Monday, July 27, 2015

Poinsettias Christmas Cactus

If you are looking for a natural way to decorate your home, you may want to try a Christmas cactus or other plant. Poinsettias are the most popular plant that you see at Christmas time. It makes an excellent Christmas gift for almost anyone that you purchase a gift for and it comes in a wide variety of colors, including yellow, salmon, red, pink, or even a combination of these colors. The more light the cactus gets, the more flowers the cactus will have. A sunny place inside your home is its ideal spot during the winter, but in the summertime you want to place it in a shadier location. Increase the time that your plant spends in the sun each day so that you can adapt it to live outdoors. Between May and September it is best to put your Christmas cactus in the shade.

Well-drained soil is recommended for your Christmas cactus. Packaged potting soil is the best option to ensure that it is exactly the right composition for your cactus. If it is warmer outside, then your Christmas cactus will need more water. Water it when the top layer of soil is dry to the touch and keep the pot continually moist. By keeping it moist, you will help to prevent it wilting.

If your cactus has blooms all over it, then it does not need water. Leave it without water for four or five weeks after it blooms and then repot it and add fresh new soil. The plant will have new growths by the spring and then it will need some fertilizer. Give it some liquid fertilizer every two to three weeks to help it grow.

To help the plant to grow taller and wider, prune it after it blooms. Simply by using your fingers or a sharp knife, you can pinch the stem and remove the sections of each bloom. Root these sections that you removed to help make new plants. If your Christmas cactus has a long and uninterrupted time in a dark spot, then it will bloom more voraciously. You should let it be in darkness from the beginning of October until the start of the holiday season and then you will have lots of flowers.

Here is a handy guide for taking care of your Christmas cactus

During the month of January, your plant will be full of blooms. February to March you may want to reduce watering. From April to May, you only want to water the plant when the top layer of soil is dry. June to August is when you want to protect your plant by placing it in a shady location. In September and October, your plant will need less light and will enjoy being in a dark, dry, cool place. November and December are the best months for your Christmas cactus to bloom. You will enjoy this Christmas cactus year around.

Cactus Types

Cactus is a plant, which helps in maintaining the ecosystem of nature. It is commonly found in the dry regions of the world. The plant grows easily. The plant, which does not require much care, can grow in the most barren areas as well.

There are different cacti types present in market. The most common type is the Arid Climate Cacti. It can survive even in desert conditions. Arid Climate Cacti has spines and sometimes bears flowers. This one is mostly used as an ornamental plant. The different family types of the Arid Climate Cacti are Star Cactus, Sea Urchin, Bishop's cap and Chin Cacti. The spines present on this type are twisted around.

Secondly, rainforest Cacti, which grows in the rainforest. The rain forest cacti bear pretty flowers in them which make these cacti a great thanksgiving gift during Easter and Christmas. Rain forest cactus looks different from arid one. All rain forest cacti have flat wide green stems which forms the structure of leaves. The type Rain forest has not even thorns. Water requirement of rain forest types are more in comparison to arid cactus but water should not be present in flooded condition. Rainforest cactus is given more water during summer months as it may die due to absence of water.

The Rainforest type requires sunlight but excess of sunlight will hamper the plant. This type is mostly used to decorate the interiors of the house. The family exists of the Easter- and Orchid cactus. The orchid rain forest is a cactus which blooms in high humidity and shaded heat. She bears colorful flowers of at least six inches long, generally the flowers bloom during night time.

How to Grow Your Own Cactus

A cactus is a part of the spine plant of the family Cactaceae native to the Americas. They are often displayed as ornamental plants. Others regard it as crop plants. They are noted as unusual and distinctive plants that can adapt to extremely hot and arid environments. They even show a wide range of physiological and anatomical features in conserving water. Their stems can expand into succulent green structures that contain chlorophyll, a necessary ingredient for its life and sustenance. The leaves have spines that help in their defense mechanisms.

Cacti grow in a wide array of sizes and shapes. Its flowers are large, similar to branches and spines that arose from areoles. Most of the varieties are night bloomers. This is since they are generally pollinated by nocturnal small animals or insects like bats and moths. Their varieties range from tall and columnar to small and globular.

