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371  Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting in Dessert by MareMare on: October 30, 2009 10:34:58 PM
These are soooo yummy, and I'm the kind of girl who usually doesn't even bother with a dessert unless it contains chocolate. So the fact that I like these actually says something lol! And I usually don't care for icing/frosting very much, but this rocks!

Here is the recipe!

The changes I made include subbing 3 Tbs. of pumpkin pie spice for her spices, and I just used a whole can of pumpkin instead of measuring 3 cups....so I think I did closer to 4. Oops. Turned out fine! I didn't bother with piping the cookie batter or the frosting, my family is the type to wolf cookies down without really looking at it, so it would just be wasted effort on my part! Also mine were probably bigger than they should have been, so I didn't turn them into sandwiches...I'm sure you get more frosting this way!   Grin  And I added about a cup of finely chopped walnuts, I have to have crunchy texture.

FYI: this recipe makes a ton of cookies, but they don't spread out very much so you can put them really close together on the cookie sheet!




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372  Baby it's cold outside...winter dinner in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: October 27, 2009 10:27:28 PM
I could not get warmed up today for anything! So I decided on creamy warm risotto. Yum. After a quick trip to Trader Joe's for some white wine (why, thank you three buck Chuck!), mushrooms, and canned crab, I was good to go.

My mom thought we should make crab cakes instead of putting the crab into the risotto, and since I freakin love crab cakes I was thrilled. I roasted some acorn squash with garlic and parsley. The risotto I started with 2 slices of diced bacon and has a bit of veggie mix leftover from last night's dinner (green onion, broccoli, button mushrooms) and I added cremini mushrooms, walla walla onions, and spinach. I used Sauvignon Blanc and chicken broth to make it and parmesan to finish it.

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373  Honey, Green Tea, Lavender and Insane Amounts of Shea Butter! in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by MareMare on: October 17, 2009 08:45:39 PM
I was getting insanely low on soap (my drying rack looked sad and bare) so I whipped up 4 batches yesterday. While gathering my ingredients I discovered that I had somehow lost a 5 gallon bucket of palm oil. Weird! Luckily Nymeria saved my day and suggested I try using vegetable shortening. I ran up to the grocery store and was back in ten minutes! Yay! I had a great vegetable shortening experience and may add it to my regular recipe!

I usually use a ton of fragrances, colorants, and additives, but I really restrained myself this time! In four batches I used 1 essential oil, 1 fragrance oil, 3 additives (honey, oats and calendula), and 2 colorants (1 natural and 1 pigment)

Oats n Honey, Unscented~I make 2 versions of this, one with an oatmeal/honey/almonds fragrance and one without. This one just smells of the warm honey.



Calendula Green Tea~ I wanted to make something else but couldn't find the right fragrance in my stash. So I went with green tea fragrance oil, green tea powder for colorant, and some calendula petals for a little extra color and texture. The soap is a light olive color right now, but eventually green tea powder does fade to a brownish green.



Lavender~ Classic lavender, made with essential oil and a very light purple swirl.



Shea Luxury~ This is one of my absolute favorite bars to make and use! It has...wait for it...60% unrefined shea butter in it! And I think it's pretty nice looking for an uncolored, unscented bar lol! It's obviously very hard and has great texture, and even though I didn't fragrance it, it has a great nutty/earthy smell from all that shea.

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374  It's cold and flu season...Classic chicken noodle soup! in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: October 17, 2009 08:34:33 PM
I was cold and starving the other night, and whipped up some yummy soup. It's pretty darn basic, I made a quick stock with onion, celery, carrot, and a chicken breast. After straining out the old veggies, I shredded the chicken meat and simmered a little carrot and celery. And I made homemade egg noodles, yum! I like to throw in some fresh parsley, but I was out, so some dried did the trick.

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375  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 50 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: October 17, 2009 08:27:55 PM
I received a fabulous package for my nephews from leighi123. I received a while ago and am just now posting, I apologize! I've been hiding it from the boys so that they couldn't scatter the various parts before I got pictures of everything Grin She sent a great range of goodies for the boys, who are 5, 4, and 18 months.

Terry cloth stuffed car for the baby and awesome crayon roll that I think my middle nephew would appreciate.



Pirate hat they can share for dressup, and adorable pirate shorts that will either fit the baby or go on one of their teddy bears or stuffed puppies!




An Eye Spy bag and the crayon roll closed up, resting on a cape for dress up!



Thanks so much hon! I'll try to post pics of the boys when I hand the goodies over!
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376  Roasted Veggie Cheesy Soup in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: October 05, 2009 07:24:11 PM
Ok, I have to confess that I used...Velveeta in this soup. Not really something I usually cook with, but I was asked to use it up. At the bottom are my changes for how to make it without the Velveeta!

I love making soup and chopping everything up. I find it relaxing to make and then it's delicious to eat!



I roasted a head of cauliflower florets, 1 bunch of broccoli florets , and a head of garlic on two pans at 400 for about 30-40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. Whenever I roast veggies I like to throw on a head of garlic!



