Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crafty Gifts for Pets

Pet tags were a popular offering at the Last Chance Show for folks looking for gift for their furry friends.  Who doesn't need one of these?

Pet Tag Creations

Or one of these?  

Pet Tag Creations

Of course you could always treat Fido to a homemade, all-natural goat milk shampoo bar...

Scrub a Dub Dog by Baltimore Soaps and More

Or if Fido needs some help in the odor department.....

Doggie Deodorizer by Baltimore Soaps and More

Sunday, December 9, 2012

And the Award Goes to....

photo by Wear Your Voice
Last Chance Holiday Craft Show vendor Wear Your Voice wins the award for best use of vertical space when having a 6' table spot!  Also voted best place to purchase a handmade "Namaste, hon!" tee-shirt,

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Last Chance Holiday Craft Show is Today!

Come on by today for our juried show featuring 30 of our area's best indie crafters peddling their wares for your holiday shopping needs. Free parking, free admission, and free craft activities for the kids.  Live music by QueenEarth from 2-4.  Santa stops by at 1:00 p.m.  Our excellent food vendor specializes in locally sourced food and offerings will include pulled pork sandwhiches, vegan Asian coleslaw, chicken corn chowder, desserts (some gluten free), and locally roasted Zeke's Coffee.  The food alone is worth stopping by!

December 8, 2012

11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Faith Community Church
5315 Harford Rd
Baltimore, MD 21214

Hope to see you there!

Posted by Baltimore Soaps and More www.baltimoresoaps.etsy.com

Friday, December 7, 2012

Get Your Five Dollar Photo at the Craft Show

Melika Carr Photography
Stop by the "$5 photo booth" tomorrow, Dec. 8th, at the Last Chance Holiday Craft Show to get a professional and fun holiday portrait of you and a friend! Take your photo Saturday, and look for it online on Sunday @melikacarr.zenfolio.com/photobooth. From there you'll be able to download a "web ready" version to share with friends and Facebook, or order prints. 

Posted by Melika Carr Photography www.melikacarr.etsy.com

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Turtle Jewelry: What I've Been Working On

Having a great time in the studio making new bracelets, rings, necklaces and pendants.  My favorite work is bezeling unusual stones for pendants such as this boulder opal (Australia) on reticulated silver with wire embellishment.

Turtle Jewelry Designs

I've also been busy making these popular and affordable necklaces using silver and gold bead wire.  Many colors of semi-precious stones are available including the Ametrine I've used here

Turtle Jewelry Designs

and the cherry & rose quartz used here 

Turtle Jewelry Designs

 Each of the necklaces have earrings coordinating earrings but none of which are overly match-matchy.  

Posted by Turtle Jewelry www.turtlejewelrybyleslie.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Earrings: What is the Best Look for You?

When you are faced with the selection of earrings at a craft show or jewelry counter how do you know where to begin? Start with thinking about your face shape. If you don’t know your face shape, stand in front of a mirror and trace the outline of your face on the mirror with a sliver from a bar soap. Once you finish the tracing, step away and look at the shape that is on the mirror. That is your face shape. Oh yeah, now you have to clean the mirror too!If your face is round, that means it is as wide as it is long and so you want earrings that add some angles and length to your face. A long narrow earring with something at the bottom to draw the eye downward is a great choice. Oblong, rectangular or square earrings are also good options. Avoid earrings that are circular in nature. Leave the button and tiny studs for your friends with a square or angular face.

If your face is oval (probably the most common face shape) that means it has width at the cheek bones and tapers smoothly in either direction, with a chin slightly slimmer than the forehead. This shape can handle most styles of earrings, but don’t select incredibly long shapes as that will drag your face down. Try classic studs, button earrings, or go wild with more elaborate, dazzling looks with lots of movement. 

