Saturday, October 31, 2009

Let's Go Out! Trick or Treating

Let's go Trick or Treating!

For Halloween my little sprout will be turned into a pumpkin with this adorable costume by dahlhartlane.

He'll collect his goodies in this creepy skeleton treat basket by The Black Sheep Studio.
It's one of a kind and made from a gourd!

Of course we'll be escorted by the dog, and he'll need a costume too! This "dogerpillar" costume is made by
hatz 4 bratz, and the original is being sent to the craft maven herself, Martha Stewart!

I'll need something festive to wear myself, so with a nod to Charm City's very own terrifying wordsmith Edgar Allen Poe, I'll don this Black Raven hat by It's the little things.
Happy Hauntings!

Last Minute Halloween

photo by Monica Lopossay

Last year, the lovely Heather Von Marko of HVM Designs came up with an awesome list of last minute Halloween ideas for The Baltimore Sun. If you're still struggling to figure it out, you just need to take a peek at her suggestions to find something perfect!

My favorites involve the use of a cardboard box...

photo by Monica Lopossay

Robot: Take a cardboard box, glue on plastic cups and random doodads, and then make a hat out of a shoe box with some pipe cleaner antennae.

Stick of Gum : Paint a longer box pink, or make a sandwich-board-style stick of gum.

iPod : Paint the box whatever color you want, add a paper plate with the little arrows and such drawn on with marker, draw the screen - even add your favorite band and song in the field.

Head on a Platter: Get a plastic platter from the party store, cut a hole for your head through the box and the platter, add a tablecloth to your "table" and some plastic silverware as a place setting.

Lego: Paint the box a solid color, and use round plastic takeout containers painted the same to be the round nubs. Hot-glue them on, and you're done.

The easiest cardboard box costume: Draw on wide ribbons and be a wrapped present. You can make a big bow with strips of cut paper.

For the complete list, read the The Baltimore Sun article.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Cupcakes

If you're a Mom with school age kids, you have inevitably been asked to create cupcake masterpieces for their class. Here are some surprisingly easy & fun Halloween cupcake ideas that are sure to wow the kids and make you the "Best Mom in the World" (at least for 1 day)!

Spiderweb cupcakes

You'll need:
cupcakes (follow the box directions or if you're brave make them from scratch)
white frosting
brown or black icing
red icing
milk duds

Simply frost your cupcakes then do a simple criss cross which will create 4 even sections. Add 2 more lines to halve those sections. Then simply connect the lines with simple "u" shaped lines to create the spider webs. Add a milk dud and add the legs with icing (don't forget spiders have 8 legs). Add the spooky red eyes onto the milk duds and you're all done. Be prepared for shrieks of delight when you unwrap these cupcakes.

Not into creepy crawlies? Try these:

Not So Scary Monster Cupcakes

You'll need:
white frosting
orange and green food coloring
red gel icing
large and small marshmallows
fruit by the foot or fruit roll-ups

Color the white frosting with the green or orange food coloring until you get the shade that you like. Frost the cupcakes. Immediately start to add the marshmallow eyes so that they stick in the frosting before it starts to harden. This is a great job for the kids. It's for their class, so they should be involved. Add them in whatever variation you like (they are monsters after all, so there's no right or wrong way to do it) . Cut little rectangles from the Fruit by the Foot to make the tongues. Push them right into the frosting so they'll stay on. Lastly add the red eyeballs with the red gel icing. Don't forget to add a few bloodshot ones (they always go over well the kids). When you're done, you'll have super fun, original cupcakes for your little monster minions. You might even be able to keep the "Best Mom in the World" title for 2 whole days with these cupcakes! Have Fun!

Friday Finds: Candy Corn

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Business of Art Panel, Today

The Annapolis Arts Alliance will be hosting:

Business of Art Panel

Panelists will discuss Grants and Other Kinds of Remunerations.


Grant Opportunities for Individual Artists

Christine Stewart: Maryland State Arts Council, Program Director, Arts in Education, Literary Arts, Children's Events

The Purpose of the Arts Council and Grant Opportunities

April Nyman: Anne Arundel Arts Council, Executive Director

The Arts Mean Business

Carole Alexander: Annapolis Arts and Entertainment District, Arts Management Consultant

October 29, 2009

5:00pm - 7:30pm

Networking, refreshments: 5:00 - 5:30pm Panel Discussion: 5:30-7:30pm

Location: SOTA (Studio of the Arts) West Street Across from Park Place

Parking on street or West Garrett Garage

Members: FREE Non-Members: $10

Be first to register!

Contact: Natalie Lobe, or (410) 263-1947

Cindy Hoff, (410) 263-3677

For more information:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Let's Go Out!

