sweet & spicy valentine nuts

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sweet & spicy Valentine Nuts gift recipe in a mason jar with FREE printables  |  {Jules} blog

What gift should I give for Valentine’s Day?

As a jewelry designer, that’s a question I get asked quite a decent bit.  Whether you’re searching for a Valentine’s gift for your girlfriend, wife, boyfriend, husband or children it always seems to stump us.  I struggle myself with what to do for my very non-gifty husband and tween/teen boys!  They can be picky and yet there are a few go-to standards that work like magic for the perfect Valentine gift.  One being FOOD!  Always the perfect way to your man’s heart – whether little or big.

This year when trying to figure out what to do for my sweetie (married 20 years now), I decided on something simple but made by my two hands – adding that personal touch to his gift.

We had visited a sweet little French inspired inn in San Luis Obispo, California one night last year.  It was just the tiny getaway we needed to recharge and reconnect.  The best part about the sweet little inn was that they served food!  Not just any food, delicious French food.  We didn’t have to decide on where to eat – which alas is one of the things my hubby and I hate to do.  So when we found out they had fancy asparagus feta quiche for breakfast and  afternoon hor d’oeuvres of freshly toasted spicy nuts and cheese – we were in heaven.  We felt pampered, and it made the trip easy and restful.

So I thought this Valentine’s Day I’d recreate those little sweet and spicy crispy afternoon snacks!  My sweetie isn’t even really a nut person, but he just loved these.  Voila – a sweet, spicy & handmade gift reminiscent of a restful time we spent together. The perfect Valentine’s treat.  It’s even a great last minute Valentine’s Gift idea – perfect for the romantic procrastinator in all of us.  And let’s face it, we could all use a little somethin’ sweet & spicy in our relationship now and then. ♥

The little place we stayed was call Petit Soleil, and they had a great tiny recipe book featuring the amazing things we ate while we were there!  This recipe is adapted from their recipe book “Trois”.  And I promise – they’re sweet, spicy & delicious!

sweet and spicy nuts recipe ingredients

I started by collecting all of my ingredients.  Plain almonds & Pecans (not salted), Fennel Seed, Chipotle Powder, Sugar (not pictured – ha!), Chinese Five Spice & Course Salt

use parchment paper to bake your nuts

Next, and you’ll thank me for this later…I promise, line your tray with parchment paper.  When sugar cooks, it gets ridiculously sticky!  So if you cook it right on the pan, it will be a huge mess to clean up later.  I like to make my parchment larger than the pan and fold it up around the edges.  Then none of that lovely gooey sugar & spice mixture leaks over the sides.

mix your nuts  |  {Jules} blog

I chose a mixture of 1/2 pecans and 1/2 almonds – just because.  Feel free to choose whatever nuts tickle your fancy.

sweet and spicy nuts recipe - pour on parchment paper

This part gets a little messy, but it cleans up pretty easily if you wash it immediately.  With a big spoon or scraper, scoop or pour the nuts onto your parchment lined baking pan.  Spread the nuts evenly over the baking pan.  They should be in a single layer (they roast more evenly that way).  Be sure to scrape off the sugar & bits that stick to the spoon – or lick it, I won’t tell.  It’s already delicious!

stir your nuts every 10 minutes  |  {Jules} blog

You’ll end up with a wonderful pan of glistening nuts, spices & sugar.  It’s actually really pretty!  I like to sprinkle a little more coarse salt over them before I pop them in the oven.  I would say about 1/2 tsp., not too much.  It adds some saltiness and a bit of crunch.  I stir them every 10 minutes for 30 minutes…just to be sure they’re nice and toasted.

cool your nuts on a wire wrack  |  {Jules} blog

Here’s where I learned the hard way!  You need to carefully scoop the nuts off the original parchment & lay them in a single layer on a parchment lined wrap (or cookie sheet).  It’s important to remove them from the original parchment paper, so they don’t stick together in one big sticky mess!  A word of caution here – do NOT use your finger to try to remove the fennel seeds and sugar that stick to the spoon – I have a band-aid on my finger to prove this point!  Hot sugar sticks like crazy and burns really badly!!  I let the nuts sit for several hours until they were cool.  Then I broke them apart and put them in a clean and dry quart-size mason jar.

put your nuts in a mason jar for a cute Valentine gift  |  {Jules} blog

Here’s the fun part!!

