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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Autumn Hedgerow Cooking - a Perfect Picnic on: September 12, 2010 12:31:33 PM
Went scrumping today and got a successful haul.  About 50 bright ruby red rosehips and a little over a kilo of blackberries.  With Autumn well on it's way and the hedgerows bursting with fruit, now is the ideal time to start filling the kitchen with delicious things.

Some recipes from me, that follow on well when done together:

Candied Rosehips
A very attractive treat.  The rosehips look like sparkling ruby jewels when finished, and are a great source of vitamin C
for every 1 cup of rosehips include; 2/3 cup sugar
                                                3tbsp water

Top and tail the rosehips.  If you own a cherry pip/olive pip remover, press through the rosehip top-bottom to remove the seeds, then use the tip of a knife to remove any that remain.  If now, cut the rosehips in half and scrape out seeds using a knife tip.
Dissolve the sugar in the water in a clean, dry pan.  Once hot, add the rosehips (don't do more than 2 cupfulls at a time) and toss in the syrup using a fork.
Roll out a length of greaseproof paperand sprinkle with granulated sugar evenly.
Once the rosehips have been cooking for about 10 minutes and are soft, remove individually using a pair of forks and lay on the greaseproof paper.  Once all are removed, toss them individually in the sugar. sprinkle over with more sugar and ensure even coverage.  Lay out on a second, clean sheet of greaseproof to dry.  Store in jars.  Look great layered in a jar with candied orange or lemon peel and candied angelica.

Hedgerow Jam
I've included only the fruit I had to hand, but if your scrumping yields other berries such as rowan, bilberry, raspberry, blueberry, elderberry or others, feel free to add them as you like.
1 kilo blackberries or other hedgerow berries
4 whole rosehips
the leftver rosehip-infused sugar syrup remaining from the previous recipe
2 more cups sugar
2 whole star anise
1 whole, natural licqourice stem
3 tbsp dried orange peel
3 cups water

Add water and sugar to the sugar syrup whilst still on the hob.  Pour in the hedgerow fruits, prepared as needed for the fruits in question.  Toss in the whole rosehips.  Cook on a high heat for 10 minutes, or until starting to form a foam on top.  Add the orange peel, licqourice and star anise, and continue to cook until the syrup has reduced and thickened.  Strain through a fine jam mesh or a clean pair of tights, into clean screw-top jars.


Homemade butter
Easiest recipe in the history of easy recipes
one carton whipping cream
1/4 tsp salt (optional)

Pour cream into a screw top jar that is at least double the capacity of the cream, and screw lid on tightly.  Shake jar vigorously in both hands, up and down, side to side, back and forth.  Over time the cream will whip up and seem to fill the jar.  Keep shaking.  The cream will begin to loosen and congeal.  Keep shaking.  The cream will solidify into a lump of butter sitting in buttermilk.
Sit a jam mesh or pair of tights over a clean bowl or jug.  Pour the contents of the jar into the mesh; the buttermilk will pour into the jug, leaving the butter in the mesh.  Take the butter in your hands over the mesh and squeeze it, working any remaining buttermilk out of the butter.  Add the salt now if desired. Form into patties or tubes and wrap in greaseproof paper.

Use the leftover buttermilk to make fresh bread.  Serve bread, butter and jam together if desired, for a tasty treat.
2  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Toy Soldiers Unite! Dr Steel swap, anyone? on: September 10, 2010 10:03:02 AM

Toy Soldiers Unite!

I know there are a lot of steampunk fans on here, and it seems a real shame no one has done a Dr Steel swap yet!  I can't host myself, but if someone else is willing to I would LOVE to create Dr Steel toys, propaganda, art or uniform accessories for the cause!  Anyone interested?


For those of you who don't know, Dr Phineas Waldorf Steel is a mad scientist, visionary, musician, genius and inventor who will one day become emperor of the world, and who spreads his message through propaganda videos, art and music.  He is very cool, and encourages his army of toy solders to share his work through the internet and other means, creating their own custom uniforms and videos to feature his music.

See these for more awesome:

official website

base of operations for the toy soldier army

His youtube channel

youtuber with awesome video creation skills who has made some great videos for Dr Steel
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Need to rescue a loved toy! on: August 11, 2010 04:35:51 AM
Robert the Rabbit.  First toy I ever made.  I was around 6 years old, with a load of felt and thread and, with the help of a teacher, made my first ever toy.  Robert was the start of my sewing inspiration.  I was so pleased to have made something all by myself.  He's travelled everywhere with me and I've kept him in as good a condition as I could.

Yesterday I was cleaning out the box I've been keeping him in and was utterly horrified to to discover that moth larvae had found him!

Is there anything I can do?  Poor Robbie!  The felt has been eaten all over him, by seams, int he middle, it is thinned around the holes and really brittle.
4  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Found a great UK-based online haberdashery on: July 31, 2010 02:56:57 AM
Hey guys, I just bought some buttons and trimmings from this online haberdashery in the UK and wanted to share a link for them with you.  The range of stuff they have is great - soooo many cute things!


