Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let's Go Out: Farmer's Market

It's that time of year, warm weather brings people out to the local farmer's markets to purchase fresh and locally grown produce, flowers, and well pretty much anything!

Don't forget to take your reusable bags with you! This tote from Happy Family has the farmer's market feel!

Beat the heat in this light weight linen sun dress by Azulsol

And you can shade your face from the suns rays with this adorable hat by Freckles California

written by Lauren of JerseyGirlDesign

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What I'm Working On: Designs by Leslie

What I’m working on now: Waist Not - wine bottle belt buckles

As part of my new eco-friendly ‘drinking for art’ line of glass work, I have designed these belt buckles made from wine and other spirit bottles.

A section of the bottle is cut and then fused in my kiln. I made a mold to slump the glass over during the second firing so the glass can be attached to buckle hardware.
Friends have generously been dropping off their empty wine bottles. I’m not sure what my neighbors think, as I leave in the morning and will come home to multiple empty bottles on my front porch. My favorite bottles to work with are the painted labels. When I shop for wine, I am now much more into the color of the glass and if the label is painted than what is on the inside.

My most recent acquisition was this a bottle of Belvedere Intense 100 proof vodka. The price was high, but then I remembered how much I have paid for sheets of special glass from Bullseye or other glass companies. I know that the buckle is going to be amazing, I just hope I don’t end up in rehab trying to get the bottle emptied.

Love what you do, do what you love!

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Favorite Etsy Shop: katedurkin

Wanna know why I fell in love with katedurkin?

because of this guy... that's why. As a dachshund owner, I am fairly smitten with any and all things Doxie... but I'm also super picky; if it's not as cute as my little short legged wonder, I'm not interested. This Dachshund Pillow is on its way to my house as we speak.

Once she'd gotten me in the "door", I couldn't resist so many other sweet things in her shop.

Like these adorable Owl Pillows. They are embroidered by hand! I love that.

And for the walls?

Well, how about this beautiful print?

Written by danamarie of greenstarstudio

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pile of Craft! Today!

Looking for a great way to spend the day AND a chance to catch a bunch of BEST member's in one place? Today's the day---
head on over to 2640 St Paul Street, Baltimore MD 21218, inside St John's Church, for the Charm City Craft Mafia's Pile of Craft.

This year's fair will have over 40 of the best local and national crafters, as well as craft and printmaking demonstrations and a raffle to win a huge basket full of goodies by supporting The Village Learning Place!! Check out our vendors beforehand by clicking on their name below.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Finds: I See the Moon

Nothing inspires me more than the moon! I love the silvery glow of a full moon when the sky is clear. There is something mysterious about the moon and the way it makes me feel when I gaze up into the night sky. Here are a few things to inspire you!

Hush - Original Light Reactive Painting - Modern Zen - Glows in the Dark by Shayla Maddox

Sunset Tree in Fuschia and Purple Batik Hemp Dress by Batik Walla

Vintage Moon Globe by Rain Wheel

Written by Erica of CEK Custom Designs

Thursday, June 24, 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!

Punk Rock Jewel Pink, Green, Turquoise, Black Scarf by Crickets Creations

Southern Sweet Tea Soap by Lanabella

Purple Glazed Ceramic Bowl by Mary Everett

Written by Erica of CEK Custom Desigsn

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pile of Craft THis Saturday!

This Saturday is Charm City Craft Mafia’s 4th annual Pile Of Craft! A one-of-a-kind craft fair for Baltimore, featuring 40+ of the country's best handmade crafters selling their own housewares, stationary, screenprinted & sewn apparel, jewelry, handbags, hats, knit items, woven scarves, plush toys, ceramics, comic books, prints, paintings and more! Support handmade and local artists and meet them in person!

A number of BEST members will be participating in this awesome event:

Jamie Zollars, Sweet Pepita, Maneating Flower, Elisa Shere Jewelry, The little Bean, Found Studio, Boxerbox Press, Sugarpaperie, The brokenplate, Tigerlilyshop ,Yummy and Company, jennyjen42, Dandelion Blu , and Block Party Press.At our BEST table will be: greenstarstudio, Design by Night, Atelier-Beads, and Jill Popowich designs. Check out the vendors page here.

