Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Finds - Butterflies!

We have a few butterfly bushes in our yard, and it's getting to be the time of year when we are lucky enough to look outside and see butterflies everywhere. Here's some butterfly finds on Etsy to commemorate their time here.

Beautiful butterfly and flower brooch by lupin.

I love everything from whichgoose, but this crown is particularly summer sprite-like.

Sweet little dress from AdorneShoppe.

My daughter would love wearing this adorable necklace from AracneDesigns.

And this great summer bag from jillhruska.

Have a great weekend! Happy butterfly-watching!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kathy!

aka The Garbologist's Wife.

Twenty Things: Tya Anthony

Twenty things you didn't know about Tya Anthony, the woman behind our fantastic group photo. Check out her gorgeous photography site, as well as her etsy shop, where she sells her crochet goodies.

1. i am a project runway junkie.
2. the smell of chocolate and cream cheese make me want to dance uncontrollably, lets face it if i could eat only chocolate and creamcheese i would be in heaven.
3. i never liked cheesecake until several years ago when i ate it with some wine and strawberries...mmm
4. i'm thinking about cutting my locks
5. it was only a thought. they run through my head and right out the other end.
6. i want to move to London at some point in my life. i really would just like to live over seas.
7. i have lived in Germany, New York, South Carolina, Virginia, Colorado (the birthplace), Maryland, i could stand to add Ireland, California, New Mexico
8. i'm so stressed out right now i just want to pop those packing bubbles
9. i'm addicted to crafting. i am planning to live in a GREEN world, well at least mine anyway
10. i want more kids, i love the kids
11. i love there
12. my favorite meal would be sushi from San Sushi in Towson, a bottle of plum wine and my friends there to enjoy it with me
13. i am a photographer
14. i love astrology, mythology, conspiracy,
15. i have become an avid reading
16. i love my MAC
17. i'm a nikon girl
18. i always try to be on time or early, its always the people who are with me that are late
19. i was voted the brightest smile in high school and a jealous yearbook staff chick stole it from me...we all know the truth
20. i am very cat like

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Exploring Baltimore With Babes

Since moving to Baltimore City a year ago with our three kiddies under six, my husband and I are always on the hunt for Baltimore’s more kid-friendly charms. We have been thrilled to find that there is no shortage of childhood delights in this town and I hope to start sharing some of our best finds with you here.

First stop, the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. This is our hands-down FAVORITE place to spend an hour on the weekends. On their 1.8 miles of track you can actually ride in any one of their four working streetcars which have been lovingly and painstakingly restored to their original, charm-laden condition. Our favorite streetcar is the “summer car” which is open on both sides to the elements and was once used to give “cool off rides” through the summer nights. For one nickel you could ride the summer car from 6:00pm to midnight, being cooled by the natural breeze of the streetcar before the age of air conditioning. Even a century later, its cooling breeze hasn’t lost its refreshing, romantic effect.

A family membership to the Museum for the entire year only sets you back $45. We regularly drop by on Sunday afternoon for a quick ride on all the running streetcars and head home. I suspect that as our oldest son gets bigger, we may soon find him volunteering his own weekends to work away on the machines—at least that’s what he tells us!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spend a Day With Biggs and Featherbelle

If you do craft shows, you know that Biggs and Featherbelle is one of the best-smelling neighbors to have. And whether you do shows or shop them, you know that their body care line is just delicious. Now Kelly and Kasey, sisters and co-owners of the Baltimore-based company, will be welcoming Hello Craft to their studio on August 22nd. Come and learn how they create health conscious body care products such as bar soaps, bath soaks, lip balms, and scrubs using handmade methods.

The three hour tour will include several product making demonstrations from start to finish, focusing on cold process soap techniques, and an overview on the daily workings of a small craft-based business.

There will also be a hands-on craft project in which everyone will create their very own body scrub! Before and after the tour, you can take the time to explore the independent shops that make up the Hampden Avenue. There are two sessions to pick from. The first at 10 a.m., the second at 2 p.m. A 6 p.m. happy hour will round out the day.

Biggs and Featherbelle Tour
Date: Saturday, August 22
Times: Pick from two sessions.
First session: 10 a.m. or Second session: 2 p.m.
Where: Factory in Hampden, Baltimore
Cost: $30/person.
Hurry! There is a 15-person limit per session.

