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December Announcement: It's time for our Eighth Annual Gingerbread Contest!  Craft and enter a project for a chance to win a prize!
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71  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Fourth Quarter 2013 Featured Cooking Projects on: January 02, 2014 09:32:44 AM
4Q2013 Featured Cooking Projects

Stroopwafels- Dutch Caramel Filled Cookie by Ezri_B  

My first successful fondant covered cake - Doctor Who!
by BenaeQuee  

Minion Cake by chughes225  

Chrismas Rib Roast by txweekendchef  

Portobello Mushroom Lasagna by kittykill  
72  COOKING / Dessert / Sweet Holiday Treat Tutorial Challenge - Voting is Open Thru January 6th! on: December 30, 2013 10:27:11 AM

image credit http://www.gelsominas-cucina.co.uk

It's time to vote!
73  COOKING / Dessert / How to Post Your Entry- Sweet Holiday Treats Tutorial Challenge Due by 12/29 on: December 22, 2013 07:58:13 AM
To post your entry, please start a new topic for it here on this board.  Click NEW TOPIC on this board to post your entry! DO NOT post your project in this thread.

You have from today through midnight, December 29th.

Please remember, your tutorial entry must include the recipe, a photo of the finished treat and at least 3 in-process photos.  More photos are fine, but your entry must include at least these four (final plus three in-process).  A photo of your starting ingredients counts as in-process.

If you are a new member, and cannot post images yet, please just post a direct link to your image(s) in your post.  A friendly neighborhood Moderator will come along and update your post to embed the image(s) for you.

74  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Mousetrap Crime Scene Using Miniature People on: December 11, 2013 03:45:15 AM
I always try to make my son-in-law something odd for Christmas, cause I'm that kind of person.  I've been playing around with HO scale train people and saw something on Pinterest a while back that caught my eye that uses them.  I was inspired to make a version for him.  His desk is covered with little odd things made by me, this should fit right in! 

Disclaimer - No mice were injured making this craft...
75  COOKING / Dessert / Sour Cherry Pie on: November 28, 2013 05:11:58 AM
This is my family's favorite pie, and it's sooo easy!  I make my own pie crust but my mom uses premade frozen for this pie and is asked by her friends to make it all the time. 

Just a few ingredients:
Two cans of pitted tart cherries packed in water.
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 unbaked 9 inch pie crusts

Start by draining cherries and save just 1/3 cup of the juice.  Every time I make this I think 1/3 cup won't be enough but it is!  Combine the sugar, cornstarch and juice in a medium saucepan.  Stir to incorporate the cornstarch.

Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Boil for 2 minutes.

Take your pan off the heat and stir in the almond extract and drained cherries.

Pour mixture into the pie crust.

Your top crust can either be a solid one with slits cut for the steam to release or you can get fancy.  This is one of our Thanksgiving pies so I used cookie cutters for fancy shapes.  The pie gets baked for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for 40 minutes more.  The pie is done when the crust is golden and the cherries are bubbling.

76  COOKING / Dessert / Sweet Holiday Treat Tutorial Challenge on: November 26, 2013 08:24:51 AM

image credit http://www.gelsominas-cucina.co.uk

All of you fabulous bakers, it's time for a cooking challenge!  The subject is Sweet Holiday Treat Tutorials.  You can make dessert, candy, cookies, pie, cake, cupcakes, fruitcake, sticky buns - anything sweet that helps celebrate the Winter Holidays.  You know you will be baking anyways... grab a camera to snap a few photos while you're baking and share your talents with us!  This way, we can all learn how to make your favorite holiday masterpiece.  

Important note: Because Craftster will be hosting a site-wide gingerbread house challenge over the holidays, gingerbread houses will not be eligible for this Sweet Holiday Treat Tutorial challenge.

The Rules:

-This challenge is open to all Craftster members.

- Your tutorial entry must include the recipe, a photo of the finished treat and at least 3 in-process photos.  More photos are fine, but your entry must include at least these four (final plus three in-process).  A photo of your starting ingredients counts as in-process.

-You must be posting something new.  Anything posted previously on Craftster is not eligible.  Entries will be moved to our desserts board after the contest is over.

-Your entry must be sweet, not savory.

-Each participant may enter just once.

-This contest will be open for entries from December 22nd through midnight Sunday, December 29th.  

The winner of this challenge will be able to select a t-shirt from us at Craftster.org -- You will be able to choose any one from our online shop at http://www.shop.craftster.org/
77  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Tiny Zombie Diorama Necklace on: November 07, 2013 11:22:04 AM
I received a tiny little plexiglass and brass box for my birthday this year and had a hard time deciding what to put inside it.  Since it looks to me like a phone booth, I decided to put a guy with something scary inside. What's scarier than a zombie?  He's trapped with someone just rising from the grave.  The people are HO scale train people, and they are kind of hard to find.

The tombstone is made of poly clay and the grass is made of felt I received from LimeRiot in an IYP swap.  The entire thing is an inch high.
78   / CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Advice Interview - noooitaremybirthday on: November 04, 2013 01:46:43 PM
Our newest interviewee is the talented Kira Nichols, who goes by the name of noooitaremybirthday here on Craftster.  She is a Tutorial Contributor for Craftster and she was also a Master Craftster for our Elmer's campaign.  At this time, she's had almost 2000 sales in her etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/kiranichols and designs a line of stamps for Stampotique http://www.stampotique.com/stamp/kira-nichols.html

Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm 27 year-old Seattle native who now lives in Alabama with my husband of 7 years. We love animals and have 4 budgies, 1 sun conure, an old dog named Tink, and 19 friendly chickens.

