Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hooray for Rainy Days!

As much as I have enjoyed the many sunny days of late, I have secretly wished for a few rainy days so I could spend time inside without yearning to be outdoors. When it is nice out, I just can't stay in side! I would much rather be in the yard trimming overgrown bushes, dead-heading flowers, edging the flowerbeds, watering the gardens, and now that it is fall . . . raking leaves. There is enough to do outside to keep me pretty busy, but the house also needs my attention. There is fall décor to take care of, cleaning (of course), and putting all things summer away and getting the fall and winter clothes, blankets and other things out. I might even cook more hot meals and bake a pie. Oh . . . on second thought, don't let me get too carried away! ;-)

The mornings are definitely a tad cooler now and I sense that my forays into the perennial garden will be fewer and shorter. It is funny how this new garden has changed my perspective. I have always loved fall the most of the four seasons, and even though I do still love fall; I am sad to see summer end. My husband remarked that he never realized how much I loved to garden until this year. If he could not find me in the house, he usually could find me out in my garden or on a bench contemplating where to put the next new plant. Having warmer-than-usual temperatures right now is a blessing. The flowers are continuing to grow and bloom, but soon it will be time to put the garden to bed. I saved all the tags that came with the plants, so I know what they need for the winter as far as trimming and mulching and can learn more from the wonderful information highway of the Internet. That work is yet to come . . . after the leaves are raked and mulched.

So, on this rainy day, I will finish this post, run some errands in the rain, put the fall and Halloween décor inside and out, make some soup and continue to organize my sewing room. I lucked out when I found photo boxes on sale at Michaels a few weeks ago. I used them to store all the old photos I had stashed in totes and for quilting and sewing patterns. My shelves look great, and I actually know what is inside the boxes! As cooler weather sets in, I will be more inclined to sew and work in my studio. I have lots of projects to finish this coming winter! Being organized should help me stay on task.

Always striving to find the right organizational tool . . . perhaps this will be it!

The changes that have occurred in the perennial garden are quite remarkable. The area where the pool used to be was filled in last year and we began turning it into a garden by first installing landscape cloth. Ugh. That was not fun in the dry summer heat we had last summer. By springtime, it had wintered over with leaves on top and some torn corners. But now, it has become my favorite place to be. It will be interesting to watch what happens in the garden over the winter . . . most likely nothing; except perhaps some great photo ops for snowy landscape photos . . . and come spring, I hope all the plants will have survived and will thrive just as they have this year. :-)

Early April 2017.
The garden was just an idea . . .

Early October 2017.
The garden has become a reality.

The second blossoming of one of my delphiniums.
I had never grown them before, but they are really fun to have in the garden.

It is a little late in the season to see Rose of Sharon in flower.
This bush is a survivor, after being run over by the mower last  year.

There are still Monarch butterflies visiting my garden.
This one is on a butterfly bush.
I think they are passing through on their migration to Mexico.

My garden is protected by an angel. In my last blog post, I asked for suggestions for a name for her. I put all the names in a hat and pulled out the winner this morning. "Blossom" is her name and seems quite appropriate! Thank you to everyone who participated. And congratulations, Nancy E. for suggesting the winning name!


Now that the day is coming to an end, and the soup needs yet to be made, I will close here. With it getting dark so much earlier now, I tend to think it is later than it is at night and after dinner I really need to get into my studio and work on projects for a few hours. That should help me make the transition from summer to fall and give me the satisfaction of creating something, since the beauty of the summer garden will soon be just a memory.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. As always, your questions and comments are welcome. If you are unable to comment here, please comment on Facebook. Blogger is sometimes confusing and difficult to post on. And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Buffalo Sabres Kick-Off Luncheon

This is not my typical post with photos of butterflies, flowers, or things I created in my studio. Instead it is about the fun day we had this past Tuesday at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo. My husband and I were given an early Christmas gift of tickets to the luncheon, which featured a round table discussion with General Manager Jason Botterill, Head Coach Phil Housley, Assistant General Manger Randy Sexton, and team members Jack Eichel and Ryan O'Reilly. We were seated at our table with a really nice group of fans. One group at our table was a grandfather from North Tonawanda, along with his son and son in law, and his 3 young grandsons. All three boys had come down with the same mysterious illness and were missing school for the day, but were healthy enough to make the overnight trip from Virginia to New York to attend the banquet. Uh huh! ;-) Attending an event like this can be once in a lifetime experience and the memories made for a family that loves the Sabres will last all their lives, so their little white lie is safe with us. The Buffalo Sabres is "our" team and our entire family loves them, too. Like the rest of the Sabres' fans, we want to experience them winning the Stanley Cup. This year. Yes, that would be nice.

