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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Nuthatches - finally a little something for myself... on: February 22, 2018 12:26:00 PM
I had been putting off making something for myself for awhile.  I wanted to make a few pieces for our bedroom.  We have a long empty wall on one side and I have been wanting to add some bird art to it for awhile.  Jim's mother picked up a framed loon piece for us for Christmas, and that gave me impetus to start.  I also love nuthatches and stitched this up last week.

The birds are stitched with black floss on white cotton, with some colour added with water colour pencils afterwards, then mounted on wood.

Eventually, I hope to add some more to this one - chickadees, loons, woodpeckers, etc.  Hopefully to fill that wall.

More on my blog if anyone is interested... also if you go back a few posts, you can see a couple progress posts
2  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / At least my cat loves me... on: February 12, 2018 02:05:38 AM

I made this for the Snarky Valentine swap by SonjaBoo earlier this month.  It is a little shrine inspired by a pin by my partner made in an old cookie or candy tin.  I was initially going to make a resin piece, but had a seriously gross looking fail with it.

I used reused gift packaging for the glitter elements too, and some scrap papers for decorating the inside and outside of the tin, as well as washi tape.  I hated how the cat looked in the failed piece and went with a stamped, and painted kitty for this one.  I used reused book paper for the sentiment and the back.  I also added a magnet so it could be used as a magnet too - it is a rare earth magnet so it is pretty strong.

More on my blog, including a few more pics if anyone is interested.
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Let's talk about love, baby... on: February 10, 2018 05:09:27 AM
OK, as I type that, it's really Salt n Pepa's Let's Talk about Sex running through my head... just had to share that little ear worm...

Anyways, I have this cute conversation heart die set, and cut them out of water colour paper scraps I had.  I thought this was a cute use of it - some layered hearts gift tags.  I added some embellishment with some "with love" washi tape I have.  I used some of the new Distress Oxide inks for that colourful, chalky look of Conversation Heart candies.

More on my blog if anyone is interested, with some more pics...
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Favourite oven-cooked ribs recipe... on: February 10, 2018 05:00:52 AM
Maybe not my favourite ribs recipe overall - that one involves Jim slow cooking it over charcoal - but that is not an option when it is -20C outside, with the wind chill.  Though that may be my favourite because it involves Jim prepping, cooking, and cleaning up  Wink  Couldn't do that to Jim with the weather we have now though, so I did these in the oven instead.

Anyways, ribs are a favourite to make when we have a group of friends over - it is one of those big batch recipes that just about everyone likes in our group, and it was easy to serve, with a salad, and garlic mashed potatoes.

Slow cooked Memphis-Style ribs
Time - 2 hours plus
feeds - 8-10 people  - maybe even 12 depending on how meaty the ribs are

(rub mix)
2-1/2 Tbs. chili powder
2 Tbs. ground cumin
1 Tbs. ground coriander
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1/2 Tbs. paprika (ideally hot smoked or sweet smoked)
1/2 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (I usually add more)
1/4 tsp. cayenne
(optional to add any or all of the following - 1/2 tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 tbsp onion powder, 1/2 tbsp oregano, 1/2 tbsp thyme)

2 racks meaty pork side ribs
BBQ sauce of your choice

Combine all the spices in a bowl, and mix well.

Sprinkle and pat onto all sides of the ribs.  Wrap well and place in fridge for a couple of hours to overnight.  Don't worry if you forget to do this - placing on the dry rub even as soon as while the meat is resting and coming to room temperature, and the oven is heating up will still be delicious.

This will take about 2-3 hours to cook.  So about half an hour before you are ready to roast, bring the ribs out and let rest to room temperature.  You can add a bit of salt to season as well, but I will sometimes skip this since there is salt in the rub and I found it salty enough with the rub and a sauce.  I generally have a small amount rub left and sprinkle some onto bare spots just before baking.

Place on rack over a pan to catch the drippings.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.  Place ribs in center of oven and bake.  After an hour, rotate ribs about every half hour.  If you are using two pans/racks, then make sure to switch their position, so there is even cooking all around.

If you want sauced, sticky ribs, then at about 1.5 hours, sauce one side, let bake about 15 minutes, then sauce the other side.  Repeat if you like them really saucy and sticky.

After 2 hours, test the ribs with a pair of tongs, picking them up at the center of the rack - the ends should flop down if they are cooked until the meat and cartilage are broken down, and if you poke between the ribs with a skewer it should poke in easily.  If not, then return and bake for another 15 minutes, and test again... repeat every 15 minutes,continuing to rotate pan, until cooked soft.

More on my blog if anyone is interested - some more pics and a bit more detail...
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / The Little Mermaid... on: February 10, 2018 04:47:47 AM
I was recently in Kittykill's Fairy Tale swap and made this for dfabbric.  I saw that she  listed the Little Mermaid as one of the fairy tales she liked and I love the old Hans Christian Anderson version and wanted to make something Mermaid related.  I got a bit bogged down on what direction to go - I was thinking mixed media, or resin... then I was scrolling through the Urban Threads site and saw this pattern and had to make it.

I stitched it on white cotton, with black floss for her, a bright peony pink colour for the words, and a bit of blue for the waves.  Then I added colour with water colours, before drying and mounting.

More details and pics on my blog if anyone is interested.
6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Once upon a time... on: February 10, 2018 04:39:47 AM
I am a sucker for die sales... and I got this Impression Obsession die set for a ridiculously cheap price after Christmas (so cheap that as it is back on the site for retail, I wonder if it was a mistake). 

Anyways - I bought it for the tree, but I also loved the two images of children reading because it made me think of how much I loved lying under a tree, reading, as a kid, and those lazy sunny days.

