Gardening is Lori Timbreza's passion. She creates beautiful floral displays at Bill Heddles Recreation Center and has won numerous awards at the Delta County Fair.
But her creativity doesn't stop with the first freeze; she simply moves inside to her basement craft area where she puts together wreaths, centerpieces and more for the annual craft fair at the recreation center.
Timbreza is the assistant manager of the aquatics area at the recreation center, a full-time job that includes lifeguarding, teaching swim lessons and maintaining the pool's mechanical system. It's not surprising that one craft fair a year is enough for her. It takes a lot of time to handcraft enough decorative items to fill a booth.
As it is, she takes the week off prior to the craft fair to put the finishing touches on her creations, which she sells under the name "Lori Lu."
Lori started in August with gumball machines she spotted on a Pinterest board. She spraypainted clay pots and saucers. A glass globe filled with candy kisses was attached to an overturned pot, then topped with the saucer and a wooden knob. Because of their uniqueness, the gumball machines were quickly snatched up by craft fair customers. Tulle wreaths, a new offering this year, weren't as popular as the artificial green wreaths studded with colorful ornaments and boldly patterned ribbon. All but a few of the wreaths sold, and one of those is now hanging in Lori's living room. The other "leftovers" become Christmas presents or are saved for next year's craft fair.
Scarves, centerpieces and ornaments rounded out her offerings.
Her husband jokes that their basement looks like a "glitter bomb," with color sparkling from every surface.
After Christmas, Lori hits holiday sales to pick up discounted supplies for the next year's craft projects. She also "mines" Salvation Army and yard sales for materials. Her daughter calls her an "organized hoarder," because the craft supplies are carefully sorted into box after box so she can find what she's looking for.
Lori considers January and February her "down time," time to lay out the beds at the recreation center on paper, order seeds to plant in her greenhouse, and peruse Facebook and Pinterest for craft ideas.
After being cooped up for a couple of months, she's ready to get seeds started in her greenhouse in March.
Lori says she inherited her green thumb from her grandmother, Retha Wilcox, who was known for her beautiful roses. Shortly before she died she invited Lori to dig up the bulbs and irises in her yard.
"It was like she knew she was dying, and she wanted to pass all those on to me," Lori said. Most of the flowers are still blooming, and the house plants Lori inherited are also flourishing.
"The older I get the more I think I'm like my grandmother because she loved to embroider, crochet and do all kinds of crafts," Lori says.
"My dad Leroy is a big gardener too," she adds. As a teen she had to help pull weeds and clip the grass around the house. Those aren't normally the tasks that warm someone to gardening, but they're all part of creating the beautiful landscape Lori and her husband have established at their home on Frontier Road. The large lot was just dirt when she moved into the house, Lori recalls. Now the Timbrezas receive numerous compliments for their efforts, and once were the recipients of the "Yard of the Month" award from the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce.
Lori says her husband does the vegetable gardening, using seeds she started in the greenhouse he built on the side of the house. Shefocuses on the flowers, often producing 20 to 30 entries for the Delta County Fair. "Every year I think I'm not going to enter the fair any more, but the judge's comments are very helpful," Lori says. "I have learned a lot." She enters both single stems and bouquets.
In the greenhouse, Lori also starts seeds and stores bulbs for the recreation center. Because it's difficult to balance her time between the pool and the flowers, this year the floral displays at Bill Heddles will be scaled back a bit.
"Maybe my yard won't suffer so much this year," she says.
She appreciates the many compliments she receives for both her yard and the floral displays at Bill Heddles. Still, she's like many gardeners who are ready for the first freeze. "Some people get madwhen I say it's time for the flowers to go away," she says. "But I've babysat them for eight months — that's a long time!"
Lori is the grandmother of three, two boys and a girl ages 7-10. "My granddaughter is a lot like me," she says. "I call her my mini-me because she likes to come look at all my projects. I hope to pass it all down to her — the creativity plus all my materials. She gets it."blog comments powered by Disqus