Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Recipe: Easy Coconut Curry

Baby, it's cold outside... 
so why not warm up with some sweet and spicy Thai curry!  
This recipe is so easy and delicious, you'll want to make it all the time.  The maple syrup adds great flavor, so don't be tempted to omit it!!

Easy Coconut Curry courtesy The Detoxinista
(serves 2-4)

For the sauce:
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons curry powder
1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk
1 tablespoon tamari, or soy sauce
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt

To complete the dish:
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 lb. assorted vegetables, chopped (fresh or thawed from frozen)
1 cup jasmine rice, rinsed
2 cups water

To get started, combine the rice and water in a small saucepan over high heat, and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low, allowing the rice to cook while you work on the curry sauce.

In the meantime, melt the coconut oil in a 3-quart saute pan over medium heat, and saute the onions and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Add in the coconut milk, curry powder, tamari, maple syrup and salt and whisk well to combine. (Since curry powders can vary by brand, start with a smaller amount and add more to suit your tastes.)

Taste and adjust any other flavors as needed, then bring the sauce to a simmer and add in the chopped sweet potatoes. Cover the pan, and allow the sweet potatoes to steam in the sauce for 5 minutes. Finally, add the rest of the vegetables, toss in the sauce to coat, then cover and allow to steam until fork-tender.

Serve warm over jasmine rice.

Recipe and photo courtesy The Detoxinista.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Last Minute Gifts for $30 or Less!

Can you believe it?! Christmas is only a week away!  If you're still looking for last minute gifts to stuff those stockings, here are some great options from the BEST Team!

1- "Smitten" necklace from Block Party Press, 30.00 (free shipping!)
2- Linen and cotton baby sensory ball by NAMOO, 24.50
3- Mason Jar tea towels by Open Eyes Press, 16.00 each
4- Birdy Bird catnip owls by jennyjen42, 15.00 each
5- Love Bikes print by Found Studio, 22.00
6- Hand Candy Sugar and Spice Scrub 
by Becca and Mars, 9.50 each

Find more great gifts by shopping all the BEST Team shops here!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Random Baltimore Photo-Robert E Lee Park


Submitted by Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Holiday Heap is THIS Saturday!

Don't miss one of Baltimore's top indie craft events of the year, Holiday Heap!  See 60+ vendors from Baltimore and beyond offering everything handmade- jewelry, paper goods, ceramics, housewares, apparel, fine art, toys, and more!  It’s free from 10am to 5pm at St. John's Church, 2640 Saint Paul St, Baltimore MD.

The following BEST members will be there!
 Becca and Mars
Design By Night
Found Studio
Jill Popowich Designs in Metal
the littlest bean 
might & mightyPigeon
Open Eyes Press
Sugar Paperie
The Broken Plate Pendant Co. 
Yummy & Company

Saturday, Dec. 14th, 2014
St. John's Church
2640 Saint Paul St, Baltimore MD

Photo courtesy the Charm City Craft Mafia.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Random Baltimore Photo--Homeland

submitted by Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Market at Belvedere Square , Saturday December 7th

Have you heard about the newly renovated Belvedere Market,the opening of Shoo-fly Diner and the re-opening of Senator Theatre? All will be celebrated Saturday Dec 7th at The Holiday Market. Great shopping from local artisans, caroling, Santa,and some wonderful bands will provide entertainment. If you get chilly, head into the market for a cuppa tea, or glass of wine, and then back outside to find that perfect, unique, and locally made gift.

Baltimore Etsy Team member Fiorella Jewelry will be there, as well as other local artisan including Corradetti Glass, Johns Hopkins University Press, Bmore Papercuts, Red Bicycle Studios, Austin Wayne Designs, Tommy Sheldon Photography...and many more.

See you there--submitted By Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Bling

There's no better time than the holidays to add a little bling to your wardrobe. Baltimore Etsy Team can help you out-- check these beautiful options lovingly handmade from local sellers-

sweet bangle from All Wired Up that's sure to become a favorite.

Festive Red Swarovski Crystal Ring from Trinkets N Whatnots.

Gorgeous Labradorite studs from Jill Popowich Designs...dressy enough for New Years, versatile enough for every day.

