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141  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / A BEE-UTIFUL Collaboration on: March 17, 2011 12:30:23 PM
I participated in the altered puzzle pieces round 3 swap, my last piece arrived today.  My theme was bees and I just love how it came out!  I didn't mark 'up' on my pieces because I thought it would be interesting if they were crazy oriented, like bees dancing.  My partners were audio, curiousfae, JillHogan, llisaredd, shylitlegoddess, sinjah & sugarsandwitch.  I did the piece in the lower left corner.  Thank you so much to my partners, I am thrilled to have such a beautiful collaboration!

142  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Make Your Own Rainbow Patchwork Skirt - Tutorial on: February 28, 2011 11:24:52 AM


I made a rainbow patchwork skirt for the Be Awesome Again swap.  I've never made one before and couldn't find a pattern I liked so I figured it out on my own.  Since I don't sew much, I don't have many fabric scraps. I purchased all of the fabric for this project. I decided to do six layers (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple) with two bold fabrics per layer. Since I liked all of the fabrics I selected, I made sure I got a little bit extra to do some scrap projects with the remainder.  I've already made some rainbow pet food bowl 'mug' rugs with my scraps.  Here's the yardage I purchased:
Reds: 1/2 yard each
Oranges: 1/2 yard each
Yellows: 1/2 yard each
Greens: 2/3 yard each
Blues: 3/4 yard each
Purples: 1 yard each  



Here's the pattern I worked out. The top layer is a bit longer to accommodate the waistband. It's also tapered to keep the waistband from being too bunchy.  I cut an additional 2 inch wide strip of one of the reds for the drawstring casing, too.  The bottom layer is the longest.  This extra is to allow for the hem.  Here's how many of each I cut:
Reds: 5 each of the top layer pattern
Oranges: 7 each of the 'all other layers' pattern
Yellows: 9 each of the 'all other layers' pattern
Greens: 11 each of the 'all other layers' pattern
Blues: 13 each of the 'all other layers' pattern
Purples: 15 each of the bottom layer pattern



The first thing I did was sew all of the like colors together in rows, alternating the squares.  This gave me the tiers of the skirt.  With the additional 2 inch strip I cut of one of the reds, I sewed in the drawstring casing to the very top of the skirt.  This photo shows how I've folded and pinned it to prepare it for sewing to make the casing.



I pinned the second layer to the first, right sides to right sides and sewed them together, taking just 1-2 small tucks per square for the gathering.  All of my seams for this project were 1/2 inch.  



I used the same process to sew the next layer and so on.



Here's a close up of a few squares to show how minimal the gathering really is.



To finish it off, I hemmed it and added a drawstring embellished with a few colorful beads.  



I'm guessing it would fit between a size 10-16 because of the adjustibility of the drawstring waist, and is hemmed for someone 5'6" tall.  If you want to replicate this for your own measurements, just adjust the math on the pattern.  You'll want the finished waist to be at least 5 inches wider than your waist measurement for the drawstring.  Don't forget to include 1/2 inch seam allowances on your squares. Have fun!  Smiley



143  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Grow Your Own Tomatoes from Seed on: February 23, 2011 10:07:01 AM
If you've always wanted to start your own tomato seedlings rather than purchase plants at a nursery, here are a few pointers.  We live in gardening zone 7 and have a greenhouse so are able to get a jump on seed starting for our area.  Let me start by saying we grow on a largeish scale, but you should be able to downsize to fit your needs.  This process works for any kind of tomatoes, but we grow only heirlooms for a few reasons; they taste so much better than hybrids, my customers at the farmer's market want them, and you can save their seeds to plant next year.  Here are some of last year's harvest.



We don't have large dinner parties between New Years and Easter because our dining room becomes seed-land.  We lay down shower curtain liners and set up a utility table on them.  We hang shop lights both above and below the table's surface.  We don't use expensive grow bulbs, just regular shop lights.  They're on a 14 hour timer.  We have no (zero) sun in our house thanks to a wrap around porch.  If you have a sunny windowsill, that will work just fine!



We use seed starting flats and a seed starting potting mix.  You can find both in lots of places including WalMart and home improvement stores.  Following the instructions on your seed packet regarding the time to start your seeds and the depth to plant them, plant 2-3 seeds in each of your tray's compartment.  We spritz them daily with water and keep the lids on the trays until the plants get to be about an inch tall. 

