Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Chair Without a Seat

Two months ago (yikes, has it been that long?!) I found this sad-looking chair out on the street, awaiting the garbage truck. Where you ask? On my very short walk to work, of course! I've found four pieces of furniture this way. From what I can tell the chair is fairly old, I would guess antique. I wore a mask while removing the paint, as I wasn't sure if the paint contained lead.



As you can see, the chair was missing a seat. My father-in-law graciously cut the wooden base for the seat. I ordered a piece of foam from a company on Ebay that cuts it to your specifications, and used leftover fabric from the previously featured love seat that I re-created to upholster the seat. Shhh...don't tell anyone, but I actually just hot-glued the fabric to the foam/wood!

This was my first time chipping off paint. I wasn't totally successful, even with sanding it afterward, so if you look at the chair closely you can see that the paint's a little uneven. Oh well. I primed it with a recycled paint provided by my coworker and finished it up with two coats of a honey yellow paint sample I picked up from a home improvement store. (I attempted to find leftover paint on Craigslist, but no such luck.) The sample turned out to be more than enough and I've already used it on a couple of other projects!

This wasn't a huge project, but I love this little chair. And now we can seat one more person for a potluck!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Natural Pet Expo Adoption Event

VeganMoFo is just a few days away, so I figure I need to get in a few non-food related posts before the official start on Thursday.

Yesterday, DocDufresne and I volunteered at an adoption event Cares4Pets held at the Natural Pet Expo in the Northern Liberties area of Philadelphia. We got to spend some time with Hazel, a very cute 15-week-old puppy (Australian Shepard/German Shepard/Sheltie mix?).

Hazel got into some rat poison in her previous home and her owners brought her into the vet's to put her to sleep instead of signing her over to the clinic. Fortunately (although a little sadly) for Hazel, her owners left her dying on the table, thereby giving up any rights to her. A month later, she's doing extremely well in the capable hands of Cares4Pets.

Then she met a friend: Winnie from the PSPCA was walking by. DocDufresne has a soft spot for three-legged dogs (who doesn't?). What an adorable photo!

Here we are in our matching outfits:

It may not look like it, but we're actually playing here:

Domino is also up for adoption. He's currently in a Cares4Pets foster home after having been at the PSPCA. He's an adorable, sweet pit mix and his foster mom is working on improving his nutrition, which was greatly lacking before.

Mulligan is looking so much better since the last time I saw him. He's super friendly and was happy to rub against any hands that made their way near his cage. Life on the streets was rough for this kitty when he was abandoned by his previous owner. Luckily one of the Cares4Pets ladies took him in and brought him to health. Mulligan is also up for adoption!

Ella is in a foster home with two shih tzus (not up for adoption). She's quite cute...for a pug. :)

For the shih tzus' mama:

Lastly, I have a couple of photos of Jonesy, who was brought into the vet's office because someone stepped on his foot and broke it. He's a spunky little fellow.

Thanks, DocDufresne for taking the majority of these photos while I played with the animals :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I just had to take a break from the grant I'm working on for Cares4Pets to create a quick post about the awesome yarn I just received from Heidi of Quo Vadis Handspun. She sells both her own handspun yarns and commercially spun yarns, naturally dying them all herself using plant material. Most of the yarns are organic too.

If you're a knitter like me, I'm sure you'll appreciate this shop. Compared to other stores I've been too, Heidi's prices are very reasonable. (In total, including shipping from BC, Canada, I spent $124.25 for 14 skeins.) You also get the lovely colors that only come from hand-dyed yarn. With yarns made from soy, organic cotton, and other natural (non-animal) fibers, (or at least recycled acrylics, etc.) it's also great to know that you're not supporting the creation of a patroleum-based product.

Hayao Miyazaki fans will get a kick out of the yarn names in this great Etsy shop.

In my excitement, I accidentally left out a yarn from the photo, so I'm uploading one of Heidi's.

PS- Shhh this yarn is for a secret "Vegan Thanksgiving" project. New post when project is finished in November.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good Eats and Good Company

Food update!

