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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Some early Halloween spookiness inspired by The Purge movies...(image chubby) on: August 22, 2016 09:10:35 PM
I go to a huge fan convention almost every year, and this year I wanted to wear a more topical costume.  Meet the characters from The Purge Election Year.

The masks all started life as a generic pack of paper masks.  Most of the other masks got a sculpting of air dry clay to modify the features AND brow ridges.  They then got a few coats of gesso.  The "Kiss Me" mask's eye strings were created by dipping parts of cotton balls into gesso, and letting them dry onto the rest of the mask.  The "God" mask features real cosmetics and dirt from a potted plant.

The Statue of Liberty mask was probably the hardest to create involving an electric drill AND a steady hand.

Off - In Daylight...

On - In the Dark

Repainted Cheap Toy Pistol (from the Dollar Store):
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The "Kiss Me" Masks:

The "Anarchy"/"God"  Mask:
2  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / First Attempt at Nail Stickers at Home... on: March 20, 2014 07:59:03 PM
These were made with top/base coat, red/white/blue acrylic paint, purple marker...

I suck at applying 'em.  (Two hours, and way too many brain cells.)

3  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Discussion and Questions / Woodburning? on: September 27, 2013 03:04:04 PM
Looking for a woodburning kit.  What makes a woodburning kit good?
4  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / First Time Carving Lino and Finished Product (Monster Hunter Logo) on: September 18, 2013 07:27:19 PM
Okay, I'm loving the details that you can do in lino.  (Although, I ended up stabbing myself twice with dull tools.  Ow.)  It's mounted on wood with a disc of craft foam and felt.

I made a couple of tee shirts with this.  (It's a dragon from Monster Hunter - the Rathalos!)

Finished Product!

Stamp and Tee Shirt Close up!

Lino Stamp and Mounted:

In Action Shot:
5  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Rubber Stamping: Video Game Style! (Moogle and Monster Hunter 3U) on: June 26, 2013 10:15:41 AM
*sleepy moogle*  Hi-ya, kupo!

The flagship monster from Monster Hunter 3G or 3 Ultimate.  Brachidios - the one with the slime effect.  If you notice, I accidentally damaged the ankle portion of this - I was clearing out the extra material and I nicked it.  Use sharp blades - so you don't have to force the darn thing!

6  CANADA / Ontario / Looking for fabric (permanent) stamp or ink pads... on: June 19, 2013 11:59:23 AM
Okay, why are these buggers so hard to find?  I'm looking to print a tee shirt with some homemade stamps, and nobody in my area stocks them!

I'm in Toronto, Ontario, but can travel for these.
7  COOKING / Dessert / Homemade Gummy Candy - Two Ingredients! :D (img heavy!) on: April 26, 2013 12:45:45 PM
Homemade Gummy Candy - Unhealthy Version!

-  jelly crystals (jello powder) 85 grams/1 box
-  four tablespoons unflavoured gelatin (about four envelopes Knox)

-  candy moulds (the blue one is terrible as an ice cube tray, but makes a great little candy tray!)
-  1/2 cup measure
-  1 tablespoon measure
-  metal bowl
-  measuring cup (actually, you could just use the measuring cup!)

1)  Measure out four tablespoons of unflavoured gelatin, and mix with the flavoured stuff in a big metal bowl.

2)  Dump in a half cup of cold water and mix to combine.

3)  Leave for ten minutes at room temperature to bloom or rehydrate the gelatin!  (It will turn into a gross, solid mess.)

4)  Set up a double boiler - heat water in a saucepan, and toss your bowl of gummy batter onto the top!

5)  Melt your gummy batter into a liquid form with no lumps or remaining bumps in it.

From this:

To this:

6)  Pour it into your measuring cup or anything with a spout!  And carefully fill your molds with this stuff!

7)  Put the filled tray into the freezer - they are set when the feel firm to the touch.

Cool  Peel them out of the tray by wiggling them in their moulds!

9)  Dust 'em with cornstarch - and present them on a tray!

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Homemade Gummy Candy - Cleaner Eating Version

-  1 cup of juice of your choice  (Here I used a blend of guava, mango and passionfruit.)
-  4 tablespoons unflavoured gelatin (I found the cheaper stuff in Chinatown - $9.99 for 500 grams of the stuff)

-  candy moulds
-  big metal bowl
-  1 tablespoon measure
-  1 cup measure

1)  Boil down your 1 cup of juice into a half cup of juice. It's ready when the damn thing spits at you on high.

2)  Let cool, and chuck in four tablespoons of gelatin.  In your metal bowl.

3)  Leave it alone for ten minutes!  (Mine solidified into a giant lump on the bottom of the bowl...)

4)  Chuck it on a boiling saucepan of water.

5)  Let the mixture melt...Smiley  Until it's liquid...

6)  Pour into the measuring cup or anything with a spout.

7)  Carefully pour into the candy moulds.

Cool  Set in the freezer for about five minutes.

