W.I.P. Wednesday : Shhh!

Whipping up a little rabbit family for Guppy’s basket on Sunday. Or trying to. Can’t let her see what I’m up to now, so, shhh!

A warm welcome to all our new Wipsters! If you’d like to join the Wipster list, just leave a comment and let me know. The W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool just keeps growing – don’t be shy! Those photos are there to inspire, and we would love to see what you’ve been up to. Think of it as your parents’ fridge : a safe and loving place to highligh what you’ve been working on (without the strawberry jam stains on the door).


The Story of Stuff, an introduction.

Sustainability and environmental concerns continue to be cited as “top priorities” by citizens and politicians all around the globe.  If you were to ask most people if they believe that everyone has a right to things like clean air, clean water and social justice, it’s almost certain that they will resoundingly respond in the affirmative. No one will tell you they think some people should only have access to filthy, polluted water, however, as the saying goes “talk is cheap”.

Money has a voice that carries across the planet, and the way individuals chose to use their purchasing power can approve of or condemn corporate practices.  I think we forget just how powerful our spending can be in shaping the way the world works.

Thanks to my friend Amy (aka Tahinitoo), I was recently introduced to The Story of Stuff Project.  American activist Annie Leonard has spent 10 years traveling around the world, tracking all our “stuff”, from production to disposal, and the news isn’t good.  However, Leonard is also quick to point out that nearly everything “wrong” could be changed in an instant, if only we would make it so.

Do you have 20 minutes? That’s all it takes to watch this humorous and incredibly informative video about, well, stuff. Trust me, you’ll laugh, smile and hopefully, think. It’s worth it.

There will be more “Stuff” videos to come, so stay tuned!

Cookbook Giveaways Galore!

Just a quickie post to share two great giveaways with you, both of them featuring two of my very favourite vegan cookbooks.  I was lucky enough to be a recipe tester for  both of these books, so believe me when I tell you they Rock with a capital R.

Be sure to head over to visit Diet, Dessert and Dogs where my friend Ricki is giving away a copy of Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman’s 500 Vegan Recipes.  This is the perfect “go-to” vegan cookbook that covers everything from breakfast to dinner, plus desserts and snacks. Love this book. For reals.

Speaking of my friend Ricki, you can win a copy of her vegan dessert cookbook Sweet Freedom by visiting Sally’s blog.   This is no ordinary vegan dessert book people, Sweet Freedom proposes sweet treats for everyone, including those with food sensitivities.

W.I.P. Wednesday (on Thursday) : Easter Projects

A day late, but not short on crafty ideas in this week’s installment of W.I.P. Wednesday.

I can’t believe Easter is just around the corner.  At our house Easter is celebrated as marking the Spring Solstice and the promise of new life and new beginnings.  Vegan chocolate a plenty in the baskets, and usually some bunny love for our daughter, Guppy.

This year I’m much busier with work that I have been in years past, but I don’t want that to get in the way of my making something special for the baskets this year. Last year’s bunny is still one of her favourites, and I’ve since made a few for other people. She also still plays with these bunnies from two years ago, one of my first attempts at sewing anything, especially a toy.

Inspiration abounds on the Internet, and these projects featured on The Purl Bee have really caught my attention. I’m not sure which I’ll have time to put together, but I thought I’d share my “Project To-Do” list with you. The following photos are all from the The Purl Bee site, and they’ll lead you to the project posts.

These Bunny Finger Puppets are just adorable! I love that they’re quick and small, just like a bunny I guess.  I’ve still got some vegan felt left, so I’ve no excuses.

These Best Bunnies would be just perfect for my 1.5 year-old niece. With its reversible/double face, it’s like having two bunnies in one. This would be a great project to use up  bits from other sewing ventures as well.  Start here with Materials and Notes if you’d like to make one, and follow the links to complete your bunny.

Have you got any Easter projects you’d like to share? Ideas are always more than welcome, just leave a link in the comments section.

We would love to see what you’re up to!  Snap a shot of your  “in progress” masterpiece and add it to the  W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool. Whatever your works-in-progress, have a crafty week, and don’t forget to see what the other Wipsters are working on.

W.I.P. Wednesday – Featured Wipster Projects

Welcome (back) to W.I.P. Wednesday! The Wipster List* and W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool have continued growing, this despite my blogging hiatus. Even though I was too busy with work to unleash my creative energy, I found solace in all the beautiful creations appearing every week on the W.I.P. photostream.