Most of these are from last weekend when I visited South Florida for my mom's birthday. I also got the opportunity to meet up with a few friends and my siblings, of course.

Breakfast on my mom's birthday included mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (Vegan Brunch), Broccoli Quiche (Vegan Brunch), champagne grapes (thanks, TCat for introducing me to these little yummies!), Chai (an original), and strawberries with mint and lime juice.

My mom requested a birthday filled with "munchies" for the attendees throughout the day. Hopefully I delivered! In addition to the hummus and veggie platters and jasmine iced tea, there was...

Caesar salad with homemade croutons and dressing (not pictured- an original)

Lemony Roasted Potatoes (Veganomicon)
[I use about 1/3 of the suggested lemon juice. Rave reviews.]

mini Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (Vegan Brunch)

Pain au Chocolate [et framboises]
[Literal translation: Bread with chocolate and raspberries]

[Next time I'll make them half the size so more people can enjoy them. These were devoured.]

Tempeh Sausage Pastry Puffs (Vegan Brunch)

[So good! I first had the pleasure of trying these when they were made by my friend Dynahmite.]

Coconut Lemon (or...uh...Lime) Bundt Cake (Veganomicon)

[As requested by my mom. My brother, A, actually made this. It was great!]

The next morning I made pancakes from this recipe (which we also use for our delicious Belgian Waffles), but didn't take a photo before they were eaten. Apparently they were the best ever, according to my brother, A. The day after that I made crepes for breakfast. I added a dash of nutmeg to the batter, and filled them with sliced bananas and agave nectar. I topped them off with powdered sugar and cinnamon. Really good!!

DocDufresne stayed home with the boys this past weekend. Since our usual weekly shopping trip didn't happen, there wasn't much to work with to make dinner tonight. I ended up pulling together a pretty good meal anyway.

Savory Lentils and Rice with Sheese Quesadillas
(Sheese acquired at a South Florida Whole Foods)

Adapted loosely from a Rachael Ray recipe

3/4 cup lentils
1/3 cup rice
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, grated
juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
lots o' pepper
pinch o' salt
pinch o' paprika
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1. Cook lentils, rice , and bay leaf in water until water is absorbed. In the mean time mix the remaining ingrediants in a mixing bowl.
2. When lentils and rice are finished cooking, add them to the mixing bowl and combine all ingredients. Serve warm and add lime slices to garnish.

Mini Guava Cakes
(Guava paste was also acquired on my trip to South Florida!)

1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup apple sauce
juice from one lime
1/3 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
4 oz guava paste, cut into rectangular slices

1. Mix wet ingredients (minus the guava paste) together. Mix the dry ingredients together. Combine the two mixtures.
2. Pour 1/2 the batter into a greased mini spring form pan. Place the guava slices on top of the batter. Pour in the rest of the batter.
3. Bake for about 30 minutes in your toaster oven at 350 degrees.
4. When cake is cooled, flip onto a plate, garnish with powdered sugar, and enjoy!

I leave you with two photos of the boys.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Foster Dog: R.W. Emerson

On Saturday evening I became a foster parent again. DocDufresne and I visited the our local SPCA to find out about their foster program. After two more trips there during a period of three hours, we came home with Frogger, a 2-year-old black and white pit bull mix that had been in the small kennel at the shelter for almost six months (perhaps due to "Black Dog Syndrome").

When we got home and the boys got a good amount of playtime in, DocDufresne and I remaned him R.W. Emerson. Emerson and Andy have been hitting it off very well. Emerson is so patient with Andy, who seems to be infatuated with his new friend, licking him, nibbling on his ears, following him around the house, engaging him in nonstop play. It's clear that Emerson is very happy to be in a home. He was immediately affectionate and playful, his months at the SPCA seem to not have affected him. I taught him to "sit" very quickly and he's already house trained and walks on a leash very nicely.

Sunday at the park.

Taking a snooze with DocDufresne.

Know of anyone who wants to adopt a super sweet little guy like Emerson??