lauantai 25. tammikuuta 2014

Vegan food

Yesterday I was asked about the things vegans eat. I'd say everything except for meat, milk, eggs, honey etc. But I guess that's not what she meant. :)

After you get into the vegan world it gets very easy. But in the beginning it can be quite complicated. And being the "weirdo" or the "difficult one" never gets easy. But I guess you get used to that as well.

But lets talk about the food. We eat pretty much the same stuff the average omnivore eats: pizza, pasta, sandwiches, gravy and potatoes, fries, burgers, okonomiyaki, yakisoba, sushi, misosoup, African Peanut Soup and so on... ;) It's all about the ingredients. You make your pizza with vegan cheese (in Finland that would be either a) homemade or b) store bought). The store bought works best if you melt it with a carton vegan cooking cream and then spread that on top of your pizza. And for the topping you can use pretty much everything. Our favorites are fried tofu, fried smoked tofu, onion, pineapple, seasoned TVP, etc.

Pasta is great with sauces made with vegan cooking cream, or tomato sauce and seasoned TVP.

Sandwiches with vegan butter (in Finland sininen Keiju, in the States it's Earth Balance), the best cheese in the world (= Wilmersburger), some seitan slices, bean spread, Tartex pate, sun dried tomatoes, anything. There's even cheap vegan mayo at S-market.

Gravy is easily made with vegan butter and veggie buillon/cubes. Just add TVP for protein. Burgers with vegan cheese and either homemade or store bought bean/veggie patties. Okonomiyaki and many other Japanese foor are quite easy to make vegan as well.

If you need eggs for baking you can substitute it quite many ways. I will not list them here because different methods work for different recipes. You can make omelettes with tofu and chickpeaflour (gram flour), you can make super delicious steaks with seitan flour (seitan is wheat gluten).

So many things can be made vegan, even the most basic and common things you are used to eating. And that's really good way to start, by veganizing your favorite meals. 

The are tons of subsitutes for milk, pudding, cream and ice cream. And they are so much better than the cow milk products. These are usually available at your basic grocery store, but seitan and egg replacer and other specialty products you can find from health food stores/eco stores like Ruohonjuuri, Ekolo, Vegetukku and Runsaudensarvi.

Very good website for beginners and also seasoned vegans is Vegaanituotteet. On that site is listed tons and tons or regular products that happen to be vegan. Products you can easily find anywhere.

Also a good way to start is to borrow a good vegan cook book from the library, like Puputyttö ja Vohvelisankari (for baking), Puputytön Juhlakirja (for all sorts of cooking) or Kasvisseikkailu (simple, child friendly recipes). If you want you can also buy these books, from me :)

Rainbow cupcakes

Chocolate pudding

Japanese cooking

Easy wrap

Dinner at Soi Soi

Home made beer battered onion rings

I hope these helped! Lets get cooking!


perjantai 24. tammikuuta 2014

I will conquer the world!

Well, maybe not during this lifetime, but maybe the next one. Anyway, I've had such a great week so far. Actually it has started last Saturday, if not even before that. On Saturday I took my hubby out on a date. This is something that amazes my son, who doesn't understand why we go on dates since we are already married. We do it for fun, to keep our relationship fun. :)

But that's not what I'm writing about. I'm writing about my business, my passion, my funtime. So, before meeting my spouse in the city I went craft supply shopping. I got some miniature wood for my dreamhouse (it'll be awesome once it's finished - dunno when that's going to happen though), ribbon and fabric for my sleepsacks. And I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it. Even the cold weather and other Saturday shoppers.

The rest of the day was very pleasant as well, with nice dinner in a nice restaurant and then to see my daughter's band performing for the very first time! So awesome!

Sunday I sewed. I had to stop occasionally to cook, since weekends are my turn to feed the family. But since I made a list earlier during the week, even the shopping list was done according to what I planned to cook, which makes it much more pleasant. My daughter made muffins, I made macaroni cassarole and a huge loaf of bread. And then back to sewing.

All pictures courtesy of Nelli
At the moment I have such amazing fabrics it's been difficult not to sew! I had eight sleepsack I was working on, and finally a couple days ago I got them finished. Then we took pics of them and uploaded them on the store and enjoyed the sound my hubby's mini computer makes everytime I sell something. :D It's like an old fashioned cash register. :) I sold everything in less than 24 hours! Except for one that was reserved for somebody who can't buy it just yet. And now there are three people on the line for new pouches.

The whole week has been like this. Not that I've sold like a pro, but I've had this weird sense of confidence or something. Like I can make it. Even though I know I can't with Pinkkis. It's just not possible in Finland, with the products I have. But still. Maybe if I combine all I make and know and use that?

