Crafty Recovery

Photos courtesy of this chickadee!

The whirlwind that is Crafty Bastards blew in and out of town yesterday, leaving me feeling physically like I survived a tornado, and my stock depleted. I am hoarse from talking and got a back ache from standing all day. But all for good! I need a day to recover, but need to send out my thanks. To my booth mate this chickadee- "Great Success!" I caught glimpses of her throughout the day over the heads of the throngs of shoppers crowding our booth. Thanks to Mr. chickadee for his muscle and tent hauling skills. And to my booth assistants who were chipper at 7am, tended to my every need and sold it during the brief chances I got to go to the restrooms, THANK YOU GUYS!! Also thanks to all of you who came out and visited our little shop, and thank you to my "adoptive craft family" otherwise known as "mama and papa chickadee." The biggest thanks has to go to the Crafty Crew from the city paper- they know how to organize and run one hell of an event! Crafty is by far my most successful and enjoyable event. The staff treats us vendors like rock stars! Phew, I need to rest... :)


Press Time!

Hey! Check out this post on The Examiner's site about Crafty Bastards with a picture of our collaborative earrings. Also another post on Bmore Art. It's good have friends in all the right places! 2 more days...


Count Down To Crafty!

Check out this lovely treasury of Baltimore crafters appearing at Crafty Bastards. Curated by Baltimore by Hand blog. See you in 3 days!



Debuting on the East Coast for the first time! These earrings are lovingly crafted by this chickadee and Dandelion Blu. Despite Mr. Chickadee and Mr. Dandelion's belief that when we get together it's all play and no work! Here's the info printed on the back of our cute new earring cards-

"While searching for a way to combine materials and our design sensibility, plus a way to express our green interests, this line of textile jewelry was born. From the precious metals to the classic cottons, all materials used are recycled and repurposed."

The ear wires are shaped like my Beaux Style earrings and pass through the ear to clasp at the bottom like a vertical hoop. The fabrics are remnants from the chickadee's designs selected for their color combos, texture and pattern. Check them out at Crafty this Sunday!


Prep Work

I pre-apologize if I am MIA this week- Crafty Bastards is this SUNDAY!!!!! Hope to see you there!


Etsy Friday Finds

As I was walking my dogs on this beautiful crisp morning, I started thinking about all the things I love about the fall. Here are some of my favorite etsy autumn themed finds for your enjoyment. Happy Friday!


Pumpkin soap by Spa Therapy

Rebecca Tolk

Autumn Harvest Tea by Tea For All Reasons

Shameless Self Promotion

This is the last I mention of it, I swear! But check out the post on Crafty Bastards about our promotion efforts in Seattle!



It's getting closer!!! to preview all the crafty vendors, and create you plan of attack, here is the fabulous vendor list!


I know, I know- I am getting redundant, but do check out the B.E.S.T. blog today. There is a post by yours truly, about our Seattle trip. Cheers!


The Walter's and Me...

Part of my motivation to take this year off from teaching was to be able to focus more on my metals and art jewelry education. I have been taking course through MICA's Jewelry program off and on for about 3 years now. The problem was that many of the courses were offered during the day, and I sort of hit a wall where I either continued on and really went for it- taking as many courses as I could and focusing on them, or continued on taking a course here and there and not really having the time for them. I was set to register for "Perfecting Basic Skills and Metal Forming 2, when imagine my surprise when I received word from the program director that I was being "invited" to participate in a special collaborative project and class with the Walters Art Museum! I had seen the listing in the course catalog, it was very mysterious in it's description, and I figured it was only being offered to the very advanced students. It seems that some of the museum board members are fans of Project Runway (as they should be!) and were intrigued by last years episode where the designers went to the MET and created garments inspired by the collection. They figured, why can't we do something similar in conjunction with the new exhibit Bedazzled: 5,000 Years of Jewelry and Art Blooms, which is a juried fine art jewelry fair. So students from the jewelry program as well as several selected from the fibers program, have been challenged with creating work that is inspired by the Walter's Ancient collection. And get this- the work will be displayed runway style during the preview party for Art Blooms, and then will be on display in the museum for a brief amount of time afterwards! April Wood, our fabulous instructor, is also challenging us with creating work that pushes the boundary of wearable art. I am so excited I can hardly wait to get started! Last night we had a slide lecture on contemporary jewelry and fashion and then brain stormed as group. I'll be sure to update you all as it progresses!


New Work

New in the shop! "Falling Ovals" Hand cut copper and then kiln fired enamel with gunmetal chain. The smaller oval sits just on the collar bone for a nice asymmetrical effect. Check back for more colors soon.


Double Duty

The Dandelion is pulling double duty tomorrow, attempting to appear in 2 places at once! Ms. Chickadee and I will reunite at Ballston Market in VA, for my last market appearance for 2008. Simultaneously in Charm City, Dandelion Blu wares will be appearing with B.E.S.T. at the Hampdenfest. A big thank you to my crafty collective for manning the Dandelion ship while I am in VA. So, you have 2 chances to catch me tomorrow!


Crafty Bastards Product Spot Light!

Yours truly is featured today on the Crafty Bastards site!!! Check it out here! Yippee!


I Heart Seattle!

