Friday, June 26, 2015

DIY - Easy Marimo Moss Ball Light Bulb Aquarium

These easy DIY light bulb aquariums make a great home for tiny Japanese Marimo moss balls and are super cute as homemade Christmas gifts! 

One of my favourite sites for discovering new DIY Art and Crafts projects is Pinterest.
While searching and browsing the other day, I came across these cute little lightbulb aquariums and figured I would share with you on how to make your very own "Lightbulb Aquarium" courtesy of Soap Deli News Blog which can be found at 

What you’ll need for each aquarium:

4 1/4″ glass light bulb shaped bottle with screw on cap
small aquarium or floral rocks and/or pebbles
small glass floral beads, jewelry beads and/or small small resin cabochons
small Japanese Marimo moss ball

What you do:

How to make an easy Japanese Marimo moss ball DIY light bulb aquarium.
I found my regular sized light bulb bottles at A.C.Moore for $1.49 each for the large ones and a dollar each for the small ones. They all seemed to have minor imperfections, however, these “disappear” for the most part once you add the water. I could not find anything similar at JoAnne’s or Michael’s which are the other two craft stores in my city. You can purchase these online, however, for a little bit more if you can’t find these locally.

The rocks, pebbles and beads should be an easy find at any craft store. I bought the ice cream shaped resin cabochons I used in these aquariums from DelishBeads on etsy. (She’s based in the USA so if you’re making these as homemade Christmas gifts they’ll get to you much faster than buying from a shop overseas.) Keep in mind that the hole for these light bulb shaped bottles is very small when buying objects to use in your aquariums. I also used Tim Holtz Idea-ology Mirrored Stars.

In addition you may be able to find Japanese marimo moss balls at your local pet store. If not you can purchase these online as well. You can find these on Amazon with prime shipping. They are also available from various Etsy shops. I bought mine from Hinterland Trading on Etsy as they are located in the same state as me. Mine were larger, 1 1/4″ in diameter, which is way too large for the holes on the light bulb bottles. However, all you need to do is gently squeeze the water out of the moss ball, cut in half then in half again, then gently roll into a ball in your hand. And then you’ll have four new moss balls that you can use.

How to make an easy Japanese Marimo moss ball DIY light bulb aquarium.
To make your DIY light bulb aquarium begin by adding rocks or beads to the glass light bulb shaped bottle. You can use a funnel for smaller beads or rocks to help make this easier. Next add your stars or cabochons to suit.
How to make an easy Japanese Marimo moss ball DIY light bulb aquarium.
Finally, follow with a Marimo moss ball and tap or distilled water then screw on the lid.
How to make an easy Japanese Marimo moss ball DIY light bulb aquarium.
Repeat for each aquarium you want to make.
These easy Japanese moss ball DIY light bulb aquariums make wonderful last minute homemade gifts!
To care for your moss ball simply empty the water from the aquarium and replace with fresh water every 1-2 weeks and keep out of direct sunlight. For more information on how to care for as well as revive ailing Marimo moss balls visit Aquaradise blog. They offer some really helpful information for beginners.

Hand-blown Glass Sculptures Life-Like Animals

Featured Image for These hand-blown glass sculptures are so life-like, you’d think they’re real animals

Oregon-based artist Scott Bisson has basically spent his entire life mastering the art of glass blowing, and by the looks of his lifelike animal sculptures, he’s mastered it pretty well. Using his fascination with nature, he manipulates glass to mimic the intricate shapes and textures of different animals.

At first glance you’d think these are real creatures from the wild despite being made of glass. It’s the octopus, frog, or snake you’ve always wanted for your home, minus the slime and scales.

Bisson’s obsession with his craft began in high school chemistry, when he was able to bend a glass tubing over a flame. Since then, Bisson’s undergone schooling under five different mentors, moulding him into the expert he is today. Check out more of his works here.
Via Bored Panda

Move Over Kermit Tesoro and Make Way for Kirstie Williams

Octopus fascinators

It seems that Phillipines Artist Kermit Tesoro has some competition brewing and this time it comes from Australian artist Kirstie Williams. 
Following on viewing Kermit's Tentacle High Heels , I came across this weird hair fascinator and upon closer inspection , it actually turns out to be an octopus design complete with spots, the legs are the curls of hair and if you look even closely you can see little spots for the eyes.

