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1  Featured Projects 2014 (Jan - April) in MORE ART, LESS CRAFT by alteredmommy on: July 17, 2014 07:53:12 AM
Featured Projects 1st part of 2014 (Jan -April)

Thank you for your wonderful contributions to the More Art, Less Craft corner of the Craftster community!  Our Featured Projects were chosen by the Craftster community via the "this rocks" button and they do indeed rock!

Birds and Bugs and Butterflies by Smeddley

First Stippled ATC by My_RubySlippers

Moonlit by Cryssoleil

This Hedgie Presents "The Countess of Craftasticallness" by jillybeans

Dreamcatcher Art Piece on Driftwood by Eveamlizya

Recent Soft Pastel craze - Animals! by TheDaytimeHeroes

Painting with pink by andralynn

Pet Portraits-A Greyhound and Two Italian Greyhounds by gotgrey

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2  Re: IYP (invite your partner) 25 - Silver Jubilee Gallery in The Swap Gallery by alteredmommy on: May 08, 2014 11:22:57 AM
This gallery is full of wonderful things and now its my turn to post what my wonderful partner cackle sent me Grin  We had decided on a few pieces of jewelry in an altered box, behold the fabulousness...

cackle made a gorgeous box that opens up to a smaller box inside, the outside is the coolest giant matchbox!  For reference the inside box is about the size of a regular matchbox.  and what I found inside is totally gorgeous....

We both like religious relics/icons so she made a fabulous icon like pendant from PMC (precious metal clay that is just about pure silver) that features a heart which is another one of my obsessions.  Its beautiful and I LOVE it so much!  The bracelet is made of silver wire, cackle hand made all the jumprings which have a slight hammered finish and fused them together. 

Close up, so much detail in this piece!

Close up, I love the hammered links and the modern look of this piece.

Thank you so much awesome partner, you have rocked my socks with this amazing package!!!!!
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3  Green Chile Chicken Tamales in Recipes and Cooking Tips by alteredmommy on: May 04, 2014 12:06:37 PM

Tamales are my absolute favourite Mexican food and something that I rarely if ever see up here in Northern Canada.  I crave them more often than my once a year tamale gorge fest disguised as a vacation down south so I found a great Rick Bayless recipe and have been making my own for Cinco de Mayo, Christmas and other special occasions like Tuesdays Wink  They are a bit time consuming and a helper or two will make your tamale day go way faster!  Here are the ingredients you'll need:

1-8 oz pkg of dried corn husks (I found some at Trader Joe's last time I was in the states) or you can use squares of tin foil which will do the trick.   If using corn husks you will also need some kitchen string cut in 8-10 inch lengths to tie them shut.


4 cups of shredded chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken)
2 small cans of chopped green chilis
1 bottle of green Mexican sauce (tomatillo)
2/3 cup rough chopped fresh cilantro
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped
salt to taste
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons of oil


1/2 cup Crisco vegetable shortening.  If you want to go authentic use pork lard
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups dried masa harina mixed with 2 1/4 cups of hot water
1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Prepare the corn husks
First of all you need to cover the corn husks with very hot water in a big pot, weigh down with a plate to keep them submerged.  Let them soak a couple of hours to soften up and become pliable.

Prepare the filling:

Puree the chopped green chilis and the garlic cloves in a food processor until smooth.  Add in the jar of green sauce, process till it is a smooth sauce again.  Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium high.  When its hot, add the puree all at once and stir until it looks thicker and darker, about 5 minutes.  Add 2 cups of chicken broth and simmer over medium heat until thick enough to coat a spoon, at least 10 minutes.  Taste and season highly with salt, around 2 teaspoons.  The filling will balance out the blandness of the masa dough so you can add a lot of taste to it.  Stir in the chicken and cilantro and cool completely.

Prepare the batter/dough

A kitchen aid mixer is invaluable for this step!

