Clippings by madhabitz

 Sort by: Last Updated Post Date Post Title Forum Name 

RE: varnish or polyurethane outside? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: tskdesign on 04.03.2008 at 12:54 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Hi parker806,

Having tried many, many different finishes for my work, most of which is for the garden, I don't like varnish much, and really dislike poly. I couldn't find a great finish until a professional cabinet maker friend let me in on a little secret of his. I now use Eco-house tree resin and oil wood finishes. Funny thing is that while the company only says it may be used outdoors, they don't push that. But I find even fully exposed (rain, sun, snow), the finish last way, way longer than exterior poly. My two cents. Good luck with your project.


clipped on: 04.06.2008 at 12:51 am    last updated on: 04.06.2008 at 12:51 am

RE: Papercrete: how does it compare to hypertufa? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: tufanewbe on 05.01.2007 at 12:02 am in Hypertufa Forum

look up a thread from jloppnow. Just put papercrete or papertufa in the search window. I also use it and really like it. Its not as strong as hypertufa from what I understand. If you live in cold climates. Nevertheless to me the lighter weight of the mix, makes it all worth it. I make all my pots from papertufa. It looks the same as see below

I have made some large pieces with only fiberglass mesh or chicken wire for support,and they are extremely strong.

the recipe I use is a 1:2:3:1:1/2 portland cement, sand, paper pulp (cellulose insulation from lowes or HD), joint compound, diatomaceous earth (DE pool filter)

let me know if this helps. Looking forward to seeing what you create.


clipped on: 05.01.2007 at 12:37 am    last updated on: 05.01.2007 at 12:37 am

RE: Nursery suggestions north of Los Angeles? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: popazza on 04.23.2007 at 11:16 pm in California Gardening Forum

Ron's Nursery in Grover Beach (13th St.) is a gorgeous garden center. It has become a tourist destination. Ron Carlock has owned and run it for decades. A bit pricy but worth the stop.

San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden just off Hwy 1 between Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo sells med.climate plants every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (weather permitting) and on the second Saturday of the month in the afternoon. See the web page for great events and talks, as well.

Bay Laurel Nursery in Atascadero (can be seen from 101) sells plants and a large selection of trees.

There are many others, but unless you want to spend a week in SLO County, this is a starter.

Here is a link that might be useful: San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden


clipped on: 04.25.2007 at 05:33 pm    last updated on: 04.25.2007 at 05:33 pm

RE: Hollyhocks (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: todancewithwolves on 04.15.2007 at 11:37 am in Cottage Garden Forum

Transplant when they are about 4 or 5 inches tall. Spread Sluggo around them or small bowls of beer.

Happy gardening!



clipped on: 04.16.2007 at 12:02 am    last updated on: 04.16.2007 at 12:03 am

RE: Concrete item pics. (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: elephantear on 04.09.2007 at 02:49 pm in Hypertufa Forum

I bought the Bees Wax at a farm fleet store, and it's called just that 'Beeswax' Waterproofer, cost was else than $5.00 for a 7oz.container. I raged rubbed it in, a couple of coats if I remember correctly. Don't know if I'll have to apply more during the summer season, but it's easy enough to apply-so not a problem.

whisperer, I think if you put the word sphere in the search box above you possibly will find several answers to your questions on making a smooth sphere. The lanterns I made are made with a straight portland sand mix. Wendy


clipped on: 04.09.2007 at 03:22 pm    last updated on: 04.09.2007 at 03:22 pm

Cutting styrofoam

posted by: rickharmer on 05.03.2006 at 10:24 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Just so we're clear:I'm referring to Dow's Styrospan,in 1 inch panels.
Like others here,I've despaired of finding a clean way of cutting these panels.This afternoon,I spent time with my styro,shaping the form for a fountain.I have Exacto knives,bread knives,hot cutters and my power tools.Well,I found the most accurate,and least hassle,was using my variable speed jigsaw.Using a standard woodcutting blade,at a low setting,I was able to efficiently cut,with good accuracy,quie a few pieces,with little detritus.At higher speeds,it seems to throw off a lot of junk.Lower,it meant that I ended up with a coarse powder,easily cleaned up.Wore my mask to prevent inhaling any fun bits.I'll still use my hotknife(sucks batteries!),but the accuracy is not as good.
Maybe for my future septic covers...?
Just thought I'd pass it along.
Cheers from here


clipped on: 04.07.2007 at 12:30 am    last updated on: 04.07.2007 at 12:30 am

RE: tufa sphere planters from basketballs?? (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: lizardsally on 05.16.2005 at 10:56 am in Hypertufa Forum

You can just use "mosquito dunks" to prevent mosquito larvae from developing in standing water. They are organic and completely safe, even if your dog or cat eats several of them, but they prevent mosquito babies from living in the water. You can even use them in your dog or cat's water dish. (They have beneficial bacteria in them that kill mosquito larvae but are totally harmless to animals.) They are small round "donut" shaped thingies and you can buy them at most nurseries, I think including Lowes and Home Depot. A google search for mosquito dunks will give more info.


clipped on: 04.07.2007 at 12:23 am    last updated on: 04.07.2007 at 12:23 am

RE: Birdbath Glossy Sealant (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: tango88 on 07.26.2005 at 10:14 am in Hypertufa Forum

