Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Eco-Friendly: Recycled, Upcycled, and Fabulous!

The latest in EtsyVeg team treasuries...

Art as Expression

Quote of the Week
(Eighth in a series)

"Art is the desire of man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the world he lives in."
~Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell was an American poet who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926.

Contributed by Gina of claynfiber.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our Ever-expanding Team

Our team happily continues to expand and get more active as we add more and more new folks! Here's the newest fabulous bunch:

camillesstudio- Comfy Collars for pets, quilts, totes, and more

englishcookies- paper goods, vintage, prints, cards

jenafern- original art- paintings & art cards (ACEOs)

leandogpottery- pottery and ceramic/glass jewelry

lumpkin- children's toys, clothing and accessories

peezandques- recycled cards handmade from junk mail

pisforrpaper- collage art, collage jewelry, greeting cards

A warm welcome to all of you!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"VeganDish" is famous!

Listen up! EtsyVeg team member and pottery-maker for vegans, Jeanette of VeganDish, was highlighted in July-August 2008 Veg News feature, "Summer Fun Guide!"

Jeanette, a vegan herself, handcrafts uniquely elegant and funky pottery dinnerware for vegans that is food-safe, lead-free, and, of course, cruelty-free! Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, Jeanette. :)

Congratulations, as well, to Molly of emmask9kitchen, who was bestowed a Veg News Bloggy Award VeganEtsy's blog in the same issue!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Interview with CricketsCreations

Part of an ongoing interview series profiling EtsyVeg members.
Interview by emmask9kitchen of VeganEtsy
Layout and Introduction by Kylie of SilentLotus

Meet Celeste of Etsy's CricketsCreations

Celeste's gorgeous, luxurious works in fiber display her flair for color and style, as well as a streak of whimsy and spontaneity! Her scarves radiate warmth and the feeling of joy that she experiences while making them.
If that's not enough good stuff, her scarves are 100% cruelty-free!

What kind of items do you sell in your shop?

I design, create, & sell boutique-quality, luxury, fashion scarves using only soft, cruelty free, designer, vintage or novelty yarns. No silk, allergenic wool ,or other animal fibers. I adore working with people to either help them pick out the perfect scarf or design a custom order just for them. Customers are never obligated to purchase a scarf I design just for them; if they don’t like it, someone else will snatch it up.

Do you have any inspirations for your creations?

And how! I love scarves that are reminiscent of everything that either gives us life or brings joy to our lives. I have nature themed scarves (Sea Colors or Embers & Ashes, for example), food themed scarves (Chocolate Mint and Oat Bran Muffin are two current favorites), and fun-themed scarves (Carnival or Gothic Disco). My favorite inspirations are animals (Macaw, Octopus, Animal Print, etc)- I love to name my scarves after animals.

How long have you been making them?

I “went pro” in August 2007, and have already sold hundreds of cruelty-free scarves! I can easily produce 2-3 scarves daily.

Do you donate to any charities? If so, which ones & why?

My “real job” is working with Best Friends Animal Society. And I donate through EtsyForAnimals, as well.

What are some of your favorite things about etsy?

I love making friends AND money! Etsy is part of the consumerism movement without the ugly side of consumerism. It’s buying without that throw-away mentality, that wastefulness.

Do you sell your items outside of etsy (locally, other online stores, etc.)?

Yes, I love the bustle and person-to-person interaction of craft fairs. I also currently work with nine retailers, with several more lined up for later this year. My goal is to have my handknit, vegan scarf designs in 20 locations by the end of 2008. For a list of the boutiques, galleries, gift shops, etc. that feature my scarves, please my first blog post at http://cricketscreations.blogspot.com/

Do you have any future plans for your shop?

As I mentioned above, I hope to be working with 20 retailers by the end of 2008. I also hope to have more sales on Etsy than I have scarves listed. My goal when I started selling my scarves was to sell 6-7 a week. My average, even though I began in blazing hot August, has been 8.5 scarves a week, and it hasn’t stopped. Onward and upward!

What kinds hobbies and interests do you have?

I have been practicing Bikram yoga (http://bikramyoga.com/) for over a decade. I love the heat, the routine, and how demanding the poses are when tried correctly. I also love putzing around in our yard and pretending I’m gardening. I just love being outside, really.

How long have you been vegan?

