Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year End Clearance Sales Going on Now!

A number of EtsyVeg team members are having year end sales in their shops this week and into January. Please check them out for some great deals!


Bean Lennon has a holiday clearance section in her shop with 50% off select items.


Silent Lotus has a store wide clearance on jewelry and original art.


Panda With Cookie has a clearance section of discontinued items that won't be back in the new year. Get them while they last!


Krugs Ecologic is also having a store wide sale on all remaining stock this year. Soap to the rescue!


There is a 25% off sale on select photo blocks in Julie Webb's shop. Check out her sale section!


Lunique Jewelry has 20% off her entire shop from January 1-20th.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Random look at some recent listings from Etsyveg Team members

Posted by Midnightrabbits 

While browsing through EtsyVeg Team members shops, I thought it would be a fun idea to select a few random items to share with you. I searched, using Etsyveg as a tag, and chose the first item from the first few pages. And what d'ya know - EtsyVeg has some wonderful, creative, talented crafters and artists. I love handmade!



A fabulous ring described as 'Dimensions of Spirals Ring - Made with recycled Silver', available from Thisisit.
This ecofriendly ring is modern, unique, and so much fun to wear! It features a 3-dimensional spiral, and it's made using 18 gauge recycled sterling silver wire.
Simply gorgeous!





A favourite of mine, is this colourful, pretty, funky, necklace by Silent Lotus.
This Bold, Aqua and Orange Geometric Glass Wire Wrapped Necklace,is a stunning piece of jewellery and would look good with many outfits. Adorable!



 

Panda with Cookie has this cute Bright Green Cotton Tote with ecospun felt panda head sewn on the front. Lined with green cotton with green straps. Handy for shopping, for school or days out. Fabulous!



Another super talented EtsyVeg member is CricketsCreations. One of her latest listings is this gorgeous, sumptious Orange and Black Handknit Scarf, described as "This delicious, handknit fashion scarf is a new version of Crickets’ Ashes & Embers design! There are shades & textures of blackest midnight, glowing orange, rich burgundy, burnished copper, polished bronze & more throughout."   Wonderful!




This fab necklace is brought to you by MVegan5.

Unique, one of a kind necklace made with vintage findings, made with a fabulous blue teardrop pendant, decorated with a pretty flower in the centre. Retro and uber-cool!

 


And finally this delightful cat bed would be treasured by any cat or cat lover.

Angel Cat beds has a wonderful collection of pretty, yet functional cat beds. They are made of acrylic yarn, so are easy to keep clean, and are very soft and comfortable. Your cat would certainly thank you for one of these!


So, as you see, just a little random look at some delightful treasures on offer from EtsyVeg team members. Next time you decide to shop on Etsy, why not try searching 'EtsyVeg' and have a wonderful surprise browsing through many beautiful, well made, handmade items.


Thinking about resolutions and purpose....

Find a purpose in life so big it will challenge every capacity to be at your best. 

~David McKay

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Peace on Earth

If we are to promote peace on earth, we must have a great deal more than the power of the sword. We must call into action the spiritual and moral forces of mankind.

~Calvin Coolidge

Monday, December 21, 2009

PET of the WEEK: SCOUT of KneeDeepOriginals


Scout, named for the precocious character in To Kill a Mockingbird, was part of a trio of kitties that someone dropped off at the small neighborhood church where I used to work. The person had left a big box, for shelter, and an open bag of cat food in early December, 2003. I was not in the market for a cat; my husband said we should wait until we move to our home-to-be in a rural area, where we now live, but that was not what fate had in store. When I took one look at this sweet kitten running up and down the halls of our office, I knew she would be coming home with me that afternoon! (The other two kittens were also quickly adopted, and all are happy and well these days!)

Scout spent the rest of the day in my office, sitting in my lap, and when I left work, I took her straight to the vet for her shots and something strong enough to kill off the fleas who were having a field day on her small three-month-old body. Then we went to the grocery store where I bought the needed items for a new cat in the house, and on to our home. She stayed for the first few hours in the bathroom, cuddled up in the sink (!), so that I could slowly introduce her to our two dogs. It didn’t take long for her to make herself at home and become a happy family member. The dogs were inquisitive but accepted her quickly, as did my husband, I’m happy to say. Of course, there was not much he could do at that point.

Her first Christmas with us was much fun as she enjoyed the wrappings and the bows and sleeping, all nestled up, in whatever box was available. That was 6 years ago, and here she is at our current, and permanent, home, snuggled under the Christmas tree, looking right at home with the gifts.

