So I got this invite... it says "ellie has invited you to contribute to her blog." Well, my dear friend Melissa frequently refers to herself as Ellie Mae, and she's about the only person in the universe who reads my blog, so naturally I assumed... and then I saw it was called "Vegan Pals"... and while Melissa may be a little into the natural foods thing, and does occasionally stray to the vegetarian side, she is no vegan and she knows very well that I am a meativore.... took me a minute to catch up. But now I'm here! You're not Melissa, but that's ok too. And so on to the questionaire! Right after I pull the laundry out of the dryer...
1. What is/are your craft(s), & how long have you been doing it/them?
I knit, I cook and I write. I'm trying to get into jewelry-making but suspect I don't have the patience for the little pieces. I can cross-stitch, sew, quilt, and latch-hook, but I'm awful at crochet. Can you tell half my family is Mormon? Yeah... The latch-hook bit did teach me however, how to very easily weave in yarn ends with a crochet hook. I've cooked and written forever... although the writing is back after a couple of years hiatus (yeah!!) and I've knit for about 5 years, although the first three I wasn't very good at it, then I learned that the bar owner who taught me to knit (after a bottle of sake) taught me funny and that's why my knitting doesn't look like other peoples. Now I can translate patterns very easily to my style and I can actually knit things!
2. Are you a vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, veg-friendly or other?
I'm not opposed to vegetables... nor am I opposed to eating say... raw steak. I guess you could call it veg-friendly.... I like good food, in all it's forms. There.
3. Is this your first swap, or have you done previous swaps before? What makes a swap enjoyable for you?
I have done a number of previous swaps. A swap is enjoyable for me if my partner and I have at least a little something in common, can understand eachother a bit and each put in the time and effort to really care. Anyone can send a package... but I'm not a cookie cutter and I won't send you a bland, disinterested package in the hopes that you won't send me one... The very best swaps are where people have taken what we have in common and expanded on it... recommended or sent something new that they think I would like based on my existing preferences... something funny or neat or new that they came across and thought of me.
4. What is/are your favorite color(s)? Do you particularly dislike any color(s)?
My favorite color is blue. In any shade. I love blue and burgundy and black and dark green... I'm a jewel tone girl. Trying to expand into earth tones. So far I kinda like brown. I hate yellow and it hates me back. I'm clumsy and a terrible housekeeper and live in my kitchen so white just isn't safe around me.
5. Do you have any allergies (such as pets, foods, fibers or cigarette smoke)?
I'm allergic to citric acid and fake sugar eats holes in my stomach. I'm not allergic to animals and I do smoke. In the house.
6. Do you have any companion animals? If so, name(s) and type(s)?
I have two spoiled rotten fat black shelter cats whom we call the Monkeys.... Their names are Gibson and Luna. I've largely taught them which yarn is theirs and which is mine.... but we're still working on it.
7. Do you collect anything?
Oh, boy, do I.... but I'm trying to stop (yeah, like that works...) because I hope to go work on a boat for a while in another couple of months.... which means it will all get boxed up and collect dust... especially since I will be shipping it all back to California as my new home port. So, technically, I'm not allowed to buy myself any books, Cary Grant movies, cookie cutters, souvenir shot glasses, board games etc....
8. Do you have a favorite vegan food, snack or dish? If no fav that's vegan (for those who aren't vegan), what's your favorite food? (Hopefully your pal can find a vegan version!)
Ooh...that's tougher than I thought it would be... uhh..Marlboros are vegan, right? No, just kidding... I know, I know, gin and Marlboros are not technically food groups... I'm not a huge snack food person... no potato chips, Cheetos, cookies, etc... i like pretzels and... ooh! Fruit roll-ups! I know you can get those vegan! Who doesn't love those?? Or nuts. I like nuts and dried fruit. Some of those hard granola bars are gross.. Aww... the Monkeys curled up together.... she's licking his head...
Sorry, got distracted... they are cute.
9. What are some of your favorite/least favorite tastes/flavors? (e.g. sweet, salty, chocolate, crunchy, smooth, tart, sour, spicy, thai, whatever - Help your pal get a feel for what kind of recipes you might like and/or never ever make.)
