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571  Re: OTHPT4 Gallery of Tiny Wonders in The Swap Gallery by Mistress Jennie on: July 04, 2013 06:27:15 AM
I received the most WONDERFUL tiny thing from noodle-bug!  She created an awesome set of Burrow-esque wind chimes inspired by a pin on my "I Want to Live In the Burrow" board on Pinterest!

Since I don't want to risk it falling apart out in the elements, I've put it up in my kitchen, over the sink.  The kitchen is a bit boring anyways, so this really helps brighten it up.  I'll have to get a shot of it laying on the counter at some point though, so people can see the bright happy colors of the beads and embroidery thread that she used.  It's like a cross between a friendship bracelet, and a wind chime! Very Burrow appropriate.  Action shot from dim night-time kitchen:

Since we have so many common interests, noodle-bug and I also decided to do a small side swap.  We swapped a OTDWT, and some Tea Time things.  As per the rules for this OTT Swap, I have posted these other items in the Personal Swap Gallery.  PLEASE go check them out! 


Thank you so much dear noodle!  I love and adore my new wind chimes, and am currently drinking some of the caravan tea.  (From a be-cozied mug!)
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572  Re: Personal/Private Swap Gallery, 2013 in The Swap Gallery by Mistress Jennie on: July 04, 2013 05:52:23 AM
noodle-bug and I were partnered up in the One Tiny Harry Potter Thing Swap.  Since we have so many interests in common, I asked if she'd like to do a side swap that would include One Tiny Doctor Who Thing, and a few Tea Time themed treats.  Noodle went crazy and spoiled me rotten!

First, here's the One Tiny Harry Potter Thing - an awesome set of Burrow-esque wind chimes inspired by a pin on my "I Want to Live In the Burrow" board on Pinterest!

Since I don't want to risk it falling apart out in the elements, I've put it up in my kitchen, over the sink.  The kitchen is a bit boring anyways, so this really helps brighten it up.  I'll have to get a shot of it laying on the counter at some point though, so people can see the bright happy colors of the beads and embroidery thread that she used.  It's like a cross between a friendship bracelet, and a wind chime! Action shot from dim night-time kitchen:

Next, the One Tiny Doctor Who Thing...  an AMAZING River Song journal!  It's so little and lovely, and I can't wait to carry it around and show it off!  (It's going to fit perfectly inside my new Clara purse.  Wink)

Next, the Tea Time items!  An awesome mug cozy (which TOTALLY fits my favorite at-home mug), a coaster, and a tea strainer.

THEN, another fun tea strainer, and an adorable tea wallet!  Can I just say that despite the fact that I LOVE tea, and it's all over my profile, no one in the 43 swaps I've done, has ever made me a tea wallet!  And I've always wanted one.  Made them for other people, but never had one for myself.  Squeeeeee!

Here are some detail shots of the adorable embroidery:

To go with the tea themed crafts, she sent some amazing tea time treats!  There's a Russian Caravan tea that I've *just* brewed a cup of, but it's too hot to taste yet. Some Jaffa Cakes, Jam Sandwich Cookies, and a lovely dark chocolate!  (I may have already tried a Jaffa Cake and a Jam Cookie for dessert last night. Wink)

And if all that wasn't amazing enough, she also included some treats from the HP Studio Tour!  There are post cards, an awesome Order of the Phoenix Badge that I can't wait to put on my backpack beside the Prefect Badge pinkleo gave me, and a Platform 9 3/4 magnet!

Thank you so much noodle-bug!  I love everything, and this was such a fun swap to do with you.  I only hope that you like your package half as much as I love mine.  (I'm totally freaking out about it now!)  You are as kind and generous as you are talented.  A thousand times, Thank You.
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573  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: July 03, 2013 06:45:05 AM
Advanced Studies Update!
Yes, I know it's Wednesday, and not at all Advanced Studies Friday, but I'm updating anyways.  Because I'm a rebel.  I live life on the edge.  That's just who I am.  Deal with it.   Cool

I haven't made any progress on my OWL in the last few days, but I have made major progress on my NEWT.  I have both quilt fronts pieced together now.  Here's one of them:

AND...  As of yesterday afternoon, I have one of them completely quilted, and the first side of the binding sewn on!  The other side needs to be hand sewn, which I'll do this weekend at home. 