If your face is heart shaped, that means it you have a wide forehead, stunning cheekbones and a tiny, cherubic chin.  You require earrings that mimic your face's shape, but upside down.  Look for earrings that have a tapered point ant the top, this shape can be found in chandelier and teardrop earrings, as well as triangular earrings.  The tapered point at the top can give the illusion to broaden the chin and narrow the forehead.  Circular and oval earrings will work with your face shape as well as long as they don't taper as they descend.  Avoid earrings that mirror your face shape such as those that come to a point at the bottom.

If your face is  square or angular, that means you have a  strong, square jaw line and an angular forehead that are close to the same width. You need earrings that will soften your features. Look for a pair that will soften your features.  Start with hoops and curved edges that will add the necessary roundness. Drop earrings, tear drops or multi-tiered dangling earrings will give a square shape some length. If your face is rectangular then it is best to avoid much length and instead try wider, circular shapes or thicker earrings that give your long face some width. Avoid square, rectangular or harshly angled earrings that echo your face shape. As long as you avoid harsh angles and square shapes, you can wear just about anything in the earring category.

Posted by J. Beads www.jbeads.net

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Jewelry Making as Craftivism

During this holiday season, I find myself reflecting on the new word in my lexicon - "craftivism" and on what I have always called "meaningfulness." I'd like to share my thoughts with you.

Several years ago, I found myself out of a job after many years of working with young children, families and teachers in what I considered to be a very meaningful way. Work had always dominated my life and unemployment was very difficult. Being unable to readily find a new job hit me even harder. After a while, however, I realized that I was being given a gift—the gift of time. So I dug out all the tools and materials that I had collected over years but never used and began to make jewelry.  Immediately I felt a shift in my being. Some long dormant part of me was being awakened. I was a woman possessed, making one embellishment after another.

Jussie's Jewelry
At first, making jewelry was a guilty pleasure. Throughout my career I had always felt that my work was a meaningful contribution to society. Making jewelry was just for fun. Whenever I was asked what I was doing, I answered, almost apologetically, that I was “just” making jewelry. 

Eventually a friend of mine expressed, “What are you talking about? Jewelry brings great joy to people. People love jewelry.” That simple statement reframed my thinking completely.

I’m now back to work full time again, this time in a job where I'm teaching teachers. I derive great satisfaction from what I do but now I make jewelry on the side too and I feel more in balance than I ever did before. So to all you craftivists out there I say, “Thank you.” Thank you for your efforts to improve the world and thank you for all the joy you bring to us through your crafts and your creativity. 

Posted by Jussie's Jewelry

Monday, December 3, 2012

QueenEarth to Perform at Last Chance!

Singer/Songwriter QueenEarth

Baltimore based musician QueenEarth will be performing from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. at the Charm City Craftivists Last Chance Holiday Craft Show on Dec. 8th, 2012. From her bio on her webpage www.queenearth.com, "QueenEarth has performed throughout the Mid Atlantic, including Philadelphia, PA, Washington, DC, and Brooklyn, New York. She has multiple influences across diverse genres from India. Arie, Dave Matthews, Aretha Franklin and Sublime to Talib Kweli, Run DMC and Rascal Flatts. QueenEarth recently released a solo EP, Introducing . . . QueenEarth. This album is a preview of the upcoming full length debut, Adult Contemporary. QueenEarth creates an acoustically soulful sound, rich with hip hop influences. In March 2012, she released a second musical compilation, QueenEarth & Friends: Live and Acoustic."  We are very excited to have her join us for our show!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Announcing the Last Chance Holiday Craft Show Vendors!