Cacti often grow as shrubs, trees or a type of ground cover. Although most of its kind grows on the ground, there are also the epiphytic species. What is not generally known about these species is that its needles are used for sucking sugars and liquids on whatever gets stuck onto them. Aside from this, almost all its varieties have a milky or bitter sap.

Its life span is impressive. It can sometimes reach more than 300 years old. Some will last for only 25 years. Thus, if you would like to have your very own desert-like garden at home, it is very easy to grow a cactus especially if you will start by using seeds (advisable to beginners). You only need to follow a few easy steps:

Check if the pod is ripe for harvesting. Only the pod remains when the flower dies. There are even varieties that produce a lot of seeds in every pod.

Gather these pods before they begin to dry out. Although they seem to lack moisture, they are always damp inside. Some seeds are black; others have a light red on them. It is very important that the seed matures. This is when the pod can easily come off when you twist it slightly, showing off the cotton/fiber of the cactus.

With a knife, slice off the top portion and slice down one of the pod's sides. This way, the seeds are exposed.

Carefully remove the seeds from the actual pod. Scrape it off and put it in 2 parts water and 1 part number 2 coarse sands, mixing it well.

Evenly sow the seeds and keep your soil moist until you see the seeds germinating. When the seeds come up, they would look like small pencil erasers reddish in color. After some time, they will start to grow needles.

Precautionary Measures

Cacti should be handled with care. It is best to use a special kind of gloves when handling it, especially when the spines have grown. You can also make your cacti appear tatty.

Watch out for parasites. You can become confused with the different types of parasites that can ruin your cactus. You can mistake Mealy Bugs for white blobs. Use a skewer or stick /to get rid of them. As for Scale and Red spider Mites, you can kill them with a Malathion. These insects would only appear like brown spots so be aware.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

fun with wax!

On Friday we had some fun playing with the Wax Encaustic process in the studio.
We designed projects with paint, paper and wax to make some awesome mixed media works.

Join us this next week for  a special 4-session Printmaking and Fiber Arts Camp where we'll be making our own paper and learning the art of printmaking and bookbinding Tuesday through Friday afternoon!
There are still a few spaces available, but registration ends at midnight on Monday, July 20th.
Register for this and other classes here: Summer classes at Camp Cactus.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

this week's classes in the studio

Happy Summer!
Classes are in full swing in the studio, and the good news is there are still a few spaces available.

Tomorrow's Shadowbox Diorama Workshop promises to be lots of fun for all ages:

3D Mixed Media Shadowbox Dioramas
For those who missed registration for the Mixed Media camp, we've added two individual classes that incorporate some of the same projects and methods in the longer 4 day workshop. In this class, we'll learn the art of visual storytelling by making cool shadowboxes from recycled materials, paint, photos,
glue and imagination. All materials provided.

Thursday, July 16th          1 - 4 pm          cost: $35
Ages 6- adult  • Class size is limited to 8 students  •  Preregistration required

This class is now closed 

On Friday, we'll be playing with paint, collage and wax to create some really cool textural paintings in an introduction to the Wax Encaustic process.

NEW! Mixed Media Wax Encaustic
Make paintings using paints, photos and drawings on wood, then seal them with wax as an introduction to the wax encaustic process.
All materials provided.

Friday, July 17th          1 - 3 pm          cost: $35
Ages 7- adult  • Class size is limited to 6 students  •  Preregistration required

This class is now closed 
And on Saturday, please join me for another Open Drawing Studio, were everyone can freely choose materials and experiment with whatever medium they like!

Open Drawing Studios
Open studio sessions where anyone can come and create to their heart's content in a supportive, non-critical environment.
Artists are free to choose from a variety of materials such as charcoal, graphite, ink, crayon, paint, pastels, markers and colored pencils; and draw or paint from imagination or various visual sources such as photographs and still life. All materials provided.

Saturday, June 27th    1-3 pm         cost: $25   Class Closed
Saturday, July 18th    1-3 pm          cost: $25   Class Closed
Friday, August 7th    1-3 pm           cost: $25   Class Closed
Ages 5-adult  •  Class size is limited  •  Preregistration required
(All ages are welcome, but children under 5 must be accompanied by a (paying) adult.)

number of students attending:
class dates

For the complete list of summer classes, click here!