Heather Morphew: Des Moines jewelry designer and gardener with a heart of gold
When I last saw Heather she was making party favors for her Maine wedding: 30 pieces of jewelry for the women guests attending the wedding. I wanted to write about Heather because I think she’s pretty cool! She’s a homegrown Iowa girl who loves working with her hands, and has been making jewelry since she was in 2nd grade. “I ran into a friend of mine at the farmer’s market last summer and she’s like, ‘remember that pair of earrings you made for me in 2nd grade and i wore them for my school pictures?'” (laughs) Heather works at Heartland AEA as an Early Childhood Special Education Consultant working with babies from birth to 3 years that have developmental delays. She only works a 192 day contract, so it allows her flexibility to do gardening and jewelry. What a nice setup!
Heather designs jewelry in her spare time when she’s not remodeling her home or making terrariums. Her jewelry is currently sold at the Octagon in Ames and Arboretum gift shop in Madrid. Past retail shops include the East Village Day Spa and Accenti. “I also like to do art shows: Reiman Garden art show in Ames and Art on the Prairie in Perry.”
Heather’s favorite produce to grow are sweet peas or strawberries. Says Heather, “I don’t make jam- I grow strawberries because I like to eat them.” (smiles) I’ll just sit in the garden eating sweet peas because they’re so good… I like to go morel mushroom hunting out by my mom’s house- you can go in public areas but it’s kind of picked over. They usually grow in the same places every year so you get to know what are good mushroom spots. I fry them in butter or I bread them with Ritz cracker crumbs.”
A little known fact about Heather? “I’m tougher than I look. I also have a pretty big vegetable garden every year and I do canning. I have a big deep freezer for all of my garden produce. My family always did that- I just helped my dad in the garden. I just enjoy knowing where my food’s coming from.”
See below to see how Heather makes terrariums! (buy your own cloche for a terrarium at our Trouvés store here)
– Cool vintage glass jar, with or without a lid (a lid is easier, so that it can create its own moist environment with little maintenance)
– Miniatures to put in the jar like rocks, fairies, mini gnomes
– 1-4 slow-growing terrarium plants (with similar climate needs if you are using a lid)
– Big spoon or trowel
– Activated charcoal pieces
– Moss (optional)
– Potting soil
– small rocks
1. Clean/disinfect jar thoroughly
2. Put 1-3 inches of drainage material (rocks) in the bottom of the jar.
3. Next, put a thin layer of charcoal to keep the soil fresh.
4. Add potting soil then plants.
5. Add miniatures then moss (optional).
6. Add a tablespoon of water. Put the lid on. Place in a shady area.
The terrarium with a lid needs almost no water. Test the soil of terrariums without a lid before watering with a small amount of water. Enjoy!