valentine-squirrel-printed-bag

I wanted krafty rustic paper for my labels (top and front), but I didn’t have any kraft colored paper.  So I dug through our art closet & found plain old lunch sacks.  They were perfect!  I designed the graphics & set up my printer for the size of the kraft sack & hooray – it worked!  *tutorial* on paper bag printing will come later

free-squirrel-printable-button Valentine free printable letter size

cut out your Valentine squirrel gift labels for your nuts  |  {Jules} blog post

Super easy, I grabbed a pair of scissors & cut out the two labels from the paper lunch sack.  So cute!  I love them.  They turned out even more perfect than I had imagined.  Don’t you love it when an idea takes shape and is awesome?!

use a glue stick to attach your label to the mason jar  |  {Jules} blog

I decided to go low-tech on the application of the labels.  I used a plain old glue stick out of the school drawer.  It worked like a dream!  Just be sure to cover label entirely, but try not to get too terribly much around the outside edges – you don’t want it leaking out onto the jar.

sweet and spicy nuts with free Valentine recipe printable labels  |  {Jules} blog

I mean seriously, how cute are these???  I just love them!  I think they are sweet, they scream Valentine’s Day & I was able to make them a little bit masculine.

 

Sweet & Spicy Valentine Nuts
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 c. nuts (unsalted, any variety or mix)
  2. 3/4 c. coarse sugar
  3. 2 tsp. coarse salt
  4. 1 Tbs. Chinese five spice
  5. 1 tsp. chipotle powder
  6. 8 tsp. fennel seeds
  7. 4 Tbs. water
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients & stir until the nuts are well coated. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Pour nut mixture onto parchment paper & bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes.
  2. Cover a cool baking rack or baking pan with parchment paper. Scoop toasted nuts onto cooling rack and allow to cool for several hours. Once completely cool, store in a mason jar.
  3. FREE label printables available here: http://blog.julesjewelry.com/sweet-spicy-valentine-nuts/
Adapted from Trois - Petit Soleil
Adapted from Trois - Petit Soleil
{Jules} https://blog.julesjewelry.com/wp-app/

So these were relatively quick, easy and turned out just how I imagined!  Whom do you know that would love Sweet & Spicy Nuts for Valentine’s Day?

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epic FAIL – sticky spicy nuts

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epic fail - crazy sticky honey nuts  | Jules Blog

Okay, so you can see the post on how to make this recipe without the epic fail HERE.  But here’s the story behind my first trial.  I’m a brave soul in the kitchen.  I don’t like to precisely measure anything (which makes me a terrible baker), and I like to switch out ingredients just to see what happens.  This is one time where that epically failed!  I was trying to recreate some sweet and spicy nuts my husband and I had while visiting a little inn in San Luis Obispo.  I really wanted to try to use local honey instead of processed sugar.  That was a mistake!  I traded the honey for the sugar 1 to 1.  I’m assuming that’s not how you’re supposed to do it!

What I ended up with was a sticky mess!  This *might* work if you were looking to make a sticky brittle.  It was actually crazy yummy, you just couldn’t get it to stop sticking to everything – including itself.

epic fail - sticky spicy sweet nuts |  {Jules} blog

I started by collecting all of my ingredients.  Plain almonds & Pecans (not salted), Fennel Seed, Chipotle Powder, Honey, Chinese Five Spice & Course Salt

use parchment paper to bake your nuts  |  {Jules} blog

Man oh man, I’m so thankful I used parchment paper when I cooked this!  I couldn’t get half of it off the parchment paper!  I can’t even fathom what it would have looked like if I had to scrub it off a stone pan.  Yikes!

when making sweet nuts, toast them first to help melt the honey  |  {Jules} blog

The first thing I did was pour my nut mixture on my parchment lined baking pan.  I popped them in the oven for about 8 minutes while I preparde the other ingredients.  This step was important because the nuts were warm enough to melt the honey a bit more & make spreading the mixture easier.

sweet & spicy nuts with fennel seeds, chipotle powder, salt, Chinese 5 spice  |  {Jules} blog

