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Our Plants

7 August 2018

Can you tell we like plants??

Because we’ve been renting a home, I haven’t been able to go all out with decorating (i.e. wallpaper, paint, wall installations, etc.) and so I’ve been trying to fill up our empty space by adding as much plants as I could possibly keep alive altogether! It does take a while to water them every week but it’s my way of taking a break from work and it ends up being such a relaxing routine.

Many of you have been asking me weekly about what plants we have currently in our home and how we maintain them. I’ve been collecting plants from random places: Home Depot, small nurseries, and grocery stores. These are plants we have in our home now:

IMPORTANT NOTE! Most of these plants are toxic to either pets and/or humans so please be careful when having them in your home. Our two dogs have never been interested in ingesting our plants so we’ve been ok with having them at a floor level in our home. Because we’ve always had plants in our home, Joey’s been so used to them that she was also never interested in eating them. Even so, I’ve always kept a close eye on her around the plants. Having her water them weekly with me has also taught her how to respect the space of the plants and never to touch them unless we’re cleaning the leaves together.

If you can’t find these at your local stores, you can find them online like this store in the United States. What’s great about a lot of these plants is as they grow, you can separate them, repot them and “multiply” the number of plants in your home! When watering my plants (with the exception of the huge ones that I cannot move), I usually give them a quick “bath” in the sink or tub and let the water drain until there’s no more dripping. I do this once a week on Monday mornings. Another thing I like to do is to rotate my plants around the house every few weeks just to see how they do. When I see a plant that starts yellowing, I make sure to trim them right away and try moving them to a different location.

Here is some more detailed information about the maintenance of these specific plants above:

Epipremnum pictum Argyraeus – Satin Pothos

  • Light: Moderate light levels.
  • Water: Water when slightly dry. Drought tolerant. Too much water will kill the plant.
  • Temperature: Happy in room temperatures from 15-24°C / 59-75°F
  • Humidity: Prefers increased levels of humidity but will tolerate normal conditions.
  • Feed: Apply a weak general purpose fertilizer during the summer.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Moderate to slow growing. Trails will grow to 3m. Cut back to maintain desired length.
  • Toxicity: Mildly toxic to humans, harmful to pets. Keep away from children and animals.

Epipremnum aureum – Golden Pothos

  • Light: Medium light conditions.
  • Water: Water when slightly dry. Drought tolerant. Too much water will kill the plant.
  • Temperature: Happy in normal room temperatures from 10-24°C / 50-75°F
  • Humidity: Prefers increased levels of humidity but will tolerate normal conditions.
  • Feed: Apply a weak general purpose fertilizer during the summer.
  • Care Tips: Pinch out the tips to create a bushier plant.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Fast growing. Trails will continue to grow and grow for anything up to 20m. Cut back to maintain desired length.
  • Toxicity: Mildly toxic to humans, harmful to pets. Keep away from children and animals.

Dracaena fragrans Lemon Lime

  • Light: Dracaena Lemon Lime needs plenty of bright, indirect light to retain its vibrant colouring. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Water: Water when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. Try to keep the soil moist at all times, however they are drought tolerant. Do not over water.
  • Temperature: Average household temperatures between 16-24°C / 60-75°F but can cope with as low as 12°C / 53°F for short periods.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of a fertiliser once or twice a month during the growing season.
  • Care tips: Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove accumulated dust. Cut back by removing the top of the plant if it grows too tall. Don’t use leaf shine on these plants.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 1.5-2m. Slow growing.
  • Toxicity: The sap is toxic to animals. It is not considered poisonous to humans but should not be ingested.

