Tuesday, October 3, 2017

vegan "cincinnati style" chili

This is a mash of several recipes. Namely this one and a vegan lentil one that I'm currently unable to find (will update later if I rediscover it's origins).

What I do (I'm lazy. And I cook the same way I review books these days - sloppily and with much emotion, though usually internalized):

In a big stock pot saute a diced onion in olive oil (or if you're out of onion skip to adding water, then add spices - including powdered onion). Add spices, stir, let cook while frantically looking for a can of diced tomato. Add can of tomato (or sauce if you discover you're out - but it's better with diced tomato in my opinion). Add two cans of water (who needs measuring cups, right?) and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Drain several cans of beans. I like to use garbanzo, black, and pinto. Add to pot. Add about a cup of dried lentils. Add leftover guacamole or as much avocado as you have lying around - it can take a great amount and taste amazing. Shake in about half a cup (I've never measured this in my life) of ground flax seeds and.. er.. a quarter of a cup? A third? A generous amount of nutritional yeast. Because deliciousness (if you don't have this or don't like it, I imagine it'd be just fine without it).

Hmm. Stir, cover, simmer for as long as you can stand (at least 30 minutes - lentils need to cook. I often let it go for about an hour when I forget about it, though). Try and stir it regularly or your teenager in charge of doing the dishes will yell at you for having to clean the stuff stuck on the bottom of the pot.

Once you're ready to eat, grab a stick blender thing and blend the holy heck out of it. It will end up being delightfully lumpy and surprisingly similar in texture to the meat chili we used to make before I decided that was gross and please don't make me eat animals anymore.

Serve with pasta. Or fritos. Or whatever. With lots of cheese (because we're terrible vegans here and cheese is delicious). Freezes well, pleases most of the monsters in my house.

Let's see if I can make a list of things you need and quantities..

- diced onion (or copious dried onion powder)
- can of diced tomatoes (any size works but I use the 15-ish ounce ones)
- three cans of beans (the 15 ounce ones) - i use black, pinto, and garbanzo/chickpeas
- two cans of water (to get all that tomato out.. right?)
- a splash (tbsp?) apple cider vinegar
- spices
      - at least 1 tsp salt (but taste and add more if needed later - I don't measure this one either)
      - 1/4 cup chili powder (heaping or however you like)
      - 1 tsp cinnamon
      - 1 tsp cumin (HEAPING BECAUSE YUM)
      - 1/4 tsp allspice
      - 1/4 tsp clove
      - 1/4 tsp cayenne
      - 3/4 tbsp cocoa powder (or some bittersweet chocolate chips when you realize you're out of cocoa powder)
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds (I use golden flax meal because it's what I have)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- several avocados or leftover guacamole

Oh gods, did this make sense? I don't cook like a sane person, I'm sorry!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017


Don't know what to read next. Help!

Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski (obviously I need to read this before book 2)
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne Valente
The Kiss of Deception - Mary Pearson
Wildwood Imperium - Colin Meloy (I need to restart with book 1, though - which I also own)
The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon (obviously I need to read this before book 2)
Beastkeeper - Cat Hellisen (a reread, but I love all of Cat's books)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Good mail week

Splurged at bookoutlet.com (and amazon for Genki).

(three of the above I've read before but needed on my shelves for rereading: The Orchid Affair and The Lure of the Moonflower - both by Lauren Willig and Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen. Oh wait. I also read The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. But I need to reread it before I get to The Mime Order.)

Next indulgence once the third Maggie Hall book comes out in paperback. World's End? Something like that.

Friday, June 16, 2017

10th grade biology lessons

Home school can be hard. Finding secular science curriculum that doesn't cost a small fortune is also hard. I cobbled a curriculum together using CK12 and a biology coloring book.

Now I just have to write up algebra 2, Japanese, 2D animation, and computer literacy lessons. And fit them all (along with Oak Meadow world lit and geography and the aforementioned biology) into a schedule that has a chance of working out for us. To think, I need to have it all done before August, too!

I think I need another coffee.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Learning Japanese is hard. That is all.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Triss Merigold

A companion for Geralt. And because I need (on an emotional level) a gift to give to B on his *actual* birthday..

Used the Slave Leia pattern by CraftyTibbles. I didn't follow all of the pattern, obviously. But I used it heavily. Her patterns are great for person-shaped character designs that pop into your head and natter at you until you make them.

Anyway. It was requested that I make "Geralt's one true love" to keep him company on B's shelf at work. Well, anyone who knows me knows that Triss does not fit that role in my world. But Yennefer is too regal for me. Too detailed. And the idea of trying to get her hair right makes my head ache. So Triss it is. B likes her better anyway (cue my grumbling).

With luck he won't see this post (I don't think he ever checks unless I send him the link anyway) because I'm trying so hard to hold onto this doll for three more days. It'd be novel to give him a gift on the right day for once.

Reference (from the additional content that came with Witcher 2 on GOG):



Her hair isn't perfect. Okay. Nothing about her is perfect. But I think I did a decent job all the same.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Battle Block Theater Guy

The Beast loved this game. He hasn't played it in a while. But.. I made a pattern for the round headed prisoner anyway.

And then made a variant for him in his cat pajamas.

Because reasons. (Also it's his birthday gift. That I haven't given to him already. Unlike the other four things I made for him...)

Will I ever share this pattern? Dunno. There are some fiddly bits that I don't feel like explaining. I guess if someone asked I'd give it a go. But it's not like this is a particularly difficult character to make..

Not entirely happy with the ears. It bothers me the more I look at it. Should have made the triangle lopsided so they'd stand up better. Oh well. Next time.

