DIY: Terrariums!

I’ve been wanting to make terrariums en masse ever since my friend cultivated one for me with moss from a local park, I fell in love with it, and it died a slow, dry death while I was on vacation (naive to my need of a terrarium-sitter).

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DIY Terrarium

any sort of container that can hold water (I’ve used mason jars, candle votives, glass boxes, hanging glass orbs, etc. I’ve seen lightbulbs, apothecary jars, and wine glasses be used.)

here’s one identical to mine from amazon

 

In your container form equal layers of:

  1. pebbles/gravel (allows for drainage)
  2. activated charcoal (keeps it from molding)
  3. soil (potting, some stuff from your backyard, whatever)

Now it’s time to add some plants (moss, succulents, ferns). These terrariums do best in indirect sunlight, and need to be misted with a few squirts from a spray bottle every four or so days, so any plants that like that kind of care will love their new home.

Finish it off with some sand and smooth pebbles for a zen effect, some small clay figurines if you’re cutesy, or any interesting crap you can find in your junk drawer.

TAH DAH!

IMG_1324❤ Trinity

The Fungus Among Us

A winter’s walk in the woods…

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Everything was glistening with dampness from all this lovely rain. A mushroom haven.

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The delicately frilled edges of many fungi varieties make me want to pick up a pencil and mimic them in my sketchbook. They are reminiscent of art deco in their flowing organicness.

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Imperfection is perfection for these little creatures…
IMG_1148❤ Trinity

DIY: Healing Face Mask and Sugar Scrub

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From Left to Right: Sugar Scrub and Calming Face Mask

Healing Face Mask

1 tbsp Honey

1tsp Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Vitamin E Oil

I almost never actually measure out the ingredients for this mask, just eyeball the ratios and save yourself from washing the measuring spoons!

  • Mix ingredients together – to form a thick paste. I do this right in the container I’m planning to store it in.
  • Wet your face – (or do a face steam!) to open your pores and increase the honey’s spreadability on our skin. If your skin isn’t already clean, clean it NOW!
  • Spread the mask on your skin – using your fingers or the back of a spoon. I find that the spoon helps combat the stickiness of the honey.
  • Let it sit – for as long as you can stand having a sticky mess on your face. Taking the pictures for this post with this mask on my face was difficult, and I think there is a little bit of stickiness in my viewfinder! This mask is so soothing and not at all drying. Therefore, there is no limit to how long you can keep it on or how often you can apply it.
  • Wipe it off with a washcloth using small circular motions so as to harness the exfoliating powers of the nutmeg! Sometimes I rub my face in circles with my hands intermittently while wearing the mask for extra exfoliating opportunities.
  • Follow with some toner, moisturizer, etc. Whatever you put on after you wash your face.

This mask is THE BEST thing I’ve ever done for my skin! I absolutely love that it never feels harsh or drying on my skin like many clay masks. Sometimes I slather it on after another more powerful mask to reduce redness or irritation.

For a wordier post and more info about the healing properties of the ingredients check out my source for this mask here.


Exfoliating Sugar Scrub

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As much Sugar as you would like to make of this scrub

Olive oil

A few drops of the Essential Oils of your choice (I used Lavender)

  • Put the sugar in a bowl and add olive oil in small amounts until all the sugar is just sticking together. It it not necessary to use a lot of oil in this recipe.
  • Add your essential oils and stir again.
  • Transfer to a storage container.
  • Use in the bath or shower to exfoliate your skin. I would consider this scrub too harsh for the face but wonderful for the legs, arms and shoulders. This scrub is great to use before shaving because it is removes the dead skin cells and lets you get a closer shave. If it’s been a while, I like to shave once, use the scrub, and then do a quick once over with the razor again. Also, the oil in this scrub makes it lightly moisturizing, which is a wonderful bonus.

This scrub (and the mask) make great little gifts too! Just pack some in mini mason jars, garnish with a homemade label and some raffia, and BAM!

Enjoy!!!

mixtape monday: norah jones

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Norah Jones is my go-to artist for rainy mornings, doodling sessions, and just random moments of relaxation throughout the day. Sometimes I just need to slip into an empty hall between classes, pop in my head phones, and slide my back down the wall until I’m in an upright fetal position and the let her sweet voice wash over me. Here are some of my favorite songs she sings…

1. Summertime – old, mellow jazz just melts my heart

2. Something is Calling You – light and beautifully eerie, lets my mind drift onto dreamscapes

3. Waiting – a little more upbeat and contemporary for jones, definitely different than her first albums, but amazing in a new way

4. Back to Manhattan – i have a love affair with brooklyn, and it’s cameo in this song reminds me of its darling shops, eclectic population, and lush parks.

5. Cry, Cry, Cry – woohoo, this song is hard not to sing along to… i want to learn it on my guitar. It goes well with my little folky-country whimsies, like i walk the line.

Watercolor: Scientific Illustration

My latest series of watercolor paintings… I had them scanned and printed on blank notecards and will be selling them at multiple craft fairs this holiday season.


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I really love the meditation-inducing focus that is required to execute the detail in scientific illustration. With a four-haired brush and a mellow jazz playlist, I could be entertained for hours…

Is School Still Safe?

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A few days ago my school was told by the police to go on lockdown due to a developing incident in the area. I was taking a chemistry exam, calculating the binding energy per nucleon of Carbon – 12, when we were told over the loudspeaker that we needed to follow lockdown procedures, and that this was NOT a drill. I crawled under by desk, hugging my knees and wondering what was going on. Thoughts of my school being bombed, or someone running through the halls with a loaded gun filled my mind. I remember my mom, a first grade teacher, telling me about how she was expected to pile her students in a corner, barricade them with a table, and stand before them, guarding them with her life. At what point, I thought, did being a teacher require you to risk your life in front of violent criminals? I don’t remember that being in the job description.

Later that night, I was retelling the story to my parents, adding how we eventually were told that everything was fine, and we resumed our chemistry test, when they told me that things like that never happened when they were in school. That before Columbine, schools didn’t even have lockdown drills. Now this shocked me, because earlier I had imagined my heroes, Laura and Mary Ingalls, going through a “lockdown drill” of their own at the schoolhouse because some wild cowboys were dueling through town and shooting bullets throughout the classroom windows. I guess not. I guess school used to be a safe place, and it saddens me that we’ve lost that.

Today I found out that a student brought a loaded gun to a middle school just down the road from my own school, a school where a few of my friends go. What he was planning to do with it, the police do not know, but we can all guess. Things like this happening in my direct community really drives this issue home.

I’m currently reading I Am Malala, by Malala Yousufzai (congrats on the Nobel Prize), which illustrates the whole other level of violence that comes with education in the Middle East. I am grateful for the uninhibited education I am able to receive, but there are always things to be done, improved, changed.

What are your ideas to improve education on the U.S.? The world?