Dracaena fragrans Burley

  • Light: Dracaena Burley prefers medium to bright light but can tolerate lower light levels.
  • Water: Water when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. Try to keep the soil moist at all times, however they are drought tolerant. Do not over water.
  • Temperature: Average household temperatures between 16-24°C / 60-75°F but can cope with as low as 12°C / 53°F for short periods.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of a fertiliser once or twice a month during the growing season.
  • Care tips: Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove accumulated dust. Cut back by removing the top of the plant if it grows too tall. Don’t use leaf shine on these plants.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 1-1.5m. Slow growing.
  • Toxicity: The sap is toxic to animals. It is not considered poisonous to humans but should not be ingested.

Nephrolepis exaltata Green Lady – Green Lady Boston Fern

  • Light: Moderate light requirements, anywhere from bright, indirect sunlight to light shade.
  • Water: Keep the soil moist at all times. Water when the surface becomes slightly dry. Do not overwater and use lukewarm, soft water where possible.
  • Temperature: Average household temperatures 16-24°C / 60-75°F, but no lower than 12°C / 53°F. Avoid cold draughts.
  • Humidity: These ferns prefer higher humidity levels, but can thrive in average room conditions. Do not place near radiators etc.
  • Feed: Liquid fertiliser can be applied occasionally during the growing season.
  • Care Tips: Boston Fern may develop deep brown spores on the underside edges of the fronds. These are not pests, so don’t panic.
  • Air Purifying: A top houseplant for purifying and filtering the air.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 1m. Fast growing.

Monstera deliciosa – Swiss Cheese Plant

  • Light: Prefers bright, indirect light but will tolerate moderate shade. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Water: Water when the soil has started to dry out.
  • Temperature: Monstera deliciosa likes warm conditions from 18-27°C / 64-80°F. Anything lower than this will reduce the plant’s growth rate. It will tolerate 12°C / 53°F. and above but keep away from cold draughts.
  • Humidity: Happy with average to high humidity levels. Cannot cope in dry air situations.
  • Feed: Feed once a month with a balanced fertilizer during the growing period.
  • Care Tips: Wipe the leaves occasionally to remove accumulated dust.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Use a moss pole to support the plant (the roots will cling to this for support) or cut back if it gets too big. Slow to moderate growth, but depends upon the conditions.
  • Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous, keep away from pets and children.

Ficus elastica Melany – Rubber Plant

  • Light: Ficus elastica Melany prefers bright, indirect light but does cope quite well in lower light conditions.
  • Water: Water when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. Keep the soil moist at all times, but do not over water as this will cause leaf drop.
  • Temperature: Ideal temperatures are 16-24°C / 60-75°F. Avoid cold draughts.
  • Humidity: No specific requirements, although the occasional misting wouldn’t go amiss.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of a fertilizer once or twice a month during the growing season.
  • Care tips: Insufficient light or incorrect watering can trigger leaf drop. Adjust as necessary and your plant should quickly recover. Wipe the leaves occasionally with a damp cloth to prevent dust accumulation. Note: Ficus sap contains sticky latex which can be an irritant, therefore wash your hands if any comes into contact with your skin.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: In their native environment, Ficus elastica can grow to many metres tall. As an indoor house plant, it is up to you: simply trim to maintain your desired height. Typical indoor heights are anything from 30cm to 2m. Moderate to fast growing.
  • Toxicity: Considered poisonous, therefore keep away from children and animals.

Ficus lyrata – Fiddle Leaf Fig

  • Light: Ficus lyrata prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate some light shade and some direct (but not harsh or midday) morning or afternoon sun.
  • Water: Water when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. Keep the soil moist at all times, but do not over water as this will cause brown spots and leaf drop.
  • Temperature: Ideal temperatures are 16-24°C / 60-75°F. Avoid cold draughts.
  • Humidity: No specific requirements, although the occasional misting wouldn’t go amiss.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of a fertilizer once or twice a month during the growing season.
  • Care tips: Insufficient light or incorrect watering can trigger brown spots and leaf drop. Adjust as necessary and your plant should quickly recover. Trim to maintain shape, but be aware that sticky latex will ooze from the ends of the cut stems. This can be an irritant, therefore wash your hands if any comes into contact with your skin.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate indoor height 3m. Slow growing.
  • Toxicity: Considered poisonous, therefore keep away from children and animals.

