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1  Sinigang aka Filipino Sour Soup in CHALLENGE 103 ENTRIES by chezlin on: October 09, 2014 10:22:35 PM

When I saw this challenge I knew I had to make a post of me making my favorite dish, sinigang. Specifically pork sinigang. It's a sour tamarind based soup made with pork and filled with veggies. The more sour the better! I also got to utilize our back yard garden for some of the ingredients Smiley

To start off, here are some pretty garden pictures!

Beautiful okra flower with a yummy okra pod ready to be picked.

Eggplant. Sadly bugs started getting to it Sad

Eggplant flowers Smiley 'cuz why not?

Ok, enough of that, here's what you came here for... food pictures!

Ingredients! (Full ingredient list and recipe down below) Optional: a yummy beer to tide you over while food is cooking

Sad eggplant. I ended up just cutting off the areas that were munched on by the bugs. No, there were no bugs inside the vegetable, they just ate some and split I guess.

Always feed your helpers. But first they must entertain you!

Cut and split up veg. (Note: the eggplant is in the left bowl, but it should be in the right "bowl")

Pour water in large pot and heat on high

Cut up pork chops and toss into water

Boil pork chunks and skim the foam

Pour in soup base

First batch of veg in. Cover and boil for 10 minutes.

Second batch of veg in. Don't worry, it will fit. See next picture.

Squish/that stuff down to fit in the pot. Cover and boil another 10 minutes.

Oh my gosh YES

Totally optional (but totally delicious) shake in a bit of fish sauce to taste.

And it's done! It's served over rice.

Pork Sinigang (sinigang na baboy)
1lb pork cut into bite sized pieces(my mom, who's from the Philippines, normally uses pork with bones in and that flavors the broth more, but I always just use pork chops)
1 packet of tamarind soup base (generally you can find these at your local asian grocery store. Another popular brand is Mama Sita's)
1 onion
1 tomato (I used a few cherry tomatoes because I had them on hand already)
bok choy *
green beans *
okra *
eggplant *

*You can put in however much or however little you'd like. When I first started making this dish myself I would only put in a tiny bit of bok choy and then I slowly started adding more and more stuff as I realized how freakin' scrumptious vegetables were. This time I put in two big bunches of bok choy, about a handful or two of green beans, 6 okra and three eggplant.

Veg prep:
-Chop onion into 1 inch chunks. Throw into a big bowl.
-Chop tomato into 1 inch chunks. I just cut the little cherry tomatoes in half.
-Chop bok choy into 1 inch chunks, keeping the white stalk separate from the greens. Throw the white parts into the bowl of onion and throw the green parts into their own bowl. It's easier to wash after cutting because dirt gets trapped in between all the leaves and stuff so I do that now.
-Cut the ends off the green beans. Throw in green bok choy bowl.
-Cut the ends off of the okra. Throw in onion bowl.
-Chop eggplant in to 1 inch chunks. Throw in onion bowl. (In my picture it's in the green bok choy bowl, but I ended up moving them and forgot to take another picture.)

Meat prep:
-Cut pork into bite size pieces.

-Pour in as much water as the packet says to use. Mine says to use 10 cups, so I'm using 10 cups!
-Heat on high and add in pork chunks
-Skim the foam
-Let boil, keep skimming the foam until there's no more left.
-Pour in contents of the tamarind soup base and boil for about 5 minutes.
-Dump in the onion container (which also has the white bok choy chunks, green beans, okra and eggplant)
-Cover and boil for 10 minutes
-Throw in the rest of the veggies
-Cover and boil for another 10 minutes
Optional - shake in some fish sauce to taste

Serve over rice and enjoy!

This obviously makes a large amount, but that's fine by me because it's even better the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. time! All the veggies and meat just soak up the sourness of the broth and -- man, it's good. Whenever I make this for dinner I end up eating it for lunch (and sometimes dinner again too!) for the next few days.

