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21  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Schneien a Winter Elf on: August 29, 2013 05:56:23 PM
Meet Schneien. His name means "snow" in German. He is a winter elf, and spreads winter cheer wherever he goes. The cold doesn't bother him because he has such a warm heart.

 Schneien is about 10 inches tall (not including his hair) seated. He's made from cotton fabrics, and polyester yarn which was combed out and styled for his hair. His face is needle sculpted, and then colored with colored pencils and with acrylic paints, and then sprayed with hairspray to fix the color. His hair was also styled with hairspray and then dusted with glitter.
He's made from my own pattern but could easily be reproduced using the poppet pattern and needle sculpting the face.

He is the first of a series of elves that I will be making this year.
22  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / Striped high waisted skirt on: June 25, 2013 12:02:02 PM

I was so worried that if I made this skirt that it was going to look like a circus tent on me, but I took a gamble and did it anyway. The first time I'd seen it was in the airport on a slim girl, and I loved it. The a curvy model wore it on her blog, and I just needed to make it. The full tutorial is on my blog.
23  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / More Snow White and Rose Red Illustrations on: May 08, 2013 07:57:58 AM

24  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Snow White and Rose Red illustrations on: May 04, 2013 08:06:49 PM
We use dto have red and white towels in my bathroom. So when my husband would give our girls a bath, he'd ask, "who wants to be Snow White, and who wants to be Rose Red?" Then he'd wrap the girls in the towels and they'd climb on to his back to be taken to their room to get dressed. Of course their dad was the Prince Bear. I don't think the girls have ever had the story read to them, so I thought it would be fun to make their very own book. This project is taking longer than I'd anticipated. Some of these drawings have taken me about 10 hours to complete. They are prismacolor colored pencil on copy 8.5"x11" copy paper. The book, when finished will be for my two girls, ages 6 and 4.

The Widow's cottage

Rose red chasing butterflies

Snow White and Rose Red holding hands

Bear sleeping on the hearth

An unexpected guest

Sleeping sisters

Snow White feeding a doe

Beard Stuck

Angry Dwarf

Prince Bear

There are several more illustrations to come. I have to construct them. Hopefully I'll have this project finished by Christmas. And then I wonder what other story I can illustrate.
25  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / My first children's book on: April 17, 2013 10:05:06 PM
I was asked to illustrate a children's book.
These are the first 5 illustrations. I think there will be 7 in all.

Can you tell what the story is about? Hint: it has something to do with the apples.
26  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Just a quick little dolly + pattern on: January 22, 2013 08:55:50 PM
My daughter has a birthday party to go to on Saturday. So, I made a quick little dolly for the birthday girl. Using materials I already had and a quickly drawn pattern that was much like a ginger bread man shape, I put together a cute little doll.

Edited to add pattern:

Either use freezer paper, which you can iron to the fabric, or pin pattern to fabric.
Sew around pattern, leaving open where indicated for stuffing.
Remove pattern and cut around stitching leaving a 1/8 inch seam allowance.
Stuff arms and then top stitch on broken like. Repeat for legs. Stuff remaining head and body, and close opening with hidden/ladder stitch.

Now you can dress the doll, paint the doll, whatever you wish.
27  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / French Farmhouse style hamper from a thrifted box on: January 10, 2013 06:41:23 PM
I really need to learn to take before pictures! I bought a cute storage box with a cover from Goodwill. It was cute...before a cat got it's claws into it. Originally it was covered in a weave of brown fabric and sea grass. And let me tell you, if it wasn't $1 I wouldn't have messed with it. All of that stuff was stapled on with hundreds of tiny staples! It took hours to get it all off. And I suffered with allergies to cat dander the whole time. And why you ask? Because I had visions of a pretty French style hamper.

It works perfectly with French/spa style bathroom!
It's just the right size to hold clothes for two people for a couple of days. No more leaving our unmentionables on the floor. It sits right next to the shower.
28  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Hand painted Poppy Pillow on: January 10, 2013 06:20:35 PM
's been a while since I started noticing staining on the pillow covers in the living room. I love the covers I've sewn, but the stains just won't come out, and the repair job on one of them isn't very attractive. It's time for new covers.

 I hate buying fabrics full price. Usually I find something to make over from the thrift store. I love to find a curtain, because it's usually a few yards of fabric for just a few dollars.

