Friday, October 30, 2015

End of October Blooms


From Plum Cottage gardens.












"When at last I took the time to look into the heart of a flower,

it opened up a whole new world;

a world where every country walk would be an adventure,

where every garden would become an enchanted one."

  Princess Grace of Monaco


Happy Fall


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Cameos and DH’s Gibson guitar


Hi Folks ~ I hope you all are enjoying cooler temps.  It is still very warm and humid down here in s.e. FL. It is 6:34 EST and 80 degrees. The big ‘low’ for tonight, 76. Fall isn’t quite here yet.  Although, it is much nicer than it was last month and all summer long. The rain is staying to the north of us though, which is a bummer.

Today my cameos, that I ordered last week, came in the mail.  They are made of lucite, so not the ‘real’ cameos. I have two real ones that we bought in a little shop in Florence, Italy in 1973, when we were touring Europe for 60 days before we came home. DH had been in the US Navy, stationed in Rota, Spain for three years and before coming home, we traveled by Eurail, with backpacks, canteens, the book ‘Europe on $5-$10 a day’, and some maps. We bought these two cameos, and I put them in my jewelry box when we got home and life went on, and I forgot about them so we didn’t do anything with them. Now my mind is clicking with ideas.

I got out the little box shown below.


The largest one is a little over 3/4 of an inch. The small one is 1/2 inch.


I googled the name and address and they are still in business. They’ve been in business since 1868. WOW!

Here is a link to their website. G. Ugolini

Obviously, they sold unset cameos, and no doubt, that is what we could afford at the time, fresh out of the Navy, etc.

I got some pics taken from August of this year from Google maps. This from the store front.


It looks like the lady is opening up in this photo.  Look how quiet the street is, amazing. Looking at the angle of the sun, maybe it is afternoon, after siesta time?




See the bridge on the right below?  That bridge is famous and has lots of neat little shops hanging out over the water on both sides. I just did a google search on it and found this info on Wikipedia.


The Ponte Vecchio is a Medieval stone closed-spandrel segmental arch bridge over the Arno River, in Florence, Italy, noted for still having shops built along it. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.  In fact, I think we bought these cameos from a little shop on this bridge, not in that larger shop, so maybe Ugolini sold in a space there too, since tourists flock this bridge. We were a couple of tourists having a great time.


You can read about the bridge here.

Here’s a better picture from wikipedia.

Florence is a lovely old city and we were thrilled to be there. Two young people, 24-25, touring Europe, in 1973. The memories have been locked in our hearts since then. We went to nine countries on that trip, a trip of a life-time.

So, there you have another little part of our 43 years together.

Now here’s another little story about our life. DH played the electric guitar, he had a black, solid body Gibson that he played for years. As a teen he played the drums, bass guitar, and harmonica, in Spain he bought an acoustic guitar, and started playing to Bob Dylan albums and others. (Rock ‘n rollers at heart). His favorite group back then was the Rolling Stones. Our love of music grew together and he was a lead player and could play some good runs.  I enjoyed listening to him play with different albums through the years. Since he left this planet for his heavenly home, the guitar was just sitting in it’s case. I decided to give it to a young man who plays the electric guitar at the church I am attending. He was thrilled. He ordered classic knobs to the guitar’s year make, 1980, had it rewired and a couple other things, and played it for the first time in the church band this past Sunday. Him telling me what all he did to it and how much he liked it brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.  I told him DH is glad he has it.

Here are pics I took Sunday morning. The band was short 2-3 members that morning but still good.




OK, here are my lucite cameos, and one cabochon painted with flowers.

Also the little cluster of beads, are fresh water pearls. I got two of each of the cameos, except for getting 4 of the flamingos, and four of the small rose cameos, and 2 clusters of pearls. Aren’t they neat?


This is my latest bracelet that I’m working on.  First you make beaded netting, then the string of beaded leaves on vine, which is not fully tacked down yet. Then you make the little beaded roses, not tacked in place yet either, just there for showing. This will close by two snaps. I’m not sure I’ll use these pink roses, I have another bead in mind, and I want to make tiny flowers to add too.


A few of the commenters suggested looking at thrift stores and yard sales for beads, and I do that along with buying from my local shop, and online.

Well, that’s it for another glimpse into life here at Plum Cottage.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

New beads and another bracelet


Good morning Friends ~ I hope you are having a lovely weekend. Rain is expected here in a couple of hours. We need it.

Thanks for all of your comments, they are always read and appreciated.  I have to clarify something, the trees along the driveway are not mine, they are the neighbors.  DH always cut them back on our side to keep them out of our driveway, as these particular tree limbs just keep falling further over, they don’t stay straight up. They are also fast growers, even the tree trimmer said so.

