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411  Re: Book Club and Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: November 02, 2009 09:43:10 PM
I added some more picsof the quilt to my above post so you all could see some close-ups. I was too excited before to get it posted to take enough pics!

I actually got my other package today too! I received from luckdragon today! We were in the short story group, and she managed to tie every item into the book. Very tricky lady lol!   Cool

The short stories were set in Canada in...wow I'm bad with years...the 1920s to 1940's...ish? Someone correct me, I'm sure that's not accurate.

She made me an awesome knit drop stitch (is that the name?) scarf in colors I love! I had something similar on my wist! Resting on top of it is a great clutch. I am obsessed with clutches and this one is super cute, with a rose on it and pretty lining!

And, and! A journal with a Canadian map on it and a moose! I can never have enough journals. never. AND! an amazing check book cover in fabric that I love, with a pen holder on the outside! I've wanted a pretty checkbook holder for so long and I love it!

And, to top it off with, some great knitting books! There are some great projects in here!

Thank you so much hon!
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412  Re: Book Club and Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: November 02, 2009 03:39:33 PM
So cute! I love the embroidery, those old drawings are great!

Ok, get ready to have your minds blown! I got totally spoiled by Feast Your Eyes, my partner in the sci-fi group! I need to make a couple extra things for her box before I send it out, she obviously spent so much time and effor on this, and I freakin' love it!

I present~ an awesome mini quilt! I am definitely going to hang it, although I thought it might make a good table runner too! Our book was set in the future, about a "historian" who went back in time to study the time about forty years before the Black Death. But she was accidentally sent to the time of the plague, and the story bounces back and forth between the people trying to get her back to her present time, and her story during the plague. Both time periods are around Christmas, and this scene (I believe) is about when they go to Mass on Christmas Eve (in plague-time). I'll try to get a better pic when I get it hung up in my craft room!

She also sent another book by the same author that I have been wanting to read, and an awesome bracelet! It is gorgeous and has bell,  clock, and  saint(?) dangles. Plus a bookmark with a book quote, and a cute little pouch that the bracelet came in.

Thanks so much hon! I love it, and I have to say, you did a much better job of crafting according to the book than I did!
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413  Buried Skulls! in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by MareMare on: October 30, 2009 10:44:07 PM
Ok, they're embedded, but buried sounds spookier, right? I had to scoop up some of the skull molds that have been ever so popular around here lately!  I only buy ultra clear mp, so when I want opaque I just add some titanium dioxide. I may have added a little too much, but it created a cool, almost silvery/sparkly look, so let's just pretend I did that on purpose, kay?

For this one I channeled my toy ducks embedded in blue water. White skulls in red....something...is similar, right? I wish I had a dark enough red to look more blood-like, but I think it turned out ok. I love the lil spooky skull sticking out the top!

I usually embed with plastic toys, so didn't take too many precautions with embedding soap in soap. Oops. Next time I think I'll freeze my embed first and pour the rest at the lowest possible temp...I give you~ Partially melted buried skull!

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414  Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting in Dessert by MareMare on: October 30, 2009 10:34:58 PM
These are soooo yummy, and I'm the kind of girl who usually doesn't even bother with a dessert unless it contains chocolate. So the fact that I like these actually says something lol! And I usually don't care for icing/frosting very much, but this rocks!

Here is the recipe!

The changes I made include subbing 3 Tbs. of pumpkin pie spice for her spices, and I just used a whole can of pumpkin instead of measuring 3 cups....so I think I did closer to 4. Oops. Turned out fine! I didn't bother with piping the cookie batter or the frosting, my family is the type to wolf cookies down without really looking at it, so it would just be wasted effort on my part! Also mine were probably bigger than they should have been, so I didn't turn them into sandwiches...I'm sure you get more frosting this way!   Grin  And I added about a cup of finely chopped walnuts, I have to have crunchy texture.

FYI: this recipe makes a ton of cookies, but they don't spread out very much so you can put them really close together on the cookie sheet!

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415  Baby it's cold outside...winter dinner in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: October 27, 2009 10:27:28 PM
I could not get warmed up today for anything! So I decided on creamy warm risotto. Yum. After a quick trip to Trader Joe's for some white wine (why, thank you three buck Chuck!), mushrooms, and canned crab, I was good to go.

My mom thought we should make crab cakes instead of putting the crab into the risotto, and since I freakin love crab cakes I was thrilled. I roasted some acorn squash with garlic and parsley. The risotto I started with 2 slices of diced bacon and has a bit of veggie mix leftover from last night's dinner (green onion, broccoli, button mushrooms) and I added cremini mushrooms, walla walla onions, and spinach. I used Sauvignon Blanc and chicken broth to make it and parmesan to finish it.

