Sunday, February 13, 2011

Gluten-free WAFFLES!!!

One of my most favorite foods EVER is waffles. I'm not sure why - maybe it's because the little square holes hold butter and syrup so nicely, and then again, maybe it's the fabulous contrast between crusty outside and light and fluffy inside. The original version of this recipe is in Bette Hagman's book, The Gluten-free Gourmet. I've changed it up a bit, and I always try to make lots of extra waffles, so we can freeze some for "instant breakfasts."

3 cups Four Flour Bean Mix (or you can use 1-1/2 cups rice flour + 3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour + 3/4 cup potato starch flour)
3/4 tsp. salt
8 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tbsp. sugar
5 eggs
3/8 cup vegetable oil
2-1/4 cups milk or nondairy liquid

Measure dry ingredients, mix together, and set aside. Pre-heat waffle iron.

Beat eggs, oil, and milk in a mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients and fold in gently with spoon. Don't overbeat.

Bake on waffle iron and serve.

To freeze, place a single layer of cooked waffles on a rack and place in freezer. Once frozen, waffles may be stored in a freezer zip-seal bag. To re-heat, pop waffles in the toaster.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Art Charm Challenge No. 3: Lucky Stars

This is one of THE easiest art charms to make – in fact, it’s so easy, it’s a great first art charm for kids to make.

Phase I: Cut, fold, and seal stars
Supplies for Phase I
For the box:
  • strong, flexible decorative paper, such as washi
  • paper slicer or scissors
  • ruler and pencil
  • needle and thread
  • brush and sealer (I use Diamond Glaze)
  1. Slice paper into 3/8” wide (1 cm) strips.
  2. Loosely “tie” overhand knot in paper strip at one end.
  3. Snug up and flatten knot.
  4. Tuck short end of paper into knot.
  5. Fold paper strip over knot, to nearest edge of pentagon, with decorative side out, resulting in a flat pentagon.
  6. Keep folding paper around pentagon until end is reached. Tuck end into knot, trimming if necessary.
  7. Hold two points of star between thumb and index finger, and use nail of opposite thumb to gently dent straight side. Repeat, pushing in all five sides. Star should puff out – pinch the star points to further define the shape.
  8. Use needle and thread to string stars for sealing, with one star point at top of charm, and leaving about a half-inch of space between stars.
  9. Brush two coats of sealer onto all surfaces of star. Let dry.
Phase II: Turn stars into charms
Supplies for Phase II
  For the box:
  • 1 – 2-inch head or eye pin & jump ring for each charm (use eye pin if you want to add fun fibers)
  • 2 - 6° beads for each charm
  • fun fibers to coordinate with paper – 6-inches for each charm
  • bead reamer or needle file
  • pliers, bent chain nose
  • pliers, chain nose
  • pliers, round nose
  1. After sealer dries, remove stars from thread.
  2. Use needle file or bead reamer to enlarge holes if necessary.
  3. Slide onto the head or eye pin a 6° bead, a star, and then another 6° bead.
  4. Make a wrapped loop at the top of the star.
  5. If using eye pins, tie three 2-inch lengths of fun fiber to the bottom loop, securing knots with a drop of sealer.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Art Charm Challenge No. 2: Collage Charms

The front side of one of my completed Collage art charms.
First an apology - my intent was to get ALL of the paper chapter challenges up in January...unfortunately, my back issues flared up something awful for the last half of January, and I ended up icing my back on the couch instead. I will still post challenges, but I'll be playing catch-up for a while, so your continued patience will be most appreciated!

Yesterday's post provided you with a quick overview of how I created the collage charms - following is a more detailed step-by-step outline.

Challenge No. 2: Collage Charms

Anyone who knows me realizes that I’m all about making art accessible for EVERYONE. Due to my back issues, I recently got a crash course in “accessible art” – despite my looming art charm swap deadline, I was stuck on the couch for two weeks, icing my back, unable to walk/stand/move as I usually I figured out a way to ice my back AND finish my charms.

The key to “accessible art” is thinking ahead – figure out what you need to have at your fingertips, plan for the next step, and have a couple of paper towels (or perhaps an entire roll?) on hand for disaster management.

