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11  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong Yule Term 2016/2017*~ Join anytime! on: November 30, 2016 02:12:42 PM
I love that advent calendar too, such a great idea and a lovely execution.

The Luke's Diner mug ornament is lovely so sweet and really well done too, making the coffee with alternating swirls makes it look as if it has just been stirred.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Apparition
SPEW: n/a
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: When life gives you lemons and you dont like lemonade
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description: I love lemons. When life gives me lemons it is a time for celebration. My local supermarket offered me a really cheap bag of lemons, so it was time for marmalade Smiley.
   8 lemons
   3x water
   3x jam sugar (contains pectin)

I cut off the lemon peel and sliced it as finely as I could. Then I cut up the lemons coarsely (top tip here: if youre going to put your marmalade into tiny pots, cut up your lemons finely now, dont wait until the marmalade is already boiling, its much more fiddly then).  I put all the ingredients in the saucepan.
I boiled it, for about an hour and a half. Watch it, if you dont it will boil over. To check that its ready, drop a little onto a cold surface (saucer, bowl, etc that has been in the fridge) after 30 seconds push it with a finger, if it wrinkles it is ready. Im impatient, it took me 5 goes before I got wrinkles.
Whilst I watched my marmalade, I rummaged around my cupboards for some clean jars, took the lids off and boiled them in some water, put the jars on a baking tray in a cold oven and brought it to temperature (150C).
When my marmalade was ready I took out the jars and filled them very very carefully. The marmalade boiled again when it hit the jars, so I knew they were sterile. I then took out the lids from the boiling water and quickly dried them and placed them on the jars. Using an oven glove, I tightened the lids. Most of my lids popped down (always a good sign) and those will be the ones I give away.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Divination
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Wade has cold feet.
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description: I learned to knit from a number of friends a few years ago, at that time I acquired a number of orphan balls of wool of all sorts of materials and weights. I got a ball of bright yellow lace weight acrylic from a charity shop mixed bag. My friends partner has just had a baby who was somewhat premature. When he received the 6 month size booties that I standardly knit for new babies, I saw his face drop, he couldnt imagine his lovely baby ever using them. I used DK yarn and 4mm needles to knit that pair of baby booties, so I looked through and found my smallest pair of needles and the yellow lace weight wool and knitted the same pattern again. Knitting is my go-to craft, I can take it anywhere and escape the rush-rush hurry-hurry world for a few minutes. As I presented the new, tiny booties to my friend, I saw his face light up. It seems that they have few clothes that fit Wade at the moment and nothing that will cover his tiny feet, but my new booties are a good size for him now: Wade doesnt have to have cold feet any more. Happy friends means a happy Antidigger.

P.s. The picture shows an ordinary pair of booties for scale, they will have their own post once they've got ribbons.
12  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong Yule Term 2016/2017*~ Join anytime! on: November 16, 2016 10:44:44 AM
Thank you Edel C Smiley.

Doodlebug, you are so right, I too now want the boring bits done by someone else. Particularly I want someone else to knit my gauge square! Yes, I know, not practical, but it's still what I'd like. Wink
13  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: 2016 Annual DeStash-Along on: November 16, 2016 04:42:55 AM
they look amazing
14  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong Yule Term 2016/2017*~ Join anytime! on: November 15, 2016 01:31:37 PM
Noodlebug, what a splendid tail, fishy perfection!.

TechnicolorAquahearts I love your tunic dress, did you tie dye it yourself, or have you the best taste in fabric? It's a great fit anyhow.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Alchemy
SPEW: n/a
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: The not so hungry caterpillar.
Brief Description: about a year ago a baby was born to a very dear friend. She asked for something knitted, something hungry caterpillar related. Now Id seen some lovely patterns for a hungry caterpillar cocoon and hat, and because she is such a dear friend, I decided that, hang the cost, this would be knitted from the best yarn I could find. Suffice it to say it did not come cheap, and when I discovered that Id run out, half way through, it became twice the (already eye-wateringly expensive) price. I didnt want to waste it after at most a couple of photo shoots and a couple of months of use, so I did what I am good at: converted it to something else. This time around, the not so little babe has a bolster pillow in the shape of a big fat caterpillar. Creating the segments was just a matter of restricting the expansion of the woollen sock in certain places and filling his hungry belly. Turning the hat into a head needed an additional section knitting: I took the original pattern, picked up stitches from the first hat, and started the pattern again part way through. It was a bit odd, stuffing the head whilst still knitting it, but it seemed to work. After that, it was just a matter of sewing it securely. And all because I wont let anything go to waste.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: House Unity
SPEW: n/a
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: (Un?)lucky red keyring bags

Brief Description: Bored in a history of magic class one afternoon, I started knitting hidden behind my textbook. In order to keep up the pretence of reading Id turn the page every time I got to the end of the row. Unfortunately I forgot to check that the book was the right way up, Professor Binns floated right through my book to see what I was doing! I guess the next project I turn in will have to be a detention Sad Anyway, in the meantime, Id managed to knit a couple more of the keyring bags, red for Gryffindor. I think I got distracted by developing the mix of colours. * full disclosure, the bag on the left Ive already turned in as a project, so there are only 2 that count here.

