Sunday, 17 July 2016

The Fluffy Rainbow Mohawk Hat

Hello! I have something to confess: I am terrible at taking photos of handmade gifts. I always seem to finish them at night or right before I'm meant to gift them and then I forget to take photos and then I end up taking the gift back to take a couple of quick snaps. Terrible form. I did the exact same thing with this hat, except luckily my lovely friend Cherry sent me these photos! On an honest to goodness wooden hat block! I want one.

But anyway, let's talk hats. Specifically fluffy rainbow mohawk hats! Omg, folks, I adore this hat. I made the base hat from Shiver in black; it's a really plush acrylic yarn which is very warm and very soft. Itchy hats = the worst, amiright?

I used a pattern from Oombawka Design for the base of the hat which I really like because it gives you lots of sizing options. I used the Adult Large size, but because my tension is very tight I did still have to add in a couple of extra rows. Shiver is an extra bulky yarn, and I used a 6mm hook. I could have gone bigger for the hook size, but I wanted to make sure I didn't have a gappy look for the base hat.

For the mohawk I used the instructions from Ashlee Marie; basically I crocheted a strip that runs from the front to back of the hat. I used trebles to make mine to ensure I would have enough space between stitches for the fringe, because I wanted to use a variety of chunky yarns! I used the black Shiver yarn for the mohawk base to ensure it would blend in with the hat.

I cut my colourful yarns into 20 cm/ 8 inch lengths and used three or four (depending on the chunkiness) for each piece of fringe. In progress it looked like a really cool caterpillar! I am not sure how many lengths I cut to make this; I just cut a bunch, looped them through, realised I need a lot more ... (repeat, repeat, repeat). I sewed the mohawk to the hat with the same black Shiver yarn, but in retrospect I think embroidery thread would be a lot easier! I didn't trim down the mohawk when I was finished because I liked how the slightly different lengths gave texture to the mohawk. Plus, I'd spent so long on it that the idea of taking scissors to it made me wanna cry a little! ~___^

I don't have a full list of the yarns I used for the mohawk because I am terrible about keeping labels on my stash, but here are the ones I do know!
  • Passioknit Electric Beat Jambi (90% acrylic, 10% wool): this is the cool multicoloured yarn! It has orange, grey, brown, blue, green, pink, and purple in it.
  • Moda Vera Jester in Turquoise and Lime (70% acrylic, 30% wool)
  • Lion Brand Yarns Hometown USA in Honolulu Pink (100% acrylic)
The ones I don't know included a thick and thin purple, a pink and purple wavy yarn, and a blue and green wavy yarn. As long as your yarns are chunky and colourful though, I don't think you can really go wrong! ^___^

- Lisa xx

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Terrarium Crafternoon

Hello! Making terrariums has been on my craft group's to-do list for a looong time - and this month we finally made them!

We ended up with 18 terrariums! (Two aren't pictured here because Boulder had to leave early, but don't worry, photos of her creations are below!) Most of our terrariums are open; you can decide for yourself if you think if they count as terrariums or not!

I loved this triangular vessel that Fran used for her terrarium; most of the plants in here are ones that I propagated, so it will be interesting to see how they look after growing a bit more!

Fran also made a garden within an Erlenmeyer flask! There is also a plastic skeleton inside, which makes it delightfully creepy

Miriam not only created the garden inside her terrarium, she also brought along a customised jar! Unfortunately it filled with condensation quite quickly, but you can kinda see one of the toy hippos that is enjoying life among the succulents.

Miriam's second terrarium features a very confused soldier discovering a dinosaur - due to the combination of plastic toys I brought along this was a common theme for our gardens!

Lara's terrarium is going to be a lush jungle when it grows some more! 

Rebecca's terrariums are both kinda creepy, with a skeleton and a Weeping Angel in each - aren't they great!?

Boulder's large terrarium has a TARDIS in it! I love the vessel she chose to use as well; it looks gorgeous.

You can also see her mini terrarium, with a LEGO Derby girl in it!

Dom's terrarium has an Ivysaur in it! I didn't realise that I didn't get close ups of all the terrariums, but Dom and Clara also created a fantastic terrarium with a Link figurine inside. They are totally convinced me that video game stores are a must before future terrarium creations.

I got this hanging glass orb as a Secret Santa gift last year so I was pleased to finally use it! It was quite difficult to plant in though, as the opening isn't very large which made getting the plants into position tricky. I added a little rock wall at the front to prevent soil and plants from escaping. Now I just need to add a hook somewhere in my home to hang it from!

This glass jar seems like it was just made to be a terrarium! I think deep vessel are definitely the way to go.

I think the next step is to get our group soldering our own terrarium vessels! :P 

- Lisa xx

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Life Lately

Hello! So, oh my gosh, I ended up taking a little more time off from blogging than I expected! I've still been crafting, so I have a few posts lined up to show you very soon, but first I thought I'd do a little catch up post (100% inspired by Hannah from In The Dress Up Box, btw!)

Eating: my latest food obsession is almond butter - I want it in and on everything! One of my favourite breakfasts is an almond butter and banana wrap - yum!

Drinking: a ton of caffeine! I maybe need to cut down a bit, but I can't deny it's helpful for those early mornings and late nights

Baking: Burger cake, soft pretzels, chocolate lollipops - all kinds of fun and new-to-me things!

Wearing: a rainbow of cardigans; it's very cold here so my knit collection is definitely getting a workout!

