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21  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Easy Pineapple Banana Bread on: November 16, 2012 06:17:50 AM
I don't care much for bananas...but I adore banana bread! Cheesy

Last evening, we baked 4 loaves and the smell of banana bread baking in the oven is divine!  Banana bread keeps really well in the freezer (we wrap the individual loaves in 2 layers of plastic wrap, 1 layer of foil, and bag it in a zipper bag before throwing them in the freezer) and it's nice to have them on hand for breakfast or when someone stops by for tea Smiley  One of my favourite ways to eat them is to pop a slice of it in a toaster oven and add a smidge of butter.  Yum! 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 oz pineapple tidbits, drained
2 cups mashed ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease 2 loaf pans and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, whisk eggs, oil and vanilla together until frothy.  Add pineapple and bananas to wet mixture.  Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened.  Fill loaf pans and bake for 65 minutes (note: my oven is pokey...it takes about 80 minutes or so to bake both loaves) or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. 

22  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Quilted Patchwork Cover for Handbound Journal (too many pictures...) on: July 16, 2012 06:45:14 PM
I needed to produce a medium crafted item for a white elephant exchange and after much deliberation, here's what I came up with Cheesy



Thread basted quilt sandwich:

Close-ups of hand quilted sections:

After handwashing and a quick tumble in the dryer...all nice and puckery:

Binding (yup, a different fabric for each edge):

Interior section of the journal:

Inside cover of the journal:

Stitched spine of the journal:

Additional views of the journal:

The cardstock pages were intentionally left blank so that the recipient can do whatever she wants with the journal Cheesy
23  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Spoilt for choice...for me! on: July 16, 2012 06:22:35 PM
I chanced upon this lovely pattern (Spoilt For Choice by Anne Thompson) and knew I needed one for Fall 2012! Cheesy
I used some alpaca blend sport weight yarn that was in my stash and adjusted my needle size to account for the difference.  The pattern is a series of repeats...and for a longer scarf, I did a total of 7 repeats.


There are so many possible ways to wear this and I can't wait to experiment.  I already know it'll be awesome as a scarf Wink

24  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Small leather-bound journal on: April 18, 2012 08:35:07 AM
Made with hand torn paper and reclaimed leather, and bound with pearl cotton thread.   

And yeah, the book is small!  It measures a mere 1.375" x 1.125" x 0.25" Cheesy

25  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Baaa! Stamp and Print! on: April 18, 2012 07:51:41 AM
Baaa!  The image was loosely based on Shaun the Sheep Smiley  This was my first time using a Speedball Speedy-Cut block and I must admit I didn't care much for it.  While extremely easy to carve, the block was very friable...making it darn near impossible to carve fine details.  The finished stamp measures approximately 2.75" by 4.5". 

I stamped multiple images on old book pages, cut out the images, and mounted them on the kraft cardstock.

Hmmm...perhaps I also need to make some bookmarks and notepad covers! Cheesy
26  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Simple hoopla on: April 18, 2012 07:38:56 AM
Stitching is one of those crafts that I start but rarely finish because I lack patience Roll Eyes 
This particular hoop was made for one of my swap partners...based on one of her answers in the swap questionnaire Grin

I freehanded the text and yarn ball/knitting needles in pencil and stitched.  Painted the hoop with black acrylic to make the stitching 'pop' Smiley

This was fun (and quick!) to stitch, so I will be making something similar for my craftroom (based on a quote I like) Cheesy
27  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Tongue in cheek aprons on: April 17, 2012 01:14:26 PM
My first attempt at stenciling, using the freezer paper technique Grin

These aprons were made for my partner in a recent round of the IYP swap. 
The chef de cuisine apron is rather self-explanatory...but I decided that a dose of humor was in order and made the accompanying apron - chef de plonge (roughly translated as 'head dishwasher') to send along...for my partner (or her hubby). 

Here's a gratuitous shot of one of the stencils I made with the freezer paper (uh, looking at this picture, I think it might be just as lovely to create a stencil with a finished image that looks like this...hmm):

Stenciled aprons:


Now that I've gotten over my fear of stenciling, I'm game to work on designs that are more detailed and intricate Cheesy
28  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Hexi-Puffs Mini Skeins (Signup 3/1/12 to 3/14/12; Sendout 03/26/12) on: March 01, 2012 07:38:20 AM


Swap name: Hexi-Puffs Mini Skeins
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: loves2experiment
Craftster members who are the backup organizers for this swap: loudxmouse
Sign-up date range: 03/01/12 to 03/14/12
Date to send item by: 03/26/12 (Monday)
Limited to a certain number of people? No
Non-U.S. participants allowed? Yes.  This is an international swap.  Be aware that by signing up for this swap you are agreeing to ship items internationally.  

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES, co-organizer for this swap is the lovely loudxmouse!
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 18 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

If youre looking for a variety of mini skeins of fingering weight yarns for your beekeepers quilt project, this is the swap for you!  You will send out mini skeins of luscious yarns to your partners and receive the same quantity of mini skeins.  Essentially, this is a grab bag style supply swap.  

Details of swap:
~ Each mini skein of fingering weight yarn should measure approximately 15 yards or so (if in doubt, Id recommend erring on the generous end of things Wink).  
~ If are paired up with swappers who crochet, you may send them 3 mini skeins of approximately 30 yards each (in place of 6 mini skeins of approximately 15 yards or so).
~ Although this is a random swap and you dont have to worry about colour or fiber preferences, please be sure to send out yarns that you would be happy to receive.
~ Each participant will have the option of either having 3 partners (sending out 18 mini skeins total -> 6 skeins per partner, receiving 18 mini skeins) or 6 partners (sending out 36 mini skeins total -> 6 skeins per partner, receiving 36 mini skeins).
~ For domestic shipments, Delivery Confirmation Numbers (DC#) are required for the packages. If sending internationally please keep your postal receipt until your item is received.  
~ If your item has not been received within a reasonable time (2-3 weeks domestic; 4-6 weeks international) an angel can be arranged if you have a DC# or postal receipt.  If not, you will be required to resend.
~ Feedback will be given when all your partners have received from you. The organizers would love to issue feedback to swappers who are eligible to receive feedback in a timely fashion.  Please notify your partners and swap organizers as soon possible when you receive!
~ Positive feedback will be issued for all people complying with the Craftster Swap guidelines.  Appropriate notes will be left in the comments section (i.e. early sends, late sends, poor communication, etc.).  

