Monday, March 30, 2015
Sunday, March 29, 2015
March 20th may have been the official first day of spring, but for me, today is. Hello delicious little flower seedlings! (I have to admit I had a weird reaction to the first day that the weather started to change over last week. You know the Stockholm effect where kidnapping victims start identifying with their kidnappers? I suddenly got all sad about the snow melting. WTF? I am happy to report that I have gotten over it, especially after snow flurries yesterday.)
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Every April 1st, we have a tradition of getting together with friends and making a big April Fool's feast. I will never forget the very first one we did about a decade ago. I made a meatloaf and baked it in cupcake wrappers, then frosted it with mashed potatoes tinted with pastel food coloring. When I brought it to the table, one of the kids said, "I knew it! Dessert for dinner!!!" It was the perfect comment, disarming everyone from what they were about to bite into. Then there was the year I decorated the windowsill next to the dining room table with little potted plants. When dessert came, I turned around and took them off the sill and gave them out. I had baked cake in clay pots, crumbled chocolate cookies for soil and then stuck a sprig of mint into each one. My proudest moment was the year I served chocolate drop cookies in a kitty litter box filled withe Grape Nuts cereal. One of the running jokes has become how to sneak broccoli into the meal, which began the year we had an inedible, though hysterical, meal. My friend had brought along pizza and cupcakes as a back-up meal (which happens more and more frequently) and I ate half the cupcake, thinking the jokes were over, before I bit into a chunk of broccoli.
This year, I am thinking it would be funny if I made these footprints in the snow, locked the door and then pointed to the snow with a frightened look on my face. Since the focus has always been on food, they would never expect that! Time to go plan. ** Insert evil laugh **
And by the way, some of these ideas are absolute genius: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/genius-april-fools-day-pranks-your-kids-will-totally-fall
Friday, March 27, 2015
And now, for your random enjoyment, some fun-to-say words. I am going to try to use all of them in casual conversation today!
Collywobbles (a feeling of fear, apprehension, or nervousness)
Spondulicks (money; cash)
Sastruga (Ridges of snow formed on a snowfield by the wind)
Butyraceous (the nature of, resembling, or containing butter)
Pickwickian (meant or understood in a sense different from the apparent or usual one)
Brolly (an umbrella)
Here is my attempt at using as many as I can in one sentence:
I have the collywobbles thinking you may not want to spend your spondulicks on my plantable paper brollies!
Thursday, March 26, 2015
For Throw-Back Thursday, here's an interview that I did for a blog several years ago when the writer stumbled upon one of my rolled paper sculptures. I don't have any of these paper sculptures online at the moment but I do have a bunch of them in local stores. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in one and I will take pictures of the ones that are left!
Here are some of the paper sculptures I have made over the years. Unfortunately, all of these have sold, but I am happy to make similar ones if you like what you see. This first paper sculpture was commissioned by the Nashville Humane Society and was almost three feet tall. I had to have a custom frame made for it, to fit the customer's specifications. It is one of my favorite creations.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Here's a tricky topic. What do you do when you have a friend who wants to buy from you? She loves your work, wants to be supportive, but is your friend. She has helped you through hard times, you have danced together, laughed together, cried together. She might have even held your hair back over the toilet on a few too many late nights in your youth. She might have even been the recipient of some of your earlier, um, experimental work.
How do you then turn around and charge her?
I have so many friend/buying scenarios and I still don't know how to handle it after all these years in business. I am happy to give discounts, thrilled my friends love my work and always willing to cut my losses for the marketing but my friends feel like they aren't being fair to me. I have the friend who wanted to support me and insisted on paying full price. I said I wouldn't sell to her unless I discounted the price and she told me she wouldn't buy from me unless she paid full price. That was over 15 years ago and, although she remains one of my closest friends, we have never reached an agreement and she has not bought from me in all these years! I have another friend who purchased some Christmas items from me and wanted to pay full price. This woman has fed me and my family countless meals over the years, including about 6 weeks of dinner almost every night straight during a kitchen renovation. I wanted to give her everything for free for all those meals and because the items she was buying would be given to friends who didn't know about my business, and it would be great marketing. That kerfuffle ended in a compromise of 50 percent off. I have another friend who buys from me all the time but always at the last minute and always needing something custom. Thankfully, she pays full price but, because she is a friend, I feel like I can't say no to her requests even when I am slammed with work and would normally say no to anybody else. Finally, there is the family member who calls and tells me she is out of my greeting cards and to drop some off the next time I swing by. (I am actually delighted by this straight-forward request and thrilled to do it!)
