Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Market in Lauraville

Tuesday Market in Lauraville starts June 7th! After shopping for fresh local produce, maple syrup, chocolates, handmade crafts and much more, you can enjoy a wonderful dinner from a variety of vendors while listening to live music.

The Tuesday Market features over 30 vendors. It takes place every Tuesday evening from 4-8pm. For more information and to view a vendor list visit LauravilleFarmersMarket.blogspot.com.

Monday, May 30, 2011

My Favorite Etsy Shop: Pawling

Warm weather is finally here. Spring time always encourages me to find clean and simple design that brings natural beauty and is more earth friendly.
Pawling on etsy makes hand printed totes, baby body suits, cards and more. Their simple yet sophisticated illustration on neutral color caught my eye one day.
Based in Washington DC and New York, Pawling Print Studios focuses on environmentally responsible production and clean, understated design.
Written by Insung of NAMOO

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Handmade Tissue Paper Flowers and Pompom Garland Tutorial

After making hundreds of these for her wedding, you would think that Melissa Davison from Sew Sweet Stitches would be tired of Tissue Paper flowers. On the contrary, she is in love with these colorful fun flowers. And who can really blame her?

Not only does she share her tutorial for making handmade tissue paper flowers on her Sew Sweet Stitches blog, she has come up with some very creative and fresh uses for these happy flowers in and around the home!

Click here to view the Handmade Tissue Paper Flowers and Pompom Garland tutorial.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baltimore Life in the Spring

Spring is officially here, which means that warm, sunny days will soon follow. Dining outdoors is one of my favorite things to do when warmer weather strikes, even if that's just grabbing a quick beer and an appetizer with friends. And I love that I can bring along my dog, Gracie, if I feel up to the challenge. Not only does Baltimore have a great selection of restaurants with al fresco seating, but it also has several with a view. The only challenge that you might face is finding a place to park, which I overcome by traveling on my bike or on-foot.
My feet usually take me right into Fell's Point, although several others seem to end up there, too. I usually stroll around the neighborhood to check out which places have available seating. I've wandered into a few with surprisingly exquisite patios, hidden in the back. If you follow Broadway up to Arcos, you'll be serenaded by a Mariachi band in their outdoor courtyard and will wonder whether you're in Baltimore or Mexico. Head down to John Stevens on Thames Street for a cozy meal on their outdoor patio, beside a pot belly stove.

There are several other joints on Thames, between Ann Street and Broadway that offer a street-side view of the harbor while you eat: Vino, The Point and The Waterfront Hotel, to name some of my favorites. For unique, Caribbean food and an incredible city view, grab a bite on Woody's 3rd-floor deck. For a knock-your-socks-off crab cake, be sure not to overlook Duda's, on the corner of Thames and South Bond. The outdoor tables in the front of the pub sit along the cobblestone, tree-lined street of beautiful, historic homes.

I hope we don't have too much longer to wait for warmer weather. It's hard to think of anything better than dinner with friends, outdoors, on a beautiful spring night in Fells Point.

Written by Charm City Company

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1st Annual Spring Thing!

The DC Craft Mafia is hosting it's first annual spring show, the Spring Thing this Saturday, May 21st from 11 am - 5 pm! 

There will be over 40 participating artists, including these wonderful BEST members:

Block Party Press

Design by Night

Fuzzy Mug


Jill Popowich Designs

The Littlest Bean


Open Eyes Press

The event is being held at St Luke's Episcopal Church in their parking lot, which is only three blocks from the Dupont Circle Metro Station!  There will be food as well as crafts, so come on out and spend the day!

For more information, check out their website!

Monday, May 23, 2011

What I'm Working On: Heavens to Bessie

While in school I had all the equipment needed to solder, proper ventilation, tanks, pickle and all the forms and and hammers I could imagine. I sadly, took all of this for granted. Since graduating in 2005, I have been working in cold connections, which means simply, finding ways to connect metal with out soldering. I have been happy to work this way, in fact I felt that it perhaps made me a bit more creative when it came to designing with out immediately reverting to soldering. I felt, and still feel, that working in cold connections was like problem solving.

