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251  COOKING / Dessert / Amazing Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake ~ Perfect summer treat! Not too sweet! on: August 01, 2010 06:41:40 PM
I found the original recipe for this years ago in a Better Homes and Gardens publication.  It was a mini cookbook called Cooking for Today; Muffins & Breads".  I've made it time and time again, tweaking it slightly along the way, and it never fails to impress and satisfy, so I thought I'd share the love.  I've made it as a breakfast coffee cake, and as a dessert, and everyone loves it anytime of day.  You can use fresh raspberries in it, but I honestly think frozen work out better in this.  The time it takes them to thaw in the oven, helps them stay whole, while fresh ones tend to burst and turn into a mushy berry pile. 

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

1 C AP Flour
C sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
tsp. baking soda
tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
C sour cream
C butter or margarine, melted (go with butter, margarine is full of "stuff" you don't want to eat)
1 C fresh or frozen raspberries (Frozen work better than fresh here!)
2 T. brown sugar
1/3 C slivered almonds (optional)

Almond Icing: (optional)
C powdered sugar
1 tsp. milk
tsp. almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease the bottom of an 8 round cake pan.

2. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in the center.  In another bowl beat the egg, sour cream, and melted butter or margarine.  Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture.  Stir till just moistened.  (The batter will be dry and a bit lumpy.)

3. Spread 2/3 of the batter into the bottom of the pan.  This will be a bit difficult as the batter is thick.  I recommend using your fingers instead of a spoon/spatula, and breaking it up into chunks.  Dont worry if you see little bits of the bottom of the pan peaking through, it wont matter. 

4. Sprinkle on the raspberries and brown sugar.  Try to get a light and even coating of brown sugar.  I actually use my fingers to gently break up and sprinkle the sugar, so it's put down in a light even coat.  Drop the remaining 1/3 of the batter, by small spoonfulls all over the raspberries.  Sprinkle with slivered almonds, if using.

5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. 

6. While its baking, prepare the icing.  In a small bowl combine powdered sugar, 1 tsp. of milk, and almond extract.  Stir till smooth.  If icing is too thick, add -1 tsp. more milk.

7. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the pan, if desired.  Drizzle with almond icing.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
252  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Steampunk Celtic Pirate Potholder & Mitts on: July 22, 2010 01:54:32 PM
I just realized that I never got around to posting these...  I just organized the Potholder Swap, and had a wonderful time creating a set of Steampunk Potholders for my partner, Wulf.  He mentioned that he usually uses mitt style potholders, because the average square and circle ones are too small for his hands.  So I made him two mitts, and one extra large square potholder.   He mentioned liking Steampunk and Victoriana in general, and I noticed on his profile that he also liked celtic things, so soon the Steampunk Celtic Pirate Potholders were born...

All together:

Large square, which features vintage map borders, around a celtic knot:

The reverse features appliqued clocks, and an antique looking fabric "letter":

The front of mitt #1:

The reverse of mitt #1:  (I quilted along the longitude and latitude lines of the map fabric!)

The front of mitt #2:

The reverse of mitt #2:  (Here I quilted around all the little scrolly bits...  I must have temporarily lost my mind.)

I also included a set of magnets as an extra.  They were made by filling bottlecaps with resin, and include lots of images from the Graphics Fairy. 
253  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Bead Soup Swap Rd. 4 (Signups CLOSED~Sendouts 8/13) on: July 15, 2010 05:38:41 PM

Swap name: Bead Soup Swap - Round 4
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: jennieingram
Sign-up date range: 7/15/10-7/30/10
Date to send item by: 8/13/10

Limited to a certain number of people: 20

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 within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

This swap is designed to be very fast, very simple, and flake free.  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 will refuse you.

First time swappers will be limited to 1 partner.

Please be sure to read all the details of this swap thoroughly!   Smiley  Also, as this swap only requires you to mail a small package, please consider being willing to ship internationally if you do not normally.  This is a great, and inexpensive way to meet a crafter in another country!

