny, quiet little package for three months and then she found her VOICE!

    Four pounds of independent curiosity, she is an investigator, majoring in insects and bugs at the University of BackYard. She hones her ability to disappear in four seconds and reappear in the range of one second to 15 minutes, depending on the intensity of her study. Her owners, tired of having heart attacks, work on “The meaning of COME, 101”. She has earned a B plus this semester.

    Her energy meter has two settings, SPEEDY FAST and RELAXATION LOVE MODE.

    Her passions are getting to know you, (accomplished when the tail wags the dog), pleasing humans, chipmunk monitoring, burrowing in the weeds to become completely covered with tiny green seed pods, fetch and poking her older brother Willis,  nephew Ruben and niece Petunia.

    She yearns for a kitty.

    DogsHalloween2011 Ruben & Petunia- one gleefully posing while the other wishing for it to be over

    Name: Ruben & Petunia Gregg

    Breed: French Bulldogs

    Age: 11 years old

    Ruben and Petunia are brother and sister and can typically be found sleeping or sitting next to or on top of each other.  Although they are French Bulldogs, they were found as puppies near the Mexican border near San Diego and know Spanish.  Ruben has an intense passion for sun bathing and wins all staring contests.  His being is comprised of pure love.  Petunia, on the other hand, is the alpha and she rules the roost, the dog park and the toy bin.  She likes to monitor all food and water intake by all surrounding dogs.  Back in the day she could run faster than a cheetah and fetch for hours.  These days she is a bit slower, but still has the spunk and spirit of a puppy. Both brother and sister duo are exceptional at clearing a room with their silent and sometimes hysterically audible farts.

    Dottie the Border Collie on her 10th birthday Dottie the Border Collie on her 10th birthday

    Name: Dottie Sheppard
    Breed: Border Collie
    Age: 10 years old
    Dottie is in her 6th year of employment at Patience Brewster working at the DC and a friend to everyone at the warehouse.  She runs the operations at the Shipping Department, and then comes home to run the house for her family.  She likes to bark while she has a toy in her mouth and actually knows how to spell words like W-A-L-K, S-W-I-M and generally lets nothing get by her!

    Nordy is on a BOAT! Nordy is on a BOAT!

    Name: Nordy Stout
    Breed: Labrador Retriever (Chocolate Lab)
    Age: 1 year

    Nordy thinks he is a fish, and lives to be in the water. He is extremely enthusiastic about life.

    (Left to Right) Sadie, Sable and Archie stand all together for the shot (Left to Right) Sadie, Sable and Archie stand all together for the shot

    Name: Sadie, Sable, & Archie aka Archman
    Breeds: Cane Corso/American Mastiff mix, Cane Corso/Rottweiler mix, Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu mix
    Age: 4, 4, & 3 (soon to be 4 on 9/10/2015)

    Loves: Car rides, playing in Burnet Park, new friends & ice cream
    Do Not Love: Fireworks & Cats
    Random Fact: We don’t know why but we like to howl at all of the State Farm Insurance commercials on TV (“We are Farmers, dundundun-dun-dun-dundun-dun”)
    Favorite Treats: Cantaloupe & frozen french fries

    Sindey Sidney lounging on her favorite spot in the house

    Name: Sidney Bolster

    Breed: Puggle (Pug and Beagle mix)

    Age: 8 years old

    Sidney used to be the alpha, until Petunia moved in! Ever since she has been the sweetest, most accommodating girl.  Just a look in her direction will make her wag her tail, she lives for those glances, and finds pure delight in a belly rub.  She is a good listener and *the* best nanny for young kids.

    Oliver rests comfortably while his photo is taken Oliver rests comfortably while his photo is taken

    Name: Oliver Richards
    Breed: Basset Hound
    Age: 8
    Oliver enjoys carrots, his pink & purple squeaky ball, and counter-surfing. He likes the idea of walks but quickly loses interest and prefers being a couch potato.

    Humprey Bogart in the grass Humprey Bogart in the grass

    Name: Humphrey Bogart (Haswell)

    Age:  9 years old in November

    Breed: He is basically a mutt but some people call him a Yochon or a Borkie because he is half Yorkie and half Bichon.

    He still has plenty of energy and always enjoys a good game of kong!
    He likes to bark to let us know whenever a squirrel is in our yard. Let me tell you..we have not been attacked by any squirrels since HB moved in !

    dakota 1 Dakota pensively posing for her headshot

    Name: Dakota

    Breed: Puggle

    Age: 5

    She knows who is the boss in the house and who is the pushover.  If Dad (Chandler) is in the kitchen there is NO way she will walk into the kitchen.  But when I am in there she prances right in to help clean crumbs off the floor.

