chilekat's latest photos on Grows on You, where garden ideas are shared.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

How to: Make your own grow light.

Grow lights are an essential piece of kit if you want to get a head start on your growing season or want to be able to grow indoors all year round.

If you want to make your own light set-up, here's a how to, along with the costings and where I got my bits and pieces. (prices were correct as of 2010.)

I used:

3 x 30W Daylight bulbs £6.69 each £20.07
3 x Bulb Batten Holders £1.69 each £5.07
2 x Rolls of Aluminium foil tape £2 each from poundland £2.00
1.5mm twin and earth cable approx £1.00 per mtr in B&Q £2.00
1 x Plug from ASDA £0.36
1 x Carboard box
1 x Piece of wood I had lying about

So I spent a grand total of £29.50 bear in mind that is for 3 bulbs! If you only used 2, it would only be just over £21.00...

FAR cheaper than your shop bought stuff and lets face it - far more fun and rewarding.

Here's a link for the bulbs, and one for the holders:



So.... here comes the best bit, making it!

The batten holders are screwed to the piece of wood and then wired up with the 1.5mm twin and earth cable like so:


I've drawn it onto the batten holder instructions to give you a better idea:


Make sure you put a plug on the other end that has a 3 amp fuse, and that's it done:


...and with bulbs!:


Now for the reflector and it's amazing what you can achieve with a piece of cardboard and some aluminium foil tape; here's how I did it:

I cut jagged edges where I want my ends to be - this will help when folding the card around the end pieces; I also scored along the width of the card to help it bend neatly:

Then I cut out 2 end pieces:


I folded the ends of the shade around the side pieces and stuck them down:


Then I started lining the box with aluminium foil tape - I thought this would be neater than kitchen foil. You can pick this stuff up for a few quid a roll, but I got mine from the DIY bit in poundland!!



And that's that bit done - one nice and shiny reflector:


Then I added my lights. Using a sharp blade, I cut out a slit from the reflector allowing me to put it behind the batton holders; then I screwed in my bulbs:


I've got 3 30W daylight bulbs and wow; when I switched them on, the whole room went white! - You cant really get that from the photo, but believe me it was a shocker :-)


So that's it; get on and make one for yourself, then stand back and swell with pride.

Happy lighting, folks!


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Crochet Valentine's Day Card

In an attempt to do something slightly different this year, I decided to crochet my partner’s “Valentines Day” card!

It was quite simple really, but rather effective.
He loved it; though he did say that he thought I may be a little mad…

The hearts are quick to make up and look great if you do the last row in a contrasting colour.
To make a heart, I did the following:

Ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
hdc = half double crochet
st(s) = stitch(es)
sl st = slip stitch
bl = back loop

ROUND 1: Ch6, join with a sl st into first ch st, to create a loop.
ch3, do 16dc into loop, join with a sl st in the top of ch3.

ROUND 2: ch3, dc in the same space, 2DC in next 2 sts, hdc in next 4 sts,
3dc in next st, hdc in next 4 sts, 2dc in next 2 sts, 1dc in next st, Ch3, sl st in same space, sl st in next 2 sts.

ROUND 3: Ch1, sc in bl of every st until you get to the bottom "pointy bit" of the heart; in that st, do 2ch, then continue with a sc into the bl of the remaining sts, binding off with a sl st at the end.

It's round 3 that I did in contrasting colours!

I did some hearts with chunky wool and a 5mm hook and some in DK with a 3.5mm hook, but try whatever you like.

For the card bit, all I did was crochet a rectangle 20 stitches wide, and single crocheted every stitch until I got the required length. Once I was happy it was card sized, I tied off and sewed in the ends.

That's all the bits done!

I cut a piece of card to the same size as the crocheted rectangle and glued it to it - placing a heavy book on top whilst it dried, to make sure it stayed flat.

Once it was sufficiently dry, I glued on the hearts with some overlapping and again, I placed the book on top in order for them to dry flat.

So simple! I bet there are so many other occasions that a crocheted card would be just perfect for - I know I'll certainly be doing more :-)

Happy hooking!

Brain Sucking Rainbowfish Hat!

I've just finished my "Brain Sucking Rainbowfish Hat"...

....and now it's trying to finish me!! AAARRRGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

I reckon I'll be getting some looks in Asda later!! Loving it x

Saturday, 12 February 2011

LOL Cats :-)

Surely everyone has seen a LOL Cat picture or two by now...
Well, love them or hate them; I don't think they are going away any time soon! Personally, I think they are brill and I was ever so grateful to my kitty today when he offered me a photo opportunity just right to make a Lol Cat picture of my very own:


Thank you, Mr Wilson xx

Making Music Again :-)

Rob and I are finally getting around to making music again after having made our back room into a bit of a studio! The plan is to get gigging again so it's back to the practicing stage for us, though we are also recording at the same time and it's great fun; It's nice to be getting a feeling of accomplishment again!

This is the first track we've finished, it's not bad quality for being recorded in what is effectively a study.