Thursday, March 31, 2011

ABC + 123

this little alphabet and number dress is the last piece i made for the once upon a thread march sew along. it was made from the oliver + s puppet show pattern, using alexander henry fabric. thank you no big dill for the fun challenge.

these are some of our favorite books to read, and suki loves the alphabet song. when i saw this fabric, i knew it would make a dress suki would be happy in. she already has ideas about what she likes to wear.

i let suki pick out the buttons and they actually worked really well. she always enjoys our trips to the fabric store and especially loves the spools of thread. every time we go i let her pick one out. it's become our tradition.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

for the cats SPECIAL GIVE-AWAY

you can win this hand embroidered kotoa catnip toy for your favorite feline friend!
made with super strong organic catnip.
guaranteed fly-time!
here are the three ways to win this gift:
#1. sign up to become a follower of the KOTOA blog, or
#2. if you already follow, leave a comment including the cat recipient's name, or
#3. post the give away on your twitter and mention @KOTOAmade
there will be a drawing of all the eligible contestants to determine the winner on
all entries must be submitted by Monday, April at 9AM

Sunday, March 27, 2011

moomin sweet mats

 it's almost too late but i finally completed my second project for the once upon a thread sew along. i made sweet mats for suki and beedle, inspired by moomins and a japanese embroidery book i bought this winter. 

they were almost as happy with the mats as they were with the truffles.
check out the once upon a thread flickr page.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


today i was sewing and listening to music on shuffle. this song came on and it reminded me of how great this music video is.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

sasha farm visit

yesterday we drove to manchester, michigan, to visit the cow who is now sponsored for the year by wake up weekend. his name is moose and he is the cutest little calf. 

when we arrived he was at the bottom of the hill hiding by a little tree. monte had to walk him up to meet us, he was too nervous to do it on his own.

once he made it to the top of the hill it did not take him long to warm up. he gave us many kisses and was very calm. 

we met another young cow earlier in the day who was terrified of suki, i expected moose would be as well but he wasn't. they were instant friends.

suki and moose are the same age, it will be fun to watch them grow together. we are already planning another trip with our friends kolin, matt, susan, and beedle. i hope that a lot of people who were at the wake up weekend benefit show make the drive to meet him sometime this year. there were so many fun animal friends at sasha farm. i decided to feature moose for this post otherwise it would be too long, but if you would like to see more of our trip check out my flickr page.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

check out the vegucator's wake up weekend recap

extraVEGANza! just put up a great photo essay on this year's Wake Up Weekend
enjoy the events through the vegucator's eye
and don't forget to get a poster before it's too late!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

images from the calvin college faculty show

i have been meaning to post images of this show for quite awhile, but i just recently made the time to go take some pictures.

suki is amazed by this piece by anna greidanus. the birds go all the way up to the ceiling. it looks beautiful in the new gallery

this installation by jo-ann van reeuwyk is incredible. she made vessels out of used tea bags and filled them with things she found on walks in nature. the two large bags are not shown here but they are my favorite. 

adam gave suki and cookie monster a tour of the gallery, and they were very impressed.
the following images are of adam's work. 

this was my favorite. great job adam!

Monday, March 14, 2011

best friends chili

the official recipe for the BEST FRIENDS CHILI
this recipe was designed using some of suki and beedles favorite ingredients.

2 medium onions
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. crimini mushrooms
4 oz. fresh shitake mushrooms
2 portobella mushrooms
6 cloves of garlic
1 chipotle pepper
16 oz of seitan (shaved into thin pieces)
8-16 oz of heirloom tomatoes
4 tsp. smoked paprika
3 tsp. chili powder
2-3 cups of cooked great northern beans plus 1/2 cup of their broth
3 tbsp. tamari
2 tbsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of maple syrup (3 tbsp. of this is used for frying the seitan)

caramelize the onions in oil, this step takes about 20 minutes. one friend can stir the onions while the other chops garlic and prepares the mushrooms. once the onions are brown and sweet add the garlic and cook for one minute, then add the mushrooms. add a dash of salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. mix in the chipotle pepper, smoked paprika, and chili powder,  then stir in the tomatoes.
add tamari, vegan worcestershire sauce and maple syrup (minus the 3 tbsp. for the seitan). 
let the chili simmer while frying the seitan. first fry the saitan in oil until it is crispy, then add the 3 tbsp. maple syrup and stir until it is well coated.  add the seitan, beans, plus 1/2 cup of bean broth, and one cup of water to the chili broth. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

spending time with some favorite people

this weekend was packed full of fun.
i was not able to participate in as much of the wake up weekend festivities as i would have liked because i had to work and was still feeling a bit under the weather. the part i most regret missing out on was the benefit show with damned dogs, radiator hospital, royl space and xtra vomit. the show was a success and raised enough money to sponsor "moose" the calf for one year, he lives at sasha farms. i heard all of the bands were very impressive. i will be on the look out for their future shows in the area.

