Monday, January 31, 2011

Roasted Fennel and Zucchini

Hi, it's Jennifer from Gilding Lilies, with another delicious vegan recipe. Fennel has become my new favorite vegetable, I can't get enough of it. I hope you give this recipe a try, it's a good one!

Roasted Fennel With Zucchini

1 fennel bulb, with greens and base removed (sliced)
1 zucchini (cut in half, then  cut in quarters)
1/4 cup  powdered vegan Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoon pine nuts
Thyme, to taste
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat the bottom of a 8" baking dish with olive oil. Layer zucchini sticks and fennel slices in a baking pan. Drizzle with  some additional olive oil. Sprinkle on  thyme, salt,  pepper, vegan  Parmesan  cheese and pine nuts. Cover with foil. Bake for 30-45 minutes. I like to let it cook until the small pieces crisp-up and nearly burn, and the large pieces are tender. Serve immediately. Makes two generous servings. This stuff is so good!

EtsyVeg Member Monday: JFIllustrations, the Vegan Claddagh

 This week's member is Julia from JFillustrations
This is what she had to tell us on today's question-a-day Member Monday feature.

EtsyVeg: Share one of your latest creations with us and what inspired you to create it...

Claddagh Ring from Ireland
JFillustrations: The Vegan Claddagh is one of my latest pendants. It came to me in an "AHA!" moment. It was actually inspired by a friend that had commented that she thought too many vegan wearables were not feminine enough or pleasant to they eye and always had too obvious and sometimes inappropriate messages on them to wear every day. I remembered her pointing out a symbol behind a package of vegan food that had a simple heart with a "V" on it to show that it was vegan-friendly as something that she would wear.

Having lived in Ireland for the last few years, I've learned about many of the celtic symbols. My favorite, for it's meaning, has been the Claddagh, which is a symbol for love, friendship, and loyalty. Traditionally, it was (and is still sometimes) used on a ring to symbolize your status...available or not ;) Some use it as a token of admiration for a close friend. 

Vegan Claddagh by JFillustrations
As a foreigner in a completely new culture,  I think that it's inevitable for me to blend old and new ideas, symbols, perspectives, etc., especially out of things that I admire. I tend to want to give things a new twist and apply my own meaning to them based on how they relate to me. So, I decided to merge the claddagh with my love for veganism to form the "vegan claddagh"...simple, but to me, it speaks volumes. The vegan claddagh is a way to express your compassion and dedication to your vegan or veg lifestyle. The frienship, love, and loyalty that was originally intended for our fellow humans tranfers over to all of the non-humans that inspire to live a life of compassion and reminds us of our quest and dedication to make the world a better place for them, the environment, our health, and of course, people everywhere. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

December's "Winter Wonderland" Challenge Winner Is...

December's "Winter Wonderland" Creative Challenge entries were voted on over the past week, and one the winner is Indira of DharmaKarmaArts! Her handcrafted keepsake boxes received top votes. Congratulations, Indira! Yay! :D

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and voted! :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

A Valentine Moment!

On my recent trip to Chennai, India, I visited the Vedanthangal Bird SanctuaryIt is one of the oldest bird sanctuaries in India, where between November and March, 40,000 migratory birds fly in to nest. Both the forest department and the surrounding farming communities have worked consciously to protect and preserve  the sanctuary. The best time to view the birds is in the evening between 4 and 6 p.m--it is truly spectacular to see thousands and thousands of  them fly in to settle for the night from wherever they had gone during the day. Despite all the bird sounds and the movements of the flying birds, it is a scene that is actually very serene and immensely peaceful.

That does not mean it was easy to take photos of them. The fading light and the distance posed a big challenge for my little point and click camera. Here are some photos I took of the fauna of and around the sanctuary. Enjoy.

Welcome Sign

Painted Storks in Thousands!

Bird's Eye View Indeed!

A Cow and a Bird

Look at that tail!

Herding Goats

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pet of the Week: Meet Strudy, a Sweet Papillon

Meet Strudy! 
Papillon companion dog to EtsyVeg Member, Stasya from Glycosidic.

What is your pet's name, birthday, sex, breed?
His name is ‘officially’ Strudy, although I personally drop the S and think of him as Trudy. He was born on the 18th of March and is a Papillon.

Where/how did you come up with their name?
We had no idea what to call him initially, so we decided to derive it from his certificate name, which is “Dream Come True Blackie”. True became Trudy, and Trudy was changed to Strudy to make it sound more masculine.

How did you meet your pet? Were they Adopted, rescued or other?
Our ex-vet (we used to have another dog before Strudy) knew another client whose dog had recently given birth. As my parents live in an apartment, we were looking for small dogs and he recommended this breed.

What are your pet’s favorite toys, foods, snacks, activities?
He loves chew toys, playing chase and going out for walks, just like any other doggie :-) He can be picky with food but his absolute favourite is Asian pears! He also enjoys the stalks of leafy green vegetables.

