three peaks red putz house

This is the last house of the five I’ve worked on this week. This little three peaks house is done in red with a green roof.

Red Putz house

A simple fence surrounds the yard space.

Red Putz house

Two snowy bottle brush trees decorate the front of the house.

Red Putz house

You can see more pictures of this house and others in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook


red and white “ski slope” house

A friend asked for a red and white Putz house, so I came up with this one. I will be making more red and white ones soon. I call this design “the ski slope” house. I drew the simple pattern myself. An easy house to draw a pattern for and an easy house to construct.

In process…

Putz house

Here’s the before picture…

Putz houses

And the after…

Putz house

A simple fence with a wavy edge seemed just right. I cut it down from 1/2″ to 3/8″ because the half inch fence was a bit too tall.

Putz house

It is embellished with mostly white, a little silver and a few red berries.

Putz house

This house is spoken for, but you can see many more of my Putz houses, as well as other Christmas goodies, in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook


finished two putz houses

A few posts ago, I showed you a few new colors I am working on with the Putz houses. Today I completed two of the five houses currently in process.

The first one is a pumpkin gold color with an olive green roof. Not my personal favorite colors, but my Mom would have loved them.

Putz house

Without the lights on…I wish pictures would truly show how glittery the houses are.

Putz house

The other house is the same pattern, but done with red and green paint.

Putz house

The different color schemes change the entire look of the house. And dictate the embellishments to some extent.

Putz house

The two houses are listed in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook

I had company yesterday afternoon and the twins arrived for a few days, as well, so I didn’t get to the other three houses that are ready to embellish. I hope to finish those today.


the garden this week

First, I have to say…I AM SO GLAD TO HAVE MY LAPTOP BACK!!! Many thanks to DH for putting in the new keyboard which seems to have fixed all the problems. Now I can resume blog posting with ease.

Here are a few pictures from the garden. We go out after DH gets home work and, at that time of day, parts of the garden are in evening shade, so some pictures are not as nice as I’d prefer. But you can get a taste of what is out there. Lots going on this time of year.

The spirea is starting to fade, but just a few days ago, it was in its full glory.


I used some of the spirea in a bouquet with rhododendron for church two weeks ago.

Sunday bouquet May 29, 2016

We have a nice patch of white lilies. There are red ones blooming, too, but I don’t have a picture of them. We also have some pink ones that will be out sometime during the next week.

white lilies

The hostas are looking good. This one is ‘Abiqua Drinking Gourd.’

Hosta 'Abiqua Drinking Gourd"

This is a large hosta called ‘Komodo Dragon.’ The plant is still young. At maturity, it will be much larger. It came from Hallson Gardens, as many of our hostas do. I like ordering from them. They ship beautiful plants, wrapped with care and the customer service is outstanding. They sell a variety of plants, not just hostas.


This large hosta is ‘Journey’s End.’

Hosta 'Journey's End'

There is a bit of astilbe in one hosta bed. I’d love to have more of this.


We have a few Japanese iris. It would be nice to have more of those, too. They bloom later than the bearded iris and extend the iris season by quite a bit.

Japanese iris

Everything looks so lush and green and full this time of year. DH discovered that a black snake lives in this bed. There is also a ground hornets nest at the north end. The snake we will leave be, but the hornets have to go.

front birdbath bed

The front porch in the evening light.

front porch

Hydrangeas at the front steps.


Follow this path around the west end of the addition and you can visit the back yard.

west side of the addition

Lacecap hydrangea. Aren’t they a beautiful color?

lacecap hydrangea

This lacecap hydrangea is in the middle of the driveway circle. DH has a perpetual job in the garden…weeding.


The bush has blossoms that are almost a periwinkle blue.

lacecap hydrangea

I hope you enjoyed this brief tour. We are just beginning the daylily season. There will pictures of those soon.


three little kittens…well, not so little any more…

For a change of pace, I thought I’d post about three of our kitties. We have a lot of cats. More than three. It’s a good thing we are cat people. Half our cats adopted us. And we can’t say no. How do they know??

This is Ski. He is my cat. He is two years old. He’s named after soda. He loves to do the laundry with me.


When I start the laundry, Ski shows up. He prefers a few towels for his comfort on the chair. Then he stays till laundry is done.