    Another trait – kind of acts like a cat sometimes.  She will jump up onto the cat perches and sit there like a kitty.

    Figment in the woods Figment in the woods

    Name: Figment
    Breed: Miniature Schnauzer
    Age: 8
    She likes hiking, climbing trees, eating, bacon, her mom, bacon.....
    She is known far and wide as The Pig Dog because she makes grunting noises when she is excited or when she is hiking or when she meets new people or new dog friends.

     

    And a few more we couldn't help but include:

    Mer and Dogs w Product Outside Ruben, Will and Petunia star in our first catalog shoot for Patience Brewster!
    Sid is happiest when her belly is being scratched. Sid is happiest when her belly is being scratched.
    Bindi is the perfect stocking stuffer Bindi is the perfect stocking stuffer
    Will and Bind Bindi cozy-ing up next to Will
    Ruben, Petunia, Willis and Bindi and their New Year's party hats! Ruben, Petunia, Willis and Bindi and their New Year's party hats!

    								

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  • Q&A

    Q&A PB SM post copyThe very best side effect of our website is being connected directly to you, our friends and customers.

    Sales questions and searches can be answered in a snap by our Guest and Products Specialists (our GPS) team.

    Personal correspondence is passed on to me.

    We thought it was a good idea to put frequently asked questions in a blog for you!

    THE most common question was just asked on Facebook. It is “Where do your ideas come from?” The person who asked it, then answered correctly:  from my family, my pets, my home, my food, but I will add to that that glimpses of total strangers on the street and random thoughts also come into play when I pick up my pencil.

    Patience at her desk in her studio Patience at her desk in her studio

    1) How did your journey as an artist begin, what inspired you to start creating?

    Everyone I looked up to as a child, made things with their hands. I simply followed their example. My great uncle was Edmund Tarbell, an American Impressionist from the Boston school. His exquisite portrait of my great grandmother hung in my grandmother’s dining room. It held a subtle luminous quality that mystified, amazed and intrigued me. My mother was a painter, sculptor, jewelry and furniture maker. My grandmother went to the Boston Museum School, my sister to RISD, both were inspirational to me. Looking at Persian miniatures and Japanese ink paintings close up at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts at a very young age affected me profoundly. My mother bought me some Japanese brushes and ink sticks after that visit.

    Edmund Tarbell painting of Lydia Hatch, Patience's great grandmother Edmund Tarbell painting of Lydia Hatch, Patience's great grandmother

    I remember drawing all the time. My mother kept a small collection of things I made when I was 5 : little people, turtles, sheep and babies out of sea shells, and frogs, snails and insects from pipe cleaners, glue, snippets of fabric and a quill pen and ink. I was eager to clarify and animate what I saw in the materials at hand.

    Some of Patience's very first creations Some of Patience's very first creations
    Sea Shell Creature Sea Shell Creature
    Patience (far left) and her siblings on Plymouth Beach circa 1956 Patience (far left) and her siblings on Plymouth Beach circa 1956

    3) What themes do you pursue in your artwork?

    Communication and energy; the silent discussion between beings and colors.

    Soften the Fall, illustration by Patience Brewster 2010 Soften the Fall, illustration by Patience Brewster 2010

    4) Describe a real-life situation that inspired a particular piece of your artwork.

    I have one for just about every piece.

    An example is this painting that I did after my dad died. “We are in this Garden a short time Together”. My parents were strong individuals still very much in love in their seventies. My dad was way too young to be lost to us, but especially to my Mum.

    Spencer & Lalla, Patience's parents, known for their love of horses Spencer & Lalla, Patience's parents, known for their love of horses

    5) What memorable responses have you had to your work?

    That same painting was hanging in a gallery. I was later told that a couple saw it, sans title, and had a dramatic reaction to it. They bought it instantly. I found out later that they had recently lost a child.

    'We are in this Garden together such a short time' by Patience 'We are in this Garden together such a short time' by Patience

    I have enjoyed an equal and opposite reaction as a fly on the wall at times, hearing people laugh out loud.

    6) Art is very subjective. What some people like, others do not. I’m sure you’ve received both positive and negative feedback in your career, but what I want to know is how you handle the negative criticism, especially when it might seem offensive or hurtful to you.

