My trip to the dark woods (a short story)

     Today's post theme is forest magic. I was interested how the sun passed through the leaves as well as how my camera's settings effected the results. I also edited these for a more interesting effect. Here is a short story with pictures created by me, enjoy.

My trip to the dark woods (a short story); find the whole story on the blog.
One warm sunny day I took a walk into the woods. The sun was high and hot.
I sought out the cool shade of the woods to escape the bright heat.

My trip to the dark woods (a short story); find the whole story on the blog.
I came upon this tree with leaves of emerald glass leaves.
I would have brought a few home but they were far too high to reach.
They would have been the perfect addition to my glass collection.

My trip to the dark woods (a short story); find the whole story on the blog.
Walking down the side of the mountain I tripped and fell into a deep hole.
At the bottom of the hill I looked up to find there were plenty of nice thick branches to help me climb out.
The thick foliage and soft dirt broke my fall,
I managed to climb out on the third or fourth try with only a couple of scratches on my hand and ankle.

My trip to the dark woods (a short story); find the whole story on the blog.
I nearly ventured too far into the dark side of the Bitterroot Mountains' hidden forest.
There are some crazy things that go on there, you do not want to venture in too far,
not even if you catch a glimpse of a unicorn or a dragon or you may never find your way out again.
Luckily I spotted a path of light from the dark woods but perhaps I'll play around at the edge again.
I always wanted to see a dragon.

My trip to the dark woods (a short story); find the whole story on the blog.
Staring down into a strange hole found in the middle of the forest on the Bitterroot Mountains,
I found a mysterious light but didn't dare climb down for fear of never making it back again.
The sides of the hole shimmered with a white light blinding me. Since it was just inside the dark woods,
I didn't stick around to see anymore and retreated home having enough of an adventure for a while.
Disclaimer; Before you decide to go searching for any dark patch of woods, you should know they are not a place for humans to seek, most humans are lucky if they never find it and those who do, most never return so think twice before even considering seeking out such a place shrouded in mysteries very few have ever heard about.

A few of my marimo.

     I just gave a bunch of my marimo a bath, all besides a couple of others I did the other day so I put them in my window to get a little extra sunshine and decided to take a couple of pictures and share them with you.
A few of my marimo; I set a bunch of my marimo up in my window.
I don't keep all these here, too bright for the marimo during the summer.
I usually have most of these in my other window but this one has a nicer background.

A few of my marimo; this marimo looks like a cyclops. I love this orange gem placement.
That orange gem makes this marimo look like a cyclops.
I think I like it.

A few of my marimo; I just had to share this picture of my cactus with eyes.
I've had this cactus about two years and now it's grown a pair of eyes.
Now even the gnomes can't stand to make eye contact with it.
The poor little guy can't get a hug.

Disclaimer, I have 30+ marimo, including the really tiny pieces. Now I just need really cute and creative homes to display them in.

Random pictures, first animals of summer.

     Lately I've been trying to learn a little more about my camera but I'm stubborn, once I find a setting that I like I don't like to change it. Going around and taking some pictures I've been trying to make the photos look richer, deeper, less ordinary.

     Also a few hummingbirds have visited us since the hummingbird feeders went up, they like us this year. Here's a tip, you get more hummingbirds stopping by if your feeders aren't up next to your house or under the edge of your roof.

Random pictures, first animals of summer; hummingbird. See blog post for more photos.
Hummingbirds are so difficult to get a clear photo of.
I felt like I was spying while taking this picture between the slats of fence boards.
Lol they were spooking if I tried to stand in the open to photograph them.

Random pictures, first animals of summer;galaxy snail slime, not an animal but from one at least. See blog post for more.
Galaxy snail slime.

Random pictures, first animals of summer; black and white photo of black snail. See blog post for more.
black and white photo of a black snail on chicks and hens succulents.

Random pictures, first animals of summer; Black snail. See blog post for more.
Colored version of the black snail photo above.

