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1  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Super Exfoliating Melt and Pour Glycerine Soap on: April 01, 2014 04:27:01 AM
I've been dying to try some of the soaps containing crushed walnut shells I've seen on pinterest lately.  This winter has been really bad for dry skin so I thought I'd give it a try.  I didn't want to dull my Cuisinart by chopping up the shells up so decided to go for a little more chunky bar.  The peanut shells are leftover from my Floating Candle Tutorial and the hickory shells are from our yard.  This batch isn't scented.  For my next batch, I think I'll try a fragrance that reminds me of springtime.  Also, I won't use shells from salted peanuts, the soap kind of scratches and the salt isn't any fun.

2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Floating Candle Tutorial on: April 01, 2014 04:25:15 AM
I have a special dinner coming up and wanted to make a fun centerpiece for the table.  I decided to make floating peanut candles, you can too!


Start with candle wax and wicks.  I used soy wax because it's fancy. 


The wick bottoms are too large to fit inside of the peanut shells so I took cutters to make them smaller.


Melt the wax in a double boiler.  I used a chopstick as a stirrer.  Once the wax is melted, carefully pour it into the peanut shells.  Once it cools trim the wicks and you are done!


Here's an action shot.  The whole process only took a little over an hour from start to finish. 
C & C welcome!
3   / SEWING IN GENERAL / First Quarter 2014 Featured Machine Embroidery Projects on: March 25, 2014 06:37:54 AM
1Q2014 Featured Machine Embroidery Projects

The Anatomy of an (Embroidered) Electric Eel by BrocadeLion   


New Embroidery Designs by amarok   


Avengers Towel Set by texscrapper   


4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Fun With Pottery and Glass on: March 14, 2014 08:01:23 AM
I ordered a terrazzo sampler from americanspecialtygl ass.com to embellish the occasional piece of pottery.  This is one of my first experiments, I'm quite pleased with the results.  That Amaco turquoise glaze is a new one, too. 



5  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 96 ENTRIES / Cruelty Free Butterfly Display on: March 03, 2014 09:22:13 AM
I made this display for jo_mama for the Ongoing Wish round 100 swap.  I was inspired by something on her wish list: a crafted butterfly taxidermy shadow box.  This is what I came up with. 



And since she listed Breaking Bad as one of the things she loves in her wish list, I had to come up with a few references to the show in some of the butterfly latin names.   Smiley



Here's a link to the OWS 100 gallery - http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=430467.msg5151416#msg5151416
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Where I Work: Our Pottery Trailer on: February 28, 2014 04:39:34 AM
When our next door neighbor called to tell us she would like to sell to us for a super cheap price we jumped at it.  It has acreage, a pasture, a small barn, a well and an older mobile home.  We tried for about a year to sell the trailer to someone who would relocate it but no luck so we had the entire place fenced in as an auxiliary pasture for our sheep and goats. 

At the time, my husband and I were driving 90 minutes every week to pottery class.  One of the draws of the class was free open studio time 7 days/week which we could never take advantage of being so far away.  So... we decided to take the plunge and turn our trailer into our own pottery studio.  Let me show you what we've done with the place.   Smiley 



We tore the carpet out of one of the bedrooms, put down cheap vinyl flooring, added a wheel and some wire shelving and turned this into our 'throwing' room.  The table on the far side is for wedging clay and is made from a slab of wood on top of a metal base we already had.


We put a kiln in the bedroom next door.  We didn't remove the carpet here but set down a base of brick and tile for the kiln to sit on.  My husband, who is a genius, did the wiring himself. 


The kitchen makes the perfect glaze area.  We moved the fridge to the back deck of our house.  It left an open spot to store dipping glazes.  The cabinets store all other glaze materials.  The counterspace works really well for drying pieces.


The dining room is great for hand building.  Our herding dog Jack, who is confined to his indoor kennel at our house, gets the complete run of the trailer and can usually be found underfoot. 


Santa surprised me with a portable slab roller for Christmas this year.  I never would have asked for one but am in love with it.


