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Archives for December 5, 2015

Minnesota couple’s haven is a 1-acre wonderland

“It’s our treasure to share,” said Mike of the gardens and 1938 farmhouse in Shoreview, Minn., that he and Judy have been working on since 1980.

“It was primitive when we started,” he said. The property, once part of a 15-acre farm, included a flat-roofed home and a then-unremarkable yard that had lots of potential. With four active children, the family used the front lawn as a soccer field and turned the back into a hockey rink.

After a tornado took out 13 mature oak trees in 1998, the void spurred the Cunninghams to begin creating a bolder vision for their property.

The result is an outdoor haven that now includes three ponds, multiple shade gardens, a roomy fire pit area and meandering flagstone paths.

In the front yard, Judy’s collection of more than 50 birdhouses mingles with doors, ladders and other flea-market finds. Family heirlooms, including Mike’s grandfather’s sharpening wheel, are nestled among the mature trees and freely growing shrubs, native grasses and more than 50 varieties of hosta.

The showpiece is a 5,000-gallon backyard pond, brimming with koi fish, aquatic plants and the gentle purr of a four-tiered waterfall. As if in a fairy tale, a two-story white clapboard playhouse sits alongside the pond, and now welcomes a second generation of tiny footsteps as the Cunninghams’ six grandchildren romp around what they consider their “personal park.”

Mike, 60, retired three years ago from Sysco MN, a food distribution company, where he was a senior vice president of operations. The oldest of nine children whose family has lived in Shoreview since the early 1900s, he credits his Uncle Ray, a self-taught biologist and naturalist, with fostering his love of landscaping, hunting and wildlife management.

In his youth, Mike and his siblings raised crows, red foxes, red-tail hawks, golden pheasants and chickens. With his uncle, Cunningham raised giant Cecropia moths, and banded and released hundreds of wood ducks.

Judy, 61, who retired from Marshall Fields’ furniture division, is the second oldest of six children. She grew up on a small farm in northern White Bear Lake, and her love of the land came from her father and grandfather, who were dairy farmers. The couple joke that with 100 family members, every familial gathering is an instant party.

But the Cunninghams welcome any opportunity to bring people to their varied outdoor spaces, which they describe as “unique rooms” they have created.

For the past 15 years, the couple have hosted a chili potluck that now includes a charity food drive to honor Mike’s brother, Jim, who was struck and killed by a train in 2011. (Jim’s memorial garden in their side yard is Judy’s favorite spot to read or meditate.)

Judy serves up 30 gallons of chili, while Mike slings hamburgers. Guests bring a side dish to share and something to donate. This year, the Cunninghams delivered 600 pounds of food and a cash donation to the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf.

Their gardens have served as a backdrop for graduation photos, birthdays and three weddings. For one daughter’s nuptials, the Cunninghams erected Roman pillars, brought in theater seats and hired violinists to serenade the couple.

After hosting a party for the Minnesota Water Garden Society several years ago, one woman on the tour asked the Cunninghams if she might bring her husband back to take a look. The couple returned that evening with a bottle of wine — and spent a few hours hanging out around the fire pit and listening to the waterfall in the background.

“We loved it,” Mike said, thinking nothing of having perfect strangers hang out in their backyard. “We like to share. We didn’t do all this to hide it.”

LEARNING CURVE

When the Cunninghams set out on their landscaping adventures 35 years ago, there was plenty of trial and error.

“We did a lot of re-dos,” Judy said. “Every spring I’d point something out: ‘I want that moved and that moved. …’?”

Said Mike: “We didn’t ever have a plan. If we see something we like, we get it.”

In 1999, the couple took on their first pond project, a small oasis for the front yard. They dreamed bigger for their second project four years later, and decided to tackle it themselves after an estimate came in at $31,000.

“We read a lot of books and watched a lot of HGTV,” Mike said of the project, a 26- by 15-foot tour de force with a rolling waterfall. They ended up spending $6,000, plus a lot of sweat equity.