When I asked in the Etsy forum about what others do about selling to friends, I got a range of answers:
"I ask my friend to decide how much they are willing to pay and make adjustments accordingly."
"I have a discount code for friends. My friends are my best advertisement. When they wear my products, or give them as gifts, they are spreading the word for me. I have gotten a lot of business because of friend referrals. The least I can do is give them a decent discount for the help."
"Occasionally and very rarely I give a friends discount. If I constantly did stuff for friends at a discount I would go broke and be spending all my time doing stuff for them and not working on anything else."
"They buy just like anyone else. Since mine buy in person they save shipping."
"No discounts here. Many of my friends are musicians, artists, and makers, and I would never ask or expect a discount from them either."
"I usually give 20% to family and close friends and 10% to other friends. Or they wait until their birthday or Christmas."
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The postcards that I ordered to advertise my show came today. Yay! Now I just have to address and send about 50 of them, distribute another 50 by hand, advertise the show on social media, and distribute all the show info through local newspapers. It's quite amazing how much work goes into having a show at a gallery. It's not just creating a massive amount of work - enough to fill four huge walls and an entire free-standing card rack. I have had to think about food, booze and music for the opening, how to lay everything out on the walls, what to say on the individual placards for each piece of work, how to dress a large front window to advertise the show, get 8 new lines of cards designed, created and printed, and then priced and packaged… Every time I accomplish one thing I think of 5 more new things that have to be done. I used to do craft shows and thought this gallery show would be much of the same organizing and creating but it has been a very different beast. That said, it's been fun and creative in a new way and I am completely enjoying the new challenges. I just hope I have thought of everything!
Monday, March 23, 2015
I wonder if this new position for Chad will mean any changes for Etsy…
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
Chad Dickerson, Appointee for Member, Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations
Chad Dickerson is CEO of Etsy, a position he has held since 2011. He was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Etsy from 2008 to 2011. Previously, Mr. Dickerson was Director of the Brickhouse and Advanced Products teams at Yahoo! from 2007 to 2008, and was Senior Director of the Yahoo! Developer Network from 2006 to 2007. He also served as CTO of InfoWorld Media Group from 2001 to 2005 and was CTO of Salon.com from 1998 to 2001. Mr. Dickerson received a B.A. from Duke University.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
With gardening weather right around the corner, I am starting to think about the garden. But nothing makes me crazier than seeing my neighbors break out the pesticides and start spraying every weed in sight in the spring. ICK. Since so much of my business is about flowers (my Petal People cards are made entirely from pressed botanicals) and seeds (I make plantable paper for a living), I thought this would be a useful post about killing weeds without introducing poisonous, toxic pesticides to our environment and water table. Also — and I know I have talked a lot about bees lately — not using pesticides will also make our lovely bees much happier and healthier.
I found a really neat article by Bob Villa about natural ways to fight off weeds. These were the surprising weed-fighting techniques that I didn't know about:
Did you know that corn gluten meal is birth control for seeds? Sprinkle it on your garden and it will keep weed seeds from germinating and growing into plants. Of course, corn gluten meal will keep any seed from germinating, so don’t try this on your vegetable garden until your plants are established and you’ve ﬁnished planting seeds.
Apply vinegar with a spray bottle, pump sprayer, or brush. Like other natural herbicides, vinegar cannot differentiate between weeds and other plants. Do this early in the morning, when there’s little wind, to avoid contaminating nearby plants. Vinegar’s killing properties are activated by the sun, so try this on a cloudless day, which also ensures that rain won’t wash it off before it works its magic.
Scald those pesky weeds with boiling water. Just grab your kettle off the stove and bring it to the garden. Pour a stream of water carefully on the crown of each unwanted plant. Tough perennial weeds with long tap roots may take two or three applications, but will eventually stop coming back.
I actually don't care much about weeds. I pluck the ones that really bother me or threaten my flowering plants, and I figure the rest are green and blend in with the grass making it look fuller!
