March 13, 2012

Wall Mounted Stag Fern

 On Sunday I finally finished this stag fern project I have been working on since January.  If you remember my blog post from back then, Amy and I saw these really cool stag ferns that were mounted on pieces of wood at the Portland Nursery.  The ones we saw were very large and cost more than $100 for some of them.  At the nursery I bought a small stag fern for $5 and took it home to mount on my own wooden board.  I planned to finish my project the same weekend I went to the nursery but I haven't been inspired to work on it until this weekend when I went up to Portland IKEA with Amy again and I bought new pottery for my indoor houseplants.  When I got home Sunday afternoon I got down and dirty right away and replanted all of my houseplants and then mounted my stag fern onto its wooden board.

These are the stag ferns we saw at the Portland Nursery on Division St.  The largest one is probably about 3 1/2 feet tall.

 Here are my mounting supplies.  I used a wooden board similar to the one I cut in half for my indoor primrose display, a handful of green basket moss, an airy onion bag and of course my fern.  I also used a staple gun, garden twine and picture frame mounting kit.

First I decorated my board.  I cut off the "feet" that were on the board and then painted the background in brown and orange so that it would match the living room decor.  At first I stained it a dark walnut hue and hand painted the Webster's definition of a stag fern on the board but I did not like the way my hand writing looked so I covered it up with craft paint.  If you look closely you can still see where my writing was.  Then, once the paint dried I put a few coats of polyurethane to seal it from moisture when I water the plant each week.  After it dried I mounted my picture frame hook onto the back before attaching the fern.

Then I cut a 4x6 inch corner of the mess bag to hold the moss that the fern will eventually grow into.  The bag needed to be airy so the roots could easily pass through.

Then using the staple gun I mounted the bag filled with moss just above center of the wooden board.  Since the foliage fell down so low, it looked more balanced to place the bag higher than the center.

Once the bag was in place I took the fern out of its container and placed it on the bag.  Then I filled the area around the fern with more green moss to hide the rest of the red bag.  To keep the fern and the moss in place I wrapped garden twine around the fern, mound and board to keep everything tight and from falling apart.  Eventually the fern will grow a large frond shield that will grab onto the wood and anchor it there by itself.  

To water the fern I simply take it off the wall and put it on the ground outside, water it with a watering can and let the wood air dry before hanging it on the wall again.

This was the perfect item to add to my living room collage.  I am really close to finishing the whole collage and then I will post photos of how it looks with the stag fern added.

March 02, 2012

Guest Artist: Amber Elton from Fruit Wear Jewelry

 Today I wanted to feature a local artist that lives in Corvallis.  Her name is Amber and she designs these great earrings and necklaces using real fruit.  If you've been into the garden center lately you may have seen them on our counter while checking out. 

Amber was inspired to make jewelry out of fruit after teaching in Puebla, Mexico and seeing other jewelry made from nuts, seeds, coffee, beans and corn.  She started making this type of jewelry since 2009 in Hawaii experimenting with different drying and casting techniques.  Her creations include limes, kiwi, lemons, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, star fruit and coffee.  Strawberries and prickely pears are next on her list.  All of her jewelry is one of a kind and is cast into a durable plastic.  You can check out her designs at Schmidt's and you can also check out her blog at

 On display at Schmidts, there are a variety of Fruit Wear designs including bananas, key limes, kiwi, cherry tomatoes and oranges.

 Extra long orange necklace

Adorable cherry tomato earrings
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