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1  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Free digital copies of Handmade magazine on: September 16, 2017 10:11:40 AM
I was doing a bit of time wasting today and found that you can get free back issues of Handmade magazine in pdf form...


If you change the volume number you can get each of the past issues...




Up to and including volume 27 - October 2014.

The site also has a pretty cool free instruction site, including recipes, calculators, and business tips

2  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Give the dog a bone... on: September 15, 2017 09:51:41 AM

I made a few of these for the various dogs of our association from Jim's old jeans... unfortunately, Troy, our own furbaby, is not a toy-playing type of dog, but he does appreciate something soft that smells like one of us to lay his head on, so I may make a big pillow version of this at some point for him.  Otherwise, the denim-blue does look good against his fur Smiley

I added a couple of squeakers at each end for the fun of those canines that love to play with squeaky things (yeah, Troy is weird that way too - unless it's yummy, or an actual living furry, he really could not care less about toys, balls, sticks, etc).

More on the blog - pics and quick instructions.  Jim is happy that I am finally making something from the pile of jeans I saved.
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Resin butterfly tiles... on: September 07, 2017 06:25:59 AM

I made a set of these as coasters, originally for the Bird, Bee, Butterfly swap, and loved how they looked.  So I made another set, with some tweaks for the Art Abandonment swap as well, because they are totally something I love - resin, butterflies, nature, die-cutting, etc.  I felt that for the latter, they could be coasters, paperweights, sun catchers, magnets, whatever.

More about them, including a step by step tutorial of how I made them, on my blog if anyone is interested.
4  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Bee inspired - a mixed media canvas on: September 07, 2017 06:17:48 AM
I made this recently for the Bird, Bee, Butterfly swap.  It is an 8x10" mixed media canvas inspired by one of SonjaBoo's pins.

The base is textured, painted with various shades of acrylic paint, and some stampings.  The bee is a gel medium transfer, painted, and the sentiment is jute ribbon, with die cuts, and painted.

I really enjoyed making this and am tempted to make one for myself too.  I have another bee transfer (I usually make two because I expect one to tear - and both turned out perfectly), but am all out of texture paste so have to get up the giddy up and go to make another batch.

More about it on my blog if anyone is interested.
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Lucky Pennies.... on: September 02, 2017 07:05:44 PM
I made these earlier in the summer with the intention of doing an art abandonment project to celebrate Canada's 150th.  Mainly because I love art abandonment, mixed media, remaking things, the penny has the maple leaf on it, and Canada, and also because the government did away with the penny a few years ago so you don't find a lucky penny as often as you used to!

Every time I used to see a random penny on the sidewalk I always thought of the little poem,

Find a penny,
pick it up.
All day long,
You'll have good luck.

I thought it would be cool to alter pennies to turn  them into official lucky pennies...

More about them here on my blog if anyone is interested.

These I want to drop where someone could use a bit of luck or fun whimsy - at the university, around some of the hospitals, on a commute...

I also made some that were more overtly in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

A bit more about these pennies here if you are interested!

I plan on dropping these more where there are touristy landmarks.
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / What's the buzz? on: September 02, 2017 02:21:37 AM

I made these recently for SonjaBoo as part of the Bird, Bee, and Butterfly swap.  This is a peyote stitch honeycomb pendent I made with Delica beads - based on a Pin.  I added a couple of bead loops to the sides for jump rings, to hang off a neck wire.  More about it on my blog is anyone is interested.

I also made another version with some slightly different colours to make a brooch.  I used blue tinted beads for the wings because I felt that would make them a bit more visible than clear beads.

More about the brooch if anyone is interested...
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Quick supper - Smoked Salmon Fettuccine on: August 03, 2017 08:16:39 AM

This is a quick pasta meal I made up recently that turned out well, especially as it has been very humid, and hot lately.  You can cook the pasta anyway you want, but this is the way I have been doing it for awhile, to reduce energy and decrease heating up the house when it is this hot and sticky.   Also, it uses thickened yogurt, versus say cream or a more complex roux-based sauce, for a simple and cheap ingredient.  It got the thumbs up from Jim.  If you can eat gluten - feel free to use regular pasta!

Smoked Salmon Fettuccine
serves about 4-6


1 package (340 gm) gluten-free fettuccine (I used Catelli or Barilla here)
1 recipe yogurt cheese (about 2 cups, made from 1x750 mg bucket of yogurt)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried dill
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 package smoked salmon (about 1/2-2/3rds of a lb), roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups peas, thawed if frozen
(alternately, some trimmed, sliced, and blanched fresh asparagus)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 - 4 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
(optional - 1 tbsp dijon mustard).