See how all three seeds came up in this compartment?  I take my tiny sewing scissors and cut two of the three, you only want one plant per compartment.  If you try to pull the other two out, you run the risk of damaging the roots of the plant you want to keep.



When your plants have three sets of leaves, it's time to transplant them.  It took five weeks from the day I planted the seeds for the plants to get this tall. 



If you've planned your planting dates such that your last frost date has passed, you can put these outside either in a planter or into the ground.  We're still two months from our last frost date so these are going into one cup sized peat pots.  I write right on the pots with a sharpie.  These are brandywine tomatoes (BW).  I'm also experimenting this year with wooden swizzle stick plant markers.  I'm writing on those and sealing my writing with clear nail polish.  We'll see how it goes. 



Before you try to remove them from their compartment cells, water thoroughly.  This will hold the roots in the potting medium and make the plant easy to remove.  I use a fork to remove the plant from the cell and place it into the peat pot.  Never touch the stem of a plant, just the dirt and leaves if you must.  For tomatoes, it's important to plant them as deep as possible.  The stems will grow more roots and improve the stability of your plants.  I fill the pot with a 50/50 mixture of seed starting mix and potting soil with a few Soil Moist crystals thrown in to help maintain moisture.  They're hard to find and expensive but we use them.  I've found them both online and in a very upscale garden center. 



Here a photo of our back deck from last summer, just to show you it's possible to have tomatoes in pots!  We grow about 50% in pots and 50% in raised beds.  If you have any questions about our process, I'll do my best to answer.


144  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Warhol Chihuahuas on: February 11, 2011 04:31:44 PM
My partner in the Pet Lovers swap, 1watermonkey, has the cutest chihuahua's EVER.  Deedlit, Cosette and Loki. She sent me adorable photos of them all for crafting inspiration and I knew immediately I wanted to do something with their images as one of my swap items.  I was brainstorming with Cackle and she suggested Andy Warhol portraits.  I didn't know how to make it happen but knew I wanted to try.  My daughter walked me through some of the features of Photoshop (this was my first time using it) and this is what I came up with.  They are printed images glued onto wooden bases painted gold with wires affixed to the back for hanging on the wall.  I'm in love with this craft, and plan to do a series featuring some of our sheep.

145  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / A Wearable Koi Pond on: February 04, 2011 07:16:43 AM
My partner in the IYP17 swap, CamOovas, loves koi.  She had several koi-related things on her wist, including a box with sculpted fish and lily pads on the lid.  I had an empty pocket watch case lying around and thought it would make a lovely piece of jewelry with a sculpted koi and lily flower set inside. 



The fish and water are sculpted from polymer clay, the clay flower has a swarovski detail in the center. The water was coated in diamond glaze to give it a fluid sheen.  The piece was finished off with a watch chain in a length suitable to wear this as a necklace.  I also think it would make a lovely Christmas tree ornament.

146  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Spiedies! on: January 28, 2011 04:23:08 PM
A spiedie is a grilled kabob of meat that is traditionally served on a slice of Italian bread.  When I first graduated college I copied down a spiedie marinade recipe from the newspaper and have played with it over the years, tweaking it to my own taste.   I have tried it with many different meats and never serve it on bread, I always serve it with grilled veggies and a rice dish of some sort on the side. 
We hosted a dinner party earlier this month where all of the guests selected a cut of lamb and then brought a dish to share.  I immediately thought of my spiedie recipe and it turned out very tasty!  One of our dinner guests brought a food writer visiting from out of town, who ended up suggesting writing an article based on the lamb dinner with some of the recipes, including the spiedies.  An art director, food stylist, photographer and chef came to our tiny little podunk town yesterday to photograph the results.  The chef re-created the recipes in his kitchen almost a 4 hour drive from here. He elected to sear and then bake a leg of lamb marinated in the spiedie marinade, then sliced it for sandwiches.  He was very happy with the result, so were we!  For contrast and comparison, the first photograph is from yesterday's photo shoot, the second one is from our dinner party a few weeks ago.  You can hardly tell the difference, right?  Tongue  Wink Anyway, I'm happy to share this awesome marinade recipe that goes with pretty much any kind of meat.  I've also included my balsamic grilled vegetable marinade recipe below the photos.