While I was waiting for the nuts to toast a bit, I measured out and mixed up my spices in a decent size mixing bowl (one that easily fit 4 cups of nuts plus the honey).  I stirred the spices well – to get read to add the nuts & honey.  Now you may be looking at me funny when I tell you to use fennel seeds, but trust me!  They seemed like an odd ingredient, but oh my word, they are delicious!  They have a little bit of a bite & after you roast them with the nuts, they become crispy little crunchies in your nut mix!  Delicious.

honey - the culprit in ruining this sweet & spicy nut recipe  |  {Jules} blog

When the nuts had toasted for the 8 minutes, I carefully took them out and poured them into the bowl of spices.  Then drizzled the honey over the warm and toasty nuts.  The next part required a bit of elbow grease.  I carefully and thoroughly mixed the honey, nuts and spices together making sure everything is pretty evenly coated.  At this point the kitchen smelled ridiculously yummy!  A bit spicy, a bit sweet and warm.  I love it!  However, the sheer degree of stickiness should have been a clue that I was heading down a dangerous path.

sweet and spicy nuts all dressed up  |  {Jules} blog

I spread them out on the (thankfully) parchment covered paper.  Goopy, sticky and all!  The bowl and spoon were actually pretty easy to clean up because I did it right away.  I shudder to think what would have happened if I had waited!  Definitely a perma-stick nightmare!

sweet and spicy nuts bubbling with honey  |  {Jules} blog

Oh dear goodness, the honey bubbled up and covered the nuts in a gooey, sticky, frothy sauce.  The house smelled wonderful, and I got excited because I was almost done!  I stirred the nuts every 10 minutes for a total of 30 minutes.  This ensured that they were properly toasted, and it helped the honey and spices to soak into the nuts – maybe a little too much!

sweet and spicy nuts recipe - cool on a cooling rack  |  {Jules} blog

This took a bit of experimentation, but I finally figured it out.  I found that you absolutely had to remove the nuts from the hot baking pan in order for them to cool properly.  I also found that you could just carefully pick up the parchment from the baking pan and place it on a wire wrack (or cool baking sheet) to cool your nuts.  Or so I thought – this is where I think I failed horribly.  I needed to remove the nuts from the liquid (sticky honey mixture) on the original parchment.  Oops.

sticky honey nuts - epic fail or brittle?  |  {Jules} blog

So when I saw this, I was still optimistic.  I tried picking apart the nuts individually – that didn’t work.  So I tried clusters of nuts, prying them apart desperately to save this recipe!  I put them in a quart mason jar, because let’s face it, mason jars kind of fix things.  Alas, it didn’t work this time.  You can see the giant ball of nuts stuck to the jar – not budging.  I actually don’t know how I’m going to get them out of the jar!

sticky spicy nuts - not meant for a mason jar  |  {Jules} blog

So I’m wishing you a better experience with your sweet & spicy nuts!  Here is the recipe that finally worked.  Enjoy!

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a breath before the holidays

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Surf Beach, Lompoc, CAI hope you had a truly wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving filled with good friends, family, amazing food and rest.  Rest…that last one is a little tricky during the holiday season.  It’s all hustle and bustle and not a lot of down time.  By the time January arrives, I always feel like it’s time for some serious family hibernation.  We usually try to clear our schedules in January – except maybe a small family get away.  But either way, January involves napping and general recovery from the holiday craziness!

This year I am making a conscious effort to focus on family time and activities that encourage all of us to actually connect and take a break from the Holiday noise.  Don’t get me wrong, our house is full of Christmas music, peppermint hot chocolate, Christmas lights and Christmas baking…but sometimes a little down time can soothe the soul & recharge us for the weeks ahead.

thanksgiving-beach-38

We chose to head the mere 8 mile trek to our little local beach.  Seriously, EIGHT miles!  Why don’t we do this more often.  {sigh}  After cooking Thanksgiving dinner & visiting with family, we decided to take a bit of time to hang out at the beach together.  It was a gorgeous California day, perfect for some relaxing.

thanksgiving-beach-2We started by heading to the sand and looking for whales & dolphins.  Didn’t see any sea critters today, but it was still fun to look.  I made sure to very consciously breathe in the ocean air and focus on my boys – the two little ones (or not so little ones) and the big one.  They all needed a break just as much I did!

thanksgiving-beach-3And they are full of shenanigans….always…

Hunting for Coins at Surf BeachWe all searched for smashed coins & found far more than we have ever found before!  That was so much fun.  The boys got the biggest kick out of that.

smooshed train penniesWe decided it was only fair to replace all of the coins we found, so we put out a nice assortment of change to be squished by the next train.  Little did we know that it was coming immediately!  It FLEW through the station, didn’t stop or even slow the tiniest bit.  Man, it completely freaked me out.

surf beach amtrak trainAfter I composed myself again, we searched for the coins that were just squished.  Our youngest traded a few of his out for new ones & we left the others for the next lucky kiddo to wander along.  simple, easy, fun day  I think that breathing in the ocean air and watching my boys scour the tracks for treasure just built up my soul the bit I needed to face the holidays with a smile.

