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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Amanita muscaria dotee on: March 19, 2019 05:19:24 PM

Oh man, this was a trip to make (see what I did there Cheesy). I really love Mr Finch's creations and when searching for mushroomy creature inspiration I came across some of his with hands, FREAKY! I wasn't really sure how to craft such a thing so small, fingers and all, or if I'd have time to even attempt it so I made the little dude without arms. It looked fine, totally acceptable. But like it was missing something, I felt kinda sad. Then something terrible happened, I couldn't get to the post office before it closed on send-out day, ack! I try to be early most of the time, very rarely am I late, I really do not like that to happen. This time though it was unavoidable. Rather than be in a funk I thought I'd make the best of the grace time and see if I could figure out some arms.

Wire and embroidery floss, torn strips of pale cotton wrapped around the armature and secured with more thread. The wire is pushed through the mushroom body and the arm parts are stitched on so it is a bit posable. I didn't have any pipecleaner though so the wire used is pretty stiff. I coated the hands and fingers in glue to make sure the thread was very secure.

The cap is very soft velvet covered in french knots, sequins and beads, there is a layer of lace on the underneathy bit for texture. The grass is that yarn used for making dish scrubbies. A scrap of lace trim to finish off the join between stem & cap. I find it super curious that a face with just eyes, no other features, can hold so much expression. That's just bizarre.
2  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / A few ATCs, lotsa pics on: March 14, 2019 05:15:16 PM
rockingbearranch let me take the reins for the Ongoing ATC swap this year so I have been making a lot of cards using a few different techniques. It's so fun. I never considered myself much of a paper crafter but there is nothing quite so satisfying as finishing a whole entire project out of just a bit of cut and paste in a small amount of time. And you can make just about anything you dream up using any sort of supplies! It's amazing, really.

This interactive card is one of my faves. The "Love" letter is actually a stamp that came to me from a swap here, how perfect is that?

B is for Berries

F is for Fish, there's real beach sand we collected last summer glued on there.


Sassy squirrel

Bella bird

A fine fox



Dapper dog

The clock stopped

What's not to love?

Pretty piggy

Leaves in the wind

Happy puppy
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Scrap paper bookmarks on: March 10, 2019 10:32:40 AM
The lovely and generous underthemountain has a non-profit that promotes children's literacy. They give out books to kids and what goes great with books? Bookmarks!
(the skinny one is mine, I used up all the bits of trim that were large enough to become anything and ended up liking this size most of all for myself!)

I started out with a masterboard, a fun technique where you basically just glue, paint, stick, stencil, flick paint, rub on ink & stamp random stuff all over a large piece of sturdy paper or cardboard, layering until you feel like you've filled the space. I ended up with 40 bookmarks that I took to a copy place to have laminated. This step is not essential but I found some of my ink rubbing off on my hands and thought that would not be great inside a book, yikes! Also, I know kids and they are not exactly gentle, the 5mm laminate will make these more durable so they'll last through quite a few stories Smiley.
If I divide the amount of time I spent on the project, each bookmark took only a few minutes to create. Not a bad ratio of work:finished product.

Recently loves2experiment posted some really wonderful ATC's she'd made with strips of scrap paper and it made me think of all the bits of trim I've saved up. I liked the horizontal orientation she used so I did the same, covering over everything with a sheet of sparkly with tissue, torn paper towel for texture, and some torn bits of sewing pattern paper. After this dried the sheet was VERY WRINKLY, oh boy, so I sandwiched it between layers of parchment paper and ironed both sides until it flattened out.

Then I stamped and flicked paint all over the place. It looks like crazy-pants at this stage, right? Sort of ugly actually. It's amazing how nice looking the individual pieces end up compared to this.

I did the same thing on the back to make it double sided.

Here is another one using the same techniques.

The backs don't have to be as decorated, or at all. I just didn't want the bookmarks to be boring on one side.

I also used some gelli prints geekgirl1000100 sent me in a swap, and a postcard from Wulf and a letter from edelC written on the back of one of her pink watercoloured pages (use up everything!).

The backs of those got some paint and stamps. Some writing from the cards shows through a bit, nothing personal! Just a bit of nice looking script Smiley.

Here are a few of the ATC blanks I cut out of left over trim. I think these will make such nice backgrounds.

I hope somebody will try this out and show it off, it's super fun!
4  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Energy Bites! on: March 10, 2019 07:07:36 AM
These are actually quite tasty and nutritious. You can substitute the nuts for seeds to make them safe-for-school and there are tons of other variations possible.

