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61  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects / Palmistry Pillow on: February 10, 2013 07:57:05 AM
I've been experimenting with the On Screen designer that came with my new sewing/embroidery machine.  It's like magic!  It's a sketch pad tablet that digitizes hand drawn designs.  Here's my first project, a palmistry illustration that I made into a pillow (my first ever pillow).   Grin



I'm going to have so much fun with this thing!

62  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Naan on: January 13, 2013 08:16:36 AM
I love Indian food so much!  Even though naan is getting more and more easy to find at the grocery store, I always make my own.  It's so fragrant and soft and yummy.  This recipe is adapted from one by Madhur Jaffrey. 



Here are the ingredients:
2/3 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
2 tsp. sugar
1 package dry yeast
3 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 beaten egg



Start by combining the warm milk, yeast and 1 tsp. of the sugar.  Set aside for a few minutes until it becomes frothy then add to the remaining ingredients and mix together.  Knead it for 10 minutes and put in a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover and let sit to rise for an hour.


Here's what it looks like after rising.  At this point, you should preheat your oven to 500 degrees F.


Turn it out onto a floured surface and cut it into as many naans as you like.  This recipe makes 6 large or 12 small breads.


Roll them to about 1/4 inch thick.


Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.  They go into your 500 degree oven for just 3 minutes. 



Look closely, you'll see they have puffed up a bit.  Switch your oven from bake to broil.  Once your broiler is hot, put your cookie sheet back in the oven on the highest rack for just 30 seconds to brown.  Watch them carefully!


Perfect!
63  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Cinnamon Rolls on: December 30, 2012 08:51:32 AM

This recipe came from a Family Circle magazine probably 15 or 20 years ago.  It was billed as the T.J. Cinnamon's recipe.  It is so very good, I hope you'll try it!

Start by dissolving two packages of yeast in 1/2 cup of warm to the touch water (110 degrees F.) and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.  Let it stand for at least 5 minutes to get foamy.  In a mixing bowl, combine 3 cups all purpose flour, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon salt.   At low speed, gradually add in 1 cup warm milk, 1/3 cup salad oil, 2 eggs and the yeast mixture until well blended.  Slowly add in another 1.5 cups flour and knead the dough for 10 minutes.  I knead mine with a dough hook in my stand mixture but you could knead it by hand on a floured surface.



The dough is smooth and elastic after kneading.  At this point, put it in a bowl with about a tbsp. of oil in it, cover with a clean towel and let it rise for an hour.



While the dough is rising, make the filling.  You'll need 1/2 stick of butter at room temperature, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon.



Just mix all ingredients until they come together.



Here's the dough after rising for an hour.  Turn it onto a floured surface.



Roll the dough into a rectangle approx. 18 by 10 inches.



Spread the cinnamon filling on top then roll it up on the long side.  You'll end up with an 18 inch long log of cinnamon filled dough.  Cut the dough log into 14 equal slices.



Place the slices into greased 9 inch round cake pans.  This recipe makes two pans.



Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes.  Here's what they look like after rising.



Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (until golden brown).



I remove them from the cake pan after about 10 minutes and glaze with a mixture of 1 cup confectioner's sugar, 1 Tbsp. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla.   I hope you'll give them at try!




64  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Cornbread Sausage Cranberry Apple Walnut Stuffing on: November 26, 2012 09:21:07 AM
Here is my holiday stuffing recipe.  My family loves it!


I start with cornbread stuffing mix.  I read the back of the package for the recipe (amounts of butter and chicken broth to add) then start gathering other goodies...


I dump the stuffing mix in a huge bowl then crumble up and fry a package of sausage.  Once I drain off the fat, the sausage is added to the stuffing mix. 


An entire bag of cranberries are rinsed, picked over, and added raw to the stuffing mix.


I mince and saute shallots, 3 stalks of celery and a few sliced mushrooms in the amount of butter the stuffing bag calls for.  Add to the mix.


Peel and slice an apple, add it to the mix.  Once I have all of the add-ins, I stir in the amount of chicken broth called for on the stuffing package. 


In my house, half of the stuffing gets walnuts.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350.
65  COOKING / Dessert / Caramel Chocolate Covered Apples on: October 30, 2012 04:56:47 AM


I make these every October.  They're so easy!  I used fuji apples in the past until I discovered giant honey crisp apples. 

