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1  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 58 ENTRIES / Harry Potter Hogwarts Inspired Castle 13 Images on: January 04, 2011 01:59:15 PM
When I saw the announcement for the gingerbread house contest, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I can remember like yesterday when my two girls, who are now little women (17 and 19 years of age as of today), started reading their first Harry Potter novel at the ages of  nine and eleven.  This is actually our first attempt at a gingerbread house, next year's might be on a smaller scale as this one takes up a card table! Tongue

The gingerbread makes up most of the castle, except for the turrets, which are ....shhhh.......Ice cream cones.  The whole thing was mortared together with white icing, sprayed with a caramel coloring, and the windows and brick and turret toppings, as well as the roads and big doors were done with sugar glass and my other secret weapon.......sunflower seeds.  My other secret weapon for the great hall and the look of the columns were done with pretzles.....and of course the Yule effect was done with powdered confectioners sugar and a flour sifter. Some of the figures were molded out of a cream cheese and confectioner's sugar "paste", some are marzipan.....and some are non-edible. Smiley

I have tried to do honor and justice to the creators of this magical world, although there was MUCH "communication" about the vast creative interpretations of the castle over the last ten years.  The family  in particular loved the Yule Ball time period, so I chose to use that as the theme, and to build my own "vision" from the shoulders of the masters.   Hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did making it.  

Also, I would like to point out that since it was a large undertaking, there are lots of hidden goodies in the pics, so if you zoom in or enlarge, you may just see a giant spider, or a dragon, or maybe even a doxie or two in your wanderings.  Happy Hunting! Smiley  

addendum:  I will try to answer questions the best I can on this forum pertaining to this project, however, my computer has met with a bad battery/cord problem, so I am sans computer right now and typing this from the most wonderful neighbor in the world's computer. Cheesy  

2  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / sugar skulls and recipe without meringue powder and misc on: October 09, 2010 01:18:29 PM
still getting my halloween creative freak on....the pics don't do justice to the skulls, but hopefully you get the gist..I used a skull ice tray I found at the dollar tree, and candy molds from ervan guttman that I have sitting around the kitchen...

recipe for sugar sculpture (skulls and misc)
3 cups of granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water

Knead together until sugar sticks together in lumps.  Color or tint by adding a drop of color before you knead the sugar.  Pack into molds cavities and smooth off any excess.  Let stand until a crust forms and then pop out of mold..(for small and thin molds this can be done in ten minutes, but I usually wait till next day, just to be sure)

you can also use most recipes for cake fondant in molds with same time frame..though, to be sure, the sugar recipe is the best for hardness..

and here is one more with cream cheese...

3 oz. cream cheese
food coloring as desired
flavoring as desired
2 1/4 cup of confectioner sugar
Beat cream cheese until soft.  add coloring and flavoring ..gradually add sugar.  Knead until consistency is like pie dough..(for firmer mix, add sugar)..roll into marble sized balls..dip one side into granulated sugar *colored or otherwise*..place ball, sugar side down, into cavity of mold, pressing from edge to center.  unmold at once onto wax paper.  makes 24 pieces for typical mold size..

for the spider egg sac deviled eggs, I took the best of both ...martha stewarts spiderweb egg trick and the cute little olive spiders that I saw sitting on top of the deviled eggs on a bunch of halloween food websites...we also colored some of the eggs purple after peeling for variety sake....I could also see this being done with green for dragons eggs or what have you....thanks for looking!! (more pics below)

I'm going back to this weekend's craft obsession...mini hats!!!

3  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / More Halloween Rose Ideas on: October 03, 2010 03:30:28 PM
Supplies Needed for fabric roses
white fake fabric roses (especially cheap at the dollar store)
Black RIT Dye or whatever color you prefer

Supplies needed for frosting roses
white frosting
food coloring of choice
Wilton cake frosting tiip number 104
cake frosting decorator bag with coupler

Fabric flower are easy.....
follow instructions on box of RIT dye

Frosting flowers
color your frosting with food coloring
insert frosting into decorator pastry bag and use your coupler and wilton 104 frosting tip  (if unsure how to make roses, there's bound to be a tut on here somewhere, and if not, there's always google "how to make frosting roses"

I just used ready made frosting, let it air dry in fridge for a day, then let them air dry on the counter for a day....easy peasy.....

