These are some of reader Camilla Taylor’s gorgeous insect-based jewelry! None of it is made of actual insects, of course, Ms. Taylor is both talented and a longtime vegan, and cares so much about our invertebrate friends, she is looking to donate some of the proceeds from the sale of her jewelry to an insect-based charity, “preferably specific to arthropods.” How thoughtful! Unfortunately, she can’t find such an organization based in the U.S.
Pretty necklaces for vegans, on sale! »
Look what delight came to my inbox today! Pretty necklaces by Design Specimen. I’m not that into the choker but I love the ones on the chains (Update: Design Specimen says they can put any charm on a chain instead of choker (and I’m sure the other way around as well), just ask!). I love all the pendents though. I think it’s because they remind me of my beautiful smushed penny collection. Speaking of which: get me smushed pennies on your travels and I’ll love you forever!
Vegan Gift Guide: Great vegan gifts for omnis! »
I am a world class gift-giver. Everybody says so. Like, even Jesus. And for my gift to you, I’m going to share some of my present ideas for this holiday season! Now, I think gifts should be all about who you’re giving them to, not about who you are. A lot of people buy gifts they themselves would like without thinking of what the recipient likes. You like books, your friend likes music—you buy them music, not a book! Simple enough, but it seems to allude many people.
What I’m getting at is your gifts for the omnis in your life shouldn’t be all about your veganism. Trust me, your fam knows you’re vegan (and if they don’t, they’ll get a clue when you bust out the soy nog), you don’t have to remind them again when it’s present time. But at the same time, you can’t be buying them leather jackets! So what to do? Buy secretly vegan gifts! You forgo the "Bacon had a Mom" shirt and get them gifts they will like that happen to be vegan—and maybe do a little good on the sly. Like something that benefits the environment; no one will suspect that it is secretly helping vegans! But it’s like I always say, we vegans have to protect the environment because that’s where all the animals live! And hey, if it’s trendy waxed canvas instead of leather, no one will think twice. But you’ll know it’s vegan! Oh, you’ll know.
Without further ado, great gifts vegans can buy omnis!:
If you didn’t know, people love coffee. I swear! It’s true! And in New York and Philly, the biggest thing in coffee is La Colombe. People are crazy for it. It’s at all the posh places. It’s really good! But what’s better, their ethics are out of control. They do direct trade, invest in the community, worry about the rainforest and all that good stuff. And it’s shade-grown so the birds are OK! Laura told me about that, I didn’t even know. But yeah, some coffee is bad for birds!
So you can impress the hipster, urbanite, or coffee-lover in your life by getting them the coolest thing in coffee while secretly knowing the birds and rainforest are OK and your ethics are intact!
You know what moms are? Cold. Like, all the time. OK, sometimes they are annoyingly hot, but they spend much of their time being cold. So what better gift than a scarf?! Not a bulky, winter-wear scarf; a pretty, indoor scarf to keep them warm in rooms that are actually a perfectly reasonable temperature. And they can take them off if they get hot! Perf.
And if your mom is like mine, she has entered what I once read described as, “the Goddess Phase.” My mom and all her friends are in the Goddess Phase—You’d know it if you saw it! It’s all about loose linen clothes, beaded necklaces, herbal tea, etc. A scarf is so goddess. Plus, these scarfs are all cotton, vegetable-dyed and super organic. Up with cotton, down with wool!
You know what dads need? Classy, relaxed clothing. Things that make them look like the distinguished old gentlemen that they are while also keeping their old gentlemen bodies comfortable. So something like this cotton half sweatshirt/half sweater is just the thing! While everyone else is giving him stuffy silk ties and itchy wool sweaters, you’ll be like, “Blammo!” Organic cotton! And it doesn’t hurt that Threads 4 Thought is a sustainable brand that supports great organizations like Natural Resource Defense Council. They even have their own world-saving effort, Girl 2 Girl, that seeks to empower girls throughout the world. Can I get a huzzah?!
Need a cheeky yet utilitarian gift for your sweetie? How about cruelty-free underoos from vegan-owned Purrfect Pineapples! All their products are sweatshop and animal-free. They are also handmade and they do custom orders! So if they don’t have your size or you have some wacky design, they can make it happen.
When your main squeeze opens this present, no way will they be like, “OMG stop pushing your beliefs on me!” They will be like, “OMG let’s do it!” And your love-making will be that much more satisfying knowing you supported a vegan biz. Also, sorry I said love-making. Bleh, love. And making. Bleh.
Know a wine lover, a sustainable design enthusiast and/or someone with a new place? These wine tumblers would make a great present. Not only are they recycled, but they’re totally meta! Kind of? You’d be drinking wine from tumblers made of wine bottles! Whatever, it’s cool and they are pretty. And environmentally friendly!