Kirstie Williams has a Deviant Art Account where you can check out her designs @   and they are avaliable on Etsy from her online store.

If you want to try your hand at creating your very own Octopus hair fascinator - there are DIY instructions on the Deviant Art Account.

Ships, Sun and Sea Monsters by deeed

Tentacle Footwear : Kermit Tesoro


 The Latest "Strange and Odd" Pair of shoes that have been making their way around the web is the Tentacle's High Heels.
These are the latest creation by Phillipines Artist "Kermit Tesoro" .
Kermit Tesoro is  a Filipino independent fashion designer, costume designer, shoe designer, artist and a writer. He attended College of Fine Arts in University of the Philippines, Diliman where he explored his visual arts inclination.
His cray-cray inventions and designs can often be seen on stars such as Lady Gaga.

If you have a Facebook page - you can like his @ and keep up to date with the latest Kermit Tesoro creations.

Recently Designer Kermit Tesoro released images of this custom-designed POLYPODIS 2015 shoe.
So far, his work has been primarily custom pieces for artists like Grimes and Lady Gaga. He said in a 2010 interview, "The commercial side isn’t on my horizons yet. Right now it’s made to order and one thing; I’m just a person operating my line, so it’s quite hard for me to suffice the demands." 

For more weird and wacky Kermit Tesoro creations - check out his Virtual Museum Gallery @ .

Readers, this is one designer I definitely will be folllowing and judging by his fashion creations below, we can all guess why Lady Gaga is a huge fan of his.



Sing in the Shower with Style and Other Great Shower Needs

This rainbow LED showerhead that will brighten any morning.

A foot rest that will help you shave.

This shower curtain that can't wait for you to jump in.

A fogless mirror that will expedite your morning routine.

This waterproof notepad that will record your most brilliant thoughts.

Eat, Drink, and Be Murdered with Game of Thrones

Season Five of the hit TV Show Game of Thrones is currently playing.  Don’t wait in agony for the next episode. Why not stock up on Game of Thrones Memoribilia and host your own Game of Thrones night, where you can all Eat, Drink, and Be Merry with Game of Thrones.
Whether it’s cooking up your favourite meal, drinking and toasting to the fact that your favourite character has yet to die on the show or just wanting to sit back, curl up and snuggle into a nice warm fleece blanket and binge, one of my favourite sites “ThinkGeek”  has everything that the ultimate Game of Thrones fan will ever need .

Here are  a few of my favourite things (to quote Julie Andrews from her hit song in “The Sound of Music”)
Images Source: – Main

Live Happily Ever After with Cinderella

With the release of the new Cinderella movie back in March 2015 , it seems that quite a few designers in a number of different areas of fashion and lifestyle products have jumped on the bandwagon to create and bring to life Cinderella themed merchandise. With this in mind it shows that no matter who or where we are, we can all live happily ever after with Cinderella.

MAC Presents – Cinderella Meets The World of Cosmetics :

This collection can be purchased online @


Jimmy Choo + Cinderella
- Currently on display in store at Saks Fifth Avenue and you can order a custom pair and now own your very own pair of Glass Slippers. These are the perfect object to help any girl find her Prince Charming.


LC Lauren Conrad + Cinderella
First it was starring on the hit TV Show “The Hills”, then Lauren Conrad had her go at writing a number of books both Teen Fiction and Non-Fiction, and now she has created her own clothing line with a bit of inspirational help from Cinderella . This collection is currently available online and in-store at Kohl’s.


Morgan Taylor + Cinderella
The nail art they created for this collection is SO pretty!  Currently available online.


Hot Topic + Cinderella  From one of my favourite stores, and since writing for lifestyle blogs  I have come to appreciate even more because they always aim to have the hottest clothing lines around when it comes to Superheros, TV Shows, and Movies. My favorite piece from this collection is the glass slipper necklace. “Subtle but beautiful”.  Currently available online.


Which Cinderella inspired items have you added to your wishlists and which will find their way into your shopping baskets today ?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Superheros : A Contrast Life they Live.


