Living in a Church

July 30, 2015

There are many churches all over the globe that have been converted into impressive homes, offices and bookstores. The designs range from modern and minimal to rustic and cozy.  Churches are some of society’s most stylistically beautiful buildings so reusing and repurposing old building can only be money-saving but also history-preserving. Some of these beautiful churches turned into modern homes were to be demolished. It might not suit everyone’s tastes but converting churches into houses have become very popular. Old churches have a distinct architecture style that is both grand and appealing.

Image Source: https://picasaweb.google.com/109626371584630100989/MyDreamHome#5730715333838094786

In communities across the U.S. churches that have lost their congregations are being bought up and converted into artsy condos and homes. As residences they often retain many of the design details that make them look like houses of worship, including steeples and bell towers, unique and huge entrance door, distinctive windows and in some cases sacred spaces. Living in a converted church takes getting used to but its very rewarding, you get to preserve a piece of historical architecture and enjoy its unique style and enormous space.

Image Source: http://www.oldhousedreams.com/2011/06/13/1884-church-manhatten-ny/

Converting churches into homes isn’t an easy decision to make, there are things to consider such as renovation costs, the layout and of course what to do with the graveyard as many churches have one.


 

Image Source: http://dornob.com/change-of-congregation-lovely-little-converted-church-home/

On Renovation – turning a church into a comfortable home could be quite costly especially if the church is really old. Some churches the newer ones already have fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms and an office so in cases like this the cost won’t be probably be too much but if the church is an older one without any upgrades then the cost double. Adding a kitchen and bathroom adds significantly to your renovation costs. Check closely the building’s energy efficiency, stone buildings will keep your home cool during the summer months but they can be pretty costly to heat during the winter months. Another thing to consider is the change in the decor replacing a large stained glass window or replacing the massive door, both projects would be costly. More importantly check if the church you’re purchasing is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because if it is then it means going through a lot of hoops seeking permissions and the like to make changes on the structure. So to be safe before buying the church for conversion make sure you like the overall structure.

 

On the Layout – apart from considering the structure of the church you have to consider the layout as well. The church might have its own bathroom and kitchen but they could be situated in the basement or at the back of the building. Carrying groceries all the way to the back of the building might be taxing. Also most churches have large courtyards or parking lots that would take a lot of maintaining to do, is that something you are prepared to do? The openness of the room and the high ceilings so often found in churches can also make choosing and hanging art difficult.

The Graveyard – living next to a graveyard might be creepy for some people but for others who don’t mind they might consider the maintenance too much, you would need to keep the grasses and shrubs trimmed. Also you’d have to get used to people dropping by to visit their interred relatives.

Consider all the above factors and some others before you decide to buy a church and convert it into a home.

 

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Artistry Rose

July 26, 2015

Artistry Rose was bred by  Dr. Keith W. Zary in the United States and introduced in the US by Bear Creek Gardens, Inc. it is a Hybrid Tea Rose that will grow to be about 5 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years. This award winning rose lights up the garden with loads of vibrant coral-orange flowers in early summer, repeat-blooming; compact and low-growing, also tolerant to heat, excellent for garden detail use; needs full sun and well-drained soil.

Image Source: http://tulsagentleman.blogspot.com/2010/10/sooc-sunday-artistry-rose.html

Image Source: http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3kdmfXCGC1rtrdnoo1_1280.jpg

Artistry Rose is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. Hybrid Tea Roses are not hardy and require substantial care and winter protection to survive in the North and much of the Midwest.  It will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed and to encourage new growth.

It is suitable for mass planting, hedges or screening and as an accent plant. It can also be grown in the ground or in a container.

The Artistry Rose can be purchased from

Heirloom Roses – http://www.heirloomroses.com/roses/shrub-roses/antique-artistry.html

 

 

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“Old Country Roses is more stunning in sterling!”   Elena D.

