Monday, August 31, 2009

Featured Etsy Seller: Essimar

I can't seem to remember how I stumbled upon Essimar , but I am thrilled that I did. I love the play of color and seemingly simple repetition on each tiny little card. Somehow they take me back to my childhood days of Rainbow Brite, legwarmers and perhaps a little Cyndi Lauper

Written by: Sugar Paperie

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Anita!

aka miscelena.

Create! Don't Hate....

Calling all artists! How would you like to help spread a positive message, work with city youth AND make art all at the same time?

Create! Dont Hate is a partnership program between AIGA and Worldstudio. Our goal is to connect graphic designers with high school students interested in visual arts and have them create slogans/posters that could become billboards throughout the city. Topics include domestic violence, stopping crime, love your city, take care of sidewalks, etc.

The program lasts four weeks, volunteers will meet will the students once each week. You can either participate on your own or team up with other designers.

Location: Patapsco High School *8100 Wise Ave* Baltimore, MD 21222-4898

The dates scheduled are:
1. October 2nd 9:30-10:30am
2. October 9th 9:30-10:30am
3. October 23th 9:30-10:30am
4. October 30th 9:30-10:30am

This program will showcase the power of design to ignite change to the general public and business community so please join us in this exciting initiative!

To see other programs that are happening in other cities, visit

The deadline to get involved is August 31st.
If you are interested, contact:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Jamaila!

aka anapurna.

Friday Finds - Back to School

It's that time of year again- school buses, new notebooks, and apples! Here are my favorite finds inspired by school.

Apple-print lunch box and matching fabric napkin by MushyBug.

Hand-bound sketchbook with pencil tie by nightowlcraftworks.

Metal pencil case with recycled pencils by our DC neighbor aforestfrolic.

Tuck everything safely away in this organic messenger bag for kids by SewnNatural.

Send this cute little brooch to the teacher, or pin it on your little one's shirt, by StormsHandicrafts.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Don't Hate Them 'Cause They're Organized

I'm a little jealous and a lot in awe of BEST member Jamaila's beautiful and organized space. We are so lucky to have this sneak peek into her studio! And hopefully we can all be this organized one day, too!

The Anapurna studio is an organized sort of place most of the time. We find that we’re more successfully creative when we can find what we need right away, and we’re lucky enough to have a dedicated space devoted solely to Anapurna and our creative pursuits. As a partnership (Lindley’s the designer, Jamaila’s the creative director [aka the extrovert!]), we’re fortunate enough to share a studio space in Lindley’s home, while most shipping and administrative tasks are done in Jamaila’s home office. Here’s a glimpse into the Anapurna studio and a few tips about organizing your own creative space.

Here’s the primary workspace of the studio. The desk serves as the main workstation, with easy access to everything we use the most – beads, findings, wire and cords, project trays, and more. And here’s tip number one: keep things together. We keep beads in one area, ribbons and fabric in the closet, wire and finished cords under the desk, works in progress and beads that need to be sorted/put away in baskets, and supplies for our other creative pursuits, like home spa supplies, in their own places (on a shelf in the closet and in the attached bathroom, specifically!). Try to keep like things in one place, so you can always lay a hand on them.

Our studio is long and narrow, so all of the work areas are on one side. We’ve used the space on the other side of the room for our inspiration area – uncut strands of gems (once they’re cut, they go right into the bead containers!), pictures we love, ideas for projects, and even a few mementos from memorable conventions we’ve attended.

Here’s the storage and photography part of the room, and some more tips:
Organize your space into zones – especially if you do more than one type of creative activity! – so that projects don’t interfere with each other, and if something doesn’t get put away, it doesn’t keep you from working on something else.
Keep things visible but contained, so you can see what you have without strewing it around everywhere (we like glass bottles, clear plastic boxes, and small parts cabinets). And then there’s our favorite tool – the labelmaker! In our studio, we just printed out labels for our things in a font we liked and neatly taped them on, but the principle still holds (and you should see my kitchen pantry!)

Setting up a space for photography isn’t hard – this is our fancy-schmancy “photography studio” – a salvaged table and a window! We use fabric, paper, and other backgrounds to spruce it up a little, and we also take advantage of another tip: lights! They’re not just for photography, though. Put lights everywhere you can in your space. You’re more likely to use a space you can see really well in.

You don’t have to buy specialized storage equipment, or containers from specialty stores, or even anything at all to set up your space. Almost all of the furniture in our studio is, believe it or not, free. The desk came from a day-job office that re-located, the photography table is really an old drop-leaf dining room table somebody abandoned, and the green table holding our photography props was found when someone moved out of a nearby apartment complex.

