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241  Halloween Bird House in Halloween Decor and Parties by MissingWillow on: September 08, 2012 10:19:21 AM
I've had this bird house I got from Hobby Lobby for years, intending to deck it out for Halloween.  I got the crafting bug this morning, and here's what I came up with.  I used a mixture of Martha Stewart and Graphic45 papers.  And a giant raven!



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242  Cooking Challenge - Bento Lunch! Open for entries through September 30, 2012 in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MissingWillow on: September 04, 2012 05:42:35 AM

photo credit - http://sonomabento.blogspot

All of you fabulous cute food fans, it's time for a cooking challenge perfect for back to school!  The subject is Bento Lunch, or a single portion home-packed meal.  You can submit a character bento, picture bento, or just a nutritious balanced lunch arranged in a box.  If there is a cooked element to your lunch, please include the recipe.  If not, please describe the process you used to assemble your masterpiece.

The Rules:

-This challenge is open to all Craftster members.

-Each participant may enter just once, and it can't be something you've previously posted.

-This contest is open for entries through midnight Sunday, September 30th.  Select NEW TOPIC in the upper right of this page.  Send TroubleT or MissingWillow a PM if you have any questions or difficulties posting.

-Voting will be open from October 1-10, 2012

The prize!
An apron with the Japanese kanji for umami!  Umami is a pleasant savory taste.  It's one of the five basic tastes, together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. The kanji 旨味 are used to describe a food as delicious.  This prize was donated by the fabulous TroubleT.  http://thetroublewithcrafting.blogspot.com/.

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243  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: August 13, 2012 12:31:03 PM
I'm done! 

1. Can hot pepper jelly
2. Can spiced honey for Christmas gifts
3. Make a few zombie magnets for Christmas gifts
4. Finish the bunny oil painting (WIP)
5. Finish Harry Potter Advent Calendar (WIP)


I finished my bunny painting and the zombie themed magnets for my daughter's zombie apocalypse countdown calendar.  It's hard to see in the photo but the top magnet is a pale severed ear with an earring.   Roll Eyes

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244  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: August 08, 2012 10:00:03 AM
Thanks for the incentive to finish something I've been working on forever... my Harry Potter Advent Calendar   http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=412548.0

1. Can hot pepper jelly
2. Can spiced honey for Christmas gifts
3. Make a few zombie magnets for Christmas gifts
4. Finish the bunny oil painting (WIP)
5. Finish Harry Potter Advent Calendar (WIP)

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245  Harry Potter Advent Calendar in Completed Projects by MissingWillow on: August 08, 2012 09:56:21 AM
Earlier this year, I made a Zombie Apocalypse Countdown Calendar for my daughter Tracy.  I have two daughters, and couldn't justify making something awesome for one and not the other.  Claire is obsessed with Harry Potter, so I knew that would be the theme of hers.  Here's what I came up with... the drawers have images of some of her favorite elements of the series and the center section has some festive holiday decorations.  That's an image of the Hogwarts Great Hall decorated for Christmas, along with a snitch in the upper left hand corner.



Harry's emerging from a fireplace holding a jar of floo powder.  I received the tiny fireplace from Loves2Experiment in an IYP swap, this was the perfect place to use it!  I used 3 kinds of green glitter paint to decorate it.  It glows really nicely in person, the camera doesn't capture it very well.  Harry's came with the little potions table in a Lego minifig kit I found at Target.


Here's a close-up of a few drawers.



Ron is her favorite character and Goblet of Fire is her favorite book.



But wait.. there's more.   Smiley  I'm going to have her open this black potions cabinet on the first day as well.


Inside each drawer is something to add to the potions cabinet every day, along with a description of what each item is.  There will also be a piece of candy or other small treat in each drawer.


Here's another example.  The tiny jar contains honey from our bees.


