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1  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Midsummer Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Ant Bee on: September 21, 2017 06:56:28 AM
Noodle Florence is so cool! You're doing amazing work on her!

I have been quiet this term, pulled in too many directions where I want to holler "Not my circus! Not my monkeys!" but the monkeys need help, i am related and I used to be a stage manager and event planner so people turn to me to "stage manage my life!" from time to time. So, please accept my apologies for not commenting on all your fabulous projects this term. I promise I am looking at them all and sending you all happy, creative vibes and  kudos. Smiley

I have been able to do some sanity savers crafts so here are a couple of homework bits from me:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:Apparition
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Love Pillow
Brief Description: After finishing the Love Blanket I had some yarn left (Which makes no sense, I must have geminio'd it without knowing.) so I worked up this little 12 x 12 (inch) pillow to coordinate with LB to give them together as a gift for my cousin. The pattern seemed simple enough, although it was a chart and sometimes charts and I have to squabble for a while before we reach an understanding. This took several heart breaking entire frogs before success came to us on tuesday. We're friends now. (But I can't wait to pack it off to Cousin's house and be rid of it.)  I knitted it in the local Library, at a family cottage on the lake in NH, and in a panera.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/watercolor-heart-pillow <-- pattern link

Class/Challenge/House Pride: CoMC
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Wool Dryer balls
Brief Description: Also for my cousin, this time for a Christmas gift, these dryer balls are made to protect laundry- clothes and the machine. Not to mention her budget! Allegedly these little buddies will cut drying time which means clothes spend less time being tumbled (getting worn out), energies costs can be lowered and she doesn't have to spend money on dryer sheets. They don't claim to help against static cling, however a tinfoil ball is allegedly good for that. This was another "supposed to be quick and easy, wait, what? what the heck..." (I don't know what is going on with me and my crafts this term!) but the first run through the washer resulted in a hot mess with a yarn explosion and underwear hostage negotiations. But, I was determined. This yarn was procured at Plymouth Plantation (https://www.plimoth.org/ and is made exclusively for them using period colors (but modern dyes.) For this project I went with a pale yellow and a "Sheep color" just in case the colors bled. And I'm glad I did bc as I boiled them the yellow did release color. Good thing it wasn't red!  


(Pics: Strarting out, high hopes. A hot Mess, Hostage negotiations. Worst Soup Ever, second attempt, stove top this time. Final Outcome.)

I have 2 more balls of yarn (This time Patons Roving) to do because everything I read indicated that a person would want 4-6 balls per laundry load. But these ones are done! (ish, I will run them through the dryer a few more times to really felt them down.) I will give her some essential oils to go with them for her to scent them as she uses them. One Christmas gift (sort of ) done! (Well, half started at least.)

Class/Challenge/House Pride:DADA
House: Slytherin
Project Name: No yeast, no knead (no stress) bread
Brief Description: I made a beef stew last week and we have no bread, because I stopped buying it when we realized we were carb junkies who can't be trusted not to eat every crumb in one night. (Toast! How we love thee let me count the ways...) But Stew without bread just seemed wrong. I had no yeast in the house (Rally cry: To pinterest!) and no regular sugar (Who is responsible for groceries around here? Geez! Wait, what? oh.) And as you know, Gamps Law and all, so I had to make due with what I had around. I used a recipe I found on-line and subbed out the white sugar for brown and didn't have enough regular flour so I threw some coconut flour in there and it actually came out decent and not at all poisonous.

Project Picture:

http://hellobaxter.com/back-to-basics-simple-no-yeast-no-knead-bread/ <--recipe link

The smell of good food cooking is something both my husband and I find quite calming (Him especially as his big task is simply to eat it!) And there's nothing like fresh bread hot from the oven and all buttered up after making yourself swear it off for a stretch!
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2  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Midsummer Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Ant Bee on: August 25, 2017 01:51:23 PM
Love that crochet square! Great pattern! And Noodle I want to see pics! How exciting for you!!

Advanced study Friday: OWL complete!

