Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Mystery Thing Revealed: Ghostly Little Trees

Hello there!  Welcome to the exciting reveal of this week's Guess the Mystery Thing challenge.  My readers have been trying to identify the strange, ghostly little treelike structures, inside these upcycled pendants:

Think you know the answer?  Did anybody guess?  Read on to find out!

First, Mich's Honor Roll Of Most Creative (Totally Wrong) Guesses!

Anne P: Little trees from the smurf forest.
Lorraine: The roots that hold down the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
meijo's JOY:  OMG...split ends hairs from Lady Gaga.
Amy:  Barbie had a bad hair day!
Betsy:  Enlarged samples from Microbiology 1A, foreign and unidentified organisms.
femtique1: Toothpicks split apart and manipulated into shapes.
mnm:  Mold from something that grew in your fridge?
Angi:  How did you get a pic of my hair when I wake up in the morning?!
Alex:  The guts of a toy after your pupster has destroyed it!
Anon:  Deconstructed Shredded Wheat.
Onel: Wow! It's an edible pendant, this time? It looks so much like the dried shredded squid snack!!
Handmade Cuties: The frayed pieces from my daughter's hat made out of coconut fiber.
Anon: Part of the petrified forest in which Harry Potter was trying to find answers to the castle puzzle.
Maple Girl:  You sectioned an ancient fossil of a tree?
Sakura:  OMG, you caught that...illness! When you eat too much chocolate - this is very rare - you throw up this fibrous material. Scientists are unaware of this, because people instantly and mysteriously forget. It dries quickly and becomes easy to use for craft projects such as this.  I have an amazing memory, have experienced this before and....gulp...poor you, Mich.

Hahahaha!  Love the crazy this week!  Sakura, thanks for your important contribution to medical science.  Onel, I love dried cuttlefish snack - my favorite!  But just think what a horrible stinky smelly necklace, omg.

On to the reveal.


Do you think someone got it?

Well, I'll tell ya.  Yes, someone did!  Two someones, in fact.

Most of the rest of you thought it was a loofah.  Nope!  Not a loofah.  But now I need to buy a loofah and try turning it into jewelry.

Lots of sharp-eyed people recognized the Crystal Light container lids; I salute you!  However, the Mystery Thing was the treelike stuff inside them.

Shall we find out the answer?  

Wait, are you sure you're ready?


I mean, if you're sure.


The skeleton inside a nopal cactus.

The dried structures make for some interesting jewels, doncha think?

They are also wonderful for decor.  To me they look like coral fans.  I love them piled casually in a basket:

Here's some of my 'desert coral' painted turquoise, for a different effect...

I harvested mine from a cactus in my yard.  I don't know where you can buy it in this dried form, but you can buy fresh nopal cactus pads in the grocery store.  If anyone figures out how to turn it into skeletons, let me know!  Failing that, next time you're in the desert, look under the nearest prickly pear.

Winners, winners!  Our brilliant clever first place contestant...drum roll, please...Danni!  And our lovely runner up, chosen by rickimoo!  Congrats to you both, please watch your inbox (or your spam-catcher) for my email, coming soon.

Thanks for playing, my dearies!  I love the game and love you guys for keeping it so.  Much.  FUN.


  1. Brilliant - love the turquoise variety hanging out in your house.

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  3. OMG. GHOSTLY little trees...the clue for the skeleton....Can't find cactus like these in our yards in Connnecticut.. No wonder I thought it was a loofah. I've never seen this cactus. Ebay is selling cactus and skeleton wall art! You could make a bundle! And I'm glad I checked my Twitter to get to the reveal quickly!

  4. I'm in the North Carolina cactus here either. But, how CLEVER....I guess the smurf trees was close, but I was a little short. I does look like a loofah, NOW, you have to make something from a loofah and see how similar it looks!

  5. como siempre muy ingenioso!!!!!
    los collares quedan espectaculares, de verdad parecen corales, y para decorar la casa son perfectos:-D

  6. Woooooohoooo!! I finally got one!! I'm excited!

  7. This is tooooo much! I love it!

  8. eerily cute...vetiver should be available in organic and herb stores and looks very similar to this, plus it would smell nice too. people can try that

  9. You're always so clever with these fun things. Loved the creative answers too

  10. I thought it was a loofah. I really like the organic look of the necklace.

  11. OMG, what next, Mich? What gave you that idea??


  12. WOW! cool stuff to make jewellery with! Love this one - au natural!

  13. I never knew those things had skeletons. Pretty cool! Jayne

  14. Wow, I never even knew there were such things! Very natural! :-)

  15. LOL we have those bloody cacti everywhere here in NW FL and I still thought it was a loofah! You completely fooled me! I never would've thought of making jewelry out of any part of a cactus...but then, I try to stay well away from them.

    And for those who have never met prickly pears and think they're pretty and you might want to plant some, try falling headfirst into one of them--or actually, please don't! Just take my word for it, it's horrible. The needles mostly are almost invisible and they break off when you try to remove them. I wonder what happened to all of those needles my parents couldn't couldn't remove...are they still stuck in the top of my head 20 years later? lol

    I know that it is possible to make good jelly and candy and such from prickly pear, but my life experience has been that it is best just to stay far far far away if at all possible. Also, they are sometimes considered an invasive species because in the right climate they can spread like wildfire even if they are not native, so they may be illegal to plant outdoors.

    Not trying to be a pain, just trying to prevent some ;) We have tourists who come down and apparently do not realize what they are getting into when they decide to take these things home! I'm sure there are websites for the safe care of prickly I know there are websites about getting rid of them but most of them say it's just about impossible!