And here's the cabinet completely loaded!  I'm pretty sure both of my girls will be thrilled with what Mom made them.   Grin
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246  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: August 06, 2012 06:53:49 AM
I finished another on my list, hot pepper jelly.  I also made salsa, pickled peppers, chow chow, peach with honey jam and dilly beans.  I was in the kitchen on my feet all day yesterday!





1. Can hot pepper jelly
2. Can spiced honey for Christmas gifts
3. Make a few zombie magnets for Christmas gifts
4. Finish the bunny oil painting (WIP)
5. Finish Harry Potter Advent Calendar (WIP)
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247  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: August 04, 2012 03:51:59 AM
I got one of my five done!  Spiced honey.  Each jar has a sliced lemon, 6 whole cloves and a cinnamon stick.  I simmered all that for 2 minutes in honey then filled jars and processed it for 15 minutes.  It's going to be Christmas gifts for the tea drinkers in my family.

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248  Blue Ribbon Sandwich Dill Pickles in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MissingWillow on: August 02, 2012 05:42:43 AM
I make my own pickles every year, and win bunches of ribbons at the county fair for them. Sandwich dill slices are my family's favorite.  Making and canning pickles isn't hard and doesn't require a bunch of fancy equipment. 



We grow our own cucumbers for pickling.  After trying a bunch of different varieties, the kind I like best is called Snow's Fancy Pickling Cucumbers if you are so inclined to grow your own next year.  You can get pickling cucumbers at the grocery store, as well as all the other ingredients. 



Here's everything you'll need; white vinegar, sugar, pickling salt, pickling spices, dill seed, mustard seed, hot peppers, garlic and bay leaves.  That's our bay laurel in the planter.  Besides the cucumbers and bay leaves, we also grow our own hot peppers, garlic and dill seed for this recipe. 



The first thing I do is sterilize my pint jars, bands and lids.  That's my pasta pot.  I put enough water in the pot for my jars to stand upright plus an inch or two and boil everything for 10 minutes.  You can reuse jars and bands, but it's important to use a new lid every time you can.



For the brine, I start with 1.5 tsp. of pickling spice tied up in a piece of cheesecloth.  That little bundle goes in a saucepan containing 2 cups of white vinegar, 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of pickling salt.  You can use regular table salt if you want, but pickling salt makes the brine really clear (not cloudy). 



Simmer for 15 minutes.



While the brine is simmering, I take a spare pint jar and use it to measure where to cut the tops off of my cucumbers to make sure they will fit.  From here I will cut them into nice thick slices.



After the jars have sterilized for at least 10 minutes and the brine has simmered for at least 15 minutes, I fish a hot jar out of the pot with kitchen tongs and fill each one with a bay leaf, a fresh hot pepper, a peeled garlic clove, 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds and 1/4 tsp. of dill seeds.



I shove as many cucumber slices as I possibly can fit into each jar (they shrink a little during processing) then pour hot brine to fill the jar within 1/4 inch of the top.  For cucumbers of this size, I can fit approx. 2.5 into each jar.  If I've gotten brine on the very top of the jar I use a paper towel to wipe it off then top it with a sterile lid and band. 



Once all of my jars are ready to go, I put them back into the boiling water.  It's important that they are submerged with a least an inch of water over the tops of the jars.



They get processed for 10 minutes, then removed from the boiling water.  After 20 or 30 minutes, you'll hear the lids 'pop'.  As long as the lids pop, they are safe to store outside of the fridge until the jar is opened.  If for some reason one doesn't, just pop that jar in the fridge.  It takes about 2 weeks for the flavors to develop.



Here's an action shot!  I use this same recipe to make my own whole pickles and pickle relish.  If I have leftover brine, I store it in the fridge and heat it up the next time I have enough cucumbers to pickle.  Making pickles isn't difficult, I hope you'll give it a try!





