Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays from the Charm City Craft Mafia!

Yes, I'm blogging on Christmas.
I just wanted to take a moment to wish all of our friends, families and fans a splendid holiday season. Peace and joy to you and yours.
The Mafia

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Booty Mart DC THIS SATURDAY!!!!

tina seamonster

the littlest bean

Here it is, folks! Your last weekend to buy something from your favorite crafters in person in 2009. Everything from our president fighting zombies on a tshirt to these sweet felt flower brooches.
Come visit 20 of our favorite crafty pals and our friends The Craft Mutiny at the Design Within Reach store in DC on Saturday from 10-5. As if Design Within Reach wasn't a cool enough store to shop in for holiday gifts - now it's also going to be chock full of hand-makers of soap, jewelry, apparel, scarves, toys and papergoods. Oh...and did we mention baked goods? There will be free holiday treats too. Name one good reason NOT to come! We dare you!!

Holiday Booty Market
Saturday, December 19 from 10am-5pm
Design Within Reach store
1838 Columbia Rd. NW
Washington, DC

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Phampersand Press Giveaway!

Looking for a new day planner for 2010? Enter to win one from Phampersand Press! Details, over at Phu's blog.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Craft Month Galore!

to all who came out to shop, sell, gawk & support at Holiday Heap this weekend. We are truly a lucky little bunch to have such a supportive city around us, full of such talented folks. We had an absolute blast - from a punchy & hilarious 5am setup - through seven hours of glorious shopping indoors while it snowed outside - right up to our celebratory hot toddy's after 6pm cleanup. We had the best crowds to date, and the most fun to date. We're so glad you're all here to share this fine city with us!

Miss Holiday Heap on Saturday?
NO SWEAT! Here's a list of some upcoming fairs our members are taking part in:

Squidfire's Holiday Art Mart
Saturday, December 12 - 11-6pm
Dubruns Arena
1301 S Ellwood Ave

Saturday, December 12 - 12-8pm
Gilah Press
3506 Ash Street
Baltimore, MD 21211

Handmade Arcade
Saturday, December 12 - 11-8pm
Hunt Armory
324 Emerson Street

holiday gift bazaar in Hampden
Sunday, December 13, 2009 - 9 - 3pm
623 W. 34th St.

MICA Art Market
December 9th thru 12th - 11-6pm
MD Institute College of Art
Brown Center
Mt Royal Ave

last minute maul
December 13th - 10am-5pm
School 33 Art Center
1427 Light St.

Holiday Booty Mart
Saturday, December 19 - 10-5pm
Design Within Reach
1838 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC

Craftland Holiday Shop
December (all month) - open 10am-6pm
7 days a week
Porvidence, RI

One of a Kind Show & Sale
Friday, Dec. 11th
Saturday, Dec. 12th
Sunday, Dec. 13th
Pier 19
12th Avenue & 55th
New York, NY

(have a local DIY fair we didn't list? email us!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor - JennyJen42

"Jennyjen42 is a unique line of handmade gifts that are fresh, practical and have a fun sense of spirit and nostalgia to them. Featuring narrative pillows and tote bags inspired by the bird parties that are frequently held around JennyJen’s bird feeder in her back yard in Baltimore. Jennyjen products accessorize wardrobe and home in a fun range of campy to classic at affordable prices.
When she isn't teaching high school kiddies, on her bike, working on the yard, or hanging out being lazy, jennyjen can be found in her sweat shop!"
It is no secret I love Jenny's work. My living room is full of her pillows, and my etsy favorites keep even more of them in good company. I love the lightheartedness of her illustrations and the whimsy in her colors & subject matter, and the fact that she's also the full time head of a high school art department is truly inspiring to me. I don't know where her energy comes from, but I'm glad she's managed to sustain it. Can't wait to see what she'll be showing this weekend!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor- Pick of the Litter

Traditional-style walnut banjos 2009 Constructed from a damaged piece of antique furniture.

First time Holiday Heap vendor Lee Connah's hand made instruments are meant to be played. They are as functional as they are beautiful, and their eco-minded construction means that they are each unique.

Scotch Tape Travel Banjo 2007 The neck of this instrument is made from discarded Jotoba flooring. The resonator is an old Scotch Tape can.

