2 Before And Afters: 1 For Plant Lovers And 1 For The Puzzlers

Welcome to the 740th Metamorphosis Monday! How was your weekend? I hope it was great! I have two little updates to share for this week’s Met Monday. You may remember last winter, I attempted to winter over the geraniums I usually have out on one of my decks during the spring/summer instead of just letting them freeze and purchasing more the next spring. Last year was so successful, I decided to try it again. I’m happy to say, it worked great again this year, too!

The way I’ve been doing it is I place the geraniums and this Foxtail Fern I’ve had for many years onto my garden cart, and during the winter months, I pull the cart outside during the daytime if the temps are above freezing for the day–which most fall/winter days are here in the south. During the winter, the nights do sometimes dip below freezing, so I have an alarm set on my phone that goes off every evening to remind me to check the weather and bring the plants in, if needed. On a lot of nights, I’m able to leave them out, but they would surely die if I didn’t bring them in on the really cold nights. This winter, I haven’t had to water them even once because we’ve been getting so much rain.

Wintered Over Plants, Ready for Spring


During previous winters, before I purchased my cart and started doing this, this Foxtail Fern would end up living pretty much full-time inside the garage, only getting the little bit of light that came in through the garage windows. By the end of winter, it would still be alive but several fronds would have died off and it would be looking kinda sad. It would usually take all spring and summer to recover, then back off to the garage it would go when winter rolled back around.

I really love how well it’s been doing with my current system. Unfortunately when I travel during the winter, the plants are stuck inside the garage since I’m not here to bring them in and out, but they still do quite well since that’s normally for just a week or two at the time. As of April 15th, they can go back onto the deck full-time. That’s our date here in the south when it’s considered safe to plant annuals. The next 10 days are staying above freezing so they will probably stay out full-time from here out. I can’t believe I won’t have to buy annuals again this summer, at least not for the deck. (Cart is available here: Garden Cart.)

Foxtail Fern Wintered Over and Thriving


The second little Before and After I’m sharing this week is a small update I recently made to my puzzle board. I almost didn’t bother to share this, but I ultimately decided to go ahead and share it with you, since it could prove helpful in other situations. If you enjoy doing puzzles, you know that puzzles often come packaged with a poster of the image you’ll be putting together. It acts as a handy guide to refer to as the puzzle is worked. I’ve often wished I had a good spot for the poster where it would be easy to see while working a puzzle. So I got this crazy idea and ordered 4 magnets like the one you see in this photo below. They came with a double-sided, adhesive strip so the magnet could be placed wherever it was needed.

Magnets for holding clips and picture poster on puzzle board


I stuck the 4 magnets I ordered onto the edge of my puzzle board, placing two across the top and one on each side near the top. Hopefully, you can see them in this photo.

Magnets added to puzzle board


I have quite a few of these clips that are designed with magnets on the back.

Using clips to hold poster on puzzle board


This system is working great for holding the posters that come with puzzles! Below, I took a really large poster that came with the puzzle I was working on last week, and I folded it in half and clipped it across the top while I worked on the fence and flowers section of the puzzle. It was nice having the poster just a few inches away as I worked the puzzle. (Puzzle Board is available here: Puzzle Board.)

Adding Magnets and Clips to My Puzzle Board


As I continued working on other sections of the puzzle, I would fold the poster so the section I needed was visible. This worked really well!

Clips for holding poster on Puzzle Board


This was such a fun puzzle and the quality was excellent! (Puzzle is available here: Stone Cottage and Lighthouse.)

Beautiful Puzzle with Stone Cottage


A lot of puzzles come with smaller size posters and those easily clip into the corners or across the top.

Great way to hold puzzle poster on puzzle board


This system makes it so easy to move the poster around to wherever I need it.

Add magnets and clips to puzzle board, for holding puzzle poster picture


If you have a cat, you’ll understand the joke behind this puzzle depicting a televised chess match. This is definitely the way cats would play chess if given the opportunity! Ha! (Puzzle is available here: Cats Playing Chess.)

Funny Cat Puzzle


This is the puzzle that’s currently on my puzzle board. (Puzzle is available here: House and Lighthouse Puzzle.)If you’re wondering why I’m doing so many puzzles right now–besides just the fact I really enjoy them, it’s because I find them to be great stress relievers. There’s so much negative stuff going on these days in our crazy world, focusing on something fun and beautiful in my spare time has really helped me to stay positive. I’m averaging doing 4-6 puzzles a month right now. That will probably slow down now that spring is here and the weather is so nice out. In the meantime, this system for holding the posters that come with puzzles is working really well! Just wanted to share this in case you would find this helpful for holding other items in places where you could attach a magnet. I purchased the magnets with the double-sided adhesive here: Magnets.

For Puzzle Lovers, Attaching Clips to Puzzle Board


If you have this puzzle board and decide to add magnets to it, make sure to place the adhesive on the correct side of the magnet so the side of the magnet that’s facing up attracts (and doesn’t repel) the magnet on your clip. I have a bunch of different chip clips and this particular clip worked much better than some of the others I tried. I don’t remember where I purchased them since I’ve had them for a long time, but I found some that look the same as mine here: Chip Clips.