Reference image from the game for the cat pajamas:

Front view:

Back view:

The hood comes off:

Both versions together:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Geralt is done

Okay. Done. The swords aren't great. But.. hey, they're swords. Pictures are still crap. Still based heavily on patterns by CraftyTibbles.

Will I ever make Ciri? Or Yennifer? Or Triss? Oh! Or Yarpen?
Dunno. Maybe. Maybe not.

But.. I do have a project coming up (using the same patterns as a base) for a character from a game that I don't even play. So. Yeah!


Work in progress here. Still need to figure out something for the swords on his back. And my pictures are terrible. But.. that's what I've got on this cloudy day - over bright lights on short cords. Oh well.

I've heavily used bits of two patterns by CraftyTibbles (Slave Leia and Gandalf, to be specific). Reference pictures found on Google image search. I wasn't good enough to remember from whence they came. So no credit, though it's from Witcher 3.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sick with the flu

I feel like crap. Have a drawing.

This is the idea I'm currently working with to replace the rabbit in my animation. I think I need at least one more bear though.

Friday, February 10, 2017


I may have to change my plans completely. I can't seem to make these rabbits not look stupid. The current thought it maybe the octopus in place of the opening circles and... something else for the rabbit.

Yesterday's failure:

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Some updates

Alright. Added some things. Not a huge change, but I think it improves the overall piece. Procrastinating on the next bit where the rabbit's voice/part changes. May involve the tentacle squeezing him and his eyes bulging comically. We'll see. After all that is done I'll go back and try and tweak the mouth movements so that they're more in sync with the music.

Constructive advice is welcome, just remember that this is a hobby and I'm as amateur as they come. I've been using this software for maybe two weeks. And I'm a delicate flower, dammit.

Again, not my music. Song is Cotorito but the impressive Middle Milk.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Continuation of A Thing.

I posted an animation I was working on a while ago. Here's more. It's a video instead of a .gif because it needs sound for the full impact. The song is called Cotorito by Middle Milk. I don't have their permission to use this song and am not entirely clear on whether or not it's needed for a personal art project that no one is likely to ever see. And to be honest I feel stupid asking them.. since this is basically on par with the work of a second grader. Despite the art itself being sub-par and the animation obviously the work of an amateur, I'm really proud of it. It's not done yet and the syncing isn't perfect. This is my first go at animation.. And I don't really have an artistic bone in my body.. And I'm a techno-idiot... So.. Yeah.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

It's not an addiction, I swear

That said, I got no duplicates and did, in fact, get the one I really, really wanted.

Our local Gamestop is now out of the blind boxes so I am officially done.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Birthday Loot

Woke up after sleeping under a heated blanket all night. Saw a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. Had much caffeine. Found a deal on MLP blind boxes. Bought yummy food at the grocery store. Came home to my boys and a box of gifts from B.

So far being 36 is pretty fun!

The loot:

The Skyrim guy even has an arrow in his knee. I love it. I had wanted the pony with the weird green hair that looks vaguely like tentacles (big surprise, right?) but am pretty happy with what I ended up with.

Love this pin so much. It's absolutely stunning.

This shirt is proportioned weird. Like they made the body larger and left the shoulders/neck/sleeves the same as for a small shirt. It's very weird. Not sure I can wear it comfortably but I'm determined to find some way to make it work.

And now to go play games!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I made a thing.

After a week of trial and error (heavy on the error) I've managed to make a thing. It's not great. I'm no artist and I know next to nothing about animation or digital art. But I made a thing.

It's been a learning experience. I started out in Pencil2D and Synfig and ended up in Adobe Animate (because it has the most recent/coherent/best-for-me tutorials). This was made entirely in Animate with the help of the Gimp (in regards to images I had already drawn but had to trace/redraw). The idea was for the tentacles to move around - this will take more time. There should be several cats. The cat and rabbit should not be singing at the same time. And there should be a song. To which I've timed all of this. It was pretty overly ambitious of me and this is one of my baby steps.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Yes, I'm a weirdo.

I saw this pattern and immediately decided to make it. Because cute, right? And then I saw that it was a "this comes to you in two parts - you can have the other half later" type of deal (the other half was already published but my brain hadn't caught up to that yet). So of course I decided to crochet the cup and then.. put a tentacle in it. I mean, isn't that everyone's first thought?

You can see more pictures here - even if tentacles aren't your solution to most things. Stay tuned for a life sized mug-bowl-cup full of *knitted* tentacles in the future. Because.. I'm a weirdo.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Work in progress

This is how I've been spending my time for the past couple of days.

Once upon a time I told the Elf that I wanted him to make an animation for this song for my birthday. I have a fairly specific way that I see the majority of it in my head whenever this song comes up on my playlist. Long story short, my birthday is next week and he hasn't done it (no judgment or blame, merely a statement of fact). So I decided to try my hand at it (after all, I'm not the one doing all the actual schoolwork and seem to have much more free time than he does). This scene is a small part of what I'm trying to do. And yes, I'm insane for trying something this detailed for my into to animation. That said, anyone who knows me should know that I never do things the smart/easy way.

For anyone who cares I'm using Gimp for the artwork and plan to use either Pencil2D or Synfig for the actual animation.
I've been away from this space for a whole mess of reasons. Perhaps I'm back for real this time. Perhaps not. In either case, this is the new-old me. I still homeschool but am unlikely to be amongst the Waldorf crowd. I still knit and crochet (and presumably spin, though I haven't in a long time) but it's no longer the all consuming thing it once was. I'm much more likely to be playing video game, watching anime, reading books, listening to music on Spotify, watching Twitch streams, or taking on overly ambitious projects like this one.


And now back to work!