What to wear on a chilly Fall evening out when you're 6 months pregnant and not willing to negotiate style? This is my current dilemma. But while browsing on Etsy the other day, I actually came upon a couple of pieces that I could wear throughout my pregnancy and afterwards when I returned to my pre-pregnancy size. Check it out:

Gorgeous and stylish custom made coat by MyBlackDress

Cute sleeveless dress with flowing body by ZoeChen

Beautiful custom made boots with stacked heel by El Diablo Shoes

and to add a little fun, I found this cute Birds Bag by Jennyjen42

Post written by Jussara of Spa Therapy Works

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ten Question Tuesday - Hasenpfeffer Incorporated

Who are you? Give us the 411 about yourself.
My name is Daniela Shelton. I’m a Swiss national living on Camano Island, a little spot on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle. I’m a graphic designer by trade and a crafter by choice.

When/how did you start your business?

In February, 2007. Actually, the history goes back years—you could say a lifetime. But about seven or eight years ago I started buying neat looking scraps and remnants at garage sales, thrift stores, and swap meets with the intent of doing something with them one day. The February, ’07 date was when I just couldn’t bear not doing it.Apart from creating things, what do you do? I’m a pretty avid gardener and I cook and bake a fair bit, but I’m probably more of a craphound than anything. I love sifting through the piles of the perfectly good things that others cast off. Actually, my husband, Chris, and I are both wired that way. We’ve been struck incredulous more than once by the incredibly valuable things we’ve found.

What first made you want to become an artist?
I can’t pinpoint a specific event, but I grew up in Switzerland, which is pretty much the birthplace of modern graphic design. My parents were really supportive with anything I wanted to do so I got into the graphics at school. I think the critters are an extension of that. I’m just driven to make things that look neat, and it’s tough to create in only one medium.
What inspires you?
Junk. Well, at least the idea that the things that people think are junk are actually ingredients to make beautiful things. It’s ironic how we can sell the very things back to the people that they threw away. More than once we’ve heard people say, “I had a (fill in the blank) with that exact pattern!” At that very moment we know we have a sale.

What's your favorite thing about your craft?
Knowing that we’re leaving a legacy. Some people work their whole lives and leave nothing but a wave of consumable and consumed things in their wake. Art and craft is great in the sense that people leave something tangible. I love the idea that someone may fall deeply in love with something I make. At the very least I know I’m keeping things from the landfill, even if they aren’t real big.Where would we most likely find you working?
Okay, I have to brag a bit, but only because of how little we spend to live well. You could find me cutting materials in our kitchen on the Saarinen tulip table and chair set that my best friend, Gabi, and I found at a consignment store. Or you could find me sewing on one of the two early ’70s Husqvarna Viking or the late ’70s Pfaff sewing machines that people sold at garage sales for pennies on the dollar after never using them. Or you could find me on the leather-faced Barcelona chair that I found at the curb on trash day.

What's your favorite music to listen to while you work?
Funnily enough, I don’t listen to music anymore. Square, I know…. I listen to public radio all day to drown out my coworkers’ chitchat, but when I craft I turn on one of the two or so channels we get on our old black-and-white set. It’s just there for noise and it’s easy to ignore.
What's your favorite thing right now?
My Viking 52 30. I just got it tuned up and it stitches like butter.

If you could have one wish granted for the craft community, what would it be?
That more people would start making things. We as a society have gotten used to having everything made for them, and by doing that they let big companies set their standards of quality. So now we buy junk that’s bad for us and our livelihood. Crafting should be a part of our commerce, not just some curious or activity practiced by a few ‘quaint’ people, which is how I think a lot of people see the craft community. The crafters I know are far from quaint and they make tangible goods for everyday life by in far greater quality than any bean-counting corporation could ever dream of.

Visit Daniela's shop to see all of her super sweet creations.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sherry!

aka dandelionblu.

Favorite Etsy Shop: Vintage Filligree

I absolutely love anything with dragonflies and any type of art nouveau item. Vintage Filigree puts those two things together beautifully. They layer several intricate brass stampings together with jewels to make gorgeous pieces. I am so inspired to make my own jewelry after a trip through this shop.

Wings of Bronze

Charme De Libellule

La Belle Epoque

Written by: Michele of Starflight Designs

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tutorial: Bat in the Belfry Headband

A little wacky, deranged, bonkers, loopy, crazy…or perhaps batty? No need to hide your true nature! Show that you are mad as a hatter by making this stylish Halloween inspired headband and wearing it with pride.

