Friday, December 26, 2008
We started BEST just over a year ago, and I know I personally would never have imagined the wonderful friends I would make in such a short time, and I definitely never dreamed the way BEST, together with CCCM, would make indie craft such a presence in Baltimore.
Of course there's you to thank, our readers, our friends, the people who allow us to do what we love. We love seeing you at shows, hearing your comments on the blog, we thank you for taking to the time to peek into our thoughts every day. (We know some days are better than others!)
The blog will be updated a bit less frequently this week, and we'll get back to normal business on the 5th of January, 2009. We hope to continue to bring you cool thoughts and crafty things from Baltimore and beyond, and we hope you take this week to spend time with family and friends, and maybe do something a bit crafty.
All the best, BEST.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
My favorite holiday tradition is the way our family spends Christmas Eve...My mom makes the most yummy sugar cookies that we paint with icing after our dinner of lasagna...then we light a fire, and all sit down and watch It's a Wonderful Life together. - Lauren of jerseygirldesign
Cutting down our Christmas tree with my husband and how the scent lingers in my car for days after. I also love sipping eggnog as we decorate the house and listen to holiday carols. - Monica of sugarpaperie
Since it's just my husband and I we are in the process of making our own holiday traditions, but for the past couple of years now we have been having friends over on Xmas Eve Morning for a huge brunch- we are all in a food coma for the rest of the day! - Sherry of dandelionblu
Every Christmas Eve I make Pierogies and Kielbasa just like my grandmother used to, then I settle in for the 24 hour "A Christmas Story" marathon (much to may family's dismay). I just love that movie, a couple of years ago my husband actually got me a Red Ryder BB Gun and re-enacted the scene from the movie. You'll shoot your eye out, you'll shoot your eye out. I still have my heart set on a leg lamp. - Jill of jillpopowichdesigns
My favorite holiday tradition is putting the Christmas tree up every year on the day after Thanksgiving with my daughters. They have become quite the little helpers!!! - Erica of cekcustomdesigns
I really, really love decorating the tree. When we first moved into our apartment, and didn't have a tree, I just strung garland and lights on our mantel and push pinned ornaments into place. There's just something about this warm, glowing thing in your living room, covered in trinkets. our tree is all handmade stuff, and mostly birds and stars. it just makes me happy. - dana of greenstarstudio
My favorite Christmas tradition is watching holiday comedies in front of the fire with my family. We so look forward to this day, to not having any expectations except to relax and enjoy each other. - Shannon of sweetpepita
Every year my husband and I (and now our family) go to Valley View Farms and pick out one ornament for our tree that has a significance for us for the year. The Christmas displays there are overwhelmingly full of holiday cheer, and we can always find just the thing we want. - Jen of littlestbean
And some members share favorite holiday songs:
Joy to the World is my favorite Christmas song. I don't think you can hear it and not feel compelled to sing along. And when I say sing, I of course mean belt that sucker out with feeling, man. - Shannon of sweetpepita
My favorite song is "Carol of The Bells" I love to hear it performed live, it so dramatic! - Sherry of dandelionblu
"The Chanukah Song" by Adam Sandler. It is just funny, what more can I say. - Jill of jillpopowichdesigns
Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives is my favorite Christmas song because it's one of those songs that immediately gets you in a nostalgic, happy, remember when... kinda mood! - Jen of yummyandcompany
The twelve days of christmas... but only the version the muppets sing. Why? Well, my decades long crush on Kermit is a big part of it, but the other reason is hearing Beaker sing "meemee meemee mee mee" when it's his turn. It's not Christmastime until I hear that on the radio, then it's official. - dana of greenstarstudio
Carol of the Bells - it's the most beautiful Christmas song ever. - Monica of sugarpaperie
My favorite Christmas song is The Christians and the Pagans by Dar Williams. While it's certainly not a traditional song, it's what Christmas(I think) is really all about. And I absolutely love the way it sounds. - Vicki of threewheelsdesign
My favorite Christmas song is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – remix by BNL w/Sarah McLachlan. I love hearing Sarah McLachlan’s voice sing anything and this song puts me in the holiday mood! - Erica of cekcustomdesigns
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
THE CAST OF CHARACTERS:
#1 Son and His Significant Other: #1 Son is witty, urbane, smart, and plays in a band. He works as an account manager in a place where people get to wear shorts to work and bring their dogs every day. He's a big fan of Star Trek and Batman, he drinks beers no one else has heard of yet, and he always brings the right wine. Significant Other is petite, cuddly, kind, and also one of the best cooks on the planet. She's a Web developer who's probably somewhat aware of the fact that there's a (hand-designed) diamond ring in her immediate future. She's also in the middle of setting up housekeeping.