Register now!!!

via Hello Craft.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Favorite Seller: Bunny With A Toolbelt

I was lucky enough to meet Hilary of Bunny With a Toolbelt several years ago, and I've watched her work expand beyond the wonderful sculptures, collages, and installations she creates to these amazingly sweet and completely attainable little sculptures, which make me very, very happy.

Boom Box Elephant, sculpture

New Kid in Town, baby shower cake topper

Pretty Kitty Bride and Groom, wedding cake toppers

Owl Love You Forever, wedding cake toppers

In addition to all of the sweet one-of-a-kind sculptures available in her etsy shop, Hilary does all sorts of wonderful custom wedding toppers, which you can read about here. Take a look around her shop, I guarantee you it will make your day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Random Baltimore Photo

The Senator Theatre
If you feel the Senator Theatre should remain a historic theatre serving the arts and be a entertainment beacon, please sign this petition.

For more information about the photo, please click on the image.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

How to Make a Pinwheel!

It is a nice little trip down memory lane when every summer I walk into a store and see some of the same toys that have been summertime favorites since I was a kid. Plastic buckets and shovels, big colorful rubber balls, jacks, balsa wood planes, bubbles and pinwheels were the toys I begged my mother for every summer when we went to Woolsworth.

Well of my now crafty life and in memory of my childhood’s past I decided to make my own pinwheel. Although I do not play with them much, I like to put them in plants as a reminder that summertime is here and I should work less and play more. And if you have children making a pinwheel is a great rainy day craft.

What you will need:
1 – 8.5”x11” sheet of cardstock paper
1 – wooden dow
6” wire (I used 20 gauge)
2 – medium/large beads
needle nose pliers
ruler and exactor knife or scissors

1. Click here to download the PINWHEEL_template.pdf. Print out template at 100% on the cardstock paper.
2. Cut along green outer cut line. You will be working with a 7.5” square.
3. Cut along the cyan inner cut dotted lines making sure to stop at the end, leaving the center in tact.

4. Punch a small hole on the side of each corner and the center of the square where indicated.
5. Coil the wire around one end wooden dow. Sting one of the beads through the wire and then insert the wire through hole in the center of the paper square.

6. Take one of the hole punched corners and bend the paper over and insert the wire into the hole. Continue this with each of the corners. Use your hand to keep the pinwheel in place.

7. Add the other bead to the wire and use the pliers to bend the remaining wire over into a loop to secure the wire. Now all you need is some wind to see your pinwheel in action.

Note: If the pinwheel gets caught on the stick try bending the wire a bit until it is sitting correct and can turn freely.

written by: kolleen of Design by Night

Friday, July 24, 2009

16th Annual Hamilton Street Festival - Tomorrow!

Come one and all to the 16th Annual Hamilton Street Festival. Featuring flaming hot fire breathers, a hot rod car show that will get your engines revving, clowns that will make you laugh, great bands that will move your booty and the most death defying feats of craftiness ever to happen on Harford Road supplied by some of the BEST members (of course), as well as members of the Charm City Craft Mafia and more!

Festivities begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 25 and end around 8 p.m. and is located between the 5400 and 5500 blocks of Harford Road (the road will be closed to traffic during the event).

For more info, click here.

Post written by Kolleen of DesignByNight.

Friday Finds - Boardwalk Carnival

Heading down to the beach? Here's some things to get you in the mood...

This photo will remind you of the ferris wheel you're too afraid to ride on (if you're like me.) The Unbearable Elation of Summer - 8x10 Original Fine Art Photo, by bomobob.

You'll need a set of bobby pins as sweet as their namesake candy to keep your hair from blowing in the beach breeze. Boardwalk taffy, 3 bobby set, by Cultivar.

I adore this romantic pin, a little relic of Coney Island. By hollee.

This summer clutch purse is perfect for holding your ski-ball tickets. By DavieandChiyo.

