Welcome to Creative Adventure Number One of Thirty.
If you missed my intro post about my 30th birthday goal to complete 30 “creative adventures” before I turn 31 next May, you can read all about the details here.
I’ll admit seeing that number 30 kind of scared me at first. I mean, thirty? That’s kind of a lot. But now that I have Creative Adventure #1 under my belt I’m feeling really really excited about this birthday goal. It’s going to be awesome.
Which brings me to my first Creative Adventure…
Creative Adventure #1: Succulents
Now I know what you might be thinking…
But these aren’t just any plants. They’re succulents. Which is a whole different creative ballgame in my book.
It all started with this DIY wreath from Prudent Baby I pinned awhile back on Pinterest…
Did you have any idea succulents could have that much variety in color and texture? Because I sure didn’t.
Even though I live in the very desert-y and therefore succulent-friendly state of Texas, they aren’t actually something I see in our area very often – at least not on that small size and scale.
But given my rather large black thumb (few house plants have survived longer than a few months in our care), I knew the odds of me keeping an entire wreath of plants alive was probably slim. And well it seemed like one of those DIY projects that probably looked easier than it actually was. (Visions of plants randomly falling off came to mind.) So I chose to put it on the back burner for the time being.
But then spring arrived and this happened at our local Lowe’s…
An entire two-thirds of an aisle in the garden section (plus some standing racks) devoted entirely to succulents.
But not just any succulents, the most adorable little ones you’ve ever seen.
Every time we’d go I’d stop and admire them. I mean, how can you not? Look at this mix of color and texture:
They’re like the perfect balance of nature meets geometric shapes. Which hello, is totally right up my alley.
Even when you take color out of the equation, the variety of shape and texture of the succulents is still so cool…
I knew I had to bring some of these little babies home. So I decided to start with something simple – filling up some old Ikea pots have had since college – and came home from Lowe’s with this…
My strategy for picking succulents was essentially the same as for any designing I do. I paid attention to three key things:
- Size & Shape
- Overall Composition (or how nicely they played together)
While in the store, I started by browsing the table and picking a few succulents I loved. Then I looked for ones that contrasted or complimented those.
In the end I brought home a good mix of both medium and small scale plants in a variety of shapes and colors that I knew would all look good together no matter how I mixed and matched them.
I also brought home this bag of succulent-friendly soil to give my plants the best chance of survival against my black thumb…
Then I started planting which was a bit of a messy affair…
But eventually I ended up with these four good-lookin’ guys:
Each pot included three different succulents – one medium succulent and two smaller plants that complimented the larger one. To get the right composition, I basically grouped all four sets of 3 together at once, moving things around until I felt like all four pots would work. Then I planted all of them.
I LOVED how they turned out. But since all this happened between my birthday and when we left for two weeks of vacation, I was a little nervous about how my new plants would do while we were gone.
But for the most part they looked pretty good once we returned.
Well except for this guy who’d had a little bit of a shrivel casualty…
And this guy who was clearly looking a bit squished in his pot…
Plus I’d picked up another awesome succulent planter at the Renegade Craft Fair which was in need of a plant.
So I headed to Lowe’s for Succulents: The Sequel.
This time I came home with these lovely fellows…(and yes apparently all my plants are male)
I went a bit more bold this time and chose a few shapes
that had scared me I had passed over previously, as well as some colors I thought would add extra interest to the plants I already had. I especially love the coral-looking plant on the top right and the spiky aloe plant on the bottom left. Although Adam didn’t seem to agree we needed a plastic Nemo-fish to add to the coral…
I also picked up a couple of extra planters as well as some rock covering too add a little pop.
My design process was the same this time around. I grouped the plants I liked together and moved them around until I settled on a composition I liked:
And then planted them:
On this black square planter, I also added some of the small rocks. I loved the extra contrast the rocks added against the black planter.
But when I tried adding the rocks to my largest white planter I didn’t love it as much.
It looks good in the photo but in person, it felt busy and the colors of the plants didn’t seem to pop as much as they did with the dark brown soil contrasting the white pot. Like this…
So I did what any designer would do and removed the rocks from the pot…carefully because despite their tough look, the leaves fall off these plants at the drop of a hat…
And yes this was the exact moment when I was thinking Cmd+Z, Cmd+Z!
But this moment is also exactly why I chose to name this project “30 Creative Adventures” instead of 30 Creative Projects or something. Because I know there will be moments when things didn’t exactly has planned and that’s all part of the process. It’s an adventure, right?
Once I sorted out the rocks situation (which thankfully only took a few minutes), I was left with these six awesome guys who I totally LOVE…
The three white and one yellow pots are all from Ikea, the black square planter is from Lowe’s and the wooden square planter was handmade by a local artist in Austin, BDJ Craft Works. You can find a similar one in his etsy shop here.
Here’s another overhead look so you can really see the composition and mix of plants:
I really love the way this adventure has me thinking not only about how I can take more inspiration from nature, but also about different ways to mix textures, colors and shapes together. I’m excited to find a way to use these shapes as inspiration for my scrapbooking designs.
One final photo for good measure. *Sigh* I love these guys.
One down, 29 to go. I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes me.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
In honor of my 30th birthday, I’m challenging myself to go on 30 creative adventures before I turn 31 on 05.24.2013. This is Creative Adventure 1 of 30. You can read all the details behind this project here.