Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

baby watch, paper gardens

Like our British cousins, I too, have been on a baby watch. My little duchess  is feathery grey with white accents and a quack, quack,quack.
This is Gwenda, Gwennie for short.
  Gwennie built her nest of pine needle mulch up against the house and behind the cucumber trellis. It is safe and shady.
She has been patiently sitting on her eggs for approximately 3 weeks now. 28 days is the incubation period for a duck egg and 28 days for a peacock egg. That is good, because I tucked one lone peacock egg in with her clutch of 6 duck eggs, to see if it will hatch . We've had only ONE batch of ducklings hatch here in the Hollow. That is because, normally, our little "broody hen" would have been snatched in the dead of night by a wicked predator before her ducklings ever had a chance to hatch.  But Gwennie has been protected. 
By, guess who?
Liam and Keats sleep just feet away from Gwenda's nest. It will really be marvelous if these duckies are born, and even more spectacular if the peacock egg hatches too!
   These boys are only 5 months old now and have proved themselves to be wonderful guardians. I've not lost a single bird since the boys began to romp the grounds and walk the perimeter. I HIGHLY recommend Pyrenees if you have a pest problem. These dogs are loving and yet have the independence required of the livestock guardian.

 On a more romantic note, The peafolk have been courting, The peabody boys have molted all of this years tail feathers,which they dropped all over the Hollow.

 That tail must be quite a heavy load to carry around all day long, and losing it has caused the Peabody boys to CALM DOWN, considerably. The peagirls appreciate their new-found good manners and have taken  a bit more kindly to the males advances.
Love is in the air....

  Isn't it romantic?

The baby chicklets have grown into adolescence, and I am pleased to say, that in the good looks department, they take after their papa, a gorgeous Buff Orpington.

Instead of their mother, Plain Jane Black.

I was just a jot and tittle away from finishing my book when I had to stop in midstream, and prepare for 2 art events. I haven't had a spare minute to visit blogs, tend my garden ( which has gone to rack and ruin) or clean the barn! We did have a lovely showing in Berea Kentucky and sold many books and some original paper gardens. Therefore, I spent the next week making MORE paper gardens to take to ANOTHER showing in Lebanon Ohio.
 These really are a lot of work. Firstly, I use a #11 xacto knife to  cut out (freehand) all the strips of grass, stems and leaves. Next, I cut and assemble every tiny bloom until I have a nice collection of flowers, from Hollyhocks, roses, foxgloves, daisys, coneflowers and what nots.

 I also make paper bee skeps, cottages, birdhouses, teeny honeybees and picket fences. Next, I cut silhouettes of trees, animals: rabbits, birds, cows, sheep,deer, bear, cats and horses. When all these bits and pieces are finished, I arrive at the FUN step of assemblage.



This little cottage has a thatched roof and a teeny window box filled with flowers.

 The large dovecote has a scalloped roof entwined by climbing roses and  half a dozen birds surrounding;

as well as a bee skep, hollyhocks, delphiniums, leaping buns and buzzing bees.

I ended up making 6 paper gardens and about a dozen paper garden pendants.

However, although the second arts show was in a marvelous Historic Museum, set in a beautiful old towne with 25 hand picked artisans and craftsmen who are "top of the line" talent, the attendance was utterly DISMAL. I came home with all my gardens, to pack up and sell another day.
 This is the life of a freelance artist, you just never know what sort of inventory to bring to a show and it's a gamble every time you leave town. After over 25 years of shows, I still haven't figured it out.
That's okay, I have many more events this  year, and now I have plenty of STUFF,and won't need to take any more time away from book publication This is how we must look at things in the traveling artist world.
 Soon, I will be FREEEEEE!!! That is until work begins on storybook # 4 in the Hopalong Hollow Series.
 But I don't even want to think about THAT right now. I'd rather go and read YOUR blogs.


One duckling hatches on the 25th, looks just like mommy in miniature! (Swedish Blue ) 2  more babies are poking holes in their shells... expect more baby new tomorrow. It's t0m0rr0w..5 babies in all! 3 m0re eggs t0 g0.


  1. Jeri, I know I say this all the time, but I am always in awe of your beautiful creations. If you are ever headed into Arkansas for a show please let me know. We have friends who have Pyrenees to protect their alpaca. They are such sweet animals. Keeping my fingers crossed all the ducklings and peacock hatch. Have a good week. Bonnie

  2. Jeri,

    I love the garden with the dovecote. Is it still for sale? Would you email me with info please? Sharon.jett@comcast.net

  3. i don't even know where to start!!!
    i guess the best is "gosh..i had a magnificent time visiting your blog!!"

