Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Maryland State Fair

As summer comes to a close, there is one Maryland tradition that allows for one last hurrah. The Maryland State Fair wraps up this weekend at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Funnel cakes and ferris wheel rides.....oh, my! A perfect excuse to run footloose and fancy free, one last time. For more information, click here.

P.S. Don't forget to take the lightrail!

Monday, August 30, 2010

What I'm Working On: Sugar Paperie

Recently, I've been revamping my etsy site with fresh, new photography that builds upon the Sugar Paperie brand. It just took a quick trip to Target for an assortment of old fashioned candies and a little digging into my collection of vintage wares. A few lemon drops and sharpened pencils later, and here we are:

Pretty in Pink, Collection of 5 at Sugar Paperie

Tell me please, what do you think?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Recipe: Raw Vegan Walnut-Pecan Brownies

We all have those moments - a severe need for a sweet or a salty/crispy treat. Here's a great alternative to the typical fat and calorie laden choices...
1/2 cup walnut
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup cacao powder (not cocoa powder..)
1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted and firmly packed

Place walnuts and pecans in food processor and pulse until nuts are finely ground. Add the dates and cacao powder and process until mixture begins to stick together. Don't overprocess or they will become gooey. Place mixture into a pan and press them down to form the brownies. Top with nuts, coconut or leave plain. They taste just like a brownie, you are satisfied after one square -- and you're packing a powerful anti-oxidant punch with these! Sinfully delicious!

Written by GlowGirl .

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Finds- Back to School

August means getting ready for Back to School at our house. Here are a few items to get you in the mood for school.
This coptic bound journal by renovatedbooks would be so cute for taking notes in History class.Of course you need something to write with. Let's try this stylish wood pen by DorianCreations

I wonder what Mom packed us for lunch in this eco-friendly bag by glowgirl16?
Once we pack our Pirate book bag by rainbowswirlz we are ready to go!
Written by LindasPaperie

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Three Things

Back to school time is inching closer and the shopping has commenced. Take a gander at these goodies I found... perfect for little ones or the college bound!
Organized your pens, erasers and pencil sharpener in this Pencil Pouch by simbiosisbyjulia
Store your lunch in a Reusable Sandwich Bag created by bellsandunicorns
Take notes with these Handmade Pencils from missisaau
Written by Kathy of The Garbologist's Wife

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Indie-pendent Business: Atwater's

I love artisan bread. The kind that has that dense, crusty outside and chewy interior. When I'm feeling like a 70's housewife (and perhaps a bit thrifty), I'll pop on some Joni Mitchell and open up my cookbook, Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day. I'm no expert, but it's pretty good bread, I must say.

However, there are many occasions that I am feeling just plan lazy. That's when I am grateful to have Atwater's down the street. Not only do they have bread that's to die for (may I suggest the rosemary rolls?), but they also carry pastries to satisfy any sweet tooth, along with fresh produce, meat, milk and cheese sourced from local farmers and dairies. Gourmet and responsible one-stop shopping - what are you waiting for?!

For Atwater's locations, click here. You can also find them around town at area farmer's markets.

Written by Sugar Paperie.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And You Thought It Couldn't Be Done....

A triple baby shower!
Check out some of these pics from the shower we threw for three of our lovely BESTies who are with child! 
Everyone brought a dish and all presents were either handmade or hand-me-down!  Here are a few of the great things the girls received.
Gorgeous quilts by Tara of Tarabu
Amazing sewn bags by Deb of Glowgirl

Can't wait to meet the new generation of BEST!

Monday, August 23, 2010

BEST at Buyers Market of American Craft

For nearly 30 years, the Buyers Market of American Craft has provided a professional, trade-only setting where makers and buyers of fine craft and art products develop wholesale contacts.
Held at the Baltimore Convention Center, the market runs from August 23-25.
This year, a number of members from BEST will be exhibiting, including The Broken Plate, The Littlest Bean, Yummy and Company, Tigerlilly Shop, Greenstar Studio, and Jersey Girl Design.
Buyers can locate the B.E.S.T / Baltimore Craft Booth at # 1629.
*Please note that this event is open to the trade-only.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Recipe: Brussels Sprouts in Parmesan Cream

Don’t run away! Brussels sprouts are your friend! If you think you can’t stand them, or have family who refuse to eat them, try this delicious recipe. Liberal amounts of parmesan cheese and cream make everything better, and soon you’ll learn to love the humble sprout for its own earthy flavor (try it simply roasted with bacon or pancetta!).
Photo by Another Pint Please, click here for more info.

1 pound brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Trim the stem end of each sprout and remove any excess outer leaves (the remaining sprout should be tightly furled with no brown spots). Cut an X in the stem end of each sprout (this allows them to cook quickly). Drop the sprouts into a pot of boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes (less if your sprouts are very small). Drain the sprouts and return them to the pot over medium heat. Add butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until butter is melted and the sprouts are well coated. Add cream and parmesan cheese and stir well, then increase the heat to medium high so that the cream and cheese come to a bubble. Cook until the cream and cheese have thickened slightly, about four minutes (keep an eye on it so that it doesn't overcook). Serve.