These boardwalk inspired ankle corsages are guaranteed to make you feel light on your feet. By Storied.

have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Twenty Things: Design by Night

Twenty things you don't know about Kolleen of Design by Night
  1. My favorite thing to do is go to Renaissance Faires. I love dressing up in corsettes and carrying my own mug to pubs. Recently I have combined this with my love for crafting and have sewn costumes and made pirate hats.
  2. I prefer adopted dogs or give-away dogs to buying a dog from a breeder. There are so many unwanted animals out there who need a good home and most of them make great companions. My oldest dog Spanky was adopted from Baltimore County animal shelter and Flynt was a freebie who would have been taken to the pound if no one wanted him.
  3. Chartreuse is my favorite color.
  4. I am like a raccoon, I am attracted to anything that is glitzy.
  5. I have a huge collection of Dover clip art books, the ones with old woodcuts from advertisements.
  6. I have a BFA in drawing and hardly ever draw.
  7. I have five button jars.
  8. Every time I watch an animated movie I think that my husband looks like one of the characters (Mr. Incredible, Shrek, Kung-fu Panda, etc.)
  9. I love bodies of water, I find them relaxing and wish I were near one right now reading a book.
  10. The answer to any problem is a glass of wine and a bubble bath.
  11. My favorite dessert are fruit pies, any fruit, apple, blueberry, cherry...yum! With a slice of sharp cheddar cheese or ice cream (vanilla).
  12. It takes twice as long for my legs to get tan than any other part of my body. I often do not even use sunscreen on my legs and they still repel the sun.
  13. I prefer that my cosmos be made with Cointreau instead of triple sec (thanks to a revelation provided by Elisa Shere).
  14. My favorite band is Reverend Horton Heat, I try to see them every time they come to town.
  15. I love musicals. My favorite traditional musical is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Jesus Christ Superstar is another favorite. I know Jesus Christ Superstar by heart and often sing it (not well) to myself when I am driving. I have also seen it twice live.
  16. When I entertain I fix way to much food. Usually people leave my house with a doggy bag.
  17. My grandmother used to put coffee and lots of cream in my bottle as a child (it was the 70's) and I have loved coffee ever since.
  18. I hate peas and will pick them out of my food if they are served in a soup or stew.
  19. My husband calls me Dink.
  20. I wish I was a more organized person.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Kolleen!

aka Design By Night.

Need Application Help?

So I've just finished my last summer show, and already I'm busily applying for fall shows and filling up my calendar. This time of year, on the brief break from shows we crafters get in August, it's the perfect time to take a long look at the photos and statements we use for applications, and make sure we're representing ourselves the very best we can.

Kimberly Dorn, one of the Directors of the Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair in Washington, D.C., and the Handmade Mart in Silver Spring, MD, was kind enough to break it all down for Etsy, and for you. Read on!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What I'm Working On: Sugar Paperie

I've been busy in the studio developing my newest line of cards that are teeny tiny. Not only are these little guys economical, but so sweet! Their petite size makes them perfect for accompanying a bottle of wine (a thoughtful hostess gift!) or to dress up a charming little package.

Post by: Sugar Paperie

Monday, July 20, 2009

Artscape Wrap-up!


We had a great weekend! Thanks to everyone who stopped by! We'll be posting some of our favorite images from Artscape this week, so check out our flickr pool!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Artscape Today!


We're all ready! Come on down! Complete info here.

Keep up with the weekend's events! We'll be taking a break from the blog this weekend, but become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get updates on all kinds of crafty happenings. See you there!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Deb!

aka Glow Girl.

Trade Your Art Supplies For a 10% Discount!

Please help us help Art with a Heart, Inc. carry out their mission by bringing craft supply items to one of the BEST artists at Artscape. As a "thank you" for your donation, BEST is offering a one-time 10% discount off a single item purchased at Artscape from one of our participating BEST artists. Please bring any unused craft (or office) supplies or gift card to our BEST tent at Artscape or to any of our participating artists at Artscape to receive the discount. One discount per person, and the offer is only valid on purchases made at Artscape on July 17, 18 & 19th. Our booths are located on Charles St. in the DIY section - we will be in booths 16-21 and also in the Artists Market along Mt Royal in booth E114. We look forward to seeing you there!

They need:

* Deco Markers / Paint Markers
* Elmer's Glue
* Erasers
* Fabric Glue / Fabric-Tac
* Hot glue guns and glue sticks
* Glue sticks
* Markers
* Masking tape
* Mod Podge
* Paint brushes
* Pencil sharpeners
* Pencils
* Single hole punchers
* Scissors
* Scotch Tape
* Tacky Glue
* Aluminum foil
* Beads
* Disposable/plastic bowls
* Elastic string
* Glitter glue
* Jewelry hardware
* Mat board
* Mat cutter
* Mini hot glue gun sticks
* Paper towels
* Puffy paint
* Screw gun
* Sculpey clay
* Self-hardening clay
* Tag board/poster board
* Thread
* Watercolor paper
* Wire

All donations will go to Art with a Heart, Inc. See you there!