The Cunninghams see their evolving yardscaping as a way to pass on their love of the outdoors to their children and grandchildren. They’ve built wood-duck nesting boxes together and delight in the sight of ducklings jumping out in the spring to visit the pond.

“There are nicer gardens out there by far,” said Mike. “But we see it as our hidden paradise. We want it to be a place for our friends and family to hang out and experience.”

Article source: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/features/home/3896878-minnesota-couples-haven-1-acre-wonderland

Back to his roots: OSU landscape manager, an alumnus, says work is a mix of …

STILLWATER — The horticulture degree Steve Dobbs earned at Oklahoma State University in 1981 set him on a career path that led right back to the Stillwater campus.

As OSU’s grounds and landscape manager, Dobbs oversees more than 800 acres — excluding the athletic and intramural fields — that require constant maintenance and occasional ornamentation.

From growing flowers in the greenhouse to trimming shrubs across campus, 50 full-time employees stay busy with the upkeep.

They are grouped according to zones and assisted by about 20 part-time student workers who are hired each year.

“I remind my staff all the time, even mowing the lawn, there is both an art and a science behind it,” said Dobbs, 56.

When he took the job in 2010, a lot of the staff’s time was consumed by mowing and dragging water hoses here and there.

“You don’t get much else done, and that’s not the proper way,” he said.

Today, an irrigation system keeps lawns and gardens watered properly so workers have more time to design and install landscape displays. Every new building project includes landscaping in its budget.

Part of Dobbs’ role is to carry out the campus landscape master plan implemented in 2011.

Orange is always part of the color scheme; some years it might be 25 percent, and other years it can be 100 percent, Dobbs said.

The 125th anniversary design that adorned the Edmon Low Library lawn earlier this year included designs ranging from a horse-drawn wagon to a birthday cake.

Year-round effort

Dobbs and his crew don’t hibernate during the winter months. Their work continues; it just changes.

The five large topiaries on campus are moved into the greenhouse. Leaves are raked into compost piles. Trees must be pruned and holiday lights hung.

Dobbs orders seeds and cuttings for the following year’s lawn design and grows the plants in the greenhouse.

Hands down, the least favorite job of all is snow and ice removal.

“You just don’t know how to plan for it,” Dobbs said, “and it always comes at inopportune times.”

A year-round duty is picking up litter, including after tailgating.

“That’s a fun one,” Dobbs said. “But many fans do a good job of bagging their own trash.”

First impressions

Growing up in Sallisaw, Dobbs was involved with 4-H. He always had a plant project and an animal project. When he left for college, he had to pick one.

Horticulture won and has been his passion ever since.

After graduating from OSU, he worked both in state and out and earned a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of Arkansas.

“We were so lucky to find him and get him back,” OSU President Burns Hargis said. “We weren’t doing much more than mowing the lawn and clipping the hedges.

“Steve really is a very gifted artist. He really gets it. He’s a guy that figures out how to get it done. And he’s creative.”

Hargis and Dobbs agree maintaining a beautiful campus is important both for those who already call it home and for people who come to Stillwater for the first time.

“It’s like your front yard. It’s a symbol of your pride in place,” Hargis said. “The campus sells to new people who are considering it because not only is it very lovely, but it also makes a statement.

“That’s the first impression they have of OSU when they drive up and see the campus. And usually the reaction is ‘Wow.'”

Top that off with the friendliness of the people, and it makes OSU a place where people want to go, Hargis said.

Urban forest

“People are really noticing,” Dobbs said. “It’s an exciting time here.”

He gets a lot of feedback from alumni who visit campus in the form of comments, emails and sometimes donations to the OSU Foundation.

Visitors can learn about various plants and trees on campus from QR codes installed along side them. Some people take that knowledge home to use in their own yards and gardens, Dobbs said.

The grounds crew and students have tracked every tree on campus through a global positions system. It serves as a tree inventory and helps Dobbs keep the urban forest healthy.

