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21  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Plant Cozies on: November 29, 2012 09:45:11 PM
The tag said to "protect from frost," so I thought they could use sweaters for the winter while they're dormant.  I designed this pattern to fit most 4-inch plastic pots.  It's also a great excuse not to buy an expensive pot.

These are stacked 4-inch square pots:

Here's the pattern....
Medium Worsted Weight Acrylic Yarn

BPDC = Back Post Double Crochet
CH = Chain Stitch
FPDC = Front Post Double Crochet
HDC = Half Double Crochet
SC = Single Crochet
SL ST = Slip Stitch

NOTE:  Join each round with a SL ST

CH32, SL ST in first CH
Rounds1-2: CH2 (counts as one HDC), HDC around (32)
Round3: CH3 (counts as one DC), DC around (32)
Round4: CH1 (doesn't count as stitch), (BPDC in next 2, FPDC in next 2)8 times
Round5-?: Repeat Round 4 until desired height
Fringe(optional): (CH5, insert hook behind next 2 posts from previous round and SL ST) 16 times
Fasten off and weave ends in
22  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Cement Orb on: November 20, 2012 09:52:52 PM
I made this orb from hypertufa and then treated it with Iron Sulfate to give it a rustic look.  It reminds me of an old wrecking ball.

Here's a photo tutorial of what I did. 
Please, always use safety gear: chemical resistant gloves, safety glasses and dust mask. 
Step1 - wrap with plastic wrap
Step2 - tape with cement tape
Cement Step3 was actually two steps:  I covered one half of the 16" schoolyard ball with cement and let it dry before flipping it over and repeating the process on the other half. I made sure not to cement over a 5" radius from the hole so I could deflate and remove the ball. 
Step4, "rust," is when I sprinkled iron sulfate, sprayed the whole thing with water and let it sit for about 4 hours to "rust."  Iron sulfate will stain almost everything so be sure to protect surfaces you don't want stained.
Step5-deflate with a pump needle. Remove the ball and plastic wrap.

23  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / From Schoolyard to Garden on: November 17, 2012 05:42:15 PM
I've been experimenting with hypertufa too.  Most of the tutorials online recommend starting out with a basic bowl.  From those instructions I did these:

The big one, without plants, can cost upwards of $100, but I made mine for less than $5! Cement is cheap!

Then I got tired of bowls.  I remembered we had 4 flat schoolyard balls in the garage (I'm not one to throw anything away!).  I decided to use one to cast a hypertufa planter:

Here's the finished project:

I like how the "X" got imprinted onto the planter - that was a nice surprise.
24  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Topsy Turvy Terracotta on: November 12, 2012 05:14:20 PM
Inspired by this project: http://www.bedifferentactnormal.com/2012/04/topsy-turvy-pots.html
I wanted to do a smaller scale.  These are terracotta pots ranging from 1" to 5" in diameter.  I painted them with patio paint.  The paint also seals the pots, so no need for a separate coat of sealer.  Using a hack saw, I cut to size a 1/4" all-thread rod.  At the base of each pot is a bolt and washer.  The mushroom is a wooden drawer knob I painted to look like a mushroom.  The succulent plants are all from my garden.  All-in-all this project cost me less than $6 to make.
25  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Doll Head Planter on: May 03, 2012 01:46:21 PM
I've had this doll head in my drawer since winter.  I found it at an estate sale where the lady who lived in the estate was a doll maker.  After seeing this recent post, http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=406181.0 , I took this doll head out and gave her an Aloe fascinator with Dragon's Blood "hair."  To complete the look I gave her a crystal body Cheesy

26  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Wine Glass To Bell Jar on: April 27, 2012 05:18:11 PM
Glass terrariums can be pretty expensive, so I decided to make one using a wine glass and drawer knob.

First, I scored the stem with a tapered saw

Then I alternated heating the score line above a candle's flame, and cooling it with ice until the stem and bowl separated

I bore a divot in the drawer knob with a pocket knife just so it could sit in the stem of the glass

I used acrylic paint to give a mushroom look to the knob, and then I glued the pieces together with E6000.
To contain the soil and seedlings I crocheted a shallow disc out of jute, but I'm sure there are other ways to contain what's under the glass bell.
27  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / From Beakless Birds to Pineapples on: April 23, 2012 03:45:00 PM

I wanted to create a setting that reflects the character of these beakless birds, so I set out to make a planter out of jute and put these fern-like plants in them.  I learned about the plant, Brass Buttons or Platt's Black from a public garden I volunteer at. 
It likes to be in moist soil, and is not very forgiving if the soil is allowed to dry out.  I figured they could handle the humidity in a closed terrarium.

Then my 11-year-old said, those look like pineapples...

Maybe you'd like to make some pineapples....

FIBER:  Lightweight jute twine (typically found in hardware stores)
Potting Soil, Platt's Black plant (sometimes this is called Brass Buttons)

ST or st = stitch
CH = Chain
SC = Single Crochet
SL ST = Slip Stitch
DC = Double Crochet
DC2tog = 2 DC together
SC2tog = 2 SC together

ROUND1: Magic Circle 8 SC ( 8 )
For each round, join the last and first st with a SL ST and CH1 from this point on
ROUND2: 2DC in each st (16)
ROUND3: (1DC in next 3 st, 2DC in next st) 4 times (20)
ROUND4: (1DC in next 3 st, DC2tog) 4 times (16)
ROUND5: (1SC in next st, SC2tog) 5 times, 1SC in last st (11)
ROUND6: SL ST around (11), fasten off and weave the end in

Pack with enough potting soil to fill one-third of the way, then insert the plant.
Use an eye-dropper to water the plant from overhead.  When placed in a terrarium, it only needs to be watered once a month depending on how well sealed it is.
28  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / More Egg Cozies on: March 18, 2012 08:40:37 PM
I got tired of making chicken egg cozies, so I dove into the sea for some inspiration (well, not literally).  Originally I used yarn to crochet the teeth for the angler, but it didn't look jagged enough, so I just used some florist wire.  

I couldn't resist making a slide show of how I imagined these characters would interact.  If you're interested, the 30-second slide show is on
29  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Half A Dozen Egg Cozies on: March 09, 2012 10:25:23 AM

I'm lookin' forward to my nephews and nieces hunting down these eggs.  I made these up free-form.  Pink Pig is made from wool yarn; the rest of the gang are in acrylic.  With the exception of the green pig they were all started with a magic circle and worked in the round.  Eyes are either from felt, black glass E beads, buttons, or, in the case of Ducky, no eyes at all.  A black permanent marker works great to highlight brows and ears.
30  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Beret (pattern attached) on: January 09, 2012 01:35:50 PM

I just updated this pattern.  The original one was a bit too tight.  Use the variation (page 2) to make the hat above.
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