Since I work in concrete & cement only, I'm certainly no expert in 'Tufa, but Bucky's response just reminded me of a technique that might be helpful. Maybe someone here has tried & posted it, but here goes just the same. On items such as birdbaths and such that will be constantly holding water, instead of using expensive and often questionable sealers...I often finish just the "bowl" portion of the item with modified cement. As Bucky pointed out, plain old concrete does a pretty good job of holding water, but you can easily take it to the next level by mixing up batch of pure, neat Portland (no sand) and polymer admix to coat that area. It can be plain gray, pure white (white Portland) or colored using integral color. You can even get a marbleized effect using multiple colors. Poly-Modified cement is extremely dense and about as watertight as you can get. It can be visually interesting too since the surface can be as smooth as glass (with a little sanding & polishing) or textured to your taste. It bonds very well to lightly textured concrete and I should think it would likewise bond to 'Tufa, even when applied as thinly as a quarter inch. As an added measure, I still apply a light coat of Carnuba wax and buff it just to finish it off.

As I said, I have no experience at all with 'Tufa, but it seems like as long as you have a good, stable, non-flexing base, it should work for you folks as well as it does for me and my concrete.


clipped on: 03.14.2007 at 06:15 pm    last updated on: 03.14.2007 at 06:15 pm

RE: Teapot birdhouse (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: flagtruck on 03.06.2007 at 08:37 am in Garden Junk Forum

I looked in my shop and found some screwd with round heads on the top and flat on the badk side, used a glass bit a little largef than the screw and drilled a hole about 1" down from the top, then hung the pot on it and it is secure. On the back brick wall I am going to mosaid, I am going to attach them to the wall with Bondo. It sets real fast and will hold heavy stuff. (I just read about this in a mosaic book, I didn't dream it up!) I have tried it and it works.


clipped on: 03.12.2007 at 08:16 pm    last updated on: 03.12.2007 at 08:16 pm

RE: Made anything with PVC pipe? (Follow-Up #28)

posted by: Tommyc on 02.18.2004 at 09:09 pm in Garden Accoutrements Forum

Emtnest... No pictures, but all it does is allow you to take your tiki torches out when not in use. The tiki torches are the kind that you buy at Target with a long metal pole (about 6 feet). Instead of pounding the poles into the ground, you first pound in the PVC and just leave them there. Then when you need the torches out, just take them and place them in the permanent PVC thats in the ground. I spray painted mine brown. You hardly notice them. This summer I am going to use the PVC for tomato stakes. One thing you might want to do is drill small holes in the portion that is in the ground. Rain does collect in them. Also drill about 3 one/quarter inch holes just at ground level so it drains. I have a new digital camera, so I'll post some pics this summer. Nothing special though, it just works.


clipped on: 03.05.2007 at 04:41 am    last updated on: 03.05.2007 at 04:42 am

RE: Let's talk Clematis! (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: gottagarden on 02.23.2007 at 01:30 pm in Cottage Garden Forum

Caution! Clematis are quite addicting! They are beautiful, easy, romantic, and quite collectible. You may even be looking for more arbor spots, just so you can grow more clematis.

By all means get 2 different clematis, just make sure they are of the same type, like both type I, or both III. That will greatly simplify your pruning routine.

I have about 14 different clematis. It started innocently enough with good old jackmanii. But they have a way of becoming essential to the garden. All of my clems are 3 years or younger, so none of them are big enough to photograph well.

Two of my favorite:
venosa violacea - as recommended by Debbieca above. The photographs will not show you quite how beguiling they are. That light stripe down the center just makes them glow in the garden, as opposed to solid jackmanii, the president, ramona, etc. It blooms early and long, takes a break in the heat of summer, then starts blooming again in the fall. And it seems very quick to establish, at least mine was. Here you can see it blooms long into the season. (yes, the snow did stop the blooming.)
"v v in snow"

roguchi - nodding type bells, unique, delicate, intriguing, and very long bloom time.


Sweet autumn clematis is beautiful, but a monster. Only plant with a massive support.

Of course, I love them all, and don't think you could go wrong with any of them.

Here is a link that might be useful: venosa violacea


clipped on: 02.27.2007 at 04:45 pm    last updated on: 02.27.2007 at 04:45 pm

RE: using wax for texture (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: kobold on 09.12.2005 at 05:29 pm in Hypertufa Forum


if you are up to your name, look around and you will find many different things for molds. I used styrofoam trays ( oroginaly meat was packed on it) for smaller stepping stones, just oiled it. For big ones flat cardboard boxes from Cosco or similar store, lined with plastic but put some sand around the edges and corners to have uneven natural look.You can build up texture with sand under the plastic too, sprinkle more sand on the plastic and cast the concrete on it. This takes away the shiny finish. For more natural look I sprinkle rock salt too, this washes out later, leaving nice sandstone effect.


