Summer’s End in Bob’s Garden

Summer is coming to an end in Bob’s garden. The plants are going to seed and the blossoms are shriveling and   dropping off. This would be the time when the turtles would start to get ready for a winter’s sleep, but all of the turtles have been stolen out of the Koi Pond along with most of the beautiful Koi fish. I managed to get a picture of one of them earlier this summer. Isn’t he a handsome fellow?  I hope whoever stole him (and shame on that person) gave him a good home.  

Here are some end-of-the-summer pictures for you to enjoy.
















A Creative Use of Space

One thing I love about my neighborhood is that it seems to be a magnet for creative people. This house is one example: where there’s no yard for a garden, just plant one up the front of your house! They’re called Green Walls or Vertical Gardens, . and I have seen them all over the world, but never in Philadelphia.

WG9    WG




If you’re interested in reading more about vertical gardens, click here.

Recycling Ideas From My Workshop

My friends call me “thrifty.”  Maybe my penchant for reusing things comes from having parents who lived during the Great Depression and were always trying to out do one another with stories of how poor they were.  My father recalled having to eat chicken skin, chicken fat and gristle at dinner because his mother “paid for that too.”  Little did they know that with some imagination, some secret ingredients and a whole lotta cooking fat, they could have made the first chicken nuggets and ended that Great Depression  at least as far as they were concerned.  But I digress. (Why do I always do that?)  Here are some examples of how I’ve been recycling.

Unraveling Sweater

I bought this Man’s size large Shetland wool sweater at a thrift ship for $5.99 so I could take it apart and reuse the wool.

Unaveled Yarn

Taking a sweater apart can be tedious but who doesn’t love a challenge?


One big ball of yard and lots of sweater left to unravel.

316 rods

I wanted some fatter lamp working mandrels.  These are about 5 mm.  I got them from a discontinued  Ikea storage cart.  I think they are aluminum but they work fine although not as well as steel.


Now I can make beads that look like Cheerios!


I had to stop eating cheese because of a medical problem and had no trouble finding a new role for the cheese grater.


Cheese graters hold lots of earrings.    You could blast it with a coat of spray paint (minus the earrings of course) to give it a new look.  Make sure the holes don’t get clogged though.


Here’s a silicone mat with little fingery things meant to be used for drying  crystal wine glasses.  I got mine on sale for about $5.00.


They’re a great tool for coating small items with resin .  Place your cabochon or what have you on the mat and pour.  The excess resin runs into the mat and when it cures, simply pop it off!   Here’s a link to a similar mat that Amazon sells.  You could probably find a better deal or snatch one up at a yard sale.

Here’s a good video on sweater deconstruction and yarn harvesting.

And the Beads Go On

 I made these polymer clay beads earlier this year after Clayathon.    I limited my palate to black, white, red, turquoise, a bit of gold,  and  used lots of translucent.

5 4 6

Now that the Philadelphia Area Polymer Clay Guild has hosted Bonnie Bishoff,  I am ready to put the glass away for the year and get out the clay again.  I wonder what I’ll come up with this time?