Thursday, February 28, 2013

My 3 Things

Late Winter seems to be a great time for great TV. Another one of my very favorite shows is due to come back any day now. These fabulous items from Etsy sellers should tell you what it is.

Clue 1 -
 I love this print from Etsy seller Page Rager.

Clue 2 -

How fabulous is this necklace, from Etsy seller FaerieNest

Clue 3
And from Pickle Lady Farm, this awesome cross stitch pattern

And Remember...Zombies love you for what's inside.

Submitted by Clare Hayes, Fiorella Jewelry.

Monday, February 25, 2013

What I'm Working On: Looking Forward to Big!

Up until now, Wood Art for Living has been limited in the size of the pieces it can turn. The Delta lathe we’ve been using is a 12”, and so we couldn’t do anything bigger than pieces like these -- an 11 1/2” Claro Walnut platter or an 11” Cherry clock.

But, after the lathe decided to stop working less than a year after it had been in for a lengthy stint in the repair shop, we made the decision that it was time – not only for a new lathe, but also for a substantial upgrade.

The new lathe is a Nova DVR XP which will not only handle 16” pieces with headstock over the bed, but, as you can see from the picture, also has a rotating headstock that enables turning of even larger diameter work. It also has a more powerful motor that will make it possible to turn heavier pieces, so big salad bowls and such are a possibility.

We will probably start with some bigger clocks and bowls, using some wood that we’ve collected but couldn’t turn on the old equipment. Look for updates as we progress.

Submitted by Marcia Dresner at Wood Art for Living

Friday, February 22, 2013

Baltimore Life: Jack and Zack Food restaurant review

Two Hungry Girls - a blog currrently covering the food available on Charles Street between Mulberry and Lexington in downtown Baltimore. Lisa is the country mouse who works a professional job in the city. Susan is the city mouse who is an artist with a studio at home. Both are 40-something. We currently have between us 5 dogs, 8 cats and 1 turtle (he's Lisa's), two kids each (teens and twenties) and a chef husband (also Lisa's). Lisa will tell you herself that she is a picky eater who is always looking for something good she'll actually eat (stems on baby greens, yuck!). For Susan pork and alcohol are her only "don't eat" ingredients. She craves trying new food concoctions (walnuts on pizza, sure!) crossing her fingers that they will be delicious.
Lisa and I agree on our assessment of Jack and Zack's food and service but we disagree on recommending that you visit. Lisa, the straighter shooter of our partnership, says that the food was okay but had issues, there should have been more options, the server was not very attentive, and the atmosphere had a target demographic that was not us. I agree, but I'm still recommending that you go.
Photo by Richard Gorelick, click here for his review of Jack and Zack Food

Jack and Zack Food (its official name) is at 333 N Charles Street around the corner from the Women's Industrial Exchange with the entrance tucked away on Pleasant Street. It is a tiny space with only an L-shaped lunch counter available for seating. Jack and Zack's uses local, organic sources for much of its food including dairy, meat and eggs. The tone is sincere hipster.

The lunch menu is very limited. If you want meat, it's going to be sausage. If you don't want meat, it's going to be hummus or veggie patty. We've been to Jack and Zack's twice. Lisa had the sausage both times. They have different options every week and make the sausages themselves. Lisa liked one better than the other. The more recent one was a bit bland and dry (no sauce on the bun or for dipping) and kept falling out of the back of the bun. I had the vegetarian options because both of the times we went the sausages were pork. Like Lisa, I thought the food was fine. I liked my hummus sandwich better than the veggie patty. The sandwich was a good balance of textures and flavors with the toasted bread, apple, hummus and greens but I would have prefered it without the pickled (very slightly, they tasted raw) onions. That illustrates one of the restaurant's problems. The menu is on a chalkboard and not every ingredient is listed so I didn't know to ask them to leave the onions off. I get why they don't have printed menus, easier to adjust when menu items are fluid, less waste, but then then the service needs to be the type that bridges that gap.

(Please see our blog, Two Hungry Girls, Baltimore for the rest of the details of the food, atmosphere and service. The conclusion, however, is below.)
So in Lisa's opinion there’s no need to go back. The food was okay, but not memorable, and she felt uncomfortable in the atmosphere. We agreed on all the little and not so little deficits,but when I got up to leave and was putting on my coat and scarf, I felt invigorated and replenished - nourished, if you will, inside and out - and that's not something a lot of places give you for $8.50 a plate. So go; check it out. It's worth it for the experience. You won't go hungry and who knows, you may find that Jack and Zack's gives you more than a meal. And then you've found not just another place to eat, you've found a refuge.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I am excited to announce Baltimore Threadquarters will be opening its doors at 518 South Conkling St. on March 1st! I have partnered with my friend Marlo Jacobson to help create an active space where fabric, yarn, handmade and vintage sewing and fiber supplies will be available. We plan on having art openings, craft trunk shows, workshops, classes, sewing machine rental (eventually) and monthly BEST crafternoons.

