Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Feminis alert.

I know that it doesn't seem like I am much of a feminist. But, oh boy howdy, I am. Some have called me a radical feminist and I am okay with that.
It comes from having been surrounded by strong women, watching some of them survive abusive relationships. It comes from being in an abusive friendship or two. It comes from watching on of my best friends destroyed by emotional abuse he simply wasn't strong enough to walk away from. It comes from seeing an acquaintance black and blue because she couldn't give her abuser what he wanted after her surgery.
So today, I start volunteering at with an action group to help strengthen access to health care for women (ALL HEALTH CARE). Today, I wrote letters to politicians asking why they behaved the way they did, against women.
And today I share a blog link with you. I hope you will read it. The author speaks of what happens when women have an emotional response. The shutting down, the quieting of our voices. It is a very good read. It gave me a better understanding of why I felt insignificant when my abusive friend would belittle me in front of others. I was crazy, or overreacting because "it is just a joke".
I know I will be making sure I don't say things like that to others. I know when others tell me I am over-reacting I will respond with "NO I am just reacting." My feelings, my words matter. And so do yours.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

No pictures please

We are in mourning. Last Thursday we had to put our 14 year old lovable grumpy old man (cat) down. He has been battling cancer and it finally was just too much for him. He had lost a pound of weight in a month.

We had had him since he was a stray little kitten, he came home with us in a toy pet carrier! He was grumpy and hated people. Some more than others. But he protected us. If one of use was ill, he would lie with us. He made the rounds every night to make sure we were okay.

So, rest in peace, Pancake. I hope you are happy in the catnip bed. You will be loved for ever.

Friday, August 12, 2011

And then she has another idea.

And I have been pretty much beyond busy. Gardening, making my own cleaning supplies, working on being an herbalist (or a potions master, I haven't decided). For example, today I made a double batch of biscotti, finished a basil tincture, and a fever few one, made 5 gallons of laundry soap, 6 loads of laundry and then will be heading out to the farm to help a friend. And I still managed to blog and do three hours of homework.

But the big news is that I am planning on starting a line of gourmet biscotti. For mail order sales... I think. Perhaps a couple of local vegan restaurants. I need taste testers and a few months of experimenting. But after that, hopefully in time for Christmas, I shall be ready to launch. 

So, if you would like to be a taste tester, please let me know. I will be able to ship anywhere in the U.S. for the testing phase. (The actually details of world shipping I will need to look into.) 

So, yet again, another change and another adventure. This one will be yummy!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

too long

So, this week has been just too long. Between work and class and getting out to the farm, I am just beat. I had wanted to spend time today in the studio finishing up some things that have been requested of me. But I think I just need to shut down my brain for a bit. Thankfully Netflix is now streaming all of the Star Treks, so my little brain can just go nerd out on the awesome that is the Trekking Universe.

Part of my struggle this week is that I am getting conflicting messaged from the universe at large. On the one hand I am being told that it is clearly time to move on from one project. The people involved in the project have slipped into some pretty backhanded behaviors and I just don't play games when it comes to getting the grownup stuff done. Particularly when I have requested what I need from others involved in this project. But... I can't actually move on from it until other things happen. And I am trying to make them happen. Trying to find the person to fill my shoes, trying to line up the resources that will be needed. At each turn, I feel I am being thwarted. And that is making it all feel so crazy. How do you help people that fight back?

Looking for the answers is tiring, but I am looking every day. I am up and out and doing the work that needs to be done. Thankfully I have a pretty intense support group. A group that has been very helpful about teaching me to ask for help when I need it, and then actually following through by helping me. Helping me by asking what I need and then doing that. Amazing.

I just need to trust that it will all work out the way it is supposed too. And that the people who are around me will do what they need to do. I have a pretty great group of readers, too, who will understand for the most part why the extra drama is just so silly to me. I am shooting for being on to post up lots of pictures in the next month or so of things I have been working on.

That and clearing out any more drama. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New cards

Here are two great cards. Why are they great? They are easy and clean and they use scraps. Additionally, they are easily modifiable to any sort of event. I should really be in the studio making many more. Instead, I am watching stuff on Netflix and doing homework.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I have new pets!

And they are too cute.
Turns out these little girls will help keep pests down in the garden and make excellent compost. The little white one is a Batam Silkie and the larger orange one is an Araucana (we think). One will lay little pink eggs ( really like half size eggs) and the other will lay green eggs. No, I won't be eating either the chickens or the eggs. Mostly, we just really wanted chickens. 
Let me tell you that nothing beats chicken t.v. for entertainment. They are so fun to watch.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

That is it: We are done

There will be no more grade school at this house!

I was going to post a longer post. But the more I wrote the more political it became and now is not the time for that.

Now is the time to look at my youngest being thrilled that she is done with grade school and is going to be getting very nervous about middle school!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

the garden is in

Well mostly. And it is looking good. Vyapti made structures so we can play with vertical gardening. Right now we have beans, and zucchini, corn, and tomatoes, and lettuce. There will also be a new herb garden going in, in a couple of weeks. 