While that's roasting, assemble and chop the other ingredients:

1 onion, diced
2 tsp raw garlic, minced
2 small potatoes, washed, peeled, and diced

2 cans chicken broth, low sodium especially if you're using that Velveeta!
1 1/2 lbs velveeta (3/4 of a box), chopped
Also:
1 cup ham, diced



Saute the onion and garlic until soft but not browned in a large pot with a bit of oil or just some non-stick spray. Add the potatoes and chicken broth to cover and simmer until potatoes are soft. Add the Velveeta and stir until melted. Add in 2/3 to 3/4 of the previously roasted veggies and use your stick blender (a soup making necessity!) and blend until smooth.



Now add back in your reserved veggies (I chopped them a little smaller, into more bite-sized pieces from the florets) and ham, adjust seasoning with black pepper, and enjoy! Delicious topped with oyster crackers!

**I really am not that fond of Velveeta although it makes a nicely easy cheesy soup. Kind of salty though, and a little higher in fat than I really like.  As long as you have the stick blender you can make a nice creamy tasting soup! Sub more chicken broth and a little skim milk and add in just a cup of shredded high quality cheese....swiss or sharp cheddar is yummy!

**Take the roasted garlic and chop it, mix with softened butter and fresh chopped parsley and use for a spread on french bread or store in the fridge to add to pasta, veggies, etc!
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377  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 50 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: October 03, 2009 08:55:49 PM
I'm glad you like everything whisp3red!


Here's what I sent ilovesnails, she's having some camera issues so she asked me to post:

A doll for her daughter, I used the Black Apple pattern off of Martha Stewart's website. The body is from my favorite line, Sultry by Moda.



A birdie for her son, and I sent a little birdhouse along for him to paint. My nephew is the same age and he loves painting birdhouses!



And some crochet stitch markers for her


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378  Featured Projects~3rd Quarter, 2009 in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by MareMare on: October 01, 2009 01:06:00 AM
Quarter 3, 2009

Here are some great projects posted on the Jewelry and Trinkets board during the third quarter! Thanks everybody for posting and keep using the This Rocks! button!

 
Who doesnt love an octopus? Especially a sleek, stylized one!

Oktapous by UntamedMenagerie

 



For a little bit of Halloween cheeris this bracelet spooky, cute or both?

Halloween Charm Bracelet by NH822





Fabric, buttons~this necklace has it all!

Yo Yo Yo Necklace by wait4fiji





I love super huge dangly necklacesdont you? Grin

Seascape Earrings by ninja_knitter





And a few sparklies to brighten your day!

A few multi media pieces
by CohesiveChaos





How fun is this? And would anybody know what it started out as if you didnt know?

The art of cd jewelry by courtn341





I love hair clips! Here are some classy ones with a great tutorial!

Flower Hair Clips with tutorial by barbolot





I can't wait to see what everyone posts in quarter 4!  Wink
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379  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 50 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: September 30, 2009 11:24:40 PM
Here are the lovely goodies I received from mlsocci! She sent me some great calendars and photos.

A tiny little calendar to keep near the computer



A regular wall sized calendar!



and a great little date reminder!





and some great photos, the colors in these are so vibrant, almost metallic looking!



Thanks hon! I'm really excited to get a little more organized with my pretty calendars!
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380  October Jewelry and Trinkets Featured Member~Onyxnox! in Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: September 29, 2009 09:46:21 PM
The first Jewelry and Trinkets member for the new Jewelry and Trinkets Featured  Member section is ~ Onyxnox! She has been a member of Craftster since July of 2006, and is a frequent poster on the various Jewelry and Trinket boards. She is helpful on the Questions and Discussion Board, willing to share her advice with new members and veterans alike.

 


These are some of my favorite projects of hers!


And of course, a soapy one!


A little intro by Onyxnox:
My name is Bonnie, and I have always loved working with my hands and creating things.  I find that it helps me to focus, relax, and wind down an escape from the day to day grind.  I also love to make things for others, maybe crafting for others is how I express my feelings for them, who knows?  In my non-crafting mode, I am a nurse, who shares her forever-being-renovated home with her high school sweetheart, her two canine sweethearts, and a lot of dust bunnies, in Toronto, Canada.



Q: Why (and when) did you begin making Jewelry?

A:  I have always crafted off and on since I was a child.  I remember friendship pins, and bracelets being a huge thing as a child, and loved making them.  But I did not become enamoured with beading and jewelry-making until I was probably in my early 20s and a friend took me to my first craft show.  It was what was then known as the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival in Toronto  I saw some amazing artisans there, like Maria Rypan, Marilyn Gardiner, and the staff from BeadFX and fell in love with the samples of their work.  Not only was their work gorgeous, but they were there to teach others how to make that beauty themselves, and I dove right in, and have never looked back.  I started out with a necklace kit, and since then I have lived to bead and craft with beads, rings, and wire.


Q: What are your favorite materials to work with? Favorite tools?

A:  I love working with seed beads, and have recently learned the joys of working with the precision of Delicas.  There is something incredibly soothing about focusing on those tiny pieces of glass beauty.  However, I have recently learned to work with jump rings to do chainmaille as well, and am loving that.  I have recently discovered the joy of making glass tile pendents as well.  But I think my favourite tool is still the simple beading needle, a spool of  Nymo, a tub of Thread Heaven, and my bead mat.


