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1  Re: Ongoing ATC Swap - February in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: March 05, 2010 08:07:21 AM
I have been a horrible slacker about posting, but the upside of that is that now I get to show of THREE fabulous ATCs at once!

First I received this fabulous card from blupaisan for my Art Deco faces theme. I love the woman's face, and the style reminds me a lot of Erte illustrations. Love that bright color, too!

Then I got this SUPER CUTE card from Kellibeans! She did a fabulous job of stalking... Pushing Daisies wasn't even on my theme list, but check out the awesome haiku she made of it! The picture's a little dark, but I can assure you it's pastel and pretty goodness in real life (just like the show.)

And yesterday I came home to find this card waiting for me! It's my Magpie theme from yell0wbright, and it's really gorgeous. You can't tell in the picture, of course, but everything is ever so slightly dimensional, and isn't that Magpie cute? She said in the card that she was tempted to keep it, and I can totally see why, but I'm glad I got it instead! Smiley

Thanks to all you wonderful people, this has been a great swap!
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2  Re: Ongoing ATC Swap - February in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: February 21, 2010 07:23:52 PM
I got not one but TWO great cards from MunLtStmpr in the mail a few days ago.

LOVE that strange hairstyle. Smiley It's just the sort of weirdness I was hoping for.

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3  Pickles are the new beans. in Recipes and Cooking Tips by AeonGoddess on: July 22, 2009 09:46:57 AM
We are having a bumper crop of beans (long and pic heavy garden post here.) And, you know what they say. When life gives you beans, pickle the bejesus out of them. I mean, that's what I say, at least.

(Kitchen parrot approved!)

This is my first pickle experiment! I got a guide to pickling for free at the agricultural extension office in my hometown, and it's very thorough (did I mention free?) I made up my own spice mix with mustard seed, crushed red pepper, fresh garlic cloves, peppercorns, and coriander seeds, and used a 1 part vinegar 1 part water mix. It was super exciting to actually hear those little seals pop when they came out of the hot water. I couldn't believe how easy it was, too. Next up: Pickled beets. Yum.

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4  DIY Earthbox (with tute) and 1 metric ton of Pics! in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by AeonGoddess on: July 22, 2009 09:34:10 AM

I live with my boyfriend in NYC. We have a pretty decent sized apartment (for NY,) but the best part of it is the backyard. Of course, the problem with our backyard is that it is entirely dirt free. Totally. Concrete. There's also a tin-roofed carport that blocks light from much of the space. Sometime last year a friend of ours got us a cheap compost bin that we set up in a corner of the concrete yard, but without a garden it was just an elaborate kitchen waste disposal system.

We really wanted a garden this year. We talked through a lot of options in the spring, including a brief discussion of building raised beds along the walls of the yard and filling them with dirt. It was the math (over $400 dollars just for the dirt in such a system) that dissuaded us in the end.

Then I found this  book, and it changed our gardening lives. (Seriously. It is an awesome book, and one I think any urban gardener should own. It goes beyond gardening, too, and has instructions on fermenting, sprout growing, and yogurt making. The focus is totally on those with a lack of space, and it's a boon to anyone living out of an apartment. But I digress.)

We decided to follow the guide in that book to a DIY earthbox out of plastic storage containers. Now, the book doesn't contain a step-by-step photo process, but does spell things out a little more clearly than I'm about to. Smiley

Step one- Early June. Assemble materials. We cut the lid of the container to fit inside it, about 1/3 of the depth up from the bottom, with a corner cut off the allow the pipe to pass through. We also purchased a pond basket from a garden center to sink into the bottom of the container. We made some legs for the lid out of scrap 2x4s to prevent it from collapsing. We used a length of PVC pipe for the watering tube. *NOTE* PVC has a tendency to leach chemicals. Next year we plan on replacing it with either copper or bamboo. Since this was an experiment, we went with the cheap option this time around (and frankly, I'm sure the non-organic super-market veggies are still worse for you.)  The pipe is cut at an angle at the bottom to prevent clogging in case some dirt should get into the reservoir.

Step two- We put the lid-on-stilts contraption into the bottom of the container, and drilled a series of small drain holes right below the level of the lid. This will prevent the water from making the base layer of dirt all soggy. The goal is to make strong and hardy plants by forcing them to sink deep tap roots toward the hole in the middle. These drain holes also make it impossible to over-water. Ideal for the twitchy gardener!