Subject: Transfiguration option 1
House: Slytherin
Project: The Love Blanket

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3  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Midsummer Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Ant Bee on: July 14, 2017 05:20:07 PM
Class: alchemy
House: Slytherin
Project: Deathly Hallows mobile:   This project was made as a swap item for the "I want to live in The Burrow" swap. My inspiration was the thought that when we read books the things we read dance above our heads as we imagine them, and so I made a garden mobile of The Tale of the Three Brothers. I fits the prompt because it all started with a regular metal coathanger.

The whole mobile is a representation of the character "Death"  with the chain representing his cloak as he wears it, the bells kind of like hands and the hook kind of like a head. Contained in his cloak are the three items the brothers demand and, for balance, a symbol of the Deathly Hallows. The invisibility cloak gave me quite a bit of trouble, in the end I made it out of sheets of metal that I bend into what I hope translates as a cloaklike shape. Ideally the sun will hit the bends in the metal and give a bit of reflection along with the prism pendant at the center to represent "magic."

 It's a bit abstract, but for a gal who almost never strays from her yarn I think it's ok. I'm pretty pleased with it. Moreso now that SheepBlue has received it and hasn't sent it back in disgust. Lol
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4  Re: HP - I Want to Live in the Burrow Swap - Round 2 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Ant Bee on: July 08, 2017 08:51:47 AM
Great package!

I, too, received my fabulousness already! I arrived home from family vacation at my parent's version of shell cottage to find that the Post Owl was chillin' with some hummingbirds on the front porch awaiting my arrival. Always awesome.

Sheep Blue went all out and I am so pleased with all of it! Here it is (I won't warn you that it is pic heavy, it's the gallery... what do we expect?? lol)

First: This large mosaic trivet- I didnt measure it but it appears to be about 8 inches by 10 inches. It has book pages inside the glass bubbles and is that beautiful black "stone" material all around. Fabulous!
Shown here with the Daffodil Tea Cup Sheep Blue included for my tea cup collection and a teapot to help you see the size of that lovely, lovely trivet.

The Tea cup is so pretty, it has iridescent paint and fits in beautifully in the cabinet. (I usually move things around into different arrangements for the seasons.)

And then, as if that wasn't enough, she says in her letter that she was struck with inspiration to include one more thing and lo and behold I also get this:

A Slytherin inspired sun catcher that works beautifully in the window of my dining room. How pretty! The pics are hard to take because it moves as it hangs but it looks absolutely perfect in the middle of the 3 windows hanging above my big Christmas Cactus.

Thanks for being a fantastic partner, Sheep Blue! I hope you love your swap package as much as I love mine!
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5  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Ostara Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Ant Bee on: May 28, 2017 05:09:15 PM
I think this will be my last one for the term...

Class: apparition and SPEW
SPEW: Shaw Nursing Home
House: Slytherin
Project: I've been working on a donation to the local nursing home and this will complete the first package I will bring over this week. It is a granny square rectangular blanket that I am told will be kept in the lobby or in the van for folks to use when traveling to and from appointments and outings.

The package includes arts and craft supplies, random yarn skeins for their art room and knit/crochet club, and a memory game.

Happy crafting!
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6  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Ostara Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Ant Bee on: May 04, 2017 11:16:59 AM
Class/challenge: Floo: Shell Cottage
House: Slytherin
Project: knitted long tail hat
How it fits the prompt: the bulk of this hat is knitted in the round just knit stitch after knit stitch. Sometimes it's so relaxing I find myself closing my eyes while my hands are moving.

I'm debating a big pompom or large jingle bell on the end, but for now it's done.
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7  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Ostara Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Ant Bee on: April 08, 2017 07:30:34 AM
That game idea is great, Erin, well done! And that Patchwork notebook is quite impressive, Abbee!

