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361  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / B&B Challenge 2~Eco Friendly/All Natural~Congrats to mcook72667! on: March 05, 2009 02:14:12 AM
In preparation for Challenge 2 (down the road just a bit), what would you guys like to see as prizes? I am going to post on the board asking for challenge prize donations, but is there something specific I should ask for? I know it doesn't have to be B&B stuff every time, do people want craft books, jewelry, sewn items??? Maybe try to get a few small things and throw them together? Let me know your ideas!

Also, what is a good time frame? I probably won't want to start another challenge for several weeks at least.

The theme for the next challenge will be....oh yeah, like I'm gonna make it that easy on ya!   Grin  Actually the theme will be the runner-up from the theme voting previously. Keep posting your ideas for themes and for Challenge #3 we'll either do another vote or keep going and pick the 3rd theme from the last round of voting.
362  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Roasted Brussels Sprouts---No, really! on: March 03, 2009 07:10:59 PM
I never ate Brussells sprouts because my mom didn't like them, although I eat basically all other veggies. A couple years ago we did a co-op type produce thing where we got bushels of produce fresh off the farm every week. We got a ton of brussels sprouts so I found a recipe on allrecipes.com and cooked em up. Seriously, best things ever. I will eat them over french fries every time! This is a great way to cook any veggies, a fave combo of mine is cauliflower and red onions along with the brussels sprouts! They get that yummy roasted flavor that brings out the natural sugars, mmm mmmm.

3-4 cups (or more, whatever) of brussels sprouts, trim off the end if it looks icky and peel of any outer leaves that are holey or black or brown. Cut in half if they are very large
1-2 Tablespoons of oil
1/2 teaspoon or so of kosher or sea salt
Cracked black pepper
Dash of red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 or 450. In a large roasting pan lay the sprouts out in one layer. Sprinkle the oil over the top and toss gently to coat. Add salt and pepper and stir again. Cook in hot oven, stirring every 5 or 7 minutes. Cook a total of 15 minutes or more, the darker they get the more the natural sweetness comes out. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necesary. If you didn't use very much oil a touch of butter might be good, but usually not needed. Voila, love!
363  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Mock Wendy's Pitas on: March 03, 2009 07:01:33 PM
Does anybody remember Wendy's pitas? I worked there in high school and my (very) early 20's and they were the best! I was craving some the other day so I made an easy version, and am listing all the other ones too in case anybody else wants to re-create them! Super super easy to grab when you're in a hurry if you do a tiny bit of preparation ahead of time, like making the cucumber relish and the broccoli slaw up and keeping chopped cooked chicken in the fridge.

Greek Veggie "Pita" (pictured)


Cucumber relish
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 small red onion diced
Combine veggies in bowl to make relish. Will keep in fridge for a couple days, great to top salads and chicken and other things too.

Warm pita bread (I used whole wheat tortillas)
Lettuce blend (romaine, green leaf lettuce, iceberg, whatever)
Cucumber relish
Feta Cheese
Caesar Vinagrette or Italian dressing

Layer ingredients in pita or tortilla, voila!

For other mock Wendy's pitas~ (I might have some of the names wrong, it was a long time ago!)

Chicken Caesar Pita
Warm pita or tortilla
Lettuce Blend
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Cooked, chunked white chicken breast
Caesar Vinagrette or Italian dressing

Chicken Ranch Pita
Warm pita or tortilla
Lettuce Blend (packaged mix works well)
Broccoli Slaw
Cooked, chunked white chicken breast
Light Ranch dressing

Veggie Ranch Pita
Warm pita or tortilla
Lettuce Blend
Cucumber Relish (see above)
Broccoli Slaw (packaged mix works well)
Light Ranch dressing
364  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / March 2009 Birthday Swap~LISTS ONLY~Closed on: March 01, 2009 09:32:11 AM



DISCUSSION AND GALLERY THREAD LINK: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=294670.0

Swap name: March 2009 Birthday Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: MareMare

FOR POSTING BIRTHDAY LISTS Sign-up date range:  March 1- March 31
FOR CHOOSING A BIRTHDAY WISH TO FULFILL Sign-up date range: March 1- March 31
DATE TO SEND ITEMS BY:  2 weeks after you claim someone unless other arrangements are made ahead of time

Limited to a certain number of people?: No.
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? No.
You must be 13 years old to swap.

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: 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

Details of swap:  This swap was organized so everyone can get something crafty for their birthday!  Please read the guidelines carefully.

1. This swap is list style, like the Ongoing Wishlist Swap, however it is NOT chain style. You can choose any birthday craftster’s list that is posted, rather than only picking the last one.

