Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Finds—A Taste of Ham. Festival Crafters

Tomorrow is the 17th Annual Hamilton Street Festival so I decided to give everyone a little taste of some the yummy craft vendors that festival goers can visit.

Mmmm...who doesn't love a Spaghetti Kiss especially with a little calamari. The designers at Spaghetti Kiss have outdone themselves with this hot Skullopus men's tee.

I don't care how stuffed you might be, you will always have room in your accessory drawer for an item from The Littlest Bean! These dainty barrettes in berry is sure to please any palate.

Have a sweet tooth? Well you might enjoy this piece of eye candy from Jill Popowich Designs. This Drop of Honey Necklace would be a lovely little morsel on anyone's neck.

Written by Kolleen Kilduff from Design by Night

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

17th Annual Hamilton Festival and Classic Car Show!!

Come visit BEST and Charm City Craft Mafia members at the 17th Annual Hamilton Festival and Classic Car Show. The festival features two stages with all-day music, dance and martial arts performances, cars, craft and food vendors. There will be beer gardens for the adults and kids games with prizes for the little ones!

Hamilton Street Festival and Classic Car Show 2010
Saturday July 31st
11:00 a.m. to 8: p.m.
Harford Road at Hamilton Ave

by Kolleen Kilduff of Design by Night

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In The Studio With: Anapurna

Nobody wants to think about it, but sometimes the unglamorous side of running a crafty business rears its head. Recently, the Anapurna girls decided it was time to corral our runaway inventory system. We ruthlessly purged our inventory of old items – some to be donated to charity, some to be disassembled for components – and made sure that our inventory spreadsheet accurately reflected the actual items in our big boxes o’ jewelry. This entailed finding each piece on a printout of the spreadsheet, making sure that the name and price on the tag matched the name and tag on the spreadsheet, entering any new inventory with names and prices, and deleting duplicates, inventory destined for the scrap heap, and lines of inventory that didn’t exist at all.

It was an exhausting process – and SO boring – but worth it in the end. We were able to refine our process and make sure that our business is at its most efficient, which means that now we have more time to create jewelry and less stress about managing it!

Written by Jamaila of Anapurna

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tutorial: Grandma's Banana Bread

This is a super simple recipe, and is completely delicious on its own, but I added some chocolate chips to make it extra special!

You'll need:
3 or 4 overripe bananas
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (regular sized chips tend to sink to the bottom)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mash the bananas with a fork, add melted butter, sugar, egg, salt, soda, flour, and lastly the mini chocolate chips . I don't usually bother using a mixer for this- a wooden spoon works great. This makes one 3x9" loaf pan, but works well in an 8x8" or muffin tin as well. Bake time will vary depending on the container. When I use a light colored metal loaf pan, it takes about 50 minutes. Don't forget the nonstick spray! The toothpick test is a big help if you aren't sure whether it's really done- just poke it near the center and if the toothpick comes out wet and goopy you'll need to bake it a bit longer. Enjoy!

by Laura of bakerswife

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Finds: Gift Sets

To recognize a special occasion or significant event, a gift set is an excellent choice. The sellers on Etsy can sure put together some fabulous gift sets. Here are a few of my favorites:

Heart Bowl and Bath Salts gift box by redhotpottery

Large magnetic custom spice kit. personalized- your own spice selection. perfect for the adventurous cook by purposedesign

Bamboo Dandelion Earring and Necklace Set by dandelionblu

Stoneware tapas dish and bowls set by GlazedOver

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let's Go Out....To the Beach!

Sand, sun, surf, frisbee, coconut-y sunscreen, frosty drinks....who doesn't look forward to a day at the beach? As a California girl at heart I certainly dream of the beach all year, especially when the snow is coming down here in B'more. This is what I want to wear!

Adorable Retro 1960's Vintage Swimsuit/Romper
By kickinmulevintage

By thebagbasement

Vintage 1970's White BRAIDED Sandals

By DearGoldenVintage

RAINBOWFISH 70's Woven JUTE and Suede Beach Bag

By VonlenskaVintage

Written By: Lola Miren

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Three Things: Celebrate the Symphony!

One of our favorite date-night activities is to head up to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to see the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in action. If you haven’t been, you should absolutely check out this season’s schedule and pick up some (very reasonably-priced!) tickets. I love the pops selections, my husband loves the classics – but we can both agree on these fabulous symphony-inspired finds from Etsy.

Leslie Hedrick’s ‘Symphony’ print pulls inspiration from the fine lines and delicate swirls of sheet music.

This gorgeous print from Notadelvelluto would look fabulous on the wall above our piano.

These classic, elegant clef earrings by Fuchsia Bloom Studio are a subtle way to show your devotion to music.

Written by Jamaila of Anapurna

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

To Do This Weekend: Fluid Movement’s 9th Annual Synchronized Swimming Extravaganza!