 Home decorator fabrics are so expensive! I could use a coupon, or I could design my own. I've kept the scraps of canvas drop cloth left over from making slipcovers for the couch and loveseat. There really isn't much left, but I've managed to get a couple of projects out of it.

 Once the paint was dry, I made some welting with some red and white ticking and sewed the pillow cover. I love how it turned out, and will certainly be making more.

29  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Outside mat turned Bathmat easy peasy on: January 08, 2013 11:48:31 AM
My old bath mat needed to be retired today. It was falling apart. As I walked through Target today, I was less than thrilled with the prices of bath rugs. The ones that I wanted were about $22. And they weren't anything special.

As I wandered over the outside rugs, my eyes fell upon a thick, pretty, jute, braided rug. It had a label that said for outside use only. "Why," I asked myself. I want to use it in the bathroom. I bought two for about $16 each, and when I got home and laid them on the slick tile in my bathroom, I realized that they would need some help, if I were to use them and be safe.

I remembered seeing something on Pinterest about putting silicone on the back of rugs to make them non slip. I'm waiting for the silicone to dry.
 Did you ever notice what a strong smell that stuff has? What is it ammonia? 

I bought some fluffy new towels and wash cloths in....white. Am I crazy? Do I feel a bit guilty? A little bit. But the last time I bought new towels was last year for the other bathroom.

My bathroom is going to feel like a spa. Ahhhh.
30  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls on: January 08, 2013 11:46:05 AM
I have to follow a gluten free diet, but that doesn't mean that I don't bake things for others. Before I went gluten free, I was famous for my whole wheat cinnamon rolls. And you know what? It's not even my recipe. When my lovely sister Rachel bought me a Bosche kitchen machine, the lovely lady at the store shared her recipes with us. And they are delicious.

It just killed me this year when I couldn't taste the rolls that I made for our friends.

  They're delicious without the frosting, and to die for with it.

I know it's really mean to post this recipe in January, when everyone is trying to stick to their diet. Bwahahahaha!
If you have a Bosche, you can make the recipe as is. If you have a Kitchen Aid, I suggest you half the recipe.

Before you begin, bring 3 sticks of butter to room temperature.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 54 large rolls
The entire process takes about 3 hours

7 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour
1/2 cup potato flour (or 1 cup instant potato flakes)
1/2 cup powdered milk
5 Tablespoons instant yeast
4 Tablespoons dough enhancer

Mix ingredients together in a large bowl with a dough hook for approx 1 minute to prevent the powdered milk from forming clumps.

6 cups warm water (115 degrees)
1 cup canola oil
2/3 cup honey

Mix again for several minutes and then cover and let sponge for 10 to 15 minutes.

 5 beaten eggs
2 Tablespoons sea salt

Continue to add ground wheat flour until the dough starts pulling away from the side of the bowl, but never picks up from the bottom.  This will probably be another 7 cups of flour, but will differ for your area because of humidity. The dough will be very sticky. Knead for 5 minutes more.   

You will need:
3 sticks of butter
Approx. 4 cups brown sugar 
Approx. 6 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

Some unflavored dental floss

Divide the dough into 3 balls. Cover 2 of the balls while working with the first batch.
Pour about 1/4 cup canola oil onto your clean work surface, and roll out your dough into a rectangle.   

Using your hand (this gets really messy!) Spread the butter on top of the rectangle, then 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the cinnamon.

Starting at the far left hand corner, begin rolling the dough towards yourself working from left to right, and then back again, until the dough has been rolled up like a carpet. Pinch to seal the roll. Turn the roll into the seam, and get a 30 inch piece of dental floss. Wrap around fingers of both hands as if you were going to floss your teeth. Slip the floss under the roll, and working around both sides, cut off a 1 inch slice, by bringing the two ends of floss together, and crossing them over one another.

Place spiral side down onto baking pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray. Fill the pan leaving about a 1/4 between rolls to allow for expansion. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour to rise.

Repeat with remaining dough.
After 1 hour, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 20 minutes.

Frost with cream cheese frosting

Cream Cheese frosting

2-8oz packages softened cream cheese
1 stick of butter, softened
1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 Mix together.

After writing this post I realize that if you've never made cinnamon rolls before, you might want more pictures. However this is a really messy  project. Using a camera at the same time is a really bad idea!
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