Author: Michele Truty

VVC Vegan Tattoo Sale, Take 2

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Hey, remember last time, when we announced a sale on vegan tattoos? Well, get ready for round two.

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Jess about to go under the needle. You could be next!

One of the gazillion points of Portland pride is Skeleton Key Tattoo on SE Hawthorne & 17th. Ximena and her crack squad of ink-slingin’ pros are here to make sure you get the right tattoo the right way, in a comfortable, clean shop with great music (and a short post-tattoo walk to Whiffies and Potato Champion).

What makes a tattoo vegan, you ask? They don’t use animal bone charcoal-based black ink or animal glycerin. They do use vegan products where they can, while adhering to the law and putting our safety first. This is not an exclusively vegan shop, so make sure to tell your artist you’re there for vegan ink.

We were lucky enough to have Ximena design these marionberry tattoos for us, to complement our 2011 beets. We found some neat photos and drawings, then Ximena sketched it up for us.

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Janessa figuring out placement
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Jess with the stencil placed and ready to be inked
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And Michele, all done (and a little swollen and hurty)

While you’re in town for Vida Vegan Con, from Wednesday through Monday, May 22-27, 2013, Skeleton Key is offering a 15% discount to VVC registrants (attendees, speakers, and special guests). Mention you’re with VVC when you make your appointment, then bring your badge or otherwise confirm that you’re an official attendee—there’s a $65 minimum, and don’t forget to tip your artist!

Skeleton Key Tattoo
1729 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
(503) 233-4292

Are you a Portland vegan-friendly business? Want to offer a special for our attendees? Let us know and we’ll spread the word!

Presenting the 2013 Vida Vegan Con T-shirt (Preorder Now!)

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UPDATE: Preorder is now closed. We will have some extras in various sizes available at registration, and any left over after the conference will be available for order online. Thanks!

Remember our t-shirt design contest?

We had a bunch of really fun and creative submissions, and we’re excited to present to you our winner, Sutton Long. Sutton is a San Francisco–based freelance graphic designer and is art director for VegNews magazine. When not working, she loves walking her dog around SF and taking photos (@suttonlong on Instagram). Favorite place for a dog walk in Portland: Mt. Tabor Park.

Check out Sutton’s design:

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Here’s what it looks like mocked up on a t-shirt!

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These are printed here in Portland by Ink Brigade, just like our 2011 shirts. Also like 2011, we’re using the same shirt styles: a more fitted, ladies’ cut and a more traditional unisex cut. Unlike last time, our color is a gunmetal shade of gray.

Click on the sizing links to figure out what you are, because we all know individual manufacturers’ ideas of sizes don’t really mean anything.

Ladies’-cut sizing is here.

Unisex-cut sizing is here.

We are doing these on a preorder basis so we have enough of everyone’s sizes. Get your order in by Monday, April 29, so we can get them printed up in time for you to pick them up at registration. And yes, we’ll order a few extras of assorted sizes, but best be safe and place your preorder.

Ready? Know your size? Make sure, because we can’t do refunds and might not have extras to do exchanges.) Click this link here to orderyours now! (Blogger dork note: PayPal buttons with drop-downs don’t work on WordPress.com, so we set up this shop page on Moonfruit.)

What Do I Pack?!

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packing-for-vida-vegan-con

Maybe you’re an eleventh-hour packer, praying to the taxi gods that you have time to grab that last load of laundry before the angry honking begins. Or do you have your bags out two weeks in advance, lists (only Excel files will do) perched on your desktop for easy access?

Either way, we figure you could probably use some help deciding what to bring. It’s Portland, late May, and you’re going to spend three days or so with people who photograph and write about everything they see—no pressure there!

  • Car? Don’t bother. It’s a city, which means you will pay too much for parking at your hotel or near the museum. It’s not as bad as some cities, but still. With our public transportation, unless you’re venturing out to the ocean or mountains you just won’t need it. (But if you must, we have some tips on local parking here).
  • Comfortable shoes. We’re looking at long days, and while your needs are seen to within the Art Museum buildings during the day, you will absolutely want to explore Portland in the evenings and beyond—we’ve arranged activities all over the city, and it would be a shame not to get out there and soak up all the Portland you possibly can.
  • Layers. You never really know what you’re going to get here; a zipped-up-hoodie morning could lead to a back-sweat afternoon. And sure, it could rain.
  • Maybe a little something fancy? Saturday night’s Galarama + Silent Auction is the perfect excuse to get a little glitzy, although dressing up is by no means mandatory.
  • Business cards. How many new friends will you be making? It’s a great idea to have an easy way to share your blog URL, email address, and social media handle(s). (Remember, no swag or solicitation! Let’s keep it classy and comfortable for all.)
  • Camera! As if we need to remind bloggers to bring their cameras, but still. We’re saying it out loud—and don’t forget your charger and extra SD card! (And if you’re the social media type, use #VidaVeganCon or #VVC2013 to spread the love…and make everybody jealous.)
  • Extra bag. Hey, you’re gonna be acquiring a lot of stuff—from SWAG bag goodies to cookbooks to  tourist trinkets. How many pounds of bulk Soy Curls can you stuff in those pockets?

