Adventure: Starved Rock State Park

This adventure was the recharge I needed. Starved Rock is gorgeous during any season, but nothing has taken my breath away there the way frozen waterfalls did this past Sunday. I was so giddy the whole drive there, and even during the first part of our hike. You guys. Winter is a beautiful season. The shades of blue, green, and grey. Everything is peaceful.

The paths were completely covered with snow and ice, except a few stairs here and there. We've decided we should probably invest in better hiking shoes for me, and possibly even clamp on ice shoes for the both of us! The hike to this next canyon...was...interesting. I'll leave it at that. The river was also almost completely frozen. Aaron thought the wind blowing across the vastness sounded like a dragon trapped under the icy surface. Correction from Aaron, "But it wasn’t the sound of wind over the ice that made that sound: it was the ice cracking and reverberating in itself as the temperature changed." I wish we would have had more time to gaze at this view, but darkness was approaching quickly.

Such beauty in creation.

Adventure Preview

Over the weekend, Aaron and I ventured to Starved Rock State Park. Starved Rock has a huge spot in our hearts. We starting dating there, got engaged there, and had our engagement photos done there. We have been wanting to visit in the winter since we started dating, and it finally worked out! Here is just a preview of our day, as I'll blog more photos tomorrow.

Adventure Preview // Starved Rock State Park

Adventure: Living Letter Press

Back in November, Aaron and I had the pleasure of attending a workshop at Living Letter Press. We both took printmaking classes in college, love weird historical things, and enjoy learning about all types of various printing methods. This was a true treat for me, because I do 97% of my design work on a computer. It was so refreshing to be back in a studio environment.

Adventure: Living Letter Press

John led our class, and we really enjoyed asking him questions about his life and how he got to where he is today. Living Letter Press is a little gem in Champaign. Now I'm craving an adventure over there.

Adventure: Living Letter Press
Adventure: Living Letter Press
Adventure: Living Letter Press
Adventure: Living Letter Press
Adventure: Living Letter Press

So, this was a holiday card workshop, which I was super excited about. We never sent out the cards though...we were kind of too busy writing thank you notes from our wedding. Next year!

Adventure: Living Letter Press
Adventure: Living Letter Press
Adventure: Living Letter Press


Succulent Propagation

In 2013, I bought a bunch of succulents from Walmart. I loved the different shades of green, the weird shapes, and the fact that they're "hard to kill." I decided to try propagating them when I first started planning my wedding. Spoiler alert, they grow really slow and I instead made a bunch of paper cubes for decoration.

Succulent Propagation // brianakapper.com

I let the above dish grow for a year before I hacked them to pieces. I carefully followed the instructions found on Needles + Leaves. If you try this, go read her instructions, because they're 10x's better than anything I'll tell you.

After carefully tearing leaves off the succulents, and cutting the top off, I let the pieces harden. After a few days, I put them on succulent soil I found at Walmart. I seriously let them sit on the dirt for months...but I did replant the stems! Those are doing fantastic. The leaves I propagated have a slightly different story. As you can see above, they started sprouting roots and new growth.

Succulent Propagation // brianakapper.com

Above are some of the propagated leaves that have been replanted. I brought three pots of succulents to work to place in my office window. They get so much sunshine here and are thriving!

Here is what I've learned: My succulents had a 50% success rate due to random factors. There are still some propagated leaves I've replanted, sitting in my apartment on my desk that haven't really grown much, which means I should probably bring six more pots of these to work, where they will get a ton of sunshine. I think I did overwater in the beginning, causing some of the leaves to mold and others to just shrivel up and die. Succulents LOVE sunshine. I've already mentioned this. I now want more plants. Maybe I'll give air plants a try. Or a ficus. I've heard both of those are hard to kill. Here are 5 Hard-to-Kill Houseplants I might look into. Note: all of them are toxic to dogs and cats. I'm fine with that because we are never going to get pets. Plants will be my pets.

There you have it! My strange succulent propagation adventure!