Wednesday, December 30, 2009

No Cookies for You!

Come back next year!
I had attempted to make a veganized version of some delish looking Mocha Meringues. These, of course, would have required a substitute for egg whites. I did some research and found... Apricots. That's right, apricots, dried. 
We bought dried apricots, I soaked them over night, per the instructions. I blended them, I attempted to whip them. In the end, what I ended up with, after I added all the other ingredients, was a chocolaty  bowl of goo, that would not have baked. It was just too runny and messy.
I will head back to the egg white board this weekend.
Wish me luck.
P.S. This stunning tea set was one of my holiday presents. My hubby rocks!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A new project

I have this amazing old cookie cookbook that has been around my house so long I don't even remember where i got it. It was written in '66 (it is the Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies). I have decided to try and veganize as many of the recipes as I can. This could get interesting as many of the recipes call for evaporated milk and pudding mixes and so on and so on. I think this will be a fun adventure and I started today.

Coconut Diamonds: (I will present my notes and changes at the end)
6 tablespoons Earth Balance Margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons ground flax seed mixed with 4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flaked coconut

Grease an 8x8 pan ( at the least grease the sides!)
Cream together butter, sugar, and salt. Stir in flour(1 cup amount). Pat onto bottom of 8x8 pan. Bake at 350degress for 15 minutes or till lightly browned.

Meanwhile, beat flax seed and water, add vanilla. Gradually add brown sugar, beating until just blended. Add flour and salt. Stir in coconut. Spread over baked layer. Bake about 20 minutes longer or until toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle more coconut over the top, reduce oven to 200 degrees and bake another 5 minutes, until the top coconut is lightly browned. Cool, cut into diamonds (although really squares are pretty cool too).

Notes: The flax seed replaces 2 eggs. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup of walnuts, but my family hates walnuts. And the recipe doesn't need them. It would be lovely with some orange zest and extract. I mean lovely!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gifts and treats

It was Christmas office parties for both Vyapti and I this week. He made some delicious eggnog bread for his employees. I wrapped up the loaves and attached ornaments from the weekend. The darling little packets were a big hit. The bread is to die for.

I made some very tasty little gingerbread cupcakes (Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, of course!). Shown here dressed and undressed (lemon butter cream frosting. 


Sunday, December 13, 2009


Both the hubby and I have work parties tomorrow. I volunteered to bring some yummy foods (more about that later in the week). But I just wanted to do something a little more. It was a bit last minute. And I did have a heck of a time figuring out what I was going to do on such short notice. 

I love what I decided on though. Heart ornaments that will be adapted over the holidays for Valentines day. 

Have a great week.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Better Late...

As you know we did not have a traditional Thanksgiving. I was ready to launch right into the holiday season. The day after, the tree was up and there are Santa's everywhere. 
But I did make charming cupcakes for Thanksgiving munchies. They are from my favorite cookbook "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World". These were Margarita Cupcakes that were rich and limey. Take a moment to drool.

Also, just a note. I did open a new facebook account. It is under the same name as the old one, but has a pic of me laughing as the profile pick. Just in case you care!

I have lots and lots of great pics to sort through and some projects to post. I hope to get to them very soon.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

A late post

My house is all done up for Christmas. Most of my shopping is started (if not done). And tonight, I am sore. I fell decorating the dining room last night and am paying for it. So please enjoy a picture of my lovely pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving, while I heal.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I enjoy Thanksgiving, don't get me wrong. I like the food (very non-traditional for my clan), I love that the day after means the start of the winter holiday phase. 

But the last couple of years I have been questioning Thanksgiving. It seems odd to me to choose one day to be thankful. And even odder to have a day to "celebrate" the American Dream. Especially in this day and age. Let me note here that I don't really buy into the concept of the American Dream as it seems to be interpreted these days. What I see is a nation of people who feel entitled. I can't imagine that the founding families felt that way. They didn't believe that they were owed anything but what they worked for. 

I think it is the little things that bug me. Little things like being angry that gas prices are going up (limited resource) or expecting something more then what was paid for or agreed upon, or buying things and using them and returning them (a sadly very common occurrence that I noticed when I worked retail). It is hard to explain, but I would wager every one knows someone who feels perpetually entitled.

I feel as though we have forgotten that "rights" are actually responsibilities. And that "rights" are just gifts that our culture allows us to have. I believe that my ability to complain about this is a gift that my government could take away and that the fact that I belong to no one is a gift as well. I also believe that we would go much further as a species if we could take a moment and remember that.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I will be honest... it has been a tough week. So I think that part of my assignment in gratitude will be to sit outside and ground myself. Listen to what the earth has to say. Let the ground tell me what path to take.

