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1  Eco-dyed paper - first time bundles... in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Onyxnox on: October 16, 2016 07:17:46 AM
This has been something I have been wanting to try for awhile and finally did so when I was on vacation up North last week.  Had some fun meandering around the woods with the dog, and picking up lots of fallen leaves and stuff, and got around to trying eco-dyed paper.

Here are some of my favourites, but I made 4 biggish bundles, and there were lots of papers.  I did fibers too, but they were less a success - and some are still bundled and not opened yet.

A big batch of the end results

Boiling, with a pot lid and old horseshoe to keep the fibers submersed.

The papers, still bundled, and wet sitting on the bottom of my old tub.

Sumach branch on paper

leaves on folded water colour paper

Sumach and fern frond

Lots more pics and links back on some of my first attempts and what I learned on my blog if anyone interested...

Some of these I am tempted to just keep as is, and some will be used in journals or other pieces.  I am happy how these turned out, but definitely have ideas on some changes to try for next time.
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2  2016 Holiday Tag and Card Swap (sign ups by Oct 14, send by Nov 10) in ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED by Onyxnox on: September 29, 2016 05:28:06 PM

So the holiday gift giving season is coming up, and I am inviting fellow Craftsters in joining in on another seasonal card and tag swap.  Previous ones have been fun and great prep for the coming holiday season.

Anyways, let's get some of the business end done...

Swap name: 2016 Holiday Tags and Cards Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Onyxnox
Sign-up date range: now until October 14, 2016 (by midnight EST)
Date to send item by: November 10, 2016

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): 20

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? YES/NO - no
If so, which country? not applicable

Additional Age requirement? no

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: not applicable
- 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 16 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

Details of swap:

This will be a swap for cards and tags for the upcoming holiday season.  

Participants will be in groups of 4, where each Craftster will send a set of 4 cards (and envelopes) and 4 tags (and attachment mode) to each of the other three members of the group by the send by date, and each Craftster will receive 4 cards/tags from each of the group members.  

Therefore everyone, in the end, should have received a dozen cards and tags in time for holiday gift giving.  

Minimum expected size for tags - 2"x3", and to include ties/ribbons/sticky
Minimum expected size for cards - 3"x5", and to include envelopes

There is no maximum.

On saying that, the theme of the cards do not have to be limited to the holidays, if that is what your partner wants.  Also, Crafsters are encouraged to be as creative as you want; just because it is cards and tags, does not mean you have to limit yourself to paper.  If you want to make your items from something other than paper, feel free to.  I love seeing how varied the results are and how wonderfully creative everyone is in these swaps!

But because this will likely be mostly a paper swap:  as per Craftster swapping rules, papercraft swaps are exempt from the DC confirmation requirements.  Senders are required to resend their packages if they are not received for any reason.

Previous tag swap galleries....

Holiday Tags 2013

Holiday Tags 2014

Holiday Tags and Cards 2015

Discussion for 2015 card/tag swap...

If you want to participate, information to send to organizer:

Name of swap - 2016 Holiday Tags and Cards Swap
Craftster username
Email address
Your real name
Mailing address including the country
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)


1) What kind of holiday cards/tags do you want? (Christmas, Hannukah, Winter Solstice, religious, Kwanzaa, etc)

2) Would you prefer any non-winter holiday tags?  If so, what kind would you like (birthday, Valentines, Easter, general, etc)?

3) How do you want your tags to attach (ribbon/string/stick-on/surprise me)?

4) What kind of themes/colours would you like your tags to have (please list at least 5)?

5) What kind of themes/colours would you like to be avoided?  

6) Any links to Pinterest, blogs, etc for stalking purposes?


Note also that I am going to be away for the next week for vacation, so will not update the list until I get back - feel free to PM, but don't get nervous if you don't see your name showing up here or the swap in your profile until after the first week of October....

Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

Current List of Swappers

1.  Onyxnox
2.  kbrison
3.  flygirl88
4.  Artmomto5
5.  gala_apples
6.  IsikkahJai
7.  Thimbles71
8.  late_nite_stamper
9.  bunny1kenobi
10. SonjaBoo

Group 1

Group 2

Group 3
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3  Re: Happy Mail Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: September 23, 2016 08:43:49 AM
I received from our wonderful organizer, Sonjaboo the brains behind this fantastic swap.

AND this mail made me VERY happy! 

A sample of the decorations on the envelope - looks like a variety of inking/spray/paint/stenciling and decorative duct tape - so pretty.

and a little something on the front that appeals to my Alice-loving heart of hearts - oh that poor sleepy dormouse!

The whole melange of goodies in the envelope... sometimes it feels like a clown car - you open it up and then you kind of can't believe all that came out of that envelope!

Decorated tag backgrounds - anyone who looks at my blog knows that I follow the monthly Tim Holtz tag of the month and  have an addiction to making decorated tags.  These will definitely come in handy!  For that matter, I was going to make a bunch of premade tag backgrounds so this is very timely and inspirational!