The campus was recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA for effectively managing trees and engaging students.

“We have beautiful trees on campus,” Hargis said. “They’re a huge asset.”

Dobbs gives the credit for the beautiful campus to his “unbelievable staff.”

“I just want to brag on them as much as I can. What’s so special about them is they all have a passion for it.”

Article source: http://newsok.com/article/5464943

Bruno Mars wraps up a year’s worth of realty deals with home sale

Grammy winner Bruno Mars has sold his Hollywood Regency-style contemporary along the border of Studio City and Hollywood Hills West for $3,347,500 in an off-market deal.

Fronting a 10-vehicle motor court, the 1964 home has an imposing facade with stone columns flanking 11-foot-tall frosted glass entry doors.

The walled and gated house features a single-story open floor plan. Retractable walls of glass bring in expansive cityscape and mountain views.

The home contains living and family rooms, three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and a powder room in 4,074 square feet of living space. The master bathroom features radiant heat flooring, a sauna, a two-person steam shower and a massage and gym area, according to details from 2012, when Mars bought the property for $3.254 million.

There’s a swimming pool at the back of the house and a three-car garage.

Earlier this year, Mars bought an estate in Studio City for $6.5 million. The 9,033-square-foot Mediterranean-style house, built in 2000, sits on two acres with a covered lounge, an infinity swimming pool with a spa and a children’s play area.

He also sold his place in Hawaii.

The singer-songwriter, 30, is working on his third album. He has released two studio albums, “Doo-Wops Hooligans” (2010) and “Unorthodox Jukebox” (2012). The latter won a Grammy Award for best pop vocal album. He was Billboard’s artist of the year in 2014.

Mars also performed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2014.

QB seeks a receiver in Del Mar

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer has put a contemporary-style house in Del Mar on the market at $24,995,000.

The 2002 Heisman Trophy winner from USC, now in his 12th NFL season, bought the half-acre property from the city of Del Mar in 2010 for $4.4 million, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The 8,000-square-foot house with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms was built last year.

The three-story house, designed for entertaining and casual indoor-outdoor living, includes such custom features as an infinity-edge swimming pool, a boccie ball court, a sports court, an open-air living room and an outdoor kitchen/wet bar.

Open-plan interiors done in poured concrete and mahogany finishes include formal living and dining rooms, a center-island kitchen, a media room and an office. The master suite spans the entire third floor and has an indoor-outdoor shower, a free-standing soaking tub and private deck.

There are five fireplaces in all.

A lower-level gym has sliding doors that open to a tennis/sports court. Elsewhere, an oversized garage has parking for as many as 10 cars.

Palmer, 35, was a standout at USC and before that at Santa Margarita Catholic High School.

The two-time Pro Bowl player was taken first overall in the 2003 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and has also played for the Oakland Raiders. He is in his third year with the Cardinals.

Eric Iantorno of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty is the listing agent.

Closing on their Venice bungalow

Actors Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have sold their bungalow in Venice for $1.77 million, $21,000 more than the asking price.

The couple bought the house three years ago for $929,000, records show.

Tucked behind privacy hedges and a gated entry, the single-story home was built in 1921 and remodeled in 2013.

Within the 1,520 square feet of living space are crisp interiors, coved doorways and rich hardwood floors. A living room with custom built-ins, a dining room, an updated kitchen and a family room are among the living spaces.

Three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms include a master suite with his and her sinks and French doors that open to a tree-topped patio.

A detached two-car garage, an outdoor laundry room and a playroom/office make up the grounds.

Elizabeth Puro of Teles Properties was the listing agent. David and Anna Solomon of the Agency represented the buyer.

Danson, 67, is known for his role on the 1980s sitcom “Cheers.” Among his other TV credits are the series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” “CSI: Cyber,” “Fargo” and “Damages.”

Steenburgen, 62, won an Academy Award for her supporting role as Lynda Dummar in the 1980 film “Melvin and Howard.” She appears on the television series “Orange Is the New Black” and “The Last Man on Earth.”

