At the fair, there were booths selling Crystal Mud--tiny beads that absorb water and can be used for plants and flowers. N had been describing them and, after buying one set as a trial, felt they might be the answer to her cat-getting-into-the-water problems. So we headed to one of the booths and I ended up buying one packet of black ones. They were only $3.333333333333333 since P and I went in together on the 3-for-$10 deal.
And now, because I am so generous, I have recorded the process so you may witness the coolness of these little beads. I think they were worth the cost just for observing them! Will my flowers die tomorrow from lack of water? I don't know, but it's obviously a risk I was willing to take.
This is like in cooking shows where they have all their ingredients cut up and in separate dishes (minus the quarter), ready to pour into the pan. I'm gourmet.
It says to put them in a gallon of water.
Okay, let the absorbing commence. (Sorry, P, this pitcher isn't Tupperware.)
Within half an hour they are taking on a blackberry-like appearance. I enjoyed some with ice cream.
Three hours later they have rounded out a bit more, but still have an uneven surface.
They are supposed to stay in the water for 8-12 hours. By the next morning, they had grown to this size.
They're like marbles!
I made the mistake of leaving them in the water all day, not really considering that it might damage them. When I got home, some were bursting from their little seams, and I threw a few out.
I strained them to stop the growing process.
You can't help but touch these.. they have a wet surface even after sitting out for days. I guess the water keeps leaking out of them, or something. Anyway, they feel a little like wet grapes or olives, only more slippery. They'd make a great sub when you're playing that Halloween game of blindfolding people and convincing them they are touching eyeballs. (That game creeped me out when I was a kid, even though I knew I was touching normal household items.)
They are squishable and can break if you're too rough with them. In fact, I think I broke several when I was putting the flowers in them (which means I should've put them in over the flowers instead of vise versa).
The package says these are for fresh flowers, plants or light/candle arrangements, but for some reason I'm skeptical of the flowers getting enough water. Maybe I'll have to report back with how long these lasted. Or I could do an experiment where I put some flowers in water and some in the Crystal Mud beads. But I don't feel like it.
And now for a little sunflower love, since they're being such great sports.
Supposedly the beads dry up over the course of about a month, and you can start again and plump them right back up. N used some clear ones for a plant and says you can see the roots growing, which I think would be really fun. But when the clear ones are under water, you can't even really see them, which makes me think of lots of "fun" practical jokes one could play with a sack full. But I don't recommend playing any of those jokes unless you hate having friends.