Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gift Ideas from Baltimore Etsy Team

Party season is upon us, and along with it so many occasions that inspire a gift, from birthdays to graduations; wedding showers and weddings, anniversaries, and housewarmings. Want to buy something local and hand made? BEST has so many options. Here are just a few.

Perfect swag to give away at a bridal shower, this custom labeled set of body oil and scrub, is from Becca&Mars

How about a doormat for the newly minted home owner? Damn Good Doormats has so many great choices, this one is my current fave.

To celebrate your graduate's achievements, get an awesome card like this one from Holler and Whistle, and put a few greenbacks inside. Everyone likes a gift like that!

If someone you know is getting married, you could buy a gift from a wedding registry, or get something truly one of a kind from a local artisan. This incredibly beautiful turned serving bowl, made of rare flame box elder, will just get more beautiful with use and will remind your friends of you every time they use it. It is made by BEST members Wood Art for Living.

And finally, birthdays. Today is mine, and I bet I'm not alone in feeling like anything from BEST member Whoop would be a wonderful gift. This one is on my wish list.

Posted by Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Mother's Day: Did you know...?

The second Sunday in May is always Mother's Day. This year it is May 14th, but did you know...?

1. The Mother's Day holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in honor of her mother, Ann Jarvis who had recently died. Anna Jarvis' energetic campaigning led to Mother's Day becoming a national holiday in 1914.

2. Anna Jarvis, the Mother of Mother's Day, was herself never a mother.

3. Approximately 122.5 million people in the U.S. call their mothers on Mother's Day.

4. There are approximately 2 billion mothers in the world.

5. The most prolific mother had 69 children: 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. We don't know her name, only that she was the wife of Feodor Vassilyev, a peasant who lived in Russia in the 18th century.

6. Jenna Cotton gave birth to three children on the same date - October 2. The odds of a family having three children born on the same date in different years are about 7.5 in 1 million.

7. The average age of a women having a baby nowadays in the U.S. is 27.

8. Asian elephants are pregnant for about 22 months!

9. When the baby girl is born, each of her ovaries carries about a million egg cells, all that she will ever have.

10. When a man came to the Muslim Prophet Muhammad and asked "Who among the people is the most worthy of my good treatment?" the Prophet answered, "Your mother."

"Who next," the man asked. "Your mother," came the answer.

"Who after that," asked the man. "Your mother," replied the Prophet.

"Who after that?" "Your father."

Written by Susan Brandt

Friday, April 26, 2013

Last Day to Apply to Pile of Craft!

Have you heard?!  This is the last day to apply to Pile of Craft, put on by our pals from the Charm City Craft Mafia.  Anyone is welcome to apply- get your best work together and click here.  Applications must be received by midnight on April 26 (that's tonight!)  Good luck!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Favorite Etsy Shop-Lovintage Finds

I am a sucker for vintage, almost anything vintage, and Etsy has a large number of really excellent vintage shops. In the end, to stand out, a shop has to have great photography, insightful curation, competitive pricing,and then that certain je-ne-sais quoi that puts it over the top. I guess it's style. Lovintage Finds fits that bill and is always fun to visit. Here are a few items currently for sale. But be aware, merchandise moves fast!

Vintage lab rack with test tubes--how awesome would this be to serve shooters to a crowd?

Vintage Oversized Copper Pot, I love this!! An arrangement of flowers would be so lovely in this, I would put it in my fireplace in the summer months, full of the blossoms of the day.

William Morris said to only have items in your home that you find both useful and beautiful. This mortar and pestle is such an item.

Submitted by Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


If you judge by the weather, we might conclude that Spring really hasn't arrived yet. However, as I look around, I am encouraged because I see GREEN. More and more of it!

With that in mind, I curated a little Spring Green in the form of an Etsy Treasury list - ENJOY !

(click on photo below to head over and browse the items)

Post submitted by Janice of Doxallo Studio and Doxallo Designs

Monday, April 22, 2013

Apply Now...Pile of Craft!

