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211  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Queen of Space Bracelet & Earrings on: June 27, 2011 08:37:01 AM
I recently participated in the "I Really Need a Friggen Crown, or other Lofty Headwear" Swap.  I was partnered up with the lovely Innaura, who has been named the Queen of Space by an old friend.  Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the crown before I sent it.   Sad   

I really wanted to make something extra for Innaura, who sent me the most beautiful beaded wire crown.  So I created a Queen of Space bracelet and earrings to go with her crown.  Thankfully, I did manage to get pictures of them!

The beads are a mix of jet black glass, black AB, black star shaped shell bead frames, soft smoky lavender pearls, slate, and Montana blue fire-polished glass.  The charms are a collection of fairy tale and celestial themes, including suns, moons, stars, key, dragon, crown, castle and fairy.  The bracelet is finished with a star toggle clasp.

212  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Doctor Who Earrings - Ood, Impossible Astronaut, <3 <3 the Doctor on: June 17, 2011 06:59:53 AM
In addition to being unable to stop crafting Harry Potter jewelry, I also seem to be addicted to making Doctor Who themed goodies.  These are some earrings I whipped up last night.

Friends of the Ood

The Circle Must Be Broken

Impossible Astronaut

I <3 <3 the Doctor
213  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Pureblood Pride Charm Bracelet on: June 16, 2011 10:04:13 AM
I'm still on my Harry Potter crafting kick.  I am apparently unable to stop.  Though I'm a Gryffindor, I seem to most often craft for Hufflepuff & Ravenclaw friends.  In an attempt to even the score I've been trying to create a few new Slytherin themed pieces.  This one is sort of an ode to Miss Cissy & Miss Bella. 

Pureblood Pride

The bracelet is full of Druk & fire-polished Czech glass, Swarovski crystal, freshwater pearls, and hematite beads.  The charms include: Evil eye for protection, textbooks and an apple, key, Celtic knot, dragon, wand, castle, snake, star, inkwell & quill, owl, shield, skull, moon & spider.

214  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Browncoat Bracelet (Firefly themed charm bracelet) on: June 16, 2011 09:41:20 AM
The other day while talking to a friend I suddenly realized that though I have made tons of loaded charm bracelets, with many varied themes, I've somehow NEVER made a Firefly bracelet.  That's when I started plotting this one.

I wanted a less fancy feel than some of my other bracelets, so I stuck with all glass beads, no pearls or crystals.  Amber, brown, opaque red-brown and black beads fill it.  There are 17 charms, each a nod to a character or episode.  They include:
Cow, who sadly may have forgotten how to be a cow
Chinese coins (x4)
Dancer for the ever graceful and sometimes deadly, River Tam
Space suit
Caduceus for the good doc, Simon Tam
Strawberry for sweet Kaylee

Vera, the man they call Jayne's very favorite gun
Shepherd Book's bible
Guitar, for the often nomadic feel of the show's score
Horse for the ranch where Mal grew up
Inara's fan

Zoe's pistol
Apple, for the many war stories the crew shares
Dinosaur for Wash
Star, one of many out in the black

All in all I'm pretty darn happy with how it turned out.  Hope some of you fine folks enjoy it too. 
215  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Decked Out for Deathly Hallows Part II GALLERY! on: June 15, 2011 05:02:27 PM
~*Decked Out for Deathly Hallows Part II*~

~*Prof. JennieIngram's Transfiguration Class*~

jennieingram ---> amor_fati
amor_fati * ---> jennieingram

Krafty_Karasu 7/6 ---> sarabunny
sarabunny * ---> Krafty_Karasu

whats_her_name ---> Samantha_McKay
Samantha_McKay 7/6 ---> whats_her_name

eeyore_witch 7/11 ---> Interrobam
Interrobam * ---> eeyore_witch

cherry_blossom55 ---> birdak
birdak ---> cherry_blossom55

Baloo * ---> dustyfro
dustyfro ---> Baloo

KatMonstah ---> mpemporium
mpemporium ---> KatMonstah

Foxy Sam * ---> craftyzooprgrl
craftyzooprgrl ---> Foxy Sam

Oodelally ---> Noxika
Noxika  ---> Oodelally

Ruby Copperhead (7/2) ---> Abbeeroad
Abbeeroad ---> Ruby Copperhead

saylo 7/8 ---> INDIE.CHILD
INDIE.CHILD ---> saylo

motherconfessor * ---> ivoryh1632
ivoryh1632 ---> kelesaii
kelesaii * ---> motherconfessor

Status Color Codes
Green = Sent
* = Sent Early

Orange = Sending Late with Communication
Maroon = No Communication, Howlers HAVE BEEN SENT!