(Make the title of your PM Hexi-Puffs Mini Skeins Signup)

Name of swap: Hexi-Puffs Mini Skeins
Craftster username:
I am at least eighteen years old:
I have completed 1 swap with positive feedback:
I acknowledge that I have been informed that I might have to send items internationally:
Email address:
Real name and mailing address (formatted for mailing):
Would you like 3 partners or 6 partners?
Crochet or Knit (i.e. would you prefer to receive 30 yard or 15 yard mini skeins)?

Feel free to ask loves2experiment or loudxmouse if you have any questions! Cheesy
Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.



Team Corriedale

Team Dorset

Team Gotland

Team Rambouillet

29  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / A mild obsession with fingerless mitts! on: January 25, 2012 08:06:42 PM
As a compulsive texter, I adore the concept of fingerless mitts! 
There are so many wonderful patterns available...so much so that I cant stop knitting them for myself and my family Grin 
These are the fingerless mitts that Ive knitted in the past year or so, in anticipation for the cold weather season Wink

Susie's Reading Mitts

Strolling Mitts

Princess Mitts

Hive Mitts

Adorable Kids Fingerless Gloves

Three Leaf Mitts

Jader Mitts

Maine Morning Mitts

Evangeline Mitts

Palm Readers

NOTE:  Rather than linking a bunch of patterns, I've listed the names of these patterns so they should be easy enough to find Cheesy
30  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Crabby Toes Anklet Socks (with pattern!) on: January 25, 2012 06:48:17 PM
While looking for yet another anklet sock pattern to knit, I also toyed with the idea of writing my own pattern. 
Voila!  The instep pattern is based on the crabwalk lace pattern from Vogue Knitting's Stitchionary 5, hence the name - Crabby Toes! Grin

Close up of instep!


Fingering weight sock yarn (~ 200 yards or so for a pair that fits shoe size 8!)
Size 2 dpns (5 needles works best!)

Pattern Rows:
Row 1 - k2, *k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1, repeat from * ending with k2
Row 3 - k2, *ktog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, repeat from * ending with k2
Even numbered rows, knit all stitches.

Cast on 60 stitches and join without twisting.
Divide stitches among 3 needles.

k2, p2 (rib pattern) for 5 rows.

Row 1 - s1, k1 for 28 stitches. 
These 28 stitches will be part of the heel while the remaining 32 stitches will form the instep of the sock. 
Row 2 - s1, p27.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 for 30 rows.
Turn the heel as follows:
Row 1 - s1, k16 k2tog, k1, turn work
Row 2 - s1, p7, p2tog, p1, turn work
Row 3 - s1, k8, k2tog, k1, turn work
Row 4 - s1, p9, p2tog, p1, turn work
Row 5 - s1, k10, k2tog, k1, turn work
Row 6 - s1, p11, p2tog, p1, turn work
Row 7 - s1, k12, k2tog, k1, turn work
Row 8 - s1, p13, p2tog, p1, turn work
Row 9 - s1, k14, k2tog, k1, turn work
Row 10 - s1, p15, p2tog, p1, turn work
18 stitches will remain on needle.

Start this section as follows - s1, k8 with extra needle. 
Needle 1 - k9, pick up and knit 16 stitches from heel flap (for a total of 25 stitches)
Needle 2 - knit 32 stitches (this is the instep section of the sock)
Needle 3 - pick up and knit 16 stitches from other side of heel flap and knit 9 stitches from extra needle (for a total of 25)
Row 1, Needle 1 - knit to 3 stitches before the end of needle, k2tog, k1
Row 1, Needle 2 - start with Row 1 of Pattern Rows (and alternate with Row 3 of Pattern Rows in subsequent repeats of the gusset rows)
Row 1, Needle 3 - k1, ssk, knit to end of needle
Row 2 (Needles 1, 2 & 3) - knit
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until 60 stitches remain.

After the gusset section, you should have the following number of stiches on each needle
Needle 1 - 14 stitches
Needle 2 - 32 stitches
Needle 3 - 14 stitches
Continue knitting the foot section of the sock as follows, until 2 inches before the end of the foot.
Needle 1 - knit
Needle 2 - continue with Pattern Rows
Needle 3 - knit

Take the first stitch from Needle 2 (instep section of the sock) and move it to the end of Needle 1.  Take the last stitch from Needle 2 and add it to the beginning of Needle 3.  Now, you should have the following number of stitches on each needle
Needle 1 - 15 stitches
Needle 2 - 30 stitches
Needle 3 - 15 stitches
Row 1, Needle 1 - knit to 3 stitches before the end of the needle, k2tog, k1
Row 1, Needle 2 - k1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before the end of the needle, k2tog, k1
Row 1, Needle 3 - k1, ssk, knit to end of needle
Row 2 (Needles 1, 2 & 3) - knit
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until there are 4 stitches left on each of Needles 1 & 3, and 8 stitches left on Needle 2 (for a total of 16 stitches).  Knit 4 more stitches on Needle 1 (using Needle 3).  Graft stitches to finish the toe.  Block (and yes, those are homemade sock blockers Wink) and enjoy!

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