This week's #NZBloggers Blog Greatness Challenge word is "Contrast".
It is a day later than I usually post , but for some reason I had a little bit of trouble coming up with a topic to go with this post. For each of the words , I try and find a topic that is inspiring to me and something that means something.

As I have always been a fan of Superhero's and Geek Culture , I thought of how I could join the two topics together . It got me thinking about the definition of "Contrast".
The definition of "Contrast" is the state of one thing being completely different and in a way contradicting itself. As I thought deeper about it , it reminded me of the state of Superheros.

Think back to all the Superhero's you know - Spiderman, Batman, The Phantom , Arrow, Supergirl and Superman, even WonderWoman and Spider-Gwen.

What do they all have in common ? 

Each of these heroes have a different life that they live or their lives in everyday world is different than what others might percieve of them.  Peter Parker for instance was a geeky wannabe newspaper photographer and then on a field trip he was bitten by a spider which turned him into Spiderman - the thing was though that during the day he was still the geeky guy , and nobody noticed that he was a Supehero or the guy who everyone was in love with. 

The same in a way goes with Bloggers, most of us live in this world online - we create an alter-ego for ourselves , a place where we can be ourselves and express to the world what we might not be able to do at home or in our "everyday" lives.
I think that's why blogging and social media has become such a massive thing these days as it lets users all around the world, from the comfort of their own bedroom or kitchen or their favourite spot in the local coffee shop - become whoever they want to . 
A contrast of their actual selves.

When I first started blogging and writing online for different magazines, I wrote for an online men's magazine and I was a little nervous and self-conscious of others reading the pieces and knowing that it was me who wrote it , so I had a pen name and then as I became more confident I started writing under my own "real" name. 
The thing is though, there is not a lot of people who know me as The Phantom Paragrapher. They have heard of The Phantom Paragrapher and know it's a book review site,  but they don't in fact know the girl behind the reviews - the "real" Paula Phillips. 

On May 21 2011 , I entered a guest post Blogging challenge Competition where the topic was "Who Am I " and I thought today , so that readers may see the contrast between the online persona I have created - which if you were to Google "The Phantom Paragrapher" or even head to Paper Droids @ and check out their Lifestyle Section and The "Real" Me.
 Who Am I?

Who am I, you may ask – I am I. I am a granddaughter, a daughter, a sister, an acquaintance and a friend. I am the type of person who wears many different masks. These masks come adorned in different shapes and sizes. Tuesday through Saturday, I am Paula Phillips – Community Librarian specialising in Children’s and Teen Services. Sunday and Monday, I am Paula Phillips – relaxed, chilled out, working hard, reading and most of the time doing my assignments. We each have hats that stay with us for the rest of our life – granddaughter, daughter, sister, acquaintance and friend, but underneath those hats are the masks that hide us away, hide our true selves from the world. My masks contain a reading mask – I am addicted to books, I find within the pages – a whole new world of comfort, experience, joy as I relate to the characters and can find myself imagining what my life would be like If I lived in that story. I have a writing mask – where I find comfort in writing, it is my passion, something that I could enjoy forever- It is a mask that I have come to love and rely on so much that I would not know what to do with myself if it was to one day disappear, it would be like a part of me was missing. I have the “I’m alright” mask, this is the one where we hide all our insecurities, our hurts and pains – the one where we are so afraid of being hurt that we hate to show the world, so we paste a smile on our face. I have the nightly mask of “The Phantom Paragrapher” – a mysterious world of reading, writing, meeting new authors and discovering new books. This is the mask that I thrive on, it is what keeps me entertained and keeps my writing and reading mask going forth. I have my “dark mask” , it’s the mask where I like supernatural’s especially Vampires and Demons , it’s the mask that keeps my head in tuned with books like Vampire Diaries, True Blood. It is the side of me that loves Horror movies and Crime Shows. I have a slight spontaneity side, it’s the side that I can go with the flow, a side where I can be me and I don’t have the slightest care in the world, though that side is hardly ever shown as my side of rejection overpowers it – it hinders me as I make it hard to make friends, go on dates, it’s the side that needs encouragement and the side unfortunately that lets itself get hurt over and over again. It’s the side that where’s its heart on its sleeve. Who Am I really, nobody knows and if they thought they did – then they only know the side I want them to see. Whenever, I think about Who I Am? There is a poem that comes to my mind written by Charles C. Finn, I read the poem in a Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Book.

