can't you see the sunshine….


In December, I took advantage of few doctor’s appointments and a reduced exercise class schedule to try to get something done. I tackled the jewelry.

I don’t wear much jewelry. Mostly pins. Necklaces bother my neck. No matter how much I want to wear one, ten…fiften minutes on my neck and I am pulling it off. But I do have a nice collection of pins which was still more or less packed away from our move here, TWO YEARS AGO. So first I worked on a way to have my pins downstairs.

I made this out of this foam sheets. The foam has enough ‘tooth’ to hold the pins without having to fasten the closure, so they are easy to get on and off. I have been wearing them. And I just like looking at them.

Next I tackled my Mother’s collection. Not only was it my Mother’s but also some pieces from my Grandmother and another relative, Aunt Lou. There was so much jewelry that it filled a recycled copy paper carton. Keep in mind, I have had this since 2004 when I closed up my parents’ house and it moved from Florida to Northern Virginia. Then in 2007, it moved into storage in North Carolina. In 2017 it moved out of storage in to our upstairs bedroom. And I have looked at it. And looked at it. And looked at it. Paralyzed by the sheer amount of it.

Then I found this book in our library.

by Jamie Lundstrom (Author)

French Vintage Décor: Easy and Elegant DIY Projects for Any Home Paperback – June 12, 2018

Which had this craft idea in it. “Old Locket on Canvas Art”

After thinking about it for a while, I realized I could pick out some of the pieces that I remember my Mother wearing and mount them the same way. And there was just some bits of wall space left to hang them on. I took advantage of the craft store sales to buy 18 small canvases. In late November I started working on mounting the jewelry. Thinking it would be easy…..HA! I didn’t want to glue or damage the jewelry so each piece needed an individual solution. All of it was made harder by the wood frame of the canvas.

It took until New Years Day for me to finish. But I finally have them mounted and hanging.

My assistant had to take a break. It has just exhausted her.

As I was doing this, I came across a post on another blog about inherited jewelry. You will have to click on another link to read her full post, but essentially it is about the writer’s Mom having picked out a piece of jewelry for her grand daughter and attaching a note to it. Out of all the jewelry, I got one note.

This is my Grandmother’s necklace. Other favorite pieces

Shoe buckles! How cool

Cameos and one of my Mother’s charm bracelets

I am really pleased with how it has turned out. I still need some help hanging them. (Beware of dinner invites. They come with ‘would you just help me do one thing…?’) And I still need to figure out what to do with the remaining jewelry…..At least I have made a start.

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Freaky Elephant Ear

I have been growing elephant ears for years now. This is the first time I have ever seen this.

When I first noticed this, I was inside looking at the plant, thinking this two leaves that are just entertwined. I went out to look.

So it is two leaves on one stem. Never seen that in all the years of growing these bulbs.

Elephant ear bulbs seem to do real well for me. I have grown and given away bulbs for years now. Hopefully some of them are still growing in Italy. I know that the family that bought our property in Virginia still plant elephant ears every year. Ohhh, I don’t know if that is the legacy that I want to leave….

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Wow! Target had overalls that fit and did not cost over $50.

I had to order my size online. So I went crazy and ordered two pairs. I’m so excited. And I can hear those eye rolls…..

Ohhhh, I will be so ready for the ACC Tournament and of course Tour d’Coup.


Happy Lunar New Year

I try to honor Ben’s Asian heritage as much as I honor my Italian background.  Usually we celebrate with a large Asian meal, but for some unknown reason, this year, I am stuck in the comfort food roasts and stews mode.  I’ll be over that soon and we will have a belated big Asian feast.  Until then, I know it is the year of the dog, however, here is our Chinese dragon head to send you best wishes.

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I can’t resist telling the story about how I got the dragon head…. when we were in Hong Kong in February/March of 1996 with Jim and BK I bought it at the local version of K-Mart.  (Great store, can’t remember the name but I could probably walk there if I was in Hong Kong )  Now keep in mind this was 1996 before airlines got so nasty about bringing things on planes.  Our suitcases were full with china and other treasures.  The dragon head was in a box, roughly 2 feet square.  Weighed less than 1 pound.  I was carrying it on.  It is only paper mache and could be easily crushed.  I really did not want to check it.  Well!  You would have thought I was bringing on live snakes!  Such a fuss!  The box was a little too big for the overhead bins.  What to do?  What to do…. finally an accommodating member of the crew found a place for it in the first class closet and it made it safely back to the US.  It did not travel with us to Italy but has been in storage.  Now I am happy that it is out and hanging, guarding our back door and spinning around freely when the heat or air comes on.

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