  4. Jeri - those gardens are just beautiful. Good luck with the ducklings and let us know what happens.

  5. Jeri, The amount of time and detail you put into your art pieces is astounding. The whole post is so exuberant.

    Your surroundings and animals make your place so comfortable
    Can't wait to see what Gwennie hatches.
    The economy is much the same up here. unpredictable, and very hard to plan for.

  6. Your paper gardens are absolutely beautiful and I'm sure picture don't even come close to doing them justice! What a talented artist you are.

  7. Good evening dear Jeri,
    I know I have said this before, but you continue to amaze me.
    I just love your paper gardens! How you work so tiny is beyond me... You are a wonder!
    Boy, your pups are just growing up so fast, they always look so happy.

    I am sorry to hear that the attendance was so dismal.. But you are right, you have them for the next show... Can't wait it see Gwennie's little ones when they hatch.

  8. Your creativity is always such an inspiration, Jeri. I think to myself, that if Jeri can do it as busy as she is with the animals and garden and book, that surely I can fit some artistry into my summer. I'm tryin'!

    Glad the pooches are earning their keep. I love your peacock stories. They remind me of my grandma's peafowl and our huge collection of eyed feathers as kids. Hope Gwennie has a brood to mother very soon (and I wonder what she'll think of her slightly odd large baby)!

  9. Bonjour,
    Que du bonheur en ouvrant la porte de votre blog... de la vie !
    En ce moment mes paons n'ont pas encore perdu les plumes de leurs queues ! Je pense que cela ne tardera pas... En août, chaque année, ils les dispersent rapidement dans la propriété !
    Vos toutous sont merveilleux.
    Quel travail extraordinaire que celui de vos petits jardins ! Vraiment fabuleux !
    Je vous fais de gros bisous

  10. Your paper gardens are exquisite and must take a great deal of time. They must be really fun to make. I'm glad (or sad) that you still don't know the secret to a successful show after 25 years. I never figured the shows out either and I thought it was just me. Guess everyone is tending their gardens. All looks good at the Hollow.

  11. I love your paper gardens!!! I'll be anxiously waiting to hear about the hatching babies too. We're not letting our hens hatch any this year, and they're not happy with us because of it. We also didn't get the ducks we thought we were going to. The predators really are bad out here (I worry for the dogs, actually) so, I'm not really regretting that decision too much.

    Oh, all those peacock feathers! I hope you're doing something fabulous with them!

  12. the paper gardens are fabulous. such enormous work! i hope the duck eggs hatch and we get to see pics?

  13. JERI LANDERS!!!!!!!

    I thought you were away somewhere, charming the crowds! My dear, I am so enchanted by all the haps at the hollow, from the baby watch to the Peabody Boys' recent success in gettin' the girl and to learning more about the Pyrennee Boys! I tutor three children who own a black Pyrennee named Daisy; she is a good girl, quite HUGE, gentle, but a fabulous watch dog! Good to know that these dogs keep watch on those PESKY PREDATORS! May Gwen's clutch hatch soon and I know we'll be informed of the arrival!

    I have had the best summer, taking a poetry class and just sitting in my covered deck. Happiness abounds when we involve ourselves in the arts that challenge us and please our spirits.

    Hugs to you dearest Jeri!!!! Anita

  14. Dear Sweet Jeri ~ What a wonderful post! Romance, awaiting births, flowers, colors, beautiful, intricate art work. You are such an inspiration to me. Thank you!

    I just love your paper works, they are exquisite. Your garden pendants are so sweet too!

    I am sorry the second show was a bomb, unfortunately that's part of being an artist. Who can figure out how each show will be or what the show goers will like.

    Love and hugs to you as you finish your book and live, work and play there at Hopalong Hollow.


  15. It is always so wonderful to see what is going on at the Hollow. Babies, romance, and magical art, oh my! such a lovely visit. thank you.

  16. Jeri, your paper gardens are always perfect little reflections of your beautiful living gardens!! Best of luck with baby watching! Will check back to see the little ones!


  17. Love, love, love your paper gardens!!!! Wish we were closer, I would love to go to one of the art shows you mentioned. And there's so much excitement going on in your neck of the woods! Can't wait to see the babies. We don't want pets at this point but if ever we do, we will seriously consider Pyrenees. Your posts always take me to a far away place of enchantment and supplies me with giggles too...thank you!!!

