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1  Re: Fall Nerd Battles 2015 --September 1 - November 30, 2015-- ~*Join Anytime!*~ in Craftalongs by moriarT on: September 04, 2015 05:18:05 AM
Some awesome projects posted so far, I especially love the little whale purse, too cute!
I am back for another round with team randomizer, and hope to get plenty more crafts done this time.

Prompt:  September battle royale - EVIL!
Team: Randomizer
Bonus Points: Engineering
Project Name: Baklava
Project Link:
Brief Description: One of my absolute all time favourite desserts is baklava, I have been making it for about ten years now, and it still makes me incredibly happy. The crisp flaky pastry, the crunchy mix of nuts, the sweet sticky syrup, this definitely ticks all the boxes for me! So why is it on the side of evil, instead of good, you may be wondering? ALL THAT BUTTER. I used a full 250g block in this recipe. Then there is all the sugar, and honey... definitely not a 'good for you' dessert! As I have been making this for years I don't really measure anything out, so this recipe is just an approximation!

1 box filo pastry
250g unsalted butter
2 c nuts (pistachios and walnuts are traditional, I used these as well as almonds)
1c sugar (divided into two half cup portions)
1c honey
1 cinnamon quill
6 whole cloves
3 cardamom pods
1 vanilla bean, seeds only
1 orange (not traditional, but I love orange flavour)

Traditionally the syrup is made with either rose water or orange blossom. Despite the fact that I live in a very multi cultural area I couldn't find either, which is why I just used an orange instead. If you can get your hands on some I implore you to do it! It adds a whole new level of delicious to this dish!

 Start by making the syrup, as you want it to be completely cool before pouring it over the baked baklava.
Simply simmer the honey, half a cup of the sugar, the juice of the orange (zest that bad boy first tho!) with the vanilla and spices, and about 1/2c of water. Once it has reduced by about half take it off the heat and leave to cool.

Roughly chop up the nuts, combine in a large bowl with the rest of the sugar and the zest from the orange.
Melt the butter. SO MUCH BUTTER.
Using a pastry brush, butter the base and sides of a deep baking dish.
Layer the filo in the dish, brushing each layer with butter as you do so. Filo pastry can be a bit tricky to work with, keep it under a damp teatowel and work as quickly and gently as you possibly can. Don't stress if you rip a few pieces, it'll be fine!
After about ten layers, cover the pastry with 3/4 of the nut mixture. If your filo is larger than your dish I like to let the edges hang over and then fold them over the top of the dough. Keep layering and buttering your pastry, after another six or so layers add the rest of the nuts and keep going until you run out of pastry.
Cut the baklava into small squares or diamonds, this is a very rich dessert so you only want them to be an inch and a half or so.
Bake the baklava in an oven preheated to about 200'C. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until pastry is crisp and golden.
Immediately pour cool syrup over hot baklava, it will bubble up and then soak right in.
If you have any restraint, allow to cool before eating. Or just dig right in.
Baklava lasts for about 4 days covered on the benchtop or in the pantry, I wouldn't recommend refrigerating. It tastes even better on the second day, because that delicious syrup has had time to soak into everything.
If you are feeling REALLY decadent, baklava goes excellent with cream.
Project Picture:

All ready to eat, are you drooling yet?

And a bunch of in progress shots...



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2  Re: One Awesome Harry Potter Thing (OAHPT) - Round 2 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by moriarT on: August 17, 2015 04:50:20 AM
It seems the postal workers have decided to play a game of hide and seek with my package to amc- so Mistress Jennie suggested I posted a photo in here for you all to see what I made.
AMC- IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED WHEN YOUR PACKAGE FINALLY SHOWS UP... KEEP SCROLLING!!


 I am really proud of this, so I will be really upset if it is lost. I loved blending the thread colours to make the puffs look fluffy and textured, and finding the purple pom pom trim at the craft store two days before sending out was such a blessing.
I wish the photo captured this piece a little better, but this is the best I took.
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3  Re: One Awesome Harry Potter Thing (OAHPT) - Round 2 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by moriarT on: July 29, 2015 11:12:32 PM
I am so impressed by everything in this gallery. You all have done such a spectacular job in creating something AWESOME!

The rag rug is amazing, such great colours!
The felt play set is adorable, and so much fun for the little one!
The wall organiser is SO RAVENCLAW, I love it!
The jewellery roll and jewellery set is so lovely, I especially love the badger paw bracelet.
The Hermione doll looks so nice and cuddly
The HP/DW cross over hoopla is so clever and nicely stitched.

