Easy DIY Mothers Day Gift.

Easy DIY Mothers Day gift any one can put together, even at the last minute!

Show your Mum how much you love her on her special day, by making her a lovely personalised gift of a Mothers Day succulent mug. Its a great inexpensive gift that can make a big impact, because its handmade by you, And the great thing is, it's so quick and easy!
There are lots of really great mugs with quotes for Mums out there, that are just right for this do it yourself. Like the sweet ones I have used here. Choose one that suits your Mothers taste or personality, then plant it up with easy care succulents. And there you have it, a cute gift made just for her.

Items needed
1. A Mothers Day Mug,
You could even find Mothers mugs at the charity shop, as its being used as a planter.
2. Some succulent plants or plant, (Try to choose small plants or ones in thin pots, to ensure they will fit in your chosen mug. You could choose succulents you know your Mum likes, or that match the colours of the mug)
3. Succulent soil mix. ( you can just use potting mix also)
4. Pebbles or gravel ( for the base of the mug)

Optional extras
Activated Charcoal (This can help with keeping things fresh - because the mug has no drainage hole)
Decorative pebbles or sand ( to cover the soil)

Arrangement tips 
If using a few succulents, you can place a taller one in the middle and smaller ones around it. Or a taller one at the back with varied heights in front.A good classic choice is the thriller the filler and the spiller. So a more eye catching taller succulent plus a shorter less showy one to fill most of pot and then one that cascades or hangs out over the edge. And of course colour is a great thing to play with in succulent arrangements. Monochromatic (all one colour in varying shades or textures) complimentary (opposites) and anologous (adjacent to each other on the colour wheel) the choices are endless.

Easy DIY gift For Mothers day

How To
Step 1. Place a layer of gravel or pebbles in the base of the mug.
To fill about a 1/3 of mugs volume. This will act as the drainage, so the roots don't sit in wet soil.

Step 2. If you like you can place a thin layer of charcoal on top of the pebbles.
This is used to keep things from becoming smelly or growing mold. But I have seen many non draining vessels used, that have not had charcoal and they have grown very well and did not smell. Though it is a good idea to pour off any excess water within a few hours of watering.

Step 3. Place some of the succulent soil in the mug.
How much is a bit of guess work, as it depends on how much room your plants will take up.

Step 4. Plant your succulents in the mug.
Try to work out the placement of your plant or plants, before you plant them. Depending on the size succulents, you may have to take them back out and remove or add some soil mix. If your plants are a bit large in the root area, its best to gently loosen some of the soil from the roots or even trim the roots a little if necessary, to make them fit in the mug.Don't worry to much about being rough, succulents are fairly tough plants!A lot of succulent growers recommend that you actually do remove a lot of the soil and some of the roots . As this stimulates the plant to make fresh roots and new growth. Once you have the succulents arranged the way you like, add more soil to cover any exposed roots. Tap the mug gently on a firm surface just to settle everything.

Step 4. Cover any exposed soil with your chosen pebbles or sand.
This just helps  to stop the soil washing out when watered, and to firm up the planting. It can also give the succulent mug a neater finish.

Step 5. Gently water.
Water about once a fortnight. Remember to pour off any excess water within a few hours.
Succulents are best kept in indirect bright sunshine. Or Morning sun, afternoon shade.

Easy Diy Planter Mugs for Mothers Day

Succulents in mugs Mothers Day gift

Indoor plant decorating

These succulent mugs also make great decorations for Mothers Day celebrations. Which is exactly what I made the ones pictured for. They can make a really cute centre piece, decoration for the food table, entrance or hall table. You can even spread them around in little nooks and crannies, to spread the message, that its Mums special day! Make a few, give them to your Mum, Mother In law, Daughters with children or decorate your home or Mothers Day picnic with them, on your own special day.

Diy gift succulents in Mother Day Mugs

The three Mothers Day succulent mugs I have put together here, actually have some very special significance for me. They are all mugs that my children have given me on past Mothers Days! Though they were looking a little shabby from many years of use, I didn't want to part with them. So being the plant lover that I am, I thought what better way to use my beloved mugs than to team them with plants. I planned to use mine as decorations around the house on Mothers Day. For my own enjoyment, but also hoping my children would get a kick out of spotting their past gifts, and seeing that I was still enjoying them, just in a different way.

