Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Follow Up on Salt Dough Ornaments-Do Not Eat

Finally finished cutting, baking, trimming, and cleaning a second batch of ornaments. Better ones, too.  I let the cut-outs dry overnight and only popped them in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes. They kept their smooth, flat shape this way, and their virgin dough color. The bright paint will pop on the pale surface, and the shorter baking time means no bubbling or disappearance of the pattern lines. Here is a glittered star from years past:
 Here are some from the latest batch that have not been glossed yet:

If you try these, and want to glitter the edges, DO NOT spray gloss on them prior to glittering-the glitter will stick to the gloss even after it's thoroughly dry.
The formula is 1 cup of salt to every four cups of flour. (A good way to make use of old, rancid flour)
 Partially dissolve your salt in some water before adding it to the flour. The salt will continue to dissolve and the dough will get a lot smoother as you knead it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas in July-Tree Ornaments

I had these already baked, just unpainted, from last year. They are made from a dough of flour and salt. I recently found out that Artfire was doing a Twelve Days of Christmas in July promotion. So I dug these out and got busy painting.
Now I had only discovered, during the roll out of the last batch of dough, that you get better results if you let the cut-outs sit and dry overnight before baking. They puff up and bubble less if you do it this way, and result in more defined pattern indentation, nice and flat with a clean, professional finish. (It's still cute for the santa bellies to puff out though, lol). So I can do better, but I'm dreading baking when it's already +80 degrees inside, and 90-100 out.

These get painted and then sprayed with high gloss enamel. I did up a batch of stars, too, with a heavy layer of fine glitter glued to their 1/3 inch thick edges. But I made the mistake of lacquering the stars, when I should have left them matte-because, even when dry, the glitter sticks to the gloss and spoiled my 'edges only' design.
Ugh, it's hot. Need I say, "a crafters work is never done?"


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tie Bleached

This long-sleeved mid drift shirt was navy blue. WAS navy blue, until I tie-bleached it. (Photo color is 100% true to life) It is a blend of cotton, rayon, spandex, and polyester. I twisted it up with rubber bands, randomly, in all different ways and varying the tightness of the knots. The rubber bands were also a wide range of lengths and widths. After soaking it in hot water and bleach, the results were amazing! I had no idea the detail that was going to come out of it. Faces, spiderwebs, insect-like markings...wicked.

I have been trying to achieve an effect with this much detail ever since, and what I have learned is that you won't get it with straight cotton. With fabric blends, yes, and polyester is almost un-bleacheable. Experiment! Take a garment that's permanently stained or ruined, and see what you get. Here are some cotton tees I did: The orange/rust one started off black, and the green was just slightly deeper green:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Got Hungry

How come I'm not writing about jewelry? I will, soon, I promise. But I GOT HUNGRY! There's this stuff my mom used to make, but since no one else in our family but her and I would eat it, she stopped. Italian Stewed Zucchini and Tomatoes with Bacon:
Dirty spoon? Forgive me, it was my second helping. You can stew your own fresh tomatoes if you like, but I used canned. Cook a pound of bacon, remove grease and set aside. 5 or 6 zucchini are sliced up 1/2 an inch thick and sauteed in olive oil with onion and minced garlic, then combined with the bacon and and 4 small cans of Italian stewed tomatoes in a large pot. Add garlic, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, pepper, a tbsp sugar and just enough water so that the zucchini can simmer til nice and tender. Dee-Lish-Uuuss! Some nice garlic bread and maybe some parmesan...
My only regret, and not a very strong one, was choosing to make this in the hot summertime. And now, get ready, for Magical Mystery Mousse! What, you thought we were done here?
 I love watching people eat this while they try to figure out what's in it. You take 7oz of instant vanilla pudding mix and beat it into 24oz of strawberry yogurt with an electric mixer. Then beat in 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, on med-high speed until soft peaks form. Fold in 2 cups of sliced strawberries and it's done. If you use frozen thawed berries, it's a good idea to strain away most of the liquid.
Here's where it gets fun; Variations!

1.Raspberry yogurt-raspberries-cheesecake flavored pudding mix
2. Vanilla yogurt, coconut extract/flavoring-coconut flavored pudding mix-coconut flakes
3. Chocolate yogurt...?
4. Lemon...

Monday, June 21, 2010


Last night this monster was spotted leaping from the SE corner of the kitchen counter with a whole ream of coffee filters in his jaws. Authorities are at a complete loss as to his motives or what he may do next. This elusive thief is known to be on the prowl at night and he may be very dangerous. We are warned that he attempts to beguile his victims by purring and rolling around on his back before he strikes. For your own safety and the security of your belongings, such as hats, scarves, and socks, officials are warning us to remain vigilant.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A 'story' that needs work

 A friend of mine has a wordpress blog that people can join into for collaborative fiction writing. (Here) I began writing a story, kind of in the middle of itself, and came to a standstill, unable to decide how I wanted to proceed.

 A sudden, loud clap to his left caught Rumchugger by surprise, snapping him out of his troubled thoughts-and there had been plenty of those, since the evening before...both, the startling noises and the troubled thoughts.
But no time for that now, as someone with a huge parrot on their  shoulder was stumbling toward Rumchugger, nearly falling.
"Drunkenmimes, must you be so oblivious? It's ten o'clock in the morning," exclaimed Rum.
Drunkenmimes burped and looked sheepish. The parrot  ruffled it's  wings. "RAWK, only a pint boss! Nothin' eh git heated aboat!"
Rumchugger blinked and raised his eyebrows. This stinkin' mute, he thought. "Actually..hmm. Ye know what, I could use a soother myself. What's say you join me inside, eh?"
Rumchugger held the half-hinged door to the inn open. "We need to have a palaver."
Drunkenmimes grinned silently and the parrot snapped his head around. "RAWK, see now that's the roit ticket guvnah!"
Rumchugger led Drunkenmimes to an empty booth in the corner, which, under normal circumstances, would have been occupied by rogues and mutineers at this hour. Rum shoved Drunken into the seat, and pacified the parrot underneath the table with a few crackers.
Rum produced a quill and a bit of paper. "What's that raucous creature's name anyway, or does he even have one?"
Drunken picked up the quill a wrote, "Drunkenbird." Then, "so what about that pint?"
"We'll get to that bit my friend, presently." Rum made a steeple with his fingers. "But first, I have a few questions I'd like to ask you."
"I rather fancy the imported bevvies," wrote Drunken.
Rum put his hand on the back of Drunken's neck and gripped it firmly. "Who was aboard The Holey Mackerel last night?"
Drunken looked utterly, convincingly confused. But Rum wasn't buying it. He pulled from his coat pocket a small pipe, ornately engraved with the words "Carpe Cerevisi", one of Drunkenmime's  favorite unspoken expressions.
"Now," began Rum slowly. "Who, other than yourself, was aboard that ship?"