#2 Son and His Wife: #2 Son is an alpha geek. He leaps tall Cisco routers with a single bound, catches IP packets in his teeth, and could probably read all our email if he wanted to. He's a big fan of Star Wars and Spider-Man, drinks Natty Boh, and always brings the right wine because his wife helps him pick it out. His wife is beautiful, has a quiet sense of humor, and is one of the best cooks on the planet. She's a graphic designer who regards technology with a jaundiced eye and who has banished her husband's collections to the basement. She's also as sweet as she is beautiful.
Aged Mum: Aged Mum is in her eighties, and she unfortunately suffers from dementia. This does not stop her from having a sense of humor as well. Last Christmas at the height of the family festivities, she looked around at all of us and said, "I'm having a great time. But who are all these people?" She has a crafting tradition in her background, having been a hand-spinner and weaver for many years. My house is full of her beautiful work. Now she enjoys little things, which we purchase in quantity at the dollar store because she enjoys tearing them up. Winter is unkind to her skin.
Husband: Husband has perfected the art of stealth technology in gift giving. He utterly refuses to come up with a wish list, preferring instead to surprise everybody else. The result is that nobody ever has a clue as to what to give him. He drinks his own homebrewed beer and
is a big fan of old Republic serials. True to form, he located and purchased a Batman and a Star Wars vintage item for each son--back in October. His holiday refrain? "Oh, just get me a couple of packs of t-shirts and undershorts..." Right.
How to shop for all these people? Bear in mind that for the last two years, we've managed to give each son at least one DVD that he already owned, resulting in much angst with Amazon. I swore an oath that it would never happen again. Aged Mum and the daughters are weighted down with handmade jewelry from a devoted me. And I had to make pies today.
THE ETSY SOLUTION:
In between the pecan and the pumpkin pies . . .
Bodhicitta Glass....Home of Rewined Recycled Glassware
Here I found wonderful sets of four glasses made from--of all things-- recycled wine bottles. They're trimmed off, smoothed to a satin smoothness, and fire polished at the rims. They come in neat wine bottle colors and still feature those little wine-bottle dimples in the bottoms. Perfect for whatever brew is being served by either son. I bought two sets.
Bullfrog Laser Works
This Etsian has come up with the idea that people who do homebrew might like to show off their brewmanship. We're doing that by means of an absolutely brilliant handmade Quaff Pack. It's like a six pack carrier, only its handcrafted from wood, beautifully finished, and comes with your choice of custom message on the side. My husband's is going to say "Relax! Have a Homebrew." Now he can carry his beer to peoples' houses with pride as opposed to using recycled bags from the Safeway.
Skeletaldropkick makes high-fired ceramic mugs, bowls, plates, canopic jars (don't ask), and other items with an absolutely original flair. Years ago, my husband had a mug in the shape of a skull that I dropped and broke. I have now atoned for that completely with an absolutely, completely original high-fired skull mug. I'm still trying to figure out what I would put in a canopic jar--besides what usually goes in them, I mean.
With a daughter-in-law who loves to entertain, and a soon-to-be-daughter-in-law who not only loves to entertain but is just setting up housekeeping, serving items seemed like the way to go this year. Glynt Pottery stepped right up to the plate (sorry!) with two adorable and practical cream and sugar sets--one in blue, one in creamy yellow. Contemporary but traditional. Attractive and well-made. And kudos to Glynt Pottery for giving us helpful hints on why you can't abuse your hand-thrown pottery the way you can your Corning Ware!
