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231  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Half-Blood Prince/Advandced Potion Making Inspired Journal on: June 14, 2010 10:35:18 AM
I made this journal for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap for pinkleo, way back in December.  It isn't actually a copy of "Advanced Potion Making", but was inspired by the Half-Blood Prince's copy of the book.  I need to make more cute journals...


Front cover:

Inside:

Back cover:
232  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Travel Drawing Case on: June 14, 2010 10:23:46 AM
It seems I have several projects that I have never gotten around to posting, so here goes one of them!  This is a Travel Drawing Case that I made for Pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap.  It was based off an item on her Wist, which can be seen here:  Airplane Art Binder

The fabric on mine came from a dress I draped and built for a production of the musical Violet.  It was originally white, but was dyed for the show.  The buttons on the front are vintage, and came from one of my Bead Soup Swaps.

Front:


Open:


Thanks for looking!
233  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Iridescent Beetle Earrings on: June 11, 2010 09:35:24 PM
My friend Ex_Gratia is working away this summer, and I thought I'd send her a little care package to let her know she's loved.  A new bead store opened in our town, and I was waiting for a few weeks to get to check it out with her, but then she had to leave before we got around to going together.  I finally broke down and went in on Tuesday, and came out with these pretty little beetle beads.  I whipped these up tonight.  Hope she likes them!


The second picture is to show how they change color in the light:
234  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Eye & Initial Resin Bottle Cap Pendants on: June 11, 2010 09:32:24 PM
My friend Ex_Gratia is working away this summer, and I thought I'd send her a little care package.  I have been making tons of resin filled bottle cap charms for the Steampunk Charms Swap, and whipped these up while I was at it.  I made a similar "eye" themed one for myself, so we can have matching necklaces... I know, we're dorks.  

Blue "Eye" on a silver chain:


Her initial and the eye pendants together:  
235  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Potholder Swap Gallery ~ Sendouts 6/30 on: June 07, 2010 07:55:32 PM
Potholder Swap Gallery



Partners
jennieingram ---> Wulf
Wulf ---> jennieingram


petunya ---> angelofmusic
angelofmusic (Sent 7/1) ---> petunya


Pearliepie ---> HippieKender
HippieKender ---> Pearliepie


theballandskein (returned to sender 7/8; Re-sent 7/8) ---> professionalpineapple
professionalpineapple ---> theballandskein
(Thanks for the pics professionalpineapple!  Kiss)

skullseamstress ---> craftylittlemonkey
craftylittlemonkey ---> skullseamstress


kwiltykate ---> donnevita
donnevita ---> kwiltykate


Babalina58 ---> Laideebugz
Laideebugz ---> Babalina58


SamanthaHope ---> pinkleo
pinkleo ---> SamanthaHope


ilovemybrachiosaurus (7/1) ---> laurasaurus
laurasaurus (Sent 7/8) ---> ilovemybrachiosaurus

Sherrie B, UT ---> gerbilgal
gerbilgal ---> Sherrie B, UT


Retromiad ---> christinacoghill
christinacoghill ---> Retromiad


Status Colors
SENDING:

Green = Sent
Orange = Sending Late with Communication
Red = LATE, NO COMMUNICATION, CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY!

RECEIVING:
Blue = Received (but haven't POSTED yet)
Purple = Received & Posted
Strikethrough = Feedback Given
GLOWING RED=NEGATIVE FEEDBACK

Click here to go back to our original thread
236  COOKING / Dessert / La Tua Cantante Cupcakes; Strawberry-Filled Vampire Cupcake Tutorial on: June 05, 2010 06:44:23 PM


La Tua Cantante Cupcakes
(Twilight Inspired Strawberry-Filled Cupcakes)


My good friend Ex_Gratia just turned 21 in April.  As her birthday was on a Monday night, and she already had a big party planned for the following weekend, she asked if we could do something simple and quiet on her actual birthday.  She thought long and hard about what we should do, and decided that she wanted to come over, have a glass of wine, some dinner, and watch Twilight & New Moon.  Pretty darn good plan I thought.  (Yes, we both admitted its not a very exciting 21st, but were okay with being dorks.)  So, after planning a delicious meal, I knew I needed to plan an even more awesome dessert.  I decided that in honor of the vampire filled evening, we were going to need  La Tua Cantante Cupcakes.  
To be more specific, Strawberry-Filled French Vanilla Cupcakes, oozing a thick blood-red filling from two perfect puncture wounds.

