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21  COOKING / Dessert / food colouring on: July 02, 2009 09:08:53 AM
just curious to find out what you use?
normally i use whatever i can get at the supermarket but this week i've been on a baking kick (photos will follow) and the food colouring has been a bit of a fiasco
it's "natural" and IMO is awful
the colours don't mix well (i tried to make purple and got brick-red/orange), they're faint (i used a ridiculous amount trying to get a nice rich green and it's still rather pale) and it's generally been far more hassle than i've ever had with food colouring before
so i was wondering what everyone else uses for colouring their buttercream/frosting/fondant?
22  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / buttercream help please? on: June 25, 2009 08:22:55 AM
a week from saturday i'm partaking in a cake contest but i'll be starting my baking etc on monday as we're camping over the weekend and have to take the cakes with us (one per tent but i'm doing one for my parents too as they won't have time to prepare one)
so anyhow, i have my plans, i have my supplies (or some anyways, not sure how much i'll need but more can be aquired fairly easily)
so i'm making madeira cakes (sweet but dense enough for modelling) and covering them with fondant (and adding modelled fondant extras)
my plan is to keep them well wrapped between baking and decorating and then covering them well with buttercream type stuff before fondanting to keep them from going stale so they'll be at least a bit edible by the contest
only thing is, my butter cream always comes out fairly stiff so i was wondering if anyone had a looser recipe that will spread a bit better?
thanks for the help and sorry about the wall of slightly vague plans
(and there will be photos after the event)
23  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / taking stills from video? on: May 23, 2009 01:08:28 AM
i'm sure it can be done, i'm SURE. i just can't figure it out Sad
i do martial arts, as does my partner and quite a few of our friends
the place we have our dojo on a thursday night has given us a small space on the wall to advertise ourselves so my guy asks me to take photos and we're going to go to town with it
i got some ok shots but i'm going to be taking lots more because from an hour and a half of shooting i got maybe 6-8 photos i'd use
i also took some video, thinking to get some nice action shots from it
but i just can't figure out how to do it
so i figured i'd consult the interwebs and of course my first port of call was Craftster, afterall, i'm sure that this site has ALL the answers, somewhere
thanks in advance for any help you can offer
24  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / help for bruises on: May 17, 2009 02:47:20 PM
so i do martial arts, it's good exercise and great fun, the only downside is that i tend to end up battered and bruised, which i don't mind most of the time but this summer i have 2 weddings to attend for which i have 2 lovely summer dresses to wear
pretty summer dresses look lovely on photos, bruises don't
so my question is, do you have any advice for covering them up?
the first wedding shouldn't be much of an issue but the second is my boyfriend's sister's wedding and the day after we finish a week long martial arts course
i know there's various things you can eat etc which reduces the amount of bruises you get, and i already eat as much of that stuff as i can, but i still get some corking bruises from time to time.
thanks in advance
25  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / 21st Birthday Gir on: April 26, 2009 02:08:05 PM
one of my best friends (who is like a brother to me, and we frequently refer to eachother as siblings) turned 21 today
we (boyfriend and i) got him a ticket to go see a musical with us in june which was his main pressie but as it's his 21st i wanted to give him something tangable that he can keep
so as we both rather like invader zim and especially Gir i made him one
on to the photos
the whole lot

Gir with his hood up

his piggy

and as it's his 21st a key

i used AprilDraven's pattern as a base for Gir, but altered some of it, and ignored other bits so i could do my own thing and make it fit my needs, for his hood i just winged it, made a sc granny square then when it was big enough just sc-ed in each to get the drop, for the cut back just went halfway and turned, then to connect it up again i chained to get the size i wanted then decreased from there till i got the collar size
nothing complicated really
the key was totally winged, some sc in a loop then chain and some basic tunisian, nothing complicated (she says like she's totally conversant, yea right)
the pig is a RomanSock pattern (the pass the pigs pattern) altered a little to try and save time and make the pig look more like Piggy
so yea, i'm really proud of it, the friends i've shown are really impressed and the Birthday Boy LOVES it, so overall i think it's a winner
26  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Body Butter on: April 17, 2009 09:30:34 AM
so i've had a bath and beauty afternoon
i tried making bath bombs and i think they were a little less than successfull so i'm not making a post about them (they're really soft, they fizz well when they go into water but they are REALLY soft, need help there i think)

anyhow, the body butter, i haven't taken pics as it's fairly standard looking however it is really Really nice

125g cocoa butter
25g shea butter
200ml sunflower oil
essential oils to scent

melt the base oils and mix together
leave to cool or put in the fridge, i put mine in the fridge because it's warm in here and i'm impatient
keep an eye on it, when it starts to set around the edges take it out and viciously assault it with a whisk
now is the time to add you EOs (or FOs or whatever)
beat some more
put it back in the fridge
after 5-10 mins it should be completely cooled and set
take it out and beat again till you have a smooth creamy-lotiony consistency
then it's ready, put into pots/jars and you're done

ok, i found my camera so have some photos

i hope you can see how smooth and lovely it is
the tubs are just some cheap ones i got from the shop today, 10 for 1, i couldn't say no
there's about 50g of body butter in each one
27  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / fool proof fail safe waffles on: March 27, 2009 02:01:11 PM
ok so i bought a waffle iron this week (frivolous i know but who can resist the lure of fresh waffles?) so anyways, i used it tonight for the first time and it was goooooood i need a bit more practice but i'd also like a better recipe, or recipes as i just used one that came with it and it seems a bit egg and butter heavy and didn't puff up as much as i'd hoped
so, wanna help a girl out and suggest some recipes? cheers, and sorry, today's didn't last long enough for photos
and i don't have an electric mixer so i have to mix by hand if that's an issue in waffle making? i dunno, i'm sort of new to waffle making
28  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / spare Joker Cards? on: December 30, 2008 09:42:06 AM
i'm posting this in paper crafts and recycling

my friend turned 21 today and is really into the Joker from Batman, as a gift i wanted to give him 52 different joker cards, but i've only managed to get 10 so far, i'm going to make a nice box for them etc. i just need some help getting the jokers together
do you know where i could get some?

Thanks in advance for the help
29  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / fingerless gloves for kids, help? on: December 28, 2008 05:20:18 AM
my cousin's 6yr old son has cut up 4 pairs of socks over the last week to make finglerless gloves, he has 1 glove left, or he did on boxing day anyways
so, my mam, knowing of my crafting skills says to me
"this is just ridiculous, you'll have to do something about this, look"
this was when we learnt that that was his 8th sock
so anyways
i need to make him some fingerless gloves, but i want them to be fitted-ish or something
i have no idea how to make them the right size etc, does anyone have a pattern i could use?
(i'm also thinking of making him a few pairs in varying colours so he can mix and match, going to use various acryllics for easy care and cost effectiveness)
30  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / flavouring lip balm problem on: November 22, 2008 09:20:36 AM
i made some lip balm a while ago, they're nice, creamy and very moisturising (cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax and some sunflower oil, combined using these amounts, 40% liquid oils, 25% solid oils, 15% brittle oils, 20% beeswax) unfortunately the flavour "oil" i used wasn't actually an oil so it didn't mix or impart much flavour so i've been trying to find other ways to flavour them, essential oils work but i don't have a huge range, so i thought i'd have a go at making it spiced like this one
so i melted down one of my balms (had about 12 but they've been given away, and a couple sold) and mixed up the spices, combined the two, and, despite the fact that i used at least twice as much spice as the recipe calls for it still doesn't have much flavour, and feels gritty
is it because i used a different balm recipe? or could there be some other reason?
please help as i'd like to make tastey flavoured balms
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