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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 / 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?
3  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.
4  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / The SoCal Bench Project on: June 21, 2008 07:41:14 AM
I wanted to let you all know about a new artisan fair that has been created in Southern California.

The SoCal Bench Project is a group of California artisans who have come together to create positive change in our local community. We host an annual event working with a non-profit organization that directly benefits the members of our community who need assistance.

In August 2008 we were be holding our inaugural event in Culver City, CA featuring 30 artisans from all over California who have come together in support of our war veterans.

This year we are working with the Los Angeles, CA based non-profit organization New Directions Inc. which provides a wide variety of services for homeless veterans, including job training and placement, parenting and money management classes, legal and financial assistance, counseling, remedial education and resources for alumni.

We are really excited about this event and are trying to raise awareness about the event and the cause it supports.

For more information:

info [!at] socalbenchproject.com

We also have an Etsy.com team where we will be featuring vendors and supporters of the group.
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Spirals on: June 20, 2008 10:13:32 PM
Um... I am new here so I think I am doing this right.  Figured I would just jump on in. I just post a picture of my latest completed work?

I love spirals and am currently on a spiral kick and and working on elaborating on the ancient Egyptian and classical Greek symbolism and use of the spiral motif in their body adornment; creating modern versions.

This is my latest piece in sterling silver and turquoise...

ok... lets see if I did this right... oh, gotta post 10 times first to make sure I am not a spambot. Ok then, here is a link..

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