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21  Stocking Ornaments - My first time with clay! in Polymer Clay: Completed Projects by RedMenace on: January 05, 2009 07:44:05 PM
First off, let me say that I've been stalking this board for a while now, and I'm humbled by your collective mad skills. Shocked

I was recently in Joann's and they were having a 50% off sale on Fimo... clearly a sign that it's time to give polymer clay a try. I brought my enormous bag of clay home and got to work, and came up with these:

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, though I realized only after they were baked that what I thought was white clay was actually translucent. Didn't matter so much for the toes and heels, but the features on the gingerbread dude sorta faded into the brown, so I Sharpie'd them, and they're okay-looking.

I think I'm hooked on this stuff, so you'll be seeing more from me pretty soon! Cheesy
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22  Re: Christmas Stocking Swap Round 4 gallery in The Swap Gallery by RedMenace on: December 09, 2008 03:55:00 PM
My partner's camera is acting up, so she asked me to post pics of what I sent:

Some shrinky-dink sewing pins:

A beaded necklace:

Christmas ornaments (felt skate, felt pear, beaded star):

Cable-and-Bobble knit hat:

Woven-look knit scarf:

And of course, the stocking (my first fair-isle project ever!):

There were some extras, too, but I didn't get pics... couple skeins of yarn, a cute mini M&M tin, and a craftster pin.

I'm really glad you liked everything ohmyword, thanks for swapping with me! And a big thanks to the organizers, you rock my socks!
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23  Re: Christmas Stocking Swap Round 4 gallery in The Swap Gallery by RedMenace on: November 26, 2008 08:38:33 AM
I got my package from ohmyword on Monday, and I've just found my camera batteries, so now I can show off! Grin

Here's the group shot:

And some close-ups...
The stocking itself! It's made from Hello Kitty Christmas fabric, so cute Cheesy

Two necklaces from/inspired by my wists:

Mario mushroom coasters (from wists) and an origami Christmas ornament:

Crocheted snowflake ornaments Shocked these are so beautiful, the picture really doesn't do them justice:

And the shirt is from my wists, for those of you who haven't seen this before, here's what happens when the stencil is reflected:

There was also all kinds of ribbon, stickers, embroidery patterns, recipe cards and chocolate peppermint candy (yum!)

Thank you so much ohmyword, I absolutely love everything! Grin

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24  Stripey Christmas Stockings in Knitting: Completed Projects by RedMenace on: September 24, 2008 07:58:19 PM
Well, I've signed up for the Christmas Stocking Swap, but I spent so much time cruising the galleries for previous rounds and getting all inspired, there was no way I could wait until we got partners... I just had to knit a stocking NOW! And then one stocking wasn't enough, so I made another... Roll Eyes

Here they are, with a Sharpie for scale:

These will be for my sister and her fiance, I think. I will definitely be making more of these, I want to do one in pinks and another in purples for a couple of my co-workers. I didn't use a pattern, just took elements from a few different basic sock patterns and went to town. Perhaps someday I'll knit real socks... it seems a much less daunting idea after this. Cheesy

Thanks for looking!
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25  Re: Favorite Recipes Mini Swap Gallery of Goodies in The Swap Gallery by RedMenace on: July 18, 2008 06:18:14 PM
Here's the lovely oilcloth mat made for me by thefranz (and modeled by my bed, because the kitchen's still a mess from my move Embarrassed) for easy cleanup when working with messy food! And she included oilcloth print recipe cards, too. I love everything, big thanks to thefranz for a fun swap!

Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies (makes about 40)

2 sticks ( pound) butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
cup sugar, plus more for coating cookies
cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips, or 12 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350*

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat butter, vanilla, sugars, and egg until light and fluffy. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in small bowl and whisk together. Stir dry ingredients into butter/sugar mixture in two batches. Stir in chocolate pieces. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into 1 inch (3cm) balls and coat in sugar. Place well-spaced on baking sheets. Bake about 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets.

This is quite possibly the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It stays soft and gooey on the inside, and the sugar coating keeps it crunchy and chewy on the outside. The recipe I adapted this from also called for candied chilies, which is definitely worth trying at least once:

Candied Chilies
cup water
cup sugar
3 fresh red Thai chilies, finely chopped

Stir water and sugar in small pot over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add chilies, boil 2 minutes; cool. Strain, discard syrup. Add to cookies with chocolate chips.


Chocolate Bread Pudding (serves 12-15)

1 loaf day-old brioche, challah, or other good quality white bread (about 1 pound)
4 cups Half & Half
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
8 large egg yolks
cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325*

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes. Fill a 9x13 glass baking dish with the bread. Bring the Half & Half to a boil and remove from the heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Combine sugar and yolks in a large bowl, whisking to combine. Very slowly pour chocolate mixture into egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until fully combined. Add vanilla extract, and whisk to combine.

Pour chocolate mixture over bread. Cover with plastic wrap and press down to make sure all bread pieces are thoroughly soaked. Let sit for 30 minutes. Bake until set, about 35 minutes.

I work at a bread bakery and get to take home as much leftover bread as I want at the end of every day, so believe me when I say I've tried an awful lot of bread pudding recipes. This is one of my favorites because it's so easy to make and tastes like a decadent chocolate dessert. I've been known to add a little extra chocolate, mixed in with the bread pieces sooo good!