Beach House, Lighthouse Puzzle


Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters linked for this week’s Met Monday! Pssst: Did you know Between Naps On The Porch is on Instagram? You’ll find me on Instagram here: Between Naps On The Porch. Like to know when a new blog post is up? Subscribe for email updates (it’s free) and your e-mail will never be shared. Subscribe for free post updates here: Subscribe.

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  1. Those plants look so healthy; your system paid off big time. I’ve never had a cat but totally got the joke.

  2. Christine Bodine says

    Hi Susan, Just curious, what do you do with the puzzles once you have finished each one? I have so many completed and stacked on cardboard under my bed. Its so hard for me to take them apart once I have finished them. How do you handle them all?
    Thanks, Christine

    • It used to be really hard for me to take them apart but now it doesn’t really bother me anymore. I just tell myself that I can’t do the puzzle again one day unless I take it apart, and really the fun is in the doing. If I really, really love a puzzle, I will sometimes leave it on my board for 2-3 days before I take it apart. A few years back I saved/preserved a couple that I thought about framing. It was very easy and you can see how I did that in this post: https://betweennapsontheporch.net/how-to-save-or-frame-a-jigsaw-puzzle-without-using-messy-glues/
      If I had a rec room or a similar room, I think it would be so neat to preserve each puzzle using the above method–then find inexpensive frames and hang them all on the walls in a basement/rec room. It would be inexpensive art and would fit in so well in a room like that.

  3. Susan,
    Happy Easter!!
    Thanks again for hosting this charming party every week! I know how much time goes into doing so and I want you to know that it I truly appreciate it!! I hope you have a great week!

  4. Annuals have become so expensive it’s crazy!! Looks like you have a good system. Love, love that cats playing chess puzzle. Someone really nailed it. Hilarious! Have a great Easter Week, Susan, and thanks for having us over.

    • Really? I have shopped for them in a while, but that makes sense since everything has gone up so drastically.
      Ha! I know, I love that puzzle–so funny! 🙂 It was a fun one to do, too.

  5. Annuals are so expensive that it is a great idea to do this with ones you already own! I don’t think it would work here, well this year it would have. It was a very mild winter here. I sure do love this idea! I also love the idea for your puzzle board. I haven’t bought a puzzle in 7 years, didn’t even know they came with a poster now. I always had to use the picture from the box top. I have those chip clips too and find them useful for so many things. I think I got them in the grocery store. I also have bar magnets for my card making stamping platform. Cool to see these bar magnets used for other things! Great ideas Susan and I’m glad you shared them! I am loving the puzzle you are currently working on. Hugs, Brenda

    • Thanks, Brenda! I always felt so bad, letting the Geraniums die out on the deck when the freezing weather hit. I’m amazed they keep doing so well year after year. Yeah, our winter was quite mild, too. Amazing all the uses for magnets!

  6. You are always the perfect problem solving solution finder! Great idea. I’m ordering that lighthouse puzzle for a friend! Question, I see white large clips on top of your board, are those clip on lights? Just curious. Also I shared your hanging Hagerty jewelry keepers with my employer and she loves them!!! Thanks. Toni

  7. I love that Foxtail Fern Susan, so pretty! Have fun with your puzzles, a great hobby!

  8. Hi, can you link the puzzle with the red and white lighthouse and blue house?

  9. franki Parde says


  10. Terri Santiago says

    Where did you get your garden cart?

  11. Cyndi Raines says

    Susan, my geraniums and a lovely pink wax begonia were still going strong at Thanksgiving so I brought them in thinking they would go to the basement throughout winter and I would hope they would come back in the spring. Well, they get kept blooming until Christmas and the begonia still has flowers! The begonia is in my kitchen which faces east and the geraniums are now in my dinning room which has become a conservatory of sorts, lol and they’re holding their own. My dinning room has a window facing east and a bay window facing south, so they are getting great light. We have to wait until May 1st for no threat of frost, but I’m thrilled they have made it this far. Thanks for encouraging us to try over-wintering. I always felt guilty letting them get scorched / killed by Jack Frost too! Great puzzle tip! Happy Easter! Glad you’re with your family!

    • Wow, amazing that it’s still blooming! I know what you mean, I always felt guilty about that, too. Plus, it’s expensive to have to keep buying them every year. Glad your flowers did so well, that’s awesome! 🙂

  12. What are the lights clipped onto your puzzle board? One can never have too much light!

    • That is so true! Those are lights that clip onto the top of the puzzle board which really helps to see the board better, especially during the evening time. I have used mine for almost 2-1/2 years now and still haven’t had to replace the bulb inside. I purchased them via Amazon here: https://amzn.to/40Dc4u8

  13. There is a tv show on the Magnolia network called “The Piece Maker”. It’s about a man who creates puzzles. He travels in search of stories to bring to life in his puzzles. I thought of you when I saw it – looks interesting.

  14. Hey Susan. I met a couple today in Walgreens in the candy isle. I know all the clerks where I shop, so I give them candy and since they were looking at candy, I gave them some too. We were talking briefly and it turns out they make puzzles right here in town. She gave me a tiny puzzle in a tube (stocking stuffers). I told her about your blog and they should contact you. She said they would be in Atlanta this week. Later, when everything is put away, I will check for a company name on the tube. It is so hot here today, everything is in slow motion.

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