Written by Jamaila of Anapurna

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Finds: Inspirational Messages

There are many items on etsy showcasing inspirational quotes and messages. I have a fondness for some that come from people who lived in my hometown of Concord Mass.

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) - She grew up in Concord, along with her three sisters. Best known for her novel Little Women. She was also the first woman to register to vote in Concord!
Here's a nice bookmark with a quote from Louisa May Alcott, from Nostalgia at High Tea.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Author, poet, tax resister, philosopher. Best known for his book Walden, his account of living on Walden Pond for 2 years, 2 months and 2 days. and his essay Civil Disobedience. Here's one of his many quotes seen round the world - on a cute baby tee from Happy Family.
And speaking of Walden Pond, I am one of the very few people that can also say they lived on the Pond. I lived there from 1959 - 1963. There were 5 houses built there, that actually had the pond in our back yards! The homes were bought by the state in 1963 to build a parking lot...which they never did. I also grew up taking swimming lessons here, and frolicking all around the pond in my teens. Whenever I'm in Concord I still walk around it. Wonderful memories.
Here's a great shot of the pond, courtesy of Montagyoo.
Do an etsy search of where you grew up and see what memories it stirs for you!
Written by GlowGirl.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Let's Go Out...To the Wild Woods of West Virginia!

My husband and I have planned our last summer escape to the family cabin in the mountains of West Virgina. Being the savvy girl scout that I am, I will be prepared to bring some gear, both practical and fun.
I'll be toasty warm next to the campfire with this Swanky Flower Boxes Quilt by QuiltPetaler.
Every camper knows to start the day with a hearty breakfast like this ceramic bacon strip by BEST's, Found Studio.
Written by Sugar Paperie.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Baltimore Life: Hot August Blues

Dance the blues away this weekend at the Hot August Blues festival. Held at Oregon Ridge in Cockysville, this annual event showcases some of the nation's top blues musicians, including LYLE LOVETT and his Large Band, Keb' Mo', and Jackie Scott and the Housewreckers. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What I'm Working On: Spa Therapy Works

I've been busy in my soap studio lately working on Spa Therapy Works' fall line. All the warm colors, cozy textures and cool fresh air make Fall to be my favorite season for work inspiration.

For this fall, I have 3 new oil-free exfoliating body cleansers to be released. They're body sugar scrubs with whipped soap, so you get your skin exfoliated and clean at the same time.

The scents are: Caramel Apple, Spiced Orange & Clove, and Cinnamon Sugar. These scents scream FALL to me.

Since my studio time is very limited now that I have a charming (and somewhat demanding) 7 months old baby girl, I've been keeping all the freshly made body scrubs in tubs and will be filling containers as they sell. They look like homemade ice cream!

Now all I need to work on is designing the labels, and they will be ready for their debut.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Favorite Etsy Shop - Thief & Bandit

Ready or not, the school year is just around the corner. As an art teacher, my dress tends to have a funky flair. I was tickled pink to find Thief & Bandit, a super hip etsy site filled with hand printed necklaces and clothing. Based in Richmond, we're almost neighbors!

Here are a few pieces that I just adore: Hand Printed Fabric Necklace in Pink White and Black

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Vote for Tigerlillyshop in the Etsy & Kaboodle Floral Jewelry Contest!

Please vote for my ring!

Etsy's marketing team has been working with Kaboodle to do some cross promotion. They did a blog post in the Storque a few weeks ago: Tips for success for everything Kaboodle related here.

Tigerlillyshop's Red Cherry Blossom ring has been singled out, along with 47 other Etsy finds, to be in a contest for the best Floral Jewelry. To win, my ring must receive the most hearts by Kaboodle’s community of savvy shoppers. If I win, I get some great free promotion on the Kaboodle site!

*I will be prominently featured in a Winning Designer’s Circle within Kaboodle’s new Indie Channel
*I will receive winner badge that announces that my ring product won the Kaboodle contest
* My ring and I will be promoted throughout the Kaboodle site.

With your vote, YOU are entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a $100 PayPal gift certificate offered by Kaboodle!

I would be thrilled to get the promo from this contest. Voting ends on August 23rd, so don't delay! I encourage all my fans and friends of BEST to vote for me. Any promo I get, I carry my BEST team along with me!

Thanks for your vote in advance!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tutorial - How to Hem Trousers

There are plenty of great tailors out there, but sometimes a girl realizes she's just short. That usually comes when you realize you spent more at the tailor's getting your pants hemmed than you did on groceries.

So here's a quilt tutorial on a basic hem - no cuff, no top-stitching, just pants that don't drag and remind people that with heels you're still only 5'2" tall! Oh, and don't adjust your monitor - I was working on two pairs of pants so there's two pairs in the pictures.