I started with this recipe and made some changes. We had some dried cherries, apricots and figs to use up so substituted those for some of the dates. There were walnuts, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, and chia in the freezer that got mixed together. I added cinnamon because the man likes it. He finds apricots a bit tart so I also tossed in some maple flakes for extra sweetness. I used unsweetened cocoa powder along with some semi-sweet chocolate chips.

The last batch I made was rolled into balls and then shredded coconut or cocoa powder to keep the outside from being too sticky. Those lasted about 2 days so I tripled the ingredients this time and instead of standing around making little circles for hours, it was pressed into a parchment lined baking sheet and put into the freezer to firm up. I really pressed it in hard to compress everything and get it as firm as possible.

When it was frozen, I set it on the counter to soften up just a bit then cut it into portions with a heavy cleaver. Those got layered between parchment in some air tight containers, one is in the fridge and the other in the freezer.

They don't last, people snack on them every day. I don't mind a bit, that's a terrifically healthy, protein rich snack with natural sweetness. I do recommend increasing water intake when eating dried foods though. And of course moderation, no more than 3-4 per day.  Next time I will either leave the chia seeds out or grind them first (I'd do the same if using flax seeds). They are not bad, nicely crunchy tiny little circles, but they get stuck in the teeth and it's uncomfortable.
5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Positive Affirmations swap round 2 GALLERY on: March 06, 2019 08:47:55 AM

1 craftylittlemonkey
2 kittykill
3 StainedMushroom
4 Rosie1981
5 Lmcbride
6 thanate
7 Artmomto5
8 BigBangMomma
9 kartiana
10 Smmarrt
11 kwality570
12 audio
13 crafty-becky
14 Mellius01
15 zcrafter
16 Acadian Driftwood
17 PerfectlyBohemian
18 jemimah
19 fatewineroses

Orange = Sent
Green = Received
Red = Problem
*** STARS *** extra bonus points if you craft something for yourself <3

Acadian Driftwood --> PerfectlyBohemian
1 Artmomto5 --> Rosie1981
2 Artmomto5 --> Smmarrt
audio --> Mellius01
BigBangMomma --> Lmcbride
1 crafty-becky --> StainedMushroom
2 crafty-becky --> zcrafter
craftylittlemonkey --> fatewineroses
fatewineroses --> craftylittlemonkey
1 jemimah --> kartiana
2 jemimah --> Smmarrt
kartiana --> jemimah
kittykill --> PerfectlyBohemian
kwality570 --> thanate
1 Lmcbride --> BigBangMomma
2 Lmcbride --> thanate
Mellius01 --> audio
1 PerfectlyBohemian --> Acadian Driftwood
2 PerfectlyBohemian --> kittykill
Rosie1981  --> Artmomto5
1 Smmarrt --> jemimah
2 Smmarrt --> Artmomto5
StainedMushroom --> crafty-becky
1 thanate --> kwality570
2 thanate --> Lmcbride
zcrafter --> crafty-becky
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / 50 PROJECTS 2019, sign ups open all year. on: March 01, 2019 10:08:14 AM
50 PROJECTS 2019

In the ongoing tradition, here's where everybody is invited to share their projects for the year. Make a list of things you intend to do (it could be 5, 50, 100, however many you wish), add to it with new ideas, strike things off the list as they get finished or dropped. Sign ups are open all year. Share your challenges and triumphs, chat about crafting, comment on each other's work, post your projects including links to topics if you've made one. There will be contests and challenges through out the year, feel free to pitch ideas and offer to send out prizes if you're so inclined. Happy to have you here Smiley.
7  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Craft Swaps / ONGOING ATC SWAP -- March 2019 on: March 01, 2019 07:08:43 AM

Artist: Beautifulsoul

The Gallery is HERE!

This is a thankful swap, with your level of participation determined entirely by you, with a minimum of one card for the month. People of all levels of card making are welcome. Sign ups are open all month. Please make sure you are not late or flakey in any of your other swaps, and that you have good communication.

Artist trading cards can be made by anyone, from any material, with any method. The official card is the size of a rectangular baseball card, 2.5 by 3.5 inches done in a cardstock weight paper. This swap tends to openly interpret what that means. We have seen cards made from nature, sewn, woven, and knitted, pop ups, movables, mini books, stained glass, clay, and even a 4-d dollhouse room. Preferences can be mentioned when you make a claim.


