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241  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Ancient Runes Bracelet with Semi-Precious Stones on: October 20, 2012 08:22:55 PM
It's no secret that I love to make charm bracelets.  Sometimes though, I make one that I am really pleased with.  This is one of those.  It was made for the very lovely pinkleo in the Back to Hogwarts Swap.  It was inspired by the subject of Ancient Runes taught at Hogwarts, but I wanted it to be really subtle and something she could wear with everyday clothing.

The charms include the runes for Happiness, Humanity, Inner Peace, Courage, Victory, Knowledge, Lifeforce, Luck, Strength, and Success.  The beads are all semi-precious stones including moonstone for passion, lapis lazuli for healing, garnet for success, rose quartz for love, cherry quartz, blueberry quartz for stress-relief, and amethyst for protection and wisdom.

And because I always like to make matching earrings whenever I can, I made a pair with cherry quartz and lapis.  Enjoy.  Smiley

242  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Gryffin-ghan! on: October 20, 2012 07:42:13 PM
This is my first large-scale crochet project.  I've made scarves and dishcloths before, but never anything as big as an afghan.  It was a swap gift for the ever-wonderful pinkleo in the Back to Hogwarts Swap.  Despite the fact that she is a happy hooker with mad-crazy skills, I knew being the wonderful friend that she is, that she'd love it.  Thankfully she did, and I'm thrilled that's it has gone to such a good home. Cheesy 

The pattern is called the Cozy Man-ghan and is available free on the Caron website.  It is made of Caron Simply Soft in Black, Garnet & Maize.

243  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Longing for the Atlantic Charm Bracelet on: October 15, 2012 07:09:42 AM
Another charm bracelet to share with you today!  This one is themed around the ocean, and living off the ocean.  It features 18 nautical charms, including a treasure map, small ships wheel, fish hook, compass rose, row boat, captain at the wheel, seahorse, large anchor, sailing ship, life preserver, mermaid, large wheel, spyglass, anchor with rope, lighthouse, pirate ship, octopus, and an anchor disk. The beads are a mix of glass, Czech glass, jade, banded agate, river shell, and freshwater pearl disks, in shades of blue, sky, cyan, teal, turquoise, green, clear, and white.

244  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / A Few of Her Favorite Things Charm Bracelet on: October 15, 2012 07:05:16 AM
I've been making ever more charm bracelets in preparation for the holiday season.  This one is a bit different for me, in that it doesn't have a single theme.  It was made for a young woman who requested it include "all of her favorite things".  There are 16 mixed gold and silver charms, including two golden owls, two silver hearts, silver fangs, bottles of blue & white glitter, a silver wolf, a golden Ravenclaw eagle, a silver angel wing, Police Box, Eiffel Tower, dragon, mustache, golden book, and silver letter L. The beads are a mix of glass, Czech glass, turquoise, quartz, and crystal, in shades of night blue, violet, royal purple, light yellow, amber, and soft pink.  She wanted the colors to be reminiscent of the boat & lanterns scene from Tangled. 

245  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Happy Healthy Grownup Bento on: September 30, 2012 07:46:09 PM
I can't believe I missed this challenge until tonight!  Looks like I'm going to make it in just under the wire...

I have been trying for the last several months to plan bright, attractive, and healthy lunches for my husband and I to keep us from spending money on unhealthy alternatives.  I admire the Japanese bento philosophy, which says that since we eat with our eyes, we should make our meals beautiful, but since my husband isn't a very whimsical person, I don't usually make them all that cute.  I do also try to make sure I normally have 5 different colors of food in each lunch, to try to get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.  (This bento contains 6 colors. Cheesy)

This is my lunch for tomorrow: sushi rice with edamame & shallots, cucumber & green pepper flowers, yellow pepper strips, steamed broccoli & carrots, dried apricots & cranberries, and sweet & spicy chicken.

In case any of you would like to try this yourself, here are the recipes:

Sushi Rice & Edamame

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 cups sushi rice
1 1/4 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 shallot, diced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Several grinds of black pepper

Start by rinsing your rice for several minutes, until the water is clear.  Drain.  
Once that is done, add 2 cups of water and a good pinch of kosher salt.  Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook, 20 minutes.
Add in edamame and diced shallot; fluffing lightly with a fork.  Cover with a clean tea towel, then with the lid and allow to rest off the heat.  (And far from any burners!)
In a small bowl, stir together lime juice, vinegar, oil, sugar and black pepper until sugar is dissolved.
With a fork, cut the lime juice mixture into rice, gently turning and fluffing.  (Do not stir, or your rice will become a gummy mess!)