This is so embarrassing…I forget! I was definitely vegan by the beginning of 2001, so I guess that’s seven years. It’s hard to remember NOT being vegan, at this point.

What are your reasons for being vegan?

It started out for the environment. Meat & dairy production is so wasteful and stresses our land so heavily. Then I learned more about factory farms and how even “organically” farmed animals are treated during food & clothing, etc., production. That was another nail in the coffin of my meat-eating days. Now there’s also the gross-out factor. What, they call that food? (laughs) I mean, I saw this lady in the grocery store today dressed in leather riding boots and a leather trench coat with fur trim. So, she’s plastered all over with the remains of dead beings. That’s a Texas Chainsaw Massacre full body suit! How is that okay?

Do you have any favorite vegan books, including cookbooks?

Um, no? I haven’t read since I was a kid, except on the Internet. Does that make me an uneducated mush-for-brains?

What are your favorite foods?

Potatoes! Persimmons! Anything green! Don’t get me started…I LOVE FOOD!!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I admit it, I’m a color & texture junkie! I love color & texture, but most of all I love the interplay of different colors and textures. I’ll sit down and play with endless variations. I knit pretty quickly (I average 22 stitches a minute), so I never have time to get bored. As I knit, it absolutely thrills me to feel the yarns and see the colors. It’s a physical joy, like jumping on our trampoline. And I’m always eager to start anew with a new “crayon set” of yarns—I often use a dozen or more yarns in a single scarf for depth and interest.

You could be next! If you would like to be EtsyVeg's next featured member artist, please fill out the questionnaire in our Google Group team files!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Desire of Man

Quote of the Week
(8th in a series)

"Art is the desire of man to express himself, to record the reactions of his personality to the word he lives in." ~ Amy Lowell

Amy Lowell was an American poet who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1926.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Peace - Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week
(Tenth in a series)

"There will never be any peace in the world so long as we eat animals."

~Isaac Bashevis, Singer

From John Robbins' book, ''May All Be Fed," which has some wonderful recipes as well as thoughtful quotes.

Human Destiny - Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week
(9th in a series)

"I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race in its gradual improvement to leave off eating animals."

~Henry David Thoreau

Another quote from John Robbins' book, ''May All Be Fed."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our Newest Members- More is Better

More creativity, more talent, and more compassion for animals that is, not to mention more recent new additions than in quite some time! Check out the newest plethora of EtsyVeg members and send'em a warm welcome:

asecondchance- unique 100% recycled knitwear

birdatthewindow- unique jewelry, art and accessories

dirtyfootprints- ACEO's, paintings, drawings & more

emmycat- original art, prints, greeting cards, & books

jamieleto- jewelry, paper, knitted & sewn goods

krecklo- purses, pouches, paintings, scarves

movetheneedle- journals and other handcrafted items

mysecretcloset- vintage clothing, purses, accessories

sillybeans- crochet toys, etc. and soy wax tarts

snailpaw- polymer clay wearables

soapychica- handcrafted, natural, luxury glycerine soaps

twostrandssoapworks- 70% organic soap and body/bath products

Please let me know if I missed anyone!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Key to Evolution- Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week
(Sixth in a series)

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." ~Albert Einstein

From John Robbins' book, ''May All Be Fed," which has some wonderful recipes as well as thoughtful quotes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

You are invited! July's Team Challenge

You are cordially invited to play, get more involved with the team, get inspired, share your talent, and take advantage of some free promotion!

EtsyVeg's monthly challenge theme has been unveiled, courtesy of the very thoughtfully expressive Celeste of
CricketsCreations: DESTASH!

Celeste suggested staying true to "reduce, reuse, recycle" and "getting a check on our consumerism mentality" by using up supplies we already have available instead of buying new ones, and by finishing projects that have been sitting on the shelf awaiting completion. In other words, create whatever you want to as long as you use supplies you already have on hand or simply finish a project that's been at a stand still. Posting these in your shop according to the guidleines below is all you have to do to enter!

Challenge Guidelines

~The challenge is meant to inspire, recognize, and promote team members and our shops and to raise awareness about vegan/vegetarian lifestyles & the rights of animals to live free of exploitation.

~Participation is open to any EtsyVeg team member. Members of CrueltyFreeEtsy and VeganEtsy are also invited to join (spread the word).

~Entry involves simply posting applicable items in your shop with the tag "destashchallenge" (all one word, and without the quotations) and "etsyveg team" (two words that all of your items should be tagged anyway!).

