Sunday, May 31, 2009

Interview-Vegan Propamanda

Todays interview is with Amanda of Vegan Propamanda
How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of Etsy?

I've been a member of Etsy since June 2007, so it's coming up on 2 years! The origin of the name of my shop is actually a funny little anecdote. I was (lovingly) teasing one of my friends about not being vegan and he (lovingly) was teasing me back. He told his then-2-year old son to tell me to stop spewing my vegan propaganda. His son got the whole thing messed up and it came out as somethingsomething vegan propamanda (my name is amanda). it was hysterical and I promised them that if I ever owned any sort of shop or website or anything, it would be called Vegan Propamanda. So there you have it.

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to start creating them?

I sell mostly vegan cookies, but I also have some brownies. I've done a few special orders for things like Vegan Twinkies and cupcakes. I started because I love baking, but I don't really like eating a ton of sweets. Selling them gets them out of my house, but also gives me that relaxing time to bake after my day job.

Do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?

I am also a member of Etsy for Animals, so I donate every month to their Charity of the Month

What are some of your favorite things about etsy?

I love that I can find pretty much anything I'm looking for at all times. It's nice to be able to support artists who take pride in their work. And it's also really nice to be able to give hand-made things to the people I care about.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?

I love cooking. And road trips. And taking pictures. And doing all 3 of those things at once.Do you have any animal companions?I have an orange kitty kat named Bill. He sleeps on my head.

How long have you been vegan and what made you go vegan?

I have been vegan for a little over 3 years. Nothing "made" me become vegan. I just don't like to be half-assed about things and I felt hypocritical when I told people that I cared about animals.

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?

Books - mostly cookbooks - The Isa Moskowitz/Terry Romero books as well as the Sarah Kramer books are pretty much the standard go-to cookbooks at my house. I also love Donna Klein and Bryanna Clark Grogan

Website -,, god there's so many blogs - too many to list here, i'm sure

Stores: Herbivore, Veg Essentials, Cosmos

What are your favorite foods?

oh man, this is tough. in the summer, i love really light things. i'll eat a lot of plain fruits and veggies and salads and sushi. in the winter, i crave more substantial things like soups and stews and baked dishes like ziti or mac and cheez.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Enchanting trade with Starrlight Jewelry Gorgeous as Always

I recently did a large trade with Starr from Starrlight Jewelry and as always I was impressed. I opened my mailing envelope quick as could be, to find all of the items I traded for beatifully wrapped with much care and attention.

Each item I pulled out of the necklace box more beautiful than the previous, one of the best trades to date!

Gorgeous Suncatchers!

Beautiful curtain ties, perfect for my bedroom!

Last but not least, these gorgeous chandelier earrings! These are my absolute favorite part of the trade!! The first pair of earrings I have been able to wear in years due to extreme metal allergies. Starr means it when she mentions the hypoallergenic parts on her jewelry. Be sure to check out my monthly blog giveaway and enter to win a $15 gift voucher to Starrlight Jewelry, giveaway drawing is June 1st.

The Great Vegan Etsy Give-Away: Happy -Vegan- Home!

The Great Vegan Etsy Give-Away: Happy -Vegan- Home! contest ended on May 22nd! The Name drawn for the winner is Art You Dream About.
congratulations dear. I'll be contacting you shorty for your shipping address to send you your gift pack.

Next contest Starts June 2nd!

Compassionate Crafting Treasury

Thank you to Heather of Holistically Heather, Vegan Craft Samples and For The Love Of Vegan for snagging this treasury. Please show it some love!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Humane" Farming- an Oxymoron

The following is from Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary's website, Go Vegan Now! .

"Humane" Farming - an Oxymoron

Look out! Here it comes! You may have already seen them... Soon grocery store shelves everywhere will be covered with an array of "Humanely produced" eggs, dairy, and meat.

