This is my latest doll and carrying case. Sally is a cloth doll and her carry case is one of a kind. The covers tell a story. This one is a Caribbean scene with a beach hut and a surf board leaning on a coconut tree.
The cover is a quilt block with applique handwork. Inside is her quilted bed and soft pillow. The center page is a zippered pocket for Sally's clothes.
My friends and family that know me also know I collect orchids. I have a passion for these elegant flowers with their exquisite fragrance. Some of the fragrance are so hypnotic that inhaling for a few seconds will transfer you into a tranquil world of relaxation. (Could be addicting). You would want to come back for a second and third inhalation. The plant itself is not much to look at. You could even say they are not attractive.
I started out with an orchid which was given to me by a friend at work . It was a cattleya, and it was in bloom (yeah...). The flower was a deep dark purple with a beautiful fragrance. I was so excited with my orchid. I have always dreamed of buying an orchid but too scare of the maintenance.
I remember many years ago the orchid exhibits were hosted in the local malls, and the fragrances were out of this world. I was so intrigued by how many vibrant colors, size's and shapes they came in. Some were growing on drift wood, in wooden baskets, clay pots, on a chunk of stone and some just grew with all their roots exposed in the air and tied to a wire hanger.
I happily took my precious orchid home, shortly after the flower died. How sad... I thought I had killed it, but they do not live forever. A few weeks later the plant turned yellow and died. How depressing.... Now I was really sad and I certainly was not about to mention it to my friend at work. (It was going to be my secret). So I avoided the topics of orchids with him, which was difficult. He is an orchid grower and has over 3,000 orchids in his collection.
A year later I purchased my first phalaenopsis orchid. The flowers lasted for weeks, but then the plant died. I was determined to learn about these intriguing flowers. So I bought a book on orchids and read it from cover to cover. Now I thought I was the expert, but ask me about one scientific name for an orchid. (I flunked, very proudly). Not ashamed, because I can't read them, let alone pronounce them. Weeks later my friend was traveling to an orchid show in Miami. He told me he can bring back an orchid for me from this show. Yes indeed, I wanted a pink cattelya and I gave him a few dollars. He did bring back my pink orchid, but it was not in bloom and it was not about to bloom for a couple of years. You get what you pay for. Cheap.....
My sister in Puerto Rico lives in a mansion on a large property. She collects many varieties of orchids. They are spread all over her gardens. I enjoy sitting on her terrace up high looking down and admiring her gardens with the most colorful orchids. Wow, what a peaceful time. I can spend many hours relaxing there with a good book and a glass of wine and the tropical breeze. Nah, perhaps with some gardening magazines.
Now I really wanted a blooming orchid, so I started to attend all the orchid shows in my area. That is how my collection grew to approximately 40 orchids. Now I needed a place to keep my orchids and I do not get much sun light in my house. We could no longer enjoy eating our meals outside in the screen porch, because the orchids took over the dining table, the plant racks, the floor and some were hanging from the ceiling. I was growing my own little rain forest in my porch.
One day, hubby said, "I can no longer enjoy my screen porch with all those plants in the way. You need to get rid of the plants. I have nightmares of man eating plants." Yipes..... my hairs stood up! I had invested a small fortune and many hours watering and fertilizing my friends. That meant they would have to move out to the naked backyard. We did not have any trees in the back to protect them from the direct sun in Florida. So this is how the pergola came in to play.
This is a picture of my dining table in our screen porch. Kind of hard sitting and eating in front of my orchid friends. ( lol ) Sort of like licking an ice cream in front of a child's face.
This picture actually is pretty cleaned up. What you don't see is the long counter behind the table lined up with more orchids, and what a beautiful display.
Here are some pictures of my orchid house I had built in my backyard. This was about six years ago, (2008).
Thank you hubby for running a water line and a garden sprayer. This made it very easy to water them. No more running around with buckets of water like a mad man putting out a fire. lol
That's me sitting in my haven.
A custom bench I had built.
Most of my orchids were moved into there new home. Except for the ones which were in bloom. I kept those in my porch so I could enjoy them from the sliding glass doors in my family room. I did not move the phalaenopsis out there because they can not handle the bright sun.
The sun was penetrating very strong through the front entrance. So french doors were added a month later. Now this became my little private getaway. Somewhat like my sisters lovely terrace. Nah.... who am I kidding?