~Deadline for entry is July 31st.

~One entry per participant will be featured in the EtsyVeg blog at the beginning of August.

~Entrants will suggest possible themes for August to be voted on toward the end of July/early August.

~All team members (not just participants) are invited throughout the month of July to initiate forum threads about the challenge, make treasuries by doing a tag search for saladchallenge (again, all one word) and putting only those items in the treasury, or to generate other types of promotion. (If you do any of these, please let everyone know so that we can all post or click to keep it going!)

Happy creating- I'm sure with so much talent the team will turn
up some real treats! :)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Interview with JenniferABoston

Part of an ongoing interview series profiling EtsyVeg members.
Interview by Kylie of SilentLotus.

An eye for color, an appreciation of simplicity, and a fondness of intriguing images make JenniferABoston’s work uniquely alluring!

Q. Your work (both photos and paper goods) is so pleasing to look at because you have an eye for softness, clean lines, and the beauty in simplicity... What are your inspirations?

A. I do have very simple taste. I don’t like very fussy, loud patterns or designs. I like everything around me to be soothing and calm. My mom always makes fun of me because I like everything so plain. When I got married she really was beside herself because I found the trees and grass and stonework to be decoration enough rather than fussiness and flowers.

I am inspired by nature. The simplicity and complexity that coexist in a leaf is awe inspiring. Just a simple leaf that has fallen to the ground has such a simple and easily recognizable shape. But when you pick up that leaf and look closely you find many little veins and patterns and colors. I like the simple complexity.

Q. Etsy is a unique blend of artists with many different creative styles and approaches. What is your own "philosophy" or approach to creativity?

A. I make things that I like. Sometimes I stray a tad just to appeal to someone who might not have the same taste as I do. When I am shopping for supplies I am naturally drawn to materials that I like. Then I come home and use them. That’s it. I do sometimes let outside influences and suggestions of others influence what I make, but I mostly just stick to what I like and hope that someone else out there likes it also.

Q. Do you set aside time to create, or is it more organic (when you have the time and inspiration)?

A. I definitely get to it when I can, which is not often enough in my opinion. It is what I love to do most and when I can, I squeeze in some time to create. I do get grumpy and frustrated when I feel like I have not had the time to make things. It is what makes me happy so having a lack of it is detrimental to my emotional well being.

Q. What other artistic tendencies do you have? Do you have other crafty/artsy skills that you would like to try? What is your dream project?

A. Photography is a passion of mine. Unfortunately, all I really know how to do is focus and shoot. I couldn’t set the f-stop to save my life! But I do enjoy it and I am actually currently shopping for a digital SLR to replace my film camera. Composition of photographs seems to come easily to me but the technical aspects of the actual camera are a foreign world that I know nothing about.

Along with photography I also enjoy painting and pointillism, cooking and gardening.

My dream project…what a great question! I could say that it would be anything that would enable me to stay home and work but I think that is the easy answer, albeit a true one. The first thing that comes to mind is being able to get paid for my photography. I would love to be hired to photograph either infants or flowers.

Every month I take photos of my little charge and at the end of the year I organize them into an album to give to my charge’s parents. I would love to be hired to do this each month of the first year of a little one’s life. And I also love to take interesting close up photos of plants and flowers, so I would love to be hired to photograph the plants in people’s gardens that they spend so much time and energy perfecting.

Q. From reading your shop info and blog, it’s obvious that you and your husband are quite the creative force! Is that part of what drew you to one another?

A. Insanity and loneliness are what initially drew us together. Literally. We were in a little counseling group at the college we attended. When it ended we agreed to hang out one day that we both were free. That night he emailed me and told me that he had very strong feelings for me. Two weeks later we were saying “I love you” and the rest is our future!

We both greatly enjoy being creative, although with different things. I am more of the crafty-put-things-together-and-take-cool-pictures type, and he is more of the design-cool-things type. He is also a musician, playing guitar and drums. I think it definitely helps that we are both creative, and like many creative types, are passionate, sensitive, caring, affectionate, and intelligent.

Our dream is to have our own graphic design firm. I fantasize of the day that we both work from home, completely working for and supporting ourselves.

Q. Your profile mentions that you are a nanny. How is that? How long have you been doing that, and how did you end up in that line of work?

