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31  Snickerdoodle Oats 'n Honey, Tomato Leaf, & Shea Luxury CP Soaps in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by MareMare on: November 19, 2013 04:12:34 PM
These are my most recent batches of soap. I made my usual Oats 'n Honey with honey and ground oats, but added some Snickerdoodle Buttercream fragrance. Smells like dessert!

This Tomato Leaf fragrance smelled soooo amazing in the bottle. Unfortunately it was not quite as wonderful once it soaped up, but it still had a nice green fragrance.

This is one of my favorite bars, Shea Luxury, with 60% Unrefined Shea Butter. I leave it unfragranced and uncolored, so the creamy color and the slight smokiness is just from the shea butter.

The next bars I need to make are more Shea Luxury, Black Raspberry Vanilla, and Gardener's Scrub!
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32  Vintage Boho Star Baby Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: November 18, 2013 08:18:11 AM
I made this baby quilt for a friend from a Moda Bake Shop pattern. It's meant to be a lap quilt and should have a charm square border, but it's already pretty huge for a baby quilt so I didn't really want the extra 10 inches on width and height. The border is pretty cute though, so it was a hard decision to make.

I started with a charm pack of the Little Red Riding Hood fabric from Riley Blake and some yardage from the same line, plus other prints that I liked. I had to buy a good amount of red since I apparently don't use it that much!

The basic design is making a 9 patch, then turning it into a giant half square triangle with a square of a solid. I miscounted and had two extra 9 patches (D'oh!) so I used them on the back.

I also pieced a mini boho star on the back to mimic the front, and then just kind of filled in the rest with some of the other cuts of fabric from the front and others that worked.

I love using diagonal stripes on bidning and love that this line had diagonal stripes. I bought extra to use on a few more quilts too, since I use gray quite a bit. I know I could make bias diagonal stripes from any stripe...but I'm too lazy to make bias binding!

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33  Food Idea help for Sodastream/Sewing party in Party Planning by MareMare on: November 12, 2013 04:24:13 PM

I'm hosting a SodaStream party this weekend through House Party and am super excited. Drinks will be taken care of, but I need some help with food. What are your go-to party snacks?

So far this is what I'm doing:
--Cauliflower Pizza Bites, some with pepperoni and some just cheese (I have one friend that doesn't eat pork, and I forgot to buy the turkey pepperoni)
--a Cheese board, 3 kinds of cheese, some kind of nut (candied almonds or walnuts?) and grape or berries or something? And various crackers, maybe some baguette. Anybody have some cheese board tips?
--some kind of dessert, but haven't decided yet. I want it to be easy to make. I might buy something like truffles as well (going to Trader Joe's for the cheese)

Any other ideas? I feel like I should have a veggie or something too and maybe something snacky--chip/popcorn something.
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34  Re: Mini Art Quilt Swap 7 Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: November 07, 2013 10:22:21 PM
I received a beautiful quilt from Waggonswest! I'm sorry it gave her grief but I love the final result!

She made me a wonderful addition to my Yellow Wallpaper Mini Quilt collection!

I love the face embroidered in the middle, so pretty!

In the story, the main character starts peeling off the wallpaper so that she can "free" the woman she thinks is trapped inside. And Waggonwest made the edge of the quilt all shredded, I love this detail so much! Super clever!

The quilting is beautiful hand quilted teardrops

Thank you so much, WW!
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35  Easy Spicy Zuppa Toscana in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: November 06, 2013 01:36:36 PM
So, apparenlty Zuppa Toscana is served at the Olive Garden and is a big hit. I wouldn't know because I'm too busy eating the Pasta Fagioli and the Gnocchi soup. But I ran across a blog that raved about it, it was cold out and soup sounded good, and I had the ingredients needed (and a few changes, of course!)

Zuppa Toscana

12 ounce package bulk sausage, mild
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 Tablespoons dried onion flakes
half bunch green onions, white and green parts, thinly chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
4 cups chicken broth (or 4 cups water + 4 teaspoons Better than Boullion, chicken flavor)
1 small potato*, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into very thin half moons
1 medium/small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into very thin half moons
1/2 package frozen spinach, or fresh spinach or kale, chopped

Cream and shredded parmesan cheese for serving, optional

To medium sized soup pan, add sausage and next six ingredients, through the pressed garlic. Brown sausage until no longer pink. No oil needed because it's freaking sausage. If, after browning it seems super oily, you can drain off some of the grease. I didn't feel the need. Add the sliced zucchini and potato along with the broth. If you are using kale, add that now too so it can break down. Simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes or so, until potato is cooked through. Add spinach at the end and heat until warmed through (frozen) or wilted (fresh). For serving, add a smidge of cream and/or Parmesan cheese to each bowl if you like.

*You can add more potatoes, as in a traditional Zuppa Toscana, but I am doing a low carb-ish thing and don't care for potatoes that much anyways.

Nutritional info, based on 4 servings, without cream or Parmesan:

Calories: 325
Carbs: 10 g
Protein: 19 g
Fat: 23 g
Fiber: 2 g

Use chicken sausage for less fat, and really any veggies that float your boat!