Ski, the laundry cat

Here are Clark and Winston. They turned one in May. Clark has an ‘S’ shape in his fur on his back. Which reminded me of Superman. So “Clark” seemed obvious. Winston is named after Winston Churchill, though I am not sure why. Clark is one of the fluffiest cats around. His fur is super soft. He and Winston are from the same litter. They do a lot of things together.

Clark and Winston

Not always quite this funny, though…

Clark and Winston

A lot of what they do together is nap.

Clark and Winston

Clark would like to be outside. No can do. The few times he has managed to get through the door, he has immediately dropped on the sidewalk and rolled. You can’t imagine how awful it is to get sticks and burrs and leaves and dirt out of his fur.

Clark enjoys the spring breeze

Clark is a very relaxed cat. He tolerates a lot of love.

An armful of Clark

Winston is quite laid back. He always has time to stop and enjoy the moment. Even when he’s not supposed to be on the craft desk.

Winston loves flowers

If you have pets, tell them Ski, Winston and Clark say hi.


new colors for the putz houses

I have been asked by a few people lately if I might make Putz houses in other colors than the ones I’ve been using. Of course! Just let me know what you would like to see! So, I started with five…

Putz house

Added roofs and window panes.

Putz house

Added snow to the roofs and window frames to the windows.

Putz house

Glued the houses to the bases.

Putz houses

Putz houses

And added snow around the base of each house.

Putz houses

Putz houses

Tomorrow I plan to add fences and maybe make some time to embellish a few, if it works out. I am looking forward to using traditional red and green with some of these houses. Till tomorrow.


menu plan monday ~ may 6, 2016

We had a lot of rian on Saturday, but Sunday was sunny with a very blue sky. So pretty. DH and I toured the yard and noted all the FFO (First Flower Out) daylilies. This one is ‘Purple Bicolor.’


It’s always exciting to see the daylily season begin! There are a lot of flower buds this year. It looks like it could be a spectacular sight in a few weeks. Here’s the “before” picture. It won’t be long till I can take an “after” picture!

daylily beds

The hydrangeas look the best they have ever been. Loaded with blossoms! In shades of purple, pink, green, ivory and blue. SO beautiful!

Putz house

We took advantage of them for the Sunday bouquet this week.

Sabbath flowers

This is a lacecap hydrangea called ‘Twist-n-Shout.’ We just planted this bush two years ago and it has taken off with great gusto.


Here’s the bush on the west side of the front porch. Beautiful! We brought these bushes from our previous home twenty years ago. I don’t know the name of them, but they have a lot of purple in the blossoms. Can you see Clark in the window? He longs to come outside, but has to enjoy the beauty and the luscious smells from the windowsill.


The Southern Magnolia is blooming. These flowers are twelve inches across. Such a wonderful scent drifting on the breeze. I planted this tree so I could use the leaves at Christmas time. But the blossoms are worth the effort, even if I never decorated with the foliage during the holidays. Pure white with a lightly sweet, lemony scent.

Southern Magnolia

We had the twins visiting with us last week. They were here Wednesday evening through Saturday and we had rain every day so they weren’t able to play outside. Instead, they spent a lot of time in the library, building an arcade from cardboard boxes. They devised their own games, decided on the rules, made the tickets, chose prizes, etc. They can have more fun with cardboard, duct tape and colored paper than anyone I know.

Snow White’s contribution was the game “Urky the Turkey.” To play the game, you put your hand in the hole at the top of the box and pull out a piece of paper. You get three tries. If the paper reads “turkey” you try again. If it reads “farmer” you win. I asked why you were supposed to get the farmer to win. She said, “Because if you don’t get the farmer he will KILL the turkeys and they will NOT have a very happy Thanksgiving!” Makes sense.

Here’s the menu for the week. No turkey.

Napa Cabbage and Veggie Stir Fry with Chicken
Wild Rice

Chicken and Noodle Soup
Sourdough Toast

Homemade Buns
Cole Slaw

Spaghetti / Meatballs
Homemade Sauce
Steamed Peapods


Eggs and Rice

Roasted Chicken
Garden Salad
Corn on the Cob
Green Beans

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.


spring garden

The garden is so pretty in the spring. Breezy days at just the right temperatures. Showers to keep everything watered and lushly growing. I do love spring. Here are a few pictures taken during the past week or two. There’s a lot of purple going on.

Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’
We have two of these. I wish I had fifty. I think they are very beautiful.

Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'

Reflections of Meadow Sage (perennial salvia) in the birdbath at the back door.


Catnip ‘Six Hills Giant’ with a honeybee coming in for a landing in the upper left hand corner.


Iris ‘Caesar’s Brother’ by the carport.

'Caesar's Brother' iris

Iris ‘Illiani Charm’

'Illini Charm' iris

‘Sutter’s Mill’ is a large hosta. And already blooming.

Hosta 'Sutter's Mill'

Peony ‘Karl Rosenfield’
Not purple.

peony 'Karl Rosenfield'

Yellow flag iris.
Considered a noxious weed by some…but how pretty.

Yellow flag iris

The apricot trees have fruit. We’ll see how the crop turns out.


I have a second batch of pictures to share. Fodder for another post.


white putz houses…one with pink, one with blue

I am having a hard time getting things done the past few days. The weekend was busy, we had a great time on Memorial Day with Older Son and his family, I thought Tuesday was Monday all day long, and here it is Wednesday afternoon and I am well behind where I thought I would be. Here’s to catching up.

I finished two Putz houses. Or “little glitter houses” as they are also called. This one, trimmed in pink, is one of my all time top five favorites. Might even be #2 in the faves lineup. And I wasn’t that crazy about it until I got the embellishments on.

Putz House

So cute with the lights on.

Putz House

The other house is also white, but it is trimmed in blue.

Putz House

With the lights on, it looks like a cold winter night, doesn’t it? But all is cozy inside!

Putz House

I have 24 Putz houses available in my Etsy shop. You can see them here:


After I get some photos uploaded, I will post a garden tour. This and that…whatever has been blooming for the past week or so.


two little blue and white putz houses

I hope you are not getting tired of seeing Putz houses. I have managed to finish two more today.

Putz house

Of course, you need to see it lit, too!

Putz house

The other one is a very simple design.

Putz house

Putz house

And I worked on the other six that I have in process. I added artificial snow to all of them, glittered that, and then trimmed some of the roof lines.

I used string beads to line the roof of the little yellow house and tinsel chenille stems (pipe cleaners) to line the roof of the two-tiered house.


The yellow house on the left in this picture is a very simple and traditional Putz design. I trimmed the roof with green tinsel chenille stems to bring out the color in the roof. The yellow house with pink trim has so much going on already with all those windows that I decided to leave the roof alone. No trim.


The white house on the left is the same pattern as the yellow one above with all the windows. And the white one with the tinsel trimmed roof is the same design as the first picture in this post.


The white house with the blue fence has a secret. See how the fence is offset? That’s because I ran out of fencing. Look at that! Another inch and I would have been fine! Happily, I had set the house at an angle into the corner, so I was able to offset the fence. A happy accident because I do like the way it came out. I think there is room on the right for a decorated bottle brush tree. And maybe a little deer in front of the fence.

Offset fence

The white one with the pink fence also has a secret. Look at the roof before the tinsel trim was added. It just dried that way. All wrinkly. Once it has dried that way, there is nothing you can do to straighten the roof itself. But the trim fixed it right up, making the roof line look straight. A pretty simple fix that adds some nice embellishment to the house.

Putz house

I have so many garden pictures I want to share, as well. My laptop is out of commission and I am having to use the desktop computer which is not as handy for posting. My usual routine is to work on crafts at my desk, then use the laptop after I retire to write a post for the blog. I can only sit at the desk for so long before I need to get my feet up to reduce the pain in my legs. Hopefully DH and Younger Son can fix the laptop soon. It has been backing up to Carbonite for a couple of days…so many pictures…yikes… Once that is done, I hope they can have it up and running without too much delay. I will try to get a garden post up tomorrow or Monday.

I hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend. We’ll be grilling with Older Son and his family. Looking forward to having the grands over. DH and daughters will make the trip to the cemetery for the Memorial service in the morning, then back to the house for grilling. Take time to remember those who have given their lives in service to our country. We owe them so much more than we can repay.