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251  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / My "Once & Future Valentine" Shrine - Pic Heavy on: January 30, 2010 09:30:47 PM
So, I saw this challenge, and was intrigued to try it out...  As I am no papercrafter, this may not have been a brilliant idea.  I ended up making 2 ho-hum shrines, out of boxes that previously contained staples, and were 1/2" x 1" x 2".  Neither one made me very happy.  What I really lacked was the proper inspiration.  I finally found it when contemplating "my Valentine", my husband Jim.  My amazingly supportive husband and I have been married nearly 3 years, and have been together for almost 6.  I'm fairly certain we each tell the other "I love you" 30-40 times a day.  I've never met anyone who I felt truly loved by; who loved me every single bit as much as I loved them, and is never afraid to tell me so.  I'm told I'm beautiful every day, and while we've had our disagreements, I can't say we've ever really fought with one another, despite having lived together from nearly the day we met.  He is my Valentine every day, and every night.  

As I dug out all the paper and supplies in my stash, I came upon the perfect items to pair with the inspiration from my beloved, an entire envelope of papers from our wedding!  James and I were married in the Historic Lincoln Hotel, in Urbana, IL.  It is a crazy cross between a Tudor castle and a Bavarian hunting lodge, complete with suits of armor, crystal, and Tudor arched fireplaces.  The lobby walls were even covered in crewel-worked fabric.  My 5 year old nephew/ring bearer flipped out, thinking he'd been transported to Hogwarts!  Despite the "lush" look of the hotel, it was a very DIY kind of affair, that cost next to nothing for the wedding.  Since we are not religious, Jim's best friend from high school even served as our "minister", and married us.  If you're interested, you can see pictures of it here.  Anyways, onto the shrine!

The whole shrine measures measures 2" x 3", x 1".  Much of it is inspired by the style of our wedding, and the rest on our relationship in general.  The outside is made of cardstock that closely resembled the embroidered fabric on the walls in the lobby, and features a postcard of the hotel from the 1930's that my parents found in an antique store.  I scanned and trimmed it down.  (It's 1" wide!)  The gold ribbon around it was wrapped around the stems of our bouquets, which I made myself.  

The back of the outside features one of the seals we used on our invitations.  

The drawer pull is a vintage button, with a heraldic image of hunting dogs on it, since the hotel featured many items made from antlers & horns, including an awesome antler chandelier!

When you pull open the drawer, you find... A pile of surprises for my sweet James, including a silver heart cage, a teeny photo album, the pin from his boutonniere that I made, a paper crane, a fortune from a cookie we got at the restaurant we held our rehearsal dinner in, and the extra link to a bracelet his mother gave me that I wore that day.

The tiny silver heart cage contains a button from Jim's coat that day, the head of a pin that was in my bouquet, and a piece of rose quartz (the "love stone") which is said to bring gentleness, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and tolerance.

A teeny paper crane.  James and I were very broke, for a very long time.  For the first several years we were together, we would often make one another pieces of origami because we couldn't afford gifts.  This one is in his favorite color, and was made with a square of paper 2" x 2".

The world's tiniest photo album, full of images of the day before, the wedding itself, and the day after, all of which were spent with our friends and family. (It measures 1 1/5" square, and each photo is 3/4" x 1"!)

(Me dancing with the ring bearer, and Jim dancing with my mom)

The inside of the drawer features a postage stamp we used on the invitations & response cards, the handmade white paper was what was behind the vellum in our invitations, our names cut out of the vellum, a piece of sheet music since Jim did the music for our reception (with assistance from my uncle), a crown for the king of my heart, and a 2, for the two of us.

A detail shot of the left wall, with a cuckoo clock charm, reminiscent of the hotel's antique German furnishings, and the idea of savoring all the time we have together.

The sides of the drawers are covered in a Celtic knot work pattern, as a reference to Jim's Scottish heritage, and my Irish heritage.

The back of the drawer features an "Alphabet for Life"

Jim and I didn't want a big expensive wedding.  (In fact, the whole shebang cost under $5,000!)  We knew we were already married to one another in our hearts, and that our wedding day was simply a time to throw a lovely party, and be surrounded by our friends and family.  That's exactly what we did.  I don't think either of us stopped smiling all day, and we frequently say to one another, "Hey, you know what?  Our wedding was awesome!  Let's do that again!"  Now my sweet Valentine can relive it whenever he wants with his very own shrine.  