What are some things you enjoy doing with your pet?
When I bark, he barks back so occasionally we have barking matches lol!

Do you take them to parks or to see people?

My parents live near a forest so he has been for walks there.

Does your pet have any special tricks or unique habits?
He also has been known to eat noodles! Also – thanks to my own barking – he seems to be trained to bark when my dad comes back in the evening from work (much to my mum’s chagrin, as she is worried that Strudy might disturb the neighbours.

How does your pet like going to the vet?
He doesn’t go very often. But he dreads getting his hair (in between paws and near his bum) cut, when he hears the drawer where the scissors is kept, he goes to hide!

How do your family members get along with the pet?
Everybody loves him, as he is such a charismatic and loving dog.

Do you spoil your pet?
There is definitely one way in which he has been spoilt – he loves begging for food! But it is quite close to impossible to not give him a bit when he looks up at you with those cute, doggy eyes…

What's the most important/special thing your pet adds to your life?
He is accepting, comforts me when I am sad, loyal and bears no grudges (unlike humans). 
He is adorable and fun!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It Is Important That We Do

I think the beginning of this quote can stir up some discussion and debate just within our own thoughts.  

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
~Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chamomile and Vanilla Buns


1tbsp of dried chamomile flowers
(picked from Pixiepods Garden)
1tsp of vanilla extract
3oz butter (or equivalent)
3oz caster sugar
3oz self-raising flour
(or equivalent) I use GF flour
1 large egg (or equivalent)
1/4 tsp of baking powder
(GF if you use)


Preheat oven to 180oC/350F/Gas Mark 4
Set out 6 baking cases onto a tray

Mix the melted butter and the sugar together, add the vanilla extract.
Add in the flour and baking powder and the egg, mixing well between each addition.
Add in the very finely chopped chamomile flowers and give the whole mixture a really good mix, getting lots of air into it.

Divide the mixture between the six baking cases and bake in the oven (middle) for approximately 25-30 minutes (make sure the skewer comes out clean, then they are ready.

Once ready remove from oven, let cool a little in the tin, and then allow to cool fully onto a wire rack.

You can decorate them with a sprinkling of lavender scented icing sugar (made by putting a couple of fresh sprigs of lavender into a jar of icing sugar) or make a vanilla icing and keep 6 whole chamomile flowers aside for the tops. I however, never get the chance to decorate mine, they always disappear before I get the chance.

Enjoy!! Great for sleeping disorders, stress, general relaxation

EtsyVeg Member Monday: Kristy from Sinister Soaps

 Meet Kristy from Sinister Soaps! This is what she had to tell us...

What do you sell in your Etsy shop?

I sell handmade vegan soaps, scrubs and other bath/beauty products.  I'm
constantly thinking of something else I want to add so the list will
continue to grow.

What are your creative inspirations?

As far as soap making goes, I draw inspiration from many things.  My biggest inspiration was the Seven Deadly Sins.  I researched essential oils and
chose most for their association to the stereotype of each sin.  Then I
formulated my blends based around those scents.  For other things, food and
teas play a large inspirational roll, though I tend to lean toward a darker
or more indulgent side.

What other artistic tendencies do you have?  Do you have other
crafty/artsy skills that you already do or would like to try?

I've been creating something or other since I can remember.  I've always
tinkered with things and repurposed things.  I love to upcycle clothing,
toys, anything I can get my hands on.  I've started making plushies and
would love to have more time at the sewing machine.  I used to paint and
draw.  Recently I've wanted to get back into it, but I need more calm in my
life for that.

How long have you been on Etsy, and are you an Etsy addict?

I'm very new to etsy, having been a lurker for quite a while.  I just opened
my shop in November and I have to say that Etsy is quite addicting.

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

Right now Etsy is my main focus for the business.  I take part in business
card swaps and I'm also placing business cards and mini brochures at local
places that may have potential customers.

What are your future plans for your shop/business?

I plan on doing craft shows and "Make-Your-Own-Favor" parties in the very
near future.

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

I have been vegetarian for nearly 15 years now.  I've been vegan most of
that time, but went vegetarian for each pregnancy and while nursing.  My
partner is vegan because of intolerance to dairy and meat.  My children are
vegetarian until they are old enough to make their own decision as to
whether they'd like to be vegan, vegetarian or omnivore.  At that point, I
will respect their decisions and expect them to respect mine.  Being veg for
ethical and environmental reasons plays a huge role in everyday life in that
I often make things from scratch to avoid contributing to companies that are
not so animal friendly.  It has also helped me "green" up my life a little
more by being so conscious.