In our 43 years together I always helped DH with projects, we built three outbuildings, did misc. garden projects, etc. I climbed a tall ladder with my end of a heavy support/ridge beam, DH on another ladder at his end, to put up the ridge beam of the work shop. I do NOT like heights, or ladders, but I did it. He always encouraged me by saying things like, one more step, you can do it.  Every time you do something you don’t think you can or are afraid of, you feel great when you do it.

(This week I went to ATT and got on their call as you go plan for having an in case of emergency cell phone when I am out in the van. I bought the phone from Walmart which was about half the price of the same simple phone at ATT. I now have a cell phone and feel better about being out on the road. While at Walmart I was starving so went into the little Subway place and got the special meal with half a sub, chips and a drink and sat at a little table and ate by myself. First time and out of my comfort zone, but it was enjoyable,  as I did some people watching.)

Back to caring for property, etc., I’ve always mowed the grass, planted things, and do what trimming I can.  I enjoy it. DH did the harder stuff. I do what I can and think and pray about finding someone to help me with stuff that won’t cost me a bundle and who is honest and does good work.

I am amazed at some of you ladies as your homes and gardens are immaculate, some of you work too, and some do crafts as well.  I just don’t see how you handle it all, and your places are much bigger than mine.

I work on my needlework pieces to sell in my Etsy shop and that takes time, then photos need to be taken, edited and uploaded with good descriptions of pieces. You ‘hope’ things sell.  My sis-in-law showed my brooches to ladies up where she lives and two ladies want to buy, so I’m looking forward to seeing which ones they are buying. I’ll be putting the rest into my shop. (Sis and brother-in-law are in Mexico on vacation right now, so I’ll find out when they get back.)

I ordered cameos last week, they should be here this week. Twenty-three of them. 2-4 of different ones. I can hardly wait.

This past week I went to my local bead store, a scary place to be, as the beads are calling out to be bought. You kind of have to go in there with blinders on, especially if you are like me, on a budget.

I had made that one beaded bracelet shown in previous post and wanted to make more. Plus, I had two new patterns I wanted to try. So, here’s what I bought, plus 2 pkgs. of beading needles.


Here’s my latest bracelet but I won’t be making this one again and will keep this one for myself.

The larger middle beads are from an old necklace that has several hand strung strands of beads. The small dark seeds beads were from a new tube and took more than half of a tube. YIKES! It has a ruffled edge, two layers each side.



Here is a little tulle angel still a work in progress. I got the gold wire edged ribbon, for wings, at the Salvation Army thrift store this past week, 79 cents.


I am burning a wonderful Balsam Fir Village candle (buy one get one free) that smells wonderful.  One of my very favorite scents any time of year, but especially fall through Christmas.

Yesterday I listened to beautiful piano music and hummed along while beading.  It reminded me of my DH’s telling me that he loved to hear me in here humming as I worked. He said he knew I was content. I was, and am learning contentment in this next chapter of my life too. I have much to be thankful for.

That’s it for now.

Have a lovely day and a great week.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

This & That

Hi Folks ~ Time sure is zipping right along. We had a couple of days of cooler weather with less humidity, but it warmed back up again.  It is nicer working outside though, so that is a plus.

The power company sends out tree trimmers to cut trees out of power lines.  Well a power line happens to run along side my driveway and the neighbors have these trees that grow like crazy right up into the power lines every 3-6 months and limbs hang over into the driveway too.  DH used to trim on our side, using his saws-all , I would help by cutting the limbs into more manageable sizes for brush pick up and carting it out to the curbside. With DH being gone, I do what I can, using the pole cutter and my clippers. The first year after DH was gone, I traded my old dead little car for a tree trimming. The next year a young man came up into the driveway and told me he could trim all the overgrowth for me and gave me a price.  I took him up on it.  Now the tree trimmers did what they do, out of power lines, and no more. They did a good job and I told them so.  They even rake up leaves and debris. The tree limbs get ground up and taken away. I’ve some limbs I need to take care of tomorrow that I should be able to handle with the pole cutter. Maybe I’ll even try the saws-all, but that remains to be seen.

The guys started yesterday afternoon, maybe worked an hour or so, then came back at 7:35 this morning and were here until 11:30. I was glad when they were all gone and I had my little space back to myself.





Miss Rosie watching




They sliced off palm fronds on my tree and off of the one on the other side of fence.  I’m thinking of having mine taken out as it is a pain with the self-cleaning fronds, falling on porch roof, and me having to cut up and deal with.


Miss Rosie and I watched for awhile yesterday. Such a sweetie.


Yesterday while waiting for the guys to get here, I got on you-tube and was inspired to make a beaded bracelet. I will be making more and the next one will be better and shouldn’t take as long. (I found one earlier this evening that I’m really excited about making next.) Smile

I used what beads I had on hand, not exactly the right size, but pretty close.


My hands are definitely not young looking anymore.

They have some wear and tear.