Here's a detail shot of the quilting:

I am hoping to get the second one quilted today at work before some students (and even one teacher) show up for extra help.  Got my audio book all queued up, and two full bobbins.  Wish me luck.

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574  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: June 30, 2013 12:34:16 PM
Challenge: Horror vs. Romance
Team/Ninja: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
Project Geekdom: Romance!
Bonus Points: None
Project Name: Key to My Heart Necklace & Earrings
Brief Description:  I'll take Romance over Horror any day.  As Craig Ferguson said (while describing Doctor Who through song) "If there's any hope for any of us in this giant explosion in which we inhabit, then surely that's it. Intellect and romance triumph over brute force and cynicism."  And I honestly believe that.  That romance, and the human heart's capacity to feel LOVE, is the best hope for humanity.  And so to represent that, a necklace and earrings I've just made for myself, with a giant teal crystal heart, and silver and gunmetal charms.
Project Picture:

Challenge: JUNE - Textbook
Project Geekdom: None
Bonus Points: None
Project Name & Page Link: Shrine to the Goddess of Crafty Inspiration
Brief Description: This shrine was created for Pinkleo in the Shrine Swap.  It is an assemblage shrine to someone we all worship, the Goddess of Crafty Inspiration, aka, the Goddess of crafter BRAIN WAVES!  The wooden frame came from the dollar store, and the bits and bobs that make it up came from my stash, work, my car, the craft store, Knickertwists garden, and a many came from sheepBlue in a bundle of goodies she sent me in the IYP 23 Swap.  There are more detail shots, as well as a breakdown of my construction process on the project thread.
Project Picture:

Challenge: JUNE - Multimedia
Team/Ninja: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
Project Geekdom: None
Bonus Points: Discovery
Project Name & Page Link: Pacific Northwest Necklace
Brief Description: This was created for the lovely sheepBlue in the IYP Swap: Round 23.  sheepBlue asked for a charm-style necklace that represented her home in the Pacific Northwest.  The base is a deep purple geode, and the charms include a shell heart for the coast, a birds nest and bird for the forest animals, and an acorn, flower and leaf for the fauna found there. While I have made lots of charm bracelets, I've never done a charm necklace like this, and it was certainly a learning process!
Project Picture:

Challenge: JUNE - Wordy
Team/Ninja: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
Project Geekdom: Math & Science
Bonus Points: Nerdy
Project Name & Page Link: Solar System Mini Art Quilt
Brief Description: One of my very favorite childhood books was a little Golden Book called, My First Book About Space.  I read it over and over.  Then my brother did the same.  And all the children in my mother's day care.  Suffice to say, it was a much loved book, and gave me a deep and abiding love of stargazing. 
Project Picture:

Challenge: JUNE - Fandom
Team/Ninja: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
Project Geekdom: Is "Literature" a Geekdom? If not, it should be.
Bonus Points: Nerdy (If Literature counts as a Geekdom)
Project Name: Shakespeare Shrine
Project Page Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=424809.msg5055180#msg5055180
Brief Description: This is a shrine I made for pinkleo in the Shrine Swap, and was based off her request for anything Shakespeare related.  The image of Shakespeare himself is actually a vintage cigarette card from 1924.  Yep, its just about 90 years old! The crown on Shakespeare and the one on the skull, as well as the play charm, pawn, heart lock, stone owl, letter beads and skull bead all came out of my stash. The scroll of paper at the top reads, He was not of an age, but for all time, which is a quote about Shakespeare by fellow playwright Ben Johnson.  This fits the prompt by having lots of hidden details.  Please see the project thread to learn them all.  (I don't want to clog up this thread with them all.)

