Local woman even puts masks on her bushes

Sandi Pryor of Newton adjusts her decoration on one of her bushes. Wendy Nugent/Newton Now

By Wendy Nugent, Newton Now

Sandi Pryor said when she went across the street to get her oil changed at Kyle’s Auto in Newton, he had something to say about her decorated bushes at home.

“He commented that the guys that come in to have coffee in the mornings all got a kick out of my masked bushes,” Pryor said. “Gave them some laughs and all thought it was cute.”

The Newton resident fashioned three of her outdoor bushes in front of her home with eyes and large facemasks so they look like they’re honoring the pandemic need of people wearing masks.

“Another item I have is the red ribbon on my porch rail, Pryor said. “Putting that out to show I am praying for the country to heal our land and get back to normalcy. Also, the red ribbon is to show support to health care workers and those affected by COVID-19 with prayers, too. It’s a visual reminder to pray.”

To make the masks, Pryor used some fabric and bias tape. She made the eyeballs from Cool Whip lids, painting the eye on each.

“Simple and easy,” she said. “I read where people were putting teddy bears in their windows for kids to hunt as they are out walking or riding in [a] car with parents, so I have added teddy bears to my decorations right now, too. I have two outside on my porch, then added three lady bears inside [in] honor of Mother’s Day. A sweet and silly thing to entertain children during this pandemic.”

Pryor got the idea of putting masks on bushes after seeing pictures of round hay bales with masks. She thought it was cute.

“So, I thought about it and came up with ‘I could do that on my bushes,’” Pryor said. “Figured people driving by and walkers would get a laugh out of seeing the bushes with masks. There have been more families and people walking by with this COVID-19 virus. I put the mask on my bushes in the middle of April. I had just been sitting, not doing a lot, so got creative painted eyes, sewed the ties to cloth and put them on the bushes. Several of my friends had commented to me they had seen my bushes and thought they were cute.”

In addition to turning her bushes into pandemic décor, Pryor also decorates for the holidays—Valentine’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Halloween and Christmas. She said she moved to her current home in 1994 and has decorated there ever since.

“I do decorate inside and outside,” she said. “Just depends on [the] holiday and [I] do more for some than others.”

She enjoys holidays.

“I have always enjoyed and loved to celebrate the holidays and so I like to decorate for them,” she said. “I like to be creative, fun and making items to share with others to enjoy. Halloween is probably my favorite holiday to decorate for. With trick-or-treaters coming to the door and making comments on the decorations, parents also give compliments at the time, too. I have some trick-or-treaters come each year just ‘cause they want to see what I am dressed up as. You never know who will answer the door on Halloween. I don’t even tell my grandkids–it’s always a surprise for them and other regulars that come every year. Jessie, Peacock, Elf, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Hippie, Indian, Dorothy to name a few. I enjoyed making costumes for Halloween for my kids as they grew up.”

She said she tries not to have a scary theme at Halloween, so as not to frighten the little ones, but she enjoys seeing the look on kids’ faces when they see her dressed up.

“And the teenagers that come are shocked to see me answer the door in costume,” Pryor said. “Most of them will say, ‘Cool costume.’”

People of all ages seem to enjoy her decorations.

“Have always ran into people that know me and will say, ‘Hey I saw your decorations; thought they are cute. Decorations look good, etc.,’” she said. “Some honk and wave as they go by and see them. My grandkids have helped many times to decorated for me, too. Always fun having a helping hand to do it.”

Pryor also has some vintage decorations inside her home for Christmas.

“A ceramic Christmas tree made in mid-‘70s by a client of my hair salon in Colorado is one,” she said. “Then, my Mom crocheted a lot of Christmas items and [a] sister-in-law has made an ornament for [the] tree every year for 40-plus years, so those things are special to me to put out for Christmas.”