15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong Yule Term 2016/2017*~ Join anytime! on: November 14, 2016 01:41:56 PM
Incredible cape Shocked Shocked Smiley and I love the deathly hallows spoon too.
16  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong Yule Term 2016/2017*~ Join anytime! on: November 10, 2016 11:25:58 AM
What an amazing wreath Professor Trelawney! I love all the things that come in, I so want to do some shoes and hope they look as good as annoying big sister's, but I doubt I will ever get there with so much else to do in the meantime.
17  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong Yule Term 2016/2017*~ Join anytime! on: November 07, 2016 10:34:47 AM
Hi Magpirate, my other half says that pie should always have a bottom crust, if it doesn't then it's just a stew with a biscuit. Love the minecraft cake too, so much fun.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: House Pride
SPEW: n/a
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: More Keyring bags
Brief Description: Oh, Ive been knitting away at these for some time. They will be Christmas gifts. These are some more bamboo bags, knitted from 2 remnants, silver grey and self striping Ravenclaw blue.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Put a Pumpkin on it
SPEW: (If your item is for charity, enter that here; if not leave blank or add n/a.)
Project Name: Curried Pumpkin soup
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description:
I take a flask of soup to work quite frequently and I like to make my own, from whatever Ive got in the garden, or otherwise available. Just after halloween I have a pumpkin available

All the good bits left from the carved pumpkin a couple of days after halloween.
Stock to cover the pumpkin pieces
Spices to taste, my choice was brought to you by the letter C today!
   A chilli. (mine was a dried one from last harvest)
   Oh, and some Garam Masala, which spoils the theme.
Salt & pepper

Put everything except the milk in the slow cooker.
Turn on and set for several hours (I chose 9 because I had a busy day planned), go shopping/to the cinema/play hopscotch/insert activity of choice here, although a fortnights vacation probably takes too long.
After the slow cooking has finished to your satisfaction, cool somewhat and blend.
Divide into portions that are pleasing to you (I have single person portions, but its up to you) and freeze those you dont intend to eat now.
Rewarm soup, add a dash of milk, serve in bowl or cup with a sprinkle of Garam Masala on the top.
Mmm, reviving on a winters evening. And I ate my lunchtime portion before I thought to photograph it, please pardon the slightly out of focus photo too.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Study of ancient Runes
SPEW: (If your item is for charity, enter that here; if not leave blank or add n/a.)
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Baby toes
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description: I seem to be surrounded by pregnant people. I have 3 to knit for at present and these booties are for a very friendly couple in the bakery near to where we live. Baby is due in December, so I havent got long, but here are the first things: booties. Now they are only tiny, but it takes me ages to finish them, not because of all the knitting involved, but the number of different steps. The little frills at the top make me stop talking or listening in order to get all the stitches the right way around. The holes the ribbon is threaded through drive me potty, its just the wrong rhythm for me, I have to unknit & reknit them 4 or 5 times each boot and to finish off it demands kitchener stitch, which, after  8 attempts, I think I may have finally understood. The main difficulty with these booties is that there is no let up. They need concentration all the way through and a sustained period of concentration is not natural to me. I do think theyre pretty though.
18  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong Yule Term 2016/2017*~ Join anytime! on: November 07, 2016 05:06:15 AM
Wow everyone, so many amazing halloween costumes, you do astonishing things. I'm afraid that all my effort goes into the decorations, they're lucky if I remember to put on the witches hat!

Raspberry & rose preserve: the sounds fascinating.

The colouring pumpkin is just the best colours and looks good enough to frame.

Gaudiknight, I love the variety of clothes you produce for your dolls, they're better dressed than most people round by me!

