last week in pictures / feb 11 – 17, 2019

Another week has flown by. I managed to finish a couple of Irish cottage Putz to list to my Etsy shop.

Irish Cottage
Monday

The second cottage included some shamrocks.

Irish cottage Putz house
Tuesday

Irish cottage putz house
Tuesday

Wednesday morning started with the sunrise shining on my Santa and Mrs. Santa paper doll cutouts that hang on the side of the cabinet in the craft room.

morning light
Wednesday

Later that day, I cut out two Putz churches.

making Putz houses
Wednesday

After window panes were added, I glued the pieces together, to the point where they were ready for painting.

making Putz houses
Wednesday

DH and I drove to the nearest sushi establishment (25 miles away) later that day and bought sushi for Valentine’s Day. While outside we got a picture that proves spring is coming. The daffodils are up about four inches. We’ve had tulips and daffs blooming by now in previous years, but it is still early. We’ll wait.

daffodls
Wednesday

My Valentine tulips brightened my Valentine’s Day.

Valentine tulips
Thursday

As did Clark and Winston. Brothers and good buddies, they love to be where their people are.

Clark and Winston
Thursday

In the craft room. On Thursday afternoon, a friend came over for a crafting session. She worked on making cards, while I cut more Putz house patterns.

in the craft room
Thursday

There are three starlings that sit on the same branch outside the craft room window every day. I call them the three amigos…or should that be the “tree” amigos? I’ve been watching them for five or six weeks. Can birds have buddies? Favorite friends to hang out with?

the three amigos
Friday

Saturday brought sunshine. The shadow from the pins on the windowsill caught my eye. I love this magnetic pin holder, by the way.

pins in sunshine
Saturday

The pencils caught my eye, too. So colorful!

colored pencil love
Saturday

DH sent me a picture from the garden that made me happy. Can’t argue with that!

daffodils
Sunday

And indoors, the forsythia is still blooming cheerfully. If you have access to a forsythia bush, pick a few branches and bring them in for a spring preview.

forsythia
Sunday

This week, I am finishing the two Putz churches that I cut out this past week. The mini one is done and I’ll finish the larger one today. Stay tuned for a post with pictures of those. They are done with an Easter theme, which is fresh and springtime-y. I hope you are seeing signs of spring in your world!

~~Rhonda

Irish cottage putz house

I am currently working on four little glitter houses, all of them Irish cottages. I drew this pattern in March of 2017. Here’s the mini version of this sweet, little cottage.

Mini Irish Cottage Putz with rose vine

I made four regular-size ones and two minis. The mini ones are copied at 80% of the original size of the pattern. I am going to redraw the pattern, because I realized I didn’t draw the window frames or the door when I made the pattern initially. Not sure how I neglected to add them to the pattern. I may make the windows a little bigger, too. What do you think?

Irish cottage Putz houses

I went through my stash of greeting cards and found these two cards that work for an Irish cottage base. The larger one is actually a piece of vellum. I mod-podged it to poster board before making the box to give it strength and structure. My tutorial for making Putz bases from greeting cards is here. Bases from greeting cards.

making Irish cottage Putz

Once the bases are made and the houses are painted, it’s time to glue things together. I add the window and door frames. In the case of the Irish cottages, I don’t glue down an additional roof as I will be adding thatching to the roof.

Irish cottage Putz house

I love to add the thatching. It makes such a big change in the look of the cottage. I plan to write a tutorial about my method for making thatching and will link it here when I have it posted.

Irish cottage Putz house
Irish cottage Putz house

How totally cute is this?!

Irish cottage Putz house

The next step is to add the fence to the base.

Irish cottage Putz house


Irish cottage Putz house

Always check before gluing anything to the base. Is it oriented in the right direction? When you tilt the Putz up from the front, the card should be placed so you can view it correctly.

Irish cottage Putz house
Irish cottage Putz house

When I am making a Putz that will not include snow, I do a bit more (sometimes, a lot more!) landscaping than I do for a Christmas Putz house. I have a good collection of artificial foliage. I look for foliage, flowers, berries, etc., that can be cut into smaller pieces.

Irish cottage Putz house
Irish cottage Putz house

This is artificial heather. Little stems cut from it make a lovely flowering vine for the cottage.

artificial foliage for landscaping

Pieces like this can be cut to size as small trees. I have even cut the tiny individual sprigs off the stems and used them as itty-bitty hyacinths in a spring garden.

artificial foliage for landscaping

I use preserved sheet moss for the “grass” around the fence and the flower beds. I cut the vining rose in half so I will be able to use it on two cottages. I don’t know where I purchased the one I have, but by googling < miniature rose vine >, I found it is available on dollhouseminiatures.com.

