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41  Re: Altered Puzzle Pieces, Round 9 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by vincentvanbuck on: July 22, 2014 06:35:55 PM
I received two great 3-D pieces from cmarion3 today!  Rome features homemade columns, which I'm guessing are made out of poly clay.  (Sorry for the sideways pic):



Barcelona is sporting the "Barcelona Cathedral" (Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia):



She brilliantly turned the name into a looped 3-D element (so it both saves space and adds visual interest on the piece -- I am totally stealing that technique in the future  Wink):



Loving my pieces so far!
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42  Re: Altered Puzzle Pieces, Round 9 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by vincentvanbuck on: July 16, 2014 03:55:27 PM
Eeep!  Wizard of Oz pieces!  Yep, that's definitely on my "themes to steal in the future" list.  Wink

I also received from crazyda79 today.  Since we are both doing two themes this round, we decided to add in a personal swap and do 2 pieces for each theme.  So first for the international pieces, we have Nairobi, Kenya...



... and Wellington, New Zealand:



And starting off my Domestic Cities puzzle, two destinations from California.  San Diego...



... and Riverside:



They're all great, but I think Riverside definitely has to be my favorite.  In her note, crazyda79 explained about the significance of citrus in the town's history.  And wow, that orange is really going to stand out in the puzzle!  Just wonderful.  Grin

Thank you for the awesome pieces!
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43  Re: Altered Puzzle Pieces, Round 9 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by vincentvanbuck on: July 12, 2014 07:09:24 PM
I also received awesome pieces from Artmomto5 today!  She started off my "International Cities" theme with pieces for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



and Manila, the Philippines!



I just love them, thank you so much.  Oh, I'm so flippin' excited to receive more pieces for this puzzle!

Also, I think the bead ants are super adorable and clever.  Wink
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44  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by vincentvanbuck on: July 10, 2014 08:29:41 PM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Divination
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name:
Anpanman ATC
Brief Description: A tried-and-true method for warding off evil is enlisting the help of a superhero.  Anpanman is one of the most popular TV characters for young children in Japan.  His face is on all manner of products.  Anpan is a kind of bread (pan) filled with slightly-sweet red bean paste (anko).  So, Anpanman is basically a superhero whose head is a pastry roll.
Project Picture:

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45  Re: Summer Nerd Games: June 1, 2014 - August 31, 2014 ~Join anytime!~ in Craftalongs by vincentvanbuck on: July 10, 2014 08:18:58 PM
Prompt: Team Spirit Multimedia - Entertainment Center
Team: Multimedia
Event:
Craftology (for the watercolor painted background)
Bonus Points: +10 Bonus for own Team Spirit prompt
Project Name: Anpanman ATC
Brief Description: I love TV!  Unlike movies, which quickly come to an end, great TV series go on for years, offering hours and hours of entertainment.  And unlike books, which require 100% attention, TV can play in the background, meaning I can craft at the same time!  (Awww, come on books, don't look at me like that... you know I love you.  Kiss)

Anywho, Anpanman is one of the most popular TV characters for young children in Japan.  His face is on all manner of products.  Anpan is a kind of bread (pan) filled with slightly-sweet red bean paste (anko).  So, Anpanman is basically a superhero whose head is a pastry roll.
Project Picture:



Prompt: June - The Best Things in Life
Team: Multimedia
Event:
Foodology
Project Name: Crockpot Ribs and Roasted Baby Carrots
Project Link: http://www.bakeatmidnite.com/2013/12/slow-cooker-maple-glazed-short-ribs.html
Brief Description: This dinner was all about making use of products I already had on hand, so that I wouldn't have to buy extra things from the store.  The recipe for the ribs is very simple, but calls for a specialty brand spice mix that is not available in my grocery store.  The link lists a recipe for creating your own alternative rub, but any ingredient I was lacking, I just substituted with an equal amount of a garlic spice rub we use for BBQ.

The real "recycling" part of this meal was the roasted carrots.  Every week, I buy a small platter of crudités to eat as part of my lunch.  But during the summer months (which I have off as a teacher), I end up eating out a lot for lunch while running errands, and so I don't always finish the raw veggies before they "turn".  This week I had a bunch of baby carrots left over, and thankfully it occurred to me that I could roast them in the oven!  Tossed in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and placed in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Pop them into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, and they are soooo good!  Brown on the underside, and the sweetness of the carrot really comes to the forefront.

Project Picture:  This dinner was so yummy, I completely forgot to take a picture until I was down to the last bite!