Scout is a wonderful companion who likes to accompany me in the garden, on walks around the property, and one time she even walked around the mountain with me and the dogs! That is a very long walk for a cat, and she was pitifully worn out when we arrived home, about 40 minutes later. She didn’t even make it back into the house, choosing instead to succumb to exhaustion on the doggie deck in the back yard. Since then, I make sure she is in the house when I start off with the dogs, lest she be foolish enough to follow again!


Lately, as she ages, she has become much more of a snuggler. She was definitely her own independent self for the first several years, but now she enjoys cuddling every now and then, especially with Bruschi, our 90+ pound rescue dog.

And fortunately, while she still “hunts” outside in the woods, she is not quite as quick on her feet, so we don’t get nearly as many presents at the front door these days. She is more likely to be found sleeping on our bed or cat-napping in the sun on the deck!


Happy Holidays, everyone, from Rebecca and Scout!

Panda Picks: Crafty Creations from Etsyveg Members

Festive red and green for the holidays. Happy solstice today!
My own paper and fabric goods can be found at Panda With Cookie.










Sunday, December 20, 2009

Need last minute Christmas cards?

Some very talented EtsyVeg team members have fabulous Christmas cards for those last minute cards that you forgot to get. Order today and get them just in time to send or hand deliver for Christmas.
Here are some of my favourites:
Funny Christmas Card Pees On Earth very cheeky, funny card, for someone with a wicked sense of humour, available from dandee

Then there's this very stylish retro photo card from Chickabug

I also like this cute Holiday Reindeer Greeting Card from movetheneedle


And these 3 Colorful Holiday Snowman Christmas Cards from shesbattydesigns are so funky.


A card for everyone from Etsy Veg Team members, a fab selection.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Ten Percent for Peace"- The Results!

The results from our "Ten Percent for Peace Promotion" are in! After a week of participating EtsyVeg members donating 10% of all shop sales to team fundraising efforts, we raised almost $112 for Food Not Bombs! A group of our team's talented and generous veg artisans got together to raise "dollars for peace" to support the mission to bring an end to hunger, poverty, and war and to help get awareness out there the about both Food Not Bombs and EtsyVeg.
Putting our compassion and generosity into action, we all worked super hard to make it happen.

I am extremely proud of everyone who participated and definitely rank this event as a success! Go Team!!! You are all rock stars! :D Woohoo! Thank you all so much for your wonderful efforts and for taking part!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lighting the Flame

This week's quote came from the ecard sent by PCRM:

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.

~ Albert Schweitzer

Monday, December 14, 2009

November's "Veggie Harvest" Challenge Winner!

November's Veggie Harvest challenge brought us a bevy of delectable handmade delights from crafty EtsyVeg members. Everyone seemed to agree that it was extremely hard to choose... but the top vote getter of November's monthly challenge entries was... Rebecca of KneeDeepOriginals' beautiful Cinnamon Apple Earrings! Rebecca will be awarded with an ad on the EtsyVeg blog for the next month (see top of sidebar). Yay!

Congrats, Rebecca! And thank you all so much for entering your incredible creations!



Check out the details on December's monthly challenge here. It's not too late to join in the creative fun and get a chance to show off your talent and win your own blog ad! :)

Panda Picks: Crafty Creations from Etsyveg Members

Snowflakes!
My own paper and fabric goods can be found at Panda With Cookie.










Friday, December 11, 2009

Shining Silver and Gold! Plus Winter, Holidays and Gifts Ideas.

Treasuries this week by Athena from veggiecrocker, Erin from krugsecologic (two treasuries!), Julia from LoveButtons, Maggie from magglepie, Rebecca from KneeDeepOriginals, and Jill from beanlennon. Thanks to you all for promoting our awesome team with such fabulous treasuries. :)















Treasury collecting by JulieWebb



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Update on Our Ebook for Farm Sanctuary!

EtsyVeg is raising money for Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY! As you likely already know, our team members created a recipe ebook in October to be sold to benefit the wonderful sanctuary for abused and neglected farm animals and other victims of factory farming. The EtsyVeg World Veg Day Cookbook ebook has been selling in our team shop and in those of some members, silentlotus, veggiecrocker, and aktie9. Available for just $3.50, this sweet collection of 26 vegan and vegetarian/easily-made-vegan recipes is available as a PDF file that is emailed upon purchase, and 100% of sales go directly to the sanctuary. Yay!

Our current tally? So far we have sold 13 ebooks, for a total of $45.50! Just mailed off our first of hopefully many payments to Farm Sanctuary!