Image by SpareButton.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Artscape Countdown: Earth-Friendly Finds!

This year at Artscape there will be lots of options for fashionable and well crafted earth-friendly finds from your favorite BEST crafters. From rings made from vintage buttons and cabochons, to upcycled plate pendants, to cuddly plush friends made from recycled baby blankets, we've got you covered. Please come see us in the DIY section along Charles St. or in the Artists' Market on Mount Royal.

Adorable and irresistible rings made from recycled vintage cabochons and buttons, by The Littlest Bean

A sweet handcrafted flower necklace made from 100% recycled sterling silver and a recycled vintage bead, by Elisa Shere Jewelry.

Too cute to not hug "recyclimal" by greenstarstudio. This little guy was made from scratch out of reclaimed sweaters and baby blankets and is stuffed with recycled fibers.

Sweet Pepita makes children's clothing made from recycled t-shirts and organic cotton. Viva Las Vegas!

The Broken Plate Pendant Company repurposes vintage plates by turning them into really pretty jewelry.

GlowGirl will be selling reusable sandwhich/snack bags. They are made from cotton with a nylon lining and velcro closure. Practicle and earth friendly!

Common Ground on The Hill – Traditions Weeks

I tend to think of myself as less of an artist because I don’t come from an art background. I didn’t go to art school….I didn’t even finish college! I sort of stumbled into my artsy side a bit later in life after having my children! So I was excited to find out about a program that is offered for two weeks in the summer at McDaniel College in Westminster.

It’s called Traditions Weeks and it’s put on by Common Ground on The Hill . Their vision is: “Common Ground on the Hill was founded on the premise that there is a common human thread unifying all people expressed in our various artistic traditions. Our mission is to make this thread a path towards human understanding, tolerance, fulfillment, and

The embodiment of this path will be a music and arts community where master musicians, artists, craftspeople, and creative thinkers will provide a quality learning experience for an audience which we will endeavor to increase in size, diversity, and influence. It is essential to the success of this mission that the artists, teachers, and students, reflect local, national, and international communities.”

Their goals are: “To provide the opportunity to teach and to study various musical instruments and art forms representing various ethnic and cultural traditions. To sponsor a series of musical and artistic events from cultural and ethnic groups who are marginalized in our society or who are in conflict with each other and listen to their voices, e.g., Indigenous People, African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Euro-Americans etc. To encourage and facilitate dialogue, by way of the arts among different cultural traditions, in order to discover that this artistic common ground unites us, and that, as a result, the world might become a more human place.

I am sure this is going to be like nothing I have ever experienced before and I am so excited I can hardly stand it! I am taking two classes: Anyone Can Draw and Jewelry – Cold forging, Riveting and Piercing There are a lot of other classes to sign up for, dance, music, photography, basket weaving, pottery…the list goes on! There are still openings just go to for more details. Who knows…maybe we’ll end up in the same class learning to draw together!!!

Post written by Erica.

Tonight, Discover What Art With a Heart is All About!

July 15 - August 2, 2009 at The Hexagon: Art with a Heart, A Community Youth Exhibition.

In this exhibition, students from Art with a Heart groups, Success Academy (for students who have endured long-term school suspension), Harford House (a group home for adolescent girls), Kanner and Debuskey Houses (group homes for adolescent boys), Transformations (a group home for adolescent boys), The Children’s Home (a residential facility for adolescent boys and girls) and Tuttie’s Place (a group home for adolescent boys), share artwork that they have completed during their involvement with their programs. The Hexagon is honored to provide an exhibition space for Art with a Heart students who may not otherwise have a chance to share their dynamic artwork with their neighboring artistic communities. In addition to an opening reception, the exhibition will be on display via Hexagon open house during Artscape festivities.