Saturday, March 21, 2015
In a recent post (http://paperandpulp.blogspot.com/2015/03/display-ideas-for-wedding-seed-bombs.html), I gave readers different display ideas for using my plantable paper seed bombs as wedding favors. One of the ideas was to make or buy a bird's nest and fill with seed bombs to look like little eggs in a nest. One of my customers did just that after buying my tutorial on how to make her own seed bombs. If you would like to do the same, you can purchase my tutorial here:
"Mom and I made the Seed Bombs in our kitchen. We used a blender, flower seeds from Lowe's, and cheap aqua copy paper from Staples. I got the directions from an digital download PDF tutorial I found on Etsy. The seller's shop, "Pulp Art" is amazing! The flower seeds all grow in different shades of purple and blue. We even used a couple varieties of purple-flowering herbs. (Purple flowers were Dad's favorite also, which is probably where I get it.) A lot of people don't know this, but many purple flowers are also easy to grow. Most herbs and other Mediterranean plants bloom in purple, and Mediterranean plants are tough and easy to grow because they can tolerate heat and drought. (That is if our Southern humidity and acidic North Carolina red clay don't kill them first!) David and I also have a connection to purple flowering perennials. We met when I worked at the Garden Center at Lowe's about 4 or 5 years ago. Part of my job was to roll the distressed plants out behind the store, and either "doctor them up" or dispose of them. (When I would dispose of the dead perennials in the dumpster, I would always clip off the ripe seed pods from anything that flowered in PURPLE, of course, to bring home and plant.) David also worked in the Garden Center at the time. His job was mainly to drive a forklift and move around pallets of mulch and fertilizer. Every now and then, though, he would come out back to where I was deadheading plants. He said our manager told him to "help me". This basically meant he just distracted me and got in my way - he got on my nerves back then! I found out years later that that was a lie. Not only did our manager NEVER tell him to come help me, the manager even YELLED at him for following me around like a puppy, instead of doing his own work in the Garden Center! Anyway, I packaged the seed bombs myself with tulle, spanish moss, and ribbon. I printed the labels myself on clear Avery printable labels, and put them on Martha Stewart Home Office hanging tags I got on clearance at Staples." - Ashley
photo credit: www.revivalphotography.com
Friday, March 20, 2015
I just found this picture of a needle-felted clutch purse that I sold a few years ago at a local show. I can still feel all the finger pokes I got when trying my hand at felting with needles. Youch! The one drawback about having a very busy Etsy shop is that I don't have a lot of extra time to explore other art forms as much as I used to. But what has me scratching my head is how did this picture get into my income tax folder?!
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Not posting much in-depth stuff this week. I have so much work and this to-do list is just for this week! It doesn't even touch all of the custom paper orders I am making — including 250 paper hands, 150 cupcake toppers and 300 tented place cards — or my personal life to-do list. I might be freaking out just a little bit...
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Am I talking too much about bees lately?! I hope you aren't getting sick of my fascination with them. Here a very interesting article on how mushrooms might just help to save them.
"… through research supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense, Stamets showed that certain species in a class of mushrooms called polypores contained substances that were effective against human pathogens such as pox viruses, flu viruses and herpes. He later learned that these same mushroom compounds, present in certain polypores associated with trees and rotting logs, help bees break down pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and other toxins, and bolster the bees’ immune systems."
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Monday, March 16, 2015
I wish I were as clever as many of my customers have been when using my products. For this woodland-themed baby shower, the host used a rainbow assortment of my seed bombs in favor bags, and made them a little more special by packaging them with some moss and a tag, and used a pine cone as a sign holder.
Other highlights from the woodland theme were a slab of tree stumps as areas for food display, and little deer figurines on top of a cake with ombre greens and blues. Very sweet.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
Here are answers to some of the most frequently-asked questions about my plantable papers:
Can I get my order made with herb seeds or vegetable seeds?
Nope! Please read why I don't use these seeds in my plantable paper in my blog post here: http://paperandpulp.blogspot.com/2014/11/dont-eat-your-paper.html
When can I expect my order to be shipped?