So I made these note cards to go with the Fairy Tale swap piece I made, as an ode to reading; for fellow book lovers.

More here on my blog, with some more pics if anyone is interested...
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / My new house number... on: December 24, 2017 06:50:42 AM
I have a boring house number... it is a single digit... no gravitas, nothing fancy... just boring number 5.  Since we finished putting the new windows in, and new siding on, I wanted something a lot nicer than a basic "5" screwed onto the siding, but I did not want to spend a couple of hundred bucks for some of those nice, cast iron ones I was looking at on Wayfair.  Also, I wanted something that was more "me"... that would embody things I love, so this is what we came up with.  Jim and I kind of did it together. 

This is made from a piece of cut off wood from when he was re-framing some of the windows - repurposing things meant for the garbage is something I love.  I also love working on projects with Jim.  He sanded it off and routed the edges.

I then painted the wood in a colour I love... actually the first colour dried way too dark, so I ended up mixing up a couple of colours to make this blue.  I was not happy with it all blue, so painted the routed edge in black... was not happy with that, so repainted it with metallic black.   I bought a nice 6" number that I liked, that could either sit flat or float, and found I did not like it alone on the base.  So I was going to die cut and decoupage on the lettering and some design... then I thought, what it the sun exposure fades the paper.  So I used the die cuts as templates and painted on the flourishes with pearl paint and the letters in the metallic paint.

It took a couple of pours, but when all the painting was done, I covered the front and back of the entire piece, with a couple of THICK layers of resin.  I wanted it to be shiny, smooth, and covered all over so that hopefully it can survive the elements for a bit.  I love working with resin, but there is a reason I prefer small pieces - this was messy and took so much patience for me to leave alone!  I contemplated adding some beaded mosaic, as I do love beads, or some birds or dogs, but left it pretty simple.

Finally, when everything cured, we debated how to place the number - floating, flat, etc.  When we finally decided, Jim put it all together and we screwed it to the front of the house.  We used brass screws and finishing washers - I am hoping they will naturally tarnish and darken.  But I think it looks great against the vanilla colour of the siding, and adds a nice bit of colour to the front of the house. 

Also, the pizza guy can finally stop complaining about not being able to find our house.

More on my blog if anyone is interested... I love how shiny the resin is and how the trees are reflected in it
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Baby, it's cold outside... on: December 24, 2017 06:25:50 AM

I made this recently for Sonjaboo for the Snarky Christmas Ornament.  I could not get that song out of my head for a couple of weeks, after watching Elf again while crafting... to the point where I made a tag and card set to go with it, and then I woke up with this ornament idea.

It is made from a non-breakable ornament I cut, and then podged, and painted.  I used textured snow medium on the outside, with a bit of glitter snow for sparkle.  Then I glittered the inside, and added the figures with hot glue, and more of the fine glitter snow medium.  I had wondered how to nicely add the sentiment - at the back of the ornament would make it hard to see, and slapping it onto the ball part of the outside did not seem right.  So I made a frame and added it to the rim.

I am happy how it turned out.  Jim laughed when he saw it, and asked if I would make one for us too when he found out I would be giving it away, so I think he likes it.  It reminds us of when our neighbour locked her husband out of the house when she got mad at him, and he spent the evening leaning against the garage wall, looking like a penitent, but pouting 12 year old boy.

I actually prepared about 6 ornaments with different textures/colours, to see which one I would like the most, so maybe I may make another one just for us in this theme.

Anyways, there is a bit more about it on my blog, with more pics if anyone is interested.  I had entered it in a challenge on one of the blogs I visited, and it was selected as one of the pieces for a designer spotlight too, so that made me happy Smiley
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / You gotta love enablers... on: December 16, 2017 07:27:23 PM

I love Jim - he is so good to me - even through seismic bad moods - and he is such a craft enabler.  He may complain about the pile of mess, and if he doesn't realize at this point that I will happily sacrifice housework to craft, and will never be like his mother, then he is living in a dream world... but then again, he loves things I make, and often we will do projects together.  He won't get rid of the first crocheted blanket I ever made him, even though it clashes with our current couch.  He also made me dozens and dozens of inkers for my ink pads too...

But it's the little things that really make me happy...

The other day he took Troy for a walk, and came home with feathers... he knows I collect feathers for crafting... he never throws away used jeans anymore or flannel shirts - they are part of a growing pile of scrap... he always asks before he throws out his belts in case I want to use parts... and since I started asking for used brushes - they just appear on my work desk now... I think they are starting to recognize him and my brother in law at my favourite bead store too.

complain all you may dear... you are my biggest enabler, and maybe even a fan Smiley

Anyone else have wonderful enablers?  Co-crafting-conspirators?
10  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / 2017 Holiday Cards and Tags swap - GALLERY on: December 01, 2017 12:00:17 PM

Post your card and tag goodies here as you receive them!

Send outs December 8th, 2017 - Don't forget to PM myself and your group members when you send, and when you receive!

Original discussion thread here....


Group Mistletoe:
Onyxnox (11/30)---> SonjaBoo, Witchhippie, IsikkahJai
SonjaBoo (12/12)[/color] ---> Onyxnox, Witchhippie, IsikkahJai
Witchhippie (12/07) ---> Onyxnox, SonjaBoo, IsikkahJai
IssikahJai (12/28) ---> Onyxnox, SonjaBoo, Witchhippie

Group Holly
Mlsocci74 (12/04) ---> kbrison, bec99, gala_apples
kbrison (12/01) ---> Mlsocci74, bec99, gala_apples
bec99 (12/02) ---> Mlsocci74, kbrison, gala_apples
gala_apples (12/07) ---> Mlsocci74, kbrison, bec99

LATE, with communication
Contact organizer immediately
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