Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Ligustrum Border

Hello there!

At the back of our rear iris and daylily border is a row of Ligustrum. I am not sure which species it is, since it is one of the first things that we planted when we started to establish our garden beds. We initially put the row of these bushes in to offer some privacy between our yard and that of our neighbors in back. Those folk have since sold the house, and the new people are very nice. I am not much of a fence person, but the new people put up a wood fence which I ended up loving because it provides a back drop for our garden now. This year the Ligustrum are blooming beautifully with lovely white flowers that have the nicest scent. They have really come into their own this year, and I'm wondering if its because the fence offers them some protection.

 You can see the white blooms back by the crepe myrtle,
which will later also bloom white.
The ones on the left got a little bigger,
so in the fall I will trim them a little...

Here is a closeup of one of the blossoms.
Look closely and you'll see who else likes these!
The bushes have dark green waxy leaves
that stay lovely all winter long...

Here they are on the left,
shot while I was standing in the left side of
the garden looking across the border...

The irises have waned,
but the daylilies have set many buds.


We will be leaving for The Wren's Nest in the 
next couple of days,
so I may not be able to post much.

I hope that life is treating you well!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Forever Susan: A Lily, not Me!

Back in March I planted a couple of lily starts in pots. Last week I transfered them from the pots to the garden, and am delighted that one of them is already bloomed. You can read about these here.

I was so excited to see how pretty this is...

I'm looking forward to seeing how the others
turn out!

Thanks for coming by.

A Hydrangea on the Deck and One on the Bush

Recently I mentioned that we had some early warm weather that fooled the garden into thinking that spring had come. This was followed by two freezes. Well, the hydrangea were all in bud when this happened, so the buds all fell off and the leaves shriveled up and turned brown. I was rather upset because when this happens we usually don't get very good flowers on the bushes.

The leaves have started to fill in and new buds have set, though nothing will be as large as they usually are in May. Though I was really sad about my favorites not putting on their usual show this year, imagine how happy I was to see one large blossom that managed to stay warm enough over the deck. It is now in full bloom.

I wish my bushes were filled with blooms this size...

...but I'm happy that I have at least this one...

But not all was lost.
Our oakleaf hydrangea, which grows in front of
the woods surrounding our house,
must have liked the cold snaps
because she is blooming better than ever...

...with her huge and majestic flowers...

I hope that you are having a bloomin' good day!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Vintage Cradle Roll Certificate

Good morning.

In my recent search for paper ephemera, I found this piece on Etsy. I ended up buying it only because it was so beautiful and I had never seen one before.

From what I could find on Google, a cradle roll certificate is, and was, presented to the parents of an infant to establish that the child was a member of the Cradle Roll, composed of a group of children from birth to two years old, too young for Sunday School but important members of the church family nevertheless. I have my own Christening/Baptism certificate, but I had never seen a cradle roll certificate before. Not all faiths use them.

I received this from an Etsy shop that has an 
amazing amount of goodies for collage and
assemblage artists.
She even threw in the beautiful rose cigarette cards
and Arm & Hammer bird advertising card
as a bonus.
Not to mention a lovely photo holder.
Did you know that cigarette cards are a 
collector's item in their own right? 
That they were enclosed with cigarettes
as freebies back in the day is amazing!
They came in various series and many were
so beautiful...

Oops, I digressed.
Back to the cradle roll certificate.
The image is so beautiful...

It would make a lovely banner for a blog
(my blog, maybe).
Kathryn Louise,
I hope that you had 
(or are still having) a wonderful life
and kept God in your heart...

So, the cradle roll certificate, 
along with a few vintage checks and receipts 
that I showed you in an earlier post
came packaged so sweetly in this vintage bag
closed up with Washi tape
and tied with lovely shades of seam binding...

and came from one of my favorite sellers on Etsy.
You can find her here.
Go ahead. 
Pour yourself a cuppa and take a while to browse her shop.
I defy you to window shop and not want to buy at least
five things.


Have you purchased any cool things lately for your own art endeavors?
 Thanks for coming by.

Saying Goodbye to the Holly Bushes!

Hello friends!

I am generally a person who believes that "where there's life, there's hope", and that even applies to plants. But that does not hold true with unfriendly bushes, vines, and weeds.

One of the things that we hated about The Wren's Nest was that in back of our little garage (which is very small since it was built only to accommodate the former owner's Harley, or perhaps a future golf cart), there were four overgrown, ugly and very unfriendly holly bushes. The only place I want to see holly is in connection with Christmas decorating, and even that, very minimally. So imagine how anxious we were to rip them out and plant something less assuming. Of course, that didn't happen last year because flooring, bathroom, and painting were the priorities, but when we arrived up there two weeks ago, that was the first thing we tackled. I imagine it was really important to Mr. Perch as he was the one that got stuck in the butt by these things every time he walked out of the garage.

