Saturday, October 23, 2010

terradctl on the pages of Frankie!

Post by Repete

OK, I know I don't exactly fit the target demographic of this delightfully matte-paged bimonthly, but I love Frankie magazine even more than I love Maggie Beer ice cream. And that's a big call. 

I'd like to be able to say I only read it for the articles, but the truth is, I call shotgun on our office subscription to see the new bits and pieces of handmade cool on the first few pages. Oh, and to read the latest from my fave writer-crush, Benjamin Law :)

welcome to the earth terrarium

Post by Terreliza

Allow me to introduce the tiny residents of planet Slinkachu. I tiny heart them all :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

watching grass grow

post by terreliza

this is an update on our farmyard series and as you can see the grass (well, moss) has grown! check out the original photos here. anyone know where i can get a teeny little ride-on lawnmower? or some more cows? camilla just can't keep up with grass that grows this quick. i'm looking forward to seeing the whole moss life cycle take place inside this jar over the next few months ~ stay tuned for nerdy bryophytological updates!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

a real life shop

post by repete

our little gardens are now available in a real life shop! check out our hanging, medium and huge terrariums in 3D in store at shop handmade ~ you don't even need fancy 3D glasses. it's on city walk in canberra, near transit and the casino, and it's a great place to sneak a peek at canberra's craftological underbelly... while also finding unique presents and arty inspiration!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

new medusa hanging terrarium range

post by june buggy

we have a new air plant variety! allow me to introduce tillandsia bulbosa and her snakey tendrils. these remind me so much of medusa's hair in the pre-versace logo days back when she was scary hot. our new limited medusa terrarium range is available from today at etsy and madeit, and already selling fast! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

paula hayes

post by terreliza

oh paula, how did you do it? how did you manage to match a perfect terrarium to each of my many wild moods?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nendo's moss house

post by terreliza

witness the magic that is the moss house by oki sato (from nendo). this may be the only time i will ever allow dried and dyed moss to be celebrated on these here pages, but i'm sure you will agree that this is a fine example of how faux should be done. sato designed applied the moss to look like wallpaper, creating an ambiguous texture that's neither artificial nor natural. i've never considered moving to tokyo before, but if this place ever goes on the market...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

welcome canberra times readers!

post by repete

look what i discovered while eating my froot loops this morning... team terradctl's very own eliza murray (aka terreliza) in full colour in the canberra times!  she's sooooo famous :) the terrarium in the main photo is our latest and largest terrarium yet, with room for three hungry dinosaurs ~ check it out up close!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

farm in a jar

post by june buggy

yep, it's pretty much just moss in a jar. but isn't it so much cuter when it's an inhabited paddock? i liberated the greenery from the concrete gutter on a footbridge over the highway in town, tidied it up a bit and popped it in a couple of vintage jars (as per repete's instructional). camilla the cow is looking a little self conscious... i guess she wasn't cut out for life in the limelight. gary the goat just looks confused, probably because he's just found himself captured in a mossy little world!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


post by repete

i heart shrooms and toadies in all their guises, some for munching and some, like this one i found at ANU, just for brightening up my wintery days. there are a couple of munch marks where some little critter has dined on this toxic looking specimen. do bugs live long enough to experience crazy flashbacks? 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

dinosaur delivery!

post by june buggy
photo from photojuju   

i have a little crush on our local postie. there's something a bit special about a bloke in a huge fluoro coat on a teeny little red motorbike. specially one who arrives with a crate of new toys! today is dinosaur delivery day at terradctl headquarters, and i spent the afternoon tucking our new plastic pets into all sorts of little nooks around the office. can't wait for repete to find the pink stegosaurus in the toe of his ugg boot... mwah ha ha!

Monday, June 28, 2010

instructional ~ how to build a terrarium

post by repete

1. gather the ingredients: a jar, pebbles, activated charcoal, sphagnum moss, soil, plants and decorations. 
 ~ glass jars work best, and terrariums with lids are lower maintenance. 
 ~ most nurseries and specialist horticultural suppliers carry activated charcoal and sphagnum moss.
 ~ we recommend using a plain potting mix without fertiliser or other improvers that would make your terrarium plants grow too quickly. 
2. layer the substrate.
 ~ pebbles go in first. these provide drainage so the soil does not become waterlogged and cause the plant roots to rot.
 ~ charcoal is next. the charcoal helps keep the terrarium clean by absorbing any nasties.
 ~ the third layer is sphagnum moss. this is an absorbent material that helps regulates the water level and separates the soil from the drainage layer.
 ~ soil goes in last. just a thin layer to start because it's easier to add more soil once the plants are in than to dig holes for the plant roots.

