Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Design by Night in Green Craft Magazine!

Usually when I go to the mail box I only ever pull out bills so you can imagine my surprise when I had the latest copy of Green Craft magazine waiting for me. It was such a big surprise because I did not order the magazine, I got a free copy because my Recycled Ruffled headband tutorial was published!

I love how to craft books and magazines so coming up with tutorials is one of my favorite things and it tickles me to see one published!

Written by Kolleen of Design By Night.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shop: Andie's Specialty Sweets

Andie of Andie specialty Sweets puts out the most amazing eatable work I have ever seen! She specializes in creating made-to-order sugar decorations, sculpted marzipan, decorated cookies, special event cakes and individual confections.You have to take a look at her work:

Edible Candy Necklace

Chocolate Candy Mushrooms LifeSize

Peppermint Candy Buttons

Her exquisite confections make me want to throw a party!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A titillating fundraiser!

Above "Do-It-Yourself Cut and Pasties" By Open Eyes Press

Feather, glitter, tassels and much, much more! Hold on to your hats because BEST has just announced it’s first annual BEST for BREAST fundraiser.

Above "Steampunk Pasties" by Zebrink Studios

In the months leading up to Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), BEST team members will create handmade pasties using the medium of their choice. The pasties will be up for sale on the BEST for Breasts Etsy site in mid to late September in time to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month. With over 40 active members, including some who have survived breast cancer, BEST team members will use ceramic, fabric, feathers, metal and other materials to craft the pasties.

All proceeds collected from the BEST for Breasts sale will be donated to the Red Devils, a Maryland organization that funds services to improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients and their families.

To view more of these titillating crafts visit the BEST for Breast Flickr site at

For more information on BEST for Breast contact Kolleen or Jill @ best4breast(at)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub Tutorial

Wondering what to give to your mom or best girlfriend for her birthday? Make her some scrumptious Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub. This tutorial is perfect for indulging yourself or your BFF and is super easy to make. Best yet, you can find most of the ingredients in your pantry!

Created by B-more native Stephanie Lynne, this recipe for bathtub relaxation is clear and easy to follow. For full instructions and to view more of her tutorials, visit her website Under the Table Dreaming.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Finds: Back to School

The best thing about heading back to school after a nice, long summer is stocking up on new school supplies. These handmade lovelies will spice up anyone's first day!

Distinctive handwrapped pencils from zerabazaar.

Stay organized with this sweet pen and pencil roll from BabyBolt.

Create your own notebook slipcover with a pattern from ginia 18.
Written by Brita of Beeps' Peeps.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Holiday Heap 2011 - Applications are up!

Holiday Heap will be Charm City Craft Mafia's TENTH indie craft show, and we are super excited. On December 3rd, 60+ vendors will descend on the 2640 Space in St. John's Church for our annual holiday fair selling handmade items to Baltimore shoppers and warm-hearted gift givers alike.

Crafters from Baltimore and beyond bring their very best wares for this festive holiday show. The only thing that could make it more spectacular is YOU, crafty folk!

applications are due October 8th at midnight!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Homemade Preserves Recipe Using Seasonal Maryland Fruit

Right now fresh fruit is abundant and inexpensive and available at local farms and farmers markets. There are a lot of great seasonal fruits available in Maryland during the month of August including: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, plums, peaches, pears, and nectarines. One way to save some money and eat healthy is to turn all of that amazing fruit into jams and preserves.
There are literally millions of recipes online for jam, but I have found the simpler, the better. Check out this easy recipe for blueberry jam. Be sure to sterilize your jars if you plan on saving for delicious jams for the coming months. And if you don't like blueberries, you can substitute any berry... or even live dangerously and mix a few together!
Check out CanningCrafts on Etsy for a multitude of labels perfect for dressing up your delicious preserves and jams!