We keep our massive collection of beads in small-parts drawers from the hardware store – you might have seen similar ones in somebody’s garage, holding nails and screws and other messy things. They’re not expensive, and – best of all – it turns out they come with the equipment to mount them on the wall. Easy access. We sort our beads by type and color – glass, gemstones, metal, etc. – but that’s certainly more of a personal preference than a real tip; you can sort your stuff however you’d like, we won’t judge you.

Here’s one final tip, and it comes from the heart. Art is messy. Don’t let it overcome you. Plan for it by dedicating areas to toss things that need to be put away as you finish with them – you don’t need to put them away immediately if you’re in the throes of creation, but you need to be able to get to them when you’ve got the time and inclination to clean up a little. Try a basket for stray beads, a plastic box for oily containers, or even a multi-segmented tray for all sorts of little bits and bobs you needed five minutes ago but are cluttering your space now. When you’re done with your creative passion, the mess that has resulted will be a lot easier to deal with.
And yes, we know that not everyone has the luxury of having a spare room to turn into a studio. If you don’t have a dedicated craft space already, and don’t have a lot of room to spread out, try this: buy a dresser that blends well with your décor. Put it near where you usually work, and store all of your supplies in it. It’s simple, it’s organized, it doesn’t take a lot of space, and it’ll protect your supplies from things like cats and kids, too.

Post written by Jamaila of Anapurna.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Orange Julius Recipe -yum!

flickr image here

I have held onto this recipe for years. Whenever sweltering summer temps roll around, I think of this sweet refreshing frothy goodness and can't wait to break out the blender! Try this one tonight to fight off these 90 degree temps!

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup powdered, nonfat dry milk
(1 cup milk can replace the dry milk if you drop 1/2 cup of water... but i don't think it tastes as good!)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups water
6 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients except for the ice cubes in a blender. Blend thoroughly on high speed until completely blended and foamy. Add ice cubes 3 at a time and pulverize. Pour into glasses. Add a jigger of vodka for a kick! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ten Question Tuesday - Which Goose

Hello! Who are you? Give us the 411 about yourself.
Hi! My name's Emily Zych. I am a 26-year-old girl living in Maryland who makes crowns and other hair goodies.

When/how did you start your business?
I started in February of 2008, just for a bit of fun. But things have really taken off! Etsy is my second full-time job I like to say :)

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
As mentioned, I work a full-time gig at a newspaper. I am a copy editor/page designer. In my spare time, I love to read, hang out with my boyfriend and meet my mom for lunch.

What first made you want to become an artist?
I guess I've always been an artist for pleasure, and I'm still striving toward the goal of financially supported artist :) I think I first wanted to seriously start working toward that goal when I realized that I hated working for people! Seriously, I love the idea of being my own boss, and being able to do something I love all day long.

What inspires you?
Nature! And older-vintage-type fashions. I wish women still wore hats!

What's your favorite thing about your craft?
I love that I'm able to make other people feel pretty. Everyone should feel pretty :)

Where would we most likely find you working? In front of my T.V. in my pajamas, watching old movies.

What's your favorite music to listen to while you work?
If I'm not watching a movie, I love Joanna Newsom, Ani DiFranco, Joni Mitchell and Mediaeval Baebes.

What's your favorite thing right now? My new fall shoes from Anthropologie.They are too cute for words.

If you could have one wish granted for the craft community, what would it be?
That originality could be valued and respected.

Thanks, Emily! Visit whichgoose to see more of her fabulous work.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Favorite Etsy Artist: Sarah Ogren

One of my favorite Etsy artists lately is Sarah Ogren. I'm absolutely in love with her fantastical portaits that combine animal heads with turn-of-the-century people and love her use of bird houses and vintage frames. Her pieces are sweet and twisted at the same time, and I love it. And, her titles are hilarious and meaningful. Here are some of my favorites:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Make Magic Happen in Your Wallet

This is not a get rich quick scheme. Don't worry. It doesn't matter how much money you do or don't have... it's just cool to watch it get all flipped around. I've always wanted one of these wallets. Now I can make one myself!

DIY: The Magic Flip Wallet! - More DIY How To Projects

Friday, August 21, 2009

Screen Paintings at the Skylofts Gallery

Shop the ever growing, affordable (*read cheap*) Highlandtown Farmer's Market on the corner of Conkling St. and Bank St. 8-12am this Saturday and be pleasantly surprised. Wander into Hoehn's bakery on the corner there, grab a loaf of fresh bread and a pastry and your weekend will be off to a great start.

As an added bonus to this already great day, visit the Timeless Painted Screens artist reception after the Market closes in the Skylofts Gallery. Baltimore heritage is on the walls in an exhibit that highlights this hometown tradition of screen painting. Robert Myers, Stupid Hero will be preforming and food will be provided from many of the vendors of the Market.