Anyways, the yogurt cheese made a nice creamy sauce.  Also, this was a quick weeknight meal and in light of the recent heat and humidity, actually was bad to make with the induction cook top and the method of cooking I have been using for pasta for awhile.

I boiled water and salted.  Added the fettuccine.  When it came to a boil again, stir pasta lightly, turn off the heat, and cover the pot for about 8-10 minutes.  Once or twice, stir gently again, and cover the pot, to keep the pasta from sticking too much.  When pasta is al dente, add the peas to the hot water and drain.  Maybe save a bit of the pasta water to thin the sauce in case it is needed.

Combine the yogurt cheese, dijon, parmesan, dill, capers, lemon juice/zest, salmon, and mix gently and thoroughly into pot of pasta.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add a splash of water and stir gently if sauce too thick.  Serve right away.

A bit more on my blog if you are interested.
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / An ode to coffee... on: August 03, 2017 07:57:05 AM

Jim wanted a sign like this for awhile after I showed him a fun stamp I found that was similar, that I used as inspiration for a bag I made a friend.  A bit of background is that I tend to be an early bird and up several hours before him, so by the time he gets up and comes down, I am well-caffeinated and often have a list of chores for him (... Jim, could you....).  Often well before his first cup of coffee.  He wanted this sign so he can point to it as a reminder to at least let him get that first cup of coffee.

He recently did a stair renovation and these were cut-off pieces from the risers, that he was going to discard or use as kindling, so I grabbed them up to craft with and used one for this sign.  I basically burned on the dark lettering, and burned the outline and used pencil crayon and a solvent for the colour - I wanted the wood grain to show through.  I should have just painted it as the acrylic finish made the colour run a bit and I had to try to clean that up a bit.  Also, it is oak veneered plywood, so I was afraid to sand the surface too much, and the edges were rough, so that did get sanded and painted.  But I felt it was not too bad for a piece of scrap that was going to be tossed out.

He's not a big fan of poetry (outside of the man from Nantucket...), but this is a poem he can get behind... and our kitchen decor has taken on a definite snarky theme, with some of the other pieces we have in there!

A bit more about it on my blog if anyone is interested.
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Don't #$%^ with Grey's night! on: July 24, 2017 06:54:15 AM

This is a purely for me project I just finished.  The basis of it is that I *LOVE* Grey's Anatomy - am totally addicted.  Thursday is sacrosanct because of it.  Do not plan anything, no dinner out, shopping, whatever is to be planned on Gray's Night, short of an emergency... dinner has to be had early, the garbage put out beforehand, etc, etc, because when the first sound of Meredith Grey starting the opening monologue, or the first notes of the theme song sound, there is NOTHING that must interrupt my enjoyment of the show, until it is over... and even then, thanks to different time zones, and satellite, I may rewatch it on another channel, and don't screw with that!

Over the years, that has been whittled down to this one phrase, which often will start being said around mid-September, to May, and periodically during reruns in between, starting about Monday, if Jim starts to say, "Maybe we can..... on Thursday....".

No.... don't do it....

I had been threatening to make a sign for a couple of years now, to save myself the effort of having to verbalize it, and I finally did it this past week.  Stash-busting some cotton floss, on simple white cotton, backed onto a fiber covered canvas board.

Showed it to Jim and he just laughed - btw - don't feel to sorry for him - Wednesday night is his night for his shows - and I am not supposed to f*** with that night.... he would get a sign, but I refuse to embroider "Don't fuck with Ice Road Truckers night" - it's not as pithy.

If anyone is interested, there is more on my blog - including a link to a free typography/poster-making site that I used to work out the layout for this.
10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / A Snowball's Chance.... on: July 23, 2017 02:32:52 PM
This is another ornament diorama I made for Thimbles71 for the Christmas in July swap.  She had listed ornaments and snowmen in her questionnaire and I knew I wanted to make this.  I had a bunch of ornaments in my stash and some cute snowmen glass beads I bought to make a bunch of these for my annual ornament at some point, so I decided to make one for now.

I took a small non-breakable ornament, and cut one part away.  I supported the structure (it's kind of flimsy and flexible when part is cut away) with a couple of layers of decoupaged paper, then painted it.

I took some miniature trees and mounted it inside the ornament, adding the snowman in front.  I added snow texture medium to the outside, and a finer version of it inside, and a bit of glass glitter to the inside.

I really like how it turned out, and it is a bit of a kick in the ass for me to get started, as I have all the materials, and this type of project takes so many stages, I really should start early!

A lot more pics an info on my blog if anyone is interested.
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