Pile of Craft is absolutely free to attend and open to all ages. I hear a rumor that a photobooth will be there! Don’t miss this amazing event!

June 26th 10-5pm

2640 St. Paul Street

Baltimore, MD 21218

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In the Studio with Maneating Flower: Fighting the Good Fight

When it comes to making letterpress flasks, I view the entire working process as a battle of wills between myself and my materials. It’s a struggle, I assure you. Never having come across another letterpress printer who primarily uses leather, nor one that makes flasks, there wasn’t exactly a how-to guide for getting it done. The result? All out war between what I want to accomplish and the materials that don’t want to do what I say.

Getting the printing process to work at all was my toughest battle. See, leather doesn’t like being printed on. Most normal printing inks don’t dry on leather, except for water-based ink which dries nicely but runs when you get it wet. This isn’t exactly a desirable quality when you’re making a product meant to hold liquor. After a full year of experimenting with different inks, and at the suggestion of some sweet (albeit confused) commercial printers, I found the perfect ink. Me 1, Materials 0.

I have similar stories with my adhesives, my threads, my tape, even the size of my leather panels, and through these I have emerged victorious. However, there are some times when my materials completely kick my butt.

Winter apparently isn’t a good time to print if your studio is set up in an unheated garage. This isn’t because you’re more or less freezing, it’s because different viscosity inks don’t mix when they aren’t warm. They look like they mix, they feel like they mix, then you roll a slab and your beautiful teal ink is has giant transparent splotches in it. These splotches transfer to your brayer too. I pretty much freaked out at this one and thought I was going to be out of commission for a while. Warming up the ink fixes the problem, but the stress and worry this caused me was definitely a score for the inks.

Another huge problem I had was with registration of multiple plates. While I may have won the war with this one, I sorely lost the first few battles. In general, leather is hard to work with, especially when it comes from old clothing. It’s worn in spots, fuzzy in others, and really loves sticking to ink but not always to the backing paper used to keep it stable. The first time I tried registering two plates it went so horribly wrong. Nothing was working out. The results weren’t predictable, so anything I did to compensate for the misregistration didn’t help. Apparently the stretchiness of the leather was partially to blame, and each piece of leather stretches differently from every other piece. Talk about major frustration. The second attempt wasn’t as bad, but I had problems with the leather shifting on press. Recently I fixed both of these problems with a better jig and enough spray adhesive to choke a small planet. Yes, these are fairly obvious solutions. No, I do not ever do things the easy way first.

Overall, I feel like I win the vast majority conflicts with my materials. I’m sure the score is really about even by now, but my failures force me to keep trying and eventually I wind up with a better product. And while I may spend most of my days cursing and covered in glue, ink, solvents, and tape, I seriously love every second of it. And that’s a victory right there.

Written by Ned of Maneating Flower

Monday, June 21, 2010

Favorite Etsy Shop: Royal Buffet

I stumbled across Royal Buffet while searching for unique bird items for our new baby's nursery. I didn't want anything too cutesy or too overwhelming. I love how delicate the paper pieces are and how simply elegant her designs all are. And it's not just birds... I dig the squirrels and bunnies too! I think any of these pieces would look fantastic in any room, and add a touch of simple & sweet sentiment to any space.

I could see this Whitebird Queen perched lovingly on the edge of the bookcase.

This classic Birds of Paradise Mobile puts a nice vintage spin on an old idea (and I love that its whisper quiet)

I can see filling a vase with these Song Birds, as a lovely alternative to flowers in baby's room.

Written by danamarie of greenstarstudio

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Craft Party

Baltimore Hearts Etsy
Thank you all so much for coming out and hanging with us, it was a great time! Rachel and Heather did a great job prepping the "Baltimore loves Etsy" banner, which you can see in the first photo above, and which you'll also get to see at Pile of Craft this Saturday.

Tamara, Megan and Jill put together this awesome flamingo craft - we all had a great time customizing our own with sequins, feathers, glitter, and glue!

And just a few more of the moments captured by our own Yummy and Company. We had so much fun, we hope to do it again soon!

