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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Graduation Embroidered Button on: April 29, 2011 09:57:44 AM
So tomorrow my crush is graduating from college.  He has invited me to his party and so I wanted to have something small to give him, I didn't really think of something until he asked me what I made for the OTHPT2 swap, where I made embroidered buttons.  He seemed genuinely interested in them and didn't quite understand the concept, so I figured I would make him one in honor of his graduation.  Will he ever have a use for it?  I doubt it, but it just something small to commemorate this great accomplishment.

Now before the pictures let me say that this is no where near perfect, I only just began embroidery a month ago, and haven't done anything since the swap.  This was my first time ever attempting a satin stitch, I think that's the one, and I know there is a mistake in the dolphins tale, it wasn't noticeable until I had already covered the button and it honestly doesn't look as bad in person as it does in the pictures.  The button is 1 1/8 inches, so everything was completely freehanded as a result.  The button is in his favorite color as well as our school color, and it has our school name and 11 for the year he is graduating.  I hope he likes it, and any comments would be welcome.  I am very new to this craft, but definitely loving it.   Cheesy

2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Discussion and Questions / Cleaning Unsealed Poly-clay? on: August 08, 2010 11:48:04 AM
So around Easter I made my mom a necklace with Poly-clay (fimo) Easter Lilies as the focal point.  Well though regular wear, they have now become quite dirty, and I am wondering whether or not I can clean them, and if I can how.  The thing is they are a little fragile and as I said in the subject unsealed.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I apologize if this question has been asked before, but my mom really wants to wear this necklace soon again without the feeling someone is going to ask her about the dirt.
3  COOKING / Dessert / Yummy GLUTEN-FREE Banana Chocolate Chip & Nut Cookies on: August 01, 2010 10:13:15 PM
*WARNING* THIS IS A LONG AND INFORMATIVE POST FOR THE NEW GLUTEN FREE BAKER, IF YOU JUST WANT THE INGREDIENTS SCROLL DOWN TO THE SECOND PICTURE.  THE RECIPE IS TOWARDS THE END OF THE FIRST PARAGRAPH.



This is my first ever gluten-free cookie from scratch.  Since my mom was diagnosed with celiac over a year ago, we have been using Pamela's Gluten Free baking mixes, which I will say are good, but nothing beats a cookie made from scratch.  So today I decided was the day I was going to make my mom a gluten free cookie that our whole family would enjoy.  I researched a couple of gluten free "all purpose" flour mixes, and found one that had ingredients that looked relatively affordable and easy to mix and find.  All that I had left to do was find a cookie recipe to tackle, I have gotten relatively good at adapting gluten filled recipes, to gluten free goodness, so I didn't look for a gluten free recipe.  I decided to make something with banana as we had bananas which had gone a little to ripe for eating and I was not in the mood to make banana nut bread today.  So finally I came across this recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, and decided it should be easy enough to make gluten free. 

I followed the recipe as is, just made some changes to the ingredients and doubled the recipe.  I will list the ingredients and measurements I used here as well as the GF "all purpose" flour mix I used.  You can probably use any gluten free all purpose flour, if you have your favorite or buy a mix, but I only know how these cookies taste with the mix that I made, so just a warning that if you use something different your cookies are bound to taste a little different.  Also depending on the mix you use, you may or may not need to add xanthan gum, a binding ingredient which takes the place of gluten in baked goods.  Now if you are new to the GF lifestyle you will notice that it is very expensive, but don't fret over the price, a little goes a long way, and that package that might cost you anywhere from $8 - 13 will last you quite a while, it just depends on how much baking you do, it probably won't be something that you buy every month.

The GF All Purpose Flour Mix (I found it on Gluten Free Mom)
2 parts Brown Rice Flour (I used Bob's Red Mill Organic Brown Rice Flour)
2/3 part Potato Starch (This is not Potato flour, the two are different.  I used Ener-G brand)
1/3 part Tapioca Flour (This is sometimes referred to as tapioca starch, this is the same thing, and I used Ener-G brand)

I actually mixed up a big batch of this, because I bake often, which is contained in an air tight container.



Now for the ingredients.
2/3 cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups GF "All Purpose" flour
2 tsp. GF baking powder (check this, some baking powders have gluten hidden in them)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (to be mixed with the other dry ingredients)
1 bag (12 oz) of chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

A little about the cookies, they are very cakey and extremely moist if you cook them the way the recipe says, until the bottom edges are golden brown, however you can get a more cookie texture by cooking them until they are golden brown on the top as well.  Also even though the recipe should have yielded 6 dozen, I got a little over 3 dozen, however my cookies were quite large so it might have to do something with that.  My cookies also took fifteen minutes to bake and I don't know if that is due to the larger size or the different flour, this was my first time cooking these cookies period.

