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11  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Stitchalongs / Re: Hoopla A-Long 2013-2015 on: September 23, 2015 03:38:54 AM
I haven't posted a hoopla for quite a few months! Ack! But finally, I have made something to fill the prompt. Here is my monster hoopla, stitched up for my monster BF for our anniversary.

Close up of the stitching and trim
12  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Frankenstein and Bride hoopla on: September 23, 2015 03:37:12 AM
It is mine and my boyfriends anniversary next week, and he is always commenting on the fact that I haven't stitched anything for him so I made this for him.
It is rather fitting for us, he is a big big horror fan (compared to him, I am only a moderate horror fan!) and I call him my monster. so. this is as cheesy as it gets for us.
I finished the hoop with black lace and a dark green trim, I think it really pulls it all together and brings a bit more interest to such simple stitching. Stitched entirely in back stitch, black thread between one and three strands depending on the thickness of the lines.
I am really happy with this and hope my boyfriend likes it!!

Close up of the stitching and trim
13  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Welcome to Night Vale - Cross Stitch on: September 23, 2015 03:29:15 AM
awesome stitching for an awesome podcast! Love it!!
14  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Re: Back to Hogwarts 6 - (Signups: CLOSED; Sendouts: Oct 3, 2015) on: September 18, 2015 06:12:39 PM
I am on holiday at the moment, but have managed to get some crafting done while I've been away. I'm actually in New Zealand, which is where my partner lives, so if I may send half my package from here if I finish on time!
15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: Fall Nerd Battles 2015 --September 1 - November 30, 2015-- ~*Join Anytime!*~ on: September 10, 2015 03:18:37 AM
Thanks for all the nice words on my baklava, I wish I could have shared it with you all properly, instead of just making you drool over pictures!

moriarT that baklava, looks amazing (my daughter will be wearing her hasadega eebowai tee to college tomorrow, she is looking forward to seeing who is in her tribe!)

Brilliant! I am so glad she is getting good use out of it! How'd she go at college?

I am loving the crafts this month! The sugar skull stencil... WOW I am so impressed by those intricate cuts!
The cockatrice patch is beautiful, such beautiful stitches!
The beer basket is great, such a cool fabric
Feather embroidery is beautiful, I love how fine and dainty and feather like it is!
TM patches are cool! I just watch big hero 6 so I really like the Baymax! I feel like I need to get into TM patches, I see so many great ones on here.
16  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Re: Sweet Transvestite on: September 10, 2015 03:09:46 AM
Oh sweet transvestite! This is beautiful, I would LOVE to cuddle up with Dr Frank on my bed! LOVE THIS. I feel like seeing this is the motivation I need to finally learn to crochet. How long did it take you?
17  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Re: Back to Hogwarts 6 - (Signups: CLOSED; Sendouts: Oct 3, 2015) on: September 09, 2015 05:41:57 AM
Still pottering away on my pieces, don't have a clear idea on what I'll be doing for one but am sure I will figure out all the details soon.
18  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: Fall Nerd Battles 2015 --September 1 - November 30, 2015-- ~*Join Anytime!*~ on: September 04, 2015 05:41:34 AM
That baklava - wow!   Shocked
After eating two pieces since posting this I can confirm it is wow! alright... delicious.
19  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: Fall Nerd Battles 2015 --September 1 - November 30, 2015-- ~*Join Anytime!*~ 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...

20  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Re: Back to Hogwarts 6 - (Signups: CLOSED; Sendouts: Oct 3, 2015) on: September 02, 2015 08:35:47 AM
Have spent about an hour working on my large tonight, will probably give it another half an hour and then buy the supplies I need to do more on it tomorrow. Hopefully it will turn out the way I am picturing it in my head!
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