20161125 Friday Favorite – crassula ovata gollum


This plant is one of my favorites, except for the part where it reminds me of how old I am. I’ve had it for over three decades now. See, old. When I got it I was reading Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and decided that it should be a dew catcher. I like that a whole lot better than ‘Gollum.” The last couple of times I re-potted it I had to break the pot to get it out. Don’t know what I’m going to do next time.

You learn something every day


This is one of the first plants I got when I joined the OC Cactus and Succulent Society. I’m not generally fond of the spiky-toothy kinds of plants, but the colors on this aloe really appealed to me. The fact that it’s produced three or four offsets in this tiny pot doesn’t hurt, either. And now it’s also producing new plants on the ends of the broken off flower stalks. I’m looking forward to having lots of these around the house.

Friday Favorite – haemanthus albiflos


This is one of my favorite plants. Probably mostly because I’ve had it forever. It’s also one of the plants that I decided should go where it wants to go, instead of where I want it to be. It’s much happier now. The burnt foliage has been replaced with happy green leaves and it’s blooming away. I think I’ll try hand pollinating it and see if I can get some viable seeds this year.I should probably divide and re-pot it, but I hate to mess with something that’s doing so well.



I’ve had this typewriter eraser since my dad passed away. I’ve almost thrown it away a dozen times. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve had a typewriter.

I just noticed the other day that it belonged to my grandmother. There’s a little cut out of the wood near the brush with her initial on it. She had a penchant for marking things with her name or initials. Maybe if you grew up with two sisters in the depression it was a good idea to make sure your possessions stayed yours.

The other day I was using the little brush on the end when it occurred to me that the eraser could useful, too. I use liver of sulfur to oxidize silver pieces. It turns them flat black. Then I polish off most of the black, leaving only the oxidation in the low spots. Sometimes it can be difficult to get to some of the smaller spaces to polish them. The eraser is just perfect for reaching the spots I can’t get to with sandpaper.

Don’t blink

This weekend I was making leaf impressions in silver clay for a necklace that I’m working on. I rolled out the clay, placed leaves on it to make the impression, cut them out and dried them.


After drying I fired them with a torch and voilá, a perfectly detailed little leaf in silver. Except that while I was torching one of the leaves I looked away for a second and when I looked back my perfect little leaf was a little puddle of silver. You learn something every day.