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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Some jewelry I made in the past few months on: June 26, 2013 11:50:27 AM
I've been busy these past few months, but I've managed to find a little time for myself and for my beads. My mom is very happy, at any rate Grin

These two necklaces have a polymer clay center with a picture I transferred with gin (yes, gin).

This one has matching earrings:

And a bracelet with pearls from an old necklace of my mom's:

Let me know what you think!
2  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / New ATCs on: March 31, 2013 06:14:43 AM
Haven't done these in about half a year! But I'm back now (even joined April's swap!) with 4 new ATCs to ease me back into things.

The Black Queen, done with pen and a black graphic marker:

Conjoined Twins - for some reason the scanner killed the colours, they're not this bright and flat, but this is the best image I could get. Done with watercolour, black pen and coloured pens:

Lady Butterfly, done with black pen, watercolours, coloured pens and collage (the butterflies only):

And this, which I'm not sure what to call (also got butchered by my scanner, unfortunatly, I just don't know why it flattens the colours so):

It's good to be back! Let me know what you think.
3  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Awesome vegan chili on: March 31, 2013 02:51:12 AM
My sister used to eat meat and her favourite was the chili I made her. Now that she's turned vegetarian like the rest of the family (yay!), this is still her favourite "meat-like" meal.

1 very large onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 large red/yellow pepper (use green only if you don't have any other kind)
1 package ground seitan
100 gr tomato paste
1 tin black/red beans in chili tomato juice
Cumin, salt, black pepper, nutmeg, chili flakes, paprika
A large bunch of parsley

Chop the onion. It doesn't have to be very fine, since chili is all about the texture. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a wide pot/pan and saute the onions until soft. Add chopped garlic, and then diced pepper (I dice mine very small since my sister doesn't like the texture, but if you do than you can chop it larger). Cook until the pepper softens. Add in the seitan and mash while stirring so it doesn't clump. If you can't find pre-ground seitan, just chop it in the food processor until it reaches the right texture.
After the seitan has warmed up and cooked a bit, add the spices. I can't give exact amounts since I do it to taste, but I'd start with 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp chili, 1 tbsp paprika, as much nutmeg as you can stand grating, and salt and pepper to taste, and work from there. Cook for a minute or two.
Add the tomato paste, stir well. Add the beans including the liquids. Once it heats up lower the flame and cook around 15 minutes covered, stirring occasionally (make sure to scrape the bottom). Add water if necessary. Remove from fire and add finely chopped parsley (if you're one of those weird people that like cilantro, feel free to add that too). Taste and fix seasoning if necessary. It keeps well at least two days in the fridge - I assume it can keep for more but we never had enough left to check.

My favourite way to eat it is in a tortia with thick chunks of avocado, as pictured, but it's good rolled with other veggies (try sprouts and lettuce) or over rice, or even just on its own.

You can of course convert this to actual meat instead of seitan - traditionally ground beef is used, but my sister used to swear it tasted best when using half beef and half turkey.

If you make this, I'd love to know what you thought!
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Another necklace on: March 24, 2013 05:59:54 AM
This necklace is done with a combination of bead embroidery and peyote stitch. The stone actually changes colour according to the lightning and what you wear. It's actually mostly white, but it can look grey, brown or green, too.

And a close up:
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / bracelets and matching earrings on: March 21, 2013 06:44:05 AM
I've made these two bracelets based on this wonderful right angle weave tutorial:


The earrings I've made based on the same design to match.
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Necklace - somewhat picture heavy on: March 20, 2013 02:57:01 PM
I made this necklace about two months ago, and never got around to posting it (along with a lot of other projects I've made and will be uploading in the next couple of days). It took me around 11 hours - first I made a peyote necklace and than I added the coral-like strings through it.

And a shot of the work in progress:

What do you guys think?
7  COOKING / Dessert / Maple-brandy ice-cream with candied almonds on: October 02, 2012 02:45:47 PM
I just made the best ice-cream today, and thought I'd share.

For the ice-cream:
3/4 cup white sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
A pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup (i used the fake cheap kind and it was still great)
A splash of vanilla extract
A splash of brandy

Mix it all together. If you're worried about eating raw eggs, you can cook it custard like and then chill it in the fridge.
If you're using an ice-cream maker, make the ice-cream according to the instructions. If not, pour it into a relatively flat container and stick in the freezer. Take it out every half-hour and mix with a spatula to insert air, making sure to scrape the frozen mixture at the sides. Do that until it's the right texture.

If you want to take the ice-cream to the next level, make candied almonds:
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
2 tbs white sugar
1/2 tsp salt (only if you like your caramel a bit salty)
40-50 gr chocolate (I used milk but if you prefer it a bit less sweet use dark)

Toast the almonds on a hot pan for a minute or two. Add the sugar and stir until melted and golden - be careful since it burns very quickly and you don't want it to turn bitter. Quickly spread over baking paper or another surface of your choice - it hardens very fast. Melt the chocolate and spread it over the almonds. Stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes until the chocolate is hard, then chop it to the size you prefer. Add the almonds to the ice-cream towards the end of the freezing process.

Enjoy! (best eaten within a week of making but I doubt you'll have that problem).

If any of you makes it, I'd appreciate your input!
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Bead Embroidery Neckpiece on: September 17, 2012 01:28:00 PM
This is a piece I made for my mom, inspired by Van-Gogh's "Starry Night", her favourite painting. It took me about two months, since I didn't have a lot of time to work on it, but I'd estimate that overall it took me about 10 hours straight to make. It's not perfect, and I think there are things that I could have done better technically, but I like the complete effect and the colours, and I'm aware that it's probably only me that will notice the imperfections in real life. What really matters is that my mom loved it.

And a close up:
9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / New ATCs on: July 29, 2012 08:34:06 AM
Some new ATC (again, the colours are off and flat and they all look much better in RL):

This one is the replacement one I sent for my May swap (when I thought the first one was lost). Unfortunatly, the envelope arrived sans ATC.

Two of a series:

And a try at something different:
10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Scrapbooking: Discussion and Questions / sketchbook project on: July 29, 2012 08:04:35 AM
I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but I wasn't sure where else to put it. Has anyone heard of http://www.arthousecoop.com/sketchbookproject/ ? Has anyone done it before?
I'm intrigued by this, but it's a lot of money (I couldn't understand if the delivery costs something, too, on top of the 25$ fee) and I wanted to hear from someone who did this before I make a commitment.
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