Q: Besides some lovely pendants, what other kinds of jewelry/trinkets do you make?

A:  I play around with necklaces, but what I really like to do is make ornaments.  Christmas ornaments done with bead weaving for example.  I have several works in progress that have yet to see the light of day that are floral ornaments too.


Q: How did your first jewelry making project go for you?

A:  Luckily it was a kit, with well written instructions.  It introduced me to bead weaving/netting, and it came out so beautifully that it just gave me encouragement to go from there.  


Q: Do you have any Craftster Crushes on other jewelry makers on the board? Who are they?

A:  Everyone!  Really no exaggeration.  I love Craftster because there is such a synergy about the forums.  Everyone is all about the crafts, and I get a lot of inspiration reading about what everyone else is doing, their responses to what I have done, and the general exchange of information and ideas.  I have recently started swapping too, and that is like a physical representation of that synergy.  I find sometimes I am at a crossroads and atagnant in my crafting, but going to Craftster and looking at what others are doing always helps to boost my own energy and desire to create.

If I had to choose one Craftster, I think I may have to say Hawkwolf, because he inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and try chainmaille, and gave some really good tips and encouragement to help me along.  However, he is but one brilliant star in a galaxy full (Jam4ever, beadangel, beadsbeadingbeaded, atsuko, acidtrix come to mind as well, just to name a few of many)


Q: Do you have any favorite techniques?

A:  I love to learn new things and will try anything that catches my interest at least once.  But my favourite method seems to be bead weaving or netting.


Q: Are there any kinds of jewelry or techniques that you want to learn?

A:  I would like to advance my chainmaille skills, and learn to do more intricate wire work.  My ultimate desire would be to learn lampworking or fusing, and perhaps one day be able to create my own glass focal beads.


Q: Where do you get inspiration for your projects?

A:  So many sources.  Craftster is one very significant place.  Sometimes I will be flipping through a magazine, or watching TV, and see something that makes me think, hmmmmmm, that would be cool as a necklace, bracelet, ornament, etc.  I used to have scraps of magazines or newspapers stuck with magnets on my fridge of pictures that caught my attention.  Finally, I just started keeping a sketchbook with quick sketches of ideas and jotted notes.  The problem is that I think I get far more ideas than I have time to actually work on.


Q: What other crafts do you do?

A:  I knit, crochet, dabble in cross stitching at times.  I dabble in painting, have started stenciling, and also like to decorate glass with etching compound.  Do cooking/baking, and gardening count?  I do a lot of this and that.  


Q: What is your favorite J &T project on Craftster that you posted? And why (with link to project)

A:  I think I may have to say the black fringe necklace.  It wasnt hard, or complex, but I love the way the light catches on it, and the drape and weight feel amazing.  


Black Branching Fringe Necklace


Also, the jadeite and purple bead choker I  love the colour combination, and the weight of the jadeite donut against the throat.  It is also a recreation (and improvement) of an earlier necklace I did when I first started making jewelry it may be my first original design..  I loved it then, and made it for myself, but gave it away to a friend.  I loved this one too, and gave it away in a swap because I thought the recipient would love it too.    
 
Jade and purple Set



Q: What is your favorite J&T project on Craftster that someone else has posted?  

A: Its so hard to choose.  I think more of a category than anything else.  I love the reconstructed projects, like the reconstructed utensil jewelry, or those made from things like cans.  I think it is brilliant to take such a mundane object like a fork, spoon, broken toy, or old can, and turn it into a unique, and eye catching piece of wearable ornamentation.  Especially if it is changing something from trash to treasure.

Spoons are NOT for eating by Fun2Create


Heirloom Spoon Rings by acidtrix



Q: What is your favorite non-J&T project on Craftster that you have posted?  

A:  Probably my etched glass items.  I had been using chemical etching compound to decorate glass for a few years.  I had decided I was not fond of cutting contact paper stencils, and started making stencils using fabric paint to paint on a resist stencil directly onto the glass.  It made for more fluid lines, and I found it easier to work with for me.  I did not realize that perhaps I came upon a new technique until I posted my unicorn canisters I decorated one year, and wrote about how I did it.  The response seemed pretty amazing to me.  I also plan on trying it with smaller items like glass tiles and beads in the future.

Glass Unicorn Canisters



Q: What is your favorite non-J&T project on Craftster that someone else has posted?  

A:  I think I have a fascination with all things shiny a lot of it seems to be focused on glass or metal.  But I love love love love lurking in the glass forums and seeing what others do with fused glass, stained glass, glass mosaic, etched glass, etc.  I love all the fused glass pendants and bowls, etc.  These are two projects that really blew me away though, and that I seriously covet for my own home!

Funky Flowers Mosaic Window by HSG

  Weeping Willow by craftylittlemonkey



Thanks so much Bonnie for answering these questions and sharing a little about yourself and your crafts!

If you would like to reccomend someone to be a Featured Member in the future, please send me a pm!
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