3 giant apples (or more if you decide to use smaller ones)
1 bag of caramels (I used Kraft caramels)
1 bag of chocolate chips (I used Ghiardelli dark chocolate chips)
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste

Wash apples and set them on parchment paper.  I use a small plate for each apple for ease of transport.  Microwave the caramels and corn syrup on medium power at 30 second intervals until the caramels melt.  Stir in vanilla.  Spoon over the apples then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave on medium power at 30 second intervals until melted.  Spoon over the cooled apples.  At this point, you can also add nuts, sprinkles, candies if you like.  We are purists.  Cheesy   

To serve, cut the apple in slices and remove the seeds. 
66  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Halloween Lap Quilt on: October 13, 2012 12:24:19 PM
I finally finished the decorative Halloween quilt I started this time last year.  It's nice to get a WIP off of my list.


I used orange eyeball fabric for the back. 


Here's a closeup of the center panel.  I'm pretty proud of myself for not letting this go yet another year unfinished!
67  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Patchwork Drawstring Bag Tutorial on: October 04, 2012 07:44:19 AM
I hoard love Halloween fabric!  When I got partnered with cackle for the Mini 13 Days of Halloween, I decided to make a patchwork bag as her container.  I've received some Halloween fabric in swaps over the past few years and my quilt shop sells their bolt ends for 20 cents an inch so I'm always digging in their bins and have never passed up a spooky print. I took some in-process photos, here's how I made it.



The first thing I did was cut out 48 2.5 by 2.5 inch squares, then laid them out how I thought they looked best.  See those word squares at the bottom?  They were from a pair of PJ pants I found at WalMart after Halloween on sale for $5.  They didn't have my size but I bought a pair anyways to craft with some day.  The best part?  They glow in the dark (oh yeah!)   Cheesy



Being careful of the fabrics that had a 'this end up', I started sewing the squares together in rows of four with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.



Once the row was completed, I ironed the seams flat set it aside, and went on to the next row.
When I had all the rows completed, I started sewing them together with the same 1/4 inch seam allowance.



It came together pretty fast!



I chose linen for my accent fabric at the bottom of my bag, but you could use most anything.  I cut a piece of linen 3 1/2 by 24 1/2 inches and pinned it to the bottom of my patchwork piece.  It would be really easy to pin it to the wrong edge of the patchwork, so make sure you notice which end is up.



Another 1/4 inch seam and it's attached.



I gave it a hand embroidered detail by doing a large running stitch with six strands of orange embroidery floss right along the seam I just sewed. 



Now it's time to turn your large rectangular piece into a tube which will form the sides of the bag.  Just fold it in half with right sides together and sew and 1/4 inch seam up the edges.  Press the seam open when you're done.  Do not turn it right side out, leave it as-is for the next step.



Using a compass, draw a 7 3/4 inch diameter circle on a piece of paper then cut it out.  This will be your template for the bottom of your bag.  Cut the linen circle and pin it to the bottom of the tube.



Sew the round bottom to the sides of the bag with a 1/4 inch seam.



Clip the curve about every half inch with sharp scissors.



The lining is really similar to the process you just did to make the exterior of your bag.  Cut a piece of fabric 11 by 24 1/2 inches and sew it up the short side into a tube.  Cut another 7 3/4 inch circle, pin it right side together to the bottom of your tube and sew a 1/4 inch seam.  Clip the curve. 



For the drawstring case, cut a piece of fabric 2.5 by 25.5 inches and iron a 1/4 inch seam along one of the long edges.  Turn both of the short ends over 1/4 inch, then another 1/4 inch run a seam down the middle to give the drawstring opening a finished edge.  NOTE: the drawstring used in this project was actually 1.5 by 24.5 inches and I decided for future projects, I would increase the width in order to make it easier to sew.



Place the lining inside the exterior bag.  The wrong side of your lining should be touching the wrong side of your patchwork piece.  Now it's time to attach the drawstring case along the top of the patchwork piece.  With right sides together, pin the un-ironed edge of your drawstring case to the outside of your bag.



Remove the Bernina's sliding table and sew the drawstring case on using a 1/4 inch seam.



The final thing you need to do is to fold the drawstring case over and hand stitch the ironed edge to the lining.



Thread a drawstring and you're done!