Irish cottage Putz house

Aquarium stones were used to make the front walk. When first put down, they seemed too large, but after I added moss and tiny bits of “flowers,” they looked just right.

Irish cottage Putz house

When the walkway was done, I used some gold glitter-glue to wash a little shine over the individual stones.

Mini Irish Cottage Putz with rose vine

I plan to do some Easter and spring houses, so I will be able to use the tiny mulberry paper flowers again.

Mini Irish Cottage Putz with rose vine
Mini Irish Cottage Putz with rose vine

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses and bottle brush trees of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

last week in pictures / feb 4 ~ 10

This week seemed to fly by. So much to do. So little time. I am in the process of tailoring a planner to fit my own needs. It makes me aware of how much I want to do and how much more time I would need to do it all! But it IS helping me schedule my days to better manage the time I’m given.

This week’s first picture is of two Putz houses I finished last week. Same pattern, different sizes. The smaller one is reduced to 80% the size of the larger one. Easy to do, using a printer to change the size of the pattern.

same pattern, two sizes
Monday

February 4 is my best friend’s birthday. We were college roommates and remain best friends 40+ years later. Me on the left. MJ on the right. In her boyfriend’s room. Now her husband.

College days.
1976?

I am working on Irish cottage Putz houses this week. On Tuesday, I cut them out and assembled them.

Irish cottage Putz houses
Tuesday

As I mentioned, I am working on a planner that fits my own needs, and on Wednesday, I worked out the kinds of pages and categories I want in my planner.

planning my planner
Wednesday

Thursday, I began painting the Putz and I found two greeting cards I could use for the bases of two of the Irish cottages. I also ordered some vintage St. Patrick’s Day postcards from Etsy to use for more bases.

making Irish cottage Putz
Thursday

Friday I was up early enough to catch the first rays of sunlight in the craft room. The room has a large east window and two large south windows. The space between the cabinets is the doorway to the hall.

early morning sunshine in the craft room
Friday

I also made thatching for the Irish cottages.

making thatching
Friday

Can you guess what this is?

coffee maker
Saturday

It’s the condensation on the underside of the lid of my Clever Coffee Dripper.

coffee maker
Saturday

I like this little coffee maker. It makes one perfect cup of coffee for me each morning. I’m not a coffee drinker in the summer months, as a general rule, but in the winter, I’ve come to appreciate it.

The sunlight hit it just right and it made a striking pattern. Bokeh, bokeh, bokeh!

coffee maker
Saturday

When Clark the cat gets a pet, he likes to tuck his head under your arm.

Clark
Saturday

I called his name and he popped up just long enough for me to snap this picture.

Hi, Clark
Saturday

The sunset was pretty Saturday evening. I am glad the days are getting longer again. That does a lot for my sense of well-being.

sunset from the craft room

And then, there’s today. Cold, cloudy, grey, and icy. But the tulips give me hope.

tulips and ice

Last week was quiet, but busy. Now to get ready for the coming week.

~~Rhonda

last week in pictures ~ jan 28 – feb 3

Here’s a little summary of last week. Bits and bobs.

I made four putz houses, including this white one.

White Putz House
Monday, February 28

I’ve enjoyed the forsythia we forced. In late January every year, we cut some forsythia branches and force them for an early preview of spring. It’s so easy to do! Cut some branches, put them in a vase of water, wait 11-14 days…spring flowers! Give it a try!

forcing forsythia

I painted stepping stones for a Putz house. This red Putz is a mini version of the same pattern I used for the white Putz house above. I reduced the pattern to 80% of the original and, in this case, reversed it by folding it backwards.

painting stepping stones
Tuesday, January 29

The finished Putz house.

Red Putz house
Tuesday, January 29

Same pattern, two sizes. I really like the look of the mini ones.

Putz Houses
Wednesday, January 30

These little Putz houses come alive with a puff of smoke and the glow of lights through the yellow window panes.

Putz Houses
Wednesday, January 30

My photo set-up for taking pictures for my Etsy shop. Crude but it works. I do want to set up a photo box for more diffused lighting when taking photos. My desk lamp has four light color settings and a dimmer, and it can be moved and twisted to light any particular angle. Love it!

Putz photos
Wednesday, February 30

Mini blue and brown Putz house. The colors for the Putz house came from the colors on the upcycled Christmas card used to make the base for the house.

Mini Blue and Brown Putz house
Thursday, January 31

The painted strips that are wavey on one side will be the fence in the finished Putz house.

