It's super fun to go on and on about all the food I ate and all the friends I met at VidaVeganCon - but (believe it or not) - there was also an actual conference going on. I loved the classes I attended, and I was also lucky enough to speak on three different topics:
1. VeganMoFo Workshop
some real MoFos!
I was really lucky to present with two of my awesome bloggie pals Mo and Kittee. The VeganMoFo workshop was 45 minutes long and we wanted people to leave feeling totally inspired to participate.
Kittee, Mo and I have all been blogging for years now, and we're all totally devoted MoFo participants. Our presentation was based on our own experiences as MoFo writers and readers.
A few highlights from the workshop:
1. MoFo doesn't need to be a recipe or a "what I ate" post every single day.
Broaden your horizons! You can write about your favorite kitchen tools, your favorite coffee cup, make up fictional menus for fictional events, and just about anything vaguely food-related. (Just keep it vegan, folks)
2. The goal is to post at least 20 times in one month. So, if you miss a day, don't start crying and throw in the towel. Get back on the blog-train and pick up like nothing ever happened!
3. MoFo is all about building community! Be sure to leave comments on other people's blogs throughout the month. Especially, try to leave comments on blogs that don't already have 30 comments. Try to discover new blogs (www.randomofo.com is great for this). Kittee's excellent MoFo challenge is to leave 10 comments a day. I did that last year and it was really great! Plus, people will click back to your blog, so this is a way to encourage other bloggers and build your own readership.
4. Include pictures, and don't write too much. During MoFo, no one has time to read your mini-novella!
this picture doesn't really capture all the raucous fun!
I was writing down all the ideas just as fast as I could!
Finally, after all that (and more!), we spent the last 15 minutes of the workshop brainstorming Official VidaVeganCon MoFo themes. It was so much fun!!!
happy vegan voters!
We started brainstorming themes for each day of the week... It was AMAZING how many fun and interesting themes were proposed in just a few minutes!! The room was buzzing with creativity and enthusiasm!
In the end, we voted for the favorites and the themes with the most votes were:
- Mac 'n' Cheese Mondays
- TV Tuesdays
- Work With It Wednesdays (pick a food you don't like & challenge yourself!)
- Thankful Thursdays (cooking for other people! I love this one!)
- Freaky Friday (blog swap! trade spots and blog on someone else's blog!)
- Retro Saturday
- Sleepy Sunday (breakfast posts! oh, YEAH.)
It looks like MoFo will be in September this year, so start brainstorming now! If you've got grand plans of your own, that is awesome. But, if you want to participate and didn't know what to write about - now you've got somewhere to start.
2. How To Make a Zine
from Concept to Distribution
This workshop was really wonderful. Kittee and Joanna and I led a talk / discussion on what goes in to the making of a zine. The three of us have all been zinesters for years, and we all had different ideas, different methods, and different visions for our zines. Leading up to the weekend of VVC, we spent hours on Google Hangout talking about zines and what information we wanted to share. In the end, I was really happy with how the workshop went.
The class was held in the gorgeous library room at the Portland Art Museum, and it was a perfectly sized group (20 people?). We could - almost - all fit around the one giant table. Kittee brought along a huge number of vegan zines that she's been collecting for many years, and it was great to flip through them and have them there to discuss. We talked about:
- Determining who is the audience for your zine
- What is the vision for your zine?
- Does it have a theme, or is it a collection of your favorite recipes?
- If you are developing your own recipes, do you need testers?
- How to actually make your zine? I do it all with pen and pencil, Kittee types the text and then does illustrations with collage, Joanna does beautiful all-digital layout on AmazonCreate
- (Here's a link to my detailed post on how to make your own hand-drawn zine)
- Getting the zine printed: xerox, a proper printer, or print-on-demand (like via Amazon)
- And distribution: is the zine going to be a gift for friends? Are you going to sell it? How will you find buyers (via your blog, zine distributors, etc)
I really enjoyed this workshop, and I hope the people who came did too. I love zines so much - after all, they're a chance to combine my love of crafty projects, cartoony doodles and my passion for veganism! What could be better??
3. Vegan Battle Royale
the vegan game show extraveganza!!!
Last, but decidedly, NOT LEAST, Kittee and Mo and I teamed up again to present our second-ever Vegan Battle Royale Game Show! At the first VVC, we did a game show as one of the classes, and it was super fun. This year, the awesome gals at VVC put us up on the main stage and we put on Vegan Battle Royale for all 300 conference attendees! It was amazing!!
stuffing goodie bags at 1 am! Delirious with vegan anticipation
We worked our little heinies off to make sure the VBR would be totally fun for everyone. Starting months ahead of time - we started soliciting donations for prizes and goodie bags from various companies. It was amazing how many wonderful donations we took in. Poor Kittee had her whole entire basement fill up with boxes of prizes!!
As soon as we all landed in Portland, we went directly to Kittee's house and spent two nights in a row assembling 300 goodie bags, prizes for lucky audience members, and prizes for the winning team members. Until the wee hours of the morning!! Luckily, we had Kittee's dog Vee and Erika's dog Pepper to keep us company, and Kittee's husband Dazee to go out at midnight and bring home vegan donuts and french fries. :)
|The Mother Forking Destroyers!
** our Champions!! **
Jojo - one of our esteemed scorekeepers!
(and a handful of audience members awaiting their moment of glory!)Plus, Mandee - our other esteemed scorekeeper
The game show itself was a whirlwind
of chaos, laughter, triumph and loss!
We had two teams of 8 (chosen at random from the audience):
The Mother Forking Destroyers and Team V-Card
They faced off for 3 rounds of challenges to earn Fame and Glory
2nd round was a blind tasting - one member from each team (and two people from the audience) had to taste something we had prepared and see how many ingredients they could correctly identify in one minute. It was great! I made a Persian Persimmon Chutney (recipe from Silk Road, a Vegetarian Journey), and the ingredients were super tricky! Miss PPK herself, Isa won this round by identifying the most ingredients of anyone.
Ashlee getting started with her blog-naming challenge
the glory! the triumph!
You can see my exuberance - arms thrown in the air with wild appreciation! - when she pulled it off!
Also, all throughout, we pulled audience names out of a box and called folks up on stage to answer vegan trivia questions. They got two chances and if they got an answer right, they were given totally awesome prizes. We even had a few special Lucky Vegan Winners who didn't have to do anything! We just pulled their name, called them up on stage and showered them with awesome prizes and glory!
The Three Amigas
picture by Joanna
picture by Joanna