Written by Dana of whoop.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What I'm Working On: Fiorella Jewelry

I know it sounds weird and maybe a little obnoxious to be thinking of holiday merchandise now. Recently, however, in one of their marketing emails to sellers, Etsy recommended getting holiday items up now since they and other merchandisers start planning holiday pages in the summer. This gave me a bit of a brain wave. I have seen the lovely wedding corsages made from vintage brooches, and had thought of trying my hand at one of those. But then it occurred to me to try to make a wreath.
Now I am working on a silver wreath. Those brooches are harder to find, but when it's done I hope it will be beautiful. Anyway, I made a couple necklaces, some pins, a ring and a belt buckle so far. Since we have a new baby in our extended family this year I hope Christmas will be more special than ever.

Written by Clare of Fiorella Jewelry

Monday, August 22, 2011

Favorite Etsy Thing - Skirts

I've decided to take a new twist on the "Favorite Etsy Shop" post. I have way too many etsy shops that are favorites and I can't pick just one so I'm making up my own new category called my Favorite Etsy Thing...and right now my favorite thing to look up, browse through and maybe even purchase a few are.......SKIRTS!

I love skirts and wear them all of the time especially Spring through Summer. So have a look at a few of my faves and enjoy!!!

Hand dyed blue grey slip skirt with mesh and blue leopard print ruffles by Getjuliet

Plum long convertible knit skirt by Trnka

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Peacock Feather Necklace Tutorial

You can't open a magazine or visit a fashion website without seeing some kind of feather accessory. Yes, as the creator of Design by Night I do make feather hair clips but I thought it would be fun to try my hand at making some jewelry. So after a little craft exploration I came up with an idea for a necklace out of feathers and an old plain chain necklace.

5 peacock eye feathers
Glue Gun
Stiff Felt (the kind you buy by the square)
Thread that matches felt
Old chain necklace (if you don’t have an old chain necklace you can purchase new chain and findings in most craft stores)

  1. Take three of your peacock feathers and trim the wispy eyelash like ends off of the rounded top and cut off the stem just below the “eye” (see fig. 1).

  2. Arrange the feathers similar to fig. 2a on top of the piece of paper. Carefully trace around the feathers. When you remove the feathers place them to the side in the exact order you had them on your paper pattern.

  3. Take the pencil and draw a line inside the current outline that follows the shape of the original outline. Your new “inside” pattern should be about an eighth of an inch (give or take) from the original “outside” line. Cut out the “inside” pattern shape.

  4. Use the cut out paper pattern to cut out the felt backing. Place feathers on top of the felt to make sure that you can’t see any of the felt when the feathers are in position. Trim the felt if necessary.

  5. Take the chain and place the middle center aligned with the top center of the felt (see fig.5a). Sew the chain in place. Next take the chain and move one side to the left top corner and sew in place, repeat with right side (fig. 5b).

  6. With your trimmed feathers close by, take the glue gun and put a thin layer on the left side.* When the area is covered pick up the left hand side feather and carefully place it on the glued area. If the placement is not perfect DO NOT WORRY, that is why we have the other two feathers that we haven’t touched yet sitting on the side.

    *NOTE: It is very important that the glue does not have any thick beads, to help avoid this make sure your glue gun is very hot and take the tip and place it right up against the felt and move it around the area.

  7. Repeat step 6 with the right and center feathers.

    NOTE: Because hot glue is unforgiving and you can’t move the feathers around after they have touched the glue, you might notice small gaps where you can see the felt. Do not worry the next steps will cover these little gaps.

  8. Trim the two remaining feathers similar to the others, except you will be cropping closer to the eye, see fig. 8 for a reference.

  9. On the back side of the trimmed feathers, put a bead of glue along the stem (fig. 9a) then place the cropped feathers over the felt to cover the gaps (fig. 9b)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Finds: Rainbows!

I'm in the mood for bright colors, and lots of them! Let's find some amazing rainbows on Etsy!
This 'Rainbow Falls' piece by JKCreate is amazing. Crayons have been turned into fine art!
This beautiful silk button bracelet is by BEST's own Tigerlilly Shop.

Rainbow cookies! Beautiful AND delicious! A home run from the Pièce de Résistance!

Add color to your loved ones' lives by sending them notes on this beautiful rainbow bunting stationery from Rainy Day Colors!

Post written by Jamaila of Zebrink Studio

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Three Things

I pretty much live in t-shirts and jeans. Since I dress so casually, I at least like to dress uniquely. I am always on the look out for original silk-screened shirts. I love the soft feel of organic cotton or bamboo materials, and since I am large chested, fit is important. These are three shops that I love!



