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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Green ceramic bowl with "crazy clear" on: February 05, 2014 09:41:03 AM
I wanted to share this wheel thrown bowl with you because I think its the most beautiful piece I've made yet.  There is a glaze in the lab that we call "crazy clear".  It's just supposed to be clear but the company screwed up the mix, so it does crazy stuff.  Some cool stuff, like mixing colors crazy ways; as seen below.  This bowl was dipped in green and then in the inside I spooned in some crazy clear.  It sure makes interesting and beautiful results.

2  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 86 ENTRIES / Colorful tree painting on: May 08, 2013 08:03:25 AM

I painted this for Random Swap 3.  Its acrylic on 12"x24" canvas.  Feeorin had a tree picture on her pinterest that I loved and had to try painting.  The hardest part was the background transition in each section from dark to light.  Blending acrylics isn't easy and I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.

Swap link
3  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Design a holiday card for a pet rescue on: October 23, 2012 11:18:33 AM
Adopt-A-Pet is looking for crafty peeps who would like to design a holiday card to benefit the animal rescue.  They are hoping to get a design, print the cards and sell them as a fundraiser for the holidays.  If not you, maybe you know someone who would like to do this for AAP?

Please start your creative juices flowing and submit your designs as soon as possible.  The winner will enjoy fame and notoriety!  Grin Wink

Email the designs to the attention of Bev at [email protected]

Other contact information can be found at www.adoptapet-il.org

Thank you so much!
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Kombucha - My fizzy refreshing, soda pop alternative on: May 04, 2012 09:41:54 AM
Hi all!  Kombucha is my new favorite drink.  I bought it once in the grocery store but it was too strong so I began to make it myself.  Its pretty cheap and easy to make too.  Basically you make a gallon of sweet tea, and then put a kombucha "culture" in and let it set for 3-10 days.  The longer it sits the more it goes from sweet to vinegary.  I like mine best at around 7 days.  I put a more detailed recipe/tutorial on my blog.

5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Homemade sauerkraut tutorial on: March 30, 2012 12:25:50 PM
Here in Chicago its almost a crime to put ketchup on a hot dog.  I'm from Wisconsin though, and there we put ketchup on almost anything...scrambled eggs, potato chips, mac 'n' cheese and of course hot dogs. Another Wisconsin practice is to put sauerkraut on hot dogs and brats.  I like so much 'kraut piled on, that you can't see the meat anymore and the bun gets soggy.  Its a shame to have a naked brat sans sauerkraut. So of course being a lover of natural foods and old world ways, I decided to ferment my own sauerkraut and here's how I did it.........

 I received a beautiful crock from my brother for Christmas.  Its a 10 liter polish fermenting crock.  There is a water channel around the lid to allow gasses out but not let oxygen in.

I used 2 organic cabbages.  When cored it came to about 3 pounds. I used about 4 tablespoons Himalayan sea salt.  I also added 2 tablespoons of whey, which is optional, but I'll explain the benefits of using it later.  To get whey, I just bought some plain yogurt, took a scoop out of the center with a tablespoon, then let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. The liquid that gathered in the hole that I made is the whey.

First, I discarded the outer leaves and washed the cabbage, then thinly sliced it with a knife and put it in a sturdy bowl. I then added salt. This is the time you would add other desired ingredients like shredded carrots, sliced onions and caraway seeds if you want.  The bowl needs to be sturdy because you will be pounding the vegetables to release the juices.  Because I had so much cabbage, I pounded about one third of it at a time, using one third of the salt, and then put it in the crock.  I used my french rolling pin to pound but tools like a potato masher or meat mallet would work as well.

Once all my cabbage was pounded and in the crock with the salt, I poured in water to cover an inch above the cabbage and added the whey.  At this point I let the cabbage settle a minute and put a weight on it to hold the vegetables below the liquid.  I didn't have a crock stone at the time so I used some heavy plates. Next time I will also save a couple whole leaves to put over it before the stone just to make sure all the little pieces stay submerged.

Then I put the lid on and poured water into the channel and waited.  Fermentation takes place at room temperature and takes at least three days.  It's said the longer you wait the better it is, so test it every few days to get the taste that you like best.  When its good, you can put it in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation.

If you don't have a crock, a gallon sized jar will also work and to hold the cabbage down, you can use a ziplock bag with water in it.  Anyone can make sauerkraut.

The optional whey (pun intended  Tongue)
You can make vegan sauerkraut without whey by adding one extra tablespoon of salt, however, the benefits of using lacto-fermentation are plentiful.  According to the book Nourishing traditions,  it helps to break down the food matter, making it more digestible, increases vitamin levels while making them more bio-available, produces helpful enzymes, antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances, and promotes healthy flora in the intestine, all of which make a healthier you.
6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / And I know foxes mate for life because they are in love on: February 01, 2012 11:38:22 AM
I've kept sketchbooks and journals blank for years because I didn't want to ruin the perfect pages.  I have a lot of anxiety about not being able to undo what I put on the paper.  I'm working at getting over that, so here is one of the first drawings in my sketchbook; a red fox done in colored pencil.