At night, I sleep with my window open and I can hear all sorts of night noises, not all of which are urban related. I can hear the pine cones fall from the tall pine in the backyard. In the morning I can see the squirrels scavenging the seeds from that gift. It is fall here, but we are still growing. It does not get cold enough yet to damage the onions and garlic. There is frost on the car windows but not really anywhere else.

I will spend time in the garden, making what things wish to be made. And I will let the earth better guide my path by listening to what she has to say.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A new Doll

I was actually disappointed in the photos that I took of this sort of Christmas-y doll. I just don't feel they capture her essence. But I did make her with a matching brooch and hope to have her on-line this week.

I am still having computer issues, amongst some other frustrations that just seem to be sapping my strength. I hate that. I really don't like when I feel like I can't make head way. And, isn't it always that time when the same thing is going one with everyone you know?
But enough whining, I just need to get it together and get the house ready for Christmas. This coming weekend I plan on making a centerpiece for the dining area table. The girls will help. So stay tuned for that. 


Thursday, November 12, 2009

I am a brave girl

BeforeBefore I get into why I am a brave girl, I want to let you all know that I am having severe computer issues. My laptop died. And that is making everything difficult. I can't get onto Facebook when I get ahold of a computer to use. I therefore am not at all certain if the blog will be something that continues to get updated in anything like a regular manner. Just a bit of a warning. 

Now, I was brave! Super duper brave. I did something that I have wanted to do for many many years. I got a tattoo. Just a small one on my foot.

I have wanted to get inked for probably twenty years, but haven't because I am a chicken. I hate pain and am so terrified of it. And I was never sure what I would want for the rest of my life. I get hennaed frequently, because it is ever-changing art. But a tattoo is forever. 

When I was doodling at work, quite a while back while thinking about personal mythology and personal symbolism I came up with my personal symbol. It is an open ended infinity symbol with a dot in the upper end. To me it represents a Ganesh in a boiled down form. The simplest form of the remover of obstacles, wrapped up in forever. When I doodled this, I knew immediately that this is what I wanted and I knew that it had to be on my foot. 

It didn't hurt nearly as badly as I thought it would and the tattoo is more then worth it. Chandra is a genius. So, now I just need to get my tramp stamp.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Above is a pic of Sister all decked out in her Halloween makeup. She was a re-imagination of a anime/Eighties something. All of her makeup comes from GlitterSniffer Cosmetics. Hands down the best cruelty free makeup out there. The colors will freak you out in the best way. She has a new toxic green that makes me smile every time I see it.

Please check her out. If you have a teen or tween or wild side you aren't scared to show, go to GlitterSniffer!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


It is that time of year. The time of year when we seem to naturally turn inward and start thinking about family and traditions. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. They all have traditions that we use to help teach our children the things that we want them to learn. Or traditions that are just really fun.

Growing up, we didn't have very much money. At all. But my mother could cook. She had an imagination that resulted in several fun yearly projects (and a few disasters, like the horseradish inident that sent a friend into labor). 

One of the things that we looked forward to was the giant face cookies. They were simple sugar cookies that were painstakingly rolled out, then decorated to look like smiley faces. Each cookie filled a cookie sheet, and took about half a batch of cookie dough. And they took days to eat. Days. 

In the above photo are me, my brother and my little sister. And our lovely 1960's wallpaper. This photo was taken in about 1979 or 1980, possibly earlier. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

All I want for Christmas

is "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar". 

I have "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" and use it all the time. Now, I want cookies. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November 5th 2009

First of all, Happy Birthday to my friend Dani! I hope that this coming year is better then anything you could hope for. 

Now, on to business, such as it is. I redid the pumpkin fabric. It was sitting on the stove cooling. I should have told Vyapti what was going on, but now the fabric is sitting in the compost bin. I will try again this weekend, I hope. I did learn that i want the smaller pumpkins and I want very little water. I let it boil and then simmer for a long time. I am just not sure how to set the color. 

I just pulled pumpkin seeds out of the oven. I love pumpkin seeds. I just clean mine and lightly salt them. For me the trick is to let them air dry a bit before I bake them Overnight is usually good. Then into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, stir them up and then 7 more minutes. They won't last the day.

