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1  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: January 28, 2018 03:25:13 PM
I still am not able to machine sew for any length of time Sad  I'd like to put my current OWL and NEWTs on hold (both require using my sewing machine) and introduce new ones instead if I can!  My hips and knees just can't take holding down the pedal!

OWL Proposal

OWL Exam: Astronomy
House: Ravenclaw
Name: Solar System Cross Stitch

I'm about to embark upon a very cool cross-stitched solar system!  It fits the prompt exactly (craft using the solar system), and will be a lot of work as it uses extensive amounts of metallic thread *cries* and beading along with coloured floss, all on black aida.  It will definitely take the required amount of time! 

NEWT Proposal

NEWT Exam: Magical Creatures
House: Ravenclaw
Name: The Dragon Trainer

I'm going to be cross-stitching another large piece, which is a cute princess skipping ahead of a friendly dragon and bunny.  The picture looks SO much like my fiesty (almost) 6 year-old, and I imagine that she went out like a brave knight of a princess and trained the dragon to be her friend!  It very clearly has a magical dragon on it, though one that was clearly charmed.  It must be a Common Welsh Green that had calming and friendly charms cast on it Smiley  It will definitely take quite some time, and is going to be stitched on some gorgeous hand-dyed aida I purchased from a Canadian seller.

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2  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: January 28, 2018 02:35:54 PM
Fingers crossed photo upload is fixed!  If not I will try and sort something out - the Aurora piece can't be posted on ANY social media because it's a surprise for a friend!

Class: Charms - Silence
House: Ravenclaw
SPEW: I don't think so - though it's to support her through the rough time of her fiance leaving her and her starting a new career as a yarn store owner?
Name:  Yukon Aurora

So as mentioned, this is for a friend who's needed incredible strength to get through the last few years.  She struggled for years to maintain a job in Geology, because since 2008 geology has been a very volatile field, often with only fly-in/fly-out short-term contract where you even need to pay the travel.  She got a mine job in the far northern Yukon, home based in Whitehorse.  She met a great guy up there, moved in and he proposed.  The mine closed, and she decided to take on the local yarn store that was for sale.  Her fiance decided she wasn't dedicating enough time to him (?!?!?!) due to the store and broke the engagement and told her to move out by the next day.

She's been rebuilding herself, and her store, and I'm SO PROUD OF HER.  She adores living in the Yukon and has fully embraced far north life (frankly the weather is the same or sometimes better than home where I live!) with endless summer light and dark winter days.  The Aurora over the mountains is the most profound, beautiful and meaningful experiences I know she's had.  It's perfectly quiet except the tinkling of ice crystals in the air, watching the aurora sweep and dance.

This is made from an original watercolour picture I found on Etsy (already sold), and the artist gave me permission to turn it into a pattern.  I did the sky and aurora with half stitches, to echo the fact that the aurora is so ethereal.

Challenge: Floo Powder - Catbus - snuggly
House: Ravenclaw

This cowl is all for me!  It's made from a beautiful handspun skein I was gifted on my birthday, made of silk strands and glass beads.  I cast on 26 stitches provisionally, worked a 2 st. (on each side) garter border, and then used a few different openwork patterns from an old 1970's stitch dictionary in between narrow garter bands.  Stitched it together and done!

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3  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: January 02, 2018 08:04:05 PM
Thanks for the encouraging words everyone!  2017 was a year of rebuilding for my family, after 2016 beat us into a bloody pulp with job losses, severe illness, a move halfway across the country, and leaving behind some of the best friends I've ever made (only physically, we are still best of friends!).

Cross-stitching has emerged as the best way I can continue to craft in what is the new normal for my body, and I am absolutely in love with it.  In particular because supplies are really cheap and we are on a heck of a budget lol!  

The temperature chart will be a great way to see our year grow, change, and hopefully continue to move onward and upward.  And I intend to make another identical one for the daily minimum temperature, because here that can be drastically different from the high!

I don't have any prompts I can submit this to, but

Challenge: Headmistress - January
House: Ravenclaw
Name: 90's throwback toque

I just wanted to share the ridiculously awesome 90's throwback hat I knit with yarn given to me by my wonderful husband!  It's a TinCanKnits Prism toque, made with a bunch of Hedgehog Fibre mini skeins and the leftovers of my grey yarn from the Colour Affection shawl I made earlier in the year.

