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31  CANADA / Ontario / BEGINNER CROCHET WORKSHOP - Timmins on: August 21, 2013 12:59:09 PM
Is anyone interested in taking a Beginner Crochet class, using organic, and possibly even locally sourced from a farm, yarn? I was approached to lead the workshop in celebration of National Organic Week and would like to get some feedback before making it official.

The tentative dates are Tuesday, September 24th and Thursday the 26th, from 6:30PM - 8:30PM. The cost would be $50, and includes basic supplies, a manual, and organic tea. To be hosted at Gathered Roots in Timmins, Ontario (outside if weather permits, otherwise in the reception area). Payment by next Thursday would be required to secure a spot in the group.

Show of hands?
32  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday - July 26, 2013 on: July 26, 2013 10:12:18 AM
I had a chance to watch some Game of Thrones and spin... 

Here's some Avocado Salad split in two but not yet set (it's been poopy out and I'd rather dry outside).  I picked the roving up on Etsy.  The base is a superwash merino with touches of silk, seacell, bamboo, soysilk, tencel and banana.

This spinning part went so well but when it came time to take the yarn off the spindle to ply, the yarn broke in one spot.  I guess I need to work on wrapping properly as I'm spinning...  Anyway, I took the opportunity to try a few different yarns for plying.  The first one is the same wool I used for the Icelandic lamb project posted last week (46 yards) and the second is a light green organic cotton (43.5).  I like the first one better.

Then I had the pleasure of ooohing and ahhhing over some tussah silk!  Yes, that's the fanciest I've worked with.  It drafts so easily and smells so good and I just love everything about it!  From 2 ounces, I managed to get about 96 yards.


I'm not sure if tussah is supposed to be set like other fibers or left as is? 

Anyway, I'll be out of roving soon...   Cry

33  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday - July 19, 2013 on: July 19, 2013 09:46:21 AM
I got to finishing one of last week's projects yesterday.  An Icelandic lamb fleece (purchased from an Etsy shop) plied with a wool yarn from my stash.  52 yards.  It's really fuzzy, but much softer than I was expecting.  

I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it yet...
34  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Camping/Wilderness Swap? on: July 12, 2013 12:31:24 PM
Is it too late to gather some participants for a quick and small camping/wilderness swap? 
35  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Second Spin! on: July 10, 2013 11:37:07 AM
I posted my first spinning project way back and now here is the long overdue second!

I spun this roving, which was gifted to me in a personal swap by Zombie_Queen, and then plied it (with some KnitPicks yarn) shortly after that first project but let it sit this entire time.  I was without a niddy noddy and let it be an excuse not to set the twist.  Well, my birthday is coming up and I decided to buy one along with some more fibers in celebration.  That means I got to work and this project can officially be considered done!  It's still a bit overtwisted in some spots but I'm working on the second roving of the new ones I just got and think I'm finally getting the hang of it.

So hopefully this will be a board I can hang around more often.  Not that I haven't been lurking like crazy but...  =)   
36  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Spruce Tip Preparations (Pickled, Blended, and Jellified) on: June 20, 2013 01:24:02 PM
Bits and pieces from my blog (full story:  http://dreadlocklovely.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/spruce-tip-harvest-and-preparations/)... 

I was able to collect a few yogourt containers full of spruce tips because my neighbour happens to have a tree in her front yard.  I meant to pick the tips sooner when they were younger than shown in the photo, but I wasnt feeling the greatest and also the next fews days were busy, with an even busier weekend  There is a newfound appreciation that has set in, and confirmation that beings have their many facets.  I never held spruce tips before and they are so soft!  Its the feeling of walking into a soft moss, but that feeling in the palm of your hands.

After browsing some blogs on the internet, I came across a few recipes worth trying.  Born in the Wrong Century shared an easy one, a spruce tip and sea salt blend (http://borninthewrongcentury.com/2011/06/13/playing-with-spruce-tips-sugar-salt-vinegar-oh-my/):

I used a fine grey sea salt for mine, and opted to use 2 parts spruce tips to 1 part salt.  The blend is today still in the plate on the counter and Ive been noticing how pleasant the aroma is whenever I walk by.  Im not necessarily a big user of salt but my partner in an Herbalism swap I participate in likes to be in the kitchen and I felt this would be a suitable gift.  (I do plan on keeping a bit for myself to try too, though!)