     It is a big part of putting your grown up artist pants on to realize that criticism a good, healthy part of the process. Art is so personal that it is hard to expose yourself to what may be harsh criticism. Essentially, one has the choice of keeping everything in a drawer, or putting it out there to see what happens. Criticism may be painful at first but it does not take long to realize that one has everything to learn from honest observations. I have learned the most from the harshest critics.

    7) What are you working on at the moment?

    I just completed the line for 2016. The samples have just arrived. There is an addition to the Woodland grouping but these are Woodland Brights! And there are some very funny ladies ready to join our Synchronized Swimmer...

    I wish I could show you, but we need to keep them a secret for a while! I can share this little drawing I made for a college graduate. I filled in the ribbon banner with messages from her mother, father and her teachers.

    Audrey's Mouse, drawing by Patience Audrey's Mouse, drawing by Patience

    8) What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?

    I love my yard and gardens which occupy me all spring and summer.

    Patience's backyard Patience's backyard

    I like cooking and eating at home. This time of year, with unbelievably luscious heirloom and Jet star tomatoes, sweet sun golds, abundant herbs and greens, I am in heaven. Boil some local corn for a few minutes, roast and dress anything pulled from the garden and slice some melon for desert. Perfect.

    Patience in her kitchen (Photo credit-Where Women Create) Patience in her kitchen (Photo credit-Where Women Create)

    I have an animal fetish. I spent my youth in the company of dogs, horses, cows, pigs and chickens. We have had menageries over the years from pigmy hedgehogs and skunks to ponies, but we are now down to just two small dogs. (I am working on Holly for a kitten.)

    Willis & Bindi, Patience's dogs Willis & Bindi, Patience's dogs

    It feels good to help unwanted and endangered animals. I have managed to connect a number of small dogs to very happy homes. I yearn to go back to Africa. Through sales and our website, the Jambo! collection, we will donate to education and boots on the ground to help stop poaching of African animals, especially elephant and rhino.

    Photo of two black rhinos taken by Patience & Holly on their trip to the Serengeti in 2012 Photo of two black rhinos taken by Patience & Holly on their trip to the Serengeti in 2012

    My family works to raise funds and awareness for cancer research, which is very important to us.

    Huck Raccoon. Our LLS ornament for 2015. Racoon's were one of Holland's favorite animals as a child and his nickname was 'Huck' or 'Huckster' Huck Raccoon. Our LLS ornament for 2015. Racoon's were one of Holland's favorite animals as a child and his nickname was 'Huck' or 'Huckster'

    9) Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?

    The best message for any aspiring children’s book authors or illustrators is to subscribe to SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and to read, read, read.

    For artists and designers, I can only suggest that you keep working and educate yourself to what is out there in the world so you are sure to do something fresh and totally your own.

    Make the kind of work you love and believe in. It is all about showing up at your desk and picking up your pencil, paintbrush or piece of clay. Let the magic happen.

    Then, if you want to share your work with the world, or if you want to sell it, you need to make it visible. The Internet sure makes this much easier than it was back in the day.

    Be ready to listen. Try to find a group of fellow artists you respect for honest criticism. It is great to get feed back that does not come from your closest friends.

    10) Do you admire any artists / photographers? (Famous or not!) 

    So many,

    Off the top of my head? Twachtman, Twombly, Turner , Da Vinci, Rothko, Lisbeth Zwerger, clothing designers: Elke Walter & Trelis Cooper. The list is ever expanding, I love to browse Etsy and see budding artists making handmade work.

    Regarding the questions on children’s books that were favorites, here is what comes to mind today: I loved Hilary Knight’s Eloise books, Garth Williams, Brave John Henry, the original Winnie-the Pooh series with E.H. Shepard illustrations. I loved my book of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson.

    11) What under-appreciated artist, gallery, or work do you think people should know about?

    Etsy is such a fabulous place to see established and budding artists doing great work. Local jewelry makers: Michelle Darin, Lorie Hawke,  and some pretty amazing artists in my family: Marlee Brockmann. Xavier Brockmann. Pipo Brockman. Brewster Brockmann

    Painting by Marlee Brewster Brockmann, Patience's sister Painting by Marlee Brewster Brockmann, Patience's sister

    Charcoal drawing by Xavier Brockmann Charcoal drawing by Xavier Brockmann

    Painting by Marlee Brewster Brockmann Painting by Marlee Brewster Brockmann
    Elephante by Brewster Brockmann Elephante by Brewster Brockmann
    Painting by Pipo Brockmann Painting by Pipo Brockmann

    								

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  • First Impressions

    Big Brewster in sweater she knit and Herm in her blanket. Great Gramma Brewster wearing a sweater she knit and Herm in the blanket she knit for him.