It has been in the last year or so that I have been seeking growth and change in my work. I have sketch books filled with designs I have had rolling around my head for years now with no way of bringing these to light with out the use of fire. So why, you may ask, did I not just purchase the equipment necessary to work this way. The answer is really not very interesting. I have felt uncomfortable having tanks in my house, I have no ventilation and it had been so long since I have worked this way, would I even remember how to do it.
Turns out, playing with fire is like riding a bike. I am not sure you really forget. As soon as I heard the "pop" of the torch as I lit it, I felt right at home all over again. Back in college, I was working on very "clean" pieces with bezel set stones and quite frankly, that work was not for me. It is still not. I am just not a precise enough person to work that way. This time, I was determined to work in a whole new way. I came to the studio with a large jar of sterling scrap. This jar contained every scrap of sterling I have created since 2003. I went into the studio with one goal in mind.....up-cycle these scraps.

I carved various shapes into charcoal blocks and laid my scrap in the fresh grooves and carefully, heated that metal until it was molten but not liquid and worked it around with my pick until I was pleased with the shape and texture of it. I couldn't stop. I couldn't get enough. I am not yet sure where I am going with this technique but I am in love. I would leave the studio feeling sunburned, my hands red and dry from the heat, but I was instantly hooked.

It just goes to show that as artists, discovery is the ongoing theme of our lives. Whether its self discovery, the discovery of a new process or a new material, this evolution is ever present. It is a good thing I love change!

Written by Sara of Heaven to Bessie.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Turn a Men's Shirt into a Chic Skirt Tutorial

When you go thrift store shopping there are often rows and rows of men's dress shirts. Do you ever wonder if something fashionable can be made from these shirts? Well now thanks to Lydia from Hawardarel there is! Make yourself this chic and easy to make skirt.

The tutorial features concise, straightforward instructions accompanied by lots of step by step photos. To make this cute skirt visit Lydia's blog at Hawadaere.blogspot.com.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Jenni!

Hello! Who are you? Give us the 411 about yourself.
Hi I'm Jenni from Lana Bella. Well first I'm a mom of a large brood. We have 6 yes 6 children between my husband and I ranging in age from 17- 2. Three of three of the children are currently being homeschooled. One will graduate next month (so proud of you Brenna)!

When/how did you start your business?
I initially started my business in the spring of 2004 as a cloth diaper maker. I also at the time made wool diaper covers and wanted a wool wash I could send as a sample to care for the covers and also for additional purchases. So Lana Bella (beautiful wool) came from that about a year later. I ended up making more and more soap as our family grew because in the same time it would take me to sew one complete diaper I could complete 2 batches of soap.

What inspires you?
Everything. Food. Color. Kids. I love plants and herbs and love walking with my kids and seeing the herbs popping up from sidewalk cracks or even out of tree trunks. I recently made the decision to discontinue all of the synthetic fragrances and concentrate on the herbal and essential oil blends as a way of being more creative.

What's your favorite thing about your craft?
That everyone uses soap of some sort. I love when people who think bar soap is drying or "old school" try it and fall in love. There are so many ways I can branch out with the herbal line. I love making things that help people.

If you could have one wish granted for the craft community, what would it be?
That people would be more understanding of what it takes to be a micro manufacturer. That its rude and hurtful to stand in someone's booth and say "I could make this much cheaper" and that my time is also valuable and this is my job. I would wish that small makers would be valued, appreciated, and compensated for their true worth.

by LanaBella & Lexi

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

"Spring Thing" Arts & Craft Show

Join us on Saturday May 21st from 11am to 5pm for the DC Craft Mafia's FIRST EVER Spring Thing. There will be more than 40 talented artist and crafters including BEST's own Fuzzy Mug, Design by Night, Jill Popowich Designs in Metal, Block Party Press, The Littlest Bean, Namoo, Jersey Girl Design and Open Eyes Press for a glorious Spring day of arts & crafts near Dupont Circle in Washington, DC! The Spring Thing will take place in the parking lot of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, only three blocks from Dupont Metro station. (Please note: Google Maps has St. Luke's incorrectly labeled at St. Thomas. Directions are still good.)

Also on hand will be music by Dave Tieff and Snakehead Run along with DC's well-known food truck Fojol Brothers.

For more detailed vendor information and directions, check out the DC Craft Mafia's site at www.craftmafiadc.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baltimore with Babes - McFadden Art Glass

Artist/Owner Tim McFadden pictured with Chandelier at Quiet Waters Exhibit

My sister and I take our daughters every year to make something for them to give our mother for Mother's Day. This year we decided to go to McFadden Art Glass www.mcfaddenartglass.com to make some blown glass pieces. I was a little unsure of how the whole project would work out and how much hands on making the girls would actually get to do. I was pleasantly surprised with how things turned out. The atmosphere in Tim McFadden's hot shop is very laid back and fun!