The Swap FAQs are HERE! - Everything you need to know about swapping.
The ATC FAQs are HERE! - Everything you need to know about ATCs.

~~~ Common lingo ~~~

atc: artist trading card.

ac: artist's choice, in claiming the creator chooses any theme but sticks to requests like flat cards only or handdrawn only.

tbd: to be determined, in claiming the artist will pick from the theme list later.

kid card or card made by kiddos: only allowed where the theme list specifically mentions that they would like a kid card. Kid cards are always welcome as extras and should be posted in the gallery.

bulky: are cards that will not fit in a plastic baseball card sleeve


Swap info:
Swap name: Ongoing ATC Swap - March 2019
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: craftylittlemonkey
Sign-up date range: March 1st to March 31th, 2019
Date to send item by: 2 weeks after you claim (look at the date on the calendar, it is the date that is directly 2 rows down)
Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): NO
Additional Age requirement? NO. You must be 18.
*International shipping is required*
*DC #s are not required, but you will have to resend if the card is not received*

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a swap moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Participant Conditions:
Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative magic: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 18 years old: YES

The Discussion Thread is HERE! - Announcements, questions and discussion are posted here so bookmark it! Craftster requires that you post in the Discussion Thread when joining. Do this once per calendar year.


Please send to craftylittlemonkey with March Ongoing ATC Swap - Join" as the subject. Hint: Some answers are Red.

*Name of swap:  Ongoing ATC Swap - March 2019
*Craftster username:
*Email address:
*Your real name:
*Mailing address including the country (written as it would appear on the envelope):
*Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
*Are you at least 18 years old?
*Have you read the entire swap information for this swap?
*Are you a Friend of Craftster?
*Have you met the Participant Conditions?
*Have you bookmarked and posted in the Discussion Thread in the year 2018?
*What is the exact size of an atc?
*Do you have access to a camera or scanner so you can post pictures here of what you receive?
*Are you aware that if a card is lost in the mail, you are required to resend?
*How soon should you post pictures of the cards you receive?
*When sending sent/received messages to the swap organizer, there are four pieces of information that must be included about each swap.  What are they?

Begin claiming when the organizer replies to your questionnaire or the swap appears in your profile in the list of active swaps. Claims are made throughout the month.  You have two weeks from the time you make a claim to send that claim. Look at the date on the calendar, it is the date that is directly 2 rows down.

You can make one claim or as many claims as you want throughout the month as long as you never go over your allowed amount of outstanding claims. An outstanding claim is a card that has not been received; when that card is received your number of outstanding claims goes down. Remember that you must make one claim!

Claims are made using the following procedure:

Person A (the swap organizer) will begin the swap by posting a list of themes in this claiming thread.
Person B will choose a theme from one of A's themes and make a claim by posting his/her own list.
Person C will make a claim on one of B's themes and post his/her own list.
Person D will make a claim on one of C's themes and post his/her own list etc...
This continues through the end of the month, when the swap organizer makes the final claim and closes out the claiming part of the swap.

The number of claims each person is allowed depends on the following criteria:

*Friends of Craftster: 10 claims
*Those who aren't Friends of Craftster: 7 claims
*New swappers (whether Friends of Craftster or not): 1 claim.  Once the initial claim has been received, and its new owner has reported it received, the new swapper is free to make more claims, either 7 or 10 dependent on being an FOC or not. You may be considered a new swapper if you have not been swapping or active for over a year.

How to make a claim:
After being approved, make a claim like this! You are only claiming the person who was the last to post, for one card. You are allowed to send whatever extras you desire.

I claim Wowwieparadesper for gargling gargoyles.

3 claims, 2 sent, 1 received

I live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  I would prefer not to receive anything violent, political, religious, or with spiders.

My themes are:
Bunnies in clothes
Bunnies with wings

Never been picked:
Fluffy turkeys
Happy travels

Send a personal message to the person you have claimed and request their address.

Make the card and mail it. PM the organizer and partner when you send or receive a card. (This was in the original rules. I don't actually need the sentcards message if you find it hard to remember. It helps if cards get lost in the mail.)

Be sure and include (1) the "send by" date, as well as (2) the theme and (3)who sent it to (4)whom, in each message to the swap organizer, when you're referring to sent or received cards.

