I spy

‘I spy with my little eye.’

Did you ever play that with your kids or grands? I did with my grands, and I was thinking about it this weekend while walking the beach and visiting Brookgreen Gardens.

What is the top right photo? Mistletoe, of course. πŸ™‚ A MI friend spotted it and led me there to take a look. Never, in all my life, have I thought about where mistletoe grows, but grow it does on mostly pecan, hickory, oaks, red maple, and black gum trees. Mistletoe is considered a parasite and often kills its host tree. There are 36 species in the US and Canada, it is often called a witches’ broom, and can grow 5′ wide and weigh up to 50 lbs.

Those facts would make great trivia questions, but let’s not go there. I filled in for a friend on a trivia team last week, and let’s just say it was quite humbling.

This group is never far from food, so last week provided opportunities to participate in a ladies’ luncheon, pot luck supper, and a country club brunch.

I’m working on a fabric landscape piece right now at the sewing machine having finished gifts for the March ladies luncheon. When I complete the landscape, a Christmas tree to hang on the wall is up next.

What’s up for you this last week in February. By the way, where did February go?

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Are jeans part of your wardrobe? They’re the majority of mine. I have work ones, some to wear around the house, better ones to go out and about in, and then I have some dress ones. They are comfortable, and they don’t require shoes that hurt my feet. I’m retired, I get to choose my wardrobe. πŸ™‚

So, when I had an old pair of capris I wasn’t wearing anymore, I cut them up and made a couple of bags. Then a friend liked my bag and gave me a couple of pairs of legs she’d cut off hers to make shorts out of and a skirt that a friend gave her. I made her a bag out of the skirt and a small purse out of the legs.

One of our major social events down here is the monthly ladies’ luncheon. As part of the festivities, those that craft donate gifts to be used as door prizes.

A few weeks ago, I stopped at Goodwill and picked up a pair of jeans in the medium aisle. They had a couple of cute logos on them. I cut them up and made a small phone bag to hang off your jeans to carry your phone and id in, salvaged pieces to make a purse, sewed up one leg to make a basket, and then took the front, inserted a panel and a tie for an apron. There wasn’t much left when I got done.

The phone bag I gave to a friend who walks the beach a lot, and the rest will be raffled off at our luncheon this week.

Why? Well, I like a challenge, and there is something fun about deconstructing the jeans by taking off all the usable parts and then putting the pieces back together without a pattern to come up with something that is uniquely hand made.

What am I working on next? I brought a small Easter Bunny embroidery piece with me and framed him to make a small table topper. I also have a beach landscape and a Christmas tree to make so I’ll be off to the fabric store today. There are two wonderful small fabric stores down here that are like entering a candy store so I always make a list because it is too tempting. πŸ™‚

My wish for each of you this week is to be healthy. I was sick last week with a wicked cold, but I’m happy to say it is gone, didn’t develop into anything more serious, and I didn’t pass it on to anyone else.

Life is good – enjoy your week with whatever challenges you choose to pursue and may none be sent your way that you don’t want. πŸ™‚

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Gardening Talk

Five hundred and twenty miles, two nights motel stay, an afternoon snowstorm, and I got to spend Saturday with 545 other Master Gardeners and gardening enthusiasts.

Yes, you read that right – it snowed all Saturday afternoon and evening in Greenville, SC. The folks I talked to that day found it quite humorous that the woman from NH attending their garden symposium had traveled south to avoid the snow. But, despite the weather outside, I got to spend seven hours in some great gardening conversations.

Peggy Cornett, Curator of plants at Monticello, was first up to talk about Thomas Jefferson’s favorite plants. Take away: If you haven’t visited Monticello, put it on your bucket list, and check out some of Jefferson’s favorites like hyacinth bean, cork screw vine, cardinal flower, and dwarf flag iris. The hyacinth bean was actually found at both Monticello and Mount Vernon. I’ve grown it before and actually have some seeds at home.

Doug Tallamy was up next with bringing nature home, and discussing his new book, Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard.” If Doug Tallamy is ever speaking within driving distance, let me assure you, the drive is worth it. Take away: Pick up a copy of his book because together we can make a difference, and he has the statistics to prove it. Also, if you are wanting to add native plants to your gardens, check out the National Wildlife Federation website and put in your zip code for a list of natives for your area. http://www.nwf.org/nativeplantfinder

Kate Copsey, author ofΒ  “The Downsized Veggie Garden,” how to garden small, wherever you live, whatever your space. If you want to grow veggies, get creative because they’ll grow in a variety of places besides raised beds – small or large pots, hangers, railings, steps, or wherever you have a small spot. Take away: Don’t give up growing veggies without looking around and using your imagination to find space you already have.

Richard Hartledge, the landscape architect and owner of Land Morphology based in Seattle certainly piqued our landscaping interests. He showed us an amazing array of gardens that his company had completed such as Seattle Waterfront, Leach Botanical Gardens, Herb and Vegetable Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Chihuly Gardens and Glass, the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens, the Century 21 Master Plan for the Seattle Center, and the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden. He has also done many smaller gardens across the country and shared slides of his own gardens with us. Take away:Β  If you have a vision for your own garden, put it to paper, research plants, add a fire pit, and implement.