Sadly, there is no such thing. The animal exploiting industries and retailers think they have struck gold with this new deceptive advertising and labeling strategy. Sadly they are deceiving consumers who consider themselves “animal lovers”. Most people want to believe that there is a “humane” way to produce animal products, but the truth is that is impossible – basic economics and biology are the two most irrefutable reasons why.

Basic Economics
For any product to be mass produced whether it’s labeled “organic, Free Range, Cage Free, etc. The animals are still bred by the billions, separated from their family members, and eventually loaded into trucks and are brutally slaughtered including all Dairy cows and hens. Free-range & Organic animal products are highly profitable because they can charge a lot more for the 'product', and consumers are willing to pay that price in order to fell guilt free without eliminating the animal products. This allows the animal exploiters to put even more money back into advertising which increases sales which ultimately increases the number of animals bred, abused, and killed.

Basic Biology
Cows still must be impregnated, their babies are still stolen from them and either slaughtered or kept separately to REPLACE their spent and slaughtered mothers.

For any and all types of egg production, including backyard operations, ALL baby roosters are still killed at the hatcheries, the hens are often still de-beaked, force molted and slaughtered at 1 •to 4 years old when their battered and overworked bodies can no-longer lay enough eggs to be “economically productive”.

The pigs, chickens, and cattle killed for their flesh are still taken from their mothers, still forced to endure a terrifying trip to the slaughterhouse and, of course, violently murdered.

These meats, eggs and dairy products are the bodies and bodily secretions of sentient beings who are enslaved and killed. If it were dogs or cats forced to endure the same circumstances to satisfy people's appetites, there is no way the public would believe these products could be promoted or labeled as “humane”.

Please don’t be fooled by the deceptive and manipulative marketing ploys of the bloody handed producers. The blood of the animals is not only on the hands of the producers, but also on the hands of the consumers who pay them to abuse, kill and neatly package the body parts.

The fact that each and every one of us has full and immediate access to the most effective way of reducing the greatest amount of suffering in the world is cause for celebration.

Choosing vegan products has never been easier and has always been the only truly humane and compassionate choice.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Don't Shop, Adopt! treasury

Please help get this treasury get noticed by checking it out, leaving a comment and clicking on all of the featured items. Thank you!

V is for Vegan, and Vegan is for me.

I work in a law office, and as you might imagine it's not exactly a haven of vegans. I, in fact, am the only veg*n there. The truth is that in daily life the only other vegan that I regularly encounter is my partner. Pretty much everyone else I interact with at all is omni, and as we all know, the general public can be more than a little confused by the choice of veganism. Inevitably the subject of my diet comes up from time to time, and when I describe veganism to office mates who've never heard of it before, there's a question that I get pretty frequently. It goes something like this:

"How can you live without chocolate and cookies and cupcakes and stuff?"

When I hear this, I panic for a split second. The die-hard three-year-old sugar addict in me thinks, oh no, what have I done! But then I come to my senses (remembering the pint of ice "cream" I inhaled just the night before), and realize that the vegan world offers up enough sweet treats to make any responsible mom faint on the spot. I myself am a pretty darn good vegan baker - more than once my vegan cupcakes have become the talk of the party, even among people who swore they wouldn't give a chance to a vegan cupcake. But my rudimentary stylings can't compare to the delectable delights on daily offer by the Vegan Etsy team.

Wanna see what I mean? Yeah, I knew you did.

A relatively new addition to the Vegan Etsy team, we have Sweet Fritsy - and when it comes to awesome vegans making awesome vegan sweets, the more the merrier for sure! Her shop has some truly gorgeous offerings, and I really must give these Maple Candied Pecans a whirl. Candied pecans are a sacred food of my people - you know, the ancient tribe of the New Orleanians. And hey! It just so happens that we've just decided to have our wedding in New Orleans. I may need to inquire about bulk orders...