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

I love Vegan Dad's blog.  He's so inventive with his recipes and I'm a
sucker for seitan meat analogs.   My favorite local vegan restaurant is
Veggie Heaven in Teaneck, NJ.  They have a few locations throughout NJ and
in NYC, Red Bamboo and Vegetarian's Paradise 2 (owned by the same people)
are a mandatory stop when in the area.  Their Crispy Soul "Chicken" is

Posted by JFIllustrations

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lovely Valentine Ideas from The Etsyveg Team

Looking around on etsy today, I noticed these lovelies for sale. I desperately need to get cracking on finding some Valentine Gifts for my loves. These are all gorgeous examples of things you could buy for yours. XO.

This adorable card is from Sassandperil.

This lovely gift basket is from belleterre

Oh how I love Claddaugh's, the rings, the necklaces, and this pretty pendant. This is from Jfillustrations.

Feeling 'MEH' this Valentine's Day? Then this one is for you, <3! Check out Panda's shop here. And if you're really down, pop over to Panda's Bake Shop.

What sweet pretty knitted flowers! Check these out over at The Anecdotes.

And lastly, these lovely, recycled candles are from EcoImber.

Thanks for looking, check for more Etsyveg items, by searching on for 'Etsyveg Team'

XOXO --Heather :)

Happy Veggy Valentines Day!

We've had a lot of exposure for the Etsyveg team recently on

I'm trying to snag up all the treasuries & post them. Always seems like I'm running tho & cannot keep up! Here is an especially lovely one, by team member Kala of Vegancraftastic Thanks Kala! It's awesome!


You can see it larger here & the treasury is here on etsy.

--Heather :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

December's "Winter Wonderland" Creative Challenge Entries- Vote for Your Fave!

December's "Winter Wonderland" challenge entries are in! Between now and Wednesday, January 26th vote here for your favorite creation. The winning veg artisan will be featured in a prominent ad on the EtsyVeg blog for the next month. Yay!

A big congrats to last month's challenge winner, Heather of The Blue Windmill, who was chosen as the top entry by voters!

See the poll below to vote!

Stay tuned until Friday, January 28th for the voting results! Good luck challenge participants, and thanks to everyone for voting!

Look for details on January's "Fresh Start" monthly challenge on the blog. And please join in the creative fun! :)

Pet of the Week: Meet Macy!

Meet Macy! 
She is a companion animal to EtsyVeg member Jen 
from Jen O'Connell on Etsy.

What is your pet's name, birthday, sex, breed?
My dog's name is Macy. She is a German Shepherd mix (we don't know with what, maybe Collie?)

How did you meet your pet? Were they Adopted, rescued or other?
My sister-in-law, Julie (who is a vet) treated her for parvo when she was a puppy. The owners refused to pay and abandoned her there. When Julie asked us if we wanted another dog (we also have a lab, Abby) we said absolutely not. We already had all we could handle with our one dog, two cats and I believe we had rats at the time also. Well, she wisely (wisely because she knows what a sucker I am for puppies) brought the adorable puppy to the next family gathering and it was love at first sight. She said just take her home for a few days and see if it works out and if not she would find another home for her. The moment she stepped in the door she was home, there was no going back.

Macy as a puppy

What are your pet’s favorite toys, foods, snacks, activities?
She has this really hard plastic blue ball which she loves. She's only aloud to have it outside because she pounces on it so hard it goes flying and it has broken a few things and hurt our shins quite a bit also. She chews on it, chases it, fetches it and lays with it. We have to replace it every six months or so because she eventually chews a big hole in it.

What are some things you enjoy doing with your pet?
It's fun to throw her big blue ball and watch her chase it. If we take too long to throw it (which we do on purpose) she does this high pitch bark and acts like she is going to explode if she doesn't get it NOW. She also likes to have her belly rubbed and take walks.

Do you take them to parks or to see people?
We like to take both of our dogs for walks in the park but unlike Abby the lab, Macy is not friendly with strangers so we try to avoid people. She is the sweetest dog in the world with us but can sound quite ferocious to strangers. I know our mail carrier is scared of her!

Does your pet have any special tricks or unique habits?
Whenever she gets really excited, like when we come home or a favorite relative comes to visit, she has to pick something up in her mouth. In the past she would get nippy when she got overly stimulated so I guess this is her solution. It's pretty fun to see what she comes up with. She usually grabs a shoe but when one isn't readily available she will grab whatever she can: toys, ceramic food bowl, clothes, cup, fork, knife, anything!

Mouth full of stuff to welcome the family home!

How does your pet like going to the vet? Do s/he *know* when it's
time to see the vet & hide, or do they enjoy the extra attention?

She gets really scared and shakes. She doesn't bark or growl, she just gets really scared.

How do your family members get along with the pet?
Our kids love her but get annoyed. She tramples anything in her path. When anybody is on the floor, they are at risk of getting stepped on, licked, bowled over and trampled. She also has this tail that is so long and destructive. We all love her though. She has the most endearing eyes.