After a little bit of instruction from Tim he got the girls rolling on what they had to do, how they had to hold the pipe, how to keep it rolling in their hands, etc. Step by step he was right there with them teaching and guiding them. Pictured above is my daughter Caroline holding the pipe in the fire so that the bits of colored glass that she had just picked up would begin to melt.

I was really fascinated by the whole process....how the glass will just keep on stretching and mold into whatever shape you want. The girls decided to each make a flower. Pictured above is my youngest daughter Kate pulling out the petals in her flower with the expert guidance of Tim.

Above is my sweet patient Ella finally getting her turn! She is rolling the pipe in the bits of colored glass that will eventually become her flower.

In addition to the hot shop, Tim also has an incredible gallery and shop where you can purchase his amazing artwork. Above is a wall of plates in a beautiful array of colors and designs! Also on the premises is The Glass Grill which is a lovely restaurant where you can get a bite to eat and see some of Tim's unbelievable chandeliers on display. We had such a great time during our visit that Caroline has decided that she wants to have her birthday party there in June.

The Glass Grill has all kinds of fun themed events that tie into Tim's shop...Date Night, Ladies Night, Singles Mingle....the list goes on! The hot shop can accommodate up to 30 people for hands on activities and up to 50 for interactive demonstration. For more information on upcoming events or to book a private party at The Glass Grill visit their website at www.theglassgrill.com. To see more of Tim's beautiful artwork or book a group in the hot shop visit www.mcfaddenartglass.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What We're Working On: Becca & Mars

Happy Spring From Baltimore's Becca & Mars!

Redbuds, forsythia and daffodils are in bloom. Cherry blossoms and magnolias are budding. The city is gradually turning greener as new shoots, leaves and grasses start to grow. We can smell the mock orange shrubbery in the neighbors’ backyard - the perfect blend of oranges and honey.

Perhaps you also have noticed that the kids are outside more, people have a bit of a 'spring' in their step, birds are singing, squirrels and foxes are cavorting. Here at Becca & Mars our inspiration comes from nature and the seasons. As winter releases its grip and the days turn longer and warmer we're inspired by the freshness around us - the warmth in the air, the bright colors and aromas. Time to focus on some spring-inspired scents. We're thinking lavender and orange and lemon - heady and sunny and bright. Along this lines we've introduced three new Hand Candy Sugar Scrubs:
Orange Ylang Ylang
We use a lot of sweet orange essential oil. We love it. The properties of this lovely essential oil include antidepressant, antiseptic, aphrodisiac and skin brightening. The smell of sweet orange essential oil is best described as cheerful and joyful.

Ylang ylang is fun to pronounce (ee-lahng ee-lahng). Ylang Ylang means ‘flower of flowers’. This exotic floral promotes relaxation, and when you can relax, you can enjoy (life, love and everything). Ylang ylang is used by many a perfumer, and it has a rich history around the world.

Combined, orange and ylang ylang is exotic, sunshiny happiness! That makes Orange Ylang Ylang Hand Candy exotic, sunshiny happiness in a jar.

Lavender Frankincense
Long known for its healing properties, lavender essential oil is one of the most versatile. It is commonly used for skin irritations and burns, both for its rapid healing properties and its painkilling properties. The scent is floral and camphoraceous and is renowned for its calming effect.

Frankincense has been used for centuries for its scent as well as its healing properties. The essential oil is highly rejuvenative, both for the mind and for the skin. Today frankincense essential oil is used for its antiseptic, astringent, sedative and expectorant properties. We love the warm, woody spiciness it adds to our hand candy. It’s a great match for the lavender.

Lavender Frankincense Hand Candy will soothe your hands and your mind.

Calm Yourself
OK, this scent isn’t new to the Becca & Mars fans who love the body oil and pure essential oil blend, but it is new in Hand Candy. Our combination of lemon, bergamot, clary sage, sandalwood and neroli essential oils provides the benefits of all of these oils, including cleansing, antidepressant and relaxation. Simply put, the scent is citrusy and exotic and utterly calming.
Calm Yourself has been a favorite Becca & Mars scent since day one and we are delighted to add it to our Hand Candy line.