Take 3 lb. of meat appropriate for grilling, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes.  This could be lamb leg or shoulder, steak, chicken breast or thick cut pork chops.  Mix all marinade ingredients together and immerse the meat for 2-24 hours.  Place them on a skewer and grill until done (my husband takes care of this part).  Note: You can cut the marinade recipe in half if you'd rather grill less meat, although this makes for great leftovers. 

Spiedie Marinade:
cup red wine vinegar
cup olive oil
5 crushed cloves of garlic
1 tsp. Parsley
1 tsp. Oregano
tsp. Mint
Dash of red pepper flakes, to taste
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
 






Balsamic Grilled Vegetables

Marinade:
cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
4 crushed cloves of garlic
cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cremini mushrooms
Red or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 peeled zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
You can use any other vegetable appropriate for grilling, these are my faves. 

Whisk together marinade ingredients and soak cut vegetables in it for 30 minutes to 2 hours.  Remove the vegetables from the marinade, place them on skewers and grill the vegetables until just cooked through.
147  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Mug Rug for Pets on: January 26, 2011 03:58:11 PM
I've been looking at all of the great mug rugs posted lately, and have been wanting to try one.  It occurred to me that if they are upscaled a bit, they could make a fantastic washable mat for under pet food dishes.  I think I'm right, don't you?



This one's going to a new home, but our new cat Bindi discovered me taking a photo.  I think she needs one of her own!

148  Calls for Swap Angels / Swap Angel Archive / Craft My Pet - One Angel FOUND on: January 03, 2011 04:14:17 PM
veritate will be the angel for CamOovas!


Swap Name: Craft My Pet
Original Thread link:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=356028.0
Gallery thread link:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=359492.0
# of Flakers: 1

Our organizer CamOovas needs an angel for the Craft My Pet swap.   She's been patiently waiting for three months for her package.  I am requesting only Craftsters with positive feedback apply to be her angel.  There will be three weeks of crafting time.  

Details of swap:
In this swap, partners will craft one large replica of their partners pet.  A large craft is defined as a minimum of 4 hours of crafting time.  Any medium can be used- sculpture, painting, crochet, etc.  In addition, you will be sending one small item.  The small item is defined as 2 or less hours of crafting time or $10 or less in cost.  Depending on you and your partners preferences, the small may be an additional rendering of the pet, a second pet, or a store bought or crafted item for said pet.

Name of swap:  Craft my pet
Craftster username: CamOovas

Here is some information on CamOovas for this swap:

She doesn't have any allergies.  

She is hoping someone will craft for her 13 year old cat Maui.  Maui is big and white with long hair and at least 6 toes on each foot, she has big huge polar bear feet.  CamOovas also has two dogs, another cat and 8 fish. I will send you additional information if you decide to be her angel.  

Medium/s she would you like to see her pet crafted from: Sculpted, plushie, painted, mixed media, sketched.... anything really

How she would  like her crafted pet to be displayed: On a shelf or wall

She would not like to receive non-recycled leather, fur that is still attached to skin.... basically anything that required an animal to die for it to be part of her project.

http://www.wists.com/camoovas

Please PM me (MissingWillow) if you would like to volunteer to be her angel.
149  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Zombie Tin and Magnet Set on: December 10, 2010 12:16:36 PM
I'm making everyone in my family something for Christmas this year as a crafty surprise.  My son-in-law is a big fan of zombie movies, so I decided to do something along those lines for him.  I got inspiration from two Craftster sources.  The Zombieland inchies that Slybetty made for the Inchie My Theme swap, and the Merry Christmas altoid tin that Rackycoo posted not that long ago.  I ended up with Zombieland rules magnets presented in a decorated tin.  I'm also making him a stenciled yeti t-shirt due to his unnatural hatred of them.  My daughter assures me he'll think it's funny.  Wink  Thanks for the inspiration, I love Craftster!




150  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Wish me luck! [Canning and other Fair entries] on: September 19, 2010 09:10:37 AM
Thanks so much for everyone's encouragement!  We just picked up our fair entries, and brought home 36 blue ribbons, 11 second place ribbons (including the big one for second place antique quilt) and 9 third place ribbons!  We earned the largest check of this year's fair.  



Here are a few of my blue ribbon canned goods in close up.  I am particularly proud of the canned tomatoes and dill pickles, those are the categories with the most entries.  Now to start planning for next year's fair...



Original Post:
This morning was turn-in for the county fair.  Here are my baked goods, canned goods and garden entries.  I brought home 23 blue ribbons and $97 last year, am hoping to break $100 this year.  Smiley



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