Live. Grow. Flourish

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These are my Live. Grow. Flourish plant pots in small and large. Each one has different text.

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Live. Grow. Blossom and Breathe. Bloom. Flower in my two favourite colours Turquoise Blue and Red.

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An invocation to the plant and the person

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Fresh out of the kiln and still piping hot in the studio.

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Uh Oh. Breakages…

Helloo lovely people.

I’ve been working hard in the studio recently and building up for Christmas markets. Above are my plant pots after bisque firing. I’ve been concentrating on trying to replicate the same size pots. It’s not that easy. For sale purposes it makes pricing easier though. Most of these pots are made from recycled clay. That’s clay that is left over bits, trimmings and greenware breakages. These are thrown in a bucket together with water until all mushy, then dried out to the right consistency and wedged together again. There are a variety of methods to do this recycling which I might show in another post. The down side of it is, that it is quite time consuming and labour intensive and sometimes there are little pockets or air bubbles that don’t get wedged out. However, it is good for saving costs and in its benefit to the environment. The couple of breakages shown in the image above are what happens if you miss a bubble – the pot blows up. Out of an entire kiln load I only had three breakages which is pretty good, but still a little bit annoying. That clay Goddess is a fickle mistress.

Love and Art

Sarah-Jane

The Kiln Goddess

The Open Kiln

Drum roll….The Open Kiln

Finished Glazed Koala Pots

Finished Glazed Koala Pots

Finished Glazed Cube Pots

Finished Glazed Cube Pots

Finished Koala Plant Pot with Succulent

Finished Koala Plant Pot with Succulent

Cube Plant Pots all finished and planted up

Cube Plant Pots all finished and planted up

The Goddess of the kiln has smiled kindly upon me and I have finished my koala and cube pots…finally. I have been learning how to fire and use the kiln,  and now I’ve successfully done that, I can go full steam ahead and fire work unsupervised. Watch out! I’ve been pretty happy with how they’ve all turned out. There are a few minor things to work on but on the whole I love going through all the processes and coming out with my own handmade things. The firing process really tests my patience though! At least when you cook in an oven you can have a peek every now and again but there is no way you can do that with the kiln. When the kiln is finished firing you still have to wait another 24 hours until you can actually unload and look at the work. Fingers crossed that when you open it, its all worked out.

Love and Art

Sarah-Jane

Art, Gardening and Thrifting Mega-Centre

Mosaic Sign

Ridley Grove Community Garden

Mosaic Tree

One of the many mosaics at Ridley Grove Community Garden

Ceramic Urn

Centrepiece in the Garden

Artist at work

Lyn designing her lino cut inspired by Australian Native Tree

Lino Print

Lyn’s Lino Print

 

Hello! Second post of the day!! I’ve been meaning to take some photos of the Ridley Grove Community Garden where I’ve been working on an arts project. The centre has a garden, church hall, art and craft activities and a thrift shop. Is this the ideal place to work or what??? We’ve been working on finishing off the printing phase of our project. I love this print by Lyn that was inspired by the Australia artist Margaret Preston and is based on an Australian Native flower. We mixed up a eucalyptus green colour and next session Lyn plans to add some red embroidery to the flowers. Finally, we will make these into pillows. Cant wait to see how they all turn out. It’s not often you can go to work and make and teach art, go thrift shopping and get given a huge bunch of organic silverbeet for dinner too. Yum! Spinach and fetta pie here we come!

Love and Art

Sarah-Jane

Planter Pancakes

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I had this plastic container left over from making my gluten free pancakes…

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Mmmn, pancakes. I decided to use this container to make a garden planter. I should say that the original idea for this came from a Pinterest post, but it had no written instructions, only pictures so I decided to try it myself with my own twist and write it up for you all. The crochet part is my idea. The original planter decorated the outside of the container with markers by adding patterns. Cute too, if you can’t crochet. To see the Pinterest post go here.

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Mark on the plastic container where you are going to cut it on the front…

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and on the back with a marker.

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Use a sharp utility knife or scissors if the plastic is thin enough and cut your plastic container in half where marked.

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At this point I soaked my container in warm water to get the paper labels off, but you can do this before you start if you want.

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Now you have a plastic pot to decorate and plant into! This is where the real fun starts!

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I was looking for the hole punch and found this eyelet thingy. I decided it would look cool and professional to make a hanging hole using it to hang my planter on the wall but you don’t have to do this bit if you don’t want to.

