Fiddle Leaf Fig Fanatic! Propagating plants from leaves and cuttings

Don’t say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! After years of joking about my “brown thumb,” I’m getting really excited about gardening and plants. It’s so rewarding to watch things grow, not to mention how plants freshen up any space both visually and literally.

I’m growing all kinds of plants, but one of my greatest loves is the Ficus Lyrata, the fiddle leaf fig. I’ve heard that some people have found these at big box hardware stores, but I had no luck. I ended up buying one online (really!) but eventually acquired two more at local nurseries Sloat Garden Center and Flowercraft. The one I got online is fine, but the ones from the nursery are much bigger, so I’d definitely recommend looking around locally, if you can.

After just a few months, two of my trees needed trimming already, so I decided to try to propagate them from the cuttings. I tried four different ways:

  • a single top leaf with apical bud – in water
  • a group of three top leaves with apical bud – in water
  • a single bottom leaf – in water
  • a group of two top leaves with apical bud – in soil

For all of the cuttings, I applied rooting hormone to help encourage new root growth.

Here’s what’s happening! I will keep adding pictures to this post, as the cuttings grow!

0 weeks



3 Weeks

At the three week mark, I can see roots growing on all three of the cuttings growing in water. From right to left: a single top leaf I cut from a plant, the top three leaves I cut from a larger tree, and a single bottom leaf from a plant. The three leaves had really started to wilt, and they are now perking up again!

 Meanwhile, back at the ranch, there’s a little bud on my tree just below where I trimmed the top three leaves!

4 weeks

It was the best of times and worst of times for the aspiring fiddle leaf figs this week. The group of three leaves started to rot, and I think they may be goners. On the bright side, the single top leaf  sprouted a ton of roots! Take a look:


This is the real deal, and I think I’ll put it in soil soon!

The original tree where I cut off the top three leaves also looks great. There’s a good-sized bud forming!


Everything else stayed about the same this week.

5 weeks

Exciting news! The single top leaf has grown so many roots that I transferred it to a pot today!


The tree where I cut off three leaves also grew a ton with three buds on it!


The plant where I cut a single leaf also now has a little bud. 


Some other cuttings are hanging on without much change. I should probably give up on the leaves that started rotting and that subsequently also got sunburned, but I’m feeling stubborn and keeping them a little longer. No pictures of those sad guys.

Thanks for reading and come back to see how the baby plants are doing!

“Jewels”

Father’s Day Portrait Gifts

It’s so fun to get the boys involved in a creative project for Father’s Day. Remember when we made the mugs and aprons? Or even these simple cards?

This year, the boys and I created these portraits for Steve and their grandfathers. You know by now that I have an endless supply of scrapbook paper, which I used to create the letters. The boys were really good sports (they aren’t always!) with taking the pictures, and I love the final products.

I printed individual pictures and put them in a frame with three openings and a matte that the boys signed.

And you couldn’t take pictures of three boys and a rascally pup without some outtakes!

Wishing the best to all the hard-working and loving fathers out there!

“Jewels”

 

DIY Ribbon Leis

It’s graduation season! Somehow (well, I guess we know how), I ended up with boys graduating from middle school, elementary school, and Kindergarten all in one year. This calls for some crafting. I decided to make graduation leis for the boys and their friends using ribbon.

I researched a ton of ideas, which you can browse on my Pinterest page.  Some of those ideas are definitely for the expert level lei-maker, and I am a humble beginner. However, I did find inspiration for something that is both easy and pretty over at Sakacon.com.  These spiral ribbon leis don’t require advanced skills, but they do take some time. I modified the method a little, and I love how you can mix and match so many ribbons for infinite ideas!

Materials:

  • wide ribbon 7/8″ to 1.5″ (8-10 yards). This is the ruffle-edge ribbon I used.
  • narrower accent ribbon(s) 3/16″ to 1/2″ (same yardage). This is the picot ribbon I used.
  • embroidery floss to match the accent ribbon
  • clear nail polish to finish the ends of the ribbon
  • needle, scissors

Instructions:

First, go to your local craft store and go crazy! I actually feel like I have accomplished a project just by getting supplies (…but I realize this isn’t quite true). Since the design of the leis is simple, you can add a lot of detail by picking interesting ribbons. You can see i found some ribbons with ruffled edges and picot ribbon (apparently this is what you call the ribbon with the little loops in the side) that really make your “flowers” look more realistic. For fun, I bought some rainbow stripe ribbon, and the possibilities are really endless.

To make the lei, thread three strands of embroidery floss onto your needle. I used about 18″ of floss at a time. Tie a secure knot at the end of your floss.

The Sakacon version has a long tail you can use to tie the lei on with a bow. I decided to make a continuous round lei, because I thought it would be more comfortable for the boys. I still staggered the length of the wide and narrow ribbons – ie left a long tail of the wide ribbon before starting my lei – so there would not be an obvious join in the lei.

