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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Making Bread? on: February 04, 2006 03:42:48 AM
  I would like to cut down on our processed food intake, and I have always been interested in making my own bread for regular consumption.  I was thinking about getting a bread machine at the local thrift and making use to it.  But I do have a few questions before I really decide.

  First of all, I don't have any freezer place.  Seriously.  We only have a mini fridge.  So, is making bread worth the time?  I work part time, so I would have time to make a loaf or two on my days off.  The truth is the boy and I only go through two to three loaves of bread every two weeks or so. 

 Secondly, I've heard that making homemade is cheaper.  I spend less than a dollar per loaf.  Obviously, I bet that bread would be healthier and tastier when homemade.  I would like to put a bread machine on my to buy list anyway, but I was wondering if using it for our regular bread intake would be worth it in the long run.
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Help me plan my garden! on: February 04, 2006 03:35:22 AM
  I want to plant a small container garden on my patio.  I live in Southern California, and my patio gets full sun most of the day.  I have a black thumb!  I know I want to plant herbs and some edible plants/veggies.  I don't want many flowers, but I few would be nice to use in crafts and soap additives.  Any recommendations?  Tips?  So far all I know is that I'm interested in getting some lavendar and strawbery plants, and a nice aloe vera plant (but I think I will have to keep the aloe vera indoors). 
3  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / Where To Find Things To Recycle / Yay for Cheap Calendars! on: January 21, 2006 02:55:37 AM
  As I'm sure you all know, now is the time of year that calendars are not only everywhere but now they are also going on sale.  I already had bought a calendar for my boyfriend this Christmas, and that and the free one I scored at work were more than enough to count the days away.  But I still couldn't help myself when I found another great calendar at the Dollar Tree:  Tales From The Crypt!  It has cover art from the original calendars, as well as a "goreword" by Neil Gaiman, my favorite author!!  Today I was at my local mall, and the calendars are all 75% off, so I had to take a peak.  I found Alchemy Gothic and Olivia's Bettie Page, and for both I only paid $7!  I'm scanning all of these calendars first of all, then Bettie Page and Tales From the Crypt will be made into wall art via posterboard.  I'm also thinking of making tshirts and other fabric transfers in the near future...I've been dying for some new shirts!  My boy wants to keep the Alchemy Gothic calendar intact, so we will just be using the scanned photos, but that's still great for making shirts, bags, stationary, and other crafty goodies. 

Anyway, I'll stop bragging.  My point is that now is the time to check out those calendar booths, and remember to look around the dollar stores and another other discount or warehouse stores that sell calendars.  I know they'll pay for themselves over time.
4  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Globe? on: December 15, 2005 07:47:06 PM
  I found a large globe next to the dumpster the other day.  It's stand was broken (but I've already found a use for it), but now I'm stumped on what to do with the globe itself.  It's cardboard, and other than having two dents in one side, it's in perfect condition.  The only idea I've come up with so far is to cover it in travel/scenery prints and suspend it like a disco ball.  Any other wonderful ideas out there?
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Woodworking Supplies? on: October 18, 2005 03:34:15 PM
  Anyone do extensive woodworking, or have a friend or family member that does?  I came across this craft book that has a bunch of things I'd like to try, and one of them is woodworking.  There's all these tables, toys, etc I'd love to make someday.  However, I have no experience with these kind of tools, no room in my apartment for a woodshop, and little to no extra money.  Where would you suggest I start?  I do have an extensive tool selection, actually, that I share with my boyfriend, and I'd like to add a scroll saw and electric drill to the mix.  I do have a dremel.   What tools are good for the beginner?  Any books to recomend as well?  Thanks!
6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Tell me about your Christmas Trees! on: October 18, 2005 03:27:39 PM
  Do you have a real Christmas tree, a fake, do you have a mini treese, or do you opt not to have a Christmas tree at all?  Growing up, my family never had a live tree.  That doesn't bother me; I have my memories of mom trying to put things together (it was one of those older models with the colored coded limbs, now they have a two piece beauty with the lights already attached).  From what I've heard, live trees can be a pain.  I'm sure my parents had a fake for economic reasons; now that I live on my own I couldn't find the room in this place for a live tree if I tried (I have two minis).

  If you do keep a live tree, do you keep it yearlong or how do you dispose of it?  I was reading a vintage Christmas Craft book, and they give directions for keeping your Christmas tree yearlong.  I'd be happy to give out the directions they had!  I see Christmas trees out in the alleys after Christmas and it seems such a waste.

  As Christmas approaches, feel free to post pics of your trees and how you're going to decorate them as well!!
7  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Creamer Containers on: October 10, 2005 12:06:36 AM
   I guess the guys at work are having more coffee than usual, because they have thrown out two powdered creamer containers (you know, plastic containers with spouts on the lids).  So far I've decided they would be good to hold my cocoa, since I drink a lot cocoa in the fall and winter.  I was thinking it would much cuter than those individual packages.  I also thought that they would be cute as tupperware, especially to hold leftover gravies or soups.  Maybe to hold powderd milk (I heard it's yummy for your skin if you use it in the bath).  Any other ideas? I'm sure they'll keep me in them for at least a few months.
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Holiday Decorating for a Studio on: October 08, 2005 04:03:16 AM
   I don't actually live in a studio apartment; I live in a two bedroom apartment but I have roommates that are not only dirtier than me, they don't celebrate Christmas and probably wouldn't be too kind to any nice decorations in the living room/dining room/kitchen.  This means that all the decorating and festivities are going to be confined (for the most part, anyway...I may deck out the patio and put a few bowls of pine cones or ornaments on the dining room table, etc) will be confined to my bedroom and private bathroom.       

