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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / DIY Cocktail Cherries on: May 24, 2016 03:55:18 AM
I found myself at a fancy restaurant with a real cocktail menu last week and was tantalized by 3 words... "House Made Maraschino".  What?  Since the cocktail in question (A French 75) also included champagne it was a no-brainer.  That cocktail cherry ended up being a revelation.  I love cocktails.  I love a good DIY project. I know how to can fruit.  Cherries are in season.  Duh. 
My husband loves a good Manhattan so we've had a jar of Luxardo Maraschinos in the fridge since last Christmas.  They set me back $20 but are delicious.  I foolishly thought Luxardo was the brand but some research taught me Luxardo is a maraschino cherry liqueur.  A trip to the grocery and ABC stores got me me all set. 



Here's the recipe I came up with.
    1 cup sugar
    1 vanilla bean, scraped
    2 cinnamon sticks
    Pinch of nutmeg
    Juice from 2 lemons
    1 cup water
    2 pounds cherries, stemmed and pitted
    2 cups Luxardo

I brought everything but the cherries and the liqueur to a simmer and cooked it for 5 minutes then added the cherries.  The cherries cooked for an additional 5 minutes until they softened a bit.  I removed the pan from the heat and poured in the Luxardo.  I water bath canned them in sterile jars for 10 minutes.


Then made my own French 75! 
2  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Advent Calendars on: April 12, 2016 07:15:42 AM
Closer to the holidays, how about an advent calendar challenge?  There are so many different, amazing and inventive ones posted here on Craftster.  It would be the perfect excuse to make one this year for someone special in your life. 
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Diner in an Altoid Tin on: April 01, 2016 03:31:21 AM
What's for lunch?  In this little diner, there's only one thing on the menu...  Spam!  Today's special is a slice of fried Spam on a croissant.  Fries please, no chips, with a pickle on the side.  I'll have a Classic Coke.   Cheesy



The croissant was made from paper clay, the spam, fries and pickle are all poly clay.


Thanks for stopping by!
4   / FIBER ARTS / Meet Our Featured Artist in Fiber Arts - Belladune! on: March 31, 2016 07:54:52 AM
Tell us a little about yourself
I am first and foremost a mother to three beautiful wild children, and a wife to a wonderful man.  Our home is also occupied by three cats a dog and some fish. We (my husband and I) run a plumbing company in a tiny little village (that morphs into a large town in the summer months. Whoop Tourism!), and are involved in many local organizations (but not the same ones.. can you imagine?! we'd be with each other 24/7!   Shocked )   I've always been crafty, and though my passion for making things has waxed and waned over the years I can't imagine a day without some sort of making.


How did you get started in fiber arts?
It's all Craftster's fault.  Wink The story goes like this: One day I got it into my head that I ought to give cloth diapering a try. I was looking at various forums on the subject and having already acquired mad skills in sewing I thought I'd be better off making my own diaper covers. That lead me to a cloth diaper pattern here, and all the wonders that are hidden within these many many pages and projects.  A gorgeous yarn popped up in the Recent Posts thumbnails and I clicked, wondering what they made with it.  Well, blow me over, they made THE YARN. Mind blown, and fingers itching, I bought a drop spindle and some wool the first chance I got and I was hooked. Down into the fibery rabbit hole with me! Now I spin, felt, dye, and more.  Funnily enough, I never did make a cloth diaper cover...


COMMUNITY-THE YARN THAT CRAFTSTER SPUN

What inspires you?
The medium itself.  The possibilities that wool and fibres present are endless.  The use of resists in wet felting, using the texture of the wool to create interesting yarns, the sculpting process of needle felting... that's just the tip of the iceberg, and I've only managed to cover maybe 1/4 of what's seen above the water.


SECRET KEEPER

Do you have a creative philosophy?
I suppose I do. Create something everyday, in any medium, even if it's not your preferred.  Making something often leads to the next idea of what to make or another iteration of the same thing in a different medium. Because slowly it becomes a need not just a want. And it doesn't matter if it's hideous, just make it. Keep going and see it through, you may surprise yourself in the end.

Do you have any advice for someone interested in getting into spinning?
Dive in.  Run out and  get a spindle. Or heck, make one from CD's. You don't need a teacher.  There are tutorials here, and all over the place on the internet.   Make mistakes, make something that resembles yarn, and save it. Keep practicing and go back to that first ever proto-yarn and be in awe of where you started.

What is the favorite project you've ever posted?
Just one?! Such a toss up... I'm torn between my crafty Momma cupcakes, my Snailtaur (or more accurately Rlynns.. He was a swap gift!) and my Secret Keeper. Oh! and The Yarn That Craftster made!

SNAILTAUR

Besides Fiber Arts, what other boards on Craftster would we find some of your work?
You can find me on the cooking boards, knitting & crochet boards... embroidery/needlework... sewing... I even played with clay a few times.. And I think there may be one or two of my projects in More art less Craft.. events and holidays.  I certainly don't practice craft monogamy.


CUPCAKE MAMA

What is your favorite project on Craftster that's made by someone else?
I love all the stumpwork embroidery pieces.

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?action=tags;sa=showtopics;tag=stumpwork;tagPage=1
PROJECTS TAGGED STUMPWORK

What is your favorite spinning method?
Woollen! Because it makes soft fluffy springy yarn.

Needle felt vs. Wet felt?
It really depends! I love both for different projects.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
You have time. There's always time for things you want to do, you just need to notice that you have control over it.


5   / FIBER ARTS / 2016 Featured Projects in Fiber Arts on: March 23, 2016 09:24:32 AM

Needle Felted Fox by PerfectlyBohemian


Pretty Pesky Portrait Pet Pin for a Friend! by Harlan


Fiber paintings - they're just so much fun. by petskin


Batwing Purse by kmac






6   / KNITTING / 2016 Featured Projects in Knitting on: March 21, 2016 03:14:51 PM
Here's a great start to 2016 featured projects from our knitting board!

