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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Lazy Microwaveable Bread Pudding on: November 24, 2019 08:27:25 AM
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1/4 tsp. Vanilla
1 Tbsp. Unsalted cream butter
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
Dash of salt
Dash of ginger (For me, ginger is to desserts as garlic is to main courses,  Grin).
1/2 c. Milk
1 Egg

(Edit: Before the site shuts down, I want to add a few changes to this.  If made with croissants or French brioche, this is so so sooooooo much better).

In a bowl combine ingredients and whisk like your life depends on it, then pour over two slices of torn chunks of sandwich bread.  Let sit for 1 minute, then cover and microwave for 2 minutes. (My microwave is 1000 watts, so probably need to adjust that).  
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / 1:12 Scale Halloween themed cat tree on: September 16, 2019 08:58:11 PM

This has been a pain in the horseradish. There's still quite a bit I don't like about it, but there's a lot that I like a lot.  Meh, the first draft. So maybe if I decide to go through the cursing again I'll do better on the next, HAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! (Maybe if I do, I'll remember to WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING I DO, so I can make a how to...O_o, yeesh)...

Anyway, hope you all enjoy it...

Erf! I keep forgetting this picture has the rubber band still holding the "scratching post" to glue...Anyway, I found some black 800 grit sandpaper, so I'm using that for the scratching post.
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Dogs in Disguise Themed Doghouses on: August 14, 2019 08:32:01 PM

My pains have been much worse lately, and I'm bloody exhausted all the darn time, but regardless, I'm getting a few new things done sloooooooowly.

Anyhoo, my wife found these costumed dogs, manufactured or sold by A&A Global Industries, in a quarter machine at our local grocery store. Well, it struck me these dogs could use their own doggy houses. So I started right on that. So far, I have the Devil doghouse good to go (still some kinks to work out), and the Banana doghouse.  I do have concepts for the Shark, Superman, and Flower doghouses, but I'm kind of on the fence what to do about the Skunk doghouse.  Eh, I'll figure something out. 

Anyway, just thought this was fairly interesting and wanted to share them with ya'll. ;-).
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / A Zen Cat Garden? on: July 18, 2019 10:36:17 PM
Alrighty, this is going to be weird.

Anyhoo, the following image are some of my latest creations, and it got me to thinking, would there be a market for a zen cat garden? Erm! I bet that sounds like I'm trying to sell, I think the more appropriate term would be "would anyone really care for such a thing?"...I think...Anyway, I'm more interesting in everyone's opinions about something of this nature...

Well, a zen garden is a kind of...well...stress reliever which allows a person to modify a garden like scape as a way to relax. It's rather calming, but...um...I do it on full scale, heh.  With a zen cat garden, what it'd be would be various cat trees at 1:12 scale (dual purpose, dollhouses or as a zen garden), which people could move itty bitty kitties around in various cutesy poses...See next image for a few ideas I drew up...

I'd have to heavily modify my cat trees, though, as I'd want the kitties I'd find to be able to be placed inside of the hideaway boxes. (Which I guess brings me to another question, what on Earth are there for tiny cats? As the ones in the first picture are the only ones I've been able to find that are even remotely decent).

Crap! My brain is failing me again...Anyway, what are your-all's thoughts on something like a zen cat garden?

(I hope I don't get reprimanded for this, but ever since last night this has been bugging the living daylights out of me, and I don't think I'll be able to get anything else done until I let this thought run its course).
5  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Rosemary Herb Meatloaf on: June 14, 2019 02:34:53 PM
This is my wife's favorite dish that I make (that's not a dessert).  Grin

  • 2 lb.s ground hamburger (leaner the better)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium size ciabatta crumbled and dried overnight.
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder (best for spreading flavor throughout the meatloaf)
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary.
  • 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh sage (We do not tell the wife this is in it)
  • Salt and pepper

The next ingredients are what I'd add to it if I was allowed to, heh.
  • 1/4 c. chopped green peppers
  • 2 tsp.s Worcestershire Sauce.

Ketchup for topping.

Blend all ingredients together, and place into a baking dish of your choice.

