a visit from family and a visit to the garden

Yesterday, my Dad, my sister and my brother-in-law came for the afternoon. They live about two hours due north of us. DH and my BIL went on a 22 mile bicycle ride. My Dad, my sister and I had a nice afternoon just visiting, catching up on news, and enjoying each other’s company. I’m so glad they were able to come!

After they left, DH got out the golf cart and we toured the garden. The temperature was 69* and the sky was a beautiful blue with puffy white clouds drifting to the east. The first daffodils opened yesterday. I sent two of the blossoms home with my sister for them to enjoy until their own daffodils bloom. I could have sent more if I’d been around the garden before she left! We found quite a few blooming here and there. We did pick a sweet little bouquet that DH put in the craft room for me to enjoy, and we discovered quite a few other things beginning to bloom.

first spring bouquet

The Star Magnolia had opened several buds.

Star Magnolia

The crocus began blooming on February 11.

crocus

The Surprise Lily leaves are popping up, dark green and lush. The leaves will die back along with the daffodils and then, in the first week or so of August, long stems will burst from the ground and make a beautiful show of pinky purple blooms.

surprise lilies

The magnolia ‘Jane’ is covered with blossoms beginning to show their beautiful pink color.

Magnolia 'Jane'

A lot of daffodil patches are covered with buds. They will open soon, if our warm weather continues.

daffodils

The little 6″ ‘Tete-a-Tete’ daffodils are blooming all around the yard.

Daffodil 'Tete-a-Tete'

Here’s the view from the bottom of the little hill behind our house. I always thank God for this huge old Southern Red Oak that graces the back yard. It’s beautiful all year round.

Southern Red Oak

It was wonderful to see so many signs of spring in the yard. Our weather has been much warmer than our average February high of 44*. Spring is here much earlier than usual. Hopefully we won’t get a deep freeze before winter is finally gone for good. I hope you have some flowers. Either in the garden or on the table. Either way, they’re heart warming!

~~Rhonda

back in the saddle again…

After two weeks of being sick, I am finely feeling well enough to do some real work in the craft room. I spent three afternoons up there at the end of last week, but didn’t have the umph to make any good progress, though I did cut out three simple Putz houses, so I worked on those today.

Putz houses

A lot of my Putz houses don’t have chimneys. I need to add them more often.

Putz houses

Picking fences…

Putz houses

Putz houses

Adding snow…

Putz houses

Hoping to make more progress tomorrow.

~~Rhonda

happy valentine’s day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to my dear husband. He wears many hats and I appreciate and love each one. This past week or so, he has covered the “in sickness and in health” part of our vows above and beyond. But he makes me happy in many other ways all year round.

He’s my grill master.

dinner's almost ready!

And my mad scientist.

fun with dry ice

He shares my love of reading and of kitties.

multi-tasking

He’s great with littles.

story time

He loves his Lord.

family Christmas

He’s my favorite cyclist.

at the start of the ride

And the best fudge maker.

he makes the BEST fudge

An excellent bread maker…

sourdough bread

My favorite gardener…

digging daylilies

My sweet.

signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours

Happy Valentine’s Day! I love you forever and always!

~~Rhonda

my life right now…

Currently, my life is on hold. I have a terrible cold. I know I’m not the only one. It is making the rounds. Headache, painful cough, sore throat, low grade fever, you name it, I’ve got it. I have spent three days in the recliner trying not to move or talk too much. Both make me cough. Especially talking. So that means I’ve done absolutely nothing in the craft room. I’d probably cough up a lung if I had to climb the stairs. Our staircase has 22 steps (because of the twelve foot ceiling) and it is a loooong way up there when you are feeling sickly.

Clark waits on the staircase...