Did we miss something? Were you at the 2011 conference? Was there anything you either were so relieved you’d brought or really wished you’d remembered?

The Galarama Site Is Live!

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mf24532You already know this if you’re a newsletter subscriber, but we’ve built a whole separate site for the Galarama—if you haven’t checked it out yet, please do, and spread the word. Let’s raise some money for the chimps!

We’re really so excited and proud to have this opportunity to bring everyone together for a fun night while giving back to these beautiful, intelligent creatures that our world has exploited and mistreated.

For registrants and speakers, your admission to this party is complimentary. If you’d like to upgrade to a VIP ticket (limited to 20 • includes a special gift bag, 2 free drinks, and a raffle ticket), you can do so for $20.

Non-VVC public can purchase tickets starting Monday, April 1 (no foolin’). General Admission is $15/$20 at door; $40 VIP.

And super fun news: Brian “The Sexy Vegan” Patton will be our emcee for the evening!

So don’t miss it. Join us at Staver Locomotive in NW Portland Saturday night, May 25, 2013, at 7pm. Learn more here!

VVC Alum Does Good: Carrie Forrest’s Vegan Delish App

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Carrie Forrest headshotVida Vegan is the best extended family ever! Our group is filled with so much creativity and productivity, all spreading the good vegan word through words and sights and sounds. VVC alum Carrie Forrest (Carrie on Vegan) has created Vegan Delish, a whole foods recipe app for Apple handheld devices. We wanted to know more!

You blog tons of recipes—what made you take the app leap? Was it just app or cookbook time?

That’s right. After blogging for over three years, I had amassed enough recipes and interest that it was time to organize them into something marketable. I had the opportunity to license software to create Vegan Delish, which is essentially a digital cookbook with cool features like a shopping list, social media sharing options, and recipe ratings. Besides the interactive features, I love being able to constantly add new recipes to the app to keep it fresh and relevant.

Vegan Delish iPhone screenshotWhat was the hardest aspect of development?

As a blogger, I wasn’t always consistent in my form, but when you publish recipes in the app, there are certain protocols you have to follow. That was a challenge, in terms of editing. I also felt pressure to increase the quality of my photos and take my skills up a notch.

And the most rewarding?

I’m like a proud parent when anyone tells me they use Vegan Delish. My ultimate goal with both my blog and my app has been to inspire people to try cooking easy, vegan meals at home, so I feel fulfilled whenever that happens.

Do you receive feedback from your users? Anything particularly surprising?

There is a recipe rating and review feature, and I read every comment on individual recipes from users. I’m sometimes surprised by the feedback. For instance, one person left a review saying her kids loved the Curry Kale Chips, which surprised me since I never would have thought to categorize that recipe as kid-friendly.

iPad screenshot

What’s your favorite recipe on the app?

Since my specialty is creating recipes that are super healthy and in general made with no oils, salt, or added sugars, I had to go and mess with the already-healthy black bean brownie and add spinach to it. Even though it turns the batter green, my Spinach & Black Bean Brownies still come out tasting awesome (and once they’re baked, they’re not green). Topped with my Vanilla “Cream” Frosting made with cashews and dates…mmmmmm!

Do you have future plans for Vegan Delish? How will it evolve?

My next big plan is to add recipes from other bloggers; I really want to grow the recipe base and include some of the fantastic healthy, vegan recipes that are in the blogosphere. In fact, if you’re interested in contributing, please email me at Carrie @ VeganDelish . com!

Returning to Portland for VVC, what’s a must-see/eat/do for newcomers?

I absolutely love visiting Portland, and I am thrilled to be returning in May. My favorite places to visit are the Saturday Market, Herbivore Clothing, the International Rose Test Garden, and the farmers’ market at PSU. My all-time favorite restaurants in Portland are Prasad (loved seeing it spoofed in this episode of Portlandia) and Blossoming Lotus.

Thanks, Carrie. We’ll see you in May!

Heads up! VVC 2013 Is Almost Sold Out!

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the last cookie

What’s sadder than the last cookie? No cookie at all.

Yeah, so even with 100 more registrant spots this year, we’re still running out of space for y’all. Wow. Our handy little PayPal inventory alert told us we are down to 30 tickets for our three-day weekend of learning and funning and eating and sharing.

They’re still available here—but we don’t want to rush you. Make sure you read through the registration info and double-check your calendars, because these are nonrefundable tickets.

Not sure about lodging and transportation? Find more information (and a ton of helpful links) on our Travel & Lodging pages. And if your questions aren’t answered on our FAQ page, email us at VidaVeganConference @ gmail . com.

For those of you who already registered, we’ll see you in May!