Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Birthday Clare!!

aka Fiorella Jewelry

Hello! Who are you? Give us the 411 about yourself.

Hi I am Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

When/how did you start your business?

I started selling jewelry about 2 years ago, though I have been making it for many years for myself and for gifts

What inspires you?

I am inspired by so many things, but to keep it brief--art, fashion, people on the street, and nature

What's your favorite thing about your craft?

Making jewelry is creative and technical at the same time, so it satisfies both those needs. Sometimes I feel I want to communicate a feeling to people, and my jewelry helps me do that. I  also like to master a skill  really well and they're are so may to learn if you want to make nice jewelry. I have tons more learning to do!

If you could have one wish granted for the craft community, what would it be?

My wish for the craft community is that people out there, consumers, start to think more about who made their products, and how that was done. To take pride in buying something that someone made with pride.

by LanaBella & Lexi

note: my daughter Lexi is assisting on this series as part of a home-school project.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Big A$$ Yard Sale

It is time of year again for another Big A$$ Yard Sale in Hampden. Come mingle with old friends and neighbors on Saturday, April 30th from 9am - 3pm and check out our goods.

The 3200 block of Chestnut Avenue (Chestnut Ave. & 33rd St.) is banding together to hold their third annual Big A$$ Yard Sale. Amongst the items for sale there will be modern furniture, antiques, ceramics, kitch, books, beer signs and, as always, we will have a table of free things. One person will have over 500 comic books for sale - primarily from the 80's, but some 70's Marvel comics.

Opening Day at Fenton Street Market

Spring has finally sprung, and it's time to go to market! It’s Fenton Street’s Market Grand Opening THIS Saturday, April 30th, and we couldn’t be more excited. They’ll be a 100 vendors carrying imports, arts-and-crafts, vintage wares, fine jewelry, and mouth-watering crepes. Join BEST's own Namoo, Sugar Paperie, Becca and Mars, Fuzzy Mug, and Lana Bella at the market! For the full list of fun vendors, click here.

This is a weekly outdoor market in downtown Silver Spring, featuring a variety of vendors each week. So if you can't make it this weekend (which we hope you do!), come on down next time. The market is located at the brand spankin' new Veteran's Plaza from 9-3.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Twenty Things - Erica Roberts CEK Custom Designs

1. I love makeup and wear it almost every day even if I’m not going anywhere.

2. I used to have nice nails and would do something (painting, filing, etc.) to my nails on a daily basis…now all I do is try to keep the dirt from under my nails after working on jewelry or working in my gardens.

3. I used to hate gardening, but now I love it.

4. I love to chew bubble gum….replacement for cigarettes I guess since I quit smoking 15 years ago.

5. I secretly miss smoking….shhh don’t tell anyone!

6. I am married to my high school sweetheart….he was my senior prom date.

7. I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

8. I am a terrible housekeeper….just ask my husband!

9. I am a procrastinator.

10. I am a registered Republican but in my heart I’m a Libertarian.

11. I love to listen to music really, really loud…especially Rage Against the Machine, Limp Bizkit and Metallica.

12. I dye my hair black….Starry Night is the shade to be exact.

13. I love to wear my combat boots with dresses and skirts.

14. I don’t like to be in big crowds.

15. I love living out in the sticks (Carroll County).

16. I love to wear hats.

17. I have an obsession with messenger bags and am in search of the perfect one on etsy.

18. One of our family’s favorite past times is setting up cans in the back yard and shooting them with bb guns….I did mention we live out in the sticks didn’t I??? I guess we are a little bit red neck!

19. I hate politicians Republicans and Democrats both….they are ruining our country.

20. I hope Donald Trump runs for President in 2010.

written by Erica of CEK Custom Designs

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baltimore for Dogs

Yay spring! I love to hike with my dogs and this is the perfect weather for it. Plus, it’s great exercise for the whole family and a chance to get out and enjoy nature as all of the new plants begin to peek out of the ground. Maryland has a ton of wonderful hiking spots that range from easy walks in the woods to more strenuous hilly hikes. Make sure to wear a sturdy pair of shoes (flip-flops, bad) pack water for you and the pups as well as some snacks for everyone. For longer hikes, you can even do a little picnic lunch.

