Friday, September 28, 2007


Thanks so much to Amelia who showed me where in swapbot I can view all your partners! Expect individual nagging if I see you haven't contacted your partner yet! ;)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Replying to your upstream.

Some people had questions on how to reply to your anonymous pal, what with their being anonymous and all -

If they sent you an email from an anonymous account, you could reply to that, or if they left you an anonymous comment on your blog you could reply in the comments.

If you haven't contacted your pal yet (and I see that some of you haven't....) please please please do so ASAP. Same goes if you haven't updated the google doc file with your info.

Edited to add: It would appear that so many of you wonderful people jumped right over and started entering your information at once that google docs didn't save them all. If you see your information is missing, try to enter it again, but also email me your answers so that I can make sure you're entered in the drawing.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


A clarification on how the swap works since I've heard there's some confusion - you have 2 pals, an upstream and a downstream. They are different people. You send to one and receive from the other.

Upstream - the person who will be sending you a package - they should have anonymously commented on your blog or sent you an email by now. She knows who you are, but you don't know who she it.

Downstream - the person you will send a package to - you should have anonymously commented on her blog or sent her an email by now. You know who she is, but she doesn't know who you are.

Let me know if I haven't made it clear and I'll have Cass come up with a better way to explain ;)


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Testing 1, 2, 3

Ok gang, I'm going to give something a shot. I want this to go smoothly and not have to beg you guys for angels in October/November. Also, I'm a big nerd. So here's what I've done. I created a spreadsheet in Google Docs and given you all permission to edit it. Put a "yes" or a "no" in each column next to your name telling me whether or not you've made contact and been contacted. I filled in what I could gather from your comments so far, so you can get the idea. Everyone who has filled in all four rows next to their name by the end of the month will be entered into a drawing for a delightful swap related prize. I expect this to encourage those of you who haven't contacted your pal in some way yet to do so asap (since it would be so embarrassing to have to put a "no" in that column and everyone wants delightful prizes) and to have everyone's name in the drawing. Make your pal happy and make me proud.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How are we doing?

Has everyone heard from their upstream* pal? I don't have a list of who's pals with whom, so I can't do personal nagging, but here's a group nag. Let me know in the comments if you haven't heard from your upstream yet. If there are too many of you I'll resort to having you all email me with the name of your pal so that I can nag you individually, but I'm sure we're such a great group that that won't be necessary. xoxo and Happy Swapping!

*Upstream - the person who will be sending you a package - they should have anonymously commented on your blog or sent you an email by now. She knows who you are, but you don't know who she it.
Downstream - the person you will send a package to - you should have anonymously commented on her blog or sent her an email by now. You know who she is, but she doesn't know who you are.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Just popping by...

to say hi and remind you all to contact your pals - both upstream and down. Obviously you can't contact the person spoiling you until they write you first, but be sure to reply. Friendly conversations are encouraged, but at the very least letting them know you're alive and either working on their package or ready to answer any questions, is essential. Thanks to everyone! and happy swapping. I'll be checking back in a few more days to ask you all to report in if you haven't heard from your pal yet, so be sure to do so soon if you haven't yet.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Partners are assigned!

All right swappers! The deadline has come, all of your questionnaires are posted, and I have clicked the "assign partners" button on swap-bot.

Now go figure - I swore that Vegan Pal 1 was a secret swap, but from what I can tell if I click "rate your partner" I see who she is. So - DON'T CLICK IT until after you've received your package! Also, sorry to my partner - you're not a secret, but someone had to test it...

To get your partner's contact info, log on to swap-bot and click on "see the partners you send to."

Happy Swapping!

Oh, and here's a refresher on the rules in case you need them.

eta -


If you listed yourself having allergies in your questionnaire, PLEASE go back and give as specific an answer as possible. Rather than just saying "pet" say which animal and how allergic. Let your pal know if they wrap your yarn outside of their house if that will be fine, or if even 1 stray hair gets through the mail you'll be in the emergency room.


Remember to contact your pal within the next week or so to let them know you're here. You can leave an anonymous comment on their blog, or sign up for an anonymous email account (like Don't forget to change your name in the "from" field too!

You Win!