Prompt: Button Up
Team: Multimedia
Event:
Foodology
Project Name: (Yucky) Orange Chicken with Button Mushrooms
Brief Description: Tried out a slow cooker Orange Chicken recipe that was not a winner at all -- in fact, I deleted the pin already and can't find the recipe anymore, heheh.  But for the side dish, I took the skillet I browned the meat in, deglazed with some white wine, melted several Tbsp. of butter, and cooked up some button mushrooms!  Liberally seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest, the side turned out much better than the main dish.
Project Picture:

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46  Re: Summer Nerd Games: June 1, 2014 - August 31, 2014 ~Join anytime!~ in Craftalongs by vincentvanbuck on: July 09, 2014 07:25:00 AM
Prompt: Team Spirit Textbook - Knowledge is Power
Team: Multimedia
Event:
Paperology
Project Name: Quilled Carrot ATC
Brief Description: Eating carrots is reputed to improve one's eyesight; however, my research suggests that this is not exactly true.  While carrots contain nutrients that are necessary for eye health, they won't "improve" your vision strength.  Do you know how this idea came about?  According to the highly-official looking website "How Stuff Works":

Quote
Carrots became associated with vision, particularly night vision, during World War II. The British Royal Air Force published a story that said skilled fighter pilot John "Cats' Eyes" Cunningham could thank a steady diet of carrots for his night vision flying prowess. In response to the story, many British people began to grow and eat more carrots. They wanted to improve their vision so that they could see better during the compulsory blackouts that were common during World War II. Although Cats' Eyes' carrot eating made for a great story, it was, in fact, propaganda put out to conceal the fact that the Royal Air Force's was actually using radar to locate Luftwaffe bombers during the night.

Project Picture:



(Bonus Joke: Why did the carrot blush?  Because he saw the salad dressing.  HAH!  Hah.... hah.)

Prompt: Team Spirit Randomizer - Time Machine
Team: Multimedia
Event:
Paperology
Project Name: Quilled Octopus-kun ATC
Brief Description: Two years ago, I had the opportunity to take some of my students to visit the town of Minamisanriku, Japan, which was one of the towns most devastated by the March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami.  Many people died in the flooding, and afterwards, many survivors had to leave the small town.  The survivors who have stayed are tasked with rebuilding their town, which is estimated to take 10 years.

This region is famous for fishing octopus as a delicacy, and "Octopus-kun" has served as the town's mascot for some years.  But now, he has taken on a new meaning as a representation of the town's desire to rebuild.  Many of the townspeople are now employed in the crafting of "Octopus goods" (all manner of items and crafts featuring the town's mascot) in order to raise money for the rebuilding of the town.

In short, visiting this town with my students was the single most significant experience I've had as an educator to date, and so crafting "Octopus-kun" not only helps me draw attention to the story of this very special place, but also remember this particularly significant experience in my past.

Project Picture:



For reference, here is another picture alongside a pin featuring the Octopus-kun character:

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47  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2014~ *JOIN ANYTIME* in Craftalongs by vincentvanbuck on: July 09, 2014 07:06:52 AM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: CoMC
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name:
Octopus-kun Quilled ATC
Brief Description: Two years ago, I had the opportunity to take some of my students to visit the town of Minamisanriku, Japan, which was one of the towns most devastated by the March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami.  Many people died in the flooding, and afterwards, many survivors had to leave the small town.  The survivors who have stayed are tasked with rebuilding their town, which is estimated to take 10 years.

This region is famous for fishing octopus as a delicacy, and "Octopus-kun" has served as the town's mascot for some years.  But now, he has taken on a new meaning as a representation of the town's desire to rebuild.  Many of the townspeople are now employed in the crafting of "Octopus goods" (all manner of items and crafts featuring the town's mascot) in order to raise money for the rebuilding of the town.

In short, visiting this town with my students was the single most significant experience I've had as an educator to date, and so crafting "Octopus-kun" is one small way I can help draw attention to the story of this very special place.  This quilled Octopus-kun ATC not only represents a proper creature, but also the endangered "soul" or "spirit" of the town of Minamisanriku.

Project Picture:



For reference, here is another picture of the card, alongside a pin featuring the character:



Class/Challenge/House Pride: Herbology
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name:
Quilled Carrot ATC
Brief Description: Why did the carrot blush... (wait for it)... because he saw the salad blushing!  Cheesy  Hah.  Hah.  Anywho, knowing that I would be getting peckish during our Herbology hikes, I decided to pack some healthy snacks.  But have you seen the way Muggles go hiking?  All that equipment shoved into a bag... what a waste of effort!  I transfigured my carrots for snacking into paper, so that they would be super lightweight and fit into my pocket.  Then, when I'm ready to eat, I'll transfigure them back into food!
Project Picture:

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48  Re: ONGOING ATC SWAP - JUNE 2014 - Gallery in The Swap Gallery by vincentvanbuck on: July 08, 2014 09:03:42 PM
Per blu's request, here is a clearer pic of the card:



Two years ago, I had the opportunity to take some of my students to visit the town of Minamisanriku, Japan, which was one of the towns most devastated by the March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami.  Many people died in the flooding, and afterwards, many survivors had to leave the small town.  The survivors who have stayed are tasked with rebuilding their town, which is estimated to take 10 years.

This region is famous for fishing octopus as a delicacy, and "Octopus-kun" has served as the town's mascot for some years.  But now, he has taken on a new meaning as a representation of the town's desire to rebuild.  Many of the townspeople are now employed in the crafting of "Octopus goods" (all manner of items and crafts featuring the town's mascot) in order to raise money for the rebuilding of the town.

In short, visiting this town with my students was the single most significant experience I've had as an educator to date, and so crafting "Octopus-kun" is one small way I can help draw attention to the story of this very special place.

