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151  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.

152  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

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.
153  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!

154  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.


Please PM me (MissingWillow) if you would like to volunteer to be her angel.
155  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!

156  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

157  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Craft My Pet Gallery (Send Out 9/24/10) on: September 14, 2010 11:10:52 AM

Here is a link to the discussion page.  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=356028.0

Post them when you get them!

Sent and Received
Late with communication
Contact your organizer immediately

MissingWillow's group:
158  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Sphynx Cat Shrine on: August 09, 2010 03:38:36 PM
This is my second polymer clay project.  My first was 15 years ago when I made some play food with my daughter when she was young.  I had a clay play day yesterday with my friend Lora Mahaffey, an extremely gifted artist who is currently working in polymer clay.  I made this shrine using the techniques she taught me.  It's going to my daughter, for her cat Binx.  It's made of stamped white polymer clay 'tiles' that have been painted and coated with mica powders.  It's mounted on a painted 3"x5" wooden base and is embellished with seed beads, crystals, a metal heart and a vintage flower button.  Lora got me hooked on this medium, I now need my own clay setup.  Must. Get. Supplies.  

159  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Super Easy No-Knead Homemade Bread on: August 07, 2010 06:44:00 PM
I was afraid to make bread up until a few months ago, now I make it at least once a week using this incredibly easy no-knead method.  If you can stir, you can make this bread.  Here's the finished product, served with olive oil, our heirloom tomatoes, greenhouse cucumbers, genovese basil, my home made goat cheese drizzled with a mustard vinegarette.

Let's get started... The ingredients are easy:
4 cups of warm (105-115 degrees F) water
7 cups of all purpose flour
1 package of yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 t. salt

Add the sugar and salt to your warm water.  Stir the yeast into this warm water mixture then let it sit for about 5 minutes.  It will become a little foamy on top, like this:

Stir the yeast mixture into 4 cups of the flour.  Stir in the final 3 cups of flour one at a time.

Cover and let it sit for 2 hours at room temperature.  I use my Tupperware cake taker upside down to make this dough.  You can also use a big bowl covered with aluminum foil.  After 2 hours, the dough has risen.  Don't punch it down, just pop it in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.  Here's what it looks like risen:

OK, at least 3 hours later - you're ready to bake it.  See how the dough fell while in the fridge?  It's OK, don't punch it down or anything.  Dust a pizza stone with corn meal.

This amount of dough will make four loaves.  I can get two onto my pizza stone at once.  Scoop out 1/4 of the dough at a time.  I use a plastic pastry scraper to scoop the dough out.  Just eyeball it, no need to measure.  Easy peasy.

Using floured hands, stretch your dough into a loaf shape and place it on the cornmeal - dusted pizza stone.  Since I bake two at a time, I just cover the remaining dough and put it back in the fridge to bake another day.  I've waited 5 days between bakings, and the second batch turned out as good as the first.

Let the dough sit on the pizza stone at room temp. for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.  As soon as the oven comes up to this temperature, drop it to 350 degrees then put your dough in the oven.  It will be done in 55 minutes.  Crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.  To. Die. For.

This bread freezes beautifully.  Take it out frozen and pop it in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes and it tastes fresh baked.  

You can do this, you know you want to!  Come bake with me.  It's delicious and your friends will be super impressed.  It's what's for dinner!

160  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Sustainable Gardening on: July 11, 2010 06:21:36 AM
We've had our hobby farm for a few years but this is the first year we've been able to manage more than just container plants.  We put in 12 raised beds, with 4 more planned.  My husband, who is a genius, built our greenhouse.  They delivered all the pieces on a flatbed trailer with no instructions.  That was a total freakout day!  We eventually received them, all 2 pages...  Anyhoo - one year later and we've got a functioning greenhouse.  We use it as a season extender, it's too expensive to run year round.  

We're growing hopi squash I received from a friend in New Mexico.  We harvested our first one this morning, can't wait to see how it tastes roasted.  

Our back deck is full of tomato, cucumber and hot pepper plants in pots.  

We also raise shiitake mushrooms. 

We have two hives of bees to keep everything pollinated.  The honey is a very nice benefit to keeping bees for pollination!

We also have a small herd of sheep and dairy goats.  I milk twice a day and make cheese every week.  Here is Beatrice right after being shorn.

We love our little farm, thanks for looking!
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