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1  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Fall Semester Sept 1-November 30, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: November 11, 2015 05:37:17 PM
I finally found a chance to post some more projects!

Class: Apparition
House: Gryffindor
Name: The conflicted stormtrooper

So here's the second Star Wars crochet doll I made for my friend.  He took a lot of determination as despite marking the beginning of each round with a stitch marker I couldn't get the black helmet band to line up right until I took it off and replaced it in a new spot!  His expression came out looking very uncertain, and waiting in the mug my friend accidentally left he looks positively depressed - hence the name.

Class: Muggle Studies
House: Gryffindor
Name: Anna Costume

Well Muggles have these fancy sewing machines that use eckeltricity to put the fabric together, and I decided to try it!  This skirt and corset went together fairly well, though I sure wish I could have used magic to put the images on them!  Instead I went all muggle and pin-pricked the designs on paper, pounced with rice flour, and then traced with chalk before painting with acrylics.  Not a bad mimic of the muggle Princess I keep seeing everywhere named Anna.

Class: Potions
House: Gryffindor
Name: Peppermint Petit Poissons de Tresor

One of our favourite songs to sing around here is "Petit Poisson" (a great kids song you should check out).  So while singing it we decided to make these erupting treasure fishies!  They're baking soda mixed with liquid watercolour and water until it can be packed into our fish shaped ice tray.  I put a tiny bit in the bottom, then hid some pretty beads, then covered them up.  I froze them solid, then poured some blue tinted vinegar with a squeeze of dish soap into the container.  But what to do about that vinegar smell?  Cover it with peppermint extract!  I added some peppermint extract to the container, as well as to the repurposed dishsoap container filled with vinegar.  Once added the fishies start to produce huge amounts of soft, cold foam, and the kids had fun searching through the foam and baking soda slush to find all the beads. 

Class: Transfiguration
House: Gryffindor
Name: Midkiffsjoy's sweater ornaments!

Midkiffsjoy's lucky two kids who participate in our craftalong won my two sweaters from last semester, and it turns out her other two wanted ornaments as well!  We're doing a little swap and I made two extra sweaters for her other young ones!  They were entirely from stash, I've had the navy for about 5 years and the gold for almost ten!

And lastly, here's a NEWT update!  I've completed some of the ornaments for my advent tree, but lots still to make!

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2  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Fall Semester Sept 1-November 30, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: November 04, 2015 03:26:37 PM
I love the adorable costumes Midkiffs!  Everyones projects are so wonderful.  Im so sorry I never comment any more (chronic illness that leaves me too ill to do much but not ill enough to take sick leave from work) but I look at absolutely everything and admire it all.

I have some projects to submit but first I wanted to add a new NEWT!
Some of you may remember my gluten-free knitted gingerbread house from last year.  I had considered making it an advent calendar, so we could add a piece every day, but it really needs to be sewn together permanently.  So this year, Im making an advent calendar!

Subject: Alchemy
House: Gryffindor
Project Name:  Advent tree
Brief Description:
Im going to knit and sew ornaments to add to a felt tree as an Advent calendar.  I hope to finish the project by Dec. 1 so we can use it this year.  Im going to use felt, wool, embroidery floss, sequins, buttons, and maybe more!  Hopefully most of it can be done with scraps, and Ill only need to make the background from new felt (or possibly fabric).  Im really looking forward to it!  I'm using the Yarn Harlot's tree from last year as inspiration, though I'm going to sew a few more pieces (I'm pretty adept now at felt sewing after 4 Christmas stockings) and swap a few of the ornaments out as well.
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3  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Fall Semester Sept 1-November 30, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: October 18, 2015 02:18:35 PM
So much great stuff!  I haven't commented at all because my family is having chronic health problems which makes it really hard to get on here in the evening (since it's mostly me!) but it has left me with some crafting time, so here we go!

*Alert to headmistresses*  Upon reading my NEWT it seems I had my dresses flipped - I said my daughter would be Anna and I would be Elsa, which is totally backwards!  I made her the Elsa dress as I'd intended.  Can I still submit my NEWT as complete?