He told me we had over 1,000 starts. We will be giving away a bunch. But it is nice knowing we can do all that in our tiny space.
There is a bunch more to do, of course. It is just nice to be able to share a bit of it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

A little pimpin"

I need to tell you about this jewelry maker. I met her over the weekend and she is great. The jewelry is beautiful and different. Please send her some business.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

More food.

I haven't been in the studio much. Although I am working on a painting. That aside, I am having  people over for the Season premiere of Doctor Who. We will be having vegan fish fingers and custard, as well as Jammy Dodger. My woefully American, never actually had any, and am relying on information from the internet, version of Jammy Dodgers.

These lovelies are rich shortbread (with flax seed egg substitute) and plum jam. Made them last night and am hoping they make it until the people show up for the party.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Herbal Awesome

I am going back to school. That is to say, I am taking a night class that will help me check off a huge goal of mine. After 150+ hours of late nights and Saturdays, I will be a medicinal herbalist. This is something that I have been stewing about for months. And in all reality something that has been a part of my life in some context for years. When I was able to find a class that is hands on, with a teacher that makes me laugh and learn, I was sold.
I am as over the moon with excitement as a school girl with a crush, and yes I know what that looks like.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

lemon and lemon and blueberry

I whipped up vanilla cupcakes from VCTOTW and added lemon and lime rind (rind from one of each) to the soy milk mix. Bake as normal. I then used the juice from the lime and lemon and two bags of frozen berries (blueberry and a bit of left over other berries) to start a "compote". I added 2 cups of sugar and some vanilla extract. I let this cook for about an hour. Then I added some water (a cup or so, I didn't measure) and two tablespoons of cornstarch to help thicken, boil for 10 minutes, cool. I cut holes in to the cupcakes and there you go. A lovely welcome to spring!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cake Pops!

Easy easy easy!
Vanilla cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, baked in cake pans. Some vanilla frosting from the same. Tear up the cake into small bits, mix with frosting, chill. Melt chocolate chips with vegan shortening (1 tablespoon shortening to 6 oz chocolate) in a double broiler. Roll cake mix into balls, roll in chocolate and decorate. Use the lollipop sticks (got mine at Micheal's Crafts) if you want, or just place them on a baking sheet and let the chocolate set in the fridge.
The youngest loved helping decorate these. Which made it a nice spring break project.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Maple Butter Cream

I baked for the first time in quiet a while. The result was tasty. Simple vanilla cupcakes and even simpler Maple Frosting. The frosting is honestly just softened Earth Balance margarine, powdered sugar and maple syrup (1 cup, 3-4 cups, and 1/4 cup respectively). That is it. It is similar in flavor to a doughnut.

We have all been sick, so I am hoping to catch up with everything this week. We will see how much actual energy I have. I have been down with an inner ear issue, so standing is tricky at best. There is just so much to take photos of around here!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another yard project

Yep, they never end. We had torn up ivy and are going to plant some beans and zukes and melons back there instead. However, because of the semi-circle of retaining wall just yanking out the ivy left the area looking unfinished. Can't have that. So we built a single layer retaining wall. The twist, because you know I need a twist, is that every other paver, we flipped. They had had hollows in them to keep the weight down and I thought what a great little planter for annuals. Below is the result.
The pavers are just hiney sized and will add some fun seating. It was a lot of work, but very worth it. And I think, aside from our labor it was only about $21, not including the plants.

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's hip to be not square...

I love this page. I had seen an old painting at an antique store (on the day I bought that mirror) that was turned on its side.
That design idea had stayed with me for a while and ended up being this page. The pictures were taken on a warm day in January. They were take on the timer and I think I was taking 5 shots in ten seconds. The rest was left over letters that I embossed and a sheet of patterned paper that lent itself well to the look. A bit of glitter and there you have it. 

Sure it won't look as great in an album, but I did design it so it could be read turned square. It does look fabulous hanging in the entry way though!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A sneak peek

We are busily working on getting the garden blog ready for consumption. In the mean time we are also busily working on that garden.

This weekend we built a greenhouse. It is 7x9 feet, which I am pretty certain is larger than a studio apartment I once had (love that apartment). I will only post teaser pictures, because the garden blog will have all the instructions and other information. Be assured that this was an easy project and not that expensive. It is also scalable, so it can be smaller or larger depending on your situation.
And I am fully aware of how messy that yard is. I am working on it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Quick Craft

This is a mirror that I picked up for a couple of dollars at a local antique store. It is made form that rough sort of cement-y stuff and while it is a great color for the yard (particularly the rock garden) it certainly is bland. I have buckets of glitter and glitter glue, as you can imagine, and found that with a couple of coats you can dress up about anything. 

Seal it with some sort of acrylic sealent and there you be. A quick and very inexpensive addition to match your place. Thrift stores and garage sales will always have something that you can make fit.