I know the picture isn't great, but I swear this is very tasty! Smiley

ETA: This is the original recipe that this blogger loosely followed and then I loosely followed what he did.

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36  Offset Arrows Baby Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: November 06, 2013 12:38:31 PM
This is a baby quilt for my best friend's niece! She is due in January and will be the first grandbaby, so everyone is very excited. The baby shower was last weekend so I can finally show this! I designed it using the Threadbias Design tool and it was really fun to use (although a bit of a learning curve). I've seen lots of arrow quilts, but none of them were offset and that's what I really wanted. This is just made up of simple rectangles and half square triangles.

The baby's crib set is black and cream and the mom wanted to add in pink and green. As soon as I heard that, I thought of the Comma line of fabric by Zen Chic. I'd been wanting to use that, so this was a great excuse! The colors in the line were orange, yellow, and a brighter green, so I opted to just use the black and cream prints and add in some solid Kona cotton--Bubble Gum and Tarragon are the shades.

I pieced the back from leftovers from the front. I had already run to the store twice for fabric (which is what happens when you buy fabric before you nail down your design!) so I ran a little short and didn't want to make a third trip. I made due with a small strip of solid Kona black. You can see the quilting best here. I did quilting in the ditch down the length and width of the squares, and then did double diagonal lines in just one direction.

The cool thing about designing in Threadbias is that they have tons of actual fabric lines in their database, so in my digital mockup I could put the actual fabric, instead of just a solid color. This is what my mockup looked like:

And this is the original I designed with Allyssa Thomas' line of Critter Patch fabric. It's fun to see how different a pattern can be with different fabrics.

Here is the blank pattern if anyone wants to make their own, I found it easiest after filling it in, to name each color A, B, etc and then just make a chart of how many rectangles and half square triangles I need to make of each one. The rectangles were 7.5 x 4 (I believe) and the half square triangles started at 5 inches and were trimmed down to 4 inches after being made. I can double check my measurements if anyone is interested in making this pattern. With these measurements and amount of rows and columns it's a decent sized baby quilt, I want to say about 42 inches square?

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37  Mini Modern Bright Art Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: October 29, 2013 01:32:03 PM
This Mini Modern Art Quilt was for round 7 of the Mini Art Quilt Swap. I organize this swap once or twice a year and love doing so! We each provide our partners with 5-10 themes and we go to work, making a quilt with dimensions anywhere between 12" x 12" and 24" x 24." This one is about 18" x 21", I think?

My partner listed modern, modern/traditional, and funky and bright as a few of her themes. I decided to play with all solids and a few other techniques like string piecing and foundation piecing. I also bought a really cool tool to make the quarter circles, the Corner to Corner Curve Strip Ruler by Creative Grids. I picked this up at Fabric Depot and was really pleased with it. The quarter log cabin and the half square triangles are my nod to traditional quilt patterns.

The colors are all a little brighter in person and the coral/orange is a wonderful color, very bright but at the same time just a bit muted so it's not quite obnoxious. It's a Bella Solid.


My swap partner had this quilt pinned on her Pinterest and I started with that for some inspiration. From there I drew a sketch and refined it and fiddled with the measurements and colors until it was just how I wanted it. The actual quilt is fairly similar to my drawing, although some changes occurred due to measurement issues and my whims.

I quilted it with some parallel pairs of diagonal straight lines. I like the way this seemed to bring the quilt together and made the disparate sections of the quilt seem a little more cohesive.

I found this fabric in my stash and decided it was perfect for the back. It's a little heavier weight than regular quilting cottons, but not quite home dec weight. I'm not sure if it's a vintage fabric I got from The Knittn' Kitten or maybe it's an Ikea fabric? Either way I really like it. I finished the mini quilt off with my machine stitched binding technique, corner triangles to hang it, and my new label I got from etsy. They say "stitched with love by (my name)"

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38  Re: Mini Art Quilt Swap 7 (Signups CLOSED; Sendouts Oct 21) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by MareMare on: October 14, 2013 03:51:28 PM
Im done. Well. Still need to make a label.  I really hate label making. But its done and should hit the mail tomorrow. Or thursday.  Smiley

I ordered some labels off of Etsy recently. Love 'em!

Got half my quilt done and hopefully finishing in the next few days. I've got a busy scheduale and a very important interview that well land me in the job field I want to work in on Thursday. AH so excited!

Ooh, good luck Crying Goddess!
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39  Re: Craft with a Fat Quarter Swap 2 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: September 23, 2013 10:23:07 PM
I received from scarlet_nights while I was out of town!

Cupcake potholders and really sweet little drawstring pouches

I love the Noteworthy FQ! I am in a big Sweetwater phase right now and have a charm pack from this line, it will be a great addition to a future project!

Thanks, scarlet_nights!
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40  B&B Challenge 4: All About Nails in Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: September 08, 2013 09:37:18 PM
Announcing a new B&B Challenge: All About Nails!

Enter Monday, October 14th through Monday, October 21st.

This challenge is being sponsored by Craftster user Tenlover with prizes from her etsy store, HardcoreCosmetics

For full details, go here:
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