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Daring Spirit Hybrid Tea Rose is a beautiful new 2015 introduction from hybridizer Jackson & Perkins. It is very unique as now two blooms will ever be the same flaunting some of the most blooms you’ll ever see making it an absolute stand-out in any setting. This gorgeous hybrid tea sets 5-inch spice-scented blossoms comprised of 25 to 30 petals that display deep pink and cream stripes.

Image Source: http://www.allaboutrosegardening.com/Daring-Spirit-Rose.html

They all have different stripe patterns, some with wider or narrower pink or cream and different splashes of pink or cream.   The Daring Spirit Tea Rose  would reach a mature size of 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide, the plant itself is lovely even without its blooms. The healthy foliage starts out a gorgeous shade of burgundy before turning a semi-glossy dark green. This elegant rose has a moderate spicy fragrance and is hardy in zones 6-10b. This rose can be used as a garden rose, in a perennial bed mixed with other flowers or roses,  beds and borders, cut flower, garden, hedge or landscape.

Image Source: http://www.hgtvgardens.com/photo/daring-spirit-id-00000149-7b1a-d373-a169-ff3e92200000

This rose is available from the ff. online nurseries:

Jackson & Perkins – http://www.jacksonandperkins.com/daring-spirit-hybrid-tea/p/37295/

Houzz – http://www.houzz.com/photos/26154383/Daring-Spirit%E2%84%A2-Hybrid-Tea-traditional-outdoor-products-other-metro

 

 

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Star Jasmine

July 18, 2015

Star Jasmine (scientific name Trachelospermum jasminoides) is  evergreen woody liana native to  eastern and southeastern Asia (Japan, Korea, southern China and Vietnam). It is also known as confederate jessamine and Chinese star jessamine. These species of flowering plants are self-twining evergreen climbing shrubs with glossy ovate leaves and jasmine-like, highly fragrant flowers, sometimes followed by bean-like seed-pods.

The foliage is dark green and glossy, and it bears fragrant white flowers during the spring and summer. The vines grow quickly, and work well on a trellis, arbor or as ground cover. Star jasmine requires partial to full sun and warm weather, and it grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Star jasmine is easy to care for and grows quickly with minimal maintenance and fertilization. It commonly grown as an ornamental plant and houseplant and is used climbing vine, a groundcover, and a fragrant potted plant on terraces and patios in gardens, public parks and public landscapes.

Star Jasmine can be grown in a greenhouse or conservatory in areas prone to severe frosts and against a wall in milder climates. It requires a well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade, direct hot sunlight will scorch the leaves. For this reason, exposure to morning sun and dappled afternoon shade works best. It is drought-resistant but like most vines, it grows best if the soil is kept moist and cool during the hot growing season. If you want the vine to thrive water it regularly, keeping the soil moist but never soggy. Reduce the amount of watering during the winter when the vines goes dormant.

As these plants are climbers they require support otherwise they’d creep up out of their containers. Keep pruning to a minimum as it flowers on last year’s woods and train outward growing shoots into the support, trimming back to a flowering spur if the plant overgrows its space. Although Star Jasmine is quite disease resistant it can be infested with mealy bugs, spray any mealy bug-infested vines thoroughly with insecticidal soap once a week until the pests are gone.

Star Jasmine can be purchased from the ff. online nurseries:

Top Tropicals – https://toptropicals.com/cgi-bin/garden_catalog/cat.cgi?uid=jasminum_nitidum

Portland Nursery – http://portlandnursery.com/plants/shrubs-vines/jasmine.shtml

Monrovia – http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/2061/star-jasmine/

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The Great Blue Heron

July 17, 2015

The Great Blue Heron is a large wading bird common near the shores of open water and in wetlands over most of North America and Central America as well as the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is the largest heron in North America possessing a large body with a slate-gray body, chestnut and black accents, and very long legs and neck. Great blue herons’ size (3.2 to 4.5 feet/1 to 1.4 meters) and wide wingspan (5.5 to 6.6 feet/1.7 to 2 meters) makes them a joy to see in flight.  It is often seen standing silently along inland rivers or lakeshores, or flying high overhead, with slow wing beats, its head hunched back onto its shoulders. It may move slowly, but Great Blue Herons can strike like lightning to grab a fish or snap up a gopher.  The Great Heron has blue-gray feathers on most of its body and a plume of feathers on its chest and back. It has a long, pointed yellow bill and long legs. Adults have white on the top of their heads and long black plumes above their eyes. There is also an all white version of the great blue heron, the great white heron that can be found in southern Florida.

