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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* on: August 21, 2014 07:48:02 PM

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch, Chaser
House: Slytherin
Project Name: DIY friend

I recently got a smashbook to try and this was one of the pages in it. It works like a Flat Stanley.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch, Keeper
House: Slytherin
Project Name:Damask Flower Doodle

When I doodle I try and practice things that I am going to use in my other art and I have been meaning to hash out some damask pattern for future work with fabrics and back grounds and stuff. This fits the class because of the repeating damask pattern.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch, Seeker
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Patterned Panda Doodle

I love zen doodles in general because of all of their detail a truly masterful piece of zen doodle will reveal something new every time you look at it. In this one I hid some details on the Panda.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch, Bumphing
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Peanut Butter Cookies To make the game more enjoyable

Recipe here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/peanut-butter-cookies-recipe.html

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch, Cobbing
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Excessively fudgey chocolate cookies

recipe here:


ours turned out a little different than the picture. We don't know why, but they were still awesome.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch, SnitchNip
House: Slytherin
Project Name Public Self Portrait Drawing

We went to the Dallas Museum Of Art where there was an activity that challenged you to draw a self portrait while only looking at the mirror they provided. Mine isn't up to the quality of drawing I am usually capable of but I was pretty pleased with myself for coming up with what I did. The reason why this was outside of my comfort zone was because I don't like to look at myself, like ever. So doing a self portrait was a big deal for me and then add that it was in public and it makes it particularly daring of me on a personal level. Not to mention that I don't always like revealing the sloppy or sketchy aspects of my process to the world, so the fact that the nature of this exercise required me to look at a "sloppy" drawing in a different way, is a whole other comfort zone to be out of Smiley

2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* on: July 12, 2014 05:43:38 PM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: BEAN: Dog Food
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Cookies

I have always wanted to make some home baked treats for my puppy, so I took this bean as the perfect opportunity. It was well worth the effort as my puppy loved them lots, I could tell that she liked them tons better than store bought biscuits. Pic then recipe:


1 cup of water
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons of honey
1 cup of peanut butter
2.5 cups of flour

Mix ingredients in a large mixing bowl until they form a stiff non sticky dough. Roll onto a floured surface and cut with desired cookie cutters. Bake on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. No need to chill the dough before rolling, and please allow cookies to cool before feeding them to your dog.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch: Portkey Challenge
SPEW: YES: This project was left at a cancer treatment center for someone to take home
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Random act of art for the cancer center

This is an 8x10 painting/collage on canvas that says "Where love and joy are planted they bloom." Placing a portkey at the cancer center made sense to us because we are there most of our time lately, we would hate to be late to the world cup because we had a doctors appointment and then had to find a portkey somewhere else.

3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* on: July 09, 2014 06:34:36 PM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Herbology
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Soft Pretzels to munch on the trail.

These homemade soft pretzels make a hearty snack to satisfy grumbles in the tummy from an afternoon of nature walking.

Pics, then recipe:

This recipe is actually pretty easy. I'm always afraid I'm am going to mess up the yeast when I make any kind of homemade bread, but this recipe was pretty fool proof. There is no taking any temperatures or waiting for the dough to rise, its all pretty much mix and bake.

1 and 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 packet of active yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 and 3/4 to 4 and 1/4 cups of all purpose flour (optionally you can put half whole wheat flour which will increase the fiber content and make them heavier, I went with all all purpose white flour)
9 cups of water brought to a boil
3/4 cup baking soda
1 beaten egg
coarse salt

Place lukewarm water and yeast into a large mixing bowl ad stir until yeast is dissolved and liquid is a milky color. Add salt and sugar.

Begin adding the flour one cup at a time until mixture has thickened into a uniform dough, add flour until dough can be kneaded by hand with minimum stickiness.

preheat oven to 425
Boil 9 cups of water in a pot and add baking soda Stir until baking soda is completely dissolved.

Divide dough into several small balls 6 to 8 of them and roll each ball into a long rope in order to twist pretzels into desired shape. Once pretzel is in the shape you want carefully drop it into the boiling baking soda solution for 30 seconds. This is crucial if you want your pretzels to have the nice brown crust and pretzel texture. Shake off any extra water and place them on a greased baking sheet.

Once all pretzels are boiled and placed on the baking sheet give them an egg wash and sprinkle the coarse salt on the wet egg coating.

Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes until golden brown (time will vary based on how big you made your pretzels)

Class/Challenge/House Pride: History of Magic
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Chinese Dragon Drawing

This project fits the assignment because my mother always taught me the value of preserving diverse cultures in the world. So I have always had a love of exploring new places and different ways of life.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: House Unity
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Fever Fudge

Even though Fred and George Weasley are Gryffindor's nothing brought all four houses together more like their skiving snack boxes at exam time. So in the spirit of house cooperation I made some fever fudge. The weasely's never make anything boring so I made sure to make it look very colorful and magical.

