Saturday, September 27, 2014

This & that

It is 11:14 a.m. EST, here at Plum Cottage, in s.e. Fl, it is 86 but with the humidity the real feel temp is 96. I think we’ve had rain just about every day for nearly two weeks.  Finally earlier this morning the sun came out and I thought now’s my chance, I need to mow. I didn’t get to last week, and rain is predicted every day up until the 9th. So, out I went, it felt good to be outdoors, it took me 45 minutes to mow. I am happy to have that done. I enjoy mowing, have since I lived at home and my sisters and I took turns mowing.  There are rain clouds gathering again.  The picture below are rain clouds from this morning. It did rain for maybe 5 minutes, then cleared and the sun came out.


It’s been an indoor week needless to say. I’ve done some cleaning, still more to do.  I rearranged the mantle for fall, by putting out a cluster of alabaster grapes my dear husband had a friend of ours get when he went to Italy on leave. (This is while we were in Spain, while DH was in the US Navy.) The alabaster has been sprayed the reddish color. It does have a real grape vine section for the stem. I have different scented candles, pine, mulled cider, cupcake, Frangelico, and black cherry that I have sitting on the mantle too. Now that fall is here I feel like lighting candles to scent the room.



This morning another needleworker showed her workspace on her blog and I was relieved. I’m not the only one with a messy work area. That inspired me to take pics of my space after working in here this week.  Here is my desk.


This is beside my chair, containers of beads, books, stretcher, etc.


Here is my work space, what a hoot! I need to clear it off, just so I can mess it up again.  I ordered 23 tubes of beads yesterday as they were 20% off, so now I’ll have a good selection of colors. I got the email notice while I was working on a beaded embroidered piece.  Smile


I finished these two pieces. This coming week I want to get several pieces into my Etsy shop.  It’s been awhile since I last had anything in there for sale. Losing my ‘loving encourager’ has taken a toll on me in different areas of my life, that is for sure.

(Edited ~ 5:02 p.m. ~ I just got an email from a friend who is buying the ‘hope’ heart, so it won’t be going into my Etsy shop.)

Sold Smile




Blooms at Plum Cottage.

Vanda ‘Miss Joachim’ with morning sunlight hitting them.


This is a wonderful lavender, Lavendula ‘Pinnata’. This does very well in FL.  I love the scent. In the background is a bloom of ‘Rose de Rescht’.


Blue Pea vine blooms on the back arbor.


Here are yellow dwarf Poinciana blooms with morning rainclouds behind.


The next three photos are of ‘Kathleen’ one of my favorite roses.




Isn’t this little rose bud sweet?  I don’t know what kind of rose it is, but I am enjoying it.


This is a full bloom from the same bush.


‘Rose de Rescht’, what a wonderful scent. I love it. This is from my friend Deb and her hubby Charlie.


This might be ‘Bon Silene’. I’ve still not tackled the west paths in the main garden. Maybe this coming week, in between rain and if it isn’t too hot out.


‘Maman cochet’


‘The Paul McCartney’ rose.


One morning this week before the rain started, I felt like doing something different in the ‘creative’ dept. I had these bucket of brass pipes with two holes at one end, that a friend of ours had been going to make wind chimes with. He gave them to us before he passed away a few years ago. They went into our stash of things to do. Well, I got inspired to dig them out after listening to nice you-tube videos with wind chimes making their music. I also dug out a rusty gear DH had in his stash, which I wire brushed, then strung monofilament through the tubes and tied them onto the gear. There are 6 tubes. They sound wonderful.  I need to find a round wood piece to hit the pipes and a metal piece to catch the wind. So far I’ve not found what I wanted.



That’s it for now. Enjoy your last weekend in September.

I’m off to take a nap.


Monday, September 22, 2014

It’s a new day, a new week


Good morning Friends ~ It is Monday morning, partly cloudy out at 20 til 9 a.m. EST. My feline alarm clock, Miss Tork, woke me up at 4 again this morning. I was ready once I saw what time it was. I have things I want to do today and hope to get most of them done.  I’ve already got a loaf of Coconut Milk Bread going in my bread machine.  It’s starting to smell good in here.  It is made with canned coconut milk, a very easy recipe.  I looked up my recipe for Ricotta Pound cake and plan to make that this morning. I want to make Moussaka too today.

I’m on a vacation from work for the next 2-3 weeks as my boss just about emptied the shop. He loaded and took a truck to the huge antique show out in Round Top, Texas.  He goes twice a year.

So, I’ve made up a list of goals for this time off. One of the goals I have is to get some pieces listed in my Etsy shop. I’ve not had anything in there in months.

Yesterday we had another thunderstorm which dumped LOTS of rain again.

This photo is looking out from the kitchen’s screened porch, drive way like a river to the right of the shed.


This is looking out the north ‘scullery’ window.


This is looking out the west ‘scullery’ window into the ‘cat-rium’.


This is looking west out of the bedroom window into main garden. Look at the water pouring out of the rain-barrels’ overflow. When the rain let up a bit I went out and reconnected the drain so that it would go elsewhere in the garden.


