Saturday, September 9, 2017

On the perils of keeping poisonous plants


Although I'm fairly sure I've driven off most of my readers due to neglect of this blog, I'll ask a question of the ether: what are your feelings on keeping poisonous plants?

That beautiful Dieffenbachia plant above was so inviting in the plant nursery that I bought two, one for my mom, and one for myself. The label seemed to have all the pertinent info about it - the temperatures it likes, amount of sun, how often to water, etc.

Nowhere did the label mention: extremely poisonous plant. And yet it is!

I felt so guilty giving my mom that plant that I immediately called to warn her. It's the sap that's poisonous, not the leaves, so gloves and skin covering (and eye covering) should do when cutting in, and no getting it near eyes and mouth. I'm fairly ok with keeping this plant on the balcony, out of reach of my cat (and with no small children in my house).

This one, I'm not so sure about:
Euphorbia tirucalli

This cute, spindly cactus-like plant was a gift. Likewise it came with a nice, descriptive label which I ignored, and began hacking into the extra stems I wanted to prune off. My sharp shears caught on the stems, and in the process I got a mess of very sticky white sap all over my arms and hands. I was lucky I was wearing glasses, and I resisted the temptation to rub my eyes just in case. Also I think I was lucky in that my arms were covered with potting soil, which showed me just where to scrub - since the sap dries clear and colorless, like glue.

Of course, nowhere on the label of the Euphorbia Tirucalli did it mention how poisonous that sticky sap is. The nickname "firesticks" gives you a clue, though, as my Google research told me the sap can make your skin feel like it's on fire, and cause temporary to possibly permanent eye damage. I thoroughly scrubbed it off after thoroughly freaking myself out about it.

No reactions occurred until the next day, when I scooped up the clothes I was wearing to throw them in the wash. My arm immediately broke out into a hot, raised rash with tons of tiny blisters. All I did was touch the clothes for a second. I can only imagine what prolonged exposure would have done.

So I find myself very on the fence about this plant - I'm clumsy, and can easily imagine myself tumbling down on it. Would you keep a poisonous plant?

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Honeymoon of Plants

My caladium

Oh boy has it been a long time since I wrote here last, and in that time, I've gone absolutely bonkers for plants.

Another caladium

I'm not sure quite when it happened. Somewhere after the hubbub of moving into an apartment with my husband, newly married, enjoying the quiet of this new shared existence, I was drawn to plants like I've never been before.

Begonia rex

Don't get me wrong - I have always loved trees, flowers, and being outdoors. But that's where it generally ended - outdoors. Something about seeing plants in pots never gave me a thrill. Until recently.

Unfurling caladium leaf

Caladium leaf unfurled

There's something so fascinating and so pleasing about watching plants grow. Such a thrill in watching a leaf slowly unfurl. To notice a stem or a leaf has turned towards the sun. I can't describe it, I guess. But it's addictive and wonderful.


And there's such a beautiful, wide assortment of plants, and in my climate, luckily I can grow them almost year round. Each day the balcony gets a new friend.

Pineapple plant


Potted succulent head

Right now I'm taking supreme joy in watching a cane begonia my mom gave me sprout slowly from its roots:

New leaf

Where will it end? Who knows! So far, I've been having a lovely time with my new friends!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Vintage Wedding Inspiration

So, I have a problem. I live in the wrong decade for bridal wear. :)

One of the reasons I find it so hard to get excited about wedding dresses is... they just don't do it for me. After a few searches, my Pinterest account became hijacked with images of modern bridal wear, and I realized I don't like any of it.

But after a few searches for vintage bridal dresses I realized I love wedding dresses, just not the ones from this century. :)

So as I go to get fitted one more time, for a wedding dress that still doesn't fit right, enjoy these lovely bits of bridal inspiration from previous years, all pinned to my Vintage Weddings Pinterest board...

Friday, February 10, 2017

Bride and Groom

Finished Bride and Groom hoops!

So I haven't been around here too much lately, but I have a very good reason for that - I'm engaged! I finally found the perfect person, and I couldn't be happier. But I've been plunged headfirst into the odd world of wedding planning. I feel very out of my element - I've never been the "plan your elaborate wedding since birth" type. I like things simple, but lovely, and I like things to be a certain way. And I also know I want to DIY as many things as I can without it looking too silly or taking on too much to handle.

As a result, I've started planning a few simple projects along the way, which I'll post monthly to Feeling Stitchy. The first project is up above, a free pattern for two Bride and Groom hoops. The design is very simple - just the lettering, but you can adapt it in just about any way possible - with beading, fabric, and wrapping your hoops in a decorative way.

I opted for our wedding colors - navy and ivory, using a navy linen I've used in previous projects. I also used DMC Snow White for the bride hoop and DMC 822 (an Ecru shade) for the Groom hoop. I wrapped the hoops in ivory and light grey bias tape to give them a neat look. I also love the Chantilly lace on the bride hoop and delicate stitches on the groom hoop.

Did you DIY anything for your wedding? Would you like to see a DIY project in particular? Let me know! :)