Monthly Archives: April 2012

Mini Shop Update and a change of pace

Wow. Where have I been the last four days? I don’t even know where to start, it’s been a jubilant whirlwind. Despite the weather being not so nice these past few days with rain everyday and cold temperatures – it even snowed a little last night, this weekend has been filled with joy, creativity, and so busy busy busy. I am working on starting a new job, which I am really excited about. Friday was a conference call morning, which is an interesting new experience for me, but I’ll tell you more about that later. James and I got our new little camera the Cannon G12. Oh my, it’s heavenly and such a life changer, having a camera around to explore with. I’ve also been busy with the shop! Over the weekend I got a chance to do  a little shop update. Here are just the first two newbies!

I love this bracelet so much! I recently won a giveaway on Eva’s blog Runaway Thrift were I won those awesome studs on the bracelet. I was really excited as I used to use studs on my pieces way back in 2009  when I sold them at Roller Derby Bouts in Atlanta. It’s been a lot of fun to play with them again. I am slowly adding more jewelry to the shop and will be adding more fascinators as well as the weather gets better. Suppose to be more rain tomorrow, but Wednesday should be my day.

It is such a relief to finally be able to update the shop. It truly is like a burden has been lifted. I even got a little creative kick just being self reliant. It’s really nice not to have to rely on others and boy is it a lot less stressful taking your own photos than coming up with the funds, 20 perfect pieces, find models,  have a non windy, warmish day, and pray that they will look fantastic as tiny thumbnails. I am also excited to be learning photography again. This is an interest that has been put on hold for quite some time.

Impromptu photo shoot jewelry organizer. A little behind the scenes action for you there. The purple bike is mine, isn’t she a beaut?

Crafting is my passion. I am really happy there is a space like Etsy for folks like me who just love to make things and get them out there. Someday I hope crafting can be an even bigger part of my life. It is where I feel the most joy and the most comfort with just being me.

A few months back when I was just starting this blog a wrote a little post on the 5 Ways Crafting has helped me become a Stronger Woman. It only seems fitting to reiterate those feelings and embrace that passion continuously through out this journey.

There are some exciting changes about to happen in this space. You may  see a little less, or a little more, or simply just see me in different ways as this space evolves. I have enjoyed the journey and the exploration so far and cannot wait to see what the future holds.

Give away on Friday April 20 on Krysten’s Blog, Why Girls are Weird

Hello all you lovely people. I just wanted to pop in and share a little bit about this cool little giveaway I am hosting today over on the lovely Krysten’s blog, Why Girls are Weird.

Everyone knows how I love to barter and trade right? Well Krysten’s one great lady that shares this same passion. And we’ve paired up to put on this fun giveaway. See, that’s what I love about the blogosphere – folks take care of each other.

Anywho, I am really excited to be giving away this necklace! It’s one of the new pieces that will be going up in my shop. It’s a pretty antique bronze chain with little pops of color from fun and enchanting Swarovski crystals with two little two bars of turquoise colored glass beads. Oh and the sweet little cluster of pheasant guinea feathers really pulls this all together for a fun and flowy, boho feel.

So if you have time, stop by and take a look around Krysten’s blog. I am sure you’ll be glad you did!

I’ll be back later on with a little post on some of my thrifty finds from our last  visit to Value Village. For now I am off to eat my yummy steamed spinach sandwich!

The Amazing Vegan Lentil Loaf Recipe

So we all know that lentil loaves don’t exactly have anything to do with this week’s theme of Bicycles, but I promise you this meal is mighty fine and it’s packed with protein and fiber and veggies and all the really, really good stuff that makes your body run smoothly and have energy for pushing the petals. Plus it’s going to knock your socks off.

This is a household staple for us. No, James and aren’t vegan. We actually really love cheese. I mean really love cheese. We do, however, like to eat healthy. When we are not eating tons of cheese that is. Also me being a vegetarian  this is a great way to get that protein punch and my veggies all in one go.

Okay so I have to admit something. I am having a love affair with the Vegan Stoner, well not the vegan stoner, but the vegan stoner’s blog and cook book. This blog has helped me jump start many a meal in the past six months. Someday, I’d love to own the cook book and the snack book. Some day when I am rich, or rather richer than I am, meaning that I actually have money  in order to spend it. Yay to somedays!

So today I want to share with you the inspiration of this lentil loaf of awesomeness and it comes from The Vegan Stoner. I have tried many loaves through out the years and this was the first internet recipe I actually had any luck with. So here it is, the ultimate stoner loaf, that just happens to be vegan. Isn’t it much cooler to play with beans than raw meat? Personally, the answer to that question is yes.

image source

Tell me you are not in love with that illustration? Also this loaf is one of the most moist loaves ever. Which is a big deal. Lentil loaves are known for their crumbliness.