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416  Honey, Green Tea, Lavender and Insane Amounts of Shea Butter! in Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects by MareMare on: October 17, 2009 08:45:39 PM
I was getting insanely low on soap (my drying rack looked sad and bare) so I whipped up 4 batches yesterday. While gathering my ingredients I discovered that I had somehow lost a 5 gallon bucket of palm oil. Weird! Luckily Nymeria saved my day and suggested I try using vegetable shortening. I ran up to the grocery store and was back in ten minutes! Yay! I had a great vegetable shortening experience and may add it to my regular recipe!

I usually use a ton of fragrances, colorants, and additives, but I really restrained myself this time! In four batches I used 1 essential oil, 1 fragrance oil, 3 additives (honey, oats and calendula), and 2 colorants (1 natural and 1 pigment)

Oats n Honey, Unscented~I make 2 versions of this, one with an oatmeal/honey/almonds fragrance and one without. This one just smells of the warm honey.

Calendula Green Tea~ I wanted to make something else but couldn't find the right fragrance in my stash. So I went with green tea fragrance oil, green tea powder for colorant, and some calendula petals for a little extra color and texture. The soap is a light olive color right now, but eventually green tea powder does fade to a brownish green.

Lavender~ Classic lavender, made with essential oil and a very light purple swirl.

Shea Luxury~ This is one of my absolute favorite bars to make and use! It has...wait for it...60% unrefined shea butter in it! And I think it's pretty nice looking for an uncolored, unscented bar lol! It's obviously very hard and has great texture, and even though I didn't fragrance it, it has a great nutty/earthy smell from all that shea.

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417  It's cold and flu season...Classic chicken noodle soup! in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: October 17, 2009 08:34:33 PM
I was cold and starving the other night, and whipped up some yummy soup. It's pretty darn basic, I made a quick stock with onion, celery, carrot, and a chicken breast. After straining out the old veggies, I shredded the chicken meat and simmered a little carrot and celery. And I made homemade egg noodles, yum! I like to throw in some fresh parsley, but I was out, so some dried did the trick.

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418  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 50 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: October 17, 2009 08:27:55 PM
I received a fabulous package for my nephews from leighi123. I received a while ago and am just now posting, I apologize! I've been hiding it from the boys so that they couldn't scatter the various parts before I got pictures of everything Grin She sent a great range of goodies for the boys, who are 5, 4, and 18 months.

Terry cloth stuffed car for the baby and awesome crayon roll that I think my middle nephew would appreciate.

Pirate hat they can share for dressup, and adorable pirate shorts that will either fit the baby or go on one of their teddy bears or stuffed puppies!

An Eye Spy bag and the crayon roll closed up, resting on a cape for dress up!

Thanks so much hon! I'll try to post pics of the boys when I hand the goodies over!
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419  Roasted Veggie Cheesy Soup in Recipes and Cooking Tips by MareMare on: October 05, 2009 07:24:11 PM
Ok, I have to confess that I used...Velveeta in this soup. Not really something I usually cook with, but I was asked to use it up. At the bottom are my changes for how to make it without the Velveeta!

I love making soup and chopping everything up. I find it relaxing to make and then it's delicious to eat!

I roasted a head of cauliflower florets, 1 bunch of broccoli florets , and a head of garlic on two pans at 400 for about 30-40 minutes, tossing every 10 minutes. Whenever I roast veggies I like to throw on a head of garlic!

While that's roasting, assemble and chop the other ingredients:

1 onion, diced
2 tsp raw garlic, minced
2 small potatoes, washed, peeled, and diced

2 cans chicken broth, low sodium especially if you're using that Velveeta!
1 1/2 lbs velveeta (3/4 of a box), chopped
1 cup ham, diced

Saute the onion and garlic until soft but not browned in a large pot with a bit of oil or just some non-stick spray. Add the potatoes and chicken broth to cover and simmer until potatoes are soft. Add the Velveeta and stir until melted. Add in 2/3 to 3/4 of the previously roasted veggies and use your stick blender (a soup making necessity!) and blend until smooth.

Now add back in your reserved veggies (I chopped them a little smaller, into more bite-sized pieces from the florets) and ham, adjust seasoning with black pepper, and enjoy! Delicious topped with oyster crackers!

**I really am not that fond of Velveeta although it makes a nicely easy cheesy soup. Kind of salty though, and a little higher in fat than I really like.  As long as you have the stick blender you can make a nice creamy tasting soup! Sub more chicken broth and a little skim milk and add in just a cup of shredded high quality cheese....swiss or sharp cheddar is yummy!

**Take the roasted garlic and chop it, mix with softened butter and fresh chopped parsley and use for a spread on french bread or store in the fridge to add to pasta, veggies, etc!
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420  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 50 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by MareMare on: October 03, 2009 08:55:49 PM
I'm glad you like everything whisp3red!

Here's what I sent ilovesnails, she's having some camera issues so she asked me to post:

A doll for her daughter, I used the Black Apple pattern off of Martha Stewart's website. The body is from my favorite line, Sultry by Moda.

A birdie for her son, and I sent a little birdhouse along for him to paint. My nephew is the same age and he loves painting birdhouses!

And some crochet stitch markers for her

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