Friday, November 23, 2007


With thanks for the ability to set an abundant table, and family that will drive to NE Ohio (through erratic weather) to share with us.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Stars & Stocking

Lots of swaps coming up for me. Here are my three stars for the star swap on CPS...

And since I had leftover material (fabric pressed to both sides of a piece of lutradur), I used the same fabric to make the stocking for my swap with Ev:

These pieces have as much purple as the do blue, but purple just doesn't photograph. Why is that?

Winterizing the ol' homestead

It's time to truly say good-bye to our gentle autumn weather and prepare for the winter wind and snow. As much as I love all the color and texture of the plants on the deck, sometimes I wonder if I made a bad decision, having so many plants that can't survive a winter, even in a dormant state, outside. Every year, we try to figure out how to house them over the winter, and this year, I think we've come up with the best idea so far.

We brought in the two hibiscus, the two brugmansias, the geraniums, the jasmine, and several other plants. The biggest brug was loaded with blooms, and I couldn't bear to lose them, so the whole pot got hauled in. The hibiscus, which had been touched by frost early in spring, had just begun blooming, and I couldn't bear to lose those buds, either. So, my Oldtimer went to Home Depot and got some of those waterproof bathroom panels, and cut them to size to fit the tabletops in the family room, as well as cutting a few floor panels. Then we went to the dollar store, and bought large plastic plates to fit under the smaller pots, and a dozen $1 laundry baskets. When you cut the gridwork off the laundry basket, you have a nice, large, round saucer with high sides. Isn't that Oldtimer of mine clever?

Fortunately, the window end of the family room has very high ceilings and the loft where we have our computers and the rest of the stuff for a home office, looks down on the jungle. Here's a shot, over the railing, of my indoor jungle:

That brugmansia sure is glad to be inside (and the fragrance is wonderful)!

Now, the tougher job was bringing the fountain in from the pond. We can't take the chance that the winter weather will freeze and crack the float which supports the lights and the fountain, so we got an inflatable boat and today, in the 47 degrees and cloudy weather, my Oldtimer launched the "HMS Rufus" and we pulled in the float. Of course, I captured it in photos, mostly anticipating the tumble from the boat. No such luck...but as you can see below, it did look like it *could* happen. (I think all of these photos are clickable so you can see them larger.)

At first, Oldtimer was relaxed and smiling:

See that smile? That doesn't happen often:

My job was to catch the (slimy) anchor ropes as he tossed them to me. Note the look of determination here:

Now, in this shot, I'm thinking he looks a little too relaxed. In truth, however, he couldn't situate himself to avoid leaning back too far, and the float kept moving away (both anchor ropes had already been unattached and staked at the shore).
OK, now things get interesting. This leaning back business, while playing gondolier, isn't working. Oldtimer decides to get on his knees...out in the middle of the the 47 degree weather...and one knee has been wonky of late:

I was prepared for some real action shots:
No such luck. I threw him the spare rope and hauled him and the float in. I think for next year, we'll buy some paddles.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Other Puzzling Personalities

Here are the other sets of 3 PPs...this first set comes from Beryl. Don't you just love the teapot held by the doll in the lower left? And how about those wonderful wiry curls on the blue doll at the bottom right? Great, huh?

This set, made of artfully altered puzzle pieces, was submitted by Betsy. I love the way she kept the puzzle piece shape so beautifully, while making the colors so elegant.
These come from Diane (yarngoddess). Great spirals for faces, and of course, Diane's signature color - green!

These three pieces come from Ruth. I wish you could see the metallic/color affect on the one on the left. It's quite appealing. The bits and pieces used on each of these dolls are so clever!
And Meri went all out, creating old world Santas from large puzzle pieces. Can you see the bits of vintage jewelry, buttons, and so on? These were all sealed into bags, and I didn't want to disturb their nests, so I hope you can see the work done here.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Third Puzzling Personality

At the end of last week I finished the third of my three Puzzling Personalities for the swap I hosted on CPS - Puzzling Personalities, utilizing at least one puzzle piece in each character. The last of the other swappers' dolls came in on Saturday, I swapped them out last night, and they all go in the mail today. I'll post the three I was able to keep later - but for now, I realized I hadn't posted this last one of mine. I've titled her "I'm Just So...." (You can fill in the blank as to what she is!)
Here's a (not very good) group shot of the three I did, together:
I was the only one of the six swappers who left the puzzle pieces as is. (From left to right: "Mysterium Steps Out in Her Posh Frock," "I'm Just So....," and "Heart of Atlantis." )

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's that time...

We are scurrying like little mice, facing the fact that winter is around the corner. Yesterday, we spent the afternoon cleaning up pots on the deck, pulling out the annuals, dumping the soil in bags for storage, and combining the plants that need to come in to winter over. I want to moan and groan that winter is on the way, but truly, how lucky am I that I live in NE Ohio, and still had blooming plants outside the first week of November? That won't last long, though - yesterday, the weather gal said that we might see snow flurries on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Our downstairs family room looks like a jungle - two large brugmansias, a jasmine, several tropical houseplants that we put out during the summer, two hibiscus, and four geranium plants.

Today, we will cut back all the ornamental grasses on the "berm," and pull in the fountain from the pond (brrr!). If time permits, we'll also cut back the hostas and black-eyed Susans. Yesterday, I was able to do the peonies and the blue hydrangea. Guess it's time to get busy!