We have a great lineup of vendors for this year's Charm City Craftivists Last Chance Holiday Craft Show! Need some custom printed holiday cards? How about a lumberjack pillow or a hand painted pet tag?  How about a "five minute photo" of yourself or your kids which you can later order online to send out with your holiday cards? We've got all that covered and much more!  Here are our participating vendors for 2012:

Art of Crafts
April Alayne
Kellie Creations
Tilted Tops
El Tejano Studios (pottery)
Baltimore Soaps and More
Rosso Stamp Co.
N.Fallon Design Studio
Wear Your Voice
Silver's Reign
Doxallo Studio
Misty Morning Prints
Jussie's Jewelry and Crafts
Kate's Cauldron
Wood Art for Living
Desired Crochet
Charms City Company
Turtle Jewelry Designs
Greenwood Creations
Austin Wayne Designs
K Wear Designs
Renewed Intent
Stitchery Designz (tote bags)
Designs by Dale
Melika Carr Photography
Pet Tag Creations
Creative Crochet (DAnna Designs)
Nature Place

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thoughts on Buying Local This Holiday Season

Glancing through the Wall Street Journal yesterday morning, I was reminded on why this year I decided to focus on buying from local or small businesses.

A fire in a Bangladeshi clothing factory has killed at least 117 employees.  You can read the article here.

I mourn for those fellow seamstresses that lost their life, friends and employment.  I mourn more for the way that they were treated in their workplace. 

I love to travel.  I enjoy learning about different cultures and experiencing those cultures first hand.  I have been fortunate enough to travel to several countries in Asia and Europe.  Through my travels I have learned that life in Asia is cheaper compared to life in the United States.  But for those living in those countries, life is hard and there is little money to go around.  The November 25th, 2012 Wall Street Journal reported that in Bangladesh “the government recently raised the minimum wage 80% to $38 a month.”  I cannot even imagine living with that as my income in addition to having a poor working environment. 

Being a small business owner I understand the importance of reducing my cost of goods so that I can make a decent profit.  But in reducing my cost of goods, is it reducing some ones ability to live a decent life?  I hope not.

Apples and Tea Reversible Apron by Austin Wayne Designs
 This year I focused on buying local food through shopping at various neighborhood farmers' markets.  It has not been the most convenient form of purchasing food, but every week I know that what I spent there goes directly to the farms.  It stays near.  I have not been able to purchase all of my food at the farmers markets, I am not sure if that will ever be possible.  At least 75% of my food budget goes local.

For this holiday season, I have decided to focus on purchasing gifts for friends and family from local artisans or small businesses.

Shopping local and small takes more energy, time, money, discipline and planning than shopping at large corporation stores.  I know that my decision to shop local and small will probably not make a difference in creating safer and better work environments for people in foreign countries.  What I do know is that shopping local and small makes a difference in those people near to me.  I am making a difference in my neighbor’s life.  Giving them the opportunity to do what they love and live the life they want.

If more people shop local and small, then demand for cheaper labor would decrease.  Thus allowing poor work environments for those people would diminish. 

Posted by Austin Wayne Designs austinwaynedesigns.etsy.com

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Call for Craftivists!

ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse, NY, a non-profit activist art organization, is currently seeking art for an exhibition on craftivism set for November/December 2013. If you would like your work to be considered for this group exhibition please contact kimberley@artragegallery.org. We are looking for fiber work of all shapes and sizes and on a wide range of social/environmental issues.

In your email include either a website link where we can view your work or attach up to five images. 
Deadline: January 13, 2013 

About ArtRage: www.artragegallery.org. 
The ArtRage mission is to exhibit progressive art that inspires resistance and promotes social awareness; supports social justice, challenges preconceptions and encourages cultural change. Our goal is to provide ArtRage visitors with an experience that encourages the breakdown of boundaries so that people can see themselves in the work and then in one another. And that, we believe, is the seed of a movement for cultural and social change.

Submitted by

Kimberley McCoy
Community Engagement Organizer
ArtRage Gallery
505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, New York 
ArtRageous art for peace & social justice

Friday, October 5, 2012

Applications for the Last Chance Holiday Craft Show are live!

Applications for the second annual Last Chance Holiday Craft Show to be held Dec. 8, 2012 at Faith Community Church, 5315 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21214 are now live! The show hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  We are looking for quality, handmade work in a variety of media. All crafts must be handmade by the seller - no re-sellers allowed. This year's show will have live music, an excellent food vendor, free craft activities for the kids, and free parking.