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Put some holes in the bottom so that water can drain out or your pot will get waterlogged. This is especially important for succulent plants.

image I found the hole punch after a lot of bad words and stomping around the house in my dressing gown. (You can skip this bit) I put a row of holes around the top of my plastic container. It’s quite hard to use a hole punch on thick plastic and there might be an easier way. Let me know if you come up with one.

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I used builders line to crochet around the top. It’s nylon and won’t rot like wool will. It will fade over time though. If you cant crochet you could just weave some wool through the holes or get creative and come up with your own idea.

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If you are crocheting each stitch needs to be pulled through the hole and I did three stitches in each hole.

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Make sure the stitch bit is on the top

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You will get a nice little row of stitches on the top of the plastic edge.

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Ta Da!!! Finished and funky plant pot.

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Now all you need to do is fill it with soil and plant your favourite plant.

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By the way the left over top half of the container makes a great scoop. You can use it in the kitchen for scooping flour out of jars or you can use it as a soil scoop to put the soil into the pot. How handy!!

Love and Art
Sarah-Jane

Garden Art

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Hi folks,

Well, here’s my hand painted miniature pots all planted up with lots of succulents. What do you think? The patterned ones took longer that the plain fluorescent ones but I have a feeling the fluorescent ones will actually be the best sellers. Typical!! Oh, well we shall see. Now I did promise you a ‘how to plant succulents’ explanation in this post but I’m going to refer you to a site that I thought was the best and covered everything about this very well. It’s needlesandleaves.net. Check it out.

Love and Art
Sarah-Jane

Pink Planter Revamp

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Planter in progress

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Finished planter

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Close up of planter

Hi folks,

I’m in love with fluoro pink at the moment. I’ve had this project in the pipeline for a while and finally got it done yesterday. Of course I was so excited to get it started I forgot to take a ‘before’ photo. I got this planter from hard rubbish from my neighbour. It was rusty and broken but I love these 1950’s style planters and thought I could revamp it. I’ve done a couple of others previously and painted them either white or black but went for the full colour version this time.

How to revamp a planter:

1. First you need to remove as much of the rust or old paint as possible. I did this using a wire brush you can get from the hardware shop. You can also use a dremmel tool if you have one, with a sanding attachment. I reckon this is the best way actually.
2. Once you have removed all the flaky old paint and rust the best idea is to coat it with a rust inhibiter. This will stop the piece from further rust. You can buy liquid ones you paint on, but for this piece I used a white spray undercoat with rust inhibiter in it. It’s easier. When using spray paint wear a mask so you don’t inhale the fumes. You also need to set up something to stop the over spray from covering everything in the vicinity. I used an old large cardboard box we had a fridge delivered in. See the first photo above.
3. Once you’ve done the undercoat start with you selected colour. It’s better to do a number of light or thin coats than one thick/heavy coat. Too much paint at once and your piece will start to drip. Make sure you do both sides and all angles waiting in between coats. I turned this piece upside down too, to make sure I covered all the bits.
4. Once you’ve covered all angles and left it to dry, set it up in your favourite spot in the garden for all to admire and cover it plants.

YAY!!

Love and Art
Sarah-Jane

How to make a funky miniature garden and cure depression

Ilianthe Kalloniatis
My good friend and fellow blogger Ilianthe Kalloniatis

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Some ingredients needed for this project

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Pot painting in progress

Recipe to Cure depression:

Ingredients:
one good friend who is a fellow crafter (see above)
numerous cups of tea
some cute little teracotta pots
some paint and modge podge
bad t.v shows on home improvement
one beautiful long afternoon.

Method:

1. Go to your friends house, drink a cup of tea. Do some outdoor gardening in the overgrown front yard, prune some plants, have another cup of tea. Talk lots.
2. Go to a local cafe and have lunch. Talk some more.
3. Drive to the local secret plant pot shop.
4. Interact with the very lazy shop guy who gives you are really good bargain.
5. Go back to your friends place and have another cup of tea.
6. Put on the T.V. to a home decorating show, craft show or gardening show.
7. Break out the modge podge and coat the inside of the pots. You can also use watered down PVA or wood glue. This stops the pot from being so porous and it will hold water better.
8. Mix up some funky colours. Talk some more with your friend.
9. Undercoat in white acrylic or gesso first for brighter colours.
10. Go crazy painting patterns, designs and colours on your pots. Leave to dry.
11. Spray with outdoor varnish.

Voila!! depression overcome and you have some cute pots ready for planting. I’ll post how to plant up the pots in the next post. Thanks to Illy ( http://yarn-bombing.com/)and to my friend Branwen for the inspiration for the layout for this post)

Love and art
Sarah-Jane