When Spider Webs Catch The Light and Friends Make a Fuss

A wonderful package arrived shortly before my birthday, all the way from New Zealand. Pauline of the Contented Crafter says it’s been in the making for a while.


Beautiful package

She decorated the box with her own customized decorative tape which you can read more about here. Isn’t it cool? She created the art for the postcard as well using postage stamps from my dad’s collection. The original hangs on my wall. It’s quite special.

Now look at what she tucked inside:


An enchanting spider web light catcher

This isn’t any old spider web. It’s a hand-crafted, bead-encrusted, gem of a birthday/Halloween gift from Pauline. I love it!


Faceted glass spider

My special spider web arrived with an impressively sized, faceted spider with its own hook (but no fangs). You can move her around the web, then watch it catch the light.


In the center of the web

Guess what else was in the box? A Halloween-themed light catcher. The charms include spiders, witches hats, cats and brooms.  Did I mention the pumpkins? There are several of those too.

The reflective nature of the faceted glass makes it difficult to photograph, so I took some video as well. It will give you an idea of the light and movement.

Mike installed hooks in the nook above the sink so I could hang the web near the light. Interestingly, the web is just as beautiful at night. The lower light mutes some of the colors, while the facets shine.


Halloween-themed light catcher hanging in the kitchen window (Mouse the Cat looks on) Thank you, Pauline


Gathering friends with the years


The stunning sunflowers are a gift from Laurie, surrounded by birthday cards and condolences on losing Slinky. The sunflower painting was a gift from Kelly last year.

My mother never liked a fuss on her birthday, so I grew up following suit. A few close friends sent greetings through the mail or by phone which I loved, but I otherwise kept my birthday a secret.

I’ve come to realize that I like a bit of a fuss. Not a loud, brash, in your face fuss, but the warm greetings that arrive by post. I love receiving cards in the mail. Happy birthday wishes via Facebook and blogging are a delight as well. I  smile at the beautifully animated e-cards and the thoughtful friends who send them. My friend Carrielin calls me on my birthday every year and has since we were in college. Each greeting is a reminder of the richness of friends and family, relationships that have grown and deepened with the passing years. I feel loved beyond measure.

Thank you all for making a fuss.


Did I mention the second spider?





My Very Good, Candy-Free, Feeling-loved Day

The Case of the Shrinking Bloggers

The Case of the Shrinking Bloggers

What an amazing day. For starters, I woke up to this:

Wishing Dear Alys a Very Happy Birthday !

Here’s something you may not know if you’re new to blogging. You will get to know wonderful friends all over the world. If you’re really lucky, you’ll even meet up with a few of them. Then, if all the good karma you ever saved up is on your side, you’ll become the best of friends. True that, I’ve made a life long friend in Alys. She’s optimistic and generous in spirit, caring and adorable in every way and my biggest cheerleader.

Please help me to wish Alys a Very Happy Birthday and enjoy the high-lights of our get-together’s over the last two years.

You can view the rest of her post and watch the highlight reel at Boomdeeadda.

I wept tears of joy and gratitude as the lovely music and memories played on. Thank you, Boomdee from the bottom of my heart. What a treat!

Lovely birthday wishes in the form of blog comments, texts, greeting cards and Facebook posts have kept me beaming all day. Just five minutes ago the UPS driver arrived with a gorgeous arrangement of flowers from my dear friend Laura. They smell divine.

roses and mums

Stunning and fragrant roses and mums

In the spirit of Halloween, I received a mystery gift with an unsigned card: a lovely pot of lavender hand cream. I’m pretty sure I know the giver, but I’ll confirm with the sender: Lavender Abbey of Carterton, New Zealand. Thank you!

I used to keep quiet about my birthday, but once social media came along, the jig was up. Now I embrace it.

No-Candy Countdown:

Throughout October, I’m keeping track of the candy I **don’t** eat.  I’m going to enjoy all the things I love about October while continuing to lose the extra pounds.  It’s day two and I’m in the all clear. We’re celebrating my birthday this evening with a small ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins. It’s a family tradition. The calendar says fall, but the thermometer says 94 degrees (35C) . Friday’s forecast: 100 degrees.