 I will be busy in the studio most of the day, so I should have lots of fun stuff for the next week or so. I hope so. I have wanted to be posting something, even a small post every weekday. But, man that is difficult. I am just not that with it yet. 
Peace and pumpkin seeds

Monday, November 2, 2009

There were lots of little projects

This past weekend was busy. Of course there was Halloween, and shopping for Vypati's birthday, and just general being a grown up stuff. And I did try to get photos of it all.

The one thing that I really wanted to get a picture of, but couldn't (although I will try later this week) is the project I did on a whim. As you know, I make dolls. I am always trying to find a way to make them just a touch more artsy, and individual and so on. While picking through pumpkin guts for the pumpkin seeds (which I love!) I thought "Hey, why not dye fabric with pumpkin". So I did. Sort of. Having never done this before, I didn't do it very well. I used too much water and I don't think that I broke down the pumpkin well enough. 

The result was a very pale yellowy orange. I have lots of pumpkin and they are cheap this time of year so I will keep at it until I figure it out. 

And before we leave, here is my little zombie! She brought home a huge amount of candy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lavender Shortbread

My car died on Tuesday. $500 later it is running again. But I lost two days of getting stuff done. And I feel like I still haven't quite caught up. I had hoped to get the Christmas dolls started. I spent several hours bouncing in and out of the studio. That was frustrating. 

Thursday I did manage to make some delightful Lavender Shortbread. It is a slightly modified recipe from VeganYumYumcom.  I love this link and the instructions. I didn't use Rosewater. And I added some lemon rind (from one lemon). I like the combination of citrus and lavender, but it is a very strong combination. They play well off each other. 

All in all I have a very busy week that was wonderfully productive. Let's see how the weekend shakes out. Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Super fast Hump day post

I spent the weekend making cards. This week will be sort of a showcase of what I do. If there is something that catches your eye, please just let me know. 

These are going up on Etsy and I will be certain to link them all!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A little spice

Vypati has a blog. But you know that already. What you may not know is that he has been getting his food out into the interwebs. He has quite a few regular readers and is promoting his blog through other websites. This includes several "food porn" sites.

This photo is of the jalapeno poppers that were filled with his home made cheese sauce. These are totally vegan and totally amazingly delicious. For those who wonder what vegans eat, check out Vyapti's blog!

Monday, October 26, 2009

An extra card

I thought about just waiting to post this later. But I am so excited about how this card turned out. I really think it is one of the most adorable things I have made in awhile.

A card for Halloween

I have been trying to find a way to stay ahead of the blogging game. For me that means being able to post several days ahead and have pictures to go with them. One of the problems that I have is that I don't always have things to post, and I don't always have time to make something. Of course if I were more organized and better at keeping on task and on track perhaps these things would not be a problem.

Anyway, on that note, I spent the weekend making some cards and doing a mix and match kind of thing. What resulted were several cards to post through out this week while I think of a plan! This may be one of the best ideas that I have had for a while.

And as a side note: I am getting my first tatoo sometime in the next couple of months. I have my design and my artist. Now I am just looking for the nerve.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Butterscotch Cookies

One of the things that I am trying lately is veganizing "traditional" recipes. I grew up using the Better Homes and Gardens cook book. You know the one, with the red checked cover. Now I am looking back to those recipes that I used while I was growing up and asking myself how to make them vegan.

These butterschotch cookies were super simple. Just replace butter with a vegan version of your choosing and use ground flax seed for eggs. These cookies lasted less then a day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Very quick shop update

Below are some pics of the new items in the etsy shop. Remember, if you see something you like but aren't thrilled with the color or the exact style, just use the convo option on etsy. It will connect you right to me. I love making stuff that makes other people happy!

Merry Christmas (or the joys of internet shopping)

I am a Facebook junkie.Thanks to Facebook, I can advocate, protest and connect like never before. And now, thanks to some great Facebook friends, I am Christmas shopping early. has some very fun stuff for the geek on your list. Don't try to tell me that there is no geek on your list, I know you are lying. If there isn't then you are the geek on everybody else's list.Take a peek at the darling little microbs you can buy. I will be sharing the gift of Mad Cow disease this year.

Or how about some Red Shirt Star Trek Cologne. I love the very idea of this. It goes so nicely with the Red Shirt.

Enjoy the early Christmas shopping!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The weather is doing what it does this time of year, here in the Willamette valley. The nights turn chilly, the days cool off, and the mornings are filled with fog. Many of the days are rainy and drizzly (which I love, by the way). This morning I was awakened at 5 am because of a pretty rowdy thunderstorm.

