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1  COOKING / Dessert / Knit Night Cupcakes - Marzipan Decorations w/ Tutorials on: June 05, 2007 11:57:27 AM
**Tutorials added***

I wanted to put this in the Vegetarian/Vegan forum, but it's not a recipe or a tip!

Here are some vegan cupcakes I made for a friend's knit night!  It took 4+ hours to make these out of plain marzipan.  It was my first time working with it, and it was a lot of fun!

I tried to make the different stages of knitting projects, so there is casting on, swatching, UFOs (the sweater), FOs (scarves), frogging, and yarn balls.

2  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Vegan Alfredo Sauce! on: December 11, 2006 09:23:32 AM
Thought I might share the recipe that I use to make a vegan alredo sauce:

Alfako Sauce:

1 can coconut milk
2-3 Tbs tamari
2 Tbs tahini paste
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
Fresh cracked black pepper
1 knob of vegan butter (optional)
1 small pinch of sugar (optional)
1 dash of nutmeg (optional)
Arrowroot powder/flour/cornstartch (optional, for thickening)

Directions and notes about the recipe on my blog:


3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / $15 Headboard into Organization/Inspiration Center! on: November 29, 2006 11:24:20 AM

It's a magnetic chalkboard, pinboard combo!  Now I have a place to put all of my inspirations, plan my DIY and crafty ideas, and keep track of those knitting patterns I always lose.

I was itching for a project so I went to the local thrift store and picked up this headboard for $15.

I put down three layers of magnetic primer (should have done more...) and then a layer of chalkboard paint on top of that.

Then I had a piece of homasote cut to the same size and covered it with some fabric I had laying around.  Simply screw in some hooks and eyes and voila!

I'm also going to put hooks on top of the chalkboard so that the pinboard can hang over it to save some space.

Hope this inspires other people, too!
4  UNITED STATES / Massachusetts / Brighton (allston/brookline/newton) SnB? on: January 05, 2006 08:39:21 PM
Anyone interested?  There is supposedly a SnB in Allston, but it seems to be dead.  I'd love to meet some people, hang out, and knit or craft anything else that is easily transportable.

There's a neat cafe in Brighton Center called Cafénation where we could meet, but there is a whole slew of other possible places up and down Comm ave on the Green B line.

Anyone out there?  Hello?  Smiley


We've formed a group!  We're meeting on Monday nights from 6-8 at Cafénation in Brighton Center.  PM me if you'd like more info!
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Natalie Dee Cross-Stitch on: December 11, 2005 12:28:58 PM
Have you been to http://nataliedee.com? She has posts drawings every day and they're awesome.  I decided to cross-stitch one of her designs on a doily*:


Here Natalie's original, for comparison:

Hope you like it!
*I got permission from Natalie to post this here.  Go check out her site!
6  KNITTING / Knitalongs / Tivoli/Picovoli KAL... on: December 03, 2005 12:24:21 PM
I just finished my first pair of socks, so I'm inspired to try another, larger fitted garment.  Anyone interested in a knitalong for this?  Free pattern is here:


I just ordered my yarn last night - Knit Picks Shine in Green Apple.  Any other new knitters feel up to the challenge?  Any experienced knitters feel like answering my dumb questions? Smiley  I should be ready to cast on in a week or so.

Gallery of finished picovolis here: http://www.grumperina.com/picovoligallery.htm
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / What to do with Manos Cotton Stria? on: November 04, 2005 09:39:29 AM
I bought two skeins of this yarn (white and navy blue) and I can't decide what to do!

I'm a fairly new knitter, so I'm trying to pick projects that will teach me new skills but are also in my range.  Maybe I'll try intarsia in a scarf?  or fair isle?

Should I make a neat hat?  I'm looking for a project that will suit the yarn and is more than a rectangle!

Any ideas?
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Make Your Own Worm Hotel - Home Composting Tutorial! on: August 29, 2005 07:57:59 PM
My fiance and I have been looking for more ways to reduce/reuse/recycle.  We realized that throwing away our food scraps was not only wasteful, but made our (garbage disposal-less) apartment kind of smelly if we forgot to take it out.

