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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Gluten Free Raspberry Streusel Bars 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.
2  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Ex libris - personal library stamp and bookplates 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.
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / ... my true love gave to me... on: January 03, 2019 08:51:59 AM
Well, I am pretty sure I am not Wulf's true love, but I did make him a 12 Day's of Christmas mini book as part of the Winter Book Swap...

It is made from die cut chipboard and water colour paper.  For the covers, I decorated them with layers of paint, a music note motif stenciled on with gel medium, washi tape, and decorated die cut baubles.  I riveted and glued them onto the spine.

The inside pages are water colour paper that I stamped with the 12 days of Christmas, and decorated with inking, paint, and microcrystalline wax.

I had wanted to do something like this for awhile and this was my excuse to finally do it - a holiday mini book.  I added an eyelet and ribbon to make it something that could hang too.

There is a heck of a lot more pictures on my blog if anyone wants to see since I went through all the 12 days.
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Shabby library bookmarks... on: December 29, 2018 09:02:34 AM

These were some bookmarks I made recently for the winter book swap, for Wulf - well for Wulf, and myself.  First, I made a stack of books stamp, and used that to stamp onto some cotton.

Then I covered them, and stamped over them with a background stamp composed of different fonts.  I used different colours of permanent inks over a black ink that I stamped the book stack in.  I trimmed those out and sewed those onto a base I made with a striped twill fabric.

On the back I added some book quotes that I hand stamped on and sewed on too.

I made 6  in total - the three with the nicest images I gave to Wulf, and kept three for myself.

More in details and pics on my blog if anyone wants a closer look.

5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Ongoing Postal strike in Canada on: November 17, 2018 04:02:12 AM
Just in case anyone was not aware, but there has been an ongoing postal strike in Canada, with rotating strike action.  The union just rejected the latest offer (well, they have until midnight tonight) and there is no end in site.  The Federal government did hint they may step in to stop the job action, but have not made any definitive moves as yet.

On saying that, there are at present over 600 shipping containers that are parked at various depots that have not been unpacked, and Canada Post has asked their international partners to stop sending packages to Canada until they have it sorted out.  Wonderful.

Mail delivery is still happening, but it is erratic to say the least.

Therefore, if you are ordering supplies - as I have - don't expect it in a timely manner if you are Canadian, unless you are using a private shipper or something not dependent on Canada Post as the end delivery system.  You may have to go to in person to a store if you need something ASAP, otherwise.

If you are waiting for a Canadian partner to receive something - well, it may be delayed.... for awhile... a long long while...

Here is the link to Canada Post for updated messages if anyone needs it

If you are a Canadian shipping out, or are a partner of a Canadian, there are smaller shippers who do not depend on Canada Post - I use ChitChats Express for one example, and the services I use are not affected by the strike, at least not for the shipping out of packages.

I am sure there are other small independent companies - that may even be able to offer better rates than Canada Post, and if anyone else in Canada knows or uses those companies for shipping out, then please list them, as the company I use has locations limited to some large urban centers in only about 4 provinces.
6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Shrink plastic question... on: November 12, 2018 03:45:51 AM
My go-to was Lucky Squirrel polyshrink, but they shut down awhile ago.  I know I can use Shrinky Dinks if I have to, but I was wondering if anyone else knows of another supplier of artist grade shrink plastic, especially good pricing on bulk amounts.

Shrinkles are too expensive (small 6" pieces also), and Grafix brand is TERRIBLE from my experience with them - Lucky Squirrel gave much more predictable and consistent results.
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Ornament Dioramas on: November 11, 2018 03:21:13 PM
I made these recently for the Sweat Shoppe Ornament swap - they are reused non breakable ornaments that I decorated with snow texture mediums, glitter, miniatures, paint, etc.  A general tutorial on how I made them before is posted somewhere on Craftster, and here, on my blog too.

Here are the individual ornaments:

One with a little fawn:

One with a little doe:

The doe and fawn are a bit smaller than the other ones.

I built me a snowfriend:

Do you want to use a snowman:

Nobody like a snow buddy:

Anyways - these were fun to make and I hope others try them too and I am collecting more miniatures to make more, myself.  I included the links to the blog posts if anyone wants more pictures/details.
8  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Falling Leaves - a sympathy card for a friend and colleague on: November 11, 2018 02:47:32 PM
One of the gentlemen at work lost his mother recently and I was asked to make a card for everyone to sign.  It felt like we lost one of our own, especially as she was also a patient for awhile too so we got to know her, and saw the love he had for her.

Anyways, I made this for him, it is quite large, with lots of space so everyone can add a message of love and support for him.

I went with a Fall theme - I wanted it to be more masculine, and incorporating something I love too.

I did a distressed, inked, textured base, and die cut leaves,  using a combination of metallic painted card stock and inked paper.

Inside it is a tri-fold card, and the total base of the folded card is 8.5 x 5.5" - so it has lots of room for messages.  I also made a coordinating envelope for it.