Written by Leslie Brown.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

B'more with Babes: Storyville

Looking for something fun, free, and edifying to do with the kiddos? Look no further than Storyville, the literacy fun zones at the Woodlawn and Rosedale branches of the Baltimore County Public Library. Designed to build literacy skills in little ones aged birth- 5 years, Storyville is a village consisting of different themed learning areas such as the post office or grocery store. There is even a Baby Garden for non-walkers. The whole village is stocked with activities and materials that promote essential pre-school skills. Staff limits the number of parents and kids who can enjoy Storyville at once, and while this can mean an occasional wait, it also means that you'll always have plenty of room to play and explore. Storyville is open during regular branch hours.
Written by Brita of Beeps' Peeps

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ten Question Tuesday - Lubu

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

Hi there! I'm Jenn, but my friends call me Jenn Bot. I've been making polymer clay sculpts since I was a youngin', but recently my fiance, Tony, has joined me in my venture. Together we run lubu where we sell original sculpts, customzied toys, digital art, and in the near future, buttons.

When/how did you start your business?

I had just left my job at a day care center when I started to get back into creating with polymer clay. Like a lot of people, I randomly stumbled upon etsy while idly wasting time on the internet and the rest is history. For as long as I can remember I've made characters from polymer clay, so being able to share them for the past 4 years with people all over the globe feels really great.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

When I'm not physically creating things, I'm most likely brainstorming new ideas with Tony of what to create next. We constantly have to consciously take breaks from art because the last thing we want to do is burn out. So on our down time we love visiting the Cincinnati Zoo, the aquarium, and hitting up the local toy shop/record store for inspiration. We also love meeting up with our friends because it's so important to have a support system and be able to talk and laugh about things that aren't related to business. It keeps us grounded.

What first made you want to become an artist?

Whether I realized it at the time or not, I think I've always been an artist. It took me many years to be able to come to terms with calling myself an artist, but now it feels really nice to be able to own it.

What inspires you?

I have a passion for vinyl art toys and the toy scene. I also love the colorful and kawaii nature of Japanese culture. But the most inspirational place I have ever been is Walt Disney World. As soon as I'm on property I can feel the creativity pulsing and it really charges me up. Every single thing about Disney World plays into an overall story and I love it. In fact, it inspires me to the point where I actually yearn to go back over and over again!

What's your favorite thing about your craft?

I love being able to bring to life the characters that live in my mind. Whether they come to fruition as a polymer clay piece, a graphic, or a customized toy, it always makes me proud to see them looking back at me. I often wonder how they interact with one another when I'm not looking.

Where would we most likely find you working?

I spend hours at my bright red peanut shaped desk nestled between two windows in the corner of our mash-up studio/bedroom. All of my materials are at my fingertips and I'm a stone's throw from Tony's workspace. Our work setup encourages collaboration between the two of us and we find that it works well for us.

What's your favorite music to listen to while you work?

My music selection is always changing, but when I find something I like I tend to listen to it until I can't tolerate it anymore. It's kind of a vicious cycle! Currently I'm really big on Sleigh Bells and Pomplamoose, but I'm always up for some Dave Matthews Band, Guster, Muse or Ben Folds. Though if I'm being truly honest, I can't help but get hooked on really cheesy pop music as well. Katy Perry or Lady Gaga, anyone?

What's your favorite thing right now?

It's hard to choose just one favorite thing, but I think I'll choose something both Tony and I have in common which is hoarding-I mean collecting-vinyl toys. One of our many dreams is to have one of my sculpts turned into an art toy, so we have shelves packed with them. Each toy carries a story sharing a little bit about the artist, the character and the artist's inspiration and I love that.

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

It always upsets me to hear people degrade artists for selling their wares for "too much" when they're obviously uninformed about the time, effort and heart that go into creating handmade items. Pricing can be a tricky subject for artists, but I truly wish we could price our items at what we feel they're worth and have that be acceptable to others. Artists shouldn't have to be starving artists!

You can check out more of Jenn Bot's work in her etsy shop.