Point guard makes a play

As Stephen Curry continues to pilot the Golden State Warriors to unprecedented heights, the all-star point guard has made a play away from the court, buying a home in Walnut Creek, Calif., for $3.2 million.

Set on about an acre, the two-story Mediterranean estate was built in 2012 and has a gated motor court and a formal courtyard entry.

Nearly 8,000 square feet of open-plan space includes a two-story foyer that opens to a step-down living room and an adjacent dining room area. A center-island kitchen and family room area sit off the foyer.

For entertainment, a lower-level space is outfitted with media and billiards rooms, a 2,300-bottle wine cellar and a full bar.

Occupying a separate wing of the home, the master suite boasts an office, a fireplace and a private balcony. Marble and travertine finishes, a frameless glass shower and jetted spa tub highlight the master bathroom.

There are five bedrooms, five bathrooms and four fireplaces in all.

French doors open to a wide covered patio with an outdoor kitchen. Formal landscaping, gardens and a separate 800-square-foot casita complete the grounds.

The house came on the market in April for $3.988 million and was more recently priced at $3.65 million, records show. It sold for $2.5 million last year.

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/hot-property/la-fi-hotprop-20151206-story.html

December’s gardening to-do list

Frosty mornings and even a little bit of snow signify that winter is on its way.

December is a quiet month for gardening. There are still tasks to accomplish for the upcoming planting and growing season, though.

Indoor gardening

Growing plants indoors is a viable option this time of year. You can start an indoor vegetable garden, an indoor herb garden or both.

potted plants on windowsillThere are a number of herbs that thrive indoors, like chives, basil, parsley and mint. As long as you have a sunny location or the right artificial light, plus containers with drainage holes and the right potting medium, your indoor herb garden should be a success. Check out our how-to article to learn more about starting your indoor herb garden.

More information about growing vegetables indoors over winter, such as fertilizer options and controlling pests, can be found here. Farm and Dairy online columnist Ivory Harlow also gives us two superfoods — microgreens and sprouts — that can be grown indoors during cold weather. They’re easy to grow and they’re nutritious.

Tend to houseplants

The plants that need to be taken care of during the winter, aside from vegetables and herbs grown indoors, are houseplants. Check out our tips for taking care of houseplants during the winter.

The indoor climate can be tricky for plants with dry conditions, cooler temperatures and less daylight than the summer months, but there are ways to keep houseplants healthy until spring arrives.

Poinsettia care

poinsettiaWith the upcoming Christmas holiday, garden centers are stocked with the infamous poinsettia. Poinsettias shouldn’t be placed too closely to windows or places where there will be cold breezes, and they shouldn’t be too close to heat vents. More poinsettia care tips, like watering, potting and dealing with pests can be found here.

Choosing seeds

Call it armchair gardening. Call it getting ahead on your to-do list. December is a great time to order seed catalogs and take a look at what you want to grow in the spring and summer.

Online columnist Ivory Harlow shares her tips for choosing heirloom or hybrid seeds, as well as tips for place, space and avoiding waste. You’ll be able to figure out just how much of a plant you want to grow, where it should be grown and when you should plant.

Clean tools

garden trowelIf you didn’t clean up your gardening tools and put them away at the end of summer, do it now. You’ll want to start fresh in the spring with tools that are free of dirt and plant matter and tools that are sharp and ready for use. Check out our guide to preparing garden tools for winter for tips. If you’re thinking ahead a few months, take a look at our guide to getting tools organized for spring.

Have any other gardening tips for December, or any questions? Let us know in the comments below.

Article source: http://www.farmanddairy.com/top-stories/decembers-gardening-to-do-list/303336.html

Garden: Tips for picking the right Christmas tree

Most of us think we know how to select the proper Christmas tree, but do we? What should we be considering before buying a tree?