Himself and I have been in the adventure of trying to buy the house we've been renting for 2 years. It's possible we were confunded bc we agreed to go through the process without using Realtors. I must say to any one attempting buying a home in future: CONSTANT VIGILANCE! Maybe if you've bought and sold a property or two before you might be fine, but when you don't know what you don't yet know then it is an unpleasant experience. (Kind of like apparating - squeezed through a tiny tube and can't breathe! haha)

Anyhoo, due to the stress of that "magical adventure" I wound up shutting off my phone and hermit-ing up with my craft supplies for 2 days. Sanity Crafting, I called it. Some of these submissions are the results:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  Arithmancy
SPEW: Warm Up America
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Knit and Crochet block
Brief Description: This fits the prompt because the organization communicates to crafters the specific requirements donations must meet to be useful to them. I was gifted a bundle of orphaned yarns from a friend who was decluttering her home and decided that they wanted to go out in to the world to do some good.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  Astronomy
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Stuffed Mouse
Brief Description: This little fellow is made in 3 steps: Knit, stitch, and stuff.  I may someday add some felt ears, or maybe fabric ones I have lots of denim fabric. I am working on making things with only stuff from stash until the house buying charm completes and we know what our new budget truly will be. I took his picture atop the book which has the pattern.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: CoMC
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Crochet Coasters
Brief Description: In anticipation of home ownership I worked up a bundle of Weasely-worthy coasters to have something bright and shiny to brighten our confunded moods.  
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  D.A.D.A.
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Cat Hat (again)
Brief Description: My sister, for whom I made the previous cat hat, has requested a second one for a friend at work. This hat fits the prompt because it is the symbol of a social cause and it reminds the members of said cause to stay awake and aware of their concerns and goals.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  Herbology
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Christmas Wreath
Brief Description: The timing of this craft might confuse the viewer- Don't worry, it's not December yet! I've been wanting to try this craft (Use a ring from around a milk, juice, or soda jug as the center and crochet around it.) for a while. Each year I intend to make a handmade item for everyone on my list and every year I "wake up" in november thinking "yipes! no time turners???!" This year I am going to do them over the whole year. If I can tie the theme of them to something I've done with the recipient, all the better.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  Potions
SPEW: n/a
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Baker's Christmas Wreath
Brief Description: This wreath is ridiculous for a couple of reasons: First, it's April, not nearly the time of year for Christmas Wreaths and, second, No one in their right mind would put a bowl of cookie batter on a decoration- bugs and mold are not festive! (Well, maybe for someone they are, but they certainly aren't traditional!) This wreath is slightly larger than the previous one and the decorations are all buttons from my stash.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  SoAR
SPEW: Warm Up America
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Blanket Block
Brief Description: I think it's safe to say I was born for yarn crafting. I try not be be found out and about without at least a small project bag at my side. This is another block for charity blankets.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  Slytherin's Locket
SPEW: Warm Up America
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Blanket Block
Brief Description: This yarn was gifted to me by a pregnant friend trying to find room in her home for a second child and all the accroutrements for such. (I checked the post and although it has dates posted it does not say closed. If I can't squeeze this in under a technicality I'll take just the SPEW points, please.)
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride:  Floo: 221b Baker Street
SPEW: Warm Up America
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Blanket Block
Brief Description: Certain patterns can be done while your attention wanders. This v-stitch block falls into that category. Once I had the correct width it was just a matter of letting the hands do the work until the length was met.
Project Picture:

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8  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Ostara Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Ant Bee on: March 19, 2017 12:14:44 PM
I love this group- such inspiration!

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Divination
SPEW: Yes! Donating to the Shaw Nursing home
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Lapghan
Brief Description: The prompt calls for something inspired by ancestors or is physically comforting and I think this is both. This is a blanket sized for draping over one's legs while seated. I made it to be useful for wheelchair users (small enough to cover but not get caught in wheel mechanisms) and used bright colors for spring. New England is finicky (70 degrees F. 2 weeks ago, snowing again today) so Spring colors aren't such a silly thing for a blanket around here. My goal is that it will go to a resident who needs it, perhaps one who doesn't have visitors or local family.
Project Picture:


Over on the career board I am in training for a profession in "Pub/shopkeeping" so food related posts are required work. Here are a few I have been working on this semester:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Flying
House: Slytherin
Project Name: "'zat? Splash!" Soup
Brief Description: Highlighting the "Hodgepodge" definition within the prompt this recipe is akin to "Pantry Suprise" meals. How do you make it? Well, you start with a cauldron (or crockpot/soup pot if muggles are nearby) and you go rummaging about in the cupboards and fridge to see what's on-hand. Decide how many bowls you'll need and start with your broth, then throw a bunch of things into the cauldron, wave your wand and boom! soup.