This fudge is as simple as can be! It's 24 oz. or three cups of chocolate ships, one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and whatever sprinkles or candies you want to add to the top. Combine all of the ingredients accept toppings in a saucepan and heat on low until mixture is melted and uniform. Transfer soft fudge into greased square pan and sprinkle and press in toppings on the top of fudge. Cool in the refrigerator until hard. Cut and serve. You can store it on the counter once it initially hardens.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Potions
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Stop and Smell The Cupcakes Drawing

This whimsical drawing is an idea for another piece of art but it makes a nice project on its own, it fits the potions assignment because the cupcake on this plant are clearly growing in a group of three.

4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* on: June 30, 2014 07:49:36 PM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quidditch World Cup June Choose Your Champions Challenge
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Brigadeiros A Traditional Brazilian Candy

For my champion I chose Brazil, the culture of Brazil is so rich and vibrant I couldn't resist. In my research of the culture I came across several amazing recipes, but this one stuck out as super fun. They are sticky bonbon like balls that are sort of like really soft chocolate caramels. As I searched for more information I found out that there are confectioners that make them in all sorts of other flavors too, which I want to try making. I started with chocolate since that was the most prevalent recipe I found. They are made from just four ingredients: butter, sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and a coating of your choice to roll them in so they keep their shape and are easily handled (I chose sprinkles). The coating that you roll the balls in is a fun part of serving and making brigadeiros. It can be anything from your favorite cereal, honeycomb candy, nuts, or traditional sprinkles and many times people who make it will serve it in it's pre pieced puddle form with a variety of toppings so their guests can tear off a piece and roll their own with the topping of choice. I'll post the recipe after the photo:

Here's how you make them:

Combine 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a saucepan. Heat on low stirring continuously until mixture thickens significantly.

Now the above statement was all the information I got but I have a few pointers of my own after I made them myself:

It takes A WHILE for the mix to thicken enough. You want it to be thick enough to hold channels that you make with your spoon before you stop cooking it.

When you transfer the candy from the pan pour it on a bed of powdered sugar on a plate this makes it so much easier to handle when it comes time to roll it into balls.

You want to cool the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour until is completely cooled, and stiffened as much as possible. It's normal for it to be very sticky, and a little soft, but you should be able to roll it into a ball, even if the ball relaxes after you put it down, mine resemble little patties after they have been sitting and from what I can tell that's to be expected from this candy.

Grease you hands! I coated my hands with butter, not only did it make it a snap to roll it into balls it made the sprinkles stick better.

Be ready to test your will power because these little gobs of sticky goodness are addicting!

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Transfiguration
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Spicy Black Bean Empanadas

For this Geminio challenge I made some spicy Black Bean Empanadas as a Latin dinner to go with my Latin candy. It fits the assignment because I made six of them, two are pictured. I garnished it with a cucumber, tomato, and cilantro salad.

Pic then recipe:


2 uncooked pie crusts from the store
1 can of black beans
1can of white meat chicken
shredded mexican blend cheese
Jamaican Jerk seasoning, or taco seasoning, or a mixture of chili powder garlic and lime,
Cooking oil

Combine Beans, chicken, and selected seasoning strategy in a bowl making sure to drain cans of extra fluid. mix it up in a way that smashes some of the beans because that will give it a great texture and the filling will hold together more during the frying process.

Cut the pie crusts into desired number of pieces and place a sprinkle of cheese and a spoon full of bean chicken mixture on one half of each piece taking care not to over fill them. Fold over the empty half of the dough and fold over the sides squishing them closed and crimp them with a fork.

Fill a large frying pan with cooking oil and heat on high, when oil is hot carefully place empanadas in the oil and watch the sides. When the sides become golden brown carefully turn each empanada. Remove from oil when they are crispy and brown and pat off with paper towels, Serve with sour cream garnished with chili powder.

Alternatively you can bake these following the instructions for temperature on the package of pie crust.

A few notes from my experience: The work better relatively small, they are easier to fry that way and they are pretty rich too. The frying method makes them extra decadent but I am sure they would be wonderful baked as well. I am sure there are other doughs to use out there we just were in a hurry so we used a ready made option.
5  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Tiger Sketch on: June 29, 2014 01:18:14 PM
I have been working on incorporating tigers into my art for a while now and so I have to practice drawing them a lot. Here is one of my sketches. It looks really docile and sweet, I want to capture a little more fire than that, but I will try again.

