Tagged: crafts

handmade mart in silver spring, maryland

glass beadmaking demonstration by ryan eicherLast Sunday, my mom and I trekked up to Silver Spring, Maryland for Handmade Mart. It was a beautiful day and a great show – lots of very talented and original artists & craftspeople! The spread was quite well done, with a good variety of crafts represented and most were of very good quality. Overall, I was impressed!

The person I was least impressed with, though, was myself. I was there with “the big camera” around my neck, and you know how many pictures I took? One. I have been kicking myself all week about that one, and needless to say, I will never again take my camera to an event without taking a decent amount of pictures. I seriously feel like such an idiot… it’s a feeling that will linger and certainly get me shooting more in public!

But enough about me and my random camera shyness… let me give you the lowdown on some of the awesome people that I saw!

pidgepidge handwoven summer scarfProbably my favorite booth, and one of the most unique, was that of pidgepidge. She weaves scarves on a loom, and the results are simply fantastic. She has a wonderful eye for color and the different weaving techniques she used on each scarf gave them a wonderful texture. I was especially surprised at how soft they were; they looked like they might be scratchy, but they weren’t at all. She uses mostly natural wool & cotton fibers, and they gave the scarves a luxurious and huggable feel. This one’s definitely on my wishlist!

orange glass bird pendant by loriola on etsyI was very intrigued by the work by Lori Flanders, who makes her own glass lampwork beads in the shape of birds, cupcakes, hearts, and other cute things. She uses rods of glass and a high-heat torch, and it’s an artform where you have to work really quickly and skillfully while the glass is hot. Later on in the day, we saw Ryan Eicher (photo at top of post) doing a glass forming demonstration, which was fascinating. The molten glass is so unpredictable, yet has the potential for some really breathtaking results… that’s something I’d like to learn. Ryan teaches lessons, so I might have to check into that!

julius corkboard covered with inspiring business cards

Now my corkboard is covered in little cards from that day, inspiring me to keep working my crafty self. A few other artists that I got to see and chat with were Jennifer of Cotton Monster and Fuzzy-Ink screenprinted t-shirts. I also visited the ArtSpring store in Silver Spring, and will hopefully be consigning some of my work there in the future!

prints by el jefe design

And of course it’s not like I could leave the show empty handed… here are my treasures! Two prints by Jeff of El Jefe Design: Albie, from a song by Flight of the Conchords, and a whale riding a tricycle – because who doesn’t need one of those?

It was a great adventure and it was good for me to remember how awesome it is to be a crafty person… I’m certainly inspired to fill my summer with as much making things as possible!

greetings from narwhal-land!

velour plush whalesI have begun to refer to my room as the Narwhal Factory (others may argue for One-Woman-Sweatshop), considering that besides homework, eating, and sleeping (in that order), narwhals are basically what I do. I’m not complaining. I’m almost complaining. It’s stressful at times. But this is an awesome college job.

My craft show Saturday went well, for my first one. It was a slow day for all of us, but I got to make friends with some Cleveland crafters and learn tips from people who have done far more customer interaction than I have. It was wonderful to get real-life opinions from people… online, there are plenty of people who stop through the site without buying anything. Do they like, dislike, hate my products? But in real life, nobody can walk by a whale without commenting on its cuteness. Which always helps the ego get a little boost.

I also had lots of fun brainstorming. First of all, I would love to do more craft shows. It’s hard to find shows in Virginia that aren’t super-folky, but I’ll be on the lookout this summer. And I want to build a nifty display setup; you guys don’t get any pictures because the room was dimly lit and, while I had a decent setup for my means (ie Dorm Room and dishracks), it wasn’t picture perfect. Next time, promise. And I realized that I don’t have anything that boys, especially boys in the “can still get dragged to crafts shows age”, can buy. First order of business once school’s out: boy ipod cases. That’ll be fun.

I did sell something. Two somethings, actually. And since there weren’t too many people coming through, I was happy. And I made friends, so you should check out their stuff:

Judy of Modern Pixie
Stephanie of Stephie Lou
Jessica of Jewelry by J
Jen of Jeneration Design
and Nelleeta, but she doesn’t have a website…

Today I was thinking about going for a walk through Little Italy and exploring the little art galleries… but the skies are alternating between bright blue and drippy gray. A good day for staying in and sewing, which is just what I’ll do – once I get my room to be less of a mess.


wading out of the
sludge of listlessness… it’s time
to create something.

button wall

Finally recovering from that semester full of work before work followed by some work… this break’s about sleeping and relaxing but I want to get some creativity in, too. The combination of having a good idea and having the motivation to do it takes a good deal of energy, but I feel like I’m getting close and that makes me really happy.