9)  Peel 'em out of the moulds, and eat!

The clear one is made with coconut water.  The light yellow one is made with mango juice.  Make sure that you reduce your liquid by half or make a syrup with it - the coconut water ones are kind of repulsive - not enough sugar in there to balance the grossness of it.
8  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Homemade Taste 5. Umami Paste (Or adventures in foodie heaven...) on: January 30, 2013 04:36:48 PM
So, the USA and Canada was a little late in getting on the umami bandwagon.  This is a great little recipe to duplicate the famous Taste Number 5 Umami Paste.  Basically, one lady chef found a way to combine all glutamate rich foods and turn them into a delicious, rich and more-ish paste.  I've made a few more tweaks, adding two kinds of mushrooms, toasted walnuts and a whole lot more garlic!  It looks highly unappetizing, but hide a glob of it in pot-roast and pasta, and pizza, and hoo boy!  (It's basically natural MSG.)

Also, making your own is extremely cheap than to actually buy it.  I bought (and am waiting for) one tube off of a UK based seller on ebay, and I paid a total of $15 for a 70 gram tube.  The ingredients I have can make a ton more at a much lower cost - I paid about $20 for my ingredients....and I didn't use it all!  (I created 2 cups of this stuff - while the actual commercial stuff is just under a third of a cup!)

Stuff You'd Need:
The Main Players:

-  stick blender or another blender
-  non-stick pan or skillet
-  black olives (I like the stuff in the olive bar, because it tastes much more savoury!)
-  a package of clean and sliced fresh mushrooms (I like using shittake...but these are bloody expensive!)
-  some olive oil
-  garlic
-  tomato paste
-  freshly grated Parmesan
-  2 or 3 anchovy filets
-  optional:  toasted walnuts
-  optional:  balsamic vinegar (the real stuff!)

*  makes two cups - I doubled the recipe...

I used this recipe as a baseline:

If going vegan vegetarian (cheese is an animal product, silly), toss the anchovy and up the toasted walnuts!

How to Combine:
1)  Toast the walnuts, peel the garlic, slice the olives.

Pretty parmesan cheese...

2)  Heat your pan until it's blazingly hot.
3)  Add some olive oil to lubricate and add your mushrooms.  If using straw mushrooms, make sure that you poke them a few times to let them off their liquid.
4)  Cook until reduced by half - straw mushrooms have an amazing amount of H20!

5)  Add your garlic, olives and continue cooking for several minutes, or until fully heated through.
6)  Dump your tomato paste into the mixture, add your parmesan, and your anchovy filets.  If using your balsamic vinegar, add it now!  (I'm not a big fan of it...)

7)  Cook until your parmesan melts into the mixture and stir everything together.
Cool  Finally add your walnuts.

9)  Toss your entire mixture into the blender.  Whiz until smooth.  (Add a little bit more olive oil, if you feel like the mixture's too thick.)  The consistency should look like pesto.

Eat!  Spread it on bread (chill it if using it as a spread!), use it as a wet rub on meat (CHICKEN!), stir it into soups, and basically have fun with it!  (Also, you can mix it with vinegar to create a salad dressing.)  It is very smoky, does not taste of mushrooms, and very salty - you can probably pair it with fresh greens for a great tasting mixture.

*  Update:  It was a disappointment on some beef steak today.  I slathered the stuff onto the steak, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then seared it.  (It didn't taste that...beefy...)  I think my usual way of prepping it is better - sear it quickly and dump some soy sauce on it.
9  COOKING / Dessert / Gluten Free Brownie Bites - Yum! on: January 25, 2013 11:47:55 AM
I'm not allergic or sensitive to gluten, but I enjoy trying new and simple recipes.  This is a modified recipe from Onepotchef on youtube.

-  1 1/4 cups of caster/super fine sugar
-  1/2 cup cocoa powder (I use the ruddy dark stuff - it's higher fat and it tastes much better)
-  125 grams of butter (0.55 cups of butter)
-  4 eggs
-  1 cup almond/pecan/nut meal  (I actually like pecan meal...as it is cheaper and tastier...)
-  1.5 oz vanilla essence (I ended up with homemade stuff from christmas...very tasty...)
-  optional:  one aero chocolate bar, chopped and melted into the butter (add more almond meal to thicken the batter!)
Makes 13 smallish brownie "cupcakes".

Throw all the dry powders into a bowl.  Toss the four eggs together, and add vanilla essence to them.  Mix this mixture together.  Stir it into the dry powder.  Melt your butter in the microwave (if adding the chocolate bar, add it here...the heat of the butter will melt it).  Mix your butter into the mix.

Bake at 405/200 degree celius for 20 minutes.

10  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Hard lotion bar recipe with only olive oil? on: January 05, 2013 08:56:43 PM
Most of the recipes I've seen call for coconut oil, and that's not something I want to use (I don't have it around - what I do have is olive oil)!

Also...where would I source some beeswax?
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