This is a real grassroots effort with our surrounding community as well as greater Baltimore in mind. We hope to create a destination boutique where artists, crafters, professionals, hobbyists, novices, and anyone interested in a fiber community will feel comfortable.

Please consider being part of our Indiegogo crowd funding campaign with any contribution you might be willing to give, and grab a perk as well!

----We are offering a 2 session Intro to Knitting class at the $25 level, materials included, limited edition Threadquarters jewelry, and even one-on-one upholstery lessons from yours truly!

----We are still getting our class schedule together, rates and sign-ups to come asap. We have kids and adult classes, check it out:

I ask that you PLEASE share this with anyone and everyone you know!!! We want to make our community stronger!!! We might be nuts, but I think we have the vision, hope, and guts to pull this off! I hope you all come out and visit when the shop is up and running!

Connect with us:   

The American Craft Council Show, Feb 22-24

We are lucky to get a treat every February during the coldest months in Baltimore. The American Craft Council show is coming to the convention center February 22-24. For those of you who have not been, its a sight to be seen. They have the finest crafts in the country, everything from handmade furniture to fused glass and handbags made from wood. It amazes me every time I attend as to how talented these folks are. It is very inspirational to anyone who aspires to be an artist, but also makes for some awesome shopping!

See their website for more information:
Written by Stacey Phinney    

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Damn Good Giveaway!

Damn Good Doormats is celebrating..... We are approaching our 2000th sale on Etsy!

To commemorate this once on a lifetime  event, we are having a giveaway! The lucky 2000th buyer will get ONE free doormat! It's up to 1941 already, so it won't be long now. I can't include custom items in the giveaway, sorry!

Make your purchase directly through Etsy, the lucky winner will be contacted and purchase price refunded.

Here's my Etsy shop: Damn Good Doormats 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Etsy Finds: Shot Through the Heart

In this Valentine-infested month of February, it's always fun to see what the good artists of Etsy come up with to celebrate.  This year, one notable trend (certainly influenced by Katniss Everdeen and The Hunger Games) has been arrows and archery. 

Mark Poulin of Marmar will add a sweet hand-stamped phrase to this Message Arrow.

This cute print by Project Type says it all.

I love the dipped enamel detail on this simple copper ring by Miju.
by Brita of Beeps' Peeps

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cake

Nothing says Valentine's Day like chocolate, right?  Forgo the usual heart-shaped box of dandies and whip up this decadent flourless chocolate cake, which I guarantee you will do nothing short of amaze anyone who eats it.  It's easy to make, and is excellent on its own or paired with fresh raspberries or strawberries.  Enjoy!
Flourless Chocolate Cake by Shana Hillman

4 (1 oz) squares semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease an 8 inch round cake pan, and dust with cocoa powder.

2) In the top of a double boiler over lightly simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.

3) Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Slices can also be reheated for 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave before serving.

Written by Open Eyes Press.  Photo courtesy Skip to My Lou.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fortune Cookie Valentine Tutorial

This is such a clever little Valentine idea from design.wash.rinse.repeat and she suggests that you get a Chinese carry out container to package them in. 
Check out the tutorial here.
by Abby Bohn from Abigail Leigh Handbags

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentines Day - Handmade

With Valentine's Day coming up quick, many people are searching for unique handmade projects.

Last year, my son and I had fun with a homemade card idea we saw online. It was so super easy and turned out really cute.

We took a photo of my son with his arm out, hand in a 'fist'. Printed on cardstock, added text, cut in squares, punched holes, added a lollipop, an voila'.

Source:author, DoxalloDesignsStudio

This is a really sweet project (I think I may make for myself!) that can be left up year round, it's that pretty.

Source: cozycottagecute

Head on over to Cozy.Cottage.Cute to find the 'how-to'.

Another great handmade decoration are these LOVE blocks.

Source: Storiesbymeblog
The sentiment is great, but combining it with photos of you and your loved ones......*swoon*. I'm a goner! If this causes your heart to skip a beat, head over to Stories by Me for the details.

I know that we don't all have time to craft some wicked cool Valentines day cards or decorations. I get it, I do. So if you fall into that category - check out the Valentine related items from our BEST members. 

Written by, Janice of Doxallo Studio

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine's Day: Words of Love Silk Scarves

You can literally tell your Valentine how you feel with these hand-painted silk scarves with words on them.

Cape Amorem means Seize Love in Latin.

This passionate, red scarf has the words from Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona,

Thou wouldst as soon go kindle fire with snow
As seek to quench the fire of love with words."

I am happy to paint custom scarves with a quote, poem, or song lyric meaningful to you.

You can present (or mail) your scarf in this card, made with hearts cut out so you can see the color of the scarf inside.

These and more lovely silk scarves are available on my Etsy site.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Written by: Susan Brandt