Propagating Succulents | part one

I’ve been working on writing this post for a while! I often share pictures of my Succulents and cactus pals on Instagram – like every self respecting blogger! It was only when one of my Succulents got way too big for its boots that I thought I’d take a gamble and try to propagate the damn thing.

First off, let me say I didn’t dive into this without research and the website I found the most useful is this one – there are much better examples of this everywhere else online with much better pictures but I’m not going to NOT share my own experiences just because someone else did a better job!

So let me tell you about my mother succulent. She was big and, too be honest, I’m not sure what ‘type’ she is because I’m too lazy to actually look that up but she had outgrown her pot and had started to grow along my window ledge like a vine. Who knew they did that? I did take pictures of it which I’ve sadly lost but it really happened, I swear.

Instead of repotting, which I was going to do, I figured it would be healthier to trim the whole thing and try to start from scratch so… Let’s get into it!

This is the top of the mother plant. She’s a real beauty and such a trooper! I basically took a pair of sharp scissors and nipped her off the long stalk that was creeping across the counter top – so much of her energy was going into growing away from her roots that the leaves at the base were wrinkling and dying. A good sign she needed help!

What I did was wiggle about 20 healthy looking leaves away from the stalk so I was left with only this ‘head’… I’d suggest looking at that site I’ve linked to to see the best way to do that! It’s not hard, though!

Once I had a good bunch of leaves, and the head, I laid them out (with some Dino help) and left them to dry.

The aim of this game is to let the ends of the leaves callous over so they are similar to human scabs. That’s gross. Ok, what I mean is the ends should dry out and seal closed before anything else. I think this took about a month… I also flipped them over every now and then just so they dried evenly.

Eventually they heal up and little tongues of growth appear. I did had a great set of pictures for this stage but, again, lost them? It’s not like I’ve been planning this post since August or anything.

Once they get to this stage, where little sprouts appear you get to buy some Succulent/cactus soil (usually available from any garden centre because it’s kind of a popular hobby these days) and lay these bad boys on top.

Again, I’d point you to the link from the start of this post for how often to spray them with water because now they’re ready to be fed! You don’t plant them at this point because the roots need to appear first… Except the head of the plant. Because it is already big and strong I planted it immediately and it’s still going strong.

But back to the ‘pups’ (as they’re known). You get to spray them with water and flip them every few days (I’m not sure this was something I read but I did it instinctively and I’ve managed to keep them all alive!), just on top of the soil.

Eventually they grow roots and a new little flower because, surprise, the leaf is merely the cocoon for the new plant!

That’s right, the old leaf isn’t the new plant. It took me a while to realise this and it’s kind of a creepy, fun thing to see. Not only have my little plants grown biiig roots and new heads but the original leaves?

Dying or already dead. When they get to this stage the original leaf can be wiggled free and discarded so the new head can be planted! The above picture kind of shows one of the babies I’ve already popped into the soil and I’m saving photos of the rest for my new post in about a month where they’re all buried or potted.

I’m really pleased with the results of my first foray into propagation. It’s been a slow process – I started this in August – but rewarding! I’m not only going to have a new brood of plants but also going to be able to gift some of them to people which is fun! I really like the idea of trying it with more Succulents to see if the process is the same?!

I’m also excited to see how these little babies fair over the next few months!

Sam

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Snail mail! Again!

It’s time. I am itching to send some hand written letters out in the post along with a little something extra (I’ve previously posted Polaroid pictures and cute bookmarks) – if you’re interested in receiving something in the post email me your address and, if I don’t already know much about you, tell me something fun you’ve been up to! 

Email is prettythoughtfulblog@gmail.com 
This will be the last batch before Christmas, I think, so get in whilst you still can!


Sam

Yoga workshop with Adriene Mishler  

I’m writing this post 24 hours after the event and still I have what can only be described as a yoga high.