Class: Alchemy
House: Gryffindor
Name: Raspberry Jam

I made this Raspberry Jam (right side) several weeks ago, and it positively glows in the light.  It reminds me very much of stained glass with it's deep red colour.  There are 5 pints in total, and it was a standard jam recipe: 1200g of raspberries, 5 cups of white sugar, 1 packet of pectin to help it set a bit, but then I added the scrapings from two vanilla beans.  Delicious!  If you make this, be sure to look up the USDA guidelines for how to process correctly for your own elevation and use sterilized jars with new seals.

Class: Arithmancy
House: Gryffindor
Name: Merida

As you can see, the curvy lines in this doll are found in her crazy hair!  I crocheted this doll using a pattern from Ravelry, and it has you crochet a rectangle in the rust yarn, wet it, let it dry, then ravel it for the hair.  I wanted to be SURE the yarn would keep it's curl, so I decided to set it permanently.  I was crocheting in acrylic, so instead of soaking it I steamed it heavily with my iron (taking care not to press the fabric so I didn't "kill" it).  This slightly melted the fibres so that it became softer and more silky, as well as keeping the kinks permanently.

Class: Astronomy
House: Gryffindor
Name: Yoda doll

It was my birthday in September, and my friend bought me the Star Wars amigurumi crochet kit!  Obviously the first two dolls have to go to her, and the first is this teeny-tiny Yoda.  He was a bit of a pain because the kit calls for you to use worsted and a 3.5mm hook, yet the kit came with DK weight!  It turned out OK though, he's just extra small.

Class: CoMC
House: Gryffindor
Name: Elsa

Let me tell you, this doll needed extra hands.  Trying to keep all the locks of "hair" in place while trying to tack them down and make sure everything looked right actually DID take extra hands.  I had my husband help me do this!  I also could have used extra hands when I was crocheting the silver yarn as it was very splitty!  The pattern actually called for two blues in place of the silver and blue, but I couldn't resist the silver.  It's left over from the sachets I crocheted for my bridesmaids years ago.

Class: DADA
House: Gryffindor
Name: Cherry Preserves

The cherries are on the left: clearly, these are red too!  VERY red!  I also spent 3 hours picking and pitting them lol.  I used Martha Stewart's recipe here: http://www.marthastewart.com/343562/sour-cherry-preserves without the lemon juice (they're quite tart already) and added some vanilla bean caviar to these as well.  I did add some pectin here as well, hoping to get them to set a bit better, but they only thickened to a syrup.  No problem, with a bit of cornstarch cooked in it makes great pie or black forest cake filling!  Same disclaimer - if you want to can these look up the USDA guidelines for safety at your altitude and use sterilized jars with new seals.

Class: Divination
House: Gryffindor
Name: Anna

This doll is for a child, the daughter of one of my photographer friends.  She's doing a boudoir photo shoot for me!  Anna is more work than I expected, largely because I did the same thing someone else on Ravelry did, and embroidered flowers on her skirt.  I think it really makes her though!

Class: NEWT (if approved by HM!)
House: Gryffindor
Name: Elsa costume

I got this fabric and pattern from my MIL to make a costume for my daughter last fall.  However, she's quite small for her age and the pattern was enormous.  This year she asked to be Elsa for Hallowe'en, so I decided to use it! 

She'd given me a roll of sequin trim to use on the bodice, but there wasn't enough to cover it.  I had this sparkly sheer knit in my stash, so I decided to applique the base bodice fabric to it.  A time-consuming extra step, but it looks great!

The cloak fabric was a PAIN IN THE ARSE.  It's a semi-stiff organza, and the pattern on it is just glued glitter that sheds with every movement.  My machine is now full of glitter.

All that said though, my daughter LOVES it.  She's only worn it once as it needs to be saved for Hallowe'en, but after that she can wear it as much as she wants!

It took me a long time, at least 4 weeks to complete.  I traced the pattern onto paper before cutting it out so that I could make more dresses in other sizes later.

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4  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Fall Semester Sept 1-November 30, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: September 08, 2015 10:47:18 AM
Class: Charms
House: Gryffindor
Name: Rainbow Playdough
My son is celiac, so we have to make special homemade GF playdough for him!  This recipe uses:
1 c. baby rice cereal (dry)
1 c. corn starch
3 tbsp. oil
Food colouring
You mix and knead everything together, remembering to add the food colouring to the water first so it disperses more evenly!  We used lots of food colourings to make the different colours, by first making red, yellow and blue playdough, and then kneading those colours together to make the secondaries.