As a treat to ourselves for surviving Bumbershoot, this chickadee and I took a little vacation and stayed in Seattle for 4 more days. We shipped the menfolk home (many, many thanks to our hubbies for supporting us and braving the "shoot" w/ us!) and headed out to explore. Now it may seem like all we did was eat, drink and shop, but we did some cultural things as well! We visited the Seattle Zoo and wandered through the rose garden, which was amazing and if I ever convinced mr. dandelion to move to Seattle, I'd work there as a rose caretaker. We went on the underground Seattle tour- while very interesting from a historical perspective, it wasn't too visually stimulating. My 2 favorite neighborhoods were Fremont and Ballard, again if we moved West, they'd be my first 2 choices to reside. My favorite grocery store was in Fremont. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's need to take note of the PCC Natural Market. We checked out the Fremont Troll under the freeway and had coffee at Light House Roasters, where Dave Matthews has been sighted. Enjoyed Belgian beers at Brouwer's and some of the best Thai I've had in years at Jai Thai. The vegetarian Crunchito roll at Chiso Sushi is delicious. In fact, I had the best vegetarian food in Seattle, it was a veggie dream! My favorites were Vegetarian Bistro and Cafe Flora. For breakfast we LOVED 14 Carrot Cafe, so much so we went twice, get the huevos rancheros! Grateful Breads has good coffee and even better pastries. Portage Bay Cafe serves locally grown and organic meals. Zeitgest Coffee had strong "drip" and good art on it's walls. As far as brew pubs, well we patronized quite a few. The most memorable ones being Elysian Brewing Company- we hit 2 locations, and their pumpkin beer is amazing. The People's Pub, The Hilltop Ale House, and McMenamins. I am sure I am forgetting a few there... Flowers in the U District was recommended as a great brew pub and veggie restaurant- but not so much. The "Bruschetta of the Day" consisted of some brie cheese slapped on to some rye bread with tomato sauce...
Shopping- sigh, where do I begin??? Seattle is fabulously dedicated to it's local and Indie artists, with whole stores dedicated to just that. Unfortunately I didn't get the names of all, but here goes a few of my favorites.
Bouncing Wall in Queen Anne, Monster Art & Clothing in Ballard, Red Delicious Seattle in Pike Place and Dandelion Botanical Company. Other fun places were Velouria in Ballard, and I got to peak in the window of The Pretty Parlor, we kept showing up after hours.
I am sure I am missing plenty but here's a good list for anyone headed west!


Bumbershoot Re-cap Part 2

I was really happy to be so close to the Space Needle, it made a great backdrop for our booth I think.

While we were in a much quieter court, there was plenty of entertainment. There was a stage on the terrace above us that had great jazz one day, and live dj's on another. There even was a beer garden nearby so the chickadee and I could escape periodically when the hordes were just too much. Everyday we had front row seats to the water opera in the fountain- along with plenty of nude babies splashing. I had no idea that fountains were considered public pools in Seattle. The only really annoying aspect of our area was the "hula hoop guy." We couldn't tell if he was an actual juried Bumbershoot performer, but he and his card throwing trick and hula hooping with a tractor tire was tiresome after we saw his schtick for the 10th time.

One of my favorite spectacles was the aerial performance art group Strange Fruit. They are an Australian based group that fuses theatre, circus and dance- all elevated on flexible poles above the crowd. It was graceful, humorous and amazing. Now on to the other artists- no not Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, or Death Cab, I am talking about my people, the other indie designers. Despite a disappointing abundance of imported goods and cheap clothing from China, I did find some really talented crafters. One of my favorites being Flood Clothing. Upon entering the booth you were asked if the artist could "hat you." And that she did. Carefully choosing a handmade hat (from recycled t-shirts and other fabrics) she placed it at just the right sassy angle. Of course the chickadee and I eagerly snatched up 2. Another new friend with fun work is Sydney Designs. She takes vintage wallpaper and creates cute pendants and wall hangings. We traded and I now have a pretty little addition to my jewelry collection. I enjoyed being in the same quiet court as Kim of Kim Sun Designs, and greatly admired her hand tooled leather accessories. I am stocked up on Estrella soaps- the root beer is amazing! I wish I had treated myself to an Alchemy Goods bag, but I had to admit to myself that I do have an over abundance of bags. Alchemy created bags that were limited editions especially for Bumbershoot. They took the old promotional posters from previous years and recycled them into sturdy messenger and sling type bags. I also got a chance to stop into the etsy booth and drop off some cards and meet a few Seattle etsians. Stay tuned for a re-cap of the REAL shopping and experience- as the chickadee and I stepped out into the streets of Seattle.


Bumbershoot Recap

We're baaaackkk!

WE SURVIVED BUMBERSHOOT 2008!!! It was a loooong 3 days at the festival- 11am-9pm of non stop bumber action. While we were in a much quieter area then the main Indie Market, it still was a constant flow of traffic. It was a change from the traditional venues we were used too, a lot more "lookey-loos," packs of teenagers roaming and roughly handling merchandise, and hoards of beer soaked Stone Temple Pilot fans milling around waiting for the next show. Despite the slower sales, and over stimulation, I did pretty well and managed to pay for my trip and my husbands, plus a little "walking around money" to spend in Seattle.
Our wares and display survived the cross country shipping and cramming into suitcases. We survived the extra fees for over weight bags, the stress of waiting for our boxes to arrive in Seattle, and the "scavenger hunt" we had to go on to retrieve our canopy and shipment of goods. I do have to say that our display may have rivaled others- AND we dragged it from the East Coast!
The festival itself was awesome, an overload of music, art, performance, and handmade goods. This crowd was around the "small" stage if you can believe it. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see any of the main stage performances, as you had to get into the line for passes very early on. I'll post more on some of the performances and artists I saw.
Out little home away from home at night, quite lovely no? Will we do it again next year? That remains up in the air, but I can say I'll take any excuse to visit Seattle again!