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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Pet Cremains on: May 10, 2019 08:18:33 AM
This afternoon we will be saying good-bye to our beloved dog, Zena.  She has endured worsening eye issues (IOP - blindness) and we don't want her to continue suffering.  Her pain meds no longer seem to work.  Although my heart is breaking and we will miss her terribly, we must think of her comfort and well being.  I hate that I could not cure her issues or be a better petmommy.  Zena deserves a long, happy life - as do all pets.  To those of you who have lost a furbaby,  my deepest sympathies.  They are truly family.

DH refuses to have Zena buried on our land, outside in the elements.  It's touching of my big beefy husband to insist that she be kept inside, safe and warm and dry.  Zena will be cremated.  My crafty question is about her cremains,  What sort of container?  I want to make something but mentally am mush and cannot think beyond Ziplock baggies and Tupperware.  Recently we've had trees come down and I'd love something from their wood, perhaps inscribed with a wood burner .... Tips and suggestions greatly appreciated.

2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Quick Port Protector- Seat Belt Cover on: March 10, 2019 02:04:41 PM
Recently a friend has been diagnosed with cancer and has had a chemo port installed.  Alas I am out of batting for making a port protector the usual way.  Most patterns for port protectors call for a 7-8 inch square of fabric or thereabouts.  Pot holders are usually that size, and are already quilted.  Eureka!  So I dug through my mini stash of pot holders and found some with inspirational quotes and cheerful designs.  These became port protectors to wrap around seat belts.  Pre sized, pre quilted, binding attached, cute patterns --win, win, win, win!   A five inch strip of velcro was added for closure.  

Conventional seat belts are three inches wide.  I positioned the pot holders  with this in mind.
The ones below show two different velcro closures.  One (blue- on the left in all photos) shows the velcro strips closing by directly facing each other, like a taco shell.  This makes the velcro part of the pot holder stick out to the side of the seat belt, and gives an extra inch of padding for those who have automatic seat belts that swing from the top of the car door.

The sunflower/green one closes more like a burrito.  The pot holder folds into thirds with the edges and velcro overlapping.  A strip of male or hard velcro is sewn to the floral side, and the soft female velcro is sewn to the sold green back side.  It is important to sew the velcro pieces so that the harder velcro is facing upward and away from the person's body when in use.

They were made with slight differences in the velcro placement to take into accout all the "P" points:  personal preference, port placement, pectoral muscles, parables, point and parcel (any other factors).   There is removable fleece padding for extra comfort.

Front of potholders:

Back view:

I added a small removable cushion, made of 4 layers of charcoal plaid blanket fleece, for extra protection.  It does not have velcro on it but has stayed in place when tested.

Taco (left) and burrito (right)

Flip sides:

I hope this all made sense.  It is a fast project made from stash and can be used by folks on kidney dialysis as well as those on chemo:  anything with a port, surgical issue, trauma or injury to the area of the body affected by seat belts, including the lap belt for abdominal issues.  Those with skin sensitivities (elderly with tissue paper thin skin) or who simply like not having the seat belt digging into them would also benefit from protection.

3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Cricut Mats on: February 09, 2019 07:12:26 AM
DD bought a Cricut.  She is tremendously pleased at finding a bundle special and has taken a class on how to use it.  The mats are rather pricey and have a stickiness, which raises some questions.  Can a non-Cricut specific cutting mat be used, perhaps a run of the mill fabric cutting mat, with spray adhesive?  What are the pros and cons of the various mat types and what are the rules/guidelines for choosing a mat?  There were some small non-C mats on clearance at WalMart that were left at the store.  Sad

I have not had the pleasure of using a Cricut or similar machine.  They sound awesome.  I don't know which Cricut DD has, but "It's lavender!"  and doesn't cut fabric.
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / What is this please? on: January 22, 2019 02:06:54 PM
Would anyone happen to know what this is?  DD found two of them at a thrift store.  What is it used for?



DD says the rulers don't move.  Her first inkling was something sewing related.  Everything is solid, and they are too good for scaling fish.  The site on the label directs to pictures of bird houses and feed planks, but we don't see a similar piece. 
Thanks in advance.
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Potthucke: German Potato Cake Loaf on: January 13, 2019 07:56:30 AM
Has anyone made potthucke?  I can't pronounce it but this recipe looks amazing and I can't wait to try it. 