clipped on: 02.19.2007 at 09:21 pm    last updated on: 02.19.2007 at 09:21 pm

RE: bed to bench? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: lindasewandsew on 02.17.2007 at 10:35 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Hi, I don't know how much you've built. I would saw one piece in half for the arms. You can cut the legs shorter if you want the arms to be shorter than the back. A jigsaw with a metal blade will cut the metal. The clamp below will help you attach the poles to a wooden seat. They're available at any hardware store, come in lots of different sizes and are cheap. The metal arms can be attached to the back with small corner brackets. Put them underneath so they don't show. This metal should drill fairly easy for the corner brackets. I pound a dent where I need to drill metal with a hammer and big nail. If you drill lots of holes, use a new nail after each one or two dents. This will help stop the drill bit from jumping around. Another option is to build two benches with no arms, at least not metal arms. Build 2 bottoms. They would look sort of like a coffee table and be the same width, or slightly wider than the headboard. Then just attach the headboards to the backs with at least 4 clamps. This way, you wouldn't drill any metal. If it will be outside, be sure to prime and paint with exterior paints. Even if the headboard stays the same color, repaint with exterior paint. Part of the fun of this stuff is to make it up as you go along. Post pics of the headboard and you may get more ideas. Type bed bench in the search and you'll find others. Linda


clipped on: 02.18.2007 at 10:59 am    last updated on: 02.18.2007 at 10:59 am

toad house

posted by: ba1je on 02.13.2007 at 05:05 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

someone was wanting durable birdhouses to make into fairy houses. dont know if this would work but i masaiced some terracotto and cement stuff and made toad houses. maybe same idea could be used for fairy houses......barbPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


clipped on: 02.14.2007 at 10:30 pm    last updated on: 02.14.2007 at 10:30 pm

RE: Plaster Columns for Garden? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: slowmedown on 01.21.2007 at 07:40 am in Garden Junk Forum

Re the plaster column, I don't think I've read anywhere a solution for waterproofing them. It's very porous, and w/eventually deteriorate. Why not use the cardboard tubes found at Lowes to form one for yourself? They come in four-ft. lengths - two sizes. I used them to make my mosaiced garden columns, and ROSEMARYTHYME used them to make three columns. It's very easy and economical. We just mixed Quickcrete - kind w/rocks, and poured it between the tubes.


clipped on: 01.25.2007 at 08:57 am    last updated on: 01.25.2007 at 08:57 am

question about greenlady (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: louisiana_greetings on 01.03.2007 at 09:46 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Holly, I'm sorry I didn't get back to you on the email, been very busy with company from out of town. I'm going to post some pics here for you , if you have any questions, I will try to answer them.
I purchased the mask from a party store, I poured it with portland and sand, I embedded an S hook in the back for a hanger. When it was ready, I put it on a mound of sand and carefully put the leaves around it, slightly up under the face, turned it the next day, and cleaned it around the edges with a steak knife and a few other found objects.
I did cover the back of the face, and carved away around the hook. If you click on the pics, you can see it much better.


clipped on: 01.04.2007 at 11:16 pm    last updated on: 01.04.2007 at 11:16 pm

RE: Calamity Inspired Me To Break Out The Soldering Iron... (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: squirrellycanadian on 12.01.2006 at 09:16 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

The person writes in the magazine "I use canvases normally used for oil painting to do my mosaics. They are less expensive than wood. By the time you grout and seal your project, the canvas turns hard as wood (or you can paint a coat of glue on the back of the canvas to make it even stiffer). I cut strips of mirror glass or other stained glass and glue them to the sides to give a finished look to the canvas instead of needing a frame"
This magazine always has really good tips, another one I liked was if you have a strip of glass that you want to use in a mosaic and want to keep that shape or you want the color a certain way was to tape a piece of painters tape to the back of the piece then cut it with mosaic cutters while it is stuck to the tape. Then just take your pieces off the tape. Not sure if you get my drift on that, tried to explain as best I could.


clipped on: 12.02.2006 at 06:14 am    last updated on: 12.02.2006 at 06:15 am

RE: Firefly Lites ~ (Follow-Up #31)

posted by: decompost on 12.01.2006 at 09:22 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Oh my, is my face red!?!
Now hubby tells me I managed to get it wrong anyway,
he says it was 80 pound bags of QuickCrete Sand Mix,
(the mortar mix was apparently for another project
and would not be strong enough for the pavers) . . .

. . . my poor head is spinning . . .


clipped on: 12.02.2006 at 05:32 am    last updated on: 12.02.2006 at 05:33 am

RE: Firefly Lites ~ (Follow-Up #29)

posted by: decompost on 12.01.2006 at 07:34 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Thanx, flyonawall, I'm pleased that the cords don't show too much,
they're green so they kinda blend, but they
are there ;^)
If you look at the first photo on the right, the green one,
you can see the green cord coming right up out of the center of the globe,
then I just twined it around the metal hanger and hook,
right up to the rafters of the pergola.
I didn't need an extension cord, because we already had
a long string of mini lights stapled to the underside of those rafters.
(in the 3rd photo, at the top of the thread, you can just see a few of them)
I just plugged the cord from the lamp right into the outlet on the end of those.

* slowmedown ~ Sorry not to have been more specific earlier,
had to wait for hubby to get home, he's my technical guy. *LOL*
We used 80 lb. bags of QuickCrete mortar mix,
really easy to use, all we had to add was water.


