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211  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Reversable Throw Pillows on: December 31, 2009 05:36:51 PM
I whipped up these throw pillows for my sister in law for Christmas.  She had heavily hinted that she wanted new pillows, and mentioned colors, but Jennifer is a bit... picky I suppose you could say...  So I thought I'd better give her two options.  I made them exactly like a zippered pouch, following the  Make a Lined Zippered Pouch Tutorial by e.r.i.k.a.  They seemed to be a big hit, and now I'm thinking about making a set for my living room.

Both pillows:


Red asymmetrical stripe:


Brown & gold symmetrical stripe:


Shot showing zipper and inside:
212  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Christmas Poinsettia Quilt on: December 31, 2009 05:00:28 PM
I realized today that I've been crafting my butt off, but I haven't posted anything in ages.   This is because everything was being crafted for my family for Christmas, or for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap, and I couldn't risk Pinkleo seeing anything early!  I made her this Poinsettia Quilt for Day 1 of the swap.  The Poinsettia fabric was actually pillow panels that my mom gave me a while back.  I cut the centers out to make half the blocks, then used some of the edge pattern to make 4-Patch blocks, and the outer border.  The sage green, and dusty rose also both came out of my stash, as did the green & tan flannels on the back, and the batting.  Actually, the only thing I had to purchase for the whole project was the raspberry for the blocks & binding, bringing the total to a whopping $7!  (Normally I would keep that fact a secret as it was a gift, but I know Pinkleo would be proud of me on that account.) 



Block detail:


213  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Bookmark Swap- Rd. 2 SENDOUT DATE HAS CHANGED!!! IT IS NOW: 1/19/10 on: December 28, 2009 05:08:15 PM
Our awesome GALLERY can be found here!




Swap name:  Bookmark Swap Round 2
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: jennieingram
Craftster member who is co-organizing this swap: pinkleo
Sign-up date range: 12/28/09 1/8/10
Date to send item by: 1/19/10
***Note:  This has been changed due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day being Monday, the 18th.  If the Postal Service is shut down, you certainly can't send out your bookmarks!***


Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): 60


Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO

Additional Age requirement? No

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: YES
- 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 yes, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If no, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:
In this swap, participants will have two options.  
#1.To sign up to swap with a single partner.   (Send and receive 1 bookmark.)
#2. To sign up to swap in a group of 5.  (Send and receive 4 bookmarks.)

This swap is open to people in every country, and is a great way to try out swapping internationally, without a lot of cost.  To those of you who automatically say you do not wish to ship to a country outside your own, please consider it on this one!!! You will only be mailing an envelope and the costs would be much less than in a traditional swap.  Think about how much fun it will be to get international mail!  And think about how sad you would be as an international crafter, if no one ever wanted to swap with you!  I would also be happy to take into consideration those of you who wished to have only 1 or 2 international partners.  Smiley

Here are some postal rates, taken from the USPS.com postage calculator, for standard envelopes, weighing 1 & 2 oz, containing non-rigid, or rigid objects.  These are just here as a guide, not any sort of official price.

Australia 1 oz. non-rigid $.98
Australia 1 oz. rigid $1.18
Australia 2 oz. non-rigid $1.82
Australia 2 oz. rigid $2.02

Canada 1 oz. non-rigid $.75
Canada 1 oz. rigid $.95
Canada 2 oz. non-rigid $1.00
Canada 2 oz. rigid $1.20

United Kingdom 1 oz. non-rigid $.98
United Kingdom 1 oz. rigid $1.18
United Kingdom non-rigid $1.82
United Kingdom rigid $2.02

South Africa 1 oz. non-rigid $.98
South Africa 1 oz. rigid $1.18
South Africa 2 oz. non-rigid $1.76
South Africa 2 oz. rigid $1.96


For a wonderful swap experience, communication is always the key.  Please keep in touch with your partners and organizer.  If you are accepted into the swap, I will PM you, and add you to the participant list.  Once partners have been assigned, you may craft your bookmarks and send as early as you wish.  All swaps on Craftster, requires the use of DC#s, but this is not possible when sending letters or sending internationally.  Since you can't get a DC number for these, feedback will be based on if your partner received or not.  

