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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: Knight's favor on: December 09, 2012 12:16:09 PM
If you're worried about the back of your work not looking pretty, you can always try blackwork with double-running (also known as holbein) stitch. It's a variant on running stitch that looks the same from both sides - the only really tricky things is starting and finishing, and it's essentially counted work.
2  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: 16th c. Italian Working class ensemble - Renaissance on: March 06, 2011 04:19:40 PM
Holy crap you hand-sewed *internal* seams? O_O That's dedication. I applaud you. Also, the dress is beautiful. Wink
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Stitchalongs / Re: Big Project stitch-along 2011 on: January 04, 2011 05:23:40 AM
Hey all - I'm still too scared to try something really big - but this year I plan on finishing one small to medium-sized progect a month. I figure you lot will keep me honest and on-track!  Grin
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: First post in needlework - Biscornu! on: January 01, 2011 03:33:14 AM
I added the cords as I was sewing the two squares together. You join the squares by essentially lacing them together - looping a strand of thread back and fourth under the backstitch border. As I lace together a corner, I just insert the cord and lace it in - I can take photos, if that doesn't make sense.
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: First post in needlework - Biscornu! on: December 29, 2010 03:25:31 PM
Thanks! I'm probably going to put them on the Christmas tree next year - so I added the cords - I think a lot of people use them for pincushions, or just as decoration.
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / First post in needlework - Biscornu! on: December 28, 2010 06:24:29 PM
I stumbled upon basket of biscornu http://basketofbiscornu.blogspot.com/ a few weeks ago, and got hooked. I'm planning on doing the challenge next year (1 biscornu a month) - anyone want to do it with me?

Here's what I've made so far:

2 little cross-stitch pieces in November (each only took a few hours - they're really small!)





And for December (the white lines aren't quite that visible IRL, I promise!)



The soluble marker I used for the black doesn't dissolve as easily as the blue one I used for the white ones - I scrubbed at it with hand soap, as well as soaking it in water, but it still hasn't completely come off. Any hints on how to get it off more easily?
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Tasty meals for beginners? on: December 06, 2010 05:17:45 PM
Check out taste.com.au - they have some great howto videos, as well as lots of recipes.

My favourite "I'm too tired to cook" recipe is gnocchi in burnt butter and sage sauce. While you can make your own gnocchi (it's actually fairly easy), it's time-consuming. You can use the vacuum-sealed stuff you find at woolies, or some of the nicer frozen ones.

First, you get some butter, 250g will make you enough sauce for 6 people and leftovers. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, and put a pot of water on to boil (it's usually quicker to use a kettle to help). When it's melted, add chopped or minced garlic - I'm a garlic fiend, so I use a lot. Give it a stir - the garlic should start to turn golden. While this is happening, wash some fresh sage, and dry it off. When the butter starts to turn golden-brown, toss in the sage. Keep it on the heat until the butter is a nutty brown colour - if someone leans over your shoulder and says that you've burnt the butter, excellent - that's the point. The idea is a *gentle* burn, though.

At this point, put the gnocchi in the water, and cook it like the packet says - usually you scoop it out when it starts to float.

Serve the gnocchi with a drizzle of the butter - you don't need much. Any leftover keeps for ages in a jar in the fridge.  While I've given you long-winded instructions, this is really simple to make, as long as you keep the butter on a low heat.

8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: what to do with tons of kiwi fruit? on: December 06, 2010 05:01:27 PM
I'm planning on making a batch of kiwi jam today or tomorrow - if it turns out well, I'll share the recipe. Smiley
9  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Re: Wedding planner book...help! on: December 06, 2010 04:57:33 PM
Ok, for a "traditional" wedding, you usually have the following things"

-Your appearance: dress, jewellery, shoes, make-up, hair, bouquet, etc.
-Outfits for bridesmaids, groomsmen, and the groom.
-The place for the wedding, be it a church, a park, or somewhere else
-Someone to marry you. This bit is important. Smiley
-Invitations - what they look like, who you invite.
-The ceremony itself - what you want it to be like, look like, etc.
-Transport to the ceremony from wherever you and your fianc get prepared (usually separately), to the reception, and to wherever you're staying the night.
-Photography, sometimes video as well
-The reception - food, music, decoration, speeches, dancing, cake, seating arrangements, garter/bouquet tossing...
-The wedding night - some place to stay that *isn't* one of your parent's houses is good. Wink
-The honeymoon.

I think that's everything in a traditional wedding - I remember I liked the Cosmo Bride magazines. Smiley For your own wedding, feel free to add and subtract things as suits you best - I know I left out a whole lot of things, and focused on the individual traditions that meant something to us.

On top of that, I'd suggest joining a wedding forum for your local area - I joined an Australia-specific one, for example. They're a good way of getting input on vendors you're likely to use, since someone else hanging around the forum has probably used them already - it's a good way of finding out who to avoid like the plague. I found my dressmaker and photographer directly from forum recommendations.

I also really enjoyed this blog, http://godawfulweddingcrap.blogspot.com/, it was great for a laugh when I got stressed.

Hope that helps!
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Friendship Bracelets... on: August 22, 2010 11:07:01 PM
It sounds like your problem is the tension between the knots. I'm assuming you're making the kind of bracelet that's a whole bunch of double half-hitches in varying patterns. The trick to keeping them even is making sure the knots are close together. When you're tying the first of the two half-hitches, try to get the knot to end up as close to the previous knot as you can, before you tie the next one - that should fix your gap problem. It should also help keep your sides straight.
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