Home composting to the rescue!  Here is complete tutorial for making your own vermicompost bin.

Materials (makes a bin big enough for the scraps of 1-2 people):

16 Gallon Plastic/wooden/whatever container:  $9.99 @ linens 'n things
Fiberglass Screen:  $5 @ Home Depot
1,000 Red Worms (1 lb):  $26 from http://www.capecodwormfarm.com/
16 quart Organic Potting Mix - I forget!  Cheap!
Leaf Mold - Free from worm lady
Hot Glue Gun
1 Gallon Water

Total Project Cost - about $45

Step One - Get a bin

Our bin is plastic because it's cheap, but I hear wood is much better/easier to maintain in terms of moisture content.  Get wood if you can!

Step Two - Drill holes

Drill small holes all the way around the top for ventilation

Step Three - Cut Slits

Worms need oxygen, too.  Use a knife to cut narrow slats

Pop out the pieces you cut

**Some people recommend to cut drainage holes in the bottom - if you don't, be extra careful when monitoring the moisture content of your bin.  You don't want worm soup.

Step Four - Screen over the holes

Make sure to sand the plastic to make sure your glue will stick!

Glue around the edges, allowing the glue to seep through the screen

We weren't sure the screen was fine enough, so I added a second layer at a 45 degree angle to decrease the hole size

Here's what it looks like from the outside

And the inside, all trimmed up

Don't forget to put some screen over the small holes, too

Here is the "finished" bin

Step Five - Decorate!

Who wants a boring bin in their apartment?

People might not believe there are actually worms in there, despite the art

Step Six - Prepare Bedding

This is the leaf mold we got for free from the woman who sold us the worms.  Websites SAY that you can use newspaper and a little soil, but Maggie Pipkins of Cape Cod Worm Farm told us that after 30+ years of experience, she would NEVER use newspaper.  Yes, the worms eat the newspaper, but there aren't any nutrients in it!  She suggests:

1/3 Leaf Mold
1/3 Peat Moss
1/3 Manure

If you find an organic, no nonsense potting soil you shouldn't need the peat and the manure because it's already in the mix!  Therefore, we used with Maggie's Approval

1/2 Leaf Mold (decomposed leaves)
1/2 Potting Mix

Fill your bin about 1/2 way full.  You should have at between 8" to 14" of bedding.  NO DEEPER otherwise you'll crush your worms.

Before you add your worms, you need to moisten your bedding.  We used about a gallon of water, but you should see how much your own mix needs.  How do you tell how much?  The soil should be about as wet as a rung-out sponge.  If you squeeze it, you should see the water but it shouldn't drip

Step Seven - Add worms

Don't just add any worm!  You need Red Worms, otherwise known as Red Wigglers or Compost Worms.  One pound of worms will eat the food scraps of 1-2 people.

Don't mix the worms into the soil - put them on top and the light will cause them to burrow.  If you're ordering worms online, they should come with care instructions.  If you want to find worms locally, check your nearby garden and bait stores, though we didn't have any luck with that here in Boston - we had to visit a worm farm!

Step Eight - Feed your friends

There seems to be a lot of conflicting information on the web about what to feed (and what not to feed) composting worms.  The problem is this:  people assume that because worms DO eat some things, that means that they should.  Cardboard, newspaper, coffee grinds, tea bags, orange peels, lettuce, potatoes -- these are all things that your worms will eat but shouldn't.  You'll have malnourished worms and poor potting compost when their done.

Here is some advice on feeding your worms -  http://www.capecodwormfarm.com/te_food.asp

After about 6 months, you'll have beautiful compost and a lot more worms... remove the compost, get more bedding, and start again.

Happy Composting!
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / $10 vanity into cute desk on: August 19, 2005 12:11:24 PM
I found this at a local thrift store for $10!  I pulled some pieces of wood off of it and made matching fish as wall art to hang above it, then painted everything.  Hope you like it!


10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / frowny beetle - frowny bee found a friend! on: July 12, 2005 09:08:39 PM
I took Lv2ScrpBk's advice and found Mr. Frowny Bee a friend.  Meet Frowny Beetle!




aren't they perfect for each other?
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