Applications can be found here and are due no later than midnight October 26, 2012. Vendors will be notified of acceptance by November 2nd. There is no fee to apply so what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Deborah Mizeur, Melissa Etheridge, Maryland Delegate Heather Mizeur 
On November 6th Marylanders will have an opportunity to cast their vote in support of marriage equality in our state.  Donate now to Maryland's Marriage Equality campaign to help fund their TV ads and win a chance to meet Melissa Etheridge backstage at her November 2nd concert in Bethesda! Click here for the link to make an online donation or  to view instructions for mailing a check.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Holiday Craft Shows Seeking Vendors

Applications for the Charm City Craftivists Last Chance Holiday Craft Show will go live this week.  Meanwhile, make sure to check out Charm City Craft Mafia's Holiday Heap show which is accepting applications until Friday October 5th.  The show will be held on Saturday, December 1st from 10-5 p.m. at 2640 St. Paul Street (St. John's Church), Baltimore, MD 21218.  For an application click here.

The First Sunday Holiday Arts Festival to be held on November 4th in Annapolis is also seeking vendors.  Visit www.firstsundayarts.com or www.mdhallarts.org.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Freedom For Birth Premiere Showing 9/20

Baltimore's Freedom For Birth premiere showing is this Thursday, 9/20 at 6:00 p.m.  at the Patterson Park branch of the Enoch Pratt Library, Baltimore, MD  Jeremy Galvin, president of Maryland Families for Safe Birth, will lead a discussion on the effort to implement licensure for Certified Professional Midwives in Maryland.  The film is a fundraiser for MFSB but funds cannot be accepted at the event so please donate online at the MFSB website. For directions to the libary click here. Other showings are taking place the same day in Hagerstown and Libertytown.  Please see the MFSB website for more info. Also check out the online auction happening from now through noon on 9/23 by clicking this link.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Craftivism to me means participating in the economy on my own terms."

-Kate Heck of Kate's Cauldron


Friday, September 7, 2012

Kathy Mathews's 15 year old craft business, Cookie Dough Creations, started with a single gingerbread man and has grown to feature hundreds of different salt dough ornaments inspired by every season and occasion.  As she approaches her 1,000th online sale since opening her Etsy shop in 2011, Kathy sat down with us to discuss her life as a crafter in Union Bridge, Maryland where she lives with her husband, two children and dog Mojo.

CCC:  I see on your Etsy shop profile that your dog Mojo is your constant companion while you work.  Do you think this may be because you have a habit of regularly dropping raw dough on the floor or that he is snatching bites off of your table when you step away?
KM:  That’s a very good question! It could be but it’s more than likely because he’s one of those dogs that has “separation” issues and can’t stand to be by himself. I’ve been very careful never to call my ornaments “cookies” in front of all our dogs. For some reason all dogs know what that word means!

CCC:  I see you have a shop category called "Career Gift Ornies."  Care to elaborate?

KM:  I no longer have that category, I’ve changed it to “My Job Ornaments” which hopefully is a better phrase. It’s just where I have all my nurse, teacher, librarian, etc. ornaments. Any ornament associated with a job or career.
 CCC:  Where do you purchase your supplies and do they express concern over your salt addiction?

KM:  Since you’ve brought that up, I have had a number of very strange comments regarding hypertension from the cashiers in the grocery store when I’m buying salt. Believe it or not, Walmart is currently the best place to purchase it unless the grocery store is having a sale!

CCC:  Where exactly IS Union Bridge Maryland?

KM:  Union Bridge is located between central and western Maryland. I prefer to think of us being closer to the western part of the state as that area has been referred to as “God’s country” due to the beautiful, rolling countryside. Almost nothing but mountains and farmland as far as the eye can see!

CCC:  Have any famous people purchased your wedding favors that you care to gossip about?

KM:  Not that I’m aware of but maybe someday!

CCC:    I read that your husband provides you with much needed technical support for your business.  Would you considered loaning him out to other crafters?


