Episode 204- The Gift of the Forest

Episode 204- The Gift of the Forest

Host J Schwanke explores the forest and shares ways to experience a bit of its magic every day! Discover forest bathing for wellness. Flower arranging includes moss themes and foraged items.

I’ve been excited about this week’s episode- for many reasons- I love Moss- and with the show I was introduced to the concept of Forest Bathing… I get to share my one of my Favorite Design Master Paints- ColorTex “Mossy”- I bake a cake with a Mossy Twist- and include one of the most controversial #FlowerCocktailHour recipes- and you get to meet my amazing Niece Grace… it’s all jam packed into the Magic of Moss episode in Season 2 of Life in Bloom!

Using Design Master Textured Paint- ColorTex - Mossy- these containers are giving a Natural Mossy Texture!

Using Design Master Textured Paint- ColorTex – Mossy- these containers are giving a Natural Mossy Texture!

Forest Bathing

The term Forest Bathing comes from the Japanese practice of “shinrin-yoku“… something the people of Japan have been doing for years. Let’s break it down- “Shinrin” is Japanese for “Forest” and “yoku” means “bath”… so the practice is the art of bathing in the forest… or immersing ones self into nature- not literally taking a bath in the woods… but that would indeed – be lots of fun- and I’m up for that!

Forest bathing- is taking in nature with all our senses… Tasting the Fresh Air, feeling the bark of a tree- or moss on the ground- listening to the wind through the trees or hearing the sounds of a babbling stream, or bird, bees or bugs humming- it includes the smell of outdoors- perhaps rain, or summer or flowers… seeing the colors, sunlight, shade, blue sky- green grass… taking in all you can- in the midst of nature.

I create an arrangement featuring gifts from the forest- along with Ferns, Foliage and Flowers!

I create an arrangement featuring gifts from the forest- along with Ferns, Foliage and Flowers!

We filming this in the “backyard” of our director of photography- Keith Golinski’s home- it’s a wonderful nature setting- that goes for acres behind his house… it’s just wonderful- with little paths, moss- trees, birds, butterflies and more… and it was so peaceful being out in nature. I’ve always lived in  areas that allowed me interaction with nature- from our homestead in Nebraska- complete with natural acres, farms and of course greenhouses- to our home today- that backs up to a wetlands – in West Michigan- nature abounds- and love how close we are to nature.

I got my curiosity from my Grandpa- Carnation Joe- he was always showing me the coolest things in Nature- Ant Lions, Cattails, the Inside of Violets, and that curiosity and observation continues to this day… I’m always looking for treasures in Nature- and at the same time- I’m mindful- to respect nature- and gently and thoughtfully add it to my flower arrangements.

Tiny elements like rocks and moss help to create this forest landscape arrangement.

Tiny elements like rocks and moss help to create this forest landscape arrangement.

Gifts from the Forest- Flower Arranging with Found Forest Objects.

Check out this weeks show for this fun arrangement I create with found Natural Objects, Foliage and More

Vintage Meadow Moss Arrangements- #FlowerCraft

Follow this link to learn more about these Moss Projects- and my one of my Favorite Design Master Paints- ColorTex – Mossy- A textured paint that can help provide the color and texture of fresh moss to your flower projects.

The dying and application of cookie dough- helps to creating surprising moss accents for this week's recipe!

The dying and application of cookie dough- helps to creating surprising moss accents for this week’s recipe!

Moss Cookie Cake

Here’s the Recipe (Follow Link) to this secret method for turning sugar cookies into mossy edible accents to decorate a cake. It’s a interesting way to think about cookie dough- and how you apply it to… to give this remarkable Moss-iness to this fun dessert!

Everyone wants to know what the Sea Foam Smoothie tastes like? Find out in this week's Credits of Life in Bloom- Watch to the END!

Everyone wants to know what the Sea Foam Smoothie tastes like? Find out in this week’s Credits of Life in Bloom- Watch to the END!

Sea Moss Smoothie

No other #FlowerCocktailHour Recipe -has elicited as many emails, letters or questions- than this Recipe for a Sea Moss Smoothie… follow this link to find the answer to the most common questions… A. What does it taste like? Followed by B. Did you like it???

My Niece Grace- joins me for fun with Marimo Moss Balls on Life in Bloom- (Hint they are not really Moss at all!)