    The other day my daughter was setting up photos for our Elf shelves and nursery items.

    She asked about her nursery pillow. She still yearns for the shell pink rectangle, its back view of a tiny taupe bunny with his appliqué tail, a gift from her aunt Pandy.

    Sadly, it was loved to death. Washed and hung out to dry beyond what that fine Feltman Brother’s cotton could bear.

    We have her other "firsts". Her first blanket, pink and white knitted by her great grandmother Brewster. Her first sweater made by her grandmother and her first stuffed elephant.

    Mer in her blanket and sweater. She got a Steif bear and a chick which both still sit proudly in her room. Mer in her blanket and sweater. She was given a Steiff elephant from her aunt Sarah. A bear, bunny and a chick still sit proudly with him in her room.
    Two Mariettas Two Mariettas on the first day home.

    The earlier blankets which every grand and great grand baby got from Great Grandma Brewster were of wool and grew a bit smaller and smaller over time.

    Marietta’s is good as new today because her great grandmother switched to synthetic. I cringed at the change at the time, but her blanket is here to tout the properties!

    I was sure my son was going to be a girl (even though the pendulum said boy..) I kept visualizing I would give birth to my first doll, Baby Jane.

    Herm with Mum in her homemade tam. Herm with his sweater and blanket and my Mum in her homemade tam.

    Herm, Holland’s blanket was white with a pale orchid border and small forget me nots in the corners.

    Herm's blanket and sweater Mum knit and the Steiff bunny his Aunt Sarah gave him. Another lasting gift still with us today. Herm in his blanket and sweater Mum knit with the steadfast Steiff bunny Aunt Sarah gave him.

    My mother knit him a pink sweater and pointy hat. He found out early that he looked great in pink and wore it often!

    Herm’s pink hat and sweater. Herm’s pink hat and sweater.

    Marietta's  white blanket had a pink harlequin border, her sweater was a creamy cable knit.

    Those blankets and sweaters got used every day by my capricorn and aquarius winter babies brought home to an 1800 farmhouse heated with wood.

    My mother and son having their first moments with Mer. My mother and son meeting Mer.
    Herm holding Mer when she was first brought home Herm holding Mer when she was first brought home in another Gramma Lalla sweater.

    IMG_5940

    Talk about first gifts that withstand the test of time:  Three generations of Steiff my mother's bear, my lamb, Herm's bunny and Mer's elephant!

     

    								

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  • Nesting Instinct

    A stork with a special delivery!  We think our 5 Golden Rings Goose makes a sweet addition to a baby nursery. A stork with a special delivery! We think our 5 Golden Rings Goose makes a sweet addition to a baby nursery.

    We are always listening to our "Birds of a Feather" followers, our kind and thoughtful compadres who offer us insight and inspiration. It has been a common request to have more everyday items.

    I would like to show you these new items designed to be out all year long!

    When I was a new mother I hung little cloth dolls, crystals and paper cut outs over my son’s crib.

    Patience and her son, Herm, eating raspberries in 1980 Patience and her son, Herm, eating raspberries in 1980..anyone remember rubber pants?!

    None of those things would pass the laws for mobiles today!

    But I did not want a world of bold primary plastic as the first visuals for an infant.

    Subtle colors soothe me and make me want to look closer.

    Pepe Polka Dot Cat and our Woodland Snowshoe Mice whisper sweet nothing to each other. Pepe Polka Dot Cat and our Woodland Snowshoe Mice whisper sweet nothing to each other.

    I hoped they would have a similar effect on my child, making the world feel like a gentle place to enter! I think it worked.

    Sheldon and Sheila Flamingo smile with pride as Olivia Owl offers wisdom and courage Sheldon and Sheila Flamingo smile with pride as Olivia Owl offers wisdom and courage

    So, just for fun, take a look at the Goose, Olivia Owl on a Swing and Tinkerbelle the Nanny pig as a soft way to put gentle joy into a nursery or play room!

    We also offer lots of "First Christmas" ornament ideas, framed art, prints or original art just for babies.

    Baby Jingle Bells Our luminescent glass Baby Bells really sparkle and are a wonderful keepsake for a Baby's First Christmas!
    Baby Room w 2 Framed Art & Tinkerbelle Smaller Tinkerbelle Flying Pig is a joyful piece for any child's space!

