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Be Kind (Collage)

Hello everyone and Happy Monday ūüôā

Did you all have a nice weekend?¬† For those of you here in Australia, hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Australia Day and got to spend time with family and friends.¬† I managed to do just that AND get some crafting time in.¬† I got started on some new collage canvases and finished a couple of them.¬† I am slowly learning to leave things alone and move on to something else, if they are proving problematic.¬† Sometimes you need to step away from a particular project, in order to “Regroup” and get a fresh perspective.

This little 6 x 6″ canvas was giving me grief, and I couldn’t make it work, so I put it aside and started on a new one.¬† When I came back to this, I managed to finish it off and be reasonably satisfied with it.¬† I cut out numerous caterpillars – none of them looked right – until I found this pinky-red one, that seemed to suit ok.¬† I can waste hours trying to find just the right critter or leaf or flower.

I wasn’t sure what words to incorporate and was focusing too much on the bird looking down.¬† I thought of “Keep your head up” and “Don’t look down” and other head-related nonsense.¬† In the end, given that the bird is letting little Mr Caterpillar have a free ride, rather than eating him, I figure “Be Kind” was as good a message as any.¬† As yes, I did need to put a crown on the bird.¬† It looked naked without it.

Hope the week ahead is kind to you – thank you for stopping by ūüôā

 

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My Friend

After some time away from crafting, I finally sat down to do some collage-making on the weekend.¬† And was immediately met with contempt and disdain from the creative Gods.¬† I couldn’t wrap my brain around starting anything, let alone actually completing a half-way decent piece.¬† I doodled, I painted, I cut out and fiddled about, but nothing was working.¬† Is spent ages drawing and painting a little crowned lady, only to be disgusted at my own lack of artistic talent, and threw her¬†in the bin.¬† Sigh.

Then I went back to basics.¬† I started with a nicely patterned piece of paper and stuck it down on a fresh board.¬† I lightly smeared white gesso over the paper, rubbing it off in places and letting some of the pattern show through.¬† I stamped a heart in one corner – I didn’t even bothered trying to draw or paint one, given my creative ability¬† had deserted me that day.¬† I let it all dry and thought about what else I wanted to add.

I felt like doing a “wordy” plaque – something with all text and little else.¬† So I began stamping…

I have a nice collection of alphabet stamps now – all different sizes and styles.¬† I buy them wherever I see them¬†– you can never have enough – and it’s good to have different fonts and in both upper and lower cases.¬† I am hopeless at getting things straight but I am learning to not worry so much about that.

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Aside from the stamping itself, which took forever due to my dropsy fingers (I’m sure I have some teeny little clear stamps embedded in the carpet now…), this project was done and dusted quickly and I am¬†pretty happy with it.

Most importantly, it got my creative mojo a-happening again, which meant I was able to start a few other projects as well, and make myself feel better about my lack of “oomph” earlier in the day.¬† It’s easy to get discouraged – well, it is for me, anyway!

Thank you for dropping by –¬†hope you’re having a happy, productive day x

 

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Lemon Cupcake-in-a-Mug

Sometimes you just need cake. ¬†Sometimes you just need cake but are well aware that baking an entire cake could prove dangerous. ¬†Because you will eat it all yourself and fall into a pit of self-loathing so deep that there would be no ladder long enough to reach you. ¬†So that’s where little cheats come in. ¬†Cupcake cheats. ¬†Lemony delicious soul-soothing cupcake cheats that make very little washing up and can be eaten quickly so there is no evidence of your adulting failures. ¬†This recipe is super easy and the taste is yummo-licious. ¬†Nice and tangy and citrussy (is that a word?) and very satisfying. ¬†PLus it takes about 5 minutes to make and cook. ¬†I’ll go back on my diet on Monday (I’ve been ill this week and so everything diet-and-exercise-wise went out the window).

Lemon Cupcake-in-a-Mug

Ingredients

3 tablespoons caster sugar
3 tablespoons plain flour
pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg
2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or vegetable oil of your choice)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Method

In a 16oz mug, mix together the dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients and combine until you have a nice smooth batter.

Microwave on high for approx 1 1/2 minutes. ¬†Check cake and microwave for another 10-20 seconds if need be. ¬†Don’t overcook. ¬†Cake should be moist and springy to touch. ¬†Let cool for 5 minutes and sprinkle with a little icing sugar if desired. ¬†Then eat! ¬†Yummo!