I had an epiphany a few months ago... We had a VCR and ancient TV in our attic and I had never gotten rid of our VHS tape collection.  They all live in the studio's living room now where we listen to 80s and 90s movies we haven't seen in forever while we work.


The lovely HSG left me a Craftster momento when a bunch of the mods visited for a meet-up.  We set up lots of stations in the studio and taught each other stuff.  There may have been wine involved, just saying. It sits on the fireplace mantle.   


The very best part is the view from every window when our sheep are visiting! 


7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Our Empty Bowl Project on: February 10, 2014 04:36:48 AM
I was approached at the farmer's market last summer by a woman I'd never met.  She asked if I would be interested in helping with something she was organizing to benefit our local food bank called The Empty Bowl event.  It's a grassroots effort to fight hunger where local restaurants donate soup and bread while potters donate bowls.  The patrons receive a bowl of soup and get to take the bowl home as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.  You can read about the campaign at http://www.emptybowls.net/.  I donated her very first bowl for the event that day and my husband and I signed up to make 50 more.  

It seemed like a daunting task but we had months to complete them and I figured it would be really great practice on the wheel.  We're almost done (she is picking up our first batch this week, the event is now just around the corner) and I'm pleased to say by the time we're done we'll have donated 75 bowls!  We had a few awesome friends (including a fellow moderator  Wink)who also wanted to contribute to the event so we provided supplies and they got their handbuilding creativity on.  

The majority of these bowls were dip glazed by our community volunteers, who seemed to enjoy their time in the pottery studio.  


Here are a few closeups of some of my favorites.


All boxed up and ready to go!


We also agreed to take clay and our wheel and do some throwing demos during the event.  Thankfully, I'm a lot better at it having completed this project!
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Jalapeno Popper Soup on: February 04, 2014 11:16:38 AM
This is probably the best soup I've ever made and has the flavors of those cheese stuffed bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers.  It's super easy to make and doesn't have to cook very long to develop the flavors.



Ingredients:
4 oz. cream cheese
2 c. chicken broth
4 Tbsp. canned chopped green chilis
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 large roasted and chopped jalapeno peppers (or the equivalent amount of chopped pickled jalapenos)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 slices of cooked bacon

Before I get the broth started, I crisp up four slices of bacon then chop it up and set it aside.  I also roast two large jalapeno peppers drizzled with olive oil in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes, and chop finely when done.  Alternatively, you can chop up some pickled jalapeno peppers if you don't want to mess with roasting them. 

To start, warm the chicken broth over medium heat and wisk in the cream cheese to get it melted.  Stir in the chopped green chilis, roasted jalapenos and garlic powder.  Simmer for a few minutes.  Add the cheddar cheese and stir until melted.  The last thing you add is the heavy cream and chopped bacon and you are good to go.  Parsley garnish is optional.   Smiley  Seriously yummy!

9   / QUILTING / Quilting Featured Projects - 2H2013 on: January 29, 2014 08:46:43 AM
Here are a fresh batch of new featured projects from the second half of 2013.  

   
Oh Captain, my Captain
by semel


   
Craftsy BOM2012 Quilted and Ready
by carolmb


   
"Flirt"y Baby Quilt Smiley
by armywife116


   
The Untempered Schism (A Doctor Who Insanity Quilt)
by graverobbergirl


   
Dandelions and stars
by knitaholic


   
Birds in the wilderness
by danynn


   
Steampunk Crazy Quilt
by mouseinmypocket


   
Denim Hammock
by kcli


   
Christmas gift for the in-laws
by Padester
10   / BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty Featured Projects 2H2013 on: January 28, 2014 04:39:03 PM
Here are a fresh batch of new featured projects from the second half of 2013. 

Herbal Miracle Salve by patty_o_furniture


   
Manicurious
by acidtrix


Washi/Duck Tape Decorated Toenails by kcli


Soap Challenge Soaps by tcmatteson


Snickerdoodle Oats 'n Honey, Tomato Leaf, & Shea Luxury CP Soaps by MareMare


Face Paintings by patty_o_furniture


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