A. I have always been involved in some kind of babysitting or child care for as long as I can remember. When I was in middle school I volunteered at a day care in the infant room and loved it, and from there have always seemed to get jobs involving children. Inspired by a Child Psychology course in college, I decided to get a higher degree so I could teach parenting, graduating with a B.S. in Psychology and Child Development. I was accepted to graduate school for Marital and Family Therapy, but wasn’t able attend due to financial constraints. Instead, I went with what I had been doing off and on my whole life and applied for a nanny position. Three and a half years later I am still with the same family.

Q. I love the short statement that is part of your blog header, “Life, Love, and the Quest for Self-employment.” Can you explain the meaning behind that?”

A. I really wanted to start a blog but I didn’t know what it would contain. I figured I would just let it be about everything and I figured that “life” and “love” pretty much covered it. But I wanted to add something more. I wanted to express my intense desire to be my own boss which is where the “quest” came from. I desperately want to make a living from my creations and to work so hard every day for myself and my family, not for others.

I mostly want my blog to be a portfolio of sorts of what I have done and of my current projects but also for it to have small glimpses into my life so that those who do not know me personally can get to know a little about me. Although, finding the time to make it what I want it to be is another story.

Q. How long have you been on Etsy, and are you an Etsy addict? :)

A. I started my first Etsy shop, jenniferaboston, in September of 2007. My second shop, thecraftydragonfly, opened late February of 2008. I IMMEDIATELY became an Etsy addict and always come to Etsy first when I need something…whether it is a purse, a greeting card, or a book! The incredible talent here on Etsy is overwhelming. It makes me want to open my own brick and mortar store so I can buy and sell and share all the amazing things I have seen on Etsy!

Q. Is etsy a large part of your business? How else do you market your work?

A. Etsy is pretty much the only part of my business! I do not market outside Etsy mostly because I don’t have any time to devote to it. I have gotten a few inquiries from people with brick and mortar stores because of my shop on Etsy. I had one wholesale sale to a woman opening a store in July and another local consignment inquiry from a store that opened in late June. I have items in both locations.

Q. How long have you been vegan/vegetarian? How does being veg play into the rest of your life?

A. My husband came home from school a little over two years ago and said that he wanted to be a vegetarian. I was thrilled because I had tried a few times to talk him into being a vegetarian! He had been doing research that day on PETA’s website and saw some things he could not tolerate. We have been vegetarians ever since.

It isn’t very hard for me to be a vegetarian because when we go out I can always grab a quick cheese sandwich if I am going to be out for a while. My husband, however, doesn’t like cheese so it is definitely harder for him when we’re away from the house.

I get so frustrated when I go into any kind of restaurant, especially fast food, and ask for a whatever-sandwich without the meat and they can not comprehend my request. It blows my mind when I ask for “the turkey and swiss sandwich without the turkey” and they twist up their face and get confused! But that is a small sacrifice to make in the grand scheme of things.

Q. What is the last recipe you made? What are your food vices or cravings?

A. The last recipe I cooked was a wonderful whole wheat pasta dish. I made a ragout of fresh sautéed zucchini and garlic and then added diced canned tomatoes and let it simmer for a while then added it to pasta. I finished it off with a sprinkling of shredded (not grated) parmesan cheese. Mmm!

My very bad, bad, bad food vice is cheese. I can’t get enough. Whether it’s cheap American cheese or the finest Epoisses, I just love it! It is for this reason that I try not to buy it too often or I will just eat it every couple minutes until it is gone.

Q. What is your favorite vegan/vegetarian store/restaurant/blog/website?

A. There is a vegetarian restaurant in Boone, North Carolina called Angelica’s that is absolutely wonderful! I also have to say that I love going to Japanese Steak Houses and getting the rice, vegetables and tofu meals. Mmm!! I also really like Vegetarian Times magazine. When we first became vegetarians that magazine saved us with all the fantastic recipes! My husband couldn’t believe how easy being a vegetarian was. Whole Foods is also another favorite. I always feel so healthy and well taken care of when I leave their store with all kinds of awesome vegetarian food and fruits and veggies!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

True Equality- Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week
(Fifth in a series)

"The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than blacks were made for whites, or women for men."
~Alice Walker

June's SaladChallenge Produced Some Goodies

JuneChallenge "produced" some luscious creations following our "salad" theme. From the wonderful shops of EtsyVeg, CrueltyFreeEtsy, and VeganEtsy sprang the following fresh goodies: