Friday, July 31, 2009

We all need something cool..

When the sun is beating down. Sometimes you have to wait till it's really dark to get cool. Enjoy these selections from the etsyveg team.

dark
By Fantazerova

dark4
By PotatoBenevolence

dark6
By Silentlotus

dark5
By TokenEmotion

dark3
By Madhousemauly

dark2
By Auclairdelalune

I hope you enjoy these selections, from the etsyveg street team!
--Heather :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Global Movement for Weekly Meat-Free Days

Recently, the Meat-Free Mondays campaign and the city of Ghent, Belgium's meat-free Thursdays started an important effort to promote vegetarianism and reduce the consumption of meat to help the environment. Going meat-free even just one day per week will have a huge impact in helping to curb climate change, reduce world hunger, and improve animal welfare (guardian.co.uk). Participating is a way any one of us can help the environment. According to Veg News, there is a global movement happening to encourage cities and countries around the world to skip meat one day per week on an ongoing basis, which would save enormous amounts of land and water and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The people at meatfreepetition.com would like everyone to sign their online petition to make this happen in the US and Canada, EU and UK, Australia and New Zealand, Israel, Indonesia, and Taiwan and Hong Kong. A cool thing is that anybody anywhere can vote for a meat-free day in any other city or country, not just their own.

Sign here now, and help the planet, people, and all beings!

Assemblage and Composition- A Treasury

A collection of EtsyVeg collages...

























To see more fabulous handmade and vintage creations and supplies from our vegan and vegetarian artisans, check out our teams's Crafty Veggie Marketplace!

The Monthly Challenge Has a Brand New Format


July is almost over, and that means just a few days to get your entries in for July's "Don't Bug Me!" challenge. Remember, you can add items that are already listed in your shop. Check out our awesome entries so far!

We Hope You Love the NEW FORMAT!
There will be a brand new look to the monthly challenge starting next month! Heather and I have made some changes that will create more of an incentive to enter every month, reward talent and team participation, and bring more traffic to the blog. Yay! :)

Taking the example of other Etsy teams, we will now allow only challenge entry per participant, and entries for each month will be listed on the blog and put up for public vote (members included)! The veggie with the highest vote will win an ad for their shop placed at the top of the blog sidebar for the entire month following. :)

Every 6 months, all 6 winners from the last series of challenges will be put up for a vote together. The winner of this vote will win a grand prize, as yet to be determined (but hopefully a basket of items from generous teamies *hint*).

We're very excited about this, and hope you are, too. Stay tuned for info about August's "Dog Days" challenge to kick things off. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

EtsyVeg Weekly Wednesday Giveaway!

Now every week brings a new chance to win a fabulous creation(s) from one of our team's talented vegan or vegetarian EtsyVeg artisans. :)

This week, one winner will receive this sweet black acrylic felt coin purse with a zip top fastening crafted by Kim of Etsy's veganessa and midnightrabbits! Decorated with light yellow letter beads saying 'HOPE' and a sumptuous green ribbon, the inside is lined with a blue material printed with kitties. The pouch/purse measures approximately 5"x4" (13x10cm), and is vegan and cruelty-free!





How to enter? Comment here, posting BOTH the link from your favorite creation in either of Kim's shops, veganessa or midnightrabbits, and why you like it (must include the link for entry to be valid). And don't forget to leave an email address or Etsy shop name so we can contact you if you win.
It's that easy! Better yet, win an extra entry by Tweeting to @etsyveg about our giveaway and then posting about it here, or by posting about it on FB and sending a 'print screen' shot of your post to etsyveg@gmail.com. That means up to 3 chances to win!

Enter by 12 midnight EST, Monday, August 3rd. Winner will be randomly selected, and notified by Wednesday, August 5th.** Good luck!

Look for our next giveaway this time next week! :)


**If winner does not respond within 30 days of initial contact, the prize will be awarded to another giveaway entrant.

How to Make Body Butters

From the blog of EtsyVeg member, Erin of KrugsEcoLogic, creator of richly nurturing and natural vegan bath and body products. Shared with permission.

Making soaps, lotions, and bath and body products isn't rocket science... but it does take time, research, money, and patience to come up with your own unique and fabulous recipes. Finding the perfect ratio of your desired ingredients can become time consuming... but worth it!

Here's my general approach to making body butters ....

As far as body butter recipes go, they are usually approximately 50-100% butters/oils. The more solids you have, the thicker the emulsion. I like mine thick, but not greasy. So my butters and oils are approximately 65-70% of the total mixture. The added water makes the body butter non-greasy and more easily spreadable.


I think of the recipe in three sections - the butters/solids, oils, and water/water soluble items. To each of these categories you can add whatever ingredients you feel would bring the best qualities to your body butter. I absolutely love shea, cocoa and sal butters (shown below) and use all three in this formulation. I melt these butters down so that they may be equally incorporated to make a lovely, smooth emulsion.

If you've ever made salad dressing before and tried to mix water and vinegar, you know they just don't stay together. This would happen with lotions if you did not add a binding ingredient that holds water and oil together- an emulsifier. Add this to your solid ingredients and gently melt.

I also use some oils for their skin loving properties, and add olive, almond, and vitamin E (shown below) to the melted butter blend.

Next comes the water phase. As in any concoction that employs the use of water, you need to have a preservative. Imagine drinking from the same water bottle for a year without ever washing it or getting new, fresh water. Gross, right? A preservative is essential in water-based lotions/body butters in order to prohibit the growth of bacteria. I use a paraben-free preservative that I like to call "the lesser of all the preservative evils". It gets the job done without the harshness of some of the other preservatives.

