Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Here Comes Santa Claus

Merry Christmas, Everyone! Here is Mary's Santa, reindeer and sleigh made entirely from natural materials. (Except glue-who knows what is in that!!) Rudolf leads the way with his red nose. Mary is famous for her natural Nativity scenes and natural angels. I am not sure I can name all the elements, but here are a few:
Reindeer hooves are pistachio shells
Reindeer noses are tiny cones
Bells on reins are crepe myrtle seed hulls
Reindeer antlers-one is grape stems and the other is tiny twigs
Reindeer heads are almonds, bodies are English walnuts

Santa's had is dried okra pod, body is poppy seed pod, feet are pistachio shells, head is pecan, beard and hat trim are some kind of chaff

Slight's runners are locust pods, body of sleigh is an overcup acorn hat, and it is filled with 'toys' that include several  flower seed heads (black-eyed susan?) immature magnolia pod, and some tiny (pine?) cones.

Let's have a big round of applause! This is really a wonderful work of art. Just seeing all these things in the dried materials around her house is amazing, but getting them together was no small task I am sure. What a vision to be able to do this! Thanks, Mary, for a wonderful Christmas present that I intend to keep and display every year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


They came from Ruth’s,
the product of imagination
and empty pockets.
Woodpile walked forth
as bodies,heads, legs.
Twig antlers.
Aluminum cans,
Now ears and tail.
Many winters
They  stood
In red neckties
Gazing up the drive,
Waiting for Santa.
Last year Buck
Legs buckled.
He toppled
Watching the sunrise
With wide eyes.
Doe remains
Swaying slightly
in heavy winds.
Even Fawn
Braces herself
if she may be

Saturday, December 21, 2013

New Again Old Christmas Wreath

Old dried evergreen wreaths can be lightly over sprayed with paint (white, gold, silver, red, or green-I use whatever color I have). Also spray snow works well, and still clings outside in rain. Just add a big jazzy bow, and it is ready for another year.

All of these wreaths were purchased except the one at far right. I am a sucker for wreaths and snatch them up wherever I see them on sale, at stores or yard sales. I thought a display in the garage was just right to show off some different kinds.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas (almost) Cyclamen and Clematis

I bought these cyclamen in late spring this year, after Lowe's put them on sale. They have been blooming ever since. They are not as fresh and pretty as they once were, but I think this run of bloom is incredible. Cyclamen have a tough row to hoe at my house, between squirrels and deer. I had some nice pink and rose colored ones, but after 2 years, the critters finally destroyed them.

This is a lonely misplaced bloom on my 'Ramona" clematis. It had long finished it's bloom and a few days ado i found this washed out flower near the ground. These are the big lavender/purple ones that are so glorious in the early summer and usually again in the fall. This must be a forgotten bloom that was asleep when everyone else bloomed! but I have to admit, this is perseverance.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Donkey House

Christmas wouldn't be complete without pictures of Donkeys. The house above is in a donkey pasture, which as far as I can tell is its only relation to donkeys.  This house was renovated and saved a few tears back. But on to the donkey pictures.

Unfortunately, none of these pictures are of Jerusalem or Christian donkeys. Jerusalem donkeys have darker fur across the shoulders in the shape of a cross. Mary rode a donkey on the trip to Egypt, stopping off for the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem just before his trial and execution. The cross is said to be a reminder of the donkeys sorrow that he was not allowed to bear the cross for Jesus at the end.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Hot Cinnamon Whiskey

On a walk I found this bottle flung out beside the road and it sure gave me a chuckle. Seems to me that people are grasping at straws with these weird flavors and scents. Hot cinnamon? And made in Canada?Next it will be pumpkin spice whiskey.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Yard Decorations

This is a poor relative of the fabulous Poinsettias that are ubiquitous this time of year. I actually posted this picture in September, but with the beautiful big red ones everywhere these days, I thought you might have forgotten where they came from.

In summer I have annuals in several large pots around the yard. I used these pots to stage groups of greenery decorated with ribbon and sprayed sticks. I like the winged sweet gum sticks, but plum twigs with their bumpy surfaces and fruiting spurs are also good. Dogwood stems are also beautiful.  Most of the stems I sprayed silver and one set I sprayed red to look like the red stem dogwood (Cornus sericea). This was a fun and simple project.
 The mailbox decoration used an assortment of local evergreen trees and shrubs as well as some dried berries that I sprayed lightly with artificial snow. The base is a styrofoam block with attached wire usually used for artificial flowers on head stones. It fits the top of a mailbox just right.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pot Lady Has a New Head!!

I know you have been waiting with bated breath to the point of suffocation to know what happened to the Pot Lady after she was vandalized. She is repaired, mended, and again greeting visitors at the driveway to Gold Hill Plant Farm. A friend who was deeply troubled by her blank stare in the past wanted to give her eyes. In her current state she can stare down vandals and thieves. The Pot Lady Salutes you all and sends Christmas greetings.
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