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4  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: December 31, 2017 12:22:46 PM
Warning - mass project dump, now the holidays are mostly done! Sorry I've been absent!  And I don't think I ever replied about the timestamped photo thing noodle-bug but that's totally fine, I understand I just didn't see the post eep!  Happy Birthday too!  Note: I included my mom's Norwegian cross-stitch as my Headmistress Challenge number 1 - for someone you love!  

Are you ready?  LOL!

Class/Challenge: DADA - bumpy
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Ponytail/bun hat

This is a really neat twist on a messy bun hat.  It has buttons down the back, allowing you to modify where the hole is (or have none!) so that you can wear a high messy bun, low ponytail, or anything in between.  I made this a few months ago as a Christmas present for my soon to be SIL.  Not my colour, but definitely hers as she has gorgeous thick wavy chestnut hair.  Oh and the bumpiness is all the garter stitch around the cables!

Class/Challenge: Detention - Dec - delights the senses
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Gluten-free Gingerbread

I needed to make some Christmas cookies (you'll see others pop up in the post) that are safe for my son and I to bring to Christmas celebrations.  These are soft and chewy gingerbread from Gluten-free on a Shoestring.  I made them exactly to form, but sprinkled with icing sugar after coming out of the oven rather than frosting because I was plain exhausted.  Next time, frosting, because they are VERY molasses flavoured and could have used some mellow buttercream on top.

Class/Challenge: Divination - bright
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Geometric Butterfly

I made this very bright geometric butterfly as one of the first projects once I got back in to cross-stitching!  I quite like it, and it's very full looking because I used three strands on 14-count aida.

Class/Challenge: Floo - Ghana - Gold colour
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: 2018 Maximum temperature graph

I hope I can submit this now, as it took probably 20-30 hours just to go to this point!  It's a grid, to fill in the maximum temperature daily through 2018.  I had to alter it from the purchased one, by expanding the temperature scale and converting to C, because where I live it gets pretty hot, VERY cold, and is in Canada!  There are several shades of yellow through gold in it, which will pop up during fall and spring!

Class/Challenge: Headmistress #2 - celebrating winter
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Snowflake ornament

This is a Mill Hill beaded ornament kit (one of 3 in this post!).  I like it in particular because once my Dad and I make an ornament stand I can leave it up all through the winter!  These kits are a ton of fun and VERY addictive, I can't wait to buy a few more that make little pictures instead of just ornaments!

Class/Challenge: Headmistress #3 - sparkle
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Dad's ornament

Kit #2!  Very sparkly, as it came with the largest assortment of beads.  Gold, pink, green, blue, purple!

Class/Challenge: Headmistress #4 - String
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Mom's ornament

Kit #3!  I think it's pretty obvious exactly how this project encompasses string lol!

Class/Challenge: Headmistress #5 - Holiday decoration
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Christmas advent stitch-along

I found a wonderful free advent stitch along this December, every day we got a bit more of the overall pattern!  I went a bit rogue with mine, swapping the church for a gingerbread house, making santa and the star more complex, adding Christmas lights to the big house, etc.  I LOVE it so much, and so did my Aunt and Mom who already requested their own next year  Cheesy

Class/Challenge: Headmistress #6 - holiday food
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Cherry Peaks

Another safe Christmas cookie, modeled after a family recipe.  It's a meltaway cookie (similar to a whipped shortbread), flavoured with imitation almond essence instead of lemon (so it's safe around my mom), dough wrapped around drained whole maraschino cherries, baked until just set, then frosted.

Class/Challenge: Headmistress #7 - warm body
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name:'inja turtle  and owl hats

My son adores 'inja turtles, as he calls them.  So I whipped up this hat for him.  You need to warm the body here because over Christmas our air temperature was -33 to -39C, with windchills as cold as -44C!  Remember farenheit users, that scale meets at -40 so it was BLOODY FREAKIN' COLD!  My daughter got an owl hat!

Class/Challenge: Herbology - chocolate
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Chocolate Crinkle cookies

Cookie #3 for Christmas!   These chocolate crinkle cookies are very tasty, some have added peppermint essence to spike up the flavour a bit more.  They contain both melted chocolate and cocoa powder!

