Saturday, December 31, 2011

A New Year and a Great Start

What a great start to the New Year. Lots of orders already and today I found a goldmine of cushion moss. It figures..... I had finally decided to stop selling cushions until Spring. The ones I was finding back here were just too wet and the color was starting to get "funky".
Today I found tons of beautiful green cushions. Also nice frog moss and what can only be described as a field of tree clubmoss and creeping wintergreen. Gorgeous stuff! I'll spend my whole day hiking tomorrow. I plan on getting as much as I can before Tuesday when the temps drop like a rock here. Monday will be Sheet Moss day. The sheets on this mountain are the best around - I was really disappointed in the sheets I saw during my hike today. They just didn't compare.
My Partridge Vines are selling like crazy on Ebay so I've added them to my Etsy store. Already I have a custom order for them along with other packages. Who'd a thunk that those crazy vines would be so popular? I don't think I can take a step in the woods without walking on them - They are everywhere!
Still cannot identify this moss I found - it's driving me crazy!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Identifying Woodland Plants

I've been working on identifying several mosses and woodland plants.
It is a time-consuming venture.
Today I identified one of my plants as Maidenhair Spleenwort. Now I will gather more and try it in a terrarium. If all goes well, I'll start listing.
Another plant that is a challenge is this small plant that resembles an air plant. I have never seen anything like it. There is one in my front garden that popped up a few years ago. It would be perfect in a terrarium because it never grows or sets seed. Just stays the same, year in and year out. I may go out and dig it up today and see how it does in one of my terrariums.
Waiting for the mail lady. Lots of packages to go out today! I scheduled the pickup and now I'm beginning to regret that. Yesterday, she was 2 hours early. With my luck, she'll be 2 hours late today. I can't leave the packages out on the porch because she refuses to get out of the jeep. She just sits there like an idiot blowing her horn.
Well, enough venting about the mail, I'll get back to my research!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Right now it's snowing - time for a change of plans....
I've been brainstorming all morning about new things to sell on my sites and I've decided to go with terrarium accessories and a line of fairy garden plants and products. 
Today I shall start digging out all the things I've been collecting over the years. My creative spirit is soaring!
I want exciting original things created from recycled and natural materials. 
Once done, I'll post pics and links to my listings! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dodging Bullets & Torrential Rain

Hiking these past two days has not been fun. Yesterday I got halfway up the trail and suddenly there was a lot of shooting off to the south of me. Muzzle loader season has begun. Seems like it's more dangerous out there than rifle season was. I chose to stay close to the house to hunt for some mniums. I lucked out and found lots of them all along the dirt lane running beside the woods. I also found a really neat moss that is lime green. I'm trying to identify it. So far no luck.
Today I got up and headed immediately out to hike because I knew the rain was on it's way. I had just gathered some mniums and several medium cushions and then the rain arrived. By the time I got home, I was pretty cold and wet.
Hopefully tomorrow will be better for hiking. I know it's supposed to be cold out but I think I can handle that. I'll be hiking at the park down the road - I don't dare go into the woods until everyone has their muzzle loaders packed away for the year! I desperately need more medium mosses. It's not that there is a lack of them but they are so difficult to spot with the leaves on the ground.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Balmy Christmas!

I loved the balmy 50 degree weather today but it sure didn't feel like Christmas! At 2:30 I escaped the noise and madness and strolled back into the woods for some peace and quiet. Lately, I've been noticing color more and more in those woods. The red berries on the Partridge Berry Vines and these small trees with red berries. I'm not sure what the trees are - I need to find out. But I do know this.... I want to dig some up and bring them to my yard. I want to surround myself with color. Now that the fall foliage has come and gone, everything looks so brown and dead and colorless. I need color! And the red is so Christmassy!
What better time to plan next years winter garden than now when I can see what is missing?
Tomorrow I shall dig up partridge berry vines and plant them under my evergreen shrubs in front of the house. They won't get much sun there so I think they will thrive. A small stream runs from the woods along my property line to the road. Those trees with the red berries are growing along that same stream. I found some small saplings and I shall dig them up and plant them along the stream where I can see them from the dining room window. There's a nice big empty space there just waiting to be filled.
And there are about 20 small holly trees growing under the tall pines in the woods. A few would look nice  behind the shade garden. With time, they will get berries just like the tall ones in my front yard.
I may gather some teeny ones for a terrarium. I've seen some hollies only 3 or 4 inches high sprouting back woods.
I am so blessed to have this land to look to for ideas and inspiration!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas All!

Merry Mossy Christmas Eve!