I am standing in the driveway here, the ‘secret garden’ gate is standing open. This is on the east side of the cottage.


You can see the caravan behind the red bench, this is looking northwest.


I’m on the path now looking east. You can see my little wash-house/storage behind the birdbath. From under the awning there you can walk under an arbor out to the clothesline area.


This is one of two matching tiled cement benches that DH found many years ago.


Walking around the bench, you come to the ‘caravan’.  I bought 5 bags of potting soil the other day. I stacked them, then covered them from the expected rain.


This photo is looking east and you can see the rising sunlight through the trees separating us from the apt. complex next door. The DIY arbor is being filled up with Confederate Jasmine and for now Moonflower vine too.


Here is the other DIY arbor that goes into the clothesline garden area. This arbor has blue pea vines, moon flower and passion flower vines growing up and over it.


Two more angles.



Keep walking to the left of the above picture and you’ll be in the driveway heading south. DH found the street sign many years ago, we decided to put it on my shed.



This is another overgrown/weedy area at the front southwest corner of main garden. The road is running behind the left ‘faux bois’ chair, and behind the right chair is our neighbors’ driveway. The chairs are just two of eight that our friends who have an antique shop next to where I work gave us many years ago.  They were going to pitch them as they are falling apart, but suckers that DH and I were we loaded and brought them home.  They are heavy, being made out of concrete. They had these shipped from France. (Faux bois (from the French for false wood) refers to the artistic imitation of wood or wood grains in various media. The craft has roots in the Renaissance with trompe-l'œil.)


This is the front patio looking northwest. This wall is the front wall of my little 6’x8’ creative space, off the living room.  That is a door, but we chose not to use it. The iron piece in front of the window has mint on the bottom shelf, and baby roses and a wonderful lavender that does very well down here in tropical FL. It is Lavendula Pinnata or Jagged Lavender. It smells wonderful but the flowers are not edible. (I hope to paint the house this fall/winter when the weather is cooler.)


The next two photos are of the front patio coming from the west side. The gate at the back of the second photo opens up to the driveway.



Ok, that’s it for another tour around Plum Cottage.

Here are two last photos. I crocheted a beaded edging for this heart and sewed it on.


My latest creation was very enjoyable. I really like how the beaded edging looks like lace.


Have a good week, wherever you are, whatever you are doing.

Learn and grow.

Live, love, laugh.




“Write it.
Shoot it.
Publish it.
Crochet it,
sauté it,

Joss Whedon

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Another week has zipped by


It is a warm, cloudy, and ‘still humid’, Tuesday afternoon.  I did work outside this morning and I have to say it was nicer outside than it has been. I weed-whacked the paths around my main garden, did some trimming and weeding too and raked up a bag’s worth of debris. I still have the west path to do, I did all I could do for today.

For the past couple of mornings, the mocking birds have been singing and singing, that’s definitely a sign of fall coming. The sun is at a different angle and that’s nice too.  I am so glad summer is just about over.

Here’s what I did today. It might not look like much to you but, the paths were all overgrown.  The brownish paths are roll roofing that we laid down in 2007. It’s cracking up now and hopefully this fall/winter/spring, while the weather is cool I can lay new roll-roofing over it. I think it will take me about 3 rolls, which is around $36 a roll. (I just checked and it’s gone up $3 since the last time I looked. The rolls are 3’ wide by 36’ long.) I did this in the first place so that I wouldn’t have to weed-whack paths. It worked for a long time.

This is looking west, 5 lane road is to the left in picture, about 12’ from the gate. Patio is on the other side of hedge on the right.


This is also looking west towards the main garden.


This is a little pathway between house  and east sidewalk of main garden.


East sidewalk.


Main path looking north.


Looking south.


The next three pictures are the paths on west side of garden. Another day for this project.




Roses are putting on new growth and are giving me blooms. This is ‘Granada’ below.  I love this rose, and Granada was a favorite city of ours in Spain. 






This is ‘The Paul McCartney’ Rose


I love this ‘Tahitian Gardenia’.  Technically it is NOT a gardenia, but that’s what it is called.  The flowers are huge and the scent wonderful and it has been giving me blooms since spring when I bought it.



This caught my eye the other morning from where I sit at my computer.


Here are some more of my needlework creations.




I’m going to crochet a beaded edging for this.  It just needs a little something more. I did the embroidery probably 3-4 years ago.


This piece I made by sewing down a piece of old lace with beads onto black felt.  I then embroidered the heart onto it.


Fresh picked ‘Tahitian Gardenia’ and ‘Mr. Lincoln’ rose on my desk with a nice picture of some garden, somewhere, on my monitor. The pictures change and inspire me.


That’s it for now. It’s time to fix some supper.

I hope you all have a love and peace filled week.



Life is too short to worry about stupid things.


Trust God.

Enjoy life.

Don't let the little things get you down.

Nicky Gumbel

P.S. I want to thank you all for your kind comments about what would have been our 45th wedding anniversary. I can’t stop celebrating love .