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1  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / PRESS RELEASE: The SoCal Bench Project Nails It! on: August 11, 2008 07:52:37 AM
Thank you to our friends here at Craftster who came out and supported this fantastic event. We even had a few raffle prizes awarded to members who heard about this event from coming to this website.

The SoCal Bench Project Artisan Fair is met with outstanding support from it's local community.
August 10, 2008

On Saturday, August 9th, 2008 the small grassroots organization The SoCal Bench Project held it's first annual SoCal Bench Project Artisan Fair in Culver City, CA, west of Los Angeles. Over 25 artists from across California gathered together selling their artwork to help raise awareness and funds for New Directions Inc., a local non-profit organization that provides a variety of services for our homeless military veterans community.

Supporters from the Los Angeles community shopped for fine art, photography, lithographs, clothing, contemporary craft, jewelry and a variety of other gift items from candles and soap products, to stuffed animals with crazy personalities and beautiful art dolls.

Incredible items from local businesses and artists were raffled off to an excited crowd. ABC Network, Benefit Cosmetics, Kreation Cafe, The Factory and Color Me Mine were among local businesses that supported this years raffle held to benefit New Directions. Participating vendors as well as numerous members of the group California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) also provided artwork as well as monetary donations.

Sandy Collins, Amanda Lockrow and Heather Palleiko, (founders of The SoCal Bench Project), met through the website Etsy.com in early 2008 where the three are members of CCCOE, the largest street team on the indie craft site Etsy.com with over two hundred - fifty members. What originally started as an idea to have a small home show quickly grew into an annual event of California artisans coming together to create positive change in our local community.

This year The SoCal Bench Project and it's supporters raised close to $2,000 for New Directions Inc.

If you are interested in more information about The SoCal Bench Project and it's founders or vendors please email info [!at] socalbenchproject.com. For information on New Directions Inc. and it's programs please go to www.ndvets.org.

2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Stuffed Dates w/ Pecans on: June 27, 2008 05:14:52 PM
mmm, yum with the bacon.

I am allergic to nuts now (weird to have developed the allergy as an adult) so sadly I can't have them with the nuts. Means no marzipan either. I thought about doing it with goat cheese to add a little stronger bite.
3  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Favorite "Weird" Food? on: June 25, 2008 07:54:45 PM
I liek avocados with worcestershire sauce on them. VERY GOOD. My husband thinks it's weird. Then again he think avocados taste like cardboard.
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Stuffed Dates w/ Pecans on: June 25, 2008 02:18:39 PM
I hadn't even thought of marzipan. Does that not make them too sweet?
5  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Re: Peanut Butter cookies... alternative? on: June 24, 2008 10:41:30 PM
Thanks. I was thinking that since they are similar consistencies that it shouldn't be a problem (I buy the Trader Joes brand) I'll have to try out my recipe with it and see how it goes.
6  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Peanut Butter cookies... alternative? on: June 24, 2008 07:16:20 PM
Recently I have become allergic to nuts as an adult. Weird! Anyhow I am wondering if one could substitute sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter and still have a good quality cookie? I have a recipe I love and am thinking about substituting in the sunflower seed butter.

Any suggestions?
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Favorite "Weird" Food? on: June 24, 2008 05:59:38 PM
Ugh these recipes are um... interesting. Some are downright AWEFUL!

My mom's cooking wasn't all that bad but oh boy... we had two babysitters that were AWEFUL. One would make hot dog soup. The broth was an aweful yellow color. I won't even tell you in hindsight what the soup looked like with little chopped up weenies in it.

Then the other sitter would boil hamburgers. BOIL THEM! No frying or grilling.... BOILING. So  we would have these grey hockey puck looking things. Sadly, the broccoli she would cook to go with it would be the same grey.
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Stuffed Dates w/ Pecans on: June 24, 2008 05:53:32 PM
I am posting this which I just blogged about...

Sometimes the simplest things are the tastiest. Recently I attended a potluck event where I was supposed to bring a dessert. I didn't want to buy something pre-made, but I also didn't want to spend the entire afternoon baking. I love the flavors of middle eastern foods and thought that perhaps I could come up with something different...

I love dates. They are flavorful and can be used in many different ways. I wanted to combine the sweet honey like flavor of the dates with something a bit of bite and a complimentary texture. Eventually I came up with dates stuffed with french feta and pecans.

This recipe is so simple that I am not going to provide amounts that are set in stone. Instead I am sharing the amounts that I purchased. I bought enough to make a dessert platter plus have extra left over for my family.

2lbs medjool dates (really any large date will do)
1lb french feta

Halve each date and remove the pit. Stuff each date half with a generous amount of feta cheese; approx. 1/2 Tbsp. or slightly more if desired. Top with a pecan half. Serve

Certainly one can substitute walnuts for the pecans. If you desire you can use goat cheese instead of the feta for a stronger contrast in flavors. One chef friend suggested just have a date with a large hunk of parmesan reggiano stuffed inside it. I'll definitely have to try that.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: asymmetrical necklaces on: June 23, 2008 03:47:23 PM
Very nice. I can see this style getting very intricate. You could do some really amazing things with it.
10  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 28 ENTRIES / Re: My journal has grown legs! on: June 22, 2008 08:06:11 AM
This is fantastic! There is a art gallery type store close to me that sells exactly this type of stuff. Great job.
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