The screenpainting exhibit is open to the public Tues-Sat, 11am-6pm through Sept. 3rd.

Friday Finds - DIY Kits

Are you the type of crafter who always likes to try a new craft? Here are some great DIY kits I found on Etsy which are perfect for satisfy your crafty cravings. These all-inclusive kits include detailed directions and all the supplies you need to complete the craft project. Which makes it an easy way to try something new without investing a lot of money. Plus you get to support artists and small business people instead of relying on kits from those big box stores. And I bet the artists wouldn't even mind answering any questions you may have along the way. Try that with a big box store.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Twenty Things - Sweet Pepita

Twenty things you might not know about Shannon of Sweet Pepita, unless you've been following from the very beginning!

1. My husband called me Little Chrissy when we first met because I ate that much candy.

2. Even though I have 2 cats (who I love), I’m really a dog person.

3. I don’t wear a wedding ring.

4. Even if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t want to move. I love our little house.

5. I speak Spanish, although it’s not as good as it used to be.

6. There are ghosts in the past 2 houses I’ve lived in.

7. If I had given birth to a boy, and not a girl, I would have named him Link Emiliano. (Link, after Link Wray and Emiliano, after Emiliano Zapata.

8. I’m superstitious. Very, very superstitious.

9. My memory of things that have happened is so much better than my ability to remember to do things.

10. I come from a long line of psychic women.

11. Marigolds are my favorite flowers. Some people think they’re pedestrian, but I think they’re magnificent.

12. I love feeling the warmth of the sun shining through a glass window in the wintertime.

13. If I have to spend any time in Hell, I’ll probably be removing wallpaper. While on a treadmill.

14. I could eat tamales every day.

15. My mom has tried several times to teach me how to make tortillas, but I can not.

16. Steve Buscemi is my big movie star crush.

17. We still don’t have cable television, but I wish we did.

18. I like baking because it’s scientific and makes me feel smarter than I actually am.

19. I like vacuuming.

20. Nothing grosses me out more than mayonnaise. I don’t care what fancy name they give it, it’s still nasty.

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 name and URL.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Featured Etsy Seller: Uloni

One of my all time favorite etsy shops is Uloni, a fiber artist who creates amazingly intricate wearable art jewelry pieces. These pieces are wild: funky, edgy, and very unique. She labors over each piece, creating detailed crochet ridges and valleys encrusted with pools of shiny beads. The result is a breathtaking composition of contrast; inset vs. raised areas, shiny vs. flat, texture vs. smooth, dark vs. light, shadow vs. sheen. All of these principles dictate the dynamic landscapes found within each piece.

Written by : Nancy of nfall2rt 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Holiday Heap Applications are up!

Photo by Tasha McKelvy

Charm City Craft Mafia just announced their 3rd annual Holiday Heap - an indie craft fair in Baltimore! Holiday Heap 2009 will take place at St. John's Church - 2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD 21218 - on Saturday, December 5th, 2009. The fair will run 10am-5pm.

They are now accepting applications through midnight, OCTOBER 5th. You can find the form HERE.

Good luck!

Local Art for Less Than the Price of a Flat Screen Fancy Pants TV

I'm sick of watching home makeover and budget design shows that slap together some 'art' to match the decor when they could be contacting a local artist for work. And if you're of the opinion that art is elitist and unattainable, I'd like to ask you (beg you) to reconsider that thought. It's amazing to me how much people will lay out for a television without blinking, but balk at the price of something a human being in their own community made.

From illegible ink

The Animal Alphabet print base price is $200 (black and white, unframed) plus state sales tax. All prints are limited edition, hand-printed and/or colored based on your aesthetics. Alphabet animals are also available as single, matted letters should you want to spell out your child’s name.

There are pieces I could only dream of affording, it's true. But there is a lot of fantastic work for sale that is within our reach and our budget. Consider prints instead of one of a kinds. Or student shows. Out of Order at MAP always has amazing pieces for auction. The annual National Drawing and Print Competition at Gormley Gallery is great opportunity to find a huge range of styles and price points from artists both local and national. My point is, there is some seriously good, affordable work out there from a pool of incredible local talent.

My Olive Dress Flag Painting from The Book Room

When I turned 40, I decided to complete a series of paintings titled 40 flags. I sewed 40 canvases, grounded them with matt medium, and used oil paint to create my symbolic flags. I call them flags in need of formal representation for very informal and hidden mysteries that I encountered growing up. I started out with basic patterns to represent a each "country" of growth, then added imagery and painted layers to build onto the meaning. Each represents a part of growing up as a woman in the U.S. from the early 60’s to the present.
The flags hang on the wall, by two grommet openings at the top, or you can frame them.

