Thrifty Crafting: Moss Terrarium

18 Mar

Making a terrarium with a thick layer of carpet-like moss was always a dream of mine, but it was dream that was out of reach. Our climate doesn’t lend itself to moss, being too hot and, even in winter, too dry. If you head to the foothills or the mountains you are more likely to find lichen and tangles of hairy, dry moss on the forest floor. I contemplated buying moss from a wetter, darker climate and seeing if I could keep it alive within glass walls. I thought about this for years but never got around to buying some.

Sometimes you find the things you need in the least likely of places. A few weeks ago I went to a baby shower for my dear friend Ellen, at a place affectionately known as the ranch, and when the party was over we were all ushered outside for picture time. While family and friends took their turn I wandered about the yard taking photos, as I’m wont to do, and I found it. Moss! All over the ground! I picked up great emerald chunks and turned them over in my hand. They were shingles from the roof of an old barn that enjoyed copious amounts of shade during the day. The moss and the wood of the shingle had fused together to become one single organism. The moss was dry and hard but I felt that it could be revived if I took it home and gave it water and shade.

And here’s why my friend Ellen is so great: Here I am picking up dead moss attached to rotten shingles on her family’s property, gleefully asking her if I can keep them, keep all the precious bits of moss that looked like an infected dried-out sponge and she not only said yes but she offered to get me a bag. That girl’s a keeper.

Operation Gleefully Shove Your Friend’s Moss in Bag was a success and a few sips of water later and these babies have a new lease on life. I found the large terrarium container at an estate sale recently. The smaller one is actually a brandy snifter that I found while thrifting. The deer was part of a vintage lot of Christmas goodies I indulged in before Treasures to Find closed.

I’ll be selling both containers as a set in my shop once I have time to do some uploading.

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12 Responses to “Thrifty Crafting: Moss Terrarium”

  1. Windsor Grace March 18, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    That, my friend, is absolutely lovely
    Windsor Grace recently posted..Ah ha! vol. 8: TodayMy Profile

    • Carrie Anne March 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      Thank you so much, lady!

  2. Ginamonster March 18, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    When I lived in the sticks, moss was abundant on the rocks. It never stopped being fascinating when it would appear to be dead and we would put water on it, watching as it came back to life.
    Ginamonster recently posted..Lie to meMy Profile

    • Carrie Anne March 18, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

      Awesome, what state did you live in? (Or are you even American?)

      • Ginamonster March 19, 2013 at 11:52 am #

        Silly, I’m in NV. No moss here. Just a lot of dirt. And sometimes, daffodils.

        When we lived in the Sticks, it was Southern California.
        Ginamonster recently posted..The Country Mouse learns a lessonMy Profile

        • Carrie Anne March 19, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

          OF COURSE! How could I forget?! You are my Reno buddy!

  3. Salvaged Strawberry March 18, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    And it will stay like that? You just need to keep it wet? It’s beautiful! Moss-say!

    • Carrie Anne March 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Yup! Awesome, huh?!

  4. Marie March 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    I used to find the most amazing mosses in England and I’d be the only one to notice. Everyone else just stepped on them while waiting for the bus and I’d be biting my tongue. Oddly, for such a rainy country, I don’t see much moss (heaps of beautiful lichen, though)here but now I’m inspired to go on a hunt for some.
    Marie recently posted..IncubationMy Profile

    • Carrie Anne March 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      I dream of seeing English moss someday. Seriously.

      • Marie March 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

        I can see that. Besides the moss thing, you would seriously roll over if you ventured into any of their thrift shops…roll.over.
        Marie recently posted..IncubationMy Profile

        • Carrie Anne April 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

          Gah, I can only imagine.

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