The main reason for this post is still yet to come - Etsy Meet! I'm a member of Etsy Team called Finland

Handcrafters Team. I used to be quite active on it, but then I got really busy with school stuff and all. So I became less active. And then I felt so left behind I stopped checking the new stuff all together. But maybe a week ago or so I got an invitation to this meet and I felt like going. Now that I don't go to my Spanish class anymore I even had a chance to do something else during evenings!

I met 8 other Etsians in the City. I was late, as always. I was supposed to be early to go to the fabric store (= my fave hangout), but life happend and I ended up running and sweating. Everyone else were there already. But I wasn't too late to miss the introduction or anything really. All the girls seemed so nice and so talented and so ready for success. :)
Big Goals!
I missed almost half of what was said, thanks to my lousy hearing and the noisy location, but what I heard was very inspiring. We made all sorts of open plans, nothing too strict yet, but discussed some ideas for workshops and so on. But the best part was really meeting all these amazing people. I also got my first "Pay it Forward" present. :) Very nice soap from Paloni. Thank you Nelli!! I will pay it forward!

After the "official" part of the meet we went to a cafe. I had quite a nice cup of Fair Trade Jasmine tea. I hate being fussy about my food and drinks, since I think I'm very easy to please, but I guess in the real world I'm a nightmare.  Being vegan and only liking Japanese green tea, preferably organic and fair trade... But this tea was really nice. We were at Coffee House on Sokos.

From there I had to leave early to go to the fabric store. Once again I had to run. Eww. I don't like running with all the heavy clothes and shoes and the air being so goddamn cold and dry. I found a piece of fur I liked but not the one I was actually looking for :( I had a piece of it with me so I was able to ask for help, but even the two women I asked from didn't know what it was called or where to get more... great!

Oh well! I must go. I have some biology to read and pouches to sew.

I hope you all have an amazing weekend with full of nice surprises and magical moments!!


maanantai 13. tammikuuta 2014

Blythe Fashion

This is kind of funny - me writing about fashion. I don't know anything about it. Not that much about dolly fashion, either. I like what I like and that's it :)

But what I do know about is sewing. And I guess my post is not so much about fashion as it is about the amazing talents behind the doll fashion.

Sewing doll clothes is basically the same as human clothes. But then again it's nothing like that. I know the basics of sewing human clothes, and I know the basics of sewing doll clothes, too. But to make the fabric obey me - I don't know how that is done. I've mastered sewing pouches and am now on my way to mastering sleepsack carriers as well, but dolly clothes - no. Seams are never straight enough, nor are the stitches in place. Everything is just so small it makes it impossible to get it neat. The fabric must be thin enough to look good on a tiny doll, and the thinner the fabric the more difficult it is to make it obey.

So I make the occasional doll clothing, mostly dresses for my own fun. Then I don't have to worry about them being less than perfect. But when I want something perfect--and trust me, I do love perfection--I'll head for a seasoned doll seamstresses. There are some amazingly talented people out there that have the skills to tame fabric, make it work for them, and not the other way around. They can add amazing details to their clothes that never stops amazing me!

Some of my favorites are Eurotrash, whom I've written about before, I think. Maybe it was on my Finnish blog, not sure. Her seams and stiches are close to perfect. And she has incredible eye for details. Just check her supersweet helmets (made out of wool, so no-no to me ;). Look at these dresses! Aren't they superb?!
Another favorite of mine is Pommepomme. It's fairly new brand for me. I know it's been around for a lot longer, but I just got my first dress just a couple weeks ago. And I have to say that the stiches are perfect. Ah! I could spend hours just admiring them! Perfection! And the dress looks so cute on Kevin, too! And just yesterday I saw another Pommepomme dress, and that also was so well made, and with very thin (which means it's difficult to work with) fabric. So beautiful!
For different reasons I also like BA. Button Arcade. I don't like these because the beauty in the very careful stitching. No. I like these cause they are so much fun!! All of the ones I have now are second-hand dresses, but I have two dresses that were made just for me somewhere above the Atlantic, heading for home! I'm also about to get two tutus, made by BA. Note the pockets, which are kind of the whole point! So cute!
And for the same reason as BA, I like Megipupu's wraps because they are so goddamn cute! Just look at these. Megi, the sweet lady who used to make these makes the most amazing crocheted seam on all of them! So much work! Too bad she can't make them anymore. :( But that's what happens when you get old and your fingers won't do magic tricks that easily anymore.
Some of my first dresses were from Devout Dolls. Sara, who makes these super cute dresses, is very talented and I'd hope to see more of her work out there, worn by pretty dolls!

Some other favorites of mine are HOP, House Of Pinku, Sweet Crochet by Leshan, Biscotti Vintage and La boutique de Lupi. The last one I really don't know that well, but I'm a bit obsessed with re-creating a scene from a post card and it has one of her dresses on it, and the cat dress pictured is the closest I've gotten so far. She still makes clothes for Blythe, but not these dresses anymore. :(

Okay, that's about it! I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about these talented people, and looking at pictures of their creations!

Take care!