Sorry for the long post, but I know how overwhelming it can be to have to learn how to bake an entirely new way and I wanted to help anyone who also might be experiencing this.  After all 1 out of every 10 people are living with celiac disease, most don't know it, so I figured that there might be some craftsters who would appreciate a regular cookie recipe that has been made gluten free.  If you have any questions feel free to comment or pm me.
4  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / What can I do with the extra eggplant? on: July 19, 2010 04:21:46 PM
I'm in the process of trying to switch to a vegetarian lifestyle (3 weeks so far), so I've been trying new recipes, and this weekend I tried Eggplant Parmesan.  I kinda botched it, it was bitter and kinda mushy, and I know why, but I bought two eggplants when I only needed one.   Roll Eyes  And believe me one left a lot of left overs.  So anyway my family is not so hot on eggplant right now, but I need to figure out something to do with this eggplant that will be appealing to my omni family, who aren't so willing to eat it after their first encounter with eggplant. 

The eggplant will probably only keep until Friday, so I need an idea before Thursday, and my mom will not be happy if she has to throw it out.  I thought about slicing them thinly with a mandoline slicer, and baking or frying them up like chips.  Would that work?  Any ideas or recipes would be greatly appreciated.    Thank you in advance. Smiley 
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Bumblepuff Music Box- A Piece of Untold Hogwarts History (PIC HEAVY) on: April 09, 2010 08:20:26 AM
WARNING THIS IS A LENGTHY POST, just scroll down to the pictures if you don't want the story and to the end if you want to know how it was made.

I made this music box for the OTHPT swap for my partner who was in Hufflepuff and said she loved old world looking things. 

Here is the explanation I included with the music book box for my partner:

It is believed that this music box belonged to none other than Hogwarts founder Helga Hufflepuff.  The music box is believed to be given to Miss Hufflepuff by a suitor, and it is suspected that this suitor is none other than Hogwarts founder Godric Gryffindor.  Inside the box there are six letters from a individual who signed his letters with the initials G.G., it is for this reason as well as evidence from the letters that we believe the suitor was Godric Gryffindor.  There is also a bracelet inside the box which we believe is the bracelet the suitor sent her with one of his letters.  On the inside of the lid there is a faceless portrait of a young man and woman touching hands palm to palm, the details of the clothing affirms our believe that the suitor was in face Godric Gryffindor.  It appears that on either side of the portrait there are dried flower petals (roses and sunflowers) that have been magically adhered to the box, it is our believe that these flowers had some significance to the couple, though we are unsure of what significance they might have had.   We believe the imprint on the front of the music box is a bumblebee, since the suitor called Miss Hufflepuff, bumblebee in more than one of his letters.  It is because of the boxs deceiving appearance that it went unnoticed in the Hogwarts castle for years.

I'll post pictures and then tell you how I made it at the bottom.
The Book Music Box Standing the Way it should:


Open:


Detail of the musical movement also the only shot of the letters I got  Undecided :


Detail of the faceless drawing I did:


Other Detail shots (bracelet and imprint of the bumblebee)
   

How I made this complex music box:
The outside aged looking leather (I hope) was made using a technique I found here: http://davelowe.blogspot.com/2008/09/halloween-08-making-old-creepy-books.html.  The shape I used was a bumblebee I drew myself, just make sure you use the kind of cardboard you find on the back of a legal pad, because the box kind does not take the shape as well, I learned the hard way.  However I painted it the wrong way, and when I had issues getting the aged look, so I broke out the old cheap water colors and they worked like a charm, I used a yellow, though I would like to try this with a different color because it definitely tinted it.  The inside was just felt glued in and I secured the musical movement with screws (this was by no means easy).  I aged the letters with very watered down watercolors, I know everyone uses tea but this worked extremely well.  And I think that's about all I wanted to share.

Thanks for reading all of this, and I would really love some feedback, this isn't my first music box, but it is my first tiny music box.   Cheesy

Oh and for those of you who are wondering why bees, well I call Hufflepuffs Bumblepuffs because of thier colors, so I assumed in this little scenario that Helga loved bees and that is why she chose black and yellow/gold for her colors.
6  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Discussion and Questions / I want to turn this line art into a stencil. on: February 26, 2010 04:39:59 PM
I appologize ahead of time if something like this has been posted, I searched and didn't find anything helpful.

So anyway I really want to make a t-shirt for the Alice in Wonderland opening, and wanted it to be completely original so I made my own picture, only problem is I don't know how to turn this line art into a stencil.  I'm sure it's really easy, I just don't have a clue, I have never stenciled before. 

1) Can I just fill in the big parts of a lot of color black and print those then go back and paint in the other colors? 
2) Also if I color in the colors black, how should I go about putting in bridges?  If it were a clean line are I would just inverse it in gimp and layer it on top of the colored in one, but as you can see it's a sketch and I really don't want to go and mess up the sketch in my sketch book, so any suggestions that would keep me from that would be awesome. 