For us cupcake lovers - and we are legion - Sweet Fritsy also whips up gorgeous cupcakes and provides a variety of amazing little toppers for them. These are my favorite: mushrooms! You can have a little bit of woodland forest magic for you birthday, your wedding, or just any ol' day you see fit. They're shipped with icing on the side along with a piping bag, so that you get to get crafty when they arrive and end up with picture-perfect cakes. Totally freaking awesome, yes? Yes!

Got a thing for cookies? Then Vegan Propamanda just might be the shop for you. (And can I just say, hilarious shop name? Right up there with Melt Briana.) She offers the every-household classics like chocolate chip and oatmeal, as well as more quirky offerings that I recognize as regional specialties (what with her being in Jersey, me being in Queens, and all) like pignoli cookies topped with pine nuts, and these GORGEOUS black and whites. A vegan black and white cookie? Dude, I'm soooo there.

Cornerstone team member (Holistically) Heather says it all with the name of her sweets shop: For the Love of Vegan. She tends to add emphasis too - the LOVE! Here she offers up an eclectic grouping of edibles that must be seen to be believed... including some chocolate of an "adult" theme. Don't worry though; the shop is very tastefully presented and you'll have to intentionally peek behind the curtain to get a look at some shapes you never thought chocolate would come in. And then we have these babies - ever had a vegan pumpkin brownie with chocolate chips? Now's your chance!

Leigh Conner, another Vegan Etsy newbie, is cooking up cookies like yer mom used to and shipping them right to your door. Her shop name tells us a lot about how she feels about baking, and how she feels about us: it's called Vegan Love. How adorable are these lemon sugar cookies? Not only do they look completely delish, but with the sweet heart shape, luxe icing, and darling packaging, you can rest assured that these goodies were made with love and care. Leigh, we heart your cookies, and we heart you too.

Me, I used to be a big sucker for those oatmeal cream pies. You know the ones - made of nothing but chemicals and packaged in those awful little plastic bags. But I'm a chocolate fiend, and this offering by Kt's Kitchen looks far more amazing than those franken-cookies ever could. And of course, these are vegan! This here isn't mass produced junk like those ones in the box neither - this is the real deal folks. Kt calls this The Integrator, a substantial name for a substantial treat. She's yet another new addition to the team - I'm telling you, this team gets better by the minute!

Kt is also in the cupcake game - you could even call them *specialty* cupcakes. These babies are sure to make any vegan's eyes bug out just a lil' bit - you know, cartoon style with accompanying aah-ooh-ga sound effects. Much like the above pies, this version of the classic treat is lightyears above and beyond those mass-produced things sold in boxes at the grocery - what are those things made of anyway? Petroleum products? For the time being these tasty cakes are only available in Ohio, but i'm holding out hope that soon they'll be going WORLDWIDE. So, uh, Kt, I got this wedding coming up...

Listen, I've got to come clean. I've been holding out on you. I know it was wrong.. but sometimes, something is just so good that you want to keep it to yourself.

Are you a chocolate purist? Alright. Come with me; I have someone I'd like you to meet. Her name is Jhenn, her awesome shop is called Choco-a-Go-Go, and she creates some of the most perfect, amazing, melt-in-your-mouth heavenly chocolate that I've ever eaten. And poppets, I've eaten some chocolate. Our first encounter was in the very early springtime when I ordered two chocolate and peanut butter bunny rabbits from her shop - purportedly for Easter. Well, I ordered them several weeks before they holiday, they were promptly shipped, and... they didn't make it to Easter, either of them. So I then needed more chocolate for Easter weekend, and so ordered her fancy Springtime -n- Easter box, which was beautiful and superb. Even my man, who's so not about the sweets, was truly impressed.

Most recently I purchased four of Jhenn's Gogi and Almond dark chocolate bars, largely because for the month of May she is donating all profits from this item to the American Cancer Society in memory of her dad. Well, on the Thursday that I received them I had four bars. On that Saturday I had, uh, one bar. Suffice it to say that in order to prevent me from inhaling Jhenn's delights, they have to be physically taken away from me and hidden. Well. In other words, I recommend them highly. There's still a week of Jhenn's donation month left, so go order some gogi bars now!

So, you've got a sweet tooth? Welcome to the wonderful world of vegan. Not only will we satisfy you - we'll do it with quality ingredients that will leave your conscience clear. If you can tell me what's better than that, I'll give you a dollar. (And you're so not getting that dollar.)

Until next Monday...

Melissa Bastian.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Interview-Goth Cupcake

Today's Interview is with Mary of Goth Cupcake

How did you choose the name of your shop and how long have you been a member of Etsy?

The name for my shop was also a username I came up with for a band forum I had joined. I wanted something that described my personality and my interests. I've always been interested in dark and spooky things and the goth aesthetic, but at the same time, I have a weakness for bright colors and cuteness so Gothcupcake is a mix of dark and sweet. I feel my creations reflect that as well. I've been a member of Etsy since December of 2007 when I finally got the courage up to open a shop.

What kinds of items do you sell in your shop and what inspired you to startcreating them?

I mainly sell jewelry and hair accessories, but occasionally I include clothing, art, and other fine art crafts and handmade items. Really whatever I am inspired to make usually ends up in my shop. I have always been crafty and enjoy working with my hands. From a very young age I made my own jewelry and when I learned how to sew, even made my own purses. I was inspired to start creating the items for my Gothcupcake line because I used to get compliments whenever I wore my own creations. My friends and family were really supportive too and soon I started making more creations to share with others and from there Gothcupcake was born.

Do you donate to any charities or do any volunteer work?

I donate to various charities when I can, specifically Bead For Life, Soldier's Angels, and a few animal rights organizations. I am a Soldier's Angel and a year ago adopted a soldier. Currently I'm on the Soldier's Angels Ladies of Liberty and Wounded Cards teams. I write letters and send small packages to female soldiers stationed abroad and send weekly cards to wounded soldiers in the US and abroad.

What are some of your favorite things about Etsy?

It's great being part of such a large community of talented artists and being in the midst of all of their creations. I have made a lot of friends through Etsy that I never would have met otherwise; one of my favorite things is definitely the atmosphere and community that Etsy is comprised of. Being a part of Etsy has also opened me up to an entire marketplace of handmade. I buy nearly everything handmade now--from small gifts and eco-friendly produce bags to vegan deodorant! It makes me feel good to be supporting individuals and their crafts.

Do you sell your items outside of Etsy, either online or in retail shops?

I have dabbled with eBay in the past as well as, but currently I have put those other outlets on hold to focus more of my time and energy on my Etsy shop. I am also working with a local salon who may carry a line of my hair accessories soon as well.

Have you been featured anywhere?

I have been featured in a handful of on-line blogs including:,,, and as well as in issue 4 of Palaver magazine.

Do you have any future plans for your shop?

I do have a website in the works; ( which I hope will be a great counterpart to my Etsy shop. I also plan on adding a line of handbags, clutches and screen tees to my shop in the near future as well.What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have?I like to go hiking and geocaching when I'm not being artsy. I also LOVE baking vegan goodies--cakes, cookies, you name it!

Do you have any animal companions?

I recently moved away from home and left my kitty Kendra with my family. My boyfriend and I have a kitty named Boo--because she's a scaredy cat.

Do you have any websites besides your shop that you would like to tell us about?

Keep your eyes peeled for soon, and feel free to check out my blog:

How long have you been vegan and what made you go vegan?

I just had my 4 year vegan anniversary this month! I'd always been interested in vegetarianism, but I didn't really have the guts to take the leap until I met my friend Scott. Scott is vegan and talking with him about his diet and learning about why he became vegan made me seriously consider going veg myself. He was supportive and informative about veganism in a way that made me compelled to give it a go. His hat actually got me reading up about PETA which lead me to other vegetarian literature. The more I read about animal cruelty and the ecological benefits of being vegetarian, the more it really gave me the drive to become a fully fledged vegan.