Harry Potter Inspired Hat and Mitts by raeonix


Sheep Socks...uh, NOPE... by alwaysinmyroom


7   / SEWING IN GENERAL / 2016 Featured Projects in Machine Embroidery on: March 08, 2016 03:03:41 PM
Here is a list of our current 2016 featured projects in machine embroidery.  Thanks to everyone who contributes to this section of Craftster!

Hagrid's Hut by pottermouth


Always Machine Embroidered Hoop  by lindyv321


Owl Embroidery by alwaysinmyroom
8  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 112 ENTRIES / A Tiny Tea Room on: March 04, 2016 08:00:46 AM
I had a small box and was inspired to turn it into a tea room, complete with a pretty little pink floral tea set and the perfect sentiment, "Where there is tea there is love".





Extra cups hang from hooks on the wall.  I constructed the cake stand from a metal bead and a stamped metal embellishment.  The cake is molded from paper clay and dusted with glitter 'sugar'.  The lemon slices are nail decor and the sugar cubes were made from polymer clay. 


This project has inspired me to make a series of miniature tea rooms.   Smiley
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / A Miniature (Actual) Bakery on: February 17, 2016 02:15:28 PM
Before we bought our farm almost 10 years ago, we lived in Cary, NC and our favorite local business was La Farm Bakery, an authentic french bakery within walking distance of our house.  About five years ago we started running into the bakery owner at food and wine festivals, where he was doing baking demonstrations and my husband and I were spit roasting lamb.  He's the nicest, most generous guy and I was inspired to surprise him with a miniature replica of his business.



I included a display of his cookbook, A Passion For Bread.  It's fantastic!  The pastries were made from polymer clay and paper clay.  The bottom shelf holds his bags of hearth baked granola, his scone mix and bags of the coffee he carries.  The counter is the base of a miniature china cabinet.


I've literally had that miniature baker's rack for at least 30 years, waiting on the perfect project.  The breads are made from paper clay with acrylic paint and chalk highlights.


I grabbed a few photos of the inside of his bakery, to show what I used for reference.  






I had to include a photo of his signature whole wheat sourdough boule with a butter knife for scale.  It's to die for!  If you'd like to check out his website, it's www.lafarmbakery.com
10   / MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Miscellaneous Featured Artist, PerfectlyBohemian! on: January 20, 2016 01:12:43 PM
We've long admired PerfectlyBohemian's gorgeous nature-inspired creations here and are thrilled to recognize her as our latest featured artist for the Miscellaneous category!

How long have you been crafting? What's the first thing you remember crafting? 
I've been making art since I was 10 years old. That is probably also the same age I was when my childhood neighbor started teaching me about sewing. I remember the first projects she worked with me on were making pajama shorts with plaid seersucker in bright colors.

What's your favorite media to work with? 
My favorite media changes almost yearly. Some of my favorites still are fabric, wool roving, and lately, yarn.

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=437441.0

What inspires you? 
Nature is my biggest inspiration. I love being outside, watching for birds and other animals, and . My favorite craft themes usually incorporate elements of nature.

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=435263

Do you have a creative philosophy?   Don't spend too much time striving for perfection. Focus more on pouring your love and care into a project (and getting it done before that birthday, holiday, deadline, etc. Wink). A minor flaw will only serve to remind people that your craft is handmade, and truly appreciative people, will never be bothered by it.

What's your favorite creation you've posted on Craftster?   It's hard to pick a favorite of all time because I feel like I have really grown and expanded my creative resume since joining Craftster, and all the old things still represent a special time of my creative learning. For the longest time, I was really proud of the two art dolls that I made almost 10 years ago and were the first things I posted on Craftster
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=279798.0
and
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=279799.0

 I don't consider them to be my master pieces, but when I made them, that's when I really started crafting outside the box. I'm also really proud of the diaper bag I made for a cousin in 2011. Again, not a masterpiece, but that's when I started paying more attention to details in sewing, like top-stitching. People even thought it was store bought - I still haven't decided if that is an insult or a complement. Also, sadly, that bag was stolen from my cousin. My most recent favorite though is Mr. Hare that I made for Cackle in the IYP swap. He's a nearly life-sized posable critter that I needle-felted to life. I just wanted to play with him in the woods, taking a bunch of pictures, but alas, he had to go to his forever home with someone else Wink
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=436925.0

What's your favorite item on Craftster created by someone else?   In 2010, Phizzychick posted a Fairy Godmother Cabinet that really inspired me. I still look back at it occasionally when I'm trying to make fun altered stuff. All the details and knickknacks are amazing. It's like looking at an I Spy book trying to find all the magic hidden inside the photos! Smiley http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=332796.0

On what other Craftster boards can we find items that you've posted?   Needlework; Fiber Arts; Knitting; Purses/Bags/Wallets; Home Sweet Home; Toys, Dolls and Playthings; Paper Crafts; Image Reproduction Techniques; More art, less craft; and probably a few others.



Tell us more about your username!: In middle school I used to watch lots of movies with my best friend, and our most favorite was Moulin Rouge. We watched that thing so many dang times that we could probably have performed the movie ourselves back then. One of the themes of the movie was Bohemian ideals, and as an young, aspiring artist, I wanted to be "Bohemian" - of course, not the kind that is literally a person from Bohemia; we are talking about the unconventional artist. The Bohemians in Moulin Rouge just wanted to make art and write and not be held down by the fancy, rich people. The funny thing about being "perfectly" Bohemian, is that there's nothing really perfect about being unconventional, now is there? So any Bohemian can be perfectly Bohemian.
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