Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This Weekend, Too! Merry Mart

Merry Mart is a unique craft show featuring a diverse mix of art and craft from Baltimore and beyond. BEST's own Jen Menkhaus of The Littlest Bean and Allison Fomich of Tigerlillyshop helped to organize and run the event again this year!

This is a warm and fuzzy indoor show that showcases local Baltimore talent with unique handmade work. Shoppers will find one of a kind gifts, clothing, handbags, plushies, felt accessories, ceramics, soaps, kids toys, mixed media, amazing jewelry, and great art! If you are looking for unique items that will be remembered and appreciated for years to come, don’t miss this show. Shop local and expect to find great gifts at this handmade marketplace this holiday season!

You can find the vendor list and preview here:

As always, it will be held at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson on December 4th, 2011, from 11am-5pm.

This Weekend: Holiday Heap!

Only 4 days until the Charm City Craft Mafia's Holiday Heap, and we can hardly wait!

This year's fair will have 60 of the best local and national crafters, as well as a yarn-spinning demonstration by Three Ravens and a raffle to win a huge basket full of goodies by supporting Arts Every Day! Check the CCCM blog to see vendor interviews and raffle basket sneak peeks.

GrrChe, a local food truck, will be outside for lunch and snacks.

Check out the vendors beforehand by visiting the vendor page. The show will be held on December 3rd, from 10am to 5pm inside St John's Church at 2640 St Paul Street, Baltimore MD 21218.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What I'm Working on: Heaven to Bessie

I got a commission a week or so ago for a sterling silver feather pendant. I was very excited because I love working with my saw. It seems the more detail needed to be cut the better for me. I did however find myself at that scary midway point where I was afraid to proceed. I loved the basic cut out but more detail was wanted so I hesitantly began after many drawings. I have to say, I am pretty happy with the results!

By Sara of Heavens to Bessie

Monday, November 28, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shop - Auntie Jill

I am totally in love with the quirky stuffed critters made by Auntie Jill out of Pittsford, Vermont. She is lovely to work with, too! I just placed my own order - an Oberhasli Goat and an Oreo Bunny for my babies on the way. I can't wait for them arrive. I'm sure they will become the favorite toys and be loved for many years to come. Best thing is all of the details (eyes, mouths, etc.) are embroidered so they are safer for the little ones. Check out her store ad the array of adorable animals she crafts out of soft and silky fabrics.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving! We'll be taking a little break from the blog this weekend, but the BEST blog will be up and running in a few short days.

Emporium Collagia, Fells Point Indie-pendant Business

Emporium Collagia, Fells Point Indie-pendant Business

In the spirit of Small Business Saturday, I thought I would post about one of my favorite small shops in Historic Fells Point, Emporium Collagia. The owner is an artist with a distinct eye for the unique. She has been a fan of my electroformed pieces for a while and always has a nice array of necklaces to choose from! This holiday season, I am so very excited that she is offering her shoppers my new bronze collection!

Proprietor and Aritst Luana Kaufmann has a beautiful little shop at 1732 Thames Street along the waterfront strip in Fells Point. Her unique collage art prints are on display and for sale tucked in amongst an exquisite collection of hand picked interesting home goods and gifts from everywhere! Her store is a collage, in it's own right, it's always fun to see what new items she has to offer.

If you are looking for a special item, you can find a great selection in her tiny storefront. There are super fun surprises in every nook. I am happy to encourage you to support Luana and her eclectic adventure. Shop locally, pop in and see what special gift you leave with!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What I'm Working On: Tarabu

Hexie Attack!
I've succumbed to the paper-piecing bug. If the impending zombie virus is Z101, then the paper-piecing virus must be P1212, because it's about twelve times worse! I've turned into one of those people you see with snippets of thread on the hem of her sweater pulling out a bag of fabric bits and thread and scissors every time there's a chance to sit for more than five minutes. It's kind of ridiculous, but it's also vitally necessary if I'm going to get this done.
I've started with a massive stack of basted hexagon squares.

So far I have three strings stitched together. Eventually I'll have ten columns stitched up and will begin finagling them into a finished top.

It's already taken forever and I'm having serious doubts about having it finished by the December holidays, this year anyway.

Written by Tara of Tarabu.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shop - Young Alexander

I just love these guys and their dishware! I met Young Alexander at Artscape this past July and purchased a pair of itty bitty bowls from them. Then I came back for a few chevron plates that will adorn our dining room walls.

