Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Clay Wheel

As promised, my first adventures on the wheel :)

I quickly learned that terracotta clay (being nice and soft) was the easiest for me to throw on the wheel 

You can see how different the clay body is before it gets fired!

I haven't glazed all of them just yet, still waiting to put through some at a midfire glaze range but I wanted to share this post with you anyway :)

I made Peachy a new cat bowl because the last bowl (which was hand built) had developed some cracks.

Since this is my first time working with terracotta it's also my first time glazing with it and I have to say, it threw me a curve ball. I love the look of raw terracotta so much that it definitely influenced my reaction to seeing the clay body clear glazed and fired - not a fan.

Since a cat bowl will have food in it and also needs to be washed there isn't really the option to leave the clay raw and porous. I have since thrown another bowl on the wheel and this time I dipped it into white slip - I'll keep you updated on the cat bowl saga!

I kept this pencil holder nice and simple! The clay used is BRT, slightly harder to throw on the wheel but not as difficult as JB1, which you'll be able to see below.

Wheel thrown - clay
Some more uninspiring glaze work on terracotta!

JB1 - aka poor mans porcelain which I found so hard to throw that I decided to keep the first thing I was able to "successfully" throw on it. Not bad, not great :p

A bowl Ben threw but wasn't impressed with so he let me go crazy on the glaze. I used a combo which came off the glaze test tiles I've been working on :)

Lucky last, a plate which got a 'meh' reaction out of me :p

My plan in the future is to either keep terracotta raw, pour white slip over it or use a black out glaze that completely covers the clay body.

Stay tuned for more clay adventures in the future!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Cane basket weaving

My friend Lowy makes these super amazing cane baskets (you should follow him on insta) and he was kind enough to show me how to make one for myself. The process was definitely time consuming but now I have my very own fruit basket which I'm super happy about :)

I wasn't even aware that cane grew as a vine *gasp* and the process of stripping it down to its usable form was definitely where the time consuming part took place.

I had to start this guy twice, the first time I totally jumbled my over and unders to create a big mess :p

Despite the gaps (and a lack of anything resembling a tight weave) it's nice to make something that has a use in your home :)

I have some cane left over which I've already failed at making into a waste paper basket so now I think I might use it for a light shade despite the fact we only have those long fluros in our place :p

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Year of booms - March

Another month down and so much to share on my year of blooms project!

The roses kept on blooming throughout the month of March and I was able to save their petals again

Probably the most exciting happening, Ben and I were able to save a huge orchid! I cannot express how happy it made me to carry this thing around before finding a home for it, nestled against a tree in our yard.

March - orchid

Ben bought home a lovely bunch of flowers which made our house smell super lovely. 

Word of warning, you do have to be careful with these lillies around cats as their pollen can be deadly.

At the start of the month I planted, poppies, pansies and peony.

I'm a little worried those seeds may never sprout because I had to do a garden reset. All my little sprouts I spied in Feb popping up turned out to be mostly weeds. I did have some cosmos and sunflowers sprout (exciting!) but the sunflowers never grew to full size and died just as quickly as they bloomed. I asked Ben's mum to give her expertise and she suggested more fertiliser, more soil (or aerating what was there) and adding some bark. I explained how I had already planted lots of seeds so she suggested I could aerate just with a hand shovel. So I spent a day making the soil beautiful again and I'm really hoping for some successful months in the future :)

The plotted plants did great, the geranium were in full blooms.

(One of the pretty cosmos that did sprout in my garden bed!)

The award for best blooms goes to the desert rose, hands down!

We had some bromeliads bloom in our yard

Do garlic chive flowers count?

Poor sad sunflower!

I've been a little quiet on the blog front recently and that's because we traveled down to Port Macquarie the other week. You may remember how I mentioned that Ben's brother lives down there and how his wife gifted me sunflower seeds. When we visited her at Christmas her sunflowers looked amazing, she had planted them in September and was looking forward to planting more for her son's birthday in March (the reason we traveled down again). Well on her second planting her sunflowers didn't perform as well and she put it down to the wrong season. I chatted with her and she suggested I wait until September to replant and see how I go again :)

March - stool
Another project occupying my time has been working on Spirit You :) The stool above is from that side project and I have a seperate instagram account too if you would like to follow along.

March - cosmos

I'm excited for what blooms April brings :)
Fingers crossed my garden bed lives on!

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!