A Toronto vegan blabs on about crafting, food, and her life in general.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Vegan Resource - Sick on Sin

One of my favourite places for fun t-shirts is Sick on Sin. Owned and operated in Toronto by vegan Jennifer Krebsz, the online shop sells items from t-shirts to buttons to pocket mirrors, all featuring great graphic cartoony designs.

Here's a few of the pro-veg designs:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Online vegan shopping resource.

A friend of mine has recently created an online vegan shopping resource at The Vegan Flower. She developed her blog to help those in the vegan community connect with resources they may need. She updates it frequently, along with a link to the company and a review.

As her blog states "The purpose of this blog is not to encourage consumption, but to provide a resource to the vegan community. Please make sure to post a comment about your experiences with any stores or products featured!"

I've discovered many new vegan/vegan-owned online shops thanks to her site!

x-posted at VeganPal2!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Balcony gardening

Look what grew on my balcony!

It is a teensy cherry tomato that measured only half an inch in diametre, and it was juicy as heck.

Teensy tomato

I can't wait for more to ripen!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Homemade Almond Milk

Almond milk foam

Every so often, I get tired of using water or soymilk in my morning muesli, and get a craving for some fresh almond milk. The flavour is really nice and it's a great substitute for other milks in cereal. I don't drink it straight since I never have been a fan of a glass of milk, dairy or otherwise, but I think I could drink a glass of this - it is very thin and refreshing. It would also be a great liquid to use in a smoothie or shake.

I searched for recipes on the internet, simplified and combined, and settled on this basic method:

1 cup raw almonds*, soaked in water for about 8 hours (or soaked slivered almonds)
3-4 cups of water (additional to the soaking water)
pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
maple syrup to taste (some recipes call for about 3 dates)

After soaking, blend all the ingredients until the nuts are pulpy. At this point, you are supposed to strain the pulp before storing the milk, but I skip this since I use it on lumpy cereal anyway. The pulp is just added fibre and nutrition! If you plan to drink it straight, however, you may want to strain it. Store in glass jars or bottles in the fridge. I use mine up in about a week.

soak the almonds...

Soaking raw almonds

blend it up with other ingredients until nice and frothy! The unstrained pulp sinks to the bottom...

Almond milk

* apparently, raw almonds will soon be a thing of the past. Stock up now!

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Vegan Pal 2 Q+A

The second Vegan Pal Swap is on! This time, it is a Vegal Pal Magic Yarn Ball swap. I've never done a Magic Yarn Ball, so this will definitely be something new.

My answers!
  1. What is/are your craft(s), & how long have you been doing it/them?
    I've been knitting for 2 years, beading for about 5 years and sewing off and on for a long time.

  2. Are you a vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, veg-friendly or other?

  3. Is this your first swap, or have you done previous swaps before? What makes a swap enjoyable for you?
    I've done a few swaps in the past 2 years. For me, the best part of doing a swap is trying to match items with my partner's personality. And getting the notice in the mail that my package is waiting for me at the post office!

  4. What is/are your favorite color(s)? Do you particularly dislike any color(s)?
    Earthy greens and reds, black, and jewel tones. Nothing too bright.

  5. Do you have any allergies (such as pets, foods, fibers or cigarette smoke)?
    Nothing - lucky me!

  6. Do you have any companion animals? If so, name(s) and type(s)?*
    I live with 2 cats - Tetley and Pekoe

  7. Do you collect anything?
    Other than yarn, beads and fabric, I like creepy-cute things :) Which is perfect for a Halloween swap!

  8. Do you have a favorite vegan food, snack or dish? If no fav that's vegan (for those who aren't vegan), what's your favorite food? (Hopefully your pal can find a vegan version!)
    I like most kinds of salty snacks, and I'm not a big sweets person. I love black licorice and dislike red licorice. I love chickpeas and chickpea nuts. Mints are always awesome, and I like to chew gum.

  9. What are some of your favorite/least favorite tastes/flavors? (e.g. sweet, salty, chocolate, crunchy, smooth, tart, sour, spicy, thai, whatever - Help your pal get a feel for what kind of recipes you might like and/or never ever make.)
    Salty, spicy, not too sweet. I love curries and savoury foods, and don't often eat dessert food. Unless it's pie. I love pie.

  10. What tools/supplies/accessories for your craft(s) are you wishing you had but don't? Also, what do you have TOO many of? (basically a wish and anti-wish list)
    I really need a jeweller's file to smooth wire edges, and I don't own a needle gauge. A small tape measure would be handy and I recently lost my fold away scissors that used to live in my knitting bag. Beads and findings are always welcome! I don't really have "too much" of anything!

  11. Are you on Ravelry? What's your handle?
    Not yet. I am #23847 on the list.

  12. Is there anything else you would like your pal to know about you?
    Nothing that probably can't be found in my blog. If I think of something, I'll update!

  13. What scents do you like/dislike?
    I love vanilla, jasmine, lavender, citrus and berry. I also love incensey scents. Not big on rose or very sweet smells.

  14. Do you prefer fall or Halloween or some other Autumn theme?
    I like both fall and Halloween! I feel like the two go almost hand-in-hand :)

  15. Just for fun - tell your favorite Halloween or Autumn related memory.
    For a couple of years, my mom, sister and others used to go apple picking before going to my Grammie's for Thanksgiving. Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, right at the height of apple season, and picking our own was such a wonderful way to celebrate fall. This year, we have a car and should be able to continue with the tradition since it requires driving :)

    Another story: Also for a couple of years, we used to go camping on Thanksgiving weekend. It's always fresh and crisp and the parks are pretty quiet. It seemed like the perfect thing to do since I find myself becoming less tolerant of the traditional turkey dinner served on Thanksgiving. That was also a great way to celebrate fall and I'd love to do it again in the next couple of years.


Sewing on Sunday

After reading several tutorials online over the past few weeks, I decided to sit down and create my very own shirred top with some bargain fabric I bought for $1. I would have loved to make a dress, but I didn't have enough fabric and bargain hunters can't be too choosey.

Instructions and me don't really get along - cooking, sewing, knitting are always partly freeform for me. I always change something or don't look as closely to directions as I should. Or take proper measuremements, as was the case with this top. I measured 40 inches across and cut. Then I sewed the edges and the gathers - using the winding elastic thread onto the bobbin method - and realised I'd way underestimated the width I'd need. Luckily there was enough leftover fabric to cut a 15 inch panel to use for the back of the top, which worked out perfectly!

I kept thinking about straps - should I make them? Should I just use a ribbon? How about a simple halter-style tie? In the end, I kept it strapless. I don't mind the look of black bra straps acting as top straps, plus I can wear a strappy tank underneath or a cardigan overtop when the weather gets cooler.

I loved making this top so much, and it was incredibly easy, despite having to fix my negligent mistakes. It is very comfortable, and I plan to make more!

fabric detail:
Shirred top, fabric detail

top: (I took about 40 shots, and I only got 1 usable photo!)
Shirred top!


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Camping Mosaic

This year, we did our group camping trip at Cape Croker Indian Park, just north of Wiarton on the Bruce Penisula. I think the Peninsula is my favourite place to be in nature, in Ontario. It is part of the Niagara Escarpment and contains some of the Bruce Trail, both of which run through southern Ontario from Niagara to Tobermory. Georgian Bay is so beautiful, and at times is almost as blue as tropical water.

We drove up on Friday even after getting a bit of a late start. On our way to pick up my sister, we discovered that we had forgotten the tent. The tent! Of all things. I guess it was just too obvious for us to even think about! Anyway, I called my awesome cousin, who was on his way, to ask if my sister could sleep in the tent with him and his partner and we decided to try sleeping in the car. The rear seats of the Fit fold down flush, so we just made arrangements for others to house our cooler at night (my mom also lent us a small tent that we used for storage) and we fit quite comfortably in the back, with our Thermarest mattresses and sleeping bags!

The fresh air was very welcome after some stinking humid hot days in the city. We lounged, hiked, swam, read, ate incredibly tasty food - we had no tent, but we had tofu fercrissakes - and got all smokey by the fire. The long weekend was too short, as it usually is, and, as I usually do, I left wishing for another week in the woods.

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Mac Book Widow

Mac Book Widow

Now that the boy's new Mac Book Pro has arrived, I think this is how I'll be seeing him for the next little while. As a new Mac Convert (take that PC!), he will probably be spending hours ooohing! and ahhhing! over all the wonderful details we seasoned Mac users have taken for granted.

That'll do, Mac. That'll do.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Summer 2007 Mosaics, part 2

PS Kensington, July 29, 2007

1. Apparently, there are vegans behind me.,
2. Didgeridoo Mom+girl,
3. Untitled,
4. My beloved sister and her beloved cookie,
5. Drummers,
6. Heli Poi,
7. Boy bench,
8. Meagan+silly face

Shrine Circus Demo

1. Circus Protesters,
2. Elephants,
3. Feathers = dominance,
4. Circus Animals Suffer,
5. Elephants,
6. And this is the "Big Top"

And I've made a few pieces of jewellery

1. Shelley Cluster Necklace,
2. Pebble Cluster Necklace,
3. Magnolia cluster necklace,
4. Wine Cluster Earrings,
5. Olive Cluster Earrings,
6. Custom Made Sage and Lavender Drop,
7. Rosy Cluster Necklace,
8. Summer Cluster

This weekend

We'll be heading up to Cape Croker this long weekend for some camping. Looks like the weather will be (mostly) agreeable.
Photos to follow!

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