QuickCrete mortar mix has no gravel?
clipped on: 12.02.2006 at 05:31 am    last updated on: 12.02.2006 at 05:31 am

RE: Lantern Mirror Finished (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: slowmedown on 11.27.2006 at 06:34 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

Oh, how nice y'all continue to be. Re the crash glass mirror, I painted the whole thing black ('twas an unfinished frame from Michaels) then squeezed on glitter glue and squished the crash glass onto it. I was surprised the glitter glue held it, but it did. On the box I started out w/modge podge. Wasn't strong enough for the metallic paper, so I finished up using GE II, which is what I w/use in the future. I have only used crash glass for three projects - two boxes and the mirror. I have no idea how Ellen Blakely makes her tiles, and unfortunately, she doesn't have a contact email so you can ask her as most other artists do, but you can write Fridgqueen (Google her) and she'll respond. Re grout I use, for outside mosaics I use Mapei Ultra Flex 2 polymer modified mortar (from Lowes) for the adhesive AND the grout. For some inside stuff I use the mortar as well cuz I like the adhesive quality, and then use the Mapei Keracolor sanded grout. For colors I either paint w/acrylic, use a powdered colorant I get from Delphi Glass, or Tints All I order on-line, which has about 32 colors. I've been told by a couple mosaic artists that Tints All is the only colorant that doesn't fade. Hope this helps.


clipped on: 11.28.2006 at 05:02 pm    last updated on: 11.28.2006 at 05:02 pm

RE: Ring Saw/Stepping Stone/DiamondCrete (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: chickeemama on 11.27.2006 at 10:34 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

I really like your memorial headstone...I have been wanting to do something for a dog we had pass about a year ago....great idea. I love my ring saw...I didn't use it for about a month after I got it because I was scared of it. Now I really can't live without it. I am such a gadget girl...

You should check out the books by Sherri Warner Hunter "Creating with Concrete" and Creative Concrete Ornaments for the Garden" they have great receipes that show you how to make your own concrete...I have not yet made my own concret yet but boy am I looking forward to it. It also shows you how easy it really is!!! I bought the books used from Ebay..after I checked them out at the library and decided I had to have them.

I have used the indirect method several times and still prefer the direct method...

again great job it is beautiful!!!


clipped on: 11.28.2006 at 04:40 pm    last updated on: 11.28.2006 at 04:40 pm

RE: coating the back of clears? - thinset color (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: slowmedown on 11.12.2006 at 02:37 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

I use the Mapei Ultra Flex 2, and it comes in off-white and gray. Right now I'm using the off-white. Since on my outside mosaics I use it for the adhesive and most of the time for the grout, I have to color the "grout" afterwards. I do that three ways - (1) by dissolving the powdered colorants from Delphi Glass in a teeny bit of water and painting it on, (2)watering down Tints-All (which I'm told by several mosaic artists that it doesn't fade), and painting it on the grout and (3) for inside stuff I paint the grout w/acrylics afterwards. There's another artist that uses crash glass. Believe her name is Ellen Blakely, which you can Google search.


clipped on: 11.21.2006 at 03:12 am    last updated on: 11.21.2006 at 03:12 am

RE: the abstract design process? (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: silvamae on 10.05.2006 at 10:11 pm in Stained Glass & Mosaics Forum

About flat tiles: I had heard about the ''graveyard'' at tile companies, so when these people ordered this table, I called a tile company here in town and asked about it. Well, turns out they have a tile graveyard where the tile is free or very minimally priced, and I got all the brown tile that you see on the table for free. And it is very nice Italian porcelain !! So you might want to check in your areas for free tile . . . .


clipped on: 11.20.2006 at 04:05 am    last updated on: 11.20.2006 at 04:06 am

RE: Cutting styrofoam (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: rickharmer on 05.04.2006 at 03:18 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Like most plastics,caution is the order of the day.Hot knives have been used for some time,and one would assume in a well ventilated area.Craft services use it for prop building,artists use it to lighten projects(See Marion Lea Jamieson;article in the local paper talks about"..she builds an armature of styrofoam,carving it with a hot wire.."),some contractors use a hotknife to cut foamboard for insulation.
It ain't perfect and care MUST be taken with this stuff.Same applies when you cut it,unless it's absolutely dust-free.I wear a simple surgical mask while cutting;with my eyesight,I get REAL close to the foam,to ensure a good cut.
Tango-you asked about styro glue a while back.To confirm,I'm using LePage's Bulldog grip PL200.It's made for the job.Our contractor used it while building our house,and I'll take that as a recommendation.Comes in tubes(needs a caulking gun to use)or in a tin,using a putty knife.I'm using the gun right now,then smoothe out with said putty knife.Sets up fairly quickly,I wait until the next day to continue working on the project.
cheers from here
P.S.-the styrene in stryofoam is also present in cigarette smoke !!


clipped on: 11.18.2006 at 04:57 am    last updated on: 11.18.2006 at 04:57 am

RE: Cutting styrofoam (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: tango88 on 05.04.2006 at 11:29 am in Hypertufa Forum

Hey Rick --- I use an old yard-sale electric carving knife that works like gangbusters. The kind that has two serated blades that reciprocate against each other and the motor in the handle. Got mine for two-bucks. Stole the idea from an old buddy who was a prop-maker. Clean & fast with dang-near zero dust & "crumblies". Cuts material up to about a foot thick (it has a long blade). And it works on all kinds of other stuff as well.



clipped on: 11.18.2006 at 04:56 am    last updated on: 11.18.2006 at 04:56 am

RE: Leaf Thief Question (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: steve2416 on 11.06.2006 at 06:06 pm in Soil Forum

In my town they start vacuuming up leaves in mid-November. I call the Director of Public Works each year and request that when they are working in my area they drop me off a few loads. They are happy to comply. This year I asked for 3 truckloads -- 10 cubic yards of compressed leaves per truck that usually slide out like a giant hay bale with the strings cut.
We have been doing this long enough that the drivers already know where I want them put, but for liability reasons the Director usually leaves a voice mail on the day before so that I can be home to direct the drivers.
If you are lucky, you will get a load that has been rained on before pickup. That bale will come out steaming and on the first leg of decomposition.
It never hurts to ask!