This eco-friendly, fair trade necklace also happens to be approved by my sister so YOU KNOW it’s cute. She suggests pairing it with some gold for a real WHAM BAM effect. World of Good, where you can purchase this hotness, also points out: "The beautiful jewelry of the collection is made by Ecuadorian artisans from natural, local rain forest materials. This not only helps the artisans earn a living wage, but it also helps to protect the rain forest by creating a profitable and low impact use of its materials." I love stuff like that! Where you make keeping environmental and animal stuff more valuable than killing it all. That rules.
You may say to yourself, “What about the kids?!” Well, I’ve got a little something for them too! This cute book comes with a plush dog AND has tactile stuff on the pages for kiddies to mess with. And the best part? It benefits the Humane Society! Or maybe the tactile stuff is the best part, I used to love that fuzzy bunny book. Sigh. That was awesome.
Wait, wait, wait, the best part is that kids love books (for some wacky reason) and kids love animals, so no one will suspect that you are secretly indoctrinating them into the vegan lifestyle! Haaaa, that is the best.
OK, here’s my bid for the cheap secret santa gift. At $6.50, this cookie mix (which contains no animal ingredients on its own) is fair-trade, eco-friendly and supports the Women’s Bean Project, “an innovative social enterprise in Denver, Colorado which benefits women with a history of poverty and chronic unemployment.” If that is not enough for you, it funds 14 bowls of food for shelter animals!
And this is a good generic present because it’s not some dumb, cheapo thing the recipient is going to be stuck with; they can actually use it and it goes away. And cookies are yummy!
I know many book collectors and they are a nutty lot. They are obsessed! And one thing I have learned is, unless you are getting them some rare first edition, never try to buy them an actual book as a gift; If it’s a book they wanted, they will have already gotten it by the time you’re trading presents. If they don’t have it, it’s because they don’t want it. Another thing I have learned is the bane of the book collector’s existence is when they loan a book to someone and never get it back. It haunts them in the wee hours. The solution? Book labels! And if you recall, not only are these labels eco-friendly, but use our “VEGANSAURUS” coupon code at Boygirlparty’s etsy store and you will get 10 percent off your order and 10 percent of the sale will be donated to the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. You’ll help animals AND your book-enthusiast will feel like someone finally understands their deep-seated collector’s anxiety.
Another thing: these book labels would make a good gift for kids too. Like I said, kids love books; Another thing kids love is laying claim to things. With these labels, they can tell the whole world this is their book. Plus, look at that cute elephant!
This is perfect for the gentleman or aspiring gentleman. Or just anyone who likes to stay groomed. Or really, anyone who’s gone through puberty. If they don’t know already, they will find out: shaving brushes rule! They work as a gentle exfoliant so you can get a nice smooth shave with less irritation. That’s what makes this a great present: it’s classy, utilitarian, and works better. And with this kit, you get all-natural, environmentally friendly, vegan soap and a brush free of badger hair. Yay! Bleh, badger hair. Leave it for the badgers.
So those are my recommendations! I spent a lot of time on them! Because I love you. And because gift-giving should be a pleasure, not a chore! I hope these help with that. Have fun and be merry!
How cute is this?! It’s only THREE POUNDS (that’s English doubloons if you’re not an International Juggernaut like I am) and it’s made out of CLAY. I don’t know, the world is magic! You can make anything out of anything these days! Pretty soon when you want a sandwich, all you’re gonna have to do is put a brick in a BRICKTOSANDWICH (yet to be tm) and BAM! A sandwich! Whether or not it tastes like a brick will be determined by lots of things, including food technology and our evolving taste buds. UGH THIS IS AWFUL I FEEL LIKE I’M WRITING A GROUPON RIGHT NOW SO SORRY FOR THIS TERRIBLE BIT OF WRITING.
Now on Etsy: cat fur jewelry! »
First came dog-fur knitting; now this:
"Davis has spent a while perfecting the technique of making perfect fur spheres. She starts by taking a small handful of fluff, which she molds into a starter ball. To this she adds more fluff around the edges and then rolls it between her palms quickly until the strands of hair start to felt into tight, solid ball forms. She then stashes the balls until there are enough to make a necklace—which can take between two and three months."
I’m going to go ahead and declare this vegan-acceptable to me, since the kitty probably adores the grooming and needs to be groomed anyway.
Here’s one of the necklaces:
Would you ever buy this? Could you wear it around people with allergies? Is it creative reuse or just crazy-cat-lady insane? Discuss.
