Free to a good home.

Some things I'd like to give away, rather than chuck out:

Straight knitting needles, sizes 3mm (metal), 3.75mm (metal), 8mm (plastic), 9mm (pink metal).

...and a few more zines that aren't pictured.

A Sanyo TV (more details later when Garrett gets home, because I'm feeling lazy)

All yours if you want to come pick them up from Braddock, near Pittsburgh, or don't mind Paypal-ing me money for postage. I'd rather not split up the zine pack, nor the needles, though.


On the twelfth day of Christmas, rice_dream_girl sent to me...
Twelve letters learning
Eleven recipes exploring
Ten nerds a-cooking
Nine bikes spring
Eight podcasts a-sewing
Seven adventures a-reading
Six bagels a-procrastinating
Five fi-i-i-ilm studies
Four blue skies
Three charity shops
Two vegan marshmallows
...and a chai in an equality.
Get your own Twelve Days:

"Ten nerds a-cooking"

Story of my life :D

One hour in my life today: 1530 - 1630.

I'd been wrapping presents, buying wrapping supplies and writing cards since about 1200 today. I'd figured that four hours would be plenty of time for me to do all that, and it was, but only just. I'd walked a mile to the local shop to get wrapping paper, come home, made a cup of tea, and started doing what needed to be done. I had thought it wasn't very much. Keep in mind that the Post Office closes at 1630, and I'd been told that the absolute last time they'd accept parcels was 1615. So, it gets to 1530, I've had no lunch, and...

1530: Most presents are wrapped. Cards are all written. Decide that I can't send of a pair of wrist warmers where one has a giant, loose thumb and the other can barely fit a thumb in it, so I frog one of the thumbs and decide to do it again. I figured it'd take me 10 minutes, tops.

1540: Ten minutes have passed, thumb is still only half done. Realise that not only must I finish knitting it, but also need to weave in the ends to make it neat. Panic sets in.

1545: THE THUMB STILL ISN'T DONE. Hands start shaking. Apparently my body has decided to make this more of "a challenge" for me, to see how I cope with being unable to hold the damn thing steady.

1555: Success!! The thumb is done. Weave in ends.

1600: Shit fuck bollocks I had planned to be out of here by now. Throw tissue paper around wrist warmers, throw them into the box. Decide to ask Mum to put them in a pretty gift bag before giving them to my Aunt. Realise I had used a box that was too small and still needed to make a sturdy lid to go on top of it. Gah!

1605: Lid is made. Cut wrapping paper to about the right size. Scissors keep snagging on it, making it look like a child has wrapped it. Fuck it, keep going. NO TIME TO REDO ANYTHING!

1610: Success!! Parcel is wrapped. About to leave, realise something is missing... Oh, the fucking label. Idiot. Scribble label. Sorry Donna, I had wanted this to be beautiful, but erm, at least it'll be there on time.

1615: SPRINT to the Post Office. Luckily it's only half a block away, but I'm unfit, so I turn up low on blood sugar, shaky, and out of breath. On my way there I run past my housemate Trey, who is returning from work. He slows down and looks bemused by me running with a large colourful parcel. I don't stop to say hi, just keep running. At the desk, Cindy (the post lady) tells me that the paper I have used is too thin and will rip straight off, taking the address with it. She recommends wrapping it with brown paper. They don't have any for sale though. She suggests using carrier bags. SHIT FUCK BOLLOCKS. She says that she will still accept it if I can make it back by 1630. I accept this challenge, and sprint home, this time uphill. Spot our neighbours out walking their dogs and looking confused as to why I'm carrying a giant box with colourful wrapping paper on it. They wave but don't say anything, I simply scream "LAST POSTING DATE TO UK IS TODAY AND THE PAPER IS TOO THIN! AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!" They laugh very hard. I run inside.

1620: I can't find any fucking brown paper. Cutting up and resticking carrier bags will take too long. BRAIN WAVE! I will cover the entire thing in clear parcel tape. SUCCESS!