I also, have trouble deciding what will work on the adjacent page.  Here I put song lyrics from Born Ruffians.  "And I know foxes mate for life because they are in love"

There's also that fear of sharing my drawings.  Cheers to art as therapy!  Wink
7  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Melted crayon painting tutorial- Peacock on: December 06, 2011 09:32:19 AM
Hi all!  Grin
Crayon melting art is super easy and fun.  There are a few things I want to share with you that Ive learned while doing this.   I put this little tutorial together since some people asked for one when I posted the phoenix. https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=396529.0  So how do you turn a crayon into a peacock?

Gather all your supplies before hand.  I used a 24x36 canvas.  Since I was only using 3 colors of crayons (blues, greens, and purples), I needed 3 boxes.  Goggles are recommended because the wax can spray if left melting in the gun, which is also why you want to cover your workspace with newspapers.  I used a mini, high heat glue gun.  It doesnt come perfectly clean afterwards, so you may want one dedicated just for crayons.  I got mine for $2.50 at Michaels.

I start out by sketching out an idea on paper and choosing where I want the colors.  Then I lightly sketch an outline on the canvas so I can get my proportions correct the first time.  You cant get the wax off once its on so the only way to correct is to put a different color wax over it.  Pencil will show through a thin layer of a light colored crayon so sketch softly.

Set your canvas or work surface at around a 45 angle to get the drip affect.  An easel is nice but a can of beans will do the trick too.  Smiley To have more control and make the wax move slower, you can lessen the angle.

On the peacock I added some gem embellishments to the tail to represent the eyes.  I hot glued these on first so that there was a flat surface for them to adhere to and so the wax would gather around them and seal them in.

Before you start melting, peel off the paper from all the crayons you want to use.  This takes longer than I thought it would and would put a damper on your creative flow if you had to stop between each one.  You may want to use a utility knife.

Insert the crayons pointed side first.  The trigger may not work all the time because the crayon isnt an exact fit, so you have to push with your thumb sometimes.  Pushing the pointy end hurts.  Sad

Now the fun part!  Start putting random drips on your canvas.  There are different techniques you can use.  The most common one I used on both the phoenix and the peacock was just simply putting the gun at one point and letting the wax drip down by itself.  You can also draw with the gun, which is good if you need to outline, like I did on the body of the peacock.

For tiny places, like the beak and plumage, it may be difficult to control how much wax comes out.  For these spots you can use the crayon to color straight onto the canvas and then use the tip of the gun to melt what you drew.  You can get sharper details with much more control this way.

Fill in as much or as little as you want and you're done!  I'm debating if I want to use acrylics to paint a background on this or leave it blank but the crayon part is finished.

There are some important things to remember.  Your melted crayon art is still basically just crayons.  They have a low melting temperature, so dont put your art where it will be subject to heat.  I know Ive had crayon casualties in the car on a summer day.  Also, crayons are breakable and in their melted form are even more fragile.  If your work surface is canvas or something flexible, the wax can crack or fall off when its moved.  You may want to put a sturdy back on it to make it stable.  Also if your painting rubs against something, yup, you just made new crayon art on that too.  Tongue
8  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Melted crayon painting- Phoenix on: November 26, 2011 01:17:08 PM
I really liked the melted crayon art but I wanted to take it to a whole different level.  
Here is my "Phoenix".  Wax and acrylic on 18"x24" canvas.

Hopefully these new photos will show the texture better.

The tutorial is up. https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=397873.new#new
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Colorful tree painting on: November 16, 2011 11:03:23 AM
I've seen this a lot on Pinterest and my swap partner actually pinned it so I was excited to have a reason to paint it.

Its 12"x24", acrylic on canvas.
10  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Scrapbooking: Completed Projects / Since its bat season on Craftster...bat scrapbook page on: October 27, 2011 12:32:31 PM
Since its bat season on Craftster, Wink here's one of my favorite scrapbook pages.  My family was spending a couple months up in Presque Isle, WI at a friends cabin.  I got to sleep up stairs but it turned out I was sharing the room with a couple dozen furry friends.  I love bats so it was an interesting experience capturing them all and releasing them outside. Again my scanner cut off some of the edges, especially the bottom.  Thanks for looking.

Journaling says:

Getting the best room in the cottage didn't come without a price for Desire'.  She had 3 dozen furry squeky friends to sleep with.

Rhonda and David were terrified of them.  David dropped to the floor when Cappy touched him 'cuz he thought it was a bat.  One night a tent was set up in the living room 'cuz Rhonda was afraid they would fly into her room at night.

Using a handy fishnet, we had them out of the house within 48 hours.
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