Random pictures, first animals of summer; Little mouse. See blog post for more.
This little mouse crawled out from under this bear statue to eat the birdseed the squirrels and chipmunks love.

 Disclaimer; that statue is of a bear with a fish, it may look copper but that's the amazing thing about spray paint. I want to paint everything copper, it is my favorite metal.

Something Perfect; new gift shop in town.

     A new shop opened up in town so I had to check it out and you'll never guess what I found...Marimo! Yay MARIMO!!! My obsession with marimo is probably going to get out of, you would think that marimo moss balls are all the same but the quality and health and size all depend on where you buy them from and the ones I saw here are nice sized ones, actually larger than all the other marimo I own.

     They have a little setup inside where you can pick the jar, the gravel and decorations for your new marimo. I have a picture below of the marimo station. I'll probably buy a second so now all I have to do is think about what I want before I go back.

Something Perfect gift shop; see more on my blog.
The front of the Something Perfect gift shop.
I did edit this photo but only in the reflection where you see the building,
I removed people so the photo would look cleaner without the distractions.
The window display and everything else are untouched so this is what the shop looks like.

Something Perfect gift shop; see more on my blog.
One of the product displays.

Something Perfect gift shop; see more on my blog. This is where I bought my latest marimo. It is my favorite spot in the shop.
The best spot in the shop, lol just because it's marimo.
Here are the jars, gravel, decorations and marimo all set up.
I bought a jar and picked what I wanted in it which was pretty fun.
There were a lot of little plastic animals, shells, plastic starfish to choose from.
Four different gravels, a variegated blue, white, shell and neon mix.
Their jars are also really cute and I'm going to have a hard time deciding on my next one.

Something Perfect gift shop; see more on my blog. This is MoMo who lives at Something Perfect. He's a marimo moss ball.
This is MoMo, he's got his own little jar.

Something Perfect gift shop; see more on my blog. This is my marimo moss ball that I got from Something Perfect.
This is my marimo that I picked out. This marimo is the largest one I own.
I picked variegated blue gravel, a pink plastic starfish and an octopus.
I always wanted an octopus decoration in a marimo tank.

     Inside there were so many interesting little things that I found myself wanting to buy that I might pick up next time. The marimo was definitely my favorite part but I also picked up a couple of little arrow heads, a resin bull skull figurine and an angel figurine. I usually don't like angel statues. Thank you Doctor Who...okay I can't entirely blame the show, they just aren't my thing but for some reason I liked the sleeping one. It seems the least likely to come to life when I look away :)

Something Perfect gift shop; see more on my blog. I bought the marimo, resin bull skull, angel statue and two arrowheads from Something Perfect.
Pictured are my purchases from Something Perfect
1 marimo jar, 1 bull skull mini statue, 1 sleeping angel mini statue, 2 stone arrowheads.

They even have a website

Disclaimer; fun fact, my disclaimers are usually silly or random things that for some reason I stick down at the bottom of my posts. Fun fact number two, obviously marimo are my favorite plant. Fun fact number three, my oldest plant is actually a single lucky bamboo plant that has had to be cut and rooted several times. Fun fact number four I bought more lucky bamboo last summer and now I'm overrun so if anyone has creative ideas on how to display them, tell me below because I currently have them in jars.

Alice In Wonderland Art Tin

     I already shared a WIP of this but have finally decided that I'm happy with the results. I may add a few details later on but for now I am pleased with the results.

     The tin is from some soft caramel dip stuff we had a while back. The top had a plastic piece in it that popped out easily. The window was scratched and foggy so it needed to go for me to use it or else I probably would have kept it on for a terrarium instead.

Alice In Wonderland Art Tin by Maridan Valor; just a little something I came up with. Sorry about this picture, the colors are a little off compared to the others :)
Sorry about the quality of the photo. I tried dozens of times to get a better picture from the front.
The cards and the tin end up having a glare if I use too much light and nothing will show up so I had to leave it dark.
I wanted to get this post out since I've been waiting on a good picture for a few weeks.
The metal tin is a yellow brassy color. The watch is a dark (antique) brown brass.
The hearts and roses on the outside are red as well as the mushrooms, lady bugs and the red on the cards.

