Thursday, September 30, 2010

What I'm Working On: Designs by Night

Flowers and football? Normally the two do not go together but in preparation for the upcoming season I have been sewing up Baltimore Raven's Frayed Daisy Brooch/Clips. Some people can't wear Raven's shirts on Purple Fridays so I thought a brooch for a jacket would help to show team spirit at work!

Whose says football isn't feminine or crafty?

Written by Kolleen of Design by Night

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Let's go to the Roller Derby

You may or may not know this, but Baltimore has a roller derby team that kicks butt. The Charm City Roller Girls. If you are up for it, it is a great time out. Here are a few things to inspire the Roller Girl in you.

Roller Girl t-shirt by CausticThreads

A sassy tutu by SistersOfTheMoon

These ever so cute toe guards by derbyvixen

Retro belt buckle by flightpathdesigns

Skate tattoo necklace by DollyCool

And don't forget these earrings by manhandled

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Baltimore with Babes: Apple Picking

Each fall, I like to take my children apple picking. They learn about nature and where food comes from. They are outside and it is fun! We usually go to a Brown's Orchard in Loganville, Pennsylvania but there are a few pick your own apple orchards in our area. There is Shaw Orchards in White Hall, Weber's Cider Mill Farm in Parkville and Baugher's Orchard in Westminster.

Don't they look good? If you are interested in going to one of the orchards listed, I encourage you to visit their websites so you know what the picking hours are and what type of apples are available. September is the peak of apple season so don't wait too long to go or all the good ones will be gone.

Written by Linda of LindasPaperie

Monday, September 27, 2010

Favorite Etsy Shop-alyssaettinger

I'm a bit of a pack rat as many of you know. I 'collect' things – Fiestaware (I have to keep and eye on Ms. Brokenplate when she is at my house), fruit crate labels, antique bathroom products, old printer's type, etc... I love retro designs from the 20's, 30's and 40's, especially if it has a graphic twist to it such as packaging or other ephemera. When I saw alyssaettinger's porcelain bottles I was immediately taken with them.

I love the simplicity of using something that was once so ordinary and manufactured and turning it into something so delicate and beautiful while still keeping it's same form and purpose.

Typography from the 20's, 30's and 40's has always caught my eye. Probably because I know it was all done by hand which is an art form all to itself. This collection of bottles intrigues me not only because the bottles are beautiful but I love that the collection represents a region.

These vases from cast sweaters are again such a simple and elegant form but the texture brings an interesting juxtaposition to the piece, almost makes you want to snuggle with it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Recipe-Clementine Cake

It is almost Clementine season and while I like them and all, a whole box is a bit much. A neighbhor had given us a box for the holidays and not wanting to waste a single one, I turned to the internet in search of something interesting to do with them. I came across this recipe by Nigella Lawson which fit the bill. I love that it uses almonds instead of flower, it makes a great breakfast treat for holiday guest as an alternative to muffins.

4 to 5 clementines (about 1 pound total weight)
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/3 cups ground almonds
1 heaping teaspoon of baking powder

Put the clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to the boil, and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the seeds. Then finely chop the skins, pith, and fruit in the processor (or by hand, of course).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder. Mix well, adding the chopped clementines. I don't like using the processor for this, and frankly, you can't balk at a little light stirring.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you'll probably have to cover the cake with foil after about 40 minutes to stop the top from burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, in the pan on a rack. When the cake is cold, you can take it out of the pan. I think this is better a day after it's made, but I don't complain about eating it anytime.

I've also made this with an equal weight of oranges and lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 1 1/4 cups and slightly Anglicize it, too, by adding a glaze made of confectioners' sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Finds-Fridays Suck!

Well, Fridays may only suck if you are a vampire. Here are a few vampire inspired items to get your blood flowing.

This mug by phoenixfirestudios will get your day (or night) started right... or warn co-workers to keep away.