Hello, Baltimore! Our pals from the Charm City Craft Mafia are busy planning their next show.  Save the date for Pile of Craft, June 22 at St. Johns Church in Charles Village. Applications are OPEN! Anyone is welcome to apply- get your best work together and click here. Applications must be received by midnight on April 26.  Good luck!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Highlandtown Wine Festival this Sunday

Celebrate the tradition of home wine making at the 10th Annual Highlandtown Wine Festival. Held on the corner of Conkling & Claremont Streets, featuring a homemade wine competition, wine tastings, children's activities, arts & crafts vendors, including handmade items from several BEST members, food, and music.

When: Sunday, April 21, 2013
Time: 1 - 6 pm
Where: Corner of Conkling & Claremont Street

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New For Spring – What I’m Working On – Becca and Mars

Spring is a rebirth. I love when you head outside and can finally smell green things growing and see flowers starting to bloom.  The only drawback is…allergies.
After a grueling winter with sickness, I’ve been working on our new Refresh line. At the end of last year, we added Refresh Aromatherapy Blend and now we have launched the new Refresh Vapor Balm.

Refresh Vapor Balm

This natural breathing aid uses essential oils to help with congestion from cold, flu, sinusitis or allergies. It's also made with moisturizing ingredients like Shea butter to ease the chapping that comes with blowing and wiping.

It comes in small .5oz container - a little goes a long way.  It's also convenient to carry in a purse and handy to have year round.

You just rub thin layer on your chest and/or throat and dab under nostrils to clear sinus congestion.

We use the following essential oils:

*Eucalyptus - antibacterial, antiviral, decongestant

*Lavender - antihistamine, antiseptic and antimicrobial

*Peppermint - benefits the respiratory system, helps open nasal passages

We’re proud that this product is Petroleum free, unlike many 'over the counter' brands. Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of oil drilling - not something I want to absorb into my skin!

Refresh Vapor Balm retails for $8.50.  May you have a happy and allergy free Spring!
Written by: Erica, www.beccaandmars.etsy.com

Monday, April 15, 2013

IMPACT - 2013 launch

IMPACT featuring Amanda Burnham

IMPACT is a new, public art program developed to extend Maryland Art Place’s programming to broader audiences. Each IMPACT project is unique in itself and is developed based on the partnering site. MAP plans to sponsor roughly six IMPACT projects over the course of 2013 and 2014.

MAP is launching its 2013 IMPACT project with a public art installation at Towson Town Center. Artist
Amanda Burnham was selected for the project and her wall installation, Loop, is currently on display at Towson Town Center.

“My piece for Towson Town Center draws from photographs and studies culled from the immediate surroundings in Towson and reinterpreted to suggest the specific vitality of the area.” - Amanda Burnham

Wednesday, April 17 from 6pm - 7:30pm: Join us at a public reception for the launch of IMPACT at Towson Town Center in the Crate & Barrel Court.

Post submitted by Janice of Doxallo Studio and Doxallo Designs

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gardeners take note!

I don't know about you, but I have a serious care of garden-fever. It's on my mind all the time right now since the weather has finally warmed up.  The grass is turning greener, buds are popping out on the trees, and I see daffodils everywhere!

I am also seeing a lot of weeds in my flower beds so I know it's time to get out there and start sprucing up the yard. However, in my case, this also means going on a hunt for all of my various gardening tools and supplies. I wish I could say that I was super organized and could put my hands on everything without the slightest hesitation.....but if I said that, I would be lying.

So, I am on a mission to get organized. With my new passion for thriftshopping (pop some tags anyone?),  I have hopes to find an inexpensive cupboard or armoire and transform it into a lovely little garden center for my carport.

Here are some samples of what I have in mind. Check out the links for instructions/information.



 If you are a little more adventurous you can make your own potting shed or bench!


This site has several examples and links

The red bench above was created using the instructions provided by the lovely Anna White!

I hope this inspires you to get organized and get out there in your garden!