JASON and THE AQUANAUTS: 20,000 Legs Over The Sea
Water Ballet 2010

Join the adventure… Come sail away to ancient Greece with the Legendary Greek hero on his perilous quest to find the Golden Fleece as only Fluid Movement can tell it. Replete with battles against a skeleton army a talking masthead and the glittery costumes and swimming you’ve come to expect.

DRUID HILL PARK POOL (800 Wyman Park Drive)
Saturday, July 24 at 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm
Sunday, July 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Druid Hill Park tickets:

PATTERSON PARK POOL (on Linwood St. between Baltimore St. and Eastern Ave.)
Saturday, July 31, 2010 @ 5:30 pm --BENEFIT SHOW and PARTY-- Party to follow (Tickets are $20.00 for Benefit Show and Party only)
Sunday, August 1, 2009 @ 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Patterson Park tickets:

All shows are $10.00 (except Benefit Show).

Tickets are on sale now at BrownPaperTickets and will also be sold at the door one (1) hour before showtime.

*Due to the nature of outdoor performance, please check the website the day of the show for up-to-date show time and location information

Monday, July 19, 2010

My Favorite Etsy Shop: Woodland Belle

As bona fide friends of the fairies, the fantasy-inspired Anapurna girls love to find other artists inspired by the fae, and by the natural world they inhabit. So we love Woodland Belle’s whimsical creations – the tinier, the better!

I mean honestly, how can you possibly resist the allure of a tiny terrarium to wear as a necklace? You can’t, that’s how.

And these gorgeous tiny stag antler hairpins bring out my inner Pan-worshipper. Natural, elegant, and buoyed by a touch of fun – perfect!

This fabulous butterfly collection, painstakingly recreated in miniature, is one of my favorites. It’s a naturalist’s dream accessory!

Written by Jamaila of Anapurna

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Artscape in 3... 2...

It all starts tomorrow at noon. So if your artist friends are acting more like ants or focused bees instead of the easy going people you know, this is why. We're getting ready.

You'll find many BEST and Charm City Craft Mafia members selling their wares in the Artist's Market as well as the DIY section on Charles St. Keep walking north on Charles, and you'll be in my favorite (and my daughter's favorite) part of the festival, Midway. I can't even tell you how long we spent last year at one artist's installation feeding a giant fake bunny (I think) carrots. Mesmerizing.

From Urbanite...
One popular attraction is Midway, which for the third year spills its carnival sideshowesque flare onto the Charles Street bridge. For this year's version, a crew of about forty local artists have worked individually and collaboratively to create an otherworldly experience, with skate ramp/golf hole, a life-size Whack-a-Mole game, and a stuffed animal-filled chill-out room.

Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts visual arts coordinator Jim Lucio was responsible for assembling this year's diverse crew of artists. "I'm really excited to see the whole thing come together as one big piece," he says. The sixteen installations are "both conceptual and functional"—and depend on audience participation, as in Alisa Alig's "Stink Hole: A Subterrestrial Quest," in which safarioutfitted guides lead visitors through a passageway filled with all sorts of odd creatures, peculiar plant life, and strange peepholes.

There's also Clark Agre and C. Christopher Rouse's shooting gallery, where passersby can aim laser guns at hand-painted ducks and old appliances. (Look out: Some of this rifle-fodder may talk back.) The duo also created a pulsating, 20-foot-by-15-foot kinetic balloon sculpture to hover above Midway. And if the excitement of the festival is too much, take a moment to recline on the analyst's couch in "Art Therapy." Artist Jeremy Crawford's installation features a contemplation room where Artscapers can ponder their existence—or at least figure out which event to visit next.

—Simon Pollock

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Christmas In July!

Many sellers on Etsy are going to participate in Christmas in July promotions! Starting July 15th through July 25th you can find amazing deals. Christmas In July is not just for holiday themed items, there will be a wide variety of items and deals. The Baltimore Etsy Street Team has come together for this event and many are offering free shipping to BOGO sales! There is a list of the participating BEST shops below. Once you are in their shop look at their shop announcement for the details of their special.

You will find handmade Jewelry items like this gemstone bracelet:

Use these July deals to spoil yourself or a loved one with a soothing Body Cleanser:

The following BEST member shops will be participating in this event :

Handcrafted Pearl, Swarovski and Button Jewelry – galla15
Recycled China Jewelry - TheBrokenPlate
Handcrafted Soap and Herbal Teas & more - lanabella
One of a Kind Kids Items - greenstarstudio
Recycled Silver Jewelry - elisasherejewelry
Handmade Jewelry and Wedding Items - yummyandcompany
Jewelry Adornments - AtelierAdornments
Hand Printed & Hand Sewn Design- Namoo
Handmade Cards and Paper Crafts - lindaspaperie
Handmade Skin and Body Care - SpaTherapy
Custom Pet Portraits - FuzzyMug
Simply, Beautiful, Handmade Jewelry - jerseygirldesign
Eco-Friendly Coupon Holders and Organizers - glowgirl16
Eco-Friendly Children Apparel - sweetpepita
Nostalgic Home D├ęcor - jennyjen42

Take July to appreciate those we love by having a portrait done of your favorite pet!