Some of my favorite hiking spots in and around Baltimore:

Gunpowder Falls State Park in PerryHall / Kingsville

In my opinion, this is the best of the best! There is a really nice trail map at the trail head where you can plan a long, hilly hike or a shorter, easy one. Lots of water for the dogs to romp around in and well marked trails.

Location: Parking and trail head are off of Route 1 (Belair Road) where it crosses the Big Gunpowder Falls, about 5.4 miles north of I-695. For your navigator, put in 10092 Belair Rd, Kingsville, MD 21087 – that’s the restaurant right across the street from the parking lot.

Gambrill State Park in Frederick

I hiked this trail with friends and dogs last summer and fell in love. It’s on on Catoctin Mountain and quite hilly for Maryland but it is truly beautiful! There are miles and miles of trails (we did 15, ugh) so you can make your hike as long or short as you like.

Location: 8602 Gambrill Park Road, Frederick MD 21702. From U.S. 70, exit onto U.S. Route 40 at Frederick. Travel approximately six miles. Turn right onto Ga

mbrill Park Road and follow it approximately one mile to the park entrance.

Merryman’s Trail at Loch Raven Reservoir (Towson)

A nice trail that’s not quite as busy as the other two. My dogs really like this one and it’s easy enough that my 14 year old lab mix can hike for an hour and be happy and not too worn out.

Location: This trail can be reached by exiting I-695 at exit 27, Dulaney Valley Road north. Drive 3.5 miles and park on the left just after Bosley Road. If you cross the bridge over Loch Raven you’ve gone too far.

Written by Brooke, FuzzyMug

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What I'm Working on - Studio G

As some of you may know, I love glass. And when I found these beautiful etched lamp-worked beads on Etsy, handmade by Leah Deeb of Beads of Passion, I just knew I had to make something with them. The etching causes them to look like they are ceramic. When I received the package, they were more beautiful than I had hoped, and Leah gave me some extra beads as a nice surprise!
I've been wanting to do something with glass and leather, and these beads were just what I needed. I bought some metallic leather and used that to make some bracelets. I enjoyed making the bracelets so much, I was inspired to make matching earrings.

I have already purchased more beads and can't wait for them to arrive so that I can create more beautiful jewelry with them.

Written by: Stacey of studio G

Monday, April 25, 2011

What Inspires Me: Ellicott City

From Main Street, reminiscent of a quaint European village, filled with countless, beautiful antique shops, to the haunting silos and abandoned metal hospital, to the flowing streams and overflowing greenery, it is downright impossible to not be inspired by all that Ellicott City has to offer.

It is my number one place to go when gathering supplies for Dreampop Designs, with such great places to chose from like The Antique Depot, Taylor's Antique Mall, both of which have 3 floors of amazing antique finds at great prices, and the drool-worthy art nouveau items at Retropolitan. Finish the day with a fancy tea brunch at Tea on the Tiber followed by exploring and taking photos of the natural beauty of Ellicott City and that just about describes my perfect day.

And come on, how can you not find a place inspiring where you get to be the work of art!

Written by Nicole of Dreampop Designs

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Creative Spaces

Sometimes when I am in the studio working, I think of how much more space I could use. I do love my little studio, which is conveniently located in my home, but with 150 oddly-shaped square feet to work with, sometimes a little daydreaming is in order.

Like what if I had this space:

Look at all that natural light! This studio belongs to Moop. They sell their handmade bags on Etsy.

And what about this studio:

I am drooling over the worktables alone. This studio belongs to Spudnik Press Cooperative in Chicago.

And finally:

Talk about convenience and accommodations and that view! This studio is above the artist, Chris Orilkowski's detached garage.

Even though I may continue to fantasize about life in a larger studio, I am still content to dream big in my little space.

written by Erin of Holler and Whistle

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Finds: Sheet Music

I spend most of my creative time listening to music. Usually, I am listening to instrumentals ranging from Tchaikovsky to John Williams. Here are some finds inspired by my musical muses.