Their retro-inspired motifs are hand-painted and reminiscent of vintage diner ware which I am quite fond of! It's a great way to mix and match the old and the new in our kitchen cupboards.
Paisley Plates

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Peacock Earring Tutorial

I can't go anywhere without seeing a pair of feather earrings. They seem to be really hot right now so I decided to whip up a pair. They are a very simple peacock feather pair, you should be able to get most of the supplies in your local craft store.

4 peacock eye feathers
Hot Glue
1 Set of Wire Earring Hooks
2 Fold Over Crimp Ends
2 Jump Rings
Small Pliers (used for jewelry and delicate work)

  1. Take 2 of your peacock feathers and trim the wispy eyelash like ends off of the rounded top and cut off the stem about an inch below the “eye” (see fig. 1).

  2. Trim the two remaining feathers similar to the others, except you will be cropping closer to the eye, see fig. 3 for a reference.

  3. Use the glue gun and add a bead of glue down the spine of one of the trimmed eye only feathers. Glue this feather on top of one of the larger feathers (see fig. 3). Repeat this step with second set of feathers

  4. Place a small bit of glue to the very tip of the feather cluster on the front side and glue a fold over crimp bead to it. Make sure the font of the crimp bead is towards the front of the feathers.

    Note: This will not hold the feather in place, however it will help to steady the feather when you are closing the crimp ends.

  5. Using the pliers, fold down the crimp ends so they tightly fit the feathers. Repeat this step with the second set of feathers.

  6. Using the jump rings, attach the feather cluster to the earring wire.

Written by Kolleen Kilduff from Design by Night

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Finds

Cooler Weather is fast approaching, and I am glad because that means it will be scarf weather. Scarves are one of my favorite accessories- even in summer I manage to find a few lovely lightweight scarves to wear, but in fall and winter the possibilities for scarf wearing are at their best, and Etsy stores feature a really wonderful variety. Here are just a few.
How cool is this? It has a very ethnic and safari like feel to me, and is unmistakably artisan made.

I love this feminine and sort of Victorian feeling infinity scarf, which is available in 3 colors.

A lovely textural scarf by BEST's own, Yarnings by Seanna.

And to keep your scarf snug, how gorgeous is this?

Written by Clare of fiorellajewelry

Thursday, November 17, 2011

This Weekend: Handmade Holiday Craft fair at TC Williams High School

The Second Annual Handmade Holiday Craft fair at TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia will be held on Saturday, November 19 from 10 am - 4 pm. If you are in the area stop by! There will be 40+ local crafters. B.E.S.T. members Whoop and Open Eyes Press will be there. We hope can join us! The event will be indoors at 3330 King St. Alexandria, VA 22302. There is a parking garage next to the school too.

insert picture here!

written by Dana of whoop

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


In 1999 AnimeUSA was started by anime fans in Northern Virginia. In 2004 AnimeUSA became a non profit educational organization to promote Japanese culture and arts.

This year it is being held at the Hyatt Regency in Arlington, VA. It is running on November 18-20. AnimeHatmania is happy to be in Artist Alley selling hats and origami jewelery. I always attend cons with my two girls who are fantastic fans. We always take pictures of other con goers.

Since we have not attended this anime convention before I am including some pictures from other cons so you can visualize the flavor of these events. I am including pictures from two other show I have been in Artist Alley at: Otakon and Katsucon. The cons generally run for three days and have between 5,000 to 35,000 attendees.

Written by: Cynthia Sprehe owner of Animehatmania

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Healthy Recipes: Kale

The National Cancer Institute has listed kale as being one of the top ten cancer-fighting foods (alongside garlic, grapes, tomatoes, and blueberries just to name a few). Here are a few gems from one of my favorite cooking blogs that incorporate this tasty dark leafy green. Enjoy!

Gypsy Soup


Kale with Garlic and Cranberries

Lemon Garlic Shrimp Scampi with Kale and Polenta

Photos courtesy Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.

Written by Rachel of Open Eyes Press

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Folded Flower Tutorial

Need a little something extra for that outfit? Make a folded flower headband from recycled fabric. To find the tutorial scoot over to Design by Night's blog and download the pdf with instructions or click here to downloadable pdf or click here or on the image below.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Finds: It's Sweater Weather!

Autumn - I love it! Crisp, cool air, crackling leaves. The excuse to bundle up in a cozy sweater, and nestle on the couch with a good book. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's divine.
fair isle painting by squidwhaledesigns

butterfly mug by pinkkiss pottery

bartlett teapot by clamlab