Blueberry Crumb Cake (serves 9)

4 Tbsp ( stick) unsalted butter, room temp, plus more for pan
1 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
tsp baking soda
tsp salt
tsp ground allspice
cup sugar
1 large egg
cup buttermilk
1 cups blueberries, picked over, rinsed, and patted dry

Preheat oven to 350*

Line 9-inch square pan with foil. Butter foil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating batches, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat until just combined. Fold blueberries into the batter. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with streusel topping recipe follows. Do not press streusel into batter. Bake 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Streusel Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
cup packed light brown sugar
tsp salt
cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work in the butter until large, moist crumbs form. Larger crumbs will ensure they form a crisp topping rather than melting into the batter. Refrigerate until ready to use.

This is a delicious breakfast bread, especially loved by the adults in my family, because it's not too sweet, as most breakfast pastries are these days.


Lamb Biryani (serves 4)

cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne
tsp ground cumin
tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 pound boneless lamb, cut into -inch cubes
3 Tbsp butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
tsp ground cardamom or coriander
tsp turmeric
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 cups long-grain white rice, preferably basmati
2 cups water
1/3 cup raisins or dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped cashews, almonds, or pistachios

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, and tsp salt. Stir in the lamb. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, rice, and remaining 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the lamb mixture to the pan. Stir in water and raisins. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the rice and lamb are almost done, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Stir in the cashews.

This recipe is just delicious, I have all of the ingredients in my house about 90% of the time, and it takes substitutions really well. For example, if I don't want/have lamb, I substitute -inch diced carrots (follow same directions as for lamb) or chicken breasts (boil rice mixture for 10 minutes, then add chicken, cook for 10 more, continue as directed). A fast and easy one-dish meal.


Spinach with Orzo and Feta (serves 4 as a side)

pound orzo
1 pound spinach, trimmed and chopped
cup chopped fresh mint
cup crumbled feta cheese
1 to 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
Coarse salt and fresh-ground pepper

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orzo according to package directions. Stir in the spinach until wilted. Drain. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Such a quick and easy side dish, there's almost no prep involved, and it has a really bright, fresh flavor. It's yummy at any temperature, which makes it really good for potlucks and barbecues.
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26  Robot Tie - First Embroidery Evar! in Needlework: Completed Projects by RedMenace on: April 25, 2008 11:58:35 AM
Hi, all! I made this tie for my DH's birthday, nothing too special, but it's my first time, and I'm proud Wink


(ugh, I took, like, 243875 pictures, and this was the least seizure-inducing Tongue)

I don't remember where I got the robot image from, if it's yours, let me know and I'll credit you Smiley

Now I just gotta get me some transfers and I'm off to embroider the world!
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27  Re: OTT 18 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by RedMenace on: April 09, 2008 08:17:02 PM
Woohoo! I've received my OTT from perlabella!

It's a needlebook! I needed one of these badly!

Here's one of the "pages"

...but wait, what's this?!

She embroidered Chococat on the inside cover! I couldn't get a good picture, 'cause the flash and the satiny background weren't playing nice, but it is just perfect! Thank you so much, perlabella, I love my new needlebook! Grin
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28  Re: Because we miss Harry Potter Swap! in The Swap Gallery by RedMenace on: April 09, 2008 07:50:50 PM
Okay, prepare to be so super jealous, I've received from RockstarMom, and I am in love Grin

Let's begin the tour, shall we? Here's what greeted me when I came home from work, a box of Hufflepuffy goodness?!

All together:

I'm, like, hyperventilating, I'm so excited about my new dragon poppet, Patches! I lovelovelove her!

Check out her little posable wings! Cutest. Ever.

Bleach-dyed Sirius Black shirt Shocked I am just amazed at how awesome this is!

RockstarMom, it fits, but it's a little snug. Though I'm losing weight at a pretty steady rate, so I'd actually prefer it that way. It will fit perfectly by the time it's t-shirt weather! Wink

Herbology-themed drawstring bag (this is the *perfect* size for my current crochet project!) And bookmarks with all of my favorite characters, and little charms on the ends (My favorite is the dog for Sirius, too cute!)

Snape and Luna Christmas ornaments filled with charms of wands and potions and radishes - oh my!

(These got a little smooshed on the way here, but I have some clear glass ornaments that will be glad to come to the rescue!)

And the Herbology-themed drawstring bag, which is the perfect size for my current crochet project!

Thank you so much, RockstarMom! You must be an accomplished Legilimens, 'cause I couldn't imagine a more totally awesome package! Grin
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29  Re: OTT 18 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by RedMenace on: April 08, 2008 10:06:37 AM
While I'm waiting for my tiny treasure to make its way to me, I'll post pics of what I sent Grin

A set of stitch markers for knitting and crochet:

I'm glad you like them, perlabella!
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30  Re: Because we miss Harry Potter Swap! in The Swap Gallery by RedMenace on: April 03, 2008 02:48:10 PM
I love this hat pattern, I bought it just for this swap, but I've already made another one for my sister:

Yours came out better, though (don't tell my sister Wink) I'm really glad to hear that you liked everything! Grin

I like the twisted beaded necklace. Does it stay twisted or do you have to twist it up before you put it on?

It looks like the strands are wrapped around each other. When RedMenace put the ends on, they would stay wrapped.

It does stay twisted, but actually, there are no ends, so it's 3 continuous strands of beads (with the gold one twisted around the two red ones.)
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