Before lunch, each team member found the table to which they were assigned. We were delighted that Evan Rodrigues sat with us. He was so pleasant to talk to. He was genuine and quite funny. The conversation at our table was open and animated.

We snapped a few photos at the event. . .

The Lexus Club at KeyBank Center before everyone was seated.

The 2017 Buffalo Sabres team members were introduced in order of their jersey number!
As they waited to be introduced, they stood right behind us.
They had just finished a morning practice.

Jack Eichel is on the far right.
He had signed an 8-year $80 million contract extension with the team, but had not yet announced it.

Paul and our table mate, Buffalo Sabre Evan Rodrigues.

Of course, I had to get a photo with Evan, too!
He is just the nicest guy.

We always enjoy these luncheons, and this one was no exception. We have met some really nice people over the years and look forward to the opening game of the season tonight! Go Sabres!

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today. Your questions and comments are always welcome.

And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

My Garden Angel Needs a Name . . .

Over the years, we have decorated our front porch and yard with the scarecrows you can buy at Michael's and JoAnn's. They usually last three or four years, through rain, wind, and sometimes even snow. Eventually they actually begin to look scary as their straw legs and arms limply hang down and their hair falls off. But, being a saver, I keep patching them up with scraps of fabric, hot glue and staples, until it is time for them to go to scarecrow heaven. When my husband dragged our scarecrows upstairs from the basement this year, I knew the time had come for one of them to go. She was bedraggled, had lost her hat and hair to the wind last fall, and most of the straw was gone from her legs. I hated to see her go into the trash bin, so I put her aside and started to think about how she could get a second chance at life.

I had been toying with the idea of making a garden angel and have pinned several ideas to a board in Pinterest. Most are quite elaborate and require materials and tools I don't have . . . yet! ;-) However, I knew I had on hand some of the elements I needed to turn my scarecrow into a garden angel. I just needed to add a few things. So, over the past couple weeks, I shopped in the Halloween costume aisles at the usual haunts. I found a couple things that I thought would work and then one morning this week, when my husband was out for the day, I hauled the weary old scarecrow up to my studio.  I inserted a light-weight garden stake into her raggedy sleeves and across her back so her arms wouldn't droop lifelessly at her sides. I pulled out some of the tulle and organza I had used for my dress form ensembles over the past few years ( ) and quickly . . . and I mean quickly . . . wrapped her, draped her, and tied tulle to her torso and arms. I just wanted to play a little and see if my idea would even work. I pulled a blue organza skirt with silver sparkles up to her "waist", and secured it with long quilting pins . . . because I couldn't get the staple gun to work. I crowned her head with a wig from Dollar General and pinned on the wings I purchased on sale at Michael's.

It was a sunny day, so I took her outside and planned to secure her to one of our shorter shepherd's hooks, but I had forgotten we took them out of the garden last week. So I grabbed the garden spade, plunged it into the dirt, and attached her to the handle. All the while, a Monarch butterfly was flying around and for a moment, I thought it was going to land on my garden angel! I think she turned out cute and maybe she will make it through the fall season. I don't have a name for her yet, but perhaps you can help me find one. If you have a suggestion for a name, please leave it below in a comment.

For now, she will stand guard over my garden and protect it from undesirable critters, like the big fat  woodchuck who I catch every now and again approaching my garden. At least I hope she will make them think twice before venturing inside.

She looks happy out in the garden, doesn't she?

I love her angelic platinum blonde hair and her pretty wings.

Just like most ladies, garden angels probably don't like it when someone takes a photo of their backside!
However, until I can get some help installing a shepherd's hook into the soil, the spade will suffice.
I should have covered the handle with the skirt, but I was happy just to get her to stand up long enough for her photo shoot!

There was a heavy dew this morning.
She looked kind of ethereal.
My hubby helped me attach her to a shepherd's hook, so she doesn't need to rely on the garden spade for support!
Her wings sparkle in the sun!

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog. Please remember your comments and questions and name suggestions are welcome. And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Friday, September 29, 2017

As promised . . .