Class: Herbology
House: Gryffindor
Name: Hawaiian rolls
These gluten-free Hawaiian rolls are yellow due to the large amount of pineapple juice in them.  Theyre also pretty tasty!  As with most GF baked goods theyre best when still slightly warm out of the oven, but a quick microwave restores their soft and spongey goodness.  You can see a little hand sneaking in to steal one...


Class: HoM
House: Gryffindor
Name: GF Pretzels
Holy moley these are a risk.  Ive tried 3 times before to make soft pretzels (one regular before the celiac diagnosis, 2 GF) and they were all pretty gross.  These, despite being a lot of work, were delicious!  They were all eaten the day I made them!  I used the recipe for Pretzel Rolls from Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread.

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5  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Summer Semester June 1-August 31, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: August 31, 2015 07:24:26 PM
Welcome Nora!

Erinaquaheart - I TOTALLY forgot to put a scavenger hunt find on my barrettes - they're #2, glittery for that gold and white lace!

I also have one last craft to slide in and complete my class schedule!

Class: CoMC
House: Gryffindor
Name: Geocache trinkets

We've started geocaching as a family, and needed trinkets to leave in the caches.  These are wooden stars painted white and then drawn on with permanent pens.  The aquatic culture comes in in two ways - first, my daughter demanded I attempt Ariel and Flounder (HA!) on two of them.  Second, the merpeople of the lake at Hogwarts are people I could see loving geocaching, what with their help during the Triwizard Tournament creating puzzles and guarding a cache of people.  Our initials are on the reverse.

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6  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Summer Semester June 1-August 31, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: August 26, 2015 04:05:51 PM
Congratulations to Hufflepuff!  I totally forgot that the end date for Quidditch was before the end of the semester, d'oh!

The team thing sounds interesting!  I'm not sure I'd make a good team member only because life with two wee ones and a full-time job means my crafting is sporadic at best!

Speaking of which I have four more crafts to submit - I should really try and do something mermaid-related as then I'll have completed every class this semester Smiley

Class: Alchemy
House: Gryffindor
Name: Little crochet dolly #2

I finished the matching crochet dolly for my daughter!  The hair took FOREVER to root, as I hooked each strand through a stitch on the scalp.  I also redid the eyes because the first try looked odd.  As you can see, she's brown-eyed like my daughter is!  The dolly has WAY more hair though. Smiley  This doll is definitely the epitome of love as the symbol of the white swan - it was finicky and exasperating but my daughter does love it!

Challenge: BEAN - Bouillabaisse
House: Gryffindor
Name: Barrettes

My daughter loves to look "pwetty" with barrettes and bows in her hair.  These are made from some alligator clips and ribbon I had around, as well as some bows from her ponytail holders where the elastic had snapped.

Class:  Divination
House: Gryffindor
Name: Tiny sweater #2

This sweater was finished in preparation for the End-of-Term Feast!  It's pictured with it's mate just so you know there are two Smiley  They'll be duplicate-stitched once we have the winners!

Class: Flying
House: Gryffindor
Name: Apple Pie Jam

This was an epic undertaking!  It took me two hours to peel, core, and chop the apples for this because they were small, local apples (the weather is too harsh here for larger apple varieties).  It's from a caramel apple jam recipe, but at the end it tasted a lot more like apple pie to me - YUM!  http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/caramel-apple-jam

Not only would bees love the sweetness of this jam, but more critically the jam wouldn't exist without them!  Bees are one of the most important pollinators particularly in fruit crops, so I'm very grateful to them for my delicious apples!