Succulents in a mug with a vase of flowers

Hope you enjoy making this easy do it yourself Mothers Day gift!

Catch you soon.

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Decorating with indoor plants

    Indoor Plant Decor.
    It seems decorating with indoor plants, especially in interesting pots or planters is still one of the
    hottest trends In home decor. 

indoor plants in vintage planters of brass and pottery

Ive really been enjoying the resurgence in popularity indoor plants have had in the past few years. I think the renewed fashion has been helped along a great deal by environmental awareness, and the      popularity of mid century and 70s trends in decor. As both of those eras were very big on interior decor that included indoor or house plants.
Indoor plant an cupboard  with art work on wall  and vintage vase
Art piece by Natasha Gardos

Growing up with plant loving parents, the garden as well as the family home, was always filled with wonderful plants and flowers. I suppose it was from this lovely influence, that in my own home, having not only an outdoor garden but an interior one, has always been an essential part of who I am. As well as enjoying the look of plants, I absolutely love the feeling plants bring to a space, don't you?

(Pathos) Devils ivy indoor plant in vintage planter pot
Pathos (devils Ivy)

Indoor Plants Help Clean The Air

Including plants in your interior decor can benefit your home lifestyle in many ways.
Plants can bring a wonderful feeling of life to any area.
Though most importantly they help to clean the air in our homes.They do this by absorbing harmful chemical gases such as benzene and formaldehyde, these harmful gases can be present in our homes from everyday things, like plastics, furnishings and household cleaners.
I mean who doesn't want to breath less chemicals or enjoy cleaner air in their home?

snake plant sanservieria
(Sanservieria) Snake plant

Plants cleaning the air? Is this scientific fact?
Well for a long time there was a great deal of agreement on this point, but just recently it seems to have become a contentious issue with a few people, Then again so is climate change!
What I personally can tell you, most plant lovers, my self included, know from their own experience that plants make the air in their home environment feel fresher. Which is one of the reasons they love having plants in their home! 

At the end of this article I've included a link to Plant Life Balance, a campaign to encourage the use of more plants. In collaboration with the campaign, researchers at RMIT University and the University of Melbourne have taken the last fifty years of studies into plants and the affect they have on our 
well being, and turned it into one distilled guide that explains in simple science the benefits we can gain from having plants in our living spaces.

They have also included lots of information on the number, size and type of plants most beneficial, as well as styling ideas and a great virtual reality app that helps you style your home with plants. A site definitely worth your time, facts, fun and fashion in one place.

Jade plant Crassula ovarta
(Crassula ovarta) Jade

Indoor Plants Make Us Feel Good

Plants improve the perception of the space they are in.Indoor plants can affect our physical, emotional and mental well being. Many companies are introducing plants or increasing the number of plants in their offices or buildings, as are many schools and hospitals. Not only because they make a space feel good to us, but because they make us feel good.

Many studies have shown that indoor plants reduce stress and fatigue, increase positive mood, memory, concentration, production and creativity! If that is not a good reason to accommodate some lovely greenery in your living spaces, I don't know what is.

Indoor plants in vintage cane and woven grass baskets

Decorating With Indoor Plants 

I like to think of the plants and planters in my home as changeable accessories, just like my cushions!
My indoor plants are a constantly evolving display, I find rearranging them a really fun and creative activity.

Having a variety of plants can make your display more interesting with varied height, texture, colour, plant and leaf shape. Big, little, hanging, prostrate, prickly, smooth, perfumed or flowering.

indoor plant decor with wall painting and vintage bar cart
 Art piece by Natasha Gardos

There are so many choices, you are sure to find plants that appeal to you. And don't worry about having too many the more plants are together, the more they like it. And they will create their own micro climates that help them to stay healthy.

