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11  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Re: 3-D pinwheel baby and doll quilt on: April 23, 2014 08:24:14 AM
Oooh, I like your heart chain FMQ - that's nice. The folds on the pinwheels are neat. I'm sure the little one will enjoy fiddling with and touching those; I know I would.
And it was kind of you to make a little something for the sister, too.
12  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Various Cute Dresses, Skirts & Tops on: April 18, 2014 10:31:53 AM
Really nice work! I can definitely see your fashion style in the clothes and photo setups. Way to go, all around!
13  COOKING / Dessert / Smeeps! on: April 18, 2014 08:31:03 AM
Looking for a last minute Easter baking project?

The stores are full Peeps right now. I don't like eating them, they are far too sweet to ingest, but I am inspired by those cute shapes and colors! I decided to make S'mores Peeps(=Smeeps). My problem was graham crackers. The rectangle shapes from the store completely hide the cute bunny Peeps and defeat my idea. So, I found a couple recipes for graham crackers off the internet, combined them and made my own, using a Peep bunny shaped cookie cutter to cut my crackers out. (I found the cutter at Michael's.)  

Thus, Smeeps! That one on the right got a bit burnt - I rolled those guys too thin.

When it is time to eat, put the Smeep in the microwave for 10-20 seconds and watch the fun. On the one I ate, the head swelled up enormously, but the bubble butt and ears stayed normal. I then went into a state of sugar-shutdown and had to sit on the couch and hold my head for a while. If you eat these, be ready for the sweet overdose, or maybe split one among two people.

What happens at 30 seconds in my microwave. The marshmallow swelling broke the bunny graham cracker before the chocolate released its hold.

I used Ghirardelli dipping, dark chocolate for the first time and it was Very Melty! There was no suitable in-between stage I could find, the chocolate was either solid chips or pure liquid, hence the drippy strips all over. I do not think this detracts from the fun deliciousness of the treat, but you might stick with a melting chocolate you are comfortable with if you make them and want a neater appearance.

Since I wanted to give away most of these, I wrapped them up in neat little bags as single or double servings for easy transport to our workplaces.

And now, the recipe with my notes. I almost always adjust recipes to accommodate my purposes and tastes, and for high altitude (Cheyenne sits about 6,000 ft above sea level - the air is 15% less dense here which changes baking and cooking noticeably) as well as for any ingredient substitutions due to availability. Your recipe mileage may vary.

Makes over 3 dozen bunny graham crackers or traditional-size rectangles and takes about five hours total to complete, with all the chilling and treat assembly.
~~If you're not at high altitude, round your baking soda up to to a fat one and a half tsp and maybe don't round the flours when you measure, just level them flat. And lower the Godiva liqueur to one TB only.~~
Ingredients for Dough:
1.5 C rounded; unbleached, high-altitude all-purpose flour
1 C rounded; graham flour
1 C level, dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1.5 tsp baking soda
.5 tsp salt
7 TB butter, cut into .5" cubes, chilled
.33 C honey
3 TB heavy whipping cream
2 TB skim milk (if you have fatty milk, just use that - I had skim milk and whipping cream, so ...)
2 TB vanilla bean paste (if your grocer doesn't have it, Michael's does)
1 TB vanilla extract
2 TB Godiva liqueur (my go-to flavor add)

Ingredients for Top Sprinkles:
2 TB white sugar
1 TB cinnamon, plus sprinkles of your fav sweet spices (like garam masala, allspice, coriander - whatever your thing is)

Make Dough:
Combine the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in bowl and mix together.
Add chilled butter cubes, use pastry blender to combine to a crumbly mixture. Butter cubes should end up the size of peas or smaller.
In another bowl, mix together the honey, milk, vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract and Godiva liqueur.
Add liquids to the flour mixture and mix together. Don't overmix, you want it barely together. It will be soft and sticky.
Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and dust it lightly with flour combo*, then dump dough out onto it and smush it about an inch thick.
Wrap it, then chill it until firm, about two hours or so.
When the dough is cold and firm dust a flat surface and roll half the dough out, leaving the other half in the chiller.
Use flour combo to dust as necessary, this is sticky dough.
Roll to about one-eighth to one-fourth an inch thick**, cut your desired shapes.
Using a blunt toothpick or skewer, pierce bunnies with eyes and nose - or whatever fits your shape best.