Open your windows and feast your eyes – there’s a lot of spring poking around out there. Breathe it in and enjoy.

Written by: Becca & Mars

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rick Shelley Mosaics and Class

I'd like to rave a bit about a wonderful artist and delightful man, Rick Shelley. He's a Baltimore renaissance man, a working artist for, oh, at least a couple of decades. He created the mosaic at the Walters of the ancient world, a project that consumed him for about a year.
And he's teaching a mosaic class at the American Visionary Art Museum on June 18th. I was lucky enough to take this class a couple of years ago, had a wonderful time, and left with two completed small mosaics after learning how to cut glass!

The course information is here.

Rick also makes delightful glass insect pins--perhaps you've seen him and them at Artscape and other local festivals--and from time to time gives performances of his Theater Serenissima, an exquisite miniature theater.

Check out his work at the website.

Written by Seanna of yarningsbyseanna.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Egg Rug Tutorial

If you like your eggs sunny side up with a side of quirky then this tutorial from Where the Orchids Grow is for you. This absolutely egg-dorable "egg rug" is fun and easy to make with clear instructions and step by step photos. Thanks to this tutorial no one will ever want to skip breakfast again!

For full instructions and more photos click here.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tonight...Starry Mountain Singers at the Creative Alliance

Do you dig eclectic, high energy folk? Tonight at the Creative Alliance, musical performances will include the Shapenote Sisters, Orfeia and the Starry Mountain Singers. Click here for more information.

P.S. On Saturday, the Starry Mountain Singers will be hosting an a cappella workshop.

Friday Finds: Yarn Bowls

My shiny new knowledge of knitting (just took beginner knitting at Lovely Yarns in Hampden) has quickly evolved into a bit of an obsession. I can’t believe how much stuff is out there to make knitting even more fun! Awesome hand dyed yarns, cool beaded stitch markers and my favorite – the yarn bowl. I have a lot of pets, so this is a must to keep my yarn off the floor and as fur-free as possible. Take a peek at the amazing variety of yarn bowls from Etsy artisans:

Little Lamb Yarn Bowl by A Speer Ceramic Studio

Polka Dot Design Yarn Bowl by Julie Knowles Pottery

Cut Out Yarn Bowl by Glint Pottery

Soft Periwinkle Blue Yarn Bowl by Lenny Mud

Written by Brooke, FuzzyMug

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rawlings Conservatory Exhibit, 3rd Annual Art Under Glass

Allison Fomich, BEST's own Tigerlillyshop will be dipping her toes back into the fine art world this weekend. Appropriately, it will happen in a place close to her heart, the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens of Baltimore.

This is the first time my Tigerlillyshop jewelry line will be exhibited in a fine art setting. I'll be a small part at the 3rd annual fine art exhibit showcasing some of Baltimore's most talented artists. I am very excited to be in a show with the likes of April Wood, John Ruppert, and Joyce Scott!

Visiting the Conservatory a few weeks ago, I met with some of the master garden staff. They generously gave me cuttings and snippets of specimen growing in the various rooms. I have been working on some pieces that are informed directly by the Conservatory's plants. The botanical garden has been a great place to be inspired. I can't wait to show these art pieces, a really new experience for the line!

11:00 am – 12:30pm - Brunch with artists and preview exhibition
$100 per person
reserved tickets

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm - Art exhibition and sale with refreshments
$30 per person in advance
$40 at the door

Patrons can buy tickets here.

Participating artists:
Gloria Askin • Lindsay Bolin • Loring Cornish • Mark Eisendrath • Kevin Fitzgerald • Allison Fomich • Edmond Hardy • Christine Neil • Joe Kabriel • Giselle Kolb • Barbara Z. Lipman • Ursula Marcum • Edmundo Ortega • Megan Schneebaum • Joyce Scott • Steve Stannard • Soledad Salame • John Ruppert • April Wood

Celebrate the Fiber Arts at the BMA’s Textile Day

Join fellow textile enthusiasts for a FREE day of workshops and demonstrations by experts during Textile Day at the BMA on Sunday, May 14, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Participate in workshops exploring textile design, embroidery, batik, silk painting, and many other aspects of the fiber arts. More than 20 exhibitors include the Baltimore Embroiderers’ Guild, the Chesapeake Region Lace Guild, Baltimore Appliqué Society, and many outstanding textile artists.
Curator’s Choice Exhibition includes examples of contemporary and historical costume pieces, textiles used in interiors, and fiber art from various cultures and countries. Each of these textiles is being shown for the first time at the BMA. Or enjoy Exhibition Tour of Curator’s Choice Family Fun with Textiles and many other workshops throughout the day.