KM:  That’s a good idea, I’m sure we Etsians could keep him extremely busy!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tomorrow people across the country will rally for birth change.  The rallies have gained a lot of media attention and two are planned in Maryland.  Please plan to attend and bring your family as well as a sign to carry.  Here is the national website http://www.improvingbirth.org/

The rally in Columbia will be held at 10:00 a.m. at 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, MD 21044 (Columbia, MD Mall front of the LL Bean Store). They will continue with the Rally at 11 am cross the road by the Lake Kittamaqundi with a whole family Picnic.  Please see the event's Facebook page at 
Contact the coordinator Ann by clicking here.

The Hagerstown Rally  is at 10a.m.-noon, intersection of Robinwood Drive and Medical Campus Road in Hagerstown, Md. By Robinwood Professional (Medical) Center. See their Facebook page at  http://www.facebook.com/NationalRallyForChangeHagerstownMd Contact the coordinator Jennifer by clicking here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Get Your Craft Labels Using Today's Groupon Deal

photo credit myownlabels.com
Any crafter who has shopped for custom printed labels for his or her products knows the drill - pricey artwork set up fees, minimum orders in the thousands, high cost per label, etc. etc. Homemade labels can be workable IF you happen to own a crazy good printer AND want to invest tons of time in learning graphics software.   Many of us would rather be crafting than fussing with such things and so today's Groupon offer is a great deal!  Get $40 worth of custom printed labels for  $21.  See the offer here.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Crafting and Activism in One Weekend!

On Saturday June 23rd at 10:00 a.m., join Barbara Stratton of Baltimore Soaps and More in NE Baltimore City for Soapmaking 101.  Learn the basics of cold process soapmaking including lye safety, using an online lye calculator, lining molds, mixing, cutting, curing, and ph testing. The cost for the class is $50 and each student gets to bring home 20 oz of soap to cut and cure themselves.  On Sunday June 24th at 4:00 p.m., join Barbara once again for VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) 101.   Topics include single vs. double layer suture, VBAC after multiple cesareans, risks/benefits of VBAC vs. repeat cesarean, Maryland hospital cesarean rates and VBAC numbers, selecting a careprovider and birth location, tips for improving your chances of success and more.  Cost is $45/couple. Siblings are welcome and light refreshments will be provided.  Pre-registration required for either class by 6/17.  Contact  Barbara for more information.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Interview with Nancy from N.Fallon Design Studio

On her blog titled The Life and Times of One Loopy Knitter, Nancy from N.Fallon Design Studio describes herself as a person who creates, knits, edits, makes art, draws, writes, worships the color green, loves cats and is a devoted believer in the potential for the good in humanity.  Here's our interview with where she talks about how she manages her schedule as a crafter and what it is like to work with yarn when there are cats around.

CCC: I noticed you posted on your blog about how you structure your workday as a crafter.  Care to elaborate?


Nancy: Yes, I did a post a while back about daily stress management tips and how the flow of my day goes.  I start every day with what I call my morning routine.  This helps me make sure that I don't neglect myself and my own needs before I start my work day at home each morning.  First, I do any household chores that need attending, then I drink a large glass of water, eat breakfast, workout, shower, and get dressed.

Afterwards (M-F) I sit down on the computer and knock out whatever is on the calender for the day from marketing to social networking, blogging, packing orders and answer emails.  In the afternoons, I hit the post office, go supply shopping, or run other errands if need be.  Otherwise, the rest of the afternoon is mine to design and create.

CCC:   I love the buttons that you work into your purse designs.  Where do you find the buttons you use?

Nancy:  Thank you.  I generally pick them up from the aisles of the craft stores I hit.  But I'm obsessed with handmade buttons.  There's so many gorgeous button crafters and vintage button sellers on etsy.  These can get quite pricey though and would drive the prices of my own work way up.  But I'm always up for getting handmade button gifts! 

CCC:  I see you are a fan of cats.  Do you find it particularly challenging to work with yarn when there are cats around?