     The cards are from two packs called thumb decks that I've had for about fourteen years waiting for a craft project because I'd totally forgotten that I was missing half of each deck and couldn't call them a collection anymore.

   The hearts are pearl heart cabochons I had laying around that I painted with red nail polish and the roses are just red tin roses I had in my bead boxes. I stuck them onto magnets with hot glue the same with the card on the front so I could rearrange them if I got tired of the pattern I put them in and nothing on or in this tin is permanently attached to the container because I didn't want to ruin it if I messed up.

     I lined the back of the container with cardboard (the same cardboard as from a cereal box or a frozen pizza) and formed the little shelf before hot gluing the mini cards down. The ones I used were from a couple sets I had when I was younger and hung onto because I liked the tins but over the years I lost cards so they became part of my craft project. The inside of the sides is just the cards formed into a loop by gluing the cards together and putting it inside, only securing it on the shelf so it wouldn't budge.

Alice In Wonderland Art Tin by Maridan Valor; just a little something I came up with. Find out more about it on the blog.
Side view of the container looks better than the front view photo, maybe less glare.
This shows that there are cards on the inside where you can't see straight on.
I wanted to be able to peek in and not see the sides, it makes the tin feel more complete to me.

     The rabbit, mushroom and ladybugs all came from a set of terrarium decorations I got for Christmas. The rabbit and mushroom were secured with a dot of hot glue. the wooden ladybugs had a little foam piece under it with a sticky side that I just stuck on for the fun of it.

     The watch I bought a few years ago, a cheap one you can find similar ones on amazon if you just look for the really cheap kind. (mine was $10 when I bought it but online you can get them for less) It stopped working and I didn't want to buy a new battery so I saved it for an Alice in Wonderland project because it reminded me of the story when I first bought it.

     I hung the watch up with a piece of chopstick which I glued onto the top where the cards hit the sides because as I said above my original plan for it consisted of not ruining the container. I do however plan to keep it as is, it's just a nice container that I wanted to keep as free of hot glue as possible.

Alice In Wonderland Art Tin by Maridan Valor; just a little something I came up with. Without the front you can see some of the hidden details. Find out more about it on the blog.
Front without the lid. You can see I just used a bit of chopstick to hang the watch.
Lol I just noticed some of the washi tape was peeling. You can't see it when the front cover is on,
and it's just over the hot glue and for looks. The little dots are black hearts, the closest I had to match the theme.

Disclaimer; this is the first of many projects that I am trying out. My next one just might be from Wonderland but my own version. What is your favorite fairytale and do you have anything that reminds you of it?

Marimo Topiary

     I shared a couple of pictures of my elephant shaped marimo in my April fools day joke post but the photos themselves were the actual truth. There was no photo manipulation done to give it this shape.

     I actually own a marimo shaped like a legless elephant, after all why would a marimo need legs...or ears...or a trunk...or a cute little tail. No actual reason at all other than I sort of ended up making it out of an odd shaped marimo. I'm not sure anyone has ever really done marimo topiary before so I gave it a try.

Marimo Topiary; my real marimo topiary shaped like an elephant. I named him L Lee Phant. Check out my blog post for more info and pictures of him.
L Lee Phant sitting around in his glass.

     So is this a tutorial? No, there's no real trick to making a marimo topiary other than making sure you don't care if you end up tearing it into little bits if you mess up and being very careful. I was going to tear it into tinier marimo but ended up turning it into an elephant or L Lee Phant as I've named him. He's a lazy elephant, loves laying at the bottom but on very rare occasions after baths, he loves to float much like the rest of my marimo.

Marimo Topiary; my real marimo topiary shaped like an elephant. I named him L Lee Phant. Check out my blog post for more info and pictures of him.
L Lee's butt, I had to take a picture of this for some reason :)

     Did making an elephant topiary change the marimo somehow? Actually I did notice that out of all my marimo I have in my window, L Lee Phant is the only one who got some sunburn so parts have turned white and I'm either going to have to trim those or maybe some of it will go back to being green, I just have to wait and see.