Mini Blue and Brown Putz house
Thursday, January 31

We had a light dusting of snow Wednesday night. Snow out the window just makes the beautiful amaryllis and the happy yellow forsythia all the more enjoyable.

amaryllis
Thursday, January 31
forcing forsythia blossoms
Friday, February 1

The completed blue and brown miniature Putz house.

Ivory and Lavender Putz House
Saturday, February 2

Ivory and lavender Putz house…this house is the same pattern as the above mini one, but made in a larger size.

Ivory and Lavender Putz House
Saturday, February 2

The finished ivory and lavender Putz house, photographed with my hand for an idea of scale.

Ivory and Lavender Putz House

The base is made from an upcycled Christmas card. As always, the colors for the Putz house are taken from the colors of the Christmas card.

Ivory and Lavender Putz House
Sunday, February 3

So sweet with the lights on!

Ivory and Lavender Putz House
Sunday, Febuary 3

Christmas comes down slowly around here, but we made good progress this past weekend. Winston found the un-decorating fascinating…especially when the red beads were swinging back and forth…

taking down Christmas

Our grands were here for the weekend and they did the climbing on the kitchen counter to get the snowflakes off the garland.

taking down Christmas
Sunday, February 3
taking down Christmas
Sunday, February 3

I’ll be glad when all the decorations are down, as much as I do enjoy them. I am ready for spring to arrive!

~~Rhonda

it may be winter outside, but..

I have a bit of spring inside.

amaryllis

Every year, sometime in late January, we cut forsythia branches to bring into the house to force the bloom. It usually takes 11-14 days for the blossoms to pop out.

forcing forsythia

Forsythia is easy to force. Cut some branches, put them in a vase of water and wait two weeks. That’s all there is to it. You can force other branches, too. Lilacs work, though the flowers stay as buds and don’t open. But the leaves are a beautiful spring green and well worth the wait. Fruit tree branches can also be forced.

forcing forsythia

We also have these amaryllis which we planted well before Christmas, but they lagged and lagged, finally sending up their stalks in January.

amaryllis

This one sent up one, very long stalk.

amaryllis
amaryllis

I love flowers. Especially in January when my spirit wants spring, sunshine, fresh green, and daffodils. These will help me wait a little more patiently.

~~Rhonda

back in the saddle again…

Hello! I’m back! My blog has been down since December 8, due to technical difficulties. Thankfully, my webmaster (AKA my younger son) was able to set things to rights. I can post again!

We had a great Christmas and I’ll be posting some pictures from that soon. Just to get back into the flow of things, I’ll share some of the Putz houses I’ve been making.

This little green one is a miniature. I reduced the size of the pattern to 80% of the original, using the printer to do that.

Mini Green and Light Brown Putz House

Mini Green and Light Brown Putz House

The base is made from an upcycled Christmas card.

Mini Green and Light Brown Putz House

Another mini in blue…

Light Blue and Dark Blue Putz House

The Christmas card for this base is really cute. I like the tiny Santa and his tiny sleigh.

Light Blue and Dark Blue Putz House

Light Blue and Dark Blue Putz House

The bright red of this house is a perfect match for the Christmas card on the base.

Red and Gold Putz House
Red and Gold Putz House

A few weeks ago, I made some Valentine houses.

Pink and Red Valentine Putz House

The one below is embellished with some wired glass beads, used as a vine that grows up the right side of the house and onto the second story.

Red and Pink Valentine Putz House
Red and Pink Valentine Putz House

I used the above pattern to make a mini Christmas Putz house.

IMG_2298
Mini Periwinkle and Dark Coral Putz House

The colors are inspired by the Christmas card I used as the base.

Mini Periwinkle and Dark Coral Putz House

The following Putz has another cute Santa card as the base.

Green and Cranberry Red Putz House with deer

This is one of my favorite cards featuring Santa Claus.

Green and Cranberry Red Putz House with deer

I used the same pattern to make this mini version.

Mini Poinsettia Putz House

Mini Poinsettia Putz House

The last two Putz houses are also a regular-sized pattern and a mini version.

White and Cranberry Red Putz House

The house looks ivory in the above picture, but it is actually white. This is a better photo.

White and Cranberry Red Putz House

Tilt the house up and you get a very cute surprise!

White and Cranberry Red Putz House

The mini version of the above house…

Mini Red and Green Putz House
Mini Red and Green Putz House

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop. ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. KMM works with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda

PS. The updates to my blog include a whole new post editor. It’s taking me a while to figure out how to use it. There are a few editing errors I can’t find a way to fix, but I’m going to let that go for now and post this. ~~R. 🙂

Christmas trees

I haven’t taken time to get pictures of all the decorating yet, but here are some that my eleven year-old grands took for me just before the open house started. More about the open house soon!