Fresh or artificial: The first decision must be to decide if you want a real tree or an artificial one. What should go into that determination? Is anyone allergic or asthmatic? Some people are affected by the scent of the trees in an enclosed space. The problem may be with all evergreens or just a specific variety. Personally, I tolerate a Frasier fir well but get terribly sick if near to a Spanish pine. So be aware of the health of anyone who will be spending time near the tree.

Transportation and setup are also considerations. An artificial tree usually is easier to move, lighter and not terribly difficult to put together. Once purchased, it is usually good for more than a few years. A real tree is often the source of family traditions — the day out to select the tree, the perfect shape and more. If you have access to an appropriate vehicle and the strength and stamina to bring in and erect a fresh tree, it can be a wonderful choice.

There’s the argument for sustainability. An artificial tree does use some resources, metal, plastic and such, but it is reusable for a long time. A real tree does kill a tree but it is a sustainable industry supporting many families who grow fields of trees just as the farmer grows rows of food crops. Is either a perfect choice? No. But sustainability is an important issue for some people.

When you decorate is also a concern. A live tree, cut or bundled will not safely last weeks and weeks indoors. So if you decorate before the turkey leftovers are gone, consider getting an artificial tree.

Cut or bundled: Trees can be purchased with the root system intact and planted out in the yard or cut and bundled. Which is best? —The one that suits your situation. Some have the space and proper growing conditions to make their Christmas tree a permanent part of their landscape. Others don’t want another live tree, don’t have the right location or conditions to grow an evergreen, or just don’t want the bother.

A rooted tree will need time to adapt to the indoors; ease it into a cool garage for a few days before bringing it in. Then give it a short stay indoors, about four or five days at most, before returning to the cool garage and eased outdoors for planting. You need a pre-dug hole, just in case the ground freezes before you are ready to plant. You must also accommodate a large pot or tub to hold the roots, soil and water a bundled tree demands.

A cut tree will tolerate the indoors a bit longer than a bundled one. Especially since the cut tree is destined for municipal recycling, cutting up for winter mulch or left outdoors as a haven for wildlife. With regular filling of the tree container, you can add a few extra days indoors. However, when the tree is dropping lots of needles or browning, it is past time to remove it.

What kind of tree? First, know your space, not only your ceiling height but also the available floor space, as the wrong tree can be too wide as well as too tall. What looks like the right height often is almost a foot too tall when you get it home. Buy the right size tree and avoid the extra expense for that taller tree you need to trim down.

Use the right exposure for your location. If you are putting it in a corner or against a wall, you can use one with a flat or bare side. If you position your tree in front of a window or in the center of a room, hold out for the one perfect from every angle.

What’s right for your decorating style. A long-needle or very full tree works well with just lights and ribbons, small ornaments or other minimal decorations. A tree with wide branch space or maybe short needles is best for large ornaments.

Make sure that it is stable, with a straight trunk or be prepared to anchor it to something stable. Make sure it is fresh, not dropping a ton of needles when you move it. Make sure it fits your tree stand. You don’t want to have to remove the bark to fit the container. Just behind that outer bark is the water transportation system for keeping your tree green and supple. If possible, have the tree recut and drilled to fit your stand. Maybe taking your stand with you will help select one with an appropriate trunk.

Once you get the tree home do you keep it outside until you are ready to decorate or bring it in? The best choice is probably to put the tree in the stand so the branches can recover from being tied or bundled up. Make sure the stand or container is full of water and store the tree in a cool but not freezing area for a day or two before bringing it in.

Sue Kittek is a freelance garden columnist, writer, and lecturer. Send questions to Garden Keeper at grdnkpr@gmail.com or mail: Garden Keeper, The Morning Call, P.O. Box 1260, Allentown, PA 18105.

This Week in the Garden

Planting:

Pot up any leftover spring-flowering bulbs and store them in a cool area with temperatures around 40°F or cooler for 8 to 12 weeks, then bring in for forcing.

