Monday, January 31, 2011

Favorite Etsy Shops - Small Fabric Designers

Unique design by independent textile designers and printers who run small amount of printing on fabric has always caught my eyes while browsing shops on Etsy.

KALLA from Japan is one of them:
Her design uses simple pattern in vibrant and bold colors. Her shop sells handmade goods with her print as well as fabric pieces for you to create something.

Umbrella Prints showcases subtle and modern design:
Or how about beautiful hand dyed fabrics by stitchindye:
Written by Insung of namoo

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Recycled Gift Card Puff Pillow Tutorial

More than a few gifts this year to friends and family were gift cards and although they possessed monetary value, I felt the enjoyment of receiving a wrapped gift box was somehow lost. So after purchasing several two dollar gift boxes just to put gift cards in I came up with a packaging idea that would cost next to nothing.

Recycled file folder or other cover weight paper from the recycle bin
X-acto™ Knife or Scissors
White Glue
2 or 3 binder clips
Bone folder or butter knife

* I used a recycled folder in this tutorial, however any cover weight paper will work. Some suggestions are: light weight cardboard from boxes and packaging, magazine covers, old paper back book covers

1. Download puffpillowtemplate.jpg and print it out full size (a scale has been placed on each jpg to help with printing at the correct proportions).
2. Cut out the template for A. Puff Pillow Body and B. End Fold Template. Using template A, trace the outside of the puff pillow on the file folder or cover weight paper. Make sure to lightly mark the fold lines. Cut out the body of the puff pillow.
3. Take template B and align it with one of the curved ends like you see in fig. 3. With a pencil lightly trace the fold line. Repeat this step on the remaining three rounded ends of the body.

4. Figure 4A shows a map of all the fold lines, using a bone folder or the wrong side of a butter knife, score the FOLD lines.**** Scoring a piece adds a notch to the paper that makes it easier to fold. Place the ruler on the fold line and take the bone folder and run it along the length of the fold. If you do not have a bone folder you can use the back side (the un-serrated edge) of a butter knife. Do not press too hard, you do not want to rip or tear the paper.

5. Using A. Puff Pillow Body as a guide, apply glue to the flap of the puff pillow on the outside. The flap will be folded on the inside of the puff pillow. Use binder clips to hold the end together until the area is thoroughly dry.

6. To puff the pillow, take the ends and carefully work the scoring to fold them creating the pillow shape.

Optional decoration can be added by using scraps or pieces of recycled paper to spruce up the package. I used a scrap piece of wrapping paper, an old piece of sheet music and some raffia to add a little color and texture to my pillow.
If you would like to use two pieces of paper like I did use the following measurements:
3.5” wide by 5.5” long for the outside piece
3” wide by 5.5” long for the inset piece
Written by Kolleen Kilduff from Design by Night

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Finds: Baltimore Love

Artist Megan Nolton of Art Shark Designs offers beautiful gocco prints of an anonymous, umbrella'd couple practicing amour in cities all over the world. One of her prettiest prints depicts our very own Baltimore! Check out Baltimore Love on Etsy.
And if Baltimore's not your favorite city - well, we don't want to hear it! But you can find charming, romantic prints of almost any city you can think of. A couple of my favorites - New Orleans:
And Seattle:
Post written by Jamaila of Anapurna

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Special Delivery: Share Your Love 2011

Valentine's Day is coming up soon, and with it comes an opportunity to extend some love and kindness with a little help from Etsy. Etsy is continuing their yearly partnership with Citymeals-on-Wheels to bring nutritious meals, handmade greeting cards and companionship to elderly New Yorkers through the Special Delivery project.

If you would like to share the love you can make your own card, send a vintage cards or if you don't have time to make cards, you can buy them and have them delivered to Etsy. Below I have taken the liberty to pick out a few Valentines you can purchase from local artist to make things a bit easier!

For more information visit the Etsy Storque.
Mini Valentines - Set of 8 - School Style by FuzzyMug
XOXO Valentine Card by LindasPaperie
Sweetie Pie Collection by Sugar Paperie

By Kolleen Kilduff from Design by Night.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Letterpress: What is it?

If you've ever seen tags for items that are "letterpress printed" or "letterpressed" and wondered exactly what that means, read on for a brief introduction to the art of letterpress printing!