I ship every day, Monday through Friday, via USPS First Class mail. I usually wait until some time in the afternoon to take orders to the post office to capture as many orders as I can. (But I will go early in the day if my customer has a time issue like an Express Mail drop-off.) So it may take as long as 24 hours for your package to be shipped but it is often much less. And if you want to know a little secret, I live within walking distance from a post office so sometimes, and especially on nice weather days or if I have an errand to run, I will make a second trip to mail something if I get a sale late in the day. In my Shop Policies, I state that I ship Monday through Friday, but I do also ship on Saturdays. I just like to keep my options open so that I am not committed to Saturday shipping if I decide to take a road trip or put my feet up and take a break from my shop for a weekend here and there.
Can you make specific colors? Can you match my wedding colors?
Yes! I make all of my handmade paper from 100% post-consumer waste. I rely on several different sources to supply me with paper scraps, which means the colors I have on hand can vary over time. I usually have a rainbow assortment of colors and have become quite adept at mixing and combining scraps to come up with custom colors but I can't always make every color. I can get very close to most colors, and have even almost exactly matched a few, too.
Can I write on my plantable paper?
Yes! I actually wrote an entire blog post about it that you can read here: http://paperandpulp.blogspot.com/2014/12/i-can-write-right.html
Will you make a donation to my organization?
Because I get so many donation requests, I have had to limit those charities to whom I donate. I now only donate locally, and to companies and charities with whom my family is directly involved.
What seeds come in your plantable paper?
Seeds in my papers are never hand-gathered so you can be assured my seeds have passed quality control standards. I buy the highest quality non-genetically modified seeds available, which include - but is not limited to - the following annual, perennial and biannual seeds: Hollyhock, Calendula, Bachelor Button / Cornflower, Dwarf Lance-Leaf Coreopsis, Sulphur Cosmos, Wild Cosmos, Chinese Forget Me Not, Larkspur, Sweet William - Tall Single Mix, African Daisy - Flake Mix, Indian Blanket - Fort Know, Sweet Pea - Knee High Mix, Sweet Pea - Bijou Mix, Blue Flax, Sweet Alyssum - Royal Carpet, Sweet Alyssum - Violet Queen, Arroyo Lupine, Four O'Clocks, Love in a Mist, Red Poppy, Dwarf Catchfly, Dwarf Nasturtium, Moss Verbena, Siberian Wallflower, Shasta Daisy, Lance-Leaf Coreopsis, Sweet William, Foxglove, Purple Coneflower, California Poppy, Blanket Flower, Candytuft, Blazing Star, Blue Flax, Perennial Lupine, Rocky Mountain Penstemon, Maltese Cross, Mexican Hat, Prairie Coneflower, Gloriosa Daisy, Black Eye Susan, Clasping Coneflower. These seeds can be planted in conditions ranging from full sun to half shade (though they like more sun, if possible), and in soils from sandy, clay or acidic to moist or dry, from the Northeast to the Southwest.
How do I plant my paper?
Wait until all danger of frost has passed, then rake the soil, tear your paper into smaller pieces, scatter the paper onto the soil, cover with 1/4 inch of topsoil, water and keep moist until seedlings are established, approximately 6 to 8 weeks. The seeds I use in my papers need to be treated in the same manner as seeds you buy at your local nursery. Once planted, they must have sunlight and consistent moisture in order to survive.
I am ordering my plantable paper now but won't use it for a couple of months. Will it be OK?
Yes! Until you use it, store your plantable paper in any cool (not freezing) dry place that is not subject to extreme temperature variations. Some products come packaged in an acid-free plastic envelope. If you will not be using your plantable paper right away, please open the plastic packaging so the seeds can breathe. For best germination, you should plant your paper within 12 months of purchase. (Seed viability will decrease as time passes, but some seeds are viable for up to 5 years.)
Will you send me your products for free? I will review them in my blog.
Yes! However, I am very selective who I give my products to, and I don't give them very often. I will need proof of a certain amount of consistent readership, as well as evidence of cross-promotion on social media, and a well-established presence in either the crafting world, wedding market or another audience that hits my target customer base.
Do you offer bulk discounts?
I don't. Believe it or not, larger orders actually take more time than smaller ones. And because my paper making equipment gets tied up with bulk orders, it slows down my production time for all new orders. (Plus, it's just me making, photographing, writing, packaging and mailing everything in this one-woman business.) I do have a handful of stores that purchase from me at my prices and then mark up my items to sell in their brick and mortar stores.