Purple = Received & Pictures Posted
Blue = Received & Pictures NOT Posted

Strikeout = Feedback Given
Red = Temporary Negative

Oh for the love of Dobby, please oh please no glowing red swappers!

Portkey back to the Original Thread!
216  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Steampunk Mermaid Expedition & New Hampshire Matchboxes on: June 15, 2011 08:59:16 AM
I'm a little behind in posting these.  They were created for Round 5 of the Matchbox Swap a few months ago.

My first partner, cackle, loves mermaids, the ocean, shells, Victoriana, steampunk, and Pre-Raphealite art.  I tried to combine all of those loves in my Mermaid Expedition Matchbox.  I pictured an adventuresome and very scientific Victorian heroine setting out on the Nautilus in search of the elusive mermaids of the sea.  With a log book in hand and her bustle firmly in place, she would no doubt bring back proof to all of London society that these beautiful sirens of the deep do in fact exist!

The box was made of cardstock.  The cameo frame on the front was found in the scrapbooking section of Tuesday Morning, and I just couldn't resist them.  It came with a circular one too, that I thought looked more like a porthole on a ship, but alas the circle shape didn't fit onto the matchbox. The image of the Mermaid came from the Graphics Fairy. 

The back of the cover has some metal gears on it, held in place with oxidized brads.  The contents are a melange of bits and bobs.  I admit I was trying to channel craftster friend Wulf in my choices, as he always picks such fun items to fit inside his boxes.

Some of the items inside include an envelope of watch parts given to me by april again, a wing and shield charm, brass swivel clasp, compass charm, glass vial filled with tiny shells and clear resin, square brass beads, brass chain, freshwater pearls, mini shells, brass and copper gears, shell buttons, mermaid earrings, pocket watch charm, brass key charm, carnival ticket, and some bits of fun paper.

My second partner was jmiller614, who after some messaging back and fourth, I discovered is also from New Hampshire!  She is equally "stuck" in another state, far from home too.  As I adore - and greatly miss - NH, I couldn't resist the idea of creating a Granite State themed box for her. 

The box was again made of cardstock.  The letters on the back of the cover are chipboard pieces I found in a "travel" set at Dollar Tree.  I liked how they mingled with the green box to give it a woodsy feeling.  Sewn along both sides of the box are green buttons.

The front has our state motto on it, the legendary "Live Free or Die", penned by Revolutionary War hero (and NH native) General John Stark on the anniversary of the Battle of Bennington.  Poor health kept Gen. Stark from attending the reunion, so he sent a toast by letter to his friends.  The first layer of goodies inside the box includes glass leaves in green and brown to represent NH's beautiful fall foliage, a bottle of flower petals from my last garden in NH before I moved to KY, a baseball glove for jmiller's love of the Boston Redsox, a compass button for her love of hiking and outdoor sports in New England, a Tim Holtz "Unique" token.

Digging deeper into the box there is a piece of tartan ribbon for all the Irish & Scottish immigrants to New England, a bottle cap pendant with an image from a vintage postcard of NH, a cookie fortune that reads "Fortune sides with him who dares" for our rather strong Yankee spirit, paper butterflies and flowers for NH's flora & fauna, a piece of velum with out state flower, the purple lilac on it, a ring clip, a sketch of Fort William Mary from 1705, some bits of pretty paper, and a scroll of the poem Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. 
217  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Elder Wand Pendants on: June 08, 2011 03:49:16 PM
I've got Harry Potter on the brain.  I can't help it.  It's a chronic condition.  Doctors are holding out very little hope for a recovery. 

In the mean time, I've been making pendants in preparation for the upcoming release of Deathly Hallows Part II.





And a close up:

I hope some of you are as anxious as I am!
218  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Deathly Hallows Bracelet for Krafty_Karasu on: June 07, 2011 08:08:17 AM
Fellow Craftster Krafty_Karasu recently asked me to create a Harry Potter charm bracelet for her.  Unlike my usual House themed ones, she asked for one designed specifically around the events that take place in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  I have to say I was so very very excited to make this one.  It really sparked my imagination in a way that hasn't been happening as much recently, and it felt really nice to just let loose and create.  It did take a few weeks to order some of the ones I didn't have on hand, and it took even longer for me to get the resin-cast charms right, but all in all, I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