I hope you all enjoyed my sinigang saga as much as I love eating it! (Which is a lot Smiley )
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2  Upcycled leather backpack in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by chezlin on: September 18, 2014 03:12:36 PM
Hi craftster peeps! It's been a long while~

I started seeing cute backpacks seemingly all over the place so, much like any other crafter, I thought, 'Psh, I'll make my own!' I really liked the look of the leather bags I was seeing, so much like the purse I made(Here, if anyone's curious! http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=392898.0 ), I decided to hit the thrift store for my supplies. I ended up finding a large leather jacket and two belts that were pretty similar that I used for the flap closure.

And this is what I ended up with!

Here's the jacket and belts before I started hacking into them:

And my sketches of what I wanted to make, complete with swatch samples and a list for the craft store.

I actually only bought the grommets and thread from the store, I ended up just cannibalizing some old projects to get the D rings and swivel lobster clasps. I also already had a zipper for an inside pocket and I used the jacket zipper for the outer back pocket.

Here's a shot of the outside back pocket:

I wanted a special spot to put my laptop, so I made this padded outer pocket. It fits my laptop perfectly and it's easy access for me, but if I'm wearing it, not for other people.

Here it is with the flap flipped open:

I added that little loop at the top specifically just to hold my headphones, like so.

Here's an action shot:

It's completely jam packed with stuff because the husband and I were taking a nice weekend trip for my birthday!

Here's a bonus picture of my dog using the backpack as a pillow, because why not?

I love how it turned out! If anyone wants to see a slightly more detailed write up and a few in the making shots of the bag, check out my blog post here: http://www.chezlin.com/pursebag/upcycled-leather-jacket-backpack/
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3  I love you! in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by chezlin on: August 16, 2013 08:18:56 PM
A few months ago I bought a "painting"(it's just printed to look like a painting on canvas) with the intentions of doing something with it, the main idea being something with text, but I couldn't decide what I wanted the words to be. And then one day it dawned on me. "Mahal kita." It means 'I love you' in tagalog.

I printed out the letters, cut them out with an exacto knife, used spray adhesive to temporarily adhere the letters in place, painted a rough layer of white acrylic paint (I wanted to be able to see the brushstrokes and to somewhat see the image underneath slightly), and then peeled off the letters to let the old "painting" show through.

Unfortunately I forgot to take some before pictures, but the image was basically a garden with a stone path running through it.

I love how it turned out. I totally want to go back to the thrift store now and get more paintings to redo!
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4  Cat tree in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by chezlin on: July 21, 2013 12:28:41 PM
I've been wanting to make a cat tree for a while but I had been very wishy washy about actually getting off my butt and doing it. However, after I saw a picture of one made with tree branches that looked super cool, I finally got the fire under my butt to go and make one(and to force the fiance to help!)

Here is mine(literally right after we finished making it, hence the mess):

Here is what inspired it:

It costs $699, so of course once I saw that I was like 'Psh, I can make that!'

And because my favorite part of browsing Craftster is seeing the progress shots, here are some for this project!

Luckily they just cleared the lot next to us recently and there were some decent sized branches in the brush pile that I pulled out.

I love my pull saw!

All the pieces ready to be put together. (Sadly I didn't take any shots of carpeting the platforms/base, but I basically just built them out of plywood, and a concrete tube mold for the curved platform, and attached carpet onto them with staples and hot glue.)

The first branch attached.

And suddenly all the branches in place, and the fake leafy twigs attached.

Wrapping sisal for my cat to scratch.

Attached fake flowers to the fake leafy twigs and it's done!

Here it is in the bedroom!

And some shots of Gremlin enjoying his new tree:
Like most cats, he initially acted like he didn't care.

But it didn't take long for this to happen:

It took about 2 to 3 days of working on it off and on, it's about 5 feet tall and it cost under $100 to make. I love it!
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5  Tufted Headboard from Old Couch in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by chezlin on: November 11, 2012 02:53:09 PM
I'm extremely proud of this project I just finished, and I wanted to share it with you all!

