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1  Re: I Heart Tea Swap Rd 2 - Gallery in The Swap Gallery by the_essence on: January 25, 2014 09:57:04 PM
Sorry I've been so mia everyone, but all the packages look fantastic! Really great tea stuff Smiley

I received a really lovely package from .:dollface:.!! Sorry, I actually received a few days ago, but have only gotten around to posting about it.

The photo actually doesn't include the loose tea she sent, because it is already sitting at my desk at work  Roll Eyes Grin
(I also apologize that the photo is a little blurry)

I received some wonderful teas, including some loose teas from the company she works with, Steeped Tea (I tried the Chocolate Chai yesterday morning and it was divineee!), a very cute mug (with the saying "let me be... until I've had my tea" on the bottom, I giggled, too cute!), and a beautifulllly woven (correct?) mug rug. Thank you dollface! Everything is being put to use already, and I definitely think you sent plenty Wink! Thanks for a great swap!
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2  EXTERMINATE! Dalek amigurumi in Amigurumi: Completed Projects by the_essence on: February 24, 2013 09:58:39 AM
Hello everyone!

I made this Doctor Who Dalek ami for lylmousy in the recent Geek Swap.

I used this pattern on ravelry as a jumping off point, and just modified a few things to make the dalek a bit bigger. If anyone is interested I can try to remember what modifications I made, but I don't think I have them written down anywhere.

Super excited to have completed my second ami!

With some of my hand for size reference:

Constructive criticism welcome, thanks for looking!  Grin
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3  Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* in Craftalongs by the_essence on: February 24, 2013 09:45:06 AM
Congratulations indigo_roses! You have found this button pinned to your quidditch robes...

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Okay I missed a ton, so I won't be completely caught up, but better than being completely behind! These craftalongs always churn out such cool stuff Smiley

@FreakieGeekie: I can't wait to see your finished Snape!  Cheesy

@sammylouise: Lovely ATC and nice use of the  mason jar! I love quick little projects, they make me feel so productive! XD

@pinkleo: as a former marching band member myself, waiting for judging to be done can be such a marathon! But congrats to you and your son!  Grin And your V-day jewelry set is stunninggg

@ErinAquaheart: Those earrings are too cute! And I cannot waittt to see your finished floor! All the progress pics have looked so fabulous

@jenleahlynn: I'm sorry things are not coming out as planned, for what it's worth I think your portrait looks lovely! But I hope your new plan works and that the results are exactly what you want! That pie sounds so yummmmyy O.O now I want reeses cups...

@Moonflame: yay can't wait to see the finished product! Sending you good crafting wishes!

@tiamatfire: those sushi are SO cute! Did you use a pattern?

@pottermouth: Thanks for the veggie meatball recipe! I may have to try them Smiley And your quilt looks so awesomee!

@PenguinSoup: so jealous of your sock-making ability Smiley They look so toasty I'm sure your mom will love them! And YUM for the jumbo shells!

@indigo_roses: yay almost done!  Grin

@jennieingram: I can't waittt to see your Alchemy project! I have been trying to guess at what you are doing with the elements  Cheesy And your afghan is off to a great start, those colors look beautiful together!
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4  Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* in Craftalongs by the_essence on: February 24, 2013 08:55:08 AM
Class/Challenge/House Pride: Bertie Bott's Beans Challenge - Green
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Leafy Greens!
Project Page Link (if available): --

Brief Description: For this Bertie Bott's Challenge I have cooked up one of the greenest recipes I know! I made 'saag' which is an Indian dish, and a favorite of mine. It is a great way to get your leafy greens in a non-salad form. I tried making my mom's recipe for the first time, and while it wasn't quiteee as good as her's, it still came out well! You can pair it with some flatbread (naan, roti/chapati) or rice for a meal Smiley Guaranteed to make you feel good eating it because it's so good for you!

The dish is traditionally made with Mustard Greens but I used Kale (just because I had a lot on hand) so feel free to experiment with what leafy green you are using.


- Kale or Mustard Greens
- Spinach
- Cooking oil
- 1-2 cloves fresh garlic
- tomato paste or fresh tomatoes
- spice mix (Indian spice packets by MTR/garam masala) or a blend of your own spices (cumin powder, turmeric, black pepper, coriander powder)
- dollop of sour cream (optional)
- chili powder (optional/to taste)

1. Boil a small amount of water in a pot, enough to cook your greens, but not too much that you have to dispose of water (maybe around a half an inch? an inch? depending on how many greens you are cooking)
2. Add your spinach and kale/mustard greens to pot and cook until wilted. You can try a 2:1 kale to spinach ratio, or to make the dish more silky try a 1:1 ratio
3. Let greens cool, blend greens (and water in pot) into a smooth paste and set aside
4. Heat some oil on low (I usually use EVOO or Vegetable oil) in the pot, and add in finely chopped garlic once hot (usually 1-2 cloves depending on how much you are cooking and how garilc-y you like your food)
5. Once garlic is browned add in a scoop or two of tomato paste, fresh or store-bought, and spice mix to taste, probably anywhere from half a teaspoon to a teaspoon,* start conservatively and add more as necessary
6. Cook a little, letting tomato paste absorb the flavors
7. Add greens paste to the pot and add a spoon of sour cream if desired (to make it a bit more creamy)
8. Stir until everything is mixed well and add salt and chili powder to taste
9. Serve hot with flatbread or rice

*I used MDH's Kitchen King but you can find plenty of spice mix options at Indian grocery stores, and also at most big chains now, Giant, etc, you can also experiment with creating your own spice blend from some spices I listed in the ingredients

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OWL progress pics (finally!)

