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You may notice the header has changed. You see, I was planning to take a picture of Charlie, the original cat who walks by himself, but I went home to find that dear Charlie has passed away. He will be greatly missed by all of us, most especially his brother Oscar whom he has been with since they were born. So in the mean time there’s the rag rug as a header because it has pretty colours to cheer me up. I may update here if I can find a nice picture of Charlie and it doesn’t seem too morbid.

Well, I am now proudly 21 years of age. The cupcake party was a big success ūüôā I’ve been wanting an excuse to try some of the more involved recipes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for some time and this was the perfect reason!

So without further ado;



Chocolate stout

Pistachio and rosewater


Mint choc chip

In no particular order; blackberry cupcakes, plain chocolate and vanilla, chocolate and stout (you heard me right!), pistachio and rosewater, some made by the lovely Sara G. which I think were chocolate with coffee icing, and mint choc. chip. I really need a flickr account so I can go show off on the “Vegan cupcakes” pool.

More vegan cooking news, for my birthday Mr. Paul got me this;

vegan brunch

Vegan Brunch! Yeah!

… only, don’t click for more info. I stole the picture from (which is awesome for recipes by the way) I am very excited about this indeed. We do brunch in a big way around here. Usually Sara hosts, but we’ve had it here at Chez Grelanie too and it’s always fun to get some panto¬†people together in the morning with some coffee and some pancakes and some pictionary.

I don’t know if I’m going to get the omnis eating scrambled tofu any time soon though… To be honest I don’t know if I’m going to get myself eating scrambled tofu any time soon. The idea always seemed a bit ming to me, partially because I don’t¬†usually go in for “trying to perfectly replicate totally non-vegan foods.” Faking a bit of sausage here¬†and there, or substituting marg. and soya milk is one thing, but eggs are eggs and I’m not sure I want to try them with tofu. I may have to eat these¬†bloggy words when I do try it, but that’s my final word for now.

[EDIT]- Wait, sorry, I have totally eaten scrambled tofu. It was a bit ming or at least such a non-event that I erased it from my memory. But the point still stands.

In all seriousness however, there are some exciting recipes in there. Peirogies, which are aparently little russian pie-type things, look fun. And lots of muffin recipes that make twelve muffins! Yes! All the vegan muffin recipes I’ve found make ten. Which is annoying because a pan holds twelve muffins (and twelve is the best number in the world, which is why I like sewing hexagons so much and why I like cupcakes so much but we won’t go into that) so I’m pleased. And there’s a recipe for cinnamon rolls that looks good.

I’ve done cinnamon rolls¬† twice before, for one of Sara’s Brunches.¬†I used the recipe here;¬† Don’t get me wrong, they turned out really yummy… but. Well, a few buts. They’re pretty complicated to make (I did the overnight rising which made it worse), created mounds of washing up and kitchen mess and the batch of¬†twelve (yay!) of them contained a WHOLE CARTON of pure. So¬†each roll was a TWELTH of a carton of margarine. It may be happy no-cholesterol margarine but still the idea of having that much¬†fat in one roll¬†freaks me out a bit. I¬†put that much in a¬†WHOLE BATCH of cookies. Less than that to ice¬†a¬†batch of¬†cupcakes. Jesus Christ and other baking deities!¬†It’s not that I’m against that much fat and sugar in my baking, it’s just that if I use that much¬†I want it to taste like it. Like an actual bakinggasm. These were ok, pretty nice and moist and sweet, but not Oh My Gods good, if you know what I mean…

… phew… sorry [/baking rant]

Suffice to say I’m excited to see if there is a better way that seems to involve only a third of a cup and some oil in the dough. I think I’ll make these on Sunday. Though not for any kind of formal Brunch because we hosted the last one and my party after that, and I am “catering for large gatherings-ed out”

Oh on a brunch note, Sam got up and made Nat, Helena, Paul and I vegan brunch complete with hashbrowns and fried bread.  When we were all hung over. Because he is a beautiful angel boy. And now I can repay the favour with homemade hash browns.

