Sep 29, 2011

Jam 'n' Beats

Pretty excited about going to these markets!

There will be music, barefoot bowls, bongo playing, fire twirling...  Lots of awesome stuff!  Click on the picture for a bigger image :).

Creator Profile: Bakker Beyond

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Katie Aakala Bakker.  I'm 35, divorced and a mother of three.  My middle name Aakala is an indigenous word for parrot, I love birds!  I have 3 pink and grey galahs, an alexandrian parrot, a sun conure parrot, an australian ringneck parrot, lots of budgies and 2 weiros. They are my babies!
I live in the Chittering Valley in Western Australia on 10 acres, surrounded by bushland and native animals, no neighbours, no traffic, no rush!
What do you create?

I create fantasy, fey, realistic and strange creatures and sculptures, wearable art, and functional pieces using polymer clay.

How long have you been making things?  What was the first thing you made?

Below is a photo of the first little Fairies I made.  They are air dry clay, which I don't like to use! It's very brittle and I am way too impatient to wait for it to dry. I moved onto polymer clay after these.

I started using polymer clay in February of 2011 and I started the facebook page in April or May 2011, when my Mum and my daughter thought I should try to sell what I was making.  It took off big time! I had so many orders and still do!

"Forest Floor"
The page continues to grow, the orders continue to keep coming in, but I have had to start refusing them. I really need time to continue gaining experience and creating whats in my imagination.  I am an artist first and a business woman second. I want to continue to love what I am doing for a very long time :).

Where do you get your inspiration?

I love to create!  This has been my year of knowing I can express myself through my arts and crafts.  I use mostly polymer clay, wire and beading in my work.  I am still very new to this and have a lot to learn.  I create the things I like in my life; animals, nature, myth and fae.  I love colour and love to use it!  This started for me as an escape from my anxiety and depression; art therapy.  I'm not cured but much happier, more centred and balanced.

How can people contact you?

I have a page on Facebook -

Sep 27, 2011

Brooch Madness

I'm glad that I finally started to make brooches, but it now seems that I have become addicted!

At last count, I had about 50 or so up for sale on Kommoner and I have about 90 or so brooch pins left with which to make some more...  Factor in that they take 30-60 minutes each to make and that's a lot of time spent making brooches o_o.


I am glad though, as they are SO CUTE and a cheaper option for people who don't want plushies.  It also finally gives me something to use all my scrap pieces of felt on!

What would you like to see in brooch form?

Sep 24, 2011

Vegan MoFo

I recently found out about this cool little blog grouping (I have no idea what to call it!) that is aimed at getting people to blog for a month about vegan food - Vegan MoFo.  It can be recipes, products, restaurant reviews or even anecdotes, it just has to be about vegan food.

I think that this is an awesome idea and I encourage other bloggers out there to sign up before the 28th of September in order to be a part.

I'm looking forward to sharing some new recipes with you, with some gluten free ones thrown in as well.  For any gluten free folks out there, they are also hoping to put the blogs into categories to make it easier to find certain types of recipes.  I'm really enjoying trying new recipes and getting feedback from people about them too!

Here are some recipes that I have already written about that you're welcome to try, modify and blog about yourself!

Blueberry Cupcakes
Carrot and Orange Cupcakes
Stir Fry

Sep 23, 2011

Some More Samosas

This has to be one of my favourite foods.  I think it's just because pastry is so delicious though haha.  Sometimes I eat them before the pastry is fully cooked too, oops >_>.

*3 medium potatoes                                 $1.02
*~500g frozen broccoli and cauliflower  $2.66
*2 tbsp mild curry powder
*~200g frozen peas and corn                   $1.18
*salt, pepper, chili, garlic powder
*1 tbsp Nuttelex or other vegan butter
*2 cubes Massell veggie stock                 $0.40
*3 sheets Pampas puff pastry                   $2.76

1.  Put water on to boil with two cubes of stock in.  Thinly slice the potato and add to pot.
2.  Add brocolli and cauliflower and peas and corn to pot.
3.  Preheat oven as per pastry instructions.  Cut pastry into 4 squares/sheet. Prepare tray with alfoil.
4.  When potato is cooked (breaks apart when stabbed with fork), take off the boil and drain.
5.  Add butter, salt, pepper, chili, curry powder and garlic powder.  Mash up furiously!
6.  Spoon mix onto the pastry and fold the corners up.  Place on tray.
7.  Cook for as long as the pastry instructions demand you must.
8.  Eat!

Makes:  About 12

Total: $8.02 or $0.67 each.

Calories:  2696 or 225 each.

Protein: 80.5g or 6.7g each.

Leftover mash?  Put it on a sandwich!

One Year Old!

Today is Kommoner's first birthday!  It sure has grown a lot bigger than I ever expected.  Thank you to everyone who has supported me!

It started with me making plushies as a hobby in my spare time and now I use it to fundraise for charities and causes that I believe in (as well as pay for food hehe).