How often do you get to play your art?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor: Betz White

Betz White can only be described as a super crafty super star. You may recognize her name from one of her books. There's Warm Fuzzies: 30 Sweet Felted Projects and Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed & Organic Materials. Or maybe you saw her on Martha Stewart.

This author, designer and maker of the most delicious felted knit cupcakes you ever wanted to eat (but please don't eat them!) is new to Maryland and a first time Holiday Heap vendor. I can't wait to see her eco-friendly confections in person... I have just a little bit of a sweet tooth.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor - Yummy & Company

I'm enjoying the simplicity of color & form in the work of Baltimore based Yummy & Company.
She makes teensie little planters, all sizes of necklace, rings, cufflinks & more out of clay. I feel like they could be dressy or casual, and even somewhere in between. Black clay is the new pearl necklace? Maybe not quite... but these are still awesome. Yummy & company also makes Apparel & papergoods!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor: Maneating Flower

A common gripe among my guy friends that I wrangle out to these craft shows is that it's a lot of the same stuff aimed towards the ladies. These flasks with letterpressed leather are sure to be a hit for that someone in your life who likes to nip some Wild Turkey in style. Maneating Flower also makes a range of cool works on paper and printed patches!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor: Space Moderne

If you're a slob like me, you probably find yourself going to more dinner parties than hosting them. Space Moderne makes a variety of unique sewn-felt goodies, like that awesome wine bottle cozy above, just for you. I love the addition of more home good crafters this year!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor: Pellinore Press

I am always a sucker for smart woodcut prints, and am so excited to see the work of Pellinore Press in this year's Holiday Heap! I first met John and Ursula during Artscape when I was sneaking around and soliciting printmakers for a portfolio exchange. Their cards and prints are sharp and clever, and would make a wonderful gift for the print nerd in your life!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor - The Candy Thief

Speaking of headwear, (and felt for that matter).... are you not drooling over these headpieces by The Candy Thief? This is one vendor that we actually squeal over at jury-meetings each year. We then get distracted, and talk about all the things we've already purchased from Casey Dwyer (the one woman factory behind this spectacular shop) and how we're gonna up that collection ASAP (okay, maybe we don't say that...but it's what we're all thinking, right team?) These headbands are the perfect cross between the urge to play dressup, and the urge to function like an adult. Beware the power-boost of positivity you will feel when you get a good look at yourself in the mirror with one on. Not to mention the steady stream of compliments.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor - Endless Hats

I'm always somewhere in between thinking I can pull off a really cool hat, and thinking that, no, I can't. However, I'm always happy to see a good one. If I decide I can pull one off (or think of a loved one I'm willing to make cooler), I'm heading straight to this table at Holiday Heap! Endless Hats started in Bloomsburg, PA just a couple years ago and they also sell new & used lp's on ebay & amazon (as "endlessrecords"). Loving this army style hat in all different fabrics in their etsy shop.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor - The Littlest Bean

The Littlest Bean empress Jen Menkhaus is strong(est)-arm behind our dear friends The Baltimore Etsy Street Team (B.E.S.T.): A group of awesome Baltimore crafters (many of them are also in the Craft Mafia) running an award winning blog, making art, and supporting & promoting craft & DIY all over town. On top of this, she is super-mom of two, sewing maniac #1, tamer of colorful felt, and creator & collaborator extraordinaire. Her craft fair table draws me in like a kid to a candyshop. It is, to give an understatement, a rainbow explosion of happiness. You don't want to miss it. And believe me: there is no way you will if you come to Holiday Heap!!!
One of Baltimore's Finest, for sure.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor - Vaya Bags

My husband is obsessed with the bag he bought a few years ago from NY based Vaya Bags at the very first Holiday Heap. He uses it so often that some might mistake what used to be a red and gray bag for a brown and brown one. We are testimonial that these suckers hold strong, and last. He also recently bought one of the belts made of recycled bike tires. I love the colors she chooses, the recycled approach and the great quality. You can request custom colors & styles, and some even come with cool landscapes sewn into the design.
Thrilled that they will be joining us again this year!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor - The Broken Plate

