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1  Sweat, baby, sweat! in CHALLENGE 24 ENTRIES by Juniper_Ann on: February 05, 2008 07:14:03 PM
My New Years resolution is to attain a BMI of 21.8 in time for my friend's June 28 wedding, and to maintain in the 21.5-22.1 range for at least 4 years (I want to be making long-term changes, not just stepping on a yo-yo roller coaster).  I've already lost 10 lb. and I have ~20 more to go.  Yay! 

I'm losing weight and gaining muscle by counting calories and by replacing evening noshing with belly dancing!  So, I made myself a belly dance costume that makes me want to twirl and shimmy...and that also reminds me of how much I like the changes to my tummy. 

Ta daa!

Spinning: it's not just for politicians any more.


Sparkle, sparkle!

Whoo!  That was a lot of work!  I think I'll be putting it away for a few weeks, and then road testing, tweaking, and adding more beads.  A girl can never have too many beads.

I have a lot of inspirations for this outfit, but I didn't really use anyone's patterns...or, when I did, I messed with it and re-drew it and mocked it up and re-drew it until it was basically unrecognizable. 

For instance, the vest actually started as an Elizabethan corset pattern based on the drafting instructions here:
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2  Microwave Fudge--Unbelievably Easy! in Dessert by Juniper_Ann on: December 15, 2005 10:23:22 PM
Part of me doesn't want to give away my evil secret but...I'm going to stuff that part back in the basement where she belongs.  If you want to make fudge, you can mess around with double boilers and candy thermometers...or you can cheat and no one will know!  

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pound (3 cups) chocolate chips
   You can use semi-sweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter, etc.
   I usually use half milk chocolate & half semi-sweet.
   Dont use all semi-sweet unless you know that the person is a dark chocolate fan.

Microwave-safe bowl
Something with vertical sides for cooling the fudge (I use a 9x9 casserole dish)


1. Place milk & chips in bowl.

2. Microwave on high at for 1 minute, then 30 second intervals until chocolate looks melty.  Stir.  If its still not completely melted, then 30 more seconds (etc.)

3. Line whatever youre cooling the fudge in with foil.  

4. Pour, chill completely, then cut into pieces.

Put it in holday goody packs, bring it to parties.  People think that this is really fancy and its unbelievably simple.  

You can do a lot of different things with this, if you want, like adding a cup of nuts, or a few drops of peppermint or orange extract.

If you want to get really fancy, divide the sweetened condensed milk.  To 2/3 of the milk, add 2 cups semi-sweet chips.  To 1/3 of the milk, add 1 cup white chocolate chips.  Pour the dark chocolate mixture into your cooling pan first.  Then pour the white chocolate mixture in lines up and down the pan.  Now use a knife or toothpick for marbling (be careful not to marble to much or youll just end up blending the two).  For mint marbling, you could add mint and green food coloring to the white chocolate mixture.  

Happy Holidays!

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3  Retro Sunday Trucker Hats in CHALLENGE 8 ENTRIES by Juniper_Ann on: December 09, 2005 09:38:20 PM
I wandered onto craftster last Thursday and was so excited by this challenge that I just had to join so I could participate.  A trip through the hardware store with a spiral notebook revealed that $10 does not go very far, but I found window screening for $5.  With just that, black thread, and a little help from http://vintagesewing.info/1920s/28-mhd/mhd-toc-long.html I weirded out my family for most of this week making retro sunday trucker hats!

Here's the process.  In the upper right are my materials.  In the upper left are my patterns (I drafted them from a variety of fruit bowls, dinner plates, soup bowls and cups).  I sewed the darts in the crowns and the slashes in the hats (lower left), and pinned the brims and crowns together (center), and then sewed the brims and crowns (lower right).  

Originally, I envisioned this hat as a 1940s style cartwheel/platter hat (the kind with very low crowns and wide, flat, stiff  brims).

My first brim turned out more pointy than I had planned, but that was OK.  I turned it into a "conehead" hat (I think the original term for this shape of hat is coolie hat, but I don't know what coolie means or if it's a...culturally sensitive kind of word...can anyone elighten me?).  I think it's a cute, jaunty little hat.

The picture at the middle of the bottom was intended, after a lot of smiling at the camera, to be a "neutral" face.  What I wound up with is more Absinthe Drinker.  All I need to complete the picture is a cigarette and some slow, sad jazz.  

Also, please forgive the paneling.  That's not my parent's house; it's the "college house" (just me and 4 members of my immediate and extended family...woohoo!).  Someday I'm going to paint it white to make it look less tacky.  

My dad had offered to teach me how to braise coathangers together for a frame to wire my cartwheel hat (isn't he sweet?!).   But when I put the un-wired hat on, it had kind of a floppy, 1950s sunhat vibe, and I liked that, so I left it.  My Dad offered , "Hey that's cute...from 10 feet away.  From close up, you look like a screen door."  I was thinking trucker hat, but I like the contrast between form and materials.  I had fun with that hat and couldn't resist playing dressup a little.

Well that's it.  I hope you like my retro Sunday trucker hats!

Thanks to my mom and sister for taking the pictures!

Juniper Ann

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