L & J Surf BeachOf course, snuggling with my sweetie didn’t hurt either.  Oh how I love the beach.  In my wildest dreams, that’s where we’ll retire.  Living in a beach house, falling asleep to the sound of the waves & waking up each morning to walk the beach together with our cup of coffee.  When my family is with me, that is where I feel at home.

surf beach train tracksSo no matter where this holiday season takes you, remember to take a small minute and savor the time you have with your family.  Those are the memories that are the most cherished.

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gilded mini-pumpkins diy

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gilded mini-pumpkins centerpiece diy from {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

I’ve always been drawn to tiny things. Pumpkins are no exception. I love the itty bitty jack-be-little pumpkins. I make a mean pumpkin dessert out of them! The boys have been asking for them again this year. I’ll have to share the recipe when I bake up my next batch.

We found these gorgeous white mini pumpkins at Trader Joe’s. When I spied them, I knew I would have to do something fun! I took my time and picked out my favorites. My absolute favorite of the bunch had a curly stem on it. I don’t know why, but I just fell in love with it. I guess we all need a little curly stem now and then.

5-little-pumpkins - gilded mini pumpkins diy from {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

So I dug through my newly organized “art closet”.  I found all sorts of great gilding implements!  My first grab was a gold sharpie, then I found my 18 kt gold leaf pen and some old Martha Stewart gold paint.  I wanted to find out which I preferred, so I decided to test different pumpkins each with a different design & a different gilding method.

Gilded Mini Pumpkins DIY - supply list from {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

I first tried my hand at a herringbone pumpkin.  It turned out a little wonky, but definitely worthy of sitting in my table-top arrangement.  I used the regular gold Sharpie pen, but I have to say that the regular Sharpie ended up being my least favorite tool in this experiment.  Which I find crazy because I’m a complete Sharpie hoarder – that must stem from my days as a teacher!  I have probably somewhere along the lines of 200 sharpies in all different colors here.  I swear I collect them like some people collect stamps or coins!

Before you start with your pumpkin, I learned the hard way – you MUST wash your pumpkin and dry him thoroughly before starting any of these projects.  The pumpkins have a natural film of sorts on them that seems to completely reject ink and paint!  So please, don’t skip this step or you will end up starting over like I did!

The first thing I did was use the Sharpie to follow the natural lines of the pumpkin.  As you can see, I really wasn’t very precise.

Herringbone Gilded Mini-Pumpkin - step 1  |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

The next part was fun.  I drew chevron lines around the pumpkin.  I found as I went through it that the deeper I made the angles, the nicer it looked.  I just matched up the angles at the natural pumpkin lines.  This step was a bit therapeutic and fun.  Again, I wasn’t very precise.  I love that it turned out looking like spiderwebs!  You could actually stop at this point if you’d like a golden spiderweb pumpkin.  This would be cute with a little plastic spider on it.

Herringbone Gilded Mini-Pumpkin - step 2 ~ it also makes a great spiderweb pumpkin!  |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

Step #3 for your golden herringbone pumpkin is to fill in alternating chevrons around your pumpkin.  This started out pretty easy, but the Sharpie pen didn’t seem to “stick” to the pumpkin very well.  This is most likely because I forgot to wash this pumpkin at the beginning!  What I found was that I went around once, then went back after it was dry and did it one more time.  The Sharpie stuck better to itself, so it filled in a bit more.  The finishing touch was to color in the stem with the Sharpie.  However, this didn’t fill in as nicely as I would have liked.  I also found the golden Sharpie to be a bit dull.  But still – he turned out kind of cute.