3. add your plants. 
 ~ design your miniature landscape before you start planting. will there be hills and valleys? a paved path or wall? will any creatures live here?
 ~ start with your biggest plant. use a spoon or chopstick to dig a little hole for the roots. pop the plant in, and if necessary, add a little extra soil to cover the roots.
 ~ add the rest of the plants and any landscaping features.
4. keep it alive and happy.
 ~ water the plants, only a little though! it's better to be too dry because you can always add water later. drying it out is not so easy. Open terrariums will need regular watering, but terrariums with lids won't need much at all.
 ~ pick a good spot for your terrarium, out of direct sunlight but with enough light to keep the plants happy. 
 ~ if the terrarium has a lid, open it up every now and again for an airing.
 ~ prune the plants with clean scissors when they start to out-grow their space. 
5. take some photos and send them to!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

bob the brachiosaurus' new terrarium

post by terreliza
the latest terrarium by team terradcl is a home for bob the brachiosaurus, largest and orangest of all the dinosaurs. i feel a bit mean putting this little guy in a terrarium all on his own. he reminds me of the sad and lonely looking siamese fighting fish you see sometimes. but then i remember he's only plastic and i don't feel so bad. what plastic brachiosaurus wouldn't be happy in such a lovely little world!?!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


post by repete

these photographs were taken by h.s., campaigner for the protection of tasmania’s forests, on a recent field trip to said forests. i think i have just discovered my new love ~ the field of fungi calls me with its suite of latin names to learn. oh yes, i am a nerd.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

instructional ~ how to care for tillandsias

post by terreliza

~about~ tillandsias, or air plants as they are also known, belong to the bromeliad family. they collect nutrients and water through scales on their leaves instead of through their roots. 

~step one~ when you first meet your tillandsia, immerse it in tepid water and then allow it to dry. 

~housing~ air plants like a bright position near a window, but not direct sun where they will burn. in offices, fluorescent lighting should be adequate. air plants do not like frost. 

~drinking~ a misting or dunking in water (take it out of the orb first!) once a week should keep your air plant happy. in dry conditions, or in an air conditioned or heated environments, your plant may require more water. the plant should be almost dry between waterings. too much water is worse for air plants than too little.

~eating~ tillandsias absorb most of what they need from the air. if you think it is necessary, you can spray your airplant with a very dilute seaweed solution.

~trouble shooting~
brown leaf tips = dehydration or too much sun 
limp, soft or shrinking leaves = dehydration
yellowing or dropping leaves = too much water
reaching of leaves = not enough light 

if you are in Australia, you can buy tillandsias online at the terradctl store.

meet team terradctl

terreliza ~ robotanist and anarchaeologist.
terreliza is our resident green thumb and the only one with an actual qualification in botany. when she's not keeping the rest of the team in line, you'll probably find her making something with power tools or robo-stitching on one of her home-engineered sewing contraptions.

june buggy ~ ex-jillaroo and holder of the tt mechanical bullriding trophy.
june is a feisty gen-y free spirit, recently returned from her gap year working on a cattle station in the australian outback. when she's not in the tt office (which is most of the time), you'll probably find her riding her postie bike along the coast road with her guitar strapped to her back.

repete ~ tt’s resident carny and occasional mummy’s boy.
repete is the younger twin of the Golden Child, pete, and in twenty two years still hasn't quite dealt with coming out second. when he's not being tt's resident grumpy old man, you might find him in a cravat playing chess with the other old men in the park. or, if it's well after dark, dancing with his top off in the latest trendy nightclub.

in this spore borne air

post by repete

there’s something a bit tragic about tagging, the thought of a whole subculture of people with no better way to make a mark on the world than to scrawl it in thick black texta. my thirteen year old cousin is a tagger and he does it for the adrenalin, not to leave his mark or send a message, but because he loves the buzz of maybe getting caught, and that’s just as tragic ~ are there not more productive ways to channel his pubescent need to take risks? rock climbing or mountain biking perhaps?

of course, tagging is a world away from street art, which i adore. the distinction seems to be having something to say. banksy is the obvious example, but somehow his messages are starting to fade as their price tags inflate and they are hung on the walls of Hollywood mansions, or covered with Perspex and advertised in tourism brochures. not quite in the spirit of transient, counterculture street art graffiti, and certainly losing some of its voice in the process. the reaction in some places, including Melbourne, has been to graffiti the graffiti, by drawing on a moustache or just pouring paint over it ~ it’s a post-graffiti movement.

enter moss graffiti ~ with an inbuilt green message and inbuilt impermanence ~ temporary street art at its most temporary, like these pieces, which i believe are all by anna garforth and eleanor stevens.