Friday, July 8, 2011

Hollyhock Dolls and Lady Bugs

I've had a busy week, and an even busier one coming. The cousins arrive next Friday for our reunion. We have plenty of work to get done in the long week end updating our genealogy. Today I had three different workmen here as we are madly trying to get the basement project finished: the carpet layer, the plumber, and the electrician. Two of them brought their sons with them to help. While the young ones don't really want to install floors or do electrical work for a living, it is rather nice to see sons and fathers together, dads teaching sons work ethic and even a skill should they need one later in life. The carpet layer brought two of his sons, a 17 year old and a 15 year old and the electrician brought his 7 year old who installed the face plates on the outlets and switches. The room won't be totally done in time, but it will be a great usable space by the end of the week.

I have been ironing too, pillow cases, top sheet cuffs, bed skirts, using a good dose of spray starch too. My daughter said: "Mom, why didn't you just take them to the dry cleaners?" Never even crossed my mind.  I was raised in the day when we ironed and starched. She is the modern working mother and the dry cleaners sounds like a wise choice next time. I have one bedroom ready for company--the lady bug room with the lady bug quilt that I made (the only quilt I will probably ever make) and two more bedrooms to do. One will be a brand new room and will be the sunflower room with a sunflower quilt I ordered from a catalog. The other bedroom will be the blue room with Target's shabby chic bedding that I already had. Still more cleaning to do. Some cooking, shopping, and getting the 12 boxes of genealogy records ready to use.

Hollyhock Dolls

 Hollyhocks flourish at The Garden Spot, so much that we are constantly digging them out. I will be sending out seed to Randy and Meg's Garden Paradise, so if you would like some too, email me your address. It will be a while before they go to seed.

My Hollyhock doll. Just playing around with iPhoto. I faded out the color and blurred the edges. When I get a good photo and a pretty doll, I may order greeting cards or note cards.
I spied this beautiful swallowtail butterfly from the bathroom window. One nice thing about living in the country is being able to run out and snap a photo--in one's night gown. Hey, butterflies don't hang around while we dress. Isn't she beautiful? I 'd say it had just emerged from its metamorphosis because it was perfectly beautiful.

While mom was taking a riding lesson, the girls and I made dolls. They got a bit carried away the tooth picks--making arms for their dolls. Ellie is nearly 5, has a year of pre-school behind her, and she gets the idea of a craft project. 

Lucy soon to be 3 had fun too.

Elie is quite creative as she stacked too blossoms together to create a tiered gown. It really was very beautiful

The little flower dolls are very easy to make. I hold them together with tooth picks and tiny seamstress pins to keep flower hats in place. For younger children, adults need to supervise. But what fun to head to the garden to pick a few little flowers and have fun creating pretty little dolls. I will be trying to dry the dolls after the reunion using silica gel. More later on hollyhock dolls. Why don't your try and share your results?

I did have time to make it to the garden, camera in hand:

The knophia (aka Red Hot Poker) were amazing this year. I moved one clump from the old house and separated it into three clumps. They have done quite well. They really are stunning flowers, but they just don't last very long. As soon as they begin to bloom, their skirts fade rapidly from the bottom up.

Lady Bugs!

New this year Manarda. I love this color. There will be more photos of this beauty. It is quickly become a fav, running a close second behind my various cone flowers.

Finally, a huge head of broccoli. I have never grown such a huge head. We only planted three broccoli plants and they have done so well, but not enough to freeze for the winter.

Well, that is the end of this week. A really busy one ahead. I am excited to welcome cousins whom I have not seen in a very long time. You all have a fabulous week end. 


  1. Stunning shots, especially the closeups.
    The butterflies and ladybirds are just amazing!
    I, too, often run outside to take a photo - regardless!
    Good thing we have no close neighbours.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  2. You are working so hard, Ann! You'll get a second wind when the guests arrive. The hollyhock dolls are very cute! I might have to make some and I will indeed share the results! Yes, three of our four went to C.S.U. Go Rams! (and Bears!) Thank you for your kind visits to my blog.

  3. Hi Ann, I just joined your blog! I was so excited to see you and Elly and Lucy making hollyhock dolls! I did that as a child in Kentucky and haven't thought about that in a long time. I might add, that you all did an excellent job! Love your photos,your flowers and the lady bug on the daisy is my favorite!I hope you'll check out my blogs, too. Egretta

  4. Sounds like a fun busy productive week! I just love the hollyhock doll idea - maybe I'll try it with my daughter next week :) XOL

  5. The girls are so creative like the garden material doll very much. Beautiful hollyhock blooms!

  6. Your flowers are so pretty and great photos. The hollyhock dolls are very creative (I've never seen that before). Love the red hot poker; my plant didn't flower this year although maybe it will be late flowering in its first year. Your refurbishment and decoration projects sound really great - I was admiring sunflower wallpaper the other day but think bedding probably better choice than wallpaper. Hope you have a lovely time with your guests! Kelli

  7. Your hollyhock dolls are so charming! I've always heard of them, and never actually made them. I'd love to have some of your seeds for next year.

  8. Wow! You do have lots of beautiful images in this post. Do you post butterflies and lady bugs too?

    The photo of the doll is really something. Beautiful and magical at the same time.

  9. I love the Hollyhock dolls they are the cutest and so are Lucy and Elie.. you and your grand daughters are very creative!

    I liked the photo of the daisy and the ladybug too.

    I have never grown broccoli before, I plan to in the future.. Wow! that is a big one.

  10. Ann, You haven't been missing my posts. The photos which are awaiting for captions are always at the bottom of the Caption posts.

  11. wow. it was really nice and superb like butterfly garden, flower,butterfly.. etc......