Juliet Ames of The Broken Plate is the definition of a renaissance woman. Like it's not cool enough that this Baltimore mom smashes plates and makes them into jewelry for a living. She's also had her work featured on Rachael Ray (the woman, her body, and her show), and in countless publications all over the country, and has the coolest and most fitting tattoo I've ever seen. Her work is constantly fluctuating, she is always taking risks, collaborating with other artists, and going in new directions - all while managing a fan base that ranges from you to your great great great grandmother (and that priceless heirloom plate of hers that you dropped on the floor last week). Did I mention she also makes cufflinks, gentlemen?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor- Jaime Zollars

This image from Jaime Zollar's holiday card set makes me sad and melty and happy and glowy, all at the same time. Visit Jaime at the Heap to see more beautiful illustrations, silkscreens, and even buttons!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor- SpotOn Designs

Ahhhhh this ring. I sort of want to get engaged to myself as a reason to buy it, but then that sounds like a really bad Hollywood script.

I think I'll still visit Penny from Spot On Designs at Holiday Heap and ask if I can try it on...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor - Biggs & Featherbelle

Is there anything more enviable than siblings who are BFF's? Not to me. That's the best. So, it always makes my heart soar when I see that I'll be at a craft fair with Baltimore firecracker-sister-duo Biggs & Featherbelle (alias Kelly & Kasey). Not only are they a riot to be neighbor to when you're stuck behind a table for 8 hours, but they smell pretty good too. I use their products personally (who in the craft world of the general Baltimore area doesn't? anyone?) and highly recommend them. In fact, before typing this very blogpost, I just lathered up my hands with one of their new tequila scented bars. The sisters sell their products at fairs across the country as far as California and in stores as well known as Whole Foods Market and - at busy times of year - are known to employ their entire family in the soap studio they inhabit near Clipper Mill in our own fair city.
check them out at

Holiday Heap Vendor- Needle Noodles

I'll be the first to admit, I am partial to the needle arts. It's so up my alley. BUT! Even if you've never picked up a crochet hook, Needle Noodles' awesomeness in yarn will inspire you. I must make this crocheted veggie tray for my next party... I know I have friends who would try to eat it. Totally.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendor- Anschtecka & Hillery

Meet another Holiday Heap newbie this year Anschecka & Hillery, creations of Maryland Institute College of Art grad Hillery Rebeka Sproatt (born and raised in far away LA, California). She has an exquisite eye for detail that carries through her work of tiny sewn embroidered treasures, stuffed mobiles, as well as collages and prints on paper!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jay Ryan at Atomic Pop Tonight

One of my all round idols, and a top reason I run a screenprinting business is Jay Ryan.
I love his work, his music and his business.
He will be having a book signing for his new book of poster art tonight at Atomic Pop.
I just found out, or I'd have blathered about it much sooner than this, mind you.
Here is the info:

I highly recommend you try and go.

Holiday Heap Vendor - Tugboat Printshop!

Holiday Heap is now two weeks away, and I can't wait. The crowds, the music, the pretty lights, too many coffee's, and my husband dressed as an elf, dancing around the farmer's market with ukulele to entice potential shoppers. I can't WAIT!

Currently, I have my shopper eye on Tugboat Printshop and their beautiful woodblock prints of nature & ocean scenes. Paul & Valerie run the shop full-time out of their home in Pittsburgh, PA and sell at fairs & stores all over the country. They even have a frameshop in their basement, and do all of their own custom framing! I already have a small collection of thier prints, and plan to keep it growing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Round the Mountain this Saturday!

Round the Mountain is here again! Last year this show sold out before the doors even opened, so if you want to hear some pretty killer acoustic roots music, you better head over to the Creative Alliance website now and order your tickets today for Saturday's show.

Caleb Stine hosts Round the Mountain, an Evening of Acoustic Roots Music in Baltimore

Saturday, November 14, 2009
Doors open at 7pm
Show starts at 8pm
The Creative Alliance - 3134 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland

This year the lineup includes Arty Hill, Ken Kolodner, Jim Eagan, Danny Noveck, Dan Isaacson, Kevin Griffin Moreno, our favorite host, Mr. Caleb Stine and of course, the lovely ladies whose stage name changes with every year that passes... The Shape Note Sisters!