Sweet Treats from Anita Crafty Creations
Last, but decidedly not least, Baltimore's own Anita. She concocts yummy, sweet treats for the body--soaps, bath goodies, lip balms, and-- my personal favorite--the unscented goat's milk and shea butter body cream with loads of vitamins. It comes in cute little pots, and Anita was kind enough to make a special listing so I could buy four of them. Let's see, that's one for each of the girls, one for Aged Mum, and-- well, shoot--one for me. I think I deserve it!
post written by amadison image from anitacraftycreations
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
The perfect card for everyone on your list! By YeeHaw Industries
Thursday, December 18, 2008
redprairiepress: "Baltimore may have a rough reputation, but once you're here, you realize this city is just proud of itself, and thus, proud of you for making art in its borders. People here love knowing that what they're buying comes from here, and they love having certain things to claim as Baltimore's own. The city is big enough that it has a diverse mix of happenings, but small enough that on any given day, most people are connected to at least one of them because they'll know one of the organizers or artists. Enormous community pride and a small-world feel? That's the best support you can ask for, as a local business."
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Amber Dusick, aka woodmouse and Los Angeles-based toy-maker/work-at-home-mama, is an artist who would be impacted by this proposed legislation if it is enacted. Amber uses sustainably harvested woods, non-toxic paints and beeswax along with her wood-burning tool to create simple, natural wooden toys. Her imagery is reminiscent of a child's crayon drawing come to life in wood.
Amber, like other Etsy toy makers and sellers, is fearful that as a sole proprietor she will not be able to afford the stricter regulations of the Act; the cost of testing and certification is likely beyond her means. She told Etsy, “I'd be more than happy to have each of my toys tested, if it wasn't so cost prohibitive. It is the COST involved in testing that will shut us down, it isn't that anyone refuses to have their work tested."
The Small Business Administration defines "small business" as under 500 employees. Most of our Etsy members are either sole proprietors or maybe a family or studio of friends working together. Many craftspeople on Etsy have told us that they could be put out of business if forced to comply with the proposed legislation. This is the painful irony bound up in the CPSIA.
The U.S. House and Senate passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (the CPSIA), and on August 14, 2008, President Bush signed the Act into law. Further information on the Act is available at the CPSC website and helpful FAQs are located here.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
True, our city neighborhood does not have many trees or much green at all. In all of this pavement, it is hard to find beauty.
Among these little rowhouses lives is a lifelong resident of Highlandtown that decorates our neighborhood every Christmas. I know him as John, the interesting elderly man who was once a wedding planner in his day. He can be seen tying red and green ribbons and bows to all the railings, chain link fences, and sign posts around our side of the neighborhood this time of year. He makes all of these bows from scratch, hand tying what seems like hundreds and giving the gift of décor to our lack luster fromstone covered streets. Our homes are made a little richer each season by this handmade generosity!
post written by tigerlillyshop.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Post written by sugarpaperie.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Shop local and get a last chance to purchase from BEST members at one of our favorite boutiques, doubledutch. There will be sweet treats to eat while you browse the wares. And when you make a purchase from a BEST member, you'll be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to doubledutch! Give it as a gift, or treat yourself.
Stop by this Sunday, December 14th, from 11am - 5pm. We'll see you there!
doubledutch is located at 3616 Falls Rd, Baltimore, Maryland 21211, just off the Avenue.
[ Map / Directions ]
Photo courtesy of SpaTherapy.
Friday, December 12, 2008
This tree set could not be any cuter! If I wasn't 100% sure the pompoms would be commandeered by my cats, I'd need 3 sets, at least. By hasenpfeffer.
For a sweet pop of color and holiday cheer anywhere, this dreamcatcher by tamar is perfect.
I love the combination of textures in this beautiful wreath by constantgatherer.
Cutest tree skirt ever. Period. And it's oilcloth, so don't worry about tree spills. By modernjune.
I love the patterns in this banner, perfect for a mantel or over a door. By whimzycreations.