For a complete list of exhibitors and workshops, call 443-573-1832 or check BMA’s event calendar here.

Written by Insung of NAMOO

Baltimore With Babes: Maryland Faerie Festival

Take your little fairies to the Maryland Faerie Festival on May 14th and 15th!

This fun festival features music, maypoles, dancing, local artisans, and lots of events on the schedule just for children. Held on the enchanted grounds of the Patuxent 4H center in Upper Marlboro, this year's festival will be specially celebrating mermaids!

Post written by Jamaila of Anapurna

Station North Art Festival, Baltimore with Babes

The other day, our wonderful school art teacher Ms. Laura Embereson, pulled me aside in the hall to tell me my daughter will have work on display at this event, and that there will be awards given out like a real art show! I had never heard of the event before, but it sounded intriguing, especially since our daughter's self portrait will be on display. The exhibit is called Aimed for Purpose, very appropriate for a student show.

Thinking back to my own childhood, this event sounds like similar exhibits I showed at. I am artist, who was once a child who enjoyed making art. I remember when my parents encouraged me and my talent, exposing me to events and exhibits like this. A child feels a great sense on accomplishment and pride when they see a piece of their own artwork in an exhibit, out there in the world. I can't wait to share this day with her!

Location : Across from Station North Thrift Store, 1400 Greenmount Ave.
Time: Saturday May 14th, 12-4pm

For more info: Adopt a Block Inc.

Station North Art Festival (SNAF) is a program that is run through Adopt-A-Block, Inc. that involves East Baltimore schools and school-aged children who submit artwork based on a pre-determined theme that is always positive and community based. We collect the artwork from individuals and teachers, it is judged by professional artists, and the top 3 students and top school are awarded several prizes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What I'm Working On: Whoop

April showers bring May flowers, and this spring I've been incorporating vintage earrings and buttons to create rings and post earrings. I love the bright colors and beautiful details each vintage finding brings, and to be able to reuse something is extremely satisfying!

Written by Dana of Whoop

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Favorite Shop - Mrs Jones Soapbox

One of my current favorite shops is Mrs Jones Soapbox. That's right I'm in love with a shop that makes cleaning supplies! You know what though its not just me my kids were fighting over who got to use what cleaner for what task when our package arrived. Like a good mom who was I to butt in on their happiness when they wanted to CLEAN and clean they did! This is the set we bought.

How cute is this? On the back of the bottles are chalkboard labels you can write on.

To be even more eco friendly you can buy refills that come in repurposed bottles.

My favorite thing about Mrs Jones Soapbox is that the cleaners are all natural with no petro chemicals, and that you can even choose to have your set packaged in glass bottles which is what I did.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Farmers Market & Artist Bazaar is Open

For the first time in its history, the Baltimore's farmers market opened in April. This market has the best local produce, flowers and meats, all at great prices.

While strolling the market, shoppers can revel at the sight of the largest quantity of crisp fruits and vegetables, lean poultry and other meats, fresh baked goods, flavorful herbs, preserves and dairy and nut products. Plus, food vendors add spice to the market with cultural cuisine such as popular pit beef sandwiches, pastries and gourmet treats. In addition, the market has complete selection of fresh fish and other seafood available for purchase.

Then there is the fabulous craft bazaar that has a variety of unique crafts - great for gifts or home decor. Handmade items include jewelry, soap, handbags, rugs, pottery, stained glass, and artwork.

Written By: Stacey Phinney of Studio G

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race...today!

If you've never seen this race then you are missing out on a feast for
the eyes and some great laughs. Kinetic sculptures are human powered
works of art that are custom made just for this race. And even the
spectators get dressed up in some great costumes and crazy outfits.

The race takes place along the shores of Baltimore's Inner Harbor and
lasts 8 hours. Yes, 8 hours! The race is 15 miles, which is mostly on
land, but these sculptures will actually venture into the waters of
the bay through mud and sand. Yuck!
The race takes place on Saturday, May 7th. For more information click here.

Written by Stacey Phinney of studioG.