Seasonal:

Purchase gifts and gift cards for gardeners on your Christmas list

Unpack and check Christmas lights and displays. Repair or replace damaged items before installation.

Keep pathways clear of dead plants and leaves.

If you are purchasing a live potted/burlapped Christmas tree, find an appropriate planting spot, dig it out and store the soil, covered or in a container in the garage.

Start amaryllis bulbs now. They need to grow for 8 to 10 weeks before they bloom.

Lawns:

Rake, blow or mulch fallen leaves off the lawn.

Keep newly seeded or sodded lawns watered until the ground freezes.

Chores:

Mark off beds, new plantings, plants that are late to break dormancy in the spring and delicate plants. Stay off them when decorating or dealing with snow removal.

Bring in or wrap large statuary to avoid winter damage.

Order or buy winter mulch but do not apply it until the ground freezes.

Use a humidifier, humidity trays or misting to increase the humidity around your houseplants.

Drain and store hoses. Shut off, drain and freeze-proof outdoor faucets.

Check caulking around doors and windows. Repair now to keep out mice, ladybugs and stinkbugs.

Check, repair and replace gutters, down spouting, storm windows and doors.

Clear storm damage as it occurs. Photograph damage before clearing or repairing for insurance claims and file promptly.

Provide deer, rabbit and groundhog protection for vulnerable plants. Reapply taste or scent deterrents.

Clean and fill bird feeders regularly; provide fresh water. Clean up spilled seed and empty hulls.

Article source: http://www.mcall.com/features/home/mc-christmas-trees-tips-pick-right-20151204-story.html

Outside Art: See the Sketches That Became the World’s Most Beautiful Gardens

Most contributors are based in the U.S. and Europe, but the conceptualization excerpts also draw from firms in Canada, India, and Australia. Featured examples take form in pencil, photomontage, watercolor, and clay, among other media, and to a one they evoke a feeling of place and emotional connection that no computer-rendered plan could begin to suggest.

Article source: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/garden-landscape-sketches-top-designers

Outside Art: See the Sketches That Became the World’s Most Beautiful Gardens

Most contributors are based in the U.S. and Europe, but the conceptualization excerpts also draw from firms in Canada, India, and Australia. Featured examples take form in pencil, photomontage, watercolor, and clay, among other media, and to a one they evoke a feeling of place and emotional connection that no computer-rendered plan could begin to suggest.

Article source: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/garden-landscape-sketches-top-designers

Hackney designer creates solid gold necklace in tribute to Hatton Garden raiders

A designer from east London has created a solid gold necklace inspired by the Hatton Garden gem heist.

Joe Bruce says he decided to create a lasting tribute to the raid after becoming enthralled with the case.

The piece is shaped like the hole which was drilled through the 50cm-thick wall of the concrete vault at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in April.

Now he is selling the handmade 18 carat gold necklace for £570 – and it is produced by one of the famous diamond district’s top jewellers.

hatton.jpg

Mr Bruce, who works in advertising, told the Standard he hoped to capture the “audacious” spirit of the heist.

“Like many people who regularly pass through Hatton Garden, I became fascinated by the heist,” he said.

Hatton-Garden.jpg

The hole drilled into the vault

“The hole they cut in the wall has become a bit of a symbol for the audacity and brutal simplicity of the raid.

“There was a lot of cheekiness about it and that’s what I tried to capture. I’m not celebrating the crime, I’m picking something interesting about the cause and cementing it.”

hattonnecklace1w.jpg

The necklace is dubbed Hatton Tom Foolery after the cockney rhyming slang for jewellery.

It was originally intended as a present for his wife, but the 31-year-old from Hackney is now accepting orders for the pendant, which comes with an 18 carat gold chain.

He approached several jewellers in Hatton Garden before finding one who was willing to make the design, although the man in question prefers to remain anonymous.

“Most of them were nervous about getting involved,” he said.

“But the one who agreed is one of the best in the area and he loved it.”