EtsyVeg is also helping to raise funds for Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, too, with sale of the Cooking With Compassion cookzine. Since last year, members of EtsyVeg have been selling paper copies of this awesome vegan recipe zine (almost 50 recipes) as part of a collaborative effort between sister teams EtsyVeg, Cruelty Free Etsy, and Vegan Etsy. $5 of every copy purchased is donated to Peaceful Prairie! Cooking with Compassion is available in these shops.


Please help us promote
our ebook and raise more funds to support a great animal cause, Farm Sanctuary! Purchase a copy yourself, promote the book by sharing a link to our team etsy shop, or ask about selling the ebook in your own shop!

Thanks to everyone who has purchased and promoted so far! :)

All God's Creatures

This week's quote was found by Kylie: (thank you Kylie!)


"Even in the worm that crawls in the earth there glows a divine spark. When you slaughter a creature, you slaughter God."


~Darwin

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our "Upcycle Your Recycling" Award Winner is...

Congratulations to our "Upcycle Your Recycling" project winner... Kathleen of KathleenMarieKelly and her awesome entry, "Nature Vs. Nurture (Toxicology Report)!" Kathleen created her wonderful eco-friendly piece by using materials sent to her from a fellow team member that would otherwise be thrown away or recylced. She transformed the following into extraordinary art:

* Round Glass Bead (dandelion)
* Square Wood Bead (flower pot)
* Wire (rose stems)
* Felt Scraps (leaves & roses)
* Plastic Floppy Disk Cover (melted for texture)
* Postcard (leaves)


"Nature Vs. Nurture" is a 10 x 10" acrylic mixed media piece on upcycled ceramic tile by KathleenMarieKelly

Kathleen has won a gift certificate to claynfiber for $10, a gift certificate for $10 to silentlotus, and her choice of either a $25 gift certificate to her favorite veg-friendly shopping site or a $25 donation made in her name to her favorite charity!

Congratulations to Kathleen, and a big thank you to all who entered the recycling challenge! Wonderful and impressive creative work, all of you! :D

Panda Picks: Crafty Creations from Etsyveg Members

Candy canes!
My own paper and fabric goods can be found at Panda With Cookie.










Saturday, December 5, 2009

Veggies Get Crafty: How To Make Soap

From the Fabulous Blog of Erin of Krug's Eco-Logic

While making soap isn't difficult, you do have to take special safety precautions, be able to measure accurately, and be prepared to spend beaucoup denaro (i.e. cash) upfront to create your own recipes.

I will walk you through the basic process (start to finish), but before you try your hand at it, please read all you can about the specifics before delving into this craft. With a little time, patience, and money ... you can create something beautiful and useful!



PREPARE

Set out all of your materials you'll be needing .....

- butters/oils
-water/ice
-lye
-scale
-gloves and goggles
- molds/liners
-essential or fragrance oils
-colorants
-stick blender
-pots/bowls
-vinegar (for spills or accidents)
-pH strips


Colorants and Scenting

How you choose to color, scent, and create your soaps is entirely up to you. There are such a wide variety of fats, oils, butters, scenting options, and colorants available - this is where you get creative. Research each type, kind, brand, etc... and find out what's best for you. I chose all vegan and natural ingredients (no animal by-products of any kind, and only natural iron oxides for colorants). Use your search engine to find the multitude of suppliers. Buying scents and colorants from your local craft store will work, but are not near the quality of something you would purchase from a ingredient supplier.


SAP Calculator

The very first item on the agenda is plugging in some numbers into your SAPonification Calculator. You can find ones all over the internet. Soaper's Choice offers a great online version or you can download one into an excel program, like the one suggested at Miller's Soap.



Miller's Soap also has a great table illustrating the different properties and characteristics of oils or butters you may choose to add to your soap. You'll want to add some oils that create a hard bar, good lather, gentle for the skin ... this is where you can be scientifically creative.


Molds

Make sure that before you actually begin making the soap, you determine the total volume needed to fill the mold you will be using. You can find some calculations HERE. You want to make sure you have a good sized soap bar, so some calculation and planning is key. Make sure to line your mold (if the one your make/purchase is not lined) with either a garbage bag that you've positioned to 'hug' the edges and corners, or freezer paper.


Measure Oils/Butters/Fats



All measurements MUST be extremely accurate (especially when working in small batches). Use a digital scale that measures to the hundredth of an ounce (at least). Measure each type of oil/butter as you have pre-determined using your SAP calculator. I use a large stainless steel pot and place on a burner. I melt them on low heat so they don't heat too quickly and burn, and also, so that as soon as they're totally melted they're the perfect temperature to soap!

Some soapers choose to accurately measure the temperature of their oils. I did do this in the beginning but found it much easier to heat the oils on low heat, and as they just finish melting - they're the perfect temperature (about 105-110 degrees F if you choose to measure).




