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1  Butternut Thursday... in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Onyxnox on: October 04, 2019 12:33:17 PM
My sister is visiting for a few weeks, from Singapore.  She has been living there since about 1992.  She really misses some things about Canada; experiences you just can't get in Singapore - like Fall, and apple picking.  So last weekend, my two sisters and I, my niece, and Jim went apple picking, and squash picking at a nearby farm.  I ended up with 20 lbs of apples and a couple of HUGE butternut squash....

So Sunday was spent peeling and roasting squash, and finally on Thursday I made a couple of batches of soup.  She went home with a pumpkin - apparently 23 lbs of pumpkin, and she wants to make some pumpkin muffins with that.  My other sister and niece also went with butternut squash too - I sense ravioli in their futures and there was some interest in butternut risotto too...

Anyways - I made a soup with mine - including apples since we have so many of them now:

Butternut Squash Soup - serves 6

6 slices bacon cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic (or more to taste), peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 pound boiling potatoes
2-3 medium apples (about 3/4 pound total), peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and roasted (3 1/2 to 4 cups)
2 cups chicken stock or broth
2 to 2 1/2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
smoked sweet paprika

Cook bacon in a 6-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, then transfer to paper towels to drain, reserving 2 tablespoons fat in pot.

Cook celery, carrot, onion, and garlic in fat in pot over low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, and lightly golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Add cinnamon, and paprika, and cook, partway through.

While vegetables are cooking, peel potatoes and coarsely chop. Peel and core apples and coarsely chop. Stir squash, potato, chopped apple, bacon, stock, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper into onion mixture, then simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Puree soup in 4 batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids), then heat in cleaned pot over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. (Add additional 1/2 cup water to thin, if necessary.)

I had to try roasting the seeds too - they did make for a rather tasty snack

More ramblings about my day, and pics and some details on the blog if anyone is interested
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2  Nuthatch in black and white... in Needlework: Completed Projects by Onyxnox on: September 30, 2019 07:22:09 AM

I have not been crafting a lot lately - have ideas, but have been too distracted by reading...  but this year I was determined to go ahead with a couple of projects I have been wanting to do for awhile.  One of which was to go ahead with making more embroidered birds for myself.  I made one set of nuthatches last year, and this year I wanted to make a couple of more and this was one of them.

Simply a black and white one  - black DMC floss on white cotton.  After finishing it, I mounted it onto a 6x6 chunky canvas.

More pics and info on the blog... which has also been rather neglected...
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3  Re: Crafting Appreciation Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: May 07, 2019 02:39:25 PM
I have been a bad Craftster - my craft mojo has been way off and it took me forever to finish my package and ship it off - to punish myself (and decrease my own anxiety) I did not allow myself to open my package from flygirl88 until I shipped, which I finally did yesterday - which means YAY I get to open mine!  Thanks also to flygirl88 and The Raging Sloth for being patient and understanding....

now onto the goodies!!!!

Here is the whole shebang!  She sent me a We R Memory Keeper's washi tape holder - I have been wanting one for awhile so am so happy to get it!  What I did not realize is that it also spins like a lazy susan - totally cool!

A very appropriate piece of hand stitched hoopery - what I should have done was take a picture of this next to Troy's head - he was totally begging at the time, despite the fact that he already got breakfast and a couple of extras - before I even got my first cup of coffee.  Jim and I joke that he is really a 4 legged hobbit - he gets first breakfast, second breakfast, etc.  Then I swear he is trying to tell strangers on the street that we are starving him to death.

A brush holder - terrible pic, but for some reason it blurred with each one I took - this is perfect right on top of my work table - what kind of clay did you use, it seems so lightweight and smooth!

A dog journal and awesome enamel pin - and look at the cool stickers I found when I opened the journal...

I forgot to take a picture of the inside cover of the journal too - there is a great plate inside that says:

I am a crafty girl.
I make things.
Lots of things.
I'll keep making
things until my
fingers fall off.
Then I will grab
my hot glue gun
& attach those suckers
& make more things!


Thanks so much for this great package and putting a smile on my face!  I hope you like your package as much as I do mine - if not more Wink
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4  Re: Color in a Box 2019 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: April 12, 2019 01:15:10 PM
OMG - I was starting to worry that my package was being held up at Customs or just plain lost - but it made it!!!!!    It is chock full of blue goodies....

Birds have become a great joy in my life the last few years and she sent this lovely blue water coloured bird greeting card and lovely blue NewZealand merino wool.  Below are these two lovely sewn stuffed birds - I love the fabric of them.  I may save them for my Christmas tree or hang them from the light in the Craft room - am still deciding.  There is also this really pretty heart tassel - I am going to use that for our special keys - I don't want it to tangle and fray from everyday use.

This may be my favourite part of the package - a doggie hoop - in blue!!!!!  Two of my favourite things.  If you ever wonder how much I love dogs - I literally stop in the middle of sentences and conversations routinely to say, "OOOOOoooooooh - look at the doggie!!!!!" or just plain, "OOOOooooh - dog!!!!".  The volunteer coordinator knows when I work days, to try to tell me when the dog volunteers are booked to come to my unit,and when.  I am one of the few people who know the pet visitor policy well and how to find it so patients can have their dogs visit.  I.  Love.  Dogs.  Period.

