I adore houseplants. I think they really make a home. It takes a bit of care and experience to learn not to kill them all. Here are some tips and care ideas as well as guides for specific succulents.
- A free draining soil is essential. I use cactus mix – which is quite sandy and mix it with normal potting soil.
- Most need a lot of sun in summer but be careful not to scorch plants on and near windows. Give them a little shade from direct sun.
- My Aloe Vera does not like direct sunlight: the tips of its leaves got sunburned and turned pink and curled in. I keep it slightly shaded and its much happier now.
- Over-watering is the most common cause of death. It rots the roots which you may not be able to spot until it’s too late. If in doubt, don’t water.
- Don’t let water rest on the leaves, for instance on Aloe leaves because it can rot them. Use a tissue to blot and dry them gently.
- When repotting use a paint brush to brush the dirt off the leaves.
- In spring and autumn water every two weeks. Allow soil to dry out between watering.
- Fertilize in summer. I use ordinary plant food mixed with water.
- In winter; succulents grow dormant and prefer lower light levels. Give little to no water during winter and it’s not necessary to add plant food. You should remove plants from window sills if the night is very cold.
A sunburned aloe vera
How to propagate an echeveria succulent
- All you need to do is gently pull one of the leaves.
- Leave leaf in a warm spot to dry and form a callous.
- Keep compost damp and place them on the surface of the soil.
- It will slowly begin to grow roots.
- When plantlets appear and grow a little, separate them and pot.
Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum) propagation
Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum) propagation
- Sempervivum grow out from the mamma plant, hence the name Hen and Chicks.
- The centre plant will flower once in its life and then die leaving a host of offshoots to carry on.
Hen and Chicks succulent
Succulent selection including Kalanchoe and Jade plant.
40 DIY Industrial furniture Tutorials
40 Industrial Furniture DIY
40 DIY Industrial Furniture Projects
I adore the look of industrial style interiors and industrial furniture and so I have been oogling project after project. So here are 40(!) tutorials from around the web to help you get the look without spending much. Enjoy:)
DIY Industrial furniture
Industrial Furniture DIY
Industrial Furniture Round-up
Industrial Furniture DIY Round-up
Industrial Furniture DIY Round-up
Industrial furniture DIY
DIY Industrial Furniture Round Up
Industrial DIY Decor Round-up
Industrial Furniture DIY Round up
The Colette Patterns Moneta dress
The Moneta is one of the latest sewing patterns released by Colette patterns. The moneta is made out of a knit fabric and is beautifully simple. The fabric I chose is a ponti di roma in black which will be thick and warm enough for winter wear. I love the dress; it’s so comfortable and flattering. I’m planning on making another one very soon and have a lovely pink jersey fabric in mind.
There are three versions of the moneta; one sleeveless, one with short sleeves and another with 3/4 length sleeves. A beginner would be able to make this. There is also a free booklet that shows you five different ways to make the collar (which you can find here).
Moneta dress by colette patterns
Moneta dress by colette
My moneta dress
Me making a very silly face. Also POCKETS!
I made the dress far too big and had to take inches off the sides. All because of laziness on my part; if I make the BIGGEST size it is guaranteed to fit! I have learned my lesson
Coat over moneta
Coat over moneta (with an even worse face). I have a new obsession with linen and the ‘lagenlook’. I think part of me always wanted to dress like a 19th century street urchin.
My first hearing aid
I got my first hearing aid three days ago. It was very very long overdue since I have been deaf in my right ear since I was a child. The audiologist said she had never seen someone so excited to have a hearing aid. She said I will be able to hear things I haven’t ever heard before but I didn’t believe her. I was so wrong! I found myself sitting outside just listening with a kind of timid joy to the chaos of noises.
It takes about six months to get used to a hearing aid. Your brain has to adjust to hearing through it or hearing sounds at all, to redevelop neural pathways.
At first it is difficult to separate background noises from what you want to hear. During conversations sometimes traffic is too loud or birds singing sound like they are right behind me but it is infinitely improved on what it used to be.
I always felt a little isolated due to my hearing problems. Group conversations were very hard to follow as well as talking in pubs, night clubs or in the cinema. It was especially difficult when sitting in cars to hear any one else talk. I would guess what people said, try to infer from what I could hear but I made many mistakes and ended up having a reputation for random speech. It’s also very tiring to always be on alert.