Do you have any favorite vegan things, like books, websites, stores, etc.?

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero is by far one of the BEST baking cookbooks I've ever laid hands on, I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't already own a copy! My favorite place to shop for food and other goodies is Pangea at, they have a wide selection of everything you need! Best place for veg shoes is! I get my vegan deodorant on Etsy from, because they carry a lot of really unique fun scents (like Pink Cupcake!). I also love the restaurant GREEN in Tempe, AZ; and Books and Books in Miami, FL has some great little vegan surprises on their menu.

What are your favorite foods?
I love BBQ seitan, vegan cupcakes, mashed potatoes, veggie sushi, flat bread pizza and vegan ice cream. I love trying new recipes though, so my favorite dishes are always changing!

Is there anything else you would like to add or share?

Random things about me: I love watching horror movies (even the cheesy B movies!). My favorite shoes are my veg-friendly knee high boots. I love bats.Letter writing is a dying art and I strive to keep it breathing. I love learning about other cultures and have fascinations specifically with India and Japan. One day I want to open my own vegan bakery.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

New Members!

We have some new members this week! Please give these shops a big welcome, and don't forget to go check them out and heart them!




The Jewelry Pitt


Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Hookers

Being a vegan hooker myself (tee hee), I thought I'd highlight some of my favorite crocheted goodies from the team this week:

And I love all the crocheted earrings in Eat Your Greens' shop, but these are my faves:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Review- Starrlight Jewelry

We have several really pretty collar charms from Starrlight Jewelry that add a nice touch of bling to Emma & Rowan's collars. I swear that Emma even gets a little bit of a swagger in her walk when she wears them. :)

If you'd like some charms for collars, zippers or anything else you'd like to decorate, make sure to check out her shop. She has a great variety of items for all tastes and they're definitely priced right! You'll also receive fast, friendly service, which is certainly always welcome.

Right now, I'm giving away a free charm with every cookbook purchase in my shop. This is only until supplies last, so if you want yours don't wait! Not only will you have a bunch of healthy recipes and a charm to spoil a dog with, but you'll also be helping support Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary because 100% of profits from my sales go to them.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rhubarb Cake & Vanilla Glaze

This is a recipe that I veganized and altered a bit. It doesn't last long in my house when I make it! I also have it posted on VegWeb.

Rhubarb Cake

3/4 cup margarine (Earth Balance works great), softened
1 egg replacer (like Ener-g)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
1 cup vegan sour cream or plain soy yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups chopped rhubarb

Topping: (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon margarine, softened

Cream margarine, egg substitute & sugar. Sift the remaining ingredients together in another bowl. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the margarine mix. Spread in greased 9 x 13 pan. Mix the topping ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

You can drizzle the top of it with this vanilla glaze that I veganized from a recipe my mom used since I was little. I also posted this recipe on VegWeb.

Vanilla Glaze

1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon plain soy milk
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Over low heat, warm soymilk, oil and vanilla. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar. If you need it thicker, add a bit more powdered sugar. Drizzle glaze over cake or other dessert immediately.

Monday, May 18, 2009

76 Pea Pods in the Big Parade...

On Sunday we went to a giant parade! But this was no ordinary parade. This, my veg curious friends, was none other than New York City's Veggie Pride Parade! As you might be able to guess, this parade featured no elephants or horses, no clowns, no tiny cars.

What it did have was a seven foot tall pea pod vixen, hundreds of dedicated vegetarians and vegans, and a guy on a unicycle... among other zany characters.

Sunday the 17th marked the 2nd Annual Veggie Pride Parade here in NYC - a chance for the young and old of every creed and color to hit the streets and sing the praises of the veg lifestyle. The parade started off in the West Village and wound its way over to Union Square, a place with a decades-long history as a site of subversive, radical, and otherwise dissenting and forward-thinking gatherings (Emma Goldman, anyone?).