Classic and sexy crystal dangles from Heavens to Bessie.

Swarovski Crystal Snowflake Necklace from Jersey Girl Design

Don't forget your hair! This feather hair clip from Design by Night will help you make a Gatsby worthy entrance.

Submitted by Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Home for the Holidays with Baltimore Etsy Team

Hosting friends and family at home is one of the best things about the holidays. It always gives me a reason to get those things done around the house that I usually can't find time for, from hanging pictures, cleaning behind the fridge, dusting the moldings--to purchasing those special items that put a personal stamp on the festivities. Why not buy small, buy local, and buy from someone who makes the items they sell with love, care, and attention to detail.

Here are some special items for home from BEST members to help create a holiday atmosphere at your nest.

Welcome all your hons, with this fabulous mat from Damn Good Doormats.

Classically lovely laser cut ornament, from Holler&Whistle.

Let them get comfortable, with this pretty patchwork pillow, from Namoo.

Fill this gorgeous bowl from Wood Art for Living with ornaments, salad, cookies...whatever you choose to put in it will look beautiful.

Hoping to get some help in the kitchen with post-feast cleanup? A cute tea towel couldn't hurt. Here's an adorable retro print from Open Eyes Press.

Submitted by Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's time!
The BEST(see what I did there?) craft show in Baltimore
Merry Mart!
Sunday, December 1, 11am - 5pm
at the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224

As always, full of great hand-made crafts by artists and craftspeople in Maryland, many living right here in Baltimore. Be sure to visit all three rooms (upstairs, main hall and down the ramp)

The Marquee Lounge will be serving brunch from Noon - 3pm (reservations suggested).
New this year - drop off the kids upstairs any time from 12-5 for free, teacher-led art activities.
Also, there is a photo booth, make your own personalized button, and take-away craft tutorials. 

See the Creative Alliance website for the full list of excellent craftspeople and more information. 
Here are links to the BEST members who will be there:

Hope to see you there.

written by Susan Brandt

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Spiced Applesauce

Applesauce is hands-down one of my favorite snacks.  If you've ever tasted it homemade, you know it's waaay better than anything you get at the grocery store.  As much as I love the made-from-scratch version, I don't usually have time during the busy holiday season to stand over the stove and stir apples as they cook down- that's where the slow cooker comes in!  Check out this easy recipe for
  Spiced Applesauce in the Slow Cooker by Lana Stuart.  
Peel, core, and quarter 6-8 apples, add lemon peel and spices (cinnamon, brown sugar, etc), and let the slow cooker work it's magic.  Added plus- your house will smell amazing all day!

If you want to try something a little different, take a look at this recipe for Slow Cooked Pears with Lemon and Thyme.

Happy slow cooking!

Photo courtesy Happy Home Fairy.

Random Baltimore Photo

Friday, September 6, 2013

Free Fiber Tasting at Baltimore Threadquarters


Visit Baltimore's newest fabric and fiber supply store Baltimore Threadquarters this Saturday 5-7 pm, discover what fiber is all about! If you haven't seen this store yet, this is a great opportunity to get your hands on some great supplies. Alpaca, cotton, wool, wool blends, synthetics... Learn what you do with it in this FREE mini skills workshop. Try your hand at needle felting, crochet, & more in their classroom!

AND as a bonus for this special event,  sample some locally made artisan hummus, spicy, mango-clementine, it's like a party in your mouth! Omg, you have to taste this stuff.
Baltimore Threadquarters recently restocked their designer cotton fabrics, Cascade yarns, vintage fat quarters, and charm packs for all you quilters out there. There is ample street parking, plus a free lot behind the building. Let's get those fall projects started, people!

For more info on the special events happening in the
Highlandtown Arts District
this month, check out the Ha! newsletter here

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September Coupon Code!

Back to school shopping? We've got you covered! Throughout this month, participating BEST shops will be offering free shipping on everything in their shops when you enter the coupon code BESTBACKTOSCHOOL2013 at checkout! Stay tuned next month for a new code with a different deal!  Follow this link or put  "baltimoreetsyteam" in the Etsy search bar to find items from all of our talented members!

