Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bits of Springtime

  Part of having a positive outlook in life is having positive surroundings. A person cannot be expected to function at peak potential if their environment isn't. What helped me immensely when I was getting a bit humdrum at home was adding a few small plants to my kitchen.

  Both were actually gifts from my mom. The fist one, a Coleus plant (, was rooted from a cutting my mom gave me from her plant. Lots of plants can be treated this way... You simply take a cutting, stick it in a jar of water until it grows roots, and plant it in a pot. I currently have more cuttings growing roots in a jar in my kitchen window, and they will eventually be added to this hanging pot with the rest:

   A hook next to my kitchen window provided a great opportunity for color and life in my apartment. As you can see, the leaves are green with red in the middle, and I have found that the more sun they are exposed to, the more the red becomes predominant. The cuttings I talked about, being set in more direct sunlight, developed a red vibrancy to the point that one might mistake it for a different variety of coleus altogether. A beautiful greenery, the coleus plant is one of the most charming, and easy to care for, houseplants I have come across.

  Another gift from my mother was this beautiful hybrid dahlia plant, called a Dalinova California ( These are quite hardy , and can survive in full or partial sunshine, and need water when the dirt around them in no longer moist. I have found that pinching off a dying blossom ensures a quicker and more vibrant bloom of the remaining blossoms. This particular plant can be kept in a state of bloom for most of the year. When I got it, it had one flower that rather reminded me of a little lion's head...and now there are four on the same plant.

  From time to time I stir in a small amount of compost-worthy food scraps into the dirt around my plants. Because they eventually use up the minerals in the dirt, it helps to keep them healthy and strong even when they have been in the same pot of dirt for a long time. They seem to especially love bits of whipped egg with the shell broken up in it. If a recipe calls for only egg white or egg yolk, I give the unused bit to the plants. Hey, it is a lots easier than going the Little Shop of Horrors route!

Beaded Creations

  Sometimes I think the absolute hardest thing about attempting a blog is the motivation to keep going when you know that you have little to no readership. You see, it is much easier to get motivated if you know there are people out there to motivate. Self-motivation is a difficult thing sometimes. I have spent these last couple of weeks battling my self-deprecating thoughts, and have decided to rise anew from the ashes, and keep on writing.

  I have spent a lot of time on one specific project: beaded napkin rings. It seems like an awful lot of one thing for a blog, but I have a second agenda at hand: starting an online shop. The beaded napkins rings are the beginning of my stock for the shop...which I hope to expand to sell anything my mind can come up with.

 My napkin ring obsession stems from my love of well-set tables, and the relative ease of attaining a slightly more dressy look, for the everyday table or for the special occasion dinner. Once I get my camera (hopefully June!) I will be able to supplement these postings with beautifully pictured examples. I hope to do an article purely on table setting and napkin folding tips.

  I have spent the past few days scouring online bead-and-jewelry-finding wholesale retailers, and  after my new supply comes in, I will show you some more of what i can create...for now, here are some photos of the napkin rings I have been crafting: