Feb 232014
 

Welcome to my orchid growing hobby.  No, I don’t have a huge room for growing orchids.  When we became ‘Empty Nesters’ and moved to Utah, we downsized to fit our new lifestyle.  It would be nice if growing orchids was as easy as growing a bloomin’ onion, but the dry climate of Utah adds a special challenge.
Orchid Hobby
I’ve loved these unique flowers since my first prom date, when I received an orchid in my corsage.Orchid Hobby Room

My “orchid room” consists of a large plastic container, lined with heavy plastic to hold water. This plastic liner can then be easily replaced when it becomes dirty.  A plastic ceiling grate or grill was cut to fit on top of the container, so the plants can sit above the water and receive needed humidity.  Shining down on the flowers are two Fluorescent lights – one regular and one warm or grow light.  An automatic timer takes care of producing each day of artificial sunlight.Orchid Hobby close up

My flowering Phalaenopsis or moth orchid’s only care is a watering “weekly and weakly.”  This means the flowers are given water each week with a weak amount of orchid fertilizer.  Some growers recommend placing three ice cubes around each plant weekly, which is the equivalent of 1/4 cup of water.  Apparently the ice cubes melt so slowly that the temperature doesn’t affect the plant.

If the orchids are to receive light from a window sill, it’s recommended that the windows should be cleaned frequently.  Well, now you know why I don’t keep them on a window sill.

For more information on growing orchids, click to the  Just Add Ice website.  What flowers challenge your green thumb these days?

May 152013
 

As previously mentioned, my husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale train room, at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.  Besides fixing the railroad track so the trains can run smoothly, we are remodeling the room to reflect how our town may have looked in the 1950’s.
Train Room waterfall full length

Originally, the waterfall was just a blue strip, with wads of cotton stuck on to simulate water.  I found some tutorials explaining how to create waterfalls by using clear caulking.
Train Room caulking gun copyLuckily our bathtubs aren’t in need of a re-caulking just yet, cause making waterfalls seemed like a lot more fun.

caulking linesI spread the caulking on clear plastic wrap with enough lines to match the width of the waterfall area and about 15 inches long.  I made five of these caulked sections, to cover the length of the waterfall.caulking merged

Then a tooth pick was used to blend together the caulking lines.  By twisting and lifting the toothpick, the roughness of water splashing was created.

The next day, the caulking strips were dry enough to attach to the train room wall, by using more caulking as glue.

By accident, I found that the pressure from the caulking gun made long drips which were perfect to simulate the waterfall’s streaming water.

After the strips were attached, more long drips were added since this looked so cool.  Sparkle Paint was dabbed sporadically and wisps of cotton added for a clear, rushing water effect.Train Room waterfall bottom portion

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