An envelope with decorated butterfly die cut and inside it contained glassine envelopes with some more of the die cut parts to decorate myself.  Sorry, my camera hated the glassine envelopes and every incarnation I took of it was terribly blurred

Adorable lucky money envelopes - and they are cute on their own, but each one contained goodies too!

Flower ephemera, butterfly ephemera, more Alice goodies, buttons - all things I know I will have a great time crafting with - LOVE!

Thank you so much Sonjaboo - for the package, and the swap....

and pretty pretty pretty please can we have another one soon???
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4  Winter holidays coming up - Another tags and/or cards swap? in New Swap Theme Ideas by Onyxnox on: September 22, 2016 07:21:45 AM

It's coming up to that time of year again - planning for the winter holidays.  Wondering if anyone is interested in starting to make and trade tag and/or card sets for this year's winter gift giving and mailing.  I like doing this relatively early so that everyone gets their items hopefully soon enough to send out in time for the holidays. 

Here are the links to last years swap discussion

and to the wonderful gallery...

and to the 2014 tag swap gallery

I was thinking of setting it up before I go away on vacation, and have sign ups until early October, mid October at the latest, then a send by date of the first week of November.
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5  Re: Happy Mail Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: September 22, 2016 06:00:59 AM
I have been so happy just looking at everyone else's happy mail, and the different take everyone has on them.  Some of those envelopes must have been seriously STUFFED.  I bet they made some postal people pretty darn happy, and curious too.  I know I would be super curious as to what kind of awesomeness resides in those envelopes!

I had a lot of fun making those little canvas journals.  They were one of those "aha!" ideas that wake me up from my sleep, because I had a roll of canvas that I bought for $3 for a big roll at an art supply tent sale, that turned out to be primed on one side when I unrolled it, and I wanted bare canvas.  So I have been trying to think of ways to use the canvas and the journals were one way.

I received one of my packages  yesterday and it made me very happy to see this amongst the phone and gas bills - so much UNhappy mail!  It was from whats_her_name and she sent me some adorable paper crafted items.

The whole shebang

Two pieces - one which may become a mat for an old picture of my grandparents or parents if I can get my family photo album back, and the other which will become the face card for a wedding card for my cousin for this weekend - it's so lovely and romantic feeling!

Some fantastic Fall fun - I love them all, but my favourite are the oak leaves.  I love Fall and the Fall leaves.

AN ADORABLE ADORABLE card - so cute!  I hope you can see the pink blushy cheeks - such great colour.  I love the little cross stitched details too.  Love this so much.  I need to know if this is a Stampin Up product or not, because I love the lettering for the Friend and if it is still available, I may need to get the set.

... and my favourite, because I *adore* dogs so much, is this dog card.  Would it be weird if I were to give my dog this card, because I love him so (well, not for a few moments this morning when he snacked on a turd)... and so I can kind of keep it??? 

Thank you so much!  I love my happy mail!

When can we do this again?
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6  WAFFLES!!!!! in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Onyxnox on: September 16, 2016 09:30:13 AM
I have been having a waffle craving for a couple of weeks now, and my coworkers and I are planning a brunch/breakfast potluck this weekend at work.  I offered to make WAFFLES!!!!!  I just love the word even (WAFFLES!!!!)

This is is my go-to, favourite waffle (WAFFLES!!!!!) recipe.  The cornmeal gives a nice crispness, and the lemon flavour is very light.  Excellent with berries, and syrup.  Can be easily adapted for savoury flavours too.

Lemon Cornmeal Waffles (!!!!)
Makes 12 or more

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/4 cup milk - scant measure
4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil, or melted butter
extra oil/butter for waffle iron

In 2 cup measure, measure milk, and add lemon juice.  Stir well and set aside to sour for about 15 minutes.  This makes soured milk which makes a good replacement for buttermilk which is what the original recipe called for.

In separate large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and mix well.  Set aside.

In separate bowl, combine soured milk, oil, egg yolks.  Blend to combine.  Pour into flour mixture and mix gently to combine.  Do not over mix, some lumps are OK, like a pancake batter.  Set aside to rest.

Heat up waffle iron, oil/butter griddle if needed.

In separate clean and dry bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gently fold into batter to lighten.

Pour some of batter into iron and cook until done, often when steam lessons, about 4 minutes.  I like mine crispy, so I let them cook to a deeper brown.

Place on heat proof plate and keep warm in oven on low temp until ready to serve.  Or freeze and reheat in oven for 15-20 minutes, then serve warm.