Place in 350 degree heated oven.

For 2 inch meatloaf, between 35 and 45 minutes.
For 3 to 4 inch meatloaf, between 45 and 1 hour and 30 minutes (Longer time because I use my toaster oven which I prefer as it doesn't burn the bottom of the meatloaf).
Anyway, bake til 165 degree internal temperature, or 145 degrees if you're lucky enough to have a butcher shop close by.

Smear ketchup over the top after the first 25 minutes of baking time. (I really have no idea why I stopped putting the ketchup on before putting it in the oven, but this is what I do now).

Best served with poached corn and fresh baked dinner rolls.

6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Making fern leaves on: May 20, 2019 10:28:56 AM
Ok! This has been on the burner, but just recently came up with an axiom that may be of use for some people who have a desire to create their own leaves.

1. Get a feel for the leaf

The very first thing I do is search up images and get a feel for the leaves by drawing the veins first, then the leaves around those veins. The larger drawings are generic, and not to scale, where as the smaller drawings are far more accurate and aid me in designing "unique" leaves.
Now, if I were to make these leaves to scale, there'd be a lot more detail, but since I am working on making these at 1:12 scale, I am not overly worried about "detail", heh.
Species I'm working on: Doryopteris, either pedata or palmata, or a blending of the two. (Haven't narrowed them down as of yet).

Edit 1:
With these two species of ferns, the sterile leaves are very very similar to certain species of ivy. So, there's a dual purpose for those particular leaves. After thinking about it, even the larger leaves could be used for generic palms, perhaps even a Philodendron.

Edit 2:
Just recently I had read an article about using clay and a cookie cutter for a paper cutter. Which gave me an idea for these leaves. What I do, is I find a tray small enough for our toaster oven that we use specifically for the polymer clays, and I put a piece of parchment paper on it. Then I cut out the shapes I want fairly thick, and bake them. Then I peel off the paper and use them as guides to cut around.  However, I have found a device called the Sizzix Sidekick, and after some time, once I feel I can afford it (the chronic pains have been horrible lately), I'm going to contact the company and see if they can make dies for it.  If so, then I'll go that route, but until then, the clay templates work just fine. Plus, they're easy to mold into whatever shapes I so desire.

7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Planters with plants for necklace charms. on: May 13, 2019 11:19:15 AM

Here's the link for the planter charms that I'll be working on.  After my pains subside enough and I finish preparing my garden I'll start a tutorial, as I really don't use that many things for making these.

Miniature Sarracenia, and Calla lily necklaces.

A vague Howto make the Sarracenias are here. 

Heliamphoras are here. (The Healiamphoras are made the same, just without the lids).

Howto: Calla lilies

I'm still trying to figure out how to do tutorials, heh.
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Gouda Spinich Sauce on: April 30, 2019 09:01:28 PM
This is something I just whipped up today just seeing how it might taste, and it was pretty darn...gouda.

  • 1. c milk
  • 2 Tbs. Cream butter
  • 2 Tbs. Flour
  • 2 oz. gouda (for this I used Great Value brand to save money).
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onions (chives should be fine)
  • 2 hand fulls of spinach chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley
  • Crushed croutons and parmesan for topping

White sauce: Over high heat, melt the butter then whisk in the flour, stir constantly until the mixture is mustard seed brown. Then whisk in the milk.  Once thickened, blend in the gouda til it is all melted. Set aside.

In another pan, melt 1 Tbs butter and saute the garlic. Then wilt the spinach, green onions, and parsley. Remove from heat, Blend in the gouda sauce, add a dash of pepper and salt to taste.

Mix in noodles of your choice (I prefer linguini or angelhair), if some was cooled while making portions of this, heat the entire mixture until everything is warm. Then serve and top with crushed croutons and parmesan.

Next task is to try this with a good brand of gouda. (Hmm! I wonder if a smoked gouda sauce would be a good topping for my Cheddar, Broccoli, chicken, rice & vermicelli recipe).