Well, if your name is Mishka, you win! YAY for Mishka!

Thank you all so much for posting your vegan favorites- what a wonderful bunch of resources we have now!

Mishka- send me your address please, and I'll ship your goodies off today. ( OH! Your goodies! Wanna see them?

All for you Mishka!

Okay, back to packing. I'll be on vacation for the next week, but part of the fun of vacation is sitting with the laptop and checking in, so I'll be around some.

Thanks again for joining the contest fun! We'll have another when I get back! (Beach goodies!)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Contest #2 closes tonight!

I had intended to draw our winner tonight, but I've got unexpected dinner guests and vacation packing to do! yikes! I'll draw a winner first thing tomorrow morning. I'm leaving for vacation on Saturday, so check in tomorrow to see if you've won- so you can get me your address ASAP! I'll post pics of the prize in the a.m. too- I promise it's a good one. Feel free to post any last minute entries tonight!


Contest #2

We have quite a few "vegan-curious" swappers signed up, so we thought it would be a good idea to post some resources. And what better way to get you to send us your favorites than to make it a contest!?

Your mission:
Recommend an online vegan resource. It can be food related, craft related, whatever. You must post it here or at your own blog, AND you must send your review to Ellie (deceptivelypackaged AT gmail DOT com) as well. Write a blurb about why you think this is a good resource. If we wind up with duplicate sites, that's fine. We'd love to hear any customer service dealings you might have had, experience with ordering, or whatever you can tell us about your recommendation.

Contest ends Thursday, Sept. 6th, so I can get prizes mailed out before I leave for vacation. You'll get 1 entry for each site you post.

I'll post pics of prizes in the next couple of days. And yes, there's more than 1 prize. This contest has a surprise element. I can't tell you- then it wouldn't be a surprise! :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Contest #2, Recommend an Online Vegan Resource

Hi Folks!
I posted this on Cake Maker to the Stars, but am reposting it here for your convenience.

I went vegan in 1990, a really long time ago--before Al Gore invented the Interwebs and before Earth Balance was a staple in 7-11s all across this great country of ours. Nowadays, there are so many great vegan resources online, a new vegan could easily go adrift just trying to decide which forum to visit on Friday night. Here's what I suggest: check out some of the great webpages written by my favorite cookbook author, Bryanna Clark Grogan. Not only does Bryanna kick ass in the recipe department (check out Nonna's Italian Kitchen and Authentic Chinese Cuisine: For the Contemporary Kitchen), but she is incredibly knowledgeable and generous. She maintains a vegan forum for new cooks on Vegsource, where she is incredibly accessible with questions and regularly shares huge files of her recipes. Along with this, she blogs and maintains another website with even more free recipe archives. If that's not enough for you, you can subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, The Vegan Feast, and get access to her subscriber only "secret-special" forum, as well as newsletters that are emailed with gazillions of recipes and color photos right to your in-box. Bryanna focuses on ethnic recipes and seitan in all sorts of wondrous forms, so if that's up your alley, let her know and she'll email you a sample newsletter for free. I love you Bryanna!


Saturday, September 1, 2007

Swap-bot Questionnaire

First of all, major thanks to Ellie for her patience with me this week! I was delinquent in posting these answers, and she's been gracious enough to allow me to stay in the swap. Thanks, Ellie!

Also, I don't have my own blog, so I'm posting my answers here:

1. What is/are your craft(s), & how long have you been doing it/them?
I am a knitter and a sewer. I’ve been sewing off and on since childhood, and I love to make clothes and decorative things for my apartment (like pillowcases, curtains, etc.). I also knew how to knit as a child, but I abandoned it until about five years ago when I started making scarves, hats, gloves, and now I’m making my first cardigan! I sometimes dabble in crochet, but usually just to make flowers for my knitted things.

2. Are you a vegan, vegetarian, veg-curious, veg-friendly or other?
I personally eat everything except seafood, but my best friend is vegan and I love the challenge of cooking well for him. I’m really into healthy-but-delicious eating, so I try to avoid butter and other animal fats at all costs. I also think it’s healthier if I don’t eat meat every day, so I’m always looking for great-tasting and healthy vegetarian meal ideas.

