Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Meet the cat gang!

I've been busy making samples for the Valentine's Vegan Sample Bags and these are the cuties I've made so far. They're handmade (and vegan suitable - of course) cat brooches. That is - brooches of cats not for cats- (ah-hmm). Each of them made with TLC.
The brooches are made from acrylic felt.
I missed the deadline for the current Sample Bags , but I'm getting ready for the Valentine's Sample Bags. These should be awesome - I love hearts and kisses, and pink and cute. Can't wait.

You can check out the current contributors for the January 2010 bags here.
Everything in the bags has been made by very creative, talented crafters and artists. Everything is suitable for Vegans and non- vegans alike - just because you may not be vegan, you can still give it a go, you'll be very pleasantly surprised - us vegans can be pretty talented! Or why not treat a veggie/vegan friend, they'll be delighted that you thought of them, and doubly delighted with the contents of the bags.
If you happen to be a crafter/artist who makes vegan items, and would like to know more about contributing to the bags, click here.

100% of the profits from the sale of the bags go to an animal sanctuary, which is voted for on their blog.

I'll also be selling brooches like these in my Etsy shop MidnightRabbits , where 100% of the sale of every item is donated to the Etsy for Animals charity of the month.
And my shop Veganessa will have something similar, that I haven't quite worked out yet!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Next time you are in Wales.................

This free booklet and Internet guide 'EAT OUT VEGAN WALES' is a must have for vegans in Wales or a Vegan visiting Wales. Areas are listed alphabetically, and it's a big help for vegan eating in the smaller towns of Wales , where one may otherwise not have known where on earth to find vegan food. It's nice to know, cafes and restaurants are being added regularly, and listings amended when establishments are less than vegan friendly.
I will be doing a review of places I come across or have tried, many whom have been found in this guide. Put together by a friendly bunch, Tim and Paul and others? (don't know who else), who are enthusiastic, fantastic vegans. It's worth getting on their email list, as they sometimes arrange a get together for a vegan meal, which has always been a lovely evening out, and a real bonus to sit amongst vegans, and know that animal products are not going to be on the table. An essential information guide for veggies in Wales.

Vegan Resource Sites

Anyone looking for vegan information will sooner or later come across
The Vegan Society. The website if full of information on subjects such as the History of the Vegan Society, Nutrition, Lifestyle, Faith, News and Events, Shopping and a whole lot more.
It states "Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose."
Another useful website is The Vegan Village , with a useful noticeboard, groups and forums, shopping and services, health, charities etc.
Here's the link for a list of animal ingredients to look out for: http://www.happycow.net/health-animal-ingredients.html
and an interesting site that lists foods that are 'accidentally vegan' - I can't believe it's vegan!, which lists American products that just happen to be vegan suitable, but were not made to intentionally be vegan. Cool eh? Wish there was a UK site like that, maybe there is......
PETA has a whole load of information about being vegan, it's a very useful site. I find the American site has more information than the UK site, but it's all good.
To Happy Vegans is an interesting and informative site from written by two women Mitsu and Sasha, about all things vegan. Well worth a read.
Another fab read is The Vegan Family House Blog , which has some interesting recipes and information. Including the link to these white chocolate buttons which are a vegan godsend to chocoholics and can be bought from Goodness Direct if your local health food shop or supermarket does not stock them.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Meet the Gang

I needed a little bit of distraction from the negativity of late, so I dug out my camera and decided to take some photos of my latest creations - sock monkeys! I had fun posing them, it doesn't take much to keep me amused. I really like making sock creatures, as they take on their own personalities as they become complete. I have listed these in my Folksy store, which is the UK's version of Etsy. After a lot of thought I'm going to close my etsy store when the listings expire, and give Folksy a go. I made some wonderful 'cyber friends' on Etsy and hope to continue their acquantances. I'll certainly still be shopping there, and supporting 'Handmade'. I just got to the point where I found it too competitive and BIG. A bit like Ebay, and unless you really got at it all the time, listing, renewing, promoting, etc you get nowhere. I'm not saying Folksy will be any easier or better, but i'll give it a go.

Just when we thought the worst stuff was over.....................

Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse, it did. Oh yes, not only has the Grim Reaper been shadowing us for far too long lately, but so have the local yobs. This morning while leaving the house to go to the hospital we noticed that our car had been broken into. Great, Unbelievable, WTF!!!!!! 'They' had managed to lever the door open (crowbar? - whatever!), and then ripped the radio out, which was not a portable/removable radio but was fitted into the car. It's not worth much, but of course the damage to the door is. Yes it's insured, but with an excess of £150 and losing the 'no claims bonus', the only option to get the car fixed, but not really a good option at all. A tow away truck came and hauled it away, we waved bye to it, and said ' see ya in a few days'. Apparently, it looks like the radio was stolen to order, as nothing else was disturbed or taken from the car. We reported it to our less than helpful local police. Really, the woman on the front desk at the reception kept rolling her eyes, and just couldn't be bothered with the paperwork. When we walked in to the Police station she was having a lovely chat (read that as flirt) with another copper, so we probably disturbed her chat up, very sorry luv, but you're there to work! and believe me I wouldn't be there out of choice.
So that was today, now what's that song - "things can only get better".....!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Our Dear Sweet Molly was laid to rest.

My beautiful little girl Molly has died. Just when we thought things could not get any sadder, Molly became ill. She was having trouble with her back legs giving way now and again, for quite a while. We worked around this, I held her up to eat, and placed a bowl upside down under her dish so she wouldn't have to lean forward to eat. We walked less distance, but still went out. We talked about one day, she would need a 'trolly thing' to help her get around. If she showed signs of being too tired while we were out, we carried her. She seemed to like this, and always looked pleased at being carried, we said she looked like the queen!
Last Tuesday I was working a late shift, so was able to take them (my 3 sweet girls), over the park in the morning. She was a bit wobbly and slow, but I'm used to that. A short walk did us all good and she seemed to enjoy it. The next day she was unable to lift herself up at all. her front legs had gone stiff, she was unable to eat. The next couple of days we tried spoon feeding her, syringing water into her mouth, constantly changing her bedding as she was totally incontinent. She could not get up. Her eyes looked frightened and distressed. We knew the end was near. We spent time with her comforting her. She gave up eating, she couldn't even lick liquid food off the spoon. When we tried to syringe water into her mouth, she struggled, and really hardly any water went in. Finally on Saturday we took her to the vets. We have been going to our vets for years and she is a good vet. She explained that the stiffening of the front legs, and given her history, it was indicative of either tumour on the spine or a blood clot, and that it was spreading quickly. The kindest thing to do was euthanasia. We had to let her go. I had to sign the consent form, which was signing her death certificate, which no matter how it's justified by being the 'kindest thing to do, to end suffering' it's still signing to end her life. the end was quick and peaceful. It took a few seconds and she was gone. We smoothed her and cried, we said goodbye to her. Our dear sweet Molly is gone from us. She was beautiful, and a really sweet natured dog. She would always run up to any other dogs in the park, and want to be their friends. We always had to keep an eye on her in case she spied another dog and went wandering over to them. People always commented on how pretty she was, and how unusual her coat was. I gave her a home from a local rescue centre. She was eight years old then, and lived another eight years with me. That's about 90 in human terms of years. She loved us, and we loved her. the house seems emptier and quieter now, and we miss her dearly. Rest in Peace Molly, my dear, sweet, beautiful girl.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Just monkeying around!

I've made another sock monkey. This one is for a friends birthday. We're going to her party later today. I think she will like 'pink' as she's quite feminine. I added the wooden heart shaped pendant, that can be taken off Princess Sock Monkey and worn. Like an extra present!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

International Day to Mark Support to End Violence Against Women.

The 25th November is International Anti Violence Against Women's Day, or White Ribbon Day.
The UK has started a UK branch of a Global White Ribbon campaign which is led by men, tackling the issue of violence from men against women.


While some men are part of the problem, all men can be part of the solution! 

Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women is a global call for action, launched in November 2009, on ending violence against women and girls. It is presented by UNIFEM as a contribution to advance the objectives of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women through social mobilization. UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman is the Spokesperson of Say NO.
Based on country data available, up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their life-time. It happens everywhere – at home and at work, on the streets and in schools, during peacetime and in conflict. Violence against women and girls has far- reaching consequences, harming families and communities, stunting human development, and undermining economic growth. Everyone has a role to play in combating this global pandemic; the time to act together is NOW.
Say NO aims to trigger and highlight actions by individuals, governments and civil society partners. Actions can range from reaching out to students at schools, to volunteering at local shelters, advocating for legislation or donating funds towards programmes that protect women and girls from violence. Every action will be counted to showcase the global groundswell of engagement that exists on the issue. The initial target is to reach 100,000 actions by March 2010 and 1 million actions in one year.
Say NO builds upon the momentum generated during its first phase when 5,066,549 people signed on to a global call to make ending violence against women a top priority worldwide. Heads of States and Ministers from 69 Governments and more than 600 Parliamentarians have added their names to Say NO since then.
Working through traditional as well as online networks and social media, Say NO will engage participants from all walks of life. A range of web-based and other tools available on saynotoviolence.org will support partners in their advocacy efforts, highlight their work to a global audience and inspire others.
In line with the Secretary-General’s campaign framework that calls for an increase in funding for the multi-lateral UN Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women, Say NO encourages donations for the UN Trust Fund, which supports local and national programmes catalyzing change on the ground.
Say NO - UNiTE to End Violence against Women is an expanding global coalition of individuals, organizations, governments and the private sector to realize a vision that is ambitious, but must never be impossible – a future that is free from violence against women and girls. Let us count you in – take action to end violence against women now.

Monday, 9 November 2009

No More!

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Not as clear as I would like, but click on it, to see clearly.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

It's All In The Bag

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Somtimes you come across other sites or info that you just want to share!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uZxbBIhJYE this is cool! well done heather!

Also if anyone in London or san francisco is looking for a job helping animals, check out these: http://www.ad-international.org/work_with_adi/go.php?si=102

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Sock Monkeys - they're fun!

I recently made my very first Sock Monkey. I have been thinking about it for a while, and finally got around to doing one. It took quite a while to make. I love it. It seems to have it's very own personality. The cats are a bit freaked by it. They nervously looked at it, and just couldn't relax around it, until Ruby decided to attack it!
Now I want a name for my sock monkey. So I'll be holding a contest to find the best name for it.
Check out this blog over the next week, for details of the contest, and who knows, you may win a sock monkey of your own!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

My dear sweet Banshee died yesterday morning.

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Farewell to my beautiful Banshee. I'm so sad that she's gone, but now she's at peace, without pain. Cancer finally took over.I miss her. She was so graceful and elegant, and a real sweetheart. She lived with me for about 16 years. I took her in as a stray, she had given birth to kittens on wasteland near my home. I found her kittens a lovely home, and she came to stay, with her sister Phoebe, who has also had kittens (I found her one surviving kitten a good home too). Phoebe and Banshee loved to sleep on top of the kitchen cupboards. they became known as 'The kitchen cats'. The last few year or so, Phoebe developed a disease on her nose. It makes her cranky. All consultations have been inconclusive, but it's not cancer. Banshe very loyally put up with all her crankness, and adored Phoebe. Banshee developed cancer of the mouth. A biopsy revealed it was not operable and the type that does not respond well to chemotherapy or treatment. We tried Apricot Kernels, but I think it was too little, too late, also because the tumour was in/on her mouth, eating was not easy. Eventually she stopped eating, then drinking. I knew it was her final day yesterday, I could see it in her eyes. I went out to get my car from the garage (needed work on it), and by the time I got home, about an hour later, she was dead. She spared me having to euthanaise her, as I couldn't see her suffer any more.It was her time to leave this world. Bless my lovely Banshee. She rests with all the other dear, sweet kitties that have come into my life and passed out of this world, and I know they'll take care of her.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Update on Banshee

This is a photo of banshee, taken today. As you can see, her top lip and mouth has an enormous tumour, which is growing rapidly. it is her second day of having ground Apricot Kernels put in her food. I've got her some extra special food, and put a pinch of the ground apricot kernels in a small amount, and stay with her while she eats it, so that I know she's definitely had some, and not the other cats! I do this 3 times a day. it's too early to notice any good effects, but I'm hoping with time and patience, the tumour will shrink. She eats well and drinks water, so I know she's not in too much pain.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Our beloved Banshee

Our beloved Banshee has just been diagnosed with cancer of the mouth (top palette). The vet said it is very invasive and the type of cancer that doesn't respond well to chemotherapy. It is situated in a place too difficult to operate, so it cannot be removed. It is just a matter of keeping her going for as long as we can until this nasty disease goes too far. I have ordered Apricot Kernels from a place that the lovely Annette from Dragon House of Yuen recommended. Thank you Annette for the info. The woman at Dayspring was sweet and talked a little bit about the apricot kernels. I have ordered them ground up, to put in Banshee's food next week. I hope they make a difference. The info about Apricot Kernels, is very interesting.
Banshee last December.