clipped on: 11.18.2006 at 02:49 am    last updated on: 11.18.2006 at 02:49 am

WIP paved area under trellis arch

posted by: cait1 on 10.23.2006 at 08:47 am in Garden Junk Forum

Started the decorative part of the paving experience. Used powered ochre in my cement mix for color plus some Weldbond as a bonding agent to help keep the stones in.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



clipped on: 10.29.2006 at 12:33 am    last updated on: 10.29.2006 at 12:33 am

Bulk Plant Markers

posted by: grancru on 03.26.2006 at 11:12 am in Garden Accoutrements Forum

Does anyone have a source for Bulk Plant Markers, either wholesale or retail? Would like galvinized but will look at all. Thank you in advance.



clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 11:56 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 11:56 pm

OOPS! Almost forgot... (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: nativenut on 09.03.2006 at 09:33 pm in Hypertufa Forum

I almost forgot, use a release agent between the mold and whatever you cast! Murphy's oil soap, or potters soap is best, vaseline will leave smears in your casting unless you cut it with mineral spirits. If you don't use a release agent you will have a very difficult time separating the mold from the casting.


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 08:47 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 08:47 pm

RE: What I did on my summer vacation! (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: wantmoreroses on 09.01.2006 at 03:13 pm in Hypertufa Forum

I usually mix up more liquid than what I will actually use,and I really don't measure it out first. But it comes down to be from 1/4 to 1/3 glue to water. So, if I was making up a cup of liquid, I would put the glue into the container, and then add the water. Then stir it up and start adding it to the dry mix. I just started using Type S Mortar Mix that I got from HD. I also bought bonder/fortifier that is ready to use. I have been using it as my only liquid. The mortar mix is white and I love the workability of it, and the way the finished pieces look.


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 08:38 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 08:38 pm

What I did on my summer vacation! (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: louisiana_greetings on 08.10.2006 at 07:58 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Great sphere! And I don't know why It hasn't been mentioned about sandwiching the crete between the 2 leaves, it never crossed my mind to do that,what a good idea :-)


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 08:33 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 08:34 pm

RE: What I did on my summer vacation! (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: wantmoreroses on 08.09.2006 at 09:34 am in Hypertufa Forum

I love having something to share with you all. I have been reading here for a while, and just couldn't wait to try this myself. I did start out with Quikcrete Vinyl Concrete Repair. I made a few practice leaves and the beginning of the sphere. But, I ran out of that, since I just bought a small bucket of it. I was really hoping to be able to find the Quikwall, but it just isn't available in my area. I read some more on this forum. Then I went to the Resurfacer. I found out that if I put wood glue into the water that I was going to use to mix up the resurfacer, it worked so much better. I only mixed up small batches at a time. I think the most I mixed up at once was 4 cups of resurfacer. I used one of the big play balls from Walmart. I think they are 16" diam. and cost $2.50. I would say that the sphere is only 1/2 inch thick at the most and the open edge is very thin. I wasn't sure how big the hole should be, and the next one will have a smaller opening. Some of the leaves are probably thicker than the wall of the sphere. I got better at making thinner leaves as I did more of them. This is my first ANYTHING using cement. I probably did lots of things wrong, and it might not last outside. I know the cat is really wanting to sleep in it. But, I have been carrying it around and picking it up by the edge, and so far it seems to be pretty strong. I did end up with seams on the inside that you can't see, but you can feel. That is because I wasn't able to cover the whole sphere at once. I did all of this in my kitchen, with my four year old wanting to play with the ball. I hope she lets me use it again.


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 08:31 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 08:31 pm

What I did on my summer vacation!

posted by: wantmoreroses on 08.08.2006 at 09:48 am in Hypertufa Forum

Here is my first project. I made some of the leaves first, and then just had to do a sphere. So, I combined the two. I like it, what do you all think? I used Quikcrete concrete resurfacer. I haven't sealed it yet because I think I want to look at it for a while before I decide if it is finished. It isn't going to stay outside until then.

Here is a link that might be useful: My first sphere


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 08:28 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 08:28 pm

RE: Question on pouring concrete into molds1 (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: paws4pets on 08.02.2006 at 02:46 pm in Hypertufa Forum

For those kinds of molds you will need a Mold Release and let them cure for about 24 hours then carefully unmold them. I have used 10 parts denatured alcohol and 1 part non-detergent oil for a mold release mixed in a plastic spray bottle but I prefer the Universal Mold Release from Smooth on brand products, aerosol spray. I order mine direct from Smooth On since I use alot of it. If you color your mixture I have used the liquid colors available at Lowes, Home Depot, Menards. I mix a certain amount in my water before I mix it in the dry mix to get a more uniform color through out the pour, just remember how much you add each time.
I also have used the form for a Cobblestone design, poured it , put small pea gravel in it and then lifted it off.
Tried to put a picture link in but for some reason it wants to reject it.


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 07:47 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 07:47 pm

RE: My 2nd statue - female figure (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: jloppnow on 10.15.2006 at 09:36 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Here is an update of my female figure as of today:

I am trying to play with the drapery to give movement. Eventually I'll change the hangings under her arms as well. My question to you is... I just added the belly to give her a slight appearance of pregnancy, but is the belly too low? I realize the waist would be far to narrow for a pregnancy but will a bit of artistic license. I can't move her breasts down at this point (but think I have them too high) but could add more to lift the belly. What do you think?