Post written by Janice Fowler of Doxallo Studio and Doxallo Designs

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Finds: Beach Wedding

Wedding season is officially upon us!  Here are some things from Etsy that would be a great addition to any beach or destination wedding trip: 

Turkish bath towels by TheAnatolian make great wedding or bridal party gifts.

Handmade sandals by Christos Mitsingas are perfect for walks by the sand.

This print series by Panamalia will get your inner wanderlust going.

And a summery scarf by LissiOnEtsy will help keep you warm and stylish.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Call for entries - Pile of Craft

Show: June 22, 2013 (Saturday, 10am-5pm)
Application due: April 26, 2013
     Application fee: $10
     Exhibitor fee: $90 for 8' table

A well-attended, indoor (!) summer craft show held at 2640 St. Paul Street (St. John's Church), Baltimore, MD 21218. Here are pictures from last year's show.

For the application click here.

Good luck!

Written by Susan Brandt

Mom & Me Fairy Skirt Class this Sunday!

Join BEST member Kolleen from Design by Night and the ladies of Baltimore Threadquarters for a spring time Mom & Me no sew Fairy Skirt and Crown making workshop for ages 6-9. Fairy princess Kolleen will be sprinkling fairy dust and waiving her magic glue gun to help transform your little girl into a crafty fairy princess!

Create a custom made colorful whispy skirt using grosgrain ribbon and fluffy tulle. We'll make a matching fairy crown to top it off!

Where: Baltimore Threadquarters

When: Sunday, April 14, 2013

Time: 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

To sign up for the class, click here.

Friday, April 5, 2013

BEST April showers

April showers bring May flowers.
          -English proverb


Question: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
Answer: Pilgrims!
          -grade school joke

Here are some creative things that BEST members have done.

One of several charming clouds made by Block Party Press.

Gadget case made by Abigail Leigh Handbags.

I know these are more like parasols but I couldn't resist. One of the many colorful coupon organizers by Glow Girl Fibers.

Written by Susan Brandt.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

April Coupon Code!

Mothers' Day is coming up soon! Why not pick up something for Mom this month so you're ready? Throughout the month, participating BEST shops will be offering 10% off on everything in their shops when you enter the coupon code BESTMOM2013 at checkout! Stay tuned next month for a new code with a different deal!

Mother and Baby Bunny Embroidery Hoop Art by I Felt Fuzzy

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

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Baked Peas with Creamy Tarragon, Pistachio, & Yogurt Sauce

Peas are coming into season (yay!).  What better way to celebrate this small miracle of spring than to cook it up in a creamy, herb-infused sauce (sauce makes everything better, right??).  Check out this awesome recipe for Baked Peas with Creamy Tarragon, Pistachio, & Yogurt Sauce, courtesy Ode2Food.

1 pound frozen peas
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh tarragon leaves
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup goat cheese (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 500 F.

Put the peas in a cooking pot or a small Dutch oven and gently heat them on the stove until they thaw, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, put the tarragon, scallions, olive oil, yogurt, goat cheese and 1/4 cup of the pistachios into a blender and puree. Gently mix into the peas, add salt and sprinkle the top with extra chopped pistachio. Bake for about 15 minutes – about the time the top will begin to brown. Remove and serve.

The original recipe calls for frozen peas but you could easily use shelled english shelling peas, lima beans or petite sweet peas as alternative. If you can’t find Greek yogurt, strain some plain yogurt through cheese cloth over a bowl for 2 hours to thicken it up and for the extra liquid to drain.

Original recipe courtesy Eric Gower's The Breakaway Cook, 2007.
Recipe text and image courtesy Ode2Food.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Growing Peas

Peas are a fun and easy food to grow.  Planted in mid-spring, they don't need much attention, and even thrive in urban areas when grown in containers (yes, you can grown peas on your deck/fire escape/roof/patio!).  All you need is some dirt, a container with good drainage (just punch a hole in a 5 gallon plastic bucket), some seeds, and water.  After they sprout, keep the soil moist and put in a few sticks to help them climb.  Check out this article for optimal harvesting times (about two months from seed, depending on the variety).
 More information on growing peas:

Images courtesy about.com and digginfood.com.