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1  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Stenciled Pottery on: April 09, 2014 09:23:30 AM
HI!!! I feel like I've been away from Craftster forever! (Technical difficulties, computer wouldn't connect, yada, yada, yada. But I'm back now! Yay!) And I want to share my latest pottery adventures with you! I've been working with stencils and colors a lot more and I'm having so much fun with it!

I'd love to know what you think! Constructive criticism is always welcome. Smiley

I love these little ring dishes. They're quick and easy to make which means that I can take more risks with them. I've been using them to test ideas and when they work out, I use those same techniques on larger pieces.

I've also been making some pet bowls. I really like the way the feathers look against the bright blue.

I love the stripes and dots together, but I'm not sure I like the way the blue interacts with the mustard yellow. It looks sort of greenish, don't you think?

Yay for yarn bowls! I really like this yellow one. It just seems so cheerful!

And I'm keeping this little vase for me! (That's the font and back of the same piece, btw.) Check out the way the undergalzes ran! It makes me so happy. This is my favorite thing that I've made in quite a while.
2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Christmas Pottery on: November 28, 2013 10:36:52 AM
Here are my latest creations. I'd love to know what you think. Constructive criticism is always welcome!

I'm really excited about the little creamer. I love the blue and white with the flowers and stripes!

I really should have stenciled these chevron ornaments, but I carved them out by hand instead. Took way longer than it needed to.

My sister made the paper snowflakes that I used for the stencils on these. She based them on letters from the Hebrew alphabet. How cool is that?!

And some more ornaments! I've made so many flipping ornaments this year! I'm planning to give them out to friends and family.

The little chickadee was especially fun to make.

3  COOKING / Dessert / Easy Dark Chocolate Pudding From Scratch on: November 07, 2013 03:34:54 PM
This is my favorite pudding to make. It's very rich and almost mousse like in texture. Plus it's fairly quick and easy, so it makes a great dessert when you have unexpected guests.

Easy Dark Chocolate Pudding
original recipe at Epicurious
Serves 4

- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (I like 70%. Use the good stuff and thank me later!)
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 1 large egg yolk
- vanilla extract (Trader Joes sells bourbon vanilla extract. It's awesome and also not super expensive.)

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and a pinch salt, in a medium saucepan. Chop the chocolate (it's super easy to do in a food processor) and add to sugar mixture. Whisk together the milk and egg yolk (make sure not to add the icky, rubbery white thing that likes to stick to the yolk) and gradually stir it into chocolate mixture. Bring mixture just to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, and bring it to a boil. Continue mixing for 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in a small splash of vanilla (1/4-1/2 teaspoon).

Spoon the pudding into small ramekins (teacups also work, in a pinch). Eat it warm or chill it in the refrigerator. In a pinch, you can pop them in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

For a yummy variation, add a pinch of cinnamon to the dry ingredients!
4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Christmas Ornaments and Other New Stuff on: November 02, 2013 05:26:23 PM
Here's my latest stuff. I'd love to know what you think and which is your favorite! Smiley

I made this pair of luminaries for my Mom's birthday. She was so excited to get them! Made me super happy. Smiley

A couple different Christmas ornaments. The antelope was drawn by hand and the snowflake was made using some paper snowflakes as a stencils. I can't take credit for the snowflakes. My sister made them. She's a million times better at origami and paper snowflakes than I am!

Some little dishes for mise en place or dipping sauces or to hold earrings in the bathroom. Ya know. Just whatever.

Some mugs.

And a vase and a lidded jar.

5  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Punkins! on: October 31, 2013 04:40:31 PM
Here are our pumpkins for the year! I made the tree, the face and the dog foot print. Hubster made the dogfish head shark and Navi (the fairy from Zelda).

6  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Dried Tomatoes - great way to store an end of summer harvest! on: September 27, 2013 12:00:09 PM
Because we were moving, I decided not to try to grow anything this past summer. It was kind of a sad decision for me to make, but it didn't make sense to put a lot of time into a garden that we would leave just before harvest. So I was happily surprised when a volunteer tomato plant popped up in the garden at our new house. This little plant has been awesome! On Sunday, I picked over 2 pounds of grape tomatoes and today I picked another pound.

I'm not a huge fan of raw tomatoes, though my husband can eat them by the handful. So I decided to dry them. It concentrates the flavors and you can use them like sun dried tomatoes. I like to chop them up and sprinkle them on macaroni and cheese.

**I used the dehydrator this time, but you can also make them in the oven.**

It's so stupid easy that you don't even need a recipe. Just wash your tomatoes, cut them (little ones like grape and cherry can just be cut in half), and then space them with some room in between on the racks of a dehydrator, set it for vegetables (about 135 degrees Fahrenheit) and wait until they're dried out and leathery. This batch took about 18 hours. Store them in a freezer bag in the freezer, and you'll have them through the winter, if you can avoid eating them all at once!

Mr. McFluffypants wants some, too! Grin
7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Yarn Bowls and Mugs and Pots, Oh My! on: August 27, 2013 09:22:46 AM
I've been making a whole bunch of pottery lately and I wanted to share some of it with you all. Smiley I would love to know which one is your favorite.

Yarn bowls! I love the way the glaze on the turquoise one came out. It has a slight ombre effect from top to bottom.

Feather mugs. I've been doing a lot of sgraffito, which is a fancy way of saying scratching. Wink It's where you paint a colored material (underglaze in this case) on top of the clay and then scratch through it to reveal the color of the clay underneath.

Doily bowls. I made these using paper doilies as stencils. I love the contrast between this particular blue and the white clay.

Winter tree mugs. I'm originally from Southern California and we didn't have winters. Not really. So when I moved to Tennessee, I was really struck by the way the bare tree branches look against the bright blue sky. So I made these mugs. Smiley They started out much bigger but I was trying out porcelain and they shrank way more than I was expecting!

Goldfish pots. These are sort of multi-use little pots. They're about the size of a cereal bowl. More sgraffito. Cheesy
8  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / goldfish plate on: August 16, 2013 01:51:27 PM
Here's something I just got out of the kiln.

I've been playing with layering colors. I'd love to know what you think. Smiley Constructive criticism welcomed.
9  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Black & White Animal Mugs on: May 03, 2013 11:47:37 AM
I just got these out of the kiln last night. They're based on the different animal species that like to hang out in my backyard. Smiley I'd love to know what you think! And which one is your favorite?

10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Modified Lotus Mittens on: May 02, 2013 02:28:27 PM
I had a hankering for some color work so I made myself some rather unseasonal mittens.

I used Heather Desserud's pattern for Lotus Mittens, but I changed it up a little because the original pattern was much too long for me. The green is Knit Pick's Gloss and the multicolored is some hand dyed sock yarn I got from sarahj2001 in a swap.

And here's Alby, my Little Visitor, modeling them for me. Wink
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