Sunday, December 16, 2012

Air plant transformation

Remember when I bought five air plants (all tillandsias) for the old apartment?

Well, I do. I first saw them when I went over to my friend Tom Ackerman's house for dinner. His wife Linda has plants growing all over windowsills just like I do, and she was excited to show me her "air plant" that requires no soil, it just grows using ambient moisture and sunlight. I was so amazed! I did some research and found out that the most common type of air plant is the Tillandsia, a member of the Bromeliad family (pineapple is also a member). I wanted something to spruce up the old bathroom, and found these guys on etsy. I bought five different small plants from a grower in SoCal (I really wasn't sure how they would do here in Seattle, but the seller assured me they'd be fine if I kept them inside in the winter). When I got them, I decided to display them along the window using fishing line and some stars that I got from my Christmas exchange with my lovely family the year before.

I have my artistic moments, no? The color has faded unfortunately (I think due to less sunlight) but they've kept on growing. I've also read that the flowering means that they'll produce offshoots and grow more air plants. I really toyed with getting little glass spheres for them to look pretty in, but I know I'll knock over the glass things so it's not a viable option.

Once we moved to our new apartment, I wanted to display them in a pretty way again. After some researching on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to attach them to something and then hang that up. I didn't really have anything around the house except....fabric! That my mom sent me because she has quite a collection at home (from my grandmother and mine+Crystal's craft interests when we were younger). I cut strips of the pink silky fabric (it was scrap leftover) about 3 inches wide and 1.5 feet long. 

I used a needle and threaded string along one side, then pulled it taught to make a ball. Then I tied the string and used scissors to cut the loops of fabric into rough edges.

Aren't they adorable little fluff balls? Then I attached the air plants by using the leftover string and carefully cradled the plant. After consulting my decorating manager (aka Ben), he advised that I put them in a star formation on the kitchen windowsill. I hung them up using fishing line again, and I think the two contrasting colors really makes them a nice piece of living art.

And they'll get as much diffuse light as any little plants can get in Seattle with the white blinds. I like them hanging because I can soak them in water and then they'll drip dry (instead of staying wet and rotting). And, last but definitely most exciting, three of them have babies attached!!! They're growing slowly, probably because of my poor maintenance, but they're definitely there. One day they'll grow and form nice spheres of many air plants, but for now they're keeping me happy.


Edie said...

I love it! Maybe soon you'll have babies to create a plant chandelier!!

Benjamin Leipzig said...

I am the manager. carolyn is assistant to the manager.

Unknown said...

How did you hang these with the fishing line? Glued, tied, hook? Thanks!

Carolyn Valdez said...

I tied fishing line to each plant, and had a few accidents with "cutting" the tender leaves. I'd say it can be done, but you might want to be careful not to cut your plants!