Along with the water-preservative mixture, I add some vegetable based glycerin. This ingredient has so many uses! I incorporate this valuable ingredient to aid in attracting moisture from the air to your skin. I also use a touch of citric acid to help balance the pH of the body butter mixture.

Each 'phase' of the mixture should be warm... and about the same temperature. Too hot, and it will ruin the properties of the oils/butters and destroy the preservative system. Too cool, and the mixture will have lumps, bumps, and will not incorporate correctly. I use a stick blender (a bath and body maker's #1 piece of equipment) to blend, and add the scenting oils last. I then quickly transfer the body butter to containers.

And here's the result:


You simply can't get any better bath and body products than those that are made from scratch utilizing the absolute best, natural ingredients.

Happy Blending !!
(*** If you desire to make your own, please be sure to thoroughly read any material you can get your hands on, and wash and sterilize equipment before use. *** )


For more great information about natural bath and body products, visit Erin's blog, Krug's Eco-Logic.

Members Making Treasuries

Promoting the team is hugely important to visibility and growth, and our members are devoted to putting EtsyVeg in the spotlight! Here are the latest Etsy treasuries from members dedicated to showing off EtsyVeg talent, created by Cari of loveluca, Carmen of CaramelDiezel, Rebecca of KneeDeepOriginals, Yvonne of CollarMeGorgeous, and Karen of purplecatscorner. Yajaira of LaViejaTunTun has made two more treasuries featuring both EtsyVeg and Etsy for Animals members. And we have one non-member, ProjectSpeakLove, member lulubugjewelry's sister and an EtsyVeg supporter! Hooray!

You are all fabulous, and the team is so grateful for your efforts to make the team even greater! :)












Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Member 'Pet of the Week' with SkribblyKids

MEET SAMBA
(companion of Joanna of SkribblyKids)



Joanna (whose former Etsy shop was JoannaGoldman) adopted her kitty Samba from a shelter in November, and says he is her "sweetie". Such a beautiful boy! (He looks like my Sophie!)








Friends

"Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms." ~ George Eliot (1819-1880)

New Members and New Shops!

New Member!
EtsyVeg has a new member, Sam of
TheAwesomestPossum! Yay! Sam is newer to Etsy, too, selling beautiful bead and wire jewelry made from stone, metal, chain, and glass. Welcome to you, Sam- we're very happy to have you as part of the team!

Check out Sam's shop and say hello!

New Shops!
Stephanie of
StephHansonCreations has opened a new, second shop, SpiritHorseArtStudio, where she is selling amazing original works of art and art cards. As with her second shop, she donates a percentage of her sales to Dreamchaser PMU Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation.

Also branching out is Melissa of RockYourStyle, who has opened a second shop, HoneyBeeSoapShop, for her brand new line of handmade vegan soaps. To celebrate, she is having a grand opening sale through August 15th- 10% off every purchase! Congratulations to you both!

We're proud to welcome all of your new shops to EtsyVeg! :)



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

DEER IN THE WOODS… A Morning Walk

This morning I walked around the mountain behind my house. I used to do this several times a week with my dogs, but then somehow, I got out of the habit. And now one of my dogs is not able to take such a long and strenuous hike. So I have started again, going alone usually. And I must admit, it’s a little easier since I can enjoy the sights and smells and sounds without worrying about where the dogs are or what they are doing. And I can move at my own pace.

As I headed up the first climb and approached a curve, I was startled by a deer running across the path in front of me. I stopped, and then two others ran out and followed the first into the woods on the other side. I could hear them, their hooves trampling the leaves and dead sticks on the forest floor. I peered into the depth of the trees and saw movement and just a glimpse of those beautiful soft-brown bodies. They move so quickly.

I continued up the hill and turned to go around the mountain, enjoying the morning air before it became heated with the sun and the humid temperatures of a North Carolina summer. I’d hoped to see the deer again, knowing full well that I wouldn’t. They don’t like to be seen. I thought of one of my favorite artists… Franz Marc. Do you know him? He painted in the early 20th century, alongside the likes of Kandinsky and Klee and August Macke. He favored strong color and animals... that’s why he’s one of my favorites. But his style captures them so well in all their beauty and play and oft-hidden lives. There’s much to see in his work, and you often have to look closely to find the animals and the details. Unfortunately Marc was caught in the horrible fray of battle during World War I and was killed at age 36. What a waste! But of course… that’s what war is… a horrible waste and devastation of life and earth. So many artists, past and present, show that awful despair and disaster in their work. Marc did.


You can check out a brief bio on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Marc

And also see his paintings here, where they offer reproductions of his work:
http://www.mystudios.com/artgallery/F/Franz-Marc/Franz-Marc-oil-paintings-1.html

As I approached the downhill part of my hike, I noticed a box turtle sitting on the path. I’ve seen plenty of them on the country roads where I live, and each time I stop my car and move them to safety. It breaks my heart when these gentle beings don’t make it, so I do my part to help them. Today, I was so pleased to find one in its true element, and I stopped and sat near it and enjoyed its quiet nature and spirit. We had a little chat, I guess you’d say. He was a nice slow balance to the swift-moving deer at the beginning of my hike.

It’s a good way to start the day… this hike in the solitude of the mountain… a chance to reflect and meditate and slowly bring on the work and life that is ahead.


You can view my art and animal paintings at http://www.kneedeepstudio.com/