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21  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / How to package eight portraits? on: December 18, 2008 05:50:15 PM
A friend of mine who is a photographer took some portraits of me, and I thought it would be nice to include one or two of them in my boyfriend's Christmas present.  I asked him to choose his favorites, expecting to frame one, wrap it up, excetera, but he narrowed them down to EIGHT!

Since he likes them all evenly, I want to include them all, but eight framed pictures are a little bit much.  I'm also not so sure I want to just make prints of the other ones so he can switch them out every now and again, because I don't think he will.  Scrapbooks and albums seem a little weird, because the pictures are all from the same shoot, so there's not a lot of variation.  I'd feel a little strange making a book of just pictures of me.  Besides which, eight isn't necessarily enough for a book, is it? 

So what do I make?
22  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / fleece-lined earflap hat for my brother on: December 16, 2008 07:56:48 PM
Hello craftsters!  So, here is my fourth completed Christmas present.  My brother is a man's man, studying to become a millwright and very proud of his appearance.  He's basically the hardest person to craft for.  The only handmade present I've ever given him that he enjoyed was a quilt my sister and I made him for Chrismas last year.  He's an outdoorsy guy, into snowmobiling and snowboarding and all of that, so I decided to make him something he would actually wear that would keep the frostbite off his ears.


This is what you get, being raised in the Great White North.



I lined it in black fleece, so it's very warm.



It's got braids!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.
23  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / First embroidery in a LONG while, an elephant! on: November 14, 2008 07:37:34 AM
My french lit buddy was in a car accident this weekend and broke something in her pelvis, so she's going to be in the hospital for a while.  I'm going to try to go see her today, and because I think class notes are a rather depressing present on their own, I thought I'd make her a little something.  I'm not sure if bone healing soreness needs hot or cold, but rice bags can do both, so hopefully it'll provide her with some comfort.

Anyway, I made an elephant because she did some volunteer work in Thailand last summer where she visited an elephant sanctuary and promptly fell in love with the animals.


24  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Things I made today with all our homegrown raspberries and apples on: September 01, 2008 08:42:25 PM
I was at home, left to my own devices today, so I decided to dip in to the 10 or so giant freezer bags of raspberries we've been picking all summer from our raspberry patch. 

I've been playing with adding raspberries to yogourt cupcakes for a while and it hasn't worked, but I tweeked my recipe again today and success!!  And no, I didn't add any food colouring.



Razzle-dazzle cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 handfulls of fresh raspberries (or frozen, thawed
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350F.
Generously butter and flour 18 cups of a muffin tin or line them with paper cups
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Combine yogurt, sugar, eggs, raspberries, and vanilla in large bowl; whisk until well blended. Gradually whisk in dry ingredients. Fold in oil.
Transfer batter to prepared pan and top with a few fresh raspberries each. Bake until a fork inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes before unmolding.

When my mom and dad came home shortly before lunch, I requested she get me some mason jars.  I made three batches of apple sauce , and she joined me after supper to make two more.

From left to right, they are: strained apple sauce, unstrained raspberry-apple sauce, unstrained strawberry-apple sauce, and strained raspberry-apple sauce.  The apples and raspberries are from our back yard and we picked the strawberries at a local U-pic farm.


I'm proud of these because they have all local ingredients.  The only ones that needed sweetening were the raspberry sauces, to which I added honey from my hometown.

And finally, with the stuff left over from the pressings, I made muffins


These ones I winged based on a recipe from the internet, so I don't remember enough to give a recipe.

I also made crabcakes for supper.  It was a very good day!
25  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Anyone notice that cables are double helixes? A hat for my bio buddy on: August 30, 2008 11:47:27 PM
This hat is a Christmas present for Juliet, one of my best friends, who was my bio lab partner all through high school.  In grade 11, we built a model of DNA out of candy and toothpicks. 

She recently got two piercings in the cartilage of her ear (aka helix) and was very amused about her double-helix piercing.  Unfortunately, she had to take them out before they healed to have an MRI after a car accident on her first day back at school.  She's not hurt, but her ear is swolen and infected, so the double-helixes are no more.

Since she can't have her double-helix in her ear, she can wear them on her head.



I added some more of her favorites, like large fluffy homemade pompoms and lime green, just to make it a 100% Juliet hat.
26  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / white sorority initiation dress of (mostly) my own design on: August 19, 2008 10:34:35 PM
One of my best friends goes to school in the States and is pledging for a sorority this year.  Apparently, there are some ceremonies where the pledges have to wear white dresses which cover their shoulders, and as she doesn't own a white dress, I made her one as her birthday present. 

While watching Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, she requested a design inspired by her jumper at the start of the film.  She also bought a pattern for a much drabber dress, from which I salvaged the sleaves and rough shape for the bodice while replacing the skirt, adding a waistband, omitting the zipper, and overhauling the back.  It came out looking just like my sketches, which makes me very happy.

This is what I came up with:



I thought the high back from Sabrina's jumper was a little matronly, so I made a keyhole (ignore the bra straps)



And some lovely heart-shaped buttons, paired with my very first button holes!!



I think she likes it!




27  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Sleepy Snail on: July 29, 2008 03:01:57 PM
This took shape from an inside joke I have with Sam, my sleepy snail.

Aint he cute?

He's got a racing stripe


28  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Bachelor Chow on: July 06, 2008 06:12:41 PM
Hello all!  My little brother is moving away for college in September and will be living in a dorm sans cafeteria.  Because, at present, all he can make is grilled cheese and an unholy mix of ground beef, canned soup, and instant rice he calls "goulash", I thought I would compile him a nice little cookbook to ensure he doesn't starve or die of scurvy while he fends for himself. 

He'll have access to a kitchen with a proper fridge and stove, so the recipes can involve more than a microwave oven.  He is, however, a complete newbie in the kitchen and doesn't have very adventurous tastes.  Does anyone have ideas for easy and cheap meals and deserts I could use?
29  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / cookie bowl! Don't peak, Sarako! on: November 27, 2007 08:26:51 PM
This is what I made my sister for Christmas:

Two sheep and a cookie

Le bol biscuits means the cookie bowl

Sheep eating a heart shaped cookie, plus my signature
I went to the local Crankpots and painted a mixing bowl for my baking-obsessed sister.  The sheep are based on the little drawing she does to represent herself.  I hope she likes it!
30  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Terra cotta pot crche! (nativity scene?) on: November 24, 2007 11:18:02 AM
I think it's still called a creche in english.  Or cresh?  Anyway, this is what my mom and I did this morning!


My mom got the idea from a fellow teacher of hers and needed an example so she could do the project in class.  I'm bringing a picture to volunteering today (I do art therapy in a hospital) to show my supervisor, since I think most patients would be able to make them.

The bodies and manger are terra cotta pots, and the heads are ping pong balls and a marble.
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