Sam is lovely. And he got me some lovely presents even though he’d already go me a present which I’m not allowed to show you because you don’t show people your underwear on the internet. Unless it’s for money. And I bet none of you guys have any money. But look at the love;


He got me a plant-wax candle and a box and some fabric and some hotel chocolat stuff (yum!) I can’t get over the pure happiness of this present. I haven’t sewn with it yet. I like to just carress its brocade, awe at the real gold and silver thread that makes it weigh so nicely in your fingers, and those luscious autumn colours. My dear Sam knows me so well- craft materials make me crazy happy.

And that package from Sita! The brown paper one with the leaf, I just love it so much. It contains a purse shaped like and owl, and a hair grip, but I just had to wrap it up again because it looked so gorgeous. I’m seriously considering wrapping all my christmas gifts this way, just in brown paper with glue. Embellished with the most beautifully coloured leaves and a little bronze decoration. It’s so rustic and pure and un-tacky, it makes me smile. Than you a lot a lot Sita if you’re reading this.

Now, here’s something I’ve been waiting to post for a while. I am taking the Hundred Books in a Year challenge. Can I get a fanfare or something. Basically it’s just what it sounds like. I got the idea from a the red forum *wink nudge* and changed the rules a little bit. It doesn’t have to be a novel. Audiobooks count. Plays count. Rereads count. It just has to be read all the way through.

Here’s my list, most recent in bold. (R) means it’s a re-read.

‘The Bonesetter’s Daughter’- Amy Tan
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’- Margaret Atwood.
‘Writing home’- Alan Bennett
‘Choke’- Chuck Palahniuk
‘The Sea Priestess’- Dion Fortune ¬ģ
‘Shantaram’- Gregory David Roberts
‘The Earthsea Quartet’ (Four books)- Ursula LeGuin
‘On the Road’- Jack Kerouac
‘The Dharma Bums’-Jack Kerouac
‘A Game of Thrones’- George R. R Martin
‘Everything but the truth’- short stories by Christopher Macpherson
‘Bone Island’- Christopher Macpherson
‘The story of O’- Pauline Reage
‘Perfume’- Patrick Suskind
‘Netherland’- Joseph Oneill
‘Twelve minutes’- Paulo Coelho
‘Brida’- Paulo Coelho
‘Veronica Decides to Die’- Paulo Coelho
‘The 11.11 code’- (Can’t remember. It was pretty bad anyway)
‘P.S I love you’- Cecilia Ahern
‘Wicked’- Gregory Maguire
‘Son of a Witch’- Gregory Maguire
‘The Power of Now’ Eckhart Tolle
‘Bitten’- Kelley Armstrong
‘Stolen’- Kelley Armstrong
‘No humans involved’- Kelley Armstrong
‘Wintersmith’- Terry Pratchett ¬ģ
‘Wierd Sisters’- Terry Pratchett ¬ģ
‘The Wild Duck’- Ibsen
‘Hedda Gabler’- Ibsen
‘Death of a Salesman’- Miller
‘Broken Glass’- Miller
[b]’Secret Diary of a London Call Girl’- Belle de Jour
‘Cat Magic’- Whitley Streiber
‘White Teeth’- Zadie Smith
‘Twilight’- Stephanie Meyer
‘Ravenheart’- David Gemmel
‘The Last Guardian’- David Gemmel
‘Manifesto’- Barefoot Doctor
‘Dragonquest’ Anne Mccaffrey
‘Dragonsdawn’- Anne Mccaffrey
‘Dolphins of Pern’- Anne Mccaffrey
‘Dragon’s Fire’- Anne Mccaffrey
‘Dragon Harper’- Anne Mccaffrey
‘Wicked Words, A Black Lace Short Story Collection’- Ed. Kerri Sharp
‘Interview with the Vampire’- Anne Rice
‘Faeries’- Brian Froud and Alan Lee
”New Moon’- Stephanie Mayer
‘Renegades of Pern’- Anne MccAffrey
‘Snuff’- Chuck Palhanuik
‘The girl who heard dragons, and other short stories’- Anne Mccaffrey
‘Last Chance to See’- Douglas Adams
‘Wolf’- Anne Rice(R)
‘Junk’- Anthony Burgess
‘Dime Store Magic’- Kelley Armstrong
‘Subtle Aromatherapy’-Patricia Davies

I’m really tired so there may be repeats there in copying across from the forum. I make it to be about 60 but I’ll count again in the morning. Am I going to make 100 by the New Year? I doubt it, but it’s still possible. Gimme that¬†teenage fiction I can swallow without chewing! Yeah! Actually thinking about it, I didn’t start this until March, so maybe I can have until March next year. I’ll see how things are going.