Now to Dena's questions: jloppnow,
Thank you so much.
1. Paper Fibres:

Yes, the paper fibre at the craft store would work fine for smaller projects and actually is nicer as it is finer grain. It is not practical for me due to the size of my projects (way too expensive). However if you are doing a smaller project go for it!

2) Adding water - Yes, the paper soaks the water up very quickly and of course "goes down" (as in I'll fill a container full but when add water it goes down 1/2 in volume) I also tend to do it in layers, add paper, then cement, then more paper, the cement... then pour water over the whole mess. And mix by hand, then add more depending on consistency.

3) Joint Compound - I use the big buckets of already mixed joint compound, though I would think you could use the powder kind as well.

I don't add any other type of fortifier. I use the compound to make it have a more claylike consistency. As I am sure you know regular cement tends to slump but this mixture is much more like clay.

I did want to warn again that when I mix the cement with the cellulose insulation material from Lowes I get an ammonia smell. It is easy to avoid breathing in for me, but just want you to be aware that you'll need good ventilation. It has to be the paper. I bet they use ammonia to break it down. You might not get that with craft paper fibre.

4) My Greenman is in the middle of a woods in Arkansas where a space was cleared for him at a camp. Several trails lead to him, very powerful presence and he seems quite happy there. It was too much for my yard in any case.

Now my female figure.. well she will stay here outside. I may donate her to a camp again, not sure. I keep giving away my work. All I have left is my lion and a dwarf.

5) Mixture - I was interested in one point about alternative housing materials and that is where I read about papercrete. I don't know why it dawned on me to try it for sculpting but it did. I tried just cement and paper which was ok but didn't give me the clay like consistency I wanted. So I just started thinking about what might work and arrived at joint compound. I'd like to not have to as it gets a bit pricey for the larger figures after a while.

Hi Eva, I am sure the Greenman would be happy to go home with you. I'll give you his address. : ) And no, I just do this for fun, although the Greemnan was a "free" commission. He was my first full human figure, lots of things not quite right proportionally but for a first try he came out pretty well. This female figure is a bit challenging too and I roughed out a figure first and frankly she's a bit too massive but I have to work with it now. I am going to try and cover the fact the shoulders are too big by creating the illusion of a thick cloak. We shall see. - Jonathan


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 07:15 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 07:15 pm

RE: My 2nd statue - female figure (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: jloppnow on 10.14.2006 at 11:11 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Hi Dena6355,

Thanks! The figure with base is about 6' or so. Of course she doesn't have her head yet so will be taller. I always wait till the end for the head and hands as they require the most detail and I am not as skilled in that area.

My last statue was not too heavy. It was full size as well. I moved it myself to my truck. Getting INTO the bed by myself though was not easy. With this figure, well, I put in in a concrete base so she will be much heavier. It was necessary for balance and safety. I could have used a papercrete base too and she probably would have been fine but I didn't want to take any chances. I can move her around by myself but will have to use a dolly if I am going to transport her somewhere. Still these figures are much lighter than they would be made of solid concrete.

The back is still just flat as I have only worked on the front. I'll take more picts when I have her more developed. I was just excited to finally be working again so wanted to post the front pict now. I like to do some detail work as soon as possible to give the figure "presence". It inspires me to do more.

As to weight, the more paper fibre you use obviously the lighter it will be. I once did a bowl with shredded newspaper and cement and it was VERY light and VERY strong. I can stand on it as a matter of fact.

Answers to some of your other questions are below in something I wrote some time ago.

Cement and Paper Fiber Sculpting

Note: This is not a papercrete recipe used for building. "Traditional" papercrete takes newspaper and other paper, soaks it, shreds it, mixes it into a slurry and pours it into bricks. I tried shredded paper (from a paper shredder, got lots form work). It works too, just soak it. BUT I finally ended up using cellulose insulation. It is a lot less work.


Portland cement (NOT a concrete mix with rocks/sand, just the cement powder)

Paper fiber (I buy the paper insulation (that is used to be blown into attics) I think they call it cellulose insulation. You can get from Lowes. It is already shredded.

Bucket of joint compound

Armature materials if needed


You have to experiment here to get it to the point it feels like clay. Off hand I'd say 3/4 paper fiber to 1/4 part cement. I then just put in a handful of joint compound, add water and mix by hand. If it doesn't feel like clay I add more cement and more joint compound. It is not an exact formula for me so all I can say is try it yourself and vary the balance between fibre, cement and compound.

More paper fibre gives more bulk but less strength, but is fine for roughing out the figure. The higher the paper fiber the longer it will take to dry. Use more cement in the mixture and more compound than paper for the outer finishing layer. It gives a much smoother appearance.

I just do this in a bucket. I've not tried a large scale mixing because a) you can get tired out pretty easily and then you are wasting the rest. I am thinking of mixing a large amount in a wheel barrow as it does not dry quickly so you have time (but not overnight).

IMPORTANT!: Wear a mask and rubber gloves. Cement dust easily goes into the air and it is not a good idea to breathe it. Also, I wear thin rubber gloves. I much prefer no gloves as I like to feel my subject but the reality is that cement will suck all the moisture out of your hands. Also, this mixture gives off an ammonia smell at first. I think from something in the cellulose. It is not strong enough to bother me though.

I've been asked if one can add sand. I've only tried this once. It makes the mixture a lot less claylike and takes longer to dry and will slump easier, but you can do it. The plus side is likely added strength.