I’ve decided to start a new series here at W.I.P. Wednesday : The W.I.P. Round-Up (except I don’t care for that title at all and will probably change it post haste!). This bi-weekly event will showcase a few featured projects from the W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool, because I would like to share some of the inspiration and talent concentrated on that humble little flickr group. What fun!

Without further ado…

Gnomey Little Explorer Bag

I just love this little Gnome bag from Gypsy Forest, perfect for gathering treasures.

WIP Wednesday: Winter Warmth

These  little socks knit by Frontier Dreams are so sweet! So cheerful against the winter cold.

Even if you don’t crochet, this lovely photo from Heirloom Seasons invites you to pick up a hook, doesn’t it?

I hope you’ve enjoyed these beautiful photos. Now that I’m not spending every free second grading I hope to begin (and finish!) a few W.I.P. projects of my own. Do you have any new W.I.P.s in the works? We would love to see what you’re up to! Snap a shot of your  “in progress” masterpiece and add it to the  W.I.P. Wednesday Flickr Pool. Whatever your works-in-progress, have a crafty week, and don’t forget to see what the other Wipsters are working on.

*The list is still not completely updated, helas. Don’t hesitate sending me a little nudge via email if you’re waiting to be added.

The Fishbowl’s Vegan Menu Plan…

(This photo has nothing to do with anything. I just hate blogging without pictures, so here’s a terrible photo of the delicious chesnut crème I devoured last week.)

I’ve never been much for weekly meal planning. Even less for sharing said meal plan with the entire world. Until now…

Food shopping for me has always been more about what was available, what looked fresh and what my budget would allow. Blessed with a dynamic outdoor market 3 times per week allows me to keep fresh vegetables and fruits on hand, and usually provides the inspiration for the week’s meals.

Another deciding factor is whether I’m recipe testing for anyone. Thanks to Ricki, Kittee, Celine and Joni, I often don’t have to spend much time creating new and different meals : they do the work for me. Thanks, ladies.

I don’t know why, but I didn’t really understand the utility of sharing a weekly meal plan with the public at large. I’m always a bit afraid of commitment, and always wonder if people really follow through with their plans. What if you change your mind? Or better yet, what if your sweetheart surprises you with vegan sushi (hint, hint Monsieur Fish!)?

This week, however, is different.

Here is what I think we’ll be eating. This might change. I’m not signing a contract or anything. It’s just that I’ve come to realize the utility of sharing my meal plan. So often when people decide to go vegan they think it means re-inventing the wheel. The most common question all vegan are asked is “What do you eat?”, as if the idea of taking animal products from your diet meant the end of delicious meals. By publishing what we’ll be eating chez nous*, I may help someone plan some healthy vegan goodness chez eux*.

Monday : Coconut Red Bean Quinoa from Swell, the lovely little food zine from A-K, aka Swell Vegan. Additions : onion and peas, and maybe some greens.

Tuesday : Cholent from Veganomicon. I’ve never had it or made it, and I feel like I’m missing out on something.

Wednesday : It’s Saint Patrick’s Day! Because I love any and all holidays we’ll be celebrating with Irish Soda Bread from The Joy of Vegan Baking and Colcannon from 500 Vegan Recipes. Yum!

Thursday : Hopefully leftovers.

Friday : Lentil Tart with Tahini Crust served with Ginger & Sesame infused Carrot & Cucumber Salad, both from 500 Vegan Recipes.

Saturday : Homemade vegan pizzas! I’m thinking White Pizzas from 500 Vegan Recipes, but will probably get all punk rock and add sautéed eggplant, pine nuts and who knows what else.

Sunday : Brunch will be the Fluffy, Fruited Pancakes from Sweet Freedom. Love them. I’m thinking a mushroom quiche for dinner, but that may change. Some sort of savory tart I think. EDITED TO ADD: Afternoon goûter or snack brought to me by Kittee – woot!

Ta – da! There you go, the Fish Family’s eats for this week.  Until next time, bon appétit everyone!

(I was inspired this week by Libby of The Allergic Kid and Krys of Two Vegan Boys – thanks ladies!)

*our place, their place

Sexism In Animal Rights

I’d been considering writing a fabulous “I’m back!” post, easing myself gently into the blogging world once more. However, after viewing the following, a joint statement written & signed by a group of Abolitionist Feminists for International Women’s Day, I decided it was time to dust off the blog.

Sexism In Animal Rights : An Abolitionist Vegan Perspective

This statement articulates beautifully what I feel to be one of the most frustrating arguments used by many Animal Welfare activists. I believe that the exploitation of some in the name of freedom for others is an illogical and dangerous argument. Visit the NZ Vegan Podcast Blog for links to the written text & the blogs of the statement’s authors.