Christmas will soon be here, and I’ve done some decorating. The amount of daylight, this time of year is decreasing, and the amount of darkness is increasing, so what better way to brighten the dullness of Winter, than with Christmas lights and decorations. This post shows some of the things I put out this year to celebrate the holiday period.
Let’s start out front. The above three photos show what passersby see as they drive down my road. I like lights in all the windows and on the bushes, but I feel that you must have something out on the lawn to add depth to the display. This year I’ve covered the bear topiary, that I’m creating, in white lights, and then folded a string of red lights in half, and tied them around his neck to suggest a scarf. (click on photos to enlarge) Continue reading
Extending a poured cement patio with sixteen inch square brick-face stepping stone/ patio pavers.
One of my many projects, this past Summer, that I tackled was to extend my poured cement patio with sixteen inch square cement pavers. Before I attempted the project, I looked at a few YouTube videos to see how it was done; but in the end I still had to modify the information that I’d seen and had to figure out how to make it work for me. This post shows the different steps I took to get my patio looking the way I envisioned. Continue reading
Putting the finishing touches on a tree at the Albany Institute of History and Art, Festival of Trees
Using tulle to decorate a Christmas tree is something a lot of people are starting to be interested in. In the mid 1980’s and 1990’s I used it to decorate theme trees at the Albany Institute of History and Art’s Festival of Trees. With this post you will see how easy it is to work with tulle, and you will soon be on your tulle-tree swagging adventure. Continue reading
Decorating a Christmas Tree at the Albany Institute of History and Art
For 10 years I decorated Christmas trees for the Albany Institute of History and Art’s FESTIVAL of TREES.
Each year I came up with a different theme, like a tree covered in antique looking bulbs, a tree covered with dried flowers, a gold tree for King Midas, and Mardi Gras inspired tree to name a few. For all my creative efforts, I won the Popular Choice Vote twice. I won over florist stores, garden centers and other venues that had seemingly unlimited budgets and product to work with, versus the $250. they gave me to buy tree decorating supplies.
All the Tricks of the Trade, that I used to decorate a Christmas tree like a pro, on a limited budget, I am going to go over with you in this post. Continue reading
The EASY Way to put lights on a Christmas Tree
Putting lights on a Christmas Tree, for some is a laborious chore. The act of going around and around, trying to get the lights evenly placed can wear you down.
For 10 years, I decorated Christmas Trees for the Albany Institute of History and Art’s FESTIVAL of TREES. The easy way that I put lights on those trees, I am going to cover here. Continue reading
Cutting Paper Snowflakes, a Fun Family Project
The art of folding and cutting / making paper snowflakes was taught to me, in the fifth grade, by a lovely Nun named Sister Mary Charles (nee Catherine Lily). Sister Charles was a very artistic lady who cut the most beautiful silhouettes of people, and encouraged my artistic interests.
From those days in the 1960’s to the present, I have cut hundreds of snowflakes for myself, taught friends and coworkers, and today I am going to teach you this wonderful Winter craft. Continue reading
A view of the front garden at Whimsey Hill House, looking toward the road.
Gardening has always been my passion or some would say one of my obsessions. My
interest love of gardening, I think, was the result of three different people’s influences. My first person of influence was my maternal grandmother. Every Sunday we went to her house and she was always showing us what was blooming that week. Grandma had an old Brownie camera and almost weekly, wanted us to take her picture next to what was the most showy blooming plant of that moment. My second person of influence was my mother. Every weekend while visiting grandma’s place, my mother would go through the pile of plant material that grandma pulled out or divided, bagged it up and we took it home. Every Sunday evening, after we returned home, mom would have me help her plant the things in our back yard garden. My third influence was my father. My father grew up on a farm and as a child never went on a vacation; as an adult he wanted to see America. Two of the many places that he took us were Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Seeing those garden fascinated me, and I thought, when I grew up, I would have something like that. Little did I know, as a young kid, that not one, but many people tended those gardens. This blog post shows the current results of how childhood experiences and a hopefully healthy obsession turned out. In this post you will see how my garden looks now, after what has been the 2016 rehabilitation of some of the beds and borders. I hope you like my little tour (click on photos to enlarge). Continue reading
A clear glass vase, on the first step in the pool, used to determine if it was evaporation or some other kind of leak in the in-ground pool.
The square, clear glass vase that I used for pool water-loss testing.
Recently I had my in-ground pool relined, and the plumbing from the skimmer to the pump and filter was also replaced. A few weeks after I had that done, I noticed that the water level in the pool had dropped drastically. I thought that it could be evaporation because the weather here in up state New York has been really hot. I filled the pool again, turned off the pump (so that there was not too much water movement) and marked the skimmer with a few pencil lines so I could see where the water level in the pool was. After doing that I still noticed that my pool, which doesn’t have a heater or any kind of water fall feature, was loosing about one fourth inch of water, every night, with the pump and filter turned off. After many days of seeing the water level drop, I called up the owner of the pool service that installed the liner, and he came back to take a look. The pool liner is guaranteed, by the manufacturer, for structural flaws such as holes and faulty seams so I thought it might be something like that. The pool man came back, did some different tests, and it was suggested that a diver come in and take a complete look over everything. Continue reading
Margaret Roach and me at the June 2016 Garden Conservancy Open Day garden tour at her property in Copake Falls, NY.
Since 1995 the Garden Conservancy has providing entrée into some of America’s most beautiful gardens with their Open Days Program. One of their most popular east-coast garden hosts is plants-women, author of three books, lecturer, past garden editor for Newsday magazine and then first garden editor, and later editorial director of Martha Stewart Living’s magazine, books and internet, national public radio talk show host and blogger, the multi talented Margaret Roach. For years now, on specific days, Margaret has opening her Copake Falls, NY property to garden lovers from far and wide. Recently my friend Marguerite and I made a trip to see Margaret’s 2.3 acres of paradise. I hope you enjoy my little tour. Continue reading
Two photos of my computer screen showing the dashboard of my WordPress website.(click on photos to enlarge)
Today, after 5 years of writing articles about gardening and interior decorating, my blog reached the point of having over 2 million page views/articles read. Looking at the above photos you will see that 1,133,893 visitors, over the past five years, looked at one or more of the 173 posts that I wrote, which when all added up by WordPress (I counted nothing) got me over the 2 million point.
Reaching the 2 million point for articles read was an interesting climb. Continue reading