Yesterday I took the train into Manchester after work to attend a live yoga session with Adriene of YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene.
I’m pretty sure I’ve already blogged about her and so I won’t go into too much detail about her but you should check out her videos. She is the main reason I took to yoga so much years ago. She’s kind of my yoga master who can make me laugh out loud whilst watching her videos so imagine my joy when she was as hilarious IRL.

I go to yoga class often and I enjoy it but never before have I felt the energy I felt last night. There was no awkwardness of doing yoga in a room full of 400 perfect strangers/yoga mates. There was only excitement and a feeling of being with friends.

I’ve recently been practising gathering and centering my chi and I have to admit I might have purposefully taken some of that excess energy with me last night. It was impossible not to absorb it and roll with it.

After the hour and a half practise, which ended with a lovely meditative savasana, me and my friend Christa queued to meet her because how could I not? It was more than worth the wait to get to thank someone you consider a friend in person. To hug the woman who introduced me to a group I love interacting with on a regular basis. 

I’m sure I’ve missed something here but basically if you ever get the chance to do yoga with a group like that or even with Adriene herself; do it! 

Also – a few notes. The teachers who helped with the whole rodeo were great and helpfully walked the floor with Adriene to make alterations in postures and the tour manager, Geoff (Jeff? People spell names differently and it hurts my brain), was a hoot and a half. Also… never take a mat that is slippery. It’s never helpful to feel your downward dog begin to turn into a hot dog as your hands and feet slip further and further apart… 
Sorry if this is super cheese! 

Sam 

Christmas Song

cold-hands

It isn’t a secret I like to sing. My friends and family have to put up with me singing all the time. Some of them even have to put up with me recording songs and emailing them, attacking their ears with my dulcet tones.

What has always been a bit of a secret is that I have saved a few songs to Soundcloud. The reason for not sharing them with others is because I put them there for myself so I can store them off my computer and listen whenever I like because I like listening to myself. I’m sorry to admit that.

As it’s Christmas Time I figured I might as well share an original Christmas song I wrote a while ago. It’s just a demo but why not put it out there? I have also added the option for download (for free) just in case you wanted to do so.

And so you can click HERE to listen to Cold Hands of Winter.

Happy Holidays

Sam

Radio Silence

14nicoll

 

I never lose my love of writing or my love of living but I do sometimes lose the love of sharing those things with other people.

Recently I became overwhelmed with just how much of my life I share; whether it be out in the ‘real world’ or in here on your computer screen. It just all seemed to bleed into a giant splodge of ink that, in true Rorschach form, appeared to me like a straight jacket.

Creatively I’ve been running wild- I’ve never felt so in tune with my inner-writer and planning future projects, even only in my mind, is going very well. That being said I found myself shrinking away from everyone I normally share things with. Unplugging became the norm and plugging back in started getting more difficult.

In no way, shape or form do I think it’s a bad thing to do but I am a natural sharer of ideas and I love social creative outlets like the Internet so this big step back left me wondering what was going on.

I suppose the big thing I’ve always struggled with when writing blogs and recording videos for public consumption isn’t just ‘why’ but ‘for who?’. No matter which way I looked at it I wasn’t happy with the answer. If I was just doing it for myself was there any point? If I was just doing it for other people what did that say about my previously assumed over-reaching self esteem?

What I’ve decided is that for every project I work on for myself I’ll create a portion for others that will mean I’m sharing in the truest form I can imagine. Art is difficult to place in the world, even this post seems utterly self-absorbed but, at the same time, I can’t help but hope that someone read this and find a sense of understanding for their own lives. A little voice inside your head that might link us for a second like when two wave lengths become one; pitch perfect.

It’s early to start making new year resolutions. I’m not one of those people who roll their eyes at them, like I roll my eyes at most things, because I love the idea that every 365 days we get to hit ‘reset’.

My hope is that come the new year I’ll have had enough time to think about where this blog is going. In the meantime, thanks for reading this – even if it was just me re-reading my own words. You’re a doll.

