First sign of Christmas
Ever since I followed a friend’s advice by taking my three Christmas Cactus outside for the summer – and not bringing them in until the very first hard frost – they bloomed proliferously. I think the other one I have, that’s already bloomed and faded, is actually a Thanksgiving cactus. Since the one shown is at peak this week, and it’s my birthday week, I consider it a Birthday Cactus. Since it has such a drooping habit, and we couldn’t enjoy it fully, we raised it up on a pedestal of an overturned bowl
It was a productive craft weekend here at the homestead.
Two projects I’ve had in my head for a while got completed. It’s good to have them out of my head. Now I can add more. My goal, as ever, was to accomplish them with spending no money. I’m cheap that way and forces me to be creative.
First was this wreath.
I made the base wreath from a five-leaf chocolate akebia vine I formed into a circle last fall and dried throughout the summer (post found here). I tucked in boxwood greens and other greens snipped from various plants that still had green on them this weekend. Small terracotta pots (from my rain chain, seen here) make great bells. A couple plastic slightly used hand tools made the bow.
The second project was a birdhouse.
I’ve made two others from the old pickets from a fence we had around the yard. I saved the pickets and lined the inside of my shed with them. But I still had lots left over.
The first one I made was entered into a Pollinator House Contest and won for best overall submission. It was put up for auction to benefit Gardens Buffalo Niagara and the Buffalo Architecture Foundation. The contest was to celebrate Garden Walk Buffalo‘s 25th anniversary. You can see my three homemade entries to the contest here.
I realize these birdhouses are probably not very bird-friendly. They are more decorative. I’ll be anxious to find out if a bird moves into them. Hole size, hole height from the ground, and placement are the contributing decisions for birds. This has a 1.25″hole, so only a chickadee, nuthatch, warbler, wren, and a couple others would even consider it. They’d most likely like some leaf cover as well.
I loved the one I made and hated to part with it, so I made another for myself. Both are made with the painted pickets and junk I’ve hoarded over the years – old paint from past projects, door hardware, used terracotta pots, tarnished silverware, old keys, deconstructed lamp parts, wine bottles, door hooks, and other various hardware.
The large one shown above was made for a Christmas gift. It took me the better part of a day to paint and construct, and had a cost of $0. They are easy to make and I’m making headway in getting rid of a lot of useless hardware – but I’ve run out of pickets with points. I only have the picket boards left, so I’ll have to get creative on future birdhouse.
I also got to finish some outdoor Christmas decorations/lighting.
First year ever decorating the potting shed. I’ll add a little more lighting to it each year. I’d love to have some lights under the eaves to highlight the gambrel (barn) style roof line. All it got up this year was a couple wreaths, and a few strands of lights.