I try to avoid anything that will rust as an armature because I just don't know if the paper fibers will wick water all the way through the sculpture. If it does it could cause rust on the armature thus splitting the sculpture.
This may not happen at all. I would say though if using an iron armature to make sure to seal it with paint before applying the cement. This is probably a good idea with any type of cement mixture in any case.

My armatures are made from styrofoam, pvc piping and aluminum piping. If it is a "sqaut" figure, meaning triangular or a column type figure I just use styrofoam but it won't have the strength necessary for limbs. So for my
Greenman figure I used pvc piping.

The Process

Build an armature. Don't be hasty with it. Make sure that it is to the proportions you want before applying cement. I've had to do some chiseling because I didn't take into account the extra width added by the cement and threw a piece out of proportion. I know it's common sense but I don't always have common sense so thought I'd give the warning in case there is someone else like me out there.

I coat the armature from the bottom up, when it is completely covered with one layer I let it set for a day IF it has things like "legs", such as with the Greenman. I needed the strength there in the legs before I could build up the "musculature" with more cement. This technique worked great!

Once you can start adding "muscles", and bulking up the figure you pretty quickly learn if you are adding too much at once so it slumps. Be patient. My experience with papercrete is that you can add additional layers after a
piece is dry and it holds nicely. I've even gone back months later and done more work on a piece. I know this isn't conventional wisdom but it works for me.

Make sure and cover the bottom of the armature as well with cement. You don't want bugs getting up inside your armature. It is said that carpenter ants love styrofoam.

How long does it last?

Well, I did a lion that has been in my backyard for 3 years. It is unsealed and it has had no structural damage at all. There is slight crackling in part of it but that is all. I was worried about water wicking and splitting it in winter, never happened. However, if you seal it with paint it will be even safter. I sealed my greenman with paint, then polyurethane. He is has only wintered once but is still going strong.


For my Greenman piece I used a sponge to paint with. This makes sure the figure gets well covered. I did an enamel base and then added acrylics for highlights. I used spray polyurethane but want to try the kind from a can sometime.

You don't have to paint of course but I still think sealing is a good idea with polyurethane or something else.


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 07:11 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 07:11 pm

RE: can't get it out of little bowl (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: muddymesawoman on 10.10.2006 at 10:33 am in Hypertufa Forum


Sorry to hear about your problem. I don't have a solution for your current predicament, but I have a suggestion for future castings. I usually line my bowl molds with plastic wrap, sprayed with Pam, then I fold the plastic over the casting, allowing me to hold moisture and also allowing me to remove the casting a day later and reuse the mold without having to chisel or chip away residue before I use the mold again. The only caveat to this method is that you will not have a perfectly smooth surface, as the plastic will have some wrinkles, no matter how you try to smooth it out. I also almost exclusively use plastic for molds, especially if lining the mold with plastic is not an option, partly because it is maleable, especially if you put it in warm water before demolding.

Good luck getting your 'shroom caps released from their molds. I hope you can save the bowls.



use plastic for molds
clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 06:40 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 06:41 pm

RE: waterproofing for indoor fountains (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: aquiles17 on 10.16.2006 at 01:23 pm in Hypertufa Forum

I have found a waterproofing product that you might want to try. I have used it to waterproof an indoor fountain that i have at home and it waterproofed it perfectly. The website is and in the homepage you can even see that their waterproofing products even work to waterproof wicker baskets. You might want to give them a call so that they can explain you how to do it because just by reading the website you won't find enough info. I hope this helps

Here is a link that might be useful: waterproofing


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 06:38 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 06:38 pm

RE: Where to get white Portland Cement? (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: daisy_ny6 on 10.06.2006 at 10:06 pm in Hypertufa Forum

I keep my cement in a contractor's garbage bag (thicker than regular) in a Rubbermaid trashcan with a closed lid. It has kept well for a couple of years now - and my basement is wet (frogs and salamanders).

I finally found white portland at a Masonry Supply store. I found white sand at a different one. Home Depot's cement colors are expensive and dull. I bought some iron oxides (red, yellow, black and brown), chromium oxide (strong green) and titanium (white) at a ceramic supply.

I did have a gorgeous blue from the Masonry Supply store, but it was special order and not as light-fast as I had hoped. I'm trying at swimming pool places. I have not found a good, true red - just a sort of brick color.

I have not found a good place to buy silica flour.


coloring source
clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 06:36 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 06:36 pm

RE: Where to get white Portland Cement? (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: packrat on 05.18.2006 at 07:29 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Don't know what final evaluation will be but I've tried something that may help those looking for white portland. I tried stucco finish coat instead of portland and it appears to be working ok. Nice and white unless you add peat or vermiculite (sp?). Used it for some leaf casting and came out smelling like a rose so far. Appears to have the same strength etc. as portland based mix. Am going to try and sift out the aggerate (small as it is) to see if I can get an even smoother finish. Still used the fortifier and fiberglass. Will re-post if the whole thing falls apart or if I find something about it not to my liking.