2. This is a medium item swap. A medium item is defined as a craft or recon etc that takes you two hours to complete OR $20 worth of Store Bought Items. (If bought from a thrift store, estimate at what it would have cost new.) However you may also substitute a few small items for a medium.

3. If your birthday is in January, you can post your birthday wish list for this month. To do that, you must first PM me with the Swap questionnaire filled out and wait for approval.

4. Once you have been approved, you may post your list of things that you would like to receive. This is the format for your lists: First post your location and a short bio of yourself, then a list of crafted items you would like (listing “surprise” as well), then craft supplies (if any) and lastly you can put a few “extras” that aren’t crafted, things like candy or tea. Remember, the more items on your list, the more likely you are to be chosen. The minimum of items to post is 5. Also including your wists is a good way for people to get the idea of your likes and style. If you have any allergies please type them in red in your bio section.

5. Please post lists only in this thread. Discussion can be done here in the combined discussion/gallery thread:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=294670.0

 6. Every birthday participant who posts a list must make at least one claim.
New this month!:
First time swappers may have 1 outstanding claim at a time.
Friends of Craftster may have 3 outstanding claims at a time.
All others may have 2 outstanding claims at a time.[/b]
An outstanding claim is a claim that has not been received yet. If your claim is in the mail, it is still considered outstanding until it is received, and you may not claim again until you have an open outstanding claim slot.

Claims need to be made from the "crafted" and "craft supplies" sections of a person's list. The "extras" are just that--extra items you may want to throw in if you are feeling generous, but claims cannot be solely extras. Keep it crafty :-)

7. You may get claimed more than once, but your minimum amount to claim is one.  It is possible you may not get claimed at all. In this case you will not be provided a swap angel; angels are only if you get flaked on. However I do my best to make sure everyone gets claimed by keeping track of how many times each person is claimed at the top of the second post. If possible try to pick someone who has been claimed 0 times versus someone who has been claimed 3 times.

8. If it is not your birthday but you would like to send a birthday present out you may do so. Fill out the “non-birthday swapper” questionnaire and send it to me for approval. Birthday swappers who receive a present from a non-birthday swapper must send a snail mail birthday card. You will not receive feedback until I hear from the other swapper that they have received a thank you card.

9. When you choose to fulfill a birthday wish, PM both me (MareMare) AND the chosen Craftster. At that time, please request the address for where to send it. It is your responsibility to get the address. After you make the claim you have 2 weeks to get the item out the door.

10. It is super important for everyone to keep good communication. It is REQUIRED that you PM me when you've sent and of course, don't forget the DC#. It is REQUIRED that when you receive, you PM me and publicly announce in the gallery (even if you don't have pictures). If I do not receive PM’s from you when you send and receive, you will be left “Poor Communication” in your feedback.

11. When one of your items is chosen, please cross it out so that it is easier for others to see what has been chosen. It wouldn't hurt to thank the person at this time either.

12. If you are sending late you must pm me by your send-out date. If your send-out date comes and goes and you don’t pm me, you will receive “poor communication” feedback. It should not be my job to hunt you down and find out what is going on.

Please make sure to put “March Bday Swap” or something equivalent in the subject line on all communications. The most important thing to me is communication. Please pm me when you send and receive, and please reply to my pm’s to you in a timely manner.

Format for PM's:

Proper label:
"March Bday Swap" and either "Sign-up," "Claim," "Sent," "Received," or "Question"

When sending sent and received pm's include the send-by date, listed in the second post of the main thread, your user name, their user name and the item. Just copy and past the info from the second post if you want!:

Send by March 14
MareMare to javastain--handmade soap and lotion


Name of swap-  March 2009 Birthday Swap
Craftster username:
Email address:
Real name and Address formatted for mailing:
When is your birthday?
Have you read and understand all of the rules to this swap?
Are you willing to send at least a medium item per claim?
(If not then you will not be approved.)
Who and what do you want to send to? (if you know already)
Are you a Friend of Craftster?
If shipping within the US, I agree to obtain a DC#: Yes/No
Test: What happens if you do not pm me by your send-out date?
Test: Where do we keep all chit-chat?

If it is not your birthday and you want to SEND TO A BIRTHDAY CRAFTSTER:

Name of swap- January 2009 Birthday Swap
Craftster username:
Email address:
Real name and Mailing address, formatted for mailing:
Chosen Craftster and item:
Are you a friend of Craftster?
If shipping within the US, I agree to obtain a DC#: Yes/No


Also remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find out how to ship your item and other details about participating in a swap.