I don't know who else I haven't commented on - but you all rock!

I received from amc- today!

After being inspired by the incredible PJ sets I have seen in a few other HP galleries I requested some from amc- after she told me her most awesome craft was sewing.

The fabric is great, covered in HP spells and in Hufflepuff colours! I haven't tried them on yet, but they look like they will be a good fit.

Thank you amc-
Hopefully your package will get to you soon.
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4  Re: I Love Musicals Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by moriarT on: July 29, 2015 11:03:55 PM
Woohoo I am the first to receive. I didn't let myself open until EdelCs package was on her way to her. Now I am not sure if I am glad I waited, I am nervous I didn't do enough!
Behold! Terrible photos of my excellent swag.


This photo does not capture the true colour of this tshirt at all. In reality it is a lovely bright teal. Smokin' hot Dr Frank stenciled tshirt. This man has been my crush since before I even started primary school, so I feel very cool wearing this t.


Everyones favourite man eating plant from outer space! Lovely Audrey 2 painting on board. I am going to frame this! I cannot draw AT ALL so that makes this extra awesome.


Treats!! Yum!

Not pictured is some west end posters, for Les Mis and Wizard of Oz, they are currently being flattened after travelling the world rolled up tightly. They are super cool, I will probably get a frame at least for the Les Mis one, and probably both.

Thank you so much Edel for being a great partner! If you have better photos, please post them! xx
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5  Re: Summer Nerd Games 2015 --June 1, 2015 - August 31, 2015-- ~Join Anytime!~ in Craftalongs by moriarT on: July 16, 2015 01:22:24 AM
Wow that moon is beautiful, love the face.
And the little baby clothes are adorable.


Prompt:  Team spirit! Wordy
Team: Randomizer
Event: Fabricology
Bonus Points: 5 to team wordy
Project Name: Cheeky stenciled undies. Slightly NSFW
Project Link: NA
Brief Description: I'm on a bit of a stenciling kick at the moment. So I decided to make myself something a bit fun and silly based on one of my boyfriend and I's silly jokes. Every time he touches or looks at my butt he almost always without fail says 'mmm butt' to which I will without fail respond with 'butt what?' (I will also say back where? and boob who? whenever those body parts are mentioned. I'm hilarious)
Project Picture:

It's really hard to photograph your own butt. As a link so I am not assaulting anyones eyes.
http://s22.postimg.org/q58mm6uqp/10885408_10205783040989032_8952653025300818031_n.jpg

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6  Re: Summer Nerd Games 2015 --June 1, 2015 - August 31, 2015-- ~Join Anytime!~ in Craftalongs by moriarT on: July 14, 2015 01:22:40 AM
Incredible embroidery Ludi! The leaves look fantastic.  Grin

Prompt:  Team spirit - fandom
Team: Randomizer
Event: Fabricology
Bonus Points: 5 points to team fandom - you go team fandom!!
Project Name: Stenciled Les Mis tshirt.
Project Link: NA
Brief Description: I am a huge fan of the musical Les Miserables (not brave enough to tackle the book yet!) I saw the stage show a few times last year, and watch the film every few months or whenever I need a good cry. 24601 is Jean Valjeans prison number. I like that the font has a kinda inmate feel to it. Excuse the embarrassingly blurry pic!
Project Picture:

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7  slow cooked middle eastern lamb and quinoa salad in Recipes and Cooking Tips by moriarT on: July 14, 2015 12:58:49 AM



Slow cooked lamb:
First of all, the marinade. Crush a whole bulb of garlic. Mix with 1/4c ground cumin seeds,, 1T ground sumac, zest and juice from one lemon. A liberal amount of salt and black pepper. Score the fat of a lamb leg (I used a half leg - bone in, butt end. It weighed about 1.25kg, and was enough for both of us to have a big dinner and left overs the next day.
Then comes the hard part. Well, the first hard part. Seal in a freezer bag and leave to marinate in the fridge for AT LEAST two days. I'm serious. Let it soak up all that awesome delicious flavour.
Hard part; part two. Wake up ridiculously early (6.30am for me!) chop up a couple of carrots and an onion for the bottom of the cooker. Add that sweet delicious meat, fat side up. You could sear the meat if you wish but I had no time and it really doesn't need it! Add two cups of vege stock. I just used it because I had never used a slow cooker before and wasn't going to be home for ten hours and didn't want to risk the meat drying out! I would cut that quantity to 1c next time I make this.
Set slow cooker to low. Go to work, spend nine hours cooking for other people, all the while dreaming of your lamb. Return to an amazing smelling home.
The meat had been cooking for about 10 hours at this point, and was super tender. I tasted, adjusted seasonings, then removed lamb from cooker. I drained the liquid into a pot and discarded the vegetables. Add the lamb back to the slow cooker. The meat was literally falling apart every time I touched it, it was glorious! Simmer the liquid over a low heat until reduced to about 1/4 of the original volume. It will be syrupy and full of flavour!