What is your favorite craft to do?
Each craft is fun in its own way, and I love them all (mostly!), but my favorite standby that I always come back to is papercrafting in all its various forms. Paper, paints, glue, embellishments... Drooling, excuse me.

Oodles of Colorful Inchies & Rinchies

Do you have any formal arts training?
Not really! The last art class I took was in the 8th grade. When I want to learn a new skill or sharpen an old one, I just rely on books, YouTube, and practice.

Where does your crafty inspiration come from?
I've thought about this one a lot, because my husband is always asking how I come up with stuff. I've come to this conclusion; My parents let me watch a lot of Animal Planet and Ren & Stimpy as a kid. Having all the diversity of the animal kingdom ingrained in my noggin probably had a lot to do with how I think now. I'm still totally fascinated by animation. I probably watch way too many cartoons for my age. I think it's the shapes and colors and different styles that keep me into it.

Needle Felted Sun Conure

I know you're on the Alpha Stamps design team, any others?
Just working with Alpha Stamps right now, and it's a blast. Great group of ladies! I'm happy to be a part of the DT. It keeps me busy enough!

How does one get on a design team?  Is it something you try out for?
Usually, companies with design teams hold open calls every 1-2 years. To apply, you answer a questionnaire and submit photos of sample artwork. You send them examples of what you can do, then you cross your fingers and hope they like what they see!

Has any of your work been featured in a magazine or publication?
My witch bookmarks were featured in People Magazine last Christmas, which was crazy and so fun.

Ruby Slippers/Wicked Witch Bookmark

How did you get involved in designing stamps for Stampotique?
A sweet fan of Stampotique who also happened to be one of my blog readers sent me a random e-mail one day. She had seen my illustrations and made the mental connection for me, telling me how cool it would be to have my drawings as rubber stamps for Stampotique. I though, wow, that WOULD be pretty cool. So I e-mailed the owner, Carol, sent her some sample artwork and boom. The rest is history.

Colorful Greeting Cards

When did you open your etsy shop?
I opened it at the very beginning of 2010.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about opening an etsy shop?
Know what you are going to sell, and have some quality stock for your shop before you start spreading the word. If you're sending folks to your shop, and there's nothing to see or buy, they may not come back. Also, don't be discouraged if you don't make a lot of sales right away. It took me a couple of years before I actually started making money and a big stroke of luck finding out what people want to buy. Keep experimenting. Oh, and it also helps if you blog regularly or have an active Facebook Fanpage the more people who see your work, the more potential customers you'll have.

How often do you blog?  How has it helped your business?
I currently try to blog at least a couple times per month. I actually started my blog well before I opened up a shop. At the beginning, I was blogging a different project almost every single day, so that really helped to build my readership. Once I opened my shop, I already had a good number of people paying attention to my crafting, so I'm sure it helped with sales.

Can you offer any advice on pricing?
This depends on why you're doing what you're doing. If you want to make some profit, the formula I try to stick with for most items is cost of materials, plus at least $10/hr for labor time. That can make things seem expensive, but you've gotta value your time properly. Folks are paying for heart and soul, not robots and machines.

What business advice should every Craftster know?
Keep it fun! Crafting is first and foremost something that brings us happiness and (hopefully) relaxation. I was initially really (REALLY) hesitant to start an Etsy shop, because I was afraid that my love of making stuff would become a chore, and crafting would be ruined forever. That didn't happen, because I just won't let it come to that! Just remember that your crafty business is what you make it. It's yours, and you can change it however you like: Dial back, ramp it up, add some sequins or pinecones, whatever. You're in control.

Finally, what would you like stamped on your tombstone?
That's a really tough question. So many thoughts. Probably, a good one would be: "We didn't know what to do with all the junk this woman left behind, but she was alright."
79  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Rainbow I-Spy Quilt on: October 18, 2013 11:20:17 AM
I've been collecting 4 by 4 inch I-Spy squares for a long time.  When I finally sat down to lay them out, I realized I had enough in each color to make it rainbow-inspired.  This was a collaboration between me and my Mom.  I finished the top and she was responsible for the quilting. I just received a photo of the finished quilt and thought I would share.

Here's another view of the finished quilt top before I sent it off to her.

A close-up of my favorite section.

The back is a combination of outer space, glow in the dark and 3-D fabrics.

80  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Vincent Price's Living Room on: October 06, 2013 08:15:11 AM
For the One Tiny Halloween Thing swap, we had to list five themes for our partner to consider.  My partner, Ludi, listed some 'normal' Halloween things like bats, cats and skeletons but she also listed Vincent Price.  I couldn't get him out of my mind and considered it a personal challenge.  Cheesy  The item had to fit within a 4 by 4 inch space so I selected an altoid tin to craft with, and came up with Vincent Price's Living Room. 

There's a mid-century metal chair in front of a TV where his Muppet episode is playing.  There are a few of his movie posters on the walls, and a spooky night outside the window.  Popcorn waits on the little cube side table.  We had one of those tables at my house growing up.

He and Kermit are both trying on vampire teeth!  The walls are red suede with wainscoting.  The floor is 'hardwood'.

I knew it needed something else and decided to craft a tingler to put under his chair.  It's either a pet or is lying in wait for him to arrive home...

I got the frame for his portrait and the awesome tiny window from Retro Cafe Art. 
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