Make Top Sprinkles:
Combine last ingredients: 2 TB white sugar and 1 TB cinnamon, plus pinches of other spices as desired.
Sprinkle dough bunnies with the combined sugar spices. I ran a finger over mine to impress the sprinkling into the dough a little.

Heat the oven to 350F.
Stack the cut, sugared, and pierced dough bunnies on layers of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and keep them in the fridge until ready to bake. You want them to be firm, not floppy, when they go into the oven. Might take 30 minutes or so in the fridge.
Bake a test sheet with few bunnies to see how they do, and adjust your process as needed.
While the first batch bakes and cools, repeat roll, cut, pierce & sprinkle work with second half of dough, incorporating any rolling or baking tips you learned on the test sheet.
Bake sheets for 12-15 minutes, until barely starting to brown on the edges.
Remove from oven, allow to set for a minute or two, then remove from sheet to wire racks for cooling.
Once cool, they're ready to assemble into Smeeps.

A bottom bunny graham cracker, a layer of dark chocolate and smush a Peep bunny into it before it cools (to fix it in place) and allow them to cool. Then, another drizzling of dark chocolate over the Peep bunny and place the top bunny graham cracker on before it sets and allow to cool again.

* When I need to roll stuff out, I add aside a half cup or so of flour(s) and add the complementary spices to it (in this case cinnamon and sugar) at the beginning. I don't like the extra-flour taste you get when you have to roll out dough repeatedly and the sugar & spice additions help keep that taste at bay even with the very-last-rolled-and-rerolled-from-scraps crackers.
** Some of my one-eighth thick bunnies burned and some of my one-fourth bunnies were a bit soft. Try a few thicknesses on the test sheet to see what you like.

Hope you have fun with this!
14  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Fabric Printing Swap Rd 2 Gallery on: April 13, 2014 07:16:12 AM
I received from sheepBlue yesterday!

She did a tasteful blending of a couple of my themes for each one.

An undertakers and embalmers print ad in charcoal on a dappled goldenrod color.
But wait, there's more!

Yes! Violet bird skulls and flame flies on a shale fabric with citrine dots.

They look AMAZING! I couldn't have made up such a perfect combination of all my favorites. 

But, I have one bone to pick with you! In your questionnaire, you called your skill level "intermediate" and that is a lie! These fabrics are perfect. They could be store bought from a fine LQS with factory QA stamped on them! As evidence of this, here's a thing that happened last night. I'd been at a quilting shop hop during the day and when I got home, I laid out my purchased fabric on one of my workshop tables. When I checked my mailbox, I had the package of FQs - I unwrapped them and laid them out beside the purchases and got out my camera. My husband wandered in to the workshop and looked at all the fabrics together - I was quietly watching to catch his reaction. He reached out his hand and ran it over the sheepBlue FQs then said, "wow, I didn't think the quilt shops would have fabric like this." Then I explained that they were the hand printed ones and he was impressed with the skill.
Seriously, you have the skill. You are no "intermediate", I think.

Thank you so very much, sheepBlue. I've already begun pulling other fabrics from the stash and planning some more prints to add to these for some projects, so far a quilt and a bag. They are both stellar and I love them!
15  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Painting with Glassline paint on: April 08, 2014 03:25:11 PM
Thank you for sharing your experience! A couple days ago I ordered my first bottle of Glassline to play with and, judging from your piece, I'm looking forward to seeing it in action.
16  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Fabric Printing Swap Rd 2 Sign ups Closed, Send out by 5/1 on: April 07, 2014 09:54:31 PM
Oy, yeah. The ironing takes FOREVER!
17  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Fabric Printing Swap Rd 2 Sign ups Closed, Send out by 5/1 on: April 07, 2014 11:07:18 AM
Very cool!
Had a productive weekend and am ready to send! Great fun.
18  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Fabric Printing Swap Rd 2 Sign ups thru 4/1, Send out by 5/1 on: March 31, 2014 02:43:28 PM
Woah, this feels like kismet! I just coated a screen and stuck it in the dark and then circumstances took away my planned image. It sits, unexposed, waiting.  Waiting for what? This swap?

Hmmm, let me get to work on that questionnaire while I consider this.
19  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Re: Making Mawata on: December 03, 2013 10:32:33 AM
That is quite interesting! Thank you for sharing the details and pictures.
20  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Re: Cemetery automaton on: November 04, 2013 08:54:50 AM
Very impressive!
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