Also, I used Food With Legs idea for pickled spruce tips (http://www.foodwithlegs.com/pickled-spruce-tips/)!

Im waiting patiently for this one to be ready!  One jar will be part of my dads belated fathers day gift and the rest will be enjoyed with the next few fish we catch.  Something tells me Ill be adding spices to next years batch but that these will be good enough that I should have made more and bothered processing properly.

Finally, I have some 4oz jars of spruce tip jelly sitting on the counter.  Minus one jar, which was given to my neighbour as a thank-you.  I winged a formula for this one.


Approximately 10 4oz jars


- 3 cups Spruce Tips, cleaned and finely chopped

- 3 cups (best-quality possible) water

- 1 lemon, juiced

- 4 cups white granulated sugar

- 1 pouch CERTO liquid pectin


1.  Prepare an infusion by combining the spruce tips and water in a medium-large saucepan and cover with a lid.  Bring the water to a boil then reduce and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your jars (washing and sterilizing).

2.  Strain the infusion (I use a yogourt strainer, it works like a charm!), putting the liquid back into the saucepan and composting the spruce tips.  Add more water to the saucepan if necessary, to maintain the 3 cup amount.

3.  Add the sugar and lemon juice to the liquid and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  Stir and boil hard for 1 minute.

4.  Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the CERTO Liquid Pectin.  Keep stirring for approximately 5 minutes, removing any foam at the surface.

5.  Pour the mixture into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Stir the contents of each jar to remove air bubbles, clean the rims, cover the jars with the lids, and screw on the rings.  Process the jars for 10 minutes.  Let your jelly stand on the counter, untouched, for a day, then inspect each jar to ensure proper sealing.  Enjoy, gift, or store (remove the rings if storing)!

Note:  The end result is a very pale yellow jelly.

37  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Lilac Jelly on: June 18, 2013 11:26:37 AM
The lilac flower harvest didn't go over so well last year.  Well...  I guess to be more accurate, the harvest itself went well (how can it not be convenient to have trees growing in two of three neighbours' yards, with branches growing over the fences and into mine?) but the rust appearance that came while drying them came as both a surprise and a turn-off.  They've remained untouched in a jar in the herb kitchen this entire time.

Last week I wondered if jelly could be made with the flowers and how it would taste.  I've grown a bit more fond of the aroma since moving here 5 years ago and it would be shame to let them go to waste.  As it usually turns out, someone posted a photo of a batch she had just finished (along with what seemed to be a delicious lilac and wild blueberry cookie with lilac glaze) that afternoon on Facebook.  So it can be done, thank you Universe!

I followed the recipe and procedure shared by The 3 Foragers (http://the3foragers.blogspot.ca/2011/05/lilac-recipe-lilac-jelly.html)

I took the photo of the jars and mis-written labels (it should read June 14, 2013, of course) soon after processing them and as the author noted, the colour does fade to more of a pale yellow.

The day I made the batch, I dipped my finger in the larger jar for a taste-test and was disappointed but after testing again just now, I feel that I shouldn't have given all the 4oz jars away so quickly (ha!)...  The ingredients have synergized quite well over the past few days!  If I remember clearly, and if my sinuses aren't confused because of a cold, I'd say there's a hint of pink club soda in there.  A very sweet pink club soda.

Not being as well acquainted with refined sugars these days, I'd like to experiment more with sugar-free pectins, and more specifically, with Pomona's Universal Pectin.  Is it available for purchase online within Canada, or will I have to import it?
38  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Gathered Roots - Round 5 (Gallery) on: June 14, 2013 10:55:56 AM
Discussion thread:  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=422949.msg5024082#msg5024082

We have a sender!


