Friday, March 29, 2013

Maryland Art Place Spring Event


For Maryland Art Place


April 5th 8pm 

This is an artist installedDo-It-Yourself, 
spring benefit exhibition, silent auction and party!

Artists will self install the entire exhibit in one day and then it's open to the public.  

You can expect to see a wide range of unique artwork, all for sale. 
 Come out and support the arts in Maryland! 
MAP's gallery space is located in Baltimore's entertainment district, Power Plant Live!, just a short walk from Baltimore's famous Inner Harbor. View their website for more details.

Post written by Janice of Doxallo Designs Studio

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring has Sprung!

Spring is officially here, thank goodness. Transitioning out of the winter doldrums can sometimes be a challenge, but soft breezes, blue skies, and daffodils really help. And why not pick up a few items for your self or your home in Spring's wonderful cheerful palette? Here are a few light and happy finds from Baltimore Etsy Street Team members.

A little nosegay for your finger, from BEST member Tigerlily Shop

Blue Violets ring, $6.00.

Hang this embroidery hoop from I felt fuzzy for a hit of Springtime sunshine every day.

Spring sun embroidery hoop, $21.00.

Nik da Pooh makes wonderful, inexpensive knobs like this one. You could give your kitchen or dresser a Spring makeover.

Chartreuse Flower knob, $12.00

Graduation time is coming. Offer your congratulations with this silk scarf from BEST member Susan Brandt

Congratulations Scarf, $27.00

And finally, when you just want to shout "Hallelujah, Winter is over!" to the world, this Vintage Brooch statement necklace from my store, Fiorella Jewelry, will send an unmistakable message. Spring- It's On!

Spring Flower necklace, 230.00.

Submitted by Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Loading Dock

You could build a house with what people throw away. At least, according to The Loading Dock.

The Loading Dock is a building materials reuse facility open since 1984 located at 2 North Kresson Street in Baltimore, MD 21224. It offers great deals and interesting finds to people who need inexpensive building materials and are interested in keeping materials out of the waste stream. Its mission is to increase the supply and use of affordable building materials for housing and community improvement by redirecting landfill bound, reusable materials into productive use.


And, if you are not planning on building a house there's a lot of treasure for crafters.

For example, broken and whole tile.

The broken tile is $.50/box BYOB (bring your own box)

Outdoors the loading dock has granite and marble pavers, bricks and slate.

I've been using slate as framing for wall hangings with small squares of my hand-painted silk and as canvas for my graffiti painting.

The square pieces on either side of the slate on the bottom row are actually mounted on vinyl tile. The Loading Dock has tile, both vinyl and ceramic, but these were not from there.

Check out The Loading Dock for materials both practical and creative.

Written by Susan Brandt

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A World of Whimsy

What could be better?

I mean, who doesn't like a little something whimsical?

This BEST member has a whole WORLD of it - or at least a shop full. :)

Jodi has been crafting since she was a little girl. And she shares her crafts with you in her Etsy shop, A World Of Whimsy.

Her shop began with her tile magnets (this one is PERFECT for Spring!)

Bluebird Handpainted/decoupaged Ceramic Magnet
Bluebird Handpainted/decoupaged Ceramic Magnet

 and cards

Grey and Yellow Easter Card
Grey and Yellow Easter Card

but she continues to expand as she explores new mediums.

For instance, she has a creative collection of fabric button hairpins

Green Fern and Teal Fabric Button Bobby Pin
Green Fern and Teal Fabric Button Bobby Pin

As well as framed paper art

Framed Green duck paper art
Framed Green duck paper art

I am particularly fond of this unique little ducky, but also adore the orange giraffe!

Be sure to bookmark Jodi's shop A World Of Whimsy so you don't miss out on any new items!

Post written by Janice Fowler of Doxallo Studio and Doxallo Designs


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Show at Rawlings Conservatory

If you've never been to the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory, now is the time to go!  March 23rd - April 7th is their annual spring show, featuring hundreds of blooming flowers in an "Enchanted Forest" themed display.  

The Conservatory is a wonderful place to go and enjoy all that nature has to offer, and it's kid-friendly, too!  Like their Facebook page to get updates on events throughout the season.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Indie-pendent Biz: The Gift Cellar

The Gift Cellar is a charming shop located in Historic Lauraville/Hamilton in North-East Baltimore City. They showcase handmade items by more than 30 local Maryland artist and crafts people including quite a few BEST members. Featuring jewelry, housewares, accessories and much more...there is a little something for everyone!

The Gift Cellar is Located at 4337 Harford Rd. Baltimore, MD 21214 just follow the stairs down to explore their wide range of gifts for any occasion.

For a list of all the current vendors visit their website

Friday, March 15, 2013

What I'm working on - SMALL

When I first began making jewelry I worked mostly with beads and wire which were of a 'traditional' size.

