Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Keeping my eye on the ball

I am watching these boxwood balls created on the 22nd of December just before my bookclub Christmas party. I decided to make them at the last minute (big mistake!) they take quite a bit of time cutting, and sticking and filling the whole sphere but I did manage to make three of them and used them several times in several ways over the holidays (see my December postings), but I wondered how long in advance could I have made these and how long would they look nice and fresh. Here's a picture I took this morning. I have moved them outdoors and they have been resoaked in a bucket of water a few times and rained upon, but it is clear, next year I can make these at least a month in advance. I may even make some for friends next year because I can do them early and I have lots and lots of boxwood.
I used foam balls (4.5" ones) from at $1.99 apiece combined with other things, they could make very nice gifts. They look great just sitting on top of a terra cotta pot and can be used in a number of ways. I will continue my experiment to see exactly how long they will keep looking satisfactorily fresh for holiday planning (and other events as well), maybe I can even incorporate them into a design for Valentine's day?
Meanwhile in the garden lots of things are blooming for this time of year, Camellias which I would expect, but my azaleas are blooming, but not fully as they do in the spring (March/April), so I am not sure what they will do then, then the primroses are up and blooming and of course, those tazetta narcissus are still going strong. I spent the day (actually it has taken me almost three days) pruning up my crepe myrtles, but that garden chore is done and last week I cut back all the loriope, and the Miscanthus grasses, another winter chore, but it is fun working out there in our nice 40--50 degree temperatures.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Weird, Who Me?

I have been tagged by Donna of the Decorated House who was tagged by Kim of Daisy Cottage: Before I launch into my weirdness, here are the rules for those I reach out and tag:
The Tag Game:
Each player of this game starts with 6 weird things about you. Each person who gets tagged needs to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as clearly state this rule. After you state your 6 weird things, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you're tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog for information as to what it means.

Here's my list of wierdness:
Does this photo of me make me look weird? (if so, that's Number one), I don't know why people stare at me everywhere I go!
Well exactly how weird am I? I found a test (not obviously for 64 year old women like me), but I took it anyway and it is official (weird thing #2):
8% are more weird,
3% are just as weird, and
89% are more normal than you!
I guess it is true and poor Donna didn't think I could come up with 6 weird things! Ha!
Weird thing #3: I think it is a high compliment to be weird!
Weird thing #4: I handpainted a perfectly good cement patio to look like bricks, some thought that was weird, especially since it was done in 90+ degree weather.
Weird thing #5: I hate to do things the same way all the time. When I did grocery shopping which was a very long time ago (DH does it all now), I would enter the store and go down the middle aisle just to keep the boredom down and to see things differently.
Weird thing # 6: I had my palm read during a break at a business lecture once. The person who read palms as a hobby was a chemical engineer (that's weird isn't it?) And I believe everything he said he saw in my palm.
OK that's about all the wierdness I have time for today. I hate to do this to dear friend bloggers, but I will tag Nature Girl in Ontario who I am sure could not even think of anything weird about herself (unless we define weird as "extraordinary"). I really hate to do this to her when she invited me to such a "special" tea party yesterday. Is it weird to be able to almost taste that lovely scone and white rose tea? Also, Maria in Finland will be tagged to reveal her weirdness too. And since I never follow directions, I will only tag two, not six others as set forth in the "rules." Then we can all celebrate these special and wonderful traits that make us unique and interesting people. (or just plain weird).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

From the Pretty to the Practical

After Jen at the Cottage Nest inspired us with her plans and progress to date on her studio, I thought I would share a neat idea for those of you who have purchased those wooden shelves at the craft stores that have wooden brackets underneath. I had stored my raffia and ribbons in a plastic box, always scrambling to find them when I need them. My DH, Gary, came up with the idea to use "white" bottle caps (I drink a lot of water, so these are perfect, only the case of water I have now has blue caps, so I keep trading them with others who have the white ones), anyway, he cuts out part of the rim, nails them onto the wooden bracket and a dowel slides and rolls perfectly and gives me access to ribbon, raffia and twine when I need it. Love this! I, of course am thrilled that my daughter Kristina, gave me almost three days of her week off between Christmas and New Years to get me organized. You couldn't even walk through the room for the debris everywhere. We did buy tons of plastic containers too. She is an excellent organizer. My space to "hobby" in won't be as pretty as you see in decorating magazines (and how I do admire those), but at least it is practical. Now the challenge is to keep it somewhat organized. I told Kristina that she needs to come over monthly and give me inspections to keep me whipped into shape, a really huge challenge though. Thankfully she knows me and forgives me my faults!