Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Indie-pendent Biz: Broom's Bloom Dairy

Want to eat the best ice cream ever created? Visit the Broom's Bloom Dairy stall at the Saturday Waverly Farmers' Market. They bring several of their available flavors already packed and ready to go. They don't really have signage with their name, but tend to be on the northwest portion of the market. They also sell other products, such as cheese, at their stall which I'm sure are amazing, but I just go for the ice cream. "Dirt" is our favorite, lots of chunky, chocolately goodness.

Tempted? As good as their ice cream is out of the Waverly market, it tastes even better if you buy it right on their farm. An easy drive up 95 to exit 80, you take MD543 four miles and look on your left. There is a nice place to eat inside during inclement weather, but I recommend sitting outside. Basically your view is fields, woods and the barns where the cows live and do their thing. There are rocking chairs and picnic tables and a little grassy area for kids to play around in. (Pets are not allowed.) Service is invariably friendly, sometimes local young people, sometimes older folks. I've met the owner working behind the counter. Prices are reasonable. They also sell products from other local farms as well as sandwiches, salads and quiche. They have many flavors of ice cream to choose from but not the same flavors every time and can run out so no guarantee that "dirt" will be there when you go. The good thing is that any flavor is good and you'd have a built in excuse to go again.

written by Susan of Susan Brandt

picture credits:
Broom's sign:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What I'm Working On: Element 120

I'm always out and about taking new photos for our Alphabet Photography name frames and you can imagine some of the very confused looks I get when I'm kneeling on the ground taking pictures of cracks in the sidewalk to get a new "K" photo! So, its been nice this past month taking photos of numbers instead, although no doubt people may still think I'm a tourist making a very strange photo album. The most exciting part of our latest frame design is that you can add your own photograph to create an even more personalized result. I'm so in love with this new product, I already have my own hanging on the wall.

11 x 14 Sepia Birth Announcement

Our Alphabet Photography Name Frames have been a hit this year for wedding presents and I have been thrilled to be a part of so many special gifts. Inspired by all the wedding love, we created this Wedding Guest Book, which combines the concept of the traditional name frame with generous matting surrounding the print for guests' best wishes!

Written by Jen Connolly at Element 120

Monday, September 26, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shop - shop dirtsa

Being a new teacher, and a lover of scrabble, I thought this shop was so cool!  Shop Dirtsa, out of my home state of New Jersey, makes delightful pillows that resemble scrabble tiles- complete with letter points!

You can spell out important words, or just have a letter or two, or even the star in the middle of the board.  Or get equipped for a day at school, with your composition notebook, pencils, erasers and scissors!



written by Lauren of JerseyGirlDesign

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

For a couple of years, I've done them really simply, using the recipe I found in various places. Buy a corn muffin mix (almost any kind) and dredge 1/4" to 1/2" slices in the mix and fry in vegetable or canola oil. They tasted OK, but the coating got soggy really quickly.

So this week, I tried a variation that was the result of watching Food Network personalities make all sorts of Southern-style fried food. They first dip the food in buttermilk before dipping it into the coating. I tried it for this week's green tomatoes, and it worked, giving a crisp crust that retained its crunch at least through dinner.

Here's what I did:

2 Green Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1 cup corn bread/muffin mix (I use a self-rising corn bread mix that comes in a bag but any will do.)
Oil for frying

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4" - 1/2" slices. Dry the tomato slices. Dip each into the buttermilk, then into the corn bread mix. Fry until golden brown on each side. Place in a single layer on a plate to serve.

If you're making them for a big group, you might want to let them rest on a rack on a 250-degree oven until they're all done.


** For a more complicated recipe, try the one from Tyler Florence of the Food Network . Photo credit: The Food Network

Written by Marcia of Wood Art for Living

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Finds-National Dog Week

This week is National Dog Week. I'm a dog person (better be, I have four of the furry monsters at home), so I'm always interested in fun little things for them. Here are a few things I found.

Bowtie Collar by SillyBuddy

Golden Retriever Art Poster by GoingPlaces2

Pet Tag by UrbanPuppy

Plaid collar by CollarsbyDesign

And of course a Custom Pet Portrait by our own FuzzyMug

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Three Things: National Pancake Day

National Pancake Day is almost upon us! In celebration of the tastiest bizarre holiday (at least for September!), I present you with three pancake inspired Etsy items:

How to Make Pancakes Fine Art Print by FreyaArt

Short Stack Pancakes by Littlepicklepotamus

Vintage Fire King Jadite Batter Bowl by Spiderbot

Now go get ready to eat pancakes! National Pancake Day is September 26th!!

Written by Dana of whoop

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

6th Annual Maryland Microbrewery Festival

If you like a good microbrew and really great food the Maryland Microbrewery Festival is where you want to be!!! Come out to the beautiful rolling hills of Carroll County to the historic Union Mills Homestead and indulge in some of the best microbrews that Maryland has to offer!

Saturday September 24th, 11 am - 7 pm, at 3311 Littlestown Pike Westminster MD.