My Niece Grace- joins me for fun with Marimo Moss Balls on Life in Bloom- (Hint they are not really Moss at all!)

Marimo Moss Balls – with Grace Boersma

I got turned on to these charming little balls of “moss”- (They are really Algea!) – by my Mother-in-Law- and I’ve been hooked ever since… so this week I introduce Marimo Moss Balls with my Amazing Niece Grace Boersma- she’s a High School Chemistry Teacher- and her recent visit to Iceland with husband Nick- fit perfectly with the Marimo Moss Balls…

The Erlenmeyer Flask is the perfect home for Marimo Moss Balls!

The Erlenmeyer Flask is the perfect home for Marimo Moss Balls!

Grace and I create living landscapes containers for the Marimo Moss Balls with interesting containers including re-purposed Chemistry Glass Containers… using different types of Chemistry bottles- including the Erlenmeyer Flask- you can learn more about these Algea (not Moss!) Balls- the name “Mari” (means Bouncy) and “Mo” means ball- so they are literally bouncy balls of Moss (Algea)…

Learn more about Marimo Moss Balls on this week's Life in Bloom "Experiment"!

Learn more about Marimo Moss Balls on this week’s Life in Bloom “Experiment”!

I order the ones you see on the show off the internet… here’s a link – to where I found mine on Ebay.com 

You can also find them at reputable aquarium stores- they are easy to care for- and Grace and I show you how you can create a wonderful display- They are definitely easy to care for- and for those that have a self-proclaimed “BLACK THUMB”… it’s just about changing the water and giving them a swirl now and again.

To learn more about my Amazing Niece Grace- you can check out my blog about her here! You’ll see her again on Life in Bloom in Season 2… Stay Tuned!

Create a Moss Bunny, Eggs, and Spheres with natural moss on Life in Bloom!

Create a Moss Bunny, Eggs, and Spheres with natural moss on Life in Bloom!

Home Decor with Moss- # FlowerCraft

I show you how easy it is to create home decorative accessories- with moss and styrofoam in our Flower Craft for this week on Life in Bloom. Moss is super easy to work with- and it’s a fun way to create great decorations for your home. You can incorporate permanent or dried flowers- and get super fun results.

I’ve included lots of tips in this week’s episode- and there are more tips in these other videos…

Here’s a project- from my Youtube Channel- (Be sure to subscribe) – where I create a Moss Bunny- Click here to view!

Here’s another project- it’s actually a flower lesson- in my Forever Flower Series- about creating Flower Spheres for your home- follow this link to view this flower lesson. Not a member of uBloom yet? Here’s a special code that will give you 50% off an annual membership- 50ATHOME – all capital letters and no spaces- you can join here… www.uBloom.com/Join/Annual!

Hellebores- Featured Flower

The Featured flower for this week- is the Hellebores- I’m fascinated by these Evergreen Flowers- that are the first flowers out of the ground here in West Michigan- I have been planting them for years- and this year I added 3 different double varieties to my collection- a Purple, Red and White… I can’t wait to see those flowers – in the years to come!

Also known as the Christmas Rose- the Hellebores is this week's featured flower!

Also known as the Christmas Rose- the Hellebores is this week’s featured flower!

Hellebores are also known as the Christmas or Lenten Rose- although they rarely bloom at Christmas… they are indeed an evergreen foliage plant- the foliage stays green all winter- even in our harsh Michigan Winters… and the flowers are just spectacular. They are not part of the rose family- even with the name- they are part of the buttercup family! It’s even possible for the flowers to bloom in the snow… and they are frost tolerant… I don’t have to protect these beauties from our late spring frosts… they just bloom away!

The Hellebores is not a rose but rather a relative of the Buttercup!

The Hellebores is not a rose but rather a relative of the Buttercup!

The other thing I love about Hellebores- they are DEER and RABBIT Resistant… that makes me happy- as those little buggers are dealing me fits – this early spring- as they are chomping away on Lilies and Hostas… I have selectively places my Hellebores in places to deflect their attention… we’ll see if it works.

The magic moss and the gifts of Forest are highlights for this week’s show- and I hope you find some cool ways to include Moss- Marimo or otherwise into your own Personal Life in Bloom!