Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


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Make a Dragonfly

DFA few years ago I made a whole flock of wire angels–a la Carol Duvall. (I tried to find the instructions online to share with you, but couldn’t. Sorry.)

After that, I thought, “Why not make dragonflies instead?

DFThis guy is one of the first. Poor thing doesn’t have a head, but he’s cute anyway.

I thought you might enjoy knowing how I change an angel into a fly. 🙂

dftailFirst you wrap wire around a round thing about 10 times, and leave a long tail.

dfwrapWrap that long tail around the loops and wrap it tightly!

dfdivideThen I divide the wraps in half. (Kinda looks like a snowman lying down, doesn’t it?)

dfwingsOne half is for the wings, the other for the tail.

dfbeadWrap the wings and add a bead for the head. (Most dragonflies have heads.)

dfspreadStraighten out the tail and wrap it with that long piece of wire. Then spread out the wings.

dfflyAnd you have a dragonfly!

You can add a pin to the back and wear it on a lapel, make it smaller, add hooks and wear them in your ears, or make it larger and hang it on your Christmas tree!

dragonfliesMine hang in the bathroom on my wrought iron. I think they’re kind of cute.

Like them?


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Guess What’s Here

WWG (World’s Worst Gardener) here. Know what this is?How about this?

If you guessed Grape Hyacinth, you’re right. If you guessed Muscari–you’re right, too.

And guess what. They’re here!

Aren’t they pretty with dead leaves nearby? I try to save a few leaves in my yard, just to give these babies some contrast. 🙂 (You bought that. Right?)

When we bought our house, we had grape hyacinth growing very neatly along the driveway. They’ve been mowed, sprayed with weed killer, frozen by ice storms and left without much water, but they just keep coming back.

They’re my kind of plant! I call them a traveling plant, because they don’t stay in neat little rows. (I never was good at that, either.)

I find them popping up all over the place. I still have the ones near the driveway, but also in several places around my front yard as if they’re having too much fun to just stay in one place.

I’ve even seen a patch in the area below my wall near the road. That soil has never been amended, fertilized or watered, but they do great down there..

I can tell you three things about them–they’re poison, deer won’t eat them (apparently, deer aren’t stupid) and they originated in the Mediterranean basin.

A few nicknames for them–Starch Hyacinth, Feather Hyacinth, Purse Tassel. I’ve never heard them called anything but grape hyacinth, but don’t you love the name Purse Tassel?

I read they do really well in pots, and will fill up the pot after a few years. I’ve got to try that!

They make really pretty bouquets if you have tiny vases. I’ve used insulin vials for them in the past and sample perfume vials.

They can be propagated by separating the bulbs or by seed. I can’t imagine how tiny their seeds are, so if I ever get around to propagating them, I’ll do the bulb thing.

Of the early plants growing in my yard, I like these best! I think. I like jonquils, but I love the Tassels. 🙂 No, wait. Tulips! I adore tulips!!!

Oh, well. I like them all.

What’s you’re favorite early blooming plants?