Day 202 – April Desktop Calendar

Just like I did for March, I decided to make a simple desktop wallpaper calendar using a photo I took last year before Easter. I’m not entirely sure, but I think I will fit on most computer screens so if you like it, please click on the photo and use it as your wallpaper!

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Day 188 – Inukshuk

While this day’s project may seem simple, it carries with it a lot of emotions and meanings for me. Two years ago my grandmother passed away, she was one of the most influential people in my life and I felt a connection and bond with her that I’ve felt with few other people in my life. I feel that we shared a lot of the same qualities and when she passed, I felt grief and sadness that I hadn’t experienced before. A few days after her passing, I hiked up to my favourite lookout spot and built an inukshuk, a symbol to guide travellers back home. Last year, on the anniversary of her passing I hiked to this same spot and build another inukshuk.  Today, I did the same.

Day 183/184/185

Day 183 – Luggage Tag

With only a few short days left before our spring break trip to Las Vegas, I thought that a travel inspired project would be perfect to do and what better place to stick a Gnome than on  handmade luggage tag!

Day 184 – Mini Bike Book

I saw this tutorial on Craftster.org and though it would be fun to do. It’s a really quick and simple craft to make and has limitless possibilities depending on how you want to stylize the inside squares. The folded up size is 2″ square so a little bit bigger than a matchbook, but closes much the same with a staple near the bottom that you tuck the flap into. I chose to do a bike theme as I’m starting to miss riding my bike and can’t wait for the snow to melt.


Day 185 – Better Than Butter Tarts

If I were to host a Vegan dinner party, these would be served (along with some pumpkin pie) for dessert. They are so ridiculously good that I ate two within a few minutes of taking them out of the oven, burning my tongue in the process (it was worth it).  I like making my own pastry so I whipped up a quick recipe but you could easily just use premade tart shells for these…..off to eat one more!

Better Than Butter Tarts

1 cup raisins
1 tbsp vegan margarine
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
12 unbaked pre-made pastry shells (3 inch)
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400F. Put raisins into a medium bowl and cover with very hot water. Set aside for 10 minutes. Drain hot water off raisins and add margarine, sugar, flax seeds, water, and vanilla. Stir together well. Spoon 1 tbsp of mixture evenly into each tart shell. Sprinkle each tart with finely chopped walnuts. Bake for 15 minutes and serve at room temperature. Makes 12 tarts

Day 177 -Illustration Friday “Swarm”

The theme this week at Illustration Friday is “Swarm” and immediately I thought of two images. One being an ice cream delivery truck being swarmed by children and the second one of an animal in a zoo being swarmed by cameras and people. Since we had driven through Banff National Park and being there always makes me think of animal encounters and how people can be quite invasive around wild animals, bears in particular…I decided to draw that.

Days 175/176

I’m going to be playing a bit of catch-up on the blog this week as I was away this weekend and wasn’t totally prepared in terms of making things.

I think I’m about 4 days behind so this will be the first of a couple double posts until I can get back on track!

Day 175 – Beet Burgers

I made beet burgers back in the fall but the recipe but with a bunch of beets waiting to be used the fridge I suddenly got the craving to make them again, I tried out a different recipe this time which seemed to be a hit on the blog Fat Free Vegan. They were really tasty and even better the next day in a sandwhich. If you like beets (and don’t mind having your hands stained red for a few hours) you should totally make these!

Roasted Beet Burgers

2 medium beets
1 medium onion
6-10 garlic cloves (or as many as you like)
14 ounces extra-firm tofu (not silken)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder or smoked paprika (optional, to taste)

Preheat oven to 350F. Wash and trim the beets, and wrap each one in foil. Trim the onion and wrap it in foil. Wrap the unpeeled garlic in foil (or trim the top of an entire head of garlic and wrap it). Place all on a baking sheet and roast for 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool until vegetables are easy to handle. (You can do this step ahead of time, if you wish; just keep the roasted vegetables in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the burgers.)

While the vegetables are cooling, mash the tofu and stir in the remaining ingredients.

When the onions and garlic are cool enough, peel the onion and chop finely (I used a food processor). Squeeze the garlic from the cloves. Add both to the tofu and mix well. Peel the skins from the beets under running water, and shred. Add the shredded beets to the tofu, stirring until the mixture is a uniform, bright color.

Shape into patties about 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick. Place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or silicon baking mat. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for a few minutes before removing with a spatula and serving.

Day 176 – Octopus KeyChain

I was playing around with some polymer clay and thought that I would whip up this little keyring. After making the octopus I inserted a small eyelet hook used to hang frames into the top. Then it was baked and I’ll glaze it to make it a bit sturdier.

Day 174 – French Press Sleeve

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. I really enjoy making coffee in my french press, it just tastes like real coffee to me and when my favourite coffee costs $11 a bag I better make it right!  The only problem with making a full french press is that it goes cold by the time I’m ready for a top-up. All of a sudden it struck me, I need to make a sleeve for my french press so that it retains a little more heat! Prior to me making this I had used a tea-towel wrapped around the press which worked well but lacked any sort of aesthetic.

I used a piece of thick fleece that measured about and inch short of the entire way around the press, this leaves room for the handle. Then I used three loops of yarn and some coffee bean buttons that I had received a while ago in Craftster.org swap.

Keeps my coffee toasty warm 🙂

Day 170/171

Day 170:  Curried Cauliflower

I don’t know about you, but I’m the type of grocery shopper that picks up random things and then forgets about them once they reside in the fridge. Thus was the case of the cauliflower that I had to use up and had no idea what to do with. After a quick search, I found this recipe and the rest is tasty tasty history! This is one recipe that makes a lot but really tastes better the next day!

*the photo isn’t mine, we ate ours too quickly!*

Recipe:

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (chopped)
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon ginger (chopped)
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon chili sauce (optional)
1 head cauliflower (cut into florets)
1 (19 once) can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 cup water
1/2 pound green beans (trimmed and sliced into 1 inch long pieces)
salt to taste
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

Directions
1. Heat the oil in a large pan.
2. Add the onion and curry powder and cook until the onion is tender, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
4. Add the tomatoes, chili sauce, cauliflower, chickpeas and water and and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 10-15 minutes.
6. Add the green beans and cook until they are just tender and still crisp, about 3-5 minutes.
7. Serve on brown rice and garnish with cilantro.

Day 171 – Gnome Stamp
I know that I made a few stamps over the course of this project but so far each one was made for a distinct purpose and so is this Gnome one. I’m setting myself a goal to have my Etsy shop up and running by end of March, hopefully getting a lot accomplished over spring break. I think that my “mascot” will be a gnome and with that said I needed a stamp to add to my envelopes and on the back of the handmade cards I’ll be making.

I used a small piece of speedball rubber and it turned out pretty good although I couldn’t find my carving tool so I used a cutting tool which made my lines not perfect but I still like how it turned out.

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