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31  Bills, Bills, Bills in Needlework: Completed Projects by Mandyhello on: May 03, 2011 07:44:20 PM
Some days, it just feels like you can't get ahead...

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I did a little clover to give myself better luck..  It's on Aida 14 natural, and I framed it in a little clear magnet frame..

Blech bills Wink
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32  Manly Man Beer Soap :) in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Mandyhello on: May 02, 2011 07:17:09 AM
I was worried about how it would come out, but I finally tried a batch of CP beer soap!

Close Up with Lime Zest:


16 oz light colored Olive Oil
14 oz Free Trade sustainable Palm Oil (or regular haha)
12 oz Coconut Oil
1.6 oz Grapeseed oil (it helps the lather, but you don't want too much)

13 oz VERY FLAT beer (I used Hoegarten, boiled it, simmered it, and let it sit on the counter for 2 days)
6.4 oz lye

1 oz basil essential oil
1 oz rosemary essential oil
.5 oz lime essential oil
drizzle of patchouli essential oil (not enough that it discolored the batch)
zest of one lime, dried overnight

The beer bubbled a little bit when I added the lye, but it didn't volcano..  it did smell freaking awful though Smiley  I melted all the oils together prior, this batch thickened really fast.  I think I only stick blended on low for about a minute and then another 30 seconds when I added the oils and zest.  I molded them in a milk carton and a cutie little heavy cream carton.

The smell is pretty good, I wish I'd had more Lime EO (I actually ordered a full ounce and they messed up my order so I only got a half an ounce).  Anyway, it's spicy and a little citrusy..  I think it's a good man batch, hopefully my man likes it Cheesy

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33  Devo Collage Hoop of Love :) in Needlework: Completed Projects by Mandyhello on: April 07, 2011 07:22:07 PM
So I got a new job and a new (actually good) boyfriend last week randomly..  Both were sort of a surprise actually (I wasn't sure I was going to get the job and I've been seeing the boy for a while, but I always assume I'm about to mess it up hehe).  Anyway, I wanted to make him something and he loves Devo, so I made a hoop collage with an Energy dome:

It's two layers of fabric scraps and the energy dome is made out of felt.  I dunno, do you think it looks like an energy dome?  He's a huge fan, I want it to look really good.

It's after dark here, all of the whites are much whiter in real life... 
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34  Lemon Lime Crush Soap in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Mandyhello on: April 05, 2011 01:02:44 PM
This might actually be a soap win???  So far it looks pretty awesome!

The only thing was the tops did this:

Ideas?  The soap itself is nice and hard, the tops were just split and a little swelled.


27 oz olive oil
23 oz coconut oil
25 oz fair trade organic palm oil
3 oz grapeseed oil
1 oz lemon EO
1 oz lime EO
.5 oz lemongrass EO
11.2 oz lye
22 oz water
2 tbls. dried lemon zest (I just zested a lemon and let it dry out for a few days)
1 tsp. dried dill (it added pretty little green specks to the bars!)

Total cost:  $29 (I already had the lye, dill, and lemon)

I ended up with a pringles can and milk carton full of soap base and I filled another pringles can half full of no scent/no color for a felting class at a nearby university.

Anyway, fingers crossed, this batch smells awesome and might actually work!
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35  Country Fried Steak YESSSSS! in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Mandyhello on: March 29, 2011 06:54:24 AM
This is such a nasty, skanky, heavy, amazing meal Wink  You feel so bad afterward but soooo good Smiley

Serves 4

4 cube steaks (or 4 small boneless steaks tenderized flat)
1 box of Kentucky Kernel Seasoned flour.  THERE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE!  This stuff is the bomb and makes the best gravy ever:  http://www.hodgsonmill.com/roi/673/Kentucky-Kernel-Seasoned-Flour/Kentucky-Kernel-Seasoned-Flour-10-oz.-70351-18012.htm
8 Large potatoes (I used Russet and left the skins on)
Butter and Milk for the Mashed potatoes and Gravy
Oil for Frying
Whatever Kitschy side dish you want (I went with corn)


Add about a half an inch of oil to the bottom of a heavy saucepan (I used my Le Creusent dutch oven, cast iron works great too).  Dredge one of the cube steaks in the seasoned flour (make sure you really mash the seasoned flour into the nooks and crannies).  Once the oil is hot, fry the cube steaks one at a time.  After each is done frying and crispy, put them on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven to stay hot and crisp.  In the mean time, cut up the potatoes into big chunks and boil them in salted water until they're tender (if you stick them with a knife and they fall off the knife, they're done).  Drain the potatoes, add butter and milk and mash with salt and pepper.  I think I used about 4 tbls of butter and maybe a half a cup of milk.  Don't add too much salt to the potatoes because the gravy is pretty salty. 