My camera and tripod . . . and Hope.
Just about two weeks ago, I spent a Sunday morning in my garden. That is not all that unusual for me because I spend time almost every morning in my garden. The unusual part, though, was that I got to witness one of my very own Monarch butterflies take her first flight after emerging from her chrysalis. The story of how she even came to exist makes my husband laugh and he constantly reminds me every time I run outside when I spy a Monarch in my garden. :-)

Back in January, while the snow fell and the wind howled, I ordered some milkweed plants from QVC ( ). The host and the company representative from Roberta's Gardens ( ) pointed out that the plants would arrive at just the right time for planting in my area and that they would attract butterflies during the coming summer. The plants were shipped, but they arrived a tad early for planting. We were still having some frosty nights. I waited until the threat of frosts passed and on a warm spring day, I dug six holes along the east side of my perennial garden. I decided that since these plants had the word "weed" in their name, I couldn't take them too seriously; so I relegated them to a lonely existence along the garden's edge. They were weak and spindly and I pretty much decided they would probably never survive. Every time my husband, Paul, and I were on the deck overlooking the garden, or tending other plants, he heard me call those weak and defenseless little plants names. I had no faith in them. I referred to them as those stupid, stinkin' milkweeds. Paul got pretty tired of the daily name calling. He wondered where my farm girl faith had gone. I guess I never really made the connection between the planting and the harvest, although I grew up on a cash crop farm. My father and uncles planted things. They grew. They were harvested. And they were not grown from spindly plants, like my stupid, stinkin' milkweeds. They were grown from seeds! Corn seeds, kidney and white bean seeds, wheat and oat seeds, hay seeds (no pun intended, Daddy), alfalfa seeds, pea seeds and seed potatoes. Seven hundred acres of things that needed to grow so we could all have a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes on our backs. I don't recall my father walking in and out of the back door lamenting over his fields and calling his money crops nasty names. He had faith, . . . along with some sleepless nights, I'm sure, when there was either too much or too little rain. Miraculously, all six plants grew and they thrived. They blossomed and they attracted Monarch butterflies, just as promised.

Mature Stupid, Stinkin' Milkweed Plant
The Monarchs laid eggs on the milkweed plants and they hatched into caterpillars that showed up in July and August.

Monarch caterpillar devouring an immature milkweed seedpod
The caterpillars feasted on the milkweed leaves and later on they devoured the seed pod casings. The caterpillars disappeared and I was not sure where they went. I figured they were either eaten by birds or drowned in the torrential rains we had over the summer . . . until one day when I spied a curious thing hanging from one of my Russian Sage plants about 20 feet away from the milkweeds. I had recently seen a photo on a friend's Facebook page of a chrysalis and eventually a photo of the Monarch butterfly that emerged. I was thrilled to have my very own chrysalis in my garden! I watched that little thing daily. I took about 50 photos of it, all looking the same, but I was enamored by it! Then on the Saturday before the butterfly emerged, I noticed it was starting to darken. My Internet research revealed it would take a day or two after it turned almost black for a butterfly to emerge.

The chrysalis as it appeared for several weeks.

This smart phone photo is a little blurry, but you can see the color beginning to change from green to black.

On Sunday morning, I poured myself a cup of coffee and went out on the deck overlooking the garden. I noticed the little dot of a chrysalis that I had watched from a distance with squinting eyes for the past few weeks was looking darker, just as promised by my research. I decided this would be a good time to get my camera and tripod out. I had wanted to practice putting my camera on the tripod anyway, so I could use it in my garden to photograph flowers; and I would be able to practice setting it up for the big event when the Monarch would finally emerge. I planned to keep a close watch on it and  hoped I would be home when it happened. I brought the camera and tripod onto the deck and took my time as I fiddled around with getting the camera on securely. I looked out at the garden again and my mouth fell open and I think I squealed. I took a deep breath, thanked God and Jesus, grabbed the camera and tripod and got down the stairs and across the yard as fast as I could. Without time to even set my tripod down, I somehow took a photo with the tripod tucked under my arm. I was shaking from my excitement, and yes, I was crying. I was so happy at the miracle of my very own Monarch butterfly. She was hanging beneath her chrysalis. Her wings were heavy and damp and I knew she needed to dry them in the sunshine before she could take off.

The first photo that I took of her right after she emerged from the chrysalis.
I eventually pulled up a lawn chair and sat with her. I stayed by her side for two hours. She moved away from the chrysalis and onto a branch on the Russian Sage. Then she stretched out her beautiful wings just a few times and took flight. She flew up into a maple tree and I didn't see her the rest of the day. I named her Hope.

