Wednesday, March 21, 2018

bought/gift/made /13

Another post for my bought/gift/made series!
First up some ceramic moons I've been making for a pendant wall hanging

Hard to photography but I was happy with how it turned out :)

Ben's mum gifted me with a succulent (crassula muscosa) that has a bunch of common names, such as, shoelaces!

And in the bought category a safety razor. I was a bit worried about going with a safety razor, the normal plastic disposable razors (I'm used to) have a flexible head to glide right over the contours of your body. I did some reading and it seemed if you apply minimal pressure and do small strokes with a safety razor, life would be okay. I'm now four months into using my razor and I'm completely converted. I believe I paid around $30 aus. dollars for mine, there are a few types so it does get confusing but in the end they are all doing the same job, so my advice is to not let the options overwhelm you and dive in!

In the book, zero waste, the author, Bea Johnson, explains how her husband washes his safety razor after each shave and dries it to prolong its life. I've been doing the same, my razor has four pieces, the handle, the bottom plate, the blade and the top plate. It unscrews, I rinse everything and then dry each piece with a towel before screwing it back together. In hindsight I think the butterfly shaver version (with a top opening) might have made this process a little quicker but for me the cleaning takes no longer than 2 minutes so no complaints!

Another quick note, my razor came with a pack of 10 blades and after four months I'm still on blade one! Refill packs costs a few dollars so not only is it a kind to the environment but when comparing against the disposable kind, it works out cheaper too.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Paper Making Kit

This year, although I'm not limiting myself to buying new things, I am trying to use things I've already bought, especially of the DIY variety :) With that in mind, I finally pulled out my paper making kit I bought from the thrift store many moons ago. OH gosh, after hunting down that post I realised it was four years ago!! Better late than never and I'm so glad I've started because it's so much fun! I've been saving every scrap of paper and even that process of recycling feels really good :)

My box that lives in my room and collects paper. 

You do need to rip the paper into stamp sized pieces so instead of leaving that untill I've amassed a full box I do it as soon as I add new paper to avoid that big job at the end!

Unfortunately this isn't really a tutorial because you do need the mesh sieve (see in the top of the photo) but more of a post to say 'you can totally start that DIY project you've been meaning to!!'.

I've also been saving the rose petals from the garden and drying them out

Also feels amazing to have a use for them - they are just too pretty and smell divine!

After blending up the paper and then sieving it, the pulp gets transfer to the drying boards.

So glad I finally got over the hump and dove in, sometimes it can be intimidating starting a new project!

 Yay for paper!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Garden Update /2

Since moving to our new place, Ben helped me set up a new vegie garden. I was sad to say goodbye to the old garden but I made sure to save all the little sprouts and transplant them to their new home. You may remember how my friend Lowy introduced and helped me set up my first garden well he did offer some sage advice on setting up this new garden but I may have ignore him. I can now confidently encourage you to listen to others or at the very least, learn from your mistakes :p

So lowy's wise words were something along the lines of "I don't think the spot you have picked will get enough sun" to which I said something like "but but it gets all the water run off, which is more important because we're on tank water and last year there was a drought and I couldn't water the garden daily!!!!"

We've now had rain the last month or so and the garden bed is in no fear of being under-watered in fact I think it's now getting far too much and yes, not enough sunlight! Ben has kindly offered to help me move it one more time which I'll probably take him up on. Despite my stubborn ways the garden hasn't been a complete failure it just has had very slow or little growth. I thought it was worth showing photos of the things that have grown though :)

A couple of pumpkin vines have down great, obviously lovers of water! And I spotted lots of bees buzzing around to pollinate :)

The humble garden bed and behind you can see the table we did our mosaics on :)

Veggie garden - mango tree
Another happy report was our mango tree.  The season is now over but I'm still happily having mango smoothies daily from a bunch I froze :)

I've lost count of the number of avo seeds I've planted but I'm super excited to have two successes!

Unfortunately all my seedlings haven't sprouted, possibly from the 'too much water/not enough sunlight' debacle  :(

If you have your own garden, don't throw away your spring onion stems - they grow so easily and keep on regrowing!