(This recipe is actually my own tweak of a recipe on Martha Stewart's website: http://www.marthastewart.com/319290/brown-rice-and-edamame)

Sweet & Spicy Sauce

1 tsp light miso
1 T. soy sauce (or just a little less)
1 T. honey
few drops of Siracha (chili sauce), more if you like it hot

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, and drizzle over the chicken.  For this lunch, I simply used two chicken breast strips.   Wink

Note: I like the kick of the Siracha, but only in small doses.  DH likes it hotter, so I added a little more to his.  I drizzled the sauce over the chicken pieces, and then added a little extra in the strawberry bottle to top the broccoli with at lunch tomorrow.  (DH has a more manly fish-shaped bottle of extra sauce.)

Finally, I'd like to note that the beautiful Mug Rug under my lunch was made by the lovely and talented MareMare in the Mug Rug Swap, and the magic wand chop sticks were made by Andromeda007 in the Decked Out for Deathly Hallows Swap.  Thank you ladies!!!
246  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Green Tea & Tea Time Charm Bracelets on: August 30, 2012 06:42:42 AM
Well, summer is officially over for me.  Not that it was all that long really.  I ended up getting about 2.5 weeks off of work, and tried to get as much crafting done in there as possible.  Last Thursday (my last official day off), I managed to complete 16 "in progress" bracelets that had been cluttering my desk for weeks.  Friday saw the completion of two more, bringing my 2 day total up to 18.  Some were already "charmed", but not beaded, some were beaded, but were missing charms, and some were just an idea in the back of my head that I had pulled out some supplies for.

Two of my favorites are the tea bracelets.  A Tea Time Bracelet, inspired by traditional black tea and lemon, and a more tranquil and zen-inspired Green Tea Bracelet. The Tea Time Bracelet includes an mix of glass, shell and crystal beads in shades of mahogany, amber, and lemon yellow.  The charms include a sugar packet, teaspoon, teacups, a fancy cake, teabags, kettle, clock, teapots, plate of toast, butter knife, and lemon slice.

The Green Tea Bracelet features a mix of glass and stone beads in shades of green, white and clear. (I really love the Aventurine beads worked in!) The charms include a sugar packet, leaves, teabags, flowers, teacups, teapot, green teabag, teaspoon, butter knife, and lemon slice.

247  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Doctor Who Companion Bracelets ~ 9th, 10th, 11th & Ultimate Companion Versions! on: August 17, 2012 02:47:38 PM
A while back I posted a Doctor's Companion Charm Bracelet.  I made it as an entry in one of Craftster's Jewelry Challenges.  Since then I have made several variants on the theme, but somehow I never got around to posting them.  So, here they are!  The beads are a mix of glass, crystal, and stone in shades of blue, black, smokey grey & clear.  The charms are a mix of Tibetan silver, pewter, and enamel.

The Ninth Doctor's Companion Bracelet

The charms include: Egg, for Margret the Slitheen; Hope disk, because the Doctor always lives in hope; Two Hearts; Rose for Rose Tyler; Sun for The End of the World; Ghost for the Gleth; Pistol for Captain Jack Harkness; Police Box; Big Ben; Dragon for the Reapers in Father's Day; Union Jack; Gas Mask - Are you my mummy?; The Earth, which the Doctor always seems to be saving, the Bad Wolf & Bananas, because Bananas are good.

The Tenth Doctor's Companion Bracelet

The charms include: Hope disk; Rose; the Bad Wolf; Union Jack; Key to the TARDIS; the Earth; an odd Ood; an Angel Wing for everyone's favorite monsters, the Weeping Angels; Police Box; Stethoscope, which somehow fit into rather small looking pockets; Two Hearts; Red Converse Sneaker, Ten's preferred footwear; Handy Spare Hand; a Clockwork Lady;  Fob Watch, Also known as the Chameleon Arch; Teacup, because a good cuppa tea is just the thing in the case of regeneration & Bananas, which you should always bring to a party.