Step three- We installed the basket in the middle of the container, and the PVC pipe in its corner. With a stroke of frugal genius, we taped part of a plastic shopping bag around the pipe to create a seal and prevent dirt from getting in. Then we filled the basket with dirt, and gave it a good water.

Step four- We filled the boxes to the top with dirt. This step is not cheap- nice, non-miracle gro dirt is expensive, and it took about a bag and a half per container. Then we planted seeds! Our experimental garden this year was a row of yellow wax beans in each container, with cucumbers as the other row in one box and okra in the other.

Step five: Give it a good water on top, wait for magic. We kept watering the top (aided by copious amounts of rain this June *grumble grumble*) until we had some healthy little sprouts, then we switched over to watering through the reservoir only.

And then we waited. My BF has been topping up all our containers with compost periodically, and the plants seem to like it. Our composter looks like it wouldn't hold much, but we've been filling it for a year and a half, and the decomposition rate is really fantastic.

A few weeks later:

The beans totally loved the wet season. The okra was a little less happy, but once we started getting a little sunshine they perked right up. Not pictured is the box with the cucumber, which grew just a little more slowly than the beans. And the tomatoes seem to like the topsy turvy, huh?


Seriously, the beans have taken over, and the tomato is poised to destroy Tokyo with its massive size. The cucumber has about a million blooms, and the okra is growing into baby trees (no flowers yet, but its thinking about it.)

And we had our first bean harvest yesterday! About a pound of delicious beans came off the plants, and there's at least another pound that'll be ready to harvest in another couple days. And more that are still growing!

It was totally worth the cost in dirt just to see these miraculous plants grow from seeds to fruit. And it really proved to me that a small space is no excuse not to have a garden.

So. Um. That's my ESSAY. And thanks to anyone who actually read the whole tedious thing!
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5  Re: Ongoing ATC Swap -- July in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: July 22, 2009 08:23:40 AM
I've been a horrible slacker about posting pictures, but the upside is now I can post three at once! (also, apologies that the photos are a little dark... obviously not the bet photographer.)

Fabulous nocturnal card from corduroy cat-- I love the text and the little bat head:

Beautiful ravens card from TerraBella01. It was really difficult to capture, but it's got a lot of subtle shimmer, and I love the earthy colors.

And a bright and cheery salamander card from goatgoddess! You can't really tell in the photo, but the background is lots of little blue on blue spirals. Really cool!

These are my first ATCs and I love them all. Now I know how people get addicted!
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6  Re: Viva Mexico!!! aka the Mexican kitsch swap gallery! in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: June 26, 2009 03:04:07 PM
And I have to add:

(Ignore the fact that our kitchen is kind of a mess.)
Look how well that new towel matches! And that mirror color looks so good on the wall.
And I had to laugh, because I put those magnet canisters on the fridge and realized that everything on our fridge is already those colors. Smiley Couldn't have planned it better.
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7  Re: Viva Mexico!!! aka the Mexican kitsch swap gallery! in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: June 26, 2009 01:48:43 PM
I received today from nataluna! My postman was nice enough to bring it right to my apartment door instead of leaving it on the stoop, too!

I got totally spoiled (Ay! And I'm sending late! GUILT!) so set wists to stun. I asked for mostly kitchen stuff, and nataluna totally delivered.

First I pulled out these fabulous kitchen towels! They're my favorite kind, too, the plain cotton kind. They match the walls in my kitchen! There's also a bright and cheery plastic bag holder, something we desperately needed.

Now, she claims she's a beginner at sewing... but check out the applique. It's really great! (And the adorable lizard faces.)

Next I pulled out this sweet chili pepper canister, little metal parrot canister, and cute little terra cotta bird. I can't wait for my partner to see the big pepper canister, he's a lover of all thing spicy. I think I'm going to use it to keep all our big utensils in.

Next out were these container magnets. I had to turn to google to translate them, and I totally love this phrase, especially because several hits implied that it invokes the 5-second rule, which is possibly my partner's FAVORITE rule. I cannot stop him from eating things that fall on the floor. It's revolting. But now he'll totally have a phrase in his defense on the fridge. AWESOME. It's sort of loosely translated as "What doesn't kill you makes you fatter."