    Join our Birds of a Feather flock to receive our our first news and exclusive tidbits!

    We have some exciting news right now! We want to be sure our loyal customers are the first to know!  We are boxing up some new card assortments and noodling a subscription plan that could be life-changing, gift-giving-changing!

    Cheers & Chirps- Patience

    PS- One last thing!  Our Instagram Giveaway ends on July 31st!  Please share a quick photo of how you might celebrate Christmas in July (you could snap a shot of your shopping list, show a photo of an act of kindness, or a list of how good you have been!) and you can win our spectacular Nicholas Santa Candle Holder- valued at $370.00, that's no small potatoes!!!  More details in here!

    Santa Candle Holder BlueSky Hydrangeas Our Nicholas Candlelight Santa Candle Holder can light up your home this holiday season! We are giving him away for our #PBChristmasinJuly contest on Instagram!

    								

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  • Summertime Spirits!

    Ingredients for Plymouth Ice Tea

    Summer Nights! Cocktails!

    After a long hot day in the sun, one that might include weeding, pruning and clipping the enthusiastic mint, I end up with a big fragrant bouquet that just calls out for lemonade, iced tea, and possibly cocktails!
    We love these summer refreshers:
    Quick Minty lemonade:
    Squeeze 1/4  of a lemon into tall glass, add 1 tsp. or more  maple syrup to taste, (no need to make simple syrup!) add ice, seltzer or water and a sprig of mint!
    Delicious as is... or if you worked SO hard, you deserve the cocktail version, add our local 1911 Vodka (made from Beak and Skiff apples!) or rum.
    Plymouth Iced Tea:
    Pour a quart of boiling water (best from the Chiltonville tap) over 4-5 black tea bags or loose tea.
    TeaBrewMint
    Add cut slices of one orange and four to 5 generous sprigs of mint.
    Sweeten with your local honey to taste while hot.
    Let the tea brew.
    Strain into a glass jar or pitcher to cool or pour over ice with added fresh mint and fresh orange slices.
    TeaBrewingwithOranges
    Add water if the tea is too strong or a splash of ginger ale if you like it sweet!
    If you serve this at a party it is delicious with Gosling's rum or Maker's Mark whisky, really, what ever you like, but watch out as your guests will be happy AND caffeinated.
    They may never leave!
    Tea with Goslings Two Glasses
    Looking for more than just a refreshing pick-me-up?  Don't forget about our Christmas in July Giveaway!  The prize is our spectacular Nicholas Candlelight Santa Candle Holder!  More details in the blog below! Cheers!!!

    								

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  • Why, oh why think Christmas in July!?

    SantaClockSUPERcloseupWeb Nicholas Candlelight Candle Holder- click image for more details!

    You know that little light you sometimes need to switch on in your head as a reminder that you were going to get something done that you forget to do EVERY YEAR???

    Maybe you wanted to remember to start handmade cards you were going make, the Icelandic sweater you were going to knit, the gefilte fish you were going to pickle, the photo you were going to take for a Christmas card NOW when everyone is together and flush with the glow of summer?

    Maybe you just needed to remember to start that list of gifts needed that would inspire you as you travel or peruse the Internet.

    We are thinking of what everyone might want for Christmas all year long and we HAVE to be ready, especially THIS year!

    To help switch on that little light, to give you incentive, share inspiration, AND to reward you, we are offering our grand Nicholas Santa Candelabra in a new contest!

    Here he is lighting the not-so-far-away path to Christmas, holding his candlelit staff. He gently whispers that Santa is always there, always listening to a world full of wishes!

    Send us your thoughts, your preparations, your inspiration. Nicholas could be your reward!

    Nothing too elaborate needed, my friend, just show us who you are thinking of, how you prepare, or maybe show Nicholas just  how very, VERY, good you have been so far this year!!!

    Contest begins: July 8, 2015

    Contest ends: July 31, 2015

    To Enter:

    -Follow PB on Instagram @patiencebrewster
    -Ensure your Instagram account is not set to "Private" (during the duration of the contest in order for us to see your photos - thank you!)
    -Post a photo about your Christmas in July celebration on Instagram while tagging @
    patiencebrewster and use the hashtag #PBChristmasinJuly!

    Prize: Our handmade hand painted Nicholas Candlelight Santa Candle Holder! We will contact the winner directly after the contest is over for their information.

    Please reach out to us if you have any questions!

