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21  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Adhering felt to paper? on: December 02, 2010 02:19:30 PM
I'm new to the paper crafts arena, so please bear with me  Smiley

I'm wanting to glue a square of felt to a sheet of paper (something from The Classics pack from the Paper Studio, specifically). On hand I have my hot glue gun, fabric glue, and good old glue stick. Which one of these should I use? Or is there something else I should use?

Thanks for your help!
22  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Chainmail Belly Dance Belt (updated) on: June 28, 2010 02:15:49 PM
This is my first attempt at chainmail, and I'm very happy with it  Smiley  I'm calling it a belly dance belt, just because that's what I'll be using it for.

Basically, we had a huge bag of jump rings laying around, and I hate seeing perfectly good crafting items going unused. So I picked up some pliers and got to work, and eventually wound up with this:

C&C very welcome! The full, boring story of this little undertaking is on my blog, for anyone interested  Smiley


I finally added the coins to it I've been wanting to add...

23  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / My apartment garden (pic heavy) on: May 09, 2010 11:59:04 AM
I love having plants around, lots of them. That's not always so easy in an apartment, when you have no yard to speak of. What I do have is plenty of space indoors, a tiny slab of porch outside my front door, and a willingness to put some effort into it.

All my plants that require bright but indirect sunlight and shade plants stay indoors, usually by a sunny window. Any plants that need plenty of sunlight, or direct sunlight, go outside during the day and then get brought inside at night.

Here's my current indoors setup:

My outside plants:

My tomato plants (I have 7 total, including one beefsteak):

And my gerbera daisies (jaguar mix), which are my favorite flower, have just started to bloom:

Lastly, because I'll spare you any more, my feathered cockscomb (I also have regular cockscomb, but love this one):

Thanks for looking!
24  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Embroidered kid's writing on: May 09, 2010 11:47:46 AM
If I had any good sense, I would have taken a pic before framing it   Roll Eyes

For my mom's Mother's Day gift, I had all three of my kids (12, 6, and 2) write something on some fabric and then I embroidered over it. I used a modified satin stitch to really get the feeling of kid's handwriting. And let me tell you, embroidering all wonky-like is not as easy as it may seem!  Cheesy

All the kids chose their own colors, except my youngest (he's 2). I chose for him, because he's small and I own him.

And a somewhat better shot of the stitching...

Happy Mother's Day everyone!
25  COOKING / Dessert / Raspberry Crumb Cake on: April 26, 2010 03:19:20 PM
This is a really versatile cake, so you don't have to use raspberries. I was wanting to use up some of the packages of frozen berries I've got, and I had more of the raspberry than anything else. I think blackberries would be really good also.

As long as you don't over cook it, it's a very moist cake that you can keep covered on the counter (I hate putting most baked goods in the fridge). I serve mine with freshly whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

I'm posting the full recipe here but you can also find it over at my blog: http://thesconegunman.blogspot.com/2010/04/raspberry-crumb-cake.html

Raspberry Crumb Cake
(Makes one 9" round cake)

3 c flour plus 2 Tbsp for coating raspberries (if frozen)
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 c buttermilk*
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c unsalted butter (cold and cubed)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
2 c frozen raspberries (fresh can be used, but leave out the 2 Tbsp extra flour)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (f) and grease a 9" round cake pan (I used a springform).

Mix together buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, then set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the first four ingredients for a few seconds until combined. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Remove one cup of this mixture and set aside for the topping.

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Toss the raspberries in the 2 Tbsp flour and carefully fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Add the 2 Tbsp melted butter to the 1 cup of reserved flour mixture and stir with a fork until nice and crumbly. Sprinkle over the batter and then bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes, until a fork inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean (make sure you're not hitting a raspberry). Tent the pan if the top browns too fast.

Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

*If you don't have buttermilk on hand (as I never do) you can make your own by pouring 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar (I much prefer lemon juice for this) in a 1 c measuring cup, and then fill it to the top with regular milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then use as you need it.
26  COOKING / Dessert / Cream-Filled Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes on: April 20, 2010 04:46:17 PM
I love chocolate and cherries combined. Ok, so chocolate goes with everything, really  Cheesy

These are actually surprisingly easy to make, but are another one of those things that people will think you spent all day on.  The nice thing about these is that you can finally use that jar of marashcino cherries that's lurking behind the mustard in the back of your fridge. You know it's there.

27  COOKING / Dessert / Raspberry lemonade scones on: April 13, 2010 11:16:44 AM
I make a new dessert just about every day. It's a sickness  Cheesy

Ok, so maybe it's somewhat tacky to rave about your own recipe, but I'm going to go ahead and be the rhinestone bolero here and just say that these are so, so very good. I love tart, fruity desserts. These have lemon and whole raspberries in them as well as a tangy lemon glaze.