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the shortening with 2 teaspoons salt and the baking powder until light in texture, around a minute.  Continue beating as you add the reconstituted masa in 3 additions.  Reduce the speed to medium-low and add 1 cup of chicken broth.  Continue beating, check the dough after a couple of minutes - a 1/2 teaspoon dollop of batter should float in a cup of cold water.  If it doesn't float yet, beat another minute and check again.  Then beat in enough of the remaining 1/2 cup of broth to give the mixture the consistency of soft (not runny) cake batter; it should hold its shape on a spoon and be more like a thick, soft paste.  Taste and add a bit more salt if you want.  

Make the tamales!

First pick out 24-30 of the largest and most pliable husks-that are at least 6 inches across on the wider end and 6-7 inches long.  If you can't find enough good ones you can overlap a couple to make a larger surface.  Pat the husks dry on a clean kitchen towel.  I set up area on my kitchen table with husks, pre cut strings, filling and masa dough and a tray for the finished tamales.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the batter into about a 4 inch square on the corn husk leaving at least a 1 1/2 inch border of open husk around it.  Place it a little closer to the wide top of the husk.  Then put about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling down the center of the batter.

Pick up the 2 long sides of the cornhusk and bring them together in a rolling motion so the batter meets and wraps around the filling. Try and make sure all the filling is enclosed so it doesn't leak out while steaming.  You can fix any little open spots with a spoon and a bit of batter but I warn you, tamale batter is sticky so you don't want to fool too much with it.  

Then fold each side over the filling and fold up the bottom 1 1/2 inch empty section (the skinnier pointy part) and use a piece of string to tie shut.  You should have a fairly tightly closed little tamale package with an open top (be careful not to squish the filling out of the top though-there should be an inch or so of open space)  Don't tie the tamales too tightly as they will need a bit of room to expand.

Set up your steamer

I don't have a giant tamale steamer so I use my big stock pot with a round wire rack set on a smaller steamer insert (you could use custard cups or sturdy coffee cups.  I like something metal personally, but the steam does need to go through whatever you choose)  I line the pot with some of the leftover corn husks, leaving a few tiny spaces between them so the steam water doesn't pool under the tamales.

Steam those tamales!

Stand the tamales on their folded bottoms in the prepared steamer.  I use small rolls of tin foil to both help keep them upright as well as separate them a bit.  Cover the tamales with another layer of leftover corn husks then put the lid on.  Steam over a constant medium heat for about 1 1/4 hours-depending on the size of tamales you make.  Giant tamales can take up to 4 hours to steam.  Watch carefully that all the water doesn't boil away, I add boiling water from my kettle as necessary.  You can tell that the tamales are done when the husk peels away from the masa easily.  If it still is sticking, steam a little longer.

Once they are done, let them stand in the steamer off the heat for a few minutes to firm up.  Then crack open a cerveza,  unwrap your tamales and serve with more green sauce.  Try and share with worthy people Grin

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4  Re: Shop the Swap Spring Market 2014 **Gallery** in The Swap Gallery by alteredmommy on: April 04, 2014 01:21:05 PM
Sold to loves2experiment, thank you!

time for stuff pendent 

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5  OOAK glam-nut fantastic ring! in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by alteredmommy on: April 01, 2014 08:38:33 AM

So the other night I was going to a fancy formal event and realized I needed a little something to compliment my swank gown.  With only a couple hours before I had to leave I decided to sit in my craft room and find some inspiration while noshing on some tasty pistachios. 

Inspiration!  I knew I could make something completely original that no one else would have out of the pistachio shells!!

No time to watch paint dry so I busted out the alcohol inks.  with gloves on of course Grin

I needed a bigger base to realize my idea so found a metal piece on my table (it came in a bag of junk) and glued it on with both a dab of E3000 and hot glue.  I then used the hot glue gun to attach the pistachio shells in a lovely pattern and viola!  Glam ring in under an hour!!