Today looks to be a busy day for me - wrapping packages, bagging and shipping moss and hopefully a quiet hike at Koon Lake. Right now it's not too cold out. I believe it should get up in the mid 40's.We've really been lucky this year - no snow and only a few nights in the low 20's. The ground hasn't frozen yet.
I've decided to gather some Partridge Vine for selling online. Partridge Vine is wonderful to plant in a terrarium with a little cottage and let the vines run up to the roof. I've done that with a covered bridge and it sold right away. It is also a great plant for a winter garden - it is evergreen and gets red berries. I plan to add more to my shade gardens this year and may even do so this week. Fall is a great time to plant here. I can see where my perennial plants are and it's nice and damp out there but not too wet as in the spring.
Off to get to work! Have a great day!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Fresh Start!

I have been so busy with my moss sales thanks to the holidays and haven't had much time to post. Right now, it looks like the rush is now behind me so I will get back into posting and try to do it on a regular basis.
The woods are ever-changing with the weather. Every time I head up the mountain, I see different things.Right now I am concentrating on gathering all I can before the snow starts to fall. With the leaves on the ground, it's been a challenge to find cushion mosses - I almost wish I could walk up there with a leaf blower!
Other mosses, however are so easy to spot - frog mosses and the sheet mosses stand out like a sore thumb and boy, are they ever gorgeous at this time of the year!
I've been collecting some new varieties and having some success selling them on Ebay & Etsy. Fern moss is so much easier to harvest right now. It seems the freezing and thawing really lifts them and they are so easy to remove. The mniums are sporing right now and they, too are easier to spot at this time.
I recently found tons of spoon moss in an area that I rarely hiked and those are becoming very popular with my vivarium customers.
I have added my twitter link to this blog. Do follow me! You can get a look ahead to what I will be selling over the coming weeks!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Great Weather This Week!

Checked the weather and it is going to be great for the next week. Time to check the water lines and cut up some downed trees in the woods for heating the house.
My water system is a gravity fed system. Up the mountain there is a spring where the water bubbles out of a rock ledge. I built a concrete cystern around the ledge. At the back of the cystern is the ledge. At the front of the cystern is two pipes  -  one for the water line and way above it is one for overflow. There is a roof on the cystern to keep it clean. I have a flexible pipe that runs from the water line pipe to my house. Because the cystern is so high up on the mountain, by the time the water gets to the house, there is really good water pressure. It's the perfect system - no electric pump like you would have on a well and the best spring water you could imagine - all for free. Anyway, I regularly walk the water line to check for leaks. It runs through a stream bed until it gets down near the house. The running water in the stream bed keeps the water line from freezing.
No doubt, after that insane snow over the weekend, there are lots more downed trees in the woods. Should be a challenge walking through some areas. I had already earmarked some to cut up for firewood and I am bound and determined to use as little electric heat as possible this year.
I decided to store some mosses in a couple of my cold-frames. Ironically, there's sheet moss growing on the floor of two of them. If I set my cushions and frogs on top, they will be right at home! Funny thing - I decided to move one of my cold frames to another area. When I went over to tear it down, I found a little stray kitty in there! She's a smart one - it's so toasty in that cold frame. So I left it there for her. There are so many feral cats around here from the local farms and I leave food out for them each day. I love all God's creatures great and small!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Orders and More Order!

So many moss orders this morning! I am pumped!
I will box everything up and get to the post office by lunchtime.
Then I need to get out and hunt more mosses. Unfortunately it just now started to rain. YUCK!
I hear the temps are going to drop like a rock too. Oh! How I hate the winter!
It was a challenge collecting mosses yesterday with all these leaves in the woods. I did manage to find some nice ones. There is a big stand of pines up on the ridge. I think that's where I will head today. I haven't been up there in months. The pines will shield the rain and there won't be leaves around. That will make for an easier time collecting!

Shhhh - The Moss Can Hear You!

Looks like a little ear on the moss - LOL!

Monday, October 24, 2011

British Soldier Lichen

OH! Almost forgot!
I was down at the towship park and right smack in the middle of the horse shoe pit I found a ton of pixie cups and British soldier lichen! Never before had I seen the British soldiers. I gathered a few pieces of both. I'll probably list the pixies but I am keeping the British soldiers for my own terrarium. Times like this, I just don't know what to do.... I hate to clean out an area but at the same time, if someone plays horse shoes, those lichen are going to be demolished. Regardless, I just took a bit and left the rest for now.

Frog Moss!