For U.S. based swappers:  If your bookmark is not received after two weeks, you will need to re-craft and send another one to avoid negative feedback.

For International and US/International swappers:  If your bookmark is not received after two weeks, you will need to re-craft and send.


If you don't think you'll be able to make and send more bookmarks if your items are lost in the mail, please think about either doing option #1, or joining the next round instead.  As soon as you ship, YOU MUST PM YOUR organizer and your partner to tell them.  Please label your PM "SENT: Bookmark Swap - Round. 2".  When you receive, you MUST PM your partner and organizer again, please label this one "RECEIVED: Bookmark Swap - Round 2".

Here is the thread for the original Bookmark Swap Round 1
 
If you want to participate, information to send to organizer:

QUESTIONNAIRE TO ANSWER:
Name of swap: Bookmark Swap - Round 2
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 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval: (YES/NO)

Would you like to have 1 partner (make/receive 1 bookmark), or, be in a group of 5 (make/receive 4 bookmarks)?

What is your favorite book?
What is your favorite author or series?  
What is your favorite genre of books?  (mystery, historical fiction, romance, etc.)
What are some of your other hobbies and interests?
What are your favorite colors, themes, or motifs? (blue, nature, trees, etc.)
What themes would you not like to receive?

What kind of bookmarks do you like to make?
What kind of bookmarks do you like? (ie: paper, thong, stretchy...)  
Do you have any allergies?
Do you have any pets?
Do you smoke?
Do you have special requests?


IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR INFO TO ORGANIZER VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE AND NOT TO REPLY WITH IT HERE.


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

***Note:  If we reach 60 swappers, I'll close sign-ups early, giving us more time to craft.***
214  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Bead Soup Swap - Round 3 on: October 31, 2009 09:09:16 AM
Post pictures of all your lovely treasures here!


Partners:

1. jennieingram  -----> DizzerSpinninRound, april again
2. april again  -----> DizzerSpinninRound, jennieingram
3. babiestarlite13  -----> PirateColey, disposableactor
4. scraparcs  -----> Dragonflywer
5. Tero -----> jennieingram, PirateColey
6. DizzerSpinninRound  -----> babiestarlite13, hotty_blond2000
7.PirateColey   -----> Dragonflywer, disposableactor
8. disposableactor -----> Tero, babiestarlite13
9. hotty_blond2000  -----> april again
10. Dragonflywer  -----> Tero, scraparcs

Status Colors
SENDING:
Green = Sent
Orange = Sending Late with Communication
RECEIVING:
Purple = Received & Posted
Blue = Received (but haven't POSTED yet)
Red = LATE, NO COMMUNICATION, CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY!
Strikeout = Feedback Given
GLOWING RED=NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
215  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Bead Soup Swap - Round 3 on: October 05, 2009 01:11:28 PM
Swap name: Bead Soup Swap - Round 3
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: jennieingram
Sign-up date range: October 5 October 19, 2009
Date to send item by: November 2, 2009


GALLERY



Limited to a certain number of people? (Optional): 24
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? YES
If so, which country? US only for this round
(Next round will be open to all countries again.)


Age requirement? 16

Swap Organizer 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: YES
- 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 yes, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If no, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

This swap is designed to be very fast, and very simple.  As such, I reserve the right to refuse anyone. If you have feedback that shows a history of incomplete packages, late sending, ill-communication, lack of DC #'s, etc. I may refuse you.


Details of swap:
Every beader ends up with too many of some beads, or some beautiful beads that maybe just aren't your style.  This super fast Bead Soup Swap will help you share that goodness with other crafters, and reinvigorate your own bead stash!  