Written by LindasPaperie

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Paper Wheel Accessory Tutorial

Like most artist/crafters I carry a sketchbook around with me most of the time. In this sketchbook I scribble ideas or sketch things that catch my eye. Every once in awhile I flip through my sketch book and I always find a little something that I forgot I had...this tutorial is one of those sketchbook Easter eggs.

This easy to make paper wheel can be used for a multitude of projects and is super easy to make. I made two samples, one uses photos and can be used as gift tags or party decorations. The other I turned into a flower name card.

Other ideas:
  • Gift topper instead of a bow
  • Christmas tree ornaments
  • Gift tags

Card stock paper
Glue stick

  1. Download paperwheel_template.jpg and print it out full size (a scale has been placed on each jpg to help with printing at the correct proportions).

  2. Trace six circles onto a piece of card stock paper and cut them out.

  3. Place the triangle template in the center back of one of the cut out circles. Trace two sides of the triangle using a pencil. Repeat this step for all the circles.

  4. Use these lines as a guide to fold the paper. Fold all six circles.

  5. Place glue on the back side of the folded circle flaps. Glue flaps together with the point of the triangle facing in towards a center.

Flower Pot Notes: Take a small pot and place a piece of floral foam in the bottom. I covered my foam with moss. You can use a dowel for the stem, I painted a 9” dowel. Glue the paper wheel to the top of the dowel and use the leaf patterns at the bottom of the paperwheel_template.jpg page to create your leafy nameplate.

Written by Kolleen Kilduff of Design by Night

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Indie-pendant business - Lovely Yarns

There's a tree in Hampden sporting a fancy handmade sweater. It sits right in front of Lovelyarns, where my latest addiction was born. Yes, my name is Brooke, and I am a knitting addict.

If you have ever wanted to learn how to knit, crochet or make a pair of mittens, this is the place to be. It's cozy, inviting and filled with friendly faces and gorgeous, locally-made yarn.

Friends and I took the 'Learn to Knit' class and our fabulous instructor, Mary, taught us how to cast on, knit, purl and read a knitting pattern in under 4 hours. We loved it so much, we went back a week later for 'Knit your First MITTENS!' You can also pop in for free Stitch and Bitch sessions every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A great way to meet fellow crafters and chat while you work on your latest project.

Oh, and once you've mastered the knitting basics, you can take part in 'The Mother Bear Project' and knit a bear for a child in South Africa. Lovelyarns provides the pattern and materials and you get to knit your own unique bear for some really special kids.

Lovelyarns is located at 846 W. 36th Street in Hampden - just look for the well dressed tree!

Written by Brooke,  of FuzzyMug

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Off Track Art Artists' Cooperative

I live out in Westminster which at first glance you might not think of as a place where there would be cool artsy things to see. But tucked away just off main street by the railroad tracks you will find Off Track Art.

Off Track Art is a local, artist-run collective and gallery space in historic downtown Westminster featuring the works of 13 local artists. If you are ever out in Carroll County and looking for some great local art, go see the artists at Off Track Art located at 11 Liberty Street. Hours are Wednesday - Friday noon to 6 pm, and Saturday 10am - 5 pm. Check out their website for upcoming events.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shop - My Needle Habit

Right Now I am loving the work of My Needle Habit on Etsy. Here's someone who took a very traditional and sometimes a little bit old-fashioned seeming type of craft, needlework, and made it so fresh by embroidering phrases from iconic rock songs and popular culture on vintage tea towels, etc. How fun is that? The fact that her work is meticulous just makes it all the better. Here are a few of my favorites.

I really like how My Needle Habit turns Grannie's sampler on it's head!

written by Clare of Fiorella Jewelry

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Bada Bing in Richmond today!

Come on down to Richmond Virginia for this year's SPRING BADA BING--The Boss of All Craft Shows!! Spring Bada Bing is the largest indie craft show in Virginia featuring around 65 happy go lucky super talented crafty folks!!

Check out these vendors - especially some of the great talent of BEST!!