This is my life right now…

My life this week

We have the twins this weekend. It’s nice that they are old enough to take care of themselves if we are busy (or sick!). Pa made pancakes with them this morning, they made the Valentine’s for their school parties, they took a hike in the woods with Pa…

twins01

…and rode the golf cart around the yard. And they flew a kite at the park behind our house!

kite02

kite 03

We had a high of 69* today. The spring garden is slowly waking up. The bees were out today.

bees

And the crocus are up!

white crocus

2017-02-11

We had all the windows open and I could hear cardinals singing their spring songs. It’s so early in the year to have such warm temps, but we are appreciating it while we can. Tomorrow Older Son and our DDIL are coming to cook a late lunch for us before taking the twins home. It’s always fun! I just hope I will feel well enough to take part.

Hopefully I can get back into the craft room by Monday or Tuesday. Till then! ~~Rhonda

fourth and last Valentine’s putz

I didn’t feel well over the weekend and didn’t come up to the craft room on Saturday or Sunday. I think I’m on the mend, though I now have a bad cold settling in my chest. Some coughing and a headache, but better than the past weekend. I had finished the Valentine Putz house Friday evening, but was too tired to take pictures of it then. I had planned to do that on Saturday and get it posted to my Etsy shop, but just didn’t feel well enough to follow through.

But I managed to get the pictures taken today, so here it is. I love to see the windows shining with light.

Valentine's Putz

I usually don’t post the back picture exept on Etsy, but here it is from the back. The hole will accommodate a small light. LEDs are perfect for Putz because they are so small and they burn cool. Here is a link to a string I ordered from Amazon and it works very well with the Putz houses. LED Light String

Valentine's Putz

The house turned out pretty well. I do love the heart-shaped fence.

Valentine's Putz

Valentine's Putz

I would like to make a house to represent each month of the year. The Valentine houses certainly cover February but Youngest Daughter suggested something about Martin Luther King for Black History Month. I looked up the house he grew up in and it would make a beautiful Putz house. Now to draw the pattern!

~~Rhonda

two valentine putz houses

I finished two of the three Putz houses I have been working on for Valentine’s Day. They are posted in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

Putz house

A vintage Valentine postcard is featured on the bottom of the base. A little surprise when the house is tipped up.

Putz house

Tiny pink beads line the sidewalk.

Putz house

The second house is similar, but has a cute heart-shaped fence around the yard.

Putz house

It also has a sweet vintage postcard on the bottom of the base.

Putz house

Tiny hearts line the sidewalk.

Putz house

I punched little hearts, painted and glittered them, and used them to embellish the houses.

Putz house

It took me a while to figure out how to make the base to use the vintage postcards without doing any damage to them. I ended up making a window in the base and encasing the postcards behind a piece of acetate.

Putz house

In process.

Putz house with heart-shaped fence

Putz house with heart-shaped fence

Putz house with heart-shaped fence

I plan to finish the third house tomorrow and will post a picture when it’s finished.

~~Rhonda

valentine putz

One of my goals related to my “putzing” is to make Putz houses to represent the months of the year. I am currently working on several Valentine’s Day Putz houses. It’s been a struggle for me. I had to decide what to do about the bases because I like to use a Christmas card when I make my usual Putz houses. I ordered some vintage Valentine postcards, which I love, but I didn’t want to glue them to something, so I had to experiment and devise a way to have the card on the bottom of the base without destroying the postcard. That took some experimenting. And what to do about the snow that the usual Putz house is decorated with?

Because I am a perfectionist by nature, it is hard for me to proceed with a project when I hit any kind of roadblock. But I struggled through and, after a lot of pondering and a lot of self-discipline to finish, I finished my first Valentine Putz.

Valentine Putz

I am trying to decide if it needs a Valentine banner or not. Or some kind of little heart-sy sign. What do you think? “I love you!” “Happy Valentine’s Day” “Be Mine” “Love is Eternal” Suggestions?

My thanks to Middle Daughter who purchased four shades of pink glitter for me! And four shades of pink chenille stems. And other pink and red embellishments. I’ll be using more of those on the next two Valentine houses.