This gorgeous table runner would be perfect on my holiday table. By outiouti.
We're still decorating around here, and may need to pick up a few additions to our collection. So if you like these, get 'em quick, before I do!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Twenty things you didn't know about Annie, of Imogene. Check out her etsy shop, imogeneandannie.
1. amsterdam is my favorite city
2. my left foot is a half size smaller than my right foot
3. in my wildest dreams, i am madonna's back up dancer
4. i went to prep school in fort lauderdale, florida
5. i have no idea what my favorite color is
6. one of my top favorite things to do is listen jeff buckley with the volume as high as can be in a dark room
7. my favorite dive bar in baltimore is the rendezvous lounge (wish they would put the old jukebox back with jeff buckley in it)
8. i aspire to do a handstand one day in yoga class
9. doing a handstand is one of my biggest fears
10. i love classical ballet
11. my favorite t.v. personality is ellen degeneres. i think everyone should dance their way through life!
12. i really don't like to use CAPS when i type- i don't know where this habit came from
13. i can type over 80 wpm with proper caps usage
14. i will take a cup of coffee at anytime of day
15. i'm 27 years old and still crazy for everything hello kitty- have you seen the hello kitty humidifier? wow.
16. i REALLY want to be a contestant on the price is right
17. i have been a knitter for about six years and have yet to finish a sweater
18. i cannot see scary movies because they keep me up for at least two nights afterwards
19. i spent a good part of the summer of 2000 exploring beijing, china
20. i hope to write/edit a book one day
Would you like to be featured? Email your twenty things (keep it clean, please!) to baltimoreetsy (at) gmail (dot) com. Be sure to include your photo, name and URL.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Stop by this Sunday, December 14th, from 11am - 5pm. We'll see you there!
doubledutch is located at 3616 Falls Rd, Baltimore, Maryland 21211, just off the Avenue.
[ Map / Directions ]
Holiday Festival of Trains at the B&O Railroad Museum through December 30th
Come on! Everyone likes trains!
Miracle on 34th Street in Hampden
You think you've seen the brightest, the most over the top, the most spectacular decorations a neighborhood can handle. If you haven't been tho 34th St. in Hampden, I can promise you that you've never seen anything like it. Seriously. You can almost hear the utility meters clicking away.
Photos with Santa at Harborplace
When was the last time you went down the harbor? Right now is the perfect time. It's relatively calm in the wintertime and the Christmas lights are really very beautiful. What's more is that you don't need kids to participate... This Monday, December 15th from 6-9pm, bring your dog or cat for a holiday photo and enjoy some holiday fun with Santa (I'm not sure how much fun my cat would have but...). A variety of holiday costumes will be available for pets to wear during their special photo shoot. Yay!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Admission is free. Enjoy complimentary mulled cider & receive one-night-only discounts on selected merchandise.
Supplies are provided but we encourage you to help out by bringing your own scissors & old t-shirts or other scrap fabric.
This workshop will be held in The Café at bluehouse
Friday, December 12, 2008 from 7:00pm - 8:00pm
1407 Fleet St., Baltimore, MD
Monday, December 8, 2008
The MICA Art Market provides an excellent opportunity for shoppers and collectors to find new works by emerging artists as well as collectables from leading artists in their respective fields. The Art Market fosters student professional development, peer to peer networking, and a percentage of the proceeds will provide funding for need-based student scholarships.
For more information, please visit mica.edu.
Image from Olivia Horvath.
This particular shop with amazing photography caught my attention.
Whimsy & Spice is a Brooklyn-based pastry shop that combines aromatic spices and unique flavors to bring you an unexpected cookie and Biscotti.
The husband & wife team Mark – a Pastry Chef and Jenna - an award-winning art director, designer and artist combine their skills and more than 12 years of experience in culinary arts and graphic design to produce a distinctive line of handmade sweets. All of their cookies and sweets are hand rolled, hand cut and hand packaged in Brooklyn, NY, using only the finest ingredients with no added preservatives or artificial flavorings.