The beads are a mix of glass, foil lined glass, freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals in shades of scarlet, gold and black.  The color scheme for me actually represents the warm tones used on the cover of the US edition of the novel, and the black helped create a feeling of seriousness that I think is missing in my strictly red & gold Gryffindor bracelets.  I managed to get 19 charms on there!  The include:
Mad Eye's glass eye, the Tales of Beadle the Bard, the Sorting Hat, the spade Harry used to dig Dobby's grave, Helga Hufflepuff's Cup, vial of Snape's memories (resin filled glass bottle), the Silver Doe that led Harry to the Sword of Gryffindor, Nagini, the Elder Wand, the Deathly Hallows symbol, made from a silver bezel filled with resin, lighting bolt for Harry, a phoenix for the Order of the Phoenix who fought at the Battle of Hogwarts, Hogwarts Castle, Slytherin's locket, a thestral, a broom, the dragon the Trio released from Gringotts, vial of Polyjuice Potion used to create the 7 Potters (resin filled glass vial), the Snitch from Harry's first Quidditch match, which opened to reveal the Resurrection Stone

Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope it arrives safely, and that Krafty likes it as much as I do!

UPDATE 6/12/11: After making Krafty's bracelet, I couldn't quite stop...  So here is version 2.0.

The beads are a mix of Druk glass, fire polished Czech glass, and Swarovski crystal beads, river shell bead frames, and freshwater pearls.  Charms include: Harry's rucksack, Deathly Hallows symbol, (handmade charm - image sealed in resin), Hufflepuff's Cup, the Tent that Harry, Ron & Hermione camp in while on the run, Vial of Snape's Memories (handmade charm - resin sealed in a glass bottle)

gate from the cemetery at Godric's Hollow, Tales of Beadle the Bard, Nagini, the Silver Doe, the Elder Wand, a crystal from the chandelier at Malfoy Manor, dragon released from Gringotts, lightning bolt

spade that Harry used to dig Dobby's grave, Slytherin's locket, Diadem of Ravenclaw, Moody's magic eye, Hogwart's Castle, Golden Snitch from Harry's first quidditch match, the Sorting Hat
219  COOKING / Dessert / Butterbeer Fudge - 3 Variations & Printable Recipe Cards on: June 04, 2011 02:59:13 PM
Ever since I saw a listing for Butterbeer Fudge on Etsy, I knew I had to try making some myself.  In an effort to "get it right the first time", I decided to do several different variations all at once, then have friends taste test them all and report back on the findings.  Below is each of the recipes, and some opinions on flavors.  

Meanwhile....  I also thought it would be a great opportunity to try out Craftster's awesome new attachments feature.  So, at the end of this post you will also find a PDF of pretty printable recipe cards for each of the three variations.

Batch #1
Prof. Pinkleo's Butterbeeriest Fudge

1-3/4 cups sugar
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1  cups butterscotch Chips
cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
 teaspoon vanilla nut & butter extract
teaspoon rum extract

1. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.

2. Combine sugar, marshmallow creme, evaporated milk and butter in heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to full boil; boil and stir 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat; gradually add the butterscotch and white chocolate chips, cup at a time, stirring until the chips are completely melted. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan; cool.

4. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Remove from pan; place on cutting board. Peel off foil. Cut into squares. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. About 5 dozen pieces or about 2-1/4 pounds candy.

Verdict: This fudge has the most intense butterscotch flavor, and is definitely the softest of the 3 batches.  I personally found the butterscotch flavor a bit too strong when I first tried the fudge.  (I've always pictured Butterbeer as being essentially an ale, with a butterscotch note to it, rather than reminiscent of sundae topping syrup.)  After sitting in the fridge for a few days however, I found the flavor had mellowed considerably.  This was the hands down favorite amongst Pinkleo and her kiddos, and has therefore been named in her honor.  Also important to note that this one melted the most in transit.  So if you are planning on shipping some to a friend, I recommend using one of the next two recipes.

Batch #2
Jennie's Favorite Butterbeer Fudge

1-3/4 cups sugar
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch Chips
1 cup chopped macadamia suts
teaspoon vanilla nut butter extract
teaspoon rum extract

1. Line 8-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.

2. Combine sugar, marshmallow creme, evaporated milk and butter in heavy 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil; boil and stir 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in white chocolate and butterscotch chips, cup at a time, stirring until the chips are completely melted.  Stir in the macadamia nuts. Stir in the vanilla nut butter and rum extracts. Pour into prepared pan; cool until set.

4. Remove from pan; place on cutting board. Peel off foil. Cut into squares. Store tightly covered in cool, dry place. About 5 dozen pieces or 2-1/4 pounds candy.