  18. JERI DARLIN'! So good to see you my dear! You are lucky that you see the trees first; I miss the trees and look at the FOREST! YIKES! This poetry class I'm taking right now is forcing me to slow down to look up at the ominous trees before me that make up the forest I so dream to be a part of. Mon dieu, I need that because I'm a big-picture kinda thinker!

    And yeah; skinny people with slim hips can wear anything...GRRRR!

    Hugs! Anita

  19. Congrats to you and Gwennie on the arrival. of the newest fluffy member of Hopalong Hollow.
    We will definately peek back in this week to hear more updates.
    Kudos to beautiful Liam and Keats, for being such devoted guardians.
    Excited and clapping wildly .

  20. Your paper gardens are just gorgeous. And that does happen. but there is always another show. You can see how much work that went into these beauties...Their loss.
    Your dogs are wonderful. I love them and so happy they are guarding your mama duck. I hope the peachick egg hatches. I have three peahens still sitting, but the males are now molting their feathers. I'll put them to good use. I never could get the white feathers cleaned. They just drag them into to much clay.
    Good luck Dearest on all your hatchlings,
    XXOO Marie Antoinette

  21. Don't God's creatures ever amaze with their patience and wisdom?
    Love to set myself down in your beautiful garden and contemplate
    the unfolding of life surrounding the Hollow. If ever an artist
    was wisely chosen to portray It all, dear Jeri, you are the one...
    Bless you for the magic and beautiful spirit you share with us in

    1. Mary, I believe that all these creatures on the farm are my family, and it always amazes me when I walk the grounds to see how many "children" I have!

  22. Congrats on the new babies. LOL! Jeri your paper gardens are amazing. Too bad that the show was dismal. I want to try to get to the Country showing in Columbus this fall. Well the peacock is leaving you some pretty feathers to play around with. Have a lovely week.

  23. How wonderful that the ducklings hatched. Ducklings are sooo cute.
    I ment to tell you that your pendants are darling.do you have any with swans or peacocks?
    XXOO Marie Antoinette

    1. Marie, I have a black swan, but n0 peac0cks...yet!!

  24. Hi Jeri,
    Congratulations! Just read the news flash about the baby duck arrival! Can't wait to see photos... I will check back.
    Thanks so much for wandering over...
    Liam and Keats have grown up soooooooo fast! How sweet they are.

    1. Penny, 8 babies in all! M0vies c0ming s00n!

  25. How I cherish my beautiful paper garden! It sits atop my art table...inspiring, always!
    Please come for a visit, as I am at last able to be up and running and desperately missing all of you dear kindreds!
    Much love,

  26. JERI LANDERS, hey babe how ya doin'? teeeeeheeeeee

    It is always fun to see you come on by my way! YOU TOO UNDERSTAND the magic of shadows? Growing up in California, I was surrounded by sunshine, and most of the time as a young child, my mother and I walked many miles in the sun to shop, to school, EVERYWHERE, since she did not drive. To this day, when I walk and see homes that are similar in design to the ones in my old neighborhood, I am stunned with a sharp memory. Interesting that you too understand those shadows. I hope life is budding at the farm; our animals here are low in number this year, from the bunnies in the yard (we're lucky to see one pass by) to our squirrels that used to hang from the trees. This summer, one squirrel came to entertain me but for a moment. Ah heck!

    Big hugs to you and thank you for one of the biggest compliments I have ever received: that I am a poet. Well, WE'RE WORKING ON IT! I am taking a class at the literary center with a renowned poet. She is fabulous, kind and very helpful, but this is NOT EASY. Nothing worth learning is.

    LOVE! Anita

  27. You art is extraordinary, dear Jeri...just like you! :)

    And your sweet little critters....I just want to hug them all...
    Dear Liam and Keats are getting bigger by the day, please give them an extra "kudos" hug from me for doing such a fantastic job protecting their fur family!! :)

    A big hug to you too!!!
    Love and blessings,
    - Irina

  28. Jeri - it looks like your guardians are doing a good job where Gwennie is concerned. I love your paper houses...they are awesome. You are so talented and I always enjoy my visit. Hope you have a great week.

  29. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    Wonderful that the boys are keeping the predators away!

    Your pendants and paper gardens are fantastic!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at the Corgyncombe Courant


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