Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Mockingbird Babies

During my spring Open Garden on Memorial Day, one of the guests found a bird nest tucked into the top of 'Firefall', a miniature climbing rose.

At the time, the nest had one egg in it.  A couple of days later, I remembered to grab my phone and photograph it.  By then, it contained three eggs.  The parents added a fourth egg the next day.

Two weeks later, there were four baby birds.  Instagram followed along as I posted a photo of the babies every day.  For you, I will put them all here.

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

Day Four:

One of the parents, keeping a close eye on me.

Day Five:

Day Six:

Day Seven:

Day Eight:

Day Nine:

Day Ten:

Today is Day Eleven.  I went out after breakfast to check on the babies and found that the nest was empty. 

My neighbor next door at the winery told me that he saw young Mockingbirds in his garden earlier this morning.  I'm certain that they were my babies.

It's amazing how quickly this process happens.  Four weeks exactly, from the time the first egg was laid till the babies fledged.  Mama and Papa Mockingbird were very attentive parents, swooping down on me whenever I was near their nest.  I have no doubt that their babies are in good hands, or wings, as they learn to live in the great big world.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Finding My Past at Goodwill

Remember in the 80's and early 90's, when country crafts were king?  Shades of Wedgwood blue, mauve, seafoam green, and rusty red reigned in the design world.  Stenciling or wallpaper, flowery chintz upholstery, with ruffly curtains at the windows, completed the look.  

During this time, my husband was starting his own business.  Money was tight.  We were fine day-to-day, but the reality of finding the money necessary for Christmas presents for three daughters required some ingenuity.  We had power tools, I knew how to use them, wood and paint was cheap ... and a small business was born.  Very small.

For a few years, in summer I would cut and sand and paint little figures and country-style decor.  In fall, I rented space at craft fairs, setting up a booth and selling my wares.  One of my best sellers was this:

It was a custom item.  I had the large hearts like this at the booth, pre-made in mauve, blue, rust, or cream, and customers ordered small hearts to hang from the hooks underneath.  Husband, wife, children.  I sold a ton of them.  (I remember one special one: a family's four grown children chipped in together and ordered one for their parents, with themselves, their spouses, and all of the grandkids hanging from it.  It was huge.)

I was startled to see this one earlier today.  Somehow it ended up at Goodwill in Culpeper, minus its little name hearts.  It looks as good today as it did when I made it almost 30 years ago.  Goodwill's price:  $1.99. 

My label.  Hometown Designs was what I called my little enterprise.

I still have ours, the prototype, with our family on it ...  it's in a box somewhere.  

I hope this one goes to a good home.

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