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.  (First time swappers would be limited to 1 partner.)  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. You MUST include DETAILED information about what kinds of beads you wish to share in your questionnaire so that I can match you up with the best possible partner, and to help your partner to design something for you.  Writing things like Oh, I like everything, is NOT HELPFUL.  I will refuse members who do not complete the questionnaire thoroughly.  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 ARE PROBABLY NOT SENDING TO THE SAME PERSON YOU WILL BE RECEIVING FROM!  
For a wonderful swap experience, communication is always the key.  Please keep in touch with your partners.  Stop into the thread 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".

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

Name of swap:
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)
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? (First time swappers are limited to 1 partner.)


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 have 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?


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.
254  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Bead Soup Swap Rd. 4 on: July 11, 2010 01:24:31 PM

The lovely Tero has reminded me that it's been a while since the last Bead Soup Swap.  I had promised to do one after New Years, but clearly time, and other swapping obligations got in the way.  I'm happy to do another round of Bead Soup though, if people are interested.  Since the last round was US only, I'd be opening this one up to international swappers.  

I'm thinking of the same parameters as the last round:

-You may choose to have either ONE or TWO partners.  (First time swappers would be limited to 1 partner.)
-Each swapper is required to send a minimum of 1 full cup of "average sized" (about 5-8mm) beads per partner. It will be left to partners to decide the fairness on swapping other sized beads, like tiny seed beads or giant over-sized ones.  

-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

This would be a FAST swap with about 1 1/2 - 2 weeks of "crafting" time, since you would only be making 1 or 2 small items, and then packing a box or envelope.

I would reserve the right to refuse anyone with a history of incomplete packages, late sending, ill-communication, lack of DC #'s, etc., as well as anyone who did not thoroughly fill out their questionnaire, as to what they have to swap and what they want to receive.

Bead Soup Swap
Bead Soup Swap Gallery

Bead Soup Swap Rd. 2
Bead Soup Swap Rd. 2 Gallery

Bead Soup Swap Rd. 3
Bead Soup Swap Rd. 3 Gallery

So....  Who's interested?

Interested parties:
Miss Barbara
april again
255  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Hogwarts House Bracelet & Earring Sets on: July 11, 2010 12:01:40 PM
I had an idea earlier this week to make up some fun Harry Potter inspired bracelets.  I wanted to create a simple bracelet for each house, kind of a beaded version of a friendship bracelet.  I found some really beautiful river shell beads that came in blue, yellow, red, and green, and fairly glowed in the light.  Sadly however, they were temporarily out of red.  Sad  So I whipped up bracelets for Ravenclaw, Slytherin, & Hufflepuff houses, with a Gryffindor bracelet still to come.  Then I decided that each one clearly needed a matching pair of earrings, so I added them to the list.  

These are what I came up with.  I like that each one has it's own feel, and is distinct from the others, but still has those same river shell beads to tie them all together.  





Thanks for looking!
256  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / "Sew Beautiful" Red & Turquoise Charm Bracelet on: July 05, 2010 06:25:53 PM
Well, I seem to be on a roll with the bracelet making today!  After finishing my Pirate's Life Charm Bracelet today, I moved on to make one dedicated to my love of sewing!  Special thanks go to Pinkleo and her BRILLIANT advice on the color choice of red and turquoise.  The bracelet itself is made of glass beads, vintage and modern acrylic buttons, and pewter charms.  The charms include a rotary cutter, sewing machine, needle & thread, scissors, iron, thimble, tape measure, tracing wheel and pendants that read "Live", "Create", and "Love".

Happy bejeweling AND stitching to you Craftsters!
257  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / A Pirates Life Charm Bracelet on: July 05, 2010 11:48:19 AM
I had taken a break from jewelry crafting in order to get a large amount of quilting done, but decided it was high time I got back to making up some fun charm bracelets.  I did this one yesterday and realised just how much I missed making bracelets.  Without further ado...

