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1  Imprinting on Concrete Pottery in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Balatong on: April 08, 2014 03:43:02 PM
Hi! I just wanted to share a few of my latest projects. Using a hot glue gun, I traced images inside plastic containers, and then pressed concrete into it.

This one has the chinese character for "long life."

For this one, I used a permanent marker to draw the images on the exterior of the plastic container, then I traced the images inside with the hot glue gun. Once the concrete was set, I used patio paint to highlight the imprints, then whitewashed the entire planter.

Sometimes it's hard to get the glue gun into the container, so I drew an image of a bunny with my glue gun onto a transparency, slipped the transparency into a milk container, and pressed concrete into it.

Now I have to find the right plants to go with each of my concrete containers. Any suggestions?

Here's another twist on the project. I imprinted my nephew's name (in Chinese) on a slab of concrete. Once the concrete set, I immersed it in water and then used a submersible light to light it all up.

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2  Patio Luminary or Night Light in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Balatong on: February 05, 2014 05:16:28 PM
I intended for this to be a night light, but after making one, I think I will make more as patio luminaries.

These are the materials I used. I was lucky enough to find everything (except the wax paper-- I already had that in my pantry) at the Dollar Store:
A glass jar
Wall stickers - I lucked out on this, because the Dandelion and Dragonfly stickers are sold on Amazon for about $5.50 - yay, for bargains!!
Battery-operated tea light
Wax paper

The process:
Ultimately the jar will be displayed upside-down. Clean the jar, apply the stickers to the outside of the upside-down jar. If the jar has curves and bumps, snip the sticker in these areas to avoid any creases. Insert a roll of wax paper. Place the tea light on the inside of the lid. Close, and display.
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3  I Heart U in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Balatong on: January 22, 2014 12:05:15 PM
In preparation for Valentine's Day, I put this little project together. I still haven't mounted the letters and heart onto a frame.

Here's a little collage of how I made it:

I crocheted the letters and heart out of jute gardening twine, using a J Hook. Alternatively, if you don't crochet, you could probably cut out the the letters and heart out of thick packing paper. The base should be biodegradable so you can plant them after a few months. The crochet stitches help to hold the little stems of the succulents in place.

For the letters, I widened each stitch with a pencil, dotted with tacky glue and inserted a succulent cutting. For the heart, I glued the leaves of the succulents onto the outer edge of the twine. I've found that the succulents will stay fresh for about 2-3 months without any growing medium. By 3 months time, I can just place them on top of some well-drained soil.
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4  3 Tiered Display in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Balatong on: January 16, 2014 12:42:07 PM

I decided to make a display out of the cake pans my pastry-chef sister gave me.
The materials: 3 cake pans, 2 jars of the same height (one thinner than the other), E6000 (where would we be without this?)

Here are the steps I used to put it together:

GLUE - Apply glue to the smaller cap and attach to the bottom of the smallest cake pan. Do the same for the larger cap and medium cake pan. In order to help center the cap, I drilled a hole in the center of the cake pan and marked the center of the cap. I could then use the mark as a guide. Let the glue set for about six hours.

SCREW - Screw each bottle onto its respective cap.


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5  Jute Bacon in Crochet: Completed Projects by Balatong on: November 07, 2013 12:47:26 PM
My friends and I were talking about things we just can't live without, and I thought I would fuse some of those obsessions into one piece: succulent plants, crocheting and bacon. The bacon is jute gardening twine, crocheted in two rows of single crochet stitches, and then painted with acrylics to give the look of bacon. What are your obsessions?

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6  Lavender Wreath in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Balatong on: August 15, 2013 04:19:03 PM
I planted lots of french lavender last year, and today I got a chance to make this wreath:

This Youtube tutorial helped me a lot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2MFFQVRtAg

I barely had enough lavender to make one, so I filled in some gaps with succulent cuttings. I attached those with florist wire.

I still smell of lavender-- a bit nauseating after working with it for over an hour, but the finished wreath made it all worth while.
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7  Beehive Baskets From Napkin Rings in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Balatong on: June 12, 2013 11:07:36 AM
Last year at a thrift shop, I came across this wrought iron thingy that didn't have a tray. I bought it 'cause I thought it had a cool shape (and it was in the last-chance clearance pile). I finally got around to doing something with it when my cousin gave me some napkin rings that have bees on them. I like to crochet around everything, so I crocheted some "beehives" around the rings, and dangled them from the arch of the wrought iron. The yarn, BTW, also came from the thrift shop. I laid down some remnant tiles (supported by some popsicle sticks) from our kitchen reno. It looked okay, but to add life to it, I stuck some succulent cuttings in the little beehives. To complete the family of rescued items, I added some seed pods from one of my plants.

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8  Re: Charity Reject - Ceiling lights to Decorative planters in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Balatong on: June 12, 2013 10:45:58 AM
Here's another one. After a couple of years of tending to my own succulent garden, I can finally make more arrangements. Most of the plants seen in this project are from the 2nd generation of my garden.

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9  Succulents in Jute Purses in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Balatong on: May 06, 2013 10:24:02 AM
I crocheted a few "purses" with some jute gardening twine I got from the hardware shop and stuffed them with some succulents. Jute acts very much like coir or coconut fiber: it's biodegradable and provides good drainage. Sometimes, I don't even fill the crocheted jute containers with soil, and the succulents will root into the jute (hey, that rhymes).

I lined the inside of this one with newspaper before filling it with potting soil. When it comes to watering, I take it outside and spray the entire arrangement--purse and all--with water.

These little ones weren't lined with paper. I intend to leave them outside just as they are.
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10  Re: Anyone starting their summer garden yet? in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Balatong on: March 27, 2013 03:10:20 PM
What a great idea using cardboard tubes! I like to plant something every season. Over the winter I planted snow peas and we're harvesting them now.  Snow peas can survive down to 20F/-6C temperatures. Right now I have tomatoes, cucumbers and corn in our raised beds.

Here's our yummy snow peas:
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