Today I went hiking up behind the horse pasture. I haven't been up there in a year or so. I started out looking for an old bottle dump that I remembered from years ago and then gave up and just started looking around. I spied some moss on rocks. It was brilliant green so I went over for a closer look. I expected to see sheet moss that was brighter than normal. (Nothing is normal now that Fall weather is here). It wasn't sheet - it was frog moss! Entire boulders just covered with it! I've never seen anything like it before and so wish I had a camera. There were many, many boulders of it - so beautiful! I peeled one of the rocks and packed it up in one of my bags. It wasn't one gigantic piece as I first thought - it's several 5-8 in pieces that fit together like a puzzle. So cool! I listed a package of 3 pieces and they sold right away to a vivarium person. I've listed another package. That will leave a piece for me - I'll probably use it in my paludarium.
Tomorrow I will be grounded for the day - Emily is using the car which leaves me with the monster jeep. My plan is to do yard work and work on my terrariums. No doubt I'll end up hiking again. If I do, I'll be sure to have my camera!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I had a pair of white candlesticks with cherubs and a pillar. One was a little chippy on the bottom. Not worth much that way. I looked at it and pictured a boston fern in that pillar. Found some great fern moss and made a terrarium. Listed on Ebay - ends 10/21. Check out the listing HERE


Sometimes I find mosses and I envision what I would do with them in a terrarium. Then I hunt the best container.This time I found an antique perfume bottle and HAD to do something with it! Here's what I made! I listed it on Ebay and it ends tonight. So many wonderful people have sent me emails about this piece. It was a joy to create. My Ebay listing is HERE.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Moss Heaven Again

I spent yesterday morning out hiking and collecting mosses. I started up the mountain and decided to go to Moss Heaven. I got a wonderful bag full of cushions and some of the best frog moss I've seen in ages! What a wonderful place I've found! I am careful not to over-collect in that area - it's the right thing to do, plus there's plenty of other areas to collect from.
On my way down the mountain I got a call on my cell that I had to be in Bedford at 11:30. It seems every time I go up there, something comes up. It turned out to be a good trip to town. As I was driving I came up with a brain storm. I am going to start terrarium classes. I think it will be so much fun! I'll do groups of 5 or more. That way even just a small group of friends can participate. I started advertising when I got home. I need to make up some flyers to put in the stores. And business cards.
I also decided to do the Christmas Fair at Mann's Choice. I'll do up as many terrariums as I can. All sizes for all kinds of folks. I can decorate them with pretty bows for gift-giving. I haven't done a fair since my Antique Dealer days. I am pumped!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Things Don't Always Turn Out as Planned!

I boxed up my orders and went to the post office. After that, I grabbed a few things at the grocery store and was about to head for home. That's when it happened....
A call from my daughter saying that she had injured her eye and needed me to take her to the medical center right away. I picked her up from work and made the 45 minute trip to the center. 4 long hours later, I was home. Thankfully, she should be ok. She has special eye drops to use that cost a whopping $97!!! They said if her eye isn't better in 1 week, then she has to go to an eye doctor for surgery. At $97, those drops better work!
I never got to do all the things I planned to do today. But life doesn't always go as planned and there's always tomorrow!
I plan on photographing some shaggy moss that I discovered. I've never seen anything like it and I'm not quite sure of the variety but it's really neat. If the pics turn out good, I'll list it this evening. If not, then I'll photograph outside tomorrow and list tomorrow sometime. These pics turn out so much better in outside light!

Pixies Found!

Success! When I first arrived at my site I was very discouraged. All I saw was oodles of frog moss with reindeer moss throughout. I walked the entire area and saw no pixies. I did gather some reindeer and put them in the car. Then I noticed lots of moss over near a stream so I walked over. It was all frog moss - some amazing mounds! Perfect circles - 1-3 inches across. And all around were pixie cups! Lots of them! Some frogs circles have pixies in there too. I am so pumped! I listed a combo piece - frog moss and cushion with pixie cups on my eileenb714 Ebay account and a piece of frog moss with lots of pixies on my pinchingpennies4now Ebay account. Right now I have to box up some orders for shipment today - I'll be listing some on Etsy later once I'm done. I'll add a great pic I took of a HUGE area of pixies later too!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hunting Pixie Cups

No time today for a hike. Tomorrow my plan is to go hunting pixie cups. With all this rain we've had, they should be easy to spot at my usual lucky spot. I haven't been down there in ages, it seems. Pixie cups shrivel to little white specks when it is dry but when they get wet they swell up so much and are so easy to spot. Below is a picture I found on the internet. Hopefully I will be posting some of my findings tomorrow. and they will be nice and plump like these!