Now I feel a little more relaxed. I’ve even been turning my radio and TV volume down for the first time ever and I’ve suddenly discovered how loud fridges are as well as ticking clocks. I realised that my whole family talk very very loudly; no doubt because I could never hear them. Now I feel like telling them to shush- talk ever so gently. I can hear myself talk now, which is something I didn’t realise I couldn’t do. My voice is always either inappropriately loud or tiny mouse quiet. Now I can hear the sound of myself walking and the rustle of clothes.
My favourite sound is birdsong, the lilting musical trills from outside. Sudden reminders of connection that I’m learning to love. It’s still only early days and I’m looking forward to discovering more
Somewhere there is music playing. I must be off to investigate.
It's February. The long cold January is over and now it's the slightly shorter cold February. Sorry for the long delay between posts. I've been preoccupied with creative writing classes, taking an online course in children's writing and giving up coca-cola.
Tips for giving up soft drinks
Replace it with something else. For example, I used flavoured waters and other tasty drinks. I tried to trick my brain into thinking i wasn't loosing anything and I was just gaining a new delicious habit.
For the first few weeks I was very tired. I took copious amounts of naps and felt like doing nothing. I was so close to taking coke back up- I began to think I couldn't function without it; that the energy was worth the negative health effects.
But coke is a big fat liar!
My energy came back- proper energy – not tiredness or drowsiness. No sugar crashes and caffeine headaches. No more not being able to function without caffeine in the morning.
Results of quitting coca-cola
I am calmer and more relaxed. I sleep better and have a better quality of sleep. I am loosing weight and feel less bloated and uncomfortable. I don't feel chained to caffeine and sugar.
This year I have begun to improve my life and lifestyle. First to go were the cigarettes; the big bad of unhealthy vices. Then the soft drinks had to go and then sugar.
I'm not trying to lose things (weight, unhealthy habits, addictions) – I'm aiming to gain things (health, energy, confidence, freedom etc).
Next is eating clean and more exercise. Any advice or tips?
Instagram life lately
I love Instagram. The visual diary of it really appeals to me as well as its ease of use. It's a simple way to get a glimpse into people's lives – unphotoshopped and full of the clutter of every day life.
It's getting Christmassy! I won't put a tree up until December but my mantelpiece is beginning to sparkle!
The day of the doctor.
I saw the episode in 3d in the cinema surrounded by excited fans wearing brilliant costumes. I dragged my friend who is not a Doctor Who fan and was very amused at her puzzlement at the amount of men wearing bow ties.
Another doctor who related Instagram- this time showing my new print of Alice x. Zhang's 11th doctor fan art.
This is my most recent art project. An abstract landscape painted in acrylics.
This is me and my dog lizzie. A thousand places for her to sit and she chooses this one. There is no way for her to be physically nearer
Slow steps to health
Sometimes I have to take things very slowly. I have pernicious anaemia which means sometimes I am very fatigued. I just drag myself from place to place and have too many (sometimes surprise) naps. I have to learn to listen to my body and let it rest- if rest is what it needs.
I feel guilty for not doing things; for not taking photos, for not exploring or writing or blogging or any of the hobbies and things I like to do when I have the energy for them. I get called lazy quite often, from family and friends who don’t really understand and I feel guilty for it anyway. I’m always looking over my shoulder waiting to be called on it. If I had energy I would be doing things. If my body was working at full (or near full ) capacity I would be doing things non- stop. I would feel like I had created something or expressed myself and I would fall asleep tired not fatigued.
However I have learned to be patient. I know my energy levels will come back up. I know I can get back to doing the things I love. Until then, I am resting. I am changing my diet, my habits and whole way of living to improve my health and life. I have not smoked a cigarette since february and I will never smoke another. I have not had coca-cola for two months – I used to drink at least five bottles a day!! I walk more and eat more fruit then I ever had. Slowly and surely, step by step, I will snail crawl my way to health.
And if my body is telling me it needs rest I will rest – and I will not let anyone make me feel bad for it!
Tiny indoor succulent garden
Tiny succulent in a tiny bottle
Lindy Bop Dress Audry dress