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1  OMG - I need a drink swap (Sign ups May 23 - June 11, send outs July 10) in Craft Swaps by Onyxnox on: May 23, 2015 02:09:43 PM
Swap name: OMG - I need a drink swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Onyxnox
Sign-up date range: May 23 - June 11
Date to send item by: July 10

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional):24

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO
If so, which country? N/A

Additional Age requirement? 18 and older

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: N/A
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:

Ever have one of those moments... days... weeks... lifetimes... where you feel that you need a firm grasp on things to get control?  By things, I mean the stem of a martini glass, the handle of a stein of ale, the neck of a gallon of wine... the switch to the bar tap, what have you...

This swap is not meant to encourage drinking alcohol to excess, but as a fun ode to those moments in time when a good drink does help - at the least to refresh the palate, if not the soul and nerves.  So craft an ode to Bacchus, Dionysus, Dom Perignon, Methe, the mighty grape, a favourite cocktail, a favourite famed drunk (NORM!... Barney... ), your local favourite watering hole, or what other boozy delight comes to mind.

* my favourite drink du jour is a Bombay Sapphire gin and tonic with a double lime squeeze *

This is a 3-point swap, so one large item, or 1 small+1 medium item.  Also, include a couple of your favourite drinks recipes presented creatively/prettily, so that we can all eventually toast each other when we post in the gallery, and share a drink, so to speak.  Extras are not needed or encouraged, but allowed if agreed upon by the partnered swappers, so please communicate well with each other.  Also, please remember to look up the rules of shipping through what service you use - if anyone is thinking of sending ingredients, there are strict laws about things like shipping fluids, foods, booze, etc, so know your postal rules before sending items like that!

Size definitions as per Craftster Swap FAQ

By Time
-Large = 3 or more hours
-Medium = 2 or more hours
-Small = 2 or less hours

By Size
-Large = A shawl, a shirt, a skirt, a set of jewelry with four to five items, a purse
-Medium = one single necklace or bracelet, a scarf
-Small = Earrings, stickers, wallets, pouches, bookmarks

By Price
-Large = $30 or more
-Medium = $10-$30 dollars
-Small = $10 or less

A bit more business...

Please remember to post in this thread before sending me a PM with your questionnaire.

Please remember to PM myself and your partner when sending and receiving, with tracking information if possible, if not, then remember to take pictures of the receipts for verification.

Please maintain good communication - PM as above, and communicate with your partners, and in this thread.

... and stay safe - if you drink while crafting, then you are drinking and crafting at your own risk!  Remember - needles are sharp, heat guns get hot, scissors can cut, vodka/gin/rum is flammable, etc, etc!

Update:  It was brought to my attention to ensure that everyone is aware that as per Craftster swap rules (and undoubtedly some POs rules and customs rules too) that there is to be no alcohol to be sent in the packages - it is prohibited.  So please, no samples of actual booze, or anything containing booze...

Recipes, some mix ingredients, and boozy crafts/art yes, but no booze itself, please!

If you want to participate, information to send to organizer:

Name of swap - OMG - I need a drink swap
Craftster username
Email address
Your real name
Mailing address including the country
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 18 years old: (YES/NO)

1.  What are your favourite drinks/cocktails?

2.  What are your favourite colours/combinations/patterns?

3.  What colours/patterns/things do you hate/not want to receive?

4.  Any favourite drinks/cocktail themed quotes/scenarios?

5.  Any allergens in your home?

6.  Any allergens or aversions you have?

7.  What kind of crafted item(s) would you really like to receive?

8.  What kind of crafted items can you make?

9.  What is my favourite drink du jour (do you need to answer this?  Yes, that way I know you read the details)?


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

Swap members:

1.  Onyxnox (Canada)
2.  Audania1 (USA)
3.  Ludi (USA)
4.  rantyhippie (USA)
5.  edelC (Ireland)
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2  Mother's Day cards x2 in Mother's Day by Onyxnox on: May 21, 2015 04:13:50 AM
These were the cards I made for our mothers this year.  I made the rose bouquets last year, but did not order the jumbo crepe paper in time to make the jumbo ones this year.  Also, because I went out and bought my mother new carbon monoxide detectors earlier this year and would not let her or Dad pay me back for them - they demanded that I not get them anything further for Mothers/Fathers day (they are not big on gifts).  Still, they got flowers and a card...

This one is for Jim's mom - she likes pinks and purples more...

and this one for my mom...

I made A2 sized cards, and used water colour paper, and washes of metallic water colour paint to make the pastel skies, and a cherry blossom/branch die to cut the flower detail out.  I added some more pics and details in the links above for each card.

I really do have to try to order that jumbo crepe to make the roses for next year.  I know my mom would get a kick out of them.
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3  Gluten Free Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies... in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Onyxnox on: May 21, 2015 03:46:23 AM
Peanut butter and chocolate is Jim's favourite flavour combination, and traditionally I made bags and bags of cookies for him to take away with him to the hunt camp in the Fall as a treat to share with his friends and family up there, so when he found out he had Celiacs disease, I had to revamp how I cook/bake.  He already said that no matter what, even if he doesn't eat them, I still had to make cookies for his trip because they were loved by a number of guys at the camp.  But I know him - if the others are eating them, he would just not think about it one day and grab a few to munch on - and regret it later on...