And then my very own raven shrine! Colorful, glittery, kitschy... it's got everything and a little bit more. I think this bad boy is going in the entryway where all our visitors can see it right off.

And a mirror! I've got the perfect spot on the wall for it, and it's covered in milagros!
It's a beautiful red color which my camera just couldn't capture:

Plus a slew of little extra bits! More milagros, a Virgin of Guadalupe rosary necklace, and a wee ceramic cross in the talavera style:

Everything together:

I really got spoiled. Thank you so much, nataluna! You've pretty much single handedly redecorated my kitchen. I'm going to head in there now and set everything up before the SO gets home... we'll see how long it takes him to notice. Wink
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8  Peachy Sundress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by AeonGoddess on: May 25, 2009 10:08:06 AM
This is a dress I made last summer, but just got around to taking some photos yesterday. I used McCall pattern M5292, but altered the pattern to make it fully lined. I think the plain white cotton lining was actually more expensive than the fashion fabric!

I recommend the pattern... it was as fast and easy as advertised, even after taking the time to shorten the waistline and expand the bust. I did have to futz with sizing issues, though. For some reason the back panels on McCall patterns are always way to big.

Anyway. Dress!

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9  Re: Witch/Wicca/Pagan Swap Round 8 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: October 19, 2008 01:33:20 PM
I received from thewench several days ago, but it took my slacker butt a little while to take pictures, with my camera fighting me all the way. I got totally spoiled with this package!

This is everything all together (except for the bags of candy... which are already eaten. I'm a sugar junkie for real.) This is the only picture I got of the tarot bag, but the cards are in it and they fit perfectly.

She made me a gorgeous tarot bag and matching tarot cloth. I sort of suggested some general color themes, and she took it an ran. It's just beautiful! I spread it out on the floor to take pictures, and catface just had to help: (he approves, btw.)

And look at the beads! I wish I could have taken a better picture, but they're just lovely, and they add a nice weight to the edges to keep it from shifting around during readings.

And I have to show you how well it matches my cards! This was the first one that I pulled out, and it couldn't be a better match:

A pretty velvet bag to keep all my assorted goodies in one place. For now it's holding all of my sewing supplies in one place to take to work. Love the embroidery... stars are my thing.

And little assorted goodies, including two good smelling candles (the whole box smelled great,) a little glass heart which is now living next to my labrodorite heart, and an adventurine rune necklace:

And last but certainly not least: handspun!! It's superwash merino, and I can't WAIT to knit it into something warm and snuggly. It just got cold here yesterday, and I am ready to knit for the cold again. Now I just have to decide if this needs to be a set of gloves, a hat, or a scarf... maybe more than one of those! It's hard to capture all of the color shifts in it, but it's beautiful.

So, thank you, thewench, for this FABULOUS package. It was a long week at work, and this just perked me right up again. And thanks to RondaS and Shadeweaver for being such great organizers, and for the great job partnering us up.

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10  Re: Vintage Apron Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: August 25, 2008 08:18:45 PM
I received from 85%confusion today! Utterly fabulous. I made the boyfriend do a photo shoot with me, and I'll spare you the entirety of the photos (which only get goofier, I assure you,) and show you the best shots of this TOTALLY GORGEOUS apron:

I wish my camera was better at taking close-ups so I could really show everyone how great this fabric is. It's a teeny floral print in blue and purple and lime green, and the pockets and band around the bottom are big square medallions in the same colorway. And the bias tape is great! It really makes the colors pop in real life (alas, the camera lets me down again.) She said it's from a vintage pattern, and it really shows... all the details are awesome, and it creates a great silhouette (even without all those constricting undergarments. Wink) We're going to have to have a big end of summer Margarita cook-out so I can show it off to all my friends.

And the super cutest extra! I can't believe how awesome... I've been admiring all the sugar skull embroidery that's been popping up on the boards lately, and this is better than any of it! What a great match for the fabric! What sparkly rhinestone eyes! What delicate appliqu! What a perfect potholder!

Thank you, 85%confusion, for a great swap package! I hope you're hooked on swapping now so I can craft for you sometime soon.
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