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Great_blue_heron_-_natures_pics.jpg

The Great Blue Heron forages mostly by standing still or walking very slowly in shallow water, waiting for fish to swim near then striking with rapid thrust of bill; they also forages on shore, from floating objects as well as in grasslands and will hunt by day or night. Their diet consists mostly of fish but they also frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, insects, rodents, birds. It has been seen stalking voles and gophers in fields, capturing rails at edge of marsh, eating many species of small water birds.

Image Source: http://curiousanimals.net/birds/who-is-who-great-blue-herons/

Image Source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=88520&picture=great-blue-heron

This bird breeds in colonies often with its own species. The male chooses the nest site and displays there to attract mate. It would stretch its neck up with bill pointing skyward, flying in circles above colony with neck extended, stretching neck forward with head and neck feathers erected and then snapping bill shut. The nest is built by the female with the male gathering the materials. Incubation of eggs produced about 3-5 sometimes 2-7 is done by both sexes. The young will be fed by both parents by regurgitation.

Herons are not your typical backyard visitors but they can sometimes be seen visiting backyards with fish ponds. To protect your fishes from feeding herons, place a long drain pipe for your fishes to hide in.


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“I live at the coast and see these wonderful birds every day =)”.  Adora N.

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Canterbury Bells

July 14, 2015

Campanula medium most commonly referred to Canterbury Bells as well as the bell flower is popular annual or biennial flowering plant originating from Southern Europe, naturalized in most of European countries and in North America and it is widely cultivated for its beautiful flowers. This plant reaches approximately 60-80 centimetres in height. On its first year it forms rosettes of leaves followed by stems and flowers in the second one. Canterbury Bells produce bell-shaped flower blooms up to 2 inches across in the summer of the second year after planting. It bears racemes of bell-like flowers including shades of pink, white, purple, lavender, blue, and violet.  The plant shape is pyramidal and leaves are long and narrow.

Image Source: www.harvestgarden.org

This plant is good at the front of a border where it flowers from spring to summer before dying. Collect the seed to raise new plants, and then cut back the top growth to force up a second batch of leaves and flowers, although they won’t be as profuse as the first.  Canterbury bells are ideal for the informal, cottage garden look, where they can be intermixed with a variety of other plants. They’re also useful for planting at the center of island beds, where they’re viewed from all sides

Image Source: www.thegardenersworkshop.com

Growing Canterbury bells is easy and will reward you with elegant showy blooms. To have yearly blooms, it is important to continually plant these flowers each year. Canterbury bells need rich, moist, well-drained soil or full sun. It can tolerate partial shade but stems may grow weak under these conditions. You can plant them together in a group to support each other without staking. Canterbury bells are grown from seeds. Sow seeds 10 weeks prior to the last frost to grow for first year bloom. To have continuous blooms every year, allow some of the flower seed pods to mature, and the seed fall to the ground to re-seed the flower bed. For best flower production, fertilize every month or two during the growing season. Mulch around plants for a neat and tidy appearance, and to keep competing weeds down.

Image Source: www.facthut.com

Canterbury Bells can be purchased online from the following online nurseries:

Fine Gardening – http://www.finegardening.com/canterbury-bells-campanula-medium-%E2%80%98calycanthema%E2%80%99

Easy Bloom – http://www.easybloom.com/plantlibrary/plant/cup-and-saucer-canterbury-bells

 

 

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“l love wearing my pin, it is just gorgeous!”   Lenay V.

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It’s very easy to make a wheelbarrow fairy garden if you take some time to acquire the pieces and cultivate the look!  Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be ready to get started.

