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11  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Clusters? Bubbles? Fun earrings! (image heavy) on: February 03, 2008 10:05:20 PM
I kind of went on an earring bender yesterday. I kept looking at some of my beads and thinking how lonely they looked when I used them singly... so I put 5, 6, even 9 of them on one earring...

I called the glass ones "bubble earrings":




Detail of one that seemed to need a dragonfly charm:


Then I got into my semiprecious stone beads and the silver wire... these ones seemed to need a more dignified name than "bubbles"...


Green aventurine with carnelian:


Labradorite with freshwater pearls (these are really teeny, only 3mm rounds!):


Mix of garnet, amethyst, and blue tigereye:


Hello! I am very cute. You should play with me instead of hunching over those beads!

(This is Pickles. Pickles was a hockey player in his previous life. He thinks that head-butting is the best way to get your attention. He also body-checks if the head butt doesn't work. A ten pound cat flinging himself at you generally does get your attention...)

(Also, please pardon the very messy desk in the background. My projects can usually be described in terms of their blast radius. And yes, that's a rock tumbler beside Pickles. Christmas prezzie Cheesy)
12  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Finally got around to the new camera :) on: January 26, 2008 03:13:47 PM
Here are a few of the pieces I made before Christmas and photographed with my new camera Smiley

I hope it's OK to have the name/logo on the pics - Salamander Designs is my company, and I did make these pictures into photo-postcards to put in my local advertising/promotion materials (I made little folders out of gorgeous scrapbooking papers to hold the postcards, my artist bio, company info, etc - and that pic is still on the camera...) - but I don't have anything for sale online yet, it's all local sales, so I hope this is OK.


Various stranded necklaces - labradorite with blue tigereye; hematite and garnet; serpentine, hematite and peridot; jasper chips with seed beads and agate rounds.


I love copper wire. I do a lot of silver now too, but I love copper Smiley (also, it is much easier to photograph than silver!!!)


My mother's nickname is Mouse, so I made her this bracelet for Christmas. It's sterling silver wire (dead soft, hammered to temper the links), with silver-plated mouse beads and a lobster clasp. I like to do these bracelets in coloured copper wire with glass beads too.
13  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / How to get a picky guy to try vegetarian dishes? on: January 06, 2008 10:42:57 AM
Hi all,
I made a New Year's resolution to cook more Real Food. (We've been renovating the kitchen, which was my excuse for not really cooking, but to be honest it did start before that). Anyway, one of the things I would like to do is to have at least one vegetarian meal a week. (From that it's pretty obvious that we do eat meat, but I want to cut back, for health and economy reasons.)

The problem is with my boyfriend, who insists he HAS to have meat at supper or he won't feel full. In vain have I explained that a vegetarian meal can be just as filling and nutritious (if not more so!!) than what he is used to, but he won't even try. I don't want to be underhanded or lie to him, but this is really silly and frustrating to me! It really doesn't help that he grew up with very traditional meat and potatoes cooking - I even caught his mom putting bacon in a salad. Gah. Stupid thing is that The Boy has weight issues and a chronic stomach problem that I am sure is at least partly due to the way he eats.

So I need help, please, with recipes that are guy-friendly and that could provide something of a transition into eating less meat for someone who has absolutely no experience with that. (I grew up eating very little meat, and went full veg in college, so this is not new to me, but The Boy is sure that all vegetarians are thin and pale and sickly, and also apparently believes that eating even one non-meat meal will cause him to shrivel and die. The Boy has his moments of needing to be whapped with the clue stick...)

I myself am not terribly fond of tofu, but I am thinking of starting with something like a black bean tofu dish or a stew. The Boy does like soups, including miso, and will happily eat casseroles and salads. He has overcome his upbringing a little bit in that he will eat curries and other non-Western foods (but still wants them to be meat). He does not like lentils, large beans such as limas, broccoli, cauliflower, or squash, but he'll eat most other veggies and actually really likes kale and spinach. I made a barley pilaf the other day that had just a few last shreds of the holiday turkey in it, and he was quite happy with that even though the actual amount of meat was really tiny. (OK, so that might have been a tiny bit underhanded of me...)

Sorry that was so long winded... thanks in advance for help and suggestions!

Oh, and I do have the Moosewood Cookbook, which I love.
14  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / New Year's Resolution: REAL FOOD on: January 06, 2008 10:07:59 AM
Hi all, new to this board (I mostly hang out in jewellery and knitting areas).  My sister and I made a New Year's pact to make more Real Food instead of the frozen/takeout/convenience stuff we have been relying on. We have excuses - I'm renovating my kitchen, plus I am a full time student AND trying to get a small craft business off the ground, while she is a theatre sound technician (lots of late night shifts) and is helping to run her family's architecture firm - but we decided that these will no longer be allowed to stop us!

My resources in my temporary mini-kitchen are: slow cooker, electric frying pan, rice cooker (except The Boy was cleaning up the other day and now that has disappeared... it will probably turn up next month in a box of completely random crap, that's what usually happens), toaster oven, microwave, and a weird combination deep fryer/slow cooker from the 1970s that I am not sure I trust. My sister has a slow cooker, actual stove and oven, and I think a rice steamer, but no microwave.

