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1  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Re: Harry Potter Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap (SU CLOSED; Send 12/5) on: November 17, 2017 11:06:14 AM
Both of my main ornaments are done!  Just need to finish the wee extras!
2  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Re: Harry Potter Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap (SU CLOSED; Send 12/5) on: November 12, 2017 04:17:51 PM
Ornament 1 is done and I love it!  I hope my recipient does too!  I still have ornament 2 to make, and possibly an extra or two for my lovely swappers...  I'm sure it helps the weather has been very cold.  I live in Manitoba, Canada.  We have 4 seasons: Almost Winter ("cold", otherwise known as mildly chilly), Winter (cold even for Canadians), Still Winter (still "cold", but so much warmer compared to Winter that we are usually wearing shorts and sandals in -5C and put the top down on convertibles) and Construction (aka Summer, aka easily in the 30's C without humidex).  We regularly have an 80C flux in in temperatures from deep winter to mid summer.

All that cold makes me want to stay in, and all that snow leaves me helpless to do anything but plan and created Christmas stuffs!



3  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Re: Harry Potter Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap (SU CLOSED; Send 12/5) on: November 08, 2017 05:54:09 PM
I have plans all made up, now I just need to start!  But I need to finish something else quickly first, eek!
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! 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.




5  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Re: Harry Potter Holiday Ornament & Stocking Stuffer Swap (SU 11/1-11/7; Send 12/5) on: November 01, 2017 04:44:35 PM
Yay!  I'm in!
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! 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.




7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! on: October 13, 2017 10:27:09 AM
edelC - love all your Viking garb!  I've found a few instructions online for making some, and I'd like to make it....I just wouldn't have anywhere to wear it in central Canada!  Too bad because most of my heritage is Scand. You've done a fantastic job with it all.

Moonflame - those tiny phones are absolutely adorable  Cheesy

Audania1 - that squash soup is delectable looking. 

seeuudee - LOVE THE ORNAMENTS.

Mistress Jennie - that jam, yum!  Particularly the onion.

patty_o_furniture - Oh I LOVE that pumpkin pendant, it's wonderful.

Ant Bee - I love your posts, they always make me laugh out loud!


I have 3 projects to submit myself.


Class/Challenge: Arithmancy
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Colour Affection shawl

Well this project was 1000% an exercise in endurance.  I got the yarn as a birthday present last month, and immediately started the shawl.  However, it wasn't the grey you see here as the third colour, but a quite pretty pastel variegated that was in shades of pale green, purple and blue.  I did the first section in variegated, and the blue as the first contrast.  I got all the way through part of the third section (with the added purple) when I realised that 1) the contrast between blue and variegated wasn't high enough and everything looked a mush and 2) the purple was far too stark against the mush.  So I ripped back.  So many stitches.....

I then tried several swatches with the grey yarn replacing the variegated, and changing where the purple and blue landed.  I finally restarted it with grey as the first colour, completed the entire first section again....and realized that I wanted more blue to show.  So I frogged it AGAIN.

I then knitted it a third time as shown.  It still took crazy endurance because it's miles of garter stitch.  All garter stitch.  So much garter stitch.  But that said, I absolutely love the result.





Class/Challenge: Flying
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Gluten-free Stuffing

I had to make gluten-free stuffing for Thanksgiving last week (Canada's is in October), in order to be able to enjoy a full Thanksgiving meal with my inlaws!  Adapted from Serious Eats.

Apple-pecan Gluten-free Stuffing


1 loaf gluten-free bread, cubed and toasted till golden and completely dry (one loaf size of regular loaf bread, or two small ones)
2 baking-type apples, diced
2 medium onions, diced
2/3 c. pecans, chopped and toasted
8 GF pork breakfast sausages, removed from casings
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 c. gluten free stock.

Prepare bread first, toasting in oven.  Put aside.  Prepare pecans if necessary, put aside.  Add butter to a large skillet, and fry onions and apples on medium heat until golden and soft.  Add in spices and and garlic, toss briefly, then put aside.  Fry off sausage until cooked.  Mix all but bread and stock together, and if not making stuffing that day you can refrigerate the apple mix for a day or two (or even mix it and cook it off, and reheat it on Thanksgiving).  Once ready, preheat oven to 325.  Mix all items together.  Bake 30 minutes.

In our case, since we couldn't eat the large stuffed turkey because it was stuffed with regular stuffing, we topped the stuffing for the last 10 minutes with a turkey breast that had been cooked in foil, lightly seasoned and topped with 6 rashers of bacon.  The turkey was taken out of foil and placed on top of the stuffing in the last few minutes of it cooking.




Class/Challenge: Iron Chef - Squash
House: Ravenclaw
Project Name: Pumpkin Doughnuts

Although we don't always think of it, pumpkins are a squash too!  Since I wasn't yet sure what kind of dessert would be available at my in-laws, I decided to make GF pumpkin doughnuts.  Safe for 3 year old and me, and tasty for both kids if they didn't like the options.  Recipe from This Vivacious Life.  As you can see, they were very popular!  Only a few left.


8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Midsummer Term 2017*~ CLOSED on: October 10, 2017 12:31:36 PM
Thanks to all for a wonderful semester!
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Midsummer Term 2017*~ CLOSED on: October 04, 2017 06:05:33 PM
Well done fellow Ravenclaws!!

And a big congratulations to tiamatfire for having the ultimate muggle summer!! Tia completed a whopping 20 out of 25 challenges. I will be PMing you soon, so I can send you your prize!

Oh wow thank you!  My first summer as a Ravenclaw!
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: ~*Harry Potter Craftalong - Yule Term 2017/18*~ Join anytime! on: October 03, 2017 01:07:10 AM
Yay new term!   Cheesy
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