I'm mainly sharing this link because the seller was so nice - sent me a little extra gift with my purchase - I'd ordered some mushroom buttons for a craft swap and she sent me some cute toadstool ribbon to match.
5  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / Photography/Watermark question on: July 27, 2010 02:17:51 PM
Okay, I really hope you guys don't mind me asking this, but I noticed a lot of professional photographers on here and was hoping for some advice.

My mum's wedding photos of her second marriage are all watermarked.  She had a terrible time - the photographer she ordered the prints from took some pretty shoddy quality photos but promised they could touch them up to improve them with the final purchased images, which my mum agreed to.  It was taking ages, and when she tried to chase them up it turned out they had gone out of business.  As a result she only has a booklet of the original, unedited proofs with watermarks.

What are her legal rights, here?  Their 10th wedding anniversary is coming up and I woud really love to surprise them with a book of their wedding photos as they SHOULD have been when they originally purchased them.  Do they have a legal right to try and get the watermarks removed, or is it still a copyright issue?  Is there any process for this, do you know?  I want to make sure I only do this if it is above board and legal, and if I won't be infringing on any rights of the photographer.

If it is legally okay, do you know if there are any photographers or photo editing-types that can offer a service to fix these sorts of issues?  I imagine it'd be a tricky line to tread, as anyone offering that service would have to be sure they weren't being given dodgy stolen pics to work on, but I imagine it would be the only option for me.
6  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Dwarf Fortress Swap on: June 02, 2010 02:34:15 PM
I realise there may not be very many people on here that play, or know of, DF, but I'm really REALLY hoping there are a few of you!


to change your image viewing settings please click here

Love Dwarf Fortress?  Lost a fort to a herd of undead, flying elephants recently?  A forgotten beast made entirely of vomit?  Had to Pull the Lever yet?  Dug into HFS and lost all but 2 of your 50 dwarves?  Engravers obstinately engraving nothing but images of cheese and purring maggots and desparate for some way of memorialising your latest epic defeat?

I'm unable to host myself just yet but would REALLY LOVE IT if someone on here would host a DF themed swap.  Imagine getting a poppet of your heroic Champion, a cool DF-themed t-shirt or your very own plushie HFS!

Any DFers here?  Any at all?

Please?  Cry
7  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Part-finished Wrap Top on: April 07, 2010 03:45:41 PM
So I'm currently working on some wrap tops for work.  This is the first one since my mushroom top and I'm planning on doing more with it, but here is a rough pic of what I have so far.

The outer strap needs moving down a couple of inches, hence why the front is hanging a bit funny.  I'm also going to get my other half to help me pin up the back so I can get a more fitted shape and a narrower neckline at the top (my brastraps sometimes poke out right now).

I want to embellish this a bit, make it more fun to look at.  I was debating lace edging along the neckline and arms, or maybe some dusky pink edging and pockets... but I'm not sure what to go for.  I am likely to wear this with longsleeved tops under in the colder weather and strappy tops/boobtubes in Summer, so don't want to add anything that will make layering an issue.  Any ideas?
8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Hippy Poppet on: April 07, 2010 03:21:44 PM
Kind of a sad post for me, this one.  I'd been making this poppet for a friend who'd been dealing with terminal cancer since she was a teenager (on/off treatment, hopes of recoveries, relapses).  I'd almost finished him - was just trying to get the hair right.  I thought a crazy, stoner hippy type would make her giggle.  My friend passed away 10 days ago, so I didn't finish him in time to give him to her.

I'm not really sure what to do with him now, but I thought I may as well post him on here.

He's supposed to be a hippy type, and I was quite pleased with how the "dreadlocks" turned out...
9  COOKING / Dessert / Really soft fudge? on: February 21, 2010 11:33:19 AM
So, I really like the fudge that this guy makes:


I've had it a few times in Canterbury.  I mean, the normal square blocks of chewy, grainy fudge are really nice but... sometimes I just crave those slabs of this ridiculous stuff.  It's got a slight crust on the outside, and the centre of each slice is so soft and gooey it is practically a liquid.  Anyone know any recipes to make THAT sort of fudge?  I've googled, checked out recipe websites and can only find recipes for the normal stuff.
10  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / *NO LOOKING GECKOCHAN* Help/advice requested for a newbie swapper on: February 20, 2010 06:36:07 AM
So I'm participating in my first swap over in the herbalism swap and am trying to get the bits together for some nice things for my swap partner.  I'm quite a newbie at anything beauty-related but I've looked online and I reckon I can try out making simple lip balms with nice herbal additions.  I might also see if making a solid perfume is entirely beyond me!

Been stalking my partner and noticed on her wists she likes the perfume scents and things by ForStrangeWomen on Etsy.  I also LOVE the sound of her scents, and would like to try making up some spicy, earthy things.  I was just wondering, lip-balm-wise, if anyone can recommend any scents/flavours that would compliment ginger or anise well.  Also, do you think black or red pepper would be a nice lip-balm addition, or a potential horrible one?  I was thinking of trying to make a sort-of lemon-pepper aroma.  Solid perfume-wise, oakmoss and rosewood sound yummy to me... anyone here able to suggest something to blend with them for a nice, earthy, warm aroma?

Apologies for jumping in here and demanding answers... I just don't want to send my partner something that smells rank!
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