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Poem for the Day : Not

You are not your age,
Nor the size of clothes you wear,
You are not a weight,
Or the colour of your hair.
You are not your name,
Or the dimples in your cheeks,
You are all the books you read,
And all the words you speak.
You are your croaky morning voice,
And the smiles you try to hide,
You’re the sweetness in your laughter,
And every tear you’ve cried.
You’re the songs you sing so loudly,
When you know you’re all alone,
You’re the places that you’ve been to,
And the one that you call home.
You’re the things that you believe in,
And the people that you love,
You’re the photos in your bedroom,
And the future you dream of.
You’re made of so much beauty,
But it seems that you forgot,
When you decided that you were defined,
By all the things you’re not.

Erin Hansen

 

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Quote for the Day : Paths

“…Everyone has their own path.
Walk yours with integrity and wish all others peace on their journey.
When your paths merge, rejoice for their presence in your life.
When the paths are separated, return to the wholeness of yourself,
give thanks for the footprints left on your soul,
and embrace the time to journey on your own…”

— Unknown

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Kokoda Track, King’s Park, WA
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Vegan “Meat” Balls

Hello, everyone! ¬†I meant to post this before Christmas and then got a little bit sidetracked with, um, Christmas. ¬†Seems like a long time ago now…

My brother and his partner are currently giving veganism a go and so, as Christmas was at their house, we had to come up with something to contribute to the dinner that night. ¬†Normally, this wouldn’t be such an issue – Mum and I are already vegetarian – but because I have kidney issues, a lot of vegan-friendly foods are off the menu. ¬†No chickpea casserole or lentil burgers for me! ¬†So it became a little trickier to figure out what to bring. ¬†And I didn’t want to wuss out and bring something just for me to eat.

Mum was in charge of dessert, so I told her to just make apple pie which is easy to do (just substitute any butter in the pastry with a non-dairy spread) and we served it with soy ice-cream.  Simple!  So she got off lightly.

I had to figure something else out for a savoury dish. ¬†So I came up with these vegan “meat” balls. ¬†I don’t have an exact recipe – I was too busy testing and mixing to actually write down any measurements – but you will get the general gist of things here. ¬†It’s a bit of a keep-adding-stuff-until-you-get-it-right kind of recipe anyway.

Start with the binding agent, which in this recipe is flax seed meal.  Add three tablespoons of water to one of flax meal and mix together in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Now you need a large eggplant, chopped into small-ish pieces. ¬†Chuck in a frypan and saute with a little bit of oil. ¬†To stop it drying out, add a splash of water now and again. ¬†You’re going to want to cook it for a while until….

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…it goes shmushy. ¬†Y’know, all soft and mushy and no longer holding its shape. ¬†Shmushy. ¬†Oh and while you’re doing that, blanch some broccoli florets in boiling water for about 3 minutes until it is tender but NOT shmushy. ¬†I used about 400g broccoli for this. ¬†Drain it and set aside while the eggplant is cooking.

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Into a food processor, chuck the broccoli and eggplant, flax meal, five chopped spring onions (or you can use a small brown onion, chopped and sauteed with the eggplant), 200g of pine nuts, and about a cup of quick porridge oats. ¬†I also added a little vege stock powder for seasoning and some smoked paprika. ¬†Pulse in the processor, until it forms a sticky, combined blob. If it seems a little too sticky and wet, add some more oats or, if you’re not me, you could probably chuck in some besan (chickpea) flour.

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Now, roll the mixture into little balls Рabout the size of a golf ball.  Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with a little more smoked paprika if desired.

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Bake for 25 – 30 mins in a 180 C oven. ¬†Turn halfway through cooking time so they’re golden on all sides. ¬†They should be quite firm and crispy on the outside.

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Serve with a nice tomato sauce (like you would regular meatballs).  Yum!

These balls freeze really well and are delicious cold as well as hot. ¬†You can use them in place of mince in a “meatloaf” or burgers. ¬†As I said, my recipe is not exact – just go by feel and taste. ¬†The eggplant lends a nice meaty taste to the dish, but you could substitute everything else for something you prefer. ¬†Eg grated carrot instead of broccoli, breadcrumbs instead of oats, etc. ¬†And of course you could use egg instead of the flax, if you’re not vegan. ¬†Anything goes here! ¬†Just experiment a bit ūüôā

Hope you give these a try and maybe invent your own version/recipe (using my crappy version as a blue-print).  This recipe makes enough for a whole family and has the added bonus of not looking like they contain vegies (so fuss-pots will eat them too).

Thank you for stopping by x