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249  Re: 13 Days of Halloween Mini Swap Rd 4 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by MissingWillow on: July 29, 2012 03:30:14 PM
Cackle and I met today for lunch and to swap packages.  Here's a photo of both of our hauls.  Woo hoo!  We decided to start opening on October 1st instead of the 19th.  That way, we have all month to enjoy our goodies.  I love Halloween!



Day 1

Here's my container.  It's a craft supply!  A Graphic 45 alterable box with a magnetic closure.  And some skeleton salad tongs!  I can't wait to make something awesome with this box.


And what' inside??  It's a surprise, but here's a teaser picture.   Grin  I'll post the entire thing as soon as I'm able.



Thank you so much, cackle.  I already LOVE this swap!

Day 2
Crafting supplies!  It's one of the things I asked for.   Smiley  I got those awesome Alpha Stamps gravestone ATC blanks, 3D Halloween stickers, scary coasters and some awesome trim (I need trim).  Love it all!


Day 3
Fabric!  And not just fabric, awesome Halloween fabric that I've never even seen before and love.  The two are very different from each other and I love them both.  Careful, cackle, you may end up with something made from these next year! Cheesy


Day 4
Gypsies! Not just one... five of them.  These are going on permanent display.   Smiley


Day 5
Today's goodie... Jack O'Lantern baking molds!  But... I won't be using these for baking, they're gonna make some awesome bars of soap.   Grin

Day 6
I'm pretty sure I can't post a photo just yet of my day 6 goodie, but it's awesome.  Standing by!

Day 7

Halloween supplies!  Nesting coffin boxes, tiny gold jack o'lanterns, tiny orange pom pom trim (can't wait to find a use for this), and plastic glow in the dark maggots (everything is better when it glows in the dark!)



Day 8
Today is a dark and dreary rainy day, hard to photograph this in it's glory.  This is the most beautiful chunky house I've ever seen.  Seriously.  I photographed it inside it's container because that's a craft supply, a chipboard box that opens like a matchbox.

Here's a photo of just the house.  It's got a fantastic polymer clay tree behind it, and the door opens to a spooky stairwell.  I am so honored to have received this!  


Day 9
Nope.  Don't think I can show you this one yet, either.  But it's my favorite.   Smiley  I'll post a phtoto when I can.  

Day 10
Eep!  Zombie tarot cards!  I didn't know these even existed, and now they live with me!  


Day 11
Fantastic craft supplies and some awesome Halloween ornaments.  I've had my eye on this paper for a while!  Thanks so much, cackle!
 



Day 12

Candy day


Day 13
I received the most stunning vintage looking raven.  It's holding a bat in it's beak.  Just perfect!  We had to put it up high because our cat Bindi thought the hanging bat was a cat toy.   Cheesy  The base is so cheerfully painted.  I love it!  Thank you so much, cackle.  


Day 13 3/4
Jealous?  Actually, it's a day for my hubby.   Smiley He got his very own Halloween chunky house.  It looks awesome in the spooky neighborhood currently set up in our dining room!  Thanks so much!


An extra!
Cackle just delivered the most amazing decorated shortbread cookies to my house.  They are over six inches in diameter, here's a close up of the spiderweb...


The vintage style jack o'lantern...


And the haunted house (love the bats!)  Thank you so much, cackle!!!  I can't wait to try them.  Is it time for dessert yet??


Days 1, 6 & 9 (finally)
I can now post what I received on days 1, 6 & 9.  Trick or treat potion bottles with poseable skeletons!  The reason I couldn't post before is they were just featured in a guest blog post.  Aren't they cool?!! They're made with chipboard potion bottles, cool papers, labels, plastic skeletons and a bunch of other cool stuff. 






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250  Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! in Craftalongs by MissingWillow on: July 28, 2012 03:53:05 PM
I finally have some stuff to share!  I crossed two things off of my list.  Now if we can only finish the new back deck design.... 

38. Redo the guest bathroom (ick)   Tongue
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=412051.msg4867926

48. Use one of the cool stamped bats I've had for two years in something

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