While that was happening I had a salad to prepare!
First of all was the cumin labne: Stir 1T ground cumin seeds through 1c plain greek yogurt. Tie in a kitchen cloth or muslin and sit in a sieve. Sit sieve over a small bowl and leave in the fridge for about two hours. All the liquid will drain off and you will end up with a thick, spicy yogurt. I LOVE labne, I also like to add vanilla beans, cinnamon, honey etc etc to make a sweet one to go with fruit.

Pickled red onions: So easy! Bring 1/2c pale vinegar (I had apple cider, white wine vinegar etc will also work!) with a few big tablespoons of sugar and maybe 1T salt. Finely slice red onion. Add to vinegar mix, remove from heat and leave until ready to serve. These turn out bright pink and taste absolutely delicious on everything! Everyone should have a jar of these in their fridge at all times.

Then I simply had to put my salad together. I made it up as I went along and it was delicious.
2c cooked quinoa. (I used mixed, because it looks prettier!)
Coriander, mint and basil leaves.
Lemon zest. (preserved lemon would have been ace, but sadly I had none!)
Chopped roasted pistachio nuts.
Pomegranate seeds.
Finely sliced red chillis.

I didn't make a dressing, just tossed it with the juice of one lemon, 2T sesame oil and 2T of the pickled onion liquid.

Time to put everything together! I pulled the lamb apart, which was so easy, all I needed to do was nudge it with my spoon and it would melt. Pour over the reduced liquid and let that soak right up.
Top salad with pickled onions and labne. Sprinkle with dukkah (I bought mine from another favourite - but much more affordable! - middle eastern restaurant.) Add a lemon wedge on the side for extra flavour, pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy!

It really isn't often I spend so much time and effort making dinner for myself at home. So when I do I make sure it is extra special. I am already planning another trip to the butchers so I can make this again!
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8  Re: Summer Nerd Games 2015 --June 1, 2015 - August 31, 2015-- ~Join Anytime!~ in Craftalongs by moriarT on: July 13, 2015 05:24:02 AM
Wow so many amazing projects as always in this thread. I've been super busy working on a swap item which has used all my creative energy in the past few weeks! I was going to use it for my Nerd Pride, before deciding to post this instead...

Prompt:  Red Alert! Nerd Pride
Team: Randomizer
Event: Foodology
Bonus Points: Engineering
Project Name: Slow cooked Middle Eastern lamb and quinoa salad
Project Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=439983.0
Brief Description: My boyfriend recently gave me a slow cooker, and this is the first thing I have ever cooked in it! I cook food for a living, I sometimes forget it is a craft. But it is definitely where I am able to let my true creativity shine and is something I am immensely proud of. I don't post things I make for work on here (I think that would be cheating!) This is a dinner I cooked for my boyfriend and myself last night. The lamb recipe is adapted rather liberally from one of my favourite restaurants that is far too expensive to eat at more than once a year.
Project Picture:



Slow cooked lamb:
First of all, the marinade. Crush a whole bulb of garlic. Mix with 1/4c ground cumin seeds,, 1T ground sumac, zest and juice from one lemon. A liberal amount of salt and black pepper. Score the fat of a lamb leg (I used a half leg - bone in, butt end. It weighed about 1.25kg, and was enough for both of us to have a big dinner and left overs the next day.
Then comes the hard part. Well, the first hard part. Seal in a freezer bag and leave to marinate in the fridge for AT LEAST two days. I'm serious. Let it soak up all that awesome delicious flavour.
Hard part; part two. Wake up ridiculously early (6.30am for me!) chop up a couple of carrots and an onion for the bottom of the cooker. Add that sweet delicious meat, fat side up. You could sear the meat if you wish but I had no time and it really doesn't need it! Add two cups of vege stock. I just used it because I had never used a slow cooker before and wasn't going to be home for ten hours and didn't want to risk the meat drying out! I would cut that quantity to 1c next time I make this.
Set slow cooker to low. Go to work, spend nine hours cooking for other people, all the while dreaming of your lamb. Return to an amazing smelling home.
The meat had been cooking for about 10 hours at this point, and was super tender. I tasted, adjusted seasonings, then removed lamb from cooker. I drained the liquid into a pot and discarded the vegetables. Add the lamb back to the slow cooker. The meat was literally falling apart every time I touched it, it was glorious! Simmer the liquid over a low heat until reduced to about 1/4 of the original volume. It will be syrupy and full of flavour!

