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41  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / I <3 Craftster on: February 02, 2017 08:29:22 AM

So many of the best and most fun things I do would never come to be without this lovely website full of incredible people. Those who share their ideas and techniques, others who give so much time thinking up and organizing swaps, the participants who are so incredibly generous with their talent and skill... There is not a lot I do online but I check in here nearly every single day. There's nothing like this place anywhere else that I've ever discovered. Unique and amazing. Love you guys <3.

For example, using
Sheepblue's stumpwork tutorial: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=441007.0
Pottermouth's binding a hoop tutorial: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=450157.0

I made this for EdelC in the I Love Valentine's Day swap organized by lindyv321.

First I tacked a wire heart shape down like in Sheepblue's stumpwork tutorial but I put it on the reverse side. Then I cut the centre of the heart shape, folded the edges over the wire (folded over to the back side of the fabric) and stitched into place with the sort of stitches Sheepblue shows for making petals. The wire helps keep the shape stable, especially the top point which would otherwise be just hanging there in space and probably curl under and look bad instead of lovely.

It's a little cut out window so you can see the paper insert with "love" written on it. That's a circle of scrap-booking paper pasted to card stock sitting against the back of the inner hoop then held in place with the backing fabric so it won't shift.

There are lots of tutorials here on stamp carving, this is where I learned how to do it. Also tutes for making a perfect circle of fabric to back a hoopla, this is certainly where I learned how to do that. And how to cover the hoop in binding and use piping trim to make it look extra special, that's Pottermouth's tutorial.

I added a little ring of ribbon for hanging and to cover the screwy closure bit. It's tucked between the 2 circles of wood but also stitched into place and a key hot glued to the front for interest.
42  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!! on: February 01, 2017 08:38:49 AM
We already have a set of these made by a great aunt many years ago so I don't know why I have had this kit on my wish list for decades but I've always wanted one and LOOK!

$2.99 at the thrift store the other day, I could not believe my eyes. I didn't cry, amazingly, but my hands did start shaking and wouldn't stop for at least 5 minutes after snatching it from the shelf.
It's been started by it's former owner but all the pieces are there. I am so excited to make these, I AM SO EXCITED TO MAKE THEM!

I'm going to photo copy everything and make ornaments to give away. I know there are people out there lusting after this classic set as much as I have been. Boy, I am a happy stitcher right now Smiley.
43  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Golden apple cornbread, or sometimes experiments turn out great! on: January 28, 2017 12:26:33 PM
I make cornbread often but the other day I started mixing things up before checking we had all the ingredients. Nobody thought to take another bag out of the freezer when it got low so there was only a smidge of milk. There was some apple sauce so I subbed that in for the balance of the milk and boy howdy I baked up the best cornbread ever! Here's the recipe as I made it, next time I'm thinking about throwing in some roughly chopped apple since it was such a hit with the sauce flavour in there. It would be good with fresh corn kernels too, or even both corn and apples. And jalapeos, or cumin, cayenne, paprika, mmm. I used unsweetened sauce and it was plenty sweet enough but you can use sweetened or add 1 TBSP of sugar to the dry ingredients if you wish.

Golden Apple Cornbread:

Preheat the oven to 425F

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour (whole grain, white, or a combo)
1/2tsp salt
1 TBSP baking powder
1 egg
1 cup of milk and apple sauce, roughly half of each or to taste (combine these just before adding to flour to prevent any sort of reaction between the dairy and the fruit!)
1/4 cup melted butter (or oil of your choice or a combo)

Sift together dry ingredients.
Beat together egg, milk, and apple sauce and stir into dry ingredients.
Beat until smooth, adding butter partway through. Do not over beat.
Bake in a greased 8' square pan 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Cool before trying to take it out of the pan unless you're going to serve it warm straight out of the pan in which case it will likely be quite crumbly.

44  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / More stitchery on: January 09, 2017 10:58:55 AM
I finished this one last night.

After piecing it I didn't think it looked quite done so added the small stitches in plain white thread. It gives a textural element that I quite enjoy, it's interesting to touch and all that sewing makes it durable enough for handling.

While the studio's been in post-xmas chaos I've had to entertain my itch to stitch with a basket of scraps and some random embroidery thread stashed by the bed.

