Monday, May 31, 2010

Favorite Etsy SHop: CDeK

I am so in love with these pieces by CDeK!
In the artist's words, "I create custom art designed from wood scraps and recycled yard debris, from materials that are often discarded or considered waste. It is this reuse of the ordinary into art that fuels my creativity."
 I think it's beautiful and brilliant!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What’s for Breakfast? Super Smoothie!

I love this smoothie and have been making one almost daily since I found the recipe. It’s full of good-for-you stuff and will keep you full and focused until lunch. The first time I made it, I was afraid it wouldn’t be terribly palatable but I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. And, if you’re short on time, you can blend one of these up in under 3 minutes and be out the door. I timed it!A few of the ingredients are a little hard to find at your regular grocery store but a quick trip to Trader Joe’s and you’ll have everything you need at a fraction of the cost.

You’ll Need:
1 c. Frozen Blueberries
¼ c. Unsweetened 100% Cranberry Juice
¾ c. Cold Water
1 Scoop Whey Protein Powder
1 Tbsp. Organic Flax Oil
1 Tbsp. Organic Flax Seed (ground)
1 Packet Truvia or other Stevia sweetener
Sprinkle of Cinnamon

  1. Grind 1 Tbsp. of flax seed in coffee or spice grinder for about 10-20 seconds.
  2. Put all ingredients into blender (I have found blueberries on the bottom blends best, add liquids last).
  3. Blend on medium for about 1 minute and pour into a pretty glass to enjoy.
You can adjust the consistency to your liking by adding more liquid or a few ice cubes. Change it up with frozen peaches, strawberries or mixed berries instead of blueberries!

Written by Fuzzy Mug

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday Finds

What do these three things have in common? Maybe the first one will provide a hint?
Relax Letterpress Sign by Yeehaw Industries.
Swimming at the Grand by aliciabock.
Beach Umbrella byalicebgarden.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Three Things

For you drinkers out there this should be easy. Below are three items by Etsy artists. What do they have in common? Give your answer in the comments below! Wild Mint and Ivy Bath Salt, 3 oz. Tube by The Dancing Grasshopper
Bay Rum Soap by I’naru’ Bath & Body
Lime and Pepper Earrings by Airport Love Story

Written by Design by Night

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baltimore Life: Baugher's U-Pick-It

Lately, I've been feeling a bit like a domestic diva. My friend Shawna, of Pinkkiss Pottery, really has been the inspiration. Since becoming a full-time artist, she has also taken the role of master chef and foodie extraordinaire. The first time she brought me handmade bacon caramels, I was in heaven. Cardamom marshmallows - everyone makes those, right? Homemade yogurt, fresh bread, and lavender shortbread are just a few of her creations. Oh, and nutella ice cream. Truly, a work of art.

So with the dual goal of rekindling my own love affair with the kitchen and in making an effort to be more economical, I have been making my own homemade granola and fresh baked bread. I'll also decided that I must to learn to can my own fruits and vegetables. So imagine my delight when I heard about Baugher's Farm in Westminster. You can pick your own fruits and vegetables, take a tour of the farm, pop into the little fruit market, and finish your day with a home cooked meal at their restaurant. Strawberries are in season, so why not go pick your own this weekend and whip up a homemade pie while you're at it!

Written by sugarpaperie.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How do you shop on Etsy?

I love to shop on Etsy using search words. In a recent search for birthday presents for my best friend, I used some search words that I associated with her. She loves anything leopard, so that was my first search. Over the years I have given her A LOT of leopard items, so I always try for something different. I got her this fun & practical bag, from BaffinBags. My friend also loves to knit, so in my leopard search I looked at yarn and found this Madonna's Leopard spun art yarn from BARBARAPAIGEKNITS.

My dear friend also enjoys her bourbon and I was very excited to find this flask from our very own ManEatingFlower.
My friend loved her gifts, and I had a lot of fun shopping.

Written by DesignsByLeslieBrown

Monday, May 24, 2010

Inspirations: Rainbow Brite

As a child of the 80s, I adored Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Barbie and the Rockers, and of course, Rainbow Brite. I'd dress like Punky Brewster (layering my socks, and all) and yearned to be Cyndi Lauper. Drawings of rainbows, hearts, and shooting stars embellished my bedroom, and I even had the habit of putting my clothes in rainbow order. Only to have my sister mix them all up.

My color sense comes from these carefree childhood memories. I still love rainbows and striped grosgrain ribbons. Occasionally I buy stickers, and I have a box full of sparkly glitter.

