Mama’s Pin Collage

Mama inherited lovely, costume jewelry from her mother, grandmother and great aunt Ethel.

She cannot see well anymore and her fingers can’t close the tiny clasps.

She still likes to look at her collection and talk about its history.

I had the idea to display her favorites as a collage.

I am very pleased with the results.

I am sharing the process with my readers because I made many mistakes that I hope you can avoid.

I used jewelry cleaner to get them all sparkling.

Dry them face down.

First, I ordered a beautiful golden, oval frame. It came with the glass firmly glued in.

This was not mentioned in the description.

My husband had to assist in the glass removal after I broke the glass. (I am accident prone.)

I ordered black plastic craft mess and black velvet with adhesive on the back.

I arranged and rearranged the pins on a template with grid lines. I wrote any info off the pin onto the template.

I took photos of the various patterns and picked my favorite.

I used the fake photo from the frame as a template many times. DO NOT TRASH THIS.

It helps to fold the oval in halves both vertically and horizontally to have an x and y axis for a guide

Finally, I arranged the pins on the mesh and marked where holes needed to be cut with a gold pen.

The pins were stored on the template for easy replacement. There was a last minute tweaking of placements.

After all the holes in the mesh were cut with tiny scissors,

I stuck the velvet on the front and cut x-shaped slits with an X-acto knife.

Cut the outer oval border LAST. You will need that extra margin for handling.

I then pulled the pins and clasps through the mesh to secure each pin flat against the velvet.

A piece of black craft foam fills the space behind the mesh. Cardboard was too stiff.

I put the template and photos in the back of the frame for reference.

The hinged back can be easily opened and a pin removed if mama decides she wants to wear one.

Mama loved the collage.

We went back to look at more jewelry. Here we go again!


My Daddy Taught Me How

I went down the hill to clean out the Bluebird house this morning.

As I reached my hand down in it to grab the old nest materials, the bottom fell out.

Glad there weren’t babies in there all ready!

I had to take that rotten box, still on the pole, up the hill and into the shop.

I took that thing apart and used the pieces as templates to make new parts.

I left the front, so technically it’s still one of my daddy’s birdhouses.

How did I know how to cut wood and build a birdhouse?

My daddy taught me how. My sister and I call them “Man Lessons.”

All those skills have come in handy over the years.

My daddy may be gone, but his skills live on.

He is still helping his beloved bluebirds through me.


Sweet Betsy is Back

I looked for Sweet Betsy several weeks ago and there was no sign of her. I was concerned. She appeared later.

The species name is Trillium cuneatum.

Gorgeous coloration on leaves/bracts. Easy (actually no) care woodland, shade plant.

Trillium cuneatum, Sweet Betsy

Easy is good. Needy is bad. Keep that straight!

Welcome Back Betsy!


Bright White on a Dark Day

It is dreary and misty here, but I had to get out.

The garden calls despite the weather.

Snowflake, Leucojum

The whites were bright today.

White by the Gate, Camellia japonica

This is their time to shine.

Starflower (ipheion), ‘Albert Castillo’

It is lovely to spy some white on a dark day.


Colorful Confusion

I appreciate that my last year’s Poinsettia and a little Schlumbergera have chosen to bloom by my desk.

It is comforting to be accompanied by bright colors on this dreary day.

I consider myself lucky again today.

My green friends are cheering me up.


Little Blue Beauty

This tiny sweetie pie, Orostachys boehmeri, has been growing in the wrong places for a long time.

It has survived, but not thrived…

until now.

I created the perfect niche.

Orostachys boehmeri , Chinese Dunce Cap

Warmed by stones, perfect drainage, protection from trampling…

It is the happiest it has ever been.

Are you growing in the right spot?


No Deer. Not Tonight!

My garden developed decades before the deer showed up.

We used to be surrounded by hundreds of acres of woodlands.

Our surroundings are slowly being developed and nudging the wildlife elsewhere.

My daylily collection is now a popular buffet line.

The Society garlic that used to work as a deterrent is now ignored.

I have a fencing method I will share later.

For now, here’s the evidence of an evening of feeding.

Flower has more work to do.


Oh, Those Stripes!

The yellows come first like little beacons.

Then the purples start shining.

The stripes appear a bit later.

That’s when I have to walk over to look at them closely.

Those stripes lure me out into the garden.

I must see that magical combo up close.

Purple, white and gold.

Thank you spring!


Sun on a Stalk

Every spring is welcome. I need this spring more than all the previous springs. I bet you feel the same way.

The faces of flowers lift my spirits. The early flowers are especially appreciated.

I have many types of daffodils. I like to call them little suns on stalks.

Their brightness is a cheerful sight.

Even on cloudy spring days, I can always find some sun on a stalk to bring some joy.

Flow is ready for spring.