Found Studio

Yummy and Company

Make a fun weekend of it!! Some of my favorite place to visit in Richmond:

Carytown--The best shopping district on the planet! Full of interesting, locally owned shops residing in quirky historic buildings.

The Byrd Theatre--A historic theatre that shows recent movies for only $1.99! Located in Carytown.

Bottom's Up Pizza--WONDERFUL pizza located in Historic Shockoe Bottom.

Post by: Kacey of Found Studio

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tutorial - Modern Feminine Mirror

This tutorial was originally posted on papernstitch, and it was so cute and easy to make that I had to share!

Tools and Materials
Mirror (framed or unframed), paper doily, frosted glass finish spray,
double-sided tape

How do I make it?

1. Clean mirror with soap and water to remove any debris or dirt, and let dry.

2. Choose a paper doily that works for the size mirror you have. This
doily is about a third of the size of mirror. On the backside of the
doily, place double sided tape all over. You will want to overload it
with tape so that you can stop the spray from going into areas you
don’t want it to be. But you also want to be sure not to put tape over
any areas that are suppose to be “open” in the doily. Then turn over
and secure to the mirror anywhere you wish. Remember: The area you put
the doily, will be the only spot in the mirror you will actually be
able to see a reflection when we are done.

3. Place mirror down on flat surface. Shake frosted glass spray
according to directions and then spray 7-12 inches away from the
mirror in even, sweeping strokes. Thin layers are the best way to go
about this to avoid drips and other inaccuracies. Wait for each coat
to dry (about 15-10 minutes) before applying the next coat. This
mirror took four coats.

4. After the last layer is completely dry, gently remove the paper
doily and double-sided tape from mirror. Clean with damp cloth and you
are ready to hang.

Written by Stacey of studio G

Handmade Arcade in Pittsburgh!

Handmade Arcade is Pittsburgh’s largest indie craft fair. It is celebrating its seventh anniversary at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on April 16th, 2011 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. featuring over 100 craft and art vendors from Pittsburgh and cross the country.

The following BEST members participate in the event to showcase and sell various handmade and creative goods:

    * the littlest bean
    * Yummy & Company
    * The Broken Plate Pendant
    * jennyjen42
    * NAMOO

The annual Handmade Arcade was created to give grassroots, independent crafters an opportunity to show and sell their wares, and to provide an alternative to traditional craft and art fairs. This year’s event will also feature hands-on art and craft activities and demonstrations, live music, a DJ and refreshments available for purchase. Please click here for more information on Handmade Arcade.

Written by Insung of NAMOO

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Finds: Live Long and Prosper

What happens when you combine child of the 70's and dork??? Star Trek fan of course.

These are the voyages of the Starship Etsy-prise.
Whose one day mission is to explore Star Trek hand made items, to seek out new knitted items and new Etsy stores…to boldly go where no BEST member has gone before!

Spock was not only the best science officer Starfleet has ever seen, he was also a philosopher at heart. This Live long and prosper - Cuff Bracelet by MadamePoindextra demonstrates the softer and stylish side of the Vulcan heart throb.

What do you send a Trekkie and a dog lover for their birthday? This Beam Me Up - Scottie Greeting Card from AfricanGrey of course!

Before humans went into space, several animals were launched into space, including numerous how better to celebrate modern space travel then with a pair of Star Trek inspired sock monkeys by TheSockDrawer. Not only are they cute and cuddly but their acting skills far surpass that of William Shatner.

Written by Kolleen Kilduff from Design by Night

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The Maryland SPCA's March for the Animals is right around the corner (Sunday, April 17th) and a bunch of us are supporting our Baltimore Etsy Street Team (BEST) Pack and donating a portion of sales to the animals.

Just head to Etsy and shop "BESTPACK2011" or browse these participating shops:

Becca and Mars
Beeps Peeps
Doxallo Designs
Fiorella Jewelry
Glow Girl
The Littlest Bean

Thanks so much for your support and happy shopping!

To learn more about The Maryland SPCA's March for the Animals go to

Earrings from Doxallo Designs

Coupon Organizer from Glow Girl

Time Revolution Serum from Becca & Mars