Saturday, January 7, 2017

COLD weather coming

Good Saturday morning Folks, well it’s that here in my part of the world. It is warm and humid right now, but that’s all about to change as rain is coming and that will bring the cold.  Tonight it is supposed to get down to 42 and feel like it is 36. Now, that will BE COLD here at Plum Cottage. At least I kept my radiant heat, portable heater down from the attic, it’s just hidden behind a chair in the living room. DH and I used to get this out of the attic together, one in the attic, handing it down to the one on the cottage floor. Last year a young man came and got the heater down for me and I decided to just leave it down from now on. We found this heater curbside over 35 years ago and it is fantastic.  It is quiet, and puts out the heat. (Of course, my cottage is tiny, around 675 sq. ft. with low ceilings.)

I’m thinking about some kind of homemade soup, just don’t know what and bread made in the bread machine.

There is going to be some bad weather for California with flooding, and then snow storms in the south. Be safe, dry and warm.

I took some photos of flowers and hope you will all enjoy them.

The first two are of azaleas.



This is Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.


And Ruby Hibiscus. These flowers always bring a smile when I see them. There are several volunteer plants giving me much enjoyment.


The other day it was 58 when I headed out to mow around 8 a.m. and it felt wonderful. I also trimmed some low hanging branches that were hanging over the driveway. I worked outside for about 2 1/2 hours, and my back was cramping up after that, so I quit. There is still weed wacking to do, but that is for another day.

These limbs are all from the neighbor’s trees. They grow fast and have to be trimmed a couple of times a year. My DH used to keep this all in check on our side, using a ladder and his saws-all. I would then cut things up smaller and haul it all out front to be picked up. I drive a Ford Econoline van, and the limbs were hanging down too close for comfort. I’ve talked with 2 different tree trimmers who were going to call me back, they both know what the job is as they have been here, and I’ve not heard a peep out of either one.

I bought a new Fiskar pole saw with a pruner and a tree saw attachment a year or so ago, both the pruner and the saw are pieces of poop. Flimsy and the rope on the pruner part disintegrated in no time. Sheesh! I like industrial type tools, ones that will LAST, not have to be replaced in a short period of time. I do have an older pole cutter/pruner that I love, but the blades need to be sharpened and it doesn’t have a tree saw blade to change out with.

So working with what I have, I got brave, got out my newish ladder that I just love,  and got out my hand tree saw and my hand pruners, prayed, climbed the ladder and began the job. (I now wear a little fanny pack that holds my smart phone in case something should happen to me while I’m out working. This was suggested by my sis-in-law Sue.)

Here’s the before. I only cut limbs I could reach.


Below I marked the branches in gold so that you can see what I cut. Smile


This is after, although it might be hard to tell what I did because of all that is still growing. The power company will come along eventually, as the limbs that are growing up straight are almost to the power lines. I think they did it last year. (I ‘love’ my ladder.)


Now for some more flowers.

A tiny orchid bloom.


Crepuscule blooms





I think this is ‘Homere’.


An unknown.


I believe this is a Drift rose in coral. I loved how the sunlight was hitting this.


This is the view from my window in my little creative space. Lots of butterflies visit the patio area because I have filled the space with butterfly attracting plants. Most of the red flowers you see here are Pentas. Different butterflies visit throughout the day. I also saw a hummingbird the other day sipping nectar from a flower not shown in this view. By the time I grabbed my camera it had zoomed off. The plant next to the window is Whirling Butterflies and is not in bloom at the moment. It’s like a fuschia color and I love the blooms dancing in the breeze.


In 2016 I had two blogging friends take up weaving on a loom. Their creations have inspired me to learn this craft myself. I only have two of these little weaving looms, larger one pictured below. The other is tinier than the one shown below and they are hard to work with. Plus I don’t like how the edges turned out. I had to go around and sew the loops together to keep it from coming apart. So obviously I did something wrong. But, I want to really learn to weave on a loom. I’m a beginner on a limited budget and want something well-made and not too large. So, any of you weavers out there please give me some suggestions, I would appreciate it.



Ok, that’s it for now.

Happy January ~ FlowerLady

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Cats & hearts

Hello Friends ~ Here it is Wednesday afternoon the 4th of January. I’m sipping on a cup of green tea, sweetened with local palmetto honey, served with an almond poppy seed muffin.  This little break is hitting the spot. The muffins are from a box mix bought at Aldi’s on special, so not something they carry all of the time. Delicious and light. I set this little vignette up just for the photo, muffin is now gone and the tea cup is now on it’s coaster on my desk by the keyboard.


The heart above is finished except for

sewing on a back and stuffing it into a little pillow.

Here it is close-up. Ribbon roses which started out as cream and I colored them with my alcohol markers for coloring silk ribbon. There are seed beads, bugle beeds and fresh water pearls. Plus the rose cameo in the center, and mother-of-pearl buttons. I crocheted the border using Perle cotton. French knots and chain stitch done with embroidery floss. It is approximately 7 1/2 inches wide by 6 1/4 inches high.



Now for my first new project of the year, painting the black metal hearts that are hanging outside on my front wall.

This photo below was taken right after the cottage was painted last March, so no plants set back up yet. My ‘creative space’ is in that little bumpout room, 6’x8’.



After ~ hearts painted aqua.



Now for some cats. These are Zebra longwing cats.


These cats are devouring a passion vine that I got at Butterfly World last year. There were LOTS of these cats in various stages of growth, but when I went out later, there were quite a bit fewer and I saw a lizard close by. Sad smile


This was a bloom in October. The vine looks pretty shabby right now, but there is new growth and there are flower buds on it as well. The cats don’t eat those, just the leaves.


The cats turn into our state butterfly pictured below sipping nectar from Hamelia paten blooms, a favorite of theirs.


Another cat featured in this post, is Miss Tork.


Yesterday I was reading a gardening, widow friend’s blog, Gladsome Lights, and she metioned a little book she was given for Christmas. It sounded like one I would love to read, so I went to Amazon and found a used, but in very good condition book for $2, plus $3.99 shipping, so I ordered it. Smile My first purchase of this year. I am looking forward to reading this and enjoying the woodcut prints inside.

Yesterday morning a light rain fell on my gardens, today a heavier one fell, neither lasting very long, but both better than nothing.

I need to mow, so hopefully will have some dry grass to do so before it grows too much higher.

Well, that’s it for now. Thank you all for your kind comments, they mean a lot.

Enjoy every moment you are blessed with, count your blessings, learn lessons from mistakes, love & forgive others.