Lye/Water

Next, measure out the volume of water as you've accurately calculated using your SAP calculator. When I measure out my liquid (other soaping liquids can include - milk, goat's milk, coconut milk, beer, wine, etc..), I make HALF of the volume frozen. For example, if my total volume of liquid is 20 oz, 10 of those oz would be frozen. When lye is mixed with water, it causes an exothermic reaction (produces heat). By using room temperature liquid, the solution will become so hot, you'll have to give it lots of time to cool. By freezing a portion of your liquid, you eliminate the waiting game.

Before you handle lye, PLEASE make sure to use proper safety apparel - gloves, goggles, shirt/jacket with long sleeves, pants, and foot coverings. Keep vinegar close by to neutralize any spills.



Next, use a clean DRY container to measure out your lye (only use 100% pure, technical grade lye). A few great companies include: Boyer or Camden-Grey.



SLOWLY pour your lye INTO the liquid (NEVER pour liquid into the lye). Gently stir as you pour the lye little-by-little into the liquid. If you're using a liquid other than water, please read up on how it may react with the lye (for ex: beer must be flat, otherwise it will bubble/volcano over your bowl when mixed with lye). You may even experience color changes of the liquid with lye (ex: agave nectar turns a multitude of colors as it's mixed with the sodium hydroxide).



Once the sodium hydroxide is carefully mixed into the liquid (if you've used about half the liquid volume in it's frozen form), it should be the perfect temperature to mix with the oils/fats (again, around 100-110 degrees).


Begin Saponification

Plug your stick blender in and immerse it into the melted oils/butters. I give it a few quick whirls to ensure the melted oils are blended evenly together. CAREFULLY and SLOWLY with gloved hands, and goggled eyes, pour the lye/liquid mixture into the melted oils. Begin blending with your stick blender. It shouldn't take very long (anywhere from 1 minute to 10 depending on the types of oils you used and the temperature of the mixture) until you reach a light " trace " . Trace is considered when you can dribble some of the liquid on the surface and you can see a 'trace' of where it has been.




When your mixture is at a very light trace you can add your colorants (if you are opting for a solid color), and your scenting oils (fragrance oils (synthetic) or essential oils (natural ) ). Please do you research on the amounts to be used and skin safety for anything you might add to your soaps.



Once your mixture reaches " trace ", it's time to pour it into your mold. Timing is crucial here - if you pour it too soon, it has the potential to separate. If you pour too late, the mixture will become hard in the pot and not pour nicely into the mold. Scenting oils often change the speed at which the mixture traces. Essential oils that are spicy (cinnamon, clove, etc..) often speed up the process so quickly, they always seize the mixture in the pot. When I use an oil that causes quick seizing, I actually pour the mixture into the mold FIRST, then add the scenting oil and blend it IN the mold. This way, when it seizes, it will solidify in the mold instead of in my pot.



Once you've poured your mixture into your mold ( you may choose to texture the tops as I do with a spoon) it is time to cover it and let it sit for about 24 hours. I always cover the lid and the sides of the mold with fleece blankets, towels, or anything that will hold in the heat of the chemical process. If too much heat escapes, it will not allow the soap to set up properly and you will end up with very, very soft soap. The saponification process creates it's own heat (exothermic reaction) but requires that heat to allow it to "gel", and thus producing the fabulous natural glycerin soap our skin loves!


Unmolding / Cutting

Once about 24 hours has passed, most likely, it is time to cut your soap. I always feel the outside of the mold first. If it's still warm, I let it sit until it's room temperature to ensure the process is complete. If it's totally cooled, I pull the soap log out of the mold. Every soaper has a different method of cutting their soaps (and sometimes it depends on the type of mold you use). I like to use a regular old chef's knife.


Curing & Testing

Most soaps need to sit for approximately 3-4 weeks before they are ready for use. This time allows the soap bars not only to harden (which will allow the bar a longer usage life), but to very slowly continue to saponify, thus becoming more gentle for your skin. I have small containers with lids I place my soaps in so that they're protected. I don't fully close the lids, though, allowing water to evaporate.

After about 3 weeks, I use a pH strip to ensure the product is skin safe. A suitable pH level is around 9-10 . Any higher than 10, and it becomes too harsh for your skin.


Final Product



AND YOU'RE DONE !! Once you become comfortable with the process, you can do some more creative things - swirls, adding multiple colors, and blending scents. Become comfortable with the process, and then let your imagination soar!

*** This is only a general guideline ... please research the process thoroughly before you begin. Intently read information about ingredients, their safety, and amounts BEFORE using. ***