1) Find an old wheelbarrow, just make sure there is sufficient draining holes in the bottom so your garden doesn’t become a swamp.  If there aren’t any holes, just drill 10 to 15 holes in the deep part of the wheelbarrow, that is where you will get the best drainage.  (you might even line part of the metal wheelbarrow with a plastic trash bag so that rusting doesn’t happen too quickly, just make sure there are some holes in the trash bag liner as well =).

2) Go to your local garden store and buy potting soil and peat moss, and some small decorative plants like succulents, herbs and leafy grasses to use as ground cover.  Maybe even some small flowers and moss as well.

3) At home, mix in your potting soil and peat moss, then place your beautiful selection of plants and start adding your fairy garden decor.  It’s even fun to have little ones help you make fairy fences, houses and table sets!

Good luck and have fun!

Image Source: http://indulgy.com/post/Be9gY6nfR1/mini-wheelbarrow-garden

Image Source: http://indulgy.com/post/RUMPmwDES2/wheelbarrow-fairy-garden-cute-idea

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/462604192945288276/

 

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“Gardening is my 2nd favorite pass time next to bird watching, and this jewelry makes love them both even more” Anna B.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe rose is a pinkish blend Floribunda bred by Dr. Keith W. Zary in the United States in 2000. It was introduced in the United States by Bear Creek Gardens Inc. in 2000. It is an upright, deciduous shrub with thorny stems bearing pinnate leaves divided into glossy, toothed, dark green leaflets and clusters of lightly fragrant, double, pale pink flowers from late spring into autumn. This rose has a mild sweet fragrance with 25 petals with an average diameter of 3″, the back of the petals is a darker pink whereas the inner side is a light pink.  The flowers come in clusters of 3 – 10 blooms, blooming in flushes throughout the season.

Image Source: https://redneckrosarian.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/day-9-national-rose-month/

This lovely rose does not get too large growing to an average of 3 feet high forming a nicely round bush. It is USDA zone 6b and warmer, disease resistant however a bit susceptible to blackspot. For spring pruning remove old canes, dead or diseased woods and cut back canes that cross. In warmer climates, cut back the remaining canes by about one-third. In colder areas, you’ll probably find you’ll have to prune a little more than that. This rose can be grown in the ground or in a container and requires spring freeze and winter freeze protection.

Image Source: http://www.treefrogfarm.com/store/flower-essences-tree-essences/our-lady-of-guadalupe-rose-flower-essence.html

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/justbetsys/rosy-roses/

This rose was developed as part of a partnership arrangement between the United Farm Workers and Jackson & Perkins. Part of the sales of this rose will go to the Hispanic College Fund.

 

7.5 Broken China Jewelry Pink Rose Flower Sterling Carved Sides Ring

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What our customers are saying…

“This jewelry is so pretty and well made. I love them all.”  Ginny S.

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King Tut Papyrus

July 8, 2015

Image Source: http://flowergardengirl.com/2010/02/10/king-tut-papyrus-large-container-plant/

 

Image Source: http://www.liliumaquae.com/it/gallery/palustri/cyperus-papyrus-king-tut/

 

Image Source: http://sunlandwatergardens.com/swg_products/bog-plants-king-tut/

Broken China Jewelry Wedgwood Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit Portrait Sterling Pin Brooch

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What our customers are saying…

“Love these and will be ordering more. Great gifts and great seller!” ~ Lisa

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Stained Glass doesn’t always need a color to be beautiful.  Lead was introduced into glass to strengthen and increase light reflection intensity and the earliest example dates back to 650BC (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_glass).  Clear stained glass adds a touch of elegance to any room!

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/361906520030347841/

Image Source: http://www.scottishstainedglass.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/religious-stained-glass-windows-clear-large.jpg

Image Source: http://www.fortworthstainedglass.com/company-news/fort-worth-stained-glass-enhancing-the-look-of-texas-kitchens-window-by-window/

 

Broken China Jewelry Fire King Pale Green Jadeite Sterling Drop Pendant

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What our customers are saying…

“I have received two pieces of this jewelry and love them both to pieces.” ~ Elisabeth A.

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