Project Picture:

Challenge: JUNE - Randomizer
Team/Ninja: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named
Project Geekdom: Science & Witchcraft
Bonus Points: Nerdy
Project Name: Semi Precious Stone Bracelets for sheepBlue
Brief Description: I make bracelets.  A lot of bracelets.   Cool  When I'm a bit too tired to make charm bracelets, I spend time whipping up these simple strands of semi-precious stones, which I find comfortable enough to wear, even at work (where bracelets usually bother me).  They are my ultimate "no-brainer project", and are made of a "go-to" material: beads.  This is a set of three that I made for sheepBlue in the IYP Swap.  The materials are red coral, black jasper, and river shell.  The red coral one features an anatomical heart charm.  (Science Geekdom)  The black jasper features a talisman against the evil eye.  (Witchcraft)
Project Picture:
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575  Re: Shrine Swap in The Swap Gallery by Mistress Jennie on: June 30, 2013 10:19:42 AM
I have to ask forgiveness from all of you on my deplorably late posting of the shrines pinkleo so lovingly crafted for me.  It's been so hot here, no one wants to go outside, least of all me. Plus, I've chained myself to my work desk and am madly crafting bracelets for my shop.  Neither of those are anywhere near good excuses, and so please accept my apologies. 

For anyone who doesn't already know this, pinkleo and I are crafty BFF's here on Craftster, and usually do official swaps together about 2-3 times a year, as well as send one another Christmas, birthday, and random "Thinking of You" presents throughout the year.  I explain this so you will be able to understand why we seem to know each other so well, and why we were able to go so overboard crafting for one another. 

First, is the sweet little Dream Shrine.  So cute, so simple.  I love the little feathers in the doe's nest.

And check out the details on the edge.  I love the AB glass heart beads she used here, which definitely add to the dream like quality of the shrine.

Next we have the True Blue Gryffindor Shrine.  Pinks wanted to give a nod to my favorite HP House, but go in a slightly less traditional route, so that it would be more subtle.  I love the shadowbox idea, and the depth it allows.  It now lives in my kitchen, to give me courage to try new recipes.  Cheesy

The simplicity and serenity of this next shrine, paired with the delicious textures of it's materials, might just make it my favorite.  It's inspired by several shrines I have on my Pinterest, made by Knickertwist.  This beauty is currently hanging on the wall in my hallway, near a wall quilt pinks also made me of the moon.  Smiley  Note the crackled effect on the frame.  I think we were both on the same wavelength this time around, since I used crackle medium too!

And here's a close up of the Moon face.  You can also see the jewels she used as the stars in the background.

Finally, we have the crazy-big, extra-extra-extra-large To Sew, To Live Shrine!  Cheesy  This wonder is enormous, and so full of details that I keep noticing new ones each time I look at it.  It's about the size of a traditional bird house.  The silver disk at the top is actually a vintage sewing machine bobbin.  Looks like the type that is used in industrial machines. There's also a domestic machine bobbin on the inside back wall.  This one is going to work with me tomorrow morning, where it will be displayed on my desk, for all the student stitchers, actors, dancers, and other theatrical folk to see when then come in.  We have a wall that we turned into a shrine to the gods of vintage fashion, and I think this will make a nice foil to that one.  Cheesy

The left wall features a pair of scissors.

The right wall has a vintage package of needles.

Here's a detail of the Stitcher Spirit that inhabits the shrine.  She's made of wire, wrapped with embroidery floss, wears a thimble hat, and holds a tiny antique sewing machine to her heart.

And let's not forget the outside and the top!  I love the distressed texture of the paint, and the detail of the vintage clothing advertisement on the back.  But my absolute favorite part, is the button roof!