Letterpress printing is a relief printing method- meaning that a surface with raised areas is inked and pressed against paper. Woodcuts are another form of relief printing. During the 1400s, a way to economically print books was in demand, and Gutenberg is credited with creating movable type- small pieces of metal (usually lead) with one letter raised above the surface. This allowed for the creation of words, sentences and pages by assembling the individual letters, and for mass production of printed works.
Presses evolved over the next 500 years, but the practice of using lead type continues today. A more recent development is the photosensitive polymer plate, which allows any text or graphic to be turned into a relief printing plate. Most of the commercial letterpress printed items you see today are printed from polymer plates.
Polymer plates allow for the deep imprint that most people associate with letterpress printing- the plate is inked and deeply pressed into the paper, leaving a trough that you can feel. However, this is not a historically accurate representation of the process; when most printing was done from lead type, a "kiss" impression was desired- using just enough pressure that the type printed clear, but did not imprint into the paper. Lead is a very soft metal and is easily damaged; creating the typical impression would squash the type into an unusable mess. However, the polymer plates allow for a deep imprint- and proof that the item was printed on a letterpress! The texture of this process is part of what sets it apart from digital and offset printing.

You might think that many letterpress printed items are overpriced, compared to digital or offset printing, but most small printers use presses that require every single piece of paper to be placed by hand into the press, once for each color of the design. A 3-color wedding invitation represents a long, laborious process! Papers also add to the cost, as many printers prefer to use soft, thick cotton paper to maximize the impression.

You can be sure that you'll get people's attention with a letterpress printed business card or wedding invitation- and now you can understand a small bit of the history behind the process.
Written by Val of Bowerbox Press

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What I'm Working on: Linda's Paperie

The next big occasion for sending greeting cards is Valentine's Day. This year, send your love with a handmade Valentine. This is Valentine is one of my recent listings and new favorite card.

Written by LindasPaperie

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Heart Art: Baltimore - workshop lists!

MICA is hosting a series of five free two-hour workshops as part of the I Heart Art: Baltimore collaboration between Etsy, BEST and the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Master of Professional Studies in the Business of Art & Design.

Each workshop will emphasize important aspects of running a small business for creative professionals. All workshops will be both in-person on the art school’s campus as well as webcast online. Each workshop will be archived and available for anyone to view. To view archives, please visit

The first workshop, Realities of Running an Indie Biz will meet online on Tuesday, January 25th. It is open to the first 100 Etsy members to attend by visiting a link *they will update here at 6:30 p.m. ET on the 25th.* Bookmark this page and remember to pop in early so you get a spot! The link will not be live until 6:30 p.m. ET on the 25th, with the presentation starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. Attendance online is limited, so participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

Realities of Running an Indie Biz
Tuesday, January 25th, 7-9 p.m. ET

Your own business: will it be a dream come true — or a nightmare? This two-hour workshop is designed to give you a running start in the right direction. It combines a few key insights on “The Biggest Challenge” (selling your stuff) with useful tips and tricks. The last half-hour of the workshop will be used for questions and answers from the live audience and the online community.

The workshop leader, Greg Conderacci, brings 40 years of marketing and communication experience as a Wall Street Journal reporter, head of marketing for major companies, a sales coach, a business school faculty member, and as head of his own independent business, Good Ground Consulting.

Upcoming workshops include:
Tuesday, 2/22 Finding Your Market
Tuesday, 3/29 Tax Time
Tuesday, 4/12 Web Marketing
Tuesday, 5/3 Growing Your Arts Business

We're really excited about this collaboration, and will be announcing our own monthly workshops in the next few weeks, so make sure you keep an eye here for all the news!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Recipe: Pizza Soup

I love homemade soup! This one is always a winner in our house....everyone likes pizza!
1 1/4 cups of sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 cups water
1 can (15oz) pizza sauce
1 cup chopped pepperoni
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked Italian sausage
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese (for topping)

In a large saucepan, saute mushrooms and onion in oil for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add water, pizza sauce, pepperoni, tomatoes, sausage and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Before serving, stir in Parmesan cheese. Garnish with mozzarella cheese. Serves 4.

Written by Sugar Paperie.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shop Local: Didn't Your Mama Tell You to Wear a Hat?

