Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vegan Chili & a Craft!

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
~George Eliot

And here enters Fall, with leaves o' fire and cleanly crisped air.  After one of the hottest summers in history, I think we can safely say that the state of Colorado is ready for a new season!  The days have turned from witheringly hot to mild, with a slight tang of coolness in the breeze.  

This is my absolute favorite time of year.  As the days begin to shorten in duration, I find myself taking a little more time for things: stopping outside to feel the chill of the air across my skin, admiring the swirl of misty clouds sweetly curled around the mountains.  Once the cold deepens and comes to stay, long periods of contemplation outside are few or require a bit of outfitting!  Let's not rush winter.  Although I know the ski bums are getting anxious for the real stuff...

The cooler weather has been inspirational for both cooking and crafting.  Labor Day weekend had me itching to make something with my own two hands.  I had been sitting on the materials for a project for quite some time, and finally I had a chance to see it to fruition!  

First things first, the FOOD.   
Black Bean Chili w/ Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard
 I enjoy this chili for its simplicity and versatility.  You can find the recipe in its original form by clicking on the link beneath the picture.  I would recommend using only 2 cans of black beans (or the equivalent), as nearly 3 lbs of beans could be a bit overwhelming.  Don't feel limited to Swiss chard- this chili would taste great with a variety of dark, leafy greens.  Try some kale for extra heartiness.  Some soy crumbles, perhaps?  Top with shredded vegan cheese and chopped red onion. 

And now that your palate is sated, on to the handmade creation!  I first found this Do-It-Yourself craft on one of my favorite websites, Recyclart.  This amazing website compiles recycled art, home furnishings, you name it.  Mostly everything featured has been re-purposed to become something else.  With all of the waste in our society it is encouraging to know that so many people are dedicated to reusing and re-imagining objects.  As they say, One man's trash...  To learn more about Recyclart, check out the upper right corner of this blog. 

This craft takes a completely unassuming and everyday item and makes it into a piece of art for your wall. 

Here is the first one I made:
Guessed the material?  Yep, toilet paper rolls!  (Paper towel rolls work too.)  Smash the rolls, cut them into strips, glue the points together and there you have it!  For detailed instructions, go here. 
 A peek at the process:

Of course, I couldn't have done any of it without my helpful muses.

And now there's another pretty something on the wall to look at!
I like the fluid, organic form of this piece.
I'm always on the hunt for more good and easy projects like this one.  Share share share! 

Once again, a flower until next time. 
Quintana Roo, Mexico