I am off to back some banana bread, and maybe some caramal candies, and to sew up a tote. And if the weather holds to photograph the yard for the new blog. That is right, we are doing a new blog. Our Newbie Garden is not quite ready for you yet. But give us a bit of time. The before pictures will be up soon and I look forward to sharing that with you too!

Also, feel free to check out my other blog Urban Tao. It is spiritual in purpose, but not religious. 

Now, have a fantastic weekend

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Preparation clears the way

As in, when I can't think of which new project to start or what I want to do next, I prepare. I put glitter on flowers that will get used eventually, I paint chipboard in at least a base coat, I make fabric buttons. The key is to get in that studio and make something. It doesn't need a home or a specific place just yet. It does mean that when I am ready to work, I have supplies. I don't need to wait for anything to dry. At the very worst of a bit of creative block, it can unblock you and get you working on bigger projects.

 This sweet little card is made from left over stickers. Almost entirely. I just made a vellum sun and coated it in glitter. Update old supplies by add and/or subtracting something from them. Take the supply and put it into a new context.

Monday, February 14, 2011

So much to post...

Oh, let's see... I made three scrappages, and a couple of cards this weekend. We tore up the ivy that made me crazy all of last year. Hoping to put in berries there at some point this spring. We bought supplies for the greenhouse and cleaned up the work area. In writing it appears to be a much more productive weekend than it felt. I wanted to play with making candies. Instead, I played with glitter. Which is just fine with me.
This page is just simple, simple, simple. Left over rick-rack and hem tape (can you have too much of either in your stash?), some of my awesome buttons and ancient letters from a tacky letter pack. I am enjoying the self-imposed challenge of using all my old stuff. For me, it has pushed me into a place that is more in tune with how I live the rest of my life. I make due with what I have, and I recycle and reuse as much as possible. But in scrapping, I find myself buying even when I don't need too. By not allowing purchases, I am forcing myself to use things that have sat in drawers for years (not even kidding). The results are simple, timeless, and very me. Feels very good!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Portland is always a good time.

So much so that we plan on moving there some time in the future. But for now we settle for trips up when we can. This past weekend we headed up and hit the Portland Art Museum, the Paradox cafe, and VegeThai. 
 I have to say that the exhibit "Safety in Numbers; Images of African American Identity and Community" was fantastic. As my major was museum studies, I always critique how an exhibit is done. Sometimes, I even care what it has to say (joking). This was well laid out and made lovely sense. The story it told was powerful.

The girls enjoyed the food. And Mo made a dinosaur out of tinfoil. We have decided that the dinosaur should have his own story told in pictures. This, however, should be her project, and because she is 13, it won't happen.

Monday, February 7, 2011

And again with the cards

This fun western card is made from scraps of paper from another project, an ancient sticker and a fabric covered button. Can't have too many fabric covered buttons.
I have several things that just need photos taken of them and then I will swamp you with fun stuff.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

In the yard

I had to get out in the yard today. It was too lovely not to. And while cleaning one of the veggie beds I found three little lady bugs. 
Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Saturday, $22, and 45 minutes

This is a project that I have been stewing about for a while. Today I just did it.
This wall is 8 feet 6 inches across. It is in the entry hall of my house. And it was poorly used for the whole time we have lived here. The hall itself is very narrow and on the wall opposite there is my hall table. 

I picked up two packages of curtain clips, the ones on the rings that look like alligator clips, three dowls 4 feet long, and a package of mug hugs, like you would screw into your kitchen cabinets. Nothing had to be too heavy duty, as all it is intended to do is hold paper and small canvases. I will need another package of clips. The two I bought only had a total of 14 clips. And the doweling will be getting painted when the weather is nicer. Everything is in pewter.

The hardest part was making sure every thing was level. And you don't need any tools aside from a measuring tape and a level is handy. A few twists of the wrist and I have what you see below. A wall full of my scrap pages that can change on a whim. All on the cheap and all looking good.

Next up... a light box solution, I hope.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Two fold post

This is a two-fold post. 

Firstly, I really want a reader to know that she has support to face the future. I know what she is going through, and there are people who can help. (Please feel free to contact me, I know you know how and where). Abuse should never be tolerated, and neither should any form of hate. When the two are combined they create what I can only call evil. 

Secondly, I need to post another card. Just to be able to keep up. I have found that letting go of making theme cards really sparked a creativity in me that I am pleased with. The card above is  blank on the inside, and made from a silk leaf and old tags.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 22 2011

Another installment of fill the card larder. This one is a birthday card made from fantastic recipe folders I found at the store. I think that I got 50 for a buck. I tea stained them. Added ribbon, a flower and a vintage button. And there you go.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19th 2011

It was brought to my attention this weekend that I am out of stash cards. So I challenged myself today to make several with nothing but what I had on hand. I have one drying, one completed, and two getting there. All in less than an hour of work. I will be posting them through out the week. The one above is the finished one. I used leftover lace, a really old sentiment and some paper flowers that are too cute to keep hidden away.