Please make sure to post in the combined Gallery/Discussion Thread to keep up with updates: March Discussion and Gallery Thread
365  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / March 2009 Birthday Swap Gallery on: March 01, 2009 09:01:32 AM
This is the gallery and discussion thread for the March 2009 Birthday Swap. Please post all discussion and pictures here, there is to be no discussion on the main thread, only birthday wishlists.

Link to Main Thread of wishlists:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=294680.0
366  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / The random soapy babble thread on: February 22, 2009 08:23:11 AM
I just realized we have been kinda OT on a couple of the recent threads. Not soaping OT but OT from the original poster's thread. And that's mostly my fault cause I'm chatty lol. So stick it here~ Some of our recent babbles spread amongst a multitude of threads~goat's milk soap, craft fairs, hp, lavender eo varieties, family members using your soap. Ok GO!
367  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / March Bday Swap~Now Open, see page 3 for link on: February 20, 2009 09:51:25 AM
Any March babies out there wanting to do a March Birthday Swap?
368  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / SMALL Flat Rate Boxes! on: February 06, 2009 10:17:09 PM
Yay, the post office now has small flat rate boxes for $4.95! I can swap soap again! It was getting really expensive, more than two bars of my soap had to go priority, that stuff gets heavy. I could probably get 4-6 bars of soap in one of these new boxes! Great for anyone that has small but heavy items!

369  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Featured Member--mullerslanefarm on: February 04, 2009 01:31:03 PM
The first Craftster member to be a Bath and Body Featured Member is ~ mullerslanefarm! She has been a member of Craftster since November of 2007, and is a frequent poster on the Bath & Beauty Boards. She is especially helpful on the Discussions and Questions Board, always willing to share her knowledge gained from years of soapmaking with new members and veterans alike. She is also very active on the Fiber Spinning boards!

A little intro by mullerslanefarm:

It is a great honor to me to be a Featured Member on this forum.  I find myself more on the Fiber Forum but check in here sporadically to see if I can get inspiration or perhaps answer some questions.

A little about me.  My name is Cyndi and I'm in my late 40's, married to my best friend, Paul.  We have 4 children between us, boy, girl, boy, boy.

Only the youngest is still at home. We have always had an interest in American history and the way folks lived their lives in the early days of our country.

We make our home on an 11 acre, old fashion homestead.  We farm with our Belgian draft horses (time & weather permitting), raise 100% of our meat including beef, pork, poultry (chicken, duck, turkey, guinea), Have a Jersey milk cow for milk, butter, cheeses, yogurt, ice cream, et al. Have honeybee hives for honey and beeswax.  Large vegetable, herb & berry gardens, fruit orchard and grape vines.  We produce & can about 80% of our vegetables and fruits.  We heat primarily with an old cast iron wood stove in the winter.  For a while I had a wood cook stove set up, but it doesn't produce the heat to warm the house.  It's back in storage until we can build a primitive kitchen.

We have a website that has a lot of pictorials that we call "Lessons in Homesteading".  It includes things like making butter, making soap, making lotions & salves.  Also putting up the hay with horses, canning, brain tanning, among other things.

Our goal is pass along to others what we know about 'lost arts' to help folks become more self sufficient.

Again, I want to thank MareMare for this honor.  It means so much to me.

Q: Why (and when) did you begin making Bath and Body items?

A: I began making Cold Process soaps in 1999.  It was another out reach of historical portrayal and I had an infant nephew who could not use any type of store bought soap.  I started with a simple 100% Olive Oil soap, and then explored other oils.  I noticed early that the selection of oils used in soap formulas would produce different types of soaps.  I went back to basics and created a lot of one-oil soaps, then started combining 2 oils in different percentages, then adding a 3rd, 4th oil and so on. 

I not only kept a lot of notes, I created my own lye calculator written in Excel that detailed the fatty acid percentages of soap formulas.  This elementary lye calculator became the basis for www.soapcalc.com.  The only request I had for the creator of soapcalc was that the calculator be free of charge.   

I also had some wonderful soap gurus to bounce ideas.  They were always free with their advice and only asked that, in the future to 'Pay it forward.'  Never refuse advice to someone and encourage them to always give advice to new soapers.

Q: What is your B&B philosophy (as far as all-natural, animal products, etc)?

A:  I am a huge fan of Lard for soapmaking.  Not only is it historically correct, using it as part of your soap formula contributes so much for a nice bar of soap.  Most of the Lard and Tallow I use is rendered from our own animals here on the homestead.