    Thank You!!!!

     

    SantaCandlesPinkRoomCropped White flowers and candle surround our Candlelight Santa Candle Holder
    • […] We’ve just been so busy between day jobs and home improvement (you can follow a lot of the progress on my instagram feed), that I’m just now getting around to sharing a little crafty Christmas in July project. I started this project as a way to jump into the Christmas in July contest happening over at PatienceBrewster.com […]

    • I'm a bit perplexed. You want us to share this on Pinterest yet you can only enter through Facebook and Twitter. A lot of us do not have nor want a Facebook or Twitter account so you are excluding and punishing us for not using Facebook or Twitter. Furthermore the guidelines for all three of those social media sites say that you can not exclude anyone from entering or participating and that entry must be open to all. That is why most contests use Copter which enters everyone and gives additional chances to win by pinning, tweeting, liking on facebook, Read the guidelines, you're in violation. While I won't report you I am sure that someone will. You really did not plan this well for such a pricey prize to win. I would try to fix this if I were you. Good luck.

    • I don't use Instagram so I am hoping I can enter here. Love the Santa and Christmas in July always. Thanks so much.

    • What a lovely Santa. I have a few things I have wanted to whip up for Christmas, this may be the perfect incentive to do so! Thanks!

    • Love your work, just discovered your blog and so glad I did.

    • I am working on my post this morning. LOVE your gorgeous ornaments, especially the little piggy.

    • I wish I could say I was busy making something beautiful for Christmas, but I am busy GROWING something! I'm growing cotton this summer, so I can harvest the bolls and make a pretty white cotton Christmas wreath!

    • I don't have an Instagram account.

    • Patience, I love all of your work! You have a Special talent! I really love this new Nicholas!

    • Thank you so much for this opportunity! I am celebrating Christmas with my husband in Mexico because we couldn't be together. My daughter was so excited to see the pink tree and ornaments he got her and wanted to put them up! How could I say no! I am also painting coffee jars and lightbulbs transforming them into snowmen! Your beautiful work has been inspiring me for years!

    								

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  • Leon... who knew?

    Woodland Santa  Leon Day Our Woodland Santa, new for 2016

    Did you know there was a LEON celebration?

    It is NOEL spelled backwards, a day for those who want some Christmas on June 25th!
    It is funny, we thought we were the only ones thinking about Christmas at this time of year!
    We are thinking about it now to have things here for you at the real Christmas.
    Believe it or not, each new design has to be perfected a year in advance to be produced and delivered in time!
    We wrapped up our orders in March and April.
    So, the busy elves are working now as I write this, on our very limited supply.
    We ordered carefully and conservatively this year. Quantities will be far less than usual as we try out this new business model. (Santa, are you listening?)
    Here are a few things we have learned as we listen to our customers directly.
    1. Some people shop VERY EARLY and are VERY ORGANIZED!
    Hooray for you early birds! You will be the ones who get everything you want and will feel that confidant Santa love for six months!
    2. People still think they will find all of our products in their favorite shop where they have always gone for their annual Krinkle fix.
    Now, we hope your shop will have exactly what you need and you will be a happy camper, but you should know that things are very different this year. Supplies will be lighter than usual. And if you are looking for the newest items, for instance, the Synchronized Swimmer, or the entire Woodland Collection, they will not be in any stores, only right here on our web site.
    Albert&VictoriaBearCoupleCU Our Woodland Bears, Victoria and Albert
    (You will also be instantly able to find your old favorites, like Dash Away and the Nativity here. And you can ask us to check my archives if you are on a quest for retired items, back to earliest D56 that you won’t see on the site.)
    Set Dash Away Reindeer w Santa & Sleigh Orns Set of 10 Our Dash Away Reindeer with our Dashing Santa and his Sleigh
    If you read our  “about us” page, you will see that I challenged you to challenge our GPS team. Our customer service women call themselves "Guest and Product Specialists" for a reason! They are experts on every Christmas design I have made over the past 15 years, but they also have information and pricing on my Original Art, Giclees, prints, linens and cards at their fingertips!
    3. Over the years, frustrated customers have told us they “forget what they bought, for whom and when?” Guess what? We can help with that! If you buy something special for someone every year, we can keep track of that for you! (Just sayin’!!!)
    4. People like a special delivery!  Whether you want to buy an ornament a month for a year for newlyweds, (think Twelve Days of Christmas) or give a new baby one special glass ornament a year, or give a child a collection of elves over eight days or a month or a year, on a certain schedule, we can do that!!!
    12 Days Mini Ornaments - Set of 12 B Our 12 Days Mini Set and Tree
    Go ahead, test our GPS! Your gifts will arrive right on time, right where you want them to be! No stress!
    Whether you will begin talking about your Christmas plans on June 25th or on November 25th, we will be celebrating LEON!! Some of us will be stacking packages of raccoons, Santas and shepherds, bats and moons and fairies for 2015, while others unwrap special deliveries of secrets for Christmas 2016!!
    RichardJamboPurple Richard the Lion Heart is king of our Jambo! series

