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1  COOKING / Dessert / As easy as ? on: September 12, 2017 06:52:11 AM
This tiramisu recipe is devoured at family gatherings and the recipe is one of a handful that Kidlet enjoys making.  We want to tweek it into pumpkin spice tiramisu.  Is it as easy as adding pumpkin spice to the coffee/liqueur?  or add to the filling mixture?  or both?  What are the rules when working with alcohol and dairy?  I'm all for saturating every bit but overkill isn't good.  Thanks in advance.

2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Science project materials? on: January 20, 2017 07:29:37 AM
Kidlet has a science/STEM project.  This one requires making a mobile with string-suspended items that must be able to pivot (4 "arms" that each hold a horizontal "pipe" with 2 danglers from each pipe; like a baby crib mobile).  Any suggestions for lightweight, sturdy, portable materials are appreciated.  He also needs ideas for catchy sayings about calcium, his assigned element.  He will make an iron-on tee shirt for his presentation. 

Thanks in advance.
3  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / . on: January 17, 2017 07:29:02 AM
4  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Questions - Making gelli plates on: January 05, 2017 05:59:02 AM
I've been watching the youtube bits on making gelli plates.  To those of you who have made your own, what is your preferred recipe?  What do you like/dislike about certain methods and their results?  Is there a particular mold (pyrex casserole, jelly roll pan, etc.) that you would recommend?

There are some recipes with alcohol and some without.  Personal preferences aside, how does that make a difference in the gelli plate as far as its consistency, longevity, and usefulness?

Has anyone made gelli ornaments or smallish artsy doodads?

I've browsed this board and the info is most likely under my nose.  Any suggestions and hints are appreciated.
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Tablecloth Tidiness on: December 24, 2016 10:16:12 AM
Regardless of how careful we all are, inevitably the tablecloth gets a spill or spot.  The edges get greaseprints, gravy fingers or fruitcake crumbs thanks to those who confuse the cloth with their napkin.  Overzealous arms reach for another roll, knocking over a beverage.  Hey, it wouldn't be a family gathering without some form of war casualty on the table!

We spend a good deal of time picking out the decorations and tablewear, ... laundering, ironing, spreading and arranging so the overhang is perfect on all sides.  This year I've incorporated a quilt that MIL made, into the table setting.  To protect it, plus my investment of time and sanity, this is what I have done. 
First, a cheap twin/full blanket is draped over my antique Chippendale table (slightly narrower than the standard dining table, which makes that overhang longer than the usual).  This thin "cushion" protects my hours of sanding and staining.  Or so I tell myself.
Then sheer curtains in a deep red, to disguise the blue blanket.
Then MIL's red quilt, angled so the pointy corners are draping over the midpoints of the table sides.
Then the table runner (Pfaltzgraf Winterberry!  One of my holiday indulgences)
Then a couple of clear plastic shower curtain liners to protect all of the above.  To some, this plastic would seem tacky.  My family priorities are focused elsewhere.

Back to that long overhang ...  The table has 2 leaves to extend the length.  I took one long edge side and tucked the layered tablecloth fabrics and plastic overhangs in between the table frame and the leaf extension.  I did the same to the opposite side and to both ends, wedging them with popsicle sticks.  Voila!  No more too-long tablecloth or smudgies on hems!


               The view from underneath:

Now to finish setting the table and prepare dinner.
May you all have a safe, joyous Christmas/Hanukkah /whatever you celebrate!
6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / ** Christmas Bingo Tutorial ** (can be modified for any occasion or topic) on: November 08, 2016 03:02:07 PM
Finding an activity for all ages to enjoy can be tricky.   At our holiday gatherings, we play a homemade BINGO game.

** Christmas Bingo Tutorial **

I had a bunch of nametags and stickers left over from previous years - the generic ones that come in a pack of a hundredish but only half get used - and over time they accumulated.  
(Similar in size to the ones on this sheet)

I upcycled them into a set of BINGO game cards.  We play this game during Christmas gatherings.   The game can be personalized for any occasion or activity.  (We have a family reunion bingo, and a marching band bingo.)  Your imagination and creativity can create the perfect game for your preferences.  All ages enjoy playing, and the pictures on the stickers help little ones to find an item.

The tutorial is pretty much common info for those familiar with BINGO.
I drew 25 squares on colored 8x10 paper.  (We made 20 sheets to start with.)  Each sheet's center square was marked "FREE."  Then the stickers were put on the non-free squares, being careful to not duplicate locations on multiple sheets as best we could.  It took time to draw and to coordinate.  Everyone helped.  There were some items that we had no sticker for, so we wrote or drew the item on the square.