Happy Valentines ladies!
252  COOKING / Dessert / Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie - Easy and Orgasmically Good on: January 16, 2010 04:16:46 PM

Have I gotten your attention?  Good.  Well then, your next mission, should you choose to accept it, and you WILL choose to accept it, is to make this delicious pie.  I checked out many different pie recipes, but none of them were exactly what I was going for.  I ended up using some techniques from several different recipes to come up with this.  And yes, it was EXACTLY what I was craving.  And now it is EXACTLY what you are craving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

1 chocolate cookie pie crust
8 oz cream cheese (I used a "whipped" variety because that's what I had on hand)
1/2 C peanut butter
1 1/4 C powdered sugar (Confectioner's Sugar) - Divided
1 1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 C hot fudge ice cream topping (note: it should not be hot)

Start by spreading the fudge topping into the bottom of the cookie pie crust. Spread out as evenly as possible, and place in fridge or freezer to set a bit while you mix the filling.

Place the cream cheese, peanut butter, and 1 C of powdered sugar into a mixing bowl.  Beat together until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. 

The mixture will be a bit dense.

Note: As I only have one bowl for my electric mixer, I then moved the peanut butter mixture into another clean bowl, and washed the mixer bowl, so I could go onto the next step.  Make sure if you DO have to wash out your bowl, that you cool it off with ice cold water AFTER you wash it, so that the bowl isn't too hot when whipping the cream.

Next, whip the heavy cream until stiff.  (I actually had a whole pint that I had to use up, so I whipped 2 cups of cream.)  Fold HALF of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture, as gently as possible. 

Pour the vanilla, and 1/4 C powdered sugar into the mixer with the remaining whipped cream, and whip together for a moment to incorporate, again scraping the bowl as needed.

Take your crust out of the fridge, and start to layer the peanut butter mixture on top of it.  I found that the best way to do this was to place several big scoopfuls around the crust, and then smooth them out.  Once your peanut butter layer is smooth, you can add on your whipped cream layer.  If you are feeling fancy you can put the whipped cream into a pastry bag with a star tip, and pipe it onto your pie.  I was not feeling that fancy, so I just artfully spread mine with a spatula, making sure to cover evenly and artfully space my swirls.

I was however feeling *JUST* fancy enough to top my creation with chocolate shavings.  I buy lots of Moser Roth chocolate bars at Aldi, because not only are they amazing, but they also come packed in 5 tiny bars, which are perfect for a small treat, or to use to top desserts.  I just grated mine with the smallest sized grater I have.

Now comes the hard part, you must place the pie in the fridge for at least two hours to set up. 

When you give into temptation, it will look like this inside.  Notice the side on the left cut cleaner than on the right.  That's because my husband gave in BEFORE the two hours was up, and it was a little soft where he made the first cut.  If you do let it sit, you'll have pretty layered slices.  If you don't, it will still taste phenomenal. 
253  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Living Room Curtains from clearance Target tablecloths on: January 13, 2010 09:04:39 PM
I made these new curtains a few months ago, but only got DH to help me hang them this week.  I was broke when I decided to make them, but wanted something to look nice, since I host a Craft group here on the weekends.  I found two tablecloths at Target on clearance for $11 each.  They were 60" wide x 103" long.  Not quite long enough to hang the short way, and too long to hang the long way!  So I picked up a piece of home dec fabric on clearance at Joann's for $5, and went about slicing and dicing.  I cut the panels to be 45" wide, and added in the 10" band of green into the bottom edge.  And yes, I used the Golden Ratio to decide where my band was placed...  Don't judge me... I know I'm a giant dork.  Incidentally, I also found the over-sized throw pillows at Target that same day, on clearance for 75% off!  (I actually used the some of the brown scrap to make this Tree of Life Wall Quilt for Pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap.)

Anyways, here are the curtains:

(The origami mobile in the corner was made by Pinkleo!)