68  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / It's time to vote for our cooking challenge winner - Bento Lunch! on: October 02, 2012 03:56:34 AM
It's time to choose our cooking challenge winner, voting is open thru October 10th.
69  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Hang A Movie On Your Tree on: September 14, 2012 03:15:24 AM
The idea is to make a Christmas tree ornament based on a favorite movie.  Endless fun possibilities.   Smiley
70  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Previous Featured Members on: September 12, 2012 06:06:52 AM
We're pleased to announce the current More Art, Less Craft featured member is FoxyBlue!



Here are some of our favourite projects that FoxyBlue has posted on Craftster, we encourage you to take a look through her huge body of work on here!
Tangled
Painting for my son
A Charmed Life
Without Darkness, There is No Light
La Peche
Untitled on watercolour paper
Gnome drawing
Sir Dydimus
Zombie Guitar straps

FoxyBlue was also featured in the Best of Craftster 2010 and Best of Craftster 2011  Now on to the interview!


Your mixed media pieces are stunning, when did you start using those techniques?

Thank you! It's only been around 5 years that I've been working with so much texture. A friend of mine inspired me by using drywall compound in her paintings to create texture and I absolutely loved it. I really REALLY love texture. I'm very tactile and I have to touch everything. I guess it was a fairly natural transition! Since then, I've incorporated all sorts of goodies to create the look I want. I want people to 'reach out and touch' my art...not just look at it!

What medium to you most like to work with?

My favourite medium. That's a toughie. Um, well in terms of paintings and wall art, I love to work on canvas so, acrylics, watercolour pencils, paint pens, spray paint, pastels, fabric 'puffy' paint...and whatever else I can get my hands on! I am also madly in love with papier mache . I love its versatility. You really can create just about anything with it! Soooo....I guess in short, there isn't  just one medium. I really do love it all!

Tell us what inspires you

Another toughie. I'm so easily inspired. It could be anything at all. But my favourite subject (and it's been this way since I was a little girl doing my fashion drawings) is women. I've always loved to draw and paint women because you can have so much fun with them. You can just go wild with the hair, faces, clothing and colours. I love goddesses, too. I love art that sends positive messages. I like to be 'lifted' by art. I want it to make me feel good.

Do you have any formal art training?

No. No formal art training. I took art all throughout high school, of course, but for post-secondary, I went to film school. I lament that often. Going back to school for fine arts is something I often consider.

Any tips for aspiring artists?

Well when I started to really take painting seriously, my confidence was somewhat lacking. I would get frustrated when I couldn't achieve the look I wanted. But I taught myself that, no matter what, keep on truckin' because it will turn out in the end. And it always did. Always. I really learned to believe in myself throughout this whole process. So, in short, trust in your abilities and your vision. Don't give up. Sometimes the most beautiful creations come from happy mistakes!

What is your favourite piece of your own artwork?

My favourite piece of art that I've created...well, I've done some custom pieces that I absolutely adore. And I love that the recipients loved them as well. Two of my favourites are these ones:


http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=345854.msg4025081#msg4025081


http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=345239.msg4017185#msg4017185

On what other Craftster boards can we find items that you've posted?

Knitting, crochet, polymer clay, ATC, home sweet home, cooking, clothing, toys dolls and playthings, Purses bags and wallets, quilts, occasion and holidays

Here are a few different things I've done:

Polymer clay works:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=412213.0

Fondant cake:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=406134.msg4785267#msg4785267

Interior Decorating:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=402893.msg4738697#msg4738697

Toys, dolls and playthings:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=383619.msg4542082#msg4542082

Amigurumi:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=380707.msg4504682#msg4504682

Quilting:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=349574.msg4074635#msg4074635

What is one of your favourite items on Craftster posted by someone else?

Oh boy! That's a can of worms! I am constantly inspired and blown away on this site. It's so hard to narrow it down, but I will if I must!

I ADORE Phizzychick's work. I've loved this piece from the moment I laid eyes on it!


http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=332796.msg3843386#msg3843386

There's also this amazing fairy that I am fortunate enough to own thanks to an organized swap on this awesome site. Bobbiemay has seriously mad skills and I'm so proud to own this!


http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=374583.msg4412406#msg4412406

There's so much more that amazes me here. So much talent that I don't know where to begin. I wish I could include everyone's pieces that I love, but alas, there's just not enough room!


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