I actually made these for a breakfast potluck at work, so I will let them cool to room temp, then refrigerate and we will reheat them by toasting them in the toaster - a la Eggos.

more about my love of WAFFLES on my blog if anyone is interested, and a link to the original Anna Olson recipe, which included a wonderful recipe for strawberry rhubarb syrup too
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7  Mark this space... in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by Onyxnox on: September 10, 2016 06:05:10 AM

I had an idea lately to make something with die cut canvas and paper and made these bookmarks.  They are made from inked and stamped Canson XL water colour paper.  I love working with the stuff because it is nice and thick, and can really take being wet over and over again, and can take being sewing onto as well, and still maintain it's integrity.  I do wish I could find a smooth surface version of it - so if anyone can recommend something like it with a smooth surface, I would appreciate it!

Anyways, after inking, and stamping, both sides, I inked and die cut some cotton art canvas, and sewed it onto both sides of the canvas.  Then I added crackle medium.  After that dried, I sewed on an embroidery floss tassel.

I entered it in one of the challenges at the Simon Says Stamp challenge blogs and it did get mentioned in the Designer Spotlight - no prize, but a nice ego boost.

More about the project on my blog if anyone is interested
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8  a bag for your Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains.... in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by Onyxnox on: September 10, 2016 05:12:38 AM
I made this recently for the Unbirthday Swap for Kittykill, inspired by some stamped lunchbags she had pinned.  They were stamped brown paper bags, but I wanted to make a reusable bag, so I made a zombie stencil for the pocket on the reusable bag.  It can also be used as a small project bag instead... but so much better for a nice snack of brains...

It's made from polka dot canvas, with a cotton drawstring top.  I used unbleached art canvas for the zombie face and fabric paint.

I added a little tag to it too - which can be removed...

I oopsed at first making the pocket - made it too big, as I made the stenciled head too big.  But there was no point wasting it, so I just finished all the edges and made it into a mugrug.

Some more pics and info about the project on my blog page, and some more about my ooopsed project here.
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9  Re: Unburthday Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: September 03, 2016 04:15:39 AM
Received, received, received!  Happy Un-birthday to me!!!!

I got a fantastic package from Kittykill - and it smells so good!  From the moment I opened it, all I could think was how good it smelled!  There was definitely some spoiling going on too - she sent so many little things that I just loved!

First some of the great smelling goodness - bath and spa items, including a pedicure kit (love the blue polish), bath bombs, sugar scrub, and a wonderful smelling bar of soap. 

Confetti bombs - going to give these to the neighbour's kids - they will love them.  Mom not so much if they open them inside the house... maybe I may promise them brownies if they open them inside the house (evil grin)...

Hot and sweet goodies - the jelly beans will be the perfect energy source for my couple of night shifts coming up - and tea is just perfect any time!  Love the mug - and wonderful job packaging because it was completely intact!

Wax melts and a wonderful holder - love the colours and the pinecone pattern.  If it has a bit of light coming through, then it will be perfect in my master bathroom - the wax melts smell so wonderful too!

Dog-related goodies - because I love doggy goodies - stickers, a little phone accessory and SOCKS - I love socks!  The ears stick up too!!!!  LOVE!!!!

My crafted goodies - two wonderful needleworked pieces.  It's no secret I love dogs and dog-related items.  I would be that crazy dog lady if given half the chance....

... and for my kitchen, one that has been on my want/to do list for awhile - love how you mounted it too!

Thank you so much for a happy un-birthday!
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10  Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onions - vegetable candy! in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Onyxnox on: August 25, 2016 05:25:34 AM

I was going to carb it up this past weekend because Jim wasn't going to be home and I miss cheap, nasty carby dinners (he's gluten free).  I was going to order some fried chicken, or pizza, or make up a big ol' pan of mac and cheese - carby comfort...

Except oddly, I was craving cauliflower - my friend a couple of weeks ago made roasted cauliflower as a veg dish for a BBQ we were at and it was just delicious and I had bought a couple of heads of the stuff myself this week.  So instead of the cheap, nasty, bloating carbs, I ended up making this and having this for dinner... OK, this and a lot of jujubes while watching a marathon session of Grey's Anatomy....

Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onions

Serves about 4-6 depending on the size of your cauliflower

1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed, and cut into florets
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 large sweet onions (red onions here)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 500F.  I used my toaster oven.  Spread the cauliflower over two prepared pans (just lined with foil).  Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast, switching position of trays intermittently and tossing vegetables in the pan, until brown, about 45 minutes, or so.  

While cauliflower is roasting, mince garlic, and dice onions.  Heat small amount oil in pan, on medium heat.  Gently caramelize onions in pan.  Brown gently, stirring occasionally.  When almost browned well, toss in balsamic vinegar and stir well.  Scrape up the tasty caramelized browned bits.

Toss the caramelized onions in with the cauliflower and layer back on tray and place back in oven and roast for another 10 minutes or so to meld flavours.

The idea of the big box of fried chicken, pizza, or mac and cheese is so wonderful - but then afterwards, there is the regret, the bloating, etc - so this was delicious, filling, and a much healthier option.  Dang, I must be growing up.  Regardless, it would make a yummy side dish also.

A bit more on my blog if anyone is interested
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