Veggie garden - pumpkin vine

And some capsicums which are almost ready for picking!

I really do love gardening and especially picking things to eat from the garden and I know I'm always learning too. I'll keep you updated if I do move this bed and see if some more sunlight will get things growing a bit faster :)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Clay Fails /2

Time to show you when things go pear shaped!
So much optimism and hope when you load the kiln!

This guy I just dropped on the floor, no rhyme or reason just being super clumsy :p

For some reason the red glaze refused to stick to this flower

As we opened the firing from the above photo, I excitedly picked this guy up (having already survived two firings) and then I dropped it on the concrete - sometimes I shock myself with how clumsy I am!

This guy was just some horrid horrid colour choice on my behalf!

I didn't do much better when it came to selecting that shade of blue :p

I wanted to try my luck and put through this guy again to tone down the yellow dots - well he cracked! Oops.

That's the gamble you pay for doing repeat firings!

Remember how I got really excited about a glaze and wanted to use it on everything, well I'm less excited after painting this unicorn in the colours - yikes!

And a pretty (but broken) spoon which I didn't drop but rather it cracked during the firing, making me feel somewhat better about it ending up in the bin :P

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Clay /11

We've had a steady stream of making and firing and painting and firing clay of late so I have photos to show! Also I wanted to update you on my wheel adventures - I have thrown things! The pieces lack perfection but I'm proud to have picked up some skills via watching YouTube, listening to Ben and just putting in the time (couple with many non successes!). My wheel thrown pieces have only just been bisque fired so I'll wait until I paint them and we have enough things to run the second fire before I share those :) Today is a hodge-podge of other things just finished :)

This little guy was thrown by Ben I think a leftover from his ceramic study days. We wanted to fill a kiln load so he gave me a few things to try different paint styles with :)

Ceramic pendant :)

That little dinosaur I made years ago and he's just been sitting in our ceramic no mans land awaiting further action. Gold was an easy choice to finish him in - it's pretty fool proof!

Another little pot Ben had made and which got the paint treatment from myself :)

Some cats, fuji, the opera house, coral, sushi and clouds :)

I'm so happy with this spoon, I think I ended up making three or four, each one ending up with a fault but I was determined to see my vision come to life :) Talking about faults, I've collected a bunch of clay fails to share with you too in another post.

Some inter glaze test tiles, these turned out pretty awful but I was literally just going through all the various combos - in our next glaze firing I have a bunch more tiles to put through which I'm excited to see how they'll come out :)

I'd already made a flower holder but it ended up leaking so I worked a little bit harder on this guy to make it foolproof

Another Ben bottle (he loves making bottles) that I painted by laying some painters tape down first to mask out the designs.

Apart from the spoon, this lady is my favourite thing from this firing. Has anyone seen the OA?

And lucky last a little pinch pot I made :)

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Year of Blooms - Feburary

I was reflecting on my year of blooms project and specifically what occurred during February and was surprised that lots of little things sprung to mind.

In January I made my flower bed and planted a packet of wild flowers, sunflower seeds, cosmos, and forget me knots. In February I then planted Gomphrena (to attract butterflies) and sweet pea to climb up among my already planted passionfruit :) The most amazing thing was to look back at January's photos of the garden bed and compare it against these recent photos. Although the bed is lacking blooms it's now full of little seedlings :) I did have one bloom in my bed, a little white flower I transplanted from Grandma's property (the Farm) :) I was getting ready to make my 'Feb' flower photo and noticed there weren't too many flowers around our yard so I ended up bringing a piece of white cardboard to the farm which in itself became a nice little reminiscent for myself. 

It's been raining a lot lately so you'll spy a few photos with rain drops on petals but I think they add a little bit of extra magic! The frangipani tree is still in bloom, the rose bushes flowered for the second time this year and I managed to save their petals to add to my paper making. The desert rose completely opened up and my geranium bloomed it's amazing red flowers. I also made my mosaic rose paver and my tally for my clay seed balls grew to 189, which makes me feel confident I can reach 1000 by the end of the year!!! eep! That would be amazing :)

Flower bed garden