The Shape Note Sisters are:
  • The Charm City Craft Mafia's own Carly Goss,
  • frequent Pile of Craft and Holiday Heap vendor, Kathy Fahey, and
  • Baltimore's sweetheart, Ms. Patty Ruehl (who builds houses for a living. Take that!)

In the past, our beloved Katherine Fahey has designed the incredible posters (like the beautiful blue one up above), t-shirts, and other merchandise for the show and (wo)manned the merch table like there's no tomorrow. On Saturday night, Ms. Fahey will join Patty and I on stage as our unwavering alto. Kathy also organized a recording project, enlisting the help of talented friends, Timothy Bracken, Katie Feild and Michael Patrick O'Leary. So, that CD you've all asked about every year? Thanks to Kathy and all our friends, it will be available for sale this Saturday, November 14 at the Creative Alliance. We'll sign autographs and take pictures if you're into that sort of thing. :)

(Photo of The Shape Note Sisters courtesy of the fabulous Michael Patrick O'Leary.)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holiday Artisan Market - TOMORROW!

Village Learning Place is putting on their annual Holiday Artisan Market tomorrow night!
A portion of all artist's proceed will be donated to benefit Village Learning Place's awesome community programming.
Go check it out from 7-9 pm.
Free admission, Food & Bevereges.

Village Learning Place
2521 St. Paul St.
Baltimore, MD 21218 for more info

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Torkwase Dyson & Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum

Torkwase Dyson & Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum
Creative Alliance - Main Gallery.
3134 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore Maryland 21224

Opens Sat Nov 7, 5-7pm.
Performances Thu Dec 3, 7:30pm.
open through December 19

Matt Bovie and Vicki McComas Art Opening

Art Opening - Matt Bovie & Vicki McComas
Thursday, November 5, 2009
5:00pm - 7:30pm
Meredith Gallery
805 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Trademarking info via Design*sponge

A helpful tutorial on Trademarking for your business is up today on Biz Ladies at Design*Sponge. A problem we all worry about constantly as artists & designers. Check it out!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Holiday Heap Vendors Announced!!!

We have our HOLIDAY HEAP 2009 Vendor page up, and boy does this look like a strong team!!!!
Go check out the full list HERE:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Lettering and Type BOOK LAUNCH at MICA

Lettering & Type
Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore
Falvey Hall in the Brown Center
Thursday, October 29
6:30–8:30 PM.

Reception, book signing, and collaborative alphabet from 6:30 to 7:30. Fan Letter from 7:30 to 8:30. This event is free and open to the public.

The highlight of the evening will be Fan Letter: 26 Artists and Designers Present Their Favorite Letter or Typographic Character, featuring designers, artists, and musicians (including many contributors to Lettering & Type) giving a two-minute ode to an alphabet letter or typographic character. These may range from multimedia presentations, performances, videos, stories, poems, animations, songs, stand-up comedy, rants, short plays, demonstrations, Gregorian chants, etc—however they choose to depict their letter.

Prior to Fan Letter, there will be a reception with authors Bruce Willen and Nolen Strals, as they help kick off a participatory Exquisite Corpse Alphabet and sign copies of Lettering & Type: Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces.

for more info:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

To Do this Weekend!

image from cottonmonster on flickr

7 - 10 PM
Knit Wit
An Exhibition of Contemporary Knit and Sewn Work
405 W. Franklin Street 3rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201

The Great Halloween Lantern Parade
Rain Date Sun Oct 25
Festival 3pm-9:00pm
Line-up 7pm
Parade & Magic Lantern Show 7:30pm

Hard Hittin’ Songs for Hard Hit People
2640 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
A night of acoustic roots music to benefit Heart’s Place Homeless Shelter. Featuring Walker and Jay, Caleb Stine, The Middle East, and Wes Mattheu and The New Way Down. All money goes toward this great shelter that has served Baltimore for over 20 years.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Win a Calendar!

Want a chance to win one of these 2010 Calendars??
See details on the Red Prairie Press blog! & enter by October 28th!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Your Message Here

A marquee built and installed by Somethings Hiding In Here at Urban Outfitters.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Knit & Sewn at Nudashank!!!!