If you want to try them out, I posted the recipe on my blog: http://thesconegunman.blogspot.com/2010/04/raspberry-lemonade-scones.html

These are super quick and easy. It's only takes about 10 minutes to put it all together (if even), and 15-20 minutes to bake.

28  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / What the Hello Kitty... on: April 13, 2010 11:07:32 AM
My daughter has been after me for months now to embroider her a Hello Kitty in one way or another. So when micheleleigh posted her finished HK piece a gauntlet was thrown and I had to redeem myself from slacksville  Cheesy

Because I was too lazy to satin stitch her eyes (my original plan) she got button eyes. Except those are the smallest I had, and now poor HK is looking somewhat demented. But that's alright, my daughter loves her anyway, no matter how disquieting she may be  Smiley

29  COOKING / Dessert / Viennese strawberry cake on: April 11, 2010 06:32:27 PM
I adapted this one from the Vienna plum cake recipe in Taste of Home's 2009 Comfort Food issue. I've been wanting to try this cake and since strawberries are popping up everywhere now and look so freakin' good, I knew I had to modify the recipe.

Warning: make sure you wash your hands after handling strawberries if you're planning on picking up some light-colored knitting afterwards. Lesson learned  Cheesy

It's really easy, and should work with just about any seasonal fruit. It's really moist and sweet, but not too sweet. Actually, it's so good I'm determined to make another this week. If you're interested, I posted the recipe on my blog (including the recipe for my whipped cream): http://thesconegunman.blogspot.com/2010/04/viennese-strawberry-cake-and-freshly.html

30  COOKING / Dessert / No-bake key lime cheesecake on: April 06, 2010 02:15:57 PM
Recipe included below!

Ok, I'm a bit of a liar. This isn't exactly, completely no-bake. The crust is baked for 6 minutes. However, you could skip baking it if you want. I bake it only because I like a bit of crunch to it to contrast the creaminess of everything else, and because it holds up a little better (meaning it doesn't crumble away the second you stick a fork in it).

Most no-bake cheesecakes don't incorporate juice into the recipe, because adding juice without the benefit of baking makes for a runny filling. However, I love no-bake cheesecakes, and I love key lime pie, so I was bound and determined to come up with something that would work. I gave it some thought and managed to make it work on my first try (that doesn't happen very often  Wink)

This takes about 30 minutes to make, but looks like it took a lot longer. I love that  Cheesy

So some of you may be wondering why I put juice into the crust. It's because adding more than 1/2 c of juice to the filling throws off the ratio, making it too runny. However, you really want that extra juice for flavor (a good key lime pie is a tangy one). So I decided I'd compensate what I had to leave out of the filling by adding it to the crust. That in turn meant I had to use less butter than I normally would have (6 Tbsp). In the end, it all worked out perfectly.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I imagine I'll be making this a lot more.

No-bake Key Lime Cheesecake

For the crust:
1 c finely ground graham crackers (about 1 package. A food processor makes this simple)
4 Tbsp melted butter (1/2 stick)
2 Tbsp key lime or lime juice

For the filling:
12oz cream cheese (about a package and a half, softened)
1/2 c key lime or lime juice
1/2 c heavy whipping cream (whipped)
1/3 c white sugar (I actually used slightly less, so as not to negate the tanginess of the lime)
Lime wedges (optional, for garnish)

For the whipped cream:
1 c heavy whipping cream
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make the crust: Preheat your oven to 350. Mix the graham crumbs and sugar, then slowly add the butter and juice (again, a food processor is great for this, but a whisk works just as well). Dump the mix into the middle of a standard pie plate (or pie tin, just not deep dish, unless you change the ingredient amounts accordingly). Make sure to get the crust as far up the sides as you can. Bakes for 6 minutes. Cool completely.

Make the filling: First, whip the cream (put the cream into a smaller mixing bowl and beat it on medium speed until it's stiff. Be careful not to over-beat, or it will break down). Set the bowl aside. In a larger mixing bowl beat the cream cheese, sugar, and lime juice until smooth and creamy. Carefully fold in the whipped cream.

Make the whipped cream topping: Beat the cream on medium until it's *almost* stiff. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue until stiff.

Put it all together:  Spoon the filling into the cooled pie crust and spread it out evenly. Use a pastry bag (or a Ziploc with a small snip of corner cut off) to pipe whipped cream on in the design of your choice. Put the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes (to do a quick-set), then cover with foil or a pie lid and put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Garnish with the lime wedges if you want (just do it after the freezer stage).
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