Ok the gravy!  Most important part obviously..  Take the leftover oil in the pan and whisk in enough of the seasoned flour that it gets thick and pasty.  I added about a half a cup of flour I think, maybe more.  Just keep whisking in seasoned flour until it gets nice and thick.  VERY SLOWLY start to whisk in milk..  it'll get really thick, keep adding more milk until it's a thick gravy.  Make sure it boils a little so you know it's as thick as it'll get.  You're aiming for a pretty thick gravy.  If it's a little lumpy just keep whisking, it'll work out..

Now assemble!  Basically cover everything but the kitschy side dish in gravy Wink  Add ironic parsley if you have it and inhale Cheesy 
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36  Day Of the Dead Bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by Mandyhello on: February 20, 2011 05:59:57 PM

Ok, cool Smiley  So I'm doing a personal swap with edelc and she was completely in love with this jacket:


I don't have an embroidery machine, so MaxineBrandywine was nice enough to hook me up Cheesy  I didn't think my machine would do leather, so I made a MONSTER shopping bag instead:

Close up of the design from Urban Thread (about 9 inches tall!):

Lining (vintage houndstooth):

Custom pocket that Maxine made for me:

Boy model for scale (it's 22x20!)

I used a tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew to make it, the bottom of the bag is squared corners, and I made the straps.  The front design is a huge pocket, and there's one pocket on the inside as well.  Anyway, I thought it came together really nicely, I hope Edel likes it Cheesy
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37  New Batch of CP Soap :) in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by Mandyhello on: February 17, 2011 06:52:06 AM
I finally got around to trying a new batch of soap this weekend Smiley  After my last catastrophe, I asked around a little bit, and mullerslanefarm gave me a much more balanced recipe:

15.6 oz olive oil
13.0 oz coconut oil
13.0 oz lard
5.2 oz shea butter
5.2 oz lanolin

1.5 oz total FO

6.8 oz lye
13-16 oz water

I ended up using 2 oz of FO (Rose and Violet) and about 15 oz of water.  I also used red wine (Bohemian Highway..  the very best in cheap a$$ jug wine!) reduction for the coloring.  I boiled the wine down to a very very thick syrup and added it to a portion of the soap base.  I just lightly stirred it in and poured the base into the molds..  I'm not that happy with the color the wine turned after the lye, but I think this is my best swirl yet!  Anyway pictures!

I used Pringles cans for the mold again and cut the bars with a crinkle cutter..  So far the scent is pretty good, but Maremare was saying the wine can make the scent smell a little off until it's cured..  it smelled a little like bananas the first week Wink  Now I think you can smell the lanolin a little bit, but other than that, the rose scent really comes through!

Anyway, thanks Maremare and mullerslanefarm for all of the awesome advice..  I think I might finally have a successful batch of soap Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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38  Father Ted Cross Stitch - No Peeking EDELC! in Needlework: Completed Projects by Mandyhello on: February 12, 2011 05:32:56 PM


Ok, I think she's gone Wink  For a personal swap I'm doing I made a cross stitch based on this clip from the Irish comedy "Father Ted":


Close up of the tea pot:

It took longer than I thought it would (maybe 5-6 hours total), it's on 14 Aida Natural, and both the font and the teapot came from a cross stitch book I found at the library where I work.  Anyway, hopefully she likes it..  I'm debating either framing it or making it into a bookmark, it's about 4 inches wide by 6 inches long. 

Thanks for looking Smiley
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39  Huge Bed Warmer! in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Mandyhello on: January 26, 2011 09:51:14 AM
So I found this amazing tutorial on Make it Do:


I went a little hippie on the sizing and ended up with a bed warmer that is 36"x12"!  

The fabric is fleece on the top with ribbon accent, and cozy chenille on the bottom.

The back is an envelope closure, and the pillow on the inside can be removed for heating.  I just used a basic cotton for the inner pillow and filled it with feed corn:


The best part is the corn was free!  I went to our local (and super friendly) farm/feed company, and they gave me some of the corn they tested from farmer's loads.  I ended up with over 10 lbs of corn, so I'll definitely have enough to make a few smaller items (like headache pillows and such).

Anyway, it was a really fun project, thanks to dnd4us for the awesome idea!
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40  Re: Faux Animal Scarves gone wild! IMG HEAVY in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by Mandyhello on: January 23, 2011 02:35:03 PM
I posted a pic on your Etsy, but I just made one of the fox scarves Smiley

It was a little challenging, but I'm not a very good seamstress...  I actually sewed the tail on the wrong side of the fabric the first time around  Roll Eyes

Anyway, thanks for the pattern and the great idea! 
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