Written by sugarpaperie

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Recipe: Chicken Breasts in Tarragon Mustard Cream

We've become great fans of Dr. Gourmet . He's a physician, but he worked his way through university working in the kitchens of several of the finest restaurants in New Orleans. His website is jam-packed with delicious, sensible, easy-to-prepare recipes that use real ingredients. One of his favorite tricks is toss in creamy chevre (goat cheese) to add richness and creaminess to sauces. This simple chicken recipe is typical of the goodies to befound at Dr. Gourmet.

1. The Cast of Characters:

2 boneless chicken breasts, about 4 ounces each
1 teaspoon good olive oil
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 ounces creamy white goat cheese
2 teaspoons coarse "country style" mustard
1/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 tsp dried tarragon (or use about 1 tsp fresh if available)

2. The Recipe:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Fill a large, non-stick skillet with the oil and set over medium heat. Add the chicken breasts and sear lightly, about 3 minues per side. Remove them from the skillet and place in a small oven-proof dish in the preheated oven. Use the broth to scrape and deglaze the skillet, then allow the to reduce by about half. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the crumbled cheese, continuing to whisk until the sauce is very smooth. Add the mustard, milk, and tarragon and continue to stir until smooth. Return the skillet to the burner over low heat. Remove the chicken from the oven and return it to the pan, stirring in any juices it may have created. Continue simmering over low heat, turning the chicken breasts occasionally, until they are cooked through (internal temperature about 160 degrees).
3. Serve with:

The lovely, rich sauce is wonderful over fluffy jasmine rice, which we had for this meal. You'll just have to imagine the sous-chef tossing a salad of spinach and a few fresh mushrooms to round out the meal.

This recipe has about 270 calories per serving.
Written by Anne of AtelierAdornments

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Little BEST at the Fenton Street Market

Stop by the Fenton Street Market Saturday!  There's really something for eveyone!Vintage clothing, architectural salvage, books, food, ceramics, jewelry teas, soaps, candles, handmade fibers, toys and antiques galore!

4.24 Market, originally uploaded by Fenton Street Market.
Be sure to stop by Lana Bella and Yummy & Company of BEST!
Oh, and did I mention there'd be fresh, made-to-order crepes?!
The market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the corner of Fenton Street and Silver Spring Avenue (click for map) in downtown Silver Spring, rain or shine. Free parking is available in public lots across Fenton Street.

Friday Finds: Think Green!

As a fan of the handmade community, I am often impressed with the inventive materials artists and crafters include in their work. As a fan of planet Earth, I am delighted to see how many of these talented folk also take the time and effort to include recycled, reclaimed, or sustainable materials in their craft! To me, this makes each creation all the more meaningful. So without further ado, here are a few of my favorite green Etsyans!

-ElisaShere and The Broken Plate are two eco-minded BEST members who create unique, delicately feminine jewelry. Elisa’s silver is recycled, and Juliet’s broken plate jewelry is constructed with found pottery shards as well as new or vintage plates.Little Stackers by Elisa Shere Jewelry

-The Garbologist’s Wife, Econica, and SweetPepita are three terrific Etsy shops which sell clothing and accessories created or reconstructed with vintage, reused, or organic fabrics. Stop by the Garbologist’s Wife for a charming skirt, visit Econica for a soft bamboo wrap, and find adorable kids clothing at Sweetpepita.
Soft bamboo wrap by Econica

-Green Star Studio and Earth Cadets include some repurposed fabrics in their wares for home and child. Green Star Studios has a collection of adorable plush creatures and accessories, and Earth Cadets features screen printed designs on recycled canvas, like this nifty telephone pillow.
Telephone pillow by Earth Cadets

-Repaper and Labudde have cute stationary and office accessories. Repaper practices “hackbooking. . . guerilla bookbinding, using found objects and fine papers to create mixed-media books, albums, and folding frames,” while Labudde can whip you up a sleeve for your Macbook sewn from an upcycled coffee bag.

-Carambatack and Foundstudio both incorporate found papers and objects into their artwork in subtle, elegant ways. Carambatack draws and paints on beautiful vintage book pages, while Kacey of Foundstudio collages with vintage sewing patterns, letters, and book pages.

By Laura of Bakerswife

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Three Things

Anyone who lived in the D.C. area during the '80s and '90s remembers
the great old radio station WHFS and Weasel the DJ. Weasel had a daily
feature called "My Three Songs"; in this game, he would present three
songs that had a common thread, theme, or leitmotif, and the object
was for the listeners to guess what it was.

Here are three items by Etsy artists. What do they have in common?
Give your answer in the comments below!