More pics and details on the blog if you are interested, including some details how I made it.
9  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / 2018 Holiday Tags and Card Swap - Gallery! on: September 22, 2018 02:55:28 PM
Original discussion here:


Group 1:
BigBangMomma (sent 09/26-10/04)---> kbrison, Artmomto5, Mlsocci74
kbrison (sent 10/12) ---> BigBangMomma, Artmomto5, Mlsocci74
Artmomto5 (sent 10-04) ---> BigBangMomma, kbrison, Mlsocci74
Mlsocci74 (sent 09/26)---> BigBangMomma, kbrison, Artmomto5

Group 2:
onyxnox (sent 10/11) ---> bec99,gala_apples, endymion
bec99 (sent 09/22) ---> onyxnox, gala_apples, endymion
gala_apples (10/15) ---> onyxnox, bec99, endymion
endymion (sent 10/09)---> onyxnox, bec99, gala_apples

Group 3:
kbrison (sent 10/13) ---> onyxnox, holistic knitter, Witchhippie
onyxnox (sent 10/11) ---> kbrison, holistic knitter, Witchhippie
holistic knitter (sent 10/13)  ---> kbrison, onyxnox, Witchhippie
Witchhippie (sent 10/13) ---> kbrison, onyxnox,holistic knitter

Post them as you get them!

Don't forget to PM myself when you send and also when you receive!
10  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / 2018 Holiday Tags and Card Swap (SU to Sept 5/18;SO Oct 13/18) on: August 16, 2018 07:26:49 AM

Swap name: 2018 Holiday Tags and Cards Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Onyxnox
Sign-up date range: now until  September 5th, 2018(by midnight EST)
Date to send item by: October 13th, 2018

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): 20

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? YES/NO - no
If so, which country? not applicable

Additional Age requirement? no

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: not applicable
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

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 feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:

This will be a swap for cards and tags for the upcoming holiday season(s), or just for general greeting cards.  

I am opening this a bit earlier so that it can also include Halloween, Thanksgiving, or any other fall/winter celebrations anyone may want cards for (FYI - Hello Kitty's birthday is November 1st, 1970... just as an example...)

Participants will be in groups of 4, where each Craftster will send a set of 4 cards (and envelopes) and 4 tags (and attachment mode) to each of the other three members of the group by the send by date, and each Craftster will receive 4 cards/tags from each of the group members.  

Therefore everyone, in the end, should have received a dozen cards and tags in time for holiday gift giving.  

Minimum expected size for tags - 2"x3", and to include ties/ribbons/sticky
Minimum expected size for cards - 3"x5", and to include envelopes

There is no maximum size limit (just be reasonable - does anyone really want a 3 foot square tag?).

On saying that, the theme of the cards do not have to be limited to the holidays, if that is what your partner wants.  Also, Crafsters are encouraged to be as creative as you want; just because it is cards and tags, does not mean you have to limit yourself to paper.  If you want to make your items from something other than paper, feel free to.  I love seeing how varied the results are and how wonderfully creative everyone is in these swaps!

But because this will likely be mostly a paper swap:  as per Craftster swapping rules, papercraft swaps are exempt from the DC confirmation requirements.  Senders are required to resend their packages if they are not received for any reason.

2017 Cards and Tags Gallery

2015 Gallery

2016 Gallery

2013 Tags swap gallery

2014 Tags swap gallery

Name of swap - 2017 Holiday Tags and Cards Swap
Craftster username
Email address
Your real name
Mailing address including the country
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old: (YES/NO)


1) What kind of holiday cards/tags do you want? (Christmas, Hannukah, Winter Solstice, religious, Kwanzaa, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc)

2) Would you prefer any other themed cards/tags?  If so, what kind would you like (birthday, Valentines, Easter, general, etc)?

3) How do you want your tags to attach (ribbon/string/stick-on/surprise me)?

4) What kind of themes/colours would you like your cards/tags to have (please list at least 5)?

5) What kind of themes/colours would you like to be avoided?  

6) Any links to Pinterest, blogs, etc for stalking purposes?

7) If there are odd numbers, do you want to only be in 1 group, or would you be willing to be in 2 groups (I would confirm via PM before the groups are listed)?  If you REALLY want to be in two groups, let me know here too - keep in mind that if you do sign up for more than 1 group, that you will likely need to send internationally.

Cool Whose birthday do I reference in the details?


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

Swap list:

1.  Onyxnox
2.  holistic knitter
3.  kbrison
4.  bec99
5.  Witchhippie
6.  BigBangMomma
7.  endymion
8.  Artmomto5
9.  Mlsocci74
10. gala_apples

Group 1:
BigBangMomma (sent 09/26-10/04)---> kbrison, Artmomto5, Mlsocci74 (sent by BBB 09/26)
kbrison ---> BigBangMomma, Artmomto5, Mlsocci74
Artmomto5 (sent 10-04) ---> BigBangMomma, kbrison, Mlsocci74
Mlsocci74 (sent 09/26)---> BigBangMomma, kbrison, Artmomto5

Group 2:
onyxnox --->bec99, gala_apples, endymion
bec99 (sent 09/22) ---> onyxnox, gala_apples, endymion
gala_apples ---> onyxnox, bec99, endymion
endymion ---> onyxnox, bec99, gala_apples

Group 3:
kbrison ---> onyxnox, holistic knitter, Witchhippie
onyxnox ---> kbrison, holistic knitter, Witchhippie
holistic knitter  ---> kbrison, onyxnox, Witchhippie
Witchhippie ---> kbrison,  onyxnox, holistic knitter

Purple = sent
Green = received
Orange = late with communication
Red = contact organizer immediately
Purple = sent and received

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