A Pirate's Life Charm Bracelet

It contains glass beads & pearls, Swarovski crystals, and rhinestones, in shades of red, black and white. The charms include a lighthouse, silver coin, seahorse, pirate skull, starfish, ships wheel, working treasure chest, anchor, jolly roger, compass rose, clam shell, baby seahorse, finished off with a mermaid clasp.
258  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Steampunk Kitchenware Housewarming Gift; towels, potholders, tablemat & magnets! on: June 23, 2010 03:10:56 PM
A friend of mine just moved to Cleveland, where he doesn't know many people.  I thought he needed a nice housewarming present, and since I was already on a roll making potholders for the Potholder Swap I'm organizing, I started with the idea of kitchen wares for Dustin.  He has also fallen in love with the Steampunk vibe, so I went with that when creating all these toys for him.  

Whole package, which includes what I'm calling a "Tablemat" (kind of like a table runner, but for a small appartment sized table); 2 quilted potholders; 2 super thick & soft kitchen towels; and a set of marble magnets:

Tablemat, which started life as a $1 linen-like placemat at BigLots.  I did some applique cogs, layered in with some sort of fabric collage bits, that used various decorative stitches, raw edges, and fringing, and bound the edges for a more finished look:

Tablemat, detail of applique & zig-zag stitching:

Tablemat, detail of appliqued cogs:

Potholders & Towels; the Potholders were free motion quilted, and the trim on the towels was just strips of fabric cut to fit the block design of the towels, and top-stitched down.

Glass Marble Magnets, which include a penny farthing, airship; diagram of a skull, antique compass rose, gears, vintage eyeglass ad, working diagram of a sewing machine, antique world map, top hat, hourglass, thimble, octopus, skeleton key, the Man in the Moon, and an antique ad for a pen:
259  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Black Bean Turkey Bacon Cheeseburgers on: June 23, 2010 02:58:42 PM

These amazing burgers are delicious, inexpensive, can be made ahead & frozen, AND use up leftovers.  They are also quick to make, and a lovely treat for summertime grilling.

3/4 cup - 1 cup leftover rice              
1 pound ground turkey       
1 T minced garlic           
2 green onions chopped fine   
- 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed      
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
pinch of salt & pepper
5 strips of bacon, cooked             
5 slices of cheese

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine meat, rice, garlic, green onions, black beans, and Worcestershire with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

(This is the ratio of meat to rice & onions you are looking for.  If there is just a bit more of something leftover, I go ahead and toss it in.  I'm not fussy.)

2. Form 4 or 5 big patties from the meat mixture then either grill or cook in a pan on the stove top. 

(Just off the Foreman grill, pre-toppings.)

3. Just before the burgers are done, top with the cheese, and 1 slice of bacon, cut in half, and allow the cheese to melt.

4. Serve on whole wheat rolls or toast, with BBQ sauce.
260  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Raw Edge Circles Art Quilt on: June 20, 2010 07:02:09 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, I have a confession...  For the first time in longer than I can remember, I spent two days making something for myself for a change!  I really wanted to try my hand at some sort of small art quilt, since I'm usually so busy making wedding and baby quilts.  This is now adorning the door to our office/craft room.  Since the door is always open, I can enjoy it from my desk.  The circles and 3/4 circles were quilted in spirals, the vines on the black fabric were thread traced, the tan backgrounds were stippled, and the clouds in the borders were outlined with rayon embroidery thread.  The seam between the inner and outer border was outlined with black trim, and the centers of the circles each contain a button or stack of 2 buttons. 
Whole quilt, which measures 22 1/2" x 25 1/2":

Detail of some of the quilting, buttons, and trim:

The blocks I started with were created by the AMAZING craft minded, for the last Quilt Block Swap.  I ended up with lots of lovely blocks in my chosen pattern and color scheme, but some of them just didn't feel like they belonged together, and I thought that if I pulled these out and mixed them up a bit, they'd get to be seen more than if I just made the quilt I was planning, and left it folded over the back of my desk chair.

THANK YOU to craft minded for the beautiful blocks!
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