Marimo Topiary; my real marimo topiary shaped like an elephant. I named him L Lee Phant. Check out my blog post for more info and pictures of him.
Marimo out of water, proof that L Lee is actually real I decided to show him after a bath.
You can actually see his little tail on the left.

     Do I regret turning a perfectly good marimo into an elephant shaped not-so-perfect shaped thing? Not really, it's pretty cool looking if I do say so myself. I am planning on using some thread to help seal up a few of the natural cracks until they heal, maybe someday work on getting legs to grow but it's fine without them.

Marimo Topiary; my real marimo topiary shaped like an elephant. I named him L Lee Phant. Check out my blog post for more info and pictures of him.
Top view of L Lee Phant.
For some reason this reminds me of Tantor from Tarzan 2 when they were kids.
"Mom are you sure this water's sanitary? It looks questionable to me."
Don't tell me I'm the only one who remembers that line.

     Any plans for future marimo topiary? At the moment no even though I have one idea I'd love to do I just don't have any marimo that I'm looking to tear apart just yet. Maybe someday in the future when I buy some more marimo I'll try it out but at the moment I'd like to keep the rest of my bigger marimo whole.

Marimo Topiary; my real marimo topiary shaped like an elephant. I named him L Lee Phant. Check out my blog post for more info and pictures of him.
L Lee Phant looking up, trunk in the air facing the camera.
Look at all those bubbles.

     Do I have any more marimo projects/creations in the works? Yes, yes I do. I'm always trying to come up with new ideas on displaying my marimo. It really matters on how easily I can get my hands on supplies, how expensive they are and timing. One of my ideas I've been working on for months and fails time after time, one little thing and I just can't get it right so now you know my secret, I make a lot of craft failures and quickly run out of supplies when I have to scrap things.

Disclaimer; did you like how I answered my own questions? I admit it sounds a little crazy so if you have any questions let me know in the comments below and I'll try to answer those.

Dragon's Egg Marimo Vial

     You know I love marimo but did you know I've got a bunch of ideas I've been trying to gather supplies for, supplies that don't seem to exist or are oddly expensive? I have searched high and low for tiny little eggs that I could put in a marimo tank that had to be realistic. Well I finally found some, a little smaller than I was hoping for but they work just fine in a 2 dram vial. These eggs would also look cute in fake nests.

Dragon's Egg Marimo Vial; no photo editing done here, pure dragon magic. Yes, yes that is a real dragon's egg, isn't it amazing?
No photo editing done here, pure dragon magic.
Yes, yes that is a real dragon's egg, isn't it amazing?

     Teeny and tiny these eggs are adorable, solid white resin and I got a dozen of them. Since they're resin they should be completely safe to keep in the water and they don't appear to be painted so they shouldn't peel off after water exposure. As always when I make my marimo jars and vials I don't have fish to worry about so if you use these designs in with your fish just try to make sure you're putting pet safe things in. You can find the eggs here.

The other supplies are aquarium gravel because dragons obviously use rocks for their nests or their fire would burn their nesting materials. You will also need a marimo, a scale cabochon (I'm calling it the dragon scale) in any color you want and of course a 2 dram vial to put it all in.

     I started off by putting in the gravel, added the egg, put in the filtered water and picked out one of my smaller marimo to act as the dragon's egg keeper/protector/guardian (or whatever you want to call it). The last step was to use a little hot glue on the back of the dragon scale and placed it on the front where I felt it looked the best without obstructing the view of the dragon's nest.

Dragon's Egg Marimo Vial; The Dragon's Egg at dusk in the woods looks magical doesn't it?
The Dragon's Egg at dusk in the woods looks kind of magical doesn't it?

Disclaimer; Marimo are awesome, there I said it. So don't tell my marimo I really want some other types of aquarium moss, they'll get jealous.


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