Do you spoil your pet?

Of course! They're our babies. I must admit though that since we had our kids the animals aren't quite as spoiled as they used to be. There just isn't as much of us to go around.

What's the most important/special thing your pet adds to your life?
She is so loving and just wants love in return, nothing else. Well, maybe a little food now and then.
Macy during her favorite activity, walking
 Posted by JFillustrations

Sprouting a Fresh Start

Inspired by January and the Etsyveg team theme for this month of "Fresh Start" I thought I would share with you what I am doing in Pixiepod´s garden. I enjoy sprouting seeds and beans, not just for their nutritious value but because I love the idea of all that goodness in such a little package.

In the photo you can see lots of bare earth, this is one of my beds in the vegetable garden. I have just sewn some cress seeds and some lettuce seeds, all over the bed and watered well. I hope to acheive a huge amount of cress and lettuce. I will thin the plants out regularly and create an abundant source of sprouts to eat, without the usual jars of sprouting going on in the kitchen, I´ll just maybe have one on the go.

If it fails, perish the thought, I can turn the soil and feed the earth with the sprouts, this is called green manure. Alfalfa makes a great choice for this or mustard but hey ho, I had cress and lettuce and I like them "big" too.

I hope I can post some photos of my bed ablaze of green shoots so watch this space. I will post any failures too! xx I am making lots of fresh starts in the garden this year, new areas being created and existing areas being developed, if you are interested check out my blog

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January's "Fresh Start" Creative Challenge

You are cordially invited to play, get more involved with the team, get inspired, share your talent, take advantage of some free promotion... get ready for January's team creative challenge!

January's Challenge

Happy New Year! This month's "Fresh Start" challenge is getting a late start! haha The theme is inspired by the brand spankin' new year kicking off, a time many regard as the chance to start with a clean slate, renew goals or set fresh ones, or refocus on one's path. Whether you see January 2011 as a time to reconnect to yourself or to celebrate the wide open path ahead, get your creative caps on! The challenge theme is very subjective, so enter whatever handmade creation, vintage item, or supply, new or already listed in your shop, that you think fits the theme! ;)

Each month's challenge entries will be listed on the blog and put up for public vote, the winner receiving an ad for their shop on the team 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 top vote getter winning a grand prize! Yay!

Please join in our creative celebration for this month! Here's how to enter...

*Challenge Guidelines*

~Participation is open to any EtsyVeg team member.

~Each member may enter one item. Entry involves simply posting the link to an applicable item in your Etsy shop in January's official monthly challenge Google forum thread and tagging that item with the tag "freshstart2011" (all one word, without the quotations). You must also have your entry tagged with the official team tag, "etsyveg team."

~If an item entered in the challenge sells before the end of the month, please send a convo to the EtsyVeg Etsy shop, including the link to the sold item, so that it can still be included.

~Deadline for entry is Sunday, February 6th.

~All entries will be featured in a treasury on the EtsyVeg blog next month, to be voted on by the public (EtsyVeg members can vote, too). The top vote-getter will be awarded with an ad for their Etsy shop on the top of the blog sidebar for the entire month until the next winner is chosen. At the end of six months, all winners from the past six months will be up for vote on the blog again, this time eligible to win a grand prize gift!

~All EtsyVeg members (not just participants) are encouraged throughout the month to initiate forum threads about the challenge, make treasuries by doing a tag search for "etsyveg team" with "freshstart2011" 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!)

~Please direct concerns or questions to or

Looking forward to seeing what amazing creations you enter! :)

From John Harvey Kellogg

A dead cow or sheep lying in the pasture is recognized as carrion. The same sort of carcass dressed and hung up in a butcher’s stall passes as food.
—J. H. Kellogg, American physician (1852–1943) (Also known for inventing corn flakes!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary & Etsyveg Raffle!!

Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary & Etsyveg have teamed up!

From their blogpost:

Love unique jewelry? From now through January, enter our raffle when you sponsor an animal at WFAS! Sponsorships make wonderful gifts and directly provide loving care to our residents. All the handmade vegan items from vegan and vegetarian artisans have been donated to Etsy Veg to help raise funds for WFAS. The raffle items include a selection of necklaces, earrings, rings, a pendant, and notecards and are offered in four prize packages listed below. Check out the photos below featuring some of the fabulous items!

Raffle Prize Package 1:
$15 Voucher to a photo shop
Rabbit pendant
Earrings & Ring

Raffle Prize Package 2:
$15 Gift voucher to a photo shop
Necklace 2

Raffle Prize Package 3:
$10 Gift Voucher from photo shop
Two rings

Raffle Prize Package 4:
8×10 Photo & one handmade photo pin
(winner can choose photo & the photo used for the pin)
Two rings

Head on over to their website, and sponsor an animal who really needs YOU!

--Heather :)