Thursday, 26 September 2013

ana mendieta

I've loved Ana Mendieta since I first saw her work in books. I did catch a film art piece of hers in Tate Modern (I think), but haven't managed to see any of her other stuff in 'the flesh'.

So am totally excited that an exhibition of her work has just started at the Hayward Gallery so we will have to make a trip for that one.

Here are some pictures of her work, I think this stuff is mainly from the 1970s. Sadly Mendieta died at the age of 36 under unclear circumstances (literally a did she jump or was she pushed scenario). There's a great film called Women Art Revolution which looks at feminist art in the 70s and 80s and covers Mendieta quite a bit too.

It's good to have an excuse to go to London as Bert was having a look online and found out about a bookshop called Treadwell's which just looks so great! has anyone been there?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

some treats....

So it's getting autumny! Time to think about jumpers and cardigans.... and autumny colours... and possibly the 1970s? I found this delightful little number on Past Times Vintage and went ahead and ordered it for myself. I don't look like this lady when I'm wearing it - less rockstarry more cuddly. I am refusing to take it off.
here's a little picture of me wearing it! 
bert made me cut him out of the picture....

I love this mason jar mug from Urban Outfitters.
I hinted to bert that I would like one to drink my morning coffee out of (by sending him emails)
...and yesterday he brought one home. Yay! coffee tastes way better in it than in any other mug.

do you know this book Astragal?
It was written in the 50s/60s when the author was in prison - that's her on the cover.
It's being re-released with an introduction by Patti Smith.
Bert was lucky enough to get a reading copy of it. 
I am so excited to read it!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

recent things....

bert cut my hair

and let me take a photo of this...

we went away for a couple of days thanks to moms and pops and went bookshopping.
It rained the whole time we were away so we mainly stayed in and read and watched movies.

I've been reading this book (the flamethrowers by rachel kushner) which is totally great.

I didn't buy this book... but perhaps I should have.

ate raw,vegan and sugar free cheescake.

went sewing with a friend.

ate tomatoes.
now you're up to speed.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

tofu frittata and the rest of the vegbox....

slices of tofu frittata...
Shaheen asked how to make tofu frittata. here ya go Shaheen!
sometimes I make it in a tray, and sometimes I make little muffin sized portions, which are pretty cute for lunch boxes. 
(the photos in this post are a little grim... I need a camera... rather than just taking them on my phone. Anyways, on with the show)
The recipe is from Nonna's Italian kitchen by Bryanna Clark Grogan. It's a vegan italian cookbook which I bought sometime early on in my relationship with bert in an attempt to make him the kind of food his mama used to make....
The ingredients for the frittata are as follows:

1 pound medium firm tofu
6 tablespoons flour
quarter cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon water or dry white wine
1 teaspoon baking powder
half a teaspoon of salt
half a teaspoon of turmeric
quarter teaspoon pepper

you then need to just mix it all up in a blender and then you can add anything you fancy - potatoes, sweet potatoes, roasted veg, spinach, onions, garlic and so on and so on.
I just use the recipe as a guide and often find that the batter is a little dry so add olive oil or more water..
once it's all mixed together, pop it in an oven proof dish and cook it for about 20-30 minutes. 
You can eat it hot but it's pretty squishy and I prefer it cold when it's firm. It's great for breakfast and lunch boxes.
As for the rest of  my vegbox... (for part one see here) this is what went down:

although a couple of you lovelies recommended that I make braised lettuce and peas, I ignored you and went with lettuce and pea soup.
It was pretty good. Bert refused to try it. 

Beans! I blanched them and then cooked them with garlic and chili. We had them with potatoes (from the veg box) and veggieburgers. They were yum!
once all those greens were sorted out I could relax a little...
and make soup. It was carrots, potatoes and red lentils. I also added some dumplings, because who can resist a dumpling? no one, that's who.
so, after all that I was just left with a red pepper and two courgettes, so I roasted them right up and popped them on a homemade pizza. 
vegbox challenge?
challenge completed.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

sweet and savory kale chips

Kale chips. How do you make them? 
before today I would just put them on a baking tray and sprinkle with nutritional yeast flakes, salt, pepper and olive oil. After today I shall just be following ONE recipe. This one.x
It's from the book 'The Karma Chow' by Melissa Costello and really all it is is mix up olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, agave syrup, lemon and almond butter (I had cashew butter). Mix it all up and then pour over your kale and toss. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes.

gah. I ate two whole bowls of the stuff. 
while drinking white wine.
what an afternoon.

making tea...