The next day I scoured the garden for her, but didn't see her. My heart sank and I worried that she had been eaten by a predator. But, on the following day I saw her fluttering about. I tried to get close for a photo, but she was shy. Eventually she stayed still long enough for me to get a few good shots. It was then that I realized my "she" was a "he", by "her" markings. A black spot on each wing was the key to my discovery. I decided "she" would remain Hope and I didn't change her name. Hope represented the promise of faith to me. I found it easier in the beginning to just give up on the plants when they were spindly and weak. But I watered and fertilized them and they grew. They blossomed and today they are heavy with seed pods full of promise. I am using organza bags to collect the seeds while they are still on the plants. When the dried pods burst inside the bags, the seeds won't be scattered by the wind. I will harvest them and keep them for planting in the spring.

Organza bags tied over the milkweed seedpods
Seeing Hope fly about in my garden fulfilled the promise of those spindly and weak little plants that I gave up on before they even had a chance. This has been a lesson that I can apply not only to my gardening, but to my life. The smallest and weakest among us can thrive if given what they need. For plants, it is sunshine and rain. For people, it is love and compassion . . . not for just the strong and attractive, but for the weak and ordinary. Metamorphosis . . . from a caterpillar to a butterfly . . . is not a new story, but I'm viewing it with new eyes.

Hope. As promised . . .
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post today. As always, your questions and comments are welcome. And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Beautiful September!

It is an absolutely gorgeous September day today, but the weather this summer was often stormy with hot and humid weeks and some torrential rains that resulted in flooding in many areas in Western New York. We are fortunate to live on high ground in the village. Our back yard slopes down to a field that leads to the bank of the Tonawanda Creek. Its a great place to observe nature. We have a family of deer with two fawns that graze along the tree line at the creek's edge. Last week I spotted two young foxes playing tag in the field and once in a while we catch a glimpse of an eagle as it floats on the thermals and goes higher and higher until it is out of sight.

We feed the birds and have enjoyed the melodious songs of orioles and watched with delight as they taught their fledglings to fly. The young birds would take short flights from the tree tops to the ground and then in spurts they would make their way to the feeders. They discovered how much fun they could have in our bird baths, and delighted us with their antics. But after we had some of the worst torrents of rain, the orioles disappeared for about a week. They returned, but not in the same numbers as before the storms. We took the feeders down yesterday because the only thing they were attracting was bees. They love the grape jelly feeders as much as the orioles do!

An oriole enjoying some grape jelly at the feeder.
Please excuse the distortion. I took this in a hurry with my smartphone.

The highlight of my spring and summer has been working in my yard and gardens. I trimmed back much of the overgrowth that had filled in some of my favorite spaces over the last few years while I was recuperating from surgeries and unable to do strenuous activities. Tugging on wild grapevines is a great stress reliever! My husband saw how much fun I was having and wanted to make the work easier for me, so he went shopping and found some great garden tools that I've used all summer long. He learned the way to my heart isn't with jewelry, but with rakes, trimmers, and mulchers!

When I was a child, Monarch Butterflies were plentiful and I saw them all the time in the summer. Their population decreased due to the use of herbicides that killed the milkweed plants that they need to survive. While the snow fell in January, I ordered many of the plants for my garden and I included some milkweed plants in my order. I have to wonder what my father would think about me planting weeds in my garden. He used to scold me for opening the pods on breezy fall days and tossing the little balls of fluff in the air, scattering the seeds along the hedgerows on our farm. He didn't want them to spread into the fields where he grew crops for the canning factory. When the plants arrived, I was very worried that they would ever amount to anything, but I put them in the ground and they grew . . . and grew . . . and grew! They did their job and attracted Monarchs, who in turn laid eggs on the plants' leaves. Those eggs turned into caterpillars that ate the leaves and seed pod casings on the milkweeds. The worms then travelled to places in the yard where they could spin their chrysalis and eventually hatch into butterflies. Having the opportunity to watch this all occur in my back yard this summer brought me immense joy.

A beautiful Monarch Butterfly visiting the blossoms on one of the milkweeds in the garden

Monarch caterpillar on the underside of a milkweed leaf.

A Monarch chrysalis that hangs from a Russian Sage plant in the garden. It is only about one inch long.
The caterpillar travelled about 20 feet across the garden to climb up here to make this!
If you look closely, you can see the stripes on the butterfly's wings inside the chrysalis.
The gold dots that form a line intrigue me. They shine no matter if it is sunny or cloudy.
I think the butterfly will emerge soon.