The Sprout has decided he is a many of man hats, and while this is great coverage for his noggin, his style choices aren't always shall we say- stylin'? Enter Born To Love Clothing! Stylish infant and toddler fedoras and skate visor beanies! What I love best is that the line was started by a stay at home Mom, with help from a creative Dad, and all inspired by their son! Resulting in a hip entrepreneurial family business! My favorites are the black fedora and tan argyle visor. You can check out the entire line at Urban Baby Runway which coincidentally is a locally owned online boutique started by another stay at home Mom!

Written by Dandelion-Blu.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Planning a Spring or Summer Wedding?

If you're planning a spring or summer wedding, now is the time to finish tying up those loose ends!

Still looking for bridal jewelry or attendant gifts? Look no further than the Best of Baltimore Crafts wedding items! 
Clicking this link will take you to an ETSY page that features several local crafters who make custom jewelry, favors, accessories, papergoods and more. 
But to be sure to order soon, it's a super busy time of the year for those of us in the custom wedding industry!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Etsy Saver

Did you know that you can find awesome deals on ETSY using Etsy Saver?
If you're looking for good deals, but don't want to wade through ETSY for hours, stop by their site to see who is having a sale, offering special discounts and the like!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Felt Flower Brooch Tutorial

I love getting catalogs in the mail, for me they are a poor man’s magazine. One of my favorite things it so sign up for catalogs from expensive stores, pick out an outfit or an item and try to find a cheaper version somewhere else to recreate the look.

Recently I got a catalog from Fossil. One of the photos showed a girl wearing a simple cardigan sweater and a cluster of oversize flower pins. All in all, the pins were not that expensive individually but if you wanted to wear the in a cluster of three it would cost you around $45, plus they weren’t even handmade! After looking at the catalog several times I decided to take a trip to the fabric store and see if I could come up with an alternative that I could make for less money.

For less than $10, I made three pins…making this project great for gift giving!

What you will need to make one large (approximately 4.5”) pin:
1/8 of a yard of 30” wool felt
Straight pins
Pin back
2.8 cm pin back
Sewing needle
Thread in matching color of wool
Ruler or measuring tape
Hot glue gun or fabric glue

1. Download feltflowerpattern.jpg and print it out full size (a scale has been placed on each jpg to help with printing at the correct proportions). Cut out the patterns.
2. Pin the 4.5” flower base pattern to one end of the felt and cut it out. Cut a strip of felt 30” long by 2” wide.
3. Snip the length of felt, creating a fringe effect. Make the cuts about a quarter of an inch away from the end. The individual snips should be between a quarter and three-eighths of an inch wide but they do not need to be perfect. The randomness of the size adds to the character of the flower.
4. Thread your needle with approximately 25” of thread. Along the un-snipped edge, run a gather stitch the length of the fringe. Pull the gather as snug as it will go and tie off the end but do not cut off the excess thread.

5. Starting at the end with the needle and thread, roll the fringe around itself stay stitching the end to keep it in place. After you have rolled the entire fringe upon itself and stitched to secure the shape, tie off and cut the excess thread.

6. Glue the pin back to the center of the flower.

7. Cut out the heart shaped pin cover from the remaining felt* and glue it over the base of the pin back. This covers up any glue and helps to secure the pin further.
*NOTE: I used an alternate color just to jazz up the back but using a second color is not necessary

8. Apply an ample amount of glue the center back, sewn area of the flower and attach it to the pin base.
9. To finish flower fluff and separate the petals. Take the scissors and randomly snip and shape the ends of the petals so they are not all at a perfect squared angle.

Smaller Version: To make the smaller version of the flower pin, use the 3.25” base and on step #2 cut the long piece of fabric so it is 30” long
Written by Kolleen Kilduff of Design by Night

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Finds: Bath!

I wish everyday could be Bubble Bath Day... a day to relax an enjoy the warm and soothing pleasures of a soak.

Some relaxing bath essentials:

Extra Moisturizing Cupcake Bath Bomb, Pink Grapefruit, Bergamot, Clary Sage and Shea Butter by Green Bubble Gorgeous

Bubble Dough Solid Bubble Bath by WicksandWorx

Therapeutic Organic Massage Oil -Anti Stress and Energy Bath and Body Oil by BotanicalLabs

Relaxing Bath Herbal Bath Tea Salts by Lana Bella

Don't forget your rubber duckie!