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7  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Summer Semester June 1-August 31, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: August 16, 2015 08:00:18 PM
I sometimes do crafts inspired by the prompts, but more often look for prompts that fit a craft I already need or want to make Smiley

Challenge: Bean - Horseradish
House: Gryffindor
Name: Crochet dolly (#1)
Scavenger Hunt: Clue  8 -the number 7 (there are 7 pieces: head, scalp, torso, two legs and two arms)

I found the cutest ever pattern book called "My Crochet Doll" and new I had to make both my kids dolls and wardrobes as Christmas presents!  I wanted to start right away, so I made my son his doll first.  The yarn is Patons Astra, and since my kids are pale pale pale I used a creamy colour called Aran for the skin.  My kitties are helping me show him off.

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8  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Summer Semester June 1-August 31, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: August 06, 2015 06:40:15 PM
Oh I'm a MoM!  Thank you!  Cheesy  It was a rough go - I finally figured out the best stranding method by the last few rows of the last sheep lol.

Also FANTASTIC wiring work noodle-bug, and Erinaquaheart I'm glad surgery went well!  Lovely the tiny sweaters (tiny knitters unite!) gaudiknight, midkiffsjoy those are SERIOUSLY creepy, Whistlefish the party looks so cute!, and what a time turner Abbeeroad!

Some more homework from me.

Class: Detention (June)
House: Gryffindor
Name: In-law Pasta Smiley

So this is a pasta my MIL makes all the time that I love.  The recipe below is more of a formula, but I promise it's delicious!

1 each zucchini, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper chopped roughly (you can add in or substitute veggies you like)
At least 2 cups spinach or kale
1/2 - 3/4 c. Dry white wine
1/2 c. chicken broth
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
up to 1/4 c. Parmesan
1/2 - 1 c. crumbled Feta


Stir fry the veggies and garlic in olive oil and butter until slightly softened, then add wine and chicken broth and the greens and put the lid on for a few minutes to steam it down.  Take the lid off to reduce the liquid some (3-5 minutes at least), then put it in a bowl and toss it with cheese.  Serve over your favourite pasta!

Class: DADA
House: Gryffindor
Name: LEMON alfredo sauce!

This contains an unexpected ingredient - lemon zest!  I learned the trick from Giada DiLaurentis a long time ago.  Just make a standard alfredo sauce (you could try this one: http://www.copykat.com/2014/09/23/creamy-alfredo-sauce/) but add the zest from one lemon.  It brightens up the sauce and lifts the richness slightly.  I put it on top of this very fun GF farfalle from the Italian Centre shop.

Class: SoAR
House: Gryffindor
Name: Sun fun!

We've had some hoooooot and sunny days here so I planned some things to make good use of it!  We made oobleck with water, cornstarch, baking soda, and food colouring to play in our fingers, then walk out onto the hot and sunny driveway to leave bright footprints.  We added vinegar to make them foam!  Then we made frozen sidewalk chalk with the same ingredients but MUCH less water, then put them in the hot sunny driveway to melt and make neat patterns and puddles.  Vinegar made these melt and spread in beautiful pictures too.

Challenge: Quidditch Half-time
House: Gryffindor
Name: Sprinkler

Yet another way to beat the heat, this sprinkler is definitely refreshing.  We made one last year with a different pool noodle but it wasn't reuseable since we taped it onto the hose.  This time I went out and bought a hose coupler, then used MUCH duct tape to get it firmly into the pool noodle.  I taped off the other end, and drilled some holes at random into the top half (width wise) of the noodle.  Ghetto sprinkler for $6!  Not including duct tape costs.

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9  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Summer Semester June 1-August 31, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: July 27, 2015 06:00:25 PM
Fun socks noodle-bug!

Challenge: Catch the Snitch!
House: Gryffindor
Name: tiny sweater@

I made this tiny sweater as the first of two Diagon Alley prizes for the end-of-term feast!  Once names are pulled I'll add the initial of choice!  I also need to figure out how to make a hanger so it can be hung as an ornament Smiley

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10  Re: HP Craftalong ~ Summer Semester June 1-August 31, 2015 ~ Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: July 13, 2015 06:31:02 PM
Hokay epic post!  Sorry for being AWOL.  We were on vacation, and Im dealing with health problems but I see a specialist in a month, yay!  So many lovely projects, and I'm hoping to figure out an extra-credit project for one of my classes!