Please Hear What I'm Not Saying
Don't be fooled by me.
Don't be fooled by the face I wear
For I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
Masks that I'm afraid to take off
And none of them is me.

Pretending is an art that's second nature with me,
but don't be fooled,
for God's sake don't be fooled.

I give you the impression that I'm secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water's calm and I'm in command
and that I need no one, but don't believe me.

My surface may be smooth but my surface is my mask,
ever-varying and ever-concealing.
Beneath lies no complacence.
Beneath lies confusion, and fear, and aloneness.
But I hide this. I don't want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness exposed.
That's why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant sophisticated facade,  to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only hope, and I know it.
That is, if it is followed by acceptance,
If it is followed by love.
It's the only thing that can liberate me from myself
from my own self-built prison walls
from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect.
It's the only thing that will assure me of what I can't assure myself,
that I'm really worth something.

But I don't tell you this. I don't dare to. I'm afraid to.
I'm afraid you'll think less of me,
that you'll laugh, and your laugh would kill me.
I'm afraid that deep-down I'm nothing
and that you will see this and reject me.

So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game
With a façade of assurance without
And a trembling child within.

So begins the glittering but empty parade of Masks,
And my life becomes a front.
I tell you everything that's really nothing,
and nothing of what's everything,of what's crying within me.

So when I'm going through my routine
do not be fooled by what I'm saying.
Please listen carefully and try to hear what I'm not saying, what I'd like to be able to say,
what for survival I need to say,but what I can't say/

I don't like hiding.
I don't like playing superficial phony games.
I want to stop playing them.
I want to be genuine and spontaneous and me
but you've got to help me.

You've got to hold out your hand
even when that's the last thing I seem to want.
Only you can wipe away from my eyes
the blank stare of the breathing dead.
Only you can call me into aliveness.

Each time you're kind, and gentle, and encouraging,
each time you try to understand because you really care,
my heart begins to grow wings -- very small wings,
but wings!

With your power to touch me into feeling
you can breathe life into me.
I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me,
how you can be a creator--an honest-to-God creator --
of the person that is meif you choose to.

You alone can break down the wall behind which I tremble,
you alone can remove my mask,
you alone can release me from the shadow-world of panic,
from my lonely prison,if you choose to.

Please choose to.
Do not pass me by.It will not be easy for you.
A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach me the blinder I may strike back.
It's irrational, but despite what the books may say about man often I am irrational.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for.
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls
and in this lies my hope.

Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands but with gentle hands
for a child is very sensitive.

Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am every man you meet
and I am every woman you meet.

By Charles C. Finn


Sunday, June 14, 2015

A Little Piece of Me : My Favourite Part of New Zealand


Today's #NZBlogger's Blog Greatness Challenge is "Favourite part of New Zealand".

Growing up , we always moved around and slowly up the North Island - never in one place long enough to love it and make friends, that was until I reached my Teens and we moved to Tauranga. My favourite part though of New Zealand, will always be the place I was born and the one place where I always feel right at home and that place is :

Top Five Things I love to do in Wellington :

One of my favourite childhood things to do was me and my mum used to hop on the Cable Car and ride up to the Botanical Gardens and walk around the beautiful displays of flowers and the whole atmosphere.

As a museum lover, whenever I am down in Wellington I always make sure that I attend Te Papa Museum . I actually remember going to visit Te Papa , the week it was completed on a school trip as at that stage we were living in Masterton.

The Best place to sit and have lunch, dinner or just relax during the summer and sit back and enjoy the view is the Wellington City Waterfront - just round the corner from Te Papa and within walking distance from the Train Station.

As all Wellingtonians know , the only way to really travel out of Wellington is by train and whenever I am down, I always make sure to catch the train to Upper Hutt or Waiarapa to visit friends and family - also the bus terminal is on the other side of the train station.

My last favourite place in Wellington , that I always try and visit at least once while I am down there is this cute kitschy bookshop called Bookmark on Willis Street. It is one of those blink and miss bookshops as you walk past an arcade and you have to go down the escalator to get to the shop, this is where one year I managed to find a copy of Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.

Question for Readers:

What is your favourite part of New Zealand ?



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