Pinks, I cannot thank you enough my darling girl.  Each and every one of them is a treasure, and I love them all.  Thank you so much for diving into this crafty adventure with me.  When we craft together, even so far apart, I feel like there's nothing we can't accomplish.   Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss Kiss
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576  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: June 30, 2013 09:24:11 AM
Challenge: House Pride
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name: Red & Gold Star Dishcloths

Brief Description: I've been working on making some more crocheted cotton dishcloths to give away as part of my Christmas gift baskets this year.  (I usually include some jar mixes, homemade soaps, etc.)  This year I think I'm going to add in some natural multi-surface cleaner and homemade jams to the mix to make them kitchen themed.  When I dug through my stash of cotton yarns, I found this dark red and yellow, and knew I had to make a Gryffindor set too!

Pattern is Starfish Dishcloths available for free from Coats.  

Project Picture:

Class: Flying
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name: Key to My Heart Necklace & Earrings

Brief Description: I just whipped up this SHINY little set for myself.  It features gunmetal and vintaj arte metal charms, and a faceted glass heart, that shines beautifully in the sun.  (Sorry for the slightly dull picture.  It's cloudy & rainy out.)
Project Picture:
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577  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: June 28, 2013 06:33:59 AM
Challenge: Detention - June: Kitchen Duty
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name: Mojito Pinto Beans

Project Page Link (if available): Recipe from the Vegan Slow Cooker
Brief Description: This recipe is simple, tasty, healthy, economical, and most importantly it won't heat up the kitchen!  It is made in a slow cooker, and smells heavenly when you walk in the door after a long day at work.  I recommend it served over jasmine rice, and with a side of veggies like fresh steamed broccoli or sweet corn cut off the cob.  As an added bonus, it is also vegan, but was still enjoyed by my meat-loving husband.

Mojito Pinto Beans
1 small onion
2 15 oz. or 1 30 oz. can of pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. rum (dark spiced rum is best)
1/2 - 1 tsp. cumin
1/2 T. vegetable bullion or "Not Chick'n" Bullion
1 T. tomato paste
juice of 1 lime (plus more to taste if needed)
salt & pepper
fresh chopped mint

Dice the onion. Combine onion, rinsed beans, water, rum, cumin, bullion, tomato paste and lime juice in slow cooker.  Add salt and fresh ground pepper if desired.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Just before serving, taste & adjust seasonings as desired.  Serve over rice and add some fresh steamed veggies.

Note:  I had white rum, rather than dark, so I added a pinch of allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and coriander to the crockpot, to mimic the spiced rum flavor.  Just before serving I tasted it, and while it was good, I wanted a bit more "mojito" flavor, so I added a bit more lime juice (about 1-2 tsp), 2 tsp of mint water (found in ethnic grocery stores), a teaspoon of agave syrup for sweetness, and another 1/2 tsp. of cumin, since husband LOVES cumin.  Also, you might want to let this cool in it's bowl for a few minutes before topping with the mint leaves. If the food is too hot, the mint leaves wilt and turn brown and bitter rather than stay fresh and bright.  
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578  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: June 24, 2013 06:32:46 PM
It's Deputy Headmistress Jennie's very own...

Un-Advanced Studies Monday!

I've been absolutely terrible about taking progress shots on my OWL & NEWT projects.  I am working on things, and to prove it I finally got some pictures on Friday at work, but promptly forgot to post them.  So here they are.  I've cut the blocks & strips for both the OWL & NEWT projects, and I have the NEWT blocks put together.  Today I got them all ironed & trimmed, and hope to get the fronts partway together tomorrow.  

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579  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: June 23, 2013 03:05:34 PM
Note from the Deputy Headmistress....

A new Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean Mini-Challenge has been posted!  

What's this week's bean!?!?  Take the Portkey to the Deputy Headmistresses Office to find out!  And while you're there be sure to check out the inspiration projects from all around Craftster.

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580  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by Mistress Jennie on: June 22, 2013 12:01:00 PM
Class: Apparition
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Tea Time Shrine

Project Page: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=424810.0#axzz2Wy78JUu8
Brief Description: This shrine was created for Pinkleo in the Shrine Swap.