Class/Challenge: Muggle Studies - Mail
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Ornaments

Now I think one of my ornaments got counted already.....I can't remember!  So I'm going to put them BOTH up here, because both were made to be mailed away in the HP Ornament swap!  They both took long enough to make to count for a single craft anyway Wink  There's Ron for Ron lover, a Pepper-up potion for a Potions lover, two flying keys and I needed to sneak in my son's ornament because it's so darned cute and I didn't have a prompt to share it under!  All the snowflake white is stitched over with iridescent thread (so all the snow is fully stitched twice, once in white once in iridescent - blending it didn't sparkle enough).

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5  Re: Harry Potter Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by tiamatfire on: December 21, 2017 10:21:02 AM
I got my lovely package from ilovesnails Tuesday!  I'm so sorry I didn't post immediately but the hot glue had let go and I wanted to fix it, which I did yesterday!

I got a Ravenclaw globe filled with blue ribbon curls, and a fantastic (book colours squee!) Ravenclaw beaded ribbon attached to a silver "Always".

Thank you SO much for my pretty ornaments, they are already on the tree as you can see!
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6  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: December 07, 2017 10:06:31 AM
Class: Frog Choir
House: Ravenclaw
Name: Holiday Wreath

I think this wreath fits with the visual harmony description!  I was able to do a wreath workshop with some friends after my daughter's holiday concert.  There are different kinds of branches to weave in - cedar, fir, and pine - then the decorations are added, with different shapes and colours.  Also a mix of fabric, metal (the bells and wreath frame), plastic and paper!  I really do love it.

Class: OWL - Muggle Studies
House: Ravenclaw
Name: Advent Calendar (#2!)
Link: Handmade Advent Calendar

I finally, finally finished the advent calendar!  I started to panic - the hip I managed to damage rolling over in bed last week (seriously?  IN BED???) meant I couldn't use a sewing machine, but thankfully my mom came up to help us and did the last step of attaching the binding.  

The many ornaments have special meaning, which I detailed in the post on the needlework board, but there's a quick run down!  The carol music is because we both love to sing, as is the silver bell (for one of our favourite Christmas songs, Silver Bells).  The puffin and lighthouse are because she loved her time in the Maritimes, and misses it a lot.  The Christmas pud is for our love of Harry Potter and all things British (plus I love Christmas Pud!).

I love all those special ornaments (except the blasted puffin, he was a ton of work) but I also am particularly fond of the Christmas Hedgie and skating girl (Based a bit on sunbonnet Sue).

I'm so glad it's done.  I had hoped to get it to her by December 1st, but health got in the way.  Hopefully she enjoys it once it does reach her!

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7  Handmade Advent Calendar in Needlework: Completed Projects by tiamatfire on: December 07, 2017 09:34:01 AM
A couple years ago, I made a tree advent calendar, with felt ornaments for my kids to hang.  My sister loved it so much, she asked if I could make one for her some day.  And here is hers, in all it's glory!

I had hoped to finish it in order for the parcel to reach her by December 1st, but ill health prevented that unfortunately.  In fact, one piece of the calendar was not done by me - my mom attached the binding as I've injured my hip and can't use a sewing machine.

First we have a star (always hung on December 1st!), then a snowflake and letter to Santa.

Next, a Christmas Hedgie, Carol music, skating girl (based on Sunbonnet Sue), and a vintage bauble.

Now we have a silver bell (one of our favourite carols to sing together), a Christmas pud (we are huge Harry Potter fans, and love all things British.  Plus Christmas pud is yum!), and an elf shoe.

A gingerbread man (his head turned out a bit small) and a kitty (she loves our kitties).

A puffin (she lived in the Maritimes for a few years, and loved it and misses it a lot), candy cane, and a snowman identical to one on our tree.

Wee mittens, Rudolph, and a cute but slightly ersatz bunny.

An old fashioned Christmas bulb, a lighthouse (again for her beloved Maritimes), and a polar bear (Canada is full of 'em!).

Finally a toque to match the mittens, a little Matryoshka, and Santa Claus - only hung on Christmas Eve!

Here is everything all together.

I am so proud of this project.  It was a slow slog, doing tiny bits at a time, but it is finished, and bound with love by our mom as well.  I hope she loves it as much as I do.

Happy Holidays!
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8  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: December 01, 2017 02:46:59 PM
Drive by posting because I can only keep the laptop on my lap for about 5 minutes because I sprained my hip ROLLING OVER IN BED.  Sigh.  

WARNING: a couple of these are NSFW!