I took this couch(on the right):

Removed the fabric:

Karate chopped it in half:

Foamed it up:

Began tufting:

Finished tufting:

Sewed up side pieces, stapled them on:

(Please excuse the messiness. I was in the middle of a big project;))

And ta da!:

I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I do! Yay tufted headboards(made from old ugly couches)!
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6  Spiky Earrings (& small tutorial on how I colored polymer clay) in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by chezlin on: July 20, 2012 10:36:19 AM
I've been working at trying to actually use the crafting materials I've slowly gathered over the years, and since I got my 2nd ear piercings I was super excited to start being able to wear regular sized earrings! (My original piercings are stretched a bit. Normal earrings would fall right out.) Now, I can't wear them for a while because the piercings are still healing, but I couldn't help myself when I found some of my polymer clay and some earring posts.

Here's a few of what I ended up making!

In my blog I go into detail of how I made the earrings, but I thought for this post I'd also add in a small tutorial on how I colored the clay. I saw online somewhere that you could color polymer clay with permanent markers, and since I wanted black clay, and I had a marker on my desk, I thought I'd give it a try. It ended up turning out VERY well and I'll probably end up using this same technique to make other colors as well.

This is the clay I started out with... Basically I dabbed on the color onto the clay and then worked it in until it was a solid color and then repeated that until it was as dark as I wanted. Like so:

And this is a shot of the clay I colored compared to how it started:

I hope you all enjoyed this post! I'm so happy with how these earrings turned out and cannot wait until I can wear these around everywhere!
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7  Leather jacket to cute dino purse in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by chezlin on: July 06, 2012 12:25:25 PM
Whenever I get a hankering for a new purse, I can never just go out and buy one. Crafter's guilt and all. Why buy it if you can make it, and probably make it better. So I ran down to my local Goodwill and ended up finding exactly one leather jacket in the whole store and it was exactly the color I wanted. It was meant to be! So here is what I ended up making:

I cut the dino design out of some brass and riveted it on. I also cut out the corner pieces out of thinner brass.

A peek at the inside.

And here's the jacket that birthed this purse. I only used one sleeve and the belt for a strap, so there's a lot more material left over for me to make more of these things! I'm excited, I love how it turned out.
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8  From heels to boots in Shoes: Completed Projects by chezlin on: October 28, 2011 04:59:14 PM
I wanted to share these heels journey into boot-dom.  A little backstory: I wanted some green pumps for my Halloween costume (Poison Ivy) so I tried my luck at Goodwill.  I ended up coming home with some brown open toed heels. 

I thought, "Okay, I can make this work.  I'll just glue some leaves all over them and be done with it."

They turned out ...okay.  But with my green tights and everything they looked kind of out of place.  I, then, decided I needed a pair of knee super villain-y boots.  I grabbed some vinyl, my sewing machine and hot glue gun and went to work.  A little while later these were born:

Woohoo!  They're not perfect, but they'll certainly serve their purpose for my costume!  I'm very pleased at how they came out.
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9  Upcycled jacket bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by chezlin on: October 16, 2011 07:44:48 PM
I made a bag!

Based off this:

Made out of this:

Turned out like this:

It was my first time using leather like this but I love how it turned out.  Sure it's got a few mistakes here and there, but nothing too glaring I think.  I'm just excited that I can say that my very first genuine leather purse is upcycled and that I made it with my own two hands.  And a very reluctant sewing machine.

For more photos and more lengthy explanations please check out my site: http://www.chezlin.com/ucycled-leather-jacket-purse/ Thanks!
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10  Re: Cassette tape coin purse; Barbie edition in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by chezlin on: October 11, 2011 02:20:47 PM
Hey guys, sorry to revive this poor old thread, but I'm excited and wanted to show you guys what I just got in the mail!

A while ago Bust magazine contacted me about putting the tutorial for this coin purse in one of their magazines, and of course I said yes.  A few months ago they contacted me again about a book they were putting together that was a compilation of a bunch of diy tutorials and whatnot that they have featured in the past.  They decided to include mine, so when they were done with the book they sent me a copy!  So awesome, it's great!  Now I'm going to spend all day reading through all these tutorials~
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