Later, when I learned to solder, I fell hard and heavy into the land of LARGENESS. I discovered stones cut into cabochons of all sizes but was really drawn to those of a larger size with amazing colors and patterns. And the resulting pieces of jewelry were beautifully big and bold.

Handcrafted Artisan Ring - Sterling and Gemstone
Big and Bold Ring - Doxallo Studio
Although I have moved away from some of the larger stones, most of my work is still on the bold side and trends towards being big.

Until recently.

More recently I began using more faceted stones which are naturally smaller than many of the large cabochons I had been compulsively buying.

For the past year or two I have been using faceted stones ranging in size from about 2.00 mm to 8mm.

However, now, I have gone even smaller. Now, I am working with tiny stones that range in size from 1.25mm to 1.75.

This ring showcases a lovely 2.0 mm sapphire:
Sterling Silver Stacking Rings Set - with gemstone
Stacking Sterling Silver and Sapphire Rings from Doxallo
It may not sound like a big difference, but going from 2.00mm to 1.5mm is HUGE (in a tiny way).

My magnifying head gear really doesn't quite give me the clarity that I need so, after much consideration, I made one of the largest investments in my shop - a microscope. It allows me to see an incredible amount of detail.

This ring was made prior to the scope and while it turned out lovely, it was a real challenge for me (with my decreasing eyesight) to set the smaller (1.5mm) clear stones.

Handcrafted Art Jewelry - Sterling Silver and Topaz  Ring
Topaz (blue&white) Ring by Janice Fowler of Doxallo Studio

In order to complete work that is to my standards I simply HAVE to be able to see the tiniest variations in the metal as it skims the top of the stone to hold it in place. The microscope will give me that level of vision so I can be confident that I am sending out quality jewelry. 

Presently I am working on adjusting my scope to my height and eyes and I can't wait to begin working 'under' it so that I can begin expanding the use of these tiny stones in my work!

Miscroscope for stone setting
Scope in the studio, Doxallo Studio

Stay tuned for new jewelry with tiny stones!

Post written by Janice Fowler of Doxallo Studio and Doxallo Designs

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Game of Thrones is coming back!

I am addicted to this show, and I know many others are as well. It's been a while since we have seen a new episode, and to hold you over until the series starts up again on HBO at the end of  March, here are some awesome GoT inspired items from Etsy Sellers.

Beautiful Prints of the Danaerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo wedding vow, "you are my sun and moon", from Etsy Seller TeacupPiranha

Also appropriate for Valentines day, and what a great anniversary gift these would make. Nice for a man.

Everyone has days when they need a crown. Here is a beautifully rendered version of the ill-fated Renly Baratheon's crown from Etsy seller Angelyques

Warmer weather is great would this racer back tank from Etsy shop fencingnArchery be on those days you want to show your support for the Targaryen Dragons.

This custom etched pint glass set  from Etsy seller Partywareinc comes with 4 of the main Houses from Game of Thrones. Stark, Lannister, Targaryen and Baratheon. Next time you have friends over for a pint, find out where their loyalties lie.

By Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Monday, March 11, 2013

Call for Entries - Artscape

Show: July 19-21, 2013 (Fri & Sat, 11am-9pm; Sun, 11am-8pm)
Application due: March 31, 2013
     Application fee: $40
     Exhibitor fee: $500 for 10'x10'x7' space

Artscape is America's largest free arts festival, attracting 350,000+ attendees over three days.

Artscape features:
  • 150+ fine artists, fashion designers and craftspeople
  • visual art exhibits on and off-site, including exhibitions, outdoor sculpture, art cars, photography and the Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize
  • live concerts on outdoor stages
  • performing arts including dance, opera, theater, film, experimental music and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • family events such as hands-on projects, demonstrations, competitions, children's entertainers and street theater
  • international menu of food and beverages 
For more information about Artscape click here.
For a direct link to the application page click here.

Written by: Susan Brandt

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A few DIY projects for St Patty's Day

Although we don't really celebrate St Patty's Day in our home, I do enjoy a good DIY project and will probably make one of these (or more) (or all - yes, I'm a sucker for handmade!)

I thought this banner was very sweet and I can see the idea being used for various holidays or observances or celebrations. :)

from Simple as that, the blog

And what about these 'hurricanes' ? Who doesn't like a 10 second project??

From Apartment Therapy

And we can't forget the children in our lives! I stumbled upon this scarf project that is ADORABLE and seems easy enough that I could probably do it!  (gotta love that!)

From Childmade


Post written by Janice of Doxallo Studio

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Felt Pinwheel Tutorial

View tutorial

These cute felt bobby pins are cute to wear and easier to make. BEST member Kolleen from Design by Night came this simple Pinwheel bobby pin tutorial. And if you don't want to use these pinwheels for hair pins but I could see them being used in a number of ways…cupcake toppers, party favors, jewelry, etc.