we had a food festival in work last weekend. 
asparaguspea and I made teabags. 
She was the brains behind the project, coming up with the idea and drying the herbs. I was more on the design side and put together the little packages to put the teabags in.
I was reminded of the bit in Dirty Dancing when the dad says that Baby is going to change the world, and her sister is going to decorate it.  (I think we all know that asparagus pea is Baby here).

anyway. Here are some teabags! Little packets, little tags!
We decided to buy the teabags as we would be seeing lots of people (about 350 people took part in the activity), but you could make your own and make them even more adorable
Naturally I put together a pinterest board and there are lots of great ideas over there for making of teabags and for the teabag envelopes...

so, mint, lemon balm, elderflower and fennel were dried, and we got the visitors to mix up their blend and get a chance to touch all the herbs and smell them too. 
we also made sure we had a pot of the tea on the go at all times. It really was delicious. I'd like to make more of my own tea! 

here are some of my envelopes....

some elderflower. 

oh, and these are pictures of the harvest festival that asparagus pea put together 

makes ya feel all cozy and autumnal don't it?
For Asparagus Pea's side of the story (and some better photos), see here

Thursday, 5 September 2013

veg box cooking

I got an organic vegetable box delivered. I was pretty excited about it.
It had sweetcorn, potatoes, green beans, carrots, courgettes, peppers, lettuce and spinach. I'm finding it pretty hard work to get through all the green stuff before it goes bad, I have eaten A LOT of spinach the last two days.

day 1
I made spinach, with potatoes and chick peas. I had it with bread...

day 2 
Sweetcorn with chili, red peppers, onion, garlic, ginger and lime juice
along with
spinach frittata's cooked with tofu, onion, red pepper, garlic and spinach
salad made with my lettuce, tomatoes and seeds

I think we are all excited about day 3 - we are going to have to work on those green beans, and the rest of that huge lettuce isn't going to eat itself

Monday, 2 September 2013

books i read in august

I'm not sure how I managed to read nine books this august.... 
Lots of them were good too. 
The books I read were:

Love and Haight by susan Carlton
The London Train by Tessa Hadley
Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami
Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
Heroines by Kate Zambreno
The Trees The Trees by Heather Christle
Collages by Anais Nin
Fairyland: A Memoir of my Father by Alysia Abbott
Wither by Lauren DeStefano

My favourite was Fairyland by Alysia Abbott. It's a memoir about growing up in San Francisco in the 70s and 80s with a gay dad (her mother died when she was little) who later suffers from AIDS. It's really wonderful, is is sad, but there are lots of lovely father/daughter bits and lots about San Franciso itself and writing and writers. I super recommend it!
Staying on the San Francisco theme, I also really enjoyed Love and Haight by Susan Carlton, which is a young adult book set in 70s San Francisco when a young girl goes there to get an abortion - tender, sensitive and sweet.
Strange Weather in Tokyo is a lovely story about food and friendship set in Japan. It's got great passages about eating and drinking, how come japanese fiction is so good?
Someday, Someday, Maybe is a novel by Lauren Graham. Yep! THE Lauren Graham, as in Lorelai from Gilmore Girls!
It's set in 90s New York where the main character is a struggling actress... and I imagine it's pretty autobiographical. It's a fun easy to read, with dashes of Gilmore Girls style humour, I enjoyed it a whole heap.

I'm over on goodreads if you want to be my buddy

Sunday, 1 September 2013

craftivism - mini fashion protest banners

This summer's craftivism project was all about ethical fashion, about how we love fashion but hate sweatshops, and about how we shop affects other people.

Yesterday we met up to stitch our mini protest banners, we had a lovely time (the weather was beautiful) and talked about where we buy clothes from and how we will shop in the future. As a vegan, many things I buy are ethical - such as eating mainly wholefoods, buying local vegetables, and buying cruelty free and natural beauty products and cosmetics.  But I don't particularly take this into my clothes buying. I do buy quite a bit of vintage and handmade, and my boots are from vegetarian shoes... but I must admit that I often buy leggings and jumpers from supermarkets.  Since stitching my banner, I am going to be much more mindful of where I get my clothes from (as it happened today in town I went into a little shop that was having a sale and bought a dress and a jacket that were ethically produced) and perhaps buy less clothes, but ones that are a little bit more expensive, don't use sweatshops and will last longer anyway.

Here are some images from our day

Claire's amazing banner
my banner all hung up

If you'd like to know more about the project (and take part!) head over to and if you are Cardiff based, why not join us next time? for more information see here at cardiff craftivists


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