Each piece takes two to three weeks to make and Mr Bruce says he is not seeking to make any profit, with the £570 price tag only covering his costs.

Contact info@hattontomfoolery.co.uk for more information.

  • More about:
  • Hatton Garden

Article source: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/hackney-designer-creates-solid-gold-necklace-in-tribute-to-hatton-garden-raiders-a3129346.html

Hackney designer creates solid gold necklace in tribute to Hatton Garden raiders

A designer from east London has created a solid gold necklace inspired by the Hatton Garden gem heist.

Joe Bruce says he decided to create a lasting tribute to the raid after becoming enthralled with the case.

The piece is shaped like the hole which was drilled through the 50cm-thick wall of the concrete vault at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in April.

Now he is selling the handmade 18 carat gold necklace for £570 – and it is produced by one of the famous diamond district’s top jewellers.

hatton.jpg

Mr Bruce, who works in advertising, told the Standard he hoped to capture the “audacious” spirit of the heist.

“Like many people who regularly pass through Hatton Garden, I became fascinated by the heist,” he said.

Hatton-Garden.jpg

The hole drilled into the vault

“The hole they cut in the wall has become a bit of a symbol for the audacity and brutal simplicity of the raid.

“There was a lot of cheekiness about it and that’s what I tried to capture. I’m not celebrating the crime, I’m picking something interesting about the cause and cementing it.”

hattonnecklace1w.jpg

The necklace is dubbed Hatton Tom Foolery after the cockney rhyming slang for jewellery.

It was originally intended as a present for his wife, but the 31-year-old from Hackney is now accepting orders for the pendant, which comes with an 18 carat gold chain.

He approached several jewellers in Hatton Garden before finding one who was willing to make the design, although the man in question prefers to remain anonymous.

“Most of them were nervous about getting involved,” he said.

“But the one who agreed is one of the best in the area and he loved it.”

Each piece takes two to three weeks to make and Mr Bruce says he is not seeking to make any profit, with the £570 price tag only covering his costs.

Contact info@hattontomfoolery.co.uk for more information.

  • More about:
  • Hatton Garden

Article source: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/hackney-designer-creates-solid-gold-necklace-in-tribute-to-hatton-garden-raiders-a3129346.html

Holiday Events – Florida Times

‘A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS’

Orange Park Community Theatre presents “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” by Charles M. Schultz, based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson.

The classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation where Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the other Peanuts characters grapple with the real meaning of Christmas.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” runs for four shows only: Dec, 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. and two matinee performances at 2 p.m. Dec. 12 and 13.

General admission tickets are $15 and student tickets cost $10. Reservations are available online at www.showtixnow.com or by calling the OPCT reservation line at (904) 276-2599.

This production is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

‘RUDOLPH’ AT THRASHER-HORNE

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical” will be offered Sunday, Dec. 13, at Orange Park’s Thrasher-Horne Center.

Two shows are scheduled: 1:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand following last year’s critically acclaimed and hugely successful inaugural tour, the world’s most famous reindeer and a holly jolly cast of iconic characters including Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster will help Santa save Christmas during three North American tours visiting 50 cities this holiday season.

Tickets are available at the Thrasher-Horne Center Box Office at (904) 276-6815 or THcenter.org.

The Thrasher-Horne Center is a not-for profit performing arts venue and conference center owned and operated by St. Johns River State College. It is located on the Orange Park campus at 283 College Drive.

GINGERBREAD HOUSES RETURN

Candy-coated re-creations of fairy tale scenes and local landmarks are decorating the Jacksonville Historical Society’s 12th annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza at Old St. Andrew’s Church, 317 A. Philip Randolph Blvd.

The annual event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 23.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Almost 50 gingerbread creations made by local nonprofit agencies, schools and residents will decorate the historic church, with proceeds to benefit the historical society.

A “Gingerbread by Candlelight” event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 17, to enjoy the event at night. The extravaganza also features a “Festival of Trees” created by the Junior League of Jacksonville.