Chlorophytum Variegatum – Spider Plant

  • Light: Bright, indirect light. Will tolerate some shade; however, this will slow its growth rate and it may lose its stripes. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Water: Keep well-watered, with moist soil, throughout the growing season. Less water is needed in the winter.
  • Temperature: Average household temperatures are fine (above 16°C / 60°F). These are fairly tough plants so should survive temperatures above 8°C / 46°F in winter if the soil is kept fairly dry.
  • Feed: Feed with a weak solution every few weeks during the growing season. Do not feed during the winter.
  • Care Tip: Baby Spiders can be pressed down into compost and left to self-root, giving you a second plant to pass on to friends and family.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 50cm. Fast growing.

Sansevieria trifasciata Laurentii – Snake Plant aka Mother’s Tongue

  • Light: Best in moderate to bright, indirect light but will adapt to low light conditions too.
  • Water: Allow the soil to dry out before watering, then water thoroughly and allow to drain freely. Do not allow the plant to sit in water as this will cause root rot.
  • Temperature: Happy anywhere from 15-23°C / 59-73°Fand as low as 10°C / 50°F for short periods.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of cactus or general-purpose feed once a month at most during the growing season. Sansevieria are low maintenance plants and do not require a lot of supplementary feeding.
  • Air Purifying: Sansevieria filter airborne toxins and are part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 75-100cm. Slow growing.
  • Toxicity: Mildly toxic if eaten. Keep away from children and animals.

Some extra tips:

  • Before committing to a plant, think about its size and how it will grow. Some plants grow very slowly and some the opposite so make sure to research before committing to a plant.
  • You can encourage growth by repotting in spring when the plant is ready. Signs that a plant needs to be repotted include roots appearing through drainage holes or a network of fine roots visible on the surface.
  • If your plant is old or particularly fragile and the soil looks cracked, tired and lackluster, you can top-dress with potting mix. Gently scrape away the top few centimeters of soil – making sure you don’t damage the roots – then replace it with fresh potting mix. 
  • When choosing a plant, choose ones that have lots of new buds, moist soil and perky leaves. 
  • Make sure not to over water them! Plants can drown especially when there are no drainage holes. 

In the photo:

The black shelf that we use for hanging our plants in our living room is from Home Depot. We used the Everbilt Shelf and Rod Bracket and a shelf to match (sold separately at Home Depot). The bar was also purchase separately.

DIY Holiday Lantern Winter Landscape

10 December 2017 / 1 Comment

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll probably know that I love all things miniature. So when I was asked by the SoCal Honda Dealers to create a holiday DIY craft, I decided to try something I’ve always wanted to do: make a miniature winter landscape! I’ve seen many versions of this in mason jars, vases and even trifle bowls but I wanted to try one in a wooden lantern that I had laying around and use this opportunity to learn how to use polymer clay for the first time. After trying to make a miniature car out of clay, I now have a new found respect for artists who do this but in even smaller versions. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible either so you can try it out yourself!

The reason why I partnered up with the SoCal Honda Dealers to do this DIY project is because I love what they’re doing with their #RandomActsofHelpfulness campaign and wanted to spread the word. They have been doing random cool things like surprising families throughout the holiday season all over Southern California (OC, LA, Ventura, San Bernardino and Riverside counties) by just being helpful!

For instance, keep your eye open for the Helpful Guys in Blue who will be popping up at 4 different Christmas Tree lots across SoCal where they will be surprising families there with free Christmas trees. Also between now and Christmas, their tanker truck will surprise Honda drivers at gas stations across SoCal with free gas!

Follow the SoCal Honda Dealers on social media for hints as to where they’ll be! You can find out more about their upcoming local community events at https://www.facebook.com/socalhondadealers.