While that was happening I had a salad to prepare!
First of all was the cumin labne: Stir 1T ground cumin seeds through 1c plain greek yogurt. Tie in a kitchen cloth or muslin and sit in a sieve. Sit sieve over a small bowl and leave in the fridge for about two hours. All the liquid will drain off and you will end up with a thick, spicy yogurt. I LOVE labne, I also like to add vanilla beans, cinnamon, honey etc etc to make a sweet one to go with fruit.

Pickled red onions: So easy! Bring 1/2c pale vinegar (I had apple cider, white wine vinegar etc will also work!) with a few big tablespoons of sugar and maybe 1T salt. Finely slice red onion. Add to vinegar mix, remove from heat and leave until ready to serve. These turn out bright pink and taste absolutely delicious on everything! Everyone should have a jar of these in their fridge at all times.

Then I simply had to put my salad together. I made it up as I went along and it was delicious.
2c cooked quinoa. (I used mixed, because it looks prettier!)
Coriander, mint and basil leaves.
Lemon zest. (preserved lemon would have been ace, but sadly I had none!)
Chopped roasted pistachio nuts.
Pomegranate seeds.
Finely sliced red chillis.

I didn't make a dressing, just tossed it with the juice of one lemon, 2T sesame oil and 2T of the pickled onion liquid.

Time to put everything together! I pulled the lamb apart, which was so easy, all I needed to do was nudge it with my spoon and it would melt. Pour over the reduced liquid and let that soak right up.
Top salad with pickled onions and labne. Sprinkle with dukkah (I bought mine from another favourite - but much more affordable! - middle eastern restaurant.) Add a lemon wedge on the side for extra flavour, pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy!

It really isn't often I spend so much time and effort making dinner for myself at home. So when I do I make sure it is extra special. I am already planning another trip to the butchers so I can make this again!
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9  Re: Circus Main Attraction and Sideshow Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by moriarT on: June 28, 2015 11:01:46 PM
I think I am the last one to receive, but it showed up today and it was soooo worth the wait as I looked on with envy at you all receiving such awesome packages.
Artsycandice is so freakin' talented you guys! This is the second time I have swapped with her and each time she has blown me away with the skill and care she has put into my packages.
Behold! Sideshow Sally! (And Veronica!)



I have tried to take photos from a few different angles, but they don't really capture the awesomeness of these little conjoined mice. Their limbs are posable. I love all the little details like their ear piercings and Sally's crown and flowers, and their different chokers. Candice also drew an adorable wee card (is this an ATC?) detailing their sad story on the back. I forgot to take a photo but I shall upload one soon. Unless Candice beats me to it, as I am sure she took plenty of great pics before she sent.

Thank you thank you thank you to artsycandice for being my partner, Smeddley and Bow and Sparrow for organising and all of you awesome craftsters for making this such an awesome swap to be part of. Fingers crossed for round two!
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10  Circus bear in Needlework: Completed Projects by moriarT on: June 18, 2015 06:01:10 AM
I stitched up this little guy for arstycandice in the circus swap. All photos are taken by her.

I spent a lot of time working on this guy! I blended about five different shades of brown plus black and white to make his fur look textured and realistic as possible. His pom pom is turkey work (I recently learned this stitch and I love it!) his tutu is lace. The stripey fabric of his hat is also layered underneath the white fabric I stitched on to give a subtle striped background reminiscent of a circus tent and the back of the hoop is also finished nicely in the same fabric. The hoop itself was soaked in lots of strong coffee then stained with my stamp pads to give an antiqued wood type look.

And a few close ups!




And here is one in progress shot, I stitched from the outside in, and then just started stitching wherever the hell I felt like, so the colours were blended evenly all over him.
I left his face until last, because I was so scared of mucking it up. But I think I did it alright!


Thanks for looking!  Grin
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