The bingo call cards were made in the same way.  Each item was put on a separate small square, then the squares were cut to separate the items.  Each call square was marked with the column where that item could be found (Example:  Holly has 2-I for second column or "I" in BINGO.)  This helped make the items easier to find.  The call cards are kept in a plastic ziplock baggie.  During the bingo game, the caller removes a call card from the baggie and sets it in a small dish to help keep track of what has/hasn't been called.  This takes up less room on the table.  More room for cookies!

We found a jigsaw puzzle at a yard sale for a dime that was missing a few pieces.   Those remaining puzzle pieces have been repurposed into bingo markers.  Pennies and buttons work well also.   There are many ways to play/win at bingo but we prefer the standard 5-in-a-row, up, down, or diagonally.  Prizes were little things such as candy canes or trinkets we had around the house.  The laughs were endless and the "competitive spirit" made for great fun.

There are online sites where folks can generate bingo games, but that takes up printer ink and eliminates the craft time that our family spent making our Christmas Bingo.  Regardless of how made, Bingo has helped us create fun memories without spending beaucoup bucks.

Supplies:    20 sheets of paper, stickers, baggie, pen, ruler, marker - all things we had around the house
Puzzle:   10 cents
Cherished Memories:   Priceless

However you celebrate, whatever your beliefs, may you and yours have a safe and joyous Winter Holiday Season. Smiley

7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Ideas Needed Please on: May 05, 2016 06:12:54 AM
Hello everyone!  The annual family reunion is coming up and I have been drafted to be in charge of games for the little ones.  My youngest kidlets are teenagers, and I am no longer familiar with what entertains the smidgies.  Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The reunion will be at an outdoor pavilion at a park (roof but no walls), in northern Ohio, in August.  Past events have seen sweltering heat or freezing rain.  There is no way to know how many will attend. 
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / My Challenge109 Entry on: August 10, 2015 05:49:00 PM
For this challenge, I'm submitting the package  that was sent out for my very first swap. 
It was in the Ongoing Wish Swap Round 115, which can be found here:

I claimed Grab a coffee for a recipe binder and some Christmas gift bags.  (I made 2 binders, about a dozen gift bags, and sent a few extra items as well.)  For the recipe binders, I started with two 3-ring binders and made reversible covers for them.  The wider binder has a fabric pocket on the outside front, for quick access to notes or things being worked on.  It also has pocket on the inside, and a cord to use as a bookmark.  The fabrics are: a brown to match her kitchen, and a floral-on-cream with gold glitter (she mentioned liking cream with glitter).

The smaller recipe binder (for desserts and special occasions) is covered in a cream fabric that has very small gold glittery speckles all over, and a touch of wide cream lace on the corner.  I added gathered lace and a button that looks like a wood circle (she is collecting wood circles for a project).  The binder has the floral-on-cream fabric on the inside, plus reverses to the floral-on-cream outer covering for a different look.

Before the button was added:

Inside shot, special occasions recipe binder:

Since Grab a coffee had mentioned holiday gift bags,  I made some in various sizes and with various fabrics and trims.  Some have drawstring closures, and others have velcro. 

I tucked a few magazines (on her wish list) into a gift bag, added some Starbucks coffee (on her list), some local chocolate and postcards, and a circle of wood for her project (on her list).
** See her pics in the gallery here:  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=438694.440

It was a wonderful experience and I hope Grab a coffee liked the items as much as I enjoyed making them for her. Smiley

Thank you for reading! Smiley
9  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Gift for Burn Victim on: August 04, 2015 06:13:23 AM
Recently our nephew was involved in a fire and is in a hospital burn unit with 25% of his body covered with 3rd degree burns.  His recovery will be long and painful.  (Prayers and good wishes greatly appreciated)  I would like to make something, but am stuck for ideas.

He is in his late 20s, married, with preemie twin girls.  They are understandably overwhelmed. 

The only thing I can think of is a remote holder/organizer for an armchair.  Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Alternative Cake (gluten free) on: April 18, 2013 11:07:22 AM
Our daughter wanted everyone to be able to enjoy themselves and partake of the goodies at her bridal shower and wedding.  Several folks had medical issues or food allergies, so the cake was not a traditional one.  This is her gluten free cake, made from Fruity Pebbles!  The "cake" was covered with a fondant (easily removed for diabetics) that gave the look of a traditional tiered cake.  Fruit Rollup was used for flowers and ribbon trim.  It was colorful, tasty, and received lots of compliments. 

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