Happy Halloween Smiley
4  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Coffee Filter Roses on: October 03, 2010 03:16:50 PM
more Halloweening craft adventures...inspired by the mommy makes roses website

supplies needed
round or v shaped coffee filters
electric tape
floral wire
black foam
white craft glue (elmers) with vinegar (3 parts glue to one part vinegar)
toothpick or any kind of foam drawing stick
sawtooth craft scissors for leaves (or crocodile teeth, as my kids call them)

used food coloring and or sugarless kool aid to soak round or v shaped coffee filters in...about 1/4 cup liquid mix should do the trick for 7-10 coffee filters...let them soak up the color and then completely dry...

after they are dry, fold each individual filter into a triangle shape, then trim in a nice rose petal shape, and cut into each fold almost to the end of the triangle..wrap  filter around a pencil or reasonable substitute, (your first one should be tightly wrapped to resemble the middle of a rose) then fluff, fold and curl until you get the shape you want...continue to build your flower layer by layer and then secure the whole thing by wrapping the bottom 1/2 inch tightly around and securing with tape...
I personally suggest the layers be built using the 3, 5, and 7 flower petal method (i.e., first layer is a tight bud, second layer has three "petals, second layer has five and so on and so forth)....
for another option just take the folded triangle coffee filter with scissors, cutting in strips nearly to the bottom ...wrap as above.......this creates a fluffy mum, chrysanthemum looking flower...

make leaves by cutting black craft foam into a spade shape, then take a toothpick and "draw" leaf veins into each side of the foam...apply glue where you just drew the veins, and then cover in glitter.  Shake excess glitter off. 

insert  your floral wire into the bottom of the flower and while holding tightly to the bottom of your bud and the wire, take a roll of black electric tape (or green flower tape if you wish) wrap the flower and wire together from the taped bottom of your flower all the way to the end of the wire...don't forget to insert your black leaves as you are wrapping your flower.....

spread the glue and vinegar onto a flat area and lightly "dip" your rose tops into the glue, then shake on glitter, or have a flat plate of glitter nearby to "dip" the flowers into........let dry for 24 hours...


5  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Recycled Tic Tac Mint Box Grave Water Globes on: October 02, 2010 01:48:03 PM
Just something cute for the holiday I whipped up.  These cute little containers are only limited by your own imagination.  My daughter and I had a lot of fun putting things in them, on them, around them, you name it!  lol.......

Basically to waterproof we used grey duct tape and filled them with little halloween goodies (cheap plastic rings, foam halloween cutouts, stickers), googly eyes, glitter, and or/distilled water and/or baby oil, but you could use vegetable oil as well.....(nice yellow tone)...you can do an infinite number of thing to obtain the "gravestone" part of these....grey consturction paper inside with no water or oil.....stickers on the outside....you can simply take a black marker or pen and put little freehand designs on the duct tape or if you use a black sharpie, you can write on the outside of the container and cover with anything grey......get the picture??

We are having a Halloween weenie roast soon, and I think these will be neat to put out or use as favor boxes, not to mention I also have a friend who's anniversary is on Halloween..(and she's expecting her 3rd baby then too!lol)...so I'm making them a cake with really cool grey and black roses and purple icing with black lacy designs piped on.....I may do a haunted house or graveyard theme as well....thinking about putting these little boxes around the perimeter of the cake plate.....hmmmm...

anyways.....hope you enjoy this craft as much as we did...they were easy, recycled, and just cool imho!  have fun and happy holiday!  

attempting to put pics of craft up......hope I'm doing this right......lol *cross fingers*

backside: (tape wrinkled a lil, the lil' devil)

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