This is the fluff that was in just one seed pod!

The fluff captured from the seed pod in the photo above.
I read on a blog post that you can tie organza bags on the seed pods before they burst.
I just happened to have a bag on hand in my studio!
I caught this one in just the nick of time.
A run to the bridal section at Michaels is in my very near future!

So, if you wonder why it has been five months since my last blog post, it is because I have been outside as much as possible and enjoying my back yard with my husband. We have spent many enjoyable hours in the garden and on our deck looking at birds visiting the feeders and listening to their songs. We have used our smartphones hundreds of times while outside to ask Google questions about the birds and about plants we are considering for the garden. It is pretty amazing to think we carry little computers around with us in our pockets!

I will probably back track in my next few blog posts to fill in the gap from April until now. In the meanwhile, I hope you are well and happy and enjoying the blessiings of a good life. And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

In the Bin

Hello from the land of projects! 

Mother Nature has great timing. During the first few months of 2017, she kept me inside my brightly lit and warm home. I decided that I would take the time I needed while inside over the winter to dig deep into the recesses of my closets. It was time. In fact, it was way overdue.

While sitting down to write my TO DO list this morning, I paused and listened to that voice inside of me. You know the voice I'm talking about. It's the one that I, personally, often don't give my full attention to;  and later on I wish I had done so. I tend to pressure myself to get things done, as if I have strict deadlines, and I feel like I need to get on to the next thing as soon as possible. Today I wrote down what that inner voice said, which was,  "Take time to enjoy the tasks that make up your day. They are important, even if they're considered chores. Shed the guilt. Lift the burden. Enjoy everything you do today. This is your life right now and it is important."

It might be a little less than exciting to some people to rifle through boxes of fabric and unfinished projects. In fact, it used to produce so much guilt and anxiety for me, that I would end up just closing the boxes and putting them out of sight. However, I have become aware that, as my mother used to say, "I have a lot more years behind me than ahead of me". I've come to the clear realization that if I don't take care of things, these decisions will fall on someone else's shoulders; and that just isn't fair. I don't want to burden any of my family with the chore of trying to figure out what in the world all of these things meant to me and then assume the task of finding them suitable homes, or just donating them to charity, after I am gone.

So, without going on and on with these thoughts, I will cut to the chase. I decided that I would once and for all catalog my stash and projects. This kind of organization is a challenge to many quilters and crafters. There is so much stuff required to do what we do, from the various colors of thread, pretty papers, ribbons, embellishments . . .  to all the little tools for specific jobs, books, patterns, and machines, to the collections of fabric we amass. When I feel mired in all this stuff, I think to myself . . . "what was I thinking? I will need an army to help me get all of this used in my lifetime!" . . . but, a fellow quilter once pointed out to me that I am too hard on myself and that I should at least enjoy my fabrics and be happy when I see them and touch them, no matter if they ever make their way into a quilt or not. That is a concept that I am trying to embrace. I tend to be very task oriented and think of everything in terms of a project with phases that can be checked off as I proceed. And when I don't achieve that goal, I beat myself up. I'm trying not to do that anymore, and even when I slip back into my former modus operandi, I try to be gentle with myself and not feel defeated. I admit that I am still a work in progress.

Thanks to technology, I think I have found a really good solution that will allow me to know where things are stored and have access to them more readily than before. I used my cell phone to take photos of my fabrics as I folded them and tucked them away in bins. Yes, I know we are cautioned not to store our fabrics in plastic . . . but it is what I am using! I took the time to enjoy the view. I looked at the fabrics and dreamt of what I will make when I use them. It was fun, . . . as long as I didn't let any guilt get a hold of me. When I had a full bin, I labeled it with a letter, such as "Fabric Bin A" and then took a photo of that label. I made a folder in my cell phone labeled "Fabric Bin A" and in that folder I put all the photos of the fabrics that are inside. It may sound a bit cumbersome in my explanation, but it was rather simple. It is working out great and I have access to the system 24 hours a day. The photos will never disappear because they are not only stored on my phone, but are stored in the cloud, too.

Here are a few sample photos to show you what I am talking about.

This is a screenshot of the folder in my smart phone of the contents of Bin B.
Inside the bin are my
Black, White and Red Project
Black and White Fabrics
Graphic 45 Birdsong Collection
Depression-era Reproduction fabrics.