The reverse side of one of my completed Collage art charms.
For the box:
  • two 8.5 x 11 sheets of completed Mixed Media Paper
  • one 8.5 x 11 piece of cereal-box-type cardboard
  • paper punch, about 1” in diameter – I used a circle punch, but you could try other shapes too
  • white glue or a glue stick (I used my trusty UHU glue stick so I could work sitting on the couch)
  • waxed paper and cardboard rectangle on which to place glued charms for drying
  • a very heavy book
  • embellishments (I used punched flowers and snippets of text)
  • scissors
  • silver Caran d’Ache wax pastel (NOT the water-soluble type!) or MicroGlaze, if you’re using inkjet-printed text or images
  • paint pen or opaque pigment ink pad to edge charms with (I used a white pearl color)
  • Ranger Stickles (or your favorite glitter glue)
  • your sealer of choice (I used Krylon’s Triple Thick Clear Glaze on the front [text side] of my charms, and brushed Diamond Glaze on the edges and back side) and a brush, if need be
  • eyelets, setter, hammer, block on which to hammer, and hole punch which matches eyelet size
  • jump rings and pliers
My pile of almost-finished collage charms
The Challenge:
  1. Punch or cut shapes from your Mixed Media Paper and cereal-box-type cardboard.
  2. Glue Mixed Media Paper shapes to both sides of your cardboard shape.
  3. Place glued shapes between two layers of waxed paper, and put your very heavy book on top. This will press the shapes together as the glue dries.
  4. Embellish either side of your charm with punched flowers, text, or something else. Make sure things are glued down well, and allow to dry.
  5. Seal inkjet-printed text/images with either MicroGlaze or a scribble of a wax pastel in a pale color. The wax pastel helps to tone down the bright white paper as well.
  6. Add tiny squirts of glitter glue to further embellish. I used little dots of purple Stickles in the centers of my flower embellishments. Allow to dry.
  7. Ink edges of charm with opaque pigment ink or a paint pen. Allow to dry.
  8. Seal all sides of charm well. I used Krylon’s Triple Thick Clear Glaze on the text side of my charms, and Diamond Glaze on the edges and backs of my charms. I would have used the Krylon for both sides of the charms, except the label says “do not use in extreme humidity” and it’s been pretty wet here lately, so that was a no-go. Looking at the finished charms, I honestly cannot detect a difference in the finish between the Krylon TTCG and the Diamond Glaze. FWIW, I will be posting a more detailed review of the Krylon in the near future.
  9. Locate the top center of your charm, and punch or drill a hole which will correspond to the size of eyelets you’re using.
  10. Add and set eyelets.
  11. Add a jump ring and you’re done!
Digging through my embellishments, I came across a few different colors of eyelets and wanted to see how the charms look with the different color eyelets...meh, the colors are OK, but my favorite is still the silver. What do you think?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Sealers: Krylon Preserve It! Matte (digital photo & paper protectant) & my Collage Charms

The very small spray can of Matte Preserve It!
In my ongoing quest to find a sealer I can be happy with, I bought a small spray can of Krylon's Preserve It! Matte spray finish from my favorite art stamp store Art 'n' Soul, and gave it a shot.

The art charms I've posted here are my Asian-inspired paper charms for the Art Charms Yahoo Group January/February 2011 swap. I began with two sheets of Mixed Media Paper, then I punched circles with my 1" circle punch, and glued to both sides of a circle punched from cereal-box-type-cardboard. Punched flowers created with mixed media paper and embellished with Ranger Stickles add a little style, and for a finishing touch, I added a tiny phrase to one side of each charm. Rather than using MicroGlaze (BTW, a great online source for MicroGlaze is SkyBluePink) to seal my inkjet-printed words, I decided to try something new - I scribbled lightly over them with my Caran d'Ache wax artist's crayon in silver.

One of the nearly-completed still-unsealed art charms, ready to have its edges rolled on a shimmery white pigment ink pad.

Two art charms, sealed with Krylon's Preserve It! Matte spray.

An art charm sealed with Krylon's Preserve It! Matte - notice the not-quite-shiny, more like "satin" finish.

For comparison: an art charm sealed with Diamond Glaze - notice the shiny finish.
OK, so this is all well and does this stuff stand up to water?

I conducted another of my not-so-scientific-but-still-kind-of-cool water tests, using a clear plastic tray that some dried mushrooms came in. I used the tray to hold my two paper charms while I sprayed the Krylon Preserve It! Matte on the charms, and as you can see, there was plenty of overspray. FYI, I sprayed quite heavily...probably not the best practice, but it worked OK here.
I put a few drops of water into a couple of the wells of the tray, and allowed the whole thing to set for the afternoon.
After I let it set a good long time, I dumped out the water and dabbed the wells dry with a towel...and found no change in the appearance of the spray finish, as compared to other parts of the tray that did not sit under water.

Based on this result, I feel fairly confident that most artwork sealed with Krylon's Preserve It! Matte spray finish will be reasonably water-resistant, though, as always, your mileage may vary.

Check out the different finish texture (more "pebbly" and "rough") on the plastic tray as compared with the "satiny" art charm posted above - I don't know that this really means anything, but I thought it might be of interest to someone.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

One World One Heart 2011

EDIT: 2.21.11 - WINNERS:
Comment No. 158, Cat & Cricket won the vintage text pendant
Comment No. 26, Jacque4u2c won the Asian charm
Comment No. 86, Antonella won the lampwork heart pendant
Comment No. 8, Donna won the green fractal swirl bead
Comment No. 143, Stephanie won the peony Scrabble tile

To everyone: Thank you so much for participating, and for leaving such fantastic comments. I really REALLY appreciate them all - you've ALL given me greater confidence in my work and designs. I know that when I'm feeling stuck and bummed out, I will return to these wonderful comments again and again, so THANK YOU!!!