Since the dinner was on a weeknight, and I didnt want to be eating at midnight, I did some prep work on dinner and decorated the cupcakes that morning.  And I admit that I started with a boxed cake mix & pre-made frosting because I had so much other cooking to do.  (Recipes for the Milk & Mustard Baked Ham, and Hash-brown Casserole I made that night will come later!)  I knew what I wanted to make, and had seen plenty of cupcakes decorated with gel icing, which was not what I was quite going for.  I did bother to consult the interwebs about a few things.  Specifically the best way to FILL cupcakes.  Heres  my tutorial on all of it.

Software:
1 Cake Mix I used French Vanilla, which was very vampirific shade of white
1 container of Frosting I used Cream Cheese Frosting which I improved upon by adding a few drops of Almond Extract, 2 T of milk, and about C confectioners sugar
1 can of Strawberry Pie Filling
Shimmer or Pearl Dust (optional)

Hardware:
1 paring knive
1 butter knife
a few toothpicks
1 zip top bag (sandwhich size)
1 writing tip
1 coupler

Start by baking the cupcakes according to the package directions.  Allow them to cool completely.  I cannot stress this enough, they must be COOL!  While they are cooling you can doctor up your pre-packaged frosting if you wish.  I always add a bit of extract (almond), milk, and confectioners sugar to mine whenever I use to, to make it taste & behave more like homemade.  

Now, gather your hardware.  Begin by placing a cupcake on a stable surface, and find your most comfortable-to-handle paring knife.


Insert your knife, at about a 45 degree angle, into the cupcake about halfway between the center and the outer edge.  Run your knife around in a circle, to cut out a cone of the cake.   Slice off the tip of the cone, and hollow out any stray bits of cake that you think may get in your way for the next step


Now, use a spoon to extract a single strawberry, and a bit of its surrounding gel, from the can of filling.  Drop the strawberry into the cavity of the cupcake.


Be sure not to overfill, because you will need to place the cupcake top that youve cut out, back on top.  Repeat with all the remaining cupcakes.


Now, frost your cupcakes with your improved-upon frosting.  The stickiness of the gel should hold the tops onto the cupcakes while you frost.  If you like your vampires to sparkle, you can also take this opportunity to add a bit of Shimmer or Pearl Dust onto the top of the frosting.  These are commercially available and completely edible cake decorating products that can be found in cake, party supply, and craft stores including Joanns or Hobby Lobby.  They are generally just brushed on with a pastry brush, but be sure to check the directions on whatever you purchase.


After frosting your cupcakes, you are ready to add the all important oozing puncture wounds.  Start by taking a toothpick and making two small holes into the frosting, about 1 1/4 to 1 apart.  You only need to go through the frosting on this step, not all the way into the cacvity in the cupcake.  Dont worry if you do accidentally pierce the top of the cupcake, but dont go out of your way, or make a mess, going any further in.


Next, take a zip top bag, and cut off the tip.  Fit it with a coupler, and a writing tip.  (These cake decorating products come in very useful in the kitchen and can be found cheaply in any cake, party supply, kitchen, or craft store.  The tip slips between the two pieces of the coupler, which screws together, with the bag between them, holding the tip in place.)  Fill the bag with some of the strawberry pie filling gel, but not any of the berries.  Try to avoid any berry pulp as well, as it can clog the tip.  Remove the excess air from the bag, and zip closed.  


Place the tip down on some wax paper and begins squeezing the bag to start dispensing the filling.  Now, start with one of the puncture wounds you have made.  Place the tip at the hole, and squeeze the bag lightly, making a small stream of gel.  Gently increase the pressure the closer you get to the edge of the cupcake, so that the blood pools in a larger drip than it started as.    


Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.  Be careful not to put too much filling right at the edge, if they are going to sit a while before serving, or gravity may do its work and pull some of the heavier drops off the edge and youll have to go back at touch them up later.


Serve the delicious treats to the hungry hoards and bask in the glow of their wonder at youre amazing cake skills.  


Pssst...  Chocolate cupcakes with cherry filling would be amazing too!  Just sayin'...
237  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / The Meadow - My Newest Cluster Bracelet (Pic Heavy) on: May 24, 2010 03:16:52 PM
I've been so busy with work lately that I haven't taken time to post any of the new jewelry I've made.  Which is clearly a shame, since I'm in love with this new cluster bracelet.  I was inspired by the description of Bella & Edward's Meadow in Twilight, but I think it works as a stand alone piece.  

"The meadow was small, perfectly round, and filled with wildflowers violet, yellow, and soft white. Somewhere nearby, I could hear the bubbling music of a stream." - S. Meyer, Twilight

I love the way that the light catches it.  Somehow it seems to glow, even under fluorescent lights, especially the bright green hearts.  I used glass flowers in shades of violet, yellow, peach, pink, & sky blue, bright sap green glass hearts and leaves, and silver charms. The beads and charms create the nicest gentle tinkling music.  Charms include bees, butterfly, leaves, flower, squirrel, dragonfly, sun, and moth.









Comments or constructive criticism is always welcome.  Smiley
238  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Ultimate Twlight Charm Bracelet - Version 3.0? Pic Heavy! on: May 24, 2010 03:02:14 PM
I can't seem to stop making cluster bracelets.  I think it's starting to worry my husband...  Actually I'm not sure what worries him more; my constant crafting or my constant rereading of Twilight.  I've made several versions of a Twilight charm bracelet before, but I think this one is my favorite.  It has a nice weight and jingles gently, but isn't too heavy. 









I used red glass hearts, clear and red cut glass beads, black and red Swarovski crystals, black mother-of-pearl stars, charcoal glass pearls, and a ton of charms.

Charms include:
Apple - Forbidden Fruit
Chess Queen - Bella's finding her place within the Cullen's
Rose - an ancient symbol of love
Piano - Edward's love of music
Crystal Heart - Cold, hard and throws rainbows in the sun
Lion - Edward Cullen
Leaf - Forests of Washington state
Truck - Bella's ancient vehicle
Fork - Forks, WA
Swan - Bella Swan
Motorcycle - Bella's relationship with Jacob
Wolf - Jacob Black
Believe - a reminder of the supernatural
Celtic Knot - Unending Love
Chess Pawn - Bella at the beginning of the Saga
Baseball - the Cullen's family


I also made a necklace to match:


239  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Absinthe/Green Faerie Art Nouveau Bookmark on: May 24, 2010 02:55:53 PM
I've always loved the mystery and allure surrounding Absinthe, from the  beautiful Art Nouveau advertising and mad Parisian artists, to changing whirlwind of the Turn of the Twentieth century...  Too bad I don't actually care for the drink itself! 

When I found this graceful pewter bookmark and oddly shaped dichroic glass bead, I knew exactly what I had to make; an Absinthe bookmark!  I hope you like it.  As always, comments and criticism are welcome. 



Detail of charms:
240  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / New Owl, Tree, Bird, Star & Fairy Earrings on: May 24, 2010 02:48:46 PM
Hi everyone!  I've been so busy with the dance concerts and plays we've been putting up at work, that I haven't had a spare moment to post any of my jewelry in ages.  I made these earrings a month or so back, and really like how they came out.  I was going for simple and elegant... 

Blue Moon Copper Owl Earrings with turquoise mother of pearl disks


Blue Moon Silver Owl Earrings


Copper Tree of Life Earrings with green freshwater pearls


Copper Songbird Earrings with mother of pearl disks


Silver Stars with Violet Crystals


Celestial Faerie Earrings with bronze freshwater coin pearls
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