I am using them with kids. What should I do?
Normally, you can plant my seeded papers outside after the last frost. But, depending on your region, you may have to wait a few weeks to see anything sprout, just as you would for any seeds that you plant. When planting with kids, you may want to speed up the process for more immediate satisfaction. You can do this by making a homemade terrarium by dampening the paper, putting in a glass jar and covering tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a sunny window sill and you will see seedlings begin to sprout in less than a week, depending on the temperature and amount of sunlight. You can also put dampened paper inside a plastic baggie with a little air room, seal shut and place in sun.
I got shipping notification but there is no more tracking information beyond that.
When I package up an order, I print a shipping label in my studio. Once the label is printed, an email is automatically sent with tracking info, but your package has not been shipped yet. When I drop off the package at the post office, it is scanned with gun. The postal folks don't transfer that information from the gun to their computer system until after 5 pm when they download the gun into their computer. It can still take a few more hours for tracking info to appear on the website. If you have been sent an email with tracking but it isn't showing up, just check back a few hours later or the next day.
Friday, March 13, 2015
What a great idea for a party to break up the winter! Wish I had thought of this party theme about a month ago when everyone was climbing the walls with cabin fever and cooped up in our houses, but thrilled somebody else was able to use my seed bombs to brighten up their winter. I'm going to steal this idea and am already planning my party for next winter...
"This theme is extra f-a-b because it’s inspired by a special customer of ours who, in order to combat those long Maine winters, hosts an annual Cabin Fever Open House. Her event is complete with bright-colored décor and spring flowers.
Everyone loves spring. It’s pretty much a fact. And with all the snow, it might feel as if you haven’t seen anyone all winter long. Whether you host a formal or casual Cabin Fever get-together, we prescribe that the only cure for Cabin Fever is a strong dosage of springtime charm."
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Today is National Plant A Flower Day. I am not sure who comes up with these dates or how they decide when they will be. Most of the Northeast is covered in snow and will be for at least a few more weeks. And the last frost date for my area isn't until May. (This is such a cool website where you can lookup your first and last freeze/frost dates by zip code: http://davesgarden.com/guides/freeze-frost-dates/#b)
If you can't plant a flower today, you can at least plan for the day you will. Start with plantable paper! Just listed in my shop: plantable paper daisies, filled with wildflower seeds.
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Many brides love my seed bombs for their weddings but aren't always sure how they can use them or incorporate them into their reception. Here are some ideas, including ways that some of my previous customers have shown me.
1. Put them in a tall glass cylinder or punch bowl, add a scoop and let guests help themselves. Provide some tiny canvas bags stamped with the name of the bride and groom.
2. Tie each seed bomb in a small swatch of cloth that coordinates with some part of your wedding — the decor, bridesmaids dresses — or the theme, and display them in a big bucket like this bride did:
Photo credit: Michelle Edmonds photography
3. Put 3 or 5 seed bombs into a small clay flower pot for your guests to take home and plant. Place some moss at the bottom of the clay pot and add a little baggie of soil along with my planting poem.
4. Tuck three or four seed bombs into some tulle or an organza bag, along with planting instructions, as I have done here:
(Want to buy a sample of seed bombs in an organza bag? Go here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/101312542
5. Make (or buy) bird's nests and put a cluster of seed bombs into each nest like eggs, then place a nest at each guest's place setting. I made this bird's nest out of recycled shredded US currency!
6. Use a sheet of my plantable paper, fold it into a paper cone and use it as a vessel to carry seed bombs, like a little cornucopia.
7. Make a little glassine envelope and pop them inside. This works really nice for bright colors and a peek of color through the translucent paper. Here's what one of my customers made as client app reaction gifts:
8. Get really free and crazy and simply scatter them all over the tables at your wedding reception as a whimsical, colorful but very inexpensive pop of color.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
My once-new, once-clean bookcase that was installed about a year ago never did become sparsely populated with clever books and interesting knick-knacks from foreign travels. Instead, behold the storage area of seed bombs, cards, plantable paper tags, art work for an upcoming show, frames, works-in-progress, bubble envelopes and business supplies.