12 breweries with over 30 brands of beer
Live music and entertainment
Great food
Crafts and Unique merchandise
Free parking
Adult beer sampling $18
Non beer sampling $5
12 years and under free

BEST's own CEK Custom Designs will be there showing off new designs! Stop by and have a beer!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ten Question Tuesday - Stonehouse Studio

Hello! Who are you? Give us the 411 about yourself!
My name is Betsy Baker. I've lived in Boston for the last 30 years or so. But I was born and raised in Latin America. I also traveled all over the world when I worked in the travel biz in my previous life. So I'm very much a citizen of the world.
When/how did you start your business?
About 5 years ago the travel department at the large advertising agency where I worked was centralized to another city. I opted to take a buyout package and devote myself full time to creating polymer jewelry. Best decision I ever made!
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I find it hard to tear myself away from the studio, but I make time to meet with other crafty friends, do lots of shows and try to get to the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts) at least once a month. And, yeah, there's the dreaded gym...
What first made you want to become an artist?
I've been handy all my life, but never thought I had an artistic streak until I started fooling around with polymer clay one day. Talk about an artistic epiphany!
What inspires you?
Color, texture, dimension. One thing I've learned since devoting myself to my art is to really look at things. I might start at a twig for 5 minutes - my neighbors think I'm connecting with nature, but I'm really looking at all the shades of brown and gray!
What's your favorite thing about your craft?
The versatility of polymer clay. Is there anything you can't do with this stuff?
Where would we most likely find you working?
In my in-home studio. I live in a 160 year old row house in Charlestown, one of Boston's historic neighborhoods. It's a great place to work and create.
What's your favorite music to listen to while you work?
Classic rock. The louder the better.
What's your favorite thing right now?
Doing indie shows. I love the vibe and fellow vendors. And there's nothing like getting instant validation of your work. It's physically hard, though. That's why I go to the gym - to train for shows.
If you could have one wish granted for the craft community, what would it be?
To never again be asked "Did you make all this?" and "How long did it take you to make this?"
You can check more of Betsy's work in her etsy shop

Monday, September 19, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shop - Zoe Ingram

I've always had a love for colorful things, and that is the number one reason why Zoe Ingram's shop caught my eye!  Her shop is full of lovely prints in bold, bright colors that just make you want to smile. 

The kaleidoscope series is so fun, and a little retro!  It would be perfect for my art classroom!

Here are some more of my favorites!

written by Lauren of JerseyGirlDesign

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Doily Lace Flower Pin/Clip Tutorial

Even though I am not what I consider a "girly girl", if you have followed my blog for a little while you will notice a slight girly obsession with making flowers. I have no idea where this obsession came from but I constantly look at items and ask myself...can I make a flower out of that?

So it should be no surprise that I have yet another flower accessory tutorial. This flower is very easy to make and you only need basic hand sewing skills.

4 foot length of Doily Lace
Small piece of felt
Needle and thread (matching lace color)
Medium to large sized buttons
Gator clip and/or pin back
Hot glue gun

  1. Cut a 4 foot length of lace. Using your needle and thread, tightly gather one side of the lace.
    If your lace has an unfinished side or is pre-gathered, stitch along this edge. Even if it is pre-gathered you want to gather the lace as much as you can.

  2. Print out the Doily Lace Flower backer pattern. Cut out one of the shapes from the felt (Use the scale to make sure the print out is the correct size)
  3. Using the 1.75" felt circle as a base, start to sew the gathered edge of the lace to felt. Make sure to start on the outside, wrapping the lace around and towards the center.

  4. Sew buttons to the center of the flower. I used two medium sized buttons and stacked them to create my flower's center.

  5. Take the 2" felt circle and sew on the pin. If you plan to add a pin and a gator clip make sure your pin is sewn slightly off center allowing space for the gator clip.

  6. Hot glue the gator clip next to the pin and finish off the back by hot gluing the felt heart over the back part of both the gator clip and pin.

  7. Hot glue the pin/clip back to the felt back of the flower.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Manifesto 2011, Celebrating Frank Zappa Day

Join us this coming weekend Sept. 17th 11am-8pm for the 2nd Annual Frank Zappa Day Celebration!

Over 13 Bands have been confirmed and will be attempting the Longest Set in History, and we are adding additional programming such as James Taylor’s Shocked & Amazed Sideshow…. Charm City Skatepark’s record breaking half pipe…. Red Emma’s Banned Book Fair…. A barely socially acceptable spectacle of Body Art….. Ahmet Zappa’s Playhouse at the Creative Alliance….. just to mention a few.

These BEST vendors will be there, so stop by and say hello!
Allison Fomich, Tigerlillyshop
Preserved botanical jewelry and Japanese textile button jewelry

Erica Wolfe and Stephanie Sackettand, Becca and Mars
Natural Bath and Beauty Products

Dana Krauss, Whoop
Handmade, vintage, modern jewelry. Vintage glass and Lucite beads, fiber, and sterling silver

Jen Wilfong, Yummy and Company
Polymer clay and recycled copper jewelry

Susan Brandt
Colorful hand painted urban street graffiti scarves

Erica Roberts, CEK Custom Designs
One of a kind handcrafted, sterling and fine silver art jewelry

Anne Madison, Atelier Adornments
Vintage and Tribal jewelry from petite to plus

Seanna Tsung, Yarning by Seanna
Urban tribal ornaments for head, heart, and home. Crocheted and knitted hats, scarves, necklaces, baskets and earrings with a twist on traditional forms and materials

For more info on the event, please visit :
Facebook Frank Zappa Day