The best part?  Everything came from my stash!  The frame is the top of a wooden box (now I need to find a use for the bottom!) which I stained using wood stain markers.  The inside is a piece of scrapbooking paper that I had lying around, and inspired the color scheme for the shrine: pink, maroon & brown. The words are made from large-hole wooden beads, used in kids crafts. The pocket watch charm was the right diameter, but kind of thin depth-wise, so I backed it with a wooden disk I found in my box of wood supplies and that I painted silver to match.  The paper flower petals and wooden teacup were left over from supplies I bought for my Altered Spell Book, and touched up with some Smooch and colored pencils.  The glitter was left over from a Martha Stewart card making kit, and finally the metal corners were part of a bunch of stuff I got from Vintaj Salvage on Etsy a few months ago.
Project Picture:

Class: Arithmancy
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Shrine to the Goddess of Crafty Inspiration

Project Page: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=424808.0#axzz2Wy78JUu8
Brief Description: Curse Breakers work in dangerously complicated situations, and this project is nothing short of dangerously complicated itself!  It included painting, crackling, sanding, distressing, gluing, gathering, stamping, and highlighting and due to all the layers of paint, glue, etc, it took an entire week to put together!
Project Picture:

Class: Study of Ancient Runes
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Shakespeare Shrine

Project Page: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=424809.0#axzz2Wy78JUu8
Brief Description: This is the last of the shrines I made pinkleo, and was based off her request for anything Shakespeare related.  The base is an ATC Shrine Kit from Tiny Things are Cute, along with the tiny books and tankard.  The image of Shakespeare himself is actually a vintage cigarette card from 1924.  Yep, its just about 90 years old!  The bits and bobs all came out of my stash. The scroll of paper at the top reads, He was not of an age, but for all time.  Many of the items are references to famous lines from Shakespeares plays. Details are on the project post!

Project Picture:

Challenge: Cheering for the Cannons
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Carnelian Energy Bracelet

Brief Description: This bracelet was made for a friend, who creates and gives energy wherever she goes.  It is made of carnelian, which is a stone thought to create energy, and the charm on the clasp features a sun on one side, and says create on the other.
Project Picture:

Class: Herbology
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Drunken Cherry Almond Cake
Project Page: Inspired by recipe found at the Joy of Baking
Brief Description:  I had some cherries left over from making Cherry Bounce, which is a cherry liqueur made from bourbon. I altered this recipe slightly, by soaking my cherries in some extra bourbon for 3 hours before making the cake,  hence the "Drunken" component. 

Project Picture:

Drunken Cherry Almond Cake

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter
1/2-3/4 pound (350 grams) fresh sweet cherries, divided
1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (55 grams) almond meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup (80 ml) milk (or non-dairy almond milk!)
bourbon to cover the cherries

Rinse, dry, and pit all the cherries.  Next, place them in a stain-proof bowl, and pour on enough bourbon to cover them.  Allow to soak for a few hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a non stick cooking spray, an 8 or 9 inch cake pan or glass pan.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Drain the cherries.  (Use the bourbon in something delicious, like a Honey Bourbon Lemonade.) Take about 14 of them (about 1/3), cut them in half, and set them aside (place on a sheet of paper towel, cutside down) to be placed on the top of the cake during baking. To the rest of the cherries, cut into quarters (to be folded into the cake batter).

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugar until thick and light colored (about 3-5 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract and almond extract (if using). Then fold in, with a rubber spatula or wire whisk, the melted and cooled butter and milk just until incorporated. Next, fold in the flour mixture just until moistened. Gently fold in the quartered cherries (not the cherries that you have halved for the top of the cake). Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula or back of a spoon.

Bake for 12 minutes then remove from oven. Quickly arrange the remaining cherries, cut side down, on the top of the cake. Return the cake to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. If you find the cake over browning, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly (about 10-15 minutes).
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