    								

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  • Cheers to the Center of my Universe - (guest blog by Marietta)

    One of Patience's first Father's Day designs for her Greeting Card line One of Patience's first Father's Day designs for her Greeting Card line

    My Father, Holland C. Gregg III, is the center of my universe

    For as long as I can remember, my parents worked for themselves and have spent their days in either a home studio or a nearby office. Needless to say, our family spent most of our hours together and it was glorious.

    Couch w Kids Holly with his children in 1982

    My father has been able to better any given situation. Good or bad.

    Holly and Mer circa 1983 Holly and Mer circa 1983

    Unpleasant chores were made lighter by his music. In my younger years, I would wake to songs floating down my hallway, gently encouraging me to get out of bed, which was not my favorite task.

    Whether we were washing windows or doing other jobs around the house, we would listen to entire albums, usually the Beatles. My dad would dissect each song’s composition and throw in a story or two about what was happening during the time that vinyl was released.

    FloridaBeachDAd Vero Beach, Florida around 1985

    Long road trips called for an endless game of flipping through music on the radio, listening for particular instruments and hearing exactly what they did to make that song SO great. His enthusiasm and passion heightened the draw. He conducted as we vigorously played our designated air axes in the back seat.

    Spanning from soft, intricate, whistling to full-throttle electric guitar, music flows through his body and soul. His time playing with The Dean Brothers Band was sensational.  The band and its members are legends who have won their spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here in Syracuse.

    Now, if he ever finds the time, he sneaks into his music room, creating his own masterpieces with layers of drums, horns, piano and guitar. His voice is woven into lyrics that hold greater impact than he will ever fully understand.

    My rockstar Dad, photo from the Colonial taken well before I existed My rockstar Dad, photo from the Colonial taken well before I existed

    Every birthday party, every school event, every holiday, my father was the party point person and camera man.  Juggling a large, prehistoric, camcorder, a music source and perhaps a martini. He was able to keep all the plates spinning and could somehow get the stickiest wall flowers to bloom on camera. We have lots of recorded moments worthy of America's Funniest Videos.

    My dad was always available to help us with homework, volunteer to coach, or to take us for a swim or drive us to the movies.  He went out of his way to tell us how proud we made him and would jump through fire to be sure our hopes and dreams were met.

    When my brother was diagnosed with cancer, he unturned every stone to find the best doctors, researching the latest clinical trials checking that every possibility was reviewed and resourced. From Boston to San Diego, my parents were there to do anything and everything that was humanly attainable to make the darkest days of our lives full of sunshine and song.

    Dad Herm Ponytail Holland C. Gregg III and Holland C. Gregg IV circa 1995

    After we lost my brother we had to pick ourselves up and continue with our lives.  Although it was not easy, diving head-first into our work somehow kept us afloat.

    Our company became our focus and a new kind of family.

    I have been working with both my parents for over ten years now.

    Our VP of Sales has also been with us since the very beginning. She met my parents as my babysitter a million moons ago. Her husband manages our Warehouse with another close friend from our past. Our GPS team has a combined 15 years with us. Our bond is tight because it revolves around my father.  He is a magnetic force, lifting morale and sensing when anyone needs extra support.

    Dad&Mer Holly and Mer at the Grand Canyon in 2012

    He is the one that handles the worst unwanted phone calls with the patience to smooth everything out, no matter how many tape recordings, representatives, or supervisors he needs to speak with!  He keeps everyone smiling and on track, without missing a beat.  Most of all he celebrates the small and large accomplishments, all of which deserve a martini!

    Holly and Mer in La Jolla, CA enjoying their favorite drink- a dirty martini Holly and Mer in La Jolla, CA enjoying their favorite drink- a dirty martini

    After the work day, more often than not, he is off to the town hall for a meeting concerning our village or the Finger Lakes region. Our small community has avoided chain businesses and massive disproportionate housing developments from taking over our landscapes. He started an organization to  protect the beautiful qualities that are unique to our area.

