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1  Vegan Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache in Vegetarian / Vegan by gravity on: July 23, 2011 06:50:03 PM
So when I found out the quarterback of my flag-football team was vegan, I went on a quest to learn as much as I could about vegan baking. We have tailgate parties after each game and a lot of the time there wasn't much there that she could eat. I wanted to be able to bring yummy vegan junk-food that everyone would like, and that didn't require me to buy a lot of specialized ingredients that I would never use again. I adapted these from a recipe out of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine and they were the best thing I made all season.

Vegan Peanut Butter Bars with Chocolate Ganache

1 Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Devils Food Cake Mix*
1/2 cup melted vegan butter-substitute (I used Earth Balance)

3/4 cup vegan butter-substitute, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter
2 TSP vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
2 TBSP soymilk

1/2 cup soymilk
1 pkg vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 oz)

*Most Moist Deluxe Duncan Hines cake mixes just accidentally happen to be vegan, which is fantastic for lazy bakers! Did you know you can make vegan cake/cupcakes by using a pack of cake mix and one can of soda? Mix and bake. Seriously, that's it. Any flavor cake, any flavor soda. This totally blew my mind the first time I tried it.

   1. Heat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom of 9x13 inch pan (if you want to make it easier to get out of the pan, line it with tin foil first)
   2. In a large bowl, combine dry cake mix and 1/2 cup melted butter-substitute. Just go ahead and use your hands to mix this up because it's much easier and you're gonna get messy anyways. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.  Cool completely. Don't worry if it's a little lumpy or uneven, that's the beauty of layered bars, it'll all get spackled over later.
   3. If you have a mixer, now is the time to use it. (If not, you're gonna need to break out some elbow grease, but your consolation prize is that you can use the same bowl from the previous step, so you have less dishes to wash.) Combine 3/4 cup butter-substitute, peanut butter, and vanilla. Mix until reasonably homogeneous. Beat in the powered sugar and the 2 TBSP soymilk. Spread mixture evenly over the cooled crust. Stick it in the refrigerator while you prepare the next layer.
   4. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup soymilk just to boiling over medium high heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Don't stir, just let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, stir until smooth.  After that, leave it alone to cool for 15 minutes. Spread it over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate 1-2 hours or until set. Cut into bars. Store covered in refrigerator.
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2  Skiing Penguin Altiods Tin in Completed Projects by gravity on: January 02, 2011 08:30:10 PM
I made this for a swap a little while ago. I wanted to do something seasonal and winter-y. The concept was a skiing penguin inside of a snow-globe. After I painted on the background and penguin, I covered it in silver glitter to look like the shaken-up snow stuff.

Here's the pic with a better view of the penguin:

And a pic with a better view of the "snow":

(Also I lied, it's not actually an Altoids tin, but an off-brand of mint which doesn't emboss the top of the box. I had to foist mints off on my co-workers for a week so I could empty the box out to use for this. "No I swear I'm not trying to insinuate that you have bad breath, I'm just on a deadline! Eat the stupid mints!")
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3  Re: October 2010 Birthday Discussion and Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by gravity on: November 04, 2010 06:04:46 PM
I just received my awesome button package from spotnik. When I asked for buttons, I was expecting like, a fair number of standard button-y shaped solid color run of the mill type buttons. What I got was a bajillion regular and funky shaped awesome buttons. The whole kit and kaboodle:

Now I am going to proceed to go a bit overboard with pictures:

Why, I do believe I spy a cinnamon teal card hiding in the corner!

The frog and the robots are two of my favorites

Fancy patterned buttons


I love the Cheshire-ish cats in the bottom left:

Thank you so much spotnik! This is a great crafty collection.
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4  Re: October 2010 Birthday Discussion and Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by gravity on: October 23, 2010 10:27:54 PM
Oh man you guys, I seriously got really really spoiled. You see, I was unsure about even putting the Wario overalls on my wishlist at all, I thought that it would be way to much to ask for. But, OMG, I am so glad I did because check out what Lollipop67 made for me:

Seriously! Look at the detail! The purple! The straps! The buttons!

These pictures do not do it justice, because these overalls are awesome (also I could not for the life of me get a decent action shot  Embarrassed)

But wait! There's more!