16” W X 12.5” H
Oil on sewn and stretched canvas $75

So next time HGTV comes to town, tell them to take a look around. Maybe they'll find a piece they'd like to design the room around for a change.

Monday, August 17, 2009

August of Mini-Giveaways 2

Congrat's to the winner of our Twitter August Mini-giveaway, @MeredithRae! Next we are using Facebook to giveaway these awesome goodies from Jersey Girl Designs and Nfall2rt Design Studio. This giveaway is simple, as soon as we reach 200 fans on Facebook, everyone will be entered to win! Good Luck!

Favorite Shops - Lana Kole

It has been so interesting to watch the evolution of LanaKole's Esty Shop. I first discovered her through the Shop Local feature on Etsy. I was drawn into her shop by her lovely interior photos featuring her handmade pillow duvets and instantly marked her a favorite. A few months later when I checked in, she was offering really interesting surface graphics for your walls.

Then, last month when I visited her booth at Artscape I got to see her new line of fabrics from her Summer Joy Collection. LanaKole is ever evolving and always has lots to offer when you are ready to dress up your home. If all that weren't enough, she is awfully kind, and has an adorable family too. Which is important because it is true that the greatest thing about Etsy is the real, good people behind the shops!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What I'm Working On: AMadison

I’ve been working on something that’s a radical departure for me, the construction of a chuppah or Jewish wedding canopy for my son’s wedding in November. Because I started out as a quiltmaker many years ago, the canopy will be in the form of an appliquéd quilt. Including its border, it will be 72” square. That’s not quite big enough to cover a bed, but they will be able to use it in their home after the ceremony. I chose traditional block patterns. Most of the materials are figured calico, so it’s not fine enough to be called a Baltimore Album quilt.

Here’s a picture of the first block as it nears completion. It’s a bit wrinkled and wrunkled, and it will need to be ironed, but it’s also due to receive sixteen little green leaves, which I’m cutting out and hemming at the moment. This block is the Whig Rose. The other blocks will be the President’s Wreath, the Wreath of Grapes, and a block known as “Conventional Tulips.” The border will be a rippled swag in best presentation quilt style. We’ll attach the quilt to the canopy supports with some ribbons which can be removed later.

written by: Anne of AMadison

Friday, August 14, 2009

Holiday Heap Date Announced!

Via the Craft Mafia blog:

Charm City Craft Mafia is pleased to announce that the 3rd annual HOLIDAY HEAP craft fair will be held DECEMBER 5th, 2009. 10am-5pm at St. John's Church in Baltimore.

Applications will be up by the end of August and will be announced right here on the blog.

This date is a CHANGE from what we've been telling people inquiring through email.

Please pass this information on to any of your crafty friends/family that might be interested in participating in this years show, and accept our apologies for any inconvenience the rescheduling might have caused.

We expect this years Heap to be the biggest and bestest yet, and we can't wait to see you all there!!!

Un(Bound): An Altered Books Competition

altered book spread
Photo by bellah.

Feeling creative? So get in the act! Grab one of those unwanted books and turn it into a work of art. The Enoch Pratt Free Library is proud to announce its first ever Altered Books Competition.

An altered book is any book, old or new that has been recycled by creative means into a work of art. They can be rebound, painted, cut, burned, folded, added to, collaged in, rubber stamped, drilled or otherwise adorned. Altered books may be as simple as adding a drawing or text to a page, or as complex as creating an intricate book sculpture.

All entries to the competition should be received no later than 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 26. Prizes will be awarded to the top three altered books. The top 15 altered books will be on display at the Central Library during the month of October.

Support for the Pratt’s Altered Book Competition comes from Art for Life, Atomic Books, Bowerbox Press, Creative Alliance, Doubledutch Boutique, The Helmand Restaurant, Joe Squared Pizza, Landmark Theatres, Mr. Yogato, Post Typography, Tag Galleries, Tapas Teatro, Squidfire, Urbanite Magazine, Utrecht Art Supplies, The Wine Source, and Zeke's Coffee.

For more information, guidelines and a registration form for the Pratt’s Altered Books Competition, visit the Pratt Library website.

Greenstarstudio on Plush You!

Read an interview with our very own Danamarie over at Plush You!

Friday Finds - True Blood

No, it is not time to think about Halloween yet. I am just knee deep in vampires these days and thought I would share. I am attempting to simulanitously finish the 4th book of the Twilight series (dork alert!) and catch up on all that I have missed on HBO's vampire series True Blood on DVD. I literally have to turn off True Blood to go read Breaking Dawn. How do I get anything else done at this point? Fall TV season, Save me!