    We are in the Marcellus shale region. My father and his undying efforts to protect, preserve and persevere helped provide much needed information to keep hydrofracking from endangering our pristine lake and its resources.

    Just last weekend he was inducted as President to the Finger Lakes Land Trust  after several years on board with this organization whose initiative is to educate, preserve green space and vistas that provide public access and walking trails along all of the Finger Lakes.

    Dad in PV Holly in Puerta Vallarta

    Each day the sun comes up, he brews the coffee and turns on the lights, he hums a sweet tune as he does his morning routine. His fingers snap as he bounds up the stairs, smiling at everyone he passes.  He has taught me that working together is the only way to make a difference and that being a team makes us strong enough to conquer any challenge. He makes the most of every moment and takes delight in every meal.  He is the center of my universe and I could not have been blessed with a brighter light.

    DadSundae My Dad enjoying one of his most cherished delights- a classic sundae

     

    • A great man with a great spirit, in all circumstances. Though greatest of all he raised you, the most beautiful person I know inside and out. xo Happy Father's day Holly!

    • Marietta, You write so beautifully! Your family's story is beautiful as well. I look forward to reading & getting to know you all more!

    • What a beautiful tribute to your father. Who, by the way grew up at our "shop" parties on Coon Hill. For me the biggest events for the kids in Skaneateles were the concerts where the Dean Brothers were playing. Great memories and such a talented bunch! Thanks for the memories!

    • Mer, I enjoyed reading your heartfelt tribute to your dad. It's obvious that you adore him and the admiration is well deserved. It's fun to see family photos. Thanks for sharing this intimate look at your family. All the best to your dad for a Happy Father's Day.

    • This testimony is so absolutely beautiful and has put tears in my eyes! Holly is truly a class act and a phenomenal brother to boot!

    • Marietta, I cannot tell you how moved I am by this beautiful ode to Holly. He truly is a wonder, as are you all. Thank you thank you! With love.

    								

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  • Swoon in June

    Arthur&AnnabelleCloseUp Arthur and Annabelle Horse Ornaments stand as cake toppers for this wedding cake by Patisserie in Skaneateles

    I am a dyed in the wool, romantic.
    I love weddings.
    I love June.

    We got married in June. The smell of petunias remind me of that day. There were cascades of white petunias spilling over stone walls in my parents back yard. My mother's white clematis opened into its full glory right on cue. The wisteria, pink-blushed azaleas and peonies hung on for us.

    Patience and Holly on their wedding day. Patience and Holly on their wedding day.

    We have weddings and parties on our minds this June.

    Holly's mother will be 90 on Saturday.  She is a party girl who still LOVES being the belle of the ball. She will, without a doubt,  be warbling her verbrado rendition of "Ah Sweet Mystery of Life (at last I've found you!)". She still holds a torch for Nelson Eddie in Naughty Marietta!

    Jo and Holly wedding BW w lips Josephine and Holland C. Gregg II on their wedding day in 1944
    P1010690 Josephine today, awaiting her festivities!

    My sister Marlee has a birthday the following week. She is way more comfortable doing all the cooking and entertaining, but we are forcing her to be queen-for-a-lobster-picnic-day, in our sister Sarah's north shore garden.

    Patience's sister, Marlee at her home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Patience's sister, Marlee at her home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

    And there will be weddings!

    My double cousin's daughter, Madagan, with her brown tendrils, big wide eyes and contagious laugh will be marrying her Prince Patrick Charming this month too! We will go back to Massachusetts, this time to Marlee's house for festivities on her lawn  (once my grandmother's, the bride's great grandmother's lawn)! I think Mad wants at a totally green, (in color and in concept) wedding. Saplings by the tent poles and foraged greens everywhere!  Marlee and I get to  dress up the tent.

    Madagan and Patrick in Puerto Rico after they announced their engagement Madagan and Patrick in Puerto Rico after they announced their engagement

    This bride's mum runs Ceres Bakery in Portland NH, so the cake will be out of this world. The bride and her future husband host the party every night and day at  Atwood's Tavern in Cambridge. Their good food friends are providing the fare, adding the the whole secret to success, that intangible love ingredient!

    This will be a true love wedding on the wide lawn where the bride's family has played a million games, wept a thousand tears, lounged and laughed loud, and clinked hundreds of icy glasses.

    Here's to true love to reigning at  all the weddings this summer, this year, this century.

    								

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