Class/Challenge: Alchemy - Rainbow
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Science Cross-stitch

This is for one of my beloved friends, who is back in my old city.  She's got her PhD, and is very very pro science.  The beliefs part, I want to state, is not at all about religious beliefs!  She is loves everyone and anyone no matter creed/orientation/etc. etc. as long as you are a kind person!  It's in reference to things like Flat Earthers ("um guys, the earth is really not flat.  I promise.  We also landed on the moon.").  She haaaaates anti-science conspiracy theories.  Pattern from StitchyLittleFox on Etsy.

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Class/Challenge: Floo - Mongolia
House: Ravenclaw
Name: Snow fairy ornament

I made this wee snow fairy/ballerina for my daugher for an ornament!  I'm intending to now make them an ornament every year, using all different crafts.  You can see (hopefully) that bits are sparkly, that's a single strand of Superior Thread opalescent filament stitched over the white bits.  I don't like DMC light effects, and they are hard to work with.  I like this so much more!  It is going into a 3 inch hoopla.  From "Cross-Stitch Crazy", Nov 2017 issue.

Class/Challenge: Headmistress - November (not too late I hope?)
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Ornament and Christmas Present

Cross-stitch is working so well for me to keep me from going crazy, if you can't tell by the project dumps I'm starting to put out!

I made ornaments for the HP ornament swap!  I can't post pictures yet, nor do I want to give my recipients hints yet!  But Mistress Jennie has seen them via PM so she knows they exist.  That's my first craft!  I will put up pictures and a fuller description once they receive!

Second, I finished this marvelous (if I do say so myself) Norwegian knitting inspired hoopla for my mom.  It's in a 7" hoop, for scale.  I love it love it.  Biggest cross-stitch I've done so far!  Pattern from "hallodribums" on Etsy.

Class/Challenge: SoAR - with text
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Naughty cross-stitch

This is for another of my friends in my old city.  She loves being blunt (it's awesome) and just moved into a new apartment, so I feel this is pretty good!  Pattern from VANCITYSTITCHCO on Etsy.

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Class/Challenge: Transfiguration
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Ravenclaw HP Symphony Dress

My city did a showing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, with the symphony orchestra providing the live soundtrack!  It was so special, and a birthday present from my in-laws, that I knew I had to do something amazing.  I dug through the bargain bin and found this dark blue with stars rayon based stretch knit, and a nice pattern, and went to work!  I am so so happy with it, mostly because in Canada in winter attending anything dressed up for women is bloody cold.  Solution, long sleeves! I was just warm enough with thick cotton tights and the dress, no need to actually wear my parka inside the concert hall!  The necklace was ordered from aliexpress.com, because I couldn't afford one of the beautiful WB replicas.

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9  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: November 04, 2017 05:05:31 PM
Lovely stuff all - I will go back and comment later but I'm trying to use my keyboard ability time to post!

Class: Astronomy - 6
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Japanese Milk Bread

So I browse around on Reddit, and someone had posted a GIF of freshly baked bread being pulled apart.  It gave me a huge craving, and I found THIS recipe for a GF milk bread - a type noted to be extra soft.  The number 6 is involved here, because the dough is cut into 6 discs, which are folded in half and laid into the loaf pan in order to created air gaps to help the bread cook better.  It was very soft and delicious, especially slathered in butter or heaped with homemade jam!

Challenge: Headmistress - October - Hallowe'en
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Glinda the Good Witch

My daughter really loves Wizard of Oz, and in particular Glinda's rather glorious pink gown.  So when she asked me to make it, I had to obliged.  Small problem, the day after I bought the fabrics, I developed Costochondritis, an EXTREMELY painful inflammation of the chest wall.  It made cutting, sewing, ironing, etc. very painful and exhausting.  But I did it!  I used the out-of-print Simplicity official child's Wizard of Oz pattern, which I'd collected (along with the doll and adult sized patterns) at thrift stores.  Thankfully the size 6 dress was the one already cut out in my set.  I did some guesstimating, because I didn't want to use the much more expensive satin on anything but the bodice and arms.  I also didn't want to buy too much of the very expensive silver star-printed organza.  However, all mine and my MIL very conservative guesses left me with just enough satin and more than enough of the pink poly crepe and star organza!