 Ugly old holly bushes
with sharp pointy leaves,
and never a red berry to be seen.
These things must have been planted
when this little old mobile home was young...

It took us a whole day to get rid of them,
Hubby first cutting them to pieces,
and then digging up the roots and cutting them
 apart underground with a reciprocating

Because the leaves were so pointy and sharp,
we used gloves and handled them very gently,
putting them into a large trash can until...

...we could bag them for the garbage pickup.
They will take branches only if they are bagged...

So the next day we went to Lowe's
to choose some replacements,
not to mention mulch and garden soil,
and while the Mister busied himself with
some other laborious but necessary task,
I planted a new garden in the semi-shady area
vacated by the murdered hollies.
The name of the game was perennial and 
no-fuss, since we are not there all the time
to take care of the gardens.
A beautiful deep pinkish-red and lime
hydrangea in the middle,
surrounded by three kinds of hostas
(one of which was divided from a clump
that I hijacked from Birdsong before 
we put her up for sale last year),
caladiums in the same colors as the hydrangea,
and some annual vinca just for some 
all-summer color...

I tried cleaning the foundation stones
with Clorox, but it was no match for 30
 or so years of accumulated mildew,
and I could only get some of it off...

I would like to add some ferns,
but will take some from our shade garden
here the next time we go up.
Isn't this hydrangea gorgeous?...

I hope that it stays this color, 
because it is so different from any that we
have at Plum Tree...

I can't wait until it all fills in.
And I can't wait until it covers the mildew!!


Have a great day!

Vintage Photos: Farm Girls

Hello to all!

Added to my growing group of vintage photos is this new category. At some point I would like to have some fun with these.

 The gal in this photo was crowned a farm 
girl queen. 
How fun!...

Various photos of some gals 
"down on the farm"...

You gotta love them!!

Thanks for coming by.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Vintage Checks and Receipts

Happy Monday! I hope that your week is getting off to a good start.

Recently I decided that whenever I have the time I might like to go back to creating paper collage. I have already thought about the theme I am going to use, and have begun collecting some vintage paper ephemera. Recently I have become infatuated with vintage checks, receipts and letterhead, mostly from the late 1800's and early 1900's. I am going to share some pictures of them. I don't think, though, that I will ever to be able to use the originals. Copies will work just fine.

I think that these antique engraved checks are gorgeous.
The pictures on them...

 ...and the cursive print...

 ...are just gorgeous.
This one had the added bonus of the original
handwriting of the owner.
I wish someone would write me a check for $7500.00!
I wonder what that would have bought you 115 years ago?!...
I also love that this one and the one with the liberty bell
shown above have a patriotic flair...

Here are some receipts, again,
with beautiful typography and pictures...

...and I love that one above and the
two below are in a farm or agriculture theme...

Can't you just see the possiblities?
My wheels are spinning!

Friday, May 13, 2016

A New Look for my Etsy Shop

Hello dear friends! Sorry I've been away so long, but we were up at The Nest for ten days, and when we got back there was so much work to do here at home that I didn't even have time to turn on my computer. I thank you for the lovely comments that you have left for me, and apologize for not acknowledging them or visiting your blogs, but we have no WI-fi up there, so anything I do on my iPad is a very slow process.

If you shop on Etsy you likely know by now that they have made some changes to the way viewers see our shops. The previous "shop banners" will still work, but they look a little shrimpy so I decided to see what I could come up with on my own. When I first set up my shop, I had a graphic designer do my banner, icons, avatars, and business and thank you cards. I love her work and wanted to be able to still use everything besides the banner, so I decided to make a banner of  my own (actually, they don't call it a banner anymore, but rather, a shop photo). I decided to go for the simple look and try to still have it convey the tone of my shop.

Recently I won the bids on some photos that I saw on Ebay, and one of them was just perfect for my cover photo.

I was fiddling around with making a collage of sorts,
and using that as the cover photo,
but in the end I decided
to just have one photo speak for itself.
Here are the photos laid out on a burlap panel
when I was fiddling about with some little related pieces.
The same girls are in all of the photos below,
and I really wanted to use the one on the bottom
which depicts the girls building a sand castle.
Unfortunately, I could not scale it down enough to meet
the size parameters required by Etsy...

I bid separately for all three above,
as I was hoping to keep these "friends" together for all time,
and then quite unexpectly the nice lady who was selling
them contacted me and asked me if I would like to have
the two below,
which also features the same group.
Imagine my excitement when I returned home last week
and found all five in my mailbox!
Don't you just love the happy young people
in these photos?...

I modified one of the photos shown above to fit the required
and also tweaked the coloring a little bit to match my shop icon.
Can you guess which one I used?  
I even went so far as to include a photo of moi!

Click here to check out what I have done.
Certainly no purchase is required,
but I'd love to have your feedback!!

I hope that you have a great day and a wonderful weekend!