My mouth is salivating, just at the thought of these Marshmallow Sampler Packs: chocolate, cardamom, caramel or maple w/ eighteen 1.25" cubes of yummy light and fluffy marshmallow goodness. Light airy bites that melt in your mounth....
How tempting are these Brown Sugar Gingerspice shortbread cookies? The texture of a shortbread cookie with the zing of a gingersnap is enhanced with the soft bite of cinnamon and touch of cloves. Oh my!
Pumpkin Ginger Sandwich Cookies: A creamy white chocolate filling, delicately spiked with white pepper is sandwiched between two spiced pumpkin ginger cookies dusted with sparkling sugar. Yum-yum!!
Post written by Spa Therapy Works
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Thanks to everyone who came out to our party on Friday night, to celebrate the December issue of Baltimore Magazine! Members of BEST, Charm City Craft Mafia, and the good people at Baltimore Magazine came out for good sushi and good friends. Many thanks to Buddha Lounge for hosting us!
Image by the talented Tya Anthony, visit her Flickr site, or her website.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Drop earrings from finkifine
Red ruffle scarf from sarahseven
Slate back poncho from larimeloom
Long, slim golden clutch from yorktownroad
Grey and silver wool mod dress from aminalady
Handmade red open-toe pumps from zerkahloostrah
post written by vwstudios
Thursday, December 4, 2008
My boyfriend, Karl, and I attended last month's event. We started our night at Shine, where we received complimentary wine and browsed as we caught up with friends. I drooled over (thankfully, not literally) the gorgeous clothes and some freaking awesome place mats with random cartoon-y illustrations of various animals, dinosaurs, bugs, and even dump trucks. Then, we headed over to Red Tree, where we were met by beautiful holiday displays, more cocktails and a tasty buffet supplied by the tastiest local Hampden restaurants. Things get a little foggy after that, though I do remember hoarding gobs and gobs of some decadently delicious, greasy cheese and onion dip and laughing at a book that Karl found before we staggered over to Rocket to Venus for one last drink. We chatted some more, and by 10:30, we were sufficiently satisfied with our evening and I had plenty of holiday gift ideas. Luckily for Hampden-ites, it's a short walk home so you don't even have to worry about driving.
First Fridays happen on (go figure) the First Friday of every month from 6-9pm on 36th Street in Hampden, on the Avenue. Did I mention it's FREE?
Photos were taken by Drury Bynum in Shine Collective.
Post written by NicoletteLeFaye
- I draw so much that I go through a 200-page sketchbook every 2 or 3 months.
- I Love sad music despite the fact that I have a pretty upbeat personality.
- I get really excited about my Birthday.
- I am practically phobic of ketchup. When my wife and I eat out she knows to take it off the table and out of my line of sight because I won’t even touch the bottle.
- I love all Post-apocalyptic movies, whether it's Mad Max, 12 Monkeys or Dawn of the Dead; if its about the end of the world – I’m there!
- I am not too fond of the idea of getting old.
- I wear jeans all the time and I am very particular about the color and fit of them.
- I love to go shopping with my wife.
- Cheese may be my favorite food. I love it in pretty much all of its forms but usually the bluer the better.
- Beer is my other favorite food.
- I don’t read many comic books, maybe a dozen or so a year. When I do conventions and signings, people always ask me to recommend books to them and I never know what to say.
- I am tremendously disorganized.
- I pace when I talk on the phone, which must drive my wife nuts as I walk through every room of the house talking at full volume.
- I never want to move out of the city. Suburbs scare the crap out of me.
- I need coffee. Always.
- I worked as a caricature artist for 5 years during and after college.
- I don’t really like sports and get really nervous when I’m with a bunch of guys and they start talking about teams. I sometimes try to fake my way through a conversation and end up putting my foot in my mouth.
- I love to travel to new cities with my wife and explore the neighborhoods, try the local beers and eat at the local favorite restaurants.
- I fenced in high school.
- I never go anywhere without my sketchbooks, yes I did mean to pluralize sketchbook, I carry around two and sometimes three at any given time in case I need to reference something from 3 months ago.