Sam

 

Bad Ass Woman: Teresa Palmer

Hi all,

I’ve been MIA of late because I’ve been trying to spend a little time trying to re-balance my life, figure out what I need to keep to keep me going and finding out where I need to trim some fat.

Back to business, though; Bad Ass Woman of the day/ my life is Teresa Palmer.

I came across Teresa, first, when I watched the movie I am Number Four. I thought she was fab and ever since I’ve tracked her movies and projects down with a hunger I thought only existed for Mexican food.

The reason she struck a chord with me wasn’t just because she’s a great actress but because she is such a damn cool zen guide in this crazy world.

The website Your Zen Life (which she created with best pal and fellow Aussie Phoebe Tonkin), along with her Tez Talks on Youtube have become a huge part of my life ideals. Both the website and videos encourage a mindfulness that is inspiring, mixed with the community aspect it’s just plain great!

I highly recommend you check her out either as an actress or as a soul-sister!

Sam

Got Ambition?

Ambition (n) ; a strong desire to do or achieve something.

Something that is almost always encouraged and yet, somehow, almost always frowned upon. It’s too easy to go into the complexities of male vs. female ambition but feel free to comment about it because YES.

I am a very ambitious person but, maybe strangely, not in work.

I do not dream of furthering my career in the office I work in. I have no desire to try to step my way up to a managerial position and gain more money and authority even though that is what most people I know would determine ambition to be. Work harder, make more money yada-yada-yada.

For me ambition is something else. Ambition isn’t the feeling I have for work but the feeling I have for life.

Ambition is what pushes me to try to be more creative, try to be healthier, try to be happier.

I have always been an ambitious dreamer to the point of others thinking that I’m pretty much delusional but I know in my heart that my dreams and aspirations are achievable because, with ambition, everything is (to a point, I mean I’m never going to be a brain surgeon… brains… gross!)

I don’t like to tell people in real life my ambitions in my life because I feel like with every person I tell it’s another person who will get to say ‘I told you so’ when I fail. Hey! I said I was ambitious, not confident in every decision I make!

My ambitions are all tied in the creative field. Write and be published, make music, write and make movies, among other things. I recently found a role model (to be expanded on in a future post) who has inspired me to the point of renewed ambition and I wanted to just document how this feeling of determination has always been inside me, even if I don’t speak openly about it.

Hopefully one day soon the pay-off’s will start but for now I’ll keep pushing through because I know that if I keep going something good will come of it. Maybe ambition is tied with optimism…

Sam

Down with Consumerism, Up with Community!

As a society we’ve become very consumer based. Everything you could ever want is at your fingertips, if you could just remember the name of that website that sold it.

From movies to home-ware to clothes and books we can find a way to buy it cheaper than the shops can sell it… I won’t slander the name of any companies which may or may not rhyme with Mamozon…

I have had this inner turmoil for some time now.

I’m a big buyer of books. A hoarder, really. I know I’m not the only one! This Mamazonian website offers such cheap deals on books it’s hard to pass up the offer but more and more I’m feeling like I’m being a bitch.

For one thing if we don’t have local stores we’re economically screwing ourselves over; once the big stores have elbowed the smaller ones out of the way those low low prices they offer now will be gone. Secondly we’ve become so obsessed with getting products for cheaper we’ve forgotten why we pay for things in the first place.

I often have the same argument with people who think that ‘it doesn’t matter if I buy something from this shop at this price because the author/product owner has already sold it to them etc.’

Yes, this is true. In a world where the internet is the biggest market in the world it would be insane for a writer not to offer their product online at these cheaper stores but ethically should we really be encouraging it?

If the school bully stole your friends money every day so they could buy you lunch would you still accept it?

I think it’s time we got smarter as a society and started thinking more like a community. I want the person who worked effing hard for their money to get some of the actual money.

Yes, I still buy some products from the cheaper stores because it’s easier for certain products but for books in particular I have veered off the usual track and started looking elsewhere. I want people to get paid, y’know?

Sam