It was a hit at the party, I received so many compliments on my "organic" style Grin

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6  Re: STS Spring Market 2014 !! (sign up March 15 - April 5/14)DO NOT POST YET! in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by alteredmommy on: March 15, 2014 12:23:36 PM
the altered atelier


Welcome to my shop with items coming to you from Northern Alberta Canada!  I live in a smoke free home but do have 2 dogs so there is a distinct possiblility of animal hair on my items as I'm more likely to be on Craftster or crafting than vacuuming Smiley
Striped wool toque  1 point

Honey comb cowl  1 point
Definitely a darker rose than in the picture, this cowl is 6 inches wide and 24 inches long (thats doubled) and will nicely wrap around your neck twice

NorObi belt 2 points
Obi style knitted belt, 37  inches long and  8 inches wide (about a small/medium).  Can tie in the front or back.  

Beer coaster notebooks .5 point each

Wordy bangle bracelet  1 point
Wood bangle collaged with Russian text with 2 coats of satin varnish on top (has a slight shine to it)


Vogue couture hat patterns  1 point each
Uncut crazy expensive hat patterns.  

4mm glass pearl beads  all 5 for 1 point

Greek books  1 point each
books for papercrafting, Greek is realllly hard to find and such a pretty language Smiley  

claims from me
to loves2experiment - time for stuff pendant (2)

claims I've made
from ptarmic wumpus- BFL scarf (2)

Points started with  3
Current- 3

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7  Re: Box of Sunshine Gallery (SO Feb 17) in The Swap Gallery by alteredmommy on: February 28, 2014 07:09:41 PM
Yay, my turn to share the freaking fabulous box of sunshine that arrived from my partner dharma_rebel!!!  

Explosion of yellow!

Tons of extras...straws, nail files, honey, cute little bee notecards with lampwork beads, sunflower seeds, seattle pencil, a realllly good chocolate bar and the cutest idea "sunshine heirloom seeds" (really jelly beans Smiley )

Craftiness!  A couple of crochet dishcloths and owl clip, a lip balm in a cozy (with a neat sheepy button that you can't see), a jar of sunshiney whimsies, earrings and 3 bracelets (the peace sign on one unfortunately got cut off in the picture)

A fabulous Alabama Chanin inspired head scarf!

and finally my total favourite.....some gorgeous bunting!  Love, love, love this Grin

Thank you so much dharma, this is just the thing to cheer me up on another -30C weekend....I feel summer coming Grin
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8  Featured Projects for 2013 (April-December) in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by alteredmommy on: February 10, 2014 03:32:15 PM
Featured Projects for the Remainder of 2013 (April-Dec)   

Thank you for your wonderful contributions to the More Art, Less Craft corner of the Craftster community!  Our Featured Projects were chosen by the Craftster community via the "this rocks" button and they do indeed rock!

Yellow Rose and more by Lettersalad

Prunesquallor, appreciating  by Ludi

The room quilled mosaic by littlecircles

Harry Potter doodle by patty_o_furniture

Harness - An Elephant Portrait by TheDaytimeHeroes

Mother/Daughter art by MamanTattoo

1st time making Homemade Xmas cards by faemystique

A Home for Alice by gozer
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9  Re: Artist Trading Block Swap (ATBS) Gallery in The Swap Gallery by alteredmommy on: February 05, 2014 11:45:12 AM
I received as well yesterday from my partner fancybutch.....her ATB is freaking amazing!!!!!  She chose to go with a theme of back alley street art, I don't know how she figured out how much I LOVE street art but I'm so glad she did!

Here's the front with an awesome art message quote....and rusty screws....and wire.....love, love, love Grin

The back with a cat by a French stencil street artist named C215, with a rusted hinge

Side view

I also really love the splatter painted metal bits on the top and bottom, they are much more vibrant in real life and a very cool idea.  Thanks for the awesome ATB fancybutch, what a fantastic start to a new collection obsession Grin
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10  Re: IYP 24 - Fall Fandango Gallery in The Swap Gallery by alteredmommy on: December 31, 2013 02:05:20 PM
I was so happy to see my package from katilady arrive today (my last swap pkg of the year on the last day of the year!)  It is an awesome burst of colour to my dreary snow filled day Grin

When I opened the package I found this so freaking cool arted up cigar box-with a quote from one of my favourite people! 

opeeeeen the box and ART!! 

close up of the 6" x 6" piece

couple of magnets

Love it all, thanks katilady you rock Grin
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