Happy Birthday, Etsy!

Random Baltimore Photo

photo by stevehdc; click here for more info.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Recipe: Tofu Pad Thai

I'm a pretty adventurous soul, at least when it comes to cooking. I like to try new things. So when I came across this recipe I had to try it, with a few changes suggested tin the comment section. This recipe serves 2 people.

1/3 (12 ounce) package rice noodles
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 tablespoon vegetable oil mixed with 1 teaspoon sesame or olive oil (to fry tofu)
  • 1-1/3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
  • 3 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon peanut butter (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon crushed peanuts (garnish)
  • 1/3 lime, cut into wedges (garnish)
  • shredded carrot (garnish)

  1. Toss the noodles in boiling water for 1 min then turn off the heat. Let it sit for 5 min in the hot water, check for softness, then rinse with cold water, and set aside.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large heavy skillet. Saute tofu until browned. Remove, and set aside. Heat oil mixture in wok over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into hot oil, and cook until firm. Stir in tofu, with green onions and garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Add softened noodles, and vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and red pepper, peanut butter, soy sauce and chili sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste. Mix while cooking, until noodles are tender. Add bean sprouts, and mix for 3 minutes.
  3. Garnish with lime, peanuts, and carrots.

If you don't like tofu, use any type of meat or fish you might prefer. Traditional pad thai uses tiny shrimp. Pad thai is like chili or soup, you can add anything you want.

Written by Roz of Moon Raven Arts

Friday, June 18, 2010

Don't Forget, Etsy Meetup Tonight!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010
6:00 PM
Roosevelt Park, in Hampden 21211
Falls Rd & W 36th St
(Picnic will be located near Poole Street - across the park from Falls road- look for the Etsy-orange balloons!)

Bring a blanket and a picnic, and join us! Members of the Baltimore Etsy Street Team and Charm City Craft Mafia will be in attendance.

Craft Projects for all!
Families and friends welcome - kid friendly, too!
All are welcome! See you there!

Map and more here.

Friday FInds: Garden Wedding

June is wedding season. Here are my finds for what I would wear to a garden wedding.

This pretty dress by Lirola

This vintage style pendant by envisage

This cute clutch by Upstyle

Written by Linda of LindasPaperie

Thursday, June 17, 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.

My three things - all different, all the same
what's the key? you tell me!

Caribou Morning by Judy by Matechuk

Caribou Beach by FournierPainter

Alaska by Wildernest

Written by Tara of Tarabu

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tees for All!

I love it when I happen across great new tee shirt designs.

Check out these super awesome tees from AVAZAVA

This Buddha tee just makes me wanna smile and this chimp tee is another good one!

Tricycle Chimp Love

Of course I couldn't leave out local artist, Michael Bracco from Spaghetti Kiss's Hum tee

Nor this awesome one called Laocoon by James Anthony

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Etsy Party

Looking for a super fun way to kick off the weekend this week? Why not join BEST & the Charm City Craft Mafia for a Craft Party & Meetup, in honor of Etsy's birthday?

This friday, June 18th, starting at 6pm, we'll be at Roosevelt Park in Hampden. We won a free Craft Party kit from Etsy for being one of the top parties, so we'll have lots of crafty goodies to test out! We'll be working on a collaborative banner project, and we'll have a few other crafty things up our sleeve. Maybe even some giveaways!

In addition, we'll be hosting an informal craft supply swap at the meetup, so please bring any crafty supplies you'd like to trade or give away. Any unclaimed supplies will be donated to Art with a Heart and The Black Cherry Puppet Theater.

You can RSVP here, just click on the red button that says "I'm interested." Baltimore is DEFINITELY the craftiest spot on the globe, so let's let 'em see that, huh? Kids & families welcome.

So, bring some work in progress, a blanket, a picnic dinner, and get ready for some fun! Just look for the Etsy-orange balloons. Hope to see you then!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Three Things: Unicorns

The truth is, I never grew out of stickers, glitter, rainbows, or unicorns. A girl can always dream.Unicorn screen print by amandakindregan Me and My Unicorn by alicebgardens.

Unicorn Mask print by MATTY8080

Written by sugarpaperie