There are many easy care  plants that are especially good for beginners.
Like Pathos (Epipremnum aureum), Mother in- laws tongue/Snake plant (Sansevieria)
Jade (Crassula ovarta), philodendron, rubber plant (Ficus elastica), spider plant (Chlorophytum)

spider plant indoor plant
(Clorophytum) Spider plant

I tend to keep most of my plants growing in the standard sized plastic pots, and then I display them inside a planter of some kind that I think suits my decor. Sphagnum moss or coco fibre
can be used to hide the plastic pot, if you think it spoils the look.

Using this method I am then able to place a changing array of plants in the one planter.That way if I think a plant looks lovely were it is I can leave it in place. But if I purchase a new plant or become bored with the plant currently in that planter I can replace it with another.

This is also a good practice if the plant needs some outdoor air, you can take it outside for a breather and replace it with another. Or you may find that as the seasons progress that your plant is receiving to little or to much light, so you can replace it with one more suited to the light conditions.

Indoor plant in a blue planter

Succulent in a vintae anodised aluminium planter

Another reason I find it convenient to keep my plants in a plastic pot within a planter, is
when it comes to watering. It is so convenient just to lift out the plastic pot and take it to
the laundry or outside for watering. Especially if your plant sits on a piece of furniture, less chance
 of  the water damaging the furniture.

Or if your planter is a heavy one it saves you lugging it out and back when its watering time.
Of course if you would like to water in place, you can also have an inner vessel without drainage
holes between your potted plant and its planter that can catch any excess water.

Some ceramic or metal planters have a tendency to absorb even small amounts of water, from even
a well drained plant. This can lead to moisture being deposited onto the surface it is placed on.So a good idea is protect surfaces with an under mat or you can place a hanging basket liner or coco fiber at the base of your pot, to absorb any residual moisture

Indoor plants in vintage metal containers

Decorative Planters

Now when it  comes to changing your indoor plant decor display, it is just as much fun to
switch out the planters as the plants.You can keep your favourite plants and just change their planters to get a different look.Or if your plant has grown and doesn't fit the planter anymore, you get an opportunity to try something different.

Indoor plants with colourful kitchenware

Or start a collection of similar planters by colour or style, like brass, pottery, ceramic or white, marble or black, modern geometric or cool trending vintage.Perhaps start with the colours you like to use in your decor or ones that will compliment the type of plants you choose. And of course a variety of sizes  and textures adds interest.Just like plants, the planter comes in a head spinning variety, you can collect to your hearts content.

Indoor plants in brown  vintage pottery

Besides vessels designed for plants, look outside the box and get creative. I like to use a lot of vintage in my home, but it can be difficult or expensive to source vintage planters. So I like to use cups and jugs, vases, compotes, baskets and even sugar bowls or anything else that takes my fancy, adds a touch of whimsy or matches the look or colour I'm after.

Indoor plants in blue vintage planters

Styling With Indoor Plants

 Indoor plants and their containers, vintage or contemporary, can add so much to your decor. Plants are an easy decorating accessory to play around with. As mentioned you can rearrange them at anytime, by moving them around to different areas in your room or home. You can change the pot/planter or even replace the plants themselves, to get a whole new look, seasonally, or just randomly, when the mood takes you. Different times of the year bring different opportunities for flowering or scented plants. Celebrations such as Birthdays, Easter or Christmas are perfect times for these.

Golden chain orchid in copper planter

Decorating with indoor plants can be done in such a variety of ways, there are plants and display styles to suit every individual and their space. From elegant to colourful and quirky, from earthy and environmental to the latest mod style, boho chic to jungle Jane.

My own style - well if you can call it that, is what I would probably call "very eclectic" or
"free range - organic". But you can judge for your self, as all the photographs in this post are from my own home. Plant styling, or plant decor is just like the rest of your home decor, the choices are endless and all yours.You might even come up with a style of your own!

White and purple (phalaenopsis) moth orchid in a brass decorative pot

Bringing The Outdoors In

As the trend to extend our living spaces outdoors has increased, designers and decorators have seen the great benefits of incorporating plants into interior decor to bring the outdoors in.This is not only because the plants bring a sense of being outdoors, its because indoor plants enhance the beauty of any home by improving the atmosphere or ambience of a space just by their presence.

