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1  Re: HP Craftalong ~Summer Semester 2013~ *Join at any time!* in Craftalongs by tcmatteson on: August 08, 2013 10:21:34 AM
I'm going to be jumping into this semester extremely late... but into school a little early as I'll only be a first year. I've just been admiring everybody's projects that I can't help myself but get excited! The many ways that everyone interprets the prompts is extremely interesting to watch!

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Quiditch Snitchnip (penalty)
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: First Time (ever) Canning!
Brief Description: While I'm not really a stranger in the kitchen, I do tend to stick with the same types of cooking and baking. I've recently become interested in the concept of canning and so I did my first canning experiment! My family loves Apple Butter but really only get it when we visit one of the Amish communities near my in-laws on the East Coast (a bit hard to do now that we live on the West Coast...) so I found a recipe online for crockpot Apple Butter (sugar-free, too!) and here's what happened:

1. Peeled, cored, and diced 10 Fuji apples and set them in the crockpot on low and added a sprinkling of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves (didn't measure the spices, just put in a little at a time until I got the taste I wanted at the end)

2. After about 5 or 6 hours (I wasn't looking at the time) the apples were soft enough to smoosh with a spoon, so I let them cook a little longer, added in more of the spices as it still tasted too much like applesauce. Then placed the contents in my blender and blended it smooth. Then poured it back into the crockpot and left the lid cracked so that the steam could escape and the butter could thicken.

3. Sterilized little 4 oz. jars using a boiling water bath. I slowly increased the temperature on the stove to boiling 'cause I didn't want to deal with broken glass from heating it too quickly...

4. Filled the jars with the finished apple butter, closed the lids and set them back in the boiling water for 10 minutes to seal! Took them out of the boiling water and set to rest. <-- This is where I got frustrated 'cause the seals kept popping in and out as the jars cooled down! I couldn't tell if I had done it properly or not. However, they were all popped in when I checked on them this morning! Success, woot!

5. Found out that 10 apples will make 4- 4 oz jars of delicious apple butter that both my son and next door neighbor approve of! And so of course, the obligatory TOAST test!

So- try new thing = success! I hope to experiment with some pumpkin butter once pumpkins are in season Cheesy
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2  Rose and Pearls Mixed Media Cuff Bracelet in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by tcmatteson on: August 06, 2013 11:19:09 PM

Hello, everyone Smiley I've been working on collecting the materials for this bracelet for a while and am extremely thrilled with the results! It has an aluminum 3/4" cuff base to which I added faux suede to the underside for added comfort. Then I used antiqued paper (did the crumple and coffee dye technique), silver metal filigree, copper rose pendant, and fresh water pearls to adorn the top. The paper is protected by several layers of matte spray mod podge and I used brown ink to darken the edges a bit. I think it turned out so pretty! Here are a couple more pictures (sorry they're so big >_<):

Thanks for looking!
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3  Soap challenge soaps in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by tcmatteson on: July 03, 2013 02:43:17 PM
So, the last year and a half has been extremely busy! So busy, I haven't been able to do much of anything on craftster... but hopefully things will settle down enough that I can start getting back into this lovely community! I now have a new little one in our family AND we have completed our move halfway across the country! One of the first things I did was unpack my soaping supplies so I could jump in on this set of four soap challenges given out by one of the lovely soapers I follow on youtube (Great Cakes Soapworks on youtube). I had fun learning and trying out these new techniques and thought I'd share my results!

Oil Mica swirl:

Scented with Dragon's Blood Fragrance oil. Technique basics: This is to decorate the top of your soap; Mix a small amount of liquid oil of your choosing with a high amount of mica (must be mica in order for it to work nicely); I used Merlot mica and Gold mica. Dribble oil/mica mixture over the top of the raw soap then use a skewer to swirl the colors! Very simple, but elegant way to finish your soap Smiley
Dragon's Blood discolors to a brown, so I only put the fragrance in the grey area which was colored with activated charcoal Smiley

Leopard Print:

This one is scented with Vetyver fragrance oil and colored with titanium dioxide and Strong Pink Pigment (the marbling effect in the white occurred because the soap overheated in the mold). Technique basics: You want to be working with medium traced soap so that it doesn't get all flattened out but you also want a fragrance and soap recipe that won't get super thick on you during the process. At least two colors are needed for this... I think a full rainbow of spot colors could be super cool, too! Pour a thin layer at the bottom of your mold. Use a piping bag or squirt bottle to create diagonal lines of a contrasting color on top of that layer. Directly over the top of the diagonal lines use a piping bag or squirt bottle to make the inside of the spots, then cover that layer with the first color in the piping bag or squirt bottle. (So by now, you'll have a bottom layer of your main soap color (white) and three diagonal layers of your spot colors (pink, white, pink). Cover this with a thin layer of your main soap color, trying to keep your diagonal lines separated from one another. Then do the diagonal layer again but going in the other direction. Keep doing these layers until you're to the top of the soap! Smiley

Tiger Stripe:

This one is scented with White Tea & Ginger fragrance oil and colored with titanium dioxide, tiny bit of cappuccino mica and even tinier amount of soft green mica. Technique basics: You want to work with a fragrance and recipe that will keep at a light to light medium trace and at least two colors. Simply pour a thin line of your first color down the center of your mold. Pour a thin line of your second color directly on top of your first line and continue alternating your colors in this fashion. Tap your mold to release air bubbles and distribute soap more evenly as needed Smiley Brighter, more contrasty colors work very well for this type of technique, too Cheesy

Elemental Swirl:

This one is scented with essential oils of Rosemary, Lemongrass, Lavender, and Patchouli and colored with natural colorants of pink kaolin clay, cocoa powder, lemon peel powder, and parsley powder (didn't use enough parsley, boo...) with an activated charcoal pencil line. Technique basics: The elemental swirl is simply two different ITP (In-the-Pot) swirls separated by a pencil line. Divide your soap batch into 4 equal parts and color each a different color. Pour one color into the bucket of one other color from high above to help the soap get further down into the bucket. Use a spoon or spatula to run a figure-8 shape in the two tone bucket and pour into your mold (the colors will swirl together, but not blend). Layer a thin but even coating of your pencil line colorant on top of this first layer (I use a small strainer to help with this process. Then do an ITP with the remaining two colors. Carefully pour this last layer of soap into the mold taking care not to break through the pencil line.

Thank you for letting me share! And I hope this inspires someone to try out these awesome techniques, too!
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4  Vikings football glitter shoes and a pair for myself in Shoes: Completed Projects by tcmatteson on: March 13, 2012 12:49:13 AM

So, my sister has been attempting for the past year to diy her own pair of Vikings (the football team) shoes and she hasn't liked any of the results enough to wear them out. Being the nice big sister that I am, I decided to try and make some glittered shoes for her! Since she lives two states away and these are a present I have to hope all hopes that these shoes fit her! LOL! I had a lot of fun searching the net for information about the type of glue and glitter to use- ended up using plain modge podge and Martha Stewart ultra fine glitter for these Smiley Hers are extra glittery because after I did a couple of light coats of modge podge/glitter mixture, I dusted glitter over top of the still wet glue and patted it to stick.

I even took some Testers black paint to the soles of the shoes (originally they were tan) though I didn't paint the portion under the toes so that her shoes loose grip when she walks.

After the success I had with her shoes I decided to try a pair for myself. I'm not a glitter girl so I went with a simple platinum and painted it on as thin as I could (took about 4 coats for even coverage) and then painted the heels with some Liquid Gold. I wore the shoes twice before clicking these pictures, so you can see a bit of the wear and tear, especially on the heels... gonna have to touch them up and figure out a clear coating to go over the top.

I love them because they are a simple pretty with just enough shine to catch attention, but not to be overpowering Cheesy

I'm so making more glitter shoes! Can you say "Addicted"? Hehe!
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5  Re: Sweat Shoppe ORNAMENT Swap Round 2 (signups closed, Green by 12/6, Send by 12/9) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by tcmatteson on: December 01, 2011 10:18:41 PM
Hello everyone in my group! I finally got my computer back! And just in time as I leave for Indiana for a couple of days. So, here are the finished ornaments. I'm really sorry about the quality of the photos, I cannot find my tripod for my camera anywhere Sad But, you'll get 3 of these, so if you could send me your top 5 picks and your address, I can get these off to you soon as I get back home! Thanks!

Bell Gold; Bell Green; Snowman Gold

Bell Red; Snowman Red; Snowman Green

Heart Red; Tree Red; Tree Green

Heart Gold; Heart Green; Tree Gold/Green


If you notice, some of the ornaments have brown ribbon instead of the silver. If you ask for those ornaments and would prefer the silver ribbon, just ask... I couldn't find the second roll I had bought, so improvised. I may have to go and buy some more of the ribbon if I can't find it in my supplies, hehe.
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6  Re: Sweat Shoppe ORNAMENT Swap Round 2 (signups until Nov 18, Send by Dec 9) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by tcmatteson on: November 18, 2011 12:39:10 PM
Hey everyone! I got in nearly last minute, yay!
So, I'm going to be offering some Metallics Rubbed Christmas ornaments. They're made of white polymer clay which I stamped some evergreen needles from one of my trees in my yard and then rubbed different metallic pigments and sealed them with a couple coats of clear spray paint. The ornaments are all about 3" in height and 2.5" in width. I've got snowmen, hearts, bells, and one angel, in either a green/blue color set, red/gold color set, or silver/gold color set. This first picture isn't the best color-wise, but let you see all of them at once. The second picture is truer to the color sets. I will be offering 4 sets of 3 and let you choose which 3 you want Smiley

I'm also still searching for the right ribbon to use for the ties (either a white organza type or a sparkly silver-white ribbon) when I run to the craft store tonight Smiley I'll post finished pictures later!
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7  Ombre Soap in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by tcmatteson on: October 25, 2011 12:03:01 AM

So, this weekend I got off my butt and made another loaf of soap. I was really pushed into doing this (happily, I must admit) by my soaping mentor, Emily of ShiehDesignStudio, as she challenged me to figure out how she did her ombre-style soap (check out her Prairie Mist soap). Another part of the challenge was to video tape myself making said soap. Woah... more time went into editing this thing than making the soap! I had over 40 minutes of "footage" that I had ended up cutting down to 17 and a half minutes. So, here's the link to the video if anyone wants to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc-rMEbS7HM

Emily has also made a video showing her process so we can see how close I came to how she did this soap Smiley I'm excited to see it!