As you step in the door, just to the left is the living room. Here you’ll find the Family Pictures Tree. Looks like it’s leaning a bit…

Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018

The next tree sits on the old, box grand piano, next to the nativity my Mom gave me in 1983. This tree has names of Christ and beautiful nativity ornaments on it.

Christmas 2018

I have a Christmas Notebook group online, where I teach others how to be organized for Christmas. This tree, in the living room, has ornaments I’ve received over the years from members of that group. Many of us participate in an ornament exchange every year. Most are from the US, but there are some from Australia, England, and Canada among them.

Christmas 2018

The largest tree in the living room is the Family Tree, where we display the ornaments we have gathered as a family over the years.

Christmas 2018

The Snow Tree is in the dining room. It sits on a round, antique table. The ceilings are 12′ tall. Above the tree, as a tree topper, hangs a large snowflake, hovering just over the tree.

Christmas 2018

A smaller snow tree sits on top the antique cupboard.

Christmas 2018

The kitchen tree sits on top the refridgerator and is decorated with cookie and candy ornaments.

Christmas 2018

Christmas 2018

The chalkboard tree (always a favorite!) is in what we call the music room. Because that’s where the smaller piano lives… The theme for the chalkboard tree this year is “I’ll be home for Christmas.”

Christmas 2018

The nativity tree is decorated with nativity ornaments. It sits on a desk in the music room.

Christmas 2018

This vintage aluminum tree, decorated with vintage ornaments, sits on a round, antique table in the middle of the music room.

Christmas 2018

The Glass Tree is in the bay in the library (our family room). It is entirely decorated with glass ornaments. Mostly clear glass, spun and fused. It also has more than 250 chandelier prisms and glass bead chandelier chains as garlands.

Christmas 2018

The little “I Spy” tree is a favorite of the children who come to see us during the holidays. Follow the link to see some close-ups of the fun items on the tree.

Christmas 2018

The Bubble Light Tree is also in the library. It sits on a wooden chest in front of the porch window. German blown-glass ornaments decorate this tree.

Christmas 2018

The Mission Tree is in the hall of the addition. This tree holds ornaments I’ve made for my Etsy shop. All proceeds from my shop support Kenya Mercy Ministries. A Putz village is displayed on the counter next to the tree. For a donation to KMM, guests could choose an ornament or a Putz house as a thank you gift.

Christmas 2018

The little tree in the laundry room displays more vintage ornaments.

Christmas 2018

In the downstairs bath, a slender Garden Tree is decorated with garden ornaments…birds, insects, flowers, garden tools, etc.

Christmas 2018

Two cardinals help decorate the tree with green ribbon.

Garden tree

The Putz Tree is in the downstairs bedroom. It displays some of the Putz houses I’ve made. The tree rotates, so it is able to hold quite a few

Putz Tree

The pompom aluminum tree in the bedroom is decorated with vintage, blue, ornaments and vintage, blue, mercury bead garlands.

Christmas 2018

The Blue and Silver Tree in the downstairs bedroom has blue, silver, and vintage style ornaments. The green, artificial tree has been spray-painted silver to soften the green.

Christmas 2018

I’ll stop here and will try to get a post about the Open House up soon!

~~Rhonda

Christmas prep installment

Time is flying by at our house. Yours, too, probably! Tomorrow we will enjoy having three of five children home with one of our daughters-in-law and two of the three grands in celebration of Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to that! I love it when the kids come home. We were told last week that younger son and his wife, who live in Seattle, will be here for Christmas! That’s exciting news!

Last weekend, Genny (my Christmas elf and sister) was here to decorate. She brought along our great-niece who loves to help, as well. I made Eggnog Cookies and Eggnog Truffles.

Eggnog Truffles

Our great-niece put up all the snowflakes and the icicles on the kitchen garland. The pie plates are washed and the Christmas curtains are up, as well. It was nice to have a young, agile helper!

Kitchen window garland

The kitchen garland displays my collection of snowflake ornaments and icicles.

Kitchen window garland

There are two east facing windows (to the left) and four south facing windows. My pie plate collection sets on the pegs that the curtains hang from.

Kitchen window garland

Our young helper also decorated the kitchen tree on top the fridge. It has candy and cookie ornaments.

Kitchen tree

DH hung the big snowflake over the Snow Tree in the dining room. The snowflake serves as a tree topper that turns gently in the movement of air from the furnace. The ceiling is 12′ tall, so the seven foot tree sits on an antique, round table in the corner of the dining room.