[This blog post is sponsored by the Southern California Honda Dealers]

 

Things you need: A decorative lantern. I got mine here.

I had these miniature trees and they were the perfect size for the lantern. I got mine from Michaels but you can find them here.

I took the glass from an unused photo frame to use as my workspace with the polymer clay. There are various types of polymer clay but the one I used was this one.

This was probably the hardest part of this whole project. It’s no joke trying to make something out of literally nothing! The polymer clay was easy to work with however as it ended up being very easy to mold and shape even after working at it for more than an hour. Yes…this took me an hour haha. Polymer clay remains workable until cured in the oven so you can keep using it until you’re ready to pop it in the oven. Even after you cure it, you can always add more of the polymer clay if you feel like adding more to it and then put it in the oven again.

When you’re done with your clay figurine, it’s time to cook! Depending on the size of your figurine, curing occurs at temperatures from between  265 °F (129 °C) to 275 °F (135 °C) for 15 minutes per 14 inch (6.4 mm) of thickness. You can use your home oven for this. I used my toaster oven and it worked fine! To avoid it from burning I added a foil tent to block. Doesn’t it look like a little car port? How cute is that little Honda decal? This is exactly why I love miniatures. It just tickles me how cute everything is in tiny form!

I used a copper wire string light that I received in a gift from one of our fans who included it with a Moana ornament for Joey (her favorite thing to play with right now! Thank you!). I used a velcro sticker to attach it to the top of the lantern.

Next I took some green felt, bunched it up and placed it on the bottom of the lantern. I then arranged a couple of the decorative trees on top of the felt.

Found these miniature gifts that literally made me squeal. They were the perfect size for the car!

I took the car out of oven, I let it sit in a pool of ice water before adding the presents on top.

Next I took fake snow powder and used a spoon to add to the landscape bit by bit.

I added the string lights to crowd to the top and left a few to run through the snow so that it would illuminate the ground as well. After Joey woke up from her nap, I asked her to help me add more snow into the landscape and she was more than willing! Love that we can now do projects together!

Joey’s Workbench

28 July 2017 / 11 Comments

So many of you have been asking about this custom workbench that I asked my good friend Paul to make for Jo. I’ve always wanted to make her a busy board but wanted something a little different to put in our kitchen/living area without it getting in the way of things. The workbench design was perfect for us to put right under our kitchen countertop that way I can keep an eye on her while in the kitchen! She loves playing with the magnets and also putting them back in the cubby hole. I’m planning on adding some more features including a rotary telephone (if I can find one!) and other things that might peak her interest like buckles and zippers. I didn’t want to add them all at once because her interests change every day. Excited to keep working on this!

Rainbow Wooden Magnets can be found here. I do have you warn you that they are not the strongest magnets so they have a tendency of sliding down on this particular magnet board.

Wooden Block Magnets can be found here.

So I have great news! I asked if Paul would take some orders for you guys and he said he would! I know many of you wanted to get one so just read below to see how you can order one from Paul. You would get this same bench but can choose what type of features you’d like. All three designs do not come with the door lock or the light switches in these photographs. The three design options are below.

  1. Just the workbench in the grey stain. (No magnetic board or cubby) – $120 (+$20 Delivery Fee)
  2. Workbench with the magnetic board (No cubby) in the grey stain. – $145 (+$20 Delivery Fee)
  3. Workbench with the magnetic board and cubby and white knob in the grey stain – $165 (+$20 Delivery Fee)

To place an order, please email Paul at CPKDesigns2017@gmail.com. The turnaround will be 1-2 weeks after payment is received. There will be a delivery charge of $20. After the Venmo payment is received, Paul will coordinate a delivery time that will work with you!

Please provide the following when placing an order:

  1. Full name
  2. Location (City) *Must be in Los Angeles or Orange County California
  3. Must be able to pay through Venmo. Bench will be made after payment is received.
  4. Please provide which Workbench design you’d like (#1, #2. #3)