I am dying to know how long this type of card takes to make.

Hmmm... maybe 4 - 5 hours?  "Longer than I think it will", at any rate. ;-) I am sure I will get a little faster at rolling the circles as I practice.  Actually, rolling the circles is easy, it's glueing them that takes so long.  I use toothpicks to apply the glue, so usually I can only get enough glue on the toothpick to do two circles at a time.
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49  Re: ONGOING ATC SWAP - JUNE 2014 - Gallery in The Swap Gallery by vincentvanbuck on: July 03, 2014 09:44:44 PM
I received a phenomenal card from cmarion3 today for my "Planets" theme:



She chose the fictional planet of Darkover, the titular home world of the series created by Marion Zimmer Bradley  (which, side note, made me uber-excited to get this card.  While I'm not familiar with any of the Darkover novels/stories, Mists of Avalon is one of my all time favorite books, and I made it through most of that series).

The coloring is absolutely wonderful, and the 3-D elements are great too.  The large red entity is actually the star of this solar system; the planet Darkover is the clear marble, and the four colored pebbles/beads are the planet's four moons.  (And OOOHHH!!! Now that I'm reading about Darkover on Wikipedia, I'm looking at a map and I see that you painted underneath the marble to match the topography of the planet.  SOOO COOL!  That's what I love about this card, every time I look at it, I find something new.  Wink)

This is definitely one of my favorite ATCs I've received, thank you so much, cmarion3!
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50  Re: Summer Nerd Games: June 1, 2014 - August 31, 2014 ~Join anytime!~ in Craftalongs by vincentvanbuck on: July 03, 2014 08:52:42 PM
Prompt: July - User's Manual
Team: Multimedia
Event:
Foodology
Bonus Points: Engineering -- the Project Link below is for the recipe I posted on Craftster's Cooking Board
Project Name: Easy Slow Cooker Paleo(-ish) Ribs
Project Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=434351.0#axzz36SVGjMza
Brief Description: I started using DH's slow cooker (which he acquired before we ever met) for the first time last month, and I think I'm falling in love.  My goal is to come up with a roster of at least 10 really great slow cooker recipes by the end of the summer, so when the new school year starts I can step up and take over more of the cooking duty in our house.  This is the.... third (?) recipe I've ever cooked in the crockpot, and it was provided by my personal trainer.
Project Picture:



Prompt: July - Geography
Team: Multimedia
Event:
Foodology
Project Name: Chicken Caesar Salad, Re-imagined
Project Link: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/09/slow-cooker-chicken-caesar-sandwiches.html
Brief Description: Okay, let's get that pesky prompt fulfillment out of the way, shall we?  Caesar salad was purportedly created by Caesar Cardini, an emigrant from Italy.  Italy is the number one place I've wanted to visit in the world, ever since I was 7 years old.  (And you wanna know why?  It's absolutely because of the Super Mario Bros. 3 cartoon.  Seriously!  I saw the "Venice Menace" episode [http://www.mariowiki.com/The_Venice_Menace], and I knew I wanted to travel there.  Another great episode? "Seven Continents for Seven Koopas" [http://www.mariowiki.com/7_Continents_for_7_Koopas].  Those two cartoons instilled a love of geography in me that persists to this day.  Cool)

ANYWHO... This is another slow-cooker recipe.  DH is eating a ton of caesar salad right now, so I wanted to try this out and give us some options on other ways to approach it.

Project Picture:

Option #1: Chicken Caesar Salad Sandwich



Instead of using regular hamburger buns, I toasted up some King's Hawaiian bread buns with some butter (mmmmm....)  Also, since DH refuses to eat parsley (or any fresh herbs, for that matter), I had to wait to sprinkle it on as a garnish on my portion.

Option #2: Chicken Caesar Salad Lettuce Wraps/Tacos

While that King's Hawaiian bread is awful hard to pass up, I am trying to be conscious of grain carbs.  So for the leftovers, I am wrapping them up in hearts of romaine and eating them as a wrap/green taco.  (I squirted a little mayo for added flavor here, since that's what I had on hand, but I think I'd like to try getting some crema or queso fresco.  Ooh, I just remembered I have some yogurt on hand! -- have to try that tomorrow.)

And last but not least, I have a non-food craft to share as well.  Wink  I am participating in the Mini 13 Days of Halloween swap for the first time, and we have a super-long crafting time (literally months!).  But since my partner won't be opening these until October, anything I make this season will have to be shared with a link only, just in case she sees this board.

Prompt: July - Photogenic
Team: Multimedia
Event:
Craftology
Project Name: Super Secret Halloween-themed Lino Cut Print
Brief Description: I plan to use this print in one of the items I will be crafting for my partner.
Project Link:

Original Inspiration Photograph: http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/321554_03Jul14_500full.jpg

My Print: http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/321554_03Jul14_photo_1.JPG

(The pressing on the right was my very first one; I used it to look for little spots I missed during carving, and to gauge where I was at with the eyes.  You can see the changes I made in the middle, and then the left side printing.  I made one more little edit to the eyes after the third pressing, so hopefully I won't need to make any more changes to the block.)
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