Class: Appartion
House: Gryffindor
Name: Sheepy sweater
Scavenger hunt: 13

My son needed a sweater, and I fell totally in love with the Welcome to the Flock pattern on ravelry after seeing the Yarn Harlot make one.  This sweater definitely takes extra care, as youre not only working fair-isle back and forth (its usually worked in the round) and also has several lines with three colours worked at once (again, usually only two are worked).  Its very soft and comfortable, and I think hes pretty darned cute in it!

Class: Arithmancy
House: Gryffindor
Name: Tetris Fathers Day Card
Scavenger hunt: 15 (it seriously took almost 4 hours!)

Well this certainly uses many (many many) small things to make one!  The squares are approximately 1/8, and are assembled on strips to make them easier to place.   Not only is my husband a big Nintendo fan, he had the original Gameboy which of course came packaged with Tetris!  The Dad even slots in nicely.  He first comment though?  Well somebody screwed up playing this! because of all the gaps left in the lines Cheesy

Class: Astronomy
House: Gryffindor
Name: Chalk fun
Scavenger hunt: 15 (I got so absorbed it was like meditation)
On vacation we needed something to do outside that wasnt strenuous because its both VERY hot in western Canada and very smokey due to the severe wildfire activity.  Ive always been good at bubble letters, and the daycare kids used to ask me to write their names so they could colour them.  I idly drew mine and my kids names, then my daughter requested I do everyone elses.  So I did!  It took about 45 minutes all told.

Class: Charms
House: Gryffindor
Name: Watermelon-lime popsicles
We had some watermelon at a BBQ that was that slightly mealy, soft texture so not so nice to eat by itself.  I hemmed and hawed, and had my daughter help me make popsicles!  Blend watermelon, then add some lime juice for zing, and a small amount of sugar to pop the sweetness (since freezing tends to decrease the natural sweetness of fruits).  We have these AWESOME popsicle molds not only are they rockets, but the sticks inside are little astronauts!   Between that and the fact they are red and white it feels oddly like you are eating Commander Hadfield...

Class: Muggle Studies
House: Gryffindor
Name: Copper shawl pins
Scavenger hunt: 6

My dad helped me make these great shawl pins!  My mom and I found some 14 gauge copper wire in my Grandfathers things (he passed away a month ago), and I roughly copied out a swirled shape I liked.  My Dad and I made a wood and nail jig, and wound the wire around it.  We then smoothed the sharp ends of the swirl and pin on a grinder, and I gently hammered them on an anvil to stiffen the metal and give it a nice textured look.  Im pretty happy with them!

Class: NEWT Arithmancy
House: Gryffindor
Name: Mitten Advent Calendar

I have finally finished this EPIC project!  24 tiny fair-isle mittens for my mom!  My Dad is going to create some form of display board or other way to showcase them as part of his present for her. It was a pretty great project actually, since each mitten goes fairly fast.  Weaving in the ends is a bit monotonous though.  Ill probably make another set for my MIL since she requested it repeatedly (and would also appreciate the work it takes), and possibly one for my sister (ditto).  My favourite is the little birdie one Cheesy

Class: Potions
House: Gryffindor
Name: Root beer float pie
Scavenger hunt: 4, 9 (whisking boiling milk and pop into an egg mixture!)

I saw this gluten-free pie recipe on Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, and had to try it!  Its quite complicated and finicky (although I used the cookie-crumb crust option), and never quite solidified to a firm consistency, so its more like pudding!  Yummy anyway.  It had a loooong no touching period as it cooled in the fridge.

Class: Transfiguration
House: Gryffindor
Name: Bunny hat

I love this bunny hat as baby gifts, and baby photo props.  You tie ribbons around the base of each ear in any coordinating colour you like!

And a new NEWT proposal!

Subject: Herbology
House: Gryffindor
Project Name: Annas Frozen Fever Dress
Brief Description:
For Halloween my daughter asked to be a princess, so I asked if it would be OK if we all went as Frozen Fever!  Shes going to be Anna, Ill be Elsa, my husband will be Kristoff, and my son Olaf.  Im just including her outfit as the NEWT because it will be plenty epic enough on its own!  It will absolutely take the full time to complete just it, and then if I dont get to the other costumes its still a completed NEWT Wink  Maybe my dress can be another!

This is the dress here:
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