This ring by idlehandsdesigns will glam up your evening dining on the town... I mean out on the town.

A little something for your laptop by householdwords

Show your 'love bite' with this choker by ravenwoodmanor.

And be sure to get a good day's sleep with this sleep mask by naomilingerie.

Thursday, September 23, 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!

Felt flower barrette by BEST's, The Littlest Bean.

Original Framed Sculpture Art by paintsquare.

Floating circles by viewfinder.

Written by Sugar Paperie.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fine Handworks Festival!

This weekend you can find more than just great books at the Book Festival!
Just a hop, skip & a jump from the main festival area, is a brand new Arts Festival.
The first annual Fine Handworks festival welcomes you to check out some of the coolest artists & crafters in Charm City, including BEST Members: greenstarstudio, JerseyGirlDesigns, Fuzzy Mug & The Littlest Bean.

We hope to see you there!

Fine Handworks Festival
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Noon until 5:00 pm
Enoch Pratt Parish Hall, First Unitarian Church of Baltimore
On N. Charles Street, between W. Franklin and W. Hamilton Streets
Mt. Vernon neighborhood in downtown Baltimore

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baltimore Book Festival

It's that time of year again! The Baltimore Book Festival is here!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The Baltimore Book Festival is September 24-26, 2010.

In 2010, the 15th annual Baltimore Book Festival welcomes more than 225 celebrity, nationally known and local authors including Holly Robinson Peete, Rodney Peete, Barbara Bradley Hagerty, Nigel Barker, Ree Drummond, Michele Norris, Sherri Sheppard, Judge Glenda Hatchett, Jesse Ventura, Warrent St. John, Amy Dickinson ("Ask Amy") and Matt & Ted Lee.

Our Children's Bookstore Stage is once again packed with your favorite authors and illustrators. Highlights include: Judith Viorst, Michael Buckley, Peter Earnest, Nikki Grimes, Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier and Carrie Ryan.

And as always, there will be tons to see & do... a great weekend for the entire family.

For more information, visit the official website here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Favorite Etsy Shop: Botanicals From Above

I like to buy gifts for people that I know they will use. Things that won't be put aside to collect dust. So when I went searching for holiday gifts last year I was thrilled to find this new (at the time) Etsy seller:
Botanicals From Above

All Natural Citrus and Goat's Milk Soap

I was able to purchase unique, handmade gifts for all of my co-workers and even my brother. And I knew that these soaps would be well used and well loved! With all natural ingredients like goat's milk, purified water, coconut oils I could feel really good about purchasing. I personally have a huge weakness for mint soaps and so I ordered a few for myself and have loved using them!

This shop is truly a favorite and I will be ordering soon for this holiday season! (and yes, myself!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Recipe-Pepperoni Bread

Pepperoni bread has been a favorite in my family since I was a kid. It is super easy to make and is sure to be a big hit every time. I can't tell you how many football Sundays, office parties and potlucks this baby has made an appearance at and there is never a piece left over.

1 loaf Frozen white bread dough (Riches makes on and Shoppers Food Warehouse has their store brand as well)
1 pound sliced pepperoni
8 ounces mozzarella (shredded works just fine)

Let bread dough thaw and rise per package instructions (I typically start thawing the day before). Roll dough out flat on flowered surface. Put down one layer of pepperoni, one of cheese, another of pepperoni, one more of cheese, then a final one of pepperoni. Pull edges up around pepperoni and cheese and seal together to close all of the ingredients into a loaf. I find a little water or egg helps the edges to stick together.

Flip the loaf over so the seam side is down and place on a baking sheet. I recommend a baking sheet with a lip as more often than not, the loaf will spring a leak and pepperoni grease may come out.

Bake at 350degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes until the top of the loaf is golden.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Finds-Purple Friday

Yes, it is that time of year again. For those of you that are not from the Baltimore area and are not familiar with Raven’s pride in the office environment, every Friday during football season is ‘purple Friday’. Time to get your purple garb out to support the Baltimore Ravens. Here are a few fun purple accessories to help you get your purple on in style.

