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3351  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Starfish Dishcloths for Christmas Presents on: July 31, 2013 07:43:52 AM
I've been working on making crocheted cotton dishcloths to give away as part of my Christmas gift baskets this year.  This year I'm going to add in some homemade canned goods to make the baskets kitchen themed.  Here are the first 5 sets I've made. They are quite simple to put together, and look so pretty when they're all done.  The pattern is Starfish Dishcloths available for free from Coats.

3352  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! on: July 29, 2013 09:18:01 AM
Thanks Cala!
3353  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! on: July 29, 2013 07:50:09 AM
Battle: Battle Royal - MARVEL
Team: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Project Geekdom: Comic Books/Movies
Bonus Points: Nerdy (Comics)
Project Name: Fire Star Dishcloths for Phoenix
Brief Description:  There's not even a competition in my heart between these two.  All my favorite comics are always Marvel.  One of my favorite characters has always been Jean Grey & Phoenix.  These dishcloths were inspired by that fiery heroine.
Project Picture:

Challenge: Textbook - July: Gut's & Glory
Team: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Project Geekdom: None that I know of.
Bonus Points: None
Project Name: Coffee Lovers Charm Bracelet
Brief Description: Caffeine acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system.  It also happens to be one of my very favorite things. Wink  This charm bracelet is my ode to the smell of freshly ground beans.  It contains glass, stone, ceramic & shell beads in shades of brown, black, cream and caramel.  The charms are Tibetan silver and pewter and include coffee cups, coffee beans, cake, fancy cup, croissant, java mug, quart of milk, "With enough caffeine anything is possible" mug, percolator, latte mug, pie, coffee pot, chocolate, half cup, and sugar packet.
Project Picture:

Challenge: Multimedia - July: Companionship
Team: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Project Geekdom: None
Bonus Points: Possibly Discovery.  I've quilted before, but never tried the "single block design gets enlarged into a whole quilt" thing.  I leave this to the Game Maker's discretion.
Project Name & Page Link: Giant Star Block Quilts
Brief Description:  Just like the Doctor always travels with a Companion, so sisters travel through life together.  This pair of baby quilts was made for my cousin's two young daughters. (My second cousins.)  They are the same pattern, but different colors, so each girl is individual.  And even when the sisters are apart, they can always have their blanket companions with them.
Project Picture:

Challenge: Wordy - July: Proverbs
Team: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Project Geekdom: Harry Potter
Bonus Points: Nerdy + Declared Geekdom
Project Name: Prisoner of Azkaban Bookmark
Project Page Link:
Brief Description: "Don't judge a book by it's cover."  It's something we hear all the time, and understand the meaning of, yet I know I for one frequently pick out books based on their covers!  This little bookmark will hopefully remind me not to do that quite so much.  It depicts the Weasley's flying Ford Anglia about to crash into the Whomping Willow.
Project Picture:

Challenge: Fandom - July: Fanfiction
Team: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Project Geekdom: Harry Potter
Bonus Points: Nerdy + Declared Geekdom
Project Name & Page Link: Ultimate Harry Potter Charm Bracelet
Brief Description: I've been tinkering with more charm bracelets during the quieter summer months.  (I don't get nearly as much free time during the school year when I'm teaching.)  This is a bracelet I've been dreaming up for a while.  It's 31 charms from the world of Harry Potter, and I tried to capture bits of all of my favorite parts of the books.  This is a variation on my usual style, and does not include any bead work. The charms include: Cauldron, Acceptance Letter, Lighting Bolt, Gryffindor's Lion, Broom, Phoenix, House Scarf, Sorting Hat, Whomping Willow, Snitch, Wand, Diadem of Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff's Cup, Ravenclaw's Eagle, Steam Engine, Deathly Hallows symbol, Hogwarts, Cat, Dark Mark, Hufflepuff's Badger, Sword of Gryffindor, Slytherin's Ring, Hedwig, Mad-Eye Moody's Eye, Mermaid, Slytherin's Snake, Fireplace, Dragon, Quill, Cemetery Gate, Potion Bottle.
Project Picture:

Challenge: Randomizer - July: Our Ancestors
Team: Team-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

Project Geekdom: None
Bonus Points: None
Project Name: Hudson's Baby Quilt
Brief Description:  Quilts have been made by women for hundreds of years to bring warmth and comfort to their families.  This pattern is known as a 4 Patch, and while there is no record of it's first recorded construction, it has been popular with American quilters (and especially with Amish quilters) for over 200 years.
Project Picture:
3354  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* on: July 29, 2013 07:13:24 AM
Note from the Deputy Headmistress....

Since I might be going out of town on Thursday in order to meet my brand-new nephew, I have decided to post our August Detention prompt a few days early!  Be sure to check the Detention Page to read all about it!

3355  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* on: July 29, 2013 06:47:40 AM
jennieingram  You have mad canning skills, that's for sure!  To tell the truth, I'm chicken about canning - a holdover from my mom being worried about botulism.  It's odd, but trying new things scares me right up until I grit my teeth and do it.  Then I chide myself for being so silly once I've figured it all out. Tongue  Maybe I'll bite the bullet and can something this year.  The thought of having rows and rows up home-canned goods filling the pantry is So appealing.