At our house the change in seasons means getting together the winter tea stock. Harvesting the mint plants and hanging them to dry, Vyapti going out and harvesting lavender from a friend, and going to the Kiva market to get the rest of what we need. What started a couple of years ago with me trying to make sure we had pre-made teas that would help comfort you if you had a cold,or if your stomach was upset, has become having well over 20 herbs and spices in nicely labeled containers. I have spent the last couple of days writing up lists of ailments and the corresponding mix to help. This list and a list of herbs and what they work with will be placed in the pantry.

Already, I have had to concoct a mix to help a child that came home from school early with a stomach ailment. This afternoon, my home smelled of chamomile and mint. Somehow, this new home is more conducive to having all of these different things stored away, and it seems to be very welcoming of healing work.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Things that shape us

Sometimes things stick in our subconscious and they stay there buried for years and years and years. I was going through pictures from my childhood and found one of my cousin and I playing dress up.

I love this picture. It is of one of those memories that has always been in my mind. Looking up to my wonderful cousin, who was so amazing. And trust me, nothing has changed, she is still a wonderful role model.

I loved the scratchy dress. It was swishy, and itchy. I remember it smelled old. Not like old bad, just that old smell that holds memories. Someone had worn that dress and flounced around a dance floor. That was the only thing you could do in that dress: FLOUNCE!

Years later, I would get all dolled up to go out and think things like " I just need something over the top" "something vintage." I think it was because of this dress!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Setting aside

What I learned today is sometimes when you put a project away you are not done. I know that sentence is confusing. But I will explain. I worked this past weekend on a piece that was out of the norm for me. It was a pastel and I am still learning to work with them and to be comfortable with them.

I thought that i was done with it, but after setting it aside for a few days I realized that I had approached it all wrong. That meant starting over. Which I did today. Why is this even worthy of a blog post? Because I also learned today that things like that don't just happen in art. They happen in relationships as well.

I have a relationship that I believed was dealt with.I had firmly put it away. What I learned this morning was I had been approaching the problem all wrong.I had been approaching the problem as a problem. Not as an opportunity to think outside the box. Or an opportunity to help others.

I hope that I can look at more parts of my life and ask "Am I seeing this in the way that it should be seen?" A shift in perspective often brings the solutions to situations that you least expected.

That said, below is part of the piece after I shifted perspective.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

OH I suppose I should blog

But I just haven't been doing much in the studio. A few fiddly little things here and there. Really I just mosty have been reading and helping with homework and things like that.
While looking for a picture for Vyapti for his blog (it is Vegan MOFO after all!) I found an old pic from this past summers vacation. I took some interesting shots. This is one of my favorites and now I am excited to try to turn it into a painting or sketch or something.
Perhaps part of the trouble has been that i have not been taking pictures like I should be. I used to take pictures all the time, usually ten to twenty a day, at least three days a week. That is a lot of photos. I haven't been doing that for awhile. Funny how drama will suck that out of you.
And I don't think we take into consideration how the changing of the seasons can affect us as artists either. I tend to want to write more in the fall, and sew more in the summer.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A very special treat

Vyapti went to Portland for a meeting. He brought back treats from SweatPea Bakery! This is a vegan bakery with very yummy treats. I suggest the Pumpkin Biscotti!
Enjoy these pics.

Monday, September 21, 2009

just a quick card

This is my version of a sympathy card. I don't necessarily see death as always something sad. Sometimes we have had time to say our goodbyes. And death is just another part of the journey.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A wedding card

My cousin is getting married. I don't think that I have every made a wedding card before. Maybe one for my brother-in-law, but I don't remember.

I had to this one quickly and had absolutely no idea what to do. Thanks to Papercrafts magazine (from which I more or less totally copied this card) I was saved. There is nothing wrong with lifting an idea here and there. Especially if the end result is you sitting down and doing some creative work. After I finished this card I did a page for me. I haven't scrapped anything for months. So I don't feel too bad about copying the card.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The First Fall Treats


Last night was the first really cool night. And I was laying snuggled in my blankets this morning thinking how glad I was that fall was here. I adore fall. The light is breathtaking, I love cooler days and chilly nights. And I love, love, love the food.

I came home and rummaged a bit, but I found that I was out of quite a bit. Including cupcake liners (how? I have no idea). So I took a recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and turned it into a cake.

And then I had leftover Cinnamon Glaze and couldn't bare to let it go to waste. Littlebit had these lovely Cinnamon Glazed Graham Crackers for snack. She inhaled them.

I am already looking forward to much more fall food.