In this round you may choose to have either ONE or TWO partners.  You must indicate this in your questionnaire.  Each swapper is required to send a minimum of 1 full cup of "average sized" (about 5-8mm) beads per partner. You can always send out more if you wish, but you must check with your partners so no one feels slighted.  It will be left to partners to decide the fairness on swapping other sized beads, like tiny seed beads or giant over-sized ones.  You must also discuss with your partners before you decide to send any alternate items like charms or jewelry findings, so you can work out a fair "trade" for everyone involved.

The swap will also include one small-to-medium sized beaded item as a gift for your partner(s), like a bracelet, a beaded bookmark, or 1-2 pairs of earrings. These should be kept small so that you have enough time to craft, as well as pack and send out, in 14 days.  Include DETAILED information in your questionnaire for your partners that will help them design something for you, as well as pick out beads to send you.  Writing things like Oh, I like everything, might seem time saving to you, but it is NOT HELPFUL for your partner.  Be sure to include a link to your wist if you have one!

Partners will be assigned by me, and will be based on what people HAVE to give and WANT to receive.  This means that since Im assigning based on what people want for beads, you MIGHT NOT BE RECEIVING FROM THE SAME PERSON YOU ARE SENDING TO!  
  
For a wonderful swap experience, communication is always the key.  Please keep in touch with your partner and with me by posting in this thread at least once a week.  Stop in for a quick hello, or if youre going away or will be without internet access or anything of the sort, just post a message.

If you are accepted into the swap, the organizer will PM you, and add you to the participant list.  Once partners have been assigned, you may pick beads, craft your items, and send as early as you wish.  This swap, like all others on Craftster, requires the use of DC#s.  As soon as you ship, YOU MUST PM the organizer and your partner to tell them, as well as provide DC#s.  Please label your PM "SENT: Bead Soup Rd. 3".  When you receive, you MUST PM again your partner and organizer again, please label this one "RECEIVED: Bead Soup Swap".

Remember, all official Craftster swap rules will be observed.  Be sure to review the Swap Info Guide and feel free to PM me if you have ANY questions.

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

QUESTIONNAIRE TO ANSWER:
Name of swap: Bead Soup Swap Round 3
Craftster username
Email address
Your real name
Mailing address including the country

Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (yes/no)
Confirm that you understand that a Delivery Confirmation number is REQUIRED for this swap: (yes/no)

Would you like to have one partner, or two?

REMEMBER WHEN FILLING THIS OUT, FOR THE BEST PARTNERING YOU MUST BE SPECIFIC IN WHAT YOU HAVE AND WHAT YOU WANT.

What is/are your favorite color(s)?
What are your favorite colors to use in beading? (You might love purple tees, but have no use for purple beads!)
Favorite metallics or spacer beads? (gold, silver, copper, antiqued gold/bronze, etc.)
What kinds of beads to do you wish to receive? (Glass, crystal, stone, seed, wood, plastic, polymer clay, etc.)

What types of beads do you NOT wish to receive?
What kinds of beads do you that you'd like to share?
What kinds of jewelry/crafts do you like to make? (earrings, strung bead necklaces, charm bracelets, junk jewelry, hemp necklaces, tree of life pendants, sun catchers, etc.)
Do you use charms, spacers, buttons, etc. in your beading/jewelry making?

What kind of jewelry do you wear the most?
Do you have pierced ears?
Favorite bracelet length?
Favorite jewelry metal? (Gold, silver, copper, etc.)
Do you have any jewelry based allergies? (Sensitive ears, etc?)

What are some of your interests other than beading?  (Other crafts, favorite books, favorite movies/music, etc.)
Do you want to include anything else, that perhaps you have too much of, in your swapping?  (For example, did you inherited a box of 5,000 clasps, and want to share some?)
Are you in desperate need of something else, like earring wires or clasps?
Is there anything else you'd like your partner to know about you?

IF YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE, REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR INFO TO ORGANIZER VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE AND NOT TO REPLY WITH IT HERE.