I sent this dalek amigurumi to lylmousy in the recent Geek Swap.
I'm really happy with how it came out!
Project page: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=420788.0

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5  Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* in Craftalongs by the_essence on: February 14, 2013 09:57:06 PM
Headmistress pinkleo I hope you feel better!! Sending lots of Pepperup Potion your way!
And Headmistress jennie that badge is gorgeoussss, makes me want to get all the horcruxes even more!

patty_o your chocolates look delightful and sammy congrats on being accepted into the Order! I can't believe you make ATCs out of clay, that is so cool!
I'll be back soon to catch up more fully Smiley But hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day!

A quick update, sorry my picture isn't loading, but I figured I better post this before it gets later so I'll come back and fix that.

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Training Session 4: All about TEAM SPIRIT!
Ends Thursday, February 28th

For the final session let's show everyone how pumped we are for the upcoming Quidditch season!

Craft something you would wear/take to the big match OR something to help cheer on the team!

See you on the Quidditch Pitch!
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6  Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* in Craftalongs by the_essence on: February 10, 2013 04:07:08 PM
Oh my goodness I've been MIA for so long, but I have been popping in to admire all of the beautiful crafts from afar!

Congratulations patty_o on WotW! So well deserved, I am coveting that dollhouse so hard.

A quick update on my OWL: I posted the first third a while ago, and I have completed the second third (it is currently being shipped in a swap package, and can soon be revealed), but I need to figure out what to do with the last bit now, since I am no longer making what I planned on. But I am very happy with how the second part turned out so yay Smiley So I will have things to post as soon as the package is received!

Ravenclaw Quidditch Reminder: you have until the end of today to complete the Teamwork Training Session!

three cheers for Eiseldora, who did complete her training session!
You find this badge pinned to your robes...
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7  Re: Geek Swap Gallery Send outs Jan 30th in The Swap Gallery by the_essence on: February 02, 2013 07:56:49 PM
I have received my package from lylmousy!!! And gosh, I am thrilled!
She created two beauuutiful items that were directly off of my wishlist and I love them to bits! (And I have been wishing for these items for a while too!)

First is this adorable Totoro plushie:

And second is this awesome Appa pillow!

And here they are playing together  Grin

They're just so cute, soft, wonderful, and exactly what I wanted.
And they're so nicely sewn, the first thing my friend noticed was how awesome the quality is and how legit they are!

THANK YOU LYLMOUSY!!  GrinI love it all Smiley

I promise I'm working hard to send soon! I hope you like your goodies as much as I love mine!
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8  Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* in Craftalongs by the_essence on: January 20, 2013 08:39:29 PM
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Training Session 3: The key is TEAMWORK!
Ends Sunday, February 10th

The focus for the next few weeks is teamwork! While we've already gotten quite close, if we can work even more as a team next season, we will be unstoppable! To train this session:

Craft something in a group, for a group, or using more than one crafty talent!

See you on the Quidditch Pitch!
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9  Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* in Craftalongs by the_essence on: January 20, 2013 07:48:03 PM
GOLLY I've been gone for a while! This past week I moved into a new apartment and started a new job, so I haven't been able to update as much as I wanted to. But I am here again!

Everyone's projects look so great as usual, and I'm loving the OWL updates. I can't wait to start Horcrux hunting! And Headmistresses, the Bertie Botts Beans challenges are inspired!! Eeeep so many exciting things  Grin

I do have one quick project to add, had to make sure to get some time in on the pitch  Wink

Class/Challenge: Ravenclaw Quidditch Defense
House: Ravenclaw!
Project Name: Elephant Pair

Brief Description: So I made this pair of elephants (just on paper, one with paint, the other with scrapbook paper) as a way of getting back into a project I had started a while ago. Now that I'm getting back into the swing of it, hopefully I can turn in the final set as some class homework a bit later. I'll explain my full inspiration behind it there, so that I'm motivated to keep at it!

Here are the two elephants I made yesterday:

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Speaking of Ravenclaw Quidditch....you guys rock Eiseldora and noodle-bug!
Great job keeping up with your quidditch practice! You both find another badge pinned to your robes...

You also receive Ravenclaw sapphires!
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10  Re: HP Craftalong ~Winter Semester 2012~ *Join At Any Time* in Craftalongs by the_essence on: January 01, 2013 08:04:21 PM
Happy New Year everyone!!  Grin (oh gosh these smilies are so cute) I see everyone is ringing in the New Year with more fabulous crafts, not that I would expect anything else Smiley

To start off the new year, it's time for the Second Ravenclaw Quidditch Training Session!
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Training Session 2: On the DEFENSIVE!
Ended Sunday, January 20th

Now let's hone our defensive skills! In order to keep our keeper and beaters on their toes:
- craft something circular or inspired by the keeper's hoops, to help our keeper block all shots!
- craft something that requires a steady hand or comes in pairs, to make sure our Beaters can't be beat!
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