Gift of Nature – An art exhibit in #MyHaliburtonHighlands

Bittersweet – Karen Sloan

Happily, (after an 8 year hiatus), I’ve picked up my paint brushes once again. ūüôā

I’m also happy to share some more exciting news:

Gift of Nature“: A group exhibition of local artists¬† (including me), held this Thanksgiving weekend: (Oct. 12 & 13, 2019) at:

Sir Sam’s Ski & Bike, here in the Haliburton Highlands.

Of course, #MyHaliburtonHighlands is a beautiful place to experience any time of the year, but if there one season in particular where any artist will find inspiration, (even one who has experienced an 8 year block), it would have to be autumn!

Haliburton County is currently awash with brilliant colours in every shade nature can think of, everywhere one looks!

The weather is absolutely glorious for those many ‘leaf lookers’ who will want to witness this autumn splendour.

Stop in for a visit if you’re out and about!

Having thrown my hat in the ring for this art show, I’m looking forward to sharing my newest painting, alongside the wonderful work of so many other talented individuals.

In closing, I’d like to offer a big thanks to Sir Sam’s for hosting this event, and to the Arts Council of Haliburton Highlands for all of their hard work creating this event, and getting a group of creative types, who offer paintings, ceramics, mosaics, photography, jewelry and textiles, all assembled together.

Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Karen

DIY Seed Balls – Throw and Grow the Love in Your Garden

After¬†reading¬†a¬†LOT of information¬†about genetically modified seeds, and in turn¬†learning about¬†‘guerrilla gardening’, I was further led¬†to¬†the discovery of ‘seed balls.

Seed balls are¬†sustainable, ecofriendly¬†tools, initially created¬†for ecological urban renewal.¬†On a less serious note, they’re just a whole lot of fun!

Seed balls solve many of the problems loose seeds face before they have the chance to grow.

Wind can blow seeds away, birds or rodents might eat them, the sun can bake out their vitality, and excessive rain can carry them off. Seed balls protect them from all of that.

A seed ball is a little ecosystem that protects the seeds inside¬†before they¬†sprout. Essentially, it’s¬†a ball of soil, clay and seeds, that when¬†thrown, dropped, or placed in the spot where you’d¬†like the seeds¬†to grow, (and after¬†it receives¬†some moisture or rain), the seed ball acts¬†like a micro-garden that¬†slowly starts¬†to break down as the¬†seeds inside¬†begin to¬†emerge.

The seeds are then nurtured in that same pile of clay and nourishing soil. and because of this, seed germination from seed balls is very high!

So enamoured with the concept,¬†I¬†immediately set out to make some. In fact, over the last decade, I’ve made thousands, distributing them across North America, in packages of a dozen to individuals, and bulk quantities to be passed out¬†at all kinds of events.

I also make them just for me.

By customizing the variety of plants every year, depending on what seeds I saved, I make a batch to throw on the steep hill beyond our back yard. It has beautified an underused space with flowers that encourage pollinators!

Anyone can make seedballs! Here’s how:

Before you begin,¬†and I learned this the hard way so you don’t have to, this can be a messy project, especially if kids are involved,¬†so to save time¬†and aggravation,¬†don’t wear your best clothes, and remove your rings!¬†– Now for the recipe!

  1. Mix two parts soil, two parts dry powdered clay, and a whole lot of seeds.
  2. The varieties here include a range of drought tolerant native species harvested from my own garden. However, you can use any flower seed, herbs, fruit or veggie.
  3. Next step is to¬†add¬†water.¬†¬†Not too much, or¬†too quickly, but¬†enough to make the mixture damp. Stir it in slowly.¬†If the mix is too dry, it won’t hold together so add a bit more. If the soil and clay become¬†overly wet, the seeds will sprout before your finished seedballs get a chance to dry, which means you can’t store them to use at a later date. If the clump holds together, but won’t ooze water if you squeeze it, then that’s the perfect consistency.
  4. Then,¬†roll¬†the small clump in your hands into the size of¬†a meatball and place them¬†on¬†trays¬†to dry. If you’re fortunate enough to have a grow light stand,¬†put them under the lights overnight. They’ll be¬†almost completely dry the next day. If not, it will take a couple of days. Put them next to a heat register if you have room.
  5. Just a¬†note to tie in with¬†step¬†1 –¬†If you’re using sunflower seeds which are large in size, I’d suggest¬†rolling the balls first, then manually¬†pushing a few¬†seeds inside after.

Once they’re completely dry, they can be packaged and given as gifts¬†to friends and family! This is a great project for¬†kids, too.

If you’re really feeling¬†motivated and want to make more, how about getting creative? Use a candy/soap mold to make different shape seed balls!

I picked up a heart shaped chocolate mold at a local thrift shop and have used it for years to make the¬†heart¬†shaped seed balls. They’ve been a favourite¬†choice for¬†wedding favours¬†and for non-profits to hand out to volunteers at events.

Just to add, they’re really¬†popular this time of year as a Valentine’s Day gift. Enjoy, and grow some love!

 

 

 

Minden’s Christmas Shopping Evening – This Thursday in #MyHaliburtonHighlands

Get the jump on that holiday shopping! 

Make the most of the extended shopping hours offered this Thursday evening from 6 Р8 p.m. at many of the lovely shops in Minden, including Wall Flower Studio!

Browse at leisure from our delightful collection of locally made gifts.

We off unusual plants, culinary goodies, organic skin care + soap, gift baskets, pottery, jewellery, stocking stuffers, and more! For that hard-to-buy-for person, we offer gift certificates, too!

–¬†A range¬†of product¬†that are¬†guaranteed to include something for everyone!

Unable to visit our brick-and-mortar store?! Consider a¬†visit to¬†our Etsy shop online. We ship worldwide… AND, from now until Thursday at midnight, receive 20% off every item, (no minimum purchase required), with our sale code:¬†CYBERSALE20

– I’d be delighted to send any purchase intended as gifts to the recipient for you! Simply leave me a note upon purchase with the correct address and your included message. I’ll wrap it in festive paper and include a note card!

Thank you, and Happy Holidays! ~ Karen