[photos by Flora Davis via Etsy]
Learn the true meaning of “upcycling” with Etsy at Craft Bar! »
The Museum of Craft and Folk Art (MCFA) in San Francisco has a Craft Bar! And at Craft Bar on Thursday, Jan. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., Etsy Labs will teach you how to turn disposable plastic shopping bags into useful items like aprons, or perhaps sturdier plastic bags suitable for multiple uses! Katherine Coleman from KJC Designs will demonstrate how to make a “felt bib necklace,” Kelly Ball from Realia will make “coil-wrapped wire rings,” and “local artist Nicole Royer will be teaching a workshop on how to upcycle old jeans into beautiful necklaces.”
Also, beer! There will be beer “kindly provided” by Trumer Pils, which isn’t listed on Barnivore but is served at multiple vegan restaurants, so we guess it’s cruelty-free. Does “kindly provided” mean “free”—we’re not sure! But we are finding out for you, and will update once we know! Sweets la Petite will provide snacks—cupcakes—and they don’t have vegan flavors, so you’ll want that beer for a nice pre-dinner snack. Or dinner, you know we don’t judge.
It costs $5 to get into the museum, at which point Craft Bar is free, including all materials for crafting. The MCFA is at 51 Yerba Buena Lane, between Mission and Market and Third and Fourth Streets in SOMA. You should go! Plastic refuse is choking our seas and poisoning every living creature on Earth—make something useful from some of your plastic trash, already! Live by the three R’s, die by the three R’s.
Update: Katy tells us that the beer will be free—though donations to the museum are always deeply appreciated!—and chips and salsa may make an appearance as well. Thanks, Katy!
Threadbared: cement is the new nacre »
You read Threadbared, right? It’s so smart! It makes me feel like I’m always learning something about, and also am really bad at dressing myself, which is fair; those ladies are creative and brilliant.
Today, they found the cleverest not-pearl jewelry since Kaisli Kiuru for Regensi: these cement “pearl” earrings by Metsa Design. Each little not-pearl is hand-cast! And, best part, the color changes with wear, as the porous concrete absorbs who know what when you expose it to the elements, as well as “the oils from your skin.” Wait, consider it; that is actually way more interesting than gross, and kind of a genius thing to have taken into account when making these earrings. Metsa Design is in Toronto, and does take orders from the U.S.—should anyone be interested in wearing these chic little baubles.
Store review: Micio Mambo! »
Micio Mambo is an awesome all-vegan boutique off of Grand Avenue in Oakland. I wrote this hilarious epic review about them but then Firefox fucking crashed and since Tumblr doesn’t auto-save, I don’t have it anymore. I’m so pissed, I hate the internet SO FUCKING MUCH. The review was funny and touching and marvelous, nothing like it has been written, before or since or ever. My genius is lost and it’s freezing in this house, I’m so cold. So, so cold.
Okay so Micio Mambo. Cruelty-free and environmentally friendly shop filled with shoes, bags, bath and body stuff, jewelery, shirts and much more. Everything is very reasonably priced and Ursula, the super friendly and adorable owner has a good eye for cute shit and you’ll want all of it. If they don’t have something you’re looking for, mention it to her and I bet she can order it. She’s super.
So the first time I came to Micio Mambo it was for an East Bay Animal Advocate’s* fundraiser party. At this benefit, I met Pia the chicken. It was my first time meeting a chicken nose to beak and it was GREAT. Pia was a sassy little girl who preferred observing the activity from the safety of her crate and after what she’d been through, you couldn’t blame her. EBAA had recently saved Pia and a bunch of other chicks that were discovered at a post office in Oakland en route from an evil Santa Cruz hatchery to an evil “farm” in Washington state. They were ONE DAY OLD. They were found in SHIPPING BOXES. FUCKING A. When people argue about whether humans are inherently good or evil, I just want to rip my hair out. Humans are an awful fucking plague on this earth. Seriously, how did it get this bad? It’s like we’re living in the alternate 1985 from Back to the Future Part II when Biff is in charge and the streets are on fire and gangs of hoodlums roam the city just shooting at nuns and babies and your dad is dead and your alcoholic mom is trapped in a relationship with an abusive psychopath and you’re too much of a good for nothing delinquent that you can’t do anything to help her OH AND THE DELORIAN ISN’T WORKING AND YOU (read: the entire human race) ARE SCREWED! Seriously, that future is now and the future is fucked.
What I’m trying to say here is that if I lived through what Pia lived through, I wouldn’t be the lovely, sassy lady that she was. I’d be pecking out eyes and karate-chopping fools in the balls and shit. That’s all I’m trying to say.
*Now stop reading this and go give them all your money. They are one of the few groups that are actively pursuing real change for animals. So instead of getting up at the 3 a.m. on Black Friday to stand outside in the freezing cold just to buy more hideous shit you don’t need from TJ Maxx, why don’t you stop by Micio Mambo and support a great local business and then make a donation to EBAA?! ‘Tis the seasons, motherfuckers!