Yellow Pencil Necklace by Block Party Press

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Call for Vendors—Merry Mart 2013

Creative Alliance, a non-profit multi-purpose arts center located in Highlandtown, is pleased to announce that vendor applications are now open for its annual holiday craft show, Merry Mart. Merry Mart will take place Sunday, December 1 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and will be held at the Creative Alliance, located at 3134 Eastern Avenue, right in the heart of Highlandtown.
Merry Mart is an annual juried holiday craft show that is looking for high-quality handmade arts and crafts from indie crafters.  Applications can be found online at:

The application process must be completed and submitted no later than 11:59 PM on Tuesday, September 13th, 2013. Vendors will be notified of acceptance by Friday, October 4th. 

For more information visit our facebook page at:

Or email us at

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Coupon Code!

Looking for a little something for that one last trip to the beach this summer? Throughout this month, participating BEST shops will be offering 10% off on everything in their shops when you enter the coupon code BESTAUGUST2013 at checkout! Stay tuned next month for a new code with a different deal!  Follow this link or put  "baltimoreetsyteam" in the Etsy search bar to find items from all of our talented members!

Seaborne Reliquary Pendant by Sihaya Designs

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Recipe: Mango-Black Bean Dip

An easy recipe for black bean dip with mango; super simple to pull together, perfect for the hot summer months

Mango Black Bean Dip (makes 4 servings)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 mango, cubed
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
1 tbsp orange, lime, or grapefruit juice
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper to taste
fresh cilantro (optional)

Add all ingredients to your food processor, and puree until well blended.  Taste to see if you need to add more salt.  Finish blending and place dip into a bowl.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and chopped red onion.  Serve with chips, pita, crackers, or cut vegetables.  Also makes a great spread for sandwiches.

Subtract the mango from the this recipe and you have a basic bean dip base that blends well with hot peppers for a spicy dip (try jalapeños), or avocado for a creamy dip.  A clove of garlic can also be added to boost the flavor.

All photos by Open Eyes Press.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4th - Did you know...?

As everyone knows July 4th is Independence Day in the U.S.A. but did you know...?

1. After a month of debate on whether or not to declare independence from Britain, the Continental Congress voted in favor on July 2nd.

2. On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that the day "will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival" and that the celebration should include "Pomp and Parade...Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations."Of course, he was talking about July 2nd.

3. Three presidents died on Independence Day: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826. James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

4. The Continental Navy raised this flag, known as the Continental Colors, during the War for Independence and it remained the flag of the rebellion until June 14, 1777 when the Second Continental Congress passed the Flag Resolution which defined the United States flag as having 13 stripes and 13 stars

 5. Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest started in 1916 and has been held every year since then except two.

6. This year Joey "Jaws" Chestnut won by eating 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes. It was his 7th year winning. Sonya Thomas won the women's championship with 37 hotdogs.

7. The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China.

8. On November 10, 2012 Kuwait celebrated the 50th anniversary of its constitution by launching 77,282 firework projectiles in the largest firework display of all time.

9. The origin for the word 'barbecue' is uncertain but may be from the Caribbean word 'barbacoa', the method of slow-cooking meat over a wooden platform OR from the French 'barb a queue', which means 'from whiskers to tail' referring to cooking a whole animal on a spit over an open fire OR from the Romanian work for roast mutton 'barbec'.

10. Lexington, North Carolina calls itself the "Barbecue Capital of the World" and holds a one day festival in October (Barbecue Month). The North Carolina House had to call it the 'Official Food Festival of the Piedmont Triad Region of the State of North Carolina' because to call it the more tongue tripping name of 'Official Food Festival of North Carolina' would seem to take sides between the Lexington and Eastern style of barbecues.

Written by Susan Brandt.

July Coupon Code!

Looking for the perfect summer accessories? BEST has got you covered! Throughout this month, participating BEST shops will be offering free shipping off on everything in their shops when you enter the coupon code BESTSUMMER2013 at checkout! Stay tuned next month for a new code with a different deal!  Follow this link or put  "baltimoreetsyteam" in the Etsy search bar to find items from all of our talented members!

Aqua Chalcedony Necklace by Jersey Girl Design

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hot nights and cool jazz....

The BMA’s popular Jazz in the Sculpture Garden summer concert series returns! 
Beat the July heat with some cool jazz surrounded by a fabulous collection of modern art in the Museum’s Sculpture Garden.