I’ve had a pretty good week and I am thankful to God for that.  Although, grief was triggered today when reading a blogging friend’s post about baked donuts.  I bought a doughnut pan when DH was ill, made one batch which were pretty good, but I haven’t made any since losing him. Her post just sent me back to that ‘rough’ time and I had to let the tears flow. Tears are a release, they are healing and God bottles all of them. One day He will wipe all tears away. Until then, may I age gracefully, keep trusting in Him and have joy and peace in this journey of widowhood.

We can call on Him at any time. He is waiting, we just need to reach out to Him.


Well, it’s time to go get horizontal to read awhile before sleep.

I hope you all have a good Friday and a nice weekend.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Mid October


Hi Folks ~ I hope you all are having an enjoyable day wherever you are. It is hard to believe the holidays are coming so quickly.  Have fun making plans and decorating, etc.

This past week or so has been busy for me.  My sis-in-law Sue, took me to a beauty store to check out Bare Essentials make up as I have been having a problem with adult acne.  Sue has used the BE make up for years. (I never had a problem with acne until after menopause, and it’s been worse since losing my Dear Husband. Stress and heat being big triggers.) Anyway, I had a nice young lady try some things on me and I ended up leaving there looking so much better and happier than when I went in. Also bought some items too. It has made a difference in how I feel when I go out. I watched some you tube videos too after I bought the Bye, Bye Redness by IT. That cream is really amazing I can tell you first hand. (I may do a post about this, before and after, but that remains to be seen). I never had to wear make up, only had a blemish once a month, so wearing make up is new to me. Sue and I had a good time, then we went out to lunch to Macaroni Grill, an Italian restaurant that has delicious food.

Next, I had the ladies group that I am part of and on the staff, ‘Bon Amis’ which means good friends in French, luncheon/meeting on Tues.  In November we are having a Thanksgiving potluck/meeting. Christmas we will be having a Christmas Tea. Our group of ladies supports Grandma’s Place by donating supplies and or $. We are going to be supporting a group that takes dogs from animal shelters, gives them to prisoners to be trained as helper dogs, which are then given to military Vets. I’ll tell you more about this organization as I find out about it. This past luncheon we had a 6 year breast cancer survivor speak to us, as it is breast cancer awareness month. We eat, of course, have a devotional, some uplifting readings, a game or two, pray and just have a good time together.

BSF Bible study was this past Wed. morning. Wed. evening I had a young man from church come fix my vents that let the a.c. air blow on you. He bi-passed a connection that was stuck so that just the defrost blower was working. Now I no longer have the defrost air, but I can carry a roll of paper towels with me for wiping windshield when needed, which hasn’t been very often down here. I now have a.c. blowing on me again while I drive and that’s more important.

Thurs and Fri I puttered around here, started and finished a heart for this young man and his wife, who just celebrated their first anniversary this month. I’m all for love and romance, so created this for them. It has seed beads, bugle beads and three fresh water pearls, plus the little silver hearts and silk ribbon roses.


We had a very nice, heavy rain yesterday that lasted a good while so everything got a good watering. It isn’t any cooler this morning though, it is still very warm and humid out.  A.C. feels great.

Here are some flower pictures for you.  I know a LOT of you are putting your gardens to sleep, mine never sleep.

The first is ‘Cat’s Whiskers’.


This is ‘Dotted Horsemint’, a newbie I bought in the spring.


And this is one I just love, a new addition to my cottage gardens.  It is ‘Ruby Hibiscus’ or ‘October Rose’ (Hibiscus Radiatus).  The flowers are lovely and last just a day. This plant must be 10 ft. tall.  I need to cut it back for more blooms.




Next are a couple or roses.

‘Louis Philippe’ or the ‘Florida Cracker’ rose.


Climbing ‘Maman Cochet’.  This rose has a lovely scent that fills the air.


Here are the latest photos of Miss Rosie.  I’m pretty sure she’s a she.

These first photos were taken yesterday morning. She was rolling all around my feet and ankles so that I couldn’t get a decent clear picture of her. I noticed that she has chocolate whiskers, never had a cat with those before. You can see a bit of the white hairs that she has.  They are under her front arms and there’s a bit on her tummy as well. Oh yea, the best part is she let me pick her up and I kissed her on top of her sweet little head.




This was taken this morning from inside. I don’t think she could see me, but she might have sensed me looking at her. I zoomed in on her.  She’s sitting on the bench in the secret garden.


Well, I need to get up and do some more ‘home-caring’ chores. I looked up FlyLady again this morning for inspiration.  Since losing my dear husband, I just don’t have much motivation to keep up with things.  It is very discouraging to say the least.

I took some photos of my craft space and will show before and after’s in a later post.

I hope to be participating in an indoor flea market during the next few months.  It is close to home. I will go through things here and see what I really can part with and make some $ while I’m at it. Hopefully.

That’s it for now.

Be thankful each and every day for all that God has blessed you with.

~ Happy Fall ~



I had to come back because I forgot to post this link to a cute video.

Cat’s Love Hugging