There was a crazy amount of sewing.  Basting multiple pieces together, gathering everywhere, having to rip and re-set the waist twice so I could get the zipper in right.  But she was thrilled.  The star applique was ironed-on but will need to be sewn before going into the tickle trunk.  The waist sequin trim was hand stitched, and the extra used as part of the crown decoration.

The crown is clear acetate, we attempted to frost it with modpodge and then a light dusting of white spray paint.  It worked OK, I just wish it wasn't $25 for a can of spray on frosted finish!  I added the sequin trim with hot glue, and glitter glue as the rest of the trim.  This worked fine during the Kindergarten's indoor party, but the -8C weather trick-or-treating caused it to rapidly peel from the acetate.  I'm not sure that I'll fix that or not.  As you can see at the end, it needed to be worn over polar fleece pants, a long sleeve shirt, and a down coat!

Class: History of Magic - non-rotten food
House: Ravenclaw
Name: The many tenderloins of the broken freezer

So our freezer quit on Nov 2.  Everything was still cold so it was mostly able to be saved, but we had to cook 4 pork tenderloins and brown off a stack of ground beef.  Here are the three tenderloins I did.  I skipped searing on all of them and roasted all for 25-30 minutes @ 400F.

First: a dry seasoning mix from the Epicure company called Yakitori.

Second: Food Network oregano/garlic/thyme.  I only mixed the dry ingredients into a rub.

Third: Serious Eats cumin and brown sugar - I followed the suggestions here, but just added some paprika.

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10  Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! in Craftalongs by tiamatfire on: October 23, 2017 08:33:14 PM
Such wonderful projects so far!  The twinchies are great seeuudee and congrats on Witch Weekly!

I have two projects to submit.

Class: CoMC
House: Ravenclaw
Name: Gluten-free Pecan Pie

I did a little walk around the Farmer's Market (the last before we have snow!) with my MIL, and we found a Mennonite stand selling gluten-free pie crusts.  I wanted to try making a pecan pie, and having a pre-made crust made it MUCH easier.  So this is both something that had leftovers, and brought lots of contentment into the home!  See 3 year old for evidence.

Pecan Pie Filling

1 c. sugar
1.5 c. corn syrup
1/4 c. butter
4 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
zest of an orange
1.5 cups lightly broken pecans

Preheat oven to 350F

Boil the sugar and syrup for 2-3 minutes, set aside to cool slightly.  Stirring the butter in helps to cool the mixture a bit too.  Beat the eggs lightly and add in the vanilla and orange zest.  Drizzle the syrup mixture in while whisking vigorously so as not to scramble the eggs.  Stir in pecan pieces.  Pour into prepare and unbaked deep-dish pie shell.  Bake for 45-60 minutes, until just set (slight wobble is ok).  Cool on wire rack completely before cutting.

Challenge: Floo - Waterpark
House: Ravenclaw
Name: Zebra Heart

So I've mentioned before that I'm on long term disability, suffering from severe chronic pain.  Last week, I finally, FINALLY received a major diagnosis.  My new Rheumatologist confirmed that I in fact have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a genetic disorder of collagen production.  The body produces defective collagen, which leaves connective tissues (including skin, tendons, ligaments, muscles, organs) weak, stretchy, or both.  I have the hypermobile type (with possibly classical cross over).  This means that most of my joints flex far past where they should and subluxate and dislocate easily - it also means that my muscles have to work 2-4x harder than a regular persons to try and hold those joints in place, which results in my having developed Fibromyalgia as well.  Without going into much more description, the joint and muscle pain (and abdominal pain, caused by the organs of the digestive tract stretching beyond the normal capacity of the nerves) are ALL explained by this.  There's no cure, but there's treatments like better pain control through medications and special physiotherapy, braces for bad joints, and using different kinds of suture techniques in surgery.

The awareness logo for EDS is the zebra - from the expression "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.".  Well we EDSers are the zebras.  Even though it's genetic and present at birth, it can take many, many years to be diagnosed, especially since the symptoms can be vague and many doctors are not trained to recognize it.

I cried with relief when I had an answer, and knew right away I had to make something to honour this new part of my life.  So I found the image of a zebra print heart, used a perler bead program to convert it into a pixel picture, and cross-stitched it.  The sinuous lines of the zebra stripes remind me very much of a lazy river like many water parks have.  I haven't decided what to do with this yet (in part because I'm not very familiar with mounting cross-stitch, and don't have a lot of choice in pretty or inexpensive hoops in my city) but it will somehow be going on my wall.

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