6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Re: Kitty Portraits - Soft Pastels on: June 29, 2014 01:14:35 PM
These are so beautiful! You captured such great personality in them!
7  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / Re: Bleach Pen Altered Leggings on: June 29, 2014 01:11:31 PM
One note on the bleach pen thing...leave it too long and it will eat the fabric.
Especially on spandex. Cotton it is nicer with, but it will eat that, too.
I ruined a good denim jacket this way.  Grin Got distracted and forgot all about it. Oooops. Days went by.
When I finally washed it, it came out in shreads.

My suggestion would be to do it in stages...as in, bleach...wait a bit..rinse...dry...bleach again...rinse...dry, until you are happy with things.

Rubber stamps are great for these types of projects, too. One of those spongie brushes works good to put the bleach on the stamp. Then just press your heart away  Grin


ooh! Thank you so much for the tips! I will definitely be trying your suggestions. I can't wait to see what I can do with stamps.
8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / Bleach Pen Altered Leggings on: June 28, 2014 06:42:28 PM
I wear a lot of leggings, I find them to be a flattering addition to shorter skirts and a great solution to packing light since they take up a lot less room than jeans. I realized the other day that most of my leggings are plain ole black, so I decided to liven things up by trying out a design using a bleach pen process. I am pretty happy with how they turned out. The design ended up red instead of something lighter because I didn't leave the gel on very long. I am actually really happy with the red color, but in the future I would like to experiment with leaving it on long enough to lighten it so I can use a dye afterwards to see what kind of color effects I can get.

9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* on: June 28, 2014 06:32:12 PM
Phew I just caught up on the 12 pages I was behind! I am always so proud to be a part of this craftalong! I am always so inspired by everyone's creativity!

I want to say thank you so much to Netchez who sent ErinAquaheart and I a wonderful package. Erin was so happy to have a summer hat to sheild her from the sun, the chemo makes her super sensitive to sunlight, and I cant wait for fall to be able to wear the beautiful scarf you sent me. Your kindness really does help so much to sustain us during this very difficult time.

I have a few projects to turn in:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Divination
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Tiger Spirit Animal Drawing.

This project fits the assignment because I dream of tigers all the time and when I have those dreams I am always inspired and strengthened by them, the tiger has become a symbol of strength and ability for me so I consider it a good omen when the tiger shows up in my dreams or elsewhere in my life.

Class/Challenge/House Pride:BEAN Pink Grapefruit
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Refreshed Bleach Pen Process Leggings

I wear a lot of leggings and lately I have realized that not only are most of them getting a little old, but most of them are plain ole black. So I took a shabby pair and refreshed them by making a star design with a bleach pen. I didn't leave the bleach gel on for as long as I should have so the design turned out red, which I consider a happy accident. Smiley

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Charms
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Thank You Banana Bread

I have some awesome music coaches so I like to bring them treats. This week I brought them some banana bread. We made two loaves one for us and one to split between my two music coaches. The recipe we use can be found here: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/banana-bread/51427396-6764-4b0a-a73a-78c683c703d2  We make it our own by replacing the buttermilk with 1 cup of sour cream and leaving out the nuts. (It's also good with chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, caramel bits, or peanut butter chips)

10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* on: June 08, 2014 03:27:06 PM
Yay! I always love the beginning of a new term, I always feel a new drive to create more and work harder on developing my skills! I have three classes to turn in so far!

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Care Of Magical Creatures
SPEW: YES, These are a part of a group of ATC's that went to a 4th grade class at a public school
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Winged Unicorn ATC's

     These ATC's fit the assignment because we all know that winged unicorns are some of the rarest magical creatures and the absolutely must be respected and protected. These ATC's were made for a set intended for trade with a class of fourth graders for a volunteer art lesson so they qualify as a SPEW project. They were delivered to the class last Friday (June 6th).

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Study of Ancient Runes
SPEW:YES, these were sent to a 4th grade class as part of a volunteer art lesson.
Project Name: Robot Trio of ATCs

This project fits the assignment because the action of me doing a volunteer art lesson for children at public school using ATCs that I made myself to trade with them definitely shows enthusiasm for learning. I feel it is necessary to teach kids not only the few lessons they get about art in their curriculum but also how art is accessible to them, and how they can interact with it and form a creative community with their peers. I feel that A lesson on ATCs is a great way to begin that kind of thinking in students.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Dumbledore's Army: Dept. Of Mysteries
SPEW:YES these are more ATCs for my lesson with the 4th graders.
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Dinosaur ATCs

This project fits the criteria of this assignment because children in public schools in the United States a drastically under served when it comes to exposure to arts and culture. There for it is fulfilling a great need to volunteer one's time and talent to bring the art experiences to the children that they otherwise wouldn't get.

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