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11  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / "Breakfast" - A pop art still life on: March 28, 2010 04:49:02 PM
Hey everyone, I haven't posted in a while so I thought I'd try and catch up.
This is an independently chosen work I did for my 3rd year painting class. I haven't handed it in for grading yet, hahaha, but I'm pretty pleased with it. I decided to start a theme for the hubby's kitchen, so I made it in the pop-art style of this wonderbread painting I did a while back: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=301578.msg3444107#msg3444107

Decided to add in the pill bottle so it feels like there's a story behind it.  Wink

If you'd like to see some detail shots I'd be happy to add them, but if anyone has any critiques that would also be appreciated! Always trying to improve! Thanks!

12  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / A Low-Fat Chipotle CREAM sauce, whaaaat! on: January 30, 2010 10:13:50 AM
Hey everyone! I thought I'd share this quick and easy recipe I whipped up just now. I'm obviously not the first person to come up with this but I never really thought of it before.

(I was almost done by the time I realized I should take a pic, lol)

I LOVE cream sauces on pasta...and I mean LOVE! I am not, however, in the fortunate position to be able to eat that kind of stuff very often and get away with it. My fiance is sort of a chef-in-the-making and he's very stubborn about using the best ingredients, which to him, means full fat 35% cream when making a cream sauce. This is delicious, and he being a man can get away with it, but I always feel fat and gross afterward. Today he was at work and I had a hankering, so I took one of his favourite cream sauce recipes and used Light cream cheese (plus a little milk) instead of cream, and MAN IT WAS GOOD!

Shall we begin!?

(this is for 1 rather large serving, or 2-3 side dish servings)

2 tbsp diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
3-4 tbsp light cream cheese
1-2 tbsp 1% milk
1tsp (or less) cooking oil
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (or more to taste)
salt (to taste)

1. in a small frying pan, heat just enough oil to cook the onions and garlic with. let them cook on med heat for about 2-3 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until they are soft and the onions start to turn golden at the edges
2. add in cream cheese and stir with a spatula (the rubbery kind for scraping mixing bowls) until nearly all melted, then add chipotle powder and milk, and stir with spatula until all are blended together well.
3. add salt to taste (1 used 2 pinches of KOSHER salt, table salt is much different in potency so be careful)

and mix in with your pasta! this coated a good sized soup bowl's worth of rotini for me, but you could stretch it further if you like less sauce than I do. Happy munching!

Nutrition info:
3 tbsp light cream cheese: 5g fat
1 tbsp 1% milk: less than a gram of fat (1 cup=2.5g, it works out to like 0.15g/tbsp)
1 tsp oil: 2g fat
salt, onion, garlic and chipotle do not have any significant fat.
MY TOTAL= 7-8 g fat per batch
(and you could probably use fat free cream cheese to make it less, but I don't buy it cause it has so little flavour)

For real cream sauce hubby uses about 1/3 cup heavy cream (25g fat), plus 1-2 tsp oil (4g fat) (he is much freer with the oil than I am, so probably more like 2)
HIS TOTAL= 29g fat per batch (of about equal volume to my recipe)

SO I shall be sticking to this cream cheese method, I think. Cheesy
Thanks for taking the time to read, and happy munching!

13  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 46 ENTRIES / The Addam's Family Christmas on: January 05, 2010 01:24:34 PM
I made this gingerbread house with two of my friends after the style of a Victorian Mansion. (really he only thing that makes it Addam's Family is Lurch standing in the front yard... but isn't he cool?)

I've never made gingerbread from scratch before but it turned out pretty good. Also I realize the walls are sightly bare....but we ran out of icing sugar and then time....so it shall be as it stands. We're pretty happy with it, given that we've only ever used kits before.

here's the main view. you can easily see our caramel block garden wall and rock candy pillars and pathway, as well as Lurch and the spearmint leaf and icing tree. Cheesy

rolling dough

my friend cutting fiddly bits

Lurch in the front yard

the front entrance. we used candy ribbon for the lattice under the porch and candy canes to support the porch roof. caramels for the front steps and a carved front door right into the gingerbread

the windows are made from rice paper coloured with food colouring and stuck to the inside using icing. there was a battery-powered tea-light inside that gave a flickery firelight look through the windows.

and finally a side ish view. you can clearly see the porch, tree and a couple bushes, one of our snowmen and the soy-chocolate roof tiles (soy was cheaper lol)

hope you enjoy! we worked hard for three days and had a lot of fun and sugar rushes in the process. Cheesy Thanks!

14  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Coffee Cozies for Christmas on: December 09, 2009 09:48:53 AM
Hey everyone! I've decided that for my three best University friends this year, I'm giving them big plates of cookies from my recent cookie exchange party (I have 11 dozen cookies in a household of two- what else do I do with them? lol), but also coffee cozies since we are all Tim Horton's fiends, especially during our painting studio classes wednesday nights. We make at least two coffee trips during the 6-7 hours we spend there. And they always double cup at Tim Horton's since they dont have those sleeves like at (icky) Starbucks, so I figure I'll be helping them to be a little greener as well.

