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11  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Preserving strawberries 3 ways on: July 09, 2014 09:02:47 AM
Hi there! This is pretty much my first go at canning - I did some whole tomatoes last summer which worked well, and thought I'd take a stab at jams and such. I was able to pick a whole mess of strawberries for free at the farm where I work, so I got to fool around with a few different recipes.

I worked from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, which was a great resource for a beginner like me.

First up, basic strawberry jam: http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes/strawberry-jam



This uses sooo much sugar, and is pretty sweet. Really delicious, though. I love it with cream cheese!



Then I tried maple strawberry smooch: http://www.bernardin.ca/pages/recipe_page/51.php?pid=384 (not the exact recipe from my book, but pretty much the same)



Mmmm this was my favorite. Great on ice cream, or on yogurt with granola.



And last, strawberry lemonade concentrate: http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipes/strawberry-lemonade-recipe
This recipe didn't make as much as it said it would - I wish they'd given the measurement for strawberry puree, instead of cups of whole berries, which varies a lot.



Again, very sugary, but tangy too! I mixed it with seltzer to serve.



My one issue with all of these was that I didn't have a good way to skim off the foam before transferring the mixtures into jars. I hope that doesn't effect the preserving too much.

Overall, I'd say it was a great success! I'm ready to can ALL THE THINGS. Bring on the produce!
12  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / First try on using a dress pattern - Simplicity 2886 on: May 30, 2014 02:27:34 PM


I made this dress years ago, but never got around to sharing it! I haven't tried any patterns since, though I'd like to try another one. This dress used Simplicity 2886, and some bedsheets I found at Goodwill. I actually really like how they feel, and they make me want to swish around!



The pattern was relatively well explained - there were some fiddly bits that took a while, but I got it right in the end. Very proud of that zipper!



Three cheers for dresses with pockets!



Thanks for looking.  Cool
13  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Porcelain lady pincushion on: May 30, 2014 01:36:44 PM


After seeing my previous pincushion, my mom gave me two more figurines to use. I made this one for her after she picked out the fabric to go with it.



I'm glad she told me to do a white base (which is a cat food tin), because I think it turned out very prettily. I used lace over paper.



The base on the model lady wasn't as flared as my last pincushion, so it was a challenge to keep her from popping out the top! Luckily there were holes in the base, and I managed to strap her in. Here's a shot of the buttonhole stitch lining the cutout:



I'm very pleased with how this one ended up, and I still have one more figurine to play with! Cheesy

14  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Release the kraken sampler! on: April 29, 2014 06:08:06 PM
The great and terrible kraken emerges from the watery depths, covered in seaweed, snatching ships from the surface, and... well actually it's rather pretty!



I sent this hoop to my partner in the Hoopla swap round 10, using her theme of The Iron Islands from Game of Thrones.



I learned so many new stitches! Mostly, I found them here: http://www.embroidery.rocksea.org/reference/picture-dictionary/



Waaaaay more time consuming than I was expecting. I think it was worth it though!



I like how it ended up not quite round - reminds me of a beach pebble.



I think the backside looked cool too. Smiley



Thanks for looking!

15  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Community - Troy and Abed in a craaaaft swap! on: April 06, 2014 09:44:28 AM


I would love to organize a swap around the TV show Community - who else is interested? When would be good time for people?
16  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Post Secret again? on: April 02, 2014 06:30:09 PM


Is there and interest in another round of Postsecret? It was my first swap on craftster, and I've been thinking about it a lot lately.

If you want to browse old galleries, here they are!

Round 1 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=201332.0
Round 2 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=209347.0
Round 3 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=225688.0
Round 4 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=235400.0
Round 5 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=247388.0
Round 6 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=271469.0
Round 7 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=282936.0
Round 8 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=301959.0
Round 9 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=311188.0
Round 10 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=317816.0
Round 11 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=340112.0
Round 12 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=350817.0
Round 13 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=354908.0
Round 14 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=373622.0
Round 14 http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=401027.0
17  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Swirly spring hummingbird on: March 26, 2014 07:39:50 PM
I made this hoop for my partner in the Dreaming of Spring swap - she likes colorful birds, and purple!



I traced the pattern from this site, which as many neat variations.



It was great to practice a little satin stitch, I discovered I actually like it!
18  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Michiko, the Goth Kitsune Derby Girl on: March 03, 2014 02:27:45 PM
This is my "mutant" for the Loyal Mutant Swap - she combines seven of the themes my partner listed.





It was very frustrating making the doll body because of the fabric I chose, but once that was done, I had a lot of fun with her!



Her fox ears and tail were constructed from teddy bear fur.



I dyed the lace for her yukata and underthings with RIT scarlet dye, since I couldn't find my other red lace.  Roll Eyes



Her hair is hand-spun wool - first time I've made doll hair like this! I was really fun.



Her little felt skates are removable (she just doesn't stand up well without them).





Her goth yukata outfit:



My partner is currently MIA, but I really hope that she is enjoying Michiko! Thanks for looking. Cheesy
19  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Turquoise songbird purse on: March 03, 2014 02:02:43 PM


I'm very happy with how this bag turned out - I made it for lindyv321 in the Box of Color swap.



I used a heavy weight iron-on interfacing to give it some sturdiness, which is why it looks a little stiff - that should soften up the first time it's washed.



Two pockets on the inside lining:



I used the Jordy tutorial to guide me, but changed some things. It was tough pulling the whole big bag through the little side hole in the lining! I may do something different next time.



Thanks for looking!
20  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Sweet roasted carrot "hummus" on: March 03, 2014 11:33:06 AM


This tasty spread isn't really a hummus, since it doesn't have chickpeas. It does have tahini, which balances the sweetness of the carrots and honey. It's super delicious!

The original recipe is here. My alterations were: using ground cumin and coriander instead of seeds (and not toasting it), and using lime instead of lemon juice. I also didn't really measure any thing, but I know I used less olive oil than the recipe called for.

I peeled the carrots first, because I like to use the peels in veggie stock. I'll probably use more garlic next time, but I'm a garlic fiend.



Serving suggestion: toasty bread and melty cheese!

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