Anyway I shall leave you with a little sample of my domestic goddess-ness. Pea soup and herb-poppyseed rolls fresh from the oven.

Peace x

Pea soup and herb rolls

(what do you have for lunch? Pea green soup. What did you have for dinner? Pea green soup. What did you do all night? Pea green soup :P)


I just want to say thanks to all of the people who have said ‘Oh I read your blog’ because I didn’t think anyone read it apart from me and the odd internet-friend who I wanted to show a sewing thing. Um, wow. I feel very loved.

¬†Anyway I’m just going to dump some pictures of finished projects that I did ages ago.


This is the rag rug I’ve been sewing for more than a year. It’s made¬† mostly of old tshirts and some scrap fabric. I actually finished it last summer, but I wasn’t happy with it at all because I pulled it too tight as I sewed and it became like a basket so it didn’t lie flat. Long story short, it bothered me so much I just had to pick thewhole thing apart and do it again from scratch. Time well spent since I watched the whole of Gravitation on DVD while I did it (my love of this obscure-ish shounen-ai¬† is a story for a whole other post, however. And another view of the living room. I feel¬†like I’m cheating to say I “made” this wall-hanging. I hemmed fabric and put sticks through it and I like it a lot. Got to love the very hungry catterpillar.

Very hungry catterpillar

And an english paper peicing update- we have flowers!

Hex flowers progress

pile of hexes

I love how the different fabrics in the centre make the eight base fabrics look completely different. I feel a bit bad for having favourites*, but I think I like this one the best;

peacock hexes

Just look at it! Look at the peacock!

The title is dedicated to Paul. There was a felaf-fail at the weekend. Sam and I decided to make our own felafels at the weekend, using this recipe; And, well, it failed. We decided to deep fry them, but the moment they hit the hot oil they broke up into little blobs. We tried doing them in the frying pan instead, and all was well until we tried to flip them over, upon which they collapsed into crumbley, slightly burned mush. Here you go Mr. Paul, here’s a picture for you before we tried to flip them;


I can only apologise for the ugliness of the photograph. Maybe it I hide it here between more pretty ones then noone will notice. I’m trying to improve my photography skills, but not with much success.

*Why? Why do I feel bad about having favourites? They’re hexagons, it’s not I’m not going to hurt thier feelings!¬† But I want to value them equally, because each unique patch has it’s own part to play. Gah!

Right. I’m off to go anthropomorphise more objects. Bye bye x




I think my pictures speak three thousand words.

I love Boxley. I love baking cake. I love mehndi and I love Sam.

…come dance with me.¬†Come with me to the greenwood grove such magic there to see. The Lord of the Wild with her faerie kin. Deep within the greenwood grove we’ll dance the magic ring.’ The Greenwood Grove, Damh the Bard.

Some days we don’t acheive much around here. Just keeping on, waiting to hear back from the wave of job applications I handed in yesterday. The sky is flat and white, an un-colour that is far more miserable than rain, it’s neither cold nor warm and I’m just drifting. Trying to keep things together. I’ve been thinking about making a big appliqued wall-hanging for a while, and today I started. I’m making a leaf for each tree in the celtic ogham, with the rune embroidered on it. Sitting on the floor with a cup of blackcurrant tea (my new favourite. It tastes of being at college, I overindulged in it during revision as a big IB and couldn’t face it again until recently) listening to Damh the Bard sing the cycle of the trees and thier meanings, sewing each one with care and dreaming of a big embroidered picture with mushrooms and flowers on the forest floor, and monsters in the hollows of the tree. I have the first five; Birch, Rowan, Alder, Willow and Ash. Five down, fifteen to go.


That’s all I managed today. That and hanging around the Oxfam bookshop, lusting after the illustrations in beautiful antique children’s books I can’t afford. I have so many ideas pinging around my head, my fingers can’t keep up and days like today I’m just grateful I haven’t done anything actively self-destructive.

… and I baked a rather handsome loaf of bread, half white, half kamut flour. It’s the small things.