In the midst of re-organizing the house, we also moved an old bookcase out to our living room, which yes, blocks our non working fireplace.  On the upside, the paisley scarf Pinkleo gave me looks GREAT on top of it, and now will be seen WAY more than if I only wore it in rotation with my other scarves!  
I think for my next project I'm going to replace the old blue fabric on that director's chair to match my new curtains.  (I don't really love the chair, but it is useful when people come over since our living room is so small we can only fit a love seat and oversized chair in it.)
254  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Craftroom/Office Redecoration & Reorcanization in Red/Black/Tan (Pic HEAVY) on: January 13, 2010 08:42:56 PM
I have *nearly* completed the cleaning and redecorating of our Office/Craft Room, and decided that with so little left, I could get away with showing you all now, rather than waiting till DH gets the last few items taken care of.  

We moved into this cute little house in Kentucky last year, when I got a job down here, but after having been students so long, were not in a place financially that we could do much of anything to decorate much of the house.  (I was seriously too poor to even do things like make my own curtains.)  We have spent the last year and a half here and like it, but know that we ultimately want to buy our own place in the next couple of years once DH finishes school and gets a better job.  So, we'll be here a while, but eventually we will leave.  That kind of makes you go back and fourth over wanting to decorate.  Also, we can't paint the walls, which are tan with white trim.
These last few weeks we've been having "cold" weather down here lately, and had to get a space heater to keep our office warm enough to make sure the hamster doesn't go into hibernation.  Jim and I decided that with some of the money we got for Christmas that it was finally time to reorganize and redecorate the office.  He works at Sears now, and they were having a big sale on all home organizational items right after Christmas, and they gave him an extra discount for the day so we picked up 3 of these black metal shelves.  I'm going to say right now that they were not my first choice in terms of looks, but they do hold a LOT of stuff, and accommodate plastic storage bins very well.  I think after the sale and Jim's discounts we got all three shelves for about $100.  I also got the thermal lined curtains on clearance at Walmart for $11 each, and the rods at BigLots for $6 each.  I like the rods, but I'm thinking of spraying them black to match the shelves.  
Finally, there's the rug.  Anyone notice how freakin' expensive area rugs are lately?!?!  I looked everywhere, but nothing was right.  I wanted something to compliment the curtains and black shelves, but everything I found was either too small or too expensive, or shag.  And let's face it, shag is no good for dropped beads OR pins.  And the rug really needed to be square rather than rectangular...  The rectangular rugs I was finding were at least $300, which was just plain out of our price range.  Finally I found this Awesome Rug on Overstock.com for $112, with $1 shipping!

We spent several days moving things out of the office and into the rest of the house, putting together the shelves, and organizing the items that were going onto them into plastic bins.  I found all the matching bins in shades of tan with white handles at Walmart for $1.50 (for the small tan baskets) to 4.00 (for a set of 2 11"x8"x5" bins).  The red plastic baskets came from Dollar Tree.  

And here's the room from the door:

My desk, which is really a dining table that I got used for $75.  The small quilt at the top of the wall was from karin_.

Inspiration board and the awesome memory board that Ex_Gratia made me(featuring broaches from karin_ and Pinkleo, and HP ornaments from craftypuppymom):

"Cork Board" my mom made me for Christmas.  (I need some new pins and broaches to fill it with.)

Much, but not all of my craft supplies, organized into our new shelves, including, ribbon, felt, yarn, trim, batting, jewelry supplies, scrapbooking paper, pains, glues, and finally fabrics:

Our new thermal backed curtains (not bad for $11 each on clearance at Walmart), Jim's music corner, and the hamster duplex:

DH's side of the room, with his new desk.  On the closet door is a plain old shoe organizer that I've filled with my most frequently used supplies, like pens, pencils, markers, pliers, and hand sewing supplies:

And here's the sad looking room, a big mess when we first moved in:

So the totals come to:
$100 - shelving
$113 - rug
$44 - curtains
$12 - curtain rods
$38 - tan plastic bins
$307 for a Craft Room that makes me feel creative, organized, and warm!

