Saturday, 3 April 2010

Grow a Bottle

I first saw this pretty glass canister at Daiso when I was looking for a container to store cookies. I was drawn by the shinning label and the equally shinning lid. I had planned to make some cookies to give away to a friend, I was sure the cookies would look wonderful in this pretty container. However, in the end, I didn't buy any as I changed my mind (on the spot) and bought a set of pretty paper loaf pans instead. I thought I should bake her a banana loaf cake, the cookies can wait (^^). A few weeks later, I went back to get the canisters, not to store cookies though, I wanted to use them for another purpose :)

It all began when I started helping my elder son to make a garden terrarium for his school's Science project. I went around sourcing for the necessary materials...small pebbles, activated charcoal and suitable plants. After getting three pairs of hands all covered with soil and dirt, we were very happy with how pretty the terrarium looked. The plants have grown very well even though we didn't water the terrarium for 3 weeks. Hop over to this site if you are interested to learn how to create your own terrarium.

I decided to use the glass canisters to make three terrariums to give away to my friends. They are either working singles or full-time working mum. I am sure a bottle terrarium will be a great item for their office desk. If the ecosystem in the bottle is well maintained, that is, the plants are growing well, receiving enough sunlight and the humidity is controlled at the right level, the plants need to be watered only once a month or even longer.


I decorated the bottle terrariums with tiny toadstools, flowers, butterflies and even lady bugs, all made with jumping clay (read about it in my previous post). Since one of my friends is a totoro fan like me, I made a thumb-size blue totoro figurine for her terrarium.


I created these 3 bottle terrariums with the help from my two children. The bottles appeared huge in this photo, but they are not more than 5 inches in height.


A closer look of the side view:


View from the top...are you able to spot the ladybug? These plants with pretty foliage are known as fitonnia.


I have wanted to make this into an aquarium, so I decorated it with some of my precious shells, but, after adding the other figurines, it doesn't look like an aquarium at all (^^"). My younger boy sponsored two of his jumping clay creations...a bird...


and a cute little froggy ;) I planted Dill and Rosemary (both from my little herb garden) in this one. I hope they will grow well. This is specially for one of my friends who likes to cook and bake as well. I am certain she will like the lovely smell from the herbs each time she opens the lid to water them.


I like this photo best...I could almost imagine there is a cloud of question marks (?????) hovering over the totoro's head ;)


Gardens in bottles, all ready to be given away. I hope my friends will like them :)

49 comments:

  1. You are such a lovely mum and so gifted! That bottles mean so much and they looks absolutely beautiful! Very very good job!

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  2. that is so cute@! now i want to go to daiso and make one too.

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  3. Wow.. all these are so lovely!!!! Your friends are so lucky to have such a great friend like you :)

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  4. This is interesting! Growing plant in an enclosed bottle. And wow! they all look so beautiful! You have very nimble hand. :) Your friends are so lucky to have you as a friend! :)

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  5. These are so adorable! It's amazing how you could get inspired by your boys' schoolwork! LOL!

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  6. Your stuff is beautiful! I love the colourful creatures and flowers- I do the same thing- sort of- I use polymer clay to make my terrarium inhabitants- how is the Jumping clay to work with? I have to glaze the polymer clay so that my figures will stand up to the humid atmosphere.
    www.thyrza.ca

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  7. Hi HHB,
    I agree with Grace, you are so gifted with everything!! Everything that you do, comes out so beautiful and perfect! Wish I could be the recipient of whatever you have! Thanks so much for sharing all these things. It might come in useful for me in future. Hope to see more interesting works from you again! :)

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  8. They are lovely. After reading yor post, I went and googled more about terrarium. I might just amke one for myself. What plants do you suggest I should put in my terrarium? I hope I can get fitonnia in Adelaide.

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  9. These are really creative and beautiful! So inspiring... and your Totoro is very cute!!

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  10. They look too cute to be true...You are a very thoughtful and talented person. And of course a good mom too. ^-^

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  11. I love reading your blog. You are just so creative and talented in many ways. My friend and I were about to start planting our own herbs at home. This is such a good idea, maybe we can do this project together or I will just simply make one for her. Thanks for sharing the idea!

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  12. I just bought 2 small pot of indoor plants yesterday.
    Yet to find a pretty bottle to transfer the plant over.
    Looking at the beautiful terrarium you are sharing here make me feel like making one too!