Verdict: This is my personal favorite of the three recipes, as well as Ex_Gratia and her family's.  It has a milder butterscotch flavor than batch one, due to the inclusion of a higher ratio of white chocolate chips.  It is sweet and mild, with a vanilla-nut-butter topnote, and a butterscotch finish.  This is also a firmer fudge, which feels almost "al dente" when you bite into it.  The macadamia nuts are definitely great in this.  Their mild flavor doesn't compete with the butterscotch the same way the walnuts did in batch #1, but their crunch is lovely.  It held it's shape better in shipping than batch #1, but if you are thinking of mailing it, I'd either wait till cooler weather or go for batch #3.

Batch #3
Gratia's Grownup Butterbeer Fudge

1 cup Butterscotch Chips
1 cup  White Chocolate Chips
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
1 cup chopped walnuts
teaspoon vanilla nut butter extract
tsp rum extract
1 cup White Chocolate Chips
⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk
tsp vanilla nut butter extract

1. Line 8-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.

2. Melt white chocolate and butterscotch chips with sweetened condensed milk in medium saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth.  (If doing this with children, you can also do this step in the microwave.  Set it to medium and start with a 30 second heating.  Then do 10 or 15 second bursts, stopping to stir each time.)

3. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, as well as vanilla nut butter & rum extracts. Spread into prepared pan.

4. Meanwhile, place 1 cup white chocolate chips and ⅓ cup condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on MEDIUM for 30 seconds, stir.  Continue microwaving at 10 second intervals, stirring between each, until chips are completely melted. Stir in vanilla nut butter extract.

5. Pour mixture over fudge, in light ribbons, trying to spread it out as evenly as possible.  You want a thin and even top layer that covers the whole pan.

6. Cover; refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Use foil to lift fudge out of pan; peel off foil. Cut fudge into squares. About 3 dozen pieces or 1-1/2 pounds fudge.

Verdict: This batch is the firmest of the three, and held it's shape in shipment surprisingly well. The top layer of white chocolate looks like the foamy head on the top of a glass of freshly poured butterbeer, which is a definite plus.  It also has the added benefit of being able to be made totally in the microwave, and therefore safer for kids & teens to make on their own.  The cute top layer however made this batch a little to heavily vanilla for me.  If I were to repeat this recipe, I would probably tweak it so as to add more butterscotch chips and less vanilla in the main portion of the fudge (maybe 1 1/2 cups butterscotch & 1/2 cup white chocolate) so that the vanilla on top would be more of a contrast.  That however, would probably also make the fudge itself softer, and more melty when shipping.  

Finally a note about the name:  Good friend, former student, and swap co-organizer Ex_Gratia has just graduated and gotten her first full-time professional job working at Louisville Ballet!  Since the top layer of the fudge made it resemble a real beer, I thought it appropriate to name it after my now "grownup" friend.

NOTE: For best results, do not double ANY of these recipes.

Remember, click below to download all three recipes on beautiful 4'x6" recipe cards!
220  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Everyday Inspiration Bracelet on: June 03, 2011 08:36:15 AM
While making several Doctor's Companion Bracelets lately, I've been ordering and using a great many of these Muse Tokens, by Tim Holtz.  All the tokens are lovely, but I've only been using the "Wonderful" tokens in my companion charm bracelets.  Problem is that each package only contains one of the "Wonderful" tokens that I need, leaving me with 11 other tokens to find uses for.  The other tokens included in the mix are Significant, Thoughts, Moments, Unique, Excellence, Courageous, Genuine, Knowledge, Lifetime, Forevermore, and Journey.  For the past few weeks I've been trying to find ways to use them up.  (See the Doctor Who, Gryffindor & Ravenclaw results here.)

Finally, I decided that I needed a way to use up several of the remaining tokens at once.  I liked the idea of doing something that mixed up the metallics, instead of sticking to one color.  Out of all the tokens, the ones I had been able to come up with the least uses for were the antiqued copper Significant, Thoughts, Moments, and Unique, and the antique bronze Excellence and Genuine. This bracelet was an attempt to get as many of them together as possible, and is based on the idea that all of us need a little extra inspiration sometimes.

Aside from the Muse tokens, the bracelet also features a silver feather, a copper quatrefoil, an antique brass angel, a gunmetal scrolly bit, a coppery flower, and a brass key, all mixed in with chunky deep purple Czech glass beads.  Now I just have about 6 more copies of each of those copper tokens to come up with uses for...
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