Wednesday, July 16, 2014

done and dusted...


I have finished my first ever crochet project and I am quite happy with it. This scarf has ended up over 2 metres long and was quite hard to photograph in it's entirety but I am glad I started off with a scarf. That way I got to finish it within a reasonable amount of time while getting the hang of the grannies and learning how to join them as well.


I like that I can wear it now. I like that I finally stuck with trying to get the hang of this crochet caper. (thank you YouTube) I like that I like it now it's finished. As a potter (in another life before becoming chronically ill) and now as a mixed media artist I hardly ever really really like my finished product. I might be liking something while I am working on it then when it is finished I often don't like it. But I like this one. Sure I can see some dodgy bits here and there, mainly tension issues but I am ok with that too.



I have loved the look of brightly crocheted things for a long time and wanted to be able to just do it. As someone without any patience whatsoever, this was difficult so I didn't stick with it long enough for it to click, until recently. I still don't know how I will go with working from patterns (this has been my impatient downfall with knitting) but maybe I can crochet non pattern type things like lots of blankets and scarfs and flowers oh my!

I like the calm mind crochet creates. It is a therapy for me. I have found if I feel anxious or crappy at feeling crappy, it is good for me. It is a meditation. I plan to enjoy the process. Now I have my first project finished and I can wear it, I don't want to feel in a hurry with any other projects I start. I can only crochet small amounts each day or short bursts a few times a day as it does cause me some pain some of the time and if I feel extra unwell on a particular day and foggy brained it is not a good idea to pick up the hook. But, having said that, I already have several things on my "to make" list....

Saturday, July 12, 2014

stitchy love...


I have all my squares joined and have my scarf! yay. I just have the ends to sew in. So many ends! I haven't taken a photo yet but I do like this photo of granny loveliness taken before the squares were joined. I am going to be just a little bit addicted to it I think...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

slowly does it...

Everything is a little slow at the moment, life is a bit of struggle as my health seems to not improve but only get worse. Just by a little each day, but it adds up fast. Another slow thing is the return of my painting and drawing mojo. Slowly returning is fine. It is better than not returning at all. It feels good to be working with my pens and paints again....

Saturday, June 21, 2014

chocolate heaven


Making chocolates is now a favourite and easy thing to do and this chocolate is totally healthy too which is a bonus.

The ingredients are just 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup raw cocao or if you don't have cocao then cocoa will work just as well and then to sweeten add agave or maple syrup to taste. Just melt the oil mix in cocao and agave syrup and then put into muffin cups or spread out on baking paper and add your nuts of choice then eat and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

granny love



I am loving making grannies. I think I may be just a little bit addicted already. However, I am finding it is causing me a lot of pain in my hands and wrists but I will not be defeated. I have had to give up so much over the last 12 years due to Lupus and Fibromyalgia. Each time I have had to give something up (ceramics springs to mind mostly) I can adjust and move on but this time I will keep going with it even if it is very slowly. Chronic illness really sucks as so many of you know too, but we simply must have creative things in our life or we will shrivel up and die.

I don't draw, paint and sew nearly as much as I would like to but I feel wonderful when I manage to get some work done and it is the same now with crochet. I am just trying to keep it real. Keeping it real for what is possible for me to get done in a day. Some days that is hardly anything but on those days I simply dream of getting it done.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

granny a long (finally)



I am feeling quite pleased with myself this week as I have FINALLY, at long last, stuck with crocheting long enough for it to stick in my head and not seep out. I got back onto Youtube and found a tutorial that I liked (there are so many and I advise looking at several until you find one that feels right) AND I did a few rows every day for almost a week so I wouldn't forget. After doing that, I tried a granny.

It took several goes to get one finished but I did it. yay. I still kept stuffing up on my second one and would undo some and start that bit again. At first I thought "this will never work" but now I am actually glad I kept stuffing up and undid bits as that is what has made the right way stick and also has helped me to understand the makeup of the stitches. Even though I am not a brilliant knitter, you still need to understand the structure of the stitch to see where you are if you have to stop suddenly or undo some don't you. Well this has proven to be a great help in crochet too.

I really want to make a blanket but I am just doing grannies at the moment. I am doing one a day. (It really starts to hurt my arms and fingers after one which saddens me) but I am in not hurry I suppose. I may just make a scarf with the first grannies because I am yet to learn how to join them so I think a scarf of grannies would be a good project to start with.

I just may of unearthed the crochet gene Nan and Mum were given after all. I was sure I missed out. I do only wish I had unearthed it sooner but I can only guess I just wasn't ready. I wanted to make beautiful things with all that colour but I just wasn't prepared to put in the time and patience to make it happen.

Of course there are zillions of more complicated grannies to make but I am happy with this basic one for now. I would like to learn some flowers too because I love that look of the basic granny with a flower in a different colour on it.