Nancy:  Not particularly, contrary to what you might think.  My cats are pretty calm and obedient.  However, Lucy, one of my two, likes to snuggle up on my lap from time to time and to her that's my cue to drop what I'm doing and pet her.  If I don't, she's going to bite and paw at anything in her way (and that's often yarn) because she knows of no way quicker to get attention!

CCC:  When you are in your car waiting to make a turn and the car behind you passes you and turns first does this affect your belief in the good of humanity?

Nancy:  It is a serious personal challenge to live in Baltimore and retain this opinion sometimes.  But I will tell you that when faced with a situation like that, although it's easy to get mad, getting mad doesn't change what happened.  The only affect it has is on you and your day.  If you choose to tell yourself they had a good reason to do it and just move forward with your day, life will be a lot less stressful for you.  

CCC: Can you edit the punctuation in that last question for us?

Nancy:   Hahah.  By "editing"  I don't simply mean that I edit text.  As a blogger that comes up quite often and I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bit punctuation happy myself.  I use the verb edit more to color my life as an artist.  I find reflection on one's own work to be the highest form of art.  I was trained conceptually in school (and what that means is that it was a small school so they went for the conceptual rather than the big time spending on technical equipment- ha) and realize that no piece is ever complete no matter what it is that you make.  There's always a design kink to work out or something that an artist continues to strive for that's always just beyond them at any given time.  That's what drives our boats, right?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Annapolis First Sundays Arts Festival

The First Sunday Arts Festival will take place this Sunday, June 3rd on Calvert and West Streets in Annapolis, Maryland. Shop over 100 regional and local crafters including Craftivists member Baltimore Soaps and More.  Enjoy cafe dining at area restaurants, live entertainment and free admission and parking.  Visit the First Sunday website for more information.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Clayworks Seconds Sale Weekend

Baltimore Clayworks is having their seconds sale this weekend.  Friday night preview shopping with hors d'oeuvres, desserts and wine.   Sale on Saturday and bargain box sale on Sunday.  Check out their summer camp schedule for kids too.  Visit their website for more information.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Charm City Craftivists on Pinterest

Charm City Craftivists are now on Pinterest!  Visit our board to keep up to date with what our members are working on.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Smart Meter Activism

Please educate yourself regarding Smart Meters and join the effort to ensure that all Marylanders have an opt-out option.  See  the events page at http://marylandsmartmeterawareness.org/ to learn about the meeting you can attend in Baltimore on Tuesday May 22nd.  Even if you don't testify your attendance still matters.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Native Berry Festival seeks craft vendors

Native Berry Festival 
Blue Water Baltimore is holding their annual Native Berry Festival on June 23, 2012 in the section of Herring Run Park that borders Belair Rd in NE Baltimore.  The event includes a native berry dessert contest, kids activity area, music and plenty of shade.  The fee for craft vendors is only $25 plus 15% of sales.  Click here
for more information.

Monday, February 27, 2012

March Craft Classes at the Woman's Industrial Exchange

Lots of good stuff happening in March at Baltimore's Woman's Industrial Exchange.  On March 10th you can learn how to impress your friends with  your Ukrainian Egg Dyeing skills.  For $20 plus a $6 materials fee, beginner and intermediate students will learn about the 3,000 year old dyeing technique including line quality and how to layer color.  Pre-registration required. For more info. click here.  Then on March 31st instructor Mallory Steele will lead students through the basics of embroidery including a variety of stitches and how to incorporate other materials into the cloth.  Twenty bucks plus an $8 materials fee gets you a full two hours of learning. Needle we say more?   For more information and to pre-register click here .  Happy creating!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Charm City Craftivists Spring Craft Show

Due to a family health crisis, we unfortunately have to cancel the Charm City Craftivists spring craft show that had been planned for April 28.  We do still plan on having our second annual Last Chance Holiday Craft Show on 12/8/12 however so stay tuned for application details in late summer or early fall.