The Eleventh Doctor's Companion Bracelet

The charms include: Suitcase packed by Young Amelia; Bow Tie because bow ties are cool; The Impossible Astronaut; Two Hearts; Union Jack; Paint Palette for Vincent van Gogh; Angel Wing; Police Box; Sword for Rory the Roman; Stetson, they're cool too; Fangs for the Vampires of Venice; the Earth; Fish for Fish Fingers & Custard; River Song's diary & Amy's engagement ring.

And finally...
The Ultimate Doctor's Companion Bracelet!  
This one took a lot of time gathering charms for.  There are actually 39 on this one, compared to the 15-17 on the other ones I've made.  The beads are cobalt blue "boxes" of Celestial Crystal, and black Druk glass with silver plated spacers.

The charms are: Hope disk; Two Hearts; Amy's engagement ring; Bananas; Teacup; The Bad Wolf; Fob Watch; The Impossible Astronaut; Gas Mask; Suitcase for Young Amelia; Clockwork Lady; Fish; Wedding Dress for Donna Noble; Fangs; Red Converse Sneaker; Big Ben; Caduceus for Martha Jones; Moon for the Day of the Moon; Angel Wing; Police Box; Sword for Rory; Pistol for Captain Jack; Stethoscope; Ghost for the Gleth; Television from Mr. Magpie; Dragon for the Reapers in Father's Day; Paint Palette for Vincent van Gogh; Bow Tie; Rose; Pirate Ship from the Curse of the Black Spot; Union Jack; Wasp from the Unicorn & the Wasp; Handy Spare Hand; River Song's Diary; An odd Ood; The Earth & the Key to the TARDIS

I hope you all enjoy!  Oh, and in case anyone is thinking of asking, no, there is no one store that has all the charms used on these bracelets.  They came from sources all over the internet including eBay, Etsy, various online bead and charm shops, and even local bead stores.  Cheesy
248  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Hogwarts House Pride Earrings - Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff & Slytherin! on: August 04, 2012 04:27:06 AM
I've been crafting like mad over the last few weeks, trying to get in as much stuff done before the Fall semester starts here as possible.  I've been turning out Christmas presents and jewelry left and right.  And part of it has been thanks to pinkleo's Harry Potter Craftalong.  We're currently in the midst of the Quidditch House Cup Challenge, where every crafter has the chance to earn up to 150 points for her team.  One of the challenges called for us to make Cheering/Spirit projects for our Houses & Teams.  I decided to make some Gryffindor Earrings!

After the Gryffindor pair so cute, I decided to make a set for each house!

249  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / London Calling Charm Bracelet on: July 24, 2012 06:30:21 AM
Between the talk of the summer Olympics, and all the BBC shows I watch, I've been longing for a trip to London.  Since that's not in the cards at the moment, I decided to turn that longing into a craft project.  This is my latest charm bracelet, which I've affectionately named my "London Calling" bracelet.

The charms are a mix of Tibetan silver, pewter, and enamel and include a crown, postcard, 3 enamel Union Jacks, an enamel double decker bus, a teacup & kettle, royal mail stamp, Underground sign, suitcase, pewter bus, red phone booth and a rose.

The beads are a mix of Czech glass, crystal, and jade beads in shades of blue, white and red.

And as part of the Harry Potter Craftalong, I'm submitting my bracelet as a "Portkey", which requires photos taken on a field trip away from your home.  Hence my bracelet on the paper crane sculpture on the WKU campus.  Enjoy!

250  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Coffee Lovers Charm Bracelet on: July 17, 2012 06:44:55 AM
I have a deep, dark confession to make to you all...  I don't like coffee.  While I find the smell divine when my husband grinds the beans and brews a hot French press full on weekend mornings, I just don't enjoy the taste of a cup of coffee.  (It might also have something to do with the fact that coffee makes me hugely jittery, and I tend to feel like my heart might explode when I drink any.)  Despite this lack of coffee enthusiasm, I fell in love with so many cute little coffee themed charms I saw when shopping for supplies.  Eventually I broke down and bought some.  This bracelet was the result.

The beads are an assortment of glass, quartz, freshwater pearl, and crystal, in shades of black, mocha, cream and caramel.

The charms include 2 lattes, an espresso tag, coffee beans, mocha mug, quart of milk, pie, java mug, bag of coffee beans, "Love" heart, percolator, coffee grinder, slice of pie, mug, spoon and sugar packet.

I also have to admit partial inspiration from my dear friend pinkleo and her adoration of coffee and other hot beverages.  It seems I'm always happier when crafting is inspired by a friend.

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