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

Sunday, 10 April 2016

BB-8 amigurumi

Hello! Well, I decided it was finally time to show you the photos of my completed BB-8 amigurumi!

I used a pattern by Mysterious Cats and it was totally worth the $4.66! ^___^ It was very easy to follow and quick to work up. I actually finished making this little BB-8 at the end of last year, on the same day that I started making them. That's gotta be some kind of record!

But then I had all these ideas about staging for the photos - like making a background of Jakku and making a Rey costume for one of my Blythe dolls so they could pose together - and as a result I procrastinated over taking any photos for four months. I expect that is also some kind of record!

Anyway, when I was taking photos of my Bee cosplay, I also grabbed BB-8 and finally did a little photoshoot. There is a little sandy patch under our letterbox in which nothing grows, which I figured was close enough to Jakku ~___^

Also, can you believe it's only just over three weeks until International Star Wars Day? I haven't even decided what I'm going to make this year!

I think there is a strong possibility it will be another iteration of BB-8 though; just look at that adorable little face!

- Lisa xx

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Bee and Puppycat Cosplay

Hello! So, Oz Comic Con kinda sneaked up on me this year! Luckily, I had a pretty strong idea of who I wanted to cosplay as - Bee, from Bee and Puppycat!

Unlike some other cartoon characters, Bee has quite a few different outfits. I decided to go for her trademark yellow bee embellished top and pink skirt because I prefer wearing skirts to shorts and didn't have the time to create one of her more intensive outfits!

It's technically Autumn in Australia right now, but it's still very warm so I decided that a t-shirt would be a more sensible choice than a jumper. When I do a cosplay, I usually write a list of things that I will buy, things I will make, and things I already have. Yellow t-shirt was on the "to buy" list, but I couldn't find one anywhere!

So instead I brought a white t-shirt and dyed it using the Procion fabric dyes my mum handed down to me. My dyeing skills are somewhat basic and the t-shirt is not a perfectly flat colour, but it was good enough for the day!

The bee applique on my top is crocheted, using a great pattern by Twinkie Chan. I had all the right colours to make it in my stash and it was quick and easy to make. I attached it to my top with a safety pin because I think I will wear it as a badge until I revisit this cosplay.

The wig was probably my least favourite part of this cosplay because it was a tiny bit small for my head so I felt kinda constricted! Maybe it will stretch out after a couple of wears though? Other than that, it is actually a pretty good wig, especially considering it was (yet another) cheap purchase from eBay. A couple of people were actually surprised it was a wig, thinking it was my real hair!

I got my Puppycat from Perth Supanova last year, but I also saw them for sale at Oz Comic Con and they are also available at We Love Fine and, I'm sure, various other online stores.

I didn't have any luck finding pink shoes, so I wore my black Doc Marten Mary-jane's instead. I found some cute white socks with scalloped edges in Target; they are made of a thin stocking type material so were not too bad for wearing on a hot day!

The skirt was the hero of this cosplay, and I was very happy with how it turned out! I already had a pattern for a circle skirt cut out from my mermaid costume so I re-used that but, since I was using a cotton fabric with not much stretch, I also wanted to add a zip. Zips are seriously the bane of my existence, but I did manage to insert one successfully ... after a couple of goes! ~___^ I hemmed the skirt following this method by Colette although I'm pretty sure I managed to slightly singe the skirt while doing so, so I'm not sure if I'll use this method in the future.

I didn't really follow a tutorial for the patch pockets, but I did find a post on patch pockets by Itch to Stitch which was very useful. I made the pocket bows using my hair bow tutorial and pattern and safety pinned them on. I decided against sewing them on because I thought that if I had to wash this skirt, it would be better to be able to remove the bows beforehand.


I always like to have a bag when I'm cosplaying so I used some of the leftover fabric from the skirt bows to make a small tote bag. I applique a felt eggplant on the bag, since aubergines seem to turn up quite a bit on Bee and Puppycat! 

 I used pink ribbon for the handles simply because I had some which was the right colour in my stash. I was worried that they were going to snap during the day, but they held up well!



I saw this replica of Bee's sword at one of the stalls on the day and decided it needed to come home with me. It was pretty funny though because as I was looking at it, some of the other merch was blocking me mostly from view of the stallholder so he said to me, "Oh, have you ever seen Bee and Puppycat?" I moved around slightly so he could see my costume and the Puppycat under my arm and said, "I think I've heard of that ..." ~___^ He was a good sport and we had a bit of a laugh about it and as I took it away he called out "don't forget - use the sword as a sword!"

Great advice, merch guy!

- Lisa xx

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Felt and clay cacti

Hello! I have mostly been working on granny squares lately (in light grey, dark grey, and black; Death Stars do not have the most inspiring colour scheme!) but I did finally take some photos of the cacti that I made at the last crafternoon my friends and I had. Huzzah!

 We used a tutorial from A Beautiful Mess for the felt cacti and a tutorial from Darby Smart for the clay.

Both tutorials were very simple to follow, although unfortunately A Beautiful Mess didn't include any patterns for their cacti. We drew our own, but patterns would have been nice to have!

Gemma, Catherine, Miriam, and I made clay cacti as well as felt but we all ended up taking our projects home to finish them! I gave mine two coats of Americana Multi-Surface Satin paint (which I am quite impressed with so far!) and then added the spikes by dipping a rectangular brush in white paint and gently pressing it to the surface of the cacti.

We did managed to finish quite a lovely contingent of felt cacti on the day, and Gemma, Boulder, and Miriam also sent me some pictures of their finished projects ^___^

Gemma ended up making not one, not two, but three pots of cacti! I love the purple flower on her little round clay cactus ^___^

Boulder (yes, I know her from Roller Derby, why do you ask? ~___^) went seriously hardcore and made a little companion to go with her tall cactus that has so. many. leaves. Look at them all! It looks so amazing though, so her hard work was obviously worth it.

And Miriam made these gorgeous little cacti gardens with pretty button flowers and lots of springy grass. I love how she made her tall cacti with different colours of felt; it gives such a cool effect!

I'm hoping to finish the Death Star blanket soon (#eternaloptimist), but my pals and I will be crafternooning again next week so I'll show you that results from that sooner! 

- Lisa xx