More info from my current example:

Generally I use 6-8 cups of liquid. Chicken, beef or veggie broth (or a mix of them) and you can supplement with water if you don't have enough on-hand.

This version included: left-over veggies and some chicken from previous dinners, a cup of frozen cut veggies, a cup of dry Barley from the cupboard and some Mrs. Dash all purpose seasoning. (About a Tblspoon.)

If you are using the crockpot/cauldron I go 3 hours on High.
If using a pot on the stove then bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 30 minutes.
If using raw meats please follow suggested time/temp goals for said meats for food safety.
If you make this, know the risks: Pantry Surprise meals are an adventure: Sometimes you win, and sometimes your brother is scarred for life and gets a panicked look whenever you invite him to dinner.  

Project Picture:


Class/Challenge/House Pride: Muggle Studies
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Kreacher's French Onion Soup
Brief Description: Hygge is a way of life that is seeing a surge in popularity (Especially on Pinterest). I have embraced the basic goals of such a lifestyle (Cozy, friends and family centered, unplugged) for many years and only this winter did I see that it was a movement with a name. After Kreacher told Regulus's tale and was given the replacement locket as his own keepsake the house elf completely embraced keeping house and making it homey for his new master. This soup recipe is from Dinah Bucholz and can be found in her book The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook: From Cauldron Cakes to Knickerbocker Glory--More Than 150 Magical Recipes for Muggles and Wizards (Unofficial Cookbook).  While I don't agree with her interpretation of cauldron cakes (She went pancake I went  cupcake) I like her cottage pie recipe a lot so I thought I'd give it a go. I wasn't sure if Himself would like onion soup so I halved the onions for this go-around and used English Toasting Bread for the crouton bc I waited too long to make the soup and my baguette turned on me so I tossed it to the garden gnomes.
Project Picture:


And finally, a detention:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: February Detention
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Valentine's day dinner
Brief Description: For Valentine's Day I made a pot roast in the cauldron with carrots and potatoes and a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. The cake was a package mix and I made 2 layers. I used an orange marmalade in between the two thinking that orange and chocolate go together well. I don't recommend it. Stick with the frosting. This time around the frosting was also store bought. It doesn't diminish the time it took to make it and have it look good, though. I put a simple peanut butter cup shaped like a heart at the center of the cake.
For the dinner:

olive oil
coarse salt
seasonings of choice
2 Bay leaves
3-4 lb pot roast
3 large carrots peeled and chopped
2 large celery stalks chopped
4-6 red potatoes (depending on size) washed and quartered.
8 oz Pumpkin beer

(I also made some asparagus on the side as it is his favorite vegetable.)

Brush the roast on all sides with the olive oil and then sprinkle the seasonings and coarse salt. I don't give measurements for these because I judge by eye and how we feel. Place the roast into the cauldron (crock pot) and place the veggies around it. Pour the beer over the veggies and splash some onto the meat being careful not to knock away all the seasonings. cover and cook on high for 4 hours or so, low for 8-10 hours. Be sure to check the temperature of the meat to be sure it is cooked through. (Or, do what I do and cook it until it falls apart.)

Warm up your dishes (I microwave mine for 1 minute and test. Be sure to check that your plates are safe to put in the microwave before you do the same.) and plate the meal in an attractive manner. Serve the meal the way your intended prefers. (In my case: In front of TV with an episode of ST:DS9 cued and ready. so romantic. haha). Wherever you eat be sure that the cake is visible so you both get to anticipate it's sugary goodness!

Project Picture:

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9  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Ostara Term 2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Ant Bee on: February 10, 2017 06:30:02 AM
Thanks, HM! It was quite the snow! But I did get to some yarning...