Lisa's got another project cooked up for 2012, which I WILL be participating in (barring disaster, LOL). Here are the details.

EDIT: 2.17.11: THANK YOU to everyone who has visited my blog and left a comment! You are the BEST!!! This OWOH thing has been a blast - I've really enjoyed cruising the Net for fun new blogs to stalk follow, and I'll be checking the OWOH list to find all of the blogs I didn't get a chance to visit during OWOH. Huge thanks and a giant pitcher of virtual margaritas to Lisa Swifka for putting this event together AND for planning something new for 2012 - count me in for sure!!!

SO WHO WON??? I just arrived home from the Hungry for the Arts show - had a great time, and I think/hope/pray they raised a few bucks for the GRUB program (An Olympia grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to nourishing a strong community by empowering people and growing good food.) - went to Random Number Generator Thingie ( and got five I have to figure out which posts those numbers correlate with, since Blogger doesn't have a comment numbering system (that I can figure out at this point). The numbers generated are 158, 26, 86, 8, and 143 - tomorrow morning, when I have more sleep and caffeine in my body, I will figure out whose comments these numbers go with, and will contact the lucky winners tomorrow.

EDIT: 2.4.11 - This OWOH thing is turning out to be so much fun that I've decided to give away a total of FIVE door prizes, instead of just one! Scroll to the bottom to see the additional prizes.

Greetings and welcome to my blog! I am Christine Hansen, and I'm a hot glass and mixed media artist. My work is centered around my torch-worked glass beads and mixed media art charms, which I combine in my mixed media art jewelry. I'm also a writer - my first book is Making Mixed Media Art Charms & Jewelry, which I co-wrote with my dear friend Peg Krzyzewski.

I live in Washington state, on the south end of Puget Sound, and I share my home with my sweet husband Jerry, our two kids Emily & Archer, and our small pack of retired racing greyhounds, Ivy, Sam, & Rufus.

Color and texture define my work, a bright and cheerful counterpoint to the dreary skies of winter in the Pacific Northwest. I delight in combining unusual elements for unexpected results, and am constantly dreaming up new ways to play with color and form.
As part of the One World One Heart blog-hop, I am offering one of my mixed media art charm pendants as a door prize, open to all active bloggers, worldwide. EDIT: I'm offering a total of FIVE door prizes. All you need to do is leave a comment responding to this post - do be sure to include your blog addy so I can check out YOUR blog, and contact you, should you be one of the five lucky winners. The winners will be selected on February 17, 2011.
This mixed media art charm pendant features vintage French text collaged onto a long narrow wooden bicone bead, and coated with a thick layer of two-part resin. I then wrapped the bead with annealed black steel wire (my new FAVORITE wire!) and added one of my small lampwork beads as a dangle. The completed art charm pendant measures just about 2-1/4" long.

EDIT: Here are pics of the additional four door prizes - enjoy, don't forget to post your comment, and good luck!

One of my newest mixed media art charms.

One of my lampwork lacy heart pendants.

One of my Fractal Swirl beads in my MOST FAVORITEST COLOR EVER, Vetrofond's ODD (e.g. rare, will probably never be on this planet again) Lemongrass Green.
One of my Scrabble tile art charms - this one has one of my photos on the front, and a swirl (no letter) on the back, both sides under two-part resin.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Love Drop (recap of #1, and details on #2)

The first Love Drop is now complete, and Jill & her family are getting settled in their new home. The Love Drop Team raised over $2,500 and boxes after boxes of goods and items to help Jill and her family get through a hard time in their lives (homelessness & financial worries). We did this in one month. More than 400 people came together and gave a few bucks each to impact one family's life. If you participated in this, THANK YOU!

Nate & J$ put together a great video of the Love Drop, so we can all enjoy watching this incredible event! Jill & kids - sending oodles of love & light your way, to help smooth the path ahead. Wanna get to know Jill a little more? Check her blog out here.
This month we start all over again and circle around 2 beautiful kids with severe autism -- Ethan & Alex. Our goal is to raise $13,000 so we can get them a highly trained service dog. And if possible, two iPads so they can speak again (they can't even say "I love you" to their mom -- these iPads allow them to get their voice back).

Here are 3 ways you can help:
  1. Join the team - This is the best way to help out, and all it takes is $1.00.
  2. Join our blogger network - Blog about our Love Drops each month like I am :) It's easy, it's rewarding, and it REALLY helps spread the word (which in turn helps our families). Love Drop will give you all the content you need.
  3. Give a gift or provide a service - Gift cards (iTunes would be great!), two iPads (so we can help the boys speak again!), and anything else you think could help out.