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1  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / She can spin a great yarn! on: June 25, 2007 06:08:02 PM
Alright, I don't know if I would really say that I spin a great yarn, but for my second attempt, I am pretty pleased with it!  Grin

Of course, I am fortunate that I have a BEAUTIFUL wheel on loan to me from my ex-sister-in-law for the next month....I would LOVE to get one for my very own, but because I don't actually do any yarn related crafting, my Hubby doesn't quite see the point....Ummmm....It makes me HAPPY....isn't that enough?!  The way I see it, I have a month to show him how much I NEED one...
2  COOKING / Dessert / (Irish) Butter Cream Icing - yum! on: May 22, 2007 05:00:55 AM
I am decorating cakes (they are going to be centerpieces) for my Aunt's upcoming wedding, so I have been experimenting with all sorts of flavors for fillings and icing.  This has got to be my favorite so far, and from the overwhelming reaction from my test subjects Grin (you know who you are!), they really liked it, too.  So, I thought I would share....

The original recipe was for butter cream icing and it yielded enough to cover a very large (75+ servings) wedding cake.  I have changed the recipe a bit mostly by adding the Irish cream and dropping some other flavorings. But I have also adjusted it yield enough to cover a standard 2 layer cake or 24 cupcakes.

stick butter, room temperature
cup shortening (I use butter-flavored Crisco)
1/8 teaspoon salt
teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup Irish cream (Baileys)
2 cups powdered sugar
tablespoon meringue powder*
*This is optional, but I think it makes a much smoother icingMeringue powder can be found in the cake decorating area of most craft stores, and/or in the baking isle of some supermarkets.

With a mixer, mix butter, shortening, and salt together well.  About 5 minutes on low.

Add vanilla and Irish cream. Mix together well. 

Add meringue powder and powdered sugar add the sugar to the mix cup at a time to ensure it is mixed in well.

Blend together on low for several minutes.  Icing should be smooth and fluffy.

If icing is too runny, continue to add sugar (a little bit 1/8 cup at a time) until the desired consistency is reached.

If icing is too hard, you can add water (or more Irish cream) 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate.  You may need/want to whip refrigerated icing prior to use on cake it will be much easier to spread.  This icing will keep for several weeks, if it is sealed well and refrigerated.

I lightly brush Irish cream onto the cake layers prior to adding the frosting for a little extra flavor.

3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Pretty Pretty Paisley! on: April 21, 2007 05:29:04 AM
I made this bag for the 24 hour swap last weekend, and I am so pleased with how it turned out, that I wanted to show it off!  When I read my partner's info, it took me all of 2 minutes to decide what fabric to use....it was figuring out HOW to use it that was the tricky part!  I didn't want to make a plain old tote bag with it (even though, that would have been nice, and I am sure my partner would have liked it).  This was the result of several hours of brainstorming!  

There is a pocket under the flap in the front!  See?

If I had more time, I would have added a zipper pocket to the lining, and I would have given it some sort of closure.  But, for the limited time, I am rather pleased with the result...

What do you think?

4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Dollar store centerpieces.... on: April 18, 2007 04:58:51 AM
I am doing the centerpieces for my brother's wedding.....his bride's parents pretty much refused to help with any of her ideas for the wedding (and her dad is the minister), SOOOOO, she doesn't even care anymore!  Cry  The last thing she said to me about the centerpieces was "as long as it's pretty"......ack!  can we say PRESSURE?  

SO, with a tiny (NO) budget  Tongue, here is at least part of what I have come up with.....

Dollar store candlesticks with a dollar store plate secured to the top (using earthquake putty), both have been decoupaged with an aqua (glittery) tissue paper.  (many thanks to Alwaysinmyroom for introducing me to the art of decoupage and the amazing stuff that is Modge Podge! Grin) The one in the picture still needs another layer of paper so that it is less "patchy".  The edges need to be cleaned up, but since I am not finished adding the paper, they are still a bit messy in the pic.

I LOVE it, now, all I can do, is hope that the bride does, too!

UPDATE***I found some glue for GLASS (practically IMPOSSIBLE to find!) and I am testing it to see if it will work instead of the putty....it is supposed to dry clear.....the putty is white.....plus, then it will be permanent! YAY!

Today is the day!
Here is one of the centerpieces in action yesterday when we set up for the reception.  I ended up making about 700 paper roses!  And the numbers are made with microscope slides!  
5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / U.S. Postal rates go up on May 14! on: April 17, 2007 07:16:25 AM
I thought I would mention the postage rates increase on May 14, 2007, because this could make or break some craftster's decision to do a swap (esp. internationally).  Tongue
This time it isn't just first class stamps, either.  EVERYTHING is going up in price!  Here is a link to the USPS website's page on the rate increases http://www.usps.com/ratecase/welcome.htm....there are some helpful PDF files on the right hand side of the article...you can see specifics there.
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Pretty little notebook cover on: April 04, 2007 12:23:52 PM

I made it with natural linen and fabrics from a Moda Collection called Summer in the City....I am currently obsessed with turquoise and orange....they are so YUMMY together!
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / linen wristlet on: March 26, 2007 05:15:04 PM
I made this little wristlet for a swap.  My partner likes Zakka style items, and her favorite color is purple.  I noticed that a lot of the Japanese craft items are made with linen, so that is what I used.  I hope she likes it...what do you think?
8  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / birthday quilt on: March 04, 2007 07:22:11 AM

I made this as a birthday card for my Hubby's uncle.  He is a leap year baby, hence the frog.  Technically, he didn't have a birthday this year, but we did celebrate last night, anyway.

9  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Patience the Christmas Elf... on: January 24, 2007 12:17:04 PM
I made this little elf for my mother for Christmas.  I was inspired by some that I had seen on Flickr.  

Her name is Patience, because it took a lot of patience to make it!  My first batch of heads caught fire in the toaster oven while I left the room to answer the phone!  Poor little charred elf heads - they crumbled into dust when I touched them!  Luckily, the second round went a LOT better!  
Her body is wire and foam.  Her shoes are an altered version of the Bitty Booties on Heather Bailey's Blog, which I made with felt.
I hope you all enjoy Patience.  She was a fun project, and a much appreciated gift.  
10  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / quilt challenge #1 - my mini quilt on: January 23, 2007 11:08:07 AM
Here is my mini-quilt. It is 1 inch by 3 inches.  This is one of appox. 100 of these I have been working on.  Every one of them is different!  They are thank you gifts for some of my most frequent customers.  

 I just wanted to show it off, I am officially dis-qualifying myself from the competition, since I don't really need or want a gift certificate to my own store!  
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