That's not to say it won't happen anyways - with the dinner rolls, the bread, the treats the other wives send up, someone handing him a beer, whatever....

But I was determined to try to find some GF stuff that I could make either just for him, or that he could share and others would like too.

I made these the other day, when two of our friends were here.  They are both very familiar with my normal baking and regular cookies I make, and on having these, they gave full approval. 

The texture is a bit grainier, but tender, with nice light peanut butter flavour, and good chocolate flavour.  The grainy texture will also depend on the type/brand of GF flour you use, and how finely it is milled.  I used a commercial blend by Robin Hood (a Canadian brand), for convenience.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 2 dozen cookies.

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup gluten free flour blend (Robin Hood was used)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F

Combine gluten free flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg if using in a bowl until blended well, and set aside.

Cream sugar, butter and peanut butter together in a bowl with a mixer, until well blended, and creamy.

Add egg and vanilla, and mix until well blended.

Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined well.  Mix in chocolate chips.

Roll into 1 inch balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.  Flatten with fork slightly.

Bake in center of oven for 8-11 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. 

Remove baking sheet, let cool on baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then remove with spatula and cool fully on rack.

The nutmeg is optional - sometimes I just like that little bit of spice flavour with my PB or chocolate recipes.

Here they are on a dessert tray I made with the flourless brownies I made the other day.

A bit more about it on my blog if anyone is interested...
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4  Blueberry Boyfriend Bait - gluten free blueberry coffee cake in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Onyxnox on: May 20, 2015 03:28:33 AM
A friend loaned me an allergen free cookbook by Cybele Pascale that had a blueberry cake recipe in it.  Since I am now trying to bake gluten free for Jim, I made this to see how it would turn out.  We had friends over for dinner one night and I wanted to see if there was a gluten free dessert they would like as well.  I made this and the flourless brownies I just posted about, and they all stated they quite liked it, so at least there are two desserts I can make that Jim can have with friends!

The gluten free flour blend is not as fine as the wheat flour, but the cake is quite buttery and moist, so that helps to disguise it.  Next time I may not use as much of the sugar blend myself, on top of the cake, as we do not have as much of a sweet tooth. 

Also, we are not lactose/dairy, or egg-free, so I adapted the recipe to add back in the butter, egg, etc.  But I also liked this and am interested in enough of the other recipes to pick up a copy of the book myself to see what else we can make at home that Jim will be able to eat and like.

Blueberry Boyfriend Bait
(modified from Cybele Pascal's The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook)

makes 16 servings

2 C Gluten Free flour blend (I used Robin Hood Gluten Free)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temp
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, tossed with 1 tbsp flour blend
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, combined with 2 tbsp granulated sugar.

<note - I found this a bit sweet so maybe next time I will leave out 1/4 cup of the sugar>

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Prepare a 9x9 inch pan by greasing, and dusting with gluten free flour, tapping out excess <don't skip this step, the cake will still more without both steps, or lining with parchment paper>

Whisk together flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In mixer bowl, combine butters and sugars, and mix on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix on medium to blend well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add vanilla and mix well.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on medium for about 15 seconds.

Add half of the milk and mix for 20 seconds.

Add half of the remaining flour and mix, then the remaining milk, mix, then the remaining flour, and mix, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add half of the batter to the pan, using a spatula to spread the batter evenly across the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle with half the blueberries.  Top with the remaining batter, and spread as evenly as possible.  Top with remaining blueberries and sprinkle with the cinnamon mixture.

Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until the cinnamon mixture caramelizes, and the top is golden.  Cool in pan for 30 minutes before turning out.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Make the day before, as it gets better the next day!

More about it on my blog if you're interested

Here is the original recipe from the book/her site if someone is interested in the more allergen-free and vegan version, and she has many other allergen-free recipes on her site too.
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5  Flourless brownies - exploring potentially gluten free recipes... in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Onyxnox on: May 20, 2015 03:16:35 AM
Jim was recently diagnosed as having Celiacs Disease and has been trying to maintain a gluten free diet - hard for a man who starts his day with a bagel, has a white bread sandwich for lunch, loves his beer, etc...

A bit hard for me too, as I love baking, and now it's like starting from scratch learning to bake again.

Anyways, I had a go to flour brownie recipe for years that is much loved by him, friends, and family, which is now tossed out the window, and I found a flourless brownie recipe to try.  I have made it twice now, and we both love it - it is dense and very chocolaty - very truffle like to me.  Even our friends like it, so I thought I would share...

Flourless Double Chocolate Brownies

Makes 16

6 tbsp butter
6 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare 8x8 baking pan by lining it with a sheet of foil, allowing a few inches of overhang on each side.  Grease the foil and set aside.