Seed to Seed: How to Grow a Self-Sufficient Garden, the last class I signed up for, was cancelled because the speaker, Julie Thompson-Adolf, was unable to attend. I don’t want to miss what she might have said so I just ordered her book, Starting & Saving Seeds: Grow the Perfect Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, and Flowers for Your Garden.

All in all, it was a fun day of not only hearing great speakers, but talking with fellow Master Gardeners and a wide array of interesting vendors selling plants, books, compost, big yellow bags of soil delivered to your yard which I loved, bird houses, garden art, seeds and everything else you can think of that is gardening related.

To top it off, I won one of the 100 door prizes. It was a guest pass to the NC Arboretum which I gave to a fellow MG because it is over 600 miles from where I am staying. I think I made her day.

Bottom line this Monday – use your gardening down time to get ready to roll when spring arrives in 38 days. Are you making plans for the 2020 gardening season yet? 😎

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Thursday Doors

A couple of friends and I visited The Chapin last week. Officially, it is the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum, 3100 South Ocean Boulevard, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and I’d highly recommend it.

It’s my kind of place – art plus environmental statements.

When we pulled up and saw a octopus made out of tubes stuffed with recycling, I knew I was in a good place.

The stairsΒ  to the entrance also made me feel right at home, and that was before I even saw ‘The Power of She.’

The current exhibit is about women – women of all races and stations in life.

It was quite moving to not only view the art but read the descriptions written by the artists. Yes, it’s okay to smile that this is the one I picked out to share with you. πŸ™‚

And, like all smart women, we ended our adventure with good coffee, sweets, and lively conversation.

Happy Thursday and have a great weekend. I’m off to my Master Gardener Symposium tomorrow. See you on Monday with hopefully some good takeaways. πŸ™‚

Like doors? Check out Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, February 6, 2020.πŸšͺ

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When a person says, paper, it can mean a variety of things, but in this case, I’m talking about ladies who have refined their skills to create beautiful memories with paper.

They come from far and wide, Canada, Michigan, New York, and Virginia, but have one thing in common – they are generous and share their time, patience, and skills with those of us who have definitely not acquired any refined paper skills, at least yet. πŸ™‚

Cards, portfolios, gift bag purses, gift box, and traveler’s notebooks – fun stuff.

Can I explain every step to finish the project? Probably not. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could create a purse made of paper, but I did with a lot of help from a friend.

I don’t have the inventory of tools to create paper projects all by myself, but I’ve certainly learned more this year because the talented lady from PA often works on her projects where we can observe. I like it because it is similar to quilting in that I can cut paper to fit a certain space like I do with fabric.

A snowbird is defined as a person from the north who moves to a warmer climate in the winter. That is definitely true.

But, more important are the people you meet and the laughter you share over various events like craft classes or our Super Bowl pizza party last night.

Chiefs 31-20! We, former Midwesterners and season ticket holders, donned our red and white and happily cheered them on. For us, it certainly was a great way to start 2020. πŸ™‚

Happy first Monday in February!

I hope you get to see or talk to a good friend this week and share a laugh or two. It’s good for the soul.

Remember …

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Wordless Wednesday

Moon going down, sun coming up, and shrimp boat going out. Happy Wednesday. 😎

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Four days left in January. Can you believe it? Where did January go?

There is time for one more gardening class this week – pruning with the resident Brookgreen Gardens’ arborist on Wednesday.

I’ve finished some paper craft projects that I’ll show next week. One is in the mail as a birthday gift so I have to wait until it’s received.

There’s also a need to get back to sewing to make a couple of projects for the February ladies luncheon. I bought a pair of jeans at Goodwill for $5 so I’m anxious to see what I can do with them.

One thing this area has plenty of is good restaurants, and some of the offerings are definitely unique. Last week, I saw fried bologna sandwich on the menu. A friend enjoyed this BLT with fried green tomato and said it was delicious. I must admit to partaking of the french fries with cheese and bacon along with my favorite peach beer. Health food, it’s not, but tasty it was.

The roads have a uniqueness too. In New England, we have roundabouts. There are usually four entry points, you wait your turn like at a four-way stop, you move into the traffic flow, and go around to your exit point. Here there are median crossovers, and in most cases there will be three or four between traffic lights. It is a little challenging with road construction, orange cones, natives, and tourists all trying to utilize these crossovers.

The weather will be in the mid 50’s this week with no snow in the forecast. πŸ™‚

Today is a NH friend’s birthday, and he happens to be here as well, so Happy, Happy Birthday. πŸŽ‚

If that isn’t enough, my Walking Iris is going to bloom again today. Life is good, and I hope it is the same for you.

Are you reading something good or working on anything special as we slide right on into February?

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