Select Saturdays in July and August  7 p.m.

July 6 – Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Legacy Band featuring Vincent Herring and Jeremy Pelt

July 27 – Paul Carr Quintet

August 3 – Marcus Johnson Project

August 17 – Jackie Ryan
August 24 – Lao Tizer   

Tickets sell out fast, so pre-order now !  

Post by Janice Fowler of Doxallo Studio and Doxallo Designs

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Call for Entries - Bazaart

Preview Party: Fri Nov. 29, 5:30pm-8pm, Marketplace: Sat Nov. 30, 10am - 5pm

Application Deadline: Must be postmarked no later than July 13, 2013
     Application Fee: None
     Exhibitor Fee: $200 for 10'x10' space

BAZAART, the American Visionary Art Museum's (AVAM's) annual holiday marketplace of original creations by over 50 regional artists and craftspeople, is back for the 2013 holiday season! Featuring the artsyiest artistrys & craftiest crafts, ranging from painting to sculpture to jewelry to handmade clothing and accessories, BAZAART has become a Baltimore tradition attracting thousands of holiday shoppers each year to AVAM for this one-of-a-kind show! The AVAM is located on the south side of the Inner Harbor at 800 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230

Check here for more information and here for the application.

Posted by Susan Brandt.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Music and Arts Festival - Lunar Bay

If you like music, or if you like art, or, well, if you like BOTH - then you may want to head out to the Lunar Bay Festival this coming weekend!

There are 48 bands slated to play on 4 stages. There will be food and art and other entertainment.

The festival takes place on the 500 acre property of the Susquehanna State Park. of tickets and more information.

Post submitted by Janice Fowler of Doxallo Studio and Doxallo Designs

Friday, June 21, 2013

Call for entries - Hampdenfest

Show: September 14, 2013
(Saturday, 11am-7pm)
Application due: July 30 (by mail)
Recommended to apply early to reserve space.
     Application fee: none
     Booth fee: $150 for 10'x10' space, exhibitor must provide their own tent

If you didn't apply in time to get into HonFest, never fear, there is another festival in Hampden and this one has a reputation as being more successful for craft vendors.

Hampdenfest is a neighborhood arts festival that features 4 stages of music and art performances, an activity area for kids, an emerging artists exhibit and a film festival, as well as four blocks of arts and crafts vendors and other wares from a wide range of merchants and artists. Hampden itself has hundreds of local businesses which are consistently listed in Baltimore Magazine and the City Paper's Best of Baltimore.

For seekers of great food and an engaging atmosphere, HampdenFest offers an abundance of Baltimore, Chesapeake Bay and local Hampden cuisine, including pit beef, crab cakes, and locally brewed beer from The Brewer's Art. A mix of national and local independent rock, folk, punk, acoustic bands and DJs will perform throughout the day, live, at any of the festival's four stages.

And...a race of toilets! Of course.

Click here for more information and here for the application.

Posted by Susan Brandt.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pile of Craft this weekend!

Come see BEST members this weekend at the Charm City Craft Mafia's annual Spring Craft Show!

June 22, 2013
10am - 5pm
2640 St Paul St, St John’s Church

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival

This Saturday, stop by the Creative Alliance on Eastern Avenue to enjoy the Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival!  This all-day free event will feature art, live music, traditional Maryland foods and crafts, and much more.  Just check out what the CA has to say about it!:

MD-based performers include Baltimore's preeminent young jazz artist Lafayette Gilchrist & The New Volcanoes, Baltimore-based & legendary doo-wop band The Swallows; bluegrass band The Carroll County Ramblers; Sam Ouen-Tes & Cambodian Buddhist Ensemble w/ Khmer classical musicians and dancers; Marimba Linda Xelaju of Guatemala; and Native American dance troupe Uhwachi-Reh returns! Workshops, crafts for sale, and demos galore! Mexican yarn painting, Ukrainian egg decorating, Baltimore screen painting, duck decoy carving & much more. A blacksmith will have his forge fired up in front of The Patterson! To eat, have a taste of Smith Island 7-Layer Cake, tons of wonderful, distinctive Maryland food, and locally brewed beer served! Se habla español. FREE parking & shuttles. 11am-7pm, rain or shine. FREE!