I personally prefer using Essential Oils, but do have a Fragrance Oil line in my products.

Q: Besides soap, what other B&B items do you make?

A:  Lotions, bath salts and balms (salves).

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

A:  Complete Disaster!!  I was not using a digital scale and did not want to 'waste' ingredients, so I made a small batch (just one pound).  The whole batch was ruined, being very lye heavy.  Ended up wasting it after all.  I recommend that new CP soapers start with a digital scale and make a formula using a minimum of 3 pounds of oil.

Q: You’ve mentioned “Master Batching” before, can you explain what that is and how/why you do it?

A:  Master Batching (which was not my original idea) is a wonderful way to save time when you are soaping and you consistently use the same recipe for your soaps.
Let's say your soap formula is 30% Olive Oil, 30% Lard, 30% Palm Kernel Oil and 10% Shea Butter.  Regardless if you are making a one lb or 30 lb batch of soap, your percentages will always be the same.

For discussion purposes, you make soap batches using 5 lb of oils and you usually make 3 batches at a time.  Instead of having to weigh out 24 oz each of Olive Oil, Lard & Palm Kernel and 8 oz of Shea Butter for each of your 3 batches (a total of weighing oils 12 times), Why not weigh up 72 oz each of  Olive Oil, Lard & Palm Kernel and 24 oz of Shea Butter.  Stir the oils well, then weigh out 80 oz of your combined oils for each of the batches. 

Instead of weighing 12 times, you'll only have to weigh the oils a total of 7 times.  Or, since you have the oils out anyway, weigh up 30# of oil (144 oz each of Olive Oil, Lard & Palm Kernel and 48 oz of Shea Butter).  Use half of that Master Batch to make your 3-5# batches today, and store the rest of the Master Batch until the next time you make soap.

Q: Do you have any other favorite techniques?

A: I'm a milk soaper that is fortunate to have a dairy animal and am able to use fresh, frozen, whole milk.  I place the milk in gallon zipper bags, lay the bags on their sides and freeze on a cookie sheet.  When I am ready to soap, I chunk the frozen milk into approximately 1".  You can also freeze the milk in ice cube trays, pop the frozen cubes out of the trays and store in freezer bags.   

Q: What is your favorite B&B project on Craftster that you posted?

A:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=236020.0

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

A: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=231950.0  I just love looking at all those soaps at once!  My other favorite is Addicted To Soap's post with how she took a round soap made in a Pringles can that she didn't like and turned it into something most beautiful!!

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

A: It would have to be any one of the Fiber Friday's that I have posted on.  I really don't have a 'favorite' yarn that I've spun.  It is always the latest yarn because each are so different!

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

A: Again, it would have to be any one of the Fiber Friday's threads.  The talent on the Fiber Forums is out of this world!  Each Friday I am inspired more and more.

Ok, so that is our first Featured Member! Please pm me if you are interested in being featured, or have a recommendation about someone you would like to see featured. Also let me know if you think of any questions I should add into the interview portion!
370  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / B&B Challenge 1~Unusual Ingredient~Congrats to Nymeria! on: January 26, 2009 11:52:28 PM
You voted, and the theme for this year's first challenge is~Unusual Ingredient!

Create a new product--soap, make-up, lotion, bath salts, sugar scrub, whatever you want, and do it with a twist! Your "unusual ingredient" needs to be....um, unusual! It doesn't have to be crazy unusual, but not something used everyday. It could potentially be an obscure item from a soap supplier, such as MSM powder or a really rare type of butter, or it could just be something you think would work well to add! You should have some reason for adding the item, just don't go throwing stuff around! Maybe something kinda odd that you think would make a great color in your soap, or something from your kitchen pantry that you think might impart ____ characteristic.

This challenge will last for 3 weeks, and close at 10 pm Pacific time on Feb 18. You may post your challenge entry as soon as the challenge folder goes up (we don't have one as of yet). I will link to it here when we get it! To enter, start a new topic in this folder.

The rules:

1. Post your entry, including pictures and an explanation of why you used the unusual ingredient you chose, and if it worked out the way you wanted!

2. Post before Feb 18, 10 pm Pacific time

3. There are no restrictions on who may enter, but each person may only enter once.

4. If you are using an existing recipe you did not create, please alter it at least 25%, and you must credit the source!

The Prize:

20 New Divided Containers~ I love these!

Example of what I have used these for in the past: a "lip kit" with a lip scrub, lip plumper, ultra balm, and 2 shades of gloss.

There will be a second prize if at least 10 people (legitamately) enter! More details to come  Grin
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