Vintage red echolac train case with hand painted city by Roundtrip

Traveler Passport Case - Leather in Orange and Antique Tan by Moxie & Oliver

Luggage tag by Annapassalaqua

Written by AtelierAdornments

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Indie-pendent Businesses: Grilled Cheese & Co.

Grilled cheese. Yum! Inspired by childhood memories of grilled cheese, Matt Lancelotta and Vic Corbi set out to create a fast casual concept offering premium grilled cheese sandwiches. At the Catonsville restaurant, Grilled Cheese & Co., one can revive their own childhood fondness of the comfort food. Who says grilled cheese can't be for grownups? Gourmet, even creative?

Imagine a 'BCT' grilled cheese....delicious layers of aged cheddar, crumbled smoked bacon & freshly diced tomatoes. Have a sweet tooth? Try the 'Sweetest Thing', a foodie's delight including brie cheese, raspberry flavored marscapone & chocolate chips. For the purists out there, indulge in the 'Original', mom's famous recipe made with American cheese & grilled to perfection. Catonsville is delighted to have the Grilled Cheese & Co join the neighborhood!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What I'm Working On: LSilberman

I'm new to BEST and excited to share some of my papercuts with everyone. I'm always trying to do something a little different with each one, and right now, I'm playing with some more pet-related papercuts. Perhaps this is all inspired by MDSPCA's March for the Animals on Sunday, April 18?

Anyway, this one is based on my own dog, Echo, who is a mix of Eskimo and Jack Russell Terrier. Normally, I work entirely freehand, but this time, I tried printing the image onto some copy paper first (I'm just using copy paper for experimenting. Most of my work is done with bristol board, but I'm planning on trying out some different paper types this spring.).

This is the original image:
This is the work in process:
And here's the final piece:

What do you all think? I'm still in the experimenting phase, so if you have an image you'd like me to play with, let me know by emailing me at lauren at to discuss details.
Written by: LSilberman

Monday, May 17, 2010

Favorite Etsy Shop - Allure By Jen

I have to admit it I am addicted….to makeup that is!!! If you could see my medicine cabinet it is overflowing with little jars and compacts and pencils and brushes and lip glosses and I could keep going on forever!!! I love sparkly and bright eyeshadow and lip gloss and soft mineral powders for my face.

As I get older I really try to make an effort to take care of my skin. I used to use liquid foundations, but I have large pores and the liquid would cake up in my pores and it was not a pretty sight. When mineral makeup was first introduced the addict inside just had to try it!!! Yes, I’ve used the drug store brands and then got bold and tried the big name brands and I have to admit I was really impressed with the way my skin looked and felt. Of course along with the big name brand there is a big price tag!!!

So, I decided to turn to Etsy and see if there were any crafty people out there making mineral makeup at an affordable price and I hit the jackpot!!! I discovered Allure By Jen. She has a fabulous product at a very reasonable price! I have the sugar plum lip gloss that I believe is the perfect shade. It’s not heavy or sticky, it goes on very nicely and it stays on really well! I also have the mineral foundation in N4 and the mineral veil in glow. Either one works really well alone on your skin, but combined it’s amazing! Your skin is silky soft with it on and you are positively glowing!!! Jen was also kind enough to gift me with a sample of her Sweet 16 blush and Sweet Kiss lipstick which are both wonderful and are on my list for my next order! The other thing that I really like about Jen’s shop is her item called Your Five Favorite Colors in Convenient Sample Size Pods. Yes, it’s a very big name, but what’s nice is it comes with a very small price tag!!! Just $5 and you can pick any five of your favorite colors of eyeshadows, foundations, blushes, or concealers (with the exception of her Constellation Collection Colors). A great way to sample several products at a very affordable price.

Ok everyone….now go forth and make yourselves beautiful with Allure By Jen!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Creative Spaces - Starflight

When we bought our house almost 2 years ago, I knew I would need an entire room to store my crafty things. Being a full time graphic designer, I also needed a place to work. Thankfully, my workshop serves both purposes. It is very relaxing to sit amidst the cool shades of blue surrounded by photo of my pets...even though they may hang a bit crooked.

Written by Michele of StarFlight .

Friday, May 14, 2010

Art Star Craft Bazaar

Philly is known as the city of brotherly love. So why don't you hop in the car this weekend and go visit your favorite urban big brother? The Art Star Craft Bazaar takes place this weekend! An outdoor retail art/craft show, it's juried by Philadelphia’s uber hip Art Star Gallery & Boutique. Over 100 local & national artists have been chosen to set up shop & sell their wares along the beautiful waterfront @ Penn’s Landing. Click here to see all of the talented artists who will be participating from our own little city of Baltimore.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Three Things

Here are three fabulous items by Etsy artists. What do these three things have in common?

