Paper Plants are safe with me..

or, “How I chose Cactus Cuties for the first tutorial of 2022”

I am a plant killer. I mean I have a seriously bad reputation for over-watering or under- watering, not repotting, shading those that need sun and burning those that need shade. I do not speak the language of plants well….and combined with the helpful ministrations of my resident feline, plants in my home have typically had a very short life expectancy.

So, last month on a gloomy Saturday between foliage season and glistening snow cover, I wandered into our local Gardener’s Supply store with a gift card that still had an available balance. I was craving something that would remind me that things were still growing and green in some part of the world, even if it was a commercial greenhouse in wintery Vermont.

There was a helpful greenhouse attendant who asked if I needed help. Poor thing. Probably didn’t expect the deluge of sad plant stories that I let loose with! First things first, she steered me to low light, feline friendly plants. After much consultation I settled on an ivy, some ferns, and a prayer plant. (I figured if it was doing its own praying for its health we had a better chance of it surviving!).

Theo welcomed the new additions to our household thoroughly. He tasted and tested all of the plants and after some trial and error we arrived at a mutual understanding that if he continued to snack on my personal greenery experiment, he would be banished to the mudroom until he had an opportunity to reconsider his behavior.

After a month, there had been two casualties that did not survive. But this was a better outcome than I had hoped for! I returned to the greenhouse over holiday break and purchased potting soil to repot the plants that had shown a will to live, along with two new varieties of recommended plants. I was sufficiently giddy with my success thus far that I splurged on a beautiful arrangement of desert succulents and cacti. My grandfather had raised a huge cactus that was as tall as my ten-year-old self. It seemed to keep pace with my own growth, surviving his own passing for a number of years under my mother’s watchful eye. I was hopeful as the greenhouse clerk packed everything carefully in a box for transport into the frozen world that is Vermont in December.

Two weeks into this round of plant mothering the plants are still green and growing, and my most recent order from Stampin’ Up! arrived full of papers that will inspire me to keep on taking care of my crop of cacti and ferns.

flowering cactus product medley

Our spring catalog launches on January 4 with gorgeous papers and stamp sets that have me think of warm virtual retreats to tropical locations and desert landscapes. I was delighted to find the Flowering Cactus Medley Refill on clearance in my online store…it pairs wonderfully with the new Cactus Cuties stamp set and the Cactus Builder Punch. Allow me to share the Free Card Class with you including a PDF of fun Cactus sayings that you could pair with the papers.

Much inspiration from other demonstrators got me started creating with these papers. Here is Julie Davison’s card and mine,

CASE from Julie Davison

Helen Read’s creation and my version,

My version of Helen’s Card

and Kim Quade’s design

My version of Kim’s card

and my take on it.

Here are the card designs that I created just for this Desert Retreat class:

Click to shop the Bundle






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