Okay so while the recipe above is awesome in itself. I want to tell you today how to make it ultimate. That’s right, you heard me, The Ultimate Lentil Loaf……Also known as:

The One Vegan Lentil Loaf to Rule them all

So let’s get down to business. here is what you need:

  • 2 cups cooked red lentils – well drained and by this I mean really well drained. You need as little extra moisture as possible in this recipe.
  • 2+ cloves of garlic, or to taste – minced
  • Half of one large onion or two small – finely diced
  • half of one regular sized red pepper and one regular sized green pepper – diced
  • 1 small turnip diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup diced celery stalk
  • 1/4 cup applesauce – UPDATE – I don’t know how I forgot to write this in the initial post, applesauce is what gives this loaf it’s gumption!
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • two tsp tamari or your favorite soy sauce – Optional
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast – Optional
  • 1 tbsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground onion – Optional
  • 1/2 tsp ground garlic – Optional
  • 1/4 cup walnuts – crushed/diced/minced whatever (put them in a bag and roll over them with a rolling pin once or twice.)
  • 1  & 1/2 cups rolled oats divided – with the 1/2 cup ground into flour in coffee grinder
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth set a side

{If skipping over the optional seasonings – tamari, nutritional yeast, ground onion and garlic, you can simply  replace with two vegan vegetable bouillon cubes or cook your lentils in veggie broth.}

Ingredients for glaze:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • pinch  or 2 of chipotle or chili powder
  • a dash of tamari
  • 2 to 3 tbsp strong coffee – add in each tbsp one at a time till you reach a thick tomato soup constancy

{This glaze can be replaced by ketchup if you prefer or the coffee can be replaced with vanilla extract, or you can replace one tbsp of coffee with water for milder flavor.}

 Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Using a potato masher and a large mixing bowl mix everything together, except for oats and veggie broth. Then add in whole oats and mix thoroughly. If the mixture seems too moist add in the ground oats little by little until a nice smooth dough that is hard to stir. A perfect medium – not too dry, not to moist. If  too dry nix the ground oats and slowly mix in veggie broth till  the mixture reaches that in between stage.

Grease a bread pan with veggie oil, spoon in your mixture and even out the top. Set on the middle rack of your preheated oven. Set a time for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Once the loaf is nice and brown cut a trench about one inch deep in the top to ensure it’s done inside. It should not be too sticky in the center and a fork should come out clean. Then spread your glaze over the top of the loaf and filling in the trench on the top. Allow to bake for about 10 to 15 minutes longer until glaze is bubbly. Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool in the pan for five minutes, then remove to cool on a wire rack for another 5 as it slices better when not fresh out of the oven and has time to set up.

Tip: If your doughy mixture is too moist you can divide the mixture into two loaf pans and stack together after cooking with a layer of glaze in the middle. Yum yum! This avoids the top and bottoms over cooking with a sticky center.

Tip: Make extra glaze and slightly caramelize on the stove top in a shallow pan to serve on the side for those extra saucy guests.

Now is the time to dig in! I usually serve this loaf with classic mashed potatoes, a sage gravy, Southern style sautéed onions and squash/zucchini, and a salad. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. (:

Repurpose Round up – Bicycle Inner Tube Creations

Keeping with this week’s theme – an ode to the bicycle, today’s Repurpose Round highlights some etsy sellers who make good use out of busted tires. That’s right everything you are about to see below is made from the inner tubes of bicycle tires. If you ask me, these folks are geniuses.

Nothing fancy about today’s post as I am still struggling to feed myself and it’s nearly 8 pm!

I spent the majority of my day hanging out at the laundromat. With things being so tight back in March and only having the capacity to wash the  essentials laundry really began to pile up around here. So much so that I it’s been keeping me up at night…sorry folks, I let my OCD slip. Whoops! Needless to say I was actually absolutely elated to spend the day washing and folding and lugging the little buggie down the street. In fact I am sitting here congratulating myself.

It actually wasn’t a bad time. I took some trial mix, a big bottle of lemon water, my notebook, and my camera. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was feeling happy. I spent the time between washes feeling inspired by the lovely spring day. I even got some quality shots of some of my thrifty finds for the weekend.

Here are some rather interesting bicycle accessories from some amazing Etsy sellers as promised.

Please excuse me while I go remove my lentil loaf from the oven and get ready to chow down! Recipe tomorrow! I hope you have a lovely night tonight!