I think I just may be addicted already....

I don't blog a lot anymore but every time I do, something has changed with Blogger. I now have figured out the paragraph change thingy aarrgghhhh

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rich Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate and Coconut Ganache - yum

I made this cake for Mother's Day and it was sooo delicious. A rich recipe that is easy to make. The recipe came from WhyVeg.com A website with so many tasty but simple recipes. My kind of cooking. Ingredients For the cake 1 cup of plain flour ¼ cup of cocoa 1 cup of sugar 1 teaspoon of baking soda 1 teaspoon of baking powder ½ teaspoon of salt 1/3 cup of oil (I used Almond Oil) 1 cup of rice milk For the Ganache 2/3 cups of coconut cream 120 grams of icing sugar ½ cup of cocoa 150 grams of dark chocolate. Must be at least 70% cocoa (try Lindt) Directions Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. line a cake tin with baking paper. This is a really important step because it always sticks as it is such a wet fudgy consistency. Sift all the dry ingredients (cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt) in a large bowl and stir to combine. Whisk all the wet ingredients (oil, milk) together. Put the dry ingredients into the wet and gently fold them through until well combined. Pop in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The time will vary depending on your oven. You are looking for a cake where the top is not wobbly, the sides have come away from the edge of the cake tin and a bamboo skewer comes out clean. Once cooked, remove and allow to cool. Make your icing once your cake is almost cooled, out of its tin and on a serving plate. Sift the dry ingredients (icing sugar, cocoa) into a bowl. Melt the chocolate. While the chocolate is melting put the coconut cream into a small pot and gently heat. You don’t want to boil it. You just want to bring it up to a nice warm temperature. Once the chocolate is melted quickly whisk it into the warm coconut cream until well combined. Add the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined and scrape out onto the cake. Distribute evenly. There is PLENTY so it will be lovely and thick. This cake is much easier to slice if you make and ice it the day before and refrigerate it over night. Just make sure you pull it out a couple of hours before you serve it so the ganache is nice and soft. A hot knife will really make a difference in slicing it. If you want whipped coconut cream with it all you need to do is keep the can of cream in the fridge for at least 12 hours and then when opened scoop off the cream as it will separate from the water content. Whip as usual and putting in the fridge helps it firm up even more then serve. If you like your cream sweet add a little sugar before beating and then enjoy!! Check out WHYVEG.com (I have tried to link it but it is not working argh) It is well worth a look (I couldn't even keep the paragraphs in this post I don't know if it is me or Blogger)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Vegan Feminist Agitator: In Our Capacity to Suffer, We Are All the Same...

A FABULOUS post really worth reading



Vegan Feminist Agitator: In Our Capacity to Suffer, We Are All the Same...: Recently, I had a tooth abscess. As you can see, my life is as shot through with sexy glamor and sparkling razzle-dazzle as a Bob Fosse da...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

guilt free cake

I had to share this yummy guilt free cake with you. It is actually only one of three that The Eldest and I shared the other day. They came from a fabulous place in Launceston called Garden of Vegan. It has THE most amazing Vegan food and the cakes and slices are to die for. As they are all vegan they are all made from plant based ingredients. No animal fats like cream, cheese or eggs or butter. This is a single serve size and every time The Eldest is home from Uni she will go in and get us some to share. I could do it myself at anytime but I actually don't think about and then it is more of a treat every now and then anyway. The other two cakes were Choc Cheesecake and Choc Lemon Cheesecake and they were eaten before I took a photo for the blog. (I got a quick one for Instagram). This one was Neapolitan, The base is usually made from walnuts and dates and sometimes almonds. The sweetener is usually agave. The best part is you would not even stop to think about this being raw and vegan if you are not vegan, you just think it's delicious. If you get the chance to try some raw treats please try them whether you are vegan or not. They are fabulous and for everyone and you cannot stop at one. So many places are catering for this market now thankfully. There are also so many raw vegan recipes around and they really are quite simple to make so I am hoping to have a go at them once I buy a new Food Processor and I am not sure when that will be, but I am looking forward to it...mmm...cheesecake everyday PS Blogger seems to of changed stuff AGAIN and I can't seem to get this to form paragraphs, sorry if it is hard to read aarrrggghhhh.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

chocolate cake and Autumn

I have made a big slab of chewy chocolate cake and it is almost guilt free.  By that I mean I only add half the sugar in the recipe and it being vegan means it doesn't have any saturated fats in it either. I double the vanilla extract as that helps to make the cake more chewy and almost Brownie like.  I also add a few TBLS extra of rice milk or soy milk whichever I am using.  This adds the extra moisture and I find I need that with gluten free flour which is what I have to use.
It is easy to veganise any recipe.  This one is a Simplicity Chocolate Cake from a 1950s cookbook that belonged to mum.  I have been making this cake since I was about ten and  baking it vegan for 3 years now. 