To view the step by step tutorial with photos click here or go to!

Written by: Kolleen Kilduff from Design by Night

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Finds - Cat Mania!

In my house, it's all about cats! We have two cats, my daughter lives and breathes cats, we have cat books, cat encyclopedias and so on. So, love them or hate them, here are some adorable cat finds from Etsy sellers.

Funny Cats Set of 4 Stickers
Made by PopDecals
Cat in Glasses Tote Bag
Made by Zyzanna

Cycling Art Cat
Made by Jamie Shelman

Written by: Erica, owner of Becca & Mars, and mom to 8-yr old cat expert

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Monthly Coupon Code: March

Every month, BEST offers a coupon code with a great deal for our friends and fans. During the month of March, you can get free shipping on everything in participating BEST members' shops with the coupon code BESTGARDEN2013!

Spring Flowers Vintage Brooch Collage by Fiorella Jewelry

Follow this link or put  "baltimoreetsyteam" in the Etsy search bar to find items from all of our talented members!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Wearing the Green

Whether they are Irish or not, everyone likes to put on the green on March 17th. So to make it easy to find something fun, fabulous and green, here are some items from BEST members that should appeal. Don't get caught this St Patrick's day without something green know those pinches can hurt! From Block Party Press,this fabulous green ring is something you could wear every day. Emerald green tree seedling ring, 25.00 How great is this hand crocheted hat, from Yarnings by Seanna. Keep your head warm in style. Crocheted blue and green hat, 30.00 I love this frisky squirrel t shirt from Fuzzy Mug Super Squirrel T shirt, 28.00 This slender scarf from BEST seller The Littlest Bean, could double as a necklace Moss Green Felt Circles Skinny Scarf, 10.00 By Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Monday, March 4, 2013

Healthy and right on time!

It seems like everyone is health conscious these days. We're only into the beginning of March so those New Years Resolutions and goals are still hanging on.

With that in mind I have a recipe for a REALLY healthy snack, AND it's perfect for St Patty's day because its VERY green! :)

Kale Chips

It starts with kale and ends in CRUNCH!

and YUM!

I make mine using a dehydrator but they can also be made in a low temperature oven.

Here is what went into the chips I made the other day:

Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsalmic Vinegar
Nama Shoyu
Rice Wine Vinegar
Sea Salt
Nutritional Yeast
Chili Powder

First tip - do not buy preprocessed kale. I don't know why but it just isn't the same, it doesn't come out tasting right. Buy WHOLE leaves, long stems in.

I prepare mine by removing the stem first. I find it's easy to accomplish by folding the leaf over and grasping the leaf part with one hand and the stem/vein with the otherand carefully pulling the two apart.

Discard stem.

Next, I tear the leaf into small pieces.

Not necessarily bite sized, but not more than two bites or they can be messy.

As I am tearing up the kale, I place the pieces I am going to use in a salad spinner to clean and dry my kale.

I do two very full spinners for a batch of kale chips.

Once the kale is spun clean and dry I set it aside and get to work on my coating. In a VERY large bowl I mix all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the nutrional yeast.

I use a wisk and give it a quick beating.

I do not have measurements, I just eyeball it keeping in mind what flavors I enjoy most.

Then I add the nutritional yeast.

You want enough of a sauce to get in all those lovely ruffles on the kale leaves.
Once the sauce is mixed - dump in the kale.

I normally begin mixing gently with a large wooden spoon or spatula. But then I get in there with my hands, massaging the sauce into the leaves to ensure a good coating.

Once this is all mixed I will typically add another heaping spoonful or two of nutritional yeast.
The yeast really gives a nice flavor as well as a nice visual on the resulting chips.

I like to let the kale sit for 20-30 minutes for the flavors to develop a little, but this is not necessary.

Using tongs, I carefully place the kale in a single layer in the dehydrator.

 I try to give the kale some room, but I don't mind them touching or even overlapping a little.

I use two trays in my tray Excalibur dehydrator. I like to leave some space in between the trays to allow for plenty of circulation. I also will rotate the trays (upper for lower) about half way through.

I dehydrate them at about 115 degrees for 2-3 hours - until they are nice and crispy!
I check them each hour, sometimes they need less time, sometimes they need more time. I suspect it has to do with how much marinade is on them and what the temperature/humidity conditions are in the house.

Everyone in my house has tasted these and confirms they are good.

Not everyone likes them enough to choose them over other snacks, but 3 of us REALLY enjoy them.

They have a little tang from the vinegars and soy...and a cheesiness with a touch of saltiness.

I really enjoy these! I hope you do too!

And kale is REALLY REALLY good for you, so you can feel confident you are doing something good for yourself!

Post, and recipe, by Janice of Doxallo Studio