As much fun as it's been to do this mindless piecework and stitching I think I'd better stop soon. I'm still not sure what to do with all the patches, or the fabric beads I've been making. There are quite a few.

They could be added to something else but what? Maybe framed for an exhibit. At least they are small and don't take up much room, lol.

45  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Crafting with kids, fabric bookmark on: January 07, 2017 06:50:16 AM
I'm not sure where this should go, it's fabric with some stitching & applique but not stitch work or quilting exactly or entirely.
In any case, it was made by my daughter who is 9 & I'm so impressed with her creativity & skill. She chose the design & the fabrics, cut the shapes, then stitched the dolphin in place. I did help her a bit but not much, advice, the machine sewn edge.

The back is a purpley pink colour.
46  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Slow cloth patches on: January 07, 2017 06:42:09 AM
Made for a private swap with Joyfulclover. We sent each other pieces that could be incorporated into something else if wanted.
The first was a winter scene based on a lino print I saw online somewhere that made an impression on me.

The trees are reversed wheat ear stitch, it was the closest to the evergreen shape I imagined.

The second has reverse appliqued circles then circular embroidery in various colours. This was better in my mind but I still liked it.

I am still trying to imagine what to do with this sort of thing. They are fun to make & look at but then what? Maybe a fabric book...
47  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Big batch cooking on: January 02, 2017 04:42:40 PM
Feeding 5 people, including a large man and a teenaged boy, is challenging at best. I cook giant batches of things to try to keep up with all the hungry mouths, lol.
Here's tonight's effort:
Apple crumble with raisins, cherries, berries, or pineapple.

It freezes very well, I just increase the baking time from 45 mins at 350 to 30 mins with a foil tent & 30 mins uncovered.

Here's some bread, wheat in various flavours & corn. Sliced thin or the kids eat it like texas toast & it's gone in no time!

We love bacon but it's so fatty it causes a few of us tummy upset. Better to cook a couple pounds of it to sprinkle into things instead. You still get all the flavour. & yes, that is a large mason jar of strained bacon fat. One of two, for frying stuff, lol.

Vats of tomato meat sauce (bison) and a rice & tri-colour quinoa mix. Both of them freeze well for later use in soup, stews & casseroles.

Black eyed peas, these freeze well for the above.

There's a chest freezer in the basement, I freeze batches flat in the fridge freezer to make them easier to line up in the big freezer. It's like filed food, ha ha!
48  COOKING / Dessert / Donut bread pudding. on: December 27, 2016 06:53:31 AM
One of the kids came home with half a box of donuts from a class holiday party. I didn't really want anybody eating that much straight sugar so chopped the pastries up & mixed with an equal amount of bread. Let that sit out a couple hours to approximate day-old staleness. Beat eggs & cream/milk (1 egg for each cup of liquid), enough to saturate the bread. That went into a buttered baking dish at 350 for 45 minutes.
Somehow I deleted the photos I took but here's one of the pudding sliced the next day. It's good warmed a bit with butter or cream poured over top.

You can add vanilla, cinnamon, sugar or maple syrup to the egg mix if preferred, also citrus zest which is really nice.

Found the pics Smiley.
49  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Pranking the teenager on: December 26, 2016 07:32:31 PM
I have a riot playing tricks on that kid, ha!
We gave him a little cash but to make it fun we did the box inside a box inside a box thing. Times 10. With gift wrap on every single box. Cheesy

Inside the last, smallest box was a wee envelop containing a tag that said "your gift is hanging on the tree".

He thought it was funny, I about passed out laughing. Every second of that prank was fun, from finding all the boxes to setting them up to watching his amazement as he discovered another, smaller box inside the last one. HA! I am getting funny in my old age...
50  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Another childhood craft archived by my mother. on: December 26, 2016 09:32:05 AM
She pulled these from her suitcase stash this morning, she for real saves everything  Roll Eyes. I actually love when she digs these things out of storage, it's always worth a good laugh Grin. Of course I can't have them, she's only exhibiting her treasures for our viewing pleasure Cheesy.

Hand stitched felt hats, made between the ages of 10-12. Machine sewn with hand made pompoms, I must have been mid to late teens.

Though I made them for our family of all ages at the time, not one of them fit heads older than 6, lol.
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