255  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Bookmark Swap - Round 2 Gallery on: January 13, 2010 07:52:28 AM
Our original thread can be found here: Bookmark Swap - Round 2

JennieIngram's Groups

1. Craftrica ----> Kayrun
2. Kayrun ----> Craftrica

3. ragdoll193 ----> hahnasay
4. hahnasay ----> ragdoll193

5. rackycoo ----> audio-astrophysics
6. audio-astrophysics ----> rackycoo

7. jennieingram ----> ysmeine, schnerby, holistic knitter, kwiltykate  
8. ysmeine ----> jennieingram, schnerby, holistic knitter, kwiltykate  
9. schnerby ----> jennieingram, ysmeine, holistic knitter, kwiltykate  
10. holistic knitter ----> jennieingram, ysmeine, schnerby, kwiltykate  
11. kwiltykate ----> jennieingram, ysmeine, schnerby, holistic knitter  

12. blupaisan ----> Harvey, Lunanne, KrisCreates, islandmum
13. Harvey ----> blupaisan, Lunanne, KrisCreates, islandmum
14. Lunanne ----> blupaisan, Harvey, KrisCreates, islandmum
15. KrisCreates ----> blupaisan, Harvey, Lunanne, islandmum
16. islandmum ----> blupaisan, Harvey, Lunanne, KrisCreates

17. curiousfae ----> Strawberryh, Amigurumi4Life, crazyda79, supermedic
18. Strawberryh ----> curiousfae, Amigurumi4Life, crazyda79, supermedic
19. Amigurumi4Life ----> curiousfae, Strawberryh, crazyda79, supermedic
20. crazyda79 ----> curiousfae, Strawberryh, Amigurumi4Life, supermedic
21. supermedic ----> curiousfae, Strawberryh, Amigurumi4Life, crazyda79

22. itchyfingers ----> thedreamer, Homerof2, AlishaMisha, QuiltersBlock
23. thedreamer ----> itchyfingers, Homerof2, AlishaMisha, QuiltersBlock
24. Homerof2 ----> itchyfingers, thedreamer, AlishaMisha, QuiltersBlock
25. AlishaMisha - Re-Sent 3 bookmarks 2/9/10  Cheesy----> itchyfingers, thedreamer , Homerof2 , QuiltersBlock
26. QuiltersBlock ----> itchyfingers, thedreamer, Homerof2, AlishaMisha

27. Ramona Q ----> stellou, gossamer_gull, Camelama, waterbaby
28. stellou ----> Ramona Q, gossamer_gull, Camelama, waterbaby
29. gossamer_gull ----> Ramona Q, stellou, Camelama, waterbaby
30. Camelama ----> Ramona Q Pic posted by Camelama, stellou, gossamer_gull, waterbaby
31. waterbaby ----> Ramona Q, stellou, gossamer_gull, Camelama

Status Colors
Green = Sent
Orange = Sending Late with Communication

Blue = Received (but haven't POSTED yet)
Purple = Received & Posted

Strikethrough = Feedback Given
256  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Painted Coffee Mugs (Image Heavy!) on: January 05, 2010 07:13:27 PM
I whipped up a bunch of coffee mugs for Christmas. 

For my Father in Law, who likes pirates, and frequently asks me "Why is the rum gone?" before turning to my husband and saying "I think the wench drank it!"

Mr. Darcy's Proposal - Made for Pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap
(Inspired by an item on her Wist)

Color Outside the Lines - Made for Pinkleo's lovely daughter, who likes art.

Maurader's Map - Made for Pinkleo's son, who is ALSO a Harry Potter nut.

Star Wars - Made for Pinkleo's husband, who is a secret Star Wars fan.
257  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Charm and Cluster Bracelents (Twilight, Nautical, Tea, Harry Potter, etc) on: January 05, 2010 06:50:00 PM
I've been making lots and lots of cluster bracelets lately, and am getting very excited for the Loaded Charm Bracelet Swap that Seraphina_de_Sangre is hosting.  In looking through everyone else's beautiful work, I realized how few of my own I had posted.  Here are some of my favorites:

Twilight Cluster Bracelet 1.0 - Made for Pinkleo in the IYP 12 Winter Formal.  

Nautical Cluster Bracelet - Made for my cousin who lives and got married on Cape Cod this summer.

Twilight Cluster Bracelet 2.0 - Made for Krafty_Karasu in the Craft Me Some Jewlery Swap
(Charms include feather, snowflake, glass apple, rose, wolf, motorcycle, baseball hat, truck, piano, lion, sun/moon, key, leaf, baby cup, crystal ball, peace stone Jasper, bear, & fork.)