Some great looking chocolate - I can't wait to find out what wattleberry tastes like.  Also sea salt and saffron - I suppose I have to share with Jim (sigh....)

A cool piece of coffee art - this may get framed and put up in the kitchen, and a bird tea light wrap.

... and last - but not least - three water colour bookmarks- the paper you used is fabulous, so thick.  I love the colours - they are so pretty.  I can't pick a favourite - I love the feather, and I love the whimsical birds - and I love my initial too - they are all fabulous!

Thank you Jeremiah - it was totally worth the wait and everything in it gave me a much needed spiritual boost!

Thank you also Kittykill for organizing and to the both of you for being patient with my arch nemesis - Canada Post!
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5  Gluten Free Raspberry Streusel Bars in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Onyxnox on: February 24, 2019 03:09:13 PM
Made these to take over for dinner at a friend's place.  Jim has Celiac's so I try to make desserts that are gluten free, and these are friends who used to be our neighbours, and one thing they miss is that I used to bake for them all the time.  I know they love berry baked goods, so I made these, as well as a gluten free carrot cake.  These were nice, buttery, with a nice bright berry flavour.  Fantastic with tea and coffee.

Raspberry Streusel Bars
Makes 12 bars (1 x 8" square pan)

6 oz by weight of GF flour (Robin Hood brand used)
2 1/3 oz by weight of granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
(1/4 tsp xantham gum if your flour blend doesn't have it already - Robin Hood has it mixed in)
4 oz (8 tbsp) butter, softened and cut into small pieces
2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped, toasted
1/4 cup rolled oats (makes sure they are gluten free if you want to keep GF)
6 oz raspberry preserves or jam (these were made using Smucker's brand raspberry jam)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (or so, I may have tipped a few extra berries in)
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Full details on my blog if anyone is interested in trying these for themselves.
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6  Re: Artist Trading Coins - Round 2 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: February 18, 2019 01:56:59 PM
I received my last set of Coins from thanate and they are beautifully done ones with fabric and thread - using some of my favourite themes.

I love them - thanks thanate!

This has been a great swap - a nice way to start the new year of crafting!
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7  Re: Artist Trading Coins - Round 2 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: February 17, 2019 06:56:43 AM
I got my first monsters from Kwality570 - they are so cute!  I love the contrast of their cuteness and colour against the brown backgrounds, and her use of lining really makes them pop!

They are brighter in real life - I did not want to take them out of their protective sheaths so took pics with no flash.  Great shading and dimension on them too!

What did you use as the black liner?  It is so fine, but has such a nice texture.  Thank you so much Kwality - I finally have monsters of my own!
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8  Re: Little Good Things Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: February 05, 2019 04:18:04 PM
I received from gala_apples last week and just found my camera today... she sent me a lovely card that noted a fabulously fun good thing in her life, two packs of 6x6 patterned paper and a mixed media hoopla that totally absolutely suits me!

Thank you gala_apples, and calluna for being great partners, and thanate for organizing a great swap!
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9  Re: Little Good Things Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by Onyxnox on: January 27, 2019 09:36:21 AM
Wow, I can't believe the amazingness in this gallery - there are so many wonderful things so far!!!!   I received this weekend from calluna and my head is spinning from how amazing this package is!

She sent me a small box CRAMMED - I mean CRAMMED full of goodies - beach glass, stamps, wire, dark chocolate, paper bits and bod - so many of the ephemera things I love...

There is also a great ornament decorated with other things I love - profanity Smiley

I love these stamps - especially that they are birds too.

I love her card - I love that it was made with a library catalogue card - but also has such a lovely personal picture on it - I love that your dog was "baby-dog" and the kitty was "Mama Kitty" - they sound sweet and I know that I cherish the memories of my furbabies too - thanks for sharing.
Finally - the main exhibit - as if I did not get more than enough already, right?  Look at this amazing little guy!!!!  A needle-felted happy little puppy!  He is so adorable and is holding a sign that says "belly rubs, please!" and I have totally rubbed his little belly so many times already.  I was going to put him with the art of Toby and Ginger - but I see he has a magnet inside - he may end up going with me to work to sit in my locker so I can his belly there - he makes me happy and maybe rubbing his belly will be a good way to leave some of the unhappy stuff at work when I am done for the day - or make me start the shift off in a better mood...

A picture does not do him justice - he has such great shaping - even his little floppy ears, and the definition of his little jowls - there is even the chest definition, then where it sinks into his little tummy - and the little beady eyes and nose are so bright and sweet!

Thank you, calluna - I feel totally awed by this little guy and spoiled by your wonderful package. 
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10  Ex libris - personal library stamp and bookplates in Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects by Onyxnox on: January 03, 2019 10:08:57 AM
This was what I made for Wulf for the winter book swap that was just run.

I hand carved it from thin stamping making material and it should fit nicely inside a standard paperback - about 3x4"? 

Then I felt that just the stamp was not enough, so I added some bookplates made from it, which I added adhesive backing to, and inked and added some hand colouring to.

I am pretty happy how they both turned out.  A bit more about the stamp here, on my blog, and a bit more here, about the bookplates, with some more pics.
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