What you will need:
Hot Glue Gun
Sheet of black felt (cheap stiff kind)
2” Pom Pom
2-Googlie eyes

1. Click here to download the bat wing and base pattern.

2. Cut the two shapes on the pattern out of black felt.

3. Hot glue the googlie eyes onto the pom pom.

4. Hot glue the felt wings to the pom pom by applying an ample amount of hot glue to the area in the center of the wings (refer to the pattern for placement).

5. Glue the felt round bat base to the pom pom bat, sandwiching the headband between the two.

Have fun!

Post written by Kolleen of designbynight.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lantern Parade - This Weekend!

****Please note, the parade will now take place on Sunday the 25th!

BEST’s own CEK Custom Designs
will be one of the many arts and crafts vendors at the 10th annual Great Halloween Lantern Parade taking place in Patterson Park. Come check out the Haunted Hamlet; a pre-Parade Festival of food, drinks, goodies, arts, crafts, and activities! This is a great event for the whole family!


Sun Oct 25, 2009

Festival 3pm-9:30pm

Line-up 7pm

Parade & Magic Lantern Show 7:30pm

Directed by Molly Ross and produced by CA with Friends of Patterson Park and Southeast CDC. Patterson Park, Eastern & Linwood Aves. Free! Fees for some Haunted Hamlet activities.

Get complete info here.

Friday Finds - Oh Deer

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Yovetta!

(Belated!) aka yjennings.

Reminder - BARCStoberfest

BARCStoberfest has been rescheduled, and is now this weekend! Get all of the info here.

Craft Scars: Bleeding For Your Art!

WARNING! The following stories are real, and not for the faint of heart!

We crafters are a brave bunch. Everyday we chance severed appendages, 3rd degree burns, and repeat trips to the E.R. for the love of making. After narrowly missing another very serious burn after a hot jewelry piece fell over in the kiln, I got to thinking about the hazards of our trade. That beautiful hand knit scarf or dazzling pierced silver pendant, might just literally be made from blood, sweat and tears…. Here are a few of our stories.

“the ugliest was when I was punching out circles of
copper for earrings late one night in the studio. I was holding the
punch block and part of my thumb got caught between the blocks,
pinching some of my skin. I hit the punch w. my hammer and totally
nailed my finger between the blocks. it was the biggest most throbbing puffy purple blood blister I ever saw. ugly. oh, ugly and hurty.” –Tigerlilly Shop

“Goriest for me would probably have to be splinter of silver wire deep
in my foot. Required actual surgery with anesthesia, four days
recuperating at home, and two weeks of going to work in stupid little
bedroom slippers.” -Atelier Beads

“ooooh! metal in my eye! took a chunk of white part out. no kidding.”
- Sweet Pepita

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baltimore with Babes: The Parkside

photo credit: Beer in Baltimore

It is Friday night, after a loooong week and all you want to do is go have a good dinner with seasonal food and a really good beer. Oh, but wait, I have a two year old and no babysitter. What’s a girl to do? Go to the Parkside! Brainchild of former Brewer’s Art employees Chris and Colleen Cashell and Vickie Johnson, the Parkside offers great food and beer and most importantly for me, there is a child’s play area. There is a fun selection of toys for the kidlets, a cool little set of stairs to climb on and even coloring supplies for your little artist. We were able to have short spurts of adult conversation while waiting for our meal and watching our little guy party like it was 1999. Best of all we experienced no eye rolls for enjoying one lousy beer with our kid. The food we have had there is not always consistently great, but the effort is there, the ingredients are fresh and the beer is good and cold. The Parkside now offers bottomless Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas during Sunday Brunch. They are located in Lauraville near the corner of Harford Road and Cold Spring Lane.

Written by: Juliet of The Broken Plate

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Shelly!

What I'm Working On: Designs by Night

Tired of shopping at the same (and only) fabric store in the area, I have been playing around with reusing thrift store or hand me down clothing. This past week I made a headband out of a slightly used camisole and thought I would share the before and after.

That's what Kolleen is working on... what are YOU working on!?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Favorite Etsy Shop: Jenlo262

I love Jen (of Jenlo262)'s aesthetic. She has everything I want from a painter- bold, warm colors, expressive brush strokes revealing the hand of the artist, charming subjects based on nature, and a friendly accessibility in style that all ages and walks of life can enjoy. Her voice as an artist is clear, fearless, and cohesive, and it’s clear to me as I look at her paintings that she had a great time creating them! In my opinion, Jen has struck the ideal balance between representation and abstraction. You recognize at once the subject of her images, but she captures more than just appearance- the essence or feeling of that subject is revealed simultaneously, in the very Jenniest way! When I grow up, I want to paint like her! I am the happy owner of a print: The Nesting Chair.

Written by Laura of The Baker's Wife