You can do this with any standard mechanical sewing machine (or by hand, but that makes for a cramped thumb) using either the v-shaped hem stitch or the old-fashioned zig-zag.

Ready? Here goes!
1. Stitch settings: If you look at the options on my machine you can either do this with number two - the hem stitch or number 5 - the v-shaped hem stitch.
2. Measure your trousers - in this case I was starting with a finished pair that I knew fit - turned them inside out and measured from the inseam to find the needed length.
3. Mark the finished length - in the picture I hadn't picked out the old seam with my seam ripper yet. The ruler is lined up with the seam of the original inseam so that the marked line for my new end will be perpendicular to the manufacturers seam.
4. Pick out your seam and press flat.
5. Place a safety pin on the inside of the leg tube, on the line that marks what will be the bottom edge of your pants leg when finished.

6. Fold the excess fabric up so that the raw edge is even with the hem-line mark and press.

7. Fold the rest of the excess up so that the marked edge (with the safety pin) forms the hem and press. Then carefully pin the top folded edge (this is the bit you'll sew) to the outer fabric, but not through both layers.
8. Carefully fold the cuff material inwards so that the fabric's right sides are together - this will leave an edge that includes the folded inner edge and the body fabric folded over on itself. What? I sew, I'm not a writer, but if you try it, it makes sense. Anyway, that's the edge you will very carefully sew. Set your stitch length and width to the largest available setting and carefully stitch so that the needle only goes through the fabric on the left stitch, on the right it should go into empty space.

Note, I'm using a walking foot, which is not cheap, but wow does it have a lot of great uses. The walking foot works with the feed dogs to help the top and bottom fabrics move through the machine evenly.
Backstitch over the beginning and end. When finished, remove the safety pins and turn the pants right side out and press.

Written by tarabu.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Finds—Put on your thinking cap!

Ever wonder what someone is thinking? Well I believe that sometimes, depending on the hat they wear, you can almost read people's minds.Take Daisy Mae Basset for instance, she is thinking that after she is done sitting for this portrait, painted by Poor Dog Farm, that she will be paintin' the town red and howlin' at the moon!

"First bring me a cocktail, then off with her head!" is coming through loud and clear as long as she is wearing the Queen of Hearts Crown by Janine Basil

Okay, so now that I have shown you how it is done, I'll let the readers tell me what the wearer of this hat by Boring Sidney is saying.

Written by Design by Night

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Let’s Go Out: Swing Dancing!

My husband recently suggested that we take up Monday night swing dancing at Charm City Swing. They offer a dance lesson for beginners like us prior to an open swing dance session every Monday night. We’re looking forward to our first class – and in the meantime, I’m putting the perfect outfit together!
This retro blouse from Jitterbuggin will set the mood right away.
There can be no more perfect accessory than a flower in your hair – and this sweet anemone from Blooming Vintage is not only beautiful, but tested for durability on swing dancers!

These simple, lovely earrings from BEST’s own Jill Popowich are the perfect finishing touch – organic and unique, and sitting snugly in the ears for those active dance moves!
And don’t forget the comfortable shoes!
Written by Jamaila of Anapurna

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

GreenCraft Magazine Appearance!

Congratulations to BEST's, Kolleen of Design by Night and Juliet of The Broken Plate Company! These talented ladies have each written a tutorial that is featured in the August issue of Green Craft Magazine.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Babies, Babies Everywhere

Is it me, or is everybody pregnant all of a sudden? There are babies, both actualized and in potentia, everywhere in my life these days (including a constantly rotating roster of BEST mommies!). If you’re like me, it seems like you’re always on the lookout for baby gifts, whether for showers or to send after the birth announcement has come out. Here are a few great suggestions!
You absolutely can’t go wrong with a baby hat, and this adorable pixie number from BEST’s own Sweet Pepita is a sure-fire hit. Insider tip: keep an eye out for the occasional collaboration with The Littlest Bean , when these great hats are embellished with darling felt flowers that up the cute factor by at least ten.
The trick to giving a useful gift at a baby shower is to be thoughtful without being presumptuous. Beautiful burp cloths like these from TrulyBella are a can’t-miss idea – everybody needs them, you can’t have too many, and handmade with style? They’re perfect.

Sure, baby showers are generally about the baby gifts – but don’t forget about Mama! Pamper her with a thoughtful gift like this luxury spa set for those sore pregnant footsies from BEST’s own Spa Therapy Works. And if you’re at a co-ed shower, with both parents present, why not give them a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, to help them take time out together for themselves in their remaining time before baby?

Finally, if you’re sending a baby gift to a far-away friend or relative, one of my favorite indie business success stories will be sure to impress. Baby Bunch offers beautiful bouquets made of baby gear! Each bouquet includes a variety of useful baby items, like onesies, burp cloths, and socks, and they come in blue, pink, and neutral yellow. They even offer an organic bouquet.
Written by Jamaila of Anapurna