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Succulent Extravaganza!

7 May

A few years ago our landlord gave us a few succulents that they couldn’t take with them on a move. A few years later, our backyard is full of clippings from these original plants, as well as a growing collection purchased at various nurseries, farmers markets and this weekend – the local Succulent show and sale!

I never gave much thought to succulents or cacti. Once they were in my possession and didn’t shrivel and die from lack of attention, I was intrigued. When a branch from the jade plant fell off during a wet and cold winter, I stuck it in an old pot, and miraculously, it lived! It rooted, and is still happily growing away. Plants that can survive with little attention and can easily propagate are right up my alley. I’ve always wanted to be a good gardener, but I’m not. My vegetable and herb garden do OK, but the plants that do best are the mints and rosemary that don’t require constant care and don’t require me to invest in new seedlings every year. I have a small budget and those that cost the least are my friends.

I find succulents to be both cost-effective and rewarding. I’ve been able to get cuttings off my plants and start new ones. They don’t require much water and tolerate the hot California summers. This weekend I gathered up some friends and we browsed the awesome selection at the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society Show. The selection far outnumbered any local plant nursery I’ve been to. The sheer variety was mind boggling and awesome. I found several plants that I had eyed in my succulent books and was super excited to add them to my collection.

Alright, let’s look at some of the goodies!

This last one isn’t new. I got this tea cup from the as-is section at Ikea for a buck, filled the bottom with rocks for drainage, and put a few cuttings in it. I love it. Super simple and looks great.

Anyone else going succulent crazy?


Autumn Craftyness

23 Sep

My favorite season is almost here!! Autumn is the best. I’m ready for summer to be gone. Yes, you heard me! Lots of cute autumn crafts are popping up, and my cardigans are calling me from the closet. Here are some cute crafts to get you ready for pumpkins, soup, leaves and the hearty deliciousness of fall and winter.

Paper Pumpkins

Bigger Crocheted Pumpkin & Crocheted Pincushion Pumpkins

Onion Dome decorations/ornaments

Natural Dye

10 Sep

There’s a pot of beets boiling on the stove right now, and I can’t help but wonder what I could dye with the gorgeous deep magenta coloring of these delectable root veggies. Curbly linked to this awesome blog post about creating natural dyes with fruits and vegetables. Hmm, maybe something will come up. If not, I’ll have an easy future project!

Have a nice weekend!

A guide to understanding designers

31 Aug

This was on my Google Reader this morning and it’s brilliant. It’s from one of my favorite website, Curbly.

Cool drink for a hot day

7 Aug

Originally inspired by this recipe on Everybody Likes Sandwiches, I’ve tinkered with this recipe several times, always with great results. This time, I used what was on hand,  including lavender and rosemary from my backyard.

Lemonade with Lavender and Rosemary

Simple Syrup (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water)
4 Lemons, juiced
1 Lime, juiced
Several small clippings of Lavender and Rosemary

1) Make your simple syrup. Mix the sugar and water in a pan and boil until the sugar dissolves. You can also flavor it by adding ginger, mint, or whatever you like. I muddled Lavender and Rosemary in it while it boiled, and took them out when the mixture cooled.
2) Pour in your juice (add more for a stronger batch).
3) Pour over ice and add water until it suits your taste. Usually several cups.
4) Toss in extra clippings of Lavender and Rosemary for a beautiful presentation.

Tip: Since it is lemon season and you can score some great deals on large amounts of them, remember that you can always juice them, freeze them in ice cube trays and store the cubes in a bag or container in the freezer. That way if you need lemons during the off-season, you have a ready supply! It comes in super handy for recipes and drinks that call for them. You can simply toss them in cold, or microwave them.

Fun with Typography: Stress

1 Aug

I found the link to this great post about stress. I have it framed & hanging in front of my desk in my workspace at home. It’s beautifully designed and oh so practical. Give it a read and save it for later. I find helpful advice on it all the time.