This little house will be featured in my Etsy shop sometime on Monday. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

PS…just looking at the picture made me realize I could do a very cute heart-shaped fence with that scalloped design. I will try that with one of the other Valentine Putzes I make!

~~Rhonda

replenishing Putz supplies

The past week I have worked on replenishing some of my basic supplies needed for my Putz houses.

I made a lot of fence posts. So nice to have those on hand when I’m putting together a new Putz house. I like to put fences around all of them, sometimes with posts, sometimes without.

making Putz fence posts

If you look closely, you can see the little wooden posts mixed among the ones I made. I gave them all a base coat of white paint so they are ready to go when I need them.

making Putz fence posts

Here’s the link to my tutorial for making the fence posts.

I also made a lot of fencing. I figured out a way to keep the punched designs even. I’ll write a post about that soon.

making Putz fences

making Putz fences

Here’s a link to my tutorial for making fences for Putz houses.

I also made fifteen bases for new Putz houses. I’ll link the tutorial, but I need to write a new one as I do it a little differently now. Tomorrow I plan to paint and glitter the bases. The picture will be on the bottom so you get a little surprise if you lift the house.

Bases for Putz houses

Tutorial for making Putz bases

Here are two of three pink Putz houses I made for Valentine’s Day. I plan to use vintage Valentine post cards for the bases. Middle Daughter will pick up some holiday-related embellishments for me tomorrow. I hope to have these in my Etsy shop by the end of the week. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

Pink on pink

I pulled some Christmas cards from my collection to use for shadow boxes. I’ll work on those soon.

~~Rhonda

the last two putz houses from the box

The weather was beautiful today. We had a high of 69 and it was sunny all day. I opened the window in the craft room and let that wonderful fresh air waft in. Smelled so good! Another six to eight weeks and we may have crocus blooming in the back yard.

Today I finally finished all the little Putz houses I had stored in a box from a few years ago. It took longer than I thought it would to finish them, but am glad it’s now done. They are featured in my Etsy shop and you can see more pictures of them there. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

The first one is an ivory yellow color with a pink roof and a pink fence. It’s topped with a widow’s walk.

Yellow and pink Putz house

It also has a little balcony on the second floor.

Yellow and pink Putz house

Very cute when the lights are on.

Yellow and Pink Putz house

The second little glitter house has the reverse color scheme. The house is pink and the roof is yellow.

Pink and yellow Putz house

It also has a yellow fence.

Pink and yellow Putz house

Pink and yellow Putz house

Now that I am caught up on all the Putz houses from the box, I may do some shadow boxes or dioramas for a while. We’ll see where my interest falls next time I’m crafting. Which will probably be tomorrow!

Thanks for reading my blog posts. And thanks, too, for leaving comments!

If you have an interest in making some of your own Putz houses, you will find my tutorials here: Putz / Little Glitter Houses. If you have any questions, please ask! I am always happy to help.

~~Rhonda

putz houses from the past week or so

I have been busy working my way through the box of Putz houses I had stashed from a few years ago. Most needed window panes and frames. I finished those touches and have been putting them on bases ever since. Here are a few of the ones I have finished.

The double chimney blue house…

Putz house

Close-up details…

Putz house

More of a vintage style pink on pink…

Putz house

I may have to keep this one. It is listed in Etsy, but I’m waffling…

Putz house

One of my own patterns. Do you like the arch or not?

Putz house

Close-up…

Putz house

Vintage mercury beads line the sidewalk…

Putz house

With the lights on…

IMG_5915

There are two more that I finished but haven’t posted to Etsy yet. This is the first time I’ve made one with a rounded fence.

Rounded fence

Details…

Rounded fence

The ski-slope design is one of my favorites. The trees on this house are dusted with “antique silver” colored glitter.. The scalloped fence is made from tinsel chenille stems. That’s “pipe cleaners” for folks in my generation.

Little blue house

Headed to bed. I’ll be back to work tomorrow. I have two more houses to finish.

~~Rhonda