saturday morning we got together to make the best friends chili
 for the fifth annual vegan wake up weekend chili cook-off.
suki and beetle worked hard to make a yummy kid friendly chili.
i will post the official recipe very soon for you all to try.

the chili cook-off was sponsored by bartertown, the new vegan/vegi/raw restaurant. the space is looking great and i think a lot of people are ready for the grand opening next month. 

our friend lisa was the winner of both judges favorite and peoples choice. her hot and sweet chili will be featured on the bartertown menu, so exciting. way to go lisa!

this morning adam and some of my sneaky friends and family threw me a surprise birthday brunch.
it was beautifully decorated and the food was lovely and delicious. some friends came from long distances who i do not see very often. i was so happy and feel very loved.

the kids at the party had fun too, i love these little ones.

thank you friends, family and adam for making my 30th birthday memorable. 
i love you!

p.s. did anyone leave behind a frog box with shells inside?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

wake up weekend 2011!

wake up weekend 2011 is finally here.  
be on the look out for the "best friends chili" saturday night at bartertown
read more about the weekend on extraVEGANza!
i hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

playdough time!

my sister and her twenty month old daughter recently moved to our neighborhood. they now live only one street over, almost directly behind us! we are so happy to have them close.

today they came over to help us make homemade playdough. we used the recipe tracy rose recommended, mini-eco is one of my new favorite sites. thank you, tracy!

we made three natural dyes for three colors; brown using cocoa and coffee (this one smells yummy), pink using beets, and yellow using turmeric. 

so much fun forming shapes and spending time together.

Monday, March 7, 2011

flu season

4. yogi throat comfort tea
5. the wire (ponyo for suki)
7. cough drops

our house has been bit by the flu bug. it starts with aches and head pains then turns into a horrible sore throat and cough. first suki got it, then i did and now adam.  we have been taking turns caring for each other, making a lot of miso soup and medicine tea.  
our neighbor, tiffany, brought us some oranges back from her trip to florida, we have been using those in our medicine drink.  

this is our recipe:
a few cloves of garlic minced
about an inch of ginger minced
1/8 tsp. or more cayenne pepper
1 tbsp chamomile flowers
1-2 tbsp honey
1-2 lemons or oranges juiced (or both)

boil the garlic and ginger for about a half hour in 5 cups of water.
add the cayenne pepper and simmer a few minutes then remove from heat.
add the chamomile and steep for 5 minutes.
strain and add the honey and juice.

what helps you when you are feeling under the weather?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


i am participating in a blog sew along project called once upon a thread.
all projects are based on story books for children. for the first submission i revisited the raggedy ann and andy costumes i made for suki and beedle. i also have plans to make some fun new things for this project starting next week.  check out the once upon a thread flickr group.

guest blogger THE VEGANETTE

our good friend, natalie, started a recipe blog in october before she moved to new york.  
the blog is called the veganette and is full of beautiful photographs and vegan recipes. we have made many of the dishes and they have all been delicious. natalie dedicated this meal to suki and it is perfect for her, she loved it. great job natalie! this is some comfort food that requires very little attention while cooking, and it’s healthy. i am always looking for recipes like this, making food while watching a toddler can sometimes be a challenge. 


red lentil miser
1 large red onion (minced)
4 Tbs. olive oil
1/8 - 1/4 cup burbere (ethiopian spice mix)
3 cups red lentils
3-4 tsp. salt
Saute the onions without oil in a large soup pot for ten minutes. Add the oil and saute for another 5 minutes. Be patient and make sure the onion does not burn. Stir in the spice, lentils, and salt. Cover the whole mixture with water and let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes- adding water as necessary. Serve with ingera.

baked apples
To bake apples, core and place in the oven at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until softened. Fill with soy yogurt and cinnamon. To sweeten, add maple syrup or agave nectar.