Banshee a couple of months ago, when the top lip started to swell.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

EtsyVeg is hosting “Kick off to Fall,” a weeklong event, Monday, September 7th through Sunday, September 13th, with our veggie artisans celebrating Autumn's upcoming arrival with special sales and offers!
Here is a list of shops participating in the event. Check them out to see what's on offer.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

A Green Day

The UK is well known for it's rain. Luckily this year we have had a glimpse of sunshine in between the downpours. All this rain then sunshine makes for very lush green grass.
My local park is not very pretty, but if you can ignore the rubbish and vandalism, look beyond the graffiti, which by the way is NOT street art, not here anyway, step over the broken glass and empty beer cans, switch off to the sound of screeching cars and police sirens, there is green space which can be enjoyed.
Here, the girls stop for a pee.
We like to stroll around, and maybe sometimes see other dogs that we've got to know over time. The girls love it, and I do too. I can daydream of a better world of peace and harmony, a world without cruelty and oppression.
However chaotic it is all around, our little bit of green park bring us all a little bit of peace and sanity, and makes life just that little bit better. Feel the breeze in the air, enjoy the lush green colours, smile at the swallows (or are they swifts) as they go sweeping by, and enjoy.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

I need your votes!!!!!!!!!!!!

My darling Ruby is in a Pet Photo contest :)
Please, please, please vote for her, by clicking on this link: http://dazzledbeaderpetphotocontmest.blogspot.co/ and selecting number 11.
All of the cats and dogs are very cute, and superstars.
The winners get a prize plus a donation to their favourite charity. If I win, I will choose
Dr Hadwen Trust for the donation. This is their statement of their cause:
'The Dr Hadwen Trust is the UK's leading medical research charity funding exclusively non-animal techniques to replace animal experiments, benefiting humans
and animals.'

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Taking it Easy!

Having spent a good part of today shopping for groceries, amongst the busy crowds of stressed out shoppers, and angry motorists, and now the weather is not so bright, I can't help but feel just a little bit envious of my darling cats. I arrived home to find them stretched out, lazing around, and generally taking it easy. They looked up at me with a 'do not disturb' kind of look, and continued in their slumberly rest. Every now and again I'd love to change places with them, and have no worries, taking each day as it comes, eating in between snoozing, just lounging, resting and generally letting it all hang out! and just once in a while chase the other cats around to play. Ah, bliss..................................

Sunday, 9 August 2009

A delightful vegan picnic.

We have had a lovely sunny Sunday. Early afternoon we took the dogs for a nice long walk, through woods, by the lake and parkland. A fabulous sunny day. We all appreciated getting out in the sun at last. so many people were out having their picnics, I thought it would be nice to have a picnic when we got home. of course we had to go shopping for the food, on the way home. luckily one of us had their purse on them (not me). It didn't take too long to prepare the picnic. many hands make light work, as the saying goes, or in this case - you stay over there and so your bit, and leave me to do the rest (I usually work better when I'm on my own in the kitchen.).
The result was a scrumptious, yummy vegan feast of a picnic, and there's lots left over for later, so we are certainly well fed today!!!!!!
Look at the fabulous, tasty food, and try not to let your mouth water! This is the picnic laid out, before we devoured it !

A close up of our delicious food, and now for some detailed close ups of some of the dishes:

This is a tofu dish, which tasted a bit like an egg mayo mix, it was made of Tofu, Gherkins, Paprika, and Vegan Mayo. I think that was all, but since I didn't make it there may be other ingredients added, hmmmm, I'll have to find out.
This is the beetroot salad I made from raw beet
root and red onion, chopped very small, with a little Good Oil and balsamic vinegar added.

This is a bowl of sauteed mushrooms, with a little salt and pepper added, and Grassington's chicken style nuggets
I also made this healthy basic salad - lettuce, tomato, celery, cucumber and spring onions, with a light dressing of Good Oil and balsamic vinegar.