Could you believe I only used two bowls to get the colors in that soap? Well, basically what I did was make my soap in one bowl. Then I divided a little more than 1/4th of the soap into the second bowl and all of my colorant went into that soap. I poured 2/3rds of the colored soap into my mold and then added more of the uncolored soap into the colored soap bowl and mixed it in. This made the colored soap lighter in color and ready for the second pour. Then I did the same thing with the next layer. And voila! Easy layers going from darkest to lightest. The last (top layer) was uncolored soap, and I also tried a pencil line! I like how straight the pencil line turned out, but am wishing I had used a darker color... I also sorta wish I had put more colorant into the soap, but the muted colors are starting to grow on me Smiley

Let's see, I used Lotus Blossom and Orchid Rain fragrance oils and I think I will be calling this Blossom Rain until/if I come up with a better name ^_^ This is another bastile with 75% Olive oil, then in descending order coconut oil, cocoa butter, palm kernel oil flakes, and castor. There's also a bit of honey and a lot of buttermilk in this soap. I can't wait to try it out in a few days and see how it will lather!

Thanks for looking!
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8  Re: Friends of Craftster Raffle Swap R10 FOCR R10 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by tcmatteson on: October 24, 2011 11:43:54 PM
I received today (well, yesterday, but I haven't slept yet, hehe). I got the beautiful mittens A2K made! I am soo happy! And the best thing is that they fit my hands perfectly Smiley

Thank you so much A2K! I love them! They will be getting lots of use this winter!
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9  Re: Friends of Craftster Raffle Swap R10 FOCR R10 (Signups CLOSED Sendout 10/25) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by tcmatteson on: September 30, 2011 01:52:41 PM
Ok, so here's what I'm putting up into the raffle! No-fragrance honey soaps:

From left to right: Pumpkins and Apples, Calendula and Chamomile Tea, Coconut Milk Castile (100% olive oil), and Oatmeal Milk and Honey

I also made a tunisian crocheted washcloth in sage greens, browns, and cream out of soft cotton.

I can't wait to see more pictures of the other offerings! So far, I'm having a tough time deciding what I would like to receive, which is AWESOME!
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10  Trying out my handmade soap mold in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by tcmatteson on: August 03, 2011 09:44:30 AM
Hi everyone Smiley I've been busy cleaning my house as my MIL is coming into town for a visit today Smiley But I have taken the time to try out a few more soap recipes AND my wood soap mold that I made ^_^

To start off, this is my Oni (Demon soap)

It's a recipe that I will be tweaking. Cheesy (I love soaping!). Anyway, it's scented with Dragon's Blood FO and another spicy FO to give it a little kick (the Dragon's Blood needed it). I love this scent! So deeply masculine and great for a manly man! I did add a bit too much black oxide for colorant 'cause it has turned my lather a really light grey tint... so I will know better for next time Smiley I also need to figure out which of my oils is causing the weird marbling effect over the entire soap... I think it's the Palm Kernel flakes or the palm oil because they're the only oils I haven't used before... I find the marbling to be a bit distracting...

Pomegranate Lover soap

Made using shea and cocoa butters and Walmart GV Shortening along with my usual suspects, though my liquid content was 100% pomegranate juice. The brown color comes from the juice as the only other colorant I added was the light gold mica on top of the soap. This was fragranced with Champagne Pomegranate FO from Nature's Garden and Pomegranate and Black Currant FO from Bramble Berry.

Ninja soap

It blends in on your countertop and is quite unassuming... but watch out for its full of chapped skin fighting ingredients! Scented with Fresh Bamboo (love this scent) and also has Bamboo extract for some light exfoliating powers. My TD (white colorant) didn't get fully incorporated, sadly, and I'm still tweaking this recipe as well to get it where I would like it to be!

Castile in the Nude soap

My first Castile (all olive oil) soap. Nothing was added to this at all... so how did I get a swirl? I made two 1 lb batches- one using the lightest color olive oil I could find and the other using the darkest color olive oil I could find- and then simply swirled them together. I think next time, to get a nicer swirl I'm going to use a different ratio of soap other than a 1:1 dark to light... maybe a 2:1 ratio would get a better swirl? What do you think? Anyway, even though there's no added FO, this soap still smells prettily of olive oil with a slightly nutty after-scent ^_^ I really enjoy it!

And last, but not least, my wood mold!

It has 3 sections: 10", 5", and 6" respectively and I put it together using nails, hammer, and my quilting square ^_^;; But I must have done a good job squaring it off because my soaps slip out rather easily even if I can't take any of the sides off to make it easier to slide the soap out... altogether I think this mold cost me a whole $12- I just got three molds for 3x cheaper than I would have gotten one mold online! Woot! All four of the above batches were made using this soap mold and I tried out all three sizes Smiley

Thanks for looking!
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