The Snow Tree

Tweak, tweak, tweak…an ongoing process.

The Snow Tree

Winston (on the cupboard ledge) enjoys watching everything we do while decorating. This little snow tree sits on top a cupboard that belonged to DH’s grandparents.

The Snow Tree

Saturday evening, after a full day of decorating and cleaning, we sat down to string popcorn and six bags of cranberries for the living room tree while we watched “White Christmas” and “While You Were Sleeping.” A fun, sit-down job to check off the list.

popcorn and cranberry strings

The lights on the staircase banister cast circles of color on the ceiling of the upstairs hall. A magical night light!

Christmas lights in the upstairs hall

Update: I wrote this the day before Thanksgiving. I think I was waiting for pictures of the chalkboard before posting, but was side-tracked by other things. I’ll post a chalkboard update soon! We are on the downhill slide to Open House on Sunday. Lots and lots to do!

~~Rhonda

Christmas prep…ongoing!

During the past few weeks, I have almost finished all the cookies and candies that I can make ahead of time, to be stored in the freezer until the Open House in December. I think I have two more things to make. And then I might add a couple of new things…

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Christmas sugar cookies

Packaged and ready for the freezer.

Christmas sugar cookies

Cranberry Orange Cookies … These are simple to make, but delicious! Big on flavor! One of my favorite Christmas Cookies.

Christmas cookies

Cranberry Orange Cookies

A new treat this year…Pecan Pie Truffles. I made the centers and will dip them in chocolate and garnish them with toasted, chopped pecans before the Open House.

Pecan Pie Truffle centers

Peppermint Meltaways … These tender cookies require careful handling, but are really worth the extra trouble. After being thawed, they will be frosted with pink frosting and garnished with crushed peppermints.

Mint Meltaways

The garland and lights are up over the kitchen windows. As you can see, a string was not working, but DH fixed it. He has also put up over-the-door garlands, the outdoor porch garlands, and the front hall garlands. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

garland for the kitchen windows

The chalkboard tree is coming along! Each additional feature that Genny chalks on makes it that much better! She should be able to finish it this weekend. It is almost complete! Then we move on to putting up and decorating other trees.

As it stood a week ago.

Chalkboard Tree 2018

As DH walked by the chalkboard one day, he couldn’t resist adding something for the father in the picture to juggle…but that won’t be the final story for that panel. I should be able to show the finished picture next week.

Chalkboard Christmas tree 2018

Last weekend’s update to the tree is as follows.

Chalkboard Christmas tree 2018

Chalkboard Christmas tree 2018

Note that the children are opening door number two on their countdown to Christmas box. Our open house is scheduled for the second of December. Genny thinks of little details like that to make the picture better!

Chalkboard Christmas tree 2018

Chalkboard Christmas tree 2018

When I printed this coloring page, the smaller girl was holding scissors. Genny took them out. Don’t you think she looks entirely too young to be packing large, sharp scissors!?

Chalkboard Christmas tree 2018

Meanwhile, I’ve also been working on ornaments for an exchange.

diorama Christmas ornaments

diorama Christmas ornaments

diorama Christmas ornaments

diorama Christmas ornaments

Stay tuned for more updates!  ~~Rhonda

mini putz house in teal and yellow

This mini Putz house has been listed to my Etsy shop.   ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

Teal and Yellow Putz House with deer

It is made from the same pattern as the last Putz house I made. I reduced the pattern to 85% of the original and reversed it when constructing the house.

mini and regular putz from same pattern

I rounded the fence. Thought about adding fence posts at the entrance, but decided against it.

Teal and Yellow Putz House with deer

The colors for the house are taken from the Christmas card used to make the base.

 

Teal and Yellow Putz House with deer

Teal and Yellow Putz House with deer

The sidewalk is painted onto the base and sprinkled with glitter.

Teal and Yellow Putz House with deer

Teal and Yellow Putz House with deer

The bottle brush trees are about 1 1/4″ tall. I dabbed them with faux snow and sprinkled them with silver micro beads.

Teal and Yellow Putz House with deer

Teal and Yellow Putz House with deer

You can see my Putz houses and other Christmas ornaments in my Etsy shop.

ChristmasNotebook.etsy.com

If you are interested in crafting some Putz houses and bottle brush trees of your own, check out my Putz tutorials for more information. Putz House Tutorials

I am always happy to answer questions about the process. Please ask, if you are wondering about the details of putzing!

All proceeds from my Etsy shop benefit Kenya Mercy Ministries. They work with the urban poor of Nairobi, Kenya, particularly the children and their families who live in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Thank you for your part in helping these children when you purchase items from my shop!

~~Rhonda