Under-the-sea Costume Updates:

In addition to carving pumpkins this year, my husband Mike is also dressing up for Halloween party season. I’ll be a sea gardener and he’ll be a guardian of the sea.  We purchased the foundation for his costume at Natasha’s Attic. Now it’s my job to make it sea-worthy.

Pumpkins on Parade

Special thanks to my most recent blog follower, Maria Damitz. She tossed out the first suggestion for pumpkin-dress up month on yesterday’s blog, NEWS FLASH! Halloween Takes Over Gardening Blog

Maria said:

You are adorable! I love this blog and love Halloween. We’re doing a pirate theme this year; kind of common, but inspired by friend who is dressing up with family as pirates at Disney World now, so if you could do a pirate pumpkin that would be fun to see. Going to do one or so myself!

Maria, this one’s for you.

pumpkin pirate

Pumpkin Pirate

Birthdays and Flowers

mystery blogger

Mystery Blogger

I’ve been a bad blogger this week.

That said, I know you’ll all forgive me, as I’m having the time of my life living large with Boomdee.  We celebrated my birthday today, laughing, lunching and loving our time together.

Then we took a twenty-minute refresher, before donning silly wigs and meeting my sister and another friend for dinner at the Left Bank.

I’ve been surrounded by beautiful flowers and lovely friends all day.  My clock just struck midnight so I guess it’s not my birthday anymore, but oh, what a day it has been.

I should be in bed, but I’m still abuzz. See you tomorrow.

XOX from the birthday babe.

purple and pink flowers

Stunning blooms in downtown Campbell


Hotel lobby orchids

four women

What started as a random joke on Facebook, lead to identical wigs at dinner. My friends are all good sports.

June Bug #2: Happy Birthday in the Fairy Garden

Both of my sons were born in June, so I affectionately call them my June Bugs. My youngest son turns 13 today, and will enjoy a new right of passage in our world of technology: his own YouTube account.  He’s already at work on a logo, safety features in place and an awe-struck mom (that’s me) amazed at the things he can do. He loves all things Apple, so this month’s fairy garden theme is my low-tech tribute to a young man who is going places.

Happy birthday, M!

Fairy Garden Birthday

Fairy Garden Birthday


Table coverings, Apple motif

We’re serving birthday cake once again among the moss-covered stones. We hope you’ll stop by for an apple-sized bite.

I like to furnish the fairy gardens with an eclectic mix of ‘this and that.’ It’s fun challenging myself.

  • The garden table base is the metal twist top from a bottle of champagne.
  • The table top is the cover from a set of ear-buds, topped with the Apple logo.
  • I reversed the birthday banner from earlier this month, using iconic black lettering
  • I re-painted the chairs, featured in last year’s fairy garden, in the boys favorite colors.
  • The table and chairs rest on part of a broken fountain.
  • The tiny cake appeared early this month it the post Sweet 16 in the Fairy Garden.

birthday cake in the apple fairy garden

Sweet 16 in the Fairy Garden

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Sweet 16

No one is more shocked than I am.  My oldest son turned 16 today.  He’s grown into a tall, charming and kind young man, nice enough to compliment me on the fairy garden, even though the idea of one is long past its prime.

We’re serving birthday cake down among the moss-covered stones.  It would be lovely if you stopped by for a wee slice.

fairy sized birthday cake

Fairy-sized birthday cake

Happy birthday, C!!!

cat proofing

Thwarting the curious cat: small links attach to the bench, keeping the fairy garden upright.

My fairy garden decor is often a mix of ‘this and that.’  It’s fun challenging myself to use what I can find.

  • The garden table base is the metal cap from a wine bottle, topped with a scrap of paper and a geranium leaf.
  • The birthday banner uses scraps of paper and string
  • I re-painted the chairs, featured in last year’s fairy garden, in my ‘June Bugs’ favorite colors.
  • The table and chairs rest on part of a broken fountain.
  • I purchased the tiny cake from my friend Donna’s booth at antique colony.  They once belonged to her young daughter.  They’re making the rounds.
Tile Chairs

Tile Chairs for my “June Bugs” born 6/4 and 6/18