The weather has finally been cool enough to bake.  I am sooo over summer.  I know it is supposed to be Autumn, but I am counting the days until daylight saving ends because then it feels more real that summer is over.  Bring on the Autumn weather..........

Sunday, March 09, 2014

art journal

I have been trying to do as much art journal work as I can.  It is a great way to relieve any stress and even take your mind off pain for a while.   Some pages are just playing with layers and layers of paint and texture which I then use later as backgrounds, and other pages may end up with a face such as this one which starts off as a pencil drawing.  Sometimes it may just stay as graphite but most times I love layering different media on it and where I can, using 3d elements such as the flowers in her hair...

I had already had stated this piece when Jennie sent me her lovely embroidery (see last post) so it was wonderful timing to receive that and then finish this.  A bit of a Frida week
"hope tree grow strong" is a quote of Frida Kahlo's...

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Random Act of Kindness...

Oh my poor little blog has been so neglected.  I often think of it. I often think of posts I want to write and photos I want to share but then it comes time to do it and I lose motivation for some reason.  It is so simple to take a photo on my phone and quickly upload it to Instagram and maybe write a few lines as well.  It is like a mini blog.  So even if I am not feeling well and having a rest I can still post the photo I want to post and have a look at everyone else's as well.  But I am hoping to change things now and blog more often because I do miss it.  It's great therapy being able to blog about stuff!

I have great reason to get back on and do this post and that reason is I received the most wonderful gift in the mail.   YAY  This gorgeous free motion sewing art piece of Frida Kahlo made by artist Jennie over at A Little Vintage Doll.   Isn't it stunning.  The detail is incredible.  I am so touched Jennie sent this to me.  She knows I love Frida and that she is a huge inspiration to me.  Frida's ability to make art through adversity and such pain was incredible.  Her work, fabulous.


Jennie has recently done a fabulous post on her blog about Frida Kahlo.  It makes for a great read. Pop over and check it out and while you are there you can see Jennie's other work too.  One of her custom Frida dolls is definitely on my wish list this year.


Thank you Jennie so much for this special pressie.  I love her and she looks wonderful hanging on the wall in my studio space...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

a parallel universe


a still taken from the below video courtesy of Animal Liberation Victoria

a beautiful 4 minute video to watch   https://vimeo.com/76784649

This articulates exactly how I feel.  It is so well written.
“You end up at the back of the grocery store, near the meat counter. Displayed before you are all the wares of the butcher’s trade, all the prime cuts of meat. On the left are the T-bone steaks; to the right is all the ground beef. In front of you are some ribs; next to them are some chicken breasts. On the corner of the display is the lobster tank, where, out of the dozens in it, you can pick out your own lobster to take home. You look at this sight, with people picking their way through all these products, figuring out which will make the best dinner. And suddenly, the scene in front of you shifts. No longer are you seeing normal products of everyday existence. In front of you is the violent reality of animal flesh on display: the bones, fat, muscles, and tissue of beings who were once alive but who have been slaughtered for the parts of their body. This scene overtakes you, and suddenly you tear up. Grief, sadness, and shock overwhelm you, perhaps only for a second. And for a moment you mourn, you mourn for all the nameless animals in front of you.
Those of us who value the lives of other animals live in a strange, parallel world to that of other people. Every day we are reminded of the fact that we care for the existence of beings whom other people manage to ignore, to unsee and unhear as if the only traces of the beings’ lives are the parts of their bodies rendered into food: flesh transformed into meat. To tear up, or to have trouble functioning, to feel that moment of utter suffocation of being in a hall of death is something rendered completely socially unintelligible. Most people’s response is that we need therapy, or that we can’t be sincere. So most of us work hard not to mourn. We refuse mourning in order to function, to get by. But that means most of us, even those of us who are absolutely committed to fighting for animals, regularly have to engage in disavowal.
… However, disavowing the life of another (and being unable to mourn always disavows the life as such) does not just cede the one whom you care for into social unintelligibility, but also cedes part of yourself into social unintelligibility. A part of you becomes unreal and ghostly. The connections we make with others are what give us livable lives; denying those connections renders our lives less livable. Mourning is a way of making connections, of establishing kinship, and of recognizing the vulnerability and finitude of the other. The protocols that refuse to recognize our mourning refuse all sorts of tangible, social intelligibility. Mourning is stitched to questions of what and who gets to count…”
— James Stanescu, from “Species Trouble: Judith Butler, Mourning, and the Precarious Lives of Animals”
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Learn more about animals raised for food.
- See more at: http://freefromharm.org/featured-articles/will-hold-you-in-my-arms-must-see-tribute-animal-victims/#sthash.Eo9Ph0rg.dpuf