I wish you all HAPPY SWAPPING!  Kiss



Participants:
1. jennieingram
2. april again *welcome back!*
3. babiestarlite13
4. scraparcs ***welcome first time swapper***
5. Tero *welcome back!*
6. DizzerSpinninRound
7. PirateColey
8. disposableactor
9. hotty_blond2000
10. Dragonflywer
216  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Trying to find Gold & Red Stripped (Gryffindor) Mary Jane Slippers - Seen them? on: August 22, 2009 10:42:55 PM
Hi guys,
Sorry to bother you all, but a few days ago (maybe a week?) I saw a great pair of crocheted mary jane style slippers in red & gold stripe (Gryffindor House colors).  I *thought* I bookmarked them, but apparently I did not.  I can't for the life of me find them on here under any search topic that I can think of.  I want to say they were from a swap, but I can't remember which one.  I looked up the galleries of the most recent Harry Potter swaps, but still can't seem to find them, so perhaps they were in another swap.  Maybe something more ambiguously themed, like "Make a friend", or a multi-themed one?  Has anyone seen these recently?  Thanks for your help.  :-)  
217  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Amazing Barley & Vegetable Soup w/ Italian sausage -Super cheap & easy! on: August 21, 2009 03:03:36 PM


Has the picture of the bowl full of love enticed you?  Well, let me elaborate on that bowl of goodness... 
Short story: I've been out of work for almost two months now, but I start back there next week.  (University doesn't need me in the summer.)  So before my work break, which I knew was coming, I started putting away some extra groceries every week, to have on hand at the end of the summer, when I knew funds would be the lowest.  If I needed toothpaste, I'd buy 2 or 3 when it was on sale, and put the extras in the cupboard.  I did the same with lots of foods, like bags of barley, rice, pasta, and lentils, as well as frozen foods like mixed vegetables, mire poix blends, and meats like chicken breasts, italian sausage, etc.  So last night, I wanted to make *something different* because I've been making a lot of the same foods.  When I dug through the cupboard I found the barley, lentils, and cans of tomatoes & beans... Hmmm...

I ended up making this amazing Barley & Vegetable Soup, with Italian sausage.  (Which you could easily omit to be vegetarian or vegan friendly.)  Let me also say that my classic Midwestern husband is *NOT* big on vegetable soup, but he loved this!  He had 2 gigantic bowls, and then was sad that his tummy was too full for more.  It was very hearty, extremely cheap, and intensely flavorful.  In fact, I loved it so much, I'm eating some more now while sharing it with you!  The brightness of the tomatoes contrasted nicely with the earthy taste of the veggies, and the spicy note of fennel in the sausage. 

Barley & Vegetable Soup, with Italian sausage

1 C Pearl Barley
1 C Lentils
1 bag frozen Mire Poix vegetables (Onion/celery/carrots, which you can easily use from fresh instead.  I just had frozen on hand.)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 cube/1tsp chicken bullion
1 tsp dried Parsley
1/2-1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (I had 1/4 of this, and 1/4 of a bag of frozen peas)
3 Italian sausage links
ground pepper & kosher or sea salt to taste

Start by cooking the barley and the lentils, separately, according to their package directions.  The barley takes about 45-50 mins, and the lentils about 20 mins, so start the barley, then pour yourself a glass of wine, enjoy a bit of it, and then start the lentils. 

Meanwhile, thaw the vegetables in the microwave if frozen.  Then, in a large stock pot, add some olive oil, and sautee the onions, celery, and carrots until tender.  Add 6 cups of water, the two cans of tomatoes, and the chicken bullion.  Bring to a simmer. 

Next, strip the casings off of your Italian sausage, and crumble it up.  Place them in a sautee pan, and cook till no longer pink.  By now your lentils should be done, and your barley will be getting close.  I used about 2/3 of each of the barley and lentils in my soup, and put the rest in the fridge to mix into turkey burgers later this week, but you can throw it all in if you want.  Add the barley and lentils to the soup, along with the parsley and your frozen mixed veggies.  Let the soup thaw the veggies.  Add fresh ground pepper and a dash of sea or kosher salt to taste, and serve. 