This is a close up of the hummus dip (bought),
and the salts I used - Herbemare and Jamie Olivers Pink Himalayan Salt, which I've wanted to try for a long time, I've only ever seen Himalayan salt in a big lump before, so it is handy to find these smaller granules in a grinder. I very rarely use Table salt, I prefer these kind of salts, they contain less sodium, and are much healthier.
After we let this yummy food go down for a while, I decided to make my version of a Strawberry Shakeaway. Even though i don't know exactly how they make theirs, they truly are delicious , and they do a good vegan variety. I used fresh strawberries, soya milk and vegan ice-cream by Swedish Glace. Blended them together, and 'voila' a scrumptious, Vegan Strawberry Shake. It was beyond delicious.
We also had some boiled potatoes, some bread, and some water. I think that is everything.
It stayed sunny, the food was all delicious, and nutritious, and it was a verrrry nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

A Super Fabulous Vegan Sample Bag

I entered a contest recently, to name the new Vegan Sample Bag site, and I won. It's being called 'It's all In The Bag'.
My prize was a super fantastic Vegan Goodie Bag. It arrived last week. I had such a surprise. As it was a sample bag I didn't know what was in it, so each time I delved into the bag, it was like dipping into a christmas stocking! it was full of a wonderful assortment of vegan goodies, including, soaps, body scrub, bracelet, flower seeds, earrings, discount coupons,
a crocheted face cloth, a wonderful VeganEtsy patch, a print, and
more, so much more. All in a pretty tote.
Everything was handmade by wonderful Etsy crafters. It was very exciting, and I am thrilled to have received it. The organiser of these fabulous Vegan Sample Bags, Heather, works very hard to get them together, and all proceeds go to Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary.
I have sent some of my own handmade samples to Heather, for the next Vegan Sample Bag Sale, which is due out very soon. To check out more info about the sample bags, such as latest contributors, and when they go on sale, click here.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

EtsyVeg Giveaway

I am donating the prize form my Veganessa shop, to this weeks EtsyVeg giveaway. To check out the contest, click onto EtsyVeg and try your luck ;).
It's free to enter, and you could win a fabulous coin purse, handmade in Wales.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

A fabulous Etsy Shop for the cutest gifts ever.

Everyone who shops on Etsy will know how delightful it is to find a shop they LOVE, that has something they just have to buy. I have found that very shop. I was recently looking for something for a friend's birthday. I had in mind, kinda cute, possibly jewellery, oranges, browns sort of colours, other than that, I was open for surprises. I searched vegan etsy members shops, as I like to support my fellow team members if possible. I came across this adorable shop: Pinkkis. Scrolling through the charming assortment of pencil cases, necklaces, pouches, earrings, and more,
I found this: an adorable fruit plate brooch, full of oranges and strawberries and lots of tiny detailed fruits. It was so sweet, and just the right colours. I just had to buy it. Such a novelty, unique gift, my friend was delighted.
I have my eye on some other items in Pinkkis Store , and as soon as I can, I will be looking to buy some more. just look at these adorable, funky items:

Etsy is full of wonderful shops, and Pinkkis is one of the cutest. Based in Finland, some of the store's information is written in Finnish as well as English, which looks everso so cute too, I'm fascinated by languages.
Check out Pinkkis Blog for a fun read, or visit Pinkkis Store , you are sure to smile at the cuteness, and the store owner, Raisa, is very friendly, and a delight to buy from.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

I'm in an Etsy Voter

Hey, how's this for a surpirse, I've been included in this weeks tsy Voter, that has a theme 'things I would take to the beach'. My Beach Bag from my Etsy shop is up there! I need votes! so, if you can, please, pretty please vote for my bag :)

I've not been in a voter before, so it's very exciting for me.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Fabulous New Vegan Sample Bags Out Soon!

I'm just finishing my donations for the Vegan Sample Bags, put together by the wonderful Holistically Heather. She is collecting all items by the end of July 31st and they will be for sale in August. here is a sample of my samples :)

A mix of coin purses, business card holders and mini pocket purses. Made from acrylic felt, and decorated with beads, motifs, wording etc all good fun, and aimed at spreading the word VEGAN! I have a load more ideas, but alas time is running out. So I must pop the items in the post to Heather, and eagerly await the arrival of the new set of bags.