Lollipop also sent me a fantastic T-Rex birthday card. AND delicious tea! Seriously, I don't know if she's magically psychic or what because jasmine tea is one of my favorites. AND a measuring tape bracelet from my wist!

This package was so above and beyond fabulous. I love everything. Thank you so much Lollipop67!
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5  Painted Boxes in Completed Projects by gravity on: April 20, 2009 09:37:06 PM
So this all started when my partner in the Color Texture Shape swap picked star as her shape. Wondering around the craft store I found this neat star-shaped wooden box. One of my partner's interests is Indonesian batik fabrics, and I saw this incredible design from a fabric that she had wisted. A little bit of paint, a little bit of swearing, and a little bit of sealant, and whammo:

I loved the way it turned out. My family also loved it, and when my grandmother's birthday rolled around, my mom asked me to paint another box as a present for her. I decided to go with a flower (vaguely peony-ish):

I really like the way this one came out too, although the lighting in the photo is crappy, the colors are brighter in real life.
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6  Roller Derby Hat in Knitting: Completed Projects by gravity on: March 08, 2009 09:09:13 PM
This is a hat I made for round 3 of the Color Texture Shape swap. The texture my partner picked was "soft" and her color was red. Since she knits too, I didn't want to just make her a boring old red beanie that she could probably just throw together herself, so I added on a flaming rollerskate applique.

This was my first try at appliqueing anything, but I think it turned out pretty neat. Hats make a surprisingly good canvas to stick something on. I'll definitely be trying something like this again.
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7  Re: Shape, Color and Texture R3 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by gravity on: March 06, 2009 03:53:55 AM
Hold up now! It ain't all over yet because y'all have to check out the rocking stuff that Kitten Wrangler sent me!

First up, for tear drop shape, is a neat wristlet bag:

I wholeheartedly concur with KW that this is an awesome shape for a bag. And to make it even cooler (though it's kinda hard to see in the photos) she wrote the lyrics to Space Oddity on it, combining my love for outer space stuff with her love for David Bowie.

Next, for smooth texture are a set of stitch markers made out of super smooth beads:

Now the really cool thing about these is that they are totally reversible. I can use the earring hook bit at the top for crochet projects, and flip 'em around and use the loop at the bottom for knitting.

Lastly, (and totally my favorite) an orange colored hook roll:

and rolled up:

How cool is this? Really freakin' cool! I love every aspect from fantastic polka-dot fabric and the checkers on the inside right down to the little squiggly black trim. It is perfect! And I needed this pretty badly, as I had previously been stashing my hooks in a ziplock.

Thank you so much Kitten Wrangler, I love everything!
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8  Re: Amazing Hoodie Swap R9 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by gravity on: November 19, 2008 11:25:37 PM
Okay here is my super nifty Sci-Fi space adventure themed hoodie from Kaishabackwards!



My favorite part is the solar system on the back! It's amazingly detailed, there's even a tiny little moon orbiting the Earth! And Pluto is included too (Oh Pluto, you'll always be a planet to me, no matter what those mean astronomers say Cry)

Here's some close ups-

Rocket ship:

UFO (the alien looks so cheerful):

Solar System:

Thank you so much Kaishabackwards it's lovely!
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9  Re: Watercolor bookmarks in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by gravity on: August 13, 2008 12:20:23 AM
I love the flowery one all the way to the right it reminds me of henna designs. They are all so pretty, lucky swap partner!

Well spotted! This is, in fact, directly jacked from one of my favorite henna design elements Grin
I use it pretty frequently when I'm in a flowery mood:

And thanks to everybody for all the nice comments.
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10  Watercolor bookmarks in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by gravity on: August 12, 2008 03:47:05 AM
I made these bookmarks for a swap and thought they came out really well.

I used cardstock and cheap-o watercolors and then doodled the designs on and laminated them with packaging tape. They were originally supposed to be fire, water, air and earth, but couldn't decide what to do for air, so I just defaulted to purple and spirally. At first I had a hard time trying to fit designs in such a long narrow space, but all that time spent doodling in the margins of my lecture notes finally paid off  Cheesy and I like the end results a lot:
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