So anyway, I'll be looking for slow cooker recipes and creative ways to "bake" in a toaster oven. I had a look around and I am so impressed by some of the things you all are making. Yum! I think I will learn a lot on this board!
15  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Bead bugs on: December 27, 2007 11:05:55 AM
I bought myself a little digital camera in the Boxing Day sales (saved about $60) and spent yesterday afternoon happily experimenting with ways to photograph my jewellery. I want to get my website completed and the online shopping part up and running by the end of January (right now my website is more of a static portfolio or brochure).

This is one of my Bead Bugs. I put him in an improvised light tent (a frosted glass cube shaped lamp from Ikea) with a spotlight each side. The I used the "super close up" setting on the camera, without a flash. I am pleased with how the photo turned out - no touch ups needed!



The pin is about 2" long overall. I make these with magnets too.
16  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Another Meatwad hat! on: December 27, 2007 10:56:25 AM
Inspired by at least 3 other Craftster creations, I made The Boy a Meatwad hat for Christmas... he loved it and has been showing it off to everyone saying "do you want to see the coolest hat in the world??!"  Grin

I bought myself a toy at the Boxing Day sales... a little Olympus digital camera. So now I can post pics!! Yay!!



It's hand-dyed lopi wool (not dyed by me), in a reverse stockinette stitch. There's a rolled brim on the hat too, so I basically knitted 1-1/2" in normal stockinette and then switched. I was completely making it up as I went, so I am very happy it fits! I am also glad that Meatwad is *supposed* to have a stupid expression on his lopsided face, because my embroidery skillz would make a cat laugh.
17  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Question about beading wire (Beadalon, Accu-flex etc) on: October 04, 2007 01:23:10 PM
I have a question about beading wire/cable/tiger tail, whatever it's called. The stuff that's like a miniature steel cable with a nylon coating on it. I've just started doing some stringing with semiprecious stone beads and I'm not sure what kind of wire I should be using.

So far I have used basic 7-strand steel Beadalon with silver crimps (have had no luck with base metal crimps - my pliers eat them or something). It seems to be fine in terms of its flexibility - do the 21 and 49-strand versions, or the sterling-silver ones, make that much difference? They are so much more expensive!!

My necklaces have the wire completely covered by the beads, if that makes a difference.

I can shell out for actual metal wire - I work a lot in bronze, sterling silver, and I just ordered some gold-filled wire for a pearl-and-spiral link piece - but $30 for a spool of Accuflex makes me choke a bit!
18  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / quilting chalk pencil = French manicure! on: July 13, 2005 09:34:33 PM
I was fiddling with my nails yesterday and wishing the tips were whiter, like the French manicure look. My natural nails are pretty thin and they look a bit odd at the tips - you almost can't see them. I've tried the French polish kits, with the little masking strips and all, which are fun but they never last (and full fake nails are too pricey).

Then I looked at my white quilt marking pencil, which is a waxy sort of chalk. I never, ever use it for quilting and have no idea why it's even on my desk. Anyhow, I ran that under each of my nails,a nd it worked like a charm! Lovely white nail tips. It is waxy enough not to come off unless you scrub it. I don't think a normal white [encil crayon would work.

So there we go. Sewing accessories as nail care (instead of their usual role as hand destroyers, in my case)

19  CLOTHING / Sewing Pattern Reviews / Simplicity 9621 "easy chic" sundress on: June 15, 2005 11:24:14 PM
Let me just say I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL to my crafting guardian angel who whacked me in the head and said "hey! You've never made this pattern, you dork! Make a muslin before you cut up your sister's hand-dyed silk!!". Because I am really, really bad for NOT making muslins. (I also do not knit guage swatches, even though I really do know better).

It's an older pattern - oh, yep, discontinued, I just checked the Simplicity website. Good; nobody else will be taken in by this horrid pattern. I am used to Simplicity fitting small - this one fooled me and was 4 inches too big in the bust! It has this tie detail at the bust that looked really cute in the picture. However, the cute little tie turnes into a horrible lump when made of actual fabric, and the 33-1/2" finished bust size for the size 8 was actually 36". I don't know how much tighter I was supposed to yank in that tie, but it will NOT happen. Yeah, thanks for the reminder that I am totally flat chested, Simplicity.  Angry

I need the dress next weekend, so I really don't want to fuss with another pattern, but ARGH! I needed to vent.

I think if I make the bodice in a 6, extend one tie so that the ends are even when tied in a  proper square knot, shorten up the straps by an inch, and pay someone else to wear it, it will be OK. (Oh, and I did change the skirt of the pattern; I shortened it to 1" below the knee, instead of the original mid calf, and I  added 1/4 circle godets, starting mid thigh. The skirt really needed livening up, it looked like a sack before. I just liked the bust knot thingy, and it betrayed me!!)

I'll borrow a digital camera and post pics tomorrow if I can. Also I will scan the pattern, sorry - I just needed to vent tonight!
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