    Rgds,
    Wong

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  13. So nice of you to make a garden terrarium for your friends. it's nice to have it in the office, when you can admire it whenever you wish to get your eyes off the computer screen or from your work for a while, especially when you know its from your dear friend. Your friends are so fortunate to have you!

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  14. If your friend don't like this, give me, I like this very much, hehehe..These are so cute !

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  15. these are really beautiful :)

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  16. so pretty! i am very much inspired to create a few of this! thanks! :)

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  17. I'm not a plant person but these are so cute! I want one too :P

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  18. Wow HHB, these are really really so beautiful. You are very artistic and creative. With 2 kids, how you find the time to do all these? I really admire you.

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  19. This are so cute! Perhaps I'll make some for my friends and family. Hmm.. can I ask you for help then?

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  20. They are so pretty, your friends are really fortunate.
    Can I check where did you buy Spaghnum Moss or spanish moss as indicate in the link you provide, very tempted to create one too.
    Many thanks

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  21. Hi tsegal, Jumping Clay is also a kind of polymer clay, it is very light weight and easy to work with.

    Hi Quinn, you can try cactus and succulent, they are pretty too!

    FC88, I am growing my own herbs too, I have rosemary, dill and mint...but my sweet basil died. I am also starting my second pot of cherry tomatoes :)

    Hi Wong, I am sure you will have fun creating your own terrarium. Just to let you know, I got the pebbles from Daiso (at the pet-fish section), and I got the activated charcoal chips (came in satchels) at the Pet Lover's Centre ($2.70 one small pack with 2 satchels). You can also look for these two items at neighbourhood aquarium shops.

    Hi Sonia, so sorry, my friends like them :) You can make one with your kids, and at the same time teach them about the ecosystem :)

    Hi Boringtaz, I made the clay figurines with my child, and both of them help me put together the terrariums, I am quite good at exploiting 'child labour' ;)

    Hi Bakinggal, sure, just ask me if you have any questions!

    Hi ek, I didn't use any spanish moss (not sure where to get them too), as it is optional (quote from the site: Sphagnum moss is a dried and wiry material and what this does is act like a barrier so the soil does not slip down into the rocks at the bottom. This is optional but recommended if you want a cleaner and sharper looking terrarium). Do see my reply to Wong, on where to get the charcoal chips and pebbles.

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  22. I love all the 3 terrariums.
    I also love plants (but not the ants and pests). I have a few plants gotten from GardenTech last yr, and the japanese rose has bloomed. Will the plants u used here turn brown without sunlight? The places suitable for putting plants in my house are all deprived of sunlight. The herbs can grow well in the glass bottle that doesnt drain water?

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  23. Hi HHB
    this is so beautiful....

    Just curious, will the jumping clay turns mouldy in the bottle? some of my clay pieces are mouldy and the colour faded. some are still nice after a couple of years. Have been trying to figure out why.

    I think polymer clay needs to be baked and it is heavier and more stable while jumping clay just needs to be air dry

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  24. These are so adorable, and perfectly executed! How sweet of you to give them away to your friends :)

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  25. HHB, you are so creative and you have a magic hands. The terrariums are so lovely and totoro is so cute.

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  26. Aiyo! so nice!! Wish I can have one for my office too. Wonder if its expensive to create one? Love, Serena

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  27. Hi Sherlyn, no the fitonnia are growing well. However, I was keeping my fingers cross with the herbs...the rosemary will need dry soil but Dill should be able thrive.

    Hi agapejen, I am not sure whether they will turn mouldy in the container? but they do get wet and sticky when I water the plants :( I should have applied a layer of lacquer (you can get it from Popular, Bras Basah outlet) but I think clear nail vanish (get those cheap ones at $1 a bottle) will also be able to do the job. It should be able to protect the clay from mouldy and preserve the colour. I didn't like the glossy look though.

    Hi Serena, I spent about $5 for each one (exclude soil), if you were to use your exisitng containers, it will be even cheaper :) We used a recycled plastic container for my son's terrarium.

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  28. I love your photos! that`s amazing idea for spring!

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  29. Hi HHB,
    These are just adorable. :) You are really good at decorating and coming up with neat ideas for gifts! Wish I am one of those friends of yours, lol!