I don't go in for over-sweet or uber-spicy. And "tart" usually implies the above chemical I'm allergic too...seriously, read the packaging, it's everywhere. I don't like salty and sweet things like chocolate covered pretzels, and despite my obsession with coffee, chocolate-covered espresso beans are just gross. I love new foods.. interesting combinations that work... like lavender and pink pepper crackers... funky middle-eastern nuts that no one's ever heard of and Hebrew fruit pastes that make great stuffing... mushroom-filled meat imitations rock. Mushroom risotto cakes... there was a company that made veggie mushroom burgers but they went under and I miss them. I love chocolate, dark rich chocolate, but please don't break my heart with carob or fig imitations. I just might cry. If you want me to bring you roses, Guittard makes a product called "Onyx" that's 72% pure chocolate and King Arthur sells it for $7/pound. I just might marry you.... It's not vegan though. I cook, and five years of fine-dining kitchens around the country have made me the biggest food snob... I find lobster and foie gras and caviar boring, but I'm obsessed with Rainier cherries and Dungeness crab. I don't think they taste good together though... I like red wine and pomegranates and fig balsamic with a hint of vanilla.... Ok, i'm listing meats now so I'll shut up.
10. What tools/supplies/accessories for your craft(s) are you wishing you had but don't? Also, what do you have TOO many of? (basically a wish and anti-wish list)
I need point protectors(lots of them), row and stitch counters. Badly. And knitting graph paper would be awesome... I know you can print it somewhere online but I don't have a printer. I have a ton of red yarn. Yeah, I know... and a lot of novelty stuff I don't know what to do with. I've got every texture on the planet and I just look at it and think about how tired I am of stockinette stitches.... Cool SMALL patterns would be awesome. I'm not that patient. I just spent all weekend on a Fair Isle coffee cupholder on dpns for a friend of mine... it's awesome. My first Fair Isle and the only thing I've ever finished on dpns.... they don't travel well and I like to haul my knitting with me everywhere. Thus the need for point protectors... and a smaller crochet hook, for weaving in ends on little projects... maybe I'll get a ball winder one day, but for now I just use jodi's.
I would like some brown yarn. Maybe even some yellow... just for Fair Isle patterns... I've acquired a fair amount of forest green lately.... Black and white are always welcome... and sock yarn! I wanna make socks. Gonna try the Magic Loop method... see if that's saner than these dpns....
11. Are you on Ravelry? What's your handle?
No and don't have one. Have to check it out, I guess...
12. Is there anything else you would like your pal to know about you?
I'm a little wacky.... hence the raw steak eating person joining the vegan swap.... but I'm open-minded and lots of people still think I'm cool... although I think the most recent general consensus is "crazy and scary, but in a good way..." whatever that means. I live in New Orleans and miss California every single day. I hate trumpets. I hate them. I like big books with big flowery sentences and very little plot... or with very very deep thoughts and I read them by the pool with a drink in the middle of summer.... I like boys and I want to go to Turkey for a year. I don't know why you should know that, but I'm trying to give you an idea of who I am, and I've never really managed to make anyone understand me in even the basest sense.... so I'll ply you with random facts about me and hope it gives you a clearer impression...
13. What scents do you like/dislike?
I like flower scents and spice scents, and not overly sweet fruity or vanilla scents. I like musks (I'm dating a boy who wears Drakkar.... oh my god, I love that smell! I wish all men would wear it... I'd like them so much better) Roses and jasmine and gardenia are my absolute favorites... but I've got white tea + ginger, blackcurrant and thyme, pomegranate something.... are you getting an idea?
14. Do you prefer fall or Halloween or some other Autumn theme?
Umm... all of the above. Not big on the orange and neon green, but otherwise down with Halloween... being Pagan helps. Fall is ok, so long as it doesn't proceed a cold winter... but I live in Louisiana so there's not much chance of that. Autumn is a mellowing time for me... I go a little wild in the summer, so as the weather cools, so do I. I like pumpkins. I like snakes too... has nothing to do with fall, just a random fact... I like lizards and snakes and frogs and tarantulas, but I can't stand birds.
15. Just for fun - tell your favorite Halloween or Autumn related memory.
I was so young I can hardly remember, but when I was about 6, my school had this Halloween carnival... All the parents would bring the kids and bags of candy and when the kids went in the parents would surrender the candy to the candy table and go off and do parent things mostly while us little brats ran around like maniacs playing games and riding rides and going through the haunted house in the gym.... it was really cool. At the end of the night, when it was time to go, you and your parents would go to the candy table and they had mixed up all the candy and put it in a bag for you and they had a plate of other treats and it was like you had gone trick-or-treating except that you were safe in the school with your friends and just a bunch of parents and teachers playing games and stuff all night. I think that was the best idea ever but I've never seen another school that did it and we moved away the next year.