Herringbone Gilded Mini-Pumpkin - step 3  |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

Next I decided to try the Sharpie brand oil based paint pen in gold.  At this point, I decided to keep with the gold theme & ditch the idea of using multi-metal finishes.  I tried my hand at a free-form chevron.  It’s not perfect, and it absolutely reminds me of Charlie Brown’s shirt – which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Charlie Brown Chevron Pumpkin in Gold DIY |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

I started out trying to make the chevrons go from one pumpkin line to the next, but then decided at the end that they needed to be closer together, so I did a couple half-way between, too.  Super simple.  I did like the Sharpie paint marker better than the regular marker.  It had much better coverage and was definitely brighter and shinier.

Charlie Brown Gilded Chevron Pumpkin |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

Now onto my FAVORITE pumpkin.  Dear 18 karat gold leafing pen, where have you been all of my life?  How did I not meet you until now?  This pen is definitely a bit steeper in price, but oh-so-worth-it.  Just gorgeous!

using an 18 karat gold leafing pen on your tiny pumpkin |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

I used the gorgeous leafing pen and just made super easy random dots around the pumpkin.  I then used the pen to paint the stem – my favorite part.  The leafing pen is divine!  Seriously gorgeous.  I love the shimmer and shine.  One word of caution – don’t use too much.  After having such issues with the Sharpie not covering, I started by applying a large amount of the paint pen – it runs!  Don’t do it.  It doesn’t need it.  Luckily it wipes off easily with a damp cloth while the paint is still fresh and wet.  I think it turned out amazingly!  I love it so much.  Just look at this gorgeously gilded stem?  It makes my heart {swoon}.

Gold polk-a-dot mini pumpkin with gold leafing pen  |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

I wanted to try another pumpkin with the amazing gold leafing pen.  I am a big fan of old boards, pallets and knot holes.  I thought I might try a pumpkin that looks like it has some “grain” to it.  I started each pattern with an oblong blog that I filled in.  Then I outlined the blob a little ways out, several times.  Then I filled in every other concentric line.

gold faux bois gold pumpkin |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

It doesn’t exactly look like wood, but it turned out interesting and so shiny from the gold pen!  It’s definitely different than the other pumpkins, and it turned out to add a little visual movement to the centerpiece.

gold leafing pen fake wood pumpkin |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

Lastly I tried out the Martha Stewart gold paint.  I started out with the sparkle gold and promptly dropped it on the ground in the dirt.  Blech!  I don’t think Martha would approve.

drop your pumpkin in the dirt |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

Dropping it gave me a minute to really look at the paint and realize it was not what I had envisioned for this pumpkin.  So I washed it off and started over with a different, more opaque paint.

So I started painting around the top of the pumpkin.

gold painted mini-pumpkin |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

Then I let it dry in the sun – yes, it’s still a wicked 93 degrees here in October!  Goodness, I’m ready for fall.  I flipped it over and painted the bottom, let it dry, then flipped it back over & added another coat to the top, blending the two sections together nicely.

bottom of the gold painted pumpkin |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

Now, here is where I absolutely should have stopped.  But I didn’t.  It’s akin to messing with your hair to make it better, but really it just gets worse and worse!  I thought the golden finish of the pumpkin wasn’t quite as bright and sparkly as I had in mind.  So I decided to spray sparkle glitter spray paint on it.  Hmmmm….this is what happened:

gold sparkle mini pumpkin |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

So it wasn’t awful, but I do think I liked it better before the final coat of sparkles.

Altogether this was a fun project.  I think it would make a great project when we have a houseful of kiddos and mamas.  Setting out a folding table covered in newspaper with all of the pens, paints and pumpkins would make an entertaining afternoon.  Enjoy! ♥

Gilded Mini Pumpkins Centerpiece for Halloween and Fall |  {Jules} bits of whimsy blog

 

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tiny succulent gardens

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tiny succulent gardens in vintage milk glassI absolutely love vintage milk glass.  When it’s tiny, it’s even better!  I decided to combine my love of vintage milk glass, succulents and itty bitty tiny things to create these sweet mini succulent gardens.

tiny vintage glass containers

I started by putting together a nice little collection of vintage glassware.  I included a few white milk glass toothpick holders along with a tiny vintage children’s play cup.  I thought a lovely little white milk glass creamer/sugar set would work nicely for this project.  I also found several bubble glass candle holders and the most gorgeous antique pink pressed glass toothpick holder.  I just fell in love with all of them!