  Considering I love to craft and I'm on a limited budget, I've been mulling over how to decorate.  (Also, I love Christmas, and this is the first year my boy and I are on our own to decorate and celebrate!)  So, without further ado, here are the plans I have to deck the halls in a small area:

   1.  We have a mini fridge, so I'll be making holiday magnets to replace my usual ones. 
   2.  Stringing lights in both my bedroom and bathroom  (not around the shower!)
   3.  Since the bed is a major focal point in our room, I'm going to go out and find some kind of holiday bedding, even if it is just some green and red pillowcases and sheets or some holiday throw pillows.  (Most Christmas goodies aren't out yet, so I haven't made up my mind.)
  4.  We have two mini Christmas trees.  One will be somewhere in the bedroom, and I'm putting one in the bathroom, ontop of the little towel rack/storage space I made from an upright milkcrate and contact paper. 
  5.  I'm making Christmas ornaments from magazine/catalog cut outs and clear contact paper.  (These are also going to be Christmas gifts.)  The tree in the bathroom is going to be decked out with Disney characters, since the bathroom is very "girly" and eclectic.
 6.  I'm putting stockings up, on the back of the bathroom door or on my closet door.
 7.  My shower is glass enclosed, so I'll be getting Christmas window decals.
 8.  I may get a few boxes, take down some of my lesser used knicknacks (we are pack rats) and put up Christmas knicknacks
 9.  I'm also thinking of getting some of "snow sheets" and lining my dresser(s) and desk with it

   I hope these ideas help you guys with any rooms or small places!  I'd love any more tips or ideas, and I'd love to know creative ways you've decorated your small places.
9  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / SMALL Holiday Dinner on: October 08, 2005 03:46:33 AM
     This year my boyfriend and I will be celebrating both Thanksgiving and Christmas alone.  (Our families live in the Midwest, we live in CA.)  He may or may not end up working on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, I'll be off on Thanksgiving and can work his schedule on the Christmas holidays, so there will be time to cook.  But what to cook?  With it just being the two of us (a few friends and his sister might stop by, and we may visit his father, depending, but there is nothing guaranteed), I don't want to bother with a whole turkey or ham.  Maybe cornish game hens?  Maybe a small, canned ham?  (I haven't ever cooked one of those, do they come out well?)

   I'm thinking that for Thanksgiving, we may do the traditional side dishes but substitute deli roast beef sandwiches (done up well with good buns and swiss cheese, etc) for the meat.

  I'm just mulling things over, however, trying to make up some sort of menu so I can get my limited budget in order.  I'm sure others out there have had a small family dinner, so what tips do you have?  What kinds of meals have you made up?

  We do have room for a little bit of leftovers, but seeing as we have a mini fridge and no freezer, I couldn't have food for days upon days or freeze anything.
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Some New Uses for Records/Record Sleeves on: October 04, 2005 08:34:31 PM
   I found a bunch of records and record sleeves recently, both for very cheap and for free!  I'm making record bowls as gift bowls for the holidays, but by now we all know how to make those.  I'm also making a few journals, but there is a tutorial on here as well.  But then, with some inspiration, I thought of a few more things to do.  No pics, but all pretty self explanatory.

Record Box:  You'll need five record covers/sleeves for these.  The great thing is that you don't have to cut up your beloved covers, and if you get tired of the box you can slowly pull things apart and start a project anew.  Use on record sleeve for the bottom of the box, and slowly hot glue four covers around the bottom, and glue them to each other as well.  I didn't make a lid for mine, but I'm sure it would be easy enough, just add a six cover, glue on one side, and use a button and loop for a catch.  It's a great size for magazines, crafts, etc.  You can use the records themselves, in the same manner, for a variation on this.

Record Coasters:  I finally figured out how to do this!!!!  Place your records on an object that is nonflammable/meltable, and that you don't mind if it possibly gets some burn marks.  I used a metal lid from a popcorn tin, and there are no marks on mine.  Heat up your woodburner.  I'm assuming that you don't need a high quality burner, as mine was only a few dollars at Walmart.  Carefully sear through the vinyl along the label.  I found it was best to let the burner go through the vinyl, making a small hole, drag a little, and repeat.  It takes a while, but it's worth it.  After you've seared all the way though, pop the label out.  Put aside those records for other crafts.  Now sand and seal!

Record Trays:  This is a variation on record bowls.  I heated two records over a glass casserole dish, to retain a squarish shape with a small lip.  Mine are old Christmas albums, and I'm going to use them with for my Christmas goodies this year.  I've heard that eating out of or off of records may be a bad idea, so to be extra careful line your record trays with clean saranwrap if your goodies aren't wrapped.  That way you'll still see your label!

The next project I'm going to try is a record magazine holder.  I got my inspiration from a thread on here about making an LP holder from two records.  I'll tell you how it ends up!
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