This is a screenshot of the folder in my smart phone of contents of Bin D.
Inside the bin are my
Blue & Orange Log Cabin Project
New York Beauty blocks in progress
Rayon dress fabric . . . I MIGHT make a dress again some day!
Split Rail Fence blocks
2 partially finished,  . . . or is that partially started? . . . Stack 'n' Whack Quilts
Friendship Star Quilt
2 paper-pieced mini quilt projects
Hawaiian applique block
,Amish Ocean Waves stored in an old cigar box!
For me, this is real progress! Now I actually know what fabrics I have and where they are. The same goes for my UFOs (to quilters, this term means Unfinished Projects). When I want to carve time out of a day or a week, I can refer to the folder of photos in my phone and locate something to work on without pawing through bins for fabric in frustration to the point of exhaustion.

There you go. I just breathed a big sigh of relief. It wasn't easy to bare my quilty .... guilty....soul, but this idea might just catch on and help you or others. I imagine that I will find more ways to use my phone for a filing, storage and retrieval system. Perhaps the next task will be to organize my paper crafting supplies in this way. Maybe this system is already used by others and isn't a new discovery. That doesn't matter to me. What does matter is the fact that I think I have finally found a solution to my perennial problem!

Let me know what you think. What methods have you found useful in your quest to organize your stuff?

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my blog post. I do appreciate your feedback and welcome your questions and comments.

I hope you and those you love are well and happy. And until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.


Monday, April 10, 2017

A Trip to Savannah and A Few Handmade Birthday Gifts

Hello! It has been a few weeks since my last post. When  I have had the opportunity, I have spent a lot of time reorganizing my paper craft studio and making some wonderful discoveries along the way! There are enough supplies in there to last me a long time and provide the materials for some really fun-to-make projects! I plan to be back in the studio more often this spring and will put much of what I have to good use!

Today is an exceptionally warm day for early April in Western New York State. It is going to be 70 degrees and sunny! It will be a good time to start cleaning up all the debris in the yard and gardens. There is a lot to do before we can even begin to plant anything. The temperatures still dip down in the 30's at night.

My husband and I returned a week ago from a trip to Savannah, Georgia. While we were there, we also visited Parris Island, St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. The weather could not have been any better. It was warm and there was a constant soft breeze. What a treat!

The historic homes we had the chance to view and visit were marvelous and the city and region's history is rich. If you have never been to Savannah, I urge you to go. The best months to visit are December through March. After that, the heat can be oppressive for northern tourists, like us!

We had the opportunity to tour Mistletoe Cottage on Jekyll Island.
The island was a private resort for a select few of the very rich from 1888 until 1942.
The island has an interesting history and we wish that the walls could talk.
There would surely be some intriguing stories.
We just ordered a book that our tour guide recommended,
Splendid Isolation, The Jekyll Island Millionaires'  Club, 1888-1942
Inside Mistletoe Cottage, this room is at the back of the building, adjacent to the dining room.
The ceiling is covered with imported hand-painted silk panels from China.
The large brass lamps resemble Chinese Lanterns.
The residents of the island built a chapel and inside is this Tiffany window.
It was made by and signed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Upon our return home, we were greeted by crocuses in bloom.
A sure sign of spring!
And a few days later . . . winter was trying to hold on.
After torrential rains and flooding, it snowed heavy wet snow.
We usually do not have a lake in the back yard, but the banks of the Tonawanda Creek were overflowing.
We had a birthday in the family, so I made a few things to put in the mail. Whenever I sit down to make something in my studio, I end up adding to my original idea! :-)

A collage of sorts on the front of the card.
I rounded the corners and inked all around the edges of the papers that I used.
I added a few dots and the metal embellishment.

I don't know about  you . . . but I love using fancy paperclips!
I altered these with ribbons in spring colors.
The recipient said she really liked them and said she always needs paperclips!

I made this little envelope to hold a special little gift.

The back of the clipboard that I altered.

It is hard to make something and not include some charms!

The front of the altered clipboard.
The little pocket held the small envelope perfectly!
I added a metal piece at the top, but forgot to take a photo before I mailed it.
It said "Enjoy the Journey".
The spring market for real estate is about to get very busy and we are rolling out a new listing today, so I will close here. It is a nice benefit to have a home office to work from, and with so much telecommuting technology available in our profession, we can start early at home before we hit the pavement.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. As always, your comments and questions are welcome. I hope you and those you love are well and happy.

And . . . until we meet again, may the Lord hold you in the hollow of His hand.