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Defense against the Dark Arts
SPEW: n/a
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Cosy Toes

Brief Description:
This year, we are planning a trip to Zurich in Switzerland in December. I hope that it will be as magical as I imagine with the weather that we all expect of a mountainous region in the winter. And I love snow, I adore snow, I dance when it snows, but… I do want it to snow when I’m all snuggly warm. My boots are lovely, but have really thin soles. If I dance in the snow with thin soles I will soon have cold feet (boo), so to keep them warm I need some thick insoles. Yes, I could have bought some, but come on, I’m a craftster. I have recently acquired a number of my mother in law’s wooden jumpers, so I applied heat to one of them and it magically shrank to half it’s size and in the process, became considerably thicker, in accordance with Antoine Lavoisier’s theory of conservation of stuff. I then made a paper pattern of the inside of my boots (discovering that the previous insoles that I did buy were clearly too small). I cut out the sleeves of the miniaturised jumper and pinned the pattern to the opened out sleeves and cut around it. If I don’t count the time in the washing machine to felt the jumper, this only just beats the 30 minute rule, but I did take a lot of time to make sure the pattern fit exactly.

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Herbology
SPEW: n/a
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: What’s in here again?
Brief Description:
My kitchen is green. I have no problem with that, but it is my other half’s least favourite colour. In order to cover up as much of the green as possible, we’ve added some posters to the cabinet doors and also some notice boards. The book page borders to these notice boards are stained with teamed because I didn’t seal them, every now and again, he gets a lovely whiff of tea from them. It must smell really tempting, I’ve never had so many cups of tea made for me.

There may be a few more projects from me today: I'm actually getting around to photographing stuff.
19  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Re: Halloween Apothecary (sooooo many pics) on: October 31, 2016 02:09:54 PM
We don't have dollar stores, so I can't get any ethically sourced bat brains.  Darn!

wonderful project!

I have cat brains in my apothecaries window. My brother had a cat when we were growing up: it used to lie on the stairs in the dark and then object when it got stood on! My mum used to try to stop me from being so annoyed with it, by reminding me that cats only have brains the size of walnuts. Hence walnuts have always been known as cat brains ever since.
20  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong Yule Term 2016/2017*~ Join anytime! on: October 30, 2016 11:13:17 AM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Care of Magical Creatures
Project Name: Maidens Eyes
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description:
I love the Autumn. The colours and the cooler weather comes as a relief after the heat of summer. The garden has one last burst of life and produces its sweetest fruits. Something that I always collect in Autumn is conkers (horse chestnuts). They start off a beautiful glossy brown and dry out to get darker and a little more wrinkled. Sometimes I take a special trip to gather them, but most often I just pick them up from wherever Ive travelled. In each room of the house there are a small pile of conkers from someplace Ive been.

The game of conkers, a childhood tradition, has been banned in some schools in the UK because of the risk or flying fragments. If you dont know conkers, each child has a conker with a hole drilled in it, threaded on a length of string, it is played as a knockout competition, you take turns to use your conker to hit the other conker, the conker that survives is the winner. A sixer (a conker that has survived 6 competitions) is a highly desirable.

I took some of my drier conkers and painted them with white acrylic paint, then I created some more dilute coloured acrylic. I cut down a small piece of foam to a rough circle and used it to stamp an iris on the white conkers, some I just plain stamped and others I twisted to get a more solid colour. I then used some black acrylic undiluted on the end of a pencil to make the pupil (mostly, a couple I gave slits like animal eyes).

Then I just loaded up an unused jar
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Charms
Project Name: Bag in a bag
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description:
These wee bags on keyrings could be used for many things, but I use one to make sure that I have a carrier bag whenever I need one, for unexpected shopping items, or if I need something disposable to use for litter or occasionally to keep things dry if I get caught out by a shower. I dare say it could be used for an emergency store of sanitary items. They take me about an hour to knit and are a great way to use up the remnants of yarn. These ones are knitted in bamboo and donated acrylic.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Muggle Studies
Project Name: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
Project Page Link (if available):
Brief Description:
Halloween is coming and I love to create stuff for it. This year I saw some amazing dioramas with ravens in them in the shops. But they were far too small for my ambitions! I already had a lovely glass cloche from my mother-in-laws so all that was needed were the ingredients. For the base I covered an old box with book pages and then used moss from the garden to give it a little more life. I think I gave it a bit too much life so a few dead sticks from the twisted hazel made it a bit more sinister for the backdrop. Then down to the raven: I took some tin foil to make the base of the body and some garden wire to make the legs. I covered the lot in masking tape. Then I found a black paper carton for pears that I was just about to throw out, and used my (brand new, dedicated to paper making, how excited about that am I?) blender and some hot water to mush it down. When it had cooled enough to handle I covered the bird form with the mush and moulded it to the shape I wanted. Then I hung it upside down in the airing cupboard to dry overnight. The next morning I found that the tail was a little out of shape, so I just sprayed it with a little more water till it just softened and bent back to the place I wanted it. After it had dried a second time, I painted the feet and lower legs with black acrylic paint and glued on his beady eyes. Yes, really, beads for eyes.Then I quickly popped him under the cloche before he started demanding the eyeballs I made earlier.

Project Picture:
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