A lizziefish alerted me that my maple seed pod onesie had drifted onto the front page yesterday. Along with a number of other favorite and coveted items...I've been thinking about shrugs lately. We have a few weddings to go this summer, and I'm inevitably chilly in a fancy dress on breezy summers night. But I digress. I finally got the rest of the onesies washed and with any luck they'll be printed by the end of the week. So look out for new sizes and colors. There may also be a surprise new/old design, but I don't know if it's realistic that it will be done before Renegade. We'll see.
Here's the quilt all finished! There is a pretty good amount of space in between each plant, but don't worry, they will fill out.
Here's the quilt about two weeks later. As you can see, all of them really blossomed and expanded. Also, many of them have little 'antennae' that I think will bloom soon. It's really amazing how much they've changed in such a short time. The colors, shapes, height. I didn't really notice it until I started putting this post together. They've totally opened up!
It's important in the beginning to water it more than you normally would water succulents. They need to get well established before they can tolerate their normal dry conditions. After planting, we stuck ours in the tub on top of a paint roller tray, so the water would drain out the bottom. You can also make little feet out of cork or something so that your box won't sit directly on whatever surface it's on. This is something I didn't think about, but it's important because you can't hang up your quilt right away. You need to give it a few weeks to settle first. We still haven't hung ours yet, but truthfully, it's just as stunning on a table as it is on wall.
The next succulent project is a wreath...stay tuned!
(apologies for the picture quality in this section, we started this project a little too late in the afternoon for good natural light...)
The next step is to make the second layer of screen. This layer will go on top of the soil and contain it from the top. Cut a piece of screen about two inches bigger than your box in both directions. Fold one inch over on each side so that you have a box-like shape. Make sure that it fits inside of the box. It shouldn't fit over it like a lid, but in it. The folded over edges will fit in between the soil and the sides of the box. Set the screen aside for now.
Mix a batch of potting soil into the box. We couldn't find a cactus or succulent mix, but you can make your own, either with sand or perlite/vermiculite. This also helps with drainage, it prevents the soil from getting compacted. I have a feeling that perlite or vermiculite is a better choice for this project because I suspect that sand might fall through the screen. Don't put too much soil in the box, maybe about half as much as you think you'll need. The plugs will displace a good deal and you don't want the soil to overflow.
Now that you have the soil in, start arranging your succulents. I started out having them on a grid, but later made the placement a little more random. Flora's are very grid-like, which works very nicely, but at this scale random worked better. Just set them on top of the soil, you'll be moving them before they get planted.
The next step is to take your screen top and set it gently over your succulents. Using a sharpie, mark circles over each plant. Once you have it all marked, use wire snips or heavy kitchen shears (no fabric scissors!) to cut an "x" in each circle. Remember you can always make the hole bigger, but not smaller. Fold the flaps down so that you have a semi-smooth opening. You'll want the plugs to fit pretty snuggly in these holes, too big and dirt (and possible the whole plant) will fall out if you hang it up.
Once all the holes are made, take all the plants out, and set them aside arranged in approximately the same way so that you'll be able to get them back in the right arrangement. Slide the screen into the box, making sure that you have soil contained in the flaps on the sides. I pinched a little lip and stapled the screen to the sides, just for added protection. With you finger, start digging holes in the soil and setting the plugs in. The top of the plug should fit just under the screen, you can use adjacent holes to push the soil in around it. Make any holes bigger that need to be, and try to keep the soil under screen as much as possible.
...the finishing touches and the final product in the next post...
I've always had a thing for succulents, but I was blown away a few weeks ago when I saw Flora Grubb's amazing vertical succulent quilt. It's been around the blogs, and don't remember where I first saw it, but it totally stuck with me. If you haven't seen it, you must check it out.
Soon after I saw it, I happened into a florist/antique shop in the neighborhood. A strange little disorganized spot that sometimes has a few gems hiding amid the rumble. Stuck out in their backyard were a few flats of echeveria plugs. I scooped up a whole bunch of them, not knowing exactly what I'd do with them, just too good to pass up! I brought them home and Ben and I schemed about how to go about making our own little succulent quilt.
We started off with this wine box that we found on street a while ago. It's a small one, the kind that a fancy wine gift would be in. The important thing is that it's not too deep. This one is about 4" deep.
Here are our lovely echeverias, I wish I knew the names of the varieties. If anyone knows, please let me know. You can also use bigger clumps of succulents. I've actually never seen them sold separately in plugs like this. Usually they are in larger pots and all clumped together. You can gently separate them. (I'll talk more about this in my second succulent tutorial...coming soon!)
We drilled lots of holes in the bottom for good drainage. Drainage is very important with succulents, they are desert-type plants that would usually grow in sand and rocks.
For even better drainage, we stapled a layer of crumpled up aluminum screening to the bottom of the box. This ensures that the bottom of the box won't get soggy and that the soil won't fall out of the holes. This was important to us, as we don't really have any outdoor space to hang this up (where a little dirt doesn't matter), so we want to keep the soil as contained as possible.
....continued in part 2....
I finally finished the Turquoise Branch Quilt, I started it so long ago and got a bit sidetracked with many other projects. But I love how it turned out, and am almost hoping that I don't sell it because I love it so much. It actually looks really good in our living room, the colors go perfectly with a painting that our friend Dave did that hangs above our couch. I've listed it as a baby quilt, but it's big enough to use as a lap quilt, perfect for cool spring nights. More info about it in the Jewelweeds etsy shop. I've also added a few more baby items. Also, slowly updating the new items from the weekend's craft fair, if the light will cooperate!
I have some really cool tutorials coming up in the next few days featuring my other obsession—succulents!