I lined up the narrow ribbon to one side of the wide ribbon, folding under the edge to avoid fraying, and sewed a few stitches in place to secure it. I then started doing a long running stitch, with stitches every centimeter (3/8″) or so.

Once you have sewn a few stitches, pull the thread to make the ruffles and guide them into a spiral shape to look like a chain of flowers. This really feels like magic!

You basically continue this for a long, long time. To make the lei a continuous loop, I cut off the wide ribbon first, and picked up the section of wide ribbon I had left as a “tail” at the beginning, continuing I until I reached the start of the narrow ribbon.

I bought spools of craft ribbon, which comes in 3-6 yard sections, so there are several joins in the lei. These aren’t visible, because the ribbons are staggered, and there are so many ruffles. At the ends of the ribbon, I used clear nail polish on the wide ribbon and just folded under the ends of the narrow ribbon. I also changed embroidery floss a few times, being sure to tie secure knots and hide the ends.

Behold! Here are the finished leis. I’m still making more and will add the pictures when they are done, to give you more ideas for ribbon combinations. I can’t wait to share them with my boys and their friends in a few more weeks!

Aloha!

“Jewels”

DIY Faux Mercury Glass Vases

You’ve probably seen the popular mercury glass accessories out there as well as the DIY tutorials. I have been waiting to try this out, and it was really fun!

I made these for a party we have coming up, and – excitement!! – I am also helping a friend plan wedding decorations, so there will be more to come. Enjoy some tips and pictures:

I found quite a few different variations in instructions, which I will discuss a bit.

  • Types of paint: the most popular seems to be Krylon Looking Glass. It took several coats to get this finish, and I think I could actually have done even more, but I want to be able to put votive candles inside and still have some light shine through. I also added one coat of gold paint in the middle to warm up the color a bit.
  • Spraying water-vinegar mix before painting or after painting: I preferred to spray the water-vinegar mix on before spraying, which blocks the paint from sticking to the glass. I did still rub it off a little after, but I think you would have to rub a lot harder, if you sprayed the water on after the paint.
  • Spraying inside or outside: Looking Glass paint is intended to be sprayed on the inside, so the glass itself adds to the reflective finish. However, to make the vases more useful (ie able to hold things inside), I chose to paint on the outside.

img_8182img_8181

Here’s how one of my vases looks in front of some mercury glass candlesticks I bought from Pier 1. It makes me want to warm up my colors more next time by adding more layers of gold paint.

I’d also like to try again with some rose gold or copper paint!

“Jewels”

“CHEERS” Party Banner

I love hosting parties because of the great food and company. And, to be honest, entertaining is also exactly the kick in the behind I need to work on fun projects around the house. We’re hosting a parent social in a few weeks, and I’m working on some decorations that will be festive and a touch glamorous, to help us all escape for a few hours from the daily routine.

One project I was excited to do was this “CHEERS” party banner. You could use this idea with any saying for all kinds of occasions, like weddings or birthdays. If you want to make one for your next shindig, here’s how I did it.

Materials:

Instructions:

  • Cut out the cardstock with points at the bottom
  • Cut out letters from the gold contact paper (remember to sketch your letters backwards!) and center on the cardstock
  • Punch holes in the top corners of the cardstock
  • String on to twine
  • Add tissue paper tassels (I used these instructions)

Here are a couple more pictures of our fun party banner!

Can’t think of a better way to sign off than saying “Cheers!”

“Jewels”

 

West Elm Manzanita Candelabra Look-alike

“Sometimes when you win, you really lose, and sometimes when you lose, you really win, and sometimes when you win or lose, you actually tie, and sometimes when you tie, you actually win or lose.” Rosie Perez as Gloria in White Men Can’t Jump.

Does this happen to you? Sometimes I see something I really like from one of my favorite stores, and I think to myself, “I’ll wait for it to go on sale,” only to find that it’s sold out when I go look for it. Such a bummer! If it’s something I really love, I can often manage to find it on eBay or craigslist (win!)… but sometimes, I don’t (lose!).

Today’s post is kind of a “tie.” I immediately fell in love when I saw the Manzanita candelabra from West Elm a couple of years ago. But since I didn’t really have a use in mind, I procrastinated. Now, I’d really love to have this for our winter decor, and it’s all sold out. No luck on eBay either.

West Elm Manzanita Candelabra

So off I went on a copycat chic, high/low adventure!

I did find this one which looks very close but costs a bit more than I want to pay.


Finally, I was happy to find a candelabra at Target:

I used silver spray paint on mine, and I actually love how it turned out! The silver color makes the chunky metal look sleeker, and it’s going to be perfect!


Which is your favorite?

No longer desperately seeking candelabra,

“Jewels”