The recipe comes in both US and Metric units.
Interesting twist on meatloaves and hashbrown casserole, and easily substitutable.  Scraps in my freezer now have a new purpose.   The closest I've come to this is fried potato cake patties from leftover hash browns so this is exciting.

Ingredients (4 servings unless you have teenagers)
2 1/2 lbs potatoes
2 onions
3 1/2 oz smoked bacon diced
9 oz whipping cream
4 eggs
pinch ground rosemary or thyme

Peel 14 oz of the potatoes (about 7/8 cup) and boil them in salted water for approximately 20 minutes or until soft. Grease the loaf baking pan or line with parchment paper, leaving excess paper hanging over the sides for easy removal of the finished cake. Preheat the oven to 200C (175C fan oven) or about 390F.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the onions. In a pan, render down the bacon and lightly braise the onions with it.
Let the cooked potatoes cool down a bit. Pass through a potato ricer to mash them.
Peel, wash and roughly grate the remaining potatoes.
Knead the grated and cooked potatoes together with the onion-bacon mixture, cream, eggs and a few generous pinches of salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Add the dough to the prepared baking tin. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool before removing from the pan, either by turning it over or carefully taking it out with the parchment paper. Then cut into slices.
You can either eat it straight away, or reheat slices by frying them in a pan until brown and crispy on both sides.
6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Templates/Patterns for Boxes and Cards on: December 08, 2018 04:43:19 AM
Templates for cards and boxes.  Some are unusual shapes, and I found these helpful for 'wrapping' gifts in creative ways.

https://tipjunkie.com/free-printable-templates-gift-boxes/  (Shoes!)

7  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Nonwax Candlestick "Tapers" on: December 03, 2018 03:36:16 AM
I happened upon this site  https://madeinaday.com/holiday-gnomes/
and thought the gnome "tapers" are adorable.  It would be interesting to see what sorts of nonwax "candles" the crafty people here come up with for their candlesticks. 
8  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Cement Jack'o'lantern and Brains on: November 30, 2018 06:29:45 PM
During Halloween, we have carved and painted pumpkins for outdoor display.  Usually they last a few days until rambunctious folks smash them.  This year, cement pumpkins were made.  A plastic pumpkin treat bucket was sacrificed for the mold.  After liberally spraying with nonstick cooking spray, the inside was filled with quick drying cement mixed with water.  Drying took several days.  Unfortunately the only way to get the cement out was to break the container.  It looked scalped.  DH and the kidlets determined that brains were required.  We had a can of foam insulation left from a previous project.  The foam was sprayed into a haphazard coil and actually resembled a blob of brains.  Both cement pumpkin and brain blob were spray painted neon orange.  No one could miss it in the yard, and no one kicked the face in.  Next year we can reuse it.

9  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Thanksgiving / Thankfulness Poster on: November 25, 2018 08:08:21 AM
"What are you thankful for?" 
It is not uncommon to go around the table and have people state the things for which they are thankful.  I like this tradition.  It shows gratefulness and can be awesome for starting conversation.  My brood doesn't like doing anything speechlike.  A few are outgoing, but the rest are shy and dislike attention of any sort.  I came up with a compromise.  I had a piece of leftover posterboard trimmed with glitter, and a bunch of markers.  The poster was passed around the table for folks to sign and write about their "grates" (things they are grateful for).  Next Thanksgiving, the poster will be proudly displayed on the wall for all to admire.  Hopefully this starts a tradition that will spark memories.  May each year's poster be full to the edges Smiley

10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Shelf Tree (aka corner display) on: November 24, 2018 05:10:27 PM
DH and I made corner shelf displays for the two grown daughters, who have limited space and plan to use them as actual Christmas trees.  It all started with a text from DD2, asking DH, "Dad, can you please make this for me?"

"Oh and I need it not as wide.  I want to put it in that one corner next to the tv."  Any measurements given?  Of course not lol.  Then DD1 requested one also.  These were made from plywood, pine, a drawer, scraps, and trim that we had on hand.  Snowy white backdrop was requested, so they were painted white instead of the usual pine green.  DD1 was here for Thanksgiving and took hers before I could snap a proper photo.  DD2's is pictured below. 
No pattern was used. 

(Since DH's stroke affects his coordination, I got to help with power tools and paint.  However, I maintain that  DH/dad made these for the girls.  A labor of love Smiley )
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