succulents

We made a trip to our local nursery and found a great selection if itty bitty 2″ succulents.  Now that I am trying my hand at propagating them, I will just pull from my own little succulent nursery next time!

a great little list of ingredients to create your tiny succulent garden

I found that it’s easiest to collect all of my “ingredients” – just like when baking.  I made sure I had some larger rocks, some smaller pebbles, chose my container & the succulents I wanted to plant.  I had a little pitcher of water and then realized later that I had forgotten my little paintbrush.

larger rocks help with proper succulent drainage

I decided to use the sweet tiny milk glass child’s cup glazed in a wonderful salmon/pink color.  I started by adding a few larger rocks in the bottom of the cup.  I was lucky enough to have some in the yard.  We just finished putting in a pond and waterfall in our backyard & these rocks are the transition between the pond and the patio.  I think it’s called “road base”.  This helps with drainage.  Succulents definitely need great drainage, so they don’t rot.

tiny pebbles help with succulent drainageI topped the larger rocks with tiny pebbles.  These happened to be in our kids’ play area.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed pebbles.  Adding them under the play structure was the best idea!  I snag them all the time for projects and gardening.

planting a tiny succulent gardenFor my first succulent, I chose the largest one I was going to plant.  I used the cactus mix that was in the little 2″ pot that it came in.  However, if I end up figuring out how to propagate my own, I will make sure I have a little bag of succulent mix on hand for when the mood strikes.  There’s nothing worse than having a brilliant idea and then having to stop everything so you can run to the store to pick up a supply!

you can cut your succulent to propogate itI had several succulents that were taller.  I wanted to be sure to include a tall succulent in each little garden to help balance it.  I took one of the stalks of succulent & carefully cut it down at the base.  I ended up snapping the one next to the one I was cutting!  Luckily I only broke one, so I used that one for the little garden.

strip leaves off of succulent before plantingSucculents work a bit like cut flowers – you really don’t want to plant the leaves under the ground, they will rot.  Just like keeping leaves out of the water when you put cut flowers in a vase.  So I very carefully stripped off the bottom leaves.  Succulent stems can be quite fragile, so be careful when you snap them off.  Don’t throw them away!  You can start new plants from each of the leaves.  Hooray!

water your succulentsI finished planting my little garden with another little flowery-looking plant along with a few strings of pearls (my absolute favorite).  I had cut my strings of pearls a couple of weeks ago & put them in my window to sprout roots in a little jar of water.  But I heard that’s not necessary.  you can just cut off the end, remove a few of the pearls & stick it directly in the ground.  Voila – new strings of pearls!  I chose the use a nice long piece (in comparison to the size of the tiny cup) because I wanted it to drape on the table a bit.  But if you prefer them to not hang to the table, you can definitely cut them shorter.

water your succulent garden

My dirt was CRAZY dry.  My poor plants – I neglect them.  So what I do is fill the little planters until the water is almost to the top.  I let them sit for a few minutes to be sure everything soaks in well.  With my larger succulent gardens I do this only once or twice a month.  I’m assuming with my little itty bitty cutie gardens I’ll need to water them more often.  I water them when the dirt feels dry to the touch.

how to water your tiny succulent gardenAfter they’ve soaked for awhile, I hold the succulents very very carefully with my fingers and dump all of the excess water out of the container.  I’m sure there’s a more scientific way to water succulents, but this method seems to work for me.

use a paintbrush to clean succulentsWhen you’re all done planting there’s always dirt and little rocks and just general stuff everywhere.  I first blow off my little succulent garden and container, but to remove everything from all of the lovely little nooks and crannies I use a soft paint brush.  I just stole this one out of the boys’ watercolors.  Nothing fancy needed although a softer brush works better for me than a stiff one.  I just take my time and get in all of the little places to remove the bits of dirt and mud.

a sweet little tiny miniature succulent garden in a vintage milk glass toothpick holderEach garden is different and turns out SO CUTE!  I love to play with different colors and textures in each little garden to make it interesting.  I made this one just for me.  It sits on my window sill above my kitchen sink and smiles at me with her pretty little pink petals.  So sweet!  I just love them.  I think I need to fill up all of my little vintage containers with tiny succulent gardens and randomly put them on friends’ doorsteps this fall.  I think that would be fun!  What do you think?  Would you like to open your door to find a tiny succulent garden on your doorstep?

 

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