Knit Wit
An Exhibition of Contemporary Knit and Sewn Work
October 23 - November 18

OPENING RECEPTION: October 23, 2009
7 - 10 PM

Sarah Applebaum (California)
Anthony Record (Florida)
Nathan Vincent (New York)
*Jennifer Strunge (Baltimore)
Chiara Keeling (Baltimore)
Todd Knopke (New York)

*(monster maker extraordinaire)

405 W. Franklin Street 3rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201

Gallery Hours:
Saturday and Sunday 11am - 5pm
and by appointment

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This Weekend - PHILLY & BALTIMORE!

Check out the School 33 annual citywide Open Studio Tours! Artists from all over Baltimore will open their studios for you to visit, a map is available online at School 33. (above image by Deborah Stevenson)

This weekend a couple of our members will be in Squidfire's first ever Philadelphia Art Mart!
Go out and show everyone your love!


Holiday Heap Vendors have been chosen!!!!
A full list of the people you should save your money for will be out soon!!
Thanks again to EVERYONE who applied. We are truly humbled by the response we got, and the quality of work being produced in Baltimore and beyond. Wishing we had a space 5 times the size of the one we have.

In the meantime:

email us at

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Great Halloween Lantern Parade Wants YOU!

from Nana Projects:
"There are only 17 days until the TENTH annual Great Halloween Lantern Parade!
Since we are celebrating our tenth birthday we are hoping to light up the night as bright as it's ever been and we hope you'll help us do it! This year we've got a galaxy of stars, a flock of beautiful Poe-inspired bird puppets with beating hearts, and an ever-expanding wardrobe of stilt walking costumes. There’s also still plenty of time to build your own lanterns and come down to the studio to collaborate on the larger floats and puppets. Please check out the many volunteer opportunities listed below . . .
Here is what you can do

Sign up to carry something!

Recruit your family, friends or co-workers to be a group.
If you were a lanterneer, puppeteer or stilter last year we need you again - you did it with so much style how could we ever replace you?
Come help us finish making things!

Volunteer build days are:
Wednesday, October 14th from 6 - 9 pm at the Highlandtown Parade Studio
Sunday, October 17th from 10 - 3 at the Highlandtown Parade Studio
Sign up to be a Parade Marshall!

Every year we need these key folks to make sure the parade moves smoothly and safely. YOU GET TO WEAR A COOL PAGODA HAT!
Marshal Trainings (only one is mandatory) are:
Wednesday, October 14th from 6-8 pm at the Highlandtown Studio
Sunday, October 17th from 10 am – 12 pm at the Highlandtown Studio

Make a Lantern!

Lantern Making Workshops for Kids & Adults!
Sundays Oct 11, 18
Seatings 10am, 12:30 & 3pm. Kids must be accompanied by adult.
Highlandtown Parade Studio

Neighborhood Lantern Making
Tue Oct 13 3-6 pm.
Sat Oct 17 11 am-2 pm.
Kids & all welcome. Patterson Park Public Charter School, 27 N. Lakewood Ave.

Lantini Party!
A Groovy Not-for-Kids Halloween Parade Workshop
Creative Alliance
Sat Oct 10 2 seatings at 7:30 & 9:30pm.
$20, $18 Creative Alliance mbrs incl. lantern kit and 1st drink. Advance Tickets Suggested (it sells out!)

For more information about any of our workshops:

To Volunteer or for any questions please contact Annie Howe at:"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


image from Aussie Gall on Flickr

to everyone who has applied to Holiday Heap 09!!!!
Applications are now officially CLOSED, and we are hard at work jurying.
You will hear back from us by next week with regards to your acceptance status.
Hang tight until then, and keep crafting!

big heaps of love, respect & admiration,

Monday, October 5, 2009


Applications for Holiday Heap Craft Fair 2009 CLOSE TONIGHT: October 5th: at midnight.
This is a juried fair, and late applications will not be considered, so get em in today!!!!!!
Make unique and wonderful things, take great photos, size them correctly, be clear and concise!
GOOD LUCK FRIENDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
More info to come on Vendors, The fair, Our wonderful sponsors, and more!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I nearly forgot to tell you that you should be going to Baltimore Rock Opera Society at the 2640 this weekend, (before OR after Crafty Bastards, that is) to see their unique production of Gr√ľndleh√§mmer.
Craft Mafia enthusiastically donated cash money to this show, which means we must endorse it!
Buy tickets now - they will sell out for Friday & Saturday!