Monday, March 9, 2015
I am making a lot of new Petal People for a show I am doing, and taking this opportunity to print some new lines of cards to introduce during the run of the show. I have made about 30 new original pressed flower art figures, and these are some of my favorites. I am looking for any kind of feedback about them, which ones you would like to see made into greeting cards to be sold in my Etsy shop, and any general comments for improvement about them, etc. Feel free to post comments on my FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/PulpArtPaper
This woman is holding a birthday present with a big bow, for a line of birthday cards. However, one family member saw the present as a birthday cake and another saw it as a hat! Do you see a present, cake, hat or something else?
This one is my very favorite, a little yoga bend with a large fiddlehead fern as the hinge in the hip.
One friend saw this Petal Person as saying "I'm sorry" or holding her heart in a gasp. I saw it as a naked stick figure trying to cover up in surprise. Clearly I didn't get the point across!
I love this girl in a fun flapper dress. I imagine her shaking her hips, making all the fringe dance. She is my second favorite figure, and part of the reason I am making her into a card is because if I sold her and never saw her again, I would be very sad!
Jumping for joy, this girl is definitely a card to say, "Congratulations!" I knew the minute I opened up my flower presses and saw the clematis flower kinda bent and squished that it was going to be a skirt in motion.
I still have to add feet to tis little princess but I thought this would be the prefect card for any occasion for little girls.
And since most of my Petal People are girls or women, I thought it was only fair to introduce a man into the fold. This guy is going to get a mustache to match his hair, and maybe something else. There is something about him that isn't quite done.
I would love your feedback. Thanks for looking!
Sunday, March 8, 2015
In celebration of Daylight Savings, more light and warmer weather, I post this dubious picture. It looks like snow but it is actually miles and miles of sand. The break in the weather has me thinking about travel, adventure and exploration, and I am itchy to hit the road. I am longing for beaches and body surfing!
Saturday, March 7, 2015
I came across this green blogger who didn't believe that plantable paper actually sprouts, and was very pleased to see flowers growing once it did!
I will admit to being highly skeptical of plantable seed paper. As a green blogger, I had collected a small box full of the paper from sources such as a Silk soy milk desk calendar made from the stuff, to a thank you card, to a bookmark, and more. I couldn't recycle them because I felt guilty about the plants that could be hiding in the seeds (who knew that there even were?), and also because I wondered if they would mess with the paper recycling stream - so I kept them for a couple years. Eventually I took the box outside at the end of one summer, to my then-floundering sun-soaked front yard. I tore up the paper, buried it under a few layers of soil, watered it, and called it a day.
I didn't think about my experiment through the fall and winter, and by springtime, I had forgotten I'd even planted the seed embedded paper. But then an amazing thing happened, there were unfamiliar plants growing that didn't look like weeds! I grew up in the woods of the Hudson Valley (not a lot of wildflowers there), but my grandmother had once sown a huge field with wildflowers during a volunteer day at Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center. I had worked there years later, mowing near those same flowers, and recognized them as similar to the young shoots headed for the sun in my yard. At least I thought I recognized them.
I gave them the benefit of the doubt, not expecting that I would actually get flowers out of my saved-for-years packages from various sources. Thinking that maybe they would shoot up and flop over, never flower, or last a season and disappear, I watched and waited. Now, I have no idea which packages 'worked' and which didn't, and I think that some of them must have contained seeds that were too old to sprout, but despite these shortcomings, I'm happy to report that some of them did! Now three years later they're still going strong in the bright sun - even despite my crummy soil. But I guess that's the power of wildflowers - they're hearty - from seeds to plants to flower, they keep going and going. So now I'm a convert, and yes, I'm still saving those seed-embedded papers, and thinking that early next spring I'm going to go for another round.
Very neat that this blogger had success, and with very old seeds. Since my product is pictured in the blog, I assume one of the things she planted came from me. And I would hazard to guess that my product was one of the ones that did sprout. All of my products are made with the highest quality freshest seeds I can find. And while I recommend planting within 12 months for best germination, some of the seeds are viable for as long as 5 years. Viva the wildflower!
Friday, March 6, 2015
Did you know that about one-third of our bees nationwide have disappeared in just the last few years? Since bees pollinate almost all our food crops and flowers, we are in a good amount of trouble should this downward trend continue. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about bees and everything that is happening to hurt their populations: pesticides, cell phone towers, lack of wildflowers, genetically-modified foods. I don't use pesticides and I don't buy GMO foods, but I can do something about wildflowers.