This too cute Bird Watching Television Print by barkingbirdart: This little bird enjoying a Power Time Workout Print by yellowcakecrafts:
This Birdies on my Head Card by happydaystudio:
I made this one easy so leave your answer in the comments below!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In the Studio with Bowerbox Press

It seems like there's always a deadline looming for Bowerbox Press. This year we've had multiple print exchanges, the American Craft Council show, and the Baltimore Museum of Art Print Fair. But, that deadline seems to make working easier (if sleeping impossible.) It helps to have a little extra push, otherwise it'd be so easy to eat up all the spare time (spare time- ha!) reading, cooking, or gardening. It's hard to work a full-time job and then come home and be creative, but having a project that *has to be done* makes the work come easier most of the time. The latest deadline was for the BMA Print Fair, which was more of a self-imposed deadline as I decided that what was really needed was a companion print to the Raven of last year. So I bought another plank of aspen, sanded it, and started carving- less than two weeks before the show!

I find that it's easier for me to work in stages- I'll start with the border, or the text- carve all that out roughly, and then go back with the small and extremely sharp Japanese carving tools. They're like samurai swords in sharpness. I always have a little fear of starting to carve the bird itself, but once I start I get lost in the carving and just GO. And, a few days later, it's ready to start printing!

Written by Bowerbox Press

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Maryland Faerie Festival: May 15 & 16

The Maryland Faerie Festival provides a fantastical escape for both the young and young at heart. Inspired by Faerie folklore and literature, this year's festival celebrates the theme, Unicorns. Enjoy Faerie Mushroom Checkers, Rip Van Winkle Bowling and the expanded Labyrinth. The Maryland Faerie Festival features many vendors, artists, and performances surrounding the theme of unicorns. BEST's own, Design by Night will be showcasing her dreamy hair accessories.

For more information visit

Monday, May 10, 2010

Favorite Etsy Shop - "Iktomi" Clay Artist

I just stumbled upon this shop the other day on Etsy and have fallen in love!

Iktomi specializes in, "Adorable handmade clay sculpture, animal spirit guides, wedding cake toppers, gnomes and fairy tale inspired pottery and ceramic art." What caught my eye originally in this shop were these adorable Hedgehogs! Check them out:
I found the beautiful colors used, and the details given to these pieces to be really amazing.

Denise Ferragamo, the clay artist behind this shop has been an artist since she was 12! She would sell painted seashells from a card table on Main street in Wellfleet on Cape Cod. Then she started drawing t-shirt designs for a screen printer for almost a decade; and as a fine artist selling paintings in galleries and art shows on the Florida gulf coast. In the last 5 years she found a love for clay.

Denise credits her mom with getting her interested in clay. "My mother was the one who got me interested in clay. She moved from Cape Cod to New Mexico, and fell in with a rowdy bunch of pottery makers. Not really, but through friends, she discovered her love of clay. After about 10 years of hearing about how much she loved it, I was finally convinced to give it a try. She actually drove to Florida from Arizona with a second hand kiln she had bought for me, along with all the goodies like glazes, tools and clay. I guess you could say she ignited the spark."

Here is another example of her beautiful work, I thought with Spring coming this bird was pretty:

Denise finds inspiration in many ways, "Much of my work is influenced by my childhood love of folk and fairy tales. I remember the Walt Disney show on TV and loved every chance to see the next animated movie (they’re called classics now, so I guess I am getting old!) I loved them with a passion and was seriously contemplating a career as a Disney animator. You can see a lot of the Disney influence in my work; animals with soft features, a hint of anthropomorphism, a certain look in the eye, and personality.

I also am influenced by my visits to the southwest – New Mexico and Arizona. I love ancient ruins or the slightly alien landscape of the wide open desert. I make a lot of spirit animal guides which can be enjoyed as a piece of art, or as a symbol of the connection some people feel with a certain animal. I love getting ideas from people about new animal guides to try and I’ve had a lot of fun interacting with my customers this way."

One of my favorite items from this shop are the clay buttons! I am a fanatic about buttons, using them in a lot of my jewelry. So these buttons are unique, and an exciting addition coming to my jewelry soon.
Denise has an ever changing inventory of items, and a permanent sale section in her shop. So go check it out!

Written By: Janet from Trinkets N Whatnots.