This recipe made 8 good sized servings or 6 gluttonous-boy servings.  As we had it for dinner last night, a late lunch today, and there's some left for tomorrow, that was 3 whole meals for 2 people!



As random "food for thought", here's what the cost break down is: 
.30  barley
.30  lentils
.99  frozen mire poix veggies
1.18 canned tomatoes
.59  black beans
.10  chicken bullion
.49 frozen mixed veggies
1.80  Italian sausage
$5.75 total, or .95 cents per huge serving!
218  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Bead Soup Swap - Round 2 Gallery on: August 20, 2009 02:41:28 PM
Post pictures of all your pretty treasures here!!!


Participants:

1. jennieingram -----> sheepBlue, pinkleo
2. sheepBlue -----> pinkleo, atsuko
3. Onyxnox -----> peihan17
4. timpani~jax -----> Tero
5. WYOKrista -----> olive_juice
6. TwistMySister -----> Bonster4454
7. uluru -----> sarahbug(unable to post pictures), april again
8. ladycatns -----> uluru
9. Bonster4454 -----> Tero, TwistMySister
10. teriyakimoto -----> Bonster4454, JennieIngram
11. olive_juice -----> CreativeChick8, WYOKrista
12. peihan17 -----> olive_juice
13. jenn1519 -----> sheepBlue
14. CreativeChick8 -----> teriyakimoto
15. april again -----> timpani~jax
16. Tero -----> uluru, ladycatns
17. sarahbug -----> Onyxnox
18. atsuko -----> jenn1519
19. pinkleo -----> teriyakimoto, JennieIngram

ANGEL PACKAGES:
1. april again -----> teriyakimoto

Status Colors

SENDING:
Green = Sent
Orange = Sending Late with Communication
RECEIVING:
Purple = Received & Posted
Blue = Received (but haven't POSTED yet)
Red = LATE, NO COMMUNICATION, CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY!
Strikeout = Feedback Given
GLOWING RED=NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
219  COOKING / Dessert / Chocolate Hazelnut Thins - a.k.a. Nutella Cookies on: August 09, 2009 11:20:16 AM
I made these a few days ago, and since they came out really good, I thought I'd share.  I wanted to make something involving nutella, but didn't really like any of the recipes I saw online.  So, I went to my old standard, the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, and found their Peanut Butter Cookie recipe.  I tweaked it just a bit. 



1/2 C butter or margarine
1/2 C nutella (or store brand generic "Chocolate Hazelnut Spread")
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C flour

Beat the butter and nutella on medium speed for 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and baking powder.  Beat till combined, scrapping sides of bowl as needed.  Beat in the egg and vanilla till combined.  Beat in the flour, about 1/4-1/2 C at a time.  (If you feel your mixer straining with the last of the flour, stir it in by hand.)  Cover dough and refrigerate till it's easy to handle (about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Shape dough into 1" balls, and place 2-3" apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Spritz the tines of a fork with non-stick spray, and press into dough balls, rolling the fork off the cookies as you go, so that they don't stick to the fork.  (Rinse fork and re-spritz halfway through if necessary, so you get pretty cookies.)  You can "criss-cross" your fork marks like on peanut butter cookies, but I didn't bother too.  I liked the way the parallel lines looked on my finished cookies.  Bake 7-9 minutes, watching carefully.  Allow to cool on sheet for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.  Makes about 36-40 chewy cookies. 

My husband wants me to make these again, to create ice cream sandwiches with...
220  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Asian Inspired Wedding Quilt for my brother on: August 05, 2009 08:59:30 AM
This is an older one of my quilts.  I did this a few years ago for my brother and his lovely wife when they got married, but at the time I wasn't as good about documenting my work, so I had no pictures of it!  Now that I'm living in KY, while he's still up in NH, I hadn't had a chance to get some pictures of it over the last few years.  Thanks to a trip home this summer, I finally got some!

A close up of the lap quilt layed out on their bed:


The whole quilt, in the hands of Joe and his lovely wife (notice the baby on the way!):


Detail shots of a few of my favorite blocks:


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