Basically I want to make it look like a cross bettween Tim Burton and the original Disney cheshire cat: body is a purply grey, stripes- teal and the hat brown and orange.  I also really want to use freezer paper because I think it would be easiest providing I can find it.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.  Smiley
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Challenge 1: La Fleur de La Mer on: February 08, 2010 11:08:49 AM
La Fleur de La Mer (Flower of the Sea):


I wasn't sure I was going to do this challenge, but when I found the beads on the bottom strand that had all the colors of the sea on it I knew I had to.  I took this challenge as an oppurtunity to make something that I have never made: an asymmetrical necklace.  This necklace features a blue polymer clay rose that measures about an inch in diameter, as the focal point.  The first "chain" is made out of almond colored glass pearls and 20 gauge wire, the wire is wrapped to create a rough spiral shape (I wanted it to look very organic and imprefect, much like nature herself).  The next two chains are store bought chains a silver colored rolo chain and a brass chain.  The last row is another handmade "chain", made with the beads that I described earlier, brown and blue cat eye beads and 20 gauge wire.  It is my hope that the colors of the necklace and the layered chains remind you of the ocean.


The necklace as it lays, well kinda there a few dangly bits that got tangled and I didn't realize it until after I took the picture. Undecided


The dangly bits and detail of the rose.


Sorry I don't have a shot of me wearing it, I went to a Ren. Faire this weekend, forgot the sunscreen because it was cold, and got sunburned.

Thanks for looking.  Comments and criticism are always welcome.   Wink
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Been Busy Working on Christmas Presents (WARNING VERY PIC HEAVY [11]) on: December 22, 2009 09:22:09 PM
So I hate the Christmas holiday (for several very personal reasons) but one thing Christmas provides me with is an excuse to create new pieces of jewelry for my friends, and sometimes (like this year) learn a new craft.   Grin  So this year I decided I was going to learn wire wrapping, these are all my first attempts with wrapping a pendant and making chains (my very first with a chain can be found here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=330947.msg3822576#msg3822576)    Sorry it is a long post, you don't have to read it, if you want to just look at the pictures and let me know what you think. Wink

Heybah Cameo Necklace:  I made the chain: swarovski crystals (pink and grey) and 24 gauge wire.  The pendant was a store bought cameo, but I made the setting out of polymer clay which I painted with a metal antiquing solution.  (Incase your curious about the name, that is her name, couldn't think of anything better and her name is so unique)







Lizbeth Set:  Wire wrapped glass bead, with 20 gauge and 28 gauge wire and little silver beads, hanging on a rollo chain with a handmade "S" clasp.  Earrings are just a 20 and 28 gauge wire and various glass and silver beads.  (Name was inspired by her nickname, because Elizabeth was too formal for something so fun)







Mandy Set:  Wire wrapped glass bead with 20 gauge and 28 gauge wire and small glass seed beads (size 10 I think) hanging on a rollo chain.  Earrings are various glass beads on a chain and wire.  (Ditto on the naming, I couldn't think of any better names for these  Undecided )





Janelle Necklace and Ainsey Earrings: Necklace inspired by Anne Bishop's amazing series the Black Jewels Trilogy, and the main character's name is Janelle hence the name.  The pendant is made with 20 and 28 gauge wire and a large drop black glass bead along with the smaller silver beads which are wrapped around the pendant.  The figure eight chain was also another handmade chain.  The earrings were made using various glass beads, wire and chain.






Comments and criticism is very much appreciated, good or bad, I want to get better and to do so I need objective, honest opinions.   Cheesy
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Pretty 'n Pink- My First Attempt at Wirework on: December 14, 2009 04:17:03 PM
So I have to make a lot of Christmas presents this year, and this is just the first I have finished.  Last year I decided to learn a new craft (polymer clay) and was pretty successful at it.  So this year I decided to do the same thing, only I wanted to learn wire wrapping.  Big mistake, I totally feel in over my head, but I'm slowly figuring it out.   Undecided  And this was my first attempt, I am quite proud of it.  It is bracelet for my step sister.

Comments and criticism are always appreciated.



This is a picture of it being modeled to show that the color is actually quite transparent.
10  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / A Person is a Person No Matter How Small (IMG heavy) on: November 07, 2009 04:58:39 PM
So about a little less than a year ago, my friends were in the production of Seussical at our high school.  So instead of giving them the standard flowers I made them all presents themed around their characters, however this was way before I found Craftster, and so I did not take pictures, a bad habit I used to have.  Anyway my friend who played Horton got a Horton keychain.  However when I made him I dropped him and well his ear fell off, so I super glued it back on and my mom assured me that he looked fine, despite my protest.  I gave it to him anyway and told him to be really careful with it.  Less than a week later he tells me Horton broke three times.  I asked him what he did to the poor thing, he claims nothing, but I know better.   Wink  So to make a very long story a little shorter, I promised him I would fix it, because I had never had any of my pieces break.  So I get the key chain back in three pieces, and Horton is beyond repair, he had cauliflower ear, the poor thing had so much super glue on where his ear used to be.  So today, about six months later I finally redid Horton.  Now I know he doesn't look a lot like Horton, his face got distorted, but he is an elephant and he has the eyes.   Roll Eyes

Here are several views of the key chain:










And I also made a little letter beaded "S" with Seussical O Nine spelt on it.  Two reasons it is an "S"- his name is Seth and Seuss.



And a picture of how the first Horton looked after I got him back.


This first one definitely looked more like Horton, but I'm happy with this one too, as do I hope the recipient is.  I also hope that this one doesn't come back in pieces.  But his trunk is significantly longer than the first and that worries me.

Comments and criticism are appreciated. Cheesy
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