Edit 2: I've been thinking about this since last night. I like my sauces fairly thick, so maybe others would like it a bit thinner. Just modify the first part of this recipe with 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. flour, instead of 2.  That will thin it up quite a bit.
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Miniature Coffee & End tables on: April 28, 2019 08:07:57 PM
https://i.imgur.com/sOHuOsJ.jpg (Measurements in image are to actual size. They'll be shrunk down once I start working on it)

My next task, whilst I work upon my itty bitty wall hanging Platycerium,  is an itty bitty 1:12 scale coffee table.  I used our couch as measurements, but considering the type of tables I'm making, I don't think size will be a problem.  Plus, they could be used as decoration in front of a double pain window.  

The real tricky part, will be testing the mulberry to ensure it's dry enough to use for this project, but I should not have any issues with gluing the mulberry to the Russian olive that I'll use as an inlay.  One thing I have been wondering about, what to do with the top of the coffee table chest.  Hinge it, or make it where it is just inserted onto the chest.  I think for sanity's sake I'll just make it as an insert.  I do plan on making the Russian olive insert off center, as I think that would yield the best look.  Either way, I'm kind of interested in seeing what the final product looks like.

Edit: After thinking about it, I do still have some cedar laying around, and that would probably look better with the mulberry.  So I'll test the two different kinds of woods.

Edit 2: Well, I can see the planks are going to be a bit difficult to pull off, considering some of my tools are a little worn.  Meh, I'll get it.  It'll just take a bit of time.

Edit 3: https://i.imgur.com/e5BVsVK.jpg Well, the experiment was a bust.  It does look good, but it's definitely not flat.  Hmm! I think the sanding by hand bowed it out.  I'll have to try a few things out.  Anyway, this is going to look quite nifty, I think.

Edit 4: Ok! I've decided to put that off and just build them out of veneer or 1/8th in. plywood.  My table saw is in need of upgrading, and my chronic pains plus memory issues are just too much for me to be alert enough. So for safety's sake, I better put off using logs for anything other than my mini lathe.  So this might take me a while to get done, as I don't have the funds to go out and buy wood (trying to see a doctor so I can get back to work, heh).  Anyway, I'll post links to some things I've seen that would aid me in doing this if by some miracle I can get these pains and mental issues under control...

https://youtu.be/zVh0zfkvlhc Mill lumber with a table saw.
https://youtu.be/XebIOAaPhhU Build a tablesaw sled. (This is a little overblown, but the general concept is sound).
https://youtu.be/bGxskWwOYeE Make a thin strip ripping jig.  Although, the last link would be well enough, this is still something that I might look into later.

Edit 5: https://i.imgur.com/H1WTfKO.jpg Well, since I was bored, and did have some pieces already cut, I went ahead and slapped them together. So, using the cedar as a trim instead of an inlay, this is what the lid of the chest would look like.
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Miniature Cat Trees, ferns and pots. on: April 20, 2019 10:04:10 PM

Just ignore the crummy camera pictures, but I had finished these over the past few days.  I have more information under each picture in the link.

Anyhoo, I have a few ideas on the backburner. Since I'm a pteridomaniac (fern nut), of course most of my ideas are going to be along that line. If I can figure out the type of material to use, I'm definitely going to make some Platycerium (staghorn) ferns for hanging on dollhouse walls. Another would be the Asplenium nidus, perhaps even A. antiquum, too.  Unfortunately, my favorite species, Adiantum, would be almost impossible at such a small scale. Meh, I can live with Platycerium, Pellaea, Asplenium, and generic species for the moment, and maybe I can even figure out a way to make a few miniatures of Cybotium, Dicksonia, and Blechnum (Blechnum being the much easier of the three). Ooh! I bet I could get Angiopteris evecta done. Though, they're so huge that it'd almost look like a normal sized fern even for a miniature, heh.

One thing that I do know I need to do, is find some other wood for the pots.  The Russian olive is nice and all, but I need something to add more color to them.  Maybe buy some Cherry, osage orange, etc online, or find some locust, mulberry, and whatnot that's easy (enough) to find around this half desert.  Unfortunately, elm and cottonwood (which are native around here) are just way too fragile and irksome to mess with on this mini lathe.

Anyway, this is what I've done and still more work to do to make these better than this time.

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