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Tutorial Inspiration – Part 0 – Somewhat of a Rant

April 8th, 2016 at 06:05 am » Comments (0)

Inspiration and Tutorial as such lofty words. Sometimes too much so… but they also often “fit” even when said Tutorial is really, as often happens in beaded braiding, nothing more that a set up diagram, a smidgeon of materials used, and a stringing order.

Much of my “inspiration” for the series is annoyance with people who either should know better or whatever their motivation – deliberately choose not to give accurate information.

In my strongly held opinion, if a tutorial does not include details (at the very least some basic conventions used I.e., design requires disc be turned counter clock wise – then it is not helpful. There is NO SUCH THING AS A STANDARD Braid – if you want my $$$ then you better do your homework and provide useful information.

So one might say the real inspiration behind my working out the moves for creating specific structures on a disc is a combination of laziness (wanting to find the least number of steps to obtain the desired results) and significant annoyance that those who choose not to take advantage of the PDF Publication process and include a page of basic steps (aka/step outs) –

Even so called advanced tutorials need to at least reference the braid used and if the description only says meaningless things like
Standard – that is clue to the likely value of the content – IMNHO

And so my plan to create a series of Set Up and Step Outs for Bead Friendly Braids,
Hopefully you will enjoy learning the technique and then find satisfaction in applying your choices of materials to make the surface design your own.

Enjoy the Making.


Reclaiming Political Correct

October 22nd, 2015 at 11:38 am » Comments (0)

Based on the 1st Amendment – so long as I remain within the parameters of not inciting panic or riots,
my speech is Politically Correct.
my new banner (or it will be as soon as I remember HOW to add it to the blog – will be my answer for all who would, as a result of their opinions, feel my voiws are not okay and should be changed.
Politicaly Correct Speech

Cheese Cake Pie Filling

October 3rd, 2015 at 07:55 am » Comments (0)

Cheese Cake FillingBet you thought I forgot about the filling – nope, just need to retest the instructions –

Cheese Cake Pie

prepare and prebake the 8 or 9 inch Crumb Crust of your choice I frequently use the “least expensive” store brand of graham crackers, or choc chip or shortbread Often from the “clearance rack” because “dry” even “stale” is an asset. I do suggest that they be “not filled or frosted” but otherwise pretty much any flavor you like will do nicely the details – if you lost that link, click here

Or, you can certainly bake your own cookies to be used, but fresh baked cookies do not usually last long enough to dry out or get stale as needed for the crust

With cookies on hand, when I need to “channel my anger” in a positive way
out comes that rolling pin, plastic bread bag
once reduced to the proper size crumbs, stored until needed in my frugal cannisters (the plastic containers from dry things,
like dry roasted nuts, or rice) I do not recommend plastic pickle jars – they tend to keep the “scent” of vinegar

While the crust is baking, prepare the filling
the basics are almost always in the house – in fact along with what I need for a good chocolate pudding – I make a point of keeping the dessert ingredients “on hand”

If a dessert is going to be needed = then the ingredients come out of the frig while waiting for the coffee to brew.
Room Temperature is best – especially if like me, you choose to do the blending and mixing “by hand”

Whisk until smooth
8 oz Cream Cheese
6 oz Ricotta

For nuts, the “oily” kind seem two work best, Pecans, Walnuts
if you choose a dryer nut like Almonds, you may want to add a teaspoon of extract or oil to enhance the Almond.

Whisk separately
1 egg
1/3 c Honey
1 Tbl “thickener” (corn or potato starch, pastry flour, etc) (leave this out if you want chocolate and use cocoa powder)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Cinnamon* Powder (less with chocolate, more with citrus)
1 Tbl Vanilla Extract
when well whisked (you want it airy, so look for bubbles)
add OPTIONAL flavors:
1.5 tsp of Citrus powder.

*Cinnamon is an amazing spice – AND seems to always increase the “sweetness” of a dish without adding sugar or honey – as well as adding a depth of flavor to any dessert and yes, even to some things like spicy soups and chilli. just keep a light hand until you find the amount that most enhances your taste experience.

If you want a different flavor, use any of the “optionals”.
whisk into the mixture –

Combine/Whisk the Cheese and Flavor blends together until fully incorporated.

For chocolate, I like to lightly sift cocoa powder onto the crumb shell while it is cooling

Pour the mixture into the shell – bake at 350 F –
top should be just starting to brown at the edges, but a bit wobbly in the center

Remove and cool – most prefer to then chill for an hour or two before serving.
I say “warm” for the first night and chilled (stored in frig) for the second and third night.

Other Toppings, like berries – seem to like it when the critrus flavor is just hinted at – so reduce the citrus powder by to 1/3 to 1/2 tsp.

My personal favorite is a warm berry compote, over the warm pie, sometimes with a dollop of whip cream but often not.

Whatever flavor you choose, this is a rather rich dessert – so smaller slices are usually satisfying without really alarming the cardio doc.

Henry prefers things sweeter than I do, so sometime I will dust his with a bit of powdered sugar if the filling is a bit more tart than usual.

Depending on the planned flavor, I prefer to add chunky things like choc chips, or coarsely ground nuts to the cheese blend

On the other hand, if you want to have more than one flavor consider dividing hte filling and additing different swirls of flavor – then bake in cupcake sized shells or mini-pie pans – I like the mini pie pans because it is “two servings” – that can be frozen and then defrosted for the evening snack – thus making it easier to resist Cheese Cake Pie for breakfast

Retailer Reality – New Beads & Shapes

August 11th, 2015 at 08:25 am » Comments (0)

The nice thing about beadwork (or pretty much any craft for that matter) is that we are “allowed” to have favorites. those personal choices are all good –

Having been in this business for much longer than I care to admit in many roles (consumer, author, editor, teacher, wholesale and retailer)

The Retailer Reality is my needs as a shop are not what drives the market. The manufacturers choices are rarely easy on our inventory budget – because if we don’t offer it – in today’s world someone else will.

It is not really the decision of the Distributors – although they have minor influence in some aspects – it is driven by other factors.

SuperDUOs are “maturing” which means that with increased design support – there is a “designer” demand for more colors.

Personally I have come to believe that brick or click, no one can really stock it all, the best we can do is try to make it possible for you to “get what you want” – even if you have to wait a bit.

When I had my store I made it a habit to keep product catalogs accessible to my customers – and order what they asked for – EVEN when it meant I had to buy more than they wanted – so might have that excess around for a long time.

Today, as an online retailer – I try to keep that option open by being willing to admit I can’t keep it all in the store room, but I can, if customers understand some delay in shipping,

But, no way do I object to the new sizes and shapes – because if someone’s creative visions needs that size or shape, I really want them to have it.

And, oh by the way,,, I am always happy to see a product “in the chains” because I know they will never commit to the full line and people in today’s world will seek out what they want – my job is to help them get it.

Random Thought: Drug Side Effects

July 16th, 2015 at 10:03 am » Comments (0)

Generated by several commercials with the hi=speed “disclaimer”

What is the FDA thinking when it approves a drug for the treatment of Depression, when the primary side effects are “Increased thoughts of Suicide?

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