Add the butter and chocolate chips to a small saucepan and melt, stirring frequently, on low heat.  Stir will to combine, and set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa, cornstarch, and salt, until well combined and lumps broken down, set aside.

In a medium bowl and a mixer with a whisk attachment, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes.  Add the chocolate mixture and mix until well combined.

Reduce speed to low and mix in cocoa mixture until batter is smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

Pour batter into prepared pan spreading it out evening.  Placed in center of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the center is set.  Remove, and let cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing, in the foil, and cooling completely on rack.  Cut into 16 squares.

A bit more about it on my blog if interested...
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6  Re: OTBT - One Tiny Bird Thing - GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: April 30, 2015 02:38:19 PM
Thank you - actually that was a pre-made canvas block - I am loving those things.  It has a great thick rim and is wrapped around the back, but open in the back.  I have a thing about unfinished backs, so I have started covering them with some kind of backing, like either a title backing with the name of the piece, or another piece of art - the two "necking" puffins is actually the back of the canvas!

OK, let's try this again....

Presenting the wonderful quilled nuthatch that HSG  made me!

Look at the shaping of the wings, and tail - just wonderful!  Thank you so much!
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7  Re: Octopus Pajama Eater Nommed My Dog in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Onyxnox on: April 17, 2015 02:06:15 PM
Adorable - yes, the octopus, but even more so, the puppers!!!!  I have a love of brindled babies...

Here is my brindled princess.

As for the octopus, I love the tentacles - especially how you did the underside.  Great detail with the curls and the suckers.
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8  Mad as a Hatter.... in Completed Projects by Onyxnox on: April 17, 2015 03:53:56 AM
I love making Alice in Wonderland crafts - some of you may already know that, so I made up an excuse to do more this year by having an OTT Alice swap - the gallery is still ongoing if anyone wants to see some of the other wonderful crafts.

Anyways, for this swap, I decided to make a pincushion or a needlebook... I was wiffle waffling on how and the theme, when I remembered I had done a mad hatter matchbox awhile back and maybe I could take that and convert it into a pin cushion.

So I did - I made the hat out of a TP roll and some some thicker card stock for the brim, with some tape, and many many layers of tissue so that it would be pretty stiff and firm.  I mean MANY layers.  I bent and formed it as I went along.  I left the top off for the pin cushion part of it. 

After I was happy with the shaping, I painted and decorated it.  I went for a purply/black distressed look with some stampings for a bit of texture and interest.  I was thinking of flocking or molding paste with a damask print, but it was not working out when I tried - too much curvature, too small a space.

After the outer layers of paint and ink dried, I added a felt top.  I added some paint to make it match the sides more.  Inside, I stuffed a layer of steel wool and batting.  The steel wool to help sharpen the pins as they are used.  I then added cardboard and tissue to the bottom to seal it in, and painted it to match.  But I was not happy with how it looked then - it just didn't look right to me for some reason. 

So in the end, I did add a matching matchbox to the base - it looks better with the hat on  platform anyways, and now there is a small bit of storage beneath for pins, or bobbins, or what not.  I thought about adding a bit of a pedestal or feet, but then thought that it may not stand up to having pins poked in and out regularly without being squished too much or toppling over.  I decorated the hat with a bit of satin ribbon, a decorative brad, die cut leather feathers, and a bit of card decorated to look like the Mad Hatter's sale sign.

Oh yes, and I made a set of pins with the card suits to go with the hat.

I posted a bit more about it on my blog if you want to see a few more pictures, etc

I also don't think I ever posted my original Hatter matchbox.  This one was similar, except I did add top to the hat, and decoupaged it with purple tissue - I liked how the tissue looked, so left it like that, with a glossy topcoat, and added black flocking detail to fancy it up.  I was thinking of it as a hat displayed for sale, so I added wood veneer to the matchbox, and flocking too to make it look like a stand. I used a commercial matchbox, so I think that this one was about 2/3rds the size of the above hat pin cushion

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9  Re: Use What You Have Swap Round 2 - Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: April 09, 2015 06:25:00 PM
That snail is a great idea!  Great packages so far!

I received from gala_apples the other day.  She sent me a lovely set of note cards, a tote bag and a sleep mask.

I love the graphic leaf pattern, and the ribbon handles, this will be perfect for tucking a book in when I go out.

A sleep mask - perfect for when I work nights.

A set of dragon themed note cards - I may have to use these for invites for a Game of Thrones marathon one day.

Thanks gala_apples, and thanks kwality570 for organizing!
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10  Re: A Little Alice Swap (OTT) Gallery - Send Outs - Apr 07/15 in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: April 09, 2015 06:16:18 PM
Loving all the Wonderland wonders.  I feel like I should reach through the screen and pet the dormouse...

I received a cute little decoupaged tea box and coaster set from amc-

She also sent some lovely herbal teas and I am going to settle back with one right now on this dark, chilly night!

Thanks amc-

Can't wait to see the rest of the goodies!
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