And just as plants are used outside in landscaping, some of the same principles such as proportion, aspect, and unity can be used with indoor plants for your housescaping! Plants can be used to screen something unattractive, or as a lovely green room divider. Use them to frame an entrance, or an art work. And a lovely large house plant  can make a wonderful focal point in a room.

White moth orchid on a table with a painted art piece on the wall

White (Phalaenopsis) moth orchid on ahall table

Do you have noisy children, family or pets? Believe it or not plants can even help you with noise reduction in your home, by absorbing sounds, especially the high pitched frequencies.
And don't forget all the other personal benefits of bringing the outdoors in that we discussed earlier, such as improved air quality and mood.

succulent in a pottery face jug on a vintage bar cart

Creating An Interior Garden

So if you haven't started creating an interior garden of your own as yet, my advise is "Get to it"
And enjoy some wonderful leafy goodness in your living space. Start with just one plant, and see how it makes you feel. I think you will be pleasantly surprised, as well as healthier and happier! 

If you are looking for styling ideas for decorating with indoor plants, I have collected quite a few examples of interesting styles and various ideas on indoor plant decor that you might find helpful on my
 - Interior Garden - Pinterest board You can find it here

Don't forget to have a look at Plant Life Balance for information on the science regarding the benefits indoor plants bring to our living spaces and the best plant choices for different needs.

I will be posting some tips on caring for your indoor plants soon, so watch out for that one.

Succulent and fern plants in vintage enamelware

If you already enjoy the benefits of an indoor garden, please share any tips with us, I'm sure we would all love to here from you.

Happy indoor gardening everyone!


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Just had to share some Japanese cuteness with you, or Kawaii.We were given these very sweet gifts by our Daughter T, on her return from a recent trip to Japan.

Kawaii Japanese  cute dog and chic on match box and matches

First up are these Japanese Kawaii match boxes.
I just love the cute little  chick and dog face on each match.
So simple but sweet.

Kawaii  cute dog  on match box in japanese packaging
Kawaii chick on Japanese packaging of matchbox

Then we have Tokyo Banana!

Japanese sweet Tokyo Banana box
 Tokyo Banana Japanese sweet in a box

Its a souvenir sweet of Tokyo. They are lovely fluffy sponge cakes
 with a custard type banana flavoured filling.

Japanese  sweet Tokyo Bannana

And last, but far from least, this box of Japanese cookies. As you can see by the illustration
 on the front of the package, the cookies are of a very funny little Japanese character
 named Gudetama.
Gudetama is a little unusual because he is an egg! A very lazy egg.

Japanese box of cookies of Gudetama the lazy egg
Gudetama, pronounced (Goo-deh tama), is a character created by the same company ( Sanrio ) as
Hello Kitty.
Not only is he on Youtube and just about every product you can think of, but Gudetama has his own Twitter and Facebook accounts with very large followings!

Japanese  Gudetama cookies,side of box showing Gudetama

Kawaii Japanese cookies of Gudetama

Most Sanrio characters are cute and sweet
 Gudetama is definitely cute, but he is also extremely lazy and depressed, often hiding from the world in his shell or wrapping himself in his bacon security blanket.

Some articles have reported the character is based on the way parents see their millennial children!
 Whatever ideas are behind his creation, I think he is a little weird, sweet and funny.
(Be warned there can be some grossness attached to him as well!)
 He is a big sensation in Japan, and his popularity is spreading across the world.
When I looked at a few gifs and clips staring Gudetama, I could see why.

Gudetama the lazy egg wrapped in bacon

 gif of Gudetama, a funny but  lazy egg character from Japan

I find Japanese culture really interesting for many reasons, The history, fashion and elegant serene gardens but one of the biggest has to be their wonderful products. Whether food, utensils, decor or art, so much effort has gone into making them cute, beautiful or evocative.
Their products are never just something you eat or use.
 They often bring a smile to my face or twang my heart strings.
And that is something I can always have more of.

What about you?
Love to hear your comments.

I think I might go and watch... just a few more.... Gudetama clips!
She : D
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