Photo courtesy Creative Alliance/Edwin Remsberg.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Call for Entries - Festival on the Hill

Show: October 12, 2013
(Saturday, 11am-5pm)
Application due: August 15 (space is first come, first served)
     Application fee: none
     Booth fee: repeat or neighbor vendor (21217 zip code): $45 New Vendors: $60 for 10'x10' space

We are excited to be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the festival this year.  It should be sure to bring out a larger crowd than usual.

Festival on the Hill is celebrating its 60th anniversary of the Festival this year. It takes place in the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore (21217) which is close to MICA.

Enjoy a variety of music, gourmet food, arts & crafts, the Kid Zone, and much more. The festival is organized by Memorial Episcopal Church and proceeds support a diverse group of community organizations through the Church's grants program.

Click here for more information and here for the application.

Posted by Susan Brandt.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June Coupon Code!

Are you planning your Fourth of July party? We are! Throughout the month, participating BEST shops will be offering 10% off on everything in their shops when you enter the coupon code BESTUSA2013 at checkout! Stay tuned next month for a new code with a different deal!  Follow this link or put  "baltimoreetsyteam" in the Etsy search bar to find items from all of our talented members!

Ruby Ring by All Wired Up

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Father's Day - Did you know...?

Father's Day is always the third Sunday in June. This year it is June 16, but did you know...?

William Jackson Smart

1. Father's Day was almost June 5th. That was the birthday of the father of Sonora Smart Dodd who initiated the first statewide Father's Day commemoration in Washington State, 1910.

2. Despite the efforts of Ms. Dodd and merchants, who would have loved to have had another gift-giving holiday added to the calendar, Father's Day didn't become a national holiday until 1972, 58 years after Mother's Day.

3. There are approximately 70,100,000 fathers in the United States.

4. There were an estimated 176,000 stay-at-home dads in 2011.

5. Roses are the official flower for Father's Day. A red rose is worn in the lapel if your father is living, a white rose if he is deceased.

6. Dr. Benjamin Spock became the father of modern parenting with his 1946 book "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care". He had two sons, Mike and John.

7. The male Namaqua sand grouse of Africa's Kalahari Desert flies up to 50 miles a day to soak himself in water and bring it back for his chicks to drink from his feathers.

8. A father sea catfish keeps the eggs of his young in his mouth until they hatch, not eating for several weeks.

9. There are 23,019 hardware stores and home centers in the United States.
10. Ties. There is a long history of neckwear worn by soldiers (Roman). The modern necktie traces its history from the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) when Croatian mercenaries, fighting for the French, aroused the interest of Parisians. The boy-king Louis XIV began wearing a lace cravat around 1646 ('cravat' from the French pronunciation of Croat) setting European fashion.

Ties are thought to be vectors of disease in hospitals. In 2007 British hospitals published rules banning neckties. So some doctors have turned to bow ties.

Honfest this weekend!

Come visit BEST members this Saturday and Sunday at HonFest in Hampden. It's Bawlmer's Best Time!

June 8: 11am to 10pm
June 9: Noon to 6pm

Where: located on the Avenue (36th Street) in Hampden

For more information visit the Honfest website.

Recipe: Quinoa Salad

This recipe is fresh, healthy, and perfect for summer!  Paired with grilled meats or fish, it makes a satisfying and delicious meal- just be sure to make extra if you're serving a crowd, because it will go fast!

Quinoa Salad (serves 4)

- 1 cup cooked quinoa*
- 1 cup edamame beans, thawed in cold water
- 1 mango, chopped
- handful of chopped walnuts
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- juice of 1/2 lime
- balsamic vinegar
- cilantro, chopped (optional)

*To cook quinoa, use 1 part to 2 parts water.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-16 minutes until the liquid is gone and quinoa is transparent.

Put all ingredients together in a large bowl (it's ok if the quinoa is still hot).  Squeeze juice from half a lime over everything, and add balsamic vinegar to your taste.  Lightly toss everything together (if using chopped cilantro, add now).  Best if served immediately, but can be chilled in the fridge for later use.  

Photo by Open Eyes Press.