Art with a Heart is a community art organization that provides interactive, hands-on art activities to disadvantaged families and children, and to people with developmental and physical challenges. For more information about Art with a Heart programs and projects, please visit

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Handmade Life: Knit Tagging

This image caught my eye on flicker last week. Behind this lovely and random act of knitting is Whodunnknit. The blogger summarizes her/ his act in a recent post as a type of memorial to this lone phone booth that stands waiting for a dead cell phone battery in an age when its purpose has become almost obsolete as modern technology has trumped time. The blogger continues to describe the tag as a "...healthy green shoot along the telephone chord." The act calls out to those street friends, urging them to grasp the old and cease their texting if only for just one minute.

This is just one of many in a growing wave of knitters who "tag" various ugly and banal urban staples with their colorful and soft bursts of poofy fiber in an effort to nudge a laugh, beautify, soften, feminize, and even to break a passerby of his everyday swimming thoughts to stop and realize his environment once again.

I started thinking about knit tagging a month or so ago when I bought Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design. The book featured Knittaplease a group out of Huston, Texas with similar goals.

When asked the question, "What are you trying to say?", Poly Cotn (giggles) replies, "Well, not necessarily anything extremely verbal or political. Sometimes it's just that there is a lot of cement and steel that we are not comfortable seeing on a daily basis." Purl Nekklas says, "I like to feel like we are wrapping things with love. It's humanizing."

I'm hoping that one of these happy sights crosses my path soon. If not, perhaps I could create one myself?

Written by Nancy

Monday, July 13, 2009

Don't Forget, Handmade Nation Tomorrow!

Today's crafters are no longer interested in simply cross-stitching samplers or painting floral scrolls on china. Instead, the contemporary craft movement embraces emerging artists, crafters, and designers working in traditional and nontraditional media. Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching has revolutionized the embroidery industry. Each year Nikki McClure sells thousands of her cut-paper wall calendars. Emily Kircher recycles vintage materials into purses. Stephanie Syjuco manufactures clothing under the tag line "Because Sweatshops Suck." These are just some of the fascinating makers united in the new wave of craft capturing the attention of the nation, the Handmade Nation.

Faythe Levine traveled 19,000 miles to document what has emerged as a marriage between historical technique, punk culture, and the D.I.Y. ethos. For Handmade Nation she and Cortney Heimerl have selected 24 makers and 5 essayists who work within different media and have different methodologies to provide a microcosm of the crafting community. Participants in this community share ideas and encouragement through websites, blogs, boutiques, galleries, and craft fairs. Together they have forged a new economy and lifestyle based on creativity, determination, and networking. Twenty-four artists from Olympia , Washington , to Providence , Rhode Island , and everywhere in between show their work and discuss their lives. Texts by Andrew Wagner of American Craft Magazine, Garth Johnson of, Callie Janoff of the Church of Craft , Betsy Greer of, and Susan Beal, author of Super Crafty, supply a critical view of the tight-knit community where ethics can overlap with creativity and art with community. Handmade Nation features photographs of the makers, their work environment, their process, their work, and discussions of how they got their start and what motivates them. Handmade Nation is a fascinating film for those who are a part of the emerging movement or just interested in sampling its wares.

Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl are both based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin . They met while they were both selling their handmade goods at a local farmer's market. At the time Levine was selling items under the business name Flying Fish Design and Heimerl was selling with a local design collective called Fasten Clothing Co-op. Levine is co-owner & curator of Paper Boat Boutique & Gallery and producer and director of the independent film Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design, currently screening as a DIY@Artscape kickoff event. Heimerl is working on producing a new line of clothing made from vintage materials.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Economically Friendly Items for Sale!

Looking for that prefect gift that fits your budget? BEST will be at Artscape this coming weekend in the DIY section selling our handmade wares. Here are some of our economically friendly items that fit right in with the economic climate.

Retro Magnet Set for $20 by blockpartypress
Vintage Brass Ornament Earrings by ElisahereJewelry for $18

Succulent Cocktail Ring by Yummy and Companyfor $15

Felt Flower Barrette by Jen Menkhaus for $6.

Coupon Organizer Holder by glowgirl16 for $12

look for other economically friendly items from these BEST members who will also be in the DIY tent:
jennyjen42, Sweet Pepita, Jill Popowich Designs, Danelionblu, tigerlilyshop, brokenplatependantcompany, and in the Artists' Market, located on Mt Royal Avenue (booth 114) greenstarstudio.