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 06:34 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 06:34 pm

RE: pathway finally done (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: DAVISSUE_zone9 on 03.25.2005 at 08:41 pm in Garden Accoutrements Forum

Hmmm, it's been so long since I made them, I'm forgetting what I did exactly. The pavers look mottled because they are wet in the picture, and are drying. The dry areas are lighter in color than the wet areas. When completely dry, they are fairly even in color. I used three bottles of the liquid tan color for the whole batch, which was one bag of portand cement, and five bags of fine white sand. I think the cement was a 90 or 100 pound bag, but I just cant remember exactly. The sand was in fifty pound bags, I think. I mixed up small batches at a time, I didn't do the whole shebang at once. The pavers were anywhere from one and a half inches to two inches thick. I reenforced them with strips of drywall mesh tape in the middle. I used fortifier as well, but not as much as recomended, things were beginning to get pricy there at the end. The leaves are laid on a sand bed. I wish I'd made them all a uniform thickness, it was hard to get them level with them all being a different thickness. It's hard to be precise when eyeballing it though. If you look in the first picture, to the left, there are two leaves stacked on each other, if you want to see how thick they were in general. I'm happy with how it came out, but think it will look even better once the vegetation I cut back grows back in to soften the edges of the walkway.

Here is a link that might be useful: link to the faq instructions


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 05:08 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 05:08 pm

pathway finally done

posted by: DAVISSUE_zone9 on 03.23.2005 at 12:56 am in Garden Accoutrements Forum

Last year I posted pictures of the leaves I'd made in anticipation of making a pathway. I promised then I'd post a picture of the finished path. Finally last month I got those leaves in the ground. Here's how it turned out. The leaves were made using the formula provided in the faq section- white portland cement, white sand, buff liquid coloring. I used several species of leaves to make the steppingstones.


clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 05:05 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 05:05 pm

Easy Propagation Chamber

posted by: little_dani on 10.05.2005 at 08:34 pm in Plant Propagation Forum

I make a little propagation chamber that is so easy, and so reliable for me that I thought I would share the idea. I have not seen one like it here, and I did look through the FAQ, but didn't find one there either. I hope I did not miss it, and I hope I do not offend anyone by being presumptive in posting this here.

That said....

This is what you will need.
A plastic shoebox, with a lid. They come in various sizes, any will do.

Soil less potting mix, half peat, half perlite, or whatever is your favorite medium.
A little clay pot, with the drain hole plugged with caulking or silicone. If this is a new pot, scrub it with some steel wool to be sure it doesn't have a sealer on it. You want the water to seep through it.
Rooting hormone powder or liquid, or salix solution from the willow tree.
Plant material, snippers. I am going to pot some Plectranthus (a tall swedish ivy) and a Joseph's Coat, 'Red Thread'. I already have some succulents rooted in this box. I will take them out and pot them up later, DH has a new cacti pot he wants to put them in.
You can see here, I hope, that I fill the clay pot to the top with rain water, well water, or distilled water. I just don't use our tap water, too much chlorine and a ph that is out of sight.

I pour a little of the hormone powder out on a paper plate or a piece of paper, so that I don't contaminate the whole package of powder. And these little 'snippers' are the best for taking this kind of cuttings.

This is about right on the amount of hormone to use. I try to get 2 nodes per cutting, if I can. Knock off the excess. It is better to have a little too little than to have too much.
Then, with your finger, or a pencil, or stick, SOMETHING, poke a hole in the potting mix and insert your cutting. Pull the potting mix up around the cutting good and snug.

When your box is full, and I always like to pretty much fill the box, just put the lid on it, and set it in the shade. You don't ever put this box in the sun. You wind up with boiled cuttings. YUK!

Check the cuttings every few days, and refill the reservoire as needed. Don't let it dry out. If you happen to get too wet, just prop the lid open with a pencil for a little while.
This is a very good method of propagation, but I don't do roses in these. The thorns just make it hard for me, with my big fingers, to pack the box full. All kinds of other things can be done in these. Just try it!



clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 05:03 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 05:03 pm

RE: are bouganvillias tricky to transplant? (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: gardenguru1950 on 05.13.2005 at 12:50 am in California Gardening Forum

When I first got into the nursery business xxgarbledyxx-something years ago, bougainvilleas were not difficult to transplant.

It was rare, however, to buy one that had a good show of flowers on it.

Somewhere along the line, growers developed a way to grow a bougainvillea quickly to blooming stage.

So now we have beautifully blooming bougies in nurseries. But no root system.

They're not inherently root shy nor difficult to transplant. We've simply ended up with a marketable plant that's now "tricky" to get out of the can without the root ball dissolving before our very eyes.

Okay, enough of that soapbox.

Here's what I do...

I keep the bougie in the can near the location where I plan to eventually plant it. Over the weeks, I water it and occasionally feed it (with a fertilizer that has almost no nitrogren in it). The plant puts out a better root system and develops a sturdier top.

Sometimes it will drop a considerable amount of leaves because it needs to adjust to the surroundings versus the nice humid and hot greenhouse from whence it came.

I've never lost a bougie.



clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 05:00 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 05:00 pm

RE: rebar trellis (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: Ondrea_Carina_Leaf on 01.19.2005 at 02:31 pm in Garden Art Gallery Forum

The scroll fence was already painted. I spray painted the rebar poles enamel white rustoleum. That was after the picture was taken.
I used the rebar tie wires to tie it together. The wire is already cut and bent on the ends (no sharp points) so it's easy to tie togther. SOld in a package of 100 or so for $1.90.

I've made two more. One is more in the shape of triangle. I used three rebar poles
*-- *
I have a climbing rainbow's end rose planted inside.


Original thread:

Too bad the pictures are missing :*(

clipped on: 10.28.2006 at 04:50 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2006 at 04:51 pm