All in all, I have managed to raise nearly $2,500 for various charities over the course of this year, through auctions, bake sales and donating 10% of my sales.

I've sent out hundreds of Kommoner goods all over Australia and I am amazed at the fact that I've gotten over 1,000 fans on Facebook.

My hopes for the future?  I hope that I can raise even more money over the coming year and continue to make enough for my Kiva loans and for a bit of extra food :).  I also intend to share with you more amazing vegan recipes (with some raw and gluten free ones thrown in).

New projects for next year (hopefully): t-shirts with pro-vegan, anti-homophobia, etc slogans and images, garlands and cat ears.  I hope that you stick around for the next year of Kommoner exploits!

Sep 21, 2011

Vegan Easy Challenge

The Vegan Easy Challenge is a challenge to you to try vegan food for just 30 days.  There are heaps of great recipes to try and lots of awesome prizes up for grabs.

Image taken from Vegan Easy Challenge on Facebook
If you've ever wanted to try experimenting in the kitchen, been interested in the idea of vegan food or you just like a challenge, definitely give it a go!  I've been vegan for nearly two years now and it's really made me experiment more with my food.  I've come to enjoy cooking and baking and trying out new recipes.  Let me know if you try and how it goes!  I'll be cheering you on!

For the Facebookers amongst you, there is a facebook event page that you can share with your friends and family here.

Sep 20, 2011

Ready, Spaghetti, Go!

*200g TVP                            $2.90
*2 cubes Massel beef stock  $0.40
*~300g mushrooms, diced    $3.10
*1 carrot, diced                     $0.34
*1 zucchini, diced                 $0.84
*1 onion, diced                     $0.31 (on special)
*1 jar spaghetti sauce            $1.50 (on special)
*~200g pasta                         $0.36 (or $1.32 for gluten free pasta)

1.  Prepare TVP as per directions.
2.  Prepare some pasta as per directions.
3.  Dice mushrooms and onions.  Add to a pot with TVP, stock and spaghetti sauce.
4.  Dice carrot and zucchini and add to pot with TVP.
5.  Wait for it all to be cooked, then eat it (after it has cooled down a bit).

Total: $9.75 ($10.71 for gluten free).  Or about $1.63 per serve (makes about 6 serves) ($1.79 per serve gf).

Sep 19, 2011

Create a Stir(fry)!

Delicious stir fry!  Something else that is versatile, easy and cheap!  I didn't get to eat this one; my friend ate it all for dinner when he was over.  Apparently it was delicious...

*red capsicum            $0.92 (on special)
*brocolli                     $1.01
*~300g mushrooms    $3.10
*can sweet corn ends  $1.27
*hokkien noodles       $1.58 (or Chang's gluten free wok ready noodles $2.45)
*soy sauce
*sesame oil
*ginger, garlic, chili powder, salt, pepper

1.  Prepare noodles as per directions.
2.  Slice up mushrooms and capsicum, fry in some sesame oil, soy sauce and spices til the mushrooms are starting to shrivel up deliciously (or not, I'm not your boss!).
3.  Add brocolli and sweet corn to heat them up.
4.  Stir in noodles and serve!

Total (not gf): $7.88, or $2.62 per serve (makes 3 serves).

Total (gf): $8.75, or $2.92 per serve (makes 3 serves).

Other ideas: Add cashews for extra deliciousness.  If you want to add some tofu, cube it and cook it first with the mushrooms so that it gets nice and brown and soaks up the flavours.

Sep 14, 2011

Whiskey Business

*3 cups biscuits^                                $1.89     
*1/4 cup cocoa                                   $0.51
*1 cup walnuts, chopped/broken up  $2.30
*1/2 cup whiskey/bourbon/rum         $5.15
*1 cup icing sugar                              $0.30
*1/3 cup maple syrup                         $0.42

^I used a packet of Nice biscuits (about 2.75 cups) this time but I've used McVities Digestive biscuits before.

1.  Use a rolling pin to smash up the nuts and biscuits.
2.  Mix nuts, biscuits, icing sugar and cocoa.
3.  Add syrup and alcohol, mix well.
4.  Refridgerate for about an hour to harden the mix
5.  Roll into balls, roll in sugar/nuts/icing sugar/coconut.
6.  Keep in the fridge, try not to eat all in one go.

Total:  $10.57, or about 35c each, depending on how big you make them.

Kerbside Lane Market

The Kerbside Lane Markets are held on the second sunday of the month.  They're in an awesome little alleyway, hidden behind the best bar in the valley, Kerbside.

Kerbside is an awesome bar with old arm chairs and tables salvaged from the kerbside collection.  The staff are amazing and friendly.  I recommend heading there if ever you get a chance!  Hopefully there'll be another Dr. Ink & Draw event coming up soon too!

The markets hidden behind the bar run from 1-6pm and sometimes there's a band or a solo artist to chill to.  This week I barely remembered to take photos but here are some snapshots of Ink & Whim's creations, they were one of the donors for the Auction for Oxfam last month.