Eclectic Dreamer (FEEDBACK) <---> jnny_heck (FEEDBACK)
monnie31 (FEEDBACK) <---> Wulf (FEEDBACK)
hawkeyes_girl (FEEDBACK) <---> Eiseldora (FEEDBACK)
whileitsraining (FEEDBACK) <---> dreadlocklove (FEEDBACK)
dharma_rebel (FEEDBACK) <---> donniesgirl (FEEDBACK)
gingerpeachy (FEEDBACK) <---> dichotomy (FEEDBACK)
39  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Gathered Roots - Round 5 (SIGNUPS CLOSED; MAIL BY 7/3/13) on: April 23, 2013 09:51:54 AM

Swap name: Gathered Roots: An Herbalism Swap  - Round 5
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: dreadlocklove
Sign-up date range: April 23 to May 5, 2013
Date to send item by: July 3, 2013
Limited to a certain number of people?: NO
Restricted to people who all live in Canada? NO

Age requirement? 16+

Swap Organizer 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: YES

- Is at least 16 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/NO
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES/NO

Details of swap

Welcome to the fifth round!  It's been a while!

This swap is open to all those with an appreciation for Herbalism.  Participants may create gifts based on the culinary, medicinal, therapeutic, and/or cosmetic uses of plants, or based on an herbalists lifestyle.  There are plenty of paths to choose from when crafting.

There is no point system that must be followed. This will hopefully encourage participants to dedicate their full potential and energy to each gift.  While efforts can be made between partners to avoid a largely unbalanced exchange, it is important to understand and accept that such outcome may occur regardless.

Take a peak at the previous rounds.  The gallery link is included at the top of the first post:

Round Four: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=409005.0#axzz2RJ29KSTx
Round Three: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=336361.0
Round Two:  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=336361.0
Round One:  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=321348.msg3704650#msg3704650


Name of swap: Gathered Roots - An Herbalism Swap R5
Craftster username:
Email address:
Real name:
Are you 16 years or older? YES/NO
Mailing address, including the country (please include the appropriate line breaks):

Have you read and understood all of the conditions outlined in the Swap Info Guide, and do you agree to abide by them?  YES/NO

Do you agree to be an active participant in the discussion forum perhaps a post to keep everyone updated on your progress each week and regularly communicate with your partner? YES/NO

Do you agree to put 100% effort in each gift you choose to create for your partner? YES/NO

Are you willing to ship your package to an international destination? YES/NO

Are you willing to provide a delivery confirmation number to your organizer and partner upon shipping your package?  If your partner lives outside of your country, do you agree to provide a copy of your receipt? YES/NO

Are you willing to take photographs of the packages both sent and received, as well as post a photo of the gifts you received in the gallery? YES/NO

What do you enjoy about Herbalism?

Which herbs do you particularly enjoy?

What types of crafts do you enjoy and/or are there any specific gifts you would like to create? *** Note that this question is to help me group partners and will not be revealed to your partner ***

Do you follow any traditions/rituals that may be related to Herbalism?

What is your Herbalism Wishlist (include 5-10 items)?

Are there any gifts you would rather not receive, whether due to allergies or general aversions?

What is your general personality/style?

Are there any websites your partner can visit to get a better sense of who you are (ie: Wists, Etsy, Blogs, etc.)?

Is smoking permitted in your home?
Do you have petmates?

Is there any other relevant information that you would like to share?


Also remember to read and understand the Swap Info Guide  to find out how to ship your item and other details about participating in a swap.


01 hawkeyes_girl (USA)
02 Eclectic Dreamer (USA)
03 whileitsraining (USA)
04 gingerpeachy (USA)
05 dichotomy (USA)
06 Wulf (Canada)
07 monnie31 (Canada)
08 donniesgirl (USA)
09 Eiseldora (USA)
10 dharma_rebel (USA)
11 jnny_heck (USA)
12 dreadlocklove (Canada)


Eclectic Dreamer (FEEDBACK) <---> jnny_heck (FEEDBACK)
monnie31 (FEEDBACK) <---> Wulf (FEEDBACK)
hawkeyes_girl (FEEDBACK) <---> Eiseldora (FEEDBACK)
whileitsraining (FEEDBACK) <---> dreadlocklove (FEEDBACK)
dharma_rebel (FEEDBACK) <---> donniesgirl (FEEDBACK)
gingerpeachy (FEEDBACK) <---> dichotomy (FEEDBACK)
40  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Felt Foods on: February 05, 2013 11:04:44 AM
I don't know how I could be so late to the Felt Foods Club!  The foods feel so alive and it's so exciting to watch the kids play with them, rather than with the plastic clumps of peas for example.  I started out with some simple items, but am in love!  =)

Tri-Coloured Bowtie Pasta

Green and Yellow Beans

Pita Bread
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