To be completely honest, I was totally chicken about canning too.  I was curious, but freaked out about possible contamination, so I never quite jumped in.  I helped a friend make peaches & pickles last year, but she does those two items all the time, so there was little chance I could mess things up.  That's really why I decided to make this a NEWT project for myself.  I knew I would have to give myself some sort of push to try.  And really, that's what I love about the HPC, the fact that it pushes me to craft more, and to try new things.  After forcing myself past my initial fear, I've found it to be far easier than I imagined, and I keep finding new recipes I want to try my hand at.  Smiley
3356  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* on: July 29, 2013 04:33:01 AM
jennieingram- I love seeing your canning.  It makes me long for when I will have stuff to can.  I don't think I've ever eaten parsnips.....

OMG, I freakin' LOVE parsnips!  I had never eaten them before a year or two ago either, but once I tried them, I fell in love.  (My mother has weird rules about food that she considers "foreign".  ie, something she's never tried before and is afraid of.  If she doesn't already know what it tastes like, no one in the house is allowed to eat it.  She also won't let anyone in the house eat dark meat on a turkey, but white meat is okay, and while she eats hamburgers, no one is allowed anything ELSE made out of ground beef.  No meatballs, no shepherd's pie, etc.)

Parsnips are similar in texture to carrots, but taste less carrot-y, slightly more earthy, but not at all like beets (which is the other veggie everyone says is earthy).  I love them best roasted in a mix of other root veggies (like potatoes, carrots & parsnips).  When you roast them you bring out a hint of natural sweetness, but they aren't really sweet in and of themselves.  They're also good in soups, pot roast and are good smashed, like mashed potatoes.  Give them a try!
3357  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* on: July 28, 2013 07:35:06 PM
Jennieingram - YUM!  How many things are you putting up altogether?

My NEWT Proposal outlined a minimum of 7-11 individual food preservation projects over 4 weeks, with more to happen if time, money, and talent permit.  So far I have completed 7 individual projects.  1 infused vinegar, 1 infused spirit, 2 types of pickles, and 3 types of salsa.  It looks like I'll have time to do extra projects that didn't make it onto my proposal.  The friend I worked with on Saturday has a garden currently overflowing with zucchini, so I think we're going to try zucchini pickles next week, and maybe some caramelized red onion jam together.  On my own this week I'm planning to do a batch of wine jelly, made from a local wine that I adore, and a batch of cranberry syrup, to help satisfy my never-ending love of cranberries in all things.  (You can take the girl out of New England, but you can't take the New England out of the girl!  Right Ant Bee?  Wink)
3358  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* on: July 28, 2013 04:28:13 PM
NEWT Progress Update:

Managed to get another step done in my NEWT this morning.  Here's my batch of Dilled Carrots & Parsnips.  They're so pretty!
3359  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* on: July 27, 2013 02:08:28 PM
Oops!  I mislabeled my previous post.  That was not a completed NEWT, but rather a completed OWL!  Pinks, I've gone back and edited the header, so as to not confuse you later.

And JennieIngram, the quilt is truly lovely!  I love the colours you chose - so boyish and cute!  Do you free-motion quilt?  Your pickles look mouth-watering.  If my youngest were there, they'd be gone in a flash.  Pickles are one of her very faves! Smiley

Thank you dear!  And, yep, free motion quilted this one.  I tried using the walking foot to do straight lines diagonally across it, but it was catching too much, so I took them out and went back to my old standby of free motion quilting. 

And I freaking love pickles too.... Wink

And now some more NEWT progress...
Amber and I did a batch of 5 pints of Garden Salsa, and since her garden is currently overflowing with jalapenos, and we had *just enough* leftover tomatoes, we ended up doing a batch of Jalapeno Salsa right after.  Both recipes were from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.

Garden Salsa:

Jalapeno Salsa:

I'm currently too tired to do the pickled carrots & parsnips I had planned for this afternoon, so I'll have to get to them tomorrow.  And hopefully the batch of Red Wine Jelly will happen either tomorrow or Monday.  Cheesy
3360  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* on: July 27, 2013 06:03:48 AM
OWL Subject: Transfiguration - Option 2
House: Gryffindor!
Project Name: Hudson's Baby Quilt

Project Page Link :
Brief Description: Finally finished this at work yesterday around noon.  And around 2:00, baby Hudson was born!  Just in time I say.  Wink
Project Picture:

NEWT Progress:
I canned 9 qts. of pickles yesterday!  I did 7 qts. with my friend Amanda, and those had to stay at her house till they are finished setting for 24 hours.  We had so many cucumbers left over though, that I came home and did another batch of 2 qts at home.  And the fun doesn't stop there.  I'm doing a batch of salsa today with my friend Amber, and a batch of pickled carrots & parsnips right after.  

Here's the batch of two qts. from yesterday.  The others are at Amanda's house.

Ok, I'm off to the Farmer's Market.  Wish me luck!
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