3. Is this your first swap, or have you done previous swaps before? What makes a swap enjoyable for you?
I have done several swaps before. My creativity flows best when given some form of structure (like the swap theme and rules) and guidance (my partner’s profile), and I love tailoring packages to someone’s preferences. I also love seeing what others come up with based on their interpretation of the theme.

4. What is/are your favorite color(s)? Do you particularly dislike any color(s)?
I love all colors except pastels. I have an autumn complexion and tend to look better in things in warm colors rather than cool ones, but pretty much any saturated color (non-pastel) is great.

5. Do you have any allergies (such as pets, foods, fibers or cigarette smoke)?
Yes, I am slightly allergic to furry animals and really allergic to cigarette smoke.

6. Do you have any companion animals? If so, name(s) and type(s)?*
I just have a feisty betta fish, so nothing that anyone would be allergic to.

7. Do you collect anything?

8. Do you have a favorite vegan food, snack or dish? If no fav that's vegan (for those who aren't vegan), what's your favorite food? (Hopefully your pal can find a vegan version!)
I love vegetable pasta dishes, especially with olive oil and garlic.

9. What are some of your favorite/least favorite tastes/flavors? (e.g. sweet, salty, chocolate, crunchy, smooth, tart, sour, spicy, thai, whatever - Help your pal get a feel for what kind of recipes you might like and/or never ever make.)
I don’t do anything too spicy, although I’m working on getting better at that since I love Korean and Indian food. I don’t do sour at all, and I’m not big on desserts or things that are very sweet. I love fresh ingredients, and I don’t mind recipes that are a bit more complicated and time consuming, especially if it’s something I can freeze and eat as leftovers. I don’t do tofu, but I’m obsessed with soy in every other form (soymilk, edamame, etc.).

10. What tools/supplies/accessories for your craft(s) are you wishing you had but don't? Also, what do you have TOO many of? (basically a wish and anti-wish list)
I have too many knitting needles (except 16” circulars), but I usually keep very little stock of sewing supplies around. I’m always happy for new and different yarns (I’ve banned myself from buying more until I use what I have, but swap-bot doesn’t count as cheating!). I also love new fabric for sewing.

11. Are you on Ravelry? What's your handle?
I’ve never heard of Ravelry, but I’m going to check it out now!

12. Is there anything else you would like your pal to know about you?
Just to get a better sense of “me”: my style/fashion sense tends toward elegant and vintage, but not too crazy. I love to wear skirts with vintage slips underneath and pretty jewelry, and I also love cute little silk scarves. My favorite fashion seasons are fall and winter because I love to wear trench coats and winter coats with a matching or coordinating scarf/hat set. To my partners: please feel free to e-mail me with any questions that might be helpful to you!

13. What scents do you like/dislike?
My favorite scents are vanilla and lavender. I don’t like musks or things that are overtly floral.

14. Do you prefer fall or Halloween or some other Autumn theme?
It matters not, please express your own creativity!

15. Just for fun - tell your favorite Halloween or Autumn related memory.
I have always loved to go all out for costume occasions such as Halloween, meticulously creating and gathering all of the necessary wardrobe pieces and accessories to complete the look. As an example of my obsessiveness, when I was in elementary school I wanted to dress up as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Everything had to look exactly like the movie, from the hairstyle, down to the size of the checkers on the jumper fabric and the size and placement of the buttons. And I’m still just this crazy when it comes to putting together Halloween costumes today!

Vegan Resource Reviews - K Pixie is a great small online yarn company that features many vegan yarns. They usually have at least several vegan yarns in their sale category. I know that you can get all of this yarn elsewhere but I really like the site layout and they are very nice. Some of their offerings include hemp, Blue Sky Alpacas cotton, recycled vegan sari yarn, Habu textiles which includes linen, paper, and cotton yarn, and Southwest Trading company yarn. They also have a very nice selection of books, accessories, notions and patterns.

Vegan Unlimited - This great company is owned by two members of my local vegan group, and the website is really nicely designed. They have a great selection of vegan products in all different categories. They have expanded their site in the last year to include a blog, vegan Q&A, "Ask a vegan", and other features like a vegan resource guide.