You can find many deals on Etsy. Go to now! You can type in “CIJ” “freeshipping” or “christmasinjuly” to find other deals on Etsy. Take advantage of these deals and go grab a gift for yourself, a loved one or stash a present away for the holidays.

Written by: Galla15

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Favorite Etsy Shop: Spoonfudge

What is Spoonfudge? Rich and smooth gourmet fudge to be eaten directly from the jar with a spoon. Imagine a jar filled with soft, creamy, dreamy fudge that melts away in your mouth. Yeah, it is THAT good!
With 14 delicious flavors like Chocolate Caramallow, Buttered Rum Bananas and White Chocolate Lemon, it is hard to choose just one. But you don't have to, they made it easier to choose by selling them in a set of two 5oz jars.

My latest indulgences were Chocolate Peanut Butter and Chocolate Coconut. Yum!

They currently only ship Spoonfudge once per month. The upcoming shipment dates start on August 4 so that it arrives to your doorsteps for your summer time enjoyment. will begin accepting orders July 9 and stop accepting them on July 18, so there's still time to get into next shipment.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Artscape Eats

Artscape is coming! The nation's largest open air arts festival is coming to our hometown. You'll need to plan for a full day or two halves if you want to make an effort at seeing all (or nearly all) of the great artists presenting this year.

Which means, your body's furnace is going to need fuel! I have two suggestions - both of which are more than four blocks south on North Charles Street from the main part of the festival. There are literally dozens of restaurants within a block of the festival proper, but I can tell you, they're going to be packed! So you may get hot and sticky on your 4-6 block walk to the restaurants, but when you get there you'll at least have some breathing room.

Image from

First up - Minato Sushi Bar - 1013 No. Charles Street - on the East side of the street, this is a great place to go if you happen to be there for the show on Friday. For lunch they have a reasonably priced, bento lunch special with good portions. Friday night happy hour offers several good half-price rolls.)

Next - my favourite place in a three-block radius: ThaIrish 804 No. Charles Street - actually my favourite Thai in Baltimore. ThaIrish isn't open until 4pm on Saturday, but it's worth the wait. Don't ask for extra spicy unless you really like extra spicy - I recommend the vegetarian pad thai. It's a tiny place - if it's too crowded inside, take your dinner to go and eat on a bench in the shadow of the monument.

And if you're at ThaIrish Saturday night, I just might see you there!

Post written by Tarabu

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Three Things, Maine Beach Escape

Shoresidechic's photograph, so fun to search for crabbies around Maine's rocky shore.

Jashme's exquisite ink drawing of a delicious lobster, mmmm...delish....

geelizzie's super cute Maine pin, love that vintage map usage!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday Finds: Bright & Cheery

Friday usually finds me in great spirits and today, I’m feeling like bright colors and bold patterns. Here’s some fun Friday eye candy!

Bite Me Adult Chef Apron by Handmade Whimzy

Orange Crush Dog Collar
by Collars by Design

Dots & Stripes Summer Party Banner/Fabric Bunting by Blue Moon Studios

Felt Orange Mango And Peach Striped Sherbet Summer Cake
by Vivians Kitchen

Post written by FuzzyMug

Baltimore Life, SalsaPolkaLooza, This Weekend!

SalsaPolkaLooza is a multi-cultural street festival hosted by the Creative Alliance in Highlandtown. Attend this free event and get a whirlwind of culture and fun in a one block radius!

Kids can paint a community mural all day. With sloppy paint and brushes in hand, they can make their mark on the giant painting! There are lots of other art making stations for kids provided throughout the day.

image from tigerlillyshop

The list of performers, both music and dancing takes you around the world! I took a salsa lesson last year and then later I was doing the polka! This year the Love Peace Project gets the crowd going with hip hop African drum fusion, then later Mexican and Russian folk dancers hit the stage. There are break dancers, face painting, and you can even make your own music video. Shop Arts and Craft vendors, too!

Get some Caribbean food, a Dos XX or 2, and get cultured in this diverse community. Highandtown is a neighboorhood like no other! People from all walks of life really feel welcome at SalsaPolkaLooza! Ultimately, this is Baltimore's unconventional cuture at it's best! Your family will definitely have fun and make some great memories.

This Saturday July 10, from 12:30-5:30 FREE!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Periphery: An Artscape Off-site Exhibit

Gormley Gallery presents "Periphery," an exhibit of mixed media works based on or in dialogue with the photographic.

Laurie Flannery

Eric Finzi

Lisa McCarty

Isabel Manalo

Dennis Farber

Opening reception is this Saturday, July 10, from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibit is part of Artscape's off-site visual arts programming. The show runs through July 30.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

When Insects Attack

The heat bugs are here, the mosquitoes, the works. They're out in full force. And when you're allergic to certain bugs, say bees, bugs create just a little bit more anxiety. Not these, though. These are some super snuggly buggers!

Handmade Inchworm Stuffed Animal
from bubbletime

Nerf Little Bugger from Cotton Monster

Bug and friends from pipapiep