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1  Insect Vivarium in Completed Projects by Tikli on: January 12, 2014 05:06:59 PM
Before Christmas I was looking for good insect related presents for our toddler. I'm an insect nut and so far she's really enjoyed interacting with ladybugs, earthworms and beetles. Browsing through Amazon I came across this Ladybug Land toy http://www.amazon.com/Insect-Lore-2100-Ladybug-Land/dp/B000099Z8H/ref=pd_sim_t_3 but it's all plastic and yuck. I have very fond memories while young of catching insects and having a bug zoo during the afternoon before letting everything go at dark and I want to pass this fun on. We have a few of those basic bug houses with the mesh, but they're rather boring and hard to see through the mesh. Plus, I think it must be a horrible experience for the insect!

At any rate I decided to make something myself for insects to crawl around in while we could watch them. A trip to the thrift store turned up this large, glass container and I had an idea of what to do with it. I was inspired by this book I stumbled upon called 'The Butterfly Vivarium'. It has some beautiful illustrations (which I used for another project!) and was inspired to make something nice. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/bibliography/66051#/summary

It was so simple to put together I almost feel silly posting it! First I layered some potting soil in the bottom followed by some large gravel. I dug up a bit of moss from our front yard (we live in Seattle, moss is plentiful!) to give some color and texture. I also found a great, small branch and a little bit of wood which looks like a miniature log. The white is a bottle cap which we'll fill with water. I think I'll paint it brown or maybe blue. The final step is to make a mesh lid. It turned out like a miniature scene from Lord of the Rings.

Much better than the plastic one! I can't wait until it gets warmer and we can find some insects to try this out. I'm certainly going to try finding some more good, glass containers and make some more!

Links to my photos since I'm not to 10 posts yet!

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2  Altered Wood Bowl in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Tikli on: December 19, 2013 01:25:02 PM
I found this wooden bowl at the thrift store and I knew it would be great with some Mod Podge and paper modifications. It didn't take long to decided what to do with it. We had bought a bunch of little plastic animals for our toddler for Christmas and I wanted to use this bowl to put the animals in for her. I initially was looking for some wrapping paper like I used to find at an art store but the craft stores had nothing like it. Then I thought about using old, used story books. When I couldn't find anything that suited me I decided to just print out what I wanted instead.

My daughter has several Charley Harper books, cards and other items and we love the art so that's what I looked for online. I simply modified it a bit in Photoshop and then printed it out, cut it up and glued it on. I painted the top black and then Mod Podged the whole thing a couple times over. It didn't line up perfectly as the bowl is a little uneven, but I doubt a toddler will notice that!



Filled with toys:
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3  Modified tins in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by Tikli on: December 19, 2013 01:16:55 PM
One of my first tutorials I found on Craftster and followed was the Altoids Tin modification. Here is my first attempt using some paper I'd bought at an art store and hadn't found anything to do with for a couple of years. When it was finished I discovered the tin is the perfect size for my bobbins. I really liked how the paper lined up so well so that the pattern was continued along the edges.

My mom gave me an M&M's tin after seeing my first tin project and I used it to make another modified tin using some paper I also bought at the same time featuring an old London map. I'm using it to store usb cables in on my desk now.


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4  Hand-made 5' Christmas Tree in Winter Holidays by Tikli on: December 08, 2013 11:53:04 AM
This is my first post! A few years ago we decided we wanted to make a Christmas tree because we didn't like cutting down live trees. The first one I made was a large dowel with smaller dowels as branches (I can post it later), but it was fairly small as trees go. It served us very well for a few years, but last year was our first Christmas with our new baby and the presents buried the little tree. Last year I decided to make a larger tree, but I ran into too many obstacles and put it aside until a couple months ago when I picked it up again. I sorted some of the issues out and now we have a new tree that stands about 5' tall. It's all made of basic wood materials from the hardware store. I made the base and in the middle there is a dowel. The dowel goes into the 'trunk' which is a 1x1. Where the branches start is another dowel inserted into the trunk. The branches and spacers have holes drilled into them and they slide over the dowel and can be turned. This makes it easy to set up and store away too. I stained it with a walnut stain.

I need to do a bit of adjusting for next year, some of the spacers aren't square and tilt a bit. The top is a little wobbly when bumped, but overall stands pretty well. I didn't want a strand of lights cluttering it so I found little lights at Ikea in the shape of half domes which are battery powered and I set them on the branches to light up our tree. Overall I'm pretty happy with it.

I'm not permitted to post photos yet, so here's a link to a couple of photos on my Google+ page.

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