I am showing them modeled by my pint glasses. Bonus is you get to see the inside and outside at the same time, lol. They are lined in the only flannelette I had, which is a frog princess print (they'll find it funny) and stabilized with sew-in interfacing. They are adjustable with velcro (on the flannel side two strips of velcro run horizontally about 2 inches and on the cotton side one runs vertically close to the edge)

hard to tell in the pics, but the blue print is a simple damask.

anyway hope you enjoy and good luck with all your own holly-day gifts! (haha get it, it sounds like holiday)

15  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / A Hardcore Rocking Stocking on: December 09, 2009 09:37:37 AM
sneak peek pic:

In my family we are all on a slightly tighter budget than usual this year, so we decided to do a secret santa exchange but instead of gifts, we're exchanging stockings. I originally got my Mom's man's name, but my fiancee got my sister's name, and we were both like..."OMG TRADE NOW". My sister and I are super close, and she loves all things loud and flamboyant and 80's and hardcore and well....she's just crazy. SO since our exchange included buying (or making) the stocking itself, I decided to make it suit her rather than a Christmas theme, cause she'll want it up in her room all year long.

My brilliant idea was to make her a stiletto high cut boot in zebra print and pink. Unfortunately, in all my large stash of fabric, I don't have any zebra, and I was too lazy to go all the way across the city, so I made some after creating my pattern and cutting it out of plain white cotton.Let's just make this a mini tute:

I drew and cut out the shape and size i wanted the boot to be on newspaper. Since it's a stiletto, i left the area under the heel as part of the pattern so there would be more room for stuff, and also for stability. Pattern:

Next i traced the pattern onto more newspaper and drew my zebra striped freehand, and cut them out. Also traced the pattern onto plain white cotton and cut that out. using spray adhesive, i stuck the negative space from my zebra stripes onto my white boot shape and lightly spraypainted it to create a soft black.
Spraypainted boot shape, stencils partially removed, and totally removed:

Then I cut out two more boot shapes of my lining fabric, and one more of my white cotton.
like so:

Now I am missing pictures because I got all gung-ho at this stage. But essentially I cut out the negative space for under the heel in plain black cotton and adhered that in place, then sewed on a strip on the pink lining fabric to mimic a ribbon tied around the boot. I sewed the two outside pieces together and the two lining pieces together, then stuck lining inside the shell and attached them at the top with black bias binding tape. Created a bow using hot glue and my pink fabric, and glued it straight on to the pink "ribbon", and there we are! A very rocking stocking. Hooray!

in the words of my ever so eloquent fiancee: "she is going to shit her pants on christmas morning"

Hope you enjoyed!
16  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / A Suave "new" dresser on: September 06, 2009 04:59:23 PM
When we moved into our new apartment this past May, the former tenant kindly left us his dresser since he wasn't planning on keeping it and we said we needed one (and we really couldn't afford to buy one). Unfortunately, it was masso ugly.

BEFORE: (only picture I have is from moving day Tongue)

One day I got angry and ripped off the uggo gold band along the top drawers, as well as the drawer pulls. the shiny gold was just offending me. anyway, it stayed that way for a few weeks. I picked up some simple gray drawer pulls at IKEA, and then today, since I was bored, went and got black spray paint and self-sticking vinyl tiles from the dollar store. after about an hour, this is how SUAVE and NEW the dresser looks.


...and after I put the wine rack and vino back where they usually go. I still need my dark brown vase and key bowl in the corner by the door.
17  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Ruched waistband for the Infinity dress tutorial- for those who have never sewn on: June 13, 2009 01:00:36 PM
I am posting this for PepsiTwist, who has requested a very detailed description of how to make a ruched waistband for the infinity dress.

Step 1)  Okay, first you need your measurements. measure your waist, and divide the measurement in half, then decide how wide you want the waistband to be. (i like 4-6 inches)

Cut out two rectangles which measure as follows: the long side should be half of your waist measurement, minus 1-2 inches so that it's snug, since you are using a stretch fabric. The short side should measure your desired width PLUS seam allowance, about 1 inch extra. (piece A in the image)

then cut 2 more rectangles using the same waist measurement as the first two, but multiply your short-side measurement by 2 or 3. (by 2 will be slightly ruched, by 3 will be much more so, i suggest doing at least one practise version of your waistband so you know how ruched you like it.) (piece B in the image)

Step 2) Take the B pieces and sew (using a long stitch with loose tension) along both edges (not the side that is your waist measurement!!) of each piece. then pull the thread at one side, holding the other end in place. push the fabric toward the end you are holding steady, creating a ruched effect.