Sep 12, 2011

Carrot and Orange Cupcakes

*1.5 cups SR flour          $0.17
*1 cup raw sugar             $0.22
*1/2 tsp ginger
*1 tsp cinnamon
*1/4 tsp salt
*1 cup shredded carrot  $0.34
*3/4 cup orange juice    $0.18
*1/3 cup oil                    $0.38
*1 tsp vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 190C
2.  Mix all ingredients together.
3.  Bake for 20-25 depending on your oven.

Total: $1.29, or about 10c/cupcake.

Optional:  Try adding half a cup of raisins.

Sep 9, 2011

The Heart of the Problem

Today, after my heart had its third ever elevated pulse (at age 21!), I decided to see the doctor.

After only 20 minutes of waiting (enough time to chillax) I had my pulse checked.  108bpm.  Apparently the average is 70bpm.  I was told that it's a fairly common thing that happens to a lot of young people as a one off thing, but to go to hospital if it persisted/got worse. 

I even got to have an electrocardiogram today which was cool; you take your shirt off and they stick stickers everywhere (lifting up the courtesy towel on your breasts which seems pointless).  The stickers are then attached to cords and the machine records your heart beat.  It was sort of like the below picture, except two stickers were also on my legs and there was a lovely nurse involved.

So, no more caffeine for me!

Which makes my coffee cup tattoo pretty ironic and hilarious now.

I'll also be trying to reduce my sugar intake (which is an excellent excuse to trial some raw sweets) and maybe trying meditation or yoga techniques to reduce any stress that might be affecting me.

What do you do to reduce stress?  Have any ideas for raw treats that I should try making?

Sep 6, 2011

Blueberry Cupcakes

*1/2 cup raw sugar         $0.10
*1 tsp salt
*1/4 cup veg oil              $0.29
*3/4 cup soy milk           $0.36  (for soy free, use a different milk)
*1.5 cups of SR flour      $0.17
*tin of blueberries           $4.06

1.  Preheat oven to 190C.
2.  Mix all ingredients together.
3.  Bake for 20-25 minutes (check with a skewer).

Total: $4.98 or about 41c/cupcake.

Sep 5, 2011

Banana Bread

One of my favourite recipes of all time!  I got the original from VegWeb but it doesn't seem to be up any more.  Also, rather unfortunately, bananas are pretty expensive at the moment.

*2 large bananas      $3.96
*1/2 cup soy milk    $0.24  (for soy free, use a different vegan milk)
*1/2 cup raw sugar  $0.10
*1/3 cup Nuttelex    $0.57    (you can use any other vegan butter subsitute)  
*2 cups SR flour      $0.22
*1 tsp vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 180C
2.  Mash bananas in a bowl with a fork.
3.  Mix all ingredients together.
4.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  It should go a nice light brown on top when done.

Makes: 8 pieces

Total: $5.09

Optional:  Try adding half a cup of chopped walnuts.

Calories: 2034 or 254.25 per slice.
Protein: 38.7 or 4.8375 per slice.

Sep 4, 2011

Suitcase Rummage - September

This month's Suitcase Rummage was a bit slow, probably due to the crummy weather.  However, I still had a good time chatting to people and reading my book, From Poverty to Power.

Dinos watching people walk by.

I got placed next to a great person who had a heap of their own designs screenprinted onto shirts.  You can find their awesome shirts here and their website is here.  Apparently I have inspired them to do some charity related work, so keep an eye on this one ;).

I somehow got photographed by Street Candy because of my 'look' but I swear I just picked up what was closest and ran out of the door!

I also got a few seconds to duck away and check out some people I haven't previously seen at the Suitcase Rummage.

Marina's Treasures

Rad artistry by Kyan De Vere

Unfortunately today I only made $8.00 for Brisbane Valley Cat Rescue by selling chocolate cupcakes but managed to give away the rest free at the end of the day, so at least some people still got enjoyment out of them :).

And of course regulars such as Rock City Zombie, Pannikin and Loopy Designs were there.  I love that there's a group of regulars that you can rely upon.

Sep 3, 2011

Soup-er Yummy!

Sometimes, all you have in your kitchen is an assortment of vegetables and some canned goods, leaving you with only one cheap and delicious option: soup!

While I know it's hardly 'out there' and new, soup is healthy, delicious, cheap, easy and vegan.

Ingredients (a.k.a. what I had lying around):
*two carrots
*one onion
*red lentils
*yellow split peas (soaked for about an hour beforehand)
*tin of diced tomatoes
*tin of chickpeas
*head of brocolli
*head of cauliflower
*two cubes vegetable stock

1.  Put stock cubes, lentils and diced tomatoes into about 1.5-2 cups of water on medium heat.
2.  Rinse and chop everything up and add.
3.  Stir, cool and eat.  Nom!

This will probably do me for about 6 or so meals!

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