Casual friday: mini tokonoma

ScreenShot271 ScreenShot270 ScreenShot272ScreenShot269 ScreenShot268ScreenShot273

I will love to have a Tokonoma in my living room, but the house is small and the space is already taken from my goldfish and turtle tank. So on the search for an alternative I find out that I was not the only one having this kind of problem and lots of bonsai lovers opt for a mini Tokonoma; a small little box than contains kakejiku, table, tatami and of course a shohin bonsai, all in a smaller size.

Last week end I made my first experiment on the creation of the mini Tokonoma. First I tried with carton, then with 4 mm thick chipboard, but none of both succeed.

Frustrated, I brought my failed Tokonoma’s to the bonsai club members for some piece of advice and lucky me, our presidet is a carpenter! With brand new plan’s I went to the local DIY retailer and purchased the new needed stuff. Now I have better measures, better material and better knowledge.

The next task will be: paint and impregnate, build it and install the mini Tokonoma in my small living room.

Stay tuned!!




Organize Bonsai Art magazines

It’s still very cold outside and we still have snow. I can’t do Bonsai with such weather instead I decided to reorganize my Bonsai Art magazines. Not too long ago I was able to purchase almost all issue from 1 to 99, for the new ones I subscribed to the magazine and some other I will order online during this year.

There were some open questions to check out:
“How to organize them?”
“Should I organize them electronic to?”

First I had them organized by number, also from 1 to 99 (+ the others), in each box 12 issue, then I realized that it wasn’t practical when I have to search an issue. Considering that I will read them all, I thought it will be more effective to have them organized by release month: January/February in one box, March/April in one other and so on.

And here is the result:

organize magazines


I still don’t know if I will organize them electronically, like a online databank. I will come back to this maybe later.

Have a nice day

DIY water turtle food

Since Gracie doesn’t eat pellets and other industrial food, I wondered if she will eat frozen-home-made-turtle-gel-food! Well the best way to find out is to try. So I search some info on the net and in books, I found some recipes but all of them had meat, egg and one recipe had also milk!!! Did you already see a turtle drink milk?
I feed my cats BARF since more than 10 years now and know how important it is for an animal’s living in captivity to have a balanced, wild equivalent kind of diet so I went to a big market store (in Switzerland is Migros) and searched for sea food.
We know that water turtle eat snails, little shrimps, earthworms, and insects. They eat seaweed and other algae or similar sump vegetation. So for me was clear that in this recipe I will not include any kind of meat, eggs, milk and no other weird food for a water turtle.
I went home with some ingredients and here is my fist DIY turtle food.
– sardines in olive oil
– sepia (calamari) in olive oil
– mussels
– shrimps
– ExoTerra de-shelled snails
– wakame algae
– romana lettuce
– gelatin in foil form
– sera reptile Carnivor, grinded
– Exo Terra Calcium + D3
– comestible red color
– water, grinder, kitchen supplies
Wash the sardines, sepia, mussels, shrimps to eliminate the excess of salt an oil.
Soak the wakame algae (you can find these comestible algae in any Asia shop), chop 3-4 leaves of romana salad.
Soak 4 gelatin foils in 300ml warm water. If you have gelatin in powder, use enough for ca. 500 ml of liquid.
When the gelatin has liquefied, pour the water in a grinder with ca. 300 gr. sea food (sardines, sepia, mussels, shrimps) and the choped romana lettuce. Grind.
Add the wakame alge without water. Grind
Add Exo Terra Calcium + D3, I added 3 scoop for 500 ml of food. Unfortunately I didn’t find useful information about this product. I will look after it. Grind
Add 50gr. sera reptile Carnivor previously grinded. Grind (I have it, way tow it away!)
Add the comestible red color to the paste, enough to bring the hole to a nice red color. Red animates turtle to eat. Grind
Now you are finished with the grinder. Add the snails as they are and pack the paste in a flat cellophane bag, I used 2, and let it cool down.
Put the hole in the freezer.
The next day you can break a piece and give it as it is to the carnivore or/and omnivore turtle.
Gracie loves this new DIY mix and I am happy that I know exactly what is in this gel.
I am not so pleased with the storage solution; they must be a better way to prepare portion big enough for small turtles. I have to check out the calcium+phosphor ration and I may add more greens for the next batch.
Anyhow I find it really easy to do and all the ingredients can be found in all big grocery stores. If you tray this out let me know, I will be pleased to hear from other turtle lovers.
…love, Melanie!