I came up with a new product idea for my shop: a line of special edition seed bombs in yellow and black (the color of bees, of course, but also because black and yellow are two of the six colors that honeybees recognize) with a premium mix of seeds in them that attract bees with long-blooming, colorful flowers. Honey bees prefer single petal blossoms like Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, and Echinacea because single petal flowers produce more pollen and nectar than double or triple blossom flowers. (By the way, this mixture also attracts hummingbirds and butterflies!)
This mixture contains 19 wildflowers: 11 annuals for first-year color, plus 8 perennials for second and successive years' bloom. The seeds are good for growing zones 1-8, which includes the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, Pacific NorthWest. Here's what you and your neighborhood bees will get: Shasta Daisy, Lance-Leaf Coreopsis, Plains Coreopsis, Wild Cosmos, Sulphur Cosmos, Purple Coneflower, Dwarf Sunflower Sunspot, Sweet Alyssum, Lacy Phacelia, Yellow Prairie Coneflower, Mexican Hat, Black-eyed Susan, African Marigold, Strawberry Clover, Crimson Clover, White Dutch Clover, Zinnia.
I am so excited to offer this new product and do something good for the earth and for mankind. My seed bombs are also made from recycled scrap paper and hopefully their use will help bees pollinate our food crops while recycling biodegradable paper. I did a little internet research when I was first thinking about this idea and found so many interesting tidbits about bees:
* There are over 12,000 species of bees, but only about 600 of them are social in habit. Among the social bees are the honeybee (or hive bee) and the bumblebee. The bumblebee is round and furry and moves around slowly. The honeybee has a more streamlined body and moves around much faster (about 15 miles/hour).
* The weather often affects the temper of bees. On windy and cloudy days, when they are unable to search for nectar and pollen, bees will be more aggressive.
* Bees can't recognize the color red, but they can see ultraviolet colors.
* Honeybees fly 55,000 miles and visit 2 million flowers to produce one pound of honey.
* The only natural enemy of a bumblebee is a skunk!
* Honeybees prefer blue, purple or yellow flowers. So, plant more of those in your garden. They prefer these flowers because the colors that honeybees see are green, blue, purple, yellow and black.
* One percent of all middle-aged bees become undertakers—a genetic brain pattern compels them to remove dead bees from the hive. But most amazingly, regular honeybees—which perform multiple jobs in their lifetime—will change their brain chemistry before taking up a new gig.
* When aging bees do jobs usually reserved for younger members, their brain stops aging. In fact, their brain ages in reverse.
* Researchers have found that bumblebees fly the shortest route possible between flowers. So far, they’re the only animals known to solve a distance problem.
* Serial killers behave like bees. They commit their crimes close to home, but far away enough that the neighbors don’t get suspicious. Similarly, bees collect pollen near their hive, but far enough that predators can’t find the hive. To understand how this “buffer zone” works, scientists studied bee behavior and wrote up a few algorithms. Their findings improved computer models police use to find felons.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Wish I had some of that stock…
Brooklyn, NY – March 4, 2015 – Etsy, Inc. ["Etsy”], an online and offline marketplace where people around the world connect to make, sell and buy unique goods, today announced that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. Etsy intends to list its common stock on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "ETSY."
Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering. Allen & Company is acting as co-manager.
Etsy plans to reserve a portion of the shares to be sold in the offering through an IPO participation program for individual purchasers. The program will be administered by Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. Go to http://etsyipo.morganstanley.com for more information.
The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. When available, a copy of the preliminary prospectus related to the offering may be obtained from: Goldman, Sachs & Co., Attention: Prospectus Department, 200 West Street, New York, New York 10282, via telephone: 1-866-471-2526, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 180 Varick Street, Second Floor, New York, New York 10014.
A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
I love a simple wedding table, with crisp linens, some hand-picked flowers or potted plants to add color, and very little else to clutter up the table. At this wedding that took place in Rome, small pieces of my plantable seed paper were used as place cards and tucked into the napkins along with the menu for the simplest touch of elegance. Lovely.
Photography credit: Fine Art Wedding