Why where a shapeless jersey when you can have this cute purple top with ruffle by tangente and bring that touch of femininity to your game.

This broach by BEST’s own designbynight will let everyone know which team you support and still be pretty doing it.

Not only is this bag by MondayMorningStudios cute and stylish, I’ll bet you can stash a little something for a tailgate party in there.

Shoes by shoesnjewels to match the bag, of course.

Don’t forget a little bling by UtopiaArmoury in what else but Raven’s black and purple!

And last but not least, a beautiful fluffy warm scarf by nevita for those brisk fall Fridays.

Thursday, September 16, 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!

Gocco art print by artsharkdesigns

Sterling silver Bling Necklace by sproutonline

'Sweet' dress by thepeppermintpretty

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Freedom Fest!

Grab the kids and pets (there's a pet parade at 2 PM!) and head north this Saturday for some early fall fun! This quaint festival includes music, arts and crafts, animals, food, games, dunking booths, a pie eating contest and much, much more - all centered around the beautiful and historic town of New Freedom, Pennsylvania.

BEST’s own FuzzyMug will be there along with local jewelers, potters, photographers, weavers and sculptors who will be selling their work and putting on demonstrations from 10am to 4pm. There will be kid's games ($6 lets you play all day), the pet parade, great food from local restaurants and world-class live entertainment at the Freedom Green. Local non-profit organizations and businesses provide information and offer fun insight into small town life. Free parking and free admission make this a day fit for any budget.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Free Admission!

Click here for more information.

Written by Brooke of FuzzyMug

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

(Indie)Pendent Business: Big Style for Little People!

Locally owned and operated website is expanding and bringing it's sense of style from the vast interwebs to the streets of Baltimore. Opening in Hampden Sept. 17th, Urban Baby is the brick and mortar children's store owned by Baltimore mama Cara Shrock. The website has been operating since 2006 shortly after Cara's son turned 1. She decided to open the webstore first as a way of starting a business and continue to stay at home with her child.
"I wasn't willing to sacrifice some of the parenting choices I would have had to in order to run a store." Since her son started school full time this fall she has had more time to dedicate to running and expanding the business.
"I figured it was now or never. Plus, I have really been itching to get out of the house. Working from home for the last 4 years and mothering in the spare time around that, I was starting to feel a bit isolated. My mind needed more stimulation and new challenges. And so far this has been quite a challenge!"

The lines and designers Urban Baby carries are all carefully chosen by Cara, many are local or were started by other stay at home mom's. The collections are definitely on the edgier side of fashion for kids and appeal to urban hip parents.
"I've tried to focus on small lines that aren't oversaturing the online market. I've gotten to know most of the companies I work with pretty well. Almost all of them are moms just like me so I like knowing my money (and my customers' money) is going to support another family."
Knuckleheads, one of Cara's favorite brands for boys, features fedora's for infants, skateboard inspired onesies, and button down shirts with a Rockabilly flavor.
"They are a bit bigger than most of the brands I carry but the quality is good, always stylish season after season and it's a reputable brand customers know. Having a strong, well known brand balances out the smaller lines. A brand like Knuckleheads draws in the customers which gives me an opportunity to introduce lines they may not have heard of otherwise."

Urban Baby is located 3608 Falls Road, Baltimore MD 21211.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Favorite Etsy Shop: Fishbone Deco

I am a sucker for retro items that remind me of the good old days of my childhood. I’m always looking out for those nostalgic items that remind me of the days Mad Men is working its way up to! One of my favorite shops on etsy for vintage items is FishboneDeco. I love the colors of these items! Here is a sampling of what they have collected for us to admire and maybe even purchase!

Vintage Typewriter

Vintage Phone

Vintage Lady Baltimore Suitcase

Vintage Fan

Sunday, September 12, 2010