Buying: Records - I'm working on developing a little collection and I've mostly been buying new, but I'm keeping an eye out at op shops as well
Dreaming: Of my week of annual leave at the end of the month; relaxation, here I come!
Watching: a lot of roller derby bouts! The Great Southern Slam was on recently, so I did a lot of yelling and cheering at the computer screen as I watched online, but I've also been going to lots of bouts live. Roller derby is such an amazing sport and I admire each and every player
Reading: for pleasure! Being on uni break means that instead of reading journal articles, I'm catching up on comics and novels. If you're ever interested in what I'm reading, you can check out my Goodreads
Crocheting: I've been crocheting presents recently; I've made a baby hat, a cowl and mitt combo, and a mohawk beanie. It's fun to make things to gift to others, and I'll show you the photos soon!

Sewing: Conversely, I've only been sewing for myself. I've made a practical household item (it's a secret until I take photos to show you!) and am about 1/3 of the way through a cosplay.
Growing: lots of succulents! We had a terrarium crafternoon yesterday, so I wanted to be sure that I grew enough plants for everyone. Turned out I had waaayyy too many and spent the afternoon trying to push plants onto people like a succulent salesperson working on commission :P

Learning: glass soldering is my latest craft - I've made one terrarium vessel and I'm a bit hooked! I need to get hold of some more glass so I can practice some more (my seams are not the neatest at the moment!)
Doing: lots of skating! I am determined to do my assessment to move into the next training of roller derby at the end of this cycle (six weeks to go!!) so I've been really trying to nail those tricky skills. After a year and a half I've finally managed to jump over the row of cones, so I'm excited that my skills are (very slowly) improving ^___^


 - Lisa xx

Sunday, 1 May 2016

How to make succulent planters from ceramic moneyboxes

Hello! My experiments in growing succulents from cuttings and leaves have reached the stage where I have a *lot* of new plants, and no where near enough pots. To remedy this, I headed off to the discount store (because I am nothing if not cheap) but they only had plain plastic pots in their gardening section, which didn't rouse much excitement. However, as I was heading back out via the homewares section, I spotted an amazing unicorn money box and a really sweet little bunny dish. You know what they say, "when life gives you moneyboxes, make planters!" ~___^

I'm really pleased with how well they turned out, so read on if you'd like to make your own versions! ^___^

I started off with the unicorn moneybox by using a permanent marker to measure out a rectangle shape. I made mine 5.5cm x 3 cm, but the size is really dependent on the shape of your object and the size you want the plant hole to be.

I attached the ceramic cutting wheel to my Dremel (#EZ545, with the EZ Lock Mandrel, for those playing along at home) and started cutting along the marked lines.

It cut through the ceramic like butter! Only with, like, a hecka ton of dust. I was wearing safety glasses, ear muffs, and a dust mask during this project which kinda seemed like overkill when I began but, hey, at least I didn't get any ceramic dust in my lungs.

To tidy it up a bit, I went around the edges with a long rounded pink grinding stone attachment (no idea what number is this, sorry!) which really helped make everything look neater and also feel less sharp.

Since the moneybox came with a hole in the bottom, I decided just to take out the rubber plug and use that for drainage. If you don't think that is sufficient for your project though, you can drill some extra holes!

I'm not actually sure what this bunny thing is; I guess maybe it's a decorate trinket dish? It's cute and already had a hole in the top for plants, so the only thing it needed is some drainage holes.

 I used  a permanent marker to put dots where I wanted my drainage holes to be. I didn't manage to drill exactly on top of the dots, but they worked as a guideline anyway.

I got a 6mm P&N diamond core drill bit for this part of the project, which is designed to cut through ceramics and glass. It is meant to be used only for wet drilling, so I also grabbed my trusty spray bottle.

 As you can see, my holes are not the neatest, but probably no one will be looking at them from this angle anyway! To drill them, I started with the drill on an angle to make a notch in the ceramic and then I slowly straightened the drill. I sprayed the bit with water once every ten seconds and didn't get any cracks - yay!

I placed a large flat rock over the hole in the base of the unicorn, and then added a layer of small pebbles on the bottom of both planters. Then all that was left to do was add some cacti and succulent soil, and the plants!

The unicorn planter has a Jellybean plant (Sedum pachyphyllum, I think, but I'm not sure) and a mystery succulent. It kinda looks like Sedum praealtum, but it doesn't have the red edge. Whatever it is, it grows from leaves really well! The host leaf doesn't die though, so it does end up a bit funny looking; a tiny new plant with one huge leaf!

The bunny planter was intended as a birthday present for my friend Catherine, so I decided to try and fit a few different plants in there. Catherine may have to transplant them out if they all live! 

The large plant on the top is Hoya, next to that with the pink tipped leaves is Mother of Thousands (Kalanchoe daigremontiana), on the bottom is another pup of the mystery plant, and left of that is a tiny Jellybean plant, and another mystery plant; I think it's a type of Sedum but I haven't been able to make a positive ID. I brought the Hoya as is, but all the other plants are pups from other plants that I own; I thought it was pretty cool that I had enough little graduates from the plant nursery to fill this planter!

I'm excited to go looking for more unsuspecting victims ceramic vessels at the op shop now that I know I can turn them into planters! In fact, I have a ceramic owl figurine on my bookcase which I'm thinking might need to have a plant or two in it ...

- Lisa xx