Subject: February 2019 Ongoing ATC Swap--Sent

I mailed some cards today!

DUE Feb 16:
MeCraftsterMemberBloop --> Yowzaparadeper (dancing theme)

DUE Feb 17:
MeCraftsterMemberBloop --> Wowwieparadesper (some sorta theme)
MeCraftsterMemberBloop -->WooHooYeeHawparadeper (theme-ee theme)

The most important step!
Posting pictures of received cards is required for this swap. Please post pictures within 3 days or notify your partner that you cannot so they can share their work.

We like to keep things friendly and encouraging. Thank you's and helpful comments about the artwork can be posted in the gallery!

The Gallery is HERE!

Our Pinterest Pinner is curiousfae! Contact her if you would like to be added to the board. Pinteresting is not a mandatory part of the swap but it's fun.  Smiley

The 2019 Pinterest is HERE!

Positive feedback will be given when all of the cards you claimed have been received and you have posted pictures of the cards you received. If you are stuck without a space for a swap and are biting your nails waiting, just let me know and I will release you asap.

If you have any questions please post them in the Discussion Thread or PM the organizer, craftylittlemonkey.  This thread is specifically for claims only.

8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / ONGOING ATC SWAP -- March 2019 on: March 01, 2019 07:05:45 AM

Artist: Beautifulsoul

The Discussion Thread is HERE.

The Claiming Thread is HERE.

Post pictures of the ATCs you receive for the March swap below.

Encouraging comments are welcome!

9  COOKING / Dessert / Chocolate coconut energy balls on: February 24, 2019 04:40:59 PM
Raw, gluten-free, vegan, protein-rich.

I started with this recipe but doubled it and added so many alternates.

Made with dates, dried figs, and unsulphered dried apricots, the nuts are pecan, walnut and cashew. I rolled some of them in shredded coconut, some in cocoa powder.

A school-safe version is possible with seeds in place of nuts and you can add crunch by subbing popped millet, amaranth, or quinoa for some or all of the coconut.
10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Hearty veg and bean soup on: February 24, 2019 10:02:19 AM
We had such a mild winter right into the middle of January and since then it's been a brutal smack-down of ice storms and snow days. I am sick of the cold and the slush and the bundling up in uncomfortable layers that make you sweaty the instant you go into anywhere out of the weather, ugh. I needed some comfort food, a hearty, hot meal that only required what was already in the pantry and this is what I came up with:

Here's how I made it, bearing in mind I never measure anything. I'll give you lots of suggestions for substitutions and variations so anybody can make this to taste Smiley.

I sliced in half one each butternut and pepper squash and removed the seeds (use any sort of squash or even yams/sweet potato), placed cut side down on a baking sheet and baked in the oven on 375 until slightly tender when poked with a fork. You can bake until very soft if you like but I intended on pureeing things and simmering so they did not need to be mush at this stage.
After baking, cool slightly and scoop out the squash, discarding the skin or saving it for soup stock if desired.

*OPTIONAL: While the squash is baking, peel and chop up some root veggies like potato, carrot, sweet potato. Boil in water until soft. You can even add greens here like kale, broccoli, green beans, whatever you've got.

Sauteed some celery with onion and a bit of salt, when soft added in grated ginger and turmeric root. Optionally, you may add garlic, peppers (spicy or bell), and dried spices instead of fresh, in fact add any spices you like. I also included bay leaves, a bit of mild curry and garam masala.
Put the baked squash into a large pot and add water or stock to cover it by about an inch, more if you like a soupier end result (you can always add more later on).

Puree the squash in water/stock, add the sautee mix and puree further until the desired smoothness is achieved, I like it a bit chunky. Simmer the soup, covered, for about an hour until the flavours start to meld.

If you are including the optional root veggies, I added them here and pureed further until they were incorporated but still a wee bit chunky. This really thickened the soup nicely. I wanted some protein in this meal so I also added pinto beans with the veggies. Use any beans.

Taste and adjust salt and spices and add more liquid if required. Bring soup back up to a simmer if serving right away. You need to stir this thickened soup frequently as it's heating to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pot.

I recommend a stick blender to puree but you can use a stand blender if that's what you've got. You just have to be VERY careful to do small batches at a time if it's hot, the heat will cause steam to build up in the blender and you do not want a hot soup explosion (ask me how I know  Undecided).

This was super tasty and filling. I served it with a garnish of chopped fresh red bell pepper and some freshly ground black peppercorns along with biscuits. It's nice with a dollop of yogurt too. Enjoy!
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