Thursday, December 22, 2011

Let It Snow

I couldn't put the pictures of my handmade snow globe up until after the holidays, otherwise it would have spoiled the surprise. This is another gem from the Ruche Homemade Holiday Guide; they're so easy to make, and fun too!

I used a little Bulbasaur figurine, stuck it to the bottom of a glass jar with glue (make sure it's waterproof, something which I failed to do), shook blue glitter all over the bottom and then filled the jar with water and voila! A little something special for Lovely to unwrap on Christmas Day (his other presents are currently still being shipped *sigh*)
Did everyone have a nice Christmas? I sure did!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Vegan Gingerbread Fun Times

So I had a lovely afternoon with dear Laura and Eleanor, baking tasty vegan gingerbread creations :)

We learnt very quickly that it's not about what your baked goods look like, but how much fun you have making them!

We used this great vegan recipe from VegNews, with a few adjustments and a lot of crazy shapes :) Some perhaps a little more than others....

  • 2-3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine, softened (we used Nuttelex)
  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons soymilk ( we didn't have this, so we opted for some extra Nuttelex and it worked out fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. In a bowl, combine pastry flour, baking powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together margarine, and brown sugar together until smooth. Add soymilk and vanilla and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix with spatula to form a dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  4. Roll out dough onto a floured board, 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick, depending on desired texture (thinner cookies will be crispier, thicker cookies will be chewier). Cut into shapes with cookie cutters and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. Go crazy with frosting and decorations!
And we did! We used an array of cookie cutters to make stars, people, and some even more imaginitive creations.

Laura's sassy Ginger(bread)

Eleanor's pretty gingerbread star tree, and iced star cookies. Our icing was a very simple concoction of water, icing sugar and food colouring; you can add butter if you prefer a creamier icing (or Nuttelex if you want to keep it vegan), but it might not be as effective for construction.

Our houses, Hootie, and Laura's festive star cookie

Sure, these may not be ready for the cover of the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Edition, but we love them nonetheless :)

Merry Christmas

Ribbon, bulldog clips, a curtain, and a dash of perserverence. Merry Christmas to one and all :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Really Wild Gifts

Trying to find a gift for that one person that has absolutely everything? What about food for a rescued bear? Or a vaccination for dogs in Bali? You could even help prevent the ill treatment of Elephants in Tanzinia in their name. They may not be able to play with, watch, listen to, or even eat this gift, but thanks to you, they could be filled with warm fuzzy feelings throughout the festive season (and beyond, hopefully!)

Really Wild Gifts is a clever new fundraising project set up by the good people at WSPA, and encourages people to give much needed aid to animals across the world who are suffering from abuse, exploitation, or the threat of extinction at the hands of us pesky humans. All gifts are personally tailored; you can choose everything from the animal your donation is going to, to what kind of aid you will be giving them, depending on how much money you spend. For example, in the case of the Elephants, you can buy farmer education for as little as $39, whereas a donation of $225 will give appropriate fencing to keep the Elephants away from crops aqnd safe from agitated farmers. And your recipient will recive a neat little custom made thankyou card in their letterbox, and all the warm fuzzy feelings they can handle.

I think this is a great idea, because really the last thing we need in most sections of Western society is more stuff. I found out about this after most of my Christmas shopping had already been done, but I've decided to purchase a little something for myself this Christmas (I was going to buy a new pair of shoes, but I've decided perhaps that money could be better spent).

So if you know someone who loves animals, why not get them something a little different this year, instead of that fourth pair of explorer socks, or the enourmous box of chocolates? You'll be setting them up for some great karma for the New Year, and saving them from a rather large stomach ache.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Zoo Borns

I've fallen a little in love with this blog, Zoo Borns. Basically, it's a blog that chronicals baby animals coming into the world in Zoo's across the world.

Meerkat: Wellington Zoo

Hedgehog: Belfast Zoological Garden

Cheetah: Colchester Zoo

What I really like about this blog is it's not just about the cute pictures (although that is a large part of the allure), it also highlights the importance of zoological breeding programs in the maintenence of endangered populations, as well as giving interesting facts about the subject animal. That, and they're just so damn cute!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bluejuice and Set Sail

There are so many things I could say about this past weekend, all the lovely moments I could go on and on about until someone decides they want to throw a fridge at me or something. Amongst these wonderful moments that spanned from Friday to Sunday night, I attended two brilliant gigs with my dear lovely.

Bluejuice - Prince of Wales

Yep. I had expected them to be about this level of crazy, but nothing could have prepared me for the caliber of their live craziness. There was stage diving, shirt shedding, I believe Jake walked across the crowd like Jesus walking on water at some point. And yet they still managed to sound damn good, which, given the circumstances, was highly impressive.
The set was just so high energy, I highly reccomend you seeing them if you can, because it is really hard to describe what you feel when at a Bluejuice gig, it could be something like a hybrid of awe, confusion and hysteria.
Highlights: Vitriol, Work, We Can Get Around It, Act Yr Age (there was more footage of Jake making out with the old lady, a la film clip), Broken Leg.

Set Sail - The Hi Fi

I love these guys. Lovely and I first saw them busking in the middle of the Melbourne CBD, and my first impression of them was that they just seemed so cool

Hmmm. Maybe goofy is a better word.

Lovely bought their EP while they were still chilling in Melbourne and busking their butts off, but since then they've evolved into this incredible live act that evokes all kinds of fuzzy warm sunshine feelings. From these humble beginnings, they have embarked on an around the world busk-a-thon, which has been documented and can be watched on youtube or on their facebook  (they're hilarous, and also fraught with pixilated nudity).
Anyway, their actual gig was quite short (only about 45 mins with encore), with a couple of  minor techincal problems along the way, but you could tell they were emotionally invested in their performance, and they were so stoked to be there, playing for such a huge bunch of people compared to what they would be used to on Bourke St.
Highlights: The Boat Song, Whales, Salt and Pepper, during which they pulled up two people from the crowd and made them dance together. There was also a conga line at some point throughout the set; it was like being at a beach party! (without the beach).

The rest of my weekend included cuddles, delicious penguin waffles, Phoenix Cola spiders, a new hair-do, blackcurrent cider and many many laughs :) Summer is coming, and it feels like it could really be great.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Homemade Holidays

Speaking of Christmas, I found this Homade Holiday guide by Ruche, thanks to the amazing blog, A Beautiful Mess, who has contributed her own Red Velvet Cupcake recipe (seriously, everything you could ever want to make is on this blog.)Visually this is a beautiful publication, combining DIY with Christmas cheer that really feels homely and warm, not cheap or mass produced.

And the great thing is you can read the whole thing online (if you have flashplayer). I'm going to make the snowglobes, and the red velvet cupcakes. Yum!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Have Yourself A Crafty Little Christmas

To me this kind of gets the point that some seemed to miss during Occupy Melbourne.

I'm planning to do most of my Christmas shopping on Etsy this year :) So much easier to find unique, well made gifts, without the crowds and blisters. Hooray!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...