1625: SPRINT back to the Post Office. Cindy smiles and says, "Oh that's a good idea, I wish I had thought of that, I could have done it for you!" I force a smile and say "Don't tell me that!" I fill out a customs form. Cindy is impressed that I came prepared and had already written down exactly what's inside the parcel. The parcel is weighed. "That'll be $53, please," says Cindy. Feel annoyed at how expensive stupid postage is, but hand over money. Parcel gets labels and stamps and is handed to the guys in the back to be delivered, in time to make it to the UK for Christmas.

1630: Collapse in heap in Post Office. Refuse to move until someone brings me a cup of tea.

Donna, you will quite possibly never be able to get into this parcel, I'm sorry.

Cupcakes: I have neglected you for too long.


It's been quite a while since I baked cupcakes, but today I was craving them. I wanted something that would be fun to make, so these were ideal with the various steps of making two cake batters, swirling them together, then decorating them with a new flavour of frosting. I decided to make marbled pumpkin-chocolate cupcakes with pumpkin spice frosting, and I'm really happy with how they turned out, both in terms of appearance and flavour. Though it is delicios, I think the huge pile of frosting is a little much for me, and I was full up after only half a cupcake!


Wish List 2010.

Christmas is coming, so I decided to compile my paper lists of "stuff I'd like" into an internet version. There's a mixture of things that are more realistic (books, yarn), things I'd love but can't justify their realative expense ($30 Moomins mugs), dream items (Addi click circular needle set, cursive typewriter, a car), hard to find (vegan boots!) and just plain silly (a new back, please!), and explanations for the things I'm more picky about (like the coffee grinder). I figure it's good to have a list of things I'd like for the day when I finally have a job, too.


I'd love a manual conical burr coffee grinder for making French pressed coffee at home. Having asked around at various coffee shops, I was recommended that I should buy an old manual grinder rather than a new electric one, because they give far better results for much less money. It's important that it's a coffee grinder rather than an espresso grinder, as the latter would grind the coffee too finely for my needs. I already have a spinning blade grinder, but it's rubbish and produces uneven grinds, which means bad coffee. The barista I spoke to told me to get a conical burr grinder, and pointed me in the direction of orphanespresso.com, which refurbishes manual grinders and guarantees that they will serve their purpose properly. They have one in stock at the moment that looks perfect!

My favourite kind of coffee comes from Intelligentsia or Stumptown. I don't like dark roasted coffee, and I like these two because they deal directly with the grower. I hate Starbucks! It might be nice to have a travel mug or flask to carry tea / coffee in when I start taking the bus once I get a job, too (see below for the best Moomins flask everrrrr!).

I love tea, but I still don't have a teapot! This one by Bodum looks about right, though I'd also be happy with a smaller pot for the times when I'm only making tea for myself.


I have a lot of free time, and enjoy spending it crafting. At the moment, most of my knitting needles are Addi Turbos, but I'd like to have a better collection of them in different sizes (all with 32" cords, as these are the most versatile). In my dreams, I'd have the Addi click needles set, but as this is $150, I think that's going to have to wait a while! Until then, I'll keep buying them individually. In order of preference, the sizes I'd like most at the moment are: 8mm needles with 32" cord, 10mm needles with 32" cord, 7mm / 32" and 9mm / 32", but anything from 3mm to 12mm with a 32" cord is good.

My favourite vegan-friendly yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton because it's incredibly soft and nice to knit with. My favourite colourways are: Ink, Espresso, and Aloe, but I like most of their colours and would be happy with any, really. I also like Rowan All Seasons Cotton.

I also love to sew. I have a Singer sewing machine, and a serger would be really useful too. I haven't done too much research into the exact type I'd like because they're expensive, but Singer and Brother machines seem to be recommended by most people. I really like old or vintage-inspired fabric, particularly that with small floral prints but I'm really picky! I'd like to learn how to quilt, and every time I go the thrift stores I look for cute comforters and bed linen.