Class/Challenge/House Pride: FLOO: Corner Shop
House: Slytherin
Project Name: pillow cover
Brief Description: This colorful cover is for a floor pillow to make free-time game nights more comfortable for the person sitting on the floor. It is crochet and it is about 26 inches square. I didn't have a pattern so I made it up as I went along. It's a bit funky because of that, but it does work so I'm calling it a success. Smiley Eventually I want to add a strip of elastic cording to the eyelets across the bottom edge to snug it up to the pillow, but in the meantime I found some random garter straps from i don't-even-know-what and they work for now.
Project Picture:

Class/Challenge/House Pride: Charms
House: Slytherin
Project Name: Chicken and barley soup in the crockpot
Brief Description: The slow cooker (in my case the crockpot brand) is a wonderful muggle invention. Essentially, it is an electric cauldron! Those ingenius muggles think of so many wonderful ways to live without magic. As we live in a predominantly muggle area my husband and I must make choices in accordance with the Statute of Secrecy and so I use a muggle kitchen and implements to make most meals- you never know when a neighbor will pop in for sugar!

This recipe is for a basic chicken soup and is perfect for a snow day, or any day when you'd rather do other things than hang around in the kitchen for hours. Simply plop everything in the crock, turn it on, and you're free to go play with yarn or get some other chores done. (Sadly, that laundry won't clean itself in a muggle home!)  Note: This recipe is the easy-peasy version: frozen veg! You can certainlyt chop up your own veggie choices and toss them in as well. I had a terrible garden this year- I got one lonely cucumber and it was spiny and a weird shape. I suspect nargles.


2 good sized boneless chicken breasts
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups any veg you like- recommend carrots and celery. I also use the bagged frozen "mixed veg" from the grocers.
4 garlic cloves minced. (feel free to adjust to your preferred garlic levels.)
2 bay leaves
8 cups of chicken stock.
2 Tablespoons of Mrs. Dash original blend spices  (This is a mix of basic herbs and spices. Different brands exist or you can choose to mix your own if you are knowledgeable in such things.)
1 cup Barley

NOTE: I use no sodium chicken stock or broth (depending on sales) and add salt to taste. Sometimes I add no salt and we salt to taste bowl-by-bowl but this time I added 1 Tablespoon of rough sea salt and it was ample for our taste buds without being too salty. Use your discretion here.

Set up the crockpot in a well lit area with easy access to an electric outlet. Make sure no one will trip or pull on the cord. Into the crock put all the ingredients except the barley. Cover the crock, plug it in and turn it on. cook on high for 3-4 hours, on low for 6-8 checking on the early end for if your chicken is cooked all the way through and judge your time from there. I usually do 3 hours on high and my chicken is cooked.

Once chicken is cooked carefully remove the breasts from the cock and put then on a plate. Let it cook a smidge and then either take 2 forks and shred it up or you can cut the chicken into bite sized bits, your choice. put the chicken back in and give it a stir with a wooden spoon.  Add the cup of barley and cover. Cook for another hour or so until the barley is plump.  Remove Bay leaves and discard. Serve as desired- My husband loves way too many crackers and a hot roll of crusty bread on the side.

Project Picture:
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10  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong Yule Term 2016/2017*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by Ant Bee on: January 31, 2017 12:43:33 PM
House: Slytherin
Project Name: "Rawr" wristers
Brief Description: My sister's blood is boiling! (Well, not just hers, as I'm sure you've noticed.) And while she was marching against the latest Educational Decrees of her personal Umbridge Regime she needed some powerfully pink accessories. Enter these wristers- I made two for her and one each for her sons who were marching along-side her keeping their eyes out cat plates!
Project Picture: See below

House: Slytherin
Project Name: Pussyhat
Brief Description: More obvious than the D.A.'s communication coins (and much easier to magic up!) this hat let others know that my sister was "In the club" as she Marched in the Women's March in Boston, Massachusetts. Knitted as a simple rectangle then stitched up on 2 sides this was fast enough to make on short notice. Helpful Hint should you like to make one yourself: the thicker the yarn the faster the hat shapes up!
Project Picture:
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