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21  Cozy Bunnies in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by Balatong on: December 18, 2012 11:16:45 AM
Last year, I thought to make soap pump cozies so that a duck would look like it was puking soap or lotion.  My aunt loves bunnies, so she asked if I could make a bunny pump cozy.  Here's how it turned out:

Kinda quirky.  Then it turned out, these bunnies make for great finger puppets:

They also look funny just sitting around, waiting for someone to talk to Cheesy

These little guys are all worked in the round from the top down (including the feet).  The tails, arms and ears were sewn on. A majority of the stitches is HDC.  They look kinda chunky, like they ate too many carrots, but I had to make them fat so they could fit around soap pumps.
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22  Whisky Business in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Balatong on: December 14, 2012 04:48:54 PM
I found some old whisks at the thrift shop. My sister's a pastry chef, so I thought of her. I know she already has a ton of tools and she probably doesn't need more whisks, so I stuffed these with sphagnum moss, and used florist wire to attach some succulent cuttings. Whisky!

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23  3 French Hens in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by Balatong on: December 07, 2012 09:45:38 AM
I made the French Hens and they're invading the turtle doves' house!  One of the hens is so snooty... I'm sure you can guess which one she is.

I wonder when Partridge will arrive...

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24  Two 'Turtle Doves' in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by Balatong on: December 06, 2012 10:06:52 AM
If turtles could fly....

They would carry nickels:

Actually, I just couldn't figure out a good way to close the turtle up.

Here's the pattern if you'd like to make some to inhabit a mini holiday tree in lieu of mini gift ornaments that don't really have anything in them.

F/3.75mm Hook
Acrylic Medium Worsted Weight in green, beige and white
Brown Floss for the eyes

Begin with green color
Round1: Magic Circle 4 SC (4)
Round2: 2SC in each st (8 )
Round3: (1SC in next st, 2SC in next st) 4 times (12)
Round4: SC Even (12)

With new color (beige)
Round5: HDC Even (12)
SL st, cast off and weave ends in

With beige color
Round1: Magic Circle 4 SC (4)
Round2: (1SC in next st, 2SC in next st) 2 times (6)
Round3: SC Even (6)
Cast off with enough yarn to use to sew the head onto the shell

Use dark brown floss to stitch on some upside down V's for the eyes

Sew the head on.

WING (make 2) --
With white yarn
CH4, SL st in 3rd, 2nd and 1st chain
Cast off and  sew the wings on.
Insert nickel.

....Now to make some French Hens... Roll Eyes
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25  Birdhouse Ornament in Winter Holidays by Balatong on: December 01, 2012 10:07:02 PM
Went to the wood section in the craft store and found some little  one-dollar birdhouses to make into ornaments.  Here's a finished one:

Here's how to make it....

First drill two holes about 1/4" apart in the roof:

Paint with patio paint or outdoor paint.  So I can actually hang this outside after the holidays, I chose a non-seasonal color, and the patio paint already has a sealer in it.

Glue some preserved moss (found mine at the dollar store) at the base of the birdhouse and around the drilled holes.  I used modge podge, but in hindsight I should have used the hot glue gun--- what was I thinking?!

Thread florist wire through the holes.

Insert a succulent cutting through one of the holes and twist the wire around the stem to secure it.  Trim off any excess wire.

That's it.  I hope you get to try it.
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26  Plant Cozies in Crochet: Completed Projects by Balatong 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
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27  Cement Orb in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Balatong 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.

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28  From Schoolyard to Garden in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Balatong 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.
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29  Topsy Turvy Terracotta in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by Balatong 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.
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30  Doll Head Planter in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Balatong 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, https://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

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