I arrived in Union Square shortly after 12:30 pm to await the arrival of paraders and get a first glance of the tablers set up in the square. Represented were a relatively wide range of veg interest groups. The different information presented was as varied as are reasons for vegetarianism, and included angles such as religion, boycotting of factory farming, environmental concerns, cruelty to animals, and personal health. Among the groups represented were Farm Sanctuary, Vegetarian Resource Group - a group I'd not heard of previously and who had quite an impressive spread of educational materials, Mercy for Animals, and Veggie Brothers Caterers from here in the NYC area. And then there was this table - Raw Revolution - one of my favorites because they gave me awesome (free raw vegan gluten free) snacks!

The Square was fairly quiet before the parade landed, which gave us a chance to look at the various groups tabling. There was a really great range of vegetarian and vegan information available, and it was presented in many different ways. One of the most interesting displays, and definitely the most eye-catching, was this one from United Poultry Concerns. Sadly, this depiction of a battery cage is nowhere near as gruesome as the real thing - good thing for me, though, because if it was I wouldn't have been able to look at it, much less photograph it! One look at even a photo of the real thing is most definitely enough to put any sentient person off of his or her fried egg breakfast...

Yes, it was a slow affair on the Square before the parade made its entrance. But when it arrived - what a ruckus! I could barely get a snapshot in edgewise. Paraders ran the gamut, from middleaged folk in windbreakers walking their cute puppydogs, to those in elaborate costumes leading pro veg (or anti meat) chants. And of course there was room for everyone in between, many of whom carried sign posts and bearing images and slogans from simple to complex, from pleading to accusing.

The most incendiary sign I saw was one showing images of farm animals, as kept in a CAFO, shown side-by-side with an image of a populated WWII concentration camp. While I understand that the metaphor is somewhat apt, I did not photograph it; it does not strike me as appropriate. It goes to show, however, how strongly people feel about what is happening in the food industry today - largely so that we can have chicken nuggets and hamburgers on a 99 cent menu.

Once the parade had rolled into the Square and really filled out the joint, two main things happened. One, speakers took to the stage. Sadly the sound system was not the best and I couldn't really hear any of them. Two, the crowd got down to doing what vegetarians (probably) and vegans (definitely!) do best - eating! Various tabling groups provided pizza, sandwiches, and even cake, and all of the food to be gotten was vegan - total score! Yeah we had some pizza. Yeah it was covered in potatoes. Yeah it was freaking awesome! Vegan pizza is pretty much always a rockin' good time, and this was doubly plus so what with being surrounded by hordes of people all totally psyched about the world of veg.

I was super excited to see how many parents had brought their kids out to the event - start 'em young, raise 'em vegan! A few of them were even in costume, and all of them were totally digging on the excitement around them. Kids are so brilliant, and so observant of the world around them - how often is it that kids naturally make the association between animal foods and where they come from? They have to be forced to disassociate the two. And it's so great to see that unnatural forcing not happening! To instead see a whole group of people who want to teach their children the truth about where their food comes from! It does my heart good. All you veg mamas and daddys out there, give yourselves a pat on the back, your kids a big fat kiss, and then celebrate your beautiful veg family with a vegan bar-b-q!

All in all, despite what might have been considered sub-par weather, it was a gorgeous day for living green here in NYC. Vegetarians and vegans from all over the metro area came together to tell the city why we've got such a problem with animal consumption, what can be done about it, and why we think vegan food is so damn good anyway. Who knows, perhaps knowledge gained at the 2009 Veggie Pride Parade has already changed someone's life. Or at the very least, perhaps it has planted a seed.

Until next Monday,

Melissa Bastian.

Post Script - Hey Vegan Etsy team! There are totally enough of us in the NYC area to get a table at this event next year. Who's in?