The Merrill House Museum next door is also open for tours from 1 to 4 p.m. on Extravaganza dates, with a 19th-century toy exhibit.

For more information, call (904) 665-0064 or go to jaxhistory.com.

‘GARDENING GIFTS’ HOLIDAY WORKSHOP TO BE OFFERED

The Duval County Extension Service hosts a “Gardening Gifts” holiday workshop at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at its office at 1010 N. McDuff Ave.

The program provides hands-on information on how to make a holiday table centerpiece from a typical home’s landscaping, as well as gift ideas from recycled materials.

The class costs $10 a person, with participants able to take home one centerpiece. Registration and payment are required by Wednesday, Dec. 9. Call (904) 255-7450 to register.

Checks can be made out to the county extension service, and mailed to 1010 N. McDuff Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32254.

WINTER WONDERLAND IS UNDERWAY

A Winter Wonderland of Lights will be held every weekend this month at 13525 W. Beaver St. in Jacksonville.

The annual haunted house site has been converted into a holiday display with thousands of lights, Yuletide music, Santa Claus, actors dressed as giant toys, an elf magician, snow and a Main Street old town scene.

The wonderland is open from 6 to 10 p.m. Dec. 11, 12 and 13; 17, 18, 19 and 20; and 24, 25, 26 and 27. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children, with those under 3 free.

Proceeds will go toward renovation of the building, with a renovation fund established at gofundme.com/SaveOST.

RIVER CITY WOMEN’S CLUB GIFT EXCHANGE SET FOR DEC. 16

The River City Women’s Club will celebrate the holidays Dec. 16 at San Jose Country Club with a luncheon and gift exchange from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Musical entertainment will be provided. For reservations, call (904) 262-2170.

We are a social and philanthropic club founded in 1985. For more information, contact Nardine at (904) 636-7573.

ARTISTS SUPPORT NIGHT OF LIGHTS

Art Galleries of Saint Augustine, an association of 30 local artist-owned galleries, businesses, exhibition halls and museums, will participate in the City of St. Augustine’s 22nd year of Nights of Lights through Jan. 31. Joining the city, association business members have turned on their decorative holiday lights.

Art Galleries of Saint Augustine’s participation in the annual holiday celebration supports the event, which is listed by National Geographic as one of the 10 best holiday lighting displays in the world with millions of tiny white lights that create a magical atmosphere in the nation’s oldest city.

Association members will display festive lights and a variety of special art exhibits in their respective businesses. Much of the artwork featured is on display during the renowned, local First Friday Art Walk events held each month.

For complete Art Galleries of Saint Augustine listings, maps and brochure, along with business hours during the Nights of Lights and regular days of operation, visit artgalleriesofstaugustine.org or call (832) 779-2781.

‘CHRISTMAS WITH THE SASSY TAPPERS’

This holiday season, the Sassy Tappers of the Neptune Beach Senior Activity Center will perform their new “Christmas with the Sassy Tappers” show. This year, the production, choreographed and directed by Patty Zipperer of Ponte Vedra Beach, is an adaptation of the “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” letter written by the editor of the New York Sun in 1890. Dancing in colorful costumes to popular holiday musical numbers, the Sassy Tappers will make believers of audiences of all ages.

Their next show is Friday, Dec. 11, at 6 p.m. at Beach House Assisted Living, 1315 Second Ave. N., Jacksonville Beach.

See sassytappers.com for more information about the group and its shows.

YOUR BEST LIGHTING SPECTACLES WANTED BY US

The Times-Union is looking for the biggest and best Christmas light displays across Northeast Florida — displays worthy of getting in the car and driving across town to see.

You’ve worked hard putting your holiday spectacle together, and we want to share it with our readers.

To share your favorite displays, go online to bit.ly/1Los97I and fill out the form.

Send news items to ClaySun@Jacksonville.com.

Article source: http://jacksonville.com/community/clay/2015-12-04/story/holiday-events