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  30. Hi HHB

    Well Done Good Job

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  31. Thank you HHB. Wow, less than $5. (but exclude soil, bet the soil is the more expensive part bah :) )

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  32. Thanks HBB for the info! Is so kind of you for sharing with us in such a detail. I really appreciate it.

    Oh ya..while writting to you now, I am also waiting for the almond cake to be ready. I followed the French Almond Cake's recipe that you just posted today.
    As I don't have any flaked almost at home so I just replace with some chopped almond.
    Wish me luck!

    Thanks again!

    Regards,
    Wong

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  33. Hi Sherlyn, no, I used my leftover organic soil, it costs only $3 for a 5kg pack.

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  34. i would like to know where u can get that organice soil?

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  35. Hi HBB, I love your bottle terrarium project and wish to know how much does the jumping clay cost?

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  36. Hi Anonymous, I got it from a neighbourhood shop that sells organic food stuff. I think you can also get organic soil from nursery, cold storage or wet market flower stalls.

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  37. Hi Anonymous, the jumping clay was a gift. I think it is around $25-30 for a box of 8 colours. You can get it a Popular (Bras Basah branch).

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  38. HHB,you are so talented - a truly talented HomeMaker - you should change your blog name to Happy Homemaker :D

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  39. Hi Shirley, nah, I am not a good homemaker! I only like to spend time doing useless things ;) and I really do not aspire to be one...I would rather be a traveller :)

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  40. I still new in gardening, but not venturing much... organic soil .. new to me. Thanks.

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  41. I've seen the same canister ;-) I've been wanting to grow my own herbs garden but I understand growing them from seeds will take a long time. My mil gave me some coriander seeds and I've been watering them for months but still waiting patiently for them to grow. I'll love to grow dill and rosemary too. You're so fortunate to have your own herbs garden.

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  42. Hi Blessed Homemaker, growing from seeds usually takes a longer time. I got both my dill and rosemary from stem cuttings. I also have a pot of mint...but my sweet basil died :'( I have also started on cherry tomatoes (again, the first pot bear fruits, but died soon after!) from seeds. Gardening is not easy especially for me who lives in a HDB flat. There is not enough sunlight in-door, and so I leave my plants outside, but they are subject to strong wind and rain :( Anyway, I will try growing "小白菜" when I get hold of the seeds, wish me luck :)

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  43. HHB, you are amazing! I only have pandan plants and a small little lime plant (grown from seeds). It had been a year and the plant is barely 10cm tall. Looks like I need another few years for it to harvest. I've heard that it's so much easier to grow herbs from stem cuttings, unfortunately, my friends with herbs garden are all staying either up North or extreme end of Singapore :-(

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  44. Love them. They are so beautiful. Enjoy going thru yr blog too. Looking forward to make all those good stuff for my kids too. Take care and job well done, mummy!!

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  45. hello,
    loved these...wondering where i can get the activated charcoal and moss?

    thanks,
    Anne

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  46. Hello HHB, dunno if you will see this as it has been a while since you made the terrariums... But I need some urgent advice here. I was wondering how were the terrariums doing after you made them? Cos recently I made some figurines with jumping clay to decorate my terrarium as well. But, the plant started to wilt 2-3 days after. There wasn't any condensation on the bottle at all. I thought that was the end and thought of replanting. So I took the figurines out and found that their bottoms were wet and soft. I left the plant in the bottle overnight and the next morning, the bottle started to have dew on it! So I'm wondering if jumping clay is harmful to terrariums? Is it cos it will absorb water, leaving none for the plant?

    Hope you will see this! Thanks in advance! :)

    Many thanks,
    Ling

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  47. Hi Ling, I don't think it is the problem with the jumping clay. I suspect the soil it too wet and the roots rotted?? I kept my terrariums for more than half a year, but had to gave up because of my major house renovation.

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  48. The totoro one with toadstools is so gorgeous!! I really wish I have your touch at making these terrariums.
    Can I enquire if I could purchase one or two of these simple terrariums with the totoro ones (if you still make them) from you? Wanted to give a friend for her birthday. I know I can make them myself but I failed arts and craft classes, and yours look so magical T_T

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  49. Hi, thanks for your kind comments, but I am sorry I don't sell my crafts.

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