"Sweet Tea" Cluster Bracelet & Matching Earrings - Made for Pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap
(Charms include tea bag, teapot, teaspoon, butter knife, teacup & saucer, glass teapot, & "love" pendant.)

Harry Potter "Yule Jewels" / Yule Ball Charm Bracelet & Earrings - Made for Pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap
(Charms include holly leaves, dragon, lightning bolt, lion, castle, snitch, "Harry Potter" charm, gift, witch, star, mermaid, & goblet.)

La Luna Charm Bracelet - Made for the Bead Soup Swap Rd. 2

Autumn Oak Charm Bracelet - Made for Krafty_Karasu in the Craft Me Some Jewelry Swap

258  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / French Theatre Shrine on: December 31, 2009 08:00:50 PM
I hope I am posting this in the right section.  If not, please feel free to move it Mods!  
I never got around to posting this, but it was made for the WWP14 Shrine Swap.  I had never made a shrine, and really wanted to try it out.  Luckily my partner and I really hit it off and she gave me so many ideas to work from.  She was a theatre major in school (as an actor) and I am a professional costume designer, so my mind kind of drifted in that direction.  She also wanted to be able to keep her shrine out somewhere in her house.  Her kitchen has a black and white Parisian theme, so I combined the two, and made her a shrine to French Theatre, circa the 1950's.  

I started with a pre-made wooden box, which I stained, then dry brush stenciled on some fleur de lis.

The whole thing then got a few coats of poly, and then I moved onto the inside.  I wanted the two sides to resemble the stage, and her dressing room.  I painted the whole inside black, and then mod podged the diamond and French script pages into place, then started filling up her dressing room and the stage.  

The stage had red double knit curtains, which I thought actually looked more like velvet than actual velvet, in miniature.  The "set" is various bits of paper including a 'Parisian' clock, and wooden stars painted gold.  The Diva herself is a paper doll, that has been accented with glass seed beads for a necklace and on her dress.  

The footlights were made from silver spacer beads and clear glass beads.  This is a detail shot of the locket, and the shrine-within-a-shrine, to Dionysus, god of theatre.  

Finally we have the Diva's dressing room, complete with costume change for the next scene, portrait of her "beau" (a charm made by leopardstripes that I got in the Bead Soup Swap), a set of Comedy & Tragedy masks, a window over looking the Eiffel Tower (something no real dressing room has, even in Paris!), bits of black lace, jewlery and flowers from her many admirers, and French coins lining the walls.  

I really gotta make myself a shrine one of these days... Wink
259  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Velvet Owl Pillow - His name is Hamlet & he wants to deliver your letters! on: December 31, 2009 07:35:37 PM
I've been itching to make up an owl pillow, and finally got to for Pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap.  His name is Hamlet and he wants to deliver your mail.  I pieced his wings and head out of golden tan rayon velvet, his face is natural linen and wool herringbone, and his belly is some random upholstery fabric from the scrap bin at work.  I wanted him to look majestic, and just a bit frightening, because let's face it, owls are not pets, but birds of prey.


3/4 Shot:

Detail shot of his eyes, which were made from vintage jet buttons:

260  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Make Crafts, Not Horcruxes Tee on: December 31, 2009 07:24:54 PM
Another stenciled tee, this one for Pinkleo in the 12 Days of Christmas Swap.  I sent 7 Harry Potter themed gifts, one for each of the novels.  The first 6 items were opened on Day 6, but this one - in honor of how long Rowling kept all her rabid fans waiting - she couldn't open till Day 5.  This one is clearly for book 7.  I transferred the text with transfer paper, then painted it.  The back I stenciled with freezer paper.  I made up the stencil myself, and was really quite pleased with it.  I never really thought about how hard a simple outline design can be to get "just right".  (The idea actually came from my friend Ex_Gratia's tattoo, which can be seen on her profile, and is the symbol for the Deathly Hallows, made out of a Celtic knot, and a needle.)  It is the Deathly Hallows symbol made up of a needle, pencil, crochet hook, ruler, and a button.


Text detail:


Back detail:

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