Step 3) Take one A piece and one B piece and sew them together along the top edge using a regular stitch at normal tension. (indicated by the coloured line in the image)

Step 4/5) Flip over piece B to the other side of piece A.

This hides your stitches, and it should look like this from the side:

make sure to do this for both pairs of rectangles.

Step 6) Press the top edge if you can so that it isn't rounded looking like in my image. I drew it like that so that it's easier to see. Smiley  Now take your attached pieces and lie them flat. line up the bottom edges.  if B does not reach the bottom of A, loosen the ruching to make it wider. if B is longer than A, tighten the ruching to make it narrower. when they are the same length, pin in place, making sure the ruching is fairly uniform, and then stitch using a regular stitch at regular tension. (lines of stitching indicated by coloured lines)

Step 7) When you have both halves sewn together, lie them on top of one another making sure that the B sides are facing each other. pin in place, and sew along the edges (indicated by the coloured lines)

Step 8 ) turn inside out so that the smooth A sides will lie against your body and the ruched side face out. Now your waistband can be attached to the straps and skirt of your infinity dress. notice that the bottom edge is left raw while the top edge has been turned inside and sewn (in steps 3,4,5) the nicer looking edge should be at the top because it will be seen at your back where the straps are not attached, but the bottom edge can be sewn under when attaching the skirt and will then be hidden.

18  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / S.C.E.N.E vest on: May 28, 2009 08:40:18 AM
Every summer in St. Catharines there's this wicked music festival called S.C.E.N.E. It is without question the highlight of the year for my friends and I. As such, every year I make something awesome to wear, as well as participating in the mix CD exchange (I won 2nd place to my sister last year for best decorated and am determined to beat her this year - she has a lot more time on her hands than i do though)

anywho, I don't have any pictures of the cd thing, but I found some pics my friend took of me wearing the vest. they aren't the best, as they were at the festival and in half of them I'm rather intoxicated....but they get the job done.

here is me discovering that she was taking pics from across the way. you can see the awesome plaid i found in the dollar bin Cheesy

before i discovered i was being photographed- the back was flared at the bottom giving it that slight ruffle effect. i really hate that this is blurry but what can you do? the vest has been taken apart for a pattern, so i cannot re-take anything.

me=drunk, my friend here=dink.  here you can see the awesome red button that came as an extra with a blazer. woo thrifted! also the almost-too-wide collar that I loved so much lol

and finally a good shot of the back. see the pink ribbon??? corset style! hooray!!
ps: this pic is of my best friend and I dancing a waltz to "The Waltz" by our fave band/buddies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbCEt6lodME

thanks for looking!! <3
19  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Paper Animation of DEATH on: May 28, 2009 08:14:41 AM

My final project for my mixed media studio class this year was a papercraft stop-frame animation. Let me tell you, I was ready to cry, shoot people, tell my prof where to go and also throw my very expensive camera out the window by the time this was over. I won't go into it because I'd rather not re-live all the stupid complications, but it was like murphy's law with this thing.

anyway, what we first had to do was pick a colour from a list, and then our prof gave us mp3 files of the corresponding colour songs by Ken Nordine. We had to create a hundred colour swatches in variations of that colour and then cut them up and make an animation with them to the song. I appear to have deleted any in-progress shots I took. If I happen to find them I'll post them but for now here's the video:


(long story short)  due to a conflict of programs I had to use a trial run of some software which applied a watermark to the first 59 seconds of any project created with it. so the youtube video has 59 seconds of black at the beginning to prevent the watermark from interfering with the animation. just skip ahead to 0:59 to see the good part lol

20  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Diptych- Public and Private on: April 18, 2009 08:47:04 AM
my second last project this semester for painting 2P03 was a diptych (so two canvases that go together) and our only guideline was the theme public and private. one day in a flash of inspiration (okay, the bf was just baking bread as usual) I decided bread would make a fantabulous subject. I borrowed our roommates loaf of wonderbread for the "public" painting and did it in a pop art style- fitting for public I thought. and then I painted the bf preparing bread dough for baking in a more traditional style for the private one.

Public- I love love love this one. I've never done pop art before and it was great fun.

bag tie detail

And here's the private one, I don't really like it as much. It was uber rushed since I started it at 5pm the day before it was due (at 9am) because I had been working on my Master Copy assignment fervently. well, the bf loves it, and my prof loved it, and that's what matters. Cheesy

full canvas

hubby's beloved chef's knife. (i have a sneaking suspicion its the reason he loves the painting lol) also my favourite part

mm dough- unfortunately I think this part is crap. it has very little depth because it was so rushed and i didn't fix it cause i just wanted sleep. whatevs. I got 85 on it. Cheesy

and together! I can't wait for hubby to hang them in his new kitchen!! (because we're moving in less than a week- so stoked!)

c+c welcome. thanks for looking!!
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