I'm trying to spend more time reading and less time on the internet, and I want to read more feminist literature, both non-fiction and fiction. Here are some from my to-read list:

bell hooks: Feminism is for Everybody

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath: Ariel

And here is a list of Feminist fiction that interests me.

And no book list of mine would be complete without cookbooks!
I've wanted The Bread Baker’s Apprentice for ages, and Garrett and I love Mexican food, so Viva Vegan! would be great, too.

I also like lined A5 notebooks, particularly those which have quite plain covers like Moleskine, and I like to write letters, so nice writing paper and envelopes would be lovely. I like to type on my 60's Smith Corona typewriter, and I'd love to have a cursive typewriter some day!


I absolutely love The Moomins! They're a Finnish cartoon that was turned into a TV show, and when I was younger my family and I went to Finland to visit my Mum's penpal, who took us to Moominland! I already have the first book, but I'd love to collect more of them. I'd honestly be happy with Moomin themed anything, but the Moomins flask (above) is perfect!

Moomins comic book 2

Moomins comic book 3

Back in the UK, I have two Moomins mugs (this one and this one). I'd love to add this one or this one of Sniff to my collection though!

I'd love to make Butterbeer like in Harry Potter, and all the recipes I've found for it have included Monin butterscotch syrup. I checked, and it's definitely vegan!

My favourite sweets are Twilight bars (you can get these from Whole Foods), which I think are like a vegan version of 3 Musketeers. I've also always wanted a fancy box of vegan chocolates but I've never seen any. Apparently they do exist, but they're crazy expensive! I'll happily eat almost any kind of chocolate, but I'm not too keen on coconut or marzipan.


My back is rubbish and often hurts me a lot, so I'd like a new one, or my own personal masseur and chiropractor on call whenever needed. Alternatively, our bed is also quite hard (but Garrett likes it like that), so a more comfortable mattress topper would be wonderful, as would nicer pillows! I'd also like to redecorate our room, and make it lighter and more airy, because winter's closing in and I don't want to feel like I'm living in a cave. Garrett wants to paint the walls dark blue, but I'd compromise with plain dark sheets and light walls. Although I dress in almost complete black most of the time, I like the opposite for my home. I like plain fabrics in light, muted colours, or old ones with really tiny prints. I really like white, off-white, and extremely light pinks, blues and greens with grey undertones (I don't like pastel / baby colours). We also don't have proper curtains yet, but again, I've been putting off getting them until we've decided on a compromise between the vintage-y room I want, and the punk boys room that Garrett wants! I'd like a really big cork board for our room, too.


I absolutely love Doc Marten's, but they stopped making vegan, non-leather ones a few years ago. I check eBay really often to try and find a pair (I'm a UK 5.5, which I think is US 7.5 / 8). I'd also like to find flat, skinny, lace-up ankle boots like these or these, but they'd have to be non-leather.


Some day I'd like to have my own car. Ideally I'd like an old diesel Mercedes sedan with a manual transmission, but Garrett says they don't really exist over here! My main priority with a car is for it to be diesel, so I could convert it to veggie oil. Maybe some day I'll learn how to do it myself; I want to learn more about cars so I keep asking Garrett lots of questions. Some day I'd also love an old, British built Mini!

I'd also really like my own bike, but I don't really know much about them so once I can get one, I'll be asking Garrett for lots of help to find the one that's right for me. I've been using his for the time being, but it's a little bit too big for me.

Edited to add:
The Professional Barista's Handbook,
The Purity Myth,
A decent desk chair,
Cute old photo frames

Happy Birthday, Trey!


It was Trey's birthday yesterday, so I made him an over the top sugar fest of a cake. It consisted of 3 layers of chocolate cake, sammiched together with vanilla / Oreo cookie frosting. It was then covered in PB frosting and topped with chocolate ganache, and decorated with more frosting, double stuf Oreos, and Peanut Chews. It made my teeth hurt.

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