Friday, April 30, 2010

Peony in all it's Splendor and a Couple more Blooming Beauties

A few days ago, I checked my two Peony plants and discovered my smaller Peony blooming.  The flower was a very pale pink and very pretty.  This flower is a delight to watch because it's pretty in all its blooming stages. Peonies are considered perennial herbaceous, which means they have non woody stems like other perennial bushes. They don't last very long so I like to cut the blooms to enjoy at least for a couple of days.
Today I looked out my kitchen window and spotted the same flower. The bloom had doubled its size.  I brought the flower inside to enjoy it's beauty and scent.
The Peony is now in full bloom and it's predominantly white. The scent is not as fragrant as the Pink one (which has not bloomed yet).   Here are some interesting facts about these flowers.  I consider Peonies to be low maintenance and it's a hardy plant which will come back year after year.
The Knock Out Roses on the other hand don't produce blooms as spectacular as the Peony, but they last all spring and summer.  These roses resist disease so they are ideal for people like me who enjoy gardening but don't have the time to be outside every day spraying, etc...etc...  I'll be cutting from this bush for arrangements soon.
Cliff trimmed the bushes which can get as high as 6 feet.
This yellow Iris is also a herbaceous perennial and produces delicate yellow blooms.  I usually don't cut these blooms...just enjoy them outside.

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.                                   Frank Lloyd Wright


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fun with Scrapbooking Paper and Magazines

I have found a use for all those magazines that have beautiful pictures such as Southern Living and Country Living.  Before you decide to recycle them...go through the pages and cut out pages with flowers, gardening pictures, text etc....I made two cards that were fun and easy to make.

This is card #1
Make the base card by folding a piece of card stock which measures 5-1/2" by 8-1/2". I used Kraft color card stock from Stampin' Up.  You will also need a button for the center of the paper flowers.

 For this card I wrote a message around the perimeter of the larger one using a fine tip permanent marker. "Wishing you a Happy Birthday...may all your dreams come  true. It's your day.

Cut out circles in three or four different diameters approximately (3-1/2, 2-1/2 and 1-1/2 inches)  If you don't have a circle cutter, you can just find circular objects around your house (glasses, jars, etc...) to trace the circles.  The measurements don't have to exact...just cut the circles in different increments.   The magazine paper is easy to tear so for I tore the circles after I  traced them.  Next crumple up all the circles.
Line up the circles and sew the button in the middle.  Insert the needle from the top and finish with a knot.

 Cut a larger image from the magazine to use as the background.  I used a punch to make scallops on the lower edge of the paper.
 Position the leaves to the right.  Place the circles on top of the leaves.  You are done.
 To make card # 2, I used scrapbooking paper to cut the circles and leaves.  This paper is much thicker so you will need to spray the paper (back and front) with water before crumpling.  Let air dry.  I used a button brad to secure the three layers of card stock.
 Supplies needed for this card.  I also used Stampin' Up Kraft card stock for the card cut in the same dimensions for the first card. If you don't have a punch to cut the scallop strip, you can use scissors that cut decorative edges or even tear one side of the strip in the same way you did the circles in card #1.
Happy Crafting 


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Green and Lush Spring Part 2

When I do my dishes...this is what I see to the left.

The Ohio Tree as I call it is looking good and healthy until the Japanese Beetles land to eat the leaves. If not treated with Sevin powder or spray these beetles can really cause damage.  Right now the little tree is need of some pruning.

This is how the Ohio Tree looks under.  Sometimes I also call it my umbrella tree.  All the dead sticks that are visible need to be trimmed off..
 This bush is amazingI wish I could state the name, but I have no idea what it is called.  I really haven't seen another like this one anywhere.  We transplanted it from a different location and it has done the best this spring.  Every single branch has white blooms.
Look carefully and you'll see a cross.

 This variegated vine hides gardening tools behind the fence. Sadly, I don't know this ones name either, and it is not an ivy.
 This one will soon open up and reveal the beautiful Pink Peony.  The ants are all over this plant but Cliff has reassured me that they won't bother or affect the blooms in any way.
The Azalea blooms that ended inside my house graces my kitchen window.

I heard my pastor say this past Sunday that due to the sin that entered the world, creation groans. Still the Lord chose to let us enjoy the beauty of his creation and I'm thankful for this blessing.

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”  Mother Teresa


Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Worm Book Mark

This is a great crochet project that will allow you to use those small balls of left over yarn.  It's also quick and easy. This cute worm book mark will also save your page number.  I read the Tailypo, a Ghost Story some time ago when Caleb came to visit.

 I used worsted weight yarn and a size H crochet hook.

Chain 50, work 4 dc in the third chain from the hook.  Your work should look like this after making the 50 chains:

and like this after completing the four double crochets:

On the next chain work 3 single crochets through the top loop of the chain.  Repeat this stitch until the unworked chain measures approximately 8 inches.  Slip a stitch and fasten off.  Weave any yarn tails that remain.  This long tail keeps the page number and the worm will remain outside the book.

This pictures illustrates the hook going under the top of the loop before you make the three single crochets.
 To slip the last stitch, make sure you go under two loops and then slip the stitch.

For the eyes, I used plastic safety eyes.  You can buy the kind you glue at Michaels or you can simply make the eyes by making two french knots with black DMC floss.
 Crochet Bookworm                                                                   


Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Green and Lush Spring Part 1

I can't remember a prettier spring than the one we are enjoying this year. The explosion of bright greens, pinks and whites is a delight to the senses.  I decided to take a walk in our garden and experience the wonderful aroma as well.
The one nuisance that keeps me from working in my yard is the seasonal allergies that get in my way from experiencing this wonderful time of the year. My wonderful husband Cliff can take all the credit for our beautiful yard. He is the one who does all the hard work.  The pollen count has also been higher than in other years...but to my surprise I really have done much better.  Someone said maybe something in my diet could be helping.  I do take honey in my  coffee every day.
Happy palms in the front of our house
 The Coreopsis always look the best this early in spring.
We have a nice variety of Azaleas. This one is my favorite.

Using the Corel Painting program I created this Impressionistic interpretation of the same picture above.

 Light Pink Azalea.

Hot Pink Azalea.

Very white Azalea.
Carla enjoys very much this time of the year.  She goes on her excursions and spends more time outside.

I continue to make progress doing my Corel Essentials lessons.  It is so much fun.  I would like  to turn this one into a card.

More garden pictures to come.....


Sunday, April 11, 2010

A New Era for the Library

The beautiful cherry trees create a perfect frame a few steps away from the Library where I work.  The change is striking and one I look forward every spring.  Other changes have also taken place and a new era has begun for the Library.  Due to the County's budget shortfall more than 80 employees were affected by the reduction in force (RIF).  The hours of operation open to the public have been cut as well as the salary of those that still remain working.

The Library saga has been featured in the paper and the public the many who love coming to the Library have voiced and expressed their concern. As a result of the public response and the monetary donations all locations remain open. That may soon change after June 30 and the new fiscal year begins. A much larger shortfall of money will make it difficult for all locations to offer services.

Who would have thought that the existence of the Libraries would be threatened in any way? It is all taking place not only in my town but all over the US.  Just like this cartoon characters...many are saddened by these changes. For me it was sad to see four of my co-workers loose their job. 
An appreciation card made by children at the United Methodist church near the Library.
Book marks to remind us of the many who care about the Library.

Popular reading area at my Library.
 The Fiction and Non-fiction stacks.
 The board at work.  I will miss you Dave, Marion, Gay and Debi.  Good luck in your new locations, Debbie and Jessica.