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.