1. Scuola Recycled Inner Tube Case by Reddot Cycling $20

2. Inner Tube flower Bow by Upcyclery $12

3. Recycled Bike Inner Tube Journal by PalePink $39

4. Feather Earring from recycled Inner Tube by True Partners in Craft  $25

5. Eco Inner Tube Messenger Fringe Bag by Reclaimed Wreckage $264.99

6. recycled Inner tube cut out globe cuff by Beatrice Holiday $28

10 Things I love – Bicycle Accessories

 

1. Day of the Dead bike basket cover by Mellowvelo /// 2. Swiss Army Double Pannier Bags by Venice Velo

bikes

 

3. Leather Bicycle Wine Rack  Oops Mark /// 4. Wooden Bike Basket by Macpherson Crate Co

are

 

5. Wooden Handle Bar Mustache by Sewell Works/// 6. Bicycle Skirt Guard by Frillride

the

 

7. Nubuck Leather Bicycle Messenger bag by J Rawl Design/// 8. Thunderbolt Bike Seat Bow by Mischeif Managed Knits

best!

 

9. Cobalt Blue Bike Planter by Wearable Planter/// 10. Leather Bike Tool bag by Jespen Leather Goods

I love my bike!

Oh my goodness. Etsy sellers take the cake when it comes to creative ways to outfit your bicycle. So many beautiful and incredible items. I’d love to deck out my bike with all of these ingenius and adorable bicycle accessories!

Back up and running!

Just wanted to let everyone know that I will have the blog back up and running next week!  There was an easy to fix issue with my fan, so no more crazy loud roaring sound and no more overheating.

Boy am I relieved, it will be so nice to write again without fear of my computer exploding. I’ve also got a new lap tray/cooling tray which is going to make things mighty pleasant around here. Now I just need a new desk!

James and I went thrifting today.We both had a really great time and came home with lots of great deals and cool finds. Best of all we stayed under budget.

I am so excited to share what all we found with everyone!

Be sure to check back next week, as I now have my little camera back, (do you know where that silly thing was? It had fallen into the glass recycling! Luckily, we take that off to the Beer Store or it’d be out on the curb for the carbage man.) and we might just have that really amazing camera James brought home from work!

Some exciting things to expect now that a camera is back on the blog:

  • Photography projects
  • Baking posts
  • Yummy recipe posts
  • Jams and jellies
  • Outfit posts
  • Thrifty finds
  • And…Best of all…How to’s and tutorials!
I am so so so excited, I can’t even express how excited I am!

I hope you have a lovely weekend and see you all next week!

Hillery

Computer troubles

I apologize for not curating anything for the last few days. My computer is under the weather and it is going to need repair. It’s put me behind on a number of things, but I hope to be back up and running really soon and with a camera so things will be great.

I hope everyone has a lovely Thursday and a fantastic weekend ahead,

Hillery

A long weekend in review

James and I really enjoyed the weekend. We got to spend lots of time together and lots of time outdoors. I am so glad the weather is finally warming up.

On Saturday I baked a cake for a trade I was doing on the local barter and exchange network. We have a fantastic set up here in Kingston and Saturday was my first trade. I baked my favorite flourless chocolate cake recipe, made with 100% dark chocolate, local butter, local eggs. I topped it with pretty raspberries and black berries. I wish I’d made one for myself! I also wish I’d had a camera to take some pictures, because it came out perfect. I traded the cake for a 3lb organic beef rib roast, some home grown rosemary and green onions. What a treat for James and our budget.

(You may not know this about me, but I am a ‘vegetarian’. Gasp! January was my Veggie Birthday and I turned 7, well my meat free self did.  I became a ‘vegetarian’ back in 2005 after spending 10 days at a natural Cobb building workshop and eating only vegan food. It was life changing and the perfect way to say good-bye to meat. I had already given up pork and beef so my transition was easy. I do still eat fish and eggs, hence the quotation marks around ‘vegetarian’. I will tell you more about that some other time.)

Boy, I’m a rambler today.

Saturday evening, James brought home a surprise from work; he had rented a camera for a test run. (On a side note, he just loves his new job and he’s just flourishing. He’s always loved film photography, and he has a huge interest in technology so needless to say James working at a camera shop in the digital age is like a kid in a candy store. He goes to work happy and comes home happy and the best part is he’s on a 9 to 5 schedule. It’s also great having him home for dinner. I can’t even tell you how great it is. It’s such a joy to be able to eat together, and to sit at the table together. We not only have dinner together, but we get to have breakfast too. For months I have wondered why I have felt so off and last week it clicked, it all boils down to us being on different schedule and now that we are on the same schedule it’s like magic.) Wow okay, huge side note, but I had to tell you how excited I am about this big change!

Okay, back to Saturday, when he got home we immediately took the camera outside to play in the sun. James got busy telling me all about the camera and showing me the all the great manual features and even snapped a few shots of yours truly. We had a lovely evening laughing and trying new things. We fell in love with the camera and can’t wait to have our own. Which will hopefully happen this week! Thank you tax return.

We also watched ‘Tintin’ that night which we both enjoyed!

Sunday we had a sweet and relaxed Easter. Filled with so much lovely sun; we made a greasy spoon style brunch and lazily spent the day snapping photos, reading books, and listening to the church bells.  It was our first Easter as a married couple and our first time not piggy backing on our parents for holiday celebrating. Though I can tell you I do miss Easter lunch with the whole Sawyer clan getting together. Easter was always my favorite holiday as a little girl with all the flowers in bloom, the pretty, bright spring dresses, little white socks with lace, and eggs hunts with candy! As an adult I sure miss my Gran’s mean cornbread, my sweet little cousins running about the yard, and both my Aunts pretty smiles. Oooh and the sweet tea. Nobody makes sweet tea like my Mom. Someday I will get used to spending holidays far away, but for now it is still very new to me to not have them all around.

We did get to spend Easter supper with James’ Aunt. I just love her. I mean I really, really love her! We are so lucky to live so close, just a flight of stairs away! She owns our building and lives in the basement apartment and we live in the attic apartment and it’s just perfect. She is one of the most caring, loving, kind people I’ve ever met and it’s truly a gift to be able to live where we do with such a lovely land lady, who, oh man, can cook! She made a fantastic puttanesca with spaghetti for dinner, complete with red wine, and James and I supplied the dessert. A lovely evening was had by all and we went home, up the stairs, with full bellies. We finished the night cuddled up on the couch watching ‘Some like it Hot’, one of my all time faves.

On that note I will finish my ramblings.  Usually I think twice about publishing these posts and hide them away in the ‘Do Not Publish, Ever’ folder. I haven’t quite gotten used to leaving myself vulnerable in this space as I am not quite comfortable with my writing, yet. Today is a different story and I am going to let this post slide in there as I attempt to open myself up to new experiences and take new and courageous steps to get closer to my dreams of being a better writer, some day. Maybe not today, but someday.

Damn dreams.

I leave you with a  few photos from Saturday.

The view of the back of the Court-House, our back yard.

Yours truly hanging out with my freckles and fringe over at the old carriage house across the street. Oh and a new headpiece that will be in the shop soon!

James’ lovely Aunt, Dobbie, heading to dinner on her bicycle and our neighbors painting studio behind. So jealous.

The street behind our house. See that little bitty bit of blue at the end of the road there? That’s lake Ontario. Between the lake and the Court-House is a lovely park too! On the left is the back side of Hochelaga Inn, one of the four bed and breakfasts in our neighborhood.

This last one is of my sweetie. Shhh don’t tell him I snuck this one in here. He’s so handsome. We were playing with the sun light in our last few shots of the day. I was able to hold the camera up to his height, and still see the LCD as it is quite large. Isn’t he a cutie? I am one lucky lady.

I do hope you had a lovely weekend and a beautiful week ahead. I have lots of goodies planned!

Hillery

Easter Tutorial round up

A few pretty Easter egg tutorials from around the web

You can click on the image or the link below it to be taken to the tutorial.

//Decor 8 Painted Easter Eggs//

E

//Silk Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs Our Best Bites//

A

///Wohnide Wunderwieb Painted Paper Napkin Appliqué Easter Eggs///

^this site is in German.S

a

//Embroidered East Eggs Design Sponge//

T

//Spoon and Fork Water Color Easter Eggs//

ER

Love and light! Happy Easter Everyone!

Bohemian Caravan Inspiration

Wanting to live better and be more comfortable in our tiny apartment, I am constantly hoarding ideas and inspiration to organize and decorate our space. One of my main sources for inspiration is the Gypsy Caravan or Roulettes. Bright, colorful, and compact these dwellings make good use of every inch of space.

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James and I’s bedroom, with it’s dormers and funny closet, is a little lacking in functioning space as it currently stands. Our dream is so really utilise every nook and cranny. To not only make room for long term storage, but also active storage – book shelves, day to day clothing storage, and also as odd as it sounds – long term food storage with a light controlled place to store our home canned goods. We want the bedroom to be a place we escape to, find cozy, comforting, and romantic. And a space that also functions well, with adequate storage, and is an easy place to get ready for the day.

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We’d like to achieve this by lofting our bed for built in storage underneath, and at it’s foot, working with the slope of the roof. We’d also like to add a reading area in the window dormer with functioning storage underneath and and space beside with a mirror and a little storage to function as a vanity so we both aren’t squeezing into the little bathroom in the mornings.

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We have similar hopes for our spare room which is almost exactly like our bed room. We’d like it to function as an office as well as have a space for